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May 26 — June 1, 2016

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The Magic and the Mystique

Building Our Children’s Future at the MAY Dinner



BOBKER ON LAG B’OMER Thirty-Three – And Still Counting!





Young Israel of Woodmere’s 56th Annual Dinner

by Rabbi Pinchos Stolper pg



Community Comes out for Project Extreme’s Annual Breakfast

Page 23

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,


ag B’omer is always fun. It’s a day generally spent outdoors, either with a picnic, at a park, on rides or in a spirited Color War. My memories of Lag B’omer in elementary school seem to always originate in a park in Staten Island. It seems like all the parks in Brooklyn were too packed for us and so we had to head out there. Now, some schools have their Lag B’omer trips a day or two before Lag B’omer to avoid the “Lag B’omer chaos” in the local parks, so the celebration is extended for a little bit. Lag B’omer in Israel, though, begins a week or two before. That’s when the little boys scramble throughout the neighborhood collecting scraps of wood. Scraps, though, would be an inadequate word to describe what they’re gathering. Sometimes you can see them hauling wooden doors to the pyre that they’re assembling. There’s old crates, boxes, branches – anything that resembles wood is not safe from their hands.

And what they manage to build with their myriad pieces of odds and ends is magical. The pile towers high above their heads in a real-life reproduction of the blocks that they’ve been playing with on their living room floors since they were young. The boys are so busy and their focus is resolute as they assemble their wooden piles. Their excitement builds until finally, the night of Lag B’omer arrives, and they breathlessly view their hard work go up in flames. Lag B’omer, though, is more than picnics, parks and bonfires. There is a deeper, more profound reason behind sefira and Lag B’omer than what we’re taught in grade school. This week, Rabbi Pinchos Stolper helps define these times for our readers, and I found his article to be enlightening. I’m sure you will too. 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 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.

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home



COMMUNITY Readers’ Poll


Community Happenings


NEWS Global

13 National


Odd-but-True Stories




Israel News


Meron: The Magic and the Mystique by Malky Lowinger 84

PEOPLE Jews in the Civil War by Avi Heiligman


PARSHA Rabbi Wein


JEWISH THOUGHT Don’t Pull the Sheepskin over My Eyes by Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz


You Didn’t Plant That by Eytan Kobre


Bobker on Lag B’omer: Thirty-Three – And Still Counting!


The Mystery of Lag B’omer by Rabbi Pinchos Stolper


PARENTING Fitting Everyone In: Raising Healthy Siblings when a Child is Ill by Cheryl Book, PhD 94 Learning Lessons from the Garden by Rabbi Naphtali Hoff


HEALTH & FITNESS Finding Healthy Alternatives to White Flour by Aliza Beer, MS RD


FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Beer Battered Fish


LIFESTYLES Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW 88


Dear Editor, I read your dating column every week and am intrigued by the questions and answers. This past week you wrote about a girl who came home from Israel with more than just luggage – she came home with

someone she wants to marry. Whoa! Take a deep breath. But although the parents don’t necessarily see that this person should be their daughter’s betrothed, I agree with the panelists when they say that they should take their time, not be combative with their daughter, and as time goes on, if they still have the same feelings for each other, they can get engaged. In general, it is very important for parents not to “fight” with their children while they are dating. A child – even when they’re 22, 32, or even 40 – needs to feel that their parents are there for them and on their side. Show them that you are listening to them and point out some nice things that you can see. Be open; perhaps tell them that you don’t see everything that they are seeing and that some things may bother you. But to make shidduchim a battle will only alienate your child and perhaps force them to make the wrong decision. Always keep the lines of communication open. Hopefully you will have a respectful, calm relationship and you can enjoy hearing each other’s point of view. Sincerely, Gail Steinman

Dear Editor, Kudos to you for highlighting Israeli artists and their paintings. The pieces featured were truly beautiContinued on page 12

The Uncommon Core by Chaim Homnick 98 Your Money


Mission, What Mission? by Rivki Rosenwald, Esq., CLC


HUMOR Centerfold


Rocky’s Rant: The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth


Uncle Moishy Fun Page




Conservatives’ Deal with the Devil by Michael Gerson


Donald, Hillary and the Bernie Factor by Charles Krauthammer



Dear Editor, This week one of your readers wrote about the importance of safety in the summer concerning helmets, not riding in the street, not talking to strangers, etc. There is one major thing she left out: the importance of suntan lotion. Not many people know how important it is. So you get a little burn, so what? Don’t look at this in terms of what is going to happen to you today or tomorrow; think long term. You are literally burning layers of skin and the sun’s rays, although warm and delightful, can be truly harmful. Here are some tips, taken from the American Academy of Dermatology: Wear at least an SPF of 30 or higher and use a sunscreen that is waterproof. Apply liberally – don’t skimp! Apply at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. Remember your neck, ears, face, back of your legs and any surface that’s going to be exposed to the sun. Reapply every two hours or if you are sweating or went swimming. Wishing you all a safe, happy summer, Chaviva Green


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The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

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children for hours every day, have built them up, and filled their minds with knowledge and their hearts with a love for learning. The teachers deserve to know how much you appreciate all that they do. First and foremost, a note thanking them and detailing what you truly appreciate is so important. Secondly, send them a small token of gratitude. It can be a small present, a gift certificate, a bottle of wine for Shabbos, flowers, a fresh challah, cookies or a candy platter for their children at home. Truthfully, it’s the thought that counts. I know a teacher who told me that she received something small and obviously wrapped by a child’s young hands, but that was the gift that she appreciated the most – the child loved his morah so much that he wanted to give her something of his that he cherished. What a wonderful, sweet boy! Make sure to spend some time showing your hakaras hatov. It means so much to those who worked so hard all year! Sincerely, Someone who has worked in a school for many years


Continued from 8

ful. There is nothing like Israeli art, as you are buying something that has been created by artists who are moved to paint by their love of Judaism and the Jewish people. Most people, though, cannot afford paintings, as many of them are above many people’s budgets. But



thinking along these lines, when shopping in the supermarket or in the stores, keep Israel in mind and buy Israeli products. You will be getting quality products and supporting an economy that desperately needs it. Sincerely, Matt Balter

Dear Editor, The year is amazingly coming to a close soon. Your children have worked hard and have learned so much. But don’t forget those who are standing on the other side of the desk. The teachers and rabbeim have poured so much into their daily lessons. They have cared for your

Views expressed on the Letters to the Editor page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Home. Please send all correspondence to: editor @fivetowns

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

The Week In News

No Answers Yet for EgyptAir Flight 804

Egypt’s Oil Ministry sent a submarine to the crash site of EgyptAir Flight 804 in the eastern Mediterranean this week. Their main goal was to join the search for the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, commonly known as black boxes. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said his country was jointly investigating the May 19th crash with the French government. “It is very, very important to us to establish the circumstances that led to the crash of that aircraft,” he said. He said the submarine, which has the capacity to operate at a depth of 3,000 meters below the surface, had left for the site but gave no further details. Making his first public comments since the crash of the Airbus A320 while en route from Paris to Cairo, el-Sissi says it “will take time” to determine the exact cause of the crash, which killed all 66 people on board. The announcement comes just one day after the first available audio from the doomed EgyptAir Flight 804 was released. The audio showed the pilot in normal contact with Swiss air traffic controllers as the flight continued on its course from Paris toward Cairo, hours before officials lost contact with the jet. The seemingly standard dialogue came to light hours after Egypt denied media reports the doomed jet’s black boxes had been located. The audio indicated that all was routine as the plane checked in with air traffic controllers in Zurich late Wednesday night, before being handed over to Italian air traffic controllers in Padua.  The audio recording was taken from a website that provides live air traffic control broadcasts from

around the world. The communication occurred around midnight local time, about 2 ½ hours before Greek air traffic controllers in Athens lost contact with EgyptAir Flight 804. Authorities said the plane swerved and spun wildly before crashing into the sea. The Egyptian military said that no distress call was received from the pilot. The cause of the crash is still unknown. Multiple media outlets are reporting that sensors onboard detected smoke in a bathroom, suggesting a fire onboard the aircraft before it went down. David Learmount, a noted aviation expert, related that the data received from some satellites indicates that a fire could have started in the avionics compartment of the plane which knocked out computers and control mechanisms on the flight. Some say there was an explosion before the crash. No terror groups have taken credit for the disaster and authorities have been going through the passenger manifest, crew members’ backgrounds and airport staff for possible links to terror. Flight 804 was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two babies, three security staff and seven crew members, officials said. Egypt’s aviation minister, Sharif Fathy, described those on board as including 15 French passengers, 30 Egyptians, one Briton, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian.

Austrian Pol Almost Shakes Things Right

The EU almost had its first farright president elected to office this week. Austria’s Norbert Hofer was set to make history until his rival, Alexander Van der Bellen, wiggled out a razor thin win in an election that was a rude wake-up call for the continent’s established parties.



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Van der Bellen won 50.3 percent of the vote, barely beating out the 49.7 percent for Hofer, presented as the friendly and moderate face of the anti-immigration, populist Freedom Party. Gun enthusiast Hofer, 45, had tapped into unease about the record number of asylum seekers at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis, with his typical supporters made up of lesser-educated working-class men and those living in rural areas. Hofer’s strategy mirrored the success of other fringe political figures across Europe, most recently in elections in Cyprus, as well as the success of Donald Trump in the United States. With 2.2 million Austrians voting for Hofer, Van der Bellen said that he wanted to heal the rifts laid bare by the bruising election campaign. “A lot of people in this country evidently feel that they aren’t being seen or heard enough,” he said after the result was announced, speaking in a tone that was anything but triumphant. “We need a different culture of dialogue and a political system, which deals with people’s fears and anger... I will also work toward winning the trust of Norbert Hofer’s voters,” he vowed.

60,000 Prisoners Killed by Syrian Regime

The Syrian regime is being accused of killing at least 60,000 prisoners over the last half decade since the start of the start of the Syrian civil war. The death toll was compiled by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The leader of the monitoring group, Rami Abdel Rahman, said he gathered the information based on regime sources. Most of the prisoners were either tortured or died due to horrible conditions such as a lack of food. Abdel Rahman said the largest number of deaths was recorded at the infamous Saydnaya prison and at other deten-

tion centers run by Syria’s air force intelligence and state security forces. Thousands of prisoners are held in the military-run Saydnaya prison, one of the country’s largest detention centers located 18 miles north of Damascus. Human rights groups have accused the Syrian government of systematically using torture and inhumane practices. A UN probe accused the regime of attempting to “exterminate” its prisoners. In 2014, a regime defector who went by the name “Caesar” for fear of his life smuggled out 55,000 photographs showing the abuse and torture of 11,000 people, including prisoners. The Britain-based Observatory says it has compiled a list of 14,456 names – including 110 children – who have died in regime prisons. According to Abdel Rahman, about 500,000 people have been arrested since the conflict broke out in 2011. While some of those half million have been released, many have been killed and many others are still missing. Abdel Rahman also said that “several thousand people” have died while being held by rebel groups and jihadist factions like the ISIS group. Earlier this month, the UN special

envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, named Eva Svoboda to oversee progress on the issue of detainees but for the most part Syria has remained undisciplined and unblocked from their heartless treatment of their people.

Auschwitz Mug Reveals Secret Gold

A gold ring and bracelet that were hidden from the Nazis have been discovered 75 years later. A seemingly innocuous mug on display at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland has been discovered to have a false bottom and secret compartment. Staff at the museum discovered a woman’s gold ring and a necklace inside a piece of canvas. The mug had deteriorated over

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time, revealing the double bottom and the valuable contents below. The Auschwitz Museum pointed out that the mug and its hidden contents are a reminder of the Nazis’ methods as well as the hope that Jewish families clung to as they were deported to camps and had to decide what to bring with them. “The Germans incessantly lied to the Jews deported for extermination. They were told about resettlement, work and life in a different location,” Piotr Cywiński, the director of the museum, pointed out. “They allowed the victims to take with them little luggage. In this way, the Germans were confident that in the luggage – including clothes and items needed for life – they would find the last valuables of the deported families.” The practice of hiding valuables also shows that Jews “had a ray of hope that these items will be required for their existence,” Cywiński added. The Auschwitz Memorial has over 12,000 items of kitchenware, including cups, bowls, jugs, and crockery in its collections. The Museum said that the valuables it had discovered in the mug would be stored in such a way to reflect how it had been hidden, “as a testimony to the fate of the Jews deported to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.”

The Sydney law firm LHD Lawyers filed its application on May 9 and is representing people from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. They are seeking $10 million in compensation per passenger. According to the Dutch Safety Board’s conclusion in its final report late last year, the plane was shot down by a Russian-made surface-toair missile. At the time, there was a raging fight in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces when the aircraft was downed. The Dutch Safety Board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not directly blame any specific group or party for launching the missile but experts and other Western governments blame the rebels.

Suicide Bomber’s Brother to Compete in Summer Olympics

Families of Victims Sue Putin


No money in the world can bring back their loved ones but families of victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 are seeking compensation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. An Australian law firm has filed a compensation claim against Putin in the European Court of Human Rights. The jet was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down and crashed in Ukraine in pro-Russian rebel-held territory on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, including 28 Australians.

Mourad Laachraoui will participate in the Rio Olympics in the Taekwondo competition this summer. Why would this piece of news pique your interest? Laachraoui, 21, is the brother of one of two suicide bombers who attacked the Brussels airport in March. Laachraoui is an accomplished athlete who won gold  at the European Taekwondo Championships in Montreux, Switzerland, on Friday and will compete in the under-59 kg category in Brazil. He will be on a squad of 185 Belgian athletes bound for the August games. Najim Laachraoui, 24, is Mourad’s older brother who heartlessly blew himself up at Brussels airport on March 22 in an attack that left 32 innocent people dead. At  a news conference  after the attacks, Mourad described his brother as a

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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“nice, intelligent boy” who showed no signs of being radicalized before fleeing to Syria three years ago. Mourad claims to have been out of touch with his brother since 2013 but  became suspicious after police came to their home to ask questions following the Paris terror attacks in November that killed 130 people.  “It’s crazy, really – the same parents, the same upbringing – and one

turns out really well and the other really bad,” Mourad’s lawyer, Philippe Culot, said in March. Najim has been described by investigators as a master bomb maker – officials believed he was responsible for making explosive belts  used in the Paris attacks. Prosecutors say Najim had been living in Brussels in the days leading up to the March operation. 

Granted, Mourad is hoping not to be associated with his terrorist brother. He told reporters in March that he wanted to “turn the page” in the hopes  that his brother’s notoriety will not disrupt his athletic career, according to the newspaper La Libre, “I’m not responsible for the actions of my brother,” Mourad has insisted. “You don’t choose your family.”

May 15 started out like any other Sunday but 3 hours later, Japan’s ATMs were wiped out – a total of $13 million was stolen. 100 international gang members, armed with fake credit cards from South Africa’s Standard Bank, hit 1,400 convenience store ATMs in a coordinated attack earlier this month. They each made a series of withdrawals in less than three hours. It was not clear how the gang made off with the millions of dollars so quickly as the cash machines usually limit withdrawals to 100,000 yen ($910) a day. Japanese police declined to confirm the robbery, but Standard Bank acknowledged the heist and put its losses at around $19 million. The bank said it was a “victim of a sophisticated, coordinated fraud incident.” “This involved the withdrawal of cash using a small number of fictitious cards at various ATMs in Japan,” it said in a statement. Japan’s top-selling Yomiuri newspaper said the lightning-fast raids began early on the morning of May 15, a Sunday, when banks were closed. That may have bought the thieves enough time to pull off the robbery and leave the country before authorities could act. Similar robberies have occurred in recent years, including a pair of heists totaling about $45 million that saw a group of cyber thieves disable withdrawal limits on ATMs around the world. The machines were later raided by street associates who used stolen security passcodes to harvest the loot.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


5th Annual Community Event

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ben Brafman, Esq. • Master of Ceremonies 7:00 pm • The Sephardic Temple, Cedarhurst, NY

Saluting our Community’s Active Duty Lone Soldiers

Yehuda Brick West Hempstead

Aaron Kornbluth Cedarhurst

Meir Cohen DRS Graduate

Sam Cohen Woodmere

Evan Chanan Linder West Hempstead

Rachel McCrossin West Hempstead

Ella Dahan Long Beach

Ariel Gindea Lawrence

Josh Najjar Lawrence

Tyler Peller West Hempstead

Dana Grob Lawrence

Aidan Hadad Lawrence

Ron Pesahovitz Oceanside

Noah Kahn West Hempstead

Tara Seidel Woodmere

Natasha Kaplan-Marans Lawrence

Shira Shamir Woodmere

Chaim Shulman Woodmere

Event Committee Veronika & David Adlerstein Debbie & Michael Alpert Richele & Randy Alpert Beth & Stuart Alter Joyce & Eric Austein Rabbi Shalom & Rachel Axelrod Rachael & Sammy Baratz Bella & Noam Baruch Polina & Dr. Gene Berkovich Beth & Dr. Neil Berman Laura & Leonard Berner Anne & Dr. Chaim Bernstein Linda & Brian Bertan Rabbi Heshie & Rookie Billet Rabbi Heshy & Mimi Blumstein Karen & Dr. Myron Boxer Rebeka & Gabriel Boxer Lynda & Ben Brafman Mandy & Dr. Rubin Brecher Pearl & Jack Bruger Estie & Joel Bryk Beth & Simeon Chiger Chaya & Ari Cohen Paula & Bob Cohen Sharron & Adam Cohen Tanya & Amitai Dagan Naomi & Aryeh Davis Limor & David Decter June Diamant Batsheva & Irah Donner Shelly & Dr. Barry Dorf Adele & Daniel Dubin Rabbi Ira & Chevi Ebbin Doreen & Beryl Eckstein Judith & Alan Eisenman Martin Elias Rachel & Ari Ellenberg Yael & Ben Englander

Judy & Fred Farbman Tobi & Alan Fein Robin & Dr. Michael Feldman Sherry & Yale Fishman Elaine & David Frankel Barbara & Michael Friedman Rabbi Zev & Renee Friedman Sharon & Dr. Jeffrey Frieling Wendy & Chaim Frucher Rabbi Matt & Chana Futterman Mindy & Gerald Gartner Debbie & Dr. Sol Genuth Geri & Dr. Aaron Gindea Lori & Sheldon Ginsberg Rabbi Bruce & Rachel Ginsburg Rebecca & Kenneth Glassman Rabbi Dr. Aaron & Margie Glatt Ariel & Baruch Glaubach Rita & Daniel Goldberg Sara & Steven Goldstein Anne & Shelly Golombeck Esta & Larry Gordon Rabbi Steven & Dr. Linda Friedman Graber Joan Greenfield Janet & Ira Grosser Judy & Moshe Grushko Esther & David Haber Rabbi Kenneth & Nancy Hain Debbie & Steven Hamburg Ruchie & Dr.Yonah Hamlet Judy & Lester Henner Terri & Andrew Herenstein Natalie & Danny Hiller Susie & Jonathan Hirschel Renee Hirschman Giselle & Dr. Paul Hochsztein Michal & Moshe Horowitz Lori & Dr. Sholom Huberfeld

Doba & Kalman Isaacs Julie & Brian Jedwab Faiga & Michael Joseph Harriet Kagan Harriet & Mark Kalish Phyllis & Mel Kass Jenny & Jonathan Katz Annette & Gary Kaufman Rabbi Yehuda & Rochi Kelemer Tova & Aaron Keller Marjorie & Dr. Steven Kellner Shaynee & Dr. Martin Kessler Rabbi Charles & Betty Klein Laurie & Albert Kleinhaus Jen & Elliot Kollander Rhonda & Andrew Krieger Miriam & Neil Kugelman Heidi & Steve Kuritzky Elizabeth & Rob Kurtz Rena & Mark Kwestel Valerie Lager Tina & Shalom Lamm Marilyn & Eliot Lauer Lisa & Uri Lazar Rabbi Simcha & Shani Lefkowitz Elana & Dr. Tovia Lent Fraida Liba & Sam Levine Esther & Robert Levinson Etty & Sol Levy Rabbi Yossi & Chaya Lieberman Karen & Edward Lifshitz Helaine & Joshua Linder Lisa & Sol Lipshitz Jan & Ronnie Lipstein Rachel & David Lyons Lynn & Joel Mael Iris & Shalom Maidenbaum Rabbi Arnold & Zipporah Marans

Shirley Kaplan & Hillel Marans Debbie & Adam Marchuck Amy & Ronen Marom Rabbi Avi & Sara Miller Tzila & Yaakov Morgenstern Aurora & David Mosberg Frady & Avi Moskowitz Janine & Cal Nathan Rabbi Gedaliah & Yehudis Oppen Cali & Moshe Orenbuch Michelle & Dovid Ostreicher Brenda & Sam Ottensoser Wendy & Uri Ottensoser Debora & Mitchell Ozeri Rabbi Yehuda Pearl Sara & Dr. Abraham Peller Rik & Allan Perlow Laura & Avi Radzik Robin & David Ritholtz Malki & Phil Rosen Rabbi Jay & Amy Rosenbaum Sue & Jeffrey Rosenberg Helene & Robert Rothenberg Livia & Mark Rottenberg Brenda & Alan Rubin Rachel & Ephraim Rudman Eileen & Joshua Schein Carine & Bruce Schneider Avram Schreiber Dassie & David Schreiber Rabbi Efrem & Tamar Schwalb Dr. Barbara & Shimmy Schwartz Rabbi Dr. Barry Dov & Sonia Schwartz Rabbi Yehuda & Lisa Septimus Jodi & Gabriel Shamir Shari & David Shapiro Helene & Dr. Larry Sher Joan & Dr. Steven Sherman

Beth & Nino Shmariahu Sharon & Alan Shulman Esti & Dr.Yussy Silverstein Rabbi Elliot & Julie Skiddell Ann & Michael Slochowsky Esther & Marc Soskel Jessica & Steven Spector Malky & Jay Spector Nicole & Dr. Jeffrey Spivak Vicki & Alex Sreter Evelyn & Averim Stavsky Binnie Stein Gitelle & Joseph Steinfeld Fay & Solomon Steinlauf Tamara & Mayer Steinman Rabbi Sholom & Batya Stern Donna & Dr. Edward Stroh Rosalind & Henry Swergold Nechama & Howard Taber Rabbi Moshe & Sori Teitelbaum Lois & Jeffrey Tilton Rabbi Yaakov & Malka Trump Deborah & Dr. David Waltuch Leigh & Daniel Waxman Esther & Irwin Weber Helen & Jacob Weichholz Barbara & Alan Weichselbaum Tamar & Stephen Weinrib Barbara & Dr. Michael Weiss Drs. Leah & Allen Wiesenfeld Rabbi Zalman & Chanie Wolowik Tzippy & Daniel Yarmish Julie & Joel Yohay Lisa & David Zaslowsky Amy & Leonard Zehnwirth Esther & Dov Zeidman Elaine & Dr. Morton Zinberg

For more information, please contact or 646-274-9661 Tickets and sponsorships available at • Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Top Taliban Leader Killed

He took leadership of the Afghan Taliban less than a year ago and now he has met his end. On Saturday, it was reported that Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook named Mansour as “an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban” and said he was “involved in planning attacks that threatened U.S., Afghan and allied forces.” The mission, which involved multiple drones, illustrated Obama’s determination to hunt down Afghan

Taliban leadership in Pakistan now that the insurgents control or contest more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since being ousted by a U.S.led intervention in 2001. Back in December, Mansour was reportedly wounded and possibly killed in a shootout at the house of another Taliban leader near Quetta in Pakistan. He took over leadership of the group in July 2015. The death of Mansour is a big blow for the Taliban. He was gradually tightening his grip on the movement by bringing into his fold other leading Taliban members, including a son and a brother of his predecessor Mullah Mohammed Omar, and by launching large scale attacks on Afghan security forces. Under his leadership, the Taliban managed to capture an important city last year for the first time in 15 years. Mansour also managed to silence the splinter Taliban group under Mullah Muhammad Rasool, which challenged his leadership, and is credited by his followers for containing socalled Islamic State in Taliban areas. A vacuum created by his death once again creates a leadership struggle in the terrorist organization.

Iraq Poised to Retake ISISControlled Fallujah

Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister of Iraq, has announced the start of military operations to retake the Islamic State-held city of Fallujah, just west of Baghdad. Fallujah has been under the control of ISIS for more than two years. Iraqi forces are “approaching a moment of great victory” against the Islamic State group, said al-Abadi, who was surrounded by top military commanders from the Ministry of Defense and the country’s elite counterterrorism forces. Special Forces, soldiers, police,

With our President, Roshei Yeshiva, Rebbeim & Faculty




militia forces and pro-government tribesmen will take part in the operation to retake the city. There has been much debate as to which ISISheld city Iraq should next attempt to recapture. This announcement finally settles the debate. Mosul, Iraq’s second city, was the American military’s recommended target. However, powerful Iraqi militias may have helped force the issue by deploying reinforcements to the Fallujah area in preparation for an assault. Iraqi forces have begun laying the groundwork for the recapture of Mosul, but progress has been slow and an assault to retake the city remains far off. The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition carried out seven strikes in the Fallujah area last week, and Iraq said it has also bombed the city with U.S.-supplied F-16 warplanes. Iraq’s Joint Operations Command warned civilians still in Fallujah – estimated to number in the tens of thousands – to leave the city, but residents say that checkpoints controlled by the extremists along all roads leading out of the city are preventing most from fleeing. It also said that families who cannot leave should raise a white

President Richard M. Joel

Rabbi zevulun charlop


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The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

flag over their location and stay away from ISIS headquarters and gatherings. According to the Pentagon, ISIS has lost 46 percent of its Iraqi territory and 16 percent of its holdings in Syria.

Obama Makes Peace with Vietnam

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that the United States will entirely lift its longstanding U.S. embargo on lethal arms sales to Vietnam. This decision reflects growing concerns about China’s military clout and proves the mutual feelings of trust and forgiveness between the former enemy nations. President Obama unveiled the new arrangement at a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during the opening day of his first visit to the country. The American president stressed that this major decision reflects a growing relationship and developing collaboration on security and economic investment four decades after the end of the Vietnam War. Despite speculations, Obama insisted that the most recent step “was not based on China or any other considerations. It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam.” The president did acknowledge the mutual concern over China’s provocations in the region. He restated a previous vow to “continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.” Under this new arrangement the United States can sell military weapons to Vietnam on a case-by-case basis. Human rights groups are pushing for improvements in the country on human rights and freedom of expression. Prior to Obama’s trip, human rights advocates in the United States called on the administration to

uphold the weapons ban until more progress has been made by the ruling Communist Party. “President Obama is making this trip to deepen relations with Vietnam, but this must be based on a foundation of respect for basic rights,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement before Obama arrived in Hanoi. “He should start by calling for the right of all people to stand for election, voice critical views of government, associate with others, and freely choose candidates – something Vietnam’s current rulers have yet to allow.” At the news conference with Obama, Quang asserted that his country has made progress on human rights. “We need to work closely together and expand dialogue together,” he said. “By so doing, we can narrow the gap in understanding and narrow the differences between the two countries.” Obama is the third consecutive president, after Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to visit Vietnam since the normalizing of relations in 1995. He was received warmly as Air Force One arrived late Sunday and was greeted on the tarmac in Hanoi with a red carpet and a bouquet of flowers. Children dressed in red, white and blue outfits lined the streets on Monday as Obama’s motorcade made its way to the presidential palace.

Israelis Can Live the Longest

The World Health Organization does not always release the most interesting findings, but their new statistics are certainly interest-peaking. According to the WHO, global life expectancy is rising every year, and Israelis born in 2015 are projected to live among the longest on average on



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

On the other side of the scale – or the measuring tape – Sierra Leone in West Africa held the other end of the spectrum for both genders, with a mere 50.8 years for women and 49.3 for men.

