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Two Great Patrols Protecting Jewish LA

LA Shmira

A New Kind of Citizen’s Patrol-16

Shomrim Patrol of the La Brea Beverly Area -16

Hillel hosts Honorable John A. Perez - 7

Dai Vernon and the Path to the Side Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn Moshe and Miriam bas Bilga Rabbi Dov Wagner Cultivating Creativity Rabbi Aharon Wilk Bo - A Loving Descent Rabbi Reuven Wolf

18 21 20 22

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Interview with Katherine Cohan, Esq. . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

COMMUNITY Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7


JEWISH THOUGHT Dai Vernon and the Path to the Side Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Students Write . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

PARSHA Moshe and Miriam bas Bilga. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Bo - A Loving Descent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

PARENTING & EDUCATION Cultivating Creativity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Hillel Parenting & Education Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

COVER STORY How to be Mekarev Hollywood Angelenos give and get outreach inspiration

Dear Readers, First of all I want to thank all of our readers for the tremendous support & encouragement received after the first issue. The emails as well were extremely heartfelt and encouraging; “Thank you so much for your hard work on the inaugural edition of The Jewish Home. I read it cover to cover and was very impressed,” “You’re just what Los Angeles has been waiting for - a quality, well-written newspaper. May you go from strength to strength” “Just reading the first edition and I’m very impressed. Thank you for this needed resource for our community.” We also appreciate all the comments & suggestions to help better the paper for everyone’s enjoyment. Please feel free to suggest articles, interviews or anything else you would like to see included by sending an email to editor@JewishHomeLA.com. This week we’ve featured a story on the state of Jewish outreach in Los Angeles – thank G-d there is so much good being done through the wonderful kiruv organizations here, and after the recent AJOP Convention, it’s important to highlight the work, the challenges, and the state of kiruv here in Los Angeles. We also interviewed Katherine Cohan, a contender for the Beverly Hills City Council who also happens to be a local Jewish mom, about why she’s running and what she hopes to achieve. We’ve also added a column on Chassidic Thought & a column for Q&A’s about the education of our children. And finally, since it’s always refreshing to see things through the eyes of the children, we’ve included some essays written by eighth graders of local schools on the subject of what being Jewish means to them. We thank them for their wonderful pieces! This in addition to the regular columns –thank you to our guest columnist Rabbi Dov Wagner- & local news we hope you’ll enjoy. So please sit back relax & enjoy our second print... Once again, thanks to you all & please keep the feedback coming!

at 2013 AJOP Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


Have a great Shabbos,

Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28


Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

LIFESTYLES Leisure Travel - Kansas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 The Aussie Gourmet: Shabbat Fish Delights. . . . . 46

NEWS Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

ISRAEL Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 A Modern Day Queen Esther: Shula Cohen. . . . . . 44 The Circus of Israeli Politics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

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Interview with Katherine Cohan, Esq.

Why did you decide to run for Beverly Hills City Council? I’ve been living in Beverly Hills for 13 years and I have two children in the BH schools. I also would like to retire in BH.  I found that the only way I can have a say is to be more involved and active in City Council. What do you think of your competitors and do you think you have a fair chance?  I think all my competitors are competent and great.  However, what sets me aside is that I am not a politician and my only motive is to represent my neighbors and BH residents.  In addition, I believe

that the City Council would definitely gain by having an attorney and mediator on its panel. I do believe I will have a fair chance if I will be known in the community, and I am looking forward to meeting voters and learning about their issues, ideas and concerns. If elected, what would your priorities be on BH City Council? I am passionate about four issues:  Seeing Beverly Hills grow, support and improve our school systems, ensure and maintain a safe haven for the residents and secure a better future and care of our senior citizens. Do you have future political aims? I always wanted to help create peace between Israel and the Arab countries.  I would like to be more involved in the government just for that reason. However, I don’t have any specific plans at this point.  Since you’re new to politics, how have you been building support for your campaign? I just started my campaign this week. I wanted to start it a little earlier, but due to a death in the family, things got pushed

back a bit.  My web site will be up by next week and I have a great team working with me – Mary Khayat is our fundraiser and Jamie Fisfis is our consultant.   I will post all events on Facebook and the Beverly Hills Courier for those who are interested in joining in. I am hoping to be sponsored by a religious family so that I can invite my religious family, friends and neighbors.   Thank G-d my campaign has just been taking off.  My first Meet and Greet took place on Tues. Jan. 15.  I hope to put together more “Meet and Greets” in order to be able to meet all the residents.  What is your professional and/or political experience? My professional experience comprises of my legal background and a mediators perspective.   I practiced mediation for a bit at the Beverly Hills court and did some private mediation as well. How have you balanced being a mom and a successful attorney, and how would you balance the additional role of being a City Council Member?  I balance them by organizing my time.  I delegate some of my work to other attorneys if need be and take only handful

of cases. I also have a wonderful husband, mother and father that contribute to my support system. I am forever grateful to them.  What is your connection to the Jewish community? I attended a yeshiva in my high school years – Valley Torah High School - and continue to practice more since then.  I attend services at Chabad in the Hills every Shabbat and hope to celebrate my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah next year.  What are you most excited about during this process? The new people that I interact with each day really make this process worthwhile.   I learn so much from each and every person.  I really am looking forward to meeting new faces and hearing what it is that we need to do to make Beverly Hills an even better, friendlier, safer and more prestigious place.  Beverly Hills resident, litigator and Jewish mom Katherine Cohan recently launched her campaign to run for Beverly Hills City Council. Cohan is one of six candidates running for three open seats on March 5.  Here she discusses what led her to run and what she hopes to achieve if she becomes elected. 


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port of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy is invaluable. Speaker Perez addressed our 4th through 8th graders, telling his audience that all students must have “… access to the transformative advantage in life that

comes with a well-rounded education.” He told an attentive audience that for more than five millennia Judaism survived because of a strong commitment to learning and that these opportunities are afforded by a solid foundation forged in the classroom. Speaker Perez noted in particular that Hillel students graduate “. . . fully immersed in the importance of tzedaka and fully committed to g’milut chasadim. . . with determination to lead a life dedicated to helping K’lal Yisrael prosper.” He concluded his remarks by saying, “Hazak u Baruch,”wishing all strength and blessings for the future. 8th grader Layla Galeck represented the Galeck family and students of Hillel in presenting beautiful gifts made by our 4th graders especially for Speaker Perez. Mrs. Orenshein’s students made a colorful poppy plant, California’s state flower, and a California State Memory Book as mementos for Speaker Perez to express our thanks and recognition. Our choir concluded the memorable assembly by singing “Oseh Shalom.”

We continue to be proud of the leadership roles our students assume in organizations around Los Angeles. Most recently, YULA Boys wrapped up their year with the YULA Boys School Impact Day with Yachad. The event was a huge success and was an amazing opportunity to see how all YULA students included all of the Yachad members in the sports activities they organized. From soccer to wiffleball, the YULA boys helped transform the Yachad

members’ day. Not only did the day provide a lot of fun to Yachad participants, but the YULA boys walked away with a new appreciation for inclusion and an understanding of the role they play in impacting the lives of all members of our community. We thank the Director of Yachad, Mr. Ian Lurie (a YULA graduate) for his continued leadership in our community. We can’t wait for the next YULA and Yachad get together!

Inaugural VTHS Business Networking Breakfast Over thirty alumni and friends joined us for our first VTHS Business Networking Breakfast. Everyone in attendance left with new contacts and new business opportunities.

Delegation from Zeitlin/ Tel-Aviv Visits Hillel By: Morah Dalia Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Over the past 2 weeks, Hillel hosted 12 students from Zeitlin, our twin school in Tel-Aviv. We have created an educational and fun program that positively reinforced the ties the delegation established here in Los Angeles, and look forward to continuing the relationship when our students visit Israel this May. The highlight of our program was the Assembly on “Israel the only

Hillel delegation from Tel Aviv

Democracy in the Middle East”. 8th grade students from Hillel and Zeitlin studied in Hebrew Language and Social Study classes about the elections and 4 major parties in Israel. They compared the American elections with the Israeli elections. Their learning culminated at the assembly held at Hillel on December 11th where we hosted the distinguished guest speaker Mr.Uri Resnick, Deputy Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles. Mrs. Ahuva Ron, Director of the “Twinning Project” at The Jewish Federation joined us at the assembly as well. The students from both schools presented the facts about Israel’s Democracy and the selected party’s platforms, followed by a mock Israeli Election. Thank you to the following families who opened their hearts and homes, and were like parents to the Zeitlin students for almost two weeks: Rosenberg, Alkoby, Zarur, Khoubian, Benelyahu, Kreitenberg, and Ciment. In additional we are grateful to the Rosenberg and Botach families for hosting Shabbat lunches at their homes.

JANUARY 17, 2013

Last Friday, at a special assembly, Hillel had the privilege to host the Honorable John A. Perez, Speaker of the California Assembly, one of this year’s esteemed honorees at our upcoming Scholarship Banquet on January 13. Speaker Perez, a staunch community leader,actively supports education and the success of our community’s schools; his continued sup-

YULA’s Yachad Impact Day


Hillel hosts Honorable John A. Perez




JANUARY 17, 2013


Extensive Arts Curriculum Reveals the Artist Inside Each Girl at Valley Torah High School By: Linda Ostrow Schlesinger

There’s an artist inside everyone. The artistic spark may be buried deep inside and sadly, many people go through life without ever discovering it, but this will not be the case for current, future students and graduates in the girls division of Valley Torah High School in Valley Village, CA. They have been discovering their inner artist for 15 years now through the school’s highly successful mandatory visual arts curriculum. The program has produced dozens of award winning artists and bolstered the self esteem of so many girls that this fall the school added a performing arts component as well to its highly regarded college preparatory curriculum (see sidebar). Both programs place a strong dual emphasis on fostering a love of the arts and teaching the girls life skills through the arts, such as collaboration, determination, presentation and self-confidence. In 2007, Hedy Harris, a graphic artist, conceived the visual arts class, which relies heavily on a foundation of calligraphy, and includes sketching, watercolor and paper cutting. Since its inception, Harris has taught and developed the curriculum, which begins in tenth grade. She starts by teaching the sophomores Hebrew then English lettering. “[Lettering] is the easiest to teach and it’s skill based,” says Harris. In other words, it’s something you can learn. You don’t have to be artistic to do it. Once basic lettering is accomplished, the girls move on to calligraphy, adding graphic elements to the letters. “They learn how to use their eyes in a new way… and look at letters from a different point of view,” says Harris, who gives the girls ancient manuscripts to study to discern what makes them unique. She stresses neatness, organization, layout, uniformity, consistency and slant. If their letters conform to these rules and are sharp, crisp and clean they will stand out. To help them understand the process, Harris uses examples that are relevant to the teens. She compares drawing lines and letters to the way they follow the line on their lips when applying lipstick. She tells them to treat the letters the way they treat their uniforms. They wear the same thing every day but each girl looks different because of her hairstyle and accessories. In other words, adding graphic elements to the letters is like adding accessories to your uniform. Harris also emphasizes the personal and commercial value of lettering and graphic arts. “Calligraphy lends itself to fine art but at the same time it is commercially practical. In our society, “graphics play such an important part in advertising, consumerism and conveying ideas in an artistic manner. As consumers [the girls] see how letters are used graphically. That’s their motivation,” Harris explains. Once they learn how it’s done and how easy it is, the girls begin to understand the potential and value of their new skill. They realize they can design their own invitations, wall hangings, fliers, logos, etc.- and they have.

One student designed her brother’s wedding monogram; another did her brother’s bar mitzvah monogram and then her own wedding invitation. Others have designed fliers and banners for school events and gifts for their teachers. The 2012 senior class collaborated to design Rosh Hashanah cards combining their calligraphy and watercolor skills. They printed the winning designs, packaged them and sold them to raise money to help pay for their yearbook and senior trip. Sandra Saber, a 2012 VTHS graduate from Los Angeles fell in love with calligraphy in high school and is thrilled to be using her lettering skills weekly as an afternoon Hebrew school teacher at Chabad of Chatsworth. “I use my calligraphy when I write down the topics on the board. It gets the kids motivated and interested,” says the 19-yearold who will enter the University of Southern California (USC) in the spring. Most notably, the girls have achieved international recognition with their award winning designs in The Graceful Envelope Contest, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and administered by the Washington Calligraphers Guild. Valley Torah High School girls began dominating the winners list in this 18-year-old contest soon after they first entered it in 2007, with at least one student and usually more in each year’s winners circle. In 2012, eight of the 15 winners (out of approximately 300 entries) in the junior division were from VTHS, which had 40 entrants. According to the Washington Calligraphers

skills to work on her award winning envelope called “Dive Into Doodles.” The contest’s professional judges look for skill in lettering, effective use of color and design, and creative interpretation of the theme. Harris coaches each girl individually in every step of the process from selecting a feasible idea, to sketching it, drawing it, coloring it and perfecting it. “She was always there to help us, even during lunch and after school,” Saber said about Harris, who enjoys helping each girl bring her idea to life. While working on their final entries for the Graceful Envelope Contest, VTHS seniors are also busy preparing their final senior project, a paper cut, which marks the culmination of three years of the school’s vigorous visual arts pro-

Art by Bracha Smith gram. Harris’s approach is very “simplistic.” It’s all about lines, “put a horizontal line here a vertical line there,” she tells her students. Her approach obviously works. “We have had great success with students who never thought they were artists,” Harris says proudly. “My sister was always the artistic one. I was scared to draw anything because it looked like a second grader did it,” recalls Saber, a two time Graceful Envelope winner. When she realized that there’s a technique to calligraphy and anyone can do it she was hooked. She had a similar discovery with watercolor, which Harris describes as even “more user-friendly than calligraphy.” “You don’t have to draw. In watercolor you can just tap your paintbrush,” Saber exclaims. “It made you fall in love with art!” Saber also found art useful “as an outlet to relieve the stress of other classes” and as a “therapeutic method” to express herself. Performing Arts Sidebar

Gabrielle Glik Guild website, “the 2012 theme, ‘D-liver Dletter D-sooner D-better,’ saluted the nation’s letter carriers, who D-liver 170 billion pieces of mail each year.” Entrants were urged to design an envelope around anything that begins with the letter “D” and address it artistically. In addition to promoting the art of calligraphy, the Graceful Envelope Contest celebrates the role of letters in binding people together. Harris teaches the girls to take doodling more seriously so when Saber heard the 2012 theme was the letter “D” she was inspired to put her doodling

The world of performing arts is rather restricted for Orthodox Jewish women. Due to the intricate laws of modesty, orthodox women are not allowed to sing or dance in the presence of men. Therefore, even taking dance classes in a local studio or participating in a local choral ensemble is not an option for most Orthodox girls past the age of 12. It is for this reason that Judith Leserman and many of her peers at VTHS are so grateful to have performing arts classes at their all-girls high school this year and to “experience the arts in a Jewish framework,” comments Leserman who takes dance and drama. “It’s more private and modest. We can’t just do this in any voice or dance studio,” she says. VTHS director of performing arts Lisa

Pietruszka, a professional pianist and music teacher, designed the curriculum, which has five components: vocal music, dramatic arts, creative writing, dance (modern, jazz and ballet) and theatrical production. Each girl can choose two of these electives, which meet once a week for an hour and a half. The variety of classes will expose students to chamber music, general music appreciation, chorus and theater arts, including the technical aspects such as set design and building, prop collecting and sound and light coordination. The creative writing class will explore the different outlets for various writing styles with a goal of completing a children’s book with illustrations. Pietruszka’s goal for the first year “is to nurture the students’ interest in the arts by giving them classes that will involve learning the history as well as the practical aspects of performance.” The program will include occasional performances, such as the one given by seniors Gaby Sipen, a pianist, and Leserman, a violinist, November 20, at the VTHS Annual Tribute Dinner, and guest speakers from the performing arts world. Eight-time Emmy nominated costume and fashion designer Warden Neil recently spoke to the girls about costuming and fashion design. All the elective disciplines are collaborating on their own adaption of “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” a one-woman play based on the book by Mona Golabek, The Children of Willesden Lane, which will culminate with a spring performance. The book and play chronicle Golabek’s mother’s experience with the Kindertransport during World War II. To inspire them for their own production, in September, VTHS treated the girls to a moving performance of “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” at the Geffen Theater in Westwood. Pietruszka’s long term goals for the performing arts program include “raising enough awareness to raise funds to build a facility” to properly rehearse and stage productions and “to offer more performances, ensembles and classes including an instrumental program. For right now the fledgling program is making do with what it has. They converted a classroom into a music room and bought portable mirrors and a sound system for the social hall which also serves as drama and dance room. At 18, Leserman is taking dance classes for the first time in her life. And in addition to having fun, she has grown as an artist and as person. “Even though we have girls who have been dancing since they were two and girls like me who just walked in, we’re learning techniques together and it’s challenging for everyone,” says Leserman who enjoys dance and drama classes with the support of her friends and “in a Jewish atmosphere where it’s comfortable and kosher.” Leserman adds that these classes have helped her become more outgoing and comfortable in her own skin and in front of other people, and that in turn has made her a better viola player. “If your body is reserved, your sound is reserved,” she states like a seasoned musician. Leserman and her equally enthusiastic school mates appreciate what a unique opportunity it is for an Orthodox Jewish high school, especially of its small size (45 girls) to have such an extensive arts program. “Everyone is incredibly grateful and we are very excited about it,” she says.



