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‫ב”ה‬

A PUBLICATION OF THE LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY see back page

Team HASC Participates in Rock N Roll Half Marathon Weekend in Pasadena - 6

Follow Up… LA Observant High School Student, Daniel Schwartz, Elected President of Nationwide Model Congress - 7

Engineering the YULA Robotics Competition - 9

New Feature

An Exclusive Serial Novel Written for The Jewish Home By Shiffy Friedman - 27 Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Farther Than They Are

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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

Ki Sisa — From Redemption to Redemption

Rabbi Reuven Wolf

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The Essence of Leadership

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Op-Ed Life’s Not a Fairytale

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Rabbi Asher Brander Rabbi Effie Goldberg

‫ ג‘ ניסן‬- ‫ יח‘ אדר‬.

Feb. 28 - mar. 14

. vol 1, #5


The Jewish Home february 28, 2013 2


Contents

The Jewish Home talks with Adeena Bleich, founder of CivicCare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Exclusive Interviews with Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Forgotten Heroes - Mitchell Flint – A Hero Who Answered the Call of the State of Israel . . . . . . . . . 43

Community Your Vote Counts this Mayoral Election . . . . . . . . . 22 Purim in LA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 LA Start-Up Profile: LaunchBox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Jewish Thought Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Farther Than They Are By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Jewish Business, Not Jew-Ish Business. . . . . . . . . . 20

Parsha Ki Sisa - The Essence of Leadership. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Ki Sisa - From Redemption to Redemption. . . . . . 21

Op-ED Life’s Not a Fairytale By Rabbi Effie Goldberg . . . . 31

Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

The Mayoral primaries are coming up and we urge everyone to utilize their right to vote and support issues dear to them. A big thank you to candidates Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti for making themselves available for an interview, and to Adeena Bleich for helping clarify the issues and making sense of what’s at stake in this election for the Orthodox community. We hope the novel lovers among you enjoy our new fiction column, and for those interested in entrepreneurship there’s another profile of a start-up focused on innovative Jewish education. Last but not least there’s the article on Jewish Ethics, a most important subject reminding us to connect the spiritual connection we have in the Shul for example, to our interactions -business & otherwise, we have with others. It seems that there’s no shortage of ingenuity in our schools, and we invite you to read about the robotics program at YULA and what two students accomplished at Hillel using modern technology to bring to life something dear to us all. Pretty amazing. For those who like a good debate, be sure to read the op-ed by Rabbi Effie Goldberg from NCSY where he argues that while we’re ordinary human beings, we can achieve the extraordinary. Feel free to agree, disagree, or do both at the same time in your letter to the editor :-). At the very least, lighten your day and get kitchen inspiration with our recipe column, pick up some spiritual sustenance with Rabbi Brander’s superb Parsha column amongst others, and get informed on all the community happenings written in these pages. We hope your week incorporates the gladness of Purim into all that you do & perhaps even bringing us to the realization that the next individual we bump into, is really our sister or brother... Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Shalom Shalom Rubashkin

Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Lifestyles Travel: From Sea to Shining Sea: Maine. . . . . . . . . . 45 Recipe: Easy, Breezy Dinners for the Family. . . . . . 46 Health & Fitness - Food and Drugs: An Unfriendly Mix?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, March 1 Parshas Ki Sisa Candle lighting 5:32 Shabbos Ends 6:29 Rabbeinu Tam 7:03

Friday, March 8 Parshas Vayakhel-Pikudei Candle lighting 5:37 Shabbos Ends 6:34 Rabbeinu Tam 7:08

The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

february 28, 2013

Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Purim in LA was an absolutely amazing experience. Suddenly realized we have so many neighbors with everyone walking the streets and greeting everyone as one large large family... Let’s hope we can take this happiness and feeling of oneness into the rest of the year. We thank all the schools that have shared their endearing photos with us!