Defense Minister Ya’alon Resigns

the planet. Between the year 2000 and 2015, global life expectancy increased by five years. There remains significant disparity between wealthy nations and poorer ones, with 29 high-income countries averaging over 80 years life expectancy for their citizens and 22 Sub-Saharan African countries averaging under 60. Is-

rael cracked the top ten by ranking eighth overall with 82.5 years on average, coming just behind Italy and Iceland. Who is expected to live the longest? Japan ranked first overall with an average life expectancy of 83.7 years. The United States had an overall average of 79.3 years. Israeli men born in 2015 were projected to live fifth longest on av-

erage, with 80.6 years, and Israeli women ninth overall with 84.3 years. The WHO didn’t account for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Japanese women were expected to live the longest on the planet, with an average lifespan of 86.8 years. Swiss men were projected to outstrip the rest on average, at 81.3 years.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon left the Ministry of Defense headquarters for the last time this week. The newly resigned minister will not be staying to brief his replacement or be holding any farewell ceremonies. The resignation came about during a very public disagreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before his resignation, Ya’alon leveled harsh accusations against Netanyahu and against the incoming defense minister Avigdor Lieberman. “When the Hebron shooting affair just happened, Netanyahu had agreed with me that we needed to let the military prosecution investigate and handle this,” he said. “And then, when he noticed the public mood, he changed his mind. As a minister, I had to back the IDF chief, but I felt like Netanyahu abandoned me.” When asked why he was quick to call Sgt. Elor Azaria, who shot dead an already-neutralized terrorist in Hebron, the “transgressing soldier,” Ya’alon defensively said, “He simply took the law into his own hands. He opened fire without justification.” Ya’alon also came head to head with Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett during the Hebron shooting affair. “They ran a smear campaign against me the entire time,” he accused. Before leaving office, Ya’alon announced a plan designed to improve the conditions of Palestinians at West Bank border crossings. The implementation of the new initiative is expected to begin in 2017 and be fully completed within three years. “The plan is intended to increase the number of Palestinian workers passing through the crossings while improving their conditions and meeting the obContinued on page 26

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Every child is special. Find out how to help yours.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 Cong. Beth Sholom | 6-10 pm 390 Broadway - Lawrence, NY 11559

Vendor Expo Featuring: (List In formation)

CAHAL Camp Simcha Special Challenge EI Chush Friendship Circle Fun & Function Gesher Gesher Yehuda Hamaspik Ha'or Beacon School HASC IVDU JUF-Day Hab Kulanu

Lawrence Public Schools Long Island Center For Child Development Marion & Aaron Gural JCC Mass Mutual OHEL On Our Way Otsar Proud Moments Shabbos Lift Solutions Stay At Home Solutions STEP Yachad Summer Programs



Doors open Registration and Vendor Expo Welcoming remarks by Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender


Session 1


Session 2

8:45PM Vendor Expo (Will be open and running throughout the sessions as well)

Buffet Dinner sponsored by

Benjamin Brafman, Esq. Honorary Event Chairman

SpecialCare+ EXPO 2016 RESOURCES. INFORMATION. SUPPORT. Achiezer’s SpecialCare+ Expo promises to empower families with children who face special challenges. Our goal is to provide a wider scope of resources to these parents and caregivers. Through our new forum, we can support one another and gain insight from professionals.

This is a closed media event

For more information or to register:

T: 516-791-4444 ext 113 / W: / E:

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Th is

Presenters & Schedule:

Tu es da y!



Andrew Cohen, Esq.

Andrew Cohen, Esq.

ElderLaw and Special Needs Planning Specialist

ElderLaw and Special Needs Planning Specialist

Mitchell Weisbrot, CLU, ChSNC Special Care Financial Planner

How To Protect Your Child Legally and Financially


Mitchell Weisbrot, CLU, ChSNC Special Care Financial Planner

Ohel’s Senior Director for Operations

What Parents Need to Know: Medicaid Waiver Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman International Director of Yachad

Social Skills; The Rest is Secondary: The primary importance of social skills- effective and practical tools Dr. David J. Marks, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Educational Outreach, The Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center

Knowledge is power: Identifying the signs of a struggling learner Leah Steinberg Director Project LEARN-Special Education Affairs, Agudath Israel of America

Overview of New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Committee on Special Education (CSE) Process to: 1. Obtain tuition reimbursement for placement in nonpublic special education school 2. Acquire educational and related services to help your child succeed in the mainstream classroom Esti Waldman, MS SpEd Director of Evaluations at On Our Way Learning Center

Helping you help your child: Learning what services are available for the special needs child

How To Protect Your Child Legally and Financially Blima Druker HASC Center Area Coordinator

An overview on Group Homes from the initial decision through the process and living beyond Dr. Yardana Hodkin, Psy.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center

Finding Happiness in Parenting: Six Powerful Behavioral Tools to Transform the Way you Parent Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman International Director of Yachad

How do I balance and prioritize the many different roles and responsibilities I have as a parent of a special needs child? Atara Sternman Support Broker for the Long Island Developmental Disabilities Regional Office

Self Direction: A hands on approach to directing your child's services Esti Waldman, MS SpEd Director of Evaluations at On Our Way Learning Center

Helping you help your child: Learning what services are available for the special needs child

For more information or to register:

T: 516-791-4444 ext 113 / W: / E:

Marc Katz


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home



Bruce was a treasured member of the Yeshiva Har Torah Family, the West Hempstead community and a close friend and associate to so many. He was a valued member of our Board of Directors for many years and looked forward each year to what was one of his favorite events – the YHT Golf Classic. Proceeds of the event will help establish the

BRUCE WENGER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND. June 20, 2016 at North Shore Country Club For information about participating and/or attending, please contact Mr. Ed Fox, or visit

the zechus of torah


jectives of quality and service,” a statement said. “The waiting time at the crossings will be decreased by 30-50 percent. This will be done in tandem with an upgrade of the technological measures used at the crossings.” The plan will reportedly cost NIS 300 million. Also included in the new measures will be an increase in the number of security-checking areas in order to shorten the waiting hours for Palestinian workers. Security checks will be upgraded with more biometric methods. In addition to fingerprinting, face-recognition will be introduced designed to speed up the checks and improve security at the crossings. The checks will be conducted on both sides of the crossings where Palestinians will have access to shelters, water installations and parking lots. When he was leaving, Ya’alon told members of his General Staff, “Remember: An army needs to win, but it also needs to remain humane. Even after the battle or the operation or the war, we need to maintain our values and remain human beings. I am confident that you will continue to lead and win.”

Iran: We Can Destroy Israel in 8 Minutes

In these days of sefira, we present a true story of emunah in Hashem and the power of overcoming serious challenges through the segulah of the talmidim at Kollel Chatzos who learn Torah aer midnight in the zchus of those needing a yeshuah.

7 Nissan 5775 A palpable sense of concern was heard in the voice of a mother who called the offices of Kollel Chatzos. Her son Yankele, almost three years old, had not uered a word yet; not even ‘Mommy’ or ‘Tay’. A er making an appointment with a Everyone prominent specialist in Manhaan to have Yankele present evaluated, the mother decided to cancel it; opting rather witnessed the to use the Kollel Chatzos segulah of learning Torah at most amazing night. The woman said that by doing the segulah she will brocha of the IY”H be zoche to have Yankele say the Aleph Beis by the Kollel Chatzos time he turned three. segulah

2 Iyar 5775 -

King David Hotel: Remove Your Tzitzis

Yankele turned three years old. The parents took Yankele to Cheder but did not give him an upsherin because it was the days of sefira. Baruch Hashem, their Yankele's speech had improved dramatically at this point and he was able to say the words albeit very slowly. The mother hoped that by the time Yankele will get his haircut, his speech problem will have resolved itself.

3 Sivan 5775 – It is now three day before Shavuos and Yankele's parents are now able to give him his upsherin, as the 30 days were over. Not only did Yankele say the Aleph Beis, but he said it with power in his voice, showing no fear. He even said it word by word without prompting from his parents. Everyone present witnessed the most amazing brocha of the Kollel Chatzos segulah. The mother exclaimed, "When one is faced with a crisis or serious challenge in their lives, I would strongly suggest they contact Kollel Chatzos. I could not be more thankful for what they have done for my Yankele." Every midnight our talmidei chachamim illuminate the world with Torah. B RO O K LY N




4 locations:




FOR T H E BAIS HORAAH DI A L E XT #8 1- 6a m 718.887.9114 46 Main St #104 Monsey



and experience the zchus of

sustaining Torah learning.

“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes,” Karimpour declared last week. This new announcement is coupled with another piece of news on the power of the Persian nation. On May 9, a senior Iranian general announced that the country’s armed forces successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile two weeks earlier that could reach Israel. “We test-fired a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and a margin of error of eight meters,” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi was quoted as saying at a Tehran science conference. The eight-meter margin means the “missile enjoys zero error,” he told conference participants. Under the nuclear deal signed last year between world powers and Iran, ballistic missile tests are not forbidden outright but are “not consistent” with a United Nations Security Council resolution from July 2015. According to the UN decision, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” until October 2023. Khamenei has repeatedly threatened to annihilate the Jewish state, and in September 2015 suggested Israel would not be around in 25 years. In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account on September 9, 2015, Khamenei addressed Israel, warning, “You will not see next 25 years,” and added that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.

Although the Iranian regime is known for both boasting and lying, a senior Iranian military commander very ominously commented that the Islamic Republic could “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit al-Quds Force, said if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave the order to destroy Israel, the Iranian military had the capacity to do so quickly.

In a bizarre story out of the King David Hotel, a band that played at the five star hotel was barred from wearing yarmulkes and tzitzis out of fear of offending its Arab workers.

The The Jewish Jewish Home Home || MAY MAY 26, 19, 2016 2016

The King David hotel invited the Inbalim band to play for its employees, the vast majority of whom are Arab. The band understood their audience and adapted its usual set of songs to accommodate an Arab crowd. All seemed to be going okay until a half an hour before the show, when the producers banned the band from wearing their yarmulkes “because it will hurt the feelings of our Arab workers.” The band’s director, secular Israeli Noam Cohen, refused to order his musicians to remove their yarmulkes, but offered to have them wear baseball caps as a compromise. Despite this, half an hour after the show began, the director demanded one musician remove his tzitzis, forcing the band manager to confront hotel management over the demands. A recording of the conversation between the hotel manager and the band manager reveals the former According to the director of Rusindicating he was “disappointed” sia’s anti-doping laboratory, dozens that the band was not an Arab band, of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winclaiming that the band manager ter Olympics, including at least 15 did this on purpose as an insult. medal winners, were part of a stateThe band manager furiously denied run doping program meticulously those claims. planned for years to ensure dominance at the Games. The director, Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the laboratory that handled testing for thousands of Olympians, admitted he developed a three-drug cocktail of banned substances that he mixed with liquor and provided to dozens of Russian athletes. The broad scheme is one of the most elaborate doping ploys in sports history. It involved some of Russia’s biggest stars of the Games, including 14 members of its cross-country ski team and two veteran bobsledders who won two golds. Under the cover of darkness, Russian anti-doping experts and members of the intelligence services replaced urine samples tainted by The Palestinian Heritage Museperformance-enhancing drugs with um opened this week – without havclean urine collected months earlier. ing one exhibit. President Mahmoud They were somehow able to break Abbas said that the 43,000 squareinto the supposedly tamper-proof foot empty space was to “tell the bottles the thatentire are the standard at are inworld, world, that we ternational competitions, Dr. Rodhere, that we are still here, and we chenkov said.toBottles will continue be hereoftourine buildwere our passed through a hand-sized hole in independent state.” theExhibits wall to bewere readydelayed for testing the partly next day. By the end of the Games, because the museum’s director reDr. Rodchenkov estimated, as many signed last December over disputes as 100 dirty urine samples were exwith the museum’s management. He punged. took with him the first exhibit, “NevNonewhich of thewas athletes were caught er Part,” to showcase perdoping. More importantly, Russia sonal items of Palestinian refugees.

The Week In News

Insider Reveals Russian Doping Scheme

“Palestinian Heritage” Museum Opens – And It’s Empty

A source close medals to the project the won the most of the told Games, media that the museum’s easily surpassing its maininaugurarival, the tion without was a disapUnited States,exhibits and undermining the pointment, it of will “not live up to integrity of as one the world’s most its declared sporting vision ofevents. telling the Palprestigious estinian storyofficials to the world.” Whenpeople’s Russian were The to electrician the asked respondintocharge the of recent sound lighting for the inauguraclaims,and Russia’s sports minister, Vition said thereleased museuma was “a lovely taly Mutko, statement to idea, but it’s strange that have the news media calling thewerevelamillions [of dollars] of forthe a informamuseum tions “a continuation of theattack Palestinians, but sport.” little help for tion on Russian the In Palestinians themselves, to give November, the World Anthem institutions, or to help with ti-Doping Agency identified Dr. Rodfinding jobs.” chenkovthem as the linchpin in what it “No, there’s no time for the past. described as an extensive state-sponWe aredoping fed up, we need intifada sored program in an Russia, ac[uprising],” heextorting said, adding that he cusing him of money from didn’t get–“the point” of any of he it. deathletes the only accusation million spent on munies$28 – as well aswas covering up the positive seum. According to its curator, it is drug tests and destroying hundreds expected open in After October. of urine to samples. the report came out, Dr. Rodchenkov said Russian officials forced him to resign. Fearing for his safety, he moved to Los Angeles. In the Sochi Games, Russian athletes won 33 medals – including 13 golds, 10 more than at the previous Winter Olympics. A third of all medals were awarded to athletes whose names appeared on the spreadsheet outlining the government’s doping plan that Dr. Rodchenkov said was provided by the sports ministry before the Games.

Former Spy: Saying Islam is Peaceful Spurs Terrorism

Brazil’s Prez Vows to Fight Mosab Hassan Yousef – the Impeachment “Green Prince,” who worked as an

Israeli spy – said “the Jewish nation is dear to me and when I see nations fighting against the Jewish people it hurts me.” Speaking at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York on Sunday, Yousef noted that at one point he was working for and being paid by Israel, the U.S., the PA and Hamas, all at the same time. Dilma Rousseff, newlyBank susYousef, the son the of West pendedleader Brazilian president, swearHamas Sheikh HassanisYousef, ing to use legal fight a helped the“all Shin Betmeans” thwarttoattacks permanent from 1997 toimpeachment. 2007. He laterHours went afon terwrite the Senate voted to impeach her, to an autobiography published the2010 nation’s firstoffemale in titled Son Hamas.president blasted the process as “fraudulent” He converted to Christianity and and tosaid it was an he injustice more fled the U.S. where was granted painful than the torture she endured political asylum. under a past military dictatorship. At the conference, Yousef said he continues reject wasRousseff raised to believe thatto Jews are the accusations levied against her Palesof usenemies of humanity and the ing illegal accounting tricks in mantinians. However, he continued, that aging the federal “I may what have was “until I camebudget. to experience committed errors but I never com-

27 13


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home




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be faced with “courage,” said Yousef. “To tell them Islam is the religion of peace gives them the ability to continue terror.” Islam is a belief system and the world should unify against it just as it did against Nazism, he went on to argue. “When the president of the free world stands and says, ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ he creates a climate to create more terrorism,” asserted Yousef. The Jewish people were able to overcome the Holocaust and instead of playing the victim card, built a democratic state, which sets a great example, concluded Yousef. “I came from hell,” and “I love what Israel stands for.”

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the Jewish nation is the true democracy in the ocean of darkness.” Yousef recounted how he had witnessed a Palestinian mother send her five children on suicide attacks and how she would bless each one. The former Israeli spy said the mother did this to gain respect in society. The collective mind of society is representing something, an ideolo-


gy, a culture, a state of consciousness that is stuck in the 6th and 7th centuries in a tribal lust for power, he said. “We can fool ourselves,” he continued, but “there is an Islamic problem,” going on to mention various radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and Islamic State. “All killing in the name of Allah,”


he said adding that other religions do not act in such ways. “There is an Islamic problem and humanity needs to stand against this danger.” Political correctness means to bury your head in the sand, but we are afraid of the truth and of “trying to provoke them, to not create a religious war. But there is one whether you like it or not.” This threat needs to

Now that the presidential nominees are pretty obvious, who are you going to vote for in November? It turns out that it’s going to be a nail-biting race: two polls released on Sunday show Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton tied with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. The gap is closing fast; Clinton leads Trump slightly with 46-to-43 percent in a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, compared to a similar one in April in which Clinton had an 11-point lead. The new poll also shows Clinton primary rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading Trump by 15 percentage points, 54-to-39 percent, in a hypothetical November matchup. “Polls this far out mean nothing,” Clinton dismissed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They certainly mean nothing to me. And I think that if people go back and look, they really mean nothing in terms of analyzing what’s going to happen in the fall.”

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Earlier Sunday morning, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed voters favored Trump over Clinton 46-to-44 percent. The numbers also show Clinton losing an identical 11-point lead since earlier this spring. Since both polls were within the statistical margin of error, the logical conclusion is that Clinton and Trump are essentially tied. Interestingly, people are not voting for the people they believe in but rather they are motivated by who they are voting against – they want to prevent the nominee who they don’t like from winning. The Washington Post/ NBC poll also shows a majority of the electorate has an unfavorable impression of Clinton, a former secretary of state, and Trump, a billionaire businessman. According to The Washington Post: “Never in the history of the Post-ABC poll have the two major party nominees been viewed as harshly as Clinton and Trump.” A bitter pill to swallow.

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Location, location, location…the city is the place to be! Of the nation’s 20 biggest cities, 19 showed an increase in population for 2015, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday. Many of the cities showing the most significant growth were in the South or the West. For example, Denver, Colorado, became the nation’s 19th largest city with a population of 682,545. The Mile High City saw 2.8% population growth over the last year, a bigger percentage increase than any other large U.S. city. The city has an unemployment rate of around 3.3%, and affordable real estate is difficult to find. “It’s like a gold rush in Colorado,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “People want two things as they make a decision of where to live these days. They want a good job and they want a great quality of life. Back in my day, you would have been

willing to sacrifice quality of life for a good job. Today, I think this generation is saying, ‘No, I want both.’” And just when you thought there wasn’t room for another rat in New York City, the city that never sleeps added 55,000 people to its already exploding population of more than 8.5 million residents, the largest increase in numbers amongst any other city. The bulk of the growth in New York took place in the Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx boroughs. Seattle, which added more than 15,000 residents last year, moved up two spots to make it the nation’s 18th-biggest city. Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, added more than 40,000 residents over the last year, while Los Angeles, the second biggest city in the country, added 34,000 people. Texas was the state that saw the highest increases in the country. Five of the 20 cities with the most growth are located in the Lone State: Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin. 11 cities saw population declines, according to the data. Detroit lost more than 3,100 residents, the biggest population decline, and fell from being the 18th biggest U.S. city to the 21st. Chicago, which had seen its population grow by more than 25,000 residents between 2010 and 2014, saw its population fall by nearly 2,900 residents last year. Collectively there are more than 59 million people living in 82 of the biggest cities in the country.

NYC Gangs Using Internet as a Weapon

Gangs are notorious for their street violence but now they have a whole new outlet to evoke fear and control over their victims. According to NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, gang members in New York City  are resorting to cyber-crime as their newest and most effective weapon.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Bratton revealed the latest outbreak during an interview on Sunday on the John Catsimatidis radio show. He said that law enforcement is adjusting procedures in order to address the epidemic. Bratton related that a 250-person unit has been established in the NYPD to specifically combat cyber-crime such as identity theft, ATM skimming, and credit card fraud. “We’re seeing many of our gangs here in New York … turning away from dealing with drugs and other types of crime, and focusing on getting very adept at cyber-related crime – the false identification cards, credit cards,” Mr. Bratton said. “The social media explosion has been both a boon and a bust for law enforcement,”  Bratton  told Catsimatidis. “A boon that we have a lot more sources of intelligence to create our cases, but a bust in the sense that the push by the phone companies and the software technology companies to increasingly make phones more secure — it’s really causing us to go blind.” Earlier this month, Cyrus Vance Jr.,  New York  County’s District Attorney for Manhattan, revealed that law enforcement agencies have lawfully seized more than 1,000 smartphones but authorities have been unable to recover evidence due to security measures put in place by companies such as Apple and Google. In Manhattan alone, investigators have amassed 230  Apple  devices during the past 18 months that can’t be unlocked.

Officer Acquitted in Freddie Gray Case

Emotions were running high in Baltimore on Monday as Circuit Judge Barry Williams rejected the state’s case against Officer Edward Nero, acquitting him on all counts for his role in the arrest and death of

Freddie Gray and concluding the five day bench trial. Nero, 30, a former New Jersey volunteer firefighter who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2012, is one of three officers who were on bike patrol when they chased and arrested Gray in West Baltimore on April 12, 2015. Gray died a week later from his injuries. Nero faced four misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office. Prosecutors argued that Nero committed an assault by detaining Gray without justification, while the reckless endangerment charge was related to Nero’s role in putting Gray into the police vehicle without buckling him in with a seatbelt. In his verdict Williams said there were “no credible facts” showing that Nero was directly involved in Gray’s arrest, and said testimony showed Nero’s role in putting Gray in the van was minimized by the actions of others and not unreasonable given his training. Nero was visibly emotional upon hearing the ruling and he wiped his eyes as the judge spoke. He then embraced his lawyers, Marc Zayon and Allison Levine. His attorneys said Nero and his family “are elated that this nightmare is finally over.” There were five police officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest and death; Nero was the second to be tried. The case initiated nationwide protests and arguments regarding race and police activity. The first trial, of Officer William Porter, ended in a hung jury and mistrial last December. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who drove the transport van where Gray suffered fatal injuries, is slated to stand trial in two weeks for second-degree murder and related charges. As for Nero’s future, T.J. Smith, the police department’s chief spokesman, said Nero will continue to work in an administrative capacity while the police department’s internal investigation continues. A small group of protesters reacted to the ruling, and pursued Nero’s family into a nearby parking garage with a crush of media in tow. Following the verdict, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for “citizens to be patient.” “This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen in this city, state, and country,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “Now

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that the criminal case has come to an end, Officer Nero will face an administrative review by the Police Department. We once again ask the citizens to be patient and to allow the entire process to come to a conclusion.”

Get Fit, America!

As any knowledgeable nutritionist will tell you, a healthy diet is just one element in a healthy lifestyle. Fitness is crucial for your mind, body, and spirit and no one believes that more than you, Big Brother. For the third year in a row, according to the American Fitness Index, Washington, D.C., has ranked number one as the fittest major city in America. In the Nation’s Capital many residents walk or bike

to work. They also have a significantly lower smoking rate than the rest of the nation. In general, the nation has been moving towards a healthier lifestyle. The number of people smoking cigarettes dropped 4.7 percent, the number of diabetes-related deaths fell 7.4 percent, and twice as many states had policies that required schools to teach physical education. The annual report,  published by the American College of Sports Medicine, measures health and fitness levels in 50 of the country’s major metropolitan areas. Researchers ranked the cities by looking at obesity, smoking and diabetes rates, as well as access to healthy environmental factors, such as farmers markets, parks and recreational facilities. “Cities with a built-in environment that supports people who want to be healthy generally have a healthier population,”  Walter Thompson, professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University and AFI advisory board member, related. “Cities that fall on the low end of our rankings have the opposite of that,” he added. “They don’t have the same number of parks, their cities aren’t walkable, or they don’t spend as much money

[maintaining] their parks.” In D.C., for example, there is a budget of $346 per resident on park-related expenditures, and 96.3 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. Compare that to the report’s lowest ranking city, Indianapolis, which only spends $24 per resident on park upkeep and has only 31.6 percent of its population living near a park. What are the cities in the U.S. that don’t stop moving? The top ten fittest cities are: 1. Washington, D.C. 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota 3. Denver, Colorado 4. Portland, Oregon 5. Seattle, Washington 6. San Francisco, California 7. Boston, Massachusetts 8. Salt Lake City, Utah 9. Hartford, Connecticut 10. San Diego, California

Theranos Revises 2 Yrs of Bloodwork The Theranos saga hit another low last week when the company informed

regulators that it was voiding two years of tests from its Edison blood testing devices and sending tens of thousands of revised test results to doctors. This means that thousands of patients received incorrect results and were likely given the wrong treatments.

Theranos is an American privately held  health technology  and  medical laboratory services company based in  Palo Alto, California. The company developed a  blood-testing  device named Edison. The device uses a few drops of blood obtained via a finger-stick, rather than the traditional vials of blood. By the summer of 2014, its founders had raised over $400 million from investors, valuing the company at $9 billion. But in 2015, controversy surrounding the company’s blood testing process arose after a report in  The Wall Street Journal  raised concerns about the accuracy of its Edison device. An





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independent U.S. government review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported inaccurate testing results and multiple deficiencies in sample handling during a recent inspection. Theranos has told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that it has issued tens of thousands of corrected blood test reports to doctors and patients, voiding some results and revising others. That means some patients received erroneous results that might have thrown off health decisions made with their doctors. The corrected reports include the voided Edison results and many tests run on traditional laboratory machines. The move is part of Theranos’s attempt to convince the agency not to impose stiff sanctions it threatened in the aftermath of its inspection of the company’s Newark, Calif., laboratory. The voided and revised test results are one of the most dramatic steps yet taken by Theranos. Company records reviewed during the inspection showed that the California lab ran about 890,000 tests a year. The inspection found that Edison machines in the lab often failed to meet the company’s own accuracy requirements.

In March, CMS proposed banning Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for at least two years after concluding that the company failed to fix what regulators have called major problems at the California lab. The agency is the federal overseer of clinical labs. The company has said it has taken broad corrective actions in response to the government’s concerns. Among other steps, Theranos has filed a detailed correction plan with regulators, hired a new director for the California lab and suspended most testing there.

Impeachment Case Against IRS Chief

House Republicans kicked off the path to impeaching IRS  Commis-

sioner John Koskinen on Tuesday with a hearing exploring the ways the agency chief, hired to clean up after the tea party targeting scandal, instead bungled the probe and botched his handling of a congressional subpoena. Mr. Koskinen declined to appear to testify, citing a crowded schedule. And lawmakers blocked his written testimony he submitted defending himself from even being entered into the hearing record, saying he had his chance to defend himself and refused to appear. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee that has pursued the investigation into the tea party targeting, said there’s little question Mr. Koskinen has broken faith with Congress. “When Congress asks you a question you’re expected to give a truthful answer. And when Congress gives you a subpoena, compliance isn’t optional,” the Utah Republican said, laying out the case for punishing Koskinen. Chaffetz has written a censure resolution rebuking Koskinen, and a number of lawmakers have called for the agency chief’s impeachment. The case stems from the  IRS’s targeting of tea party groups, which saw agency officials delay tax exempt status applications for years, while posing intrusive questions that the  IRS  has admitted never should have been asked.  A chief focus of the investigation was former  IRS  senior executive Lois G. Lerner, whose computer hard drive crashed, losing two years’ worth of emails. The IRS then said it tried but was unable to recover the emails, despite a congressional subpoena. The agency’s inspector general then found backup tapes containing some of the emails — and discovered hundreds of other tapes were destroyed even after the subpoena was issued. It is  Koskinen’s insistence that they didn’t exist, and the subsequent destruction of the tapes, that has landed him in hot water. Despite Republicans’ assertion that Koskinen should be impeached, Democrats said the chain of evidence so far doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment, pointing to investigations by the  IRS’s own internal watchdog and by the Justice Department that found no intention to mislead. Rep. John Conyers Jr., the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, which held Tuesday’s

hearing, called the impeachment investigation a “distraction.” It won’t be easy to remove Koskinen from office. It requires a majority vote in the House on articles of impeachment, and then a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict and remove him.

Work More? Get Paid More

Many overworked and underpaid Americans hope to become overworked and better paid. Under a new law issued by the Obama administration, workers who work overtime will be protected and awarded higher compensation. A decreasing proportion of workers have benefited from overtime regulations, which date to the 1930s and require employers to pay 1½ times a worker’s wage for work that exceeds 40 hours a week. For example, in particular, workers in the fast food and retail  industries don’t receive proper overtime pay. Many employees are labelled managers and are paid a flat salary but are required to work long hours. In many cases, their salary barely exceeds the salary of the hourly workers they supervise who are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime is classified as hours exceeding 40 hours a week. The new regulations are set to protect managers. The annual salary threshold at which companies can deny overtime pay will be doubled from $23,660 to nearly $47,500, making 4.2 million more salaried workers eligible for overtime pay. Of course, hourly workers will continue to earn their overtime wages as well. Despite the new regulations, experts predict that employers will reduce employees’ hours to avoid paying these overtime salaries. The White House, though, surmises that the rule change will raise pay by $1.2 billion a year over the next decade. The goal

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

of this legislation is to boost earnings for the shrinking middle class and the lower-income workers. “Either way, the worker wins,” asserted Vice President Joe Biden. However, as always, there are critics of the new regulation. Business groups don’t share the enthusiasm for the bill. Companies argued that the imposed changes will create an influx of paperwork and force many businesses to convert salaried workers to hourly ones in order to more closely track working time. “With the stroke of a pen, the Labor Department is demoting  millions of workers,” David French, a senior vice president for the National Retail Federation, said. “Most of the people impacted by this change will not see any additional pay.” Workers earning over $47,500 may still be eligible for overtime  pay,  unless they perform “white collar” duties such as management, supervisory or professional functions. The liberal Economic Policy Institute estimates that 4.9 million people will become newly eligible for overtime; an additional 7.6 million will benefit because they have previously been denied overtime pay as white collar workers.

A Taste of the Golden Gate

Think your vodka tastes a little foggy? That’s a good thing. Hangar 1’s high-end Fog Point, which sells for $125 a bottle, is made from fog. And it’s not just any fog. The mist in your alcohol is culled from “fog catchers” in four spots around San Francisco. The dew is then sanitized and bits of leaves and debris are removed. “I love that the water has a little

bit of an earthy note to it,” head distiller Caley Shoemaker says. “[It’s] like, if you’re standing next to a stream on a warm day, the scent of moist rocks.” Perhaps some would think that drinking fog is a bit unnerving. But consider that the vodka is made in San Francisco, a city known for residents who are recycle enthusiasts and that’s been hit by a drought. As Time points out, the beverage “embodies values the Bay Area worships: sustainability and local production.” Hey, now you don’t have to head to San Fran when you want to experience the Golden Gate. You can enjoy your Fog Point and drink it all in.