Rabbi Gabi Heimowitz giving shiur on Jan. 1

Avrohom Morgenstern, a well-respected Talmid Chochom in LA’s Torah community. His topic was davening in the vernacular. His wide-ranging shiur touched upon which parts of davening (if any) needed to be said only in Lashon HaKodesh. He also discussed if one may daven in a non-Hebrew language even if it was not the language commonly spoken in the country he is residing in. He also delved into the question of where kavanah fits into this consideration (i.e., if one had more kavanah in

English but could still daven fluently in Hebrew). He also offered a rare historical look at the period in the early 1800s when the Reform movement first pushed for davening to be done in German and the response of Rabbi Akiva Eiger to that. On Jan. 1, Rabbi Gabi Heimowitz, a veteran Avreich and one of the popular maggidei shiur at LINK, gave a shiur on the halachic intricacies of making a minyan. Besides listing those parts of the davening that require a minyan, he delineated the differences between an individual’s obligations to daven (for example) Kedusha with a minyan vs. the tziibur’s obligation to hear leining with a minyan. An important practical difference would be if an individual can ”compel” nine others who already heard leining to lein again for him (as opposed to his saying Kedusha out loud and having them answer him, when they have already davened). He also delved into the question of how many people in the minyan had to start Shemoneh Esrai together and how many had to be available to respond for the chazzan to be able to repeat it. LINK recently hosted Rabbi Herschel

Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan, at an Oneg Shabbos for a wide-ranging “Ask The

and a former popular kiruv Rav in London. On Feb. 1-2. LINK will host a Shabbaton (complete with four major presentations)

JANUARY 17, 2013

The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles hosted two popular “Yeshiva For A Day” learning programs recently, on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. These Legal Holiday programs help people take advantage of their day off from work and transform it into a half-day yeshiva experience. The morning consists of Shacharis, complimentary breakfast, a 2 hour learning seder with the Yungerleit of the Kollel going over the sources for the upcoming shiur, followed by an hour-long shiur, Mincha and a complimentary lunch. The first program, on Dec. 25th, featured LINK’s new Rosh Chabura, Rabbi

Part of the crowd at Jan 1 learning program with Rabbi Heimowitz

Rabbi” session (as part of the West Coast Orthodox Union Convention). The topics spanned the gamut from halachic issues encountered by Baalei Teshuva interacting with their non-observant parents to designing a curriculum for Day Schools and High Schools (in relation to Gemarra study), to questions of emunah and bitachon. The crowd of nearly 75 had many more questions than the 13 that were asked (over a 90 minute period) and stayed late into the night to follow-up further with Rav Schachter. On Fri. nite Jan. 11, LINK will host an Oneg Shabbos with Rabbi Pini Dunner, Mashgiach Ruchani of YULA High School

with the well-known Kiruv lecturer Rabbi Mordechai Becher of Gateways. He will also be giving lectures on contemporary issues on Motzei Shabbos and on Sunday morning.

LINK, founded by Rabbi  Asher Brander in 2002, is in its 11th year of service to the Greater Los Angeles community. It offers 60 classes each week, numerous chavrusa sessions and an open Beis Medresh from 6am-11pm daily. For more information, please call Rabbi Eli Stern(310) 441-5289.

Wiesenthal Center Outraged at Drudge Comparison of President Obama to Hitler and Stalin The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed outrage at the Drudge Report’s comparison of President Obama to Hitler and Stalin. The homepage of the much-

read news site used pictures of the dictators to illustrate its opinion of Obama Administration proposals to stem gun violence in the United States.


LINK Kollel In LA Hosts Two “Yeshiva For A Day” Learning Programs on Legal Holidays

“It is very unfortunate that Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin are brought into every domestic debate in the United States. It is outrageous that President Obama or any other U.S. President should be compared to two of history’s greatest tyrants. We demean and trivialize the significance of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by Stalin when we do that,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center. For more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesen-

thalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino)




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Acheinu, the Kiruv movement to develop B’nei Torah has succeeded, with great Siyata d’Shmaya, in attaining an astonishing 93% success rate of ensuring that our children become complete Shomrei Torah u’Mitzvos. For dedication opportunities and more information, please contact Acheinu’s Executive Director, Rabbi Moshe Simcha Levine at 718-412-3540 or visit www.Acheinu.org. 100% of your contribution will go directly to Israel to help an Acheinu child.








JANUARY 17, 2013


2 Wonderful Patrols keeping Jewish Neighborhoods in LA Safe ever, keep safe! Do not ever approach a suspicious person on your own under any circumstances. In case of an emergency please call 911 immediately. Residents can also call 1-877-ASKLAPD for questions, help, and information from the L.A. police department.

LA Shmira: A New Kind of Citizen’s Patrol Los Angeles – Crime is on the rise. Sinister forces abound. Our local police force helps us feel safe and protected. But sometimes, they cannot do it alone. Recent budget cuts in the Los Angeles police department have raised concerns within the community. As these budget cuts are set in place, a new community picture emerges, one in which security forces are less accessible to those who need them the most. Enter LA Shmira, a new kind of citizen’s patrol. Formed by Kalman Tzvi Lowenstein, LA Shmira provides for the needs of the Pico-Robertson community by protecting the security of the residents, and teaching safety and security. With a critical focus on high-crime areas, LA Shmira stands out for being unequivocally non-vigilante; trained and organized to work directly alongside and in full cooperation with the police department. They have a zero tolerance policy for politics, with a laser focus on their higher mission of meeting the community’s needs, no distractions allowed. LA Shmira members have all emergency contact numbers, such as fire and police departments and Hatzolah, on speed dial, for immediate contact in times of emergency. All members are C.E.R.T. certified and have undergone comprehensive training to prepare themselves to handle a state of emergency within the community. Recently, Los Angeles Shmira Patrol was asked to provide security for the 2013 Mayoral Candidate Debate held at Beth Jacob Congregation. L.A. Shmira handled perimeter and interior security which included bag checks, surveillance, and crowd control. Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti publicly thanked Shmira for all the hard work they did that evening and for all they do for the community. The event was a big debut to showcase the resources that LA Shmira can provide for the community. The Los Angeles Shmira Patrol aims to build bridges of respect and cooperation amongst the diverse religious and ethnic groups in the community. Regardless of race or religion, LA Shmira is on hand to help and promote a higher standard of safe living. Members of LA Shmira speak a va-

Civic Care Jill Cutler

Shmira with Jan Perry, mayoral candidate

Shmira with Eric Garcetti, mayoral candidate

Shomrim Patrol of the La Brea- Beverly Area Shomrim was established in the La Brea- Beverly area after there had been many burglaries and car break-ins in the community. We are in constant contact with the police. We are asking the community to be on the look-out for any suspicious activity in the area. Many of these crimes occur only after these criminals do their “homework.” They seem to be casing the area and looking especially for those that are not home. We have reflective car magnets which serve as a deterrent for those intending to do crime in the neighborhood. Through the awareness of the community and the effect of our patrol, crime has gone down drastically since last year. The police do need the help of our entire community to always have their ears and eyes out for anything suspicious. Be-

of purposes. •When we respond to a call, we get the best descriptions in order to give this information to the police. We also keep an eye on what may be going on until the police arrive. •We also respond if a crime has already happened to be “mechazek” (give emotional encouragement) the person and help get the authorities at the scene in a timely fashion. •We have multiple cars that can respond within a very short time to a given situation. The caller will not have to be alone after observing anything suspicious. We have over 20 responders and 5 dispatchers. In case of an emergency (any crime about to happen or is in progress) always call 911 first. In case of a Non-Emergency (anything that seems suspicious, but no crime is actually being observed, call LAPD dispatch at 1-877-275-5273.) When to call Shomrim: •When one observes someone in a car/walking who seems to be out of place. Car/person seems to be hanging out in area or person looking at homes or at/ into cars, and/or taking pictures of homes. •Stranger on your lawn/porch or seems to be leaving your premises.

Shmira with Wendy Gruel mayoral candidate

riety of languages, and can communicate with and assist all who need help, no matter what their language. Please send donations, and help support this important cause. LA Shmira recently became incorporated, and is now a non-profit organization, with the backing and Haskamos of numerous Chashuva Rabbanim, including Rabbi Gershon Bess of the RCC and Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon of the KSA. Donate to this worthy cause by clicking here or send a check to: LOS ANGELES SHMIRA PATROL INCORPORATED 1455 South Wooster Street #8 Los Angeles, CA 90035 Are you a resident of the Pico-Robertson area? Report suspicious activity to LA Shmira at (310) 497-8271 . Lowenstein advises: Try to get as full a description as you can before calling. How-

Shmira Patrol Event

Shomrim Patrol

low is some information regarding what Shomrim does for our community and when to call Shomrim in the La Brea/Beverly area. Important- Shomrim is NOT a substitute for the police. We work on behalf of the community with the police. We also act as the community’s liaison to the police. Shomrim is a group that works closely on behalf of the community together with the police. We have a 24 hour hotline to which we respond. Shomrim has a number

•Person acting strange on street/ staring or making comments to members of our community. Always lock all your doors and gates especially when you leave the house. Put your alarm on when you leave your home. Never keep any sort of valuables in your car. Always lock your car. For more information email beverlypatrol@gmail.com or call 323-931-9792. Our 24 hour hotline is (424) 294-8273, (424-29-GUARD),



derech in the DP Camp of Bergen-Belsen, under the leadership of the Alter of Novardok’s talmid, Rabeinu Gershon Libman, ZT”L. Later, they settled in the little hamlet of Armentiere-en-Brie, on the outskirts of Paris. From there, seeds were spread to be sown in many locations inside the capital, as well as in other major cities, such as Nice, Marseille, and Lyon. Another bochur who joined that elite group was the well-known and appreciated mechanech HaRav Yisroel Dovid Neuvoner, ZT”L, who spent 20 years at Novardok, France and kept close ties with his Rebbe Rabeinu

Gershon, ZT”L, as well as his close friend YBLT”A, the Rosh Yeshiva, shlita, well after moving to LA. Today, 65 years later, Novardok, France has grown into a giant network of Chinuch, which includes over forty primary and high schools, as well as colleges for higher education, for both boys and girls numbering over 6,000 in total, BA”H. While in LA for the first time a short time ago for a Chasunah, Reb Chaim met some prominent members of the community and the mutual admiration and appreciation required a second and longer stay, which has

finally materialized. The Rosh Yeshiva is staying at the home of R’ Shimshon Weiss and will IY”H be given Schmuesen at various Shuls and Mosdos over the coming week, including at the Mesivta of Greater Los Angeles in Calabasas, The Los Angeles Mesivta, The Los Angeles Kollel, and Shaarei Torah. Reb Chaim is available to visit homes and mosdos, imparting chizuk and lessons in chinuch for the Los Angeles community. He is able to connect those he meets with previous Doros, having met with Tzadikim of a bygone era. He has already visited Yeshivas Yavneh, Yeshivas Ner Aryeh, and Toras Emes where he was warmly received and the children greatly enjoyed and learned from his message to them. For an appointment, please contact his nephew, R’ Michoel Errera, at (845) 641-5744.

Acheinu Brings another 1,400 Neshamos to Torah By: Shimmy Blum

On a recent trip to Eretz Yisroel, I had the opportunity to visit Yeshivas Acheinu in Har Nof. None of the wealth of information that I had known about the Acheinu organization could have prepared me for the sight I was treated to. It was Friday afternoon, shortly before Shabbos. Immediately upon entering the Bais Medrash, I was hit by a resounding kol Torah reminiscent of what can be expected from much larger crowds of talmidim on the first day of the zman. Wide smiles were plastered on the faces of both the Yeshiva bochurim and the rabbeim as they engaged in boisterous debate over the nuances of Rashi, Tosafos and Rishonim in the sugya of “Isho m’shum chetzyo.” I sat down with two bochurim and delved into the sugya, and was blown away not only by their keen grasp of their limudim, but also by their distinctly refined, respectful demeanor. This scene would be delightful in any context, but the fact that this was a Yeshivas Acheinu, whose talmidim were devoid of Torah and mitzvos not all that long ago, made it all the more special. As its Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Zev Hofstedter, shlita, explained, “You can literally write a book about every bochur in this Bais Medrash.” Indeed, books can be written about every single one of the over 10,000 boys and girls that have been brought under the wings of Torah through this organization over the past two decades. This year alone, Acheinu helped place 1,400 new students in the protective walls of various Yeshivos. We’d rather not think of where they’d be now without that effort... Acheinu Boom: With the stark divide between pious Torah Jews and rabid secularism permeating every aspect of Israeli society, its ramifications affect perhaps nothing greater than the educational scene for Israeli youth. Children and teenagers of

any background who do not merit a solid Torah education can be expected to have virtually no knowledge of Hashem and His Torah, and are prone to the most decadent aspects of global secular society. Down in the trenches of the battle to have Hashem’s children acknowledge and serve their Father is Acheinu, the foremost kiruv organization for youth in Eretz Yisroel. Acheinu works at various levels to reach out to Israeli youth from secular or weak religious backgrounds and lead them to become full-fledged bnei Torah, firmly rooted in yiddishkeit. Over the years, Acheinu’s unique multi-tiered outreach system has, b’ezras Hashem, enabled the organization to have an over 90% success rate in developing lost youth into earnest Torah Jews. The premier gedolei hador – past and present – have actively supported Acheinu. The revered elder mechanech, Harav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz zt”l, served as the organization’s nasi until his passing. Shortly before Rosh Hashana, this writer spoke to Acheinu’s exuberant kiruv coordinator Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, who was immersed in opening yet another Yeshivas Acheinu, this time in Rechovot. This is in addition to the network of approximately 30 independent Yeshivos and girls schools that are affiliated with Acheinu and are matched up with suitable boys and girls seeking to advance in yiddishkeit. As we spoke, Rabbi Goldberg was, in classic Acheinu fashion, making sure that the talmidim of the newest Acheinu Yeshiva are taken care of as best as possible, down to the last detail. Referring to the 1,400 neshamos that have been newly saved by the organization, Rabbi Goldberg

commented, “Acheinu is like special operations commandos. They use sophisticated tactics to be effective in every situation.” Besides for the comprehensive, growing network of Yeshivos, Acheinu runs “Batei Chizuk” youth centers across Eretz Yisroel, where youth are offered a haven from the streets, where they can interact with loving kiruv professionals and get acquainted with Torah true yiddishkeit in a most pleasant way. Another secret to Acheinu’s success is its comprehensive mentoring program, where qualified frum mentors build close relationships with youth under the organization’s wings, and help lead them towards healthy, viable Torah lives for the long term – through their Yeshiva years, marriage and child rearing. One huge component in reaching the number 1,400 has been “Project Toronto,” an innovative program targeted towards children from secular or weaker religious backgrounds who attend Chinuch Atzmai or other religious elementary schools that do not continue into high school. Project Toronto reaches out to these students during their upper elementary years and helps acquaint them with life in a Yeshiva high school through short and weekend visits to Yeshivos and other methods. Approximately 400 of the latest neshamos saved by Acheinu are elementary school graduates who are now blossoming in the walls of mainstream Yeshivos due to Project Toronto’s efforts. Yet another major catalyst for Acheinu’s increased reach, says Rabbi Goldberg, is its cutting edge use of modern day technology to spread the word of Hashem. Acheinu’s website offers youth in Eretz Yisroel a dazzling treasure trove of information regarding their questions

and struggles with yiddishkeit, and a convenient medium through which to connect with Acheinu’s kiruv resources. Book of Life:While trying to absorb the latest statistic, the words of Rav Zev Hofstedter, son of Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, founder of Acheinu and Dirshu, during my recent visit to his Yeshiva continue to ring in my ears. You can write a book about every one of them. Though I had to rush out of the Yeshiva to make it back in time for Shabbos, Rav Hofstedter did manage to give a small taste of some of the stories behind the young, radiant bnei Torah around us, who appeared just like their peers in mainstream Yeshivos and were on track to move on to the most prestigious Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel. Every one of them was a living tale of struggle and triumph. They struggled vigorously to abandon the freewheeling surroundings they were raised in and had to deal with parents who fought them at every step. The mother of one of the boys showed her son a bottle of prescription drugs and promised to overdose if he goes to Yeshiva. Upon consultation with gedolim, the boy went to Yeshiva; his mother is alive and well. One boy came to the Yeshiva, but later chose to leave its uplifting surroundings. His father, who had vehemently fought his enrollment in Yeshiva just a few months earlier, came pleading to the hanhala to try to get him back in. He realized what a positive impact the Yeshiva had. Multiply these precious neshamos and their offspring for generations by the thousands -1,400 for 5773 alone. May Hashem inscribe all of his returning children, their guides – indeed all of klal Yisroel- in the Book of Life. For dedication opportunities and more information, please contact Acheinu’s Executive Director Rabbi Moshe Simcha Levine at 718-412-3540 or visit www.Acheinu.org.