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People

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Dear Readers,


The Jewish Home february 28, 2013 4


Happenings

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ject that links them to their families’ past. Some of the fragile and significant objects brought in were passports, dolls, sefarim, jewelry, photos, and the executive director of Remember Us, Samara Hutman, shared that she brought her name which was given to her to remember her grandmother. With new relationships formed, the group sat around tables and quickly began rolling dough, laughing and at times, listening intently. The survivors shared stories of Purim in their households in Europe, childhood memories, and life lessons. Seventh grader, Shira Razi shared, “we saw them as people with favorite things and smiles on their faces.” What the survivors made clear to the girls is that they went through a difficult and unexplainable past, but they are here and they

are committed to Jewish continuity. One of the survivors Amelie shared in reflection of the day about how hopeful the day made her feel about the Jewish future. “In the Hillel community, we saw and felt the hope of a future we would dream of and wish for.” To continue in the theme of sharing with the generations, the Hillel first graders joined the group to eat hamintaschen as the girls introduced their new friends to them. The day ended with the survivors, students and teachers linked arm-in-arm singing Ani Ma’amin. Seventh grader, Lexi Shafa, shared, “the events and emotions of the day are so hard to comprehend but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.”

Some of the Hillel students and alumni had the opportunity to extend this experience by participating as a part of a Remember Us delegation in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 20th Anniversary Tribute ceremony at The Skirball Museum on Sunday, February 17 where the students presented WWII Veterans and Holocaust survivors with special pins as they said the words, “We honor you.” The partnership between Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and Remember Us is an innovative approach to Holocaust education as it gives students the opportunity to identify and internalize messages of hope and Jewish continuity as they embark on young adulthood.

YULA Boys School Awarded Ronald & Ethel Gruen Endowed Fund for the Advancement of Secondary Jewish Education

The Ronald and Ethel Gruen Endowed Fund for the Advancement of Secondary Jewish Education has awarded $20,000 to YULA Boys High School. As one of eight recipients of the grant, the funding is intended to provide need-based scholarships to students or to support the schools’ mechina or beginners programs. The gift will be administered through Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership. Founded in 2008, the YU School Partnership was created to ensure the excellence and sustainability of Jewish day schools. The goal is to strengthen the schools through teacher recruitment and

school leadership, as well economic guidance and longevity. “This is a critical time in sustaining our schools and people. This grant provides scholarships for day school students, as well as preparation programs for those who have not had the ability to attend day school up to this point,” said Dr. Scott Goldberg, director of the YU School Partnership. “We are thrilled to have received the prestigious Gruen grant,” said Joey Small, Director of Institutional Advancement at YULA Boys High School. “This grant recognizes the high levels of excellence that our school embodies and our commitment

to ensuring a strong Jewish education to those who otherwise would not be able to access it.” The funding will not only provide necessary funding to those deserving students who need it most, but also will be used towards modifying and strengthening the Judaic Studies Skills track, a course for students who receive individualized attention in their Judaic Studies courses. The revised aspects of the curriculum will include classes on Jewish History, Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Lifecycles and other topics that will enforce the strong educational opportunities that YULA Boys School is able to offer to students from a

variety of backgrounds. “Our school is committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to obtain a high quality Yeshiva high school education, as evidenced by the amount of funding we dedicate to scholarships, as well as the emphasis we place on all of our classes, from the highest to most remedial levels”, said Rabbi Heshy Glass, Ed.D., Head of School at YULA Boys High School. “The Gruen Grant will serve the purpose of strengthening the values we have been emulating throughout our school’s 30 year history and will allow us to fulfill our school’s mission statement.

Chanoch L’naar Al Pi Darko at Hillel Academy

By: Rabbi Zach Swigard, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Rabbi and Student Council and Yearbook Advisor FIRST PLACE WIN AT Jewish Interactive Competition! Shlomo Hamelech tells us, Chanoch L’naar Al Pi Darko, that we should teach each child in their own way. Fortunately, many teachers today are aware of learning style preferences and build their classroom environment to meet the different needs of their students.  Technology,

however, has allowed us to take this to yet another level. Every year I try to hone in on not only the learning styles of my students, but also to their particular areas of interest and strength. Some are attracted to sports, others to art, while yet others are interested in technology and gaming. If a child’s skill and interest in a certain area is not nurtured, it may even weaken his abilities in other areas. A few of my stu-

Screen capture of the winning entry

dents this year had a particular passion for a video game called Minecraft. Minecraft is a creative game where you must survive in a 3D generated world through exploration, gathering resources, crafting and combat.  Additionally, you are able to create worlds for game play too. When our class began working on a project on the Beit Hamikdash which we were learning about, I approached these students and encouraged them to use their interest and skills in Minecraft to build a Beit Hamikdash world so to speak.  Their