The Goatman

Aah! The life of a goat. Don’t you envy the calm days of chewing

on grass, butting horns with your friends, and bleating yourself into oblivion? You don’t? Well, despite your desire to remain human (and sane) there is one person who wished himself a goat. Thomas Thwaites decided to take a break from being human. After all, there are so many worries one has while standing on two feet. So for some time, Thwaites transformed himself into a goat and spent his days grazing in the Alps. Now that he’s human again, Thwaites – what else? – wrote a book about his experiences. In it, he describes his time spent munching on greenery with a herd of goats. Goats, like other livestock, graze for about seven to 12 hours  a day. During that time, goats use an organ called a rumen that is filled with microorganisms that help them break down all that grass into edible sugars. Does “chewing its cud” come to mind? Unfortunately for Thwaites and despite his deep desire to become a goat, humans aren’t ruminants. As he considered his options, he came up with an idea. He built himself a pouch. The pouch collected the grass he grazed on all day.

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something about it. Last week, nine hours before game time, Jay Lewitt and Rick Gottesman – buddies since grade school, pals for life and major fans – set off on foot for Dodger Stadium from Sherman Oaks, 22 miles away. “We parked on Sutton Street, so we’d remember,” said Lewitt, referencing the 16-season Dodgers pitcher. And then they hoofed it. They walked along Ventura Boulevard, through North Hollywood and Toluca Lake, stopping for a memorial toast at a watering hole near Warner Bros. Studios.

So how far did they walk? 22 miles – that’s 45,974 steps, or to put it in baseball speak, 323 consecutive times around the bases. 57-year-old Gottesman explained their journey, “We’ve always been sports nuts, and we thought it’d be a good way to kill an afternoon.” “It’s another way to see the city,” Lewitt, 56, added. “As they build more sound walls, you see less and less of the place.” So it wasn’t just about the game; the journey was a destination of its own. Walking L.A. brought them some memorable “typical L.A.” moments. They met an actor collecting autographs. They toured the subway station, meandered through quaint neighborhoods, and almost collided with some wild drivers. The duo started their trip at 10am and then entered the stadium just as Clayton Kershaw prepared to take the mound. “We got lucky,” Lewitt said of their game-time arrival. Or maybe the team just waited for their devoted fans.

A Beer’s Eye View “I kind of quickly learned which patches of grass were kind of tasty and which were a bit kind of bitter,” Thwaites related. “It was just a nice experience walking around with a big clump of grass in your teeth and chewing it up.” Then at night, Thwaites used a standard pressure cooker to cook the grass and break it down into a kind

of “grass-stewy soup.” Back to his human life, Thwaites is still thinking of goats. He wants to work on building a “kind of artificial rumen,” but that’ll likely take some time. Perhaps he can start to eat other food besides for grass. Maybe he’ll like some kale.

22 Miles to the Game So you think you’re a fan? Think again. Many people complain about traffic as they head to Dodgers games in Los Angeles. Not many people do

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Four-year-old Hercules will handle the delivery, which will occur at Phillips’ patio in downtown Vancouver, B.C. “He won’t be flying that far,” said Robyn Radcliffe of Pacific Northwest Raptors, the group that’s partnered with the brewery. “Half a kilometer, probably. It’s sort of up to him.” Let the eagle soar.

10,000 Days and Counting Run, Kip, run! Lenworth “Kip” Williamson is running strong. On January 1, 1989, the now-57-year-old vowed to run daily that year. Most of us throw our resolutions to the wayside just a few days

later. But the Massachusetts man has kept this resolution going. May 18, 2016 marked his 10,000 consecutive day running. Despite the achievement, he is keeping his eyes on the prize: His next milestone will be running 30 years straight on December 31, 2018. Kip tried to implement his daily running in 1987 and in 1988. His third time, in 1989, was a charm. He remembers reading at the time that if you can do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. He said 1989 was a mild winter, which helped him as he is an outdoor runner. Williamson sticks to the streets, regardless of the weather. If he works out indoors, it’s for weight training and use of a stationary bike to supplement his primary exercise. Treadmills are not an option for him because he runs in every type of weather. “I have two rules,” Williamson said. “I must run three or more miles on each run. And no excuses.” With that goal, he considers a three-mile run a rest day. He mixes in at least one long run a week, which can range from six to eight miles. He jogs 30 or more miles weekly and at least 130 miles a month. “It’s a good time to think,” Williamson said. “I guess I enjoy the en-

dorphins and it’s just part of who I am at this point.” Weather doesn’t matter to this runner. And time of day doesn’t bother him either. He can run at 2am or at 11pm – as long as he gets in his run. When his son got his Master’s degree at Columbia University last week, he got a run in at 2 a.m. before he and his wife caught a predawn train.

“There were nine cars moving, three coyotes and one guy riding a bi-

cycle who I thought was crazier than me,” Williamson said. This is not Kip’s first foray into running. He has always loved the sport. He ran track and cross country in high school and college. His most common events were the 800 meter and two-mile run. But he would do shorter runs if he needed to fill in for someone. His racing days ended in 1999 when he ran his final Boston Marathon. He doesn’t want to run competitively anymore, saying the streak is enough for him. Not racing has enabled him to do what he is doing, as he avoids injury and doesn’t get sick, he added. Today, Williamson said he knows his pace. If he’s in a strange place, he’ll run 20 minutes and run back, which he knows is more than three miles. He runs an eight and a half to nine minute mile. But his personal best is a four minute and 26 second one, when he was in peak shape in his youth. “As long as my legs keep working, I’ll keep going,” Williamson said. “The thing that would get me to stop would be so catastrophic that the running would be insignificant compared to it.” Sounds like fun in the long run.

Annual Dinner Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Celebrating Yom Yerushalayim Guests of Honor


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Around the


Kindergarten students at HANC had an amazing time on trip to Green Meadows Farm

HALB’s 4th Grade Boys Did an Amazing Job … And That’s a Fact!


he fourth grade boys, along with their teacher Mrs. Simantov, celebrated their incredible writing assignments at a publishing party. The boys are learning all about fact and opinion in their non-fiction unit of study. As the boys began researching various topics such as sea life and outer space, they noticed that not all the information is factual. Deciphering between what is an indisputable fact and what is an author’s opinion is a skill they have mastered. The boys then had an opportunity to express themselves while writing about one of their personal opinions on any topic they felt strongly about. They were taught to be as persuasive as possible in an effort to get the reader to understand and maybe even agree with their perspective.  Their incredible work was then

rewarded at our publishing party in which each student read their opinion piece out loud. We heard why Delta is

the greatest airline, why zebras are the best animal, why Harry Potter is the greatest series – just to name a few.

One opinion that is now surely a fact is that HALB’s fourth grade boys are phenomenal!


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community


Menachem Lieber (c), Visionary Leadership Awardee, together with Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, Board presidents Mark Gold and Robert Schonfeld, and Rav of the Red Shul Rabbi Yaakov Feitman


esivta Ateres Yaakov held its annual dinner this past Sunday evening, May 22nd at Congregation Ohr Torah in North Woodmere. The Yeshiva celebrated with parents, alumni, and friends who came to pay tribute to an institution that encompasses a community high school, a yeshiva gedolah, a kollel, and a growing community kehillah. The honorees included Visionary Leadership Awardee, Mr. Menachem Lieber; Parents of the Year, Mr. & Mrs. David Brier; and Alumnus of the Year Awardee Mr. Avi Blisko. Attendees at the dinner also paid tribute to the memory of two dear friends of the Mesivta. A scholarship fund was established at the dinner in memory of Jack

Merkin a’’h, by his wife Mrs. Pumpy Merkin ybl”c, and the yeshiva’s honors program was established as the Rabbi Elchonon Zomber a’’h, Arista Society, in memory of the yeshiva’s longstanding Rebbe, math teacher, and alumnus. The awards program annually recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary effort in specific areas of study. The overflow crowd at this year’s dinner paid tribute to the Yeshiva’s mission of catering to the individuality of each talmid. It was noted repeatedly by the honorees that the rabbeim and faculty of Ateres Yaakov have a keen ability to help each talmid succeed and that support extends well beyond the classroom walls, to all areas of the talmidim’s lives. Each

Avi Blisko, Alumnus of the Year, together with his wife Aliza, son Menachem and Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe

Mr. & Mrs. David Brier, Parents of the Year, with Rabbi Yaffe, Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzburg, and Board Vice President, Avi Dreyfuss

and every talmid is cultivated and built up by the rabbeim and faculty to produce a confident, capable, well-rounded ben Torah. Ateres Yaakov

is steadfast in its mission of community building via a focus on each individual. The MAY dinner also focused on the Mesivta’s

expansion project, the physical aspect of “Building Our Future.” As a flourishing, ever-growing bastion for the community, Mesivta Ateres

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


Around the Community Yaakov has outgrown its present building. To accommodate the various classes, programs and activities, both within the school itself, as well as for the community at large, MAY welcomes the opportunity to complete an expansion to its current campus. These new facilities will assist the Mesivta in accomplishing its mission to be an asset to the community, while creating well-rounded young men. A state-of-the-art sports fa-

cility, advisement offices, an advanced computer lab and a student recreation lounge are among the many facilities planned. The event was enhanced by the presence of many prominent rabbanim and community leaders. Many local public officials attended the event including State Senator Todd Kaminsky, Village of Cedarhurst trustee Israel Wasser, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilmember Anthony P.

D’Esposito, Republican candidate for State Senate Chris McGrath, and Avi Fertig, administrator at the Town of Hempstead. Mr. Mark Gold, co-president and an alumni parent, said, “The large number of attendees and their enthusiasm gave great chizuk to the rabbeim and staff in attendance.” Ateres Yaakov thanks all of those who attended and those who worked so hard to make the event a great success.


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

At the Kulanu Fair on Sunday


Cosmos, Confections, and Connections


he Five Towns was thankful to have hosted a truly unique and tasteful event like never before! Lev Leytzan: The Heart of Therapeutic Clowning, Inc., a 13-year-old nonprofit organization known for its incredible services to the community, put together an event that treated one’s taste buds in a new and exceptional way. The event’s name really says it all – Cosmos and Confections! The event had an array of Italian pastries and mixed drinks to inspire with some new and original ideas for your Shavuos menu. The event committee synched their innovative talents to create an exceptionally classy evening that celebrated the organization and Shavuos. Lev Leytzan thanks the incredible committee: Melissa Fuchs,

Neal C. Goldberg, Barbara Goldenberg, Tobi Goldfeder, Terri Herenstein, Malkie Gordon Hirsch, Chanie Holzer, Tamar Sicklick, Leah Sobel and Ilanit Sternberg. All the attendees were blown away by the mixology presentation by Sebastian. He explained how to mix unique flavors and ingredients to make the most colorful and delectable cocktails. Following Sebastian, Mr. Robbie Schonfeld from the Ossie Memorial Toy Drive gave an emotional speech about some of the work he has witnessed Lev Leytzan do in Israel over the past 13 years. Mr. Schonfeld gave the audience a glimpse into just how life changing their services can be. This speech as well as a moving video allowed the attendees to see

some of the programming that Lev Leytzan arranges both in the United States and abroad in order to improve the lives of those who are suffering. Afterward – a real highlight of the evening – the attendees were treated to a presentation by authentic Italian chef, Mr. Paul Sapienza of Sapienza’s Bakery in Long Island. Mr. Sapienza described some of the tricks of the trade when it comes to baking and culinary techniques. He showed us how to make his world-renowned cannoli cream, available for purchase in his store, as well as explaining what ingredients work best together. The tips were just in time as we prepare to create our own dairy delicacies on Shavuos in just a few short weeks. Lev Leytzan was proud to able

to offer an incredible array of raffle packages for those you attended the evening. With prizes such as Botox sessions, gym memberships, restaurant gift certificates and more, the evening of Cosmos and Confections gave ample opportunity for each woman in attendance to feel pampered. Proceeds from the evening will allow us to provide additional home visits to children with cancer, homebound seniors challenged with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and children and adults living their last days in hospice. To donate to Lev Leytzan or learn more about the organization, please visit or send an email to

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Central’s Welcoming Committee


he freshmen are nearing the end of their first year of high school, right in time to lend some guidance to the next crop of incoming Central students! The Class of 2020 was welcomed to our building last Sunday for a lively “Freshmen Fair” to introduce them to our school and to each other. The fun began with a chesed project in which small groups of eighthgraders exercised their team-building skills while designing blankets for campers at Yachad Morasha. Every-

one also played a hilarious round of “Human Bingo” to break the ice. Then all participants ventured outside for a “Freshman Fair,” complete with carnival games, pizza, and ice cream. Thank you to the members of our faculty who attended the fair to meet their future pupils and to the current Central students who warmly welcomed the eighth-graders to our Central family. Thank you also to Ms. Daniella Baratz,  Mrs. Aliza Gewirtz, and Mrs. Shani Malitzky for arranging a fun and energetic morning!

HAFTR 8th Grade Mitzvah Fair Proceeds to Benefit:


A Rina C. Hirsch Production



A For ticket information, please call: 516-481-1644. For general information, call 516-385-1959. Order online: at or General Seats: $20 in advance/$25 at the door Premium Seats: $25 in advance/$30 at the door | VIP Seats: $36 in advance/$45 at the door

Ozie Motechin and Jeremy Haft

fter weeks of planning and researching a specific mitzvah, the eighth graders presented their projects at the annual HAFTR Middle School Mitzvah  Fair. As part of this wonderful program, spearheaded by the Menahel, Rabbi Dovid Kupchik, students had the opportunity to work in groups and focus on a specific mitzvah  that was meaningful to them. Students then researched the topic, created a colorful posterboard with the important information, made a hands-on display and also created a technology presentation detail-

ing the background and specifics of the mitzvah  they had chosen. Topics ranged from  shatnez, respecting parents, a Jewish wedding, tzitzit, to separating challah.  The students made sure to make this  fair  an interactive event, and visitors from the 6th and 7th grade enjoyed learning about so many different mitzvot. We congratulate all our eighth grade students on a job well done, and a special thanks to Rebbetzin Sori Teitelbaum, Rabbi David Lamm, Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Siff and Rabbi Ari Glazer for all their help and guidance on this project!

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


Around the Community

Annual DRS Green vs. White Game Benefiting Chai Lifeline


ast Thursday night, DRS held its annual Green vs. White Game, pitting the freshmen and senior Wildcats against the junior and sophomores. The game is an annual event in DRS and is used to raise money for Chai Lifeline. Chai Lifeline’s mission has been to restore the light of childhood to children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening or lifelong illness. After a member of the DRS Hockey Team was diagnosed with can-

cer several years ago, Coach Larry Gross took it upon himself to create a fundraising event for Chai Lifeline every year, centered around an exciting and fun hockey game. This year, the team members raised $16,000, bringing the total of Green vs. White Game contributions to over $145,000! Before the game, Rabbi Kaminetsky addressed the team members, applauding the tremendous chessed that they performed, as well

as paying tribute to Coaches Larry Gross and Rabbi Steven Genachowski, who always teach the kids on the team that sportsmanship and “playing like a mensch always comes before winning. Larry then addressed the players and thanked the players for their tremendous efforts throughout the season, and specifically for their efforts in raising money for this most unique and special event. Larry then turned his attention to the seniors, urging them to

take the passion and spirit they used during the hockey season and imbue it into every area of their lives. Larry and the Varsity Captains presented the $16,000 check to Chai Lifeline at the event. Following the game, the Greenhouse hosted its alumni hockey allstars in a first ever alumni hockey game. We are so proud of all of our players and hope to see much continued success from them both on and off the court!


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Central’s Chesed Corner

Overflow Crowd for YUConnects Benefit



s part of our Central Service Initiative (CSI), our seniors spent a full Monday reaching out to those in need and making a difference. Mrs. Jackie Welkowitz’s homeroom visited the Margaret Teitz Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center for some crafting, singing, dancing, and playing Bingo with the residents. Students in Mrs. Miriam Chopp’s homeroom had a meaningful and fun experience at Mrs. Chopp’s house, baking  challah l’ilui nishmat  Mrs. Anna Rutner,  a”h. The challot  were sold in school to raise money for the IDF. Also raising money for the IDF were the homerooms of Mrs. Shani Malitzky and Mrs. Keren Weinberger, who baked delicious treats in Mrs. Malitzky’s kitchen to sell to our ever-hungry, sweet-toothed student body. Along similar lines,  Mrs. Randee Groveman’s group went to her home to bake cupcakes and cookies, which

they then delivered to the Jamaica Armory Shelter for Women. For Mrs. Audi Hecht’s Homeroom’s CSI trip, seniors headed to Cedarhurst’s Levi Yitzchak Library to create an interactive exhibit for its upcoming  Lag Ba’Omer  program.  For the children to experience the reality of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the Centralites constructed a cave, complete with a carob tree and stream. They then created a display board with fun facts about this time period, and ended by setting up a bulletin board about ahavat Yisrael. “Overall, it was a really fun and rewarding experience,” said Bracha Rosenberg (‘16). Ms. Kim Konzack’s homeroom prepared and ran a carnival for students in Kulanu, who enjoyed playing games and interacting with our Central representatives. Thank you to all of our homeroom teachers and students for a day of meaningful chesed experiences.

round 200 caring community members came to the Long Island YUConnects Benefit Breakfast on Sunday morning, May 22 at the home of Michelle and Eli Salig in Lawrence.  Rabbi Allen Schwartz, Rabbi Shay Schachter and Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt spoke about practical ways parents can assist their loved ones who are dating and encouraged support of the popular YUConnects program.  Participants enjoyed the delicious dairy buffet, the elegant ambiance and the opportunity to network with each other and the many friendly local matchmakers

that attended. YUConnects conducts unique social events, educational programs and meeting opportunities for singles to foster healthy relationships toward marriage.  Celebrating its 261st engagement, YUConnects is open to the entire Jewish community and is self-funded.  Special promo code of “Benefitbreakfast” until 5/31/16 allows one month free trial gold membership.  For more information, the YUConnects office welcomes questions at , 212-960-5400 X 6163 or

Next Week! Yad L’achim Village Rescuer And Missionary Cult Survivor Coming To The Five Towns, Queens (Other Places Too!)


or the first time in the United States, Yoav Goldfein from Yad L’Achim, an expert in counter-missionary tactics and the deceitful practices of cults, will present the firsthand dramatic stories of rescue – the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim. You will get the behind-the-scenes look during the tense operations. The captivating stories are sure to leave a lifelong impression on all attendees. A short film depicting an actual  rescue will be shown during the event as well.  The same evening will feature A.

Schiff, “The Maharam Schiff’s Grandson Who Returned.” A. will share his personal story of how he became a missionary for the “Messianic Jews for J.  Cult  in Eretz Yisrael” and how he left. Besides for the live presenters, there will be two special presentations as well. “Rescued! Ahmed Ben Sara’s Bar Mitzvah” will highlight the journey of a young boy from an Arab Village to a life of Torah and freedom. Plus “The Children of Yad L’Achim” where you will get to see for the very first time, the angelic faces of hun-

dreds of Jewish children rescued by Yad L’Achim The presenters will also share important advice on how to protect yourself and your children from the trials and tribulations of today. These important events, for both men and women will take place on Sunday, May 29. (There will be a separate men’s only and women’s only event in Boro Park on Sunday, all other nights will be separate seating). On Sunday the men’s event will begin at 3pm and the women’s event at 8pm at Bais Yaakov High School

4420 15th Ave; Monday, May 30 in the Five Towns at the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst, 8 Spruce St; Tuesday, May 31 In Monsey at Yeshiva of Spring Valley Girls, 142 Grandview Avenue; Wednesday in Flatbush at Agudah of Avenue L, 2913 Avenue L; Thursday, June 2 in Queens at the Young Israel Of Kew Gardens Hills. All events begin at 8pm. For more information and to save money on tickets call Yad L’achim at 1-866-923-5224 or visit www.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016






THANKS TO OUR OXC FOUNDERS Ben Englander • Aryeh Jacobson Etan Kestenbaum • Jeffrey Schwartz


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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

DRS Welcomes Class of 2020, Largest Class in School’s 20 Year History


tarting high school can be a scary and nervous experience, but not for DRS’s incoming ninth graders! Last Sunday, the 96 members of the DRS incoming class of 2020 joined up at DRS for the school’s annual Yom Achdut, during which new classmates get the opportunity to meet one another before they embark on four years of high school together. Hailing from 15 different elementary schools, next

year’s DRS freshmen will make up the largest grade in the school’s history. On Sunday, they got a chance to hear from Rabbi Kaminetsky, Dr. Kirshenbaum, and other administrators at DRS. After introductory words of Torah from Rabbi Kaminetsky on the topic of achdut, the boys took placement exams in both algebra and Ivrit to determine the appropriate classes for next year. The future DRS students were then treated

to ice cream sundaes. Following snack, students were moved to the gym for a game of “concentric circles,” where students found themselves sitting across a new friend and were prompted to discuss an array of different questions. After five minutes, students moved in front of a future classmate to meet them as well. After the game, the grade was divided into groups for a unique egg drop competition. Each team was

given a raw egg and several materials. With the materials, the students were challenged to construct a contraption that would keep an egg from cracking when dropped from the DRS roof. The winning team of students each received gift cards to Dunkin Donuts – a DRS student hotspot. The incoming students were able to meet their new classmates and gain a taste of what DRS is all about.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Honorees Highlight Decades of Service to Klal Yisrael at Upcoming Forty-Ninth Annual Dinner for Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv By Liba Lieberman


he excitement is mounting as the forty-ninth Annual Dinner for Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv beckons the yeshiva’s family of members, supporters, and friends to come together at the yeshiva on June 6 in celebration of its unswerving commitment to offering deep and inspired limud haTorah to Klal Yisrael. The yeshiva has never veered from its founding principle, when it was under the leadership of its founder and legendary Rosh Yeshiva, Horav Shlomo Freifeld, zt”l, that a yeshiva must “educate a young man according to his way, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Guided by Rosh HaYeshiva Horav Naftali Jaeger, Shlita, Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv stays firmly committed to its original mission of offering the path of learning Torah to anyone who walks through its doors and expresses a desire to learn. To honor that sacred purpose, the theme of this year’s dinner is “The Legacy Lives On,” in commemoration of the twenty-fifth yarzheit of Rav Shlomo Freifeld. A special memorial tribute will be given by Rabbi Avrohom Fruchthandler. The honorees for this year’s dinner reflect the yeshiva’s long and beloved history not only in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns, but in Eretz Yisrael as well. The dinner’s Mesores HaTorah Award is being presented to Rabbi Avraham Mordechai and Rebbitzen Aviva Freifeld, representatives of the Freifeld mishpocho’s legacy of transmitting Hashem’s holy Torah in Eretz Yisrael. The son of Rav Freifeld, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Freifeld continues to follow the yeshiva’s heartfelt mandate as the Rosh Kollel of Yeshiva Cheshek Shlomo in Yerushalayim. Raised in Far Rockaway, Rav Freifeld learned in the yeshiva before making aliya to Bayit Vegan in Yerushalayim, where he and his family have been living for more than twenty years. His Rebbitzen was born and raised in Cedarhurst, and spends her time taking care of their ever growing family of children and grandchildren. Rabbi Freifeld acknowledges the yeshiva’s great work, and its commitment to upholding his saintly father’s vision. “As the son of the founding Rosh Yeshiva, Horav Shlomo Freif-

Horav Shlomo Freifeld, zt”l

Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Freifeld

Mr. Andy Gladstone

Rabbi Zev Bald

eld, I was raised within the walls of the yeshiva and saw firsthand how my father was able to truly see the strengths of all his talmidim and inspire their growth with his love of and appreciation for their individuality,” Rabbi Freifeld explains. “The yeshiva, under the leadership of my brother-in-law, Horav Naftali Jaeger, has successfully continued the legacy of my father and continues to build strong, Torah-committed Jews by celebrating their individuality and inspiring them to fulfill their potentials.” It is a great honor for the yeshiva to present the Mesores HaTorah Award to Rabbi Freifeld and his Rebbitzen. The Kesser Shem Tov Award will be given to Mr. and Mrs. Andy Gladstone, longtime members of the yeshiva. Currently the Global Director of Technical Operations at Curvature, a global third party IT services company based out of Santa Barbara, CA, Andy (Chaim Meir) learned in the yeshiva for six years, one year in the Bais Medrash program and five years in the Kollel. Andy sees his family as part of a greater Shor Yoshuv family, often being sustained by the support of the yeshiva’s close-knit community. “At each stage of life, we think that the friends we have made and connections we have forged will be the ones that take us through life - high

school, learning in Eretz Yisrael. But in truth, it has been the friendships we have formed over the past seventeen years as part of the Shor Yoshuv family that have sustained us through every important life event – our marriage, the births of each of our children, the Bar Mitzvah of our oldest son, sickness, and health. It’s a testament to the uniqueness of the yeshiva to be not only a yeshiva, but a home to each of us.” Andy was also instrumental in the yeshiva’s move from Central Avenue to One Cedarlawn Avenue, setting up the classification system for all seforim in the bais medrash as well as initially setting up the yeshiva’s Otzar Seforim. He has been one of the Shabbos gabbaim for more than fourteen years, serving every Shabbos, YomTov, and Yomim Noraim, of which he states, “I cherish the opportunity to have served as one of the gabbaim in Shor Yoshuv for so many years. It made the transition from full time learning to the workplace easier knowing that I never really left. It helped us maintain a strong connection with the Rosh Yeshiva, one that has made an indelible impression in our lives and the lives of our children.” He currently learns in night seder with a small chaburah in the yeshiva, and has maintained a

Shabbos Chavrusah before Shachris with Rabbi Azi Bodner for the past eighteen years. Yael, his devoted wife, has worked as a Special Educationl Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) in local schools for the past fourteen years, and both parents are active in their five children’s schools. They conclude, “We have always felt that the many purposes that Shor Yoshuv serves – as a Bais Medrash, Kehillah and Community Center – are all leaves of a single stem, the yeshiva and bochurim themselves.” As the recipient of the dinner’s Harbotzas Torah Award, Rabbi and Mrs. Zev and Leah Bald possess a keen understanding that Torah chinuch is the primary factor for the future of Klal Yisrael. That truth lies behind Rabbi Bald’s great success as Director of Development at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, where he has played a crucial role in the yeshiva’s historic building campaign which has nearly doubled the size of the yeshiva campus. He is a well respected askan in the Far Rockaway community, and has been a talmid of Rabbi Yeruchum Shain for over thirty years. Davening and learning in the yeshiva, Rabbi Bald shares the following observation about Shor Yoshuv: “Shor Yoshuv is open to anyone who wants to grow in Torah learning. Its mantra is that Torah belongs to all Jews, regardless of their level of learning.” His wife, Leah, is a Far Rockaway native, whose dedication to Torah, chessed, and community involvement was shaped by the example she saw in her own parents’ home. She hosts weekly Tehillim groups and is active in the PTA’s of her children’s schools. Together, the Balds give of themselves to help Torah institutions such as Bais Medrash Gevoha, Torah U’Mesorah, Achiezer, Bikur Cholim, and Yeshiva Darchei Torah. They have built a home for their four children on the concepts of Torah and chessed. Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv is proud to honor such exemplary members of its community, and looks forward to sharing future accomplishments as the yeshiva continues its mission into new and challenging times. To make a reservation or place an ad, please call 516-239-9002, ext. 102, or e-mail

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Ready, Set, Summer: SKA’s MACS Program Prepares

Mr. Cory Richman addressing SKA students

MACS members serving ices


ACS, the Modesty Awareness Committee for Students, of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, put together another fabulous program on Monday, May 23. The event, which featured two special guest speakers, a “cool” snack and an optional choice of two MACS chats requested by the students was an enormous success!