JANUARY 17, 2013

Reb Chaim, as he is affectionately called by anyone privileged to have made his acquaintance, is a personality you would not want to miss. You will be inspired by his charisma, extraordinary life experiences, and personal encounters he has had with Torah giants and Rebbes since his childhood in prewar Warsaw, Poland. Being a scion of the Roshei Hakehillah gave him the opportunity to meet the Chofetz Chaim ZT”L, Ostrover Gaon, Pyetzesner Rebbe, Chovas Hatalmidim , and so many more. Reb Chaim spent five years of anguish in fourteen concentration camps including the infamous Majdaneck, where he received his “decoration”, his number, for life. He was then part of a group of Torah hungry students who, on the DAY of liberation, planted the seeds of the Novardok


Hagaon Horav Chaim Halpern, Rosh Yeshivas Ohr Joseph- Novardok, France, visiting the Los Angeles community this week

Judiasm Alive

JANUARY 17, 2013


Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn


Dai Vernon and the Path to the Side


here must be another way” exclaimed Dai Vernon, the mysterious Canadian magician, as he was locked to a fence at a young age. Bullies had chained him there as part of a prank. “There must be another way.” He went deep into his minds’ eye and conjured up a unique maneuver to release himself from the fence. Freedom. There is almost always another way. It was the last few weeks of high school and my mother told me that a great and saintly Rabbi was staying at our neighbor’s house. The Kaliver Rebbe was in town. He is known for his piercing insight and his spir-

itual vision. I walked over. It was Friday afternoon. I waited for him the backyard. He came out to meet me. There he was. He was resplendent and majestic in his special for Sabbath garb; gold and white. There was a still calmness on his worn face. I shook his hand and he looked deep into my eyes. He froze. We stood there for what felt like minutes. And then he shared the following teaching with me. As Moses approached the burning bush, G-d tells him – “shal naa’lecha me’al raglecha, ki hamakom asher atah omed alav admas kodesh hu”, “remove the shoes from your feet

With this rendering the meaning shifts: “remove the locks/shackles from your feet, for if you realize that no matter where you stand is holy ground – you are free.” Pow! I soared through the sky like a commit when I heard that. You are never trapped, there is always another way. A couple struggling in a relationship often think that the only way to freedom and happiness is by leaving each other, and sometimes that is the case – but more often than not – there is another way. You may not know yet, what it is and you may not notice the moment of insight but there can

THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY. because where you stand is holy ground.” This translation is the classic and accepted understanding of the verse. But explained the Kaliver Rebbe, there is a truth here that is so much deeper, so much richer. The word for shoes in this verse is “naa’lecha.” The same route forms the Hebrew word “lock.” It is even used in modern Hebrew.

be another way for so many things that we do in life. Steve Weinberg was driving to his office at MIT in the fall of 1976 when something new about the forces of nature had hit him. He was entering the stage that is usually considered the end of one’s prime for a theoretical physicist. For years he had been trying to develop a theory of the “strong nuclear force, (one of the four basic forces of nature)” building upon the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED). But his effort to construct a unifying theory simply wasn’t’ working. On that drive, it dawned on him – there must be another way. Instead of strong nuclear force, maybe it was weak force, the force that causes neutrons to shift into protons. Weak force is critical for energy production in the world. It is at the route of our survival. This flash of insight allowed Weinberg to develop, what was until then untouchable, a Law of Symmetry. Instead of giving up on years of research Weinberg knew – there was definitely another way. It is said that some people like to hear stories so that they can go to sleep, while the seekers like to hear stories so they can wake up. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov had stories, that if you were to listen closely to them, you can wake up in a way that you have never woken before. One of his great one’s is the story “The Lost Princess.” The story is about a princess who after fighting with her father the King, goes missing. This story is all one big metaphor. What does this lost princess symbolize? Lost innocence? Lost spirituality? Lost hope? I don’t know. It is for the reader to find what speaks to them in the story. That’s how Rebbe Nachman told stories. At one point in the story, the valiant viceroy, who is sent on a long and difficult journey to find the princess, feels as though he is almost out of options. As soon as he is about to give up – he notices it: “As he was crossing a desert, he saw

a path to the side, and he was composing himself: ‘seeing that I’ve been going such a long time in the desert and I cannot find her, I’ll try this path – maybe I’ll come to a settled area.’” Where is our path to the side? Strapped with financial burdens and medical challenges, often we find ourselves wondering how we dig ourselves out of this mess. Often, we try the same failed solutions over and over. We keep borrowing or gambling and push ourselves into deeper waters. We keep repeating the same mistakes in our parenting thinking that this time around it’s going to make a difference. But all along, there off to the right, perhaps hidden by some trees is your unique path to the side. I remember meeting the friendliest human being you could ever meet. He lived each day with a smile. You could always bump into him in the street carrying his kids on his back. But behind that painted smile was the pain and pressure of making ends meet. This fellow, let’s call him Simon, had a creative business idea that just fell apart. One bad deal after another. He would work late shifts at restaurants to make ends meet. With only some change in his pocket, he was like a man possessed. Instead of the usual bee line he would make on his way home from work, he decided to stop into a local mini mart. He bought a lottery ticket and nailed it. $6.3 million dollars later he never forgets to be thankful for his path to the side. A story like that isn’t going to play out this way for most of us. The Powerball is not going to be our ticket out of suffering but it does illustrate that there is, for each of us, a path to the side. The path looks different for each of us. You might find ironic the path of Rabbi Benjamin Blech. In his book “Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs”, Rabbi Blech mentions how his losing a million was actually his personal path to the side! I know what you’re thinking, that’s one side you’d like to avoid. Me too. But again, there is almost always an alternative way of doing things. 8 hours later, Dai Vernon’s thugs came to the spot where they tied him up. They found a pair of handcuffs, an empty soda can cut in half, and a bandana. But no Vernon. Where was he? How was this possible? They didn’t know and neither do I. But it’s clear – Dai Vernon found his path to the side. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is currently the Rav and Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at rabbieinhorn@gmail.com




JANUARY 17, 2013

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JANUARY 17, 2013

Cultivating Creativity




ver the past number of years, a tremendous amount of research has been conducted regarding the study of talent and creativity. Allen Braun, the chief of the language section of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), has been studying the brains of

freestyle rappers as a means to understand how the brain thinks creatively. The creative flow of a freestyle rapper is a work of genius as they instantaneously rap and rhyme about a plethora of people and topics without any preparation at all. The research amassed by Braun and his colleagues show that freestyle rappers have the ability to “quiet down” the part of their brain (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) that controls self-control and self-monitoring while they improvise their lyrics. At the same time, the part of the brain that controls integration, motivation and organization (medial prefrontal cortex) becomes increasingly more active! In other words, this incredibly creative process is only possible by literally shutting down the parts of the brain that

will impede this progress. Schools and parents are challenged to support and cultivate our children’s talents and creativity. The question we must address is: Do we always respond appropriately and create the right environment to meet this challenge? For instance, a teacher can read aloud a book and ask the students to think critically about the subject that they are learning. This is a real opportunity for kids to enlist

Rabbi Aharon Wilk

healthy and clear organizational structure. The verse begins: If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, even matters of controversy within thy gates; then shalt thou arise, and get thee up unto the place which the LORD thy G-d shall choose. The Torah continues to explain that we must adhere to the senior judges and that our judicial system must be properly aligned. The Chasam Sofer (1762-1839) expounds on this verse in an extraordinary meaningful way. He explains: “If a person has a question or a wonder and for some reason no one else is bothered by this question… this person should not be discouraged! This person should see this as an opportunity to discover something that has not been realized yet. This person should see this as a question that will be a source of his/her personal growth and he/she should “rise up” and exert themselves as this question will bring them to the place that Hashem has chosen for them!” Last year, our school was fortunate to have the noted lecturer and author, Matt May, visit the school and teach us about a process termed “design thinking.” As an icebreaker to this lecture, Matt conducted a series of problem solving challenges to our faculty. One of the lessons that I most vividly recall was the concept of “ideacide.” Ideacide is the theory that often creative solutions do not get heard because members of a group choose to solve problems using already established concepts. Therefore, fresh ideas are “killed” almost before they can get to the table. The power of an inquisitive mind and the ability to support our children in their growth as critical, creative thinkers is a challenge we must rise to. More than anything, we need to show our children that their questions are important and that they demand our attention.

SCHOOLS & PARENTS ARE CHALLENGED TO SUPPORT & CULTIVATE OUR CHILDREN’S TALENTS & CREATIVITY. themselves in a creative flow. Inevitably, students begin calling out answers and the classroom experience can seem somewhat out of control. The natural reaction for the teacher might be to harness the environment in a manner that will be more structured and rigid; albeit more “controlled”. Did this teacher make the situation better or worse? The teacher may have created important structure in the classroom, yet it may have been at the expense of student creativity and imagination. Conversely, the “Chavruta - partners” learning that is most frequently found in Yeshiva (and is uniquely Jewish) most often involves partners “yelling” at each other as they try to decipher a Talmudic text and enjoy a uninhibited and free flowing creative process. As parents and educators, we may also find ourselves dictating the types of questions our children are “allowed” to ask. We may say statements like “that is not a real question” or “no one is bothered by this” as an answer to a question that we may not want to answer or do not consider valid. Are we helping our children or are we robbing them of a creative process? Jewish tradition could not be any clearer with respect to the power of a question. Maimonides recounts in great detail how Avraham discovered G-d and Monotheism by questioning the status quo that had already been uniformly accepted! Our forefathers and Moshe’s profession of choice was that of a shepherd as this afforded them ample time and “peace of mind” to be thoughtful and creative. There is a verse (Deuteronomy 17:8) in the Torah that discusses the need for a

Rabbi Aharon Wilk is the Principal of Maimonides Academy in Los Angeles.

Jewish Thought

Rabbi Dov Wagner


Moshe and Miriam bas Bilga


ne must live with the times,” Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi told his followers. Of course, he wasn’t exhorting them to get ahead of the curve on the latest IPhone upgrades, but rather reminding them of the age-old Jewish tradition of finding relevant lessons for day-to-day life in each week’s Torah portion, keeping our connection with Torah fresh and relatable as we deal with all that life may throw at us. From that perspective, we live right now in exciting times. As we read through the heart of Shemos, the stories about Moshe and Aaron leading the Jewish people out of Egypt lend themselves to so many meaningful themes: Reward and punishment, faith in the darkest of circumstances, exile and redemption, the birth of the Jewish people, revelation, and so much more. One theme prevalent in these portions is that of leadership. Moshe Rabeinu is the quintessential Jewish leader, referred to as “Our Teacher” even to this day. What is it that gave Moshe this unique ability? We read about his first steps –leaving his own comfortable position in Pharaoh’s palace, he goes out to his brothers’ – and as Rashi states “he cast his eyes and heart” to feel their distress. He stands up against the injustice, even risking his own life. Even after fleeing to Midian, his first act is similarly standing up to protect the daughters of Yisro. This theme continues throughout the portions that follow. At every step of the way, Moshe shows the unique blend of humility and caring, forcefulness and Chutzpah that together define what it means to be a leader. But ultimately, despite all of his wonderful qualities, there is one particular moment that causes G-d to choose Moshe. It was the care and concern that Moshe exhibited for a wayward sheep, the Midrash tells us, that led G-d to choose Moshe as shepherd for His flock. This quality is by no means limited to Moshe Rabeinu. According to the Zohar, “there is a reflection of Moshe in every generation” – the qualities exhibited by Moshe

ful lessons: •Every Jew matters! Even someone who had fallen so low, who seemingly had completely and utterly turned her back on her people, still matters. While some might be tempted to view her current actions as irrelevant – to see her as having been completely cut off – the Talmud emphasizes that her audacity towards the altar still has an impact. Because “Yisrael af al pi shechata, yisrael hu” – a Jew who sins is still a Jew, and therefore we are still concerned with her behavior even at that late stage, rather than giving up on her completely.

EVERY JEW MATTERS! a part of our soul completely pure and connected, an expression of Moshe Rabeinu. It is by getting in touch with this Moshe within that fear of Heaven becomes something easily within the reach of us all. But how do we do it? How do we channel that Moshe within, awakening true caring for every person around us? Sometimes, it begins with a paradigm shift. I’d like to share with you a story from the Gemarah at the end of Sukkah, and the fascinating way the Lubavitcher Rebbe interpreted its message. The Gemarah tells the story of Miriam bas Bilga – a member of the Bilga family of priests. She rebelled, converted out of the faith, even married a Greek officer. When the Greeks conquered the Beis Hamikdash, Miriam entered along with them. She banged on the altar and cried out: Lukus, Lukus! (Wolf, wolf!) Until when will you consume Jewish money, and not come to their aid in their time of need! Once the Chashmonaim had reconquered the Bais Hamikdash, the Sages punished her entire family by sealing their designated window/locker, etc. By all appearances a purely negative story. But a couple of details seem a bit hard to comprehend: •For someone who had fallen so low as to convert and marry --not just out of the faith but specifically – an enemy officer, why would we focus on her proclamation at the altar as the primary concern? Seemingly, her final action pales completely in comparison to her behavior as a whole. •Since everything in Torah is intended as a lesson to us, and certainly it does not engage in unnecessarily sharing scandalous gossip, what lesson is this story intended to teach us. In an emotional address in 1974, the Rebbe offered a completely different perspective on the story, deriving two power-

In fact, the whole purpose of recording the story is to teach us never to give up on another person, and at any stage of rebellion to continue to look for a way to reconnect them with their essential goodness. •Even in Miriam’s blasphemous words,

there is a powerful positive message. For even after joining the enemy in their defilement of the Beis Hamikdash, what is it that concerns Miriam? She doesn’t blaspheme against G-d in general. She is bothered by one thing: Why is G-d not helping his people!! Incredibly, the Rebbe saw this story not as an account of how far someone could stray, but as a powerful message about the inner connection that always remains, and our responsibility to seek it, recognize it, and nurture it. The lessons of Jewish leadership are something we have to live with each and every day. Every parent with his or her children, and every one of us with each person we encounter as we go through life, face the opportunity – and the obligation – to be able to express the Moshe within ourselves, and bring out the Moshe in everyone around us. Rabbi Dov Wagner is director of the Chabad Jewish Student Center @ USC, and lives at USC with his wife and six children. He can be reached at chabad@usc.edu

JANUARY 17, 2013

are inherent in Jewish leaders throughout the ages. In fact, Moshe’s qualities are incumbent upon each of us to emulate. About Moshe’s exhortation to the Jewish people “For what does Hashem your G-d ask of you, except to fear Him?” the Talmud records the following exchange: “Is then fear of G-d a small thing? Yes, for Moshe it is indeed small.” Many of the commentaries wonder at the logic – how does fear of Heaven being a small thing for Moshe help the rest of us? According to the Tanya, this talks to the “Moshe” within each and every one of us. Each of us has a “Pintele Yid” –


Hasidic Thought


JANUARY 17, 2013


Rabbi Reuven Wolf


A Loving Descent


n preparing for the climactic night when, after nine plagues, G-d will descended and bring the final, devastating plague—Makat Bechorot: The Plague of the First Born—that will destroy the last defenses of Egypt at midnight of the night of the fifteenth of Nisan, the Torah tells us (Chap. 12: Verse 12), that G-d told Moshe and Aharon: I will pass through (ve-avarti) the land of Egypt on that night, and I will strike every first-born of the land of Egypt, man and beast, and I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt; I am the Lord. On the face of it, this is a simple, straightforward verse. The comment of Rashi on this verse— on the word “ve-avarti;” “‘I will pass through’ …Like a king who passes from place to place, but,” Rashi adds, “the passing will be in an instant, and in that instant, all [the First Born] will be struck down.” Now, we know that Rashi makes comments (particularly of Midrashic material), only to clarify a verse or to resolve some problem or difficulty that the verse

poses. But there doesn’t seem to be anything troublesome here that requires this comment. What, in fact, has Rashi told us that is not already plainly stated in the verse? What problem bothered Rashi that prompted this explanation? The commentaries on Rashi wrestle with this problem, and offer varied explanations that appear to others somewhat forced and unsatisfying. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, in his Sichot, offers a stunningly original understanding of Rashi, and in the course of doing so, answers a question that has occurred to just about everyone at one time or another: Why, with all the many miracles that occurred during the Exodus, is the entire Festival named after the “skipping over” the homes of the Israelites who smeared blood on the homes? Why, in other words, is this Festival, this yom tov, called Pesach—Passover? To understand this view, let’s first ask

a simple, naïve question: Does G-d really have to come down to Egypt in order for there to be a plague? We know all to well that, as we say in the Psalms of Hallel (Psalm 135) “Whatever G-d wants to do, He does” (Kol asher chafetz asah). It is not necessary for G-d to “come down to earth” in order to do anything. In fact, during most of the Plagues visited on Egypt, the Plague was initiated through a signaling action of Moses or Aaron. Yet, there was a Plague—the fifth Plague, Dever, the Pestilence of the Animals—that was done directly by G-d,

metes out the punishment to the Egyptian for their crimes against the Israelites during the Bondage; He skips over the houses of the Israelites that are marked with the sign of the blood of the Paschal lamb; and He makes his Presence known and felt in Egypt—casting a confirming, comforting and healing Revelation for the Israelites. And yet, even this does not seem enough to warrant naming the entire Festival “Pesach” after the Divine act of skipping over the homes of the Israelites. With so many miracles accompanying the Exodus, it seems that there should be something more in this act of skipping over. And, indeed there is. For in a addition to the “wholesale” operation of the Plague of the First-born, there were many homes, Rashi tells us (in verse 13, also quoting the Mechilta) in which there were Egyptians posing as Israelites and hiding among them—spying on them to see if they were hiding new-born Israelite children (as was the case initially with Moses), and there were Israelites who sought refuge in the homes of Egyptians—Jews who wavered in their faith and put their trust in the power of the Egyptians and sought refuge where there was no refuge on this night. This act of Divine Love, in which G-d did not give up on those Jews who seem (and if we are honest with ourselves, that may include us) to still be unworthy of redemption, was what happened on this wonderful night. This is what is signified by that word, “pesach”—G-d skips over the Egyptians and calls with love and forgiveness to every Jew, giving each Jew a chance to follow Him and His Torah. And we celebrate this aspect of the Exodus and name the Festival after it: Because we hope and pray that this aspect of Divine Love and Mercy for His children, the Jewish People, will be repeated when the ultimate Redemption, the coming of Moshi’ach, occurs—speedily in our day.


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without Moshe or Aaron doing anything. Hinei yad Hashem ho-yah be-mikne’cha asher basa-deh... reads the verse (9:3): “Behold the Hand of G-d will strike your livestock in the fields...” In this Plague, in fact, there was also a selection process— Ve-hiflah Hashem bein miknei Yisroel lmiknei mitzrayim: “G-d will separate the livestock of the Israelites from the livestock of the Egyptians…”—the Egyptian cattle simply died and the livestock of the Israelites lived. There was no passing over some cattle to strike at other cattle, or any coming down or passing through by G-d. Why, one may ask, couldn’t this be the manner in which the tenth Plague occurred—by “remote control,” as it were, and without G-d descending into Egypt? G-d went down to Egypt on that night because He had a number of items on His agenda, an agenda that made G-d eager to come down to Egypt on that night. For it was on that night that G-d redeemed His children, the Israelites, whom He loved and whom he desired to set free from the bondage of Egypt. Like a father welcoming a child who has been away for a long time—perhaps studying abroad, but in this case, more like a prisoner or hostage released from captivity—G-d comes to meet His cherished, beloved children personally. Just as it is inconceivable that the father of Gilad Shalit, would be able to refrain from going wherever he had to go to meet and welcome his son upon his release—he would not be able to simply sit at home and wait for his son’s return after five years of horrible captivity at the hands of Hamas, so must G-d come down to Egypt and personally redeem His children, His nation. So far, we see that G-d has several missions on the night of the First Seder: He passes through Egypt and in an instant

Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.