Minecraft team: Daniel Katzovitz, Ezra Fax, Aaron Silverstein

eyes lit up. “Rabbi, are you telling us that we can play Minecraft in class?” They were in disbelief.  They worked on the project during class, lunch, and for hours at home for 3 weeks straight!  They finished work was a masterpiece.   It’s a beautiful thing to see the sense of accomplishment and pride they have in their work.  A few months ago I heard that there was a competition run by an organization called Jewish Interactive. They were looking for Jewish-themed, digital presentations.  Earlier this week we found out that our students, Aaron Silverstein, Ezra Fax, and Daniel Katzovitz  won first place overall from over 165 entries, from 15 different schools, and 4 different continents. I’m sure the boys will never forget how much they learned. The fact that they were able to learn in a way that was exciting for them makes it even better! Check out their video at: h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=-0XuZTT2aVY

february 28, 2013

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy recently began a very special collaboration with a Holocaust organization entitled, Remember Us: Righteous Conversations. The shared vision between the organization and Hillel in creating Holocaust programming for middle-schoolers is one of resilience and Jewish continuity. The organization works with survivors to join with young adults and teens to do work of chessed and projects connected to Jewish traditions. For our first partnership, the 7th grade girls got together with a group of survivors to share in conversation and bake hamintaschen in anticipation of Purim. The program got off to a meaningful start as the survivors, students and teachers sat in a circle and each shared an ob-

The Jewish Home

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Partners with Remember Us for a Special Purim Experience


Happenings

The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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Team HASC Participates Rock N Roll Half Marathon Weekend in Pasadena, California Team HASC – A Parent’s Perspective I’m sitting on the plane on my way back from the Rock N Roll half marathon weekend in Pasadena, California in which Team HASC actively participated. The last three days have been nothing short of magical and I find myself reflecting on one of the most exhilarating and inspiring experiences I’ve ever witnessed in my entire lifetime. It’s been some time since I’ve had such Nachas and joy, since I was so fully choked up with emotion. Three months ago, when my wife expressed a desire in running with Team HASC to help raise funds for the incredible camp in which our son, Eli, lives during the summers, there was no question that, B’Ezras Hashem (with G-d’s help), it was going to happen. There was but one question left to ponder; was I too going to have the z’chus and honor to participate in such an awe inspiring event? As a Rebbe in a Yeshiva, my ability to attend was very much up in the air. Baruch Hashem, with the help of family, friends and many volunteers, supervision for our children was arranged and the School where I teach made sure that my classroom too was more than adequately covered. We were off to Pasadena! Certainly, I had no idea what to expect. For my wife and me, a weekend away is indeed a very rare occasion. A weekend away with the amazing and special people of Team HASC, who work at a place called “Heaven on Earth” was far more than I could ever have asked or ever imagined. Wow! The excitement and the emotions were palpable from the moment of our arrival. We were greeted by the warm Team HASC committee and staff that worked tirelessly for months arranging all the details of the weekend. From the head staff, directors, counselors, volunteers and countless others, the goal was clear: the entire event and all details were painstakingly arranged for the precious Neshomos of Camp HASC. Those of us who have experienced Camp HASC don’t require any further introduction or illumination. Camp HASC is nothing short of a living miracle, a testament to the spirit of its visionary founders who some 40 years ago had the foresight to grasp what it would mean for children, teenagers and even adults with special needs, to enjoy the summer camp experience. For those who have yet to experience Camp HASC, even as an observer, you are urged to make arrangements and stop by; you likely won’t believe what you are experiencing. Our Shabbos was filled with Ruach, the spirit in the room vibrant. From the riveting Kabalas Shabbos to the heartwarming Drashos, Zemiros and Havdalah, every moment was truly inspiring and uplifitng. As we sat with Reb Shmiel Kahn and his

wife and Rabbi Shlomo Stern and his wife, we couldn’t stop observing the smiles and pride on their faces as over 140 current and past staff took a weekend off to fly across the country to improve the quality of life of their beloved campers. One dedicated counselor, whose schedule did not allow him to spend Shabbos in California, boarded a plane immediately after, flew through the night and arrived in time to push his camper during the marathon. Almost immediately after the race, he was back on a plane. What drives these dedicated and selfless young men and women? We need to applaud them, their schools and their families. We need to understand the gravity of the chesed being shown and delivered by this group of unpaid, all volunteer group of special angels. There really aren’t enough adjectives that can adequately describe the pure devotion these