Dating Dialogue Page 88

What happens to our spiritual growth during the summer? Do we stagnate, go backwards, or forge ahead? To answer these questions, we were honored to hear from Ms. Debbie Stone, Associate Director of Education at NCSY, and Mr. Cory Richmond, a talent manager for Liebman Entertainment, who each shared their personal stories and connected their talks to how holding onto your beliefs can get you through the summer months. MACS was created through a collaborative effort of students and faculty under the guidance of Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, SKA’s Director of Religious Guidance, and meets in groups to openly discuss the challenges and beauty of tzniut. Over the past years, both optional and schoolwide programs on topics of self-respect, privacy, and the power of body language have been presented in an upbeat and positive way.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community Project Extreme held their annual breakfast at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Edery in Lawrence this week PHOTO CREDIT: IVAN H NORMAN

L-R: Rabbi Ephraim Eliyahu Shapiro, Mara D’asra of Congregration Shaaray Tefilah of North Miami Beach, Guest Speaker; Mr. Michael Edery, host and awardee; and Rabbi A Y Weinberg, Director of Project Extreme

Additional awardee, Leora Reichenberg, Outstanding Counselor. L-R: Rabbi A Y Weinberg, Director; Leora Reichenberg, awardee; and Ayalah Lebowicz, Director of Operations

Honoring Dedicated Volunteer Trudy Schwarz By Dr. Eleanor Feldman Barbera


he Margaret Tietz Center has an amazing volunteer core. Dedicated and compassionate people from all walks of life and ages help make Margaret Tietz home to the many residents in our care. Trudy Schwarz, a past board member, has been volunteering at Margaret Tietz for 30 years since her mother was a resident in our care. Trudy selflessly gives up her time and energy in a very unique manner and has been recognized and written about

in McKnights Long Term Care Publication and given a special award by Queens Interagency Council on Aging this past April in conjunction with National Volunteer Week. Trudy is here on a weekly basis to fill the shopping requests of all residents that would like something special that they have no way of obtaining. She takes orders ranging from special creams, cookies, chocolates, chips, and much more. Trudy spends a good portion of her week shopping for all these items where she can get the best price. There is no prof-

it made on any of these items and this affords the residents the ability to pay for these given their limited funds. Everyone looks forward to Trudy’s visit to them personally with her traveling cart. After a full day of affording our residents the ability to make these purchases she then continues into the evening making 1-to-1 visits. Trudy has more energy, stamina and patience than most 25 year olds. She is 96 years of age. She is an inspiration to everyone at Margaret Tietz. Trudy is retiring from this facil-

ity in June. The residents will miss her and the wonderful service she provided for all these years. We are looking for someone that will help us with this special service for our residents. Please contact Linda Spiegel at 718-298-7838 if you or anyone you know would be interested in this opportunity. Courtesy of McKnights. com and MyBetterNursingHome. com

American Friends of Ateret Cohanim to Honor Five Outstanding Couples


merican Friends of Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Chai will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim on May 31, 2016 at Terrace On The Park in Queens. The organization will mark 37 years of amazing accomplishments, renewing Jewish life in the heart of the Old City and the neighborhoods outside the Old City. Jewish families are joyfully living there, knowing that by their mere presence, Jerusalem is being kept a truly united capital.  This year American Friends of Ateret Cohanim proudly pays tribute

to five truly deserving  couples who are being honored for their devotion to Ateret Cohanim:   the Honorable Bruce & Segal Blakeman of Atlantic Beach; Drs. William & Gail Frumkin of Great Neck; Joseph & Dr. Gail Notovitz of Great Neck; Dr. Steve &   Hedy Rubel of Lawrence; and Rabbi Joseph & Anne Stamm of Flatbush.  This Yom Yerushalayim dinner is dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, Hy”d, the third victim to die in a merciless attack that took place on Hoshana Rabah,

and to the rebirth of Jewish life in the Shiloach – the Yemenite Village. Rabbi Lavi lived in the famous Beit Wittenberg, where today the Old City’s children have daily supervised activities in the Wittenberg Children’s Activities Center, a program supported monthly by American Friends of Ateret Cohanim. “The importance of attending this event, or placing an ad in the dinner journal, cannot be overstated,” Shani Hikind, American Friends Executive Vice President, said. Executive Council member Dr. Paul Brody said, “At

a time when Jews are being attacked throughout Jerusalem, the least we can do is to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in a meaningful gathering, celebrating the reclamation of a United Yerushalayim.” To make a reservation or to place an ad in the dinner journal: call  Shani at the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim office at  212216-9270, or email:  Ateret@juno. com, fax to  212-216-9273, or click on


The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Around the Community

Young Israel of Woodmere’s 56th Annual Dinner




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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

On Sunday, May 15, a groundbreaking event was held at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills addressing the issue of crisis in the Jewish community. The evening, titled Empower Your Future to Protect Their Future, was a project of Amudim in partnership with Chazaq, and addressed the growing epidemic within the Jewish community as far too many children, teens and young adults have found themselves struggling to cope with addiction, abuse and mental illness, often with devastating results.

Harav Elya Brudny

Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein

Rabbi Zvi Gluck

R’ Zomber a”h Arista Installation and Awards Night at MAY


ast Tuesday evening, Mesivta Ateres Yaakov held its annual Arista Installation and Awards Night where tribute was paid to the myriad accomplishments of the MAY talmidim. Consistent with the yeshiva’s emphasis on developing all of each talmid, excellence in many areas was recognized: Limudei Kodesh, Middos, Tefilah, Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Community Service. MAY has a longstanding tradition of Arista Honors Society membership, but this year’s event was especially significant as the society has now been rededicated in memory of Rabbi Elchonon Zomber a”h, a pioneering graduate of the yeshiva decades earlier, and someone who influenced MAY students for years and years as a beloved and extremely effective teacher and rebbe. Menahel, Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, introduced the program focusing on the small acts of greatness performed by the talmidim at MAY that can often go unnoticed and how the Mesivta encourages and strongly recognizes these actions. The first order of the night was the installation of the incoming Student Government under the helm of incoming President Ushi Shreiber. Ushi addressed the standing room only crowd and thanked the parents, rabbeim and teachers who guided him and his fellow students to the achievements being celebrated that evening. He noted how the Mesivta consistently endeavors to challenge talmidim while maintaining its signature warm atmosphere. In addition to inducting new Arista members, awards were then presented to over 100 students for

excellence and progress in a wide variety of areas. Rabbi Yaffe was joined by General Studies Principal, Rabbi Sam Rudansky, and Assistant Menahel/Assistant Principal, Rabbi Yossi Bennett, in presenting these awards. Rabbi Sam Rudansky, General Studies Principal, commented, “The evening serves as an opportunity to recognize those students who excel in different areas of the high school experience. That includes not only academics, but also community service, extracurricular activities and

athletics for others. It’s an evening of tremendous nachas for parents and grandparents.”

The evening closed with the installation of over 50 Arista honors students and the recitation of the

Arista pledge led by Arista President Shmuel Maltz, followed by refreshments. Mazel tov!

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


Please join us for a Reception to Benefit the Levi Yitzchak Family Center Mr. Ben BrafmaN

Honorary Chairman Eddie and Donna Stroh David Stroh

Community Service Award

Rabbi David Fohrman

Scholar Author Award Mrs. Liane Safier

Hakaras HaTov Award Monday, June 6, 2016

8:00 PM Levi Yitzchak Library 564 Central Avenue Cedarhurst, NY 11516 dairy reception

Admission by donation

Event Committee : Avi & Danielle Aronovitz Richard & Lisa Altabe Daniel & Esti Berg Eliyahu & Rebecca Berger Yehuda & Bukie Cohen

Jonathan & Rachel Farber David and tammy Friedman Simcha & Mala Goldberg Barry & Atara Habib Sholom & Lori Huberfeld

Sholom & Pessy Jacobs Bentzi & Shoshana Jacobowitz Steve & Marjorie Kellner Norman & Barbara Kupferstein Yitzie & Reisy Ross

Gabe & Aviva Schechter Stephen & Tamara Wagner Jeff & Sharona Weinberg Avram & Elana Weissman



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland with the heads of Stars of Israel at their annual Woodmere Breakfast this past Sunday

Famous Figures Come to Life


hird graders in Mrs. Lehmann’s class in HANC completed their unit on biographies with a fantastic wax museum. The students each read a biography about a famous person they were interested in learning more about. The students chose from a wide range of inventors, explorers, world leaders, sport stars and scientists. After completing their books and research, the students compiled a video presentation about their person, who they then brought to life at the wax museum. At the wax museum the students proudly dressed up as their characters and displayed creative poster boards which showcased everything they learned about their famous person. The students did a wonderful job on their projects and the family members and HANC students who

came to visit the wax museum all agreed that it was a real treat to meet Jane Goodall, Ilan Ramon, Albert Einstein, Elvis, JK Rowling, David Wright, Princess Kate, Milton Hershey, and George Lucas.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


Around the Community

A Pre-Lag B’Omer Pesach Sheni Visit to the Young Israel of Long Beach


wo years ago the members of the Young Israel of Long Beach morning minyanim were surprised by the sudden appearance of over thirty youngsters, headed by their Rebbe, Rabbi Yaron Halbertal, who biked to the YILB from their school, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, in Far Rockaway. At that time the youngsters davened Shacharis and were treated to a spontaneous hurriedly prepared breakfast. This past Thursday morning, history repeated itself!

This time, Rabbi Halbertal gave the YILB a “head’s up” and informed them of the impending bike expedition to Long Beach. The group had already davened at the yeshiva and came to the YILB to hear the reading of the Torah. Being forewarned, the shul prepared an elaborate breakfast of cereal, bagels and Danish. During the seudah, Rabbi Chaim Wakslak, Mora D’asra, shared a dvar Torah on the subject of sefirah.  He explained the concept of per-

sonalizing the counting of sefirah based on a mashal of the Dubner Maggid on the

Spelling in the Sun


earning is always fun and school is enjoyable in Mrs. Gila Kopolovitz’s second grade classroom in Shulamith School for Girls. Last week, the girls in class 2KS went out to the yard to take their

weekly spelling test. Armed with chalk, they got right down to business in the school’s spacious yard. Everyone got 100%, proving that Mrs. Kopolovitz and her students all have “the write stuff!”

What’s so funny about going to the dentist? Rocky’s Rant on page 114

words “u’sfartem lachem.” Following bentching, the boys helped clean up and off

they went retrieving their bikes and riding back to their yeshiva.


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Who’s on first? That was the question at this week’s Learn & Live program as R’ Yehuda Deutsch showed the boys which brochos come first – a whole machine matzah or a broken piece of very, very expensive hand matzah. Which one do you make the brocha on? At the end the boys got a chance to come up and R’ Deutsch gave the boys fruit from a beautiful fruit platter (from Fruit Platters & More) a choice of two different fruits to see which fruit comes first. This week Rebbe Hill is coming to L&L at YFR. For more information, email

Introducing Yesod – Foundations Program For Children with Dyslexia and Processing Challenges


he administration of the Gesher Early Childhood Center is proud to introduce a new educational resource for the Five Towns/ Far Rockaway community. One of the greatest concerns and growing needs in the Orthodox Jewish community in recent years is the child with auditory processing, language processing, or dyslexia learning disabilities. Grouped together, these difficulties form a very specific area of special education and have placed great demand on parents and on our local yeshivas. More significantly, the challenges that these children face affect their social and emotional wellbeing. The Gesher administration and staff are recognized for their collaboration with top quality related service providers and educators and for consulting with experts in many fields. Following many months of research, planning, and consulting, Yesod – the Foundations Program is proud to announce its opening for the 2016-17 school year. The curriculum and methodology used at Yesod will build the skill base and train the student to learn in a manner that will enable him to succeed throughout his academic career and beyond. Educational Leadership As a division of the Gesher Early Childhood Center, Yesod will benefit

from much of the existing infrastructure. However, as the strategies and techniques of Yesod are very specific, many additional resources will be included. The Yesod administration will consist of three positions. Mrs. Chava Bodner, Director of Gesher, will serve as Program Director. Her passion and dedication have been the root of Gesher’s growth in the past four years. And the multisensory and interdisciplinary model that she employs are the basis for the Yesod educational model. The Program Coordinator is Mrs. Dahlia Weiss, Director of Student Support at Gesher and a highly sought after Speech Language Pathologist. Her multifaceted training and belief in employing all available methods of support are invaluable resources for Yesod students. Mrs. Weiss’s experience in language remediation is an integral

part of the Yesod model. The third member of the administration is Mrs. Aviva Oliker Miller, who will serve as general consult. She is the Director of the Focus Program at the Winston Prep School in Manhattan. Her many years of educational leadership in the area of language processing, auditory processing, and dyslexia are the backbone of the Yesod programming. Mrs. Miller will be involved in curriculum support and teacher training, and overall program structure. Classroom Model and Curriculum In keeping with current methods, the Yesod classroom will reflect the successful models being employed by existing programs. Class size will be limited to thirteen students, allowing for appropriate skill based grouping. There will be two

Head Teachers and one assistant. Related service providers will be working with the groups in effective collaboration with the faculty. Yesod staff will include members trained as licensed speech language providers and certified reading specialists. Curriculum will be Orton Gillingham-based, including PAF reading and writing and multi-sensory math. Judaic studies will be presented utilizing proven and successful curriculums and systems. The daily schedule is meticulously planned to maximize the resources available. Recess, snack time, and brain breaks are prescribed at specific intervals. A portion of the day will be dedicated to activities that are designed to allow related service providers to concentrate on additional developmental goals. By collaborating with the classroom teachers these sessions are simultaneously used to reinforce language based objectives. Limited Spots Yesod will open in September 2016 with one class servicing children entering 2nd and 3rd grade. Applications will be considered on a first-come firstserve basis, and will require current evaluations. For more information or to receive an application, please call 516-7307377 or email

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016




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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Midreshet Shalhevet Junior One of Twenty Worldwide Competitors at Ulpaniada


ongratulations to Avigail Borah, a junior at Midreshet Shalhevet, for qualifying for the final round of Michlala Jerusalem College’s Math Ulpaniada.  The Ulpaniada is an Israeli problem solving competition based on math skills and logical reasoning for Orthodox high school girls. Avigail is one of only twenty students worldwide to advance to the final round of competition, taking place at Michlala Jerusalem College in Israel next week i”yH. “I’ve always liked math and patterns; they’ve always just made sense to me. Even when I was little I enjoyed counting and making patterns, spotting numbers on street signs and buildings, and playing number games. I also love poetry and art, and

Avigail, with her math teacher, Mr. Jeff Ganeles, and Menahelet Mrs. Esther Eisenman

find plenty of use for math in both those activities,” she said. “Making it to the last round of the Ulpaniada is a phenomenal opportunity, and I am incredibly proud of

Avigail’s accomplishments.” shared Mr. Jeff Ganeles, Avigail’s math teacher and recent recipient of Midreshet Shalhevet’s Teacher of the Year Award. Mrs. Andrea Borah, one of Midreshet Shalhevet’s

English teachers, and Avigail’s mother, who will be joining Avigail for the trip, remarked how happy she is for Avigail, because competing makes her truly happy. “When she shows others her favorite problem, she sparkles,” Mrs. Borah explained. “This is who Avigail is.” Avigail participates in Midreshet Shalhevet’s Mock Trial team, advancing until Nassau County’s Sweet Sixteen this year. She is also on the Mathletes team, College Bowl, and Poetry Slam. She organized and hosted her own poetry slam outside of school on April 17, in collaboration with the Gural JCC, the Sodexo Youth Foundation, and the YSA. Hosting over 40 participants, the event raised an impressive amount of money

and awareness about youth hunger in our community. “All this is, of course, a great accomplishment, but what really made a most favorable impression was the way Avigail conducted herself at all times,” wrote Joel Block, Executive Director of the JCC, and Sharona Arbeit, Director of Children’s Services. “She is a tremendous credit to Midreshet Shalhevet, in her modest demeanor, her attention to detail, her insistence upon maintaining respect to all participants and making certain no one was embarrassed or demeaned. She truly represents an aishet chayil.” We wish Avigail hatzlacha on the competition, and a big congratulations on making it thus far. 

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



Preparing for Lag B’Omer in Meah Shearim

Names, Not Numbers


n Tuesday, May 17, 2016, Hanc Middle School had the privilege and honor to host the presentation of our eighth grade girls’ Names, Not Numbers © documentary. Students, faculty, administration, families and survivors

all united for this momentous occasion for which our eighth grade girls worked so hard. For months, girls researched the Holocaust and asked poignant questions in preparation for meeting their survivor. After both having the zechut (merit) to meet

and interview their survivors, the eighth grade girls spent hours editing their respective interviews into the amazing film which was presented Tuesday night. We want to give a very special thanks to Tova Rosenberg, Rabbi

Hecht, our beloved eighth grade girls and to our resilient and inspiring survivors: Etta Flam, Lee Lichtman, Jack Nayberg, Celia Ruppert, Karl Schapiro, and Esther Smith. May am Yisrael know of no more sorrow and never forget.


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OCTOBER 29,|2015 | The Jewish MAY 26, 2016 The Jewish HomeHome



You gotta be

Centerfold kidding A woman went


Riddle me


An old king is dying and before he dies he wants


to choose who will be the next king: his youngest son

and said she was in

or his oldest son. He decides to hold a strange horse



great distress over her husband. “He thinks he’s a horse. He sleeps standing

race for them where the owner of the slowest horse will become the new king. He tells them that they must race to the castle and that whoever owns the slowest horse becomes the new king. The youngest son jumps on a horse and starts

up and he neighs

racing for the castle. The king then knows that his

instead of speaking. He even insists on being fed

youngest son is the most intelligent and makes him

oats in a bag,” said the woman. “It’s terrible!”

the new king. Why?

“How long has this be going on?” asked the doctor.

See answer below

“Six, maybe eight months,” she replied. “You have let things go too far,” said the doctor. “Your husband will require a great deal of treatment and it will be very expensive.” “I don’t care about the expense,” said the wife, “I will pay you anything, anything at all to make my husband stop thinking he’s a horse.” “But it will cost many thousands of dollars. Can you afford this amount of money?” asked the doctor. “Why of course we can,” said the woman. “He’s already won three races this season at Belmont Race Track!”

Do you know? Which one of the following is not the name of a horse that raced in either this year’s Kentucky Derby or Preakness: Exaggerator Gun Runner Suddenbreakingnews Mor Spirit Danzing Candy Outwork Cherry Wine Fellowship Dazzling Gem Uncle Lino Collected Brody’s Cause Oscan Nominated Phast Philly See answer to left

Answer to Do you Know?: Phast Philly Answer to riddle: The youngest son rides on his brother’s horse, meaning that his own horse will be the slowest.

The Jewish HomeHome | OCTOBER 29, 2016 2015 The Jewish | MAY 26,


Memorial Day Trivia

1. What was the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery before it became a cemetery? a. It was Thomas Jefferson’s farm b. It was an army base c. It was Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s plantation d. It was a hunting grounds 2. Who did the U.S. fight in the War of 1812? a. Mexico b. Spain c. France d. Britain 3. On June 6, 1944, American troops invaded the beaches of Normandy during World War II. What country is Normandy in? a. France b. Japan c. Italy d. Poland 4. What was Woodrow Wilson’s campaign slogan when he ran for re-election in 1916? a. Peace, Progress, Prosperity b. Secure Our Homeland First c. Don’t Swap Horses Midstream d. He Kept Us out of War 5. Which U.S. soldier was the highest ranking officer captured by North Korean troops? a. Major General William F. Dean b. Lt. General Levon D. Smeth c. Lt. General Jean McArthur d. Sergeant John McCain 6. In which war did the U.S. suffer the most deaths? a. World War II b. Vietnam War

c. Civil War d. World War I 7. In World War II, who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces who directed the D-Day invasion and announced its start by saying, “OK, we’ll go”? a. Dwight D. Eisenhower b. George S. Patton c. Matthew B. Ridgway  d. Douglas Macarthur 8. Which of the following was the U.S.’s longest war? a. Vietnam War b. World War II c. Revolutionary War d. War in Afghanistan Answer Key: 1. C- In 1964, as the Civil War raged and thousands of soldiers were dying, the Union government needed a cemetery to bury its dead. The Union occupied Arlington and the Arlington Estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was the most suitable property in the area. The property was high and free from floods, it had a view of the District of Columbia, and it was aesthetically pleasing. Denying Robert E. Lee use of his home after the war was also a valuable political consideration. 2. D- The War of 1812 is often considered to be the “forgotten war.” Some facts that were not forgotten: The White House and Capitol were burned to the ground during the invasion of Washington, D.C. First Lady Dolley Madison garnered fame for saving a portrait of George Washington before flames engulfed the president’s home. In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” while watching

the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. 3. A 4. D 5. A- On July 20, 1950, Major General Dean became separated from his men during battle. He hid alone in the woods around the countryside during the day and traveled at night for over a month. On August 25, 1950 after a hand-to-hand struggle with fifteen North Koreans he was captured. General Dean had no contact with the outside world until he was interviewed on December 18, 1951 by an Australian, Wilfred Burchett, who was a correspondent for Le Soir, a French leftwing newspaper. This was the first time that anyone had any idea General Dean was alive since being reported missing in action. He was released in 1953 and showered with military and civilian honors. General Dean, however, insisted he was no hero but “ just a dogface soldier.” 6. C- 625,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, amounting to 1.988% of the total population of 32,000,000 American citizens. The second deadliest war was World War II, in which we lost 405,399 soldiers, amounting to .307% of the total population. 7. A- Plans were delayed for a couple days because of bad weather, until Gen. Eisenhower finally gave the order. 8. D Wisdom key: 6-8 correct: You are a war buff! 3-5 correct: You are wishy washy. You probably think the “Cold War” has something to do with a beer commercial. 0-2 correct: You dodged the intelligence draft.

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Torah Thought

Parshat Behar By Rabbi Berel Wein


his week’s Torah reading seems to emphasize that the granting of the Torah to Moshe, and through him to Israel generally, took place at the Mountain of Sinai. Since the Torah does not deal with incidental geographic details, this emphasis regarding the mountain bears study and analysis. Mountain climbing is a sport for the hardy of spirit and the physically fit. However, most of us are perfectly content with our lives without

attempting to scale cliffs. Yet, in a spiritual sense, the Torah seems to indicate that living a moral and observant Jewish lifestyle requires spiritual mountain climbing. The Talmud teaches us that Mount Sinai was a rather modest mountain in height, as mountains go. It was chosen, so to speak, because it represented humility amongst its greater companions, such as the Alps and the Himalayas. Yet, it required effort, energy and

purpose to be able to ascend it. In that respect it represents the Torah itself, which was given to Moshe on its summit. Life is never smooth or easy – a flat plain, simple to traverse. Rather, it is always an uphill climb that many times leaves us short of breath and doubtful of hope. We all know this to be true of our physical lives and it is doubly so regarding the spiritual component of our existence. There is a phrase in Yiddish that says: “It is hard and difficult to be a Jew.” Well, like most Yiddish aphorisms, this one is certainly accurate and telling. The only problem is that, over the long run of history, it is obvious that it is much more difficult and harmful for us not to live proper Jewish lives. The prophets always speak of Jewish redemption as being a formidable mountain that somehow will be flattened and made into a smooth and level plain. What appears to be formidable and forbidding, almost impossible to overcome, a gigantic mountain which blocks our view of the horizon, will somehow eventually be transformed and made accessible and comfortable. I think that that is a proper metaphor for Jewish life generally and for Torah life and values particularly. It is a mountain to climb but once ascended it leads to smooth going and a level journey through life. The Talmud records for us that the temptations of life appear to the righteous as mountains, and that they stare in amazement at their

ability to somehow overcome each obstacle. The wicked, evil temptation appears to be as thin as a single hair that can be easily dismissed. However, once engaged with that hair, one runs the danger of being inextricably shackled by it.

Yet, in a spiritual sense, the Torah seems to indicate that living a moral and observant Jewish lifestyle requires spiritual mountain climbing.

So the Torah bids us all to be mountain climbers. We are to steel ourselves against the difficulties that living a Jewish life presents and realize that according to the effort will be the reward. There is no easy way or smooth path to a concentrated Jewish life. The example of Moshe climbing Mount Sinai remains the metaphor for all of us and for all Jewish life till eternity. Shabbat shalom.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Observant Jew

Don’t Pull the Sheepskin over My Eyes By Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz


hile moving some old framed documents we’d put away, I found several that made me stop and think. They were certificates of completion, essentially a diploma, for a computer course I’d taken many years ago when I was about to get married and needed to have some plan for supporting my family. At the time, it sounded amazing. The saleswoman from the school told us how people with this degree are almost guaranteed a job right after they complete it, making $60,000 a year. Especially since this was nearly twenty years ago, that sounded like a dream come true. We signed up for the courses and my parents paid the thousands of dollars it cost. Needless to say, the woman wasn’t quite accurate about the job opportunities that awaited me, even when I went on to complete all three certifications. It would seem she pulled the wool (or sheepskin, a colloquial term for diploma) over my eyes. Not only did I not get a job that paid that kind of

money, within a year and a half I was done with computers and had moved into another field. What made the revelation of just how useless those diplomas were even stronger was realizing (in 2016) that the company had basically stopped producing the software in 2009 and all the certifications were for something that no longer even existed. It’s like being a Palm Pilot technician, cassette tape salesman, or the road manager for R’ Shlomo Carlebach z”l. Looking back at those pieces of paper which once meant enough for us to frame and realizing that they turned out not to be something worth treasuring was eye-opening. Sometimes something seems so important, and yet it’s not. Along with those certificates, I found a diploma from my yeshiva. In those days they didn’t have a specific document and when a friend and I asked for one, we were told we could print one and they would sign it. I recall the care with which we typed it, agonizing over the font and the verbiage. Then we purchased gold foil

seals and red ribbon to make it look like we imagined a diploma from an Ivy League school might have looked. It was gorgeous and when it was done we were so proud to have it to hang on the wall. And now, two decades later, I find not only the paper, but the meaning we placed on it, laughable. Certainly one should be proud of his accomplishments, and if your doctor doesn’t have a diploma on the wall you should probably consider staying healthy, but the importance is not invested in that piece of paper. Rather, what makes any degree valuable is the time and commitment of your life which it represents, and the nobility of the cause to which you made that commitment. I am reminded of the story of a man who was emigrating from Europe to America in the early 1900s. He had a three week stopover in Paris before his boat would sail to America. In preparation for this, he spent months learning French. When he arrived in Paris, he was able to converse, shop, read the paper, and whatever else he needed to do. It was fantastic.

Until the day he set sail for the United States. During the trip, and upon his arrival, he was unable to communicate in English. He was ill-prepared for his residency in America and barely managed to make ends meet. The baalei mussar use this parable to explain how people get so caught up in succeeding in this world – which is temporary at best – while forgetting about the Next World, where their soul will reside permanently. The 70 or 80 years a fellow might have here are like the three week stopover the immigrant had. His time would have been much better spent learning English, the language of his final destination, and our time on Earth would be better spent aiming for eternal success. When I looked at the diplomas, these once-coveted objects, and realized how their importance never really materialized in my life, I reflected on how we often get caught up in things that we think are do-or-die and may never realize that we’re spinning our wheels. Whether it’s the fancy clothes or car, the big house, the honor

and respect, the Mensa ID card, or any other physical item, at the end of the day, what really matters is how we follow the Torah and treat other people (they go hand in hand). Hopefully, we can all get this message and when we look back on our lives, we’ll have picture frames full of the smiles we put on people’s faces, the honor we bestowed on them, and proof of our commitment and dedication to Hashem and the Torah. That would be something worth treasuring.

Jonathan Gewirtz is an inspirational writer and speaker whose work has appeared in publications around the world. You can find him at, 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.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Between the Lines

You Didn’t Plant That By Eytan Kobre

For I will not trust in my bow, my sword will not save me…We have gloried in G-d all the day, and we will forever give thanks to Your name. (Psalms 44:6-8).


hen his daughter Emily turned four, Warren Buffett threw her a birthday party. Beemer the Clown was the main attraction. Beemer held a “Box of Wonders” and asked Emily to come forward and wave a magic wand over it. When she did, he tossed green handkerchiefs into the box.  When Emily again waved the magic wand, Beemer pulled blue handkerchiefs from the box. When Emily waved the wand a third time, out came handkerchiefs knotted together. Emily was delighted. So pleased was she with her mastery of the magic wand that she blurted out, “Gee, I’m really good at this!” We like to take credit for our successes. And so we

treat G-d like Beemer the Clown. We wave a magic wand and exult in our triumphs, convinced that our successes are by the might of our hands. As long as G-d just doesn’t get in the way, we’ll be fine. Recall Barack Obama’s “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own…If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” Now, Obama meant that our financial successes belong to government (and thus, ostensibly, to Obama himself). However unwittingly, Obama was onto something. Our material successes are not our own. We didn’t build that. G-d did. And that’s what shemita reinforces (Vayikra 25:2 and Kli Yakar ad loc.). In a typical agrarian society, fields are worked for two consecutive years and then left fallow for the third to preserve and enhance the soil’s vitality. Shemita demonstrates that this system is unnecessary. Fields can be worked for six straight years, not only maintaining vitality but tripling output in the sixth year to provide for years six, seven, and eight in the cycle. Because G-d –

not our effort – is the source of material success. Or, in Obama parlance, we didn’t plant that. G-d did. Our imperative to acknowledge G-d as the source of all material success traces all the way back to Yitzchak’s blessings to Yaakov and Esav. While the blessings bestowed upon Yaakov made it clear that “G-d should give you” material success (Bereishis 27:28), those given to Esav contained no reference to G-d. It’s all too easy to mistake effort for outcome. Like the man who desperately beseeches G-d to open a parking spot for him on a crowded street. When a spot opens suddenly before his eyes, he looks heavenward. “Never mind, G-d. I got one.” We know that the key to sustenance is held by G-d (Ta’anis 2b; Bereishis Rabba 20:22). We know that our year’s livelihood is set by G-d on Rosh HaHashana (Beitza 15a). And we know that G-d’s gift of livelihood to one person does not impinge one iota on His gift of livelihood to another (Yoma 38b). We know these things. But do we feel them?

That requires a real relationship with G-d. Like that of Yankel the Tailor. It was the first night of Selichos and the shul was packed. The Belzer Rebbe scoured the room. “Where is Yankel the Tailor? We’re not starting without him.” “Rebbe,” his followers pleaded, “there are hundreds of people waiting to start. We can’t wait for a simple tailor.” But the Rebbe was adamant. So his followers went to Yankel’s house, where they found him sprawled out on the floor in a drunken stupor. “Yankel, the Rebbe is waiting for you. Come to shul.” “I’m drunk! I can’t go like this.” After the Rebbe’s followers prevailed upon him, Yankel got dressed and went to shul, where the Rebbe demanded to know why he was drunk on the auspicious first night of Selichos. “I’m in the textile business,” started Yankel. “But I have difficulties making ends meet. One day, a high ranking government officer commissioned a large quantity of work from me, only to cancel half his order a short while later.