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JANUARY 17, 2013


How to be Mekarev Hollywood Angelenos give and get outreach inspiration at 2013 AJOP Convention by Rachel Wizenfeld


wo LA powerhouses, Bracha Zaret who directs Ashreinu/JAM, an outreach organization on Southern California college campuses, and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, a well-known thinker, teacher and writer involved with the Baal Teshuva movement, both gave insights garnered from working with unaffiliated Southern California Jews at the 25th Annual AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals) Convention this past weekend, while over a dozen other LA outreach professionals came to learn their share of tips for bringing Judaism to the Entertainment Capital of the World.

“While I get many specific programming ideas from AJOP, the most important thing that I get is a tremendous chizuk in seeing how so many Jews have been brought back to Judaism through the efforts of all the men and women in kiruv from around the world,” said Rabbi Eli Stern, director of outreach programming at LINK LA, who attended AJOP.    While California’s open vibe, warm climate and prevalent entertainment influence foster an open environment to exploring Judaism, he and many other outreach professionals here say that openness also includes a difficulty to commit. “People in LA are floaters – the float in and out of things,” said Rabbi Yitz Jacobs of Aish HaTorah Los

Angeles.  In NY, he said, people are suspicious when you invite them for Shabbos or reach out some other way – but once they’re involved, they’re in all the way.  In LA, “they’re not paranoid, they just don’t make commitments. They’ll come to a Shabbat dinner and you won’t see them again for a year. They sign up a week in ad-

about being laid back and go-withthe-flow.  There’s no sense of swimming against the tide.” He added, “Of course there’s the Hollywood influence: a lack of tznius, people living in a fantasy world, buying things they can’t afford.” However it’s this same fantasy world that leads people to look


vance for a trip to Israel…it’s easy in, easy out,” he said. Similarly, Rabbi Stern said that LA’s warm weather climate means that in a subtle way people are not dealing with the daily adversity that poor weather – slushy snow, biting winds and humid summers – forces people in other areas to tackle. “It’s not just a tznius (modesty) issue - when you have warm climate all year round, there’s no striving to overcome adversity.  It’s not just

for Judaism when they crash, he said.  “We’ve had success with people in their 30’s and 40’s – aspiring actors and actresses, driving a Ferrari, living the high life, then they crash. They realize it doesn’t buy them happiness.” “We’re there to help and pick people up – especially with the women.  Some men still think they can keep up with the illusion.  Judaism is such a breath of fresh air after this– we’re all about the internal, not

external.” And while in NY, many non-religious Jews come in contact with religious people, whether it’s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the diamond district, or Queens or Brooklyn, in LA the religious Jews are pretty segregated into their communities whereas secular Jews are spread out across the greater Los Angeles area.  “90% of Jews here have never spoken to a frum Jew in their life,” he estimated, which can also be an advantage because there are not negative stereotypes.” In addition, the levels of assimilation are much more stark here in LA than in other areas, especially in NY.  “Secular Jews here have grown up having X-Mas trees!” he said.    Interestingly, while they used to cater more toward Ashkenazim, Rabbi Jacobs of Aish has been seeing a big influx of Persian and Sephardi young professionals at his programming.  His theory is that while there’s a lot of successful first generation kiruv, such as for Israelis in LA, Russians in Brooklyn or South Africans in San Diego, second generation immigrants have a lot of questions and need to mesh their



Cover Story


JANUARY 17, 2013


parents identity with that of their new American culture, leading them to search for answers. “They find that their Jewish identity is being challenged here in America – something their parents didn’t have to deal with in the old world, and they’re not accepting American culture outright.  They’re challenging and thinking and this draws them to Aish to find answers.” His goal?  “Give them a Jewish perspective and information and let

them choose how deep or far they want to go,” through classes, Friday night dinners, summer trips to Israel and more. While few Chabaniks (representatives of Chabad Lubavitch) attend the AJOP convention, it would be impossible to ignore their success in reaching out to unaffiliated Jews in Southern California, where their efforts and programs have captured the interest of top stars and celebrities, as well as thousands of assimilated Jews. Rabbi Chaim Cunin, son of Rabbi Shlomo Cunin who heads all Chabad efforts on the West Coast, said that the entertainment and arts industry here is a reflection of people’s desire for inner depth.  “It’s an expression of the neshama that has to be redirected into a holy, pure, proper place. “People here are searching.  It


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can take them to unhappy places, but the search leads them to pursue the arts, creativity, the film industry – they’re really looking for something deeper. The creative energy that exists in this town underlies the inner search for deeper meaning in

role in world of Chabad outreach altogether.” Their college campus outreach also reaches thousands – over 25 full-time campus Rabbis and Rebbetzins currently serve on California campuses.  On Purim alone, over

THE BIGGEST WEAPON WE HAVE IS THE FAMILY life.” While Rabbi Cunin wouldn’t give specific estimates on how many unaffiliated Jews are impacted by Chabad each year in SoCal, he did say that California is the strongest and largest Chabad center outside of Israel, and that California Lubavitch birthed nearly all the trademark Chabad programs, including the Mitzvah Mobile, the public Menorah lightings (one of the biggest which takes place at Universal CityWalk each year) and the Chabad House – the first was established in West LA in 1967.  “First of all, in California alone, we have over 263 full-time emissaries, Rabbis and Rebbetzins serving communities large and small. Of those emissaries, 100 of them serve in Southern California.  You can’t go more than half a mile in Los Angeles without bumping into at least one or more Chabad.  In addition to theshluchim and Chabad centers in the LA community, Chabad on the west coast has served in a leadership

10,000 Jewish students came to a Chabad Purim party in CA, 70% of them from Southern California. “More people are comfortable at Chabad if they’re not ready for a formal kind of thing.  In many cases it’s the first Jewish encounter for many kids.” Similar to Aish HaTorah of LA, whose goal according to Rabbi Jacobs is simply to give people an introduction to Judaism and place to explore and discover at their own pace, Rabbi Cunin said that he measures success in how many neshamos (souls) they are able to reach, at whatever capacity.  “It might be one more child going to Jewish day school, or just being a shoulder to lean on for someone,” he said. While their numbers may be smaller overall than Chabad, the kiruv work done by JAM (Jewish Awareness Movement) has been proven effective in leading college-aged students to embrace full Jewish observance.  With couples

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on five Southern California campuses, and the use of the Los Angeles lay community in which students are matched with frum families who embody their professional aspirations (pre-law students with lawyers, pre-med with doctors etc.), JAM has led more than 1000 people to become Torah observant since its inception and has approximately 50 JAM students in yeshivas in Israel at any given time, according to Bracha Zaret, JAM founder and director.  While other organizations seek to provide a place for people to discover Judaism and move at their own pace, JAM seeks to show students the beauty of Torah Judaism and move students along the path to full observance.   Unlike JAM, a hip outreach organization in Pico called the Chai Center – it’s affiliated religiously with Chabad but is functionally independent - is more interested in getting “any Jew that moves to do one more mitzvah, get them to do something today that they weren’t doing yesterday - not a black hat or a sheitel,” said Mendel Schwartz, director of programming.  The event-centric organization draws thousands of Jews, whether they’re “Conservative, Reform, unaffiliated, or any Jew that moves,” to singles parties, classes, and even a yearly X-mas party for Jews with nowhere to go.  Schwartz thinks they have success – over 16,000 people are on their mailing list - due to their targeted events for people in the same age group or industry.  A big proponent of using events, not synagogues, to bring people to Judaism, Schwartz thinks there are “not enough events or classes for the Jews in LA who are not members of


Temples…I think LA is very healthy in that there are many organizations and classes providing for the Jewish community, although I see the majority of Jewish money going to the minority of people, so see a lot of room for growth.”   However when it comes to making a long-term commitment to observant Judaism, Rabbi Stern of LINK believes that, “As Bracha Zaret always says, the biggest weapon we have is the family.  When people see the respect that the husband has for the wife, the children have for the parents, when they see a Shabbos meal, it does a lot more than convincing people of Jewish philosophy.” While their methods may differ, the impressive results of all of these organizations and many more in the LA area dedicated to outreach speak to the creativity and resourcefulness of kiruv work in LA, despite – or because of – the warm weather and over-the-top entertainment influence.  Other cities: take note!


You Gotta be



Submitted by Chana Esther Langer

• you have difficulty reading anything that doesn’t have footnotes. • saturday nights spent studying no longer seems weird. • you hope it snows during spring break so you can get more studying in. • you find taking notes in a park relaxing. • you find yourself citing sources in conversations. • you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read. • you rate coffee shops by the availability of wireless internet. • spending $50 on photocopying doesn’t seem ridiculous to you. • you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche. • you regard ibuprofen as a vitamin. • you have a favorite flavor of instant noodle soup. • you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation. • everything reminds you of something in your discipline.

Submitted by Hudi Weinstock If the riddle you solved before you solved the riddle you solved after you solved the riddle you solved before you solved this one, was harder than the riddle you solved after you solved the riddle you solved before you solved this one, was the riddle you solved before you solved this one harder than this one? Yes or no? Answer on next page

fill in the blank words. each word has two sets of double letters in a row.

1. body modification. t____o 2. it’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s a... b_____n 3. acuteness or acumen. k______s 4. a group of people. c_______e

keenness committee

For years Morris and his dear wife Edna would go to the county fair and relish in the amazement of the rides. Each year, Morris and Edna would watch the massive Ferris wheel. And each year Edna would approach the man manning the ride and ask how much a ticket is. When the man would respond, “$20,” Morris would shake his head no and say, “$20 is $20,” and the couple would walk on instead of wasting their money on the ride. After years of the same thing happening over and over, the man manning the ride finally said, “Look, I know how badly you guys want to go on this ride and I also know how cheap Morris is. So, I will let you go on the ride for free, but I don’t want to hear a peep from you guys. Understood?” Morris and Edna eagerly agreed and got on the Ferris wheel. When the ride was over, Edna walked off. When the man asked her where Morris was, she explained that he fell off the ride. “You know, I was tempted to scream and alert you, but you said that you didn’t want to hear a peep from us and ‘$20 is $20.’”

3. 4.


Answer: 1. tattoo 2. balloon

The Jewish m e n jHOME a n u a ry 1JANUARY 7 , 2013 17, 2013 THEh oJEWISH



29 THE JEWISH T h eHOME J e w i s h JANUARY h o m e n 17, j a2013 n u a ry 1 7 , 2013


3. Of these Hall of Fame greats, who retired with the highest career batting average? a. Ty Cobb b. Rogers Hornsby c. Babe Ruth d. Ted Williams 4. How long can a player remain on the Hall of Fame ballot if he is not voted in? a. 5 b. 8 c. 15 d. 20

Answers: 1. D 2. B- The Hall of Fame in Cooperstown was established on June 12, 1939 by Stephen Carlton Clark, owner of a local hotel, as a clever way of bringing tourists into the outof-the-way, small town of Cooperstown, New York (a long trek northwest of New York City). 3. A- Cobb retired with an amazing .366 average after 24 seasons in the American League. Hornsby was close to Cobb with his .358, Williams with his .344 average, and Ruth retired with a .342 average. Both Cobb and Ruth were inducted in the first ceremony of

6. How many living Hall of Famers are there? a. 64 b. 77 c. 156 d. 240 7. Are there any females in the baseball Hall of Fame? a. Yes b. No 8. How many players in the Hall of Fame wear the Mets uniform? a. 1 b. 9 c. 27 d. 38 9. Which Hall of Famer was the first switch hitter to hit over 500 home runs, won three American League MVPs, a Triple Crown award and hit 18 World Series homeruns; he was also a Yankee. a. Phil Rizuzuto b. Babe Ruth c. Mickey Mantle d. Lou Gehrig

the Hall of Fame in 1936. 4. C- If a player fails to be elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America within 15 years of eligibility, he may be selected by the Veterans Committee. 5. D- The Giants have 23 players in the Hall; the Yanks have 15. 6. A 7. Yes- Effa Manley was the co-owner and business manager of the Negro League’s Newark Eagles from 1936 to 1948. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006. 8. A- Mets player Tom Seaver was elected in 1992 with the highest vote percentage ever, 98.8, which is higher than Babe Ruth, higher than Joe DiMaggio,


Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to centerfold@fivetownsjewishhome.com

higher than Mickey Mantle. When Gary Carter was elected to the Hall, he joked that he wanted his Cooperstown cap to be a half-and-halfer, split between the Expos and Mets. The Hall makes the ultimate call on the logo and the Mets still only have one uniform in the Hall. Maybe that’s why Piazza didn’t get in last week. 9. C Scorecard: 7-9 Correct: I would say you deserve an award, but you are probably taking baseball brain steroids. 4-6 correct: You are batting around .500, which would be great if this was actual baseball, but this is baseball trivia so I am sorry to say, you are really not that special. 0-3 correct: You could probably get a doctor to prescribe you some baseball brain steroids.

Answer to riddle:

2. Founded in 1936, the baseball Hall of Fame museum started for the following reason: a. After Babe Ruth died, people wanted a museum to commemorate him. Once they started a started a museum, they decided to feature other great players. b. It was a way to get people to come to Cooperstown, which is a town in NY with not much else going on. c. It was a way to connect young people to the legends of baseball, which the MLB thought would make the game more popular with you. d. It was sponsored by a local charity to get people’s mind off of WWII.

5. Which baseball team has the most players in the Hall of Fame? a. Red Sox b. Yankees c. Phillies d. Giants

Yes. To put more simply: If the riddle you solved before this one was harder than THIS ONE, was the riddle you solved before this one harder than THIS ONE?

1. When was the last time before last week that no players were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame? a. 1947 b. 1959 c. 1974 d. 1996



JANUARY 17, 2013


EDUCATION: Question & Answer Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries.   If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email educationqanda@hillelhebrew.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks.  All names will be held confidential.

This week’s question is very close to every parent’s heart.

Q. All I care is for my child to grow up to be a mentsch. What do I need to do as a parent to guarantee this happens? A Worried Parent Dear Worried Parent, Always remember there are never any guarantees in life. Your responsibility as a parent is to do whatever is in your power to affect a positive outcome, but there are no guarantees. Child rearing and education is a daily task and mitzvah. The same way that G-d commands you to love a fellow human being as a constant mitzvah, likewise when it comes to educating children, we must be on task all the time. Diligence and consistency are keys to being a successful parent.  Here are some steps that can help you see your child grow up as the mentsch you want him or her to become: Role Model: Never ask your child to

do something that you do not do yourself. This is hypocritical and shows your child you do not really mean what you say or tell them. If you want your child to be considerate of others, then role model this behavior.  Talk positively about others and your child will emulate this behavior.  Act kindly towards the needy and he or she will follow suit.  Treat the elderly with respect and your child will stand up for a person who is older than him or her. Ask your child to do any of the above while blatantly not acting as you command is a recipe for your child not to heed your command and wish.   Communicate: Talk to you child not “at” him or her.  Yes it is okay to be the adult and tell your child what to do, but he or she is more likely to internalize your message of being a mentsch, if (a) he or she is treated like one, and (b) he or she takes ownership of the process.  Talk about what being a mentsch means and give examples of what mentschlechkeit is to your child. Catch your child doing good and give

specific not general praise: When your child acts appropriately catch him or her in the act of kindness and recognize the act. Praise him or her for the specific act he or she did.  Do not just say “good boy” “good girl” “tzaddik” or “tzadeket” but add to the praise a specific explanation of why he or she is good.  This allows your child to focus on that specific behavior the next time.  He or she will try to repeat the behavior that elevated him or her to tzaddik or tzadeket status. Teach: Use teachable moments as they arise. Be careful not to over preach, let a child be a child, but from time to time, use an event to teach a child how to act. Include in your teaching moments how being humble is a trait that leads to greatness.  Humility allows others to live in our space and allows us to act appropriately to all people even with differences. Empower: Empower your child to take the initiative in being a mentsch and doing random acts of kindness for others.  The more practice your child has in

acting in a certain way, the more it becomes part of the very fiber and essence of his or her being. The Talmud says there are three partners in the creation of humankind. Mother, Father and G-d.   Bring G-d into your life and home.  The more room there is for the Divine in your home the more chance your child will be responsive to the needs of others.  Your child will learn that life is not only about material successes but its also about feeling good as a result of performing something meaningful for others as well.  That is a special feeling and your child will appreciate it. These are some of the initial steps we came up with in helping your child become a mentsch.  To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, email educationqandq@hillelhebrew.org. We want to hear your thoughts.   This article was compiled by the Educational Administrative Team of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and edited by the English Language Department.

Students Write

the Segulah with the Power of Torah

What Being Jewish Means to Me…


SALVAGED THE SALE 8th Grade student Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy

Beit Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for only myself, what am I? If not now, when?” (Pirkei Avot 1:14). When taught this Mishna this past summer, I realized that the world is challenging, but it is our role as part of Hashem’s special nation to find our place and enlighten the world. We must not only think of ourselves, but also the rest of humanity. Believe it or not, the world can change because of the lone decision of one person. We must unite to craft the world into a “brighter” place. But we can’t wait to decide that this should be done later on in our lives because there is no better time than the present. Our ultimate goal is for the world to be perfect, and as we all know, practice makes perfect. But how do we “practice” making the world perfect? The answer is by participating in ‫מצוות‬ ‫בין אדם לחבירו‬, deeds between oneself and his or her friends. By doing simple deeds like giving tzedakah or learning Torah, we are able to “brighten” the world a little bit more. A few days ago, while I was in the process of writing this article, I saw something incredible. While in a school hallway, I saw a custodian picking up garbage that was on the floor. A student walked by and noticed that the custodian had dropped one piece of paper. Instead of just walking by, the student bent down and picked up the paper and handed it to the custodian. The custodian took the paper and, with a smile on his face, walked away. Even though it was just a simple deed, it amazed me that such a small act could be the difference between a smile and a frown. To me, being Jewish is about illuminating the world one step at a time.