“I said to G-d, ‘You took away half my livelihood; I’m only doing half the commandments.’ I put on only one of the tefillin. I davened only half the words. I washed only one hand. “Then the officer cut his order in half again. So I said to G-d, ‘Now I’m going to do even less.’ And so I did. “Eventually, I realized where this was headed. So I said, ‘G-d, let’s make amends. I’ll start obeying all the commandments again, and you give me my full livelihood.’ “And then I did as all friends do when they make amends: I sat down and poured two shots. ‘To a long and loving relationship! L’chaim!’ But G-d didn’t drink His, so I drank it for Him. And one l’chaim certainly is not enough for the King of Kings! So I poured one after another until the bottle was empty.” The Rebbe hugged Yankel. “You are standing next me to tonight because you have a relationship with G-d. You talk to Him. You love Him. He is real to you.” Yankel may have had a simpleton’s relationship with G-d, but it was real. He didn’t just know; he felt.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Unlike Yankel, many of us – despite what we know intellectually – don’t recognize G-d as the source of success because we suffer from a bit of cognitive dissonance. A man who had difficul-

for you, an entire human being with children, G-d will provide ample sustenance” (Tanchuma, Tazria 6). Indeed, “the same G-d that created day created sustenance” (Mechilta, Beshalach 15).

en aback. “G-d gives life to everyone. Why should I be different?” “Okay. And who said you will get married?” R’ Elya pressed. The surprised young man again answered that

“I put on only one of the tefillin. I davened only half the words. I washed only one hand.”

ty making ends meet proposed to venture overseas to earn a living, when his wife stopped him by pointing out the obvious: “If G-d provides sustenance for every living hair to grow, surely

A student of R’ Elya Lopian planned to leave yeshiva to prepare to earn a living and raise a family. “Who said you will continue to live?” asked R’ Elya. The young man was tak-

G-d would surely help him find his match. “Okay. And who said you will have children?” probed R’ Elya. Again the young man expressed his trust that G-d

would bless him with children. “So,” R’ Elya concluded, “you trust G-d to give you life, a wife, and children, but you don’t trust Him to give you the sustenance necessary to support them?” To be sure, one may – must – make efforts to achieve material success (Berachos 8a; Rambam, Talmud Torah 3:9). But, effort notwithstanding, our success comes from G-d. We are not to believe that “my strength and the might of my hand made me all this wealth” (Devarim 8:17; Rus Rabba 1:4). Indeed, “one should teach his son a clean and easy trade, and he should pray to the One to whom wealth and property belongs” (Kiddushin 82a).


Make the necessary efforts. Just don’t treat G-d like Beemer the Clown. * * * J.S. Bach was arguably the most brilliant musical composer ever. His trademark signature at the end of musical compositions? S.D.G. – or, Soli Deo Gloria – “to G-d alone be the glory.” So, by all means, compose your music, plant your fields, build your business. But give G-d the credit. Soli Deo Gloria.

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

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Thirty-Three – And Still Counting!


he line of spiritual energy between Pesach and Shavuos is interrupted by a single day, a “good” day, say our Jewish mystics because the thirty-third word in the Torah is tov, which means “good.” The thirty-third day in the counting of the Omer is a one-day semi-holiday when the laws of bereavement associated with the seven weeks of Sefiras ha’Omer (the ban on marriages, listening to music, cutting one’s hair, etc.) are all suspended. Was it always so? No. The Countdown, or more accurately the “Count up,” of forty-nine days entered Jewish history as a time of anticipation and joy over the success of wheat harvests. It later became connected to a devastating first-century plague that obliterated the yeshiva world of Rabbi Akiva “from Acco to Antipatros” that died

down on Lag B’Omer. The first mention to cease-and-desist to mourn on this day appears in the 12th century in Spain and southern France.

references to any Sefira mourning laws. Rabbi Yosef Karo of Shulchan Aruch fame says this day is dedicated to the end of the deadly epidem-

When was the last time you were invited to a picnic to commemorate Moshe’s yahrtzeit with bonfires, roasted potatoes, and sing-alongs?

Lag B’Omer is a day of historic obscurity. Although there is a general rabbinic consensus on how to commemorate the 33rd day there is none on why we commemorate it. Consider: The prolific Rambam makes no

ic plague. Rabbi Moses Isserles, the eminent Polish Ashkenaz Talmudist, explains the day as a symbolic suspension, a conclusion he based on mathematics. Start with 49 days. Subtract 7 for Pesach. Then subtract

all the in-between days (Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh) on which mourning is forbidden. One is left with only thirty-three days when mourning can be observed. The more traditional reason for celebrating Lag B’Omer is the commemoration of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi), compiler of Midrashim (Sifrei) on Devorim and Bamidbar, a patriot, and one of the most charismatic figures of the Mishna. As the much-revered father of Jewish mysticism, Lag B’Omer is synonymous with Rashbi’s legacy of mysticism that originated in a cave where father and son, R’ Elazar, studied Torah in hiding, day and night for twelve years, while fleeing the mighty Roman Empire following the failed Bar Kochba revolt, sustained by a carob tree next to a spring in the northern Israeli town of Peki’in

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that has been nurtured by the Zinati family of the Galilee for the past two thousand years. The question seems obvious: Why is Rav Shimon’s death different from all other deaths of righteous men? Have you noticed? No one lights bonfires for Avraham’s yahrtzeit. When was the last time you were invited to a picnic to commemorate Moshe’s yahrtzeit with roasted potatoes and sing-alongs? Or time your 3-year-old son’s first haircut to Aaron’s yahrtzeit? The memory of a death is usually one of sadness. Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Blachover, known as the Shem Aryeh, was generally opposed to celebrating a yahrtzeit but he made an exception for Rashbi on the basis that the sage escaped the death sentence imposed by the Romans and lived a long life, dying from natural causes; in other words, a natural demise at the hands of G-d and not at the hands of a Roman-swinging decapitating swordsman. This death is different from all other deaths because if not for Rashbi’s deathbed revelation of “the ultimate secrets of life,” profound Kabbalistic teachings would have been lost forever. His anniversary is thus marked with celebration as thousands of admiring Jews flock to his grave at Mount Meron, near Safed, in fidelity to the rabbinic adage, “When a Sage dies, all are his kin.” According to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief Ashkenaz rabbi of Palestine, who was a major mystic in his own right, “Man is by nature a mystic” and believes that the anniversary of a holy man is the most opportune time to plead to G-d for health, livelihood, a career, spouse, and children. Why? The souls of the righteous return to their earthly tombs on their yahrtzeit and allow themselves to be used as vehicles to expedite prayers. It is in this context that the righteous are still referred to as “living” even after death and, on the basis of a Mishna’s advice to “warm yourselves by the fire of the Sages,” hundreds and thousands of Jews warm themselves by dance and feast around enormous bonfires at his gravesite, a mystical magnet, or by bonfires lit throughout the countryside. Fire and Rashbi? What’s the connection?

Fire can be seen and felt but not grasped or touched. Rashbi was known as Botzina Kadisha, the “Holy Lamp,” and the term (Zohar) he coined for his ideas means “shining,” a flicker of light that is still visible in every synagogue via a solitary “eter-

the whimsical Shalom Aleichem calls “Nature’s telephone” – and adds, “If a horse with four legs can sometimes stumble, how much more a man with only one tongue?” The saintly Chofetz Chaim was not so flippant. Expanding on the

Lag B’Omer’s lesson could not be any clearer: Division divides, the whole is weakened, spiritual defenses are down when Jew is pitted against Jew.

nal flame” (ner tamid) that shines above the Ark as both a reminder of the Temple’s menorah and an ohr bracha, a light of blessing. Jewish history credits Rashbi’s five surviving disciples as being the couriers of this light of Torah through the darkness of history, convinced that their mentor’s “hidden” esoteric wisdom was “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”


he mystical heirs of Rashbi’s teachings see the bonfires as a symbol of Judaic unity, noting that in Hebrew ach, hearth or fire, also means “brother.” This brings me to the most challenging aspect of Lag B’Omer; the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students that came to a halt on this 33rd day is an incomprehensible “sentence” for their misbehavior of disrespect and disharmony. So massive was this collective transgression that the sefira mourning period exceeds that of the Three Weeks. How many died? We don’t know. The numbers range from 24,000 to 12,000 to 48,000 to three hundred. What was the cause of their deaths? Rabbi Nachman blames a lethal disease called askara, a croup-like vocal ailment that can cause diphtheria, death-via-throat. This led Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Edels (Maharsha), the legendary Talmudist from Kraków, Poland, to make a stunning accusation: the students of Rabbi Akiva were guilty of lashon hara, “evil gossip” – an activity that

Rambam’s conclusion that “talebearers can destroy the world,” he considered lashon hora to be a triple-killer, slaying teller, hearer, and subject. The Tzartkover Rebbe was so afraid of the slip of the tongue that for an extended period he refused to give a sermon, explaining to his confused chassidim, “There are seventy ways to teach Torah, and one of the paths is through silence.” It was, writes Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, alumnus of Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner, prolific author, and of NCSYfame, in gratitude to the plague’s cessation that Lag B’Omer became a celebratory day of tribute and homage to life, “an oasis of joy, in the midst of a sad period.” But wait! This linkage made several major Torah personalities highly uncomfortable. Consider Rabbi David Halevi, the brilliant 17 th century scholar who brought us Turei Zahav (“Rows of Gold”), who frowned on associating Lag B’Omer with the tragic afflictions that tormented Rabbi Akiva’s world, so he pushed the fast-forward button and pinned the 33rd day of the omer to the pogroms of the First Crusade that wiped entire German-French Jewish communities off the map, and to Bogdan Chmielnicki’s Cossack wholesale butchery of Jews in 1648-9 (gezerot taḥ ve-tat). Why these two tragedies? Both occurred during the sefira period. But Rabbi Moses Schreiber (Chasam Sofer), the powerful Rav and head of Pressburg, Bratislava, the most influential yeshiva in Cen-

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tral Europe’s early 19th century, disagreed. The Chasam Sofer brushed aside the concept of “calamity linkages” and saw the celebratory aspect of Lag B’Omer as recognition of the first life-saving manna that dropped from the skies to sustain the Jews in the desert. How did he arrive at this conclusion? By the same methods Rav Moshe Isserles used: math. Since the fast-food supply (matzah) from Egypt only lasted until Iyar 14, the end of the Pesach timeframe (hence its choice as Pesach Sheni), the Jews went hungry for three days from the 15th to the 17 th, complained, and the manna appeared the following day: Iyar 18, Lag B’Omer! For those of you who read Judaeo-Spanish (i.e.: Ladino), the traditional Torah view can be found in a sefer from R’ Yaakov Culi titled Me’am Lo’ez (1730), a commentary on Tanach written for the Jews of Turkey, Spain, Morocco, and Egypt. R’ Culi traces the reasons to an indictment of Rabbi Akiva’s students for ignoring R’ Eleazer ben Azaria’s advice to treat each other with respect. What makes this allegation so shocking is the extraordinary ethical qualities of their great teacher who taught that to “love your fellow as you love yourself” was the overriding principle in the Torah. And yet, after 24 years of teaching, Rabbi Akiva was suddenly stripped of his students. His dream had turned into such a nightmare that he warns the next generation, “be not like them.” The paradox of thousands of yeshiva students being led by the greatest rosh yeshiva in Jewish history being accused of such a lack of derech eretz to end up slain by Divine Will has caused many a scholar into a theological cul-de-sac. How is this possible? Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh and last Lubavitcher Rebbe, links the students’ internecine disrespect to their inability to agree on the interpretation of Rabbi Akiva’s words of Torah. Rather than agreeing to disagree, they argued with venom; a behavior that reflected poorly on the whole spectrum of Torah and G-d. The rabbis of the Talmud viewed Lag B’Omer as a devastating reminder of how a house divided could lead

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to unbridled catastrophe, and designated this day as a reminder of a martyred generation of outstanding Jewish leaders who displayed enormous courage by risking their lives to maintain the study of Talmud under a turbulent Roman governorship. Because of this disunity, Lag B’Omer bonfires are also reminders of the importance of shalom and harmony among Jews. This is why Rabbi Yisroel of Rizhin, der heiliger Ruzhiner of the 19th century Ukraine and Austria, the first and only Ruzhiner Rebbe (his sons and grandsons’ dynasties come under the “House of Ruzhin” umbrella), bought, at great expense, the right in perpetuity to light Meron’s main bonfire, an asset of brotherhood that he willed to his descendants as an eternal inheritance. If you’re in Meron this week, I suggest you go in a black beketshe. It’s a good time of the year to be a Boyan chassid. The rooftops of Meron are “unofficially” reserved for the hundreds of Boyaner chassidim who

get the best view of the lighting of the fire of Ruzhin unity.



n a speech last week on Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura (“Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day”), the Deputy Chief of Staff of the IDF, Maj-Gen. Yair Golan, expressed deep concern that the disunity in Israeli society is similar to the pre-Holocaust atmosphere

in Central and Eastern Europe. He confessed he was “frightened of the growing callousness and indifference” of Jews towards other Jews who are not like them. He called for society to make use of Holocaust remembrance to “nip the buds of intolerance and the buds of self-destruction.” His warning, on the eve of Lag B’Omer, is timely. When the early kabbalists eagerly compared the Jewish folk to a sefer Torah they understood that a Torah had no holiness within it unless all of its letters were complete and whole. Similar was their attitude towards the Jewish people; it maintained its strength only when it was complete and whole, otherwise it suffocated the dreams and hopes of Jewish destiny. A house divided was a ghastly Jewish calamity and affliction. Somehow, in the decades leading up to the Third Reich’s twelve year (1933–1945) whirlpool of madness, murder, and mayhem this lesson had gone seriously astray. The European branch of the House of Jacob, the largest in the Jewish world at the time and the center of Torah gravity, was hopelessly divided. Constant squabbling drowned out the sounds of German jackboots and the ominous flapping’s of giant swastikas just over the horizon. Rabbi Akiva’s basic etiquette of Judaism, of “getting along,” was conspicuously absent, replaced by a widespread culture of distrust, division, and conflict – all social cancers from within. Lag B’Omer’s lesson could not be any clearer: Division divides, the whole is weakened, spiritual defenses are down when Jew is pitted

against Jew. General Golan’s concern was that of Rabbi Aharon (“Reb Arele”) Rokeach, the deeply spiritual fourth Belzer Rebbe, an extraordinarily disciplined Jew whose piety and humility made him incapable of ever making a negative comment about another Jew. As World War I was exploding around him, Rav Rokeach appealed to the community, “One must engender unity and keep far away from anything that causes disunity. The salvation of Israel during times of trouble rests on this.” When the hostilities finally ended, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, the Sochatchover Rebbe, looked around him at the devastation of thousands of Jewish communities. “Our strength lies in being unified with the larger image, Klal Yisrael,” he concluded, “if we are one Am Yisrael we are chai vekayam – invincible and overpowering. If we are divided, we are stricken by fear and panic and we fall, tripping over our faults.” Rav Bornstein made the pursuit of a collective harmony a goal for the rest of his life. But it was too enormous a task for one man. By the time Hitler’s wrath burst upon Polish Jewry on September 1, 1939, the idea of Jewish unity was nothing more than a pipe dream. Something was clearly amiss. Gone was the famous saying from Proverbs, “[The Torah’s] ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.” In its place was a climate of disrespect that raged as out of control as a wild brushfire; the traditional brotherly battle cry of ahavas Yisrael had been replaced by an irreconcilable self-imposing screech: United We Fall! This is the eternal lesson of Lag B’Omer.

Joe Bobker, alumnus of Yeshivas HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, is the former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Jewish Times, author of the popular Torah With a Twist of Humor and the 18-volume “Historiography of Orthodox Jews and the Holocaust,” the first of which, “War Against the Rabbis: Hitler’s Assault Against Judaism,” will be published this year around Shavuos. Mr. Bobker can be reached at jbobker@


The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

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The Mystery of Lag B’Omer by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper


hirty-three days following the first day of Passover, Jews celebrate a “minor” holiday called Lag B’Omer, the thirty-third day of the Omer. It is an oasis of joy in the midst of the sad sefira period which is almost unnoticed by most nonreligious Jews. Yet it contains historic lessons of such great severity that this generation must not only unravel the mystery of Lag B’Omer but will discover that its own fate is wrapped in the crevices of its secrets. The seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot are the days of the

“Counting of the Omer,” the harvest festivities which were observed in the Land of Israel when the Temple stood on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. This fifty-day period should have been a time of joyful anticipation. Having experienced the Exodus from Egypt on Pesach, every Jew literally “counts the days” from the first night of Passover until matan Torah ― the revelation of Torah at Mt. Sinai which took place on Shavuot, exactly fifty days after the Exodus. While the Exodus marks the physical birth of the Jewish nation, the Giving of Torah completes the process through the spiritual

birth of the Jewish nation. Each year, as we celebrate the seder on Passover, we are commanded to “see ourselves as though each of us actually experienced the Exodus.” It therefore follows that we must prepare ourselves during the Sefira period (counting of the Omer), to once again accept the Torah on Shavuot ― to make our freedom spiritually complete. Clearly then, the Sefira days should have been days of joy, but instead, they are observed as a period of semi-mourning. Weddings, music and haircuts are not permitted, some do not shave during this entire

period. It is on the sad side of Sefira that we come across the holiday of Lag B’Omer, the one day during this sad period when our mourning is halted, when sadness is forbidden.


What is the reason for sadness during what should have been a period of joyful anticipation? The reason, the Babylonian Talmud tells us, [Yevamot:62:2] is that during this period, Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students, who lived 1,850 years ago in the Roman dominated Land of Israel, died from a mysterious G-d-sent

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plague. Why did they die? Because, the Talmud teaches, “they did not show proper respect to one another.” Lag B’Omer is celebrated on the thirty-third day because on that day the plague ended and Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying. This explanation leaves us with a number of difficulties and still more unanswered questions. Why does this event, the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students, tragic as it was, merit thirty-two days of mourning when greater tragedies in Jewish history, such as the destruction of both Temples or the breaking of the Stone Tablets of the Covenant by Moses, are marked by a single day of mourning. In terms of numbers, the massacres of the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Chemelnitsky pogroms, and the Holocaust which destroyed European Jewry and cost six million Jewish lives far overshadow the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students. Yet, these tragic events are not commemorated by even one special day of mourning. Why is the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students given so much more weight? Every event in the Jewish calendar was placed there by the Divine hand because it conforms to a preset notion of the significance of the seasons and of history. Nature and events correspond and intermesh, certain days and periods are most suited to joy or sadness. Why does the sefira mourning coincide with the joyous holidays of Passover and Shavuot, which in turn coincide with the period of harvest festivities? There also appear to be glaring inconsistencies in the story itself. What were Rabbi Akiva’s students guilty of that they deserved to die? If Rabbi Akiva’s students died as a result of G-d’s punishment for their sins, why should we mourn them? Didn’t they deserve their punishment? Why is Lag B’Omer a day of “celebration”? If all that happened on Lag B’Omer was but a temporary halt in the dying, wouldn’t it be more fitting to set it aside as a memorial day for

the twenty-four thousand scholars who died? What is the connection between Lag B’Omer and the revolt against the Romans by Bar Kochba and his army? And how does all of this relate to Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, author of the mystical books of the Zohar who lived in the same era, about whom we sing on Lag B’Omer. And finally, why are all these questions never discussed in the open, as

Roman censor. The Talmud could not speak openly concerning the political ramifications of events. In order to obtain a true picture of what happened, we must piece together the story from various historical sources and Talmudic hints. What we discover goes something like this: The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 C.E. Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside lay in ruins from border to

Will we attempt to achieve them or will we withdraw into our own selfish cocoons by refusing to shoulder the responsibilities which history and history’s G-d has set before us?

are, for example, the Four Questions of the Passover seder? The answers to these and other questions lie shrouded in the history of a turbulent age and in the mysteries of the Jewish concept of the Messianic era.


First, we must understand that much of the material in the Talmud that deals with political matters was written with a keen sensitivity to the

border. Scores of thousands died in the fierce fighting and subsequently from persecution and starvation; thousands more were sold as slaves and forced into exile. The Romans considered the Jewish nation defeated, obliterated and done for. The Roman General Titus erected a grand victory monument in Rome which stands to this day that says just that: the famous Arch of Titus on which is inscribed Judea Capita ― Judea is kaput, finished, done for.

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But even in defeat the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people struggled to rebuild Jewish life and recreate Jewish institutions. They were so successful that around 135 C.E. a Jewish military leader named Bar Kosiba succeeded in organizing a fighting force to rid the Land of Israel of the hated Romans. Thousands rallied to his cause, including the greatest Talmudic scholar of all times, the Tanna Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef, whose insights and brilliant decisions fill the Mishnah. Many of Rabbi Akiva’s contemporaries felt that a new revolt against the Romans was doomed to failure and urged the avoidance of bloodshed. But Bar Kosiba persisted and succeeded in organizing and training a superb military force of 200,000 men. The Talmud relates that Bar Kosiba demanded that each recruit demonstrate his bravery by cutting off a finger ― when the Rabbis protested, he substituted a new test: each recruit was expected to uproot a young tree while riding a horse. Such was the level of their bravery and readiness. Rabbi Akiva disagreed with his rabbinic colleagues and won over a majority to his point of view. From the military point of view, he felt that a successful revolt was feasible. It is said by some historians that twenty percent of the population of the Roman Empire between Rome and Jerusalem was Jewish. The pagan foundations of Rome were crumbling. Many Romans were in search of a religious alternative, which many of them subsequently found in a mitzvah-less Christianity in the following two centuries. Many Romans were attracted to Judaism, and significant numbers converted. There were thousands – tens of thousands – of sympathizers. Some members of the Roman Senate converted to Judaism. If the large numbers of Jews who lived throughout the Roman Empire could be inspired into coordinated anti-Roman revolts, many historians believe that the prospects for toppling Rome were very real.

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And if the revolts succeeded and Jews from all over the world united to return and rebuild their homeland, Rabbi Akiva believed that they could bring about the Messianic Era ― the great era of spirituality and universal peace foretold by Israel’s Prophets, the great millennia during which all Jews would return to the land of Israel, the Jerusalem Temple would be rebuilt and Israel would lead the world into an era of justice, spiritual revival, and fulfillment. In his Laws of Kings, (Chapter 11:3) Maimonides, in discussing the Messianic era says: “Do not think that the King Messiah must work miracles and signs, create new natural phenomena, restore the dead to life or perform similar miracles. This is not so. For Rabbi Akiva was the wisest of the scholars of the Mishna and was the armor bearer of Bar Kosiba (the actual family name of Bar Kochba) the King. He said concerning Ben Kosiba that he is the King Messiah. Both he and the sages of his generation believed that Bar Kosiba was the King Messiah, until (Bar Kosiba) was killed because of his sins. Once he was killed, it became evident to them that he was not the messiah.” To Bar Kochba and his officers, all seemed to be in readiness; Rome was rotten and corrupt, many captive nations strained at the yoke – rebellion was in the air. Rabbi Akiva (Jerusalem Talmud: Ta’anit 4:15) gave Bar Kosiba a new name, “Bar Kochba” ― Son of the Star ― in fulfillment of the prophecy, “a star will go forth from Jacob.” Bar Kochba trained an army capable of igniting the powder keg of rebellion and Rabbi Akiva lit it with one of the most dramatic proclamations in Jewish history ― he proclaimed that Bar Kochba was the long awaited Messiah. One of the greatest Torah teachers and leaders of all time, Rabbi Akiva could not have made this crucial and radical declaration unless he was certain. He would never have

proclaimed a man Messiah unless he knew. Rabbi Akiva added a new, spiritual dimension to the war of liberation. He attempted to merge the soldiers of the sword with the soldiers of the book ― his twenty- four thousand students, each a great Torah scholar and leader. These outstanding scholars would become the real “army” of the Jewish people, a spiritual and moral force that would bring Torah to the entire world, overcoming anguish, suffering, and the cruel boot of the corrupt Roman Empire. They would soon inaugurate a new era of peace, righteousness, and justice, an era in which “the Knowledge of G-d would cover the earth as water covers the seas.” The fact that the Jews were able to unite around a single leader separates this event from the great revolt of the previous century when bitterly divided factions warred with each other inside the walls of Jerusalem even as the Roman army stormed the gates. The rebellion raged for six years. Bar Kochba’s army achieved many initial victories. Many non-Jews joined Bar Kochba’s army ― it is reported that it grew to 350,000 men, more men than the Roman Army. Bar Kochba was so successful that Hadrian called in all of his best troops from England and Gaul. Rome felt threatened as never before. On Lag B’Omer, it is believed by some, Bar Kochba’s army reconquered Jerusalem, and we celebrate that great event today. For four years Jewish independence was restored. Many believe that Bar Kochba actually began to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple. Some even believe that he completed the building of the Third Temple.


There were two Roman legions in the country when the uprising began, one in Jerusalem and one near Megido. Both were decimated by Bar Kochba’s men. Reinforcements were dispatched from Trans-Jordan, Syria and Egypt but these, too, were

mauled. The legion sent from Egypt, the 22nd, disappeared from the listings of military units published in Rome, and scholars speculate that it was cut up so badly, probably around Lachish, that it ceased to exist as an organized force. The Jews apparently employed guerilla tactics ― foraying from their underground lairs, ambushing convoys and striking at night. In desperation, Hadrian sent for his best commander, Julius Severus, who was then engaged in battle at the hills of far off Wales. Severus imported legions from the lands of Britain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria. So badly had the Romans been hurt in the bruising campaign that Severus, upon returning to Rome to report to the Senate on his success, omitted the customary formula “I and my army are well.” This was total war. In the mid-

dle of the effort to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash the tide turned and Bar Kochba lost the support of Rabbi Akiva and the Sages who backed him. What happened? Bar Kochba had murdered the sage Rabbi Elazar. He accused the great rabbi of revealing the secret entrances of the fortress city of Betar to the Romans. It is now believed that this betrayal was the work of the Jewish Christians who wanted to undermine Bar Kochba. Rabbi Akiva then realized that Bar Kochba no longer possessed the qualities which initially led him to believe that he was the Messiah. There was an additional spiritual dimension to the failure of the Messiah-ship of Bar Kochba as well; whether the spiritual failure of Rabbi Akiva’s students was the cause ― or whether it was the failure of Bar Kochba to rise to the spiritual heights expected of the Messiah is beyond our

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knowledge. For then, out of the blue, the great plague Askera descended and struck. The dream collapsed. For reasons that will probably forever remain obscure, the students of Rabbi Akiva were not considered by Heaven to have reached the supreme spiritual heights necessary to bring about the Messianic Age. As great as they were, an important factor was missing. The Talmud tells us that “Rabbi Akiva’s students didn’t show proper respect one for the other.” Precisely what this phrase refers to we do not know. With greatness comes heightened responsibility and with greatness comes a magnification of reward and punishment. For their failure and deficiencies ― which would certainly be counted as minor in a generation such as ours, but which were crucial for great men on their high spiritual level ― their mission was cancelled and they died a mysterious death. With them died the Messianic hope of that era and for thousands of years to come. Bar Kochba was not a false messiah but a failed messiah. In the terrible war which followed, Bar Kochba and his army were destroyed in the great battles defending the fortress city of Betar. The war had been a catastrophe. Dodio Cassius reports the death of 580,000 Jews by Roman swords in addition to those who died of hunger and disease. Some scholars think that the bulk of the Jewish population of Judea was destroyed in battle and in subsequent massacres. One historian believes that the Jews lost a third of their number in the war, perhaps more fatalities than in the Great Revolt of the year 70. For the survivors, the Bar Kochba uprising marked the great divide between the hope for national independence and dispersal in the Diaspora. The trauma of Betar coming after the fall of Jerusalem effected deep changes in the Jewish people. The stiff necked, stubborn, fanatically independent people that did not hesitate to make repeated suicidal lunges at the mightiest superpower of antiquity lost its warlike instincts.

It would be 2,000 years before there would be a Jewish fighting force. As a result, the hope of the Jew for redemption was to be delayed for at least two thousand years. In the great and tragic defeat not only were between half a million to six hundred thousand Jews killed but the Romans were determined, once and for all, to uproot the Jewish religion and the Jewish people ― to bring an end to their hopes and their dreams.


It is for this reason that we mourn today. The mourning ofsSefira is not for the students alone, but for the failure of the Jewish people to bring

bi Shimon Bar-Yochai revealed to a small number of students the secrets of the mystical Zohar. In the Zohar, in its formulas, disciplines and spirituality, lie the secrets whose seed will bring about the coming of the Messiah. The Zohar’s living tradition has kept that hope alive down to this very day. On Lag B’Omer the plague stopped, the dream was delayed, but it was not destroyed. It was to be nurtured through the generations ― the stirrings of its realization enliven us today. Because Lag B’Omer deals with the secrets of the future Messianic Age, it cannot be discussed openly or understood as clearly as can

With them died the Messianic hope of that era and for thousands of years to come.

about the Messianic Age, for the fall of the curtain on Jewish independence, Jewish hopes and Jewish Messianic ambitions. Every anti-Semitic outbreak for which Jews suffered since that day, every pogrom, massacre, crusade, Holocaust, and banishment that took the toll of so many millions during the two thousand year long and bitter night of exile, wandering and persecution, must be traced directly to the failure of Bar Kochba ― but ultimately to the failure of the students of Rabbi Akiva. This was a tragedy of inestimable proportions to a war-ravaged world suffering under the bitter yoke of Rome as well as to the Jewish people. Rome did not fall at that time, but its fury and rage led to the exile and dismemberment of the Jewish people. Yet, on that very Lag B’Omer day two thousand years ago, a new hidden light of hope emerged. In the midst of defeat, the great sage, Rab-

the Exodus or other events of the past. Whenever we stand between Passover and Shavuot – between our physical liberation from Egypt and our spiritual elevation during the Revelation at Sinai – we recall those chilling events. For today we are also able to celebrate the liberation of Jerusalem and the site of our destroyed Temple. History is bringing together so many crucial events ― the history of our ancient past is once again coming alive in the land of our fathers. There are frightening parallels between our own age and the age of Rabbi Akiva and Bar Kochba. Following a frightful Holocaust which many believed would spell the end of the Jewish people, we experienced a restoration of Jewish independence ― once more did a Jewish army score miraculous victories against overwhelming odds. Following the destruction of the great European centers of Torah scholarship, we wit-

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nessed the rebuilding of yeshivot in America and in Israel. We experienced a great revival of Torah study. The teshuva movement has brought about a return to Torah for so many who strayed. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are in our hands. All around us world empires are tottering while despair and corruption rages. Once again, the Jewish people has been entrusted with a great and frightful opportunity. Once again we have been given the potential to recreate a Jewish civilization of Torah greatness in our own land. Will we succeed or will our efforts be aborted because of our own failures, our own inability to respect the differences within the Torah community and unite the Jewish people to our cause? The personality of Rabbi Akiva itself offers frightful lessons and opportunities. It was Rabbi Akiva who understood that “love your fellow as you love yourself” is the over-riding principle which the Torah people must internalize if it is to achieve its goals. Rabbi Akiva, too, is the quintessential ba’al teshuva ― it was he who was forty years old and was unable to distinguish between an aleph and a bet, it was he who rose to be Jewry’s greatest Torah scholar. Hundreds of thousands of Jews – Americans, Israelis, and Russians – are today’s potential Rabbi Akivas. The fate of Jewry and the achievement of Heaven’s greatest goals are in the hands of this generation. Will we attempt to achieve them or will we withdraw into our own selfish cocoons by refusing to shoulder the responsibilities which history and history’s G-d has set before us? It is not enough to wait for the Messiah’s coming; we must toil to perfect our Torah lives if we are to bring about his speedy arrival. Only if we learn from the lesson of Rabbi Akiva’s students will we understand that the coming of the Messiah depends on us. Reprinted with permission of the Orthodox Union,

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Meron The Magic and the Mystique By Malky Lowinger


y the end of this week, hundreds of thousands of Jews will have made the pilgrimage to Meron, the burial site of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai. Most will be coming by bus, climbing the mountain, joining in the celebration, davening for yeshuos, and eventually returning to their homes uplifted and inspired. Meron is considered one of the holiest sites in Eretz Yisroel and one of its most popular tourist destinations. But what’s the story behind this majestic mountain? And why is everybody coming here? A tour guide and a local resident give us some insight to this most inspiring and extraordinary area.


Meron is located in Northern Israel, just a few

miles opposite of Tzfas. The actual burial site (tziyon) of Rashbi is located near the foot of a double peaked mountain, which is called Mt. Meron/Bar Yochai by the Jews and Mount Jermaq by the Arabs. Standing at 1208 meters (3,963 feet) in elevation, Meron was the tallest mountain in Israel before the 1967 War, and today it’s the second tallest. While most tourists only visit the kever of Rabbi Shimon, those in the know enjoy the lovely hiking trails which are located further up the mountain. Until the 1920s there was no proper road leading to Meron, and visitors would have to hike the path from Tzfas through Wadi Amud in order to get there. Then, a wealthy American tourist, Reb Yisroel Konigsberg, vis-

ited the area with his sons and decided to sponsor the building of a road which paved the way for vehicular traffic to ascend the mountain to the tziyon. These days, tourists typically travel to Meron from Jerusalem, a trip that takes three to four hours. During the summer, the air on the mountain is crisp and clear. During the winter, the land is often covered with clean white snow. Even during a heat wave, the area generally cools off comfortably in the evening hours.


According to Sefer Ta’amei Haminhagim, it was originally the students of Rabbi Shimon themselves who visited the site often, following his instructions. But it wasn’t until the year 1210 that Rab-

bi Shmuel bar Shimshon first documented his visit there. “I found the beis medrash of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai,” he writes. “It is square and inside is the tzion of Rabbi Shimon and his son Elazar. Upon it are two trees and it is a beautiful place.” In 1522, Rabbi Moshe Basolo visited Meron and wrote, “On Tu B’Iyar, Pesach Sheini, great caravans of people gather at Meron. There were more than one hundred people there, many coming from Damascus with their wives and children.” According to the Shelah Hakodosh, gedolei Yisroel came to Meron to daven. “At the grave of Rashbi,” he wrote, “they study the Zohar with awe and trembling and great deveikus, for miracles took place there. “ It was the Ari z”l who

popularized the custom of mass pilgrimage to the site. According to his talmid, Rav Chaim Vital, he came there to learn and to “fulfill the ancient custom” of the chalakah, the cutting of the hair of a three-year-old boy. As time went on, many others would join the mekubalim from Tzfas at the tziyon on Lag B’omer. Rav Ovadia MiBartenura mentions the lighting of torches at the site on Lag B’omer, and adds that “many barren women were remembered and many sick people were cured with a neder and a nedava to the place.” Until the sixteenth century, the tziyon was located in an open field. But then a stone structure was built to house the holy site. The building served as a beis medrash for those who came to

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The ancient shul near Meron

learn Torah and kabbalah, and it was a popular place for talmidei chachomim to begin writing their seforim. According to Chaim, a tour guide with Artzeinu, the building we see today is not the real burial site. “The bodies,” he says, “are actually buried in a cave several meters below the building. The entrance to the cave collapsed in an earthquake some time ago and in the present room there are only the markers above the caves.” Burial in caves was common in ancient times. In 1836 a group of Jews started a settlement on top of the mountain but in 1837 it was wiped out in a massive earthquake.


While the tziyon of Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar are the most famous holy sites in Meron, there are certainly others. A staircase located to the left of the building housing Rabbi Shimon’s tziyon leads down a hill to the burial cave of Hillel Hazaken and his students. Further down the same path is the tziyon of Shammai Hazkon. And nearby are the kevorim of Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar and Rav Yossi ben Kisma. The tziyon of Rav Ada Sava and (according to some authorities) Rav Yeibo Sava, both Talmudic sages, are also located in the

immediate area. Visitors come to Meron all year long, but certain dates (aside from Lag B’omer) have special significance. Many travel to the area on Zayin Adar, Moshe Rabbeinu’s yahrtzeit. It is also a popular destination on the yahrtzeit of Rab-

as a landmark by the Antiquities Authority.


About 150 families currently live in the village of Meron, which was established in 1949 by religious soldiers after the War of Independence. It’s a diverse

state New York, currently lives there with her family. She says she came here because Rabbi Scheinberger encouraged his followers to move to this area, as it is filled with kedusha. Did she ever experience open miracles here? “Our whole lives,” she says, “are like miracles.”

According to Chaim the tour guide, there’s an old joke circulating among the locals that people even rent out their bathtubs for tourists to sleep in!

bi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, on the twenty fifth day of Elul. As Rashi is a descendant of Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar, some have a custom of visiting the area on the 27 th of Tamuz, the yahrtzeit of Rashi. The ruins of an ancient synagogue which was built about 2,000 years ago are also found on the mountain, but that structure was severely damaged and destroyed by earthquakes. What remains is an entranceway, with three doors and a supporting wall. The shul, which is said to have served the Jews of the ancient Tekoa, is called Churbat Shema and is preserved

community, ranging from dati to secular. Nearby are two yishuvim. Ohr HaGanuz is largely inhabited by American chassidim of Rabbi Mordechai Scheinberger, a prominent teacher of kabbalah in the Old City of Yerushalayim. The other settlement is a dati leumi yishuv called Bar Yochai. Many residents of the area rent out tzimmerin (guest rooms) to visiting tourists. There aren’t too many English speakers in the community of Meron, but in Ohr HaGanuz there are plenty. The Moshav was founded in 1989 and currently is the home to about 75 families. Yochi, who grew up in up-

The community lives a very simple lifestyle. “We are in the middle of the woods,” Yochi explains. “Think cows, chickens and goats. It’s a slower way of life, peaceful and quiet. At eight or nine o’clock at night, you won’t see anyone outdoors anymore. At four o’clock in the morning, the men are already going to the mikvah or to shul.” Ohr HaGanuz is about 30-45 minutes walking distance from Meron, so Yochi runs a guesthouse for visiting tourists. What happens when the world descends upon their quiet little community on Lag B’omer? She and many of her neighbors

rent out their own homes as a source of parnassah. And where do they go? Yochi’s family stays at the preschool where she teaches, but others simply choose to pitch tents for the night. Hosting visitors is a chief source of income in this area, it seems. According to Chaim the tour guide, there’s an old joke circulating among the locals that people even rent out their bathtubs for tourists to sleep in!


There’s an abundance of nature trails in the area, the most popular being Nachal Amud which connects Meron to Tzfas. A typical family-style hike at a leisurely pace lasts about three hours, and most of it is in the shade. The hike features lush vegetation, breathtaking cliffs, canyons, waterfalls, rock formations and natural pools.


Stories abound of those who have experienced yeshuos after davening at Rashbi’s kever. Says Chaim, “It’s that kind of place. Many times people share with us that they davened for a yeshuah and were answered. We’ve had people coming here davening for shidduchim, refuos, children, easy childbirth, etc.” Chaim is grateful to have

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the zechus of visiting the area often with his tourists, but still prefers to come when it’s not crowded so he can feel the kedusha in the air and have the time “to think, to meditate, and to daven – to really talk to G-d!” The most famous of all the miracles of Meron occurred back in the 1920s and is recorded in Sefer Ta’amei Minhagim. There are some variations to the story, but here’s what happened according to Chaim: “A widow brought her only son on Lag B’omer for his upsherin. The child had her husband’s name as he was born soon after his father had died. There was a large crowd in the room by the cave markers. She was holding her child by the hand, but when the crowd suddenly surged forward, the mother lost

her grip and the child disappeared. She began to scream hysterically and the crowd broke up, revealing the child laying motionless on the floor. “A British doctor was assigned to the area and he examined the motionless body.

Several tense moments passed until he finally shook his head sadly. The woman fell upon the body of her son, looked up to shamayim and shouted bitterly, protesting her loss. “A mekubal who had been studying nearby saw all

this happening. He walked over to the body and shouted for everyone to leave the building. As they were leaving, he picked up the child and placed him upon the grave marker of Rabbi Shimon. Then he too left and closed the doors behind him.

The rabbi silently prayed and several minutes later, the sounds of a crying child were heard from the room. Upon opening the doors, there was the child standing on the marker – fully alive!” Close to a century later, that story is still being told as thousands upon thousands continue to make the pilgrimage to Meron on Lag B’omer. And while Egged management and Israeli police have worked tirelessly to simplify and expedite the experience, it’s still quite an exhausting and time-consuming trip. Yet the thousands who gather there each year are undeterred. Young and old, men and women, religious and secular, they all want to feel the holiness. And everyone wants to experience their own special miracle.

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Dating Dialogue

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

Yossie and I got engaged about a month ago. We are supposed to get married in a few months. We come from backgrounds where we are discouraged from speaking to one another more than once a week (if that’s even necessary) and also from even texting one another. Suddenly, this person who I was starting to feel very close to and connected with is beginning to feel like a stranger to me. A week is a long time to go by without me seeing or speaking to him. Maybe because we didn’t date all that long, his very being was not imprinted in my psyche, if that makes any sense. And so I’m finding him very forgettable right now.

Dear Navidaters,

As time goes on, I’m not even sure why I’m marrying Yossie. I can’t seem to remember what was so special about him or what made me think he was my “bashert.” When we infrequently speak now or see each other, he seems like a stranger to me. I suddenly feel no affection for him and am scared out of my mind that I’ll be miserable once we get married. I’m afraid to discuss this with my parents. They are so overjoyed to see me engaged and so pleased with the shidduch, that I don’t want to disappoint them. My friends are all giddy with joy for me that I can’t bring myself to talk about my feelings with any of them. I feel like a fraud, walking around and pretending that I’m happy. I’m so not happy! I’m miserable, scared and can’t believe I’m in this situation. I just want it all to end. I want to be a carefree 19-year-old again, uncommitted, with a promising, exciting future ahead of me. I’m feeling stuck and hopeless. I don’t know who Yossie is anymore. What can I do? The feedback from our readers has been remarkable. In order to facilitate further discussion, you can now continue the conversation anonymously on our website. Every Sunday, we will upload the weekend’s most recent edition of What Would You Do If to the dating forum at Join The Navidaters and your fellow TJH readers in a comprehensive dialogue with regard to dating, relationships and marriage. The forum will be moderated daily for everyone’s comfort and safety. See you there! Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise offer resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, but to 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. ou have a voice, young lady. Use it. Be open. Talk to your chosson Yossie, and tell him that you are feeling that you need to spend more time together. And use it to have serious conversations as well as fun times. It should not be focused on choosing a china pattern. Communicate, don’t text. All rules have exceptions. If you need it, do something about it. Don’t get caught up in spiraling doubt. You may want to reach out to his spiritual mentor to tell him what you need and to ask him to encourage Yossie to join you in the Shalom Task Force Workshop, a series for couples focused on communication. You may need this time to also explore whether he is a good fit for you with premarital counselling for the two of you. Get the rabbi/rosh yeshiva/mashpia on board with this as well. Whatever you and Yossie decide to do about the situation, you don’t have to broadcast it to all and your sundry friends. Family and community norms are just that; they are not one-size-fits-all. Your parents need to be apprised of your needs. Include them. Go for help and see how it goes. Perhaps you may have commit-


ted too soon. Explore your relationship and the fit fully with help and see what happens. It’s about your life, not about your parents’ pleasure and your excitement. It’s growing up time. Doing the work will get you to a happy and secure place with Yossie – or with someone else.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A.


elcome to Marriage 101, yeshiva-style. His mother checks out her references. Her mother looks into him. The parents agree it’s a good shidduch. They go out a prescribed number of times in controlled settings – lounges, botanical gardens, restaurants. The next thing you know, it’s a mazal tov! Except for one problem. The kallah is miserable and unhappy. Is your “misery and unhappiness” due to stranger anxiety – who is Yossie and why are we getting married? In that case, you need more dating and face time with Yossie; undoubtedly that can be arranged (after clearance with the mashgiach or whoever sets these standards). Is your “misery and unhappiness” due to

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


s a therapist and relationship coach I have worked with young women in your shoes. Anxiety and experiencing worrisome thoughts about their betrothed; upset by the lack of contact and communication, they begin to wonder if they should call off the relationship.

Without a glaringly obvious “red flag” (something off or unhealthy about the guy or the relationship), the first thing we do in therapy is contextualize and normalize these

kallah-cold feet syndrome, where being single and free is more enticing than the dreamiest trousseau? In that case, you have many resources to explore the basis and validity of your anxiety (a trusted rav, kallah teacher or pre-marital counselor). In any case, Mother’s #1 rule: Approach your parents. Never be afraid of discussing your fears and feelings with them. Sure, they want to see you engaged. But, trust me, more than anything, they want to see you happy.

I feel like a fraud, walking around and pretending that I’m happy. begin to see Yossie more often, then it’s time to evaluate your feelings and the entire situation.

The Single The Dating Mentor

Irit Moshe


efore you jump to any conclusions, you both have to speak to the rav who made this “takana” and explain that you need to see Yossie more than once a week. This is definitely not unusual. Many of my kallahs have had similar experiences to yours. No doubt the rav will understand that you two need to go out more frequently so that you have the opportunity to refresh your relationship and ultimately assess the situation. For now, you may be feeling this way because the lack of contact can definitely feel not normal. However, if you continue to feel this way even after you

think you do know what to do but you are afraid to go out of your community norm, which you feel will disappoint your parents, but at whose expense? Yours. His. And, yours, collective. Speak up, my dear! If you want to be in this relationship, then speak to him about what you need and want from him. This is your relationship and your life, my dear, and if you don’t say something then it is only you to blame for your fear by hiding your thoughts and feeling, and your failure to fulfill your needs and wants. Consider this your first act of adulthood, which should be the case before marriage anyways. You will need to speak up and talk about your needs, wants and thoughts while married so that your future husband and life can be one you’ll enjoy and be satisfied. You might as well start now.

feelings. While some people are comforted by the rules of shidduchim and engagement, other people find these rules cumbersome and experience anxiety, depression or an urge to “run for the hills” as a result of seeing their soon-to-be husband once a week and having no contact otherwise. Some, like yourself, may begin to wonder if dating and getting engaged was all a big mistake. Maybe they would rather enjoy their inde-

pendence and be a carefree 19-yearold for a bit longer and put marriage on the backburner. So, for what it’s worth, all the thoughts, the doubts, the anxiety, the misery, the wanting more time with Yossie, and then feeling as though he is a stranger ... I’ve seen it a dozen or so times and I can tell you that you are perfectly normal, feeling perfectly normal and even somewhat predictable feelings. At this point, you don’t know what you want or what you need and it’s all confusing and weighing on you heav-

Rochel Chafetz Educator/Mentor


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ily. You are wondering if you should throw in the towel and walk away altogether. On the other hand, you remember a time when you felt affection toward Yossie and a connection. You want more of that … or maybe you wanted more of that. How much of this is about your feelings for Yossie and how much is a reflection of a dating and engagement process that doesn’t seem to take into account your innate need for contact? It’s all so unclear now. This is probably the biggest decision of your life to date, or one of them anyway. We human beings generally do not make the wisest decisions when we are mired in anxiety. If I can offer a bit of advice, it would be to somehow slow down your own internal tumult so you can make the best decision for yourself. Perhaps the intensity of your feelings is a reflection of how fast all of this is happening and that until this point, you haven’t had a voice or you haven’t been able to use your voice. I want you to start feeling empowered here. You

are not a lamb walking to the slaughter, rather you are a strong young woman who is going to take charge of her future. You aren’t going to make this decision from a place of fear and uncertainty. You are going to start using your voice; as the panel unanimously suggested and wisely so, I think it is time to tap into your internal strength and speak to Yossie and your parents. Tell everyone what you need. When our needs get bottled up they have a way of infiltrating our thoughts, and we have a tendency to obsess over them or feel ruled by them. I am hoping that after you share what you have been feeling, some of your feelings may ease up a bit and you will then be better positioned to make this decision. Start thinking about what you want. Start thinking about how you want this time in your life to look. Where is your comfort level? Would you like to see Yossie three times a week, every day of the week? Do you want to talk to him morning, noon and night? I don’t care what rules

Is your “misery and unhappiness” due to kallah-cold feet syndrome, where being single and free is more enticing than the dreamiest trousseau? you would be breaking – right now I want you to get to know what it is that you want so that you can communicate that with your parents and Yossie. In order to be in a relationship with another person, we have to be comfortable in the relationship we have with ourselves. How do you feel about giving Yossie the opportunity to really know you? After all, the guy has been left in the dark, just going along with the program. On the same note,

you don’t really know how he is feeling now. It’s possible that he is content, but it is also possible that he has some of the same feelings you have. So … get talking. Once the rules of the relationship are changed to suit your needs, you can reevaluate. Am I happy? Is Yossie the one for me? Am I ready to get married? What do I want? If any of this feels like too much to do alone, speak to a therapist to help get the ball rolling. Good luck! Sincerely, Jennifer

Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed, clinical psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up an appointment, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Health & F tness

Finding Healthy Alternatives to White Flour By Aliza Beer MS, RD


istorically, white flour has been a big part of our lives, from bagels to pretzels to sandwiches and, of course, cookies. In recent years we have become better educated as to the downside of white flour, in addition to the explosion of people diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Why is white flour so bad? Refined white flour has very few natural vitamins and minerals. The good-for-you qualities of the whole grain have been stripped away, but even worse, bad-for-you things have been added, such as preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Even enriched white flour doesn’t contain all the healthy components of wholegrain flours and is metabolized quickly by the body, rather than slowly and effectively. There are three big differences between white flour and whole wheat flour: 1. Fiber Content: One of the big differences between whole wheat and white flour is the food’s fiber content. Dietary fiber has a number of health benefits; it prevents constipation, lowers blood cholesterol, and

keeps you feeling fuller. 2. Effect on Blood Sugar: Any carbohydrate containing food will have some effect on blood sugar. After you eat a meal, the body breaks down the carbohydrates from the food into glucose, a simple sugar. The glucose then enters the bloodstream so it can circulate throughout the body and provide fuel to the cells. The faster your blood sugar spikes, the faster it inevitably crashes, leaving you hungry and irritable shortly after eating. Glucose from bread made out of whole wheat flour gets broken down and absorbed more slowly than from white flour. Regulating your blood sugar will help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent diabetes. 3. Vitamin Content: Whole wheat flour contains several vitamins, including folate, riboflavin, and vitamins B1, B3, and B5. The processing involved in making white flour destroys the grains’ vitamin content. To combat this, some food manufacturers enrich their white flour with vitamins. Check the nutrition label on the bag

of flour to determine if it has the added vitamins. There are a number of healthier alternatives to white flour that are gluten free as well. • Brown Rice Flour: Has a slightly nutty flavor, and works better when combined with some other flours like teff, buckwheat, or sorghum. Its good to use this to thicken soups. Many gluten free pastas are made from brown rice flour. • Coconut Flour: One of my favorites! This type of flour is high in fiber, low in carb, and a good source of protein. Recipes will need more liquid when using coconut flour, but will require less sugar or sweetener, because coconut has a natural sweetness to it. • Amaranth Flour: This flour is protein rich and has high quantities of amino acids lysine and methionine. It also has twice the amount of calcium as cow’s milk. • Almond Flour: It contains more than 3x the amount of fat than in coconut flour. It is also high in Omega-6 fats, which can be inflammatory in large amounts. When baking with almond flour keep in mind

that many people are allergic to nuts. • Quinoa Flour: It is one of the most nutritious flours, but should not be used alone in recipes. It is a good source of protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B6. Quinoa is most famous for being one of the only plant foods that supplies complete proteins, offering all essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Fortunately, there is a plethora of healthy alternative options to white flour. It may take time, however, and some experimentation to find the right flour, or combination of flours for your recipes and lifestyle. One thing is perfectly clear, and that is, there is no longer room in our pantries and shelves for white flour. It should not be offered in our schools or camps, and must be replaced with only whole wheat or whole grain options.

Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz show. Aliza can be reached at

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Fitting Everyone In Raising Healthy Siblings when a Child is Ill PHOTO CREDIT: URI ARNSON

By Cheryl Book, Ph.D.

With some help from parents, brothers and sisters of seriously ill children can thrive through childhood and young adulthood


hen a child is born or diagnosed with a serious illness, brothers and sisters are bound to be impacted. Why do some exhibit signs of stress or depression while others seem to thrive? Siblings living alongside a child with a chronic illness will experience a jumble of positive and negative reactions. They can feel love and a combination of resentment, embarrassment, guilt, sorrow or fear simultaneously. Without the skills to understand and cope, a child’s self-esteem can suffer. Anger and guilt can turn inward, leading to a sense of shame or worthlessness. Depression, anxiety or somatic symptoms can arise. Research has shown that siblings who receive emotional support and assistance from parents and other caring adults can become stronger, more resilient, more compassionate and tolerant. Anecdotal evidence seems to support the notion that many brothers and sisters choose careers in the helping professions, in-

cluding medicine, mental health, and social work, as a result of their experiences. Strategies for helping children understand and grow despite adversity include: • Communicating. Let siblings know what is happening and underscore that another’s illness is not their fault. Let them know that their wellbeing matters, as well. Talk to your children. Ask how they are doing. Validate the reality that they feel: it’s hard for them to be a brother or sister. Seeing a sibling in pain, feeling that they can’t have friends over because of another’s medical challenges, even feeling embarrassed or angry are all normal responses. The more you communicate your empathy and acceptance, the easier it will be for healthy siblings. • Empowering. If your healthy children express an interest in being involved with a child’s medical care, allow them to help. The assistance can be as simple, like helping a sibling

down the stairs or reading to a brother or sister before bedtime, or as complex as the child’s age, maturity, and interests allow. • Spending time with the ill child’s siblings. Even parents who move into the hospital with sick children can spend a few minutes speaking on the phone or Skyping with children at home. Never let a day go by without all your children feeling like they had your complete attention even for a few minutes. • Talking to your children’s schools. When it comes to pediatric illness, many parents want to maintain as high a level of privacy as possible. However, siblings do better when teachers know that all is not okay at home. They can look for red flags that signal distress and hopefully intervene before small issues become major challenges. • Understanding normal adolescent behavior. The teenage years are a time of individuation, and some rebellion is normal. Be on the

lookout for extremes of both positive and negative behaviors, disordered eating patterns, and even discarding being a teenager in favor of becoming an adult too soon. It’s normal for children in large families to pitch in and help. It’s not normal for them to disregard schoolwork or express that “I’m the mommy now” or “I’m the father.” Behavior that is too good may be a result of the child’s temperament or a sign that they are suffering. • Giving your children options for sharing. They may not want to tell a parent everything, or you may not be physically available. But it’s important that every child and teen have someone – a relative, family friend or “Big Brother/Sister” –with whom they can confide.

Dr. Cheryl Book is director of family and clinical services at Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network. For more information on this topic, contact her at


The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

In The K



Beer Battered Fish By Naomi Nachman

With Shavuot getting closer, I have been testing out new fish and dairy recipes for the holiday. I also have been going through my older recipes and giving them a new spin. Every year for Shavuot I used to make fried flounder. My Aussie mother suggested that I might try making a fried fish with a beer batter – a real Australian twist indeed. (We Aussies love to put beer in everything!) The result was a crispy, fluffy fish dish that has a bit of Australian flavor that my mates really enjoyed. I served French fries as a side dish with the fish and dipping sauce. Ingredients 1½ cups of flour 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 large eggs 1 (12-oz) bottle of beer, room temperature Canola oil 1-½ lbs of flounder

Preparation Sift 1 cup of flour into a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Whisk in the eggs. Slowly add the beer, whisking after each addition. Allow the batter to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat 3 inches of oil in a large pot, skillet or deep fryer to 360-375° Fahrenheit Dredge the fish in the remaining flour shaking off excess. Then coat the fish in the batter. Add the fish to the oil and fry until golden brown about 3-4 minutes

Tartar Sauce Ingredients 4 TBS mayonnaise 2 TBS sweet relish 2 TBS Dijon mustard 2 tsp white wine or apple cider vinegar

Preparation Mix ingredients in a bowl and set aside to serve with the fish. 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, www.theaussiegourmet. com or at (516) 295-9669.


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

A Fulfilled L fe

Learning Lessons from the Garden By Rabbi Naphtali Hoff


My time outside gives me much opportunity to think and reflect. As an educator, a few ideas come readily to mind. The first relates to the eighth identified intelligence from Howard Gardener’s famous list: naturalist intelligence. Understood in its most literal terms, a naturalist is someone who shows expertise in

pringtime is in full bloom and for many of us that means a reunification with our gardens. If you enjoy working in the outdoors as much as I do, you will likely spend an inordinate amount of time around your home doing everything from planting colorful blooms to weeding and maintaining your plush lawn.

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the recognition and classification of plants and animals. From an educational vantage point it describes a child who possesses naturalist inclinations while sharing many traits of kinesthetic learners. These children flourish from being able to touch, feel, hold, and try practical hands-on experiences, but generally prefer to do so outdoors, surrounded by nature and animals. As with some other forms of intelligence (musical and intrapersonal are two that come quickly to mind) the naturalist learner is at a decided disadvantage in the conventional classroom. Little instructional time is used to connect children to the great outdoors, particularly in schools that are located in colder climates and/or the inner city. Part of that is logistical, as not every school is positioned to promote outdoor learning. Part of this may be attitudinal, as if learning was meant to occur exclusively in a sterile classroom. Regardless, it’s a shame that more of our children do not receive the opportunity to engage more with nature, particularly with a directed learning focus. While in elementary school I was enrolled for three years in an “alternative” learning program. We performed fewer academic activities than our peers and spent more time engaged in vocational ones. Our class baked, dyed wool, did woodwork, and spent many hours in the park, playing, learning, and digging up worms under clumps of earth. Whether or not these experiences helped me in the classroom, I recall them fondly

and have utilized many of the skills that I developed during these years long beyond my time in the program. Teachers who are not inclined to spend meaningful time outside can still help their naturalist students thrive. Some instructional strategies for the naturalist intelligence include having students collect data, observe nature, categorize objects, classify information, care for pets, and study books about nature. Another idea that came to me while laboring outside is metaphorical. Different aspects of the gardening experience conjure up key aspects of child growth and development. Not every bulb shines immediately. There is little that excites the home gardener more than watching daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers emerge from the ground following a long, cold winter. Of course, in order for bulbs to bloom in April they must be planted properly the previous fall (at least for year one). Bulbs teach us the benefit of an early sow and of abundant patience. For a child to emerge as an accomplished learner, we must take the necessary steps to help her achieve success. We must lay the foundation and plant early. We have to know that we will not always see the results of our efforts right away; oftentimes, the fruits of our labor will not be discernable for many months (if not years). Still, in order to reap the beauty of a spring bloom, we must be willing to make the initial effort and then stand back and watch the children blossom.