A Jew’s Values By: Mikey Szabo

8th Grade student Maimonides Academy

What does being Jewish mean to me? There is an infinite number of answers to this question. For one, it means community. The Jewish community is one like no other. Every experience I have had with the Jewish community has exceeded my expectations. For example, when I went

“It’s not the first time that I’ve had a sale in my store” related the “Kollel Chatzos” partner. “Once a year I make a large sell-off which usually brings in lots of revenue and helps sustain the business for a long time.”

SEGULAH OF KETORAS The only Segulah written in the Torah!

“This year, as in the past, we once again announced our big annual sale. We invested in a huge marketing campaign with prominent ads and large discounts, and looked forward to a profitable week”.

MISHNAYAS & SHAS According to your specications-for the soul of a loved one

“But halfway through the sale week,” he continued “things were not going as planned… It was as if we were standing in a desert without a person in sight…..the merchandise lay untouched and we were afraid that we would be “losing” money, let alone making any”.


By: Amira Felsenthal

with my family to Sydney, Austalia for Pesach three years ago, Chabad of Sydney immediately invited us to their Seder. The people were warm and kind and made us feel like family. This is true most anywhere you go. Not only that but the Rabbis of my school, Maimonides Academy, invite me and my friends over occasionally for Seudah Shlishit to bond with us outside of the classroom. We also learn from our rabbis to give back to the community. There is a program in Los Angeles called Tomchei Shabbos, where volunteers pack and deliver staples such as challah, grape juice, and chicken to other Jews who can’t afford those items for Shabbos. There is also a sense of community commitment. For example, friends and family come from all over the world to celebrate their friends’ and families’ bar mitzvahs. My camp friend from La Jolla came to most of my friends’ bar mitzvahs and we returned the favor. A few friends and I spent a great weekend in La Jolla celebrating with him. I also learrn a lot from being Jewish. One example is discipline, and boy is there so much discipline needed to be Jewish! Most of us watch television these days (though it may not be the best time spent) and see all of those commercials advertising the juicy Big Mac or the succulent Big Carl. So much temptation to go, buy one, and eat it. No one would ever know, but we Jews have to learn discipline from the youngest of ages. We also can’t do anything electronic on Shabbos unless it is an emergency, and for my generation that is a HUGE deal. Electronics are our lives, from homework to Facebook to video games. My generation will not even go to an area without Wi-Fi, but we need to learn that on Shabbos it is forbidden and we must spend the day Davening and with family. Being Jewish also means learning. In all my years at Maimonides Academy, I have studied everything from Avraham to George Washington, from false witnesses to electrons. The Rabbis and teachers have been so warm and welcoming from the get go. It hasn’t been all coddling, though: when the teachers had to be tough, they were. When we deserved detentions, we got them and when we deserved rewards for hard work, we got them. Ultimately, being Jewish means receiving ages of wisdom, values, and traditions, as well as giving back to the community and to the world. Being Jewish may force us to give up a few things, but what we get back is invaluable.

“When my son saw my predicament, he urged me to contact “Kollel Chatzos”, an organization consisting of a group of honorable men who immerse themselves in the task of helping people in crises by Torah and Tefillah at chatzos, and one that had personally benefited him already”. “I have to tell you, I am a middle-aged man with a lot of life experience, but I have never been this astounded! Shortly after calling in to sign up with “Kollel Chatzos”, customers started streaming in non-stop! What an amazing power you possess!” he concluded.

TOPIC SOURCE Through the power of Learning at Chatzos, You will Achieve Good Luck and Great Success!

VACHTNACHT The Torah learning will protect the newborn

Monsey Rabbonim shlit”a proclaim: Blessings and Success!

In recent days, the honorable directors at “Kollel Chatzos” have been paying visits to the venerable Rebbes and Rosh Yeshivas in Monsey, who have responded warmly and have welcomed the big day, Tu B’Shvat, a date established for the start of the new branch of “Kollel Chatzos-Monsey”. It will be located in the beautiful and spacious “Toshnod Shul”, from which it will serve as a source of light for all of Monsey I”H!

(‫ פלא יועץ שער השכמה‬:‫)זוהר הק' ח"א רז‬




JANUARY 17, 2013

What Being Jewish Means to Me…

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JANUARY 17, 2013


Global Son of Holocaust Survivor May Become President of Czech Republic

If recent polls are any indication, Jan Fischer, the son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, may be the next President of the Czech Republic. Fischer, 62, led the Czech Republic’s transitional government after the coalition dissolved in 2009. His rival is Milos Zeman and pre-poll surveys are showing a very close race. Fischer’s father was a Jew and suffered through the Holocaust. His mother was Catholic. “My father used to take me to the synagogue on Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Purim,” said Fischer. “He was a member of the Jewish community until the late 1950s.” Although Fischer is not officially Jewish, he does believe that the Holocaust experience is a characteristic that determines the identity of those who see themselves as Jews. “This is a tragedy that is common to all Jews, so I feel like a part of this community,” said Fischer. The Czech Republic was the only European country that voted against the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations on November 29. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the country to personally thank Prime Minister Petr Necas for his country’s support.

vorce was pronounced by the leader of the tribe and not by an official judge. “I did not want the dowry money back, and I still want my wife to come home,” he reportedly said. “I am going to take the case to a court this week to rule on the conspiracy by the family to take my money.”

Qatar Befriends Saudi Arabia Recently, Qatar generously offered to help Egypt out with $2.5 billion. Yet the Egyptian pound still dipped to a record low. Supposedly Egypt’s central reserves have dropped to a critically low level of $15 billion, from $36 billion before the uprising which ousted Mubarak. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani announced the plan to help Egypt with its currency crisis after meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. Erin Cunningham, Senior Correspondent at the Global Post, explained, “Qatar sees Egypt as a strategic asset and ally within this goal of emerging as a key regional powerbroker on a number of fronts.” Cunningham continued, “Egypt is the Arab world’s most populous country, with longstanding ties with the US and a respected history as area’s cultural and political center. Any influence here undoubtedly means influence across the Middle East.” Previously, Qatar was involved in supporting the Hamas Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip. Many suspect that Qatar sees Egypt as the gateway to Gaza for Arab regimes seeking to visit or bestow aid, funds, or other goods on the territory.

Rolls Royce’s Sales Rise

90-Year-Old Saudi Arabian Man Weds Teen There’s definitely a shidduch crisis in Saudi Arabia… The marriage between a 90-year-old man and his 15-year-old bride was recently declared over by a Saudi Arabian court. The elderly groom offered a 45,000 riyal ($17,500) dowry to marry the young girl, an offer the teen’s father couldn’t refuse. Reportedly, the girl was traumatized and locked herself in a room following the ceremony. After several sessions, the court voided the marriage, and the family was commanded to return the dowry to the groom. The groom though, does not agree with the annulment. He claims the case is not yet officially settled because the di-

While much of the nation is suffering economically, British car manufacturer Rolls-Royce is reporting its second consecutive annual sales record in its 108 years of history in 2012, though overall sales rose only around 1% last year. Apparently, there are still some Americans with $272,000 to spare on the company’s cheapest model. Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday that it would launch a new model in its Ghost range of limousines this year.

The auto maker, owned by Germany’s BMW AG, sold 3,575 cars this past year. The company pushed new markets in Latin America and Thailand, with sales in its fastest-growing market, the Middle East, up 25%.

Egypt and Iran— Friends Indeed The president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, was personally invited by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Tehran, Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi extended the invitation to Morsi during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Kamel Amr. Also during the meeting, the two parties exchanged perspectives on the Syrian conflict. Salehi strongly suggested that Iran find a peaceful solution and reject foreign interference in Syria’s affairs. Amr predicted, “Iran will have a big role in solving the crisis.” This is the second time Salehi has visited Egypt under Morsi’s leadership. He traveled to the country in September 2012. Both countries, though, seem to disagree on the future of Syria. Iran is a strong ally of Syria, yet they support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria, whereas Morsi said last December that “there was no place for the government of Assad in new Syria.” For now, both countries have agreed to reject any foreign military interference in Syria.

Israel Mossad Spies Tell All It is known that the Israeli Mossad has included female agents in its circle of spies. This week, for the first time ever, five female Mossad agents went public in an interview with Hebrew-language Lady Globes newspaper. Life for these spies is like a spy-movie. It’s a life of intrigue, danger and immense strain on their family. These five women, who all hold ranks of commander or higher, gave readers a small glimpse into their clandestine activities for their country. They have been involved in some of the agency’s most daring and important operations. One of the agents said being a woman has helped her on some of her missions. Yael recounted, “A man who wants to gain access to a forbidden area has less chance of being allowed in…A smiling woman has a bigger chance of success.” Another spy, Efrat, noted that her “life is over” if her identity would be revealed, but that is a risk she is willing to take for

her country. Ella, another agent, described the strain of balancing family life and her mission. “I leave a secure home, my husband and three small children sleeping safely in their beds with tears welling in my eyes and a growing lump in my throat,” she revealed. The lifestyle as an agent is a challenge for married life and many agents remain single while on their mission. In general, the Mossad keeps a low profile. But in a rare, on-the-record comment, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo praised the Mossad’s women as exceptional agents. He hailed their capacity to multitask, and to “suppress their ego in order to attain goals.” “Contrary to stereotypes, you see that women’s abilities are superior to men in terms of understanding the territory, reading situations, spatial awareness. When they’re good, they’re very good,” he added. One of the Mossad’s most notable operations that deployed women was in 1987, when a female agent, “Cindy,” lured Mordechai Vanunu — a nuclear technician at the Dimona plant who sold the “secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal” to the Sunday Times — from London to Italy. Vanunu was then drugged and brought back to Israel in a ship to face trial. For a peek into the life of an Israeli spy living in foreign territory, take a look at Avi Heiligman’s Forgotten Heroes this week featuring spy Shula Cohen.

Police Remove Protesters from E1 Early Sunday morning, the IDF and police forces evacuated around 250 Palestinian activists from an outpost they erected in E1, an undeveloped area in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement. The operation took about an hour. No arrests were made and thankfully no injuries were reported by police. Palestinian activists claim at least one man was taken to a Ramallah hospital. Protesters who refused to leave were carried down the hill by officers. “Everyone was evacuated carefully and swiftly, without any injuries to officers or protesters,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Prior to the evacuation, the state had appealed to the High Court of Justice, asking the court to rescind a temporary injunction it issued on Friday, saying that failure to evacuate immediately will lead to riots in the area. In the interim, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered access roads to the area closed. The IDF then declared it a closed military zone. The Palestinians “could be evacuated in several hours with no problem if the decision is made to do so,” Rosenfeld said ahead of the operation. Palestinians headed to E1 on Friday


Two Chareidi women who are graduates of the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Lustig Institute in Ramat Gan have helped develop a microchip produced by Verisense, a leading Israeli semiconductor design company, for a defense industry company that will place it in a space vehicle. The women, Tehiya Dayan and Lior Halavi, will receive their Bachelor of Science degrees in software engineering this week. They received awards from the CEO of Verisense, Pini Lazovik, to recognize their brilliant work. The project was chosen as an outstanding development project at the Jerusalem College of Technology. Dr. Dan Buchnik supervised the project and was involved in the development of algorithms and methods for full coverage of the various modes of the microchip that will be placed in the space vehicle. Lustig was established in 1999 as an academic institution for graduates of Bais Yaakov and offers academic degrees comparable to those of the other Jerusalem College of Technology schools. Its counterpart, Naveh Institute, is specifically for Charedi men. Students study engineering and other subjects in the evening, giving them the option of pursuing an academic degree while continuing their learning in yeshiva. The objective of this program is to offer Chareidim the opportunity to acquire the necessary tools to be employed at high levels within the workforce, helping them to support themselves and improve their economic situation while decreasing their dependence on state and other social support.

Chareidim & Bedouins are Thinner than the Average Israeli Child According to a Health Ministry report, one in every four Israeli children is overweight. The report reveals that the ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin populations

Seven Injured in Bomb in Tel Aviv

bomb exploded in a car next to a bus in causing many injuries but thankfully no fatalities. At least seven people were wounded by the explosion, which happened at the junction of Menachem Begin Street and Shaul Hamelech Street just after 1 p.m. local time. Police officials suspect that the attack was of criminal nature aimed at specific individuals rather than an act of terrorism. Radio reports in Israel said the blast may have targeted a member of a well-known criminal family, who escaped injury.

Snow Blankets Jerusalem

A rare snowstorm blanketed the streets of Jerusalem last Thursday. The biggest snowstorm in decades covered the Holy City in 7.5 inches of white flurries. Jerusalem, unprepared for the storm, was paralyzed and the entire city was shut down. Schools and businesses were closed. All exits to Jerusalem were closed to traffic for the entire morning. From 7 a.m. until midmorning, the only way in or out of the city was a once-an hour train to Tel Aviv. In a country overwhelmed by terrorism and conflict, Israeli newscasters were also thrilled to be able to be a “normal” country for a moment and talk about the weather. Sheleg al ha’aretz…

National Time Warner to Lay off Hundreds of Employees

There was an attack in Tel Aviv last Thursday that failed to get much media attention. Witnesses say a person riding a motorcycle threw the explosive at a car. The

Time Warner’s Time Inc. now employs almost 8,000 employees. As the company’s new chief transforms the famous publishing to digital media, that number is going to drop by 700. The layoffs will be across all departments and not just on editorial which has already taken a big hit.

The economy has not been too good for the company. Time Inc. revenue fell 6% for the nine months ending in September to $2.5 billion. Profit dropped 14% to $220 million. During that period, it dominated 21.5% of overall domestic magazine advertising. Time Warner’s collection of 21 U.S. magazines and 25 websites includes Time, In Style, Fortune, People, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Real Simple. There are over 100 global titles. It seems as if people are just not interested in reading the news anymore. There’s a tremendous drop in subscription revenue, about 6% which results in a decrease in advertising of about 5%. The most likely reason for this is that consumers are digesting information in new ways like via the internet or mobile phone apps. However, the increase in digital advertising and increasing readership on tablets and other mobile devices hasn’t quite filled the gap for losses. This new age brought along a new CEO to Time Warner, Laura Lang. Lang became CEO in 2011; just over a year ago she formally ran a digital marketing agency.

2012 Was Hot, Hot, Hot Wishing for a snow day? Don’t count on it for this year... The year 2012 was the warmest year on record according to scientists with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit; that’s a full degree higher than the previous record set in 1998 and 3.2 degree higher than the normal. This statistic was spread across all 48 states in the contiguous U.S.. July 2012 was the hottest month ever on record in the contiguous U.S. In general, this year has been historic in terms of “extreme” weather. There were 11 national disasters that exceeded $1 billion in losses. That included Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Isaac, and tornadoes across the Great Plains, Texas, and the Southeast and Ohio Valley. It was second only to 1998 in the agency’s “extreme” weather index. A long-term warming trend for the U.S., combined with drought and a north-

JANUARY 17, 2013

Chareidi Women Help Develop Sophisticated Software

have a significantly high rate of children who are thinner and shorter than other kids their age. The data for the study was gathered by measuring children in the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth grades once during the school year. The values were registered into the computerized records of the Student Health Services, and each student’s weight-for-age and height-for-age ratios were calculated using computerized software. The growth measures were analyzed for five large populations: Jews studying in the state educational system and state-religious educational system, Charedim, Arabs and Bedouins in southern Israel. Growth estimates were conducted in the past two years for 1,102,021 students. The measures revealed that the total rate of school children suffering from overweight was 27%. The percentage of children suffering from an extremely low weight ranges from 2.4% to 5.5%. The highest rate of very slim children was found among the Bedouin (5.5%) and Chareidi (5.3%) populations. The report’s authors, Dr. Lisa Rubin, Professor Itamar Grotto, Mira Honovich, Dr. Ziva Stahl and Sarit Yaari, determined that the higher than expected rate of children with a low weight among Bedouins and Charedim points to non-optimal growth among those populations. “These two populations are the poorest in the State of Israel and have the highest number of children per family,” the researchers write. “The high number of children in the family and the small age gaps between siblings may affect the children’s growth. “Possible explanations for the smaller overweight rates among the Charedi population include more hours spent in school, less television time, lower use of cars and differences in nutrition.”


and set up more than 20 tents to establish a new village, organizers said, following Israel’s decision last month to advance plans to build 3,500 homes there. The Palestinian Authority has said that E1 land is needed so the future Palestinian state will be viable and have territorial continuity. It warned that Israeli construction there imperils the two-state solution.




JANUARY 17, 2013


erly jet stream, led to the record heat, explained Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. “During the winter season, the jet stream tended to stay further north of the U.S.-Canadian border, so that limited colder outbreaks in the country. It also limited precipitation. So that led to a warm and dry winter season, and that persisted through the spring,” he said. “That warm and dry spring and winter laid the groundwork for the drought we had this summer...When we have drought, it tends to drive daytime temperatures upward.” The unusually warm weather wasn’t limited to the United States. The World Meteorological Organization issued a report in November 2012, calling the rate at which the Arctic sea ice was melting “alarming” due to a rise in overall global temperatures. “The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said. So it seems like this global warming thing is seriously happening…I guess I’ll start recycling.