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Weed out the roots. Perhaps the least enjoyable part of gardening is weeding. Weeds are unpleasant to look out and crash our “garden party” by showing up without invitation

similar. Poor student performance or disruptive conduct may take the form of an external issue, such as meanness, lack of discipline, and poor concentration. Most often, there is some-

Even students who seem to prefer the shade and keep themselves distant still want to know that someone cares about them and is available when needed.

and spreading their unsightly wings wherever they can. The only way to rid your garden of weeds (chemicals notwithstanding) is to rip them out from the root up. A surface cut may help for the short term, but the weeds will return so long as their root structure remains intact. As teachers, we oftentimes experience something

thing deeper that is affecting student achievement and conduct, including unengaging instruction, trouble at home, or low emotional intelligence. In order for us to be successful with our struggling students, we need to be able to “root out” the source of the problem, either on our own or with the help of our colleagues and educa-

tional partners. Garden early and often. Gardening is not a one-and-done exercise. It requires continued oversight and care. Without such regular efforts, the wild nature of grass, shrubs and the like will quickly lead to your garden to take on the appearance of an unkempt, unsightly prairie. The connection to child raising should be plain enough. Our children require continued love, care and oversight. While they need to be given space to grow, they must also be kept from growing wild. Sometimes, this oversight feels unpleasant. Yet, we know that for children to achieve their growth potential they must be given guidelines and boundaries that will offer them the directed focus and discipline. Expose to sunlight. Sunlight is a necessary component for all vegetation, even for species that thrive in shade. Without ample exposure to the sun, plants cannot access the nourishment that they need to grow

and thrive. Metaphorically, sunlight symbolizes attention and love. Students need these ingredients in abundance if they are to reach their potential. Even students who seem to prefer the shade and keep themselves distant still want to know that someone cares about them and is available when needed. While there are certainly many other connections that link garden and classroom, I believe that this list, coupled with a newfound desire to meet the needs of our naturalist learners, can help us achieve maximal results for the balance of the school year and beyond. Happy gardening!

Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting ( He can be reached at 212.470.6139 or at

Please join us for an event of suPPort for our community Each day a minyan of ‫ תלמידי חכמים‬recite the entire ‫ ספר תהלים‬at the Kosel in Yerushalayim on behalf of us – the entire Far Rockaway and Five Towns Community. The Sulitze Tehillim Kollel was founded in the early 1970’s by the Sulitze Rebbe ‫ זצ"ל‬to address the many challenges that face our community, and has continued since then with it’s ‫ עבודת הקודש‬to support us with their daily tefillos. Therefore we ask you To please join The annual Tehillim kollel Brunch for ladies aT our home: 5 Boxood Lane Lawrence, NY 10:00 a.m. on Sunday Jun. 5 

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Studying Sm


The Uncommon Core By Chaim Homnick


n an era when academic theories and pedagogic methods abound, it can often seem like the impossible Triple Crown of the education field is getting teachers, parents and students on the same page about the best methods for educating students in the classroom. Thus the cohesive criticism of the Common Core from all three groups demonstrates just how poorly it has been received by many. Understanding why the Common Core Curriculum was pushed into the schools so quickly and why it has been so passionately criticized since are important steps in understanding how education and legislation intertwine in America and what ramifications that has for our education system moving forward.


The Common Core State Standards Initiative delineates the standards and expectations for math and English at the end of each grade from K-12. The goal is to create set standards and goals across states to ensure that by the time students graduate high school they are equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to attend college if

they choose to or to begin working.


The Common Core is an attempt to improve America’s education across the country. America is a global superpower on many fronts and in numerous industries. Nonetheless, global educational analyses often suggest that America is falling behind several Asian and European countries in terms of the education we provide for our children. In a comparison of 4th graders’ skill levels in different countries, America ranked 11th in math ability and 6th in reading. However, other studies have claimed that America’s reading abilities may rank closer to 20th in the world. As a result of studies like these, the Common Core was launched by the National Governors Association and promoted as a solution. According to the Initiative itself, it would “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them…(also) the standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the

knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” The Common Core curriculum was adopted by 42 of 50 states and the content of the curriculum was released in 2010 with full implementation planned for the 20142015 school year. The Common Core was adopted that quickly because states were financially incentivized to do so.


The Common Core Initiative makes some lofty promises in its mission statement. In theory, having a high standard and pushing students to learn more and achieve more is a worthwhile ideal. Being able to standardize what is expected of students at each grade level creates heightened expectations and accountability which hopefully leads to improved performance by both schools and students.


The Common Core applies to math and English which are both critical subjects for students’ cogni-

tive abilities and long-term schooling and career success. Even within each school year, the Common Core is meant to keep teachers and students on track and focusing on the most critical content and skills.


The Common Core was also supposed to provide standardized, improved methods for teaching the math and English subject matter. The Common Core lists “Exemplar Texts” worth emphasizing in English class and it also provides unique methods for solving math problems. These are all theoretically valuable tools for teachers to utilize while ensuring that schools across the country are up to par and helping their students attain success at the next level.



If a massive global company wants to try a new product or service, they commission studies and run tests before rolling out the product. Yet inexplicably, time and time again, the government has launched new initiatives with minimal prior

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

feedback or testing. The Common Core was not an educational shift that has been in slow development, nor was it a grassroots social issue sure to be quickly accepted by all. Instead, it was implemented from the top down by businessmen and politicians with insufficient input from actual teachers and educators. As a result, when the methods and expectations for some grade levels were borderline nonsensical, the criticism was swift and harsh.


The most public criticisms of the Common Core have centered around its occasionally absurd teaching methods and expectations such as turning simple multiplication problems into a 6-step logical sequence or expecting 6-year-olds to write opinion essays. It seems so silly for an initiative that was being rolled out to 42 states to not have been better developed and tested

before going public.


Several states have already opted out of the Common Core due to the backlash it has received. However, within the Common Core Initiative there isn’t much wiggle room for states or schools to adapt aspects of the curriculum while keeping other components. There doesn’t even seem to be a clear system for the creators of the Common Core to make changes or corrections as issues arise! This has left teachers frustrated and several more state governments debating forfeiting the incentives and cutting bail on the entire project.


Consider this: the development of the Common Core was a joint effort between the Governors Association, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a publishing company. That is 3 distinct groups with 3 distinct agendas of which

education probably places a distant fourth. It is no surprise that the biggest legacy of the Common Core has been how much money has switched hands as a result of an Initiative that hasn’t really proven it can fulfill even a single one of its promises.


asking Apple to write new Privacy Law legislation for America. Let’s hope the politicians move aside and let the teachers play a larger role so they can “Make American Education Great Again!”


Ultimately, the idea of a Common Core Curriculum is a worthwhile one. We can all agree that an initiative that improves the education American children receive on a national level while raising expectations and accountability is a valuable endeavor. The issue arises when businessmen are commissioned to play the role of educational consultants and the ensuing result is a mess of not age-appropriate math and English goals and impossibly byzantine math methods. Letting a publishing company play a key development role in a massive nationwide political initiative on education would be like

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 ( as well as Machane Miami Day Camp of Florida (machanemiami. com). He scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and the LSAT and tutors both extensively along with most Regents exams. He has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and an MBA. For questions, comments, previous articles or tutoring, he can be reached directly at chomnick@gmail. com or 305-321-3342.

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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

I read that a lock of Thomas Jefferson’s hair was just sold at a Texas auction for almost $7,000. The seller plans on using the money he got for Jefferson’s hair to buy one ticket to Hamilton. – Jimmy Fallon

Look where I am! Where are you? — Deanna Pilling of New York, who went to Utah State University to surprise her freshman daughter with a selfie from her dorm bed

Where’s that?? I’m in my dorm. Please tell me you’re not in someone else’s dorm. - McKenna Pilling, replying via a mortified text

Apparently four out of Donald Trump’s five airplanes are more than 20 years old, which they say is rare for most billionaires. I guess Trump doesn’t know you’re supposed to change planes every few years, and keep your wife forever. – Jimmy Fallon

Our data should not be used as an excuse to eat a lot more or to become overweight if you are not. -Borge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the University of Copenhagen, on a Danish study that shows obesity does not necessarily increase a person’s risk of dying younger

OMG - Deanna’s response

In a recent interview, “Shark Tank” host Mark Cuban predicted that if Donald Trump is elected, it would be bad news for Wall Street. And in related news, Donald Trump just got endorsed by Bernie Sanders. – Jimmy Fallon

Donald Trump announced today that if he wins the presidency, Chris Christie will lead his transition team and help put together the Trump administration. Because if there’s anything Christie knows how to do, it’s fill a cabinet. - Seth Myers

I’ve never been gainfully employed in my life. I don’t know what…I’m going to do. I’ve never cashed a paycheck in my entire life – you think I’m joking, I’m not. -Joe Biden remarking about his pending life after leaving office, at the National Urban League’s Legislative Policy Conference

I’m not eating Oreos anymore, you know that. But neither is Chris. You’re not eating Oreos anymore. No more Oreos. For either of us, Chris! Don’t feel bad! For either of us! - Trump at a fundraiser with Gov. Chris Christie, to return Christie’s campaign debt, when talking about Oreos moving their plant to Mexico


The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


I read that a new super-PAC is actually trying to convince Amish people to vote for Donald Trump. And those people were like, “We’re not Amish. We just got rid of our TVs so we could stop hearing about Donald Trump.” - Jimmy Fallon

Who are you? -Response of a Sydney train passenger when she was greeted on the train by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

I’m just doing a bit of conducting on the train. - Prime Minister Turnbull’s response to the awkward moment

There’s enough stories out there that I don’t think everybody is just sitting in their kitchen making them up. - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has vowed to open government files on UFOs, exciting a small but enthusiastic subset of voters

Happy Birthday to legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who turned 60 years old today! You can tell he’s getting older by his new name, Splenda Ray Leonard.

The New York Times just did a big profile on Donald Trump and revealed that he has life-sized portraits of Ronald Reagan and John Wayne at his campaign headquarters. And if you don’t see them right away, it’s because they’re right behind a 25-foot tall portrait of Donald Trump. - Jimmy Fallon

When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience? - Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, responding to a reporter’s question about the notorious waiting time for veterans seeking medical treatment

– Jimmy Fallon

Wendy’s has implemented its own invention. The company is set to debut computerized self-service kiosks in 6,000 of its restaurants this year…Now even the robots will be talking about the good old days. They’ll be like, “We used to take humans to the moon. Now we work at Wendy’s.” – James Corden

Over 400 passengers missed their flights at Chicago O’Hare on Sunday because of the TSA security lines which were up to three hours long. It’s bad news for travelers, but good news for dads who insisted on getting to the airport five hours early. – Jimmy Fallon

Megyn Kelly interviewed Donald Trump last night. The important thing is that wounds have been healed, which is good. It was difficult to watch Donald and her fight. It’s hard to watch a fight between two people with such similar hairstyles. – Jimmy Kimmel

CBS announced that season 33 of “Survivor” will be called “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X.” It’ll start in September and end 20 minutes later when both teams realize there’s no Wi-Fi. -Jimmy Fallon

So what? Democracy is messy. Every day my life is messy. - Bernie Sanders, talking about the possibility of a contested Democrat convention


The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The adhesive layer may be a very sticky material and operate in a manner similar to flypaper, or double-sided duct tape... The adhesion of the pedestrian to the vehicle may prevent the pedestrian from bouncing off. - From a new Google patent application for a material to be placed on the hood of their automated cars to prevent people from being dragged under the wheels if hit

Google has been testing self-driving cars and yesterday they filed a patent for a new safety feature called pedestrian glue. How it works is if the driverless car hits someone, it releases a glue-like coating so that the person will stick to the hood instead of bouncing off...So if one of these cars hits you, you will be spread-eagled, stuck to the hood as the car slowly rolls to a halt, because that was the problem with getting hit by a car before: It just wasn’t embarrassing enough. - James Corden

Trump economics is a recipe for lower wages, fewer jobs, more debt. He could bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies. I mean, ask yourself, how can anybody lose money running a casino? Really. - Hillary Clinton

For the third year in a row, Washington, D.C., was named the fittest city in American, mainly because Michelle Obama goes around slapping pizza out of everyone’s hands. - Jimmy Fallon

When the president of the free world stands and says, “Islam is a religion of peace,” he creates a climate to create more terrorism. - Mosab Haasan Yousef, the son of the West Bank Hamas leader (who renounced terrorism and helped thwart several terrorist attacks), speaking at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York

Drive Crazy Y’all. - The message posted on a Texas electronic road sign that Geoffrey Eltgroth, 26, hacked into, resulting in his arrest



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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown... Taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945 - Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet, positing that conservatives should be dealt with as the Nazis were, in a thesis claiming that liberals have won the culture battle

Even the Devil will speak the truth for his own purposes. Despite her promises to be tough on Wall Street, a new report has found that groups supporting Hillary Clinton have received $25 million from the financial industry using so-called shadow banks. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has received a new waffle iron for opening a savings account. - Seth Myers

- Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager on MSNBC when it was pointed out to him that Trump has adopted some of Bernie’s attack lines on Hillary

According to a new report, Spain’s federal debt is now greater than their gross domestic product. Spanish citizens are so upset, they could barely sleep all afternoon. - Seth Myers

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016





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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Conservatives’ Deal with the Devil By Michael Gerson


n the category of credit where credit is due, Donald Trump has been exactly right in one important respect. He attacked the Republican establishment as low-energy, cowering weaklings. Now Republican leaders are lining up to surrender to him – like low-energy, cowering weaklings. The capitulation has justified the accusation. It would be impolite to name names. So I should not mention that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who now angles for Trump’s vice presidential nod, once said: “He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.” I should resist the temptation to recall how Rep. Peter King of New York, who now (reluctantly) backs Trump, once asserted he is “not fit to be president, morally or intellectually.” Singling out individuals is unfair in so great a company. One by one, Republican senators have made their peace with a Trump nomination. Many in the House GOP leadership and caucus have urged Speaker Paul Ryan to get it over with and endorse the presumptive Republican nominee. It is humorous – in a sad, bitter, tragic sort of way – to see Republican leaders, and some conser-

vative commentators, try to forget or minimize Trump’s history of odious proposals and statements. The argument seems to be: “I say tomato. You say Mexican immigrants are thugs. What’s the big difference?” And all this has taken place without (apparently) securing any concessions or guarantees from Trump himself. He now knows that he can violate any Republican or conservative principle and still get a round of crisp salutes, even from his strongest opponents. This is the white flag of ideological surrender. I understand the short-term political calculation. Better to have Trump, who is ideologically unpredictable, make Supreme Court nominations than Hillary Clinton, who is reliably liberal. Better to have Trump rather than Clinton make all those plum executive branch appointments. Besides, if Trump is a liar, Clinton is a worse one. If Trump is a misogynist, well, consider Clinton’s husband. This justification has a few flaws. The first is reductio ad Trumpism. If Clinton is the ultimate evil, would anyone be better than she is? How about Trump’s ex-butler, who threatened President Obama on Facebook? How about Trump supporter Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty”? Of course not, a Republican would angrily respond. A prospective president needs to be morally and intellectually fit for the office. He or she can’t be guilty of demagoguery or mean-spiritedness, or talk nonsense

all the time. But this is exactly the issue. Were Perry and King correct in their initial diagnosis of Trump? If so, we are not dealing with the normal give-and-take of policy and politics. We have left the realm of half a loaf and you scratch my back. We are dealing with a question of fitness for the highest office in the land. It is not enough for GOP partisans to assert Trump’s superiority to Clinton on

Republicans are accused of religious bigotry; their nominee proposes to stop all Muslims at the border. Republicans are accused of a war on women; the Republican nominee, if a recent New York Times expose is accurate, is the caveman candidate. All this is a particular blow to conservatives, of which I count myself one. Conservatives latched on to the GOP as an instrument to express their ideals. Now loyalty to

He now knows that he can violate any Republican or conservative principle and still get a round of crisp salutes, even from his strongest opponents.

this issue or that. They must justify that Trump has the experience, knowledge, temperament, judgment and character to be president of the United States. That is a more difficult task. This leads to a second objection. Pursuing the short-term interests of the GOP, gained by unity, may actually damage or destroy the party in the longer term by confirming a series of destructive stereotypes. Republicans stand accused of disdaining immigrants; their nominee proposes to round up and deport 11 million people.

party is causing many to abandon their ideals. Conservatism is not misogyny. Conservatism is not nativism and protectionism. Conservatism is not religious bigotry and conspiracy theories. Conservatism is not anti-intellectual and anti-science. For the sake of partisanship – for a mess of pottage – some conservatives are surrendering their identity. It is a very bad deal.

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Donald, Hillary and the Bernie Factor By Charles Krauthammer


mong the abundant ironies of this election cycle, there is this: We are now in the eighth year of the most liberal administration since Lyndon Johnson’s. The primary elections reveal a national mood of anxiety, apprehension and anger, in turn reflecting stagnation at home and failure abroad. Twothirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. Yet after nearly two terms of Barack Obama’s corrosively unsuccessful liberalism – both parties have decisively moved left. Hillary Clinton cannot put away a heretofore marginal, self-declared socialist. He has forced her into leftward genuflections on everything from trade to national health care. At the same time, Bernie Sanders has created a remarkably resilient insurgency calling for – after Obama, mind you – a political revolution of the left. The Republicans’ ideological about-face is even more pronounced. They’ve chosen as their leader a nationalist populist who hardly bothers to pretend any allegiance to conservatism. Indeed, Donald Trump is, like Sanders, running to the left of Clinton on a host of major issues including

trade, Wall Street, NATO and interventionism. It turns out that the ultimate general election question is not where Cruz or Rubio or Kasich supporters are going – almost all seem to be making their tortuous way to Trump – but where do Bernie Sanders’ supporters go? Most will, of course, go to Hillary. Some will stay home. But Trump is making a not-so-subtle pitch to those Democrats and independents who gave Sanders his victories in the industrial Midwest. The Trump and Sanders constituencies share one stark characteristic: They are both overwhelmingly white. In the Rust Belt, the appeal is to middle- and working-class voters who have suffered economic and social dislocation. The question is whether Trump can win a sufficient number of those voters, erstwhile Reagan Democrats, to flip just a few states that, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, have gone Democratic for the last six elections. Which is why Clinton is treating Sanders so (relatively) gently. She wants to be rid of him but cannot alienate his constituency – especially after the ruckus made by his supporters at

the Nevada state convention and after his string of recent victories in West Virginia, Indiana and Oregon and the virtual draw in Kentucky. She needs him. Normally, endorsements don’t matter in American politics. But the Sanders constituency is substantial and very loyal. And rather angry now as they can see the Clinton machine winning the nomination through superdelegates. She needs his blessing and active support in the general election. If not carefully cultivated and appeased, say, on the party platform and/or vice presidential choice, Sanders could very well disappear after the Philadelphia convention and leave her to her own devices – which are much lacking, as demonstrated in her recent primary losses. She needs to keep his legions in the game through November. At the very least, she needs him to warn his followers away from a Trump temptation. That, after all, is Trump’s path to victory: Add a few industrial blue states to the traditional must-win swing states – Ohio and Florida, most obviously – and pull off an Electoral College win. The Clinton

counterstrategy is based on the global demographics. Trump’s unfavorable numbers are impressive: 79 percent among Hispanics, 73 percent among nonwhites, 72 percent among young people, 64 percent among women, 57 percent in the general population.

This time around, Trump reacted to the terror attack in San Bernardino with a nakedly nativist, shamelessly demagogic, yet politically shrewd call for (temporarily, allegedly) banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. Roundly denounced by Democrats

At the very least, she needs him to warn his followers away from a Trump temptation.

Which is the more compelling scenario? Right now, Clinton has the distinct advantage. Flipping reliably Democratic states, as well as lowering Trump’s high negatives, are both very difficult. But there’s one wild card: events – unforeseen, unforeseeable, yet near inevitable. We are highly unlikely to go the next six months without a significant crisis. In September 2008, the financial collapse cemented Obama’s victory when he, the novice, reacted far more calmly and steadily than did John McCain, the veteran.

and leading Republicans alike, Trump watched his poll numbers go through the roof. Turns out that GOP voters supported the ban, 2 to 1. A candidate with the tactical acuity to successfully deploy such breathtaking, bigotry-tinged cynicism is not to be trifled with. Under normal circumstances, Clinton wins. But if the fire alarm goes off between now and Election Day, all bets are off. Clinton had better be ready. Trump has shown that he will be. (c) 2016, The Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



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MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

Jews in the Civil War By Avi Heiligman


n most conflicts in the past 300 years, Jews have participated. Even in wars in the most far flung places there have been Jews serving as soldiers, advisors, doctors and nurses, in logistics, as spies and in the many other positions needed to fight a war. Fighting in the spirit of patriotism is a major factor for joining, and during the American Civil War about 10,000 joined the armed forces. Around 7,000 wore the blue of the Union military, and 3,000 donned the Confederate gray. There are few “big” names among the Jewish veterans but many other servicemen and women’s stories can be highlighted. Lewis Morrison was born Morris W. Morris in Jamaica in 1845 and moved to Louisiana at a young age. His family was of Jewish, African, Spanish and English origin and he was black. Before he got his start as a very famous stage actor, he joined the military. When he was just 16, the Civil War broke out and he felt the need to help his new country. There was an all-black regiment forming in Louisiana called

Sir Moses Ezekiel

Lewis Morrison

the 1st Louisiana Native Guards and he joined as an officer. The soldiers were all free blacks but the regiment was soon disbanded when the state banned blacks from serving. Many of the soldiers turned to the north to fight for the U.S., and Morris became the first Jewish black Union officer. Medicine in the mid-19th century was very primitive. Men with bullet wounds usually had shattered bones as well (the invention of the Minie ball, ammunition for a musket that crushed on impact, was a major factor). Many soldiers suffered from diseases like chicken pox, measles and dysentery, and there was no cure for them at the time. Sterilizing equipment was not standard practice while many men suffered from lack of hygiene (20% of the soldiers that were operated on during the war died post-surgery). That being said, no medical facility anywhere on the continent during the Civil War equaled the fame and notoriety of Chimborazo Hospital. It quickly emerged early in the war as one of the largest, best-organized, and most sophisti-

cated hospitals in the Confederacy. By the end of the war, over 76,000 patients had come through their doors. One of the division heads at the hospital was Phoebe Yates Levy Pember. Pember was born in 1823 to a rich Jewish family from Charleston, South Carolina. After her husband had died in 1861, she accepted an invitation to serve in Chimborazo Hospital. The army needed people to serve as nurses but since most men were needed to do the actual fighting, the Confederacy turned to women for volunteers. Many women declined, citing that it was too hazardous, and only the bravest joined to care for the wounded in their most critical times. It was an unusual job for a woman at a time when virtually all nursing was done by men. One of her contemporaries described her to have a “will of steel under a suave refinement.” Under the supervision of a senior medical officer and with the help of numerous assistants, she oversaw nursing operations in the second of the hospital’s five divisions and attended to the house-

keeping, dietary needs and comfort of over fifteen thousand men. As the first female administrator appointed to Chimborazo, Pember offered the warmth that wounded soldiers needed. She published her memoirs in 1879 under the title of A Southern Woman’s Story. Another Jewish Confederate who broke barriers was world renowned sculptor Moses Ezekiel. Born in Richmond, he became the first Jewish cadet at the Virginia Military Academy. His class of 1866 took part in the May 1864 Battle of New Market. They marched 80 miles and joined a makeshift army that despite many casualties forced Union troops out of the Shenandoah Valley. After the battle, he found his friend, Thomas Garland Jefferson, mortally wounded. Along with another cadet they took him to a nearby family and stayed with him until the grandson of the third president died two days later. The cadets had a 23% casualty rate but he was able to return to the institute to continue studying. While Richmond was being attacked, Ezekiel, along with other cadets, took part in the

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

defense of the Confederate capital. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery at the foot of the Confederate Memorial that he sculpted. The inscription on his grave reads: “Moses J. Ezekiel Sergeant of Company C Battalion of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute.” Prior to the Civil War, medals weren’t given out for bravery on the battlefield. Over 1,500 Medal of Honors were issued during the Civil War after President Lincoln signed the bill that was made into legislation in early 1862. The guidelines for the honor were very loose. Seven (the number varies depending on sources) Jewish servicemen received the medal for gallantry in action. Private Benjamin Levy served

The gravesite of Moses Ezekiel

Phoebe Pember memorialized on a stamp

as a drummer boy in the 1st New York Infantry during the Battle of Glendale on June 30, 1862. After his drum was destroyed, he took the weapon of his tent mate who was unable to fight due to illness. He saw the color bearer go down

and picked up the flag to join the charge. Levy was later wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. He was awarded for his actions that day, becoming one of the youngest Medal of Honor recipients at the age of just 17.


Heroes come in many different shapes and sizes. These heroes were from very different types of backgrounds and yet they were all Jewish. The generic war hero that the movies have depicted is a “manly” man who was born to fight. Artisans, women, immigrants and 16-year-olds (Levy was 16 when he joined the army) aren’t in this category but still are heroes that the pages of history have left as footnotes.

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home



The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth By Rocky Zweig


ave you ever read a story in the newspaper where there’s a fire in a home or a car and someone is killed r”l and the newspaper states that the body was “burned beyond recognition”? The next sentence usually goes something like this: “Officials were able to identify the remains through the use of dental records.” Well, I have to tell you: I’ve never understood that. Who has dental records? Do you? I mean, seriously. Who goes to one dentist all his life? If someone wanted my dental records, I don’t even know where they would start looking. As a kid, I went to one guy, and as an adult, I’ve probably been to like two dozen. So far. Because I have very specific criteria: 1. Cheap. 2. Excellent. 3. Nitrous oxide. (Not necessarily in that order). Cheap and lousy rule the landscape. Expensive and excellent are around too, but who cares? And, in my experience, fewer and fewer tooth wranglers have been offering the Magic Gas of late, much to my chagrin. Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas,” but that moniker is not meant to be taken literally. I, however, am one of the exceptions. I sit in the chair and

giggle. Oh, and I sing, too. I giggle and I sing (inexplicably, “Yellow Submarine” seems to be a favorite) while the guy and his sidekick stuff my cheeks with cotton till I look like a demented chipmunk or Don Corleone’s second cousin, then drill merrily away while siphoning up water and drool and other icky things. Sometimes even the receptionist comes in to check out the show. I think I should start charging a cover and a minimum. You see, when it comes to lowering myself into that demonic-looking, plastic-covered divan with the warm, appealing mood lighting, I admit to being a full-fledged, card-carrying coward. Frenchi used to call me (and, in all fairness, herself as well) “Dentally Retarded.” We would finally drag ourselves to our dentist-du-jour only after being in excruciating pain and exhausting all other possibilities, which usually began and ended with either a few gallons of Anbesol or Southern Comfort (pre-traifness, or at least so we thought) on enough cotton balls to reseed a whole new plantation. Prophylactic dentistry? In your dreams. No, actually — nightmares…in my nightmares. Funny thing is, I’m usually not a spineless mass of quivering jelly.