Bloomberg: No More Pain Meds Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a micromanaging problem… On Thursday, Bloomberg and city officials unveiled a new initiative to limit prescription painkillers in the city’s emergency rooms. The objective is to combat a growing addiction problem in the region. We have no objection to that but there are a few holes in the proposal. For one, an addict is an addict and they will get their pills if they want them. This can potentially create a larger black market for prescription pills. Secondly, what about the people who seriously need them? As critics highlighted in The New York Times, this move could harm poor and uninsured patients who use emergency rooms as their primary care doctor. “The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then maybe there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor,’” the mayor said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number

two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect … There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.” In the interview, Bloomberg reiterated the initiative’s simple rationale is to prevent extra pills from being dispersed to patients who no longer need them. Unnecessary prescriptions can pose a serious health risk if abused. Bloomberg discussed the epidemic, explaining, “It’s kids and adults getting painkillers and using them for entertainment purposes, or whatever field of purposes, as opposed to what they are designed for,” he explained. “If you break a leg, you’re going to be in pain, [there’s] nothing wrong with getting something that reduces the pain. But if you get 20 days’ worth of pills and you only need them three days, there’s 17 days sitting there. Invariably some of the kids are going to find them, or you’re going to take them and get you addicted.” The Mayor also raised the point that the number of pain pills currently being prescribed has even contributed to violent crimes outside of pharmacies from robbers looking to steal the drugs. “You see there’s a lot more hold-ups of pharmacies, people getting held up as they walk out of pharmacies,” he explained. “What are they all about? They’re not trying to steal your shaving cream or toothpaste at the point of a gun. They want these drugs.” Mr. Mayor, first you take our soda, then you take our meds. What’s next? Will you monitor our water intake as well?

Hall of Fame Shame

This year baseball’s Hall of Fame did not get any bigger. Barry Bonds, former Giants slugger, has been awaiting the day to find out his Hall of Fame fate. Last week, he didn’t receive the answer he was hoping for. This year, baseball writers chose no one to send to the Hall of Fame. This is the second time in more than four decades

that no athlete got the required amount of votes. Bonds was one of several players who had a steroids episode contaminating his candidacy. He received only 36.2 percent of the vote which is way below than the required 75-percent. Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, topped the 37 candidates with 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots but that’s still 39 votes shy. Since 1965, the only years the writers didn’t elect a candidate were when Yogi Berra topped the 1971 vote by appearing on 67 percent of the ballots cast and when Phil Niekro headed the 1996 ballot at 68 percent. Both were chosen the following year when they achieved the 75 percent necessary for election. Let’s hope that next year we’ll have some players we can be proud of.

Ohio School District Arms Janitors to Protect Schools Montpelier schools in Ohio have come up with a plan to help protect their students. Their idea is to authorize janitors as designated employees to carry weapons. The district has about 1,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and 75 teachers in one building in this Williams County village of 4,000. On Wednesday, the school board unanimously voted to allow four janitors to carry their own guns inside the school. The district sent out a letter to parents proposing the new initiative. Predictably, it was received with mixed reactions. Teresa Hickman, a mother of three children attending school in Montpelier Exempted Village Schools, feels the district’s plan is an effective way to prevent incidents like the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. “I don’t have a problem with it. With all the shootings going on in these little schools this will make me feel more at peace,” said Mrs. Hickman as she waited Friday in her minivan for her two sons and daughter to be dismissed. While Mrs. Hickman said that the school district is taking a protective stance that could deter shooters from entering school property and could serve as a model for other districts, another mother, Shannon Siler, didn’t feel the same way. Siler, a mother of two girls, is wary about the plan despite the training that she knows will be involved. She feels that gun control should begin at home and it’s the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their weapons are locked up and never accessible. Her idea is to hire police officers to tighten school security. She is apprehensive and poses a valid concern. “I am a little leery. I know they are going to be

doing all this training and stuff, but what if a janitor goes psychotic?” said Ms. Siler School officials say that this plan was proposed prior to the Sandy Hook shooting but the tragic event provided the impetus for the school board enact the plan. Four male janitors have volunteered to be the designated armed staff. They will participate in a two-day intensive training course in March that will be paid for by the school district. Montpelier Police Chief Jeffrey Lehman is assisting the school district in setting up the training for the janitors. Mark Earle, father of two Montpelier students, is hoping that arming janitors to deter violence will become a standard practice for schools in Ohio and throughout the country. “I think some school districts have already implemented armed guards in schools to stop the possibility of incidents as far as violence with people entering the schools,” Mr. Earle said as he waited to pick up his daughter and son from school. Mr. Grime, the district’s top administrator for the last five years, said administrators and superintendents from districts throughout the state called or sent emails to the superintendent to get information about the district’s plans. “I am not proud of the fact that it has come to this,” said Mr. Grime, who has three children of his own in Montpelier Schools. “I am not totally in favor of having concealed-carry weapons in school. But times have changed.” It’s a sad reality.

Malibu, the MegaMansion Capital

Malibu, California, has always been regarded as a glamorous zip code with private beaches and magnificent homes for many famously wealthy residents. The combination of the city’s turquoise waterfront properties and its list of famous names has made Malibu into one of the nation’s capitals of hyper-priced real estate. From November 2011 to November 2012, Malibu had the most $10 million listings, according to Coldwell Banker. Trends show a huge increase in sales in the fourth quarter. Real estate experts believe this surge was fueled in part by the fiscal





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cliff. Reportedly, there were eleven sales of $10 million homes in Malibu last year, up from eight in 2011. That includes closings on at least $123 million worth of highpriced property in five different deals in the fourth quarter alone. There were three closings of $5 million or more at the very last minute, on December 31st. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was one of the biggest buyers in Malibu for 2012, adding two more properties to his holdings along Carbon Beach. He bought former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s estate in September for $36.9 million and another home for an undisclosed amount. Don’t expect for things to settle in 2013. Just after the New Year, a Russian billionaire couple paid $75 million for 9.5acre estate. That’s noteworthy, even for Malibu.

Commuter Ferry Crashes Into NYC

Early Wednesday morning, commuters leaving Highland, New Jersey, at around 8am got more of a ride than they anticipated. A commuter ferry stuffed with more than 300 passengers crashed into a dock in Lower Manhattan injuring 74 people, at least two critically. The force of the collision tossed some morning commuters in the air and sent others tumbling down stairs. “Everybody got jolted right out of their seats,” passenger Sean Boyle said. He said it felt like the vessel went “full speed right into the pier.” After the crash, a large gash could be seen in the underside of the ferry, which was operated by Seastreak. Aerial footage of the accident showed people strapped to stretchers and firefighters swarming the ferry and surrounding areas. “We were pulling in like we normally do every day, and the next thing I know, I was six feet in the air,” rider Ashley Furman said. “I woke up from getting knocked out six feet in the air behind me. Thank G-d I’m OK and I’m not on a stretcher like everybody else,” she recounted. A total of 326 people, including five crew members, had been aboard the vessel. One of those in critical condition was

rushed to surgery with a head injury, a spokesperson with the New York Police Department said. The cause of the crash is not yet known. Weather conditions were normal Wednesday morning, and no mariner warnings had been posted before the 8:45 a.m. accident happened. According to Seastreak’s president, James Barker, the ferry’s captain was at the controls when the vessel crashed. Barker said the captain had passed a breathalyzer test, and authorities were still waiting for results of a drug test. The tests were administered as a routine according to the U.S. Coast Guard after such an incident and do not imply that the captain was intoxicated. The National Transportation Safety Board launched a full investigation into the crash, and was working with the Coast Guard. The captain, a 10-year veteran of Seastreak, is fully cooperating with authorities.

Sitting Could Be Fatal Americans lead an extremely sedentary lifestyle. We sit in our cars to take us to sit on the train which takes us to the bus where we sit as well. Once at work, we sit in our desks till lunchtime when we go sit in the coffee room with our coworkers to eat our lunch. Obesity expert Dr. James Levine regards such behavior as “dangerous.” He says sitting is hazardous to your health. “Sitting all day long is literally killing us,” claims Levine who treats obesity at the Mayo Clinic, one of the country’s premiere research hospitals. Contrary to what many believe, Levine’s research indicates that waking one day and making a change and starting to exercise is a perfect prescription for good health. But Dr. Levine warns that a gym membership will not undo the damage done from sitting all day. “A few years ago, I would have actually said to you, you know, the person who’s doing that session at the gym once a day is doing everything they need to do. But the data that are now coming up suggests that’s not the case,” Levine told NBC News. “Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterwards or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. It appears that what is critical and maybe even more important than going to the gym, is breaking up that sitting time.” Dr. Levine explained that when a person sits, their body’s metabolic engines go to sleep. The muscles stop moving altogether and the heart slows. Then, the body’s calorie-burning rate plummets to about one calorie per minute—a third of what it would be if they were walking.

Insulin effectiveness drops and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes rises. Fat and cholesterol levels rise too. “It is almost like sort of owning a really cool sports car and letting it idle all day long. The engine gets gunked up. That’s what happens to our bodies. The body, as we know, simply isn’t built to sit all day,” Levine explained. Levine first made this discovery in 1999 when he was asked a simple question: if two people eat the same thing and do not exercise, why does one gain weight and not the other? Levine decided to conduct an experiment but he needed to devise a plan to get accurate measurements. So he designed special tracking gear with sensors attached to track how much a person moves and with how much exertion. Once the findings were interpreted, Dr. Levine made a key discovery in understanding obesity: how much a person moves has a tremendous impact on obesity. “People who are lean, even who don’t go to the gym, move about two and a quarter hours a day more than people with obesity, “ Levine learned. “Somehow those individuals are finding the opportunities to walk to the trashcan, to walk down to accounting, to go to the bathroom, or the coffee shop, whatever it may be.” What about our kids? Should teachers tell children to stop fidgeting? Well, they shouldn’t be. New research indicated that people who fidget are actually in better shape than people who don’t. “It’s sort of the brain’s signal to move. When you see somebody who’s naturally fidgety, those fidgets are probably the propellants for them to get up and move,” said Levine. Still Levine says there is unquestionably “a very significant genetic component” to obesity and that obviously nutrition is very important. Now the bigger issue is how do we fit moving into our busy schedules? Dr. Levine has some common sense solutions for people interested in improving their health by spending less time at their desks. Take a walk with a friend at lunchtime, have a walking meeting with a colleague, or go the restroom that is farther away from your desk. Set a goal for yourself to get up for 10 minutes every hour. Ten years ago, Levine came up with a brilliant way to move more at work. He invented the treadmill desk. At first, he says, people thought he was crazy. “When I first came up with idea, I was thought to be a complete lunatic. People were writing me, like, notes, and it was like…’Jim, you must be joking. Like are you out of your mind,’” he remembered. Levine consulted with a company to produce the desk, but receives no profit from its sales. So far, nearly 60,000 units have been sold.

Bill is the Best Dad

Bill Clinton has held many titles and been called many names over the years. His most recent title is “Father of the Year.” The former President is being recognized as being the best dad. The National Father’s Day Council selected Clinton for his “profound generosity, leadership and tireless dedication to both his public office and many philanthropic organizations,” Dan Orwig, chairman of the National Father’s Day Committee, said in the announcement. The award will be presented at a luncheon in June. I’d like to nominate someone else… how about my dad?

Lew Nominated Treasury Secretary

President Barack Obama has nominated White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as his choice for Treasury Secretary. Lew will replace Timothy Geithner. Lew, an Orthodox Jew who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has successfully been through the Senate confirmation process before. His prospects for confirmation are “extraordinarily high,” and Lew might get 85 votes in the 100-member chamber, said Stan Collender, a former staff member of the Senate and House budget committees. White House press secretary Jay Carney called Lew an “extremely valuable adviser to the President.” Obama praised Lew for his experience. “Under President Clinton he presided over three budget surpluses in a row. So for all the talk out there about deficit reduction and making sure


cate for the environment. I guess you can say he is into “being green,” in more than one sense!

He joked about Lew’s loopy signature, one that has been described as an “unraveled slinky,” adding, “Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.” The signature of the Secretary of the Treasury graces the front of our dollar bills. Obama has other high-level posts to fill for his second term. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced today she submitted her resignation. The President also will be naming a commerce secretary, an Environmental Protection Agency administrator, U.S. trade representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget. You can forward your resumes to the White House…

Gore Has Lots of Green-$300M Worth! Thanks to Al Jazeera, an Arabic news channel, Al Gore now has a personal fortune of $300 million, according to a Forbes estimate. The $500 million sale of his liberal news station Current TV to Al Jazeera this month puts Gore ahead of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, in terms of wealth. Romney’s estimated wealth is $230 million.

This year’s flu is the worst ever. On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for the state, as close to 20,000 cases of the illness has been reported for the season so far. As of last week, 2,884 patients have been hospitalized with the flu, as compared to 1,169 cases last year. To date, two children in New York and 18 in the nation have died from the illness. Many people are taking precautions to prevent the dreaded bug. New Yorkers are advised to wash hands and stay home from work if feeling ill. This week, the Manhattan Soccer Club announced a ban on high-fiving and hand shaking at youth soccer games. It seems that the sickness has made us even abandon our efforts at sportsmanship. An email to parents included the following lines: “At this point the MSC Board and the coaching staff would recommend that players not shake/touch hands with opponents after the games. The safest thing to do is to touch elbows. The coach or manager can explain this to the other team prior to the game.”

Justice is Not Blind

Forbes attributes Gore’s wealth to a series of good investments that significantly multiplied the $2 million he listed as assets when he ran and lost the presidential race to George W. Bush in 2000. From his reported 20 percent share of Current, Gore will receive a $100 million pre-tax payday. Gore holds more than $35 million in stock and options through his work as a board member of Apple and could receive a hefty compensation package as a senior adviser on environmental issues to Google. The former vice president is an advo-

Supposedly, justice is blind, but a new study conducted by Yale University proves that this is not the case. Psychologists at the university have revealed that male (not female) jurors are more likely to find a defendant guilty if the accused person is an overweight female. They are also more inclined to believe that an overweight woman is a repeat offender who had malicious intent. It’s interesting to note that there was no “fat bias” by female jurors against male or female defendants. Only the male jurors in the study held the bias against overweight female defendants. Additionally, there was no bias by either gender against male defendants. The study gets more interesting. Male jurors who were on the slimmer side were

Diet Soda Can Be Depressing Millions of people reach for a diet soda as a snack, to go along with their lunch, or for a jolt of caffeine in the late afternoon (guilty as charged). However, before your grab that cold Diet Coke can from your fridge, you may want to read about new research on the topic. Research suggests that sodas and other sugary drinks, particularly artificially sweetened ones, can be related to depression.

The report says people who drink four cans or more of soda daily are about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than people who don’t drink soda. Interestingly enough, the report also says that coffee drinkers are about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than people who don’t drink coffee. (Again guilty as charged…so if I’m 30% more likely because I drink soda and 10% less likely because I drink coffee, does that make me 20% more likely?) The National Institute of Health study included more than 250,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 and studied their drink consumption during 1995 and 1996. A decade later, researchers asked whether participants had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. According to researchers, “The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet [rather] than regular soda.” “Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee

may naturally help lower your depression risk,” Honglei Chen, who led the study, said in a statement. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.” Moral of the story: less soda, more coffee!

That’s Odd News With Your Food Ever wonder that something really important happened during lunch and you didn’t hear about it? Well, Washington, D.C.’s Old Ebbitt Grill is looking to solve that problem. This revered restaurant has been a favorite of Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Theodore Roosevelt and is now offering diners what they call “The Latest News,” a separate “news receipt” to accompany the check diners receive after a meal. The receipt will feature the latest headlines from The Associated Press and will deliver news that just broke during the course of the meal. Now you can eat and rest easy that you haven’t missed out on some scoop while slurping your soup. This is believes to be the first of its kind around the world. Leland Schwartz, a former journalist, is the brains behind this idea. “We’re great believers in the power of paper, despite the fact that we’re in the middle of iPhone heaven. So the idea behind it is to see if news updates would work in certain venues, particularly upscale restaurants,” he explained. Schwartz believes that the paper news will help foster conversation. “We’ve got thousands of news-hungry Washingtonians coming to lunch, so we’re giving ‘The Latest News’ a shot,” Ebbitt’s managing director, David Moran, said. “If this works at the Old Ebbitt, it just might sweep across the world.” Sounds good to me—check, please!

$2K for Pasta There’s nothing like a delicious plate of fresh pasta, but how much are you willing to pay for it? A high-end Midtown Manhattan restaurant is serving the city’s priciest plate of pasta. At $2,013, a dish of homemade tagliolini is served on a gold-leaf platter designed by late fashion icon Gianni Versace.

JANUARY 17, 2013

No High Fives for the Flu

even more biased against women who were overweight. They were the harshest—labeling the heavy women “repeat offenders” with “awareness” of their crimes. An overweight person has a Body Mass Index of 25-30, over 30 is classified as obese. A normal weight BMI is 18.5-25. The American Medical Association lists that the average Americans’ BMI is 28.6. I think that the scales of justice are no longer balanced…


our books are balanced, this is the guy who did it three times,” Obama said.




JANUARY 17, 2013


Bice Restaurant added this overpriced dish to the menu in celebration for its 25th anniversary. The four-course meal is complete with wine. At least the gratuity is included.

The Story of Water That Caught on Fire One family outside Cleveland made a shocking discovery about their home’s tap water. Believe it or not, Jason and Debby Kline’s water doesn’t just quench their thirst—it ignites! There is a rare chemical in their water that can create a fireball. “Oh, I was so scared. It just was a huge explosion — the entire sink up to the ceiling,” said Debby. Several weeks ago, they noticed their water was fizzing. Then mom lit a candle

near the sink and the water caught fire. “We’re putting our kids in the bathtub every night in this ‘explodable’ water,” Debby said. They then discovered that there’s highly-flammable methane gas in their well water. Methane is invisible and naturally occurring in the ground. It can seep into wells. That seepage is even worse if the ground is disturbed by anything from earthquakes to drilling. A natural gas company is located near the Klines’ house. Before they started drilling, the company paid to test the family’s water. Methane levels were 9, just within safe limits. But months into the drilling, tests show, the methane levels had skyrocketed, reaching 22. That’s more than twice the acceptable level. “We’re wondering if this is all just coincidental,” said Jason. Amy Mall of the Natural Resources Defense Council said, “This family in Ohio is not alone. There’s been methane found in drinking water across the country. Critics of drilling say laws need to be tougher, to protect homeowners,” said Mall. “Oil and gas companies have been granted special exemptions from of our most important environmental laws. And we need really tough enforcement, which

we don’t have now.” To fix the problem the Klines need to purchase a methane filtering system that would cost $8,000 and which they cannot afford. Officials in Ohio say they’re taking this case very seriously, and investigate all claims. And this issue is getting attention in Washington, too. Congress has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to study the potential effects of drilling on drinking water. Until the issue is resolved, the family is forced to drink bottled water and bathe in the contaminated water. “We don’t know the consequences of sitting in gas water,” said Debby. “We just don’t have a choice.” Water and fire—two things that should never mix!

Minnesotans Pay $1,200 for Obama Beer

Although I am not a beer drinker, I know that there are many different types of beers available and that beer drinkers will pay lots of money for great tasting ale. Just recently, a bottle of President Obama’s Honey Ale beer was auctioned off. The bottle up for sale was given to Minnesotan Brad Magerkurth during an “off-the-record” campaign stop in Tennessee. The single bottle of brew was sold to a group of Minnesotans for $1,200. Apparently, the group of buyers was super-excited to share a beer that came from the president’s personal stash. Obama asked Magerkurth for a review of the beer, in return for the gift; while Magerkurth hasn’t submitted a “formal” review, he says he really enjoyed the Honey Ale. “We were expecting it to be a little more cloyingly sweet... [But] it was hoppy and dry, really good,” he said. If you want a cheaper version of the Obama Beer experience, you can purchase the Northern Brewer’s Home Kit for the Obama beer recipes for about $40. I think that sounds like a more “normal” price for a bottle of brewski.

Triple Acts of Honesty Sometimes you read stories about people’s goodness and it makes you realize

how much good there is in the world. This story is a prime example of people’s integrity. Back in December, a cleaning service worker at a Florida airport found an iPad and turned it in. That’s commendable but what’s even more commendable is that he also returned the $13,000 that was stuffed into the case. The story gets more admirable…the trustworthy custodian received a reward from the owner—and donated it to two people in need. The honest and kind worker Patrick Morgan was honored in a recognition ceremony on Wednesday. Morgan spotted the lost iPad while working an early shift at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “I opened it first, and I saw all the money, and I quickly closed it back up,” said Morgan of Patrick’s Cleaning Service. Minutes after Morgan reported his find to authorities, the panicked iPad owner came to claim his lost possession. He gave Morgan $60 as a small reward which Morgan then gave away to a homeless woman at the airport and to a struggling fellow cleaning employee. To honor that honesty and kindness, the Broward County Aviation Department in Florida presented Morgan with a gift and plaque on Wednesday. His employer, Sunshine Cleaning Systems, also gave him $625, equivalent to a week of paid vacation. Morgan says this time he’ll keep the money. “Patrick is such an outstanding and honest person,” Larry Calufetti, president of Sunshine Cleaning Systems, said in a statement. “What he did speaks volumes about his personality.” Morgan was reportedly brought to tears during Wednesday’s ceremony: “It’s just a good feeling to know that I returned it and that’s the bottom line. I wasn’t looking for anything.” It’s reassuring to know that there’s some good people left in this world but I can’t help but wonder…who loses a case loaded with that much cash?

One Monopoly Piece Must “Go to Jail” Everyone has their favorite Monopoly piece that they simply cannot play without. However, a lot of people may soon find themselves disappointedly unable to find their lucky token. Hasbro has announced plans to upgrade Monopoly, which will include replacing one of the game’s iconic tokens with a fancy, new figurine. Even worse,


clude all of the classic pieces as well as the five new tokens. Talk about playing games with their fans…

These days it seems that when you are looking for quality art, you might as well visit a local Goodwill store.

Free Meal for Mom-To-Be Red Robin is a Colorado-based chain of more than 400 restaurants. It is usually known for its burgers but this week it is in the headlines for a random act of kindness performed by one of its mangers. The manager joked with Amie Sivon, a

local attorney, about her Red Robin dinner possibly being her last meal before giving birth. When Sivon and her husband, Jason, dining with their 2-year-old son, got the bill, Sivon’s $11.50 meal had been deducted from their total, with nothing more said than a “MOM 2 BE GOOD LUC” note. “The manager said nothing to us about it,” Jason Sivon retold. “We were already happy with the service so that action really blew us away. I looked at my wife and told her that I guessed we would be coming here more often.” Sivon spread the story in hopes it would “make businesses see the value of being more personable.” However, acts such as these are not all that unusual at Red Robin. “These kinds of random acts of kindness in our restaurants are part of our culture,” said Kevin Caulfield, a Red Robin spokesperson. “Our team members, day in and day out, will bestow these random acts,” he said. “They’re empowered to do special things for our guests to make the experience a great one for our guests.” Pretty impressive…Hope their burgers taste as nice…

JANUARY 17, 2013

$20K Painting Donated to Goodwill

In November, a rare painting was dropped off at a Goodwill store in Virginia. The painting was spotted by an employee who said the portrait looked similar to one she saw at a museum. When appraised, the value was put at around $20,000. The piece of art is an original work by 19th century artist Giovanni Batista Torriglia and depicts an elderly woman drinking a cup of tea. It is set to be auctioned off on Wednesday. This story is not all that unusual. Indeed, almost every other week, there is a story about a painting, work of art, or large amount of cash donated to Goodwill. It almost seems to be the “trend” nowadays— donate items to Goodwill anonymously in the hopes that someone there will be able to recognize its true value.


the company is making consumers decide the fate of which one will go. From now through February 5th, fans can vote to save their favorite token – and which new one will take the place of the least popular piece. “The tokens are one of the most iconic parts of the Monopoly game and we know that people are emotionally tied to their favorite one,” Eric Nyman, senior vice president and global brand leader for Hasbro, explained. “When we decided to replace one of the tokens in the game, we knew we had to involve our fans in the process. We can’t wait to see which iconic piece will ‘go to jail’ and which new token the fans will choose to become part of one of the world’s most popular games.” The choices for the replacement piece include a helicopter, a diamond ring, a robot, a cat, and a guitar. The new Monopoly will arrive on store shelves toward the middle or end of the year, which could bring about a rush on the original classic game. Perhaps anticipating a backlash from traditionalists, though, Hasbro has already announced plans to release a “Golden Token Edition” later this year that will in-


The Israeli Elections


Israel Today

T hTHE e J JEWISH e w i s h HOME h o m e n JANUARY j a n u a ry 7 , 2013 17,12013



ristotle stated that “Man is a political animal.” This description works for the United States and Israel, my native land and my homeland, in whose elections I will have voted this year. In the States, the Democratic Party is represented by a donkey and the Republican Party by an elephant. In Israel, it is just a full blown zoo. Israel’s political season is in full pungent bloom and as new immigrants eligible to vote, my wife and I are a bit overwhelmed by the “fragrance.” Accustomed to participating in the American political process we have only observed Israeli politics from safe seats in the States. Make no mistake about it, politics in Israel is a completely different experience than what we are accustomed to; it is a free-for-all and not for the faint of heart. It is a jungle. Comparing the process here to the recently concluded election process in the United States will prove helpful. Let us use the game of chess as a metaphor for politics. In the game of chess, there are two confronting sides on the board, and in the game of politics, as played in the United States, there are two sides of the proverbial aisle. Here in Israel there is also a division between two sides, the proverbial Right and Left, and like the hemispheres of the brain, they are generally in some kind of disconnect, rarely working in coordination. Unfortunately, the only time it seems that Israel can get its Right and Left in synch is when we are at war. Back to the battle of Israeli politics and chess: While in the States there is a clear demarcation between the opposing sides of the board/aisle, here in Israel opposing sides are far more fluid; from one moment to the next allies and enemies shift in a high-stakes “Musical

Matt Solomon

The Circus of Israeli Politics Chairs.” Imagine if Brutus came both to bury and praise Caesar, and then bury him yet again, perhaps to later revive him again. You get the idea, and if you don’t, don’t bother, it is chaos. In the chess analogy, ALL the pieces on the board can at times work in coordination and at other times attack each other, even within ostensibly the same party, and certainly within a coalition of disparate parties with different agendas. There is a spectrum of political parties here some representing a very narrow platform and electorate like the “Old Age Party” which actually passed the electoral threshold and won seats in the Knesset a couple of elections back. This contrasts with politics back in the States where you choose between two parties, Republican and Democrat. Also, in the States, due to the binary nature of politics, you win or you lose. Here in Israel there are no direct elections for individuals; political parties and their lists are elected, not politicians. To be elected to the Knesset, a party must pass a minimal electoral threshold of 2% of the votes cast, which is amongst the lowest thresholds in the world to gain representation. This minimal threshold has made the Knesset’s ability to legislate effectively a nightmare, leading to disproportionate power for small parties across the political spectrum, often in contrast to the desires of the Israeli population at large. The Oslo I Accords are an excellent example of how a narrow element of the electorate like the ultra-left Meretz party can disproportionately—and disastrously—influence Israeli politics. This political season has already provided surprising developments and an active narrative. As with reading Hebrew, we will start on the right and go left.

The Right has seen a merging of the preeminent party of Israeli politics, the Likud with the secular-nationalist party, Israel Beytenu, whose electoral support comes primarily from immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Israel Beytenu’s controversial leader, the former (and future?) Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has recently been indicted and is facing charges of Fraud and Breach of Trust. It is unclear whether he will assume a role on the Likud Israel Beytenu team prior to the charges being resolved. As of now, still an innocent man, he has returned his portfolio as Foreign Minister to Prime Minister Netanyahu. We will return to the court docket several times before this review is over to meet a convicted former minister and then to an Arab Member of Knesset who meets with Hamas terrorists and conspired with the terrorists on the Gaza flotilla ship, Mavi Marmara. As things look, they both will win seats handily. A charismatic leader has brought a new religious-Zionist party—HaBayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home)—to prominence and an anticipated strong electoral showing and seats at the table in the future governing coalition. Shifting to the Left, the Labor Party left for dead (no pun) has experienced a renaissance of sorts under its new leader, Shelley Yachimovich, who staged a coup, unseating her former mentor and patron, long-time Labor leader Amir Peretz. Deposed, he fled to the eponymous Livni Movement (Tnua) Party. The party, a splinter of Kadima, which was a splinter of Likud, is as irritating as a splinter and is not regarded favorably by either the Right or Left, and therefore has no natural coalition partner, and has no purpose other than to frus-

trate everyone and return Tzipi Livni to the national discussion. It is said that if she receives fewer than 10 seats in the Knesset she will not bother to show up to the Knesset and will return to the sidelines, where she will hopefully remain. Those on her ticket will then have a party whose hostess has departed the ball early leaving others to clean up the mess. Shas, the Sephardi religious party is harder to place within the spectrum. Its former political leader Arye Deri (it is under the religious guidance of Harav HaGaon Ovadia Yosef, shlita) has returned from court-ordered political exile after a conviction of accepting bribes while serving in the cabinet as Interior Minister. Another party without a fixed place in the continuum is the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) Party headed by famed TV journalist, Yair Lapid. The party, based on Lapid’s immense popularity, peaked in the polls early and is now fading. It is to be noted that his father was noted Israeli politician Tomy Lapid who was famous both for strong Zionist and hawkish positions coupled with a strong dose of anti-Harediism. He was the anti-religious, Zionist. Go figure. There are several pro-Arab parties in the Knesset populated primarily by Palestinians seeking the destruction of the State of Israel. Remarkably, there are some Jews on their tickets. These are not Neturei Karta Jews. These are Jews who are of the self-hating stripe seeking not only the end of Israel as a Jewish State but of any presence of Torah in the Holy Land. Members of Knesset from these parties have in the past been charged with treason (Bishara of the Balad Party) in absentia after fleeing to Syria; been advisors to the terrorist Arafat (Dr. Tibi of


The Jewish home n

the Ra’am-Ta’al Party); and advocated for the end of Israel (Ibrahim Sarsur of the United Arab List). Most notable and infamous of this list is Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi, the first Arab woman elected to the Knesset on an Arab party’s list. In addition to screaming about the injustice of Israel at every opportunity and advocating for Iranian nuclear armament, she has had a busy year legally. Video evidence surfaced that she not only sailed with the Gaza Flotilla in 2010 but was in contact with the

Turkish terrorists prior to the violation of Israel’s sovereign territory when the flotilla entered Israeli water. Additionally, she has admitted to meeting with enemies of the state, representatives of Hamas. Initially barred from running in the upcoming elections, the Supreme Court ruled last week overturning the order and she is now allowed to run on the Balad Party ticket. Imagine—my taxes pay their salaries. In quick review: Lieberman, a

staunch Zionist, not convicted of anything will not run; Deri, convicted of Bribery while holding a cabinet portfolio will run and win a seat; Zoabi, advocate for Iranian Ayatollahs owning nukes, defying numerous Israeli laws concerning consorting with the enemy by visiting Hamas leaders and supporting an attack on Israel while accompanying the Mavi Marmara will run for the Knesset with the blessing of the Israeli Supreme Court and presumably retain the seat she has held for the last

4 years. Politics was so much easier back in the States. No ex-cons or enemies of the state on the ballot. Just two choices and if you didn’t know if you were a Republican or a Democrat you could always choose from your preference for their symbols: Elephant or Donkey. Seems fitting; politics is a zoo. Matt Solomon is a writer, analyst and commentator living in Alon Shvut, Israel with his wife and two children.


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JANUARY 17, 2013

hemispheres of the brain, they are generally in some kind of disconnect, rarely Working in coordination.

j a n u a ry 1 7 , 2013

here in israel there is also a division betWeen tWo sides, the proverbial right and left, and like the

T h e J e wHOME i s h h o mJANUARY e n m ay17, 2 42013 , 2012 THE JEWISH

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Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?” “The White House announced today that the theme for President Obama’s second inauguration will be ‘Faith in America’s Future.’ The idea is to get our minds off of America’s present.” - Jay Leno “We worked our [heads] off, and I’m going to watch it on TV instead of being there. It’s a huge bummer.” - An Obama campaign staffer complaining about not being invited to his former boss’ second inauguration. “I felt that he was thoughtful, I thought that he was serious, I thought that he certainly had prepared for this moment. I would say that he met the moment.” - Oprah Winfrey discussing Lance Armstrong’s confession to doping “Well, I think it’s amazing that we’re having all this discussion about gun control: The president’s hometown, Chicago, is the murder capital of the United States. Over 500 people were killed there last year. Vice President Biden doesn’t seem to want to go there. I’m trying to get the House Republicans to hold hearings there. It’s illegal to have all the guns that are killing people in Chicago. If gun control works, Chicago ought to be safe.” - Newt Gingrich “President Obama’s inauguration is coming up. During next week’s inauguration, he will be sworn in with not one, but two Bibles. Relax, Mr. President. We get it. You’re not a Muslim. You’re overcompensating.” - Conan O’Brien “We have a fiscal problem in this country. We’ve got to deal with it or we don’t have a country, so to kind of help make that point, just a little bit, I charge [liberals] just a little bit more.” - George Burnett, owner of I Love Drilling Juice & Smoothie Bar, explaining why he charges liberal a $1 surcharge “The city hospitals we control, so … we’re going to do it and we’re urging all of the other hospitals to do it, voluntary guidelines. Somebody said, oh, somebody wrote, ‘Oh then may-

be there won’t be enough painkillers for the poor who use the emergency rooms as their primary care doctor. Number one, there’s no evidence of that. Number two, supposing it is really true, so you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect … There’s nothing that you can possibly do where somebody isn’t going to suffer, and it’s always the same group [claiming], ‘Everybody is heartless.’ Come on, this is a very big problem.” - Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the John Gambling show, discussing a new initiative limiting supplies of prescription painkillers in the city’s emergency rooms as a way to combat addiction problems “President Obama recently came under fire over the lack of diversity in his cabinet. Then Obama said, ‘You guys know I’ll be there, too, right?’” - Jimmy Fallon “Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency, should he be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.” - President Obama discussing Jack Lew’s illegible signature “My name is Donald Trump and I’m a big fan of Israel. And frankly a strong prime minister is a strong Israel. And you truly have a great Prime Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu. There is nobody like him. He is a winner; he is highly respected. He is highly thought of by all. And people really do have great respect for what has happened in Israel. So, vote for Benjamin. Terrific guy. Terrific leader. Great for Israel.” - Trump endorsement commercial unning in Israel with Hebrew subtitles “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews. Egyptian children must feed on hatred; hatred must continue. The hatred must go on for Allah and as a form of worshiping him.” - 2010 interview statements by Egyptian President Morsi which were uncovered last week and immediately condemned by the U.S. State Department

“With respect to this truism about me not socializing enough, patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know I’m a pretty friendly guy. And I like a good party.” - President Obama when asked about how his lack of a personal connection to senior Republicans affects his negotiating abilities “Now is the time to fight and be fearless, to be surprising, to break out of lockstep, to be the one thing Republicans aren’t supposed to be, and that is interesting.” - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal “President Obama’s team is promising special perks for donors who give at least a million dollars to the inauguration. Which is cool, but you know what else can get you a lot of perks? Keeping that million dollars.” - Jimmy Fallon

“If you had buttonholed me in ... 2003 and told me that a decade hence Joe Biden would be America’s vice president, John Kerry secretary of state, and Chuck Hagel secretary of defense, I’d have laughed and waited for the punch line.” - Mark Steyn “A political opponent is accusing Governor Chris Christie of praying for Hurricane Sandy. In response, Christie said the only weatherrelated thing he’s ever prayed for is a Dairy Queen Blizzard.” - Conan O’Brien “President Obama’s half-brother is running for political office in Kenya. Donald Trump has already accused him of being born in the United States.” - Conan O’Brien

Schedule of Classes Gemara in Your Kup Sun. 7AM, Mon. - Fri. 6AM* Rabbi Weinstock Plumb the depths of Talmudic analysis while deepening your skills Intermediate Level (must first email danhw79@gmail.com to attend)

Monday (cont.)