Hey, I’ve been married three times — that means I’ve had to deal with three different shviggers! But I have two really good excuses for my pusillanimity. Here’s the first one: Check out this article in the Times. It quotes research from the Journal of the American Dental Association that shows that redheads require more Novocaine! h t t p:// w e l l . b l o g s . n y t i m e s . c om/0 6 /08 /20 0 9/the -p ain- ofbeing-a-redhead/?_r=0 And here’s the second excuse: remember, I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Dentistry was not the highly advanced technological marvel it is today (yeah, right). As a kid I went to a guy to whom I had given a rather accurate, descriptive nickname: I called him The Butcher. It was so accurate, in fact, that the rest of my family, including my parents, started using it, too. Boy, do I remember that office! You know that delightful fragrance that greets you when you walk into a dentist’s office? The one that’s a mixture of formaldehyde, clove oil, fear, and loathing? I’m pretty sure this guy had found a way to bottle it and have it piped into the waiting room just to intimidate you into submission before you ever got to the

Inner Sanctum. And that waiting room had all the charm of a funeral parlor. He never got any new magazines, and some of the ones he had must have been printed by Gutenberg himself. He had the same raggedy five copies of Highlights for Children since the liberation of France. I mean, I liked the “Timbertoes” as much as the next kid, but as you get older, you kind of crave something a little more, um…shall we say distracting? You young folk don’t remember what dental drills were like fifty years ago. They were S-L-O-W. Painfully slow, quite literally. They had two cables running alongside the doohickey that the guy stuck the drill bit in, and he controlled the speed with a foot pedal like the one on Aunt Sarah’s sewing machine. I kid you not. And the noise! There was something about that noise that was so horrifically irritating, it had a way of seeping all the way down into your bones. It was like a cross between fingernails on the blackboard and a jackhammer. Back in those days, dentists didn’t wear gloves or masks, either. The Butcher washed his hands of course, but they were the size of catchers’ mitts. So I sat in that chair with these two paws poking around in my mouth while I

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

stared up into two exceptionally attractive nostrils. It took me days to recover. So, seriously, considering all of the above, can you really blame me for my poltroonery? (Boy, do I love my thesaurus!) I bring all of this up because on Wednesday night, April 20, I broke a tooth. It was a nice tooth, just hanging out there toward the back, second to last on the bottom right. Hadn’t caused any trouble of late. I was chewing the last vestiges of a hard candy when it said, “Hey dude, you’re chewing a sucking candy. There’s a reason they’re called sucking candies and not chewing candies. Das not my yob (I don’t know why I have Hispanic teeth); I’m outta here.” Then suddenly part of the candy wouldn’t get any smaller when I tried to chew it. It also didn’t have the same lemony goodness of the rest of the candy. That’s when I said, “Uh-oh.” Being the mature individual that I am, I decided to do the mature thing: nothing. It didn’t hurt, so obviously it wasn’t ever going to hurt. Right? Of course right! But then I realized that it was two days before the first seder. Curses! I really did not want to contemplate what it would be like to be sitting at the table, surrounded by my family, some of whom I actually like, and having my whole head throbbing like a stubbed toe. Nope, that didn’t seem to be an option. So I gathered my courage, dialed my dentist, and was relieved when I got a recording saying he was away until after yom tov. Okay Rocky, I said, you’ve done your hishtadlus; surely the Ribbono Shel Olam isn’t going to give you a toothache and mess up your yom tov after this, right? Also, please stop with the Shirley already, alright? I called a plethora of dentists. Then I called a myriad. Then, just for good measure, I called a surfeit, which, by the way, has nothing to do with having holes in your shoes. Alas, everyone was away. I guess all the Pesach Hotels in the Western Hemisphere were covered in case anyone needed reconstructive dentistry after a particularly thick chunk of Pupa-Tzeilem. Finally, just as I was about to

give up (quite happily, I might add), an actual live receptionist picked up and gave me an appointment for the next day, which was Thursday, erev erev Pesach. Without mentioning names, this was a guy with whom I had grown up in Boro Park who shares his last name with a specific

some serious coinage. I was actually feeling positive about a visit to the dentist for the first time in maybe forever, until I got to the receptionist’s desk to pay. DISCLAIMER: Dr. Benjamin Bass did not, I repeat, DID NOT, overcharge me! In fact, after ask-

I called a plethora of dentists. Then I called a myriad. Then, just for good measure, I called a surfeit, which, by the way, has nothing to do with having holes in your shoes.

type of gamefish (there are largemouth and smallmouth varieties), shares my hair color and my hair sparsity as well; indeed, I’ve been told many times that I look like him. Then again, I’ve been told I look like Ronald McDonald too, so I don’t put much stock in that. Fact is, Benjy’s a great dentist. He was fast, he was thorough, and he was reasonably painless, without nitrous oxide (maybe because he knows that redheads are wusses). Most importantly, he is such a nice guy. He told me that the tooth might eventually need a root canal, but seeing as how it was erev yom tov, he filled it and said he hoped it would hold for a while and save me

ing coming to, picking myself up off the floor and calling a few people, I found that his fee was actually quite reasonable. The visit cost me $250. Please understand that the last time I was in a dentist’s chair, the Yankees’ third baseman was Wade Boggs, so I was expecting a bill of fifty bucks, seventy-five at the very outside. So when my mouth dropped open, the receptionist very politely went into her spiel: “The filling covered three surfaces, and Dr. Bass used an acrylic laminate that was developed by NASA and tested on the bicuspids of orangutans for twenty three years, yada yada, yada, so the filling is the same color as the tooth…”


Truth is, I wasn’t really listening. I was wondering why I should care what color a filling in the back of my mouth is but hey, what do I know? I was also wondering how much it would have cost just to yank the darn thing out of my head. I’d still have a few left, and by the time I make it to The Home in a few years, I’d still be able to handle the apple sauce and jello perfectly. So what mussar haskel did I take from this whole affair? Glad you asked. Well, first of all, never chew sucking candies. Second of all, not all dentists are evil agents of Satan. And third of all, maybe if I schedule a cleaning, Chase Headley will retire.

Rocky Zweig has been writing since he was sixteen and was the Editor-in-Chief of the late and decidedly unlamented Modieinu, the mimeographed (remember mimeographs?) newspaper of the Tenth Avenue Pirchei of Boro Park, where he wrote everything from stories to news articles to hashkafa articles to... yes (now it can be told!)...letters to the editor. Rocky was sixteen a very long time ago. He is the proud father of three marginally neurotic children. He has been married three — count ‘em — three times and has finally determined that he’s probably not very good at matrimonial bliss. He lives in his Fortress of Solitude in Flatbush with a small menagerie: Clarice, a European Starling; Rabbi Horatio LeZard, a Bearded Dragon; an aquarium filled with Lake Malawi African Cichlids; and a ten gallon tank that functions as a Home for Unwanted Goldfish, or H.U.G., collected over the years by his grandkids and great nieces and nephews at myriad street fairs and carnivals (rather than face the unpleasant task of flushing these unfortunate piscine creatures when they are eventually, inevitably ignored by their own obnoxious progeny, the parents simply call Uncle Rocky who then feeds them and cares for them until their ultimate natural demise three or four or even ten years down the pike). So apparently Rocky seems to get along better with animals than with his fellow homo sapiens. Or sapienses. Or whatever. Rocky’s column will be appearing every other week in The Jewish Home. Rocky can be reached at


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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HOUSES FOR SALE WOODMERE: Great Location!!! 2BR, 2BA Cape with 2 Dens & Wood Burning Fireplace, Finished Attic, Close to All, SD#15…$425K Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000 WOODMERE: PRICE REDUCED Completely Renovated 3BR, 2BA Ranch, Updated Eik, Formal DR, MBR Suite, Den W/Fplc & Vaulted Ceiling, Lovely Property, SD#14…$599K Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000 WOODMERE Magnificent Split Level 6BR, 3 Full Baths, Expanded New Eik, Formal DR, HW Floors, Lg Den W/Fplc, Central A/C, SD#14...$699K Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000

FAR ROCKAWAY HOUSE FOR SALE: Located in the heart of Far Rockaway near Bnos Bais Yaakov, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway, Sulitza Beis Medrash, and Rabbi Groner’s yeshiva. Fully detached. Large yard + driveway. 4 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms. Granite kitchen with all major appliances. Refinished hardwood floor in LR/ DR. Generous closets in each bedroom. Master bathroom with jacuzzi. Finished basement. Intercom and alarm system. Great neighbors! Address: 396 Beach 12th Street Price: 750K Call Ephraim Perlstein at 646-346-0269 for viewing appointments and inquiries.

HOUSES FOR SALE ATLANTIC BEACH 200 Feet of Unobstructed Open Bay The Unique Joining of Two Homes by a magnificent Indoor Heated Pool & fully Equipped Gym. 10 Bedrooms, 12 Baths, 3 Gas Fireplaces, Open Concept and Formal Living Spaces, Radiant Heated Floors, Finished Basements, Steel Bulkheads, 3 Piers, Mahogany Decking & Terraces, boat slip, Elevator, Handicap Accessible, CAC, Generator, State-of-the-Art Systems. By Appointment only CHRISTINE LYNCH Lic, Assoc. R.E. Broker 516-398-5888 Cell Petrey AB Real Estate

TJH Classifieds Post your Real Estate, Help Wanted, Services, Miscellaneous Ads here.

Weekly Classifed Ads Up to 5 lines and/or 25 words 1 week ................ $20 $10 2 weeks .............. $35 $17.50 4 weeks .............. $60 $30 Email ads to: Include valid credit card info

Deadline Monday 5:00pm

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

6BR, 4BA, Updtd Kitch, Bsmt,SD#14..$4,000/mo

Investors!!! 2BR Ranch, 2 Dens, Fin Attic..$399K


Updated 3BR, 2BA Move Right In! 4BR, 2BA Ranch, SD#14..$469K Ranch, SD#14.. $499K

Great Potential Investment, Spacious 4BR Col, Den Spacious 4BR Splanch, 6BR, 5BA, Eik..$649K IG-Pool, SD#14..$725K FDR,Basement..$899K

5+BR, 3BA Ranch, Lush 1/2 Acre..$995K

Carol Braunstein

Susan Pugatch

(516) 592-2206


Call or Text

Bright 1BR Elev Bldg, Near All ..$125K


Spacious 2BR On 1st Flr, Near All.. $114K

 1,600 +/- RSF Space - For Lease  Beautiful Elevator Bldg W/Parking

Lux 2BR, 2BA Condo, 5 Star Amenities.. $825K

 750 +/- SF Co-Op - For Sale  Good for Any Professional Use


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Classifieds / text 443-929-4003 HOUSES FOR SALE




WOODMERE: PRICE REDUCED Elegant 4BR, 3BA Colonial, Hi Ceilings, Spacious Rooms, Eik, FDR, LR W/Gas Fplc, Den, Full Bsmt, Close to All, SD#14…$799,900 Call Carol Braunstein - (516) 295-3000

FREEPORT: 1,450 +/- SF Office Storefront, Totally Renovated, Office, Bullpen Area, Empire Zone Benefits, Convenient to Major Public Transportation, For Sale…Call Alan for More Details (516) 295-3000

INWOOD THE BAYVIEW BUILDING Many options available including 5000 Square foot high ceiling 1st floor showroom/ office / mixed use space. 2nd Floor office spaces with Waterview and views of NYC skyline. 1200 sq ft, 2000 sq ft and 6000 sq ft spaces available. Parking, Mincha minyan and great neighbors. Owner will customize and design space to your needs. Call or text 516-567-0100

LAWRENCE: 1100 +/- SF Retail Store with Basement & Municipal Parking, Great Location… for Lease… Call For More Details Broker (516) 792-6698

LYNBROOK: 750 +/- SF Commercial Co-Op, Any Professional Use, Waiting Room, Exam Rooms, Lab, Reception, Consultation, Can be Fully Furnished, For Sale… Call for More Details Broker (516) 792-6698

CO-OP SALE WHITE HOUSE IN CEDARHURST 545 Central Ave. 2 bdrms/2 entrances – one from Central Ave. Can be wheelchair accessible Call 917-554-5721

COMMERCIAL RE INWOOD Commercial mixed use building + Lot. Private parking, corner property, high traffic area 1st floor offices, 2nd floor: 2 Apts. Asking 849k. Call 212-470-3856 Yochi @ WinZone Re INWOOD OFFICE SPACE LOWEST PRICES IN TOWN! 500-7000 Square feet gorgeous office space with WATERVIEW in Inwood! Lots of options. Tons of parking. WIll divide and customize space for your needs! Call 516-567-0100 CEDARHURST: 1650 +/- SF Soho Like Loft Space With 3 Offices, Municipal Parking, Ideal for Office Or Showroom. For Lease…Call Lenny for More Details (516) 295-3000

HEMPSTEAD: 1600 +/- SF Professional Office Space in Beautiful Elevator Bldg with Excellent Parking, For Lease…Call Lori For More Details (516) 295-3000 ROCKVILLE CENTRE: 800 +/- SF Retail Space with Rear Door, Street & Municipal Parking, for Lease… Call for More Details Broker (516) 792-6698 CEDARHURST THE STUDIO BUILDING Newly Renovated Office Suites and spaces Available starting at $795 a month. Included in the rent: High Speed Internet, Wifi, Conference rooms, Kitchenette, Heat & AC, Utilities Included, Water cooler, Real Estate Taxes, Waiting Area, Cleaning. Furnished and unfurnished available call or text 516-567-0100

VALLEY STREAM: 2000 +/- SF Retail Space Ideal for Medical, Busy Shopping Strip, Street & Municipal Parking Available, For Lease… Call Lori for More Details (516) 295-3000

ut Check oW our NE ! website

CO-OP FOR SALE LAWRENCE NEW LISTING Spacious 3BR, 2BA Apt, Sunken Living Rm, Formal DR, Lg Master BR Suite, CAC...$350K Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000

APT FOR RENT CEDARHURST 500-3,500 +/- SF Beautiful, newly renovated space for rent. Ideal for Retail or Executive offices. Prime location. Convenient Parking. Call Sam @ 516-612-2433 or 718-747-8080

355 Central Avenue, Lawrence NY 11559 (Across the street from Seasons)

P: 516.791.6100 | F: 516.374.7059





Full 1 Bdrm w/ 1.5 bths. High-End Renovations Throughout. Granite Kitchen w/ Custom Molding & Double Sink, 2 Dishwashers, Subzero Fridge. New Wood Flrs, Granite Bthrms. Custom Walk-In Closets. Gorgeous Built In Furniture. Terrace. Includes 1 Parking Spot, No Monthly Fee. Ours alone. Call Sherri 516-297-7995


Amazing 2 Bdrm, 2 Full Bth. Huge granite kitchen great cabinet space & storage, 2 Dishwashers & a washer/dryer!!! Lrg LR opens to the balcony & FDR. Call Mindy 516-272-6445 $299K


FAR ROCKAWAY e Office Spac for Sale or Rent

Total gut renovation on Meehan. Large custom granite Exclusively ours: Lovely 3 bdrm, 2.5 bth, 1 fmly kithen. All new semi-detached w/ full bsmnt & 2.5 bths. house on quiet residential. Lrg LR/DR, nished Location Location Location!! bsmnt, storage attic, walk-in closet. Call Kathy (917) 306-1610


10-11 Nameoke St. Ground Flr Office, Reception area, 3 offices, kitchenette, & bth. In condo bldng w/ 24-hour drman & on-site super. Near St. John's, Mott Ave. business dist., & Rckwy Beach. Accessible via A Train & Queens buses. Sale: $149K Rental: $1,500 Call Melissa at 347-757-0224

5 TOWNS & CEDARHURST OFFICES 1-2 Rm executive offices available all utilities & internet included. Shared conference room. Locations & pricing, Call Sherri 516-297-7995. Starting at $550 Large 4 room suite 2,250 Sq. Ft. 4 private offices, kitchen and reception, Cedarhurst location. Call Sherri 516-297-7995 850 Sq. ft. suite 2 private offices, open space for four additional desks. $1,950

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016


Classifieds / text 443-929-4003 APT FOR RENT




FAR ROCKAWAY 3 Bedrooms – New Construction Central air, oak floors, granite kitchen, elevator building. Asking $2350 Call Yossi 917-337-6262

THE GANGER EARLY CHILDHOOD OF TORAH ACADEMY FOR GIRLS seeks experienced, qualified, warm teachers and assistant teachers for the Sept. term. Great work environment, salary commensurate with experience. Please email resume to

Great summer job opportunity. Great pay, and overtime is available. Job description: • Field Service Technician for a Green Company - all products are safe and non-toxic. • All training provided. • Job available from May - September. • Fun and positive company, good pay. • Work for a professional company in a structured and progressive work environment. Qualifications: • Need to be physically fit able to lift 50 lbs. consistently • A valid and clean driver’s license. • Strong work ethic. • Good communication skills. • Able to work well without direct supervision. • Be responsible and courteous. • Ok with working indoors and outdoors in higher temperature conditions. For more information: Call - 516-206-1600 Email - serviceny@ Make sure to reference the “Field Service Technician”.

SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS AND ASSISTANTS CAHAL has openings for Special Education teachers and assistants. Sept. 2016, P/T and F/T for lower and middle school classes, Secular Studies, and Limudai Kodesh. E-mail resume to or fax to 516-295-2899

PROPOFF; 2 bedroom option for a 3RD bedroom newly renovated basement apartment with high ceilings, airy and light. Brand new kitchen and appliances. All rooms have split air conditioner. Full bathroom with options for ¾ bathroom and large pantry/storage closet. Rent includes gas and electricity air conditioner and heat. Please call Ricki 347-248-9160 HOUSE FOR RENT: Fully Furnished, Elegant Center Hall Colonial 6BR,3 Full Bath, Spacious Sun Room, Finished Basement. Furnished. Quiet Street. Near LIRR, White Shul, Shaaray. Asking $4000 917-902-9087 ON SEAGIRT AVENUE 2 & 3 bedroom. Newly renovated. Washer and dryer hook up. Granite countertops. More info call or text 917-602-2914

BUSY CEDARHURST STORE SEEKS HANDS ON MANAGER. Must be responsible, organized, have take charge attitude, with a strong desire to succeed. Send Resume to Plan and prepare kosher meals for men with developmental disabilities in residential settings in Lawrence, Queens and Brooklyn. Knowledge of kashrus a must. OHEL Bais Ezra 718-686-3102 or Growing company in the 5 Towns is seeking motivated, confident, outgoing employee for full time bookkeeping/accounting. Must have professional bookkeeping experience, and strong teamwork skills Please submit qualified resume to

SPECIAL EDUCATION REBBE FOR LOWER GRADE CAHAL has an opening for a Special Education Rebbe. Sept. 2016, P/T position. E-mail resume to or fax to 516-295-2899. For more information call 516-295-3666 SEEKING CERTIFIED SPECIAL ED TEACHER for well-known preschool in Far Rockaway. Start fall 2016. Competitive package, pleasant working conditions Email resume to


MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Classifieds / text 443-929-4003

HELP WANTED HELP WANTED: Immediate openings for SETSS providers for Elementary and JHS. Seeking Math & Lang Arts Teachers for remedial JHS classess for 16-17 school year. Seeking 8th Grade Chumash Mechina Teacher E-mail: Looking for Full Time Sub for school year 16-17. Seeking 6th grade teachers Lang Arts and Science for school year 16-17. Exercise/Nutrition teacher for 16-17 grades 6-8. E-mail: Due to expansion seeking Limudei Kodesh teachers for upcoming school year 16-17. E-mail: EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE SALES AGENT needed for a HIGH Producing real estate office who is seeking an opportunity to Earn & Learn more!!! Call Today (516) 295-3000 x 128. All calls kept confidential




YESHIVA TIFERETH MOSHE looking for a head teacher for our UPK class located in Kew Gardens Masters & certification in Early Childhood preferred- Top Salary email resume to

FAST-PACED OFFICE IN THE 5 TOWNS seeking talented, professional, highlymotivated individuals to join our Sales team. Must be detail oriented, and thrive in a collaborative environment. Passion for Travel or Mileage/Points a plus. Please submit qualified resume to

PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS (PTA’S) & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS ASSISTANTS (COTA’S) For 200+ bed Nursing Home in Queens. Must have Hospital or Nursing Home experience. Please email resume to Local F.T. Accounting Office Seeks P/T JR. ACCOUNTANT proficient in Q.B. knowledge of payroll tax, sales tax, business tax and individual taxes Qualified applicants should please e-mail resume to:

SERVICE COORDINATOR POSITION BA in Health or Human Services or 2 yrs of SC exper. Or a combination of exper. & education Earn Upwards of 45,000 to 55,000 annually Great Work Environment Challenge E. I. Center, Queens E:, F: 718-261-3702 An Equal Opportunity Employer CLERICAL POSITION F/T for Queens office Proper candidate will have: good computer skills, ability to multitask and office experience. Prior early intervention experience a plus. Will Train. Competitive comp. pkg. Fax Resume 718-261-3702 Att. Bella Or email:

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PART TIME AND FULL TIME BOOKKEEPING POSITION Fast growing accounting and consulting firm seeks a qualified individual to assist our accounting staff in providing bookkeeping services for our clients. Qualified individuals will have the opportunity to join our employee friendly culture At least 2 years working experience Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, QuickBooks a MUST Email – YESHIVA SECRETARY Yeshiva near Brooklyn/5 Towns Seeking help during Dinner Campaign. Detail oriented and ability to multi task Yeshiva experience a plus Morning Hours, Immediately after Pesach Send Resume to officepositionhire@ 5TOWNS BOYS YESHIVA SEEKING ELEM TEACHERS. Exc working env’t, supportive admin, exc pay Lic’d & experienced preferred. Email resume to We are looking to hire a MARKETING/SALES SPECIALIST Job requirements: Your own car and internet savvy. Hob has unlimited income potential. Don’t delay, give us a call at 917-612-2300

General Studies teachers for Sept. ‘16 due to expansion. 5 Towns area boys’ school. Middle school teachers: M.-Th, 2-4:30 pm. JH male teachers: M.-Th., 2:45-5 pm. GREAT OPPORTUNITY Looking for class B CDL DRIVER with clutch for a heimishe lumber co. Great pay, Call: 718-369-3141 Ext. 348 Are you tired of your present job or out of work and looking for a job where you can make good money and be your own boss? IT MAVEN Creative problem solver needed for all aspects of tech, Hardware, Networks, coding, programs, social media, podcasts, Smart Board maintenance, constant contact and websites. For boys Yeshiva High School in the Five Towns. Salary commensurate with experience. Full time or part time available. Growth opportunity available. Contact

TJH Classifieds Post your Real Estate, Help Wanted, Services, Miscellaneous Ads here.

Weekly Classifed Ads Up to 5 lines and/or 25 words 1 week ................ $20 $10 2 weeks .............. $35 $17.50 4 weeks .............. $60 $30 Email ads to: Include valid credit card info

Deadline Monday 5:00pm

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016

Classifieds / text 443-929-4003



WE ARE LOOKING TO HIRE A MARKETING/SALES SPECIALIST. Job will require your own car and being computer/internet savy. If you consider yourself a marketing professional, this is the position for you. Opportunity to make unlimited income potential, Don’t delay. Give us a call at 917-612-2300

STROLLER FOUND ON CENTRAL AVE. If yours please text 323-804-7438

CATAPULT LEARNING Teachers for Title I in Boro Park andWilliamsburg Chassidic boys schools *College/Yeshiva Degree Required *Strong desire to help children learn *Excellent organizational skills *Small group instruction *Competitive salary Email resume: Fax (718) 381-3493

SITUATION WANTED LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE seeks position in homecare with the elderly or pediatric care. I am skilled, caring and dependable. Please call me at 631-759-0025

Discounted tickets to SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE THEME PARK AND SAFARI Valid for any operating day for only $40 Call or text Yehoshua 917- 923-0011 Going away for vacation/camp? BUY USED JUDAICA BOOKS. Never worry again about losing or ruining a borrowed book. The Library - 4306-17th Avenue 718-436-0098 (call for hours) SPACE AVAILABLE FOR 3 YEAR OLD PLAYGROUP IN FAR ROCKAWAY. EXCELLENT MORAHS. PLEASE CALL (516) 406-2980

SHIDDUCH DATING? NEED PLACES TO GO? Check out Tutors desperately needed for Zichron Etel, a gemach providing free tutoring to those who cannot afford it. Now in Brooklyn and the Five Towns! Kindly visit our website at







MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home



A Tale of Two CEOs By Allan Rolnick, CPA


very year, business reporters look forward to listing the country’s highest-paid CEOs. Corporate chiefs have always done well for themselves — in 1980, the average S&P 500 head earned 42 times more than the average worker. But lately those compensation numbers have swollen fat enough to boggle Stephen Hawking’s mind — in 2000, the CEO-to-worker ratio reached a high of 500:1. Last year’s CEO pay champ was Discovery Communications skipper David Zaslav. His total haul started with $3.0 million in salary and $6.1 million in bonus, before piling on $94.6 million in stock and $50.5 million in options. He also scored $1.9 million in “other” comp, like $296,930 for personal use of the company jet and a $16,800 car allowance (because it’s hard to afford reliable transportation on a $3 million salary). Not bad for a guy whose company brought us Shark Week and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo! You would think every CEO wants to make the top of that list. But some of the smartest ones are hiding out at the other end, happy to count themselves among the lowest salaried. Why on earth would they

choose to work all year for peanuts? If you guessed “taxes,” you’re absolutely right! Let’s take a closer look at Zaslav’s $9 million in salary and bonus. Sure, stacking that kind of paper sounds great. (Okay, it probably is.) But “$9

engine Google. His salary last year? A dollar. One measly buck. A year’s worth of work for less than the cost of your morning coffee. But (and this is a pretty big but) he saw the value of his stock shoot up about $8 billion — including a mind-blowing $4

Larry Page, who heads up search engine Google. His salary last year? A dollar. One measly buck.

million” is really more like an opening offer. First the IRS grabs 39.6% in federal income tax. There’s FICA tax of 7.65% on the first $118,500, plus 2.9% on anything above that, plus 0.8% more on anything above $250,000. Then the Empire State piles on another 8.82% more. (OK, here’s where we insert the obligatory joke about how Zaslav would rather face one of those sharks his network loves to film.) Now let’s look at another CEO: Larry Page, who heads up search

billion in just one afternoon. (Friday, July 17, 2015 was a spectacularly good day to be Larry Page.) And how much tax did Page pay on those billions? Nothing. In fact, he won’t be taxed at all until he chooses to sell. Even then, he’ll qualify for special lower rates, capped at just 23.8%. But wait, there’s more! If Page wins promotion to that great corner office in the sky without having sold his stock, he’ll enjoy a “stepped up basis” and avoid tax on the gains

entirely. Well, he won’t enjoy it, but Mrs. Page and the surviving Pagelets probably will. Page’s strategy may not make the IRS happy. But Google shareholders love it. Seeing CEOs tie their fortunes to long-term stock prices reassures investors that executives have their best interests in mind. And studies show that CEOs with low salaries are less likely to engage in the sort of shenanigans that lead to surprise earnings restatements, expensive lawsuits, and embarrassing stretches behind bars. (Just because you call it a “country club” prison doesn’t actually make it a “country club.”) Here’s the bottom line, and it applies whether you make a buck a year or a million. When it comes to paying less tax, it’s just as important how you make your money as how much you make. Make sure you have a plan to help structure your income so you can keep as much as possible!

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 | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

Mission, What Mission? By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS


was on a mission to Washington, D.C., last Wednesday called NORPAC. And that’s a good name for it because you cannot sleep if you want to get to the bus on time (5am), “NOR PACK” anything edible to bring for the day. Oh, you can bring whatever you want on the bus, but the bus disappears for the day once you reach D.C.! And no way can you bring any lethal snacks into congressional offices. If they detect an apple or banana on you, you’re out. Can you believe it? All the crazy things going on in this country but they are quite strict in making sure not a crumb comes into the congressional buildings. And you know you’ve got to be a pretty dedicated, politically concerned Jew to be aware you are not allowed to have a little something in your pocket or bag and still show up to lobby. And what exactly is the reason for this mission of over a thousand Jews? Well, Washington, of course, needs a few floating minyanim, scattered shaitels and

kippas among the group, and passionate high school daveners to descend upon it just to help them recognize what’s good for Israel is good for America. And we certainly need people in the

gress get up in the convention hall when we arrive to explain the importance of what we are here to accomplish, right back to all of us so that we can turn around and explain it right back to

to hear their concerns and hopefully leave them with an inkling more doubt about their own point of view. You may wonder what this day looks like. It is a day of racing around from build-

In other words, over a thousand Jews working to be on time!

group very prepared to pray that they hear us. The talking points are reviewed and taught numerous times and in many locations before the day of the trek to the Capitol. But, on the final day that we are making our 5-hour bus trip to make our views heard, an attempt is made to really hammer home the details of our concerns. Bang! A comprehensive booklet is given out. Bang! A video is presented. Bang! Each group has a meeting to review the talking points. And bang! A few loyal members of Con-

most of the rest of Congress. I know that sounds confusing. But there are some members of Congress who see eye-to-eye with us. Therefore, since they are aware of the proposals and support it, we need to meet with them and thank them for that very support. If they are unfamiliar with the proposals, we need to make sure to educate them about it and show them why it’s integral. And, if they are leaning to the other side of the aisle on a proposal, we need to try and dispel myths that have them there, then proceed

ing to building, office to office with conviction in hand hoping that we haven’t kept our Congressperson or senator waiting. In other words, over a thousand Jews working to be on time! It is also empowering to see that our government has an aspect of it where we can really speak to our representatives. It is a day to feel we are both Americans and Jews – and to be proud of both! When we’ve given our talks, met with our representatives and tried our best, it is a day to feel proud that we didn’t just sit home

and complain. We did something! Finally, at the end of the day, we drag our worn out bodies back to the bus where we trade stories for about 10 to 50 seconds, and then antisocially go into our own space to catch up on the day’s work or last night’s missing sleep. A day later the whole thing seems like it was possibly just a dream. Yet, it is a mission that matters! For example, in the past it helped get Iron Dome funding. It gets young people seeing that our Congress is real and they can be important in the scheme of things. But best of all, it teaches Jews they can go a day without food, even if it’s not a fast day! (And to be perfectly honest, the coordinators of NORPAC slip us a meal every chance they get.)

Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or

The Jewish Home | MAY 26, 2016



MAY 26, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Five Towns Jewish Home - 5-26-16  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 5-26-16

Five Towns Jewish Home - 5-26-16  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 5-26-16