Rabbi Neydavoud

Complete the entire Talmud in 7 ½ years by studying one doublesided page a day! YeshivaNite Mon- Thurs. 8-9:30pm*

Rabbi Brander

Join the most popular and exhilarating Chumash shiur in LA as Rabbi Brander brings the weekly portion alive – an experience for the mind and the soul!

Tuesday Torah Learning For Collegiates (TLC) Women 18-25; 6:30-9:30PM Mrs. Gertel, Mrs. Bloom**

The most popular program of its kind in LA, for young women of all backgrounds, featuring guests speakers from around the world on a plethora of topics that enlighten, challenge and inspire. For more details, please e-mail srbloom@hotmail.com Mastering the Mishnah 8:30-9:30PM* also Thursday

Rabbi Heimowitz

Recapture the excitement of your yeshiva days by joining our advanced level Beis Medrash program, with directed chavrusas and shiurim. This z’man, we will learning the 7th perek of Bava Kama {Meruba}, exploring the laws of stealing.

Rabbi Ovadia

Explore all of Shas from the beginning (Tractate Brachos) at a more leisurely pace, covering one side of a page a day.

Practical Halacha for Women 8:15-9:15PM**

Inner Journey Rabbi Weinstock

Hands-On Talmud 8:15-9:30PM* also Thursday Rabbi Brander

Kosher Money 8:30-9:30PM*

Journey Into Talmud I* Rabbi Brander

A fascinating look at Talmudic logic from a master Gemara teacher (all levels)

The Halachic Mind* Rabbi Haber

Discover the creative yet rigorous halachic logic in Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s halachic resoonsa (textual skills needed). Practical Judaism*

Rabbi Heimowitz

Learn how to learn the classic halachic text “Mishna Berurah”, focusing on the laws of davening. Ein Yaakov*

Rabbi Ovadia

Rabbi Amar

Sefer Tehillim: From the Depths, In-Depth 8:45-9:30PM* Rabbi Heimowitz

A verse by verse analysis of King David’s Magnum Opus – with the classic commentators. FOR WOMEN

A Taste of Talmud 8:00-9:00PM* also Thursday Rabbi Neydavoud

If you always dreamt of cracking the impenetrable code of Gemara, this class is for you (introductory level).


by Rabbi Asher Brander A Matter of Interest Wednesday, 8:35-9:25 pm 8-8:50PM* 1453 S. Robertson Blvd.

Hands-On Talmud 8:15-9:30PM* Rabbi Brander

An In-depth study of tractate Brachos, including Tosefos; directed chavrusa study from 8:15-9pm,followed by shiur Mastering the Mishnah 8:30-9:30PM* Rabbi Ovadia

Acquire a broad overview of Talmudic law by studying the Mishnah at a brisk but comprehensible pace. Special emphasis on the practical halacha as well. Talmudic Encryptions 8:45-9:30PM* Rabbi Amar

A look behind the veil of the Aggada of the Gemara to the lessons the Sages wanted to subtly impart (utilizing the commentary of the Ben Ish Chai). Alei Shur on Chumash 8:50-9:30PM* Rabbi Weinstock

The unique perspective on Chumash/Rashi of Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, one of the great Mussar teachers of our time. Starting with Bereishis and going verse by verse. Parsha and Cholent 9:45 –10:30PM* R’ Brander

Get a head start on Shabbos with inspiring Torah and delicious cholent, spiced by occasional guitar-led singing.

Rabbi Weinstock


An inspiring chapter by chapter textual

A thorough studyanalysis of the Shulchan Aruch’s laws of forbidden interest. and thematic

Living Torah 8:30-9:30pm

(minimal background required)

David, King of Israel 1453 S. Robertson Blvd. LA, CA 90035 8-8:50PM www.linkla.org l (310) 470-LINK Rabbi Haber

A textual study of Sefer Shmuel I, focusing on the ascension & struggles of Dovid HaMelech.

Plumb the depths of the homiletic writings of the Talmud (Aggada) and discover the hidden meanings of these allegorical teachings.


Rabbi Heimowitz

What do you get when you mix together: challenging UCLA students, provocative Parsha insights and scintillating Talmudic study (with more than a dash of cholent thrown in)?

Explore the laws of business dealings, with an emphasis on practical integrity.

Orchos Tzaddikim - The Ways of the Righteous Explore the classic text that delineates refined Jewish character traits.

Not Just for Collegiates Night 8-9:30PM*

An In-depth study of tractate Brachos, including Tosefos; directed chavrusa study from 8:15-9pm,followed by shiur

Explore the classic Mussar Text “Duties of the Heart”, focusing on strengthening one’s belief in “G-d the Creator”. Rabbi Stern

(for singles & marrieds).

Rabbi Stern

Kollel Yom Rishon: Torah Bazaar 9:15 – 10:30AM (Includes Breakfast) -Choose From:

Rabbi Stern Topics include the unique nature of Jewish love, purpose of marriage, strategies for dating, rules of engagement, integrated functioning in marriage, gender roles, Shalom Bayis tips & control avoidance.

Master the laws of the Shabbos home - including cosmetics, writing/erasing, fixing mechanical things and the “medicine cabinet”.

Mishna Berura on Hilchos Shabbos Sun-Th 9:45-11pm* Rabbi Rashti In-depth study of the laws of Shabbos with the elucidation of the Chofetz Chaim.


Rabbi Neydavoud

If you always dreamt of cracking the impenetrable code of Gemara, this class is for you (introductory level). Successful Relationships: Love, Jewish-Style 8:00-9:00PM

Acquire a broad overview of Talmudic law by studying the Mishnah at a brisk but comprehensible pace. Special emphasis on the practical halacha as well.

Amud Yomi Sun 7:30AM; Mon, Th 6AM; Tues, Wed, Fri 6:15AM*

Rabbi Brander

A Taste of Talmud 8:00-9:00PM*

Not Just Chumash and Rashi 8:05-9:30 PM

Mr. Robbie Wizenfeld

Sun-Fri. Nights 9-10pm; Sat. Night – Right After Havdalah.


Tehillim in Depth 8:30-9:30PM** Mrs. Geulah Dickerman

A textual analysis of the Book of Psalms, King David’s spiritual autobiography. Taking It Personally 8:50-9:30PM* by Rabbi Asher Brander Rabbi Weinstock Wednesday, 8:35-9:25ofpm Absorbing the lessons the Mussar masters on the weekly Parsha. FOR WOMEN

1453 S. Robertson Blvd.

An inspiring chapter by chapter textual and thematic analysis (minimal background required)

Rotating LINK Rabbis.

Inspirational insights into the Parsha followed by Oneg Shabbos/ food Davening Times

Shacharis Sunday- 8:15AM; Monday & Thursday- 6:45AM; Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday- 7AM; Shabbos- 8:45AM Mincha Sun.- 1PM; Mon.-Thur.- 12:30PM & 15 min. before sunset; Fri.- at candle lighting time; Shabbos 30 min. before sunset Maariv Sunday-Thursday 9:30PM & sunset

1453 S. Robertson Blvd. LA, CA 90035 (310) 470-LINK l www.linkla.org **= Women Only

*= Men Only


JANUARY 17, 2013

Daf Yomi: Mornings & Evenings Sun 7:30AM; Mon, Th 6AM; T, W, F 6:15AM; Shabbos 8AM*

Fall-Winter 2012-13


Daily Classes


Forgotten Heroes


JANUARY 17, 2013


Avi Heiligman

Shula Cohen

A Modern Day Queen Esther Spies for Israel


to visit their husbands until they came we will be in contact with you.” She and during her seven years of imprisonment, she remained silent. She mainhome. With extra time on her hands, soon became a full-fledged spy. Shula became friendly with the Prime For the next fourteen years. Shula ran tained her innocence and never revealed Minister and his a spy ring for the Mossad in Beirut. She any names to the Lebanese. Representatives of several Arab three daughters passed along sensitive information that countries were present for her trial and and never did he her spies had gathered for Israel. The eninformation doubt her alle- tire ring was above suspicion so she was everyone wanted to see her hanged. that his home giance to Leba- able to get away with helping Lebanon’s The judge agreed, but the verdict was country can use to their benefit. non. She became sworn enemy right under their noses. changed to a life sentence after her husSometimes a so close that she As well as being a spy, she set up routes band, who knew nothing of her spying spy is given was invited to his of passage for Jews coming from Syria career, bribed officials to save her life. other duties like house for meals and Iraq to pass safely through Lebanon She was sent to solitary confinement into create chaos, and was a guest at and safely reach Israel. She helped thou- stead. help stranded The Israeli government didn’t fora Christmas party sands of her Jewish brethren escape the countrymen or to get about Shula Cohen, and during the in 1947. It was at ever-growing anti-Semitic sentiments in sabotage enemy Six Day War in 1967 she was released Shula Cohen in the 1940s this party that her the Middle East. resources. The and sent back to Israel during a prisoner history of spies In 1960, the Lebanese government life and possibly exchange. In their flight to leave Beirut, dictates that a person wishing to the Jewish State were changed forever. got word that Shula was about to pass Shula’s well-to-do family had all their fulfill this role must have a foolproof Shula overheard top Lebanese and on a secret document to the Israelis and property stolen by the Lebanese governcover story and alibi. Men have ment and they came to Israel with few performed the tasks of being a spy by impersonating military officers possessions. to being garbage men. Women, on Now retired from a job as a florist in SHULA HELPED THOUSANDS OF HER JEWISH BRETHREN the other hand, can gather important Yerushalayim, Shula is 85 years old and information while sometimes taking a living in Meah Shearim. She has been ESCAPE THE EVER-GROWING ANTI-SEMITIC regular job by just being in the right given several awards in recognition of place at the right time. Many times SENTIMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. her selfless and courageous dedication they are above suspicion and even to her country. Called Israel’s Mata Hari when suspected of spying, the enemy (a WWI female spy) and a modern day may just disregard them by saying Esther, she has truly helped the Jewish something along the lines of “Her? came to arrest her. She was able to hide Syrian generals talking about a plan to nation in a time when we were desperate She could never be a spy.” One of for people to step forward and become the letter before the soldiers searched the plant a bomb in Jewish Palestine (Israthese incredible women is Shulamis heroes and heroines. house but was arrested anyway. The solel was created in May 1948) as well as “Shula” Cohen. Pro-Arab news sources have distort- all of the details of the upcoming attack. diers continued searching the house but ed Shula’s story and made her out to be Not knowing what to do with this infor- found no incriminating evidence. Deter- Avi Heiligman is a regular contributor to The a low-class woman who was entirely mation, she slept on it until she came up mined to prove that she was a spy, the Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can responsible for many breaches in Leb- with a plan. The next morning she wrote police tortured her. Some of the things be reached at aviheiligman@gmail.com. anon’s security, adding many false facts a letter to a sick aunt in Yerushalayim. they did to and have even made a movie portraying However, she had no sick aunt and the her were so this tale. However, the Israeli side of her letter contained a secret message written horrific that story is very different. This is her true in invisible ink meant for the Haganah. they can’t writBreaking the rule that she couldn’t vis- be story. Shula Cohen was born in Yerusha- it her husband during the day, she took ten about layim (some reports have her being born the letter and pleaded for him to get it in this arbut in Argentina) in the 1920s and got en- to Yerushalayim as quickly as possible. ticle gaged in her teens to a Lebanese Jewish With a stroke of good luck, Joseph had suffice it man named Josef Kishik who wanted to a Druze merchantman who traveled near to say that move back to Beirut, the capital of Leb- the border twice a week and when Shula the averanon. It was an arranged marriage by the came he was there. The merchantman, age human rabbanim because her father and broth- who was no friend of the Lebanese gov- would have er were killed by Arab guerillas and her ernment, took the letter and gave it to given up friends of his who were serving with the before very mother died a year later. In many Arab countries during the Haganah. A few days letter, a messenger long. Shula 1940s, the man went to work while the arrived at Shula’s house with a letter that was silent wife was at home all day. Not only didn’t said something to the effect of, “Thanks throughout Mossad spy Shula Cohen today, living in Yerushalayim pain women work, they weren’t allowed for the information; if you want work, the typical spy is a person working for one country while in enemy territory looking for and gathering


JANUARY 17, 2013

The Jewish home n

Susan Schwamm

From Sea to Shining Sea : Kansas


oto, we are not in Kansas anymore,” said Dorothy in the famous movie. As we all know, Dorothy only left Kansas in her dreams, but you can visit Kansas and see that it offers more than just tornadoes and vast plains. In fact, if you visit Kansas, you may even be able to boast that you stood in the actual center of the United States! (Quite an accomplishment…) When visiting there, make sure to bring a ponytail holder for your hair—Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States. Oh, and remember, when you’re in Kansas there’s no need to worry about food. The state is a huge producer of wheat—in 1997 it produced enough wheat to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread! Bon appetit—I mean, have fun! Things You Won’t Want to Miss The Wild West Looking to go back in time to the spirit of the Wild, Old West? To get a feel of early pioneer days, visit the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita. Here you can go on a wagon ride, see a blacksmith forge anvils for the horses of the town and see gunfights in the streets. It really is the Wild West out here! For a more eccentric experience, visit the Museum of Ancient Treasures where you’ll be able to view “treasures” like a baseball signed by baseball great Joe DiMaggio or an old firearms and bullets. The city is an aircraft manufacturing center and as you can guess, much can be

learned about aviation in this town. The Kansas Aviation Museum honors pioneers in the field and houses model planes. Children will delight in more scientific wonders at Exploration Place. If you’re looking for nature, check out Botanica’s beautiful gardens or head over the Sedgwick County Zoo. Over 350 species of animals call the zoo their home. It is divided into continents—tigers, red pandas, lions, wolves, penguins and monkeys all have a place here. City of Fountains Water, water everywhere…Kansas City has over 200 fountains and has been nicknamed the “City of Fountains.” It is rivaled only by Rome in the number of fountains it has. The city has also been called “Paris of the Plains” as it has more boulevards than any other city in the world besides for Paris. Another noteworthy feature that Kansas Citians are proud of is its location—it has been referred to as the Heart of America because it is near the population center of the United States and the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states. So, if you’re looking to go somewhere that is noteworthy for many things—make sure to put Kansas City on your list! Blast of the Past The name Topeka, which is the capital of Kansas, means “to dig good potatoes.” But don’t be fooled by the name—Topeka is not just about good food. It


j a n u a ry 1 7 , 2013

Leisure & Travel


was prominently featured in important events in our nation’s past. Visit the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, which celebrates those involved in the 1954 Supreme Court decision that deemed segregated schools unconstitutional. Continue your back-in-time travel at Ward Meade Park, which features an early 1900s town, Victorian mansion, oneroom schoolhouse and log cabins. View aircraft dating from World War I at the Combat Air Museum, and visit Cedar Crest, the historic Governor’s home, overlooking the Kansas River. Topeka is not just about history. The city is also known for its world-class motor sports racing site, Heartland Park Topeka, with its recordbreaking quarter-mile drag strip. For the art-lovers on your trip, there are numerous art galleries, live theater and opera companies to enjoy as well.

T h eTHE Jew i s h h oHOME me n JEWISH

j aJANUARY n u a ry 117, 7 , 2013 2013

46 106

In the Kitchen Naomi Nachman


y parents were visiting us from Australia, so I wanted our Shabbat food to be extra special. I made them some of my favorite fish dishes with the new recipes I created since I had last seen them. My mother is a gefilta fish maiven – which she picked up from her mother, my Bubbie, so I decided to make my Gefilta Fish Spiced Crab Cakes. My mother absolutely loved them – as did my

4-year old! I made a double batch so we could have them all the way through seuda shlishit. My parents also love salmon so, of course, I had to make my Nut Crusted Salmon (which they really enjoyed). I’ve included recipes for both dishes below.

Nut-Crusted Salmon with Creamy Chrain Sauce Ingredients 1/8 cup red horseradish 1/8 cup mayonnaise 1 cup shelled, salted pistachios ½ cup brown sugar 2 tablespoon lemon juice 2 pounds salmon fillet (one whole side of a salmon)

Directions Mix the horseradish and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Place the salmon on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture over the fish and set aside. In a food processor, crush the

nuts until they are coarsely ground but not too fine. Add in the brown sugar and lemon juice, and mix until it looks like wet sand. Pat nut mixture on top of salmon and bake for 25 minutes at 350°.

Spiced Crab Cakes Ingredients 1 loaf gefilta fish defrosted, any brand your family likes 2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon dried cilantro 1 tablespoon dried dill ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 cup panko crumbs, divided

Directions Place defrosted loaf into a mixing bowl and add rest of the ingredients including 1 cup of the panko crumbs and mix well. Take the extra 1 cup of panko crumbs and place in a small shallow bowl. Set aside. From the mixture, form patties about the size of your palm and then coat both sides in the panko crumbs. Set aside and repeat with remaining mixture.

On medium to high heat, fry the crab cakes for minutes on each side until cooked through. Place on paper towels after cooking.

Naomi Nachman moved from Australia approximately 20 years ago and, in 2004, started “The Aussie Gourmet” to cater weekly and Shabbat/Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities. Naomi is also sought after to teach cooking classes throughout the NY/NJ Metropolitan area (from Scarsdale to Boro Park, Manhattan to Teaneck, the Hamptons and Connecticut… and of course, The Five Towns). She has also taught classes in Florida, Australia and Israel. Naomi is a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, a cooking CD and a variety of newspaper articles. Naomi currently lives in Woodmere, NY with her husband and 4 daughters.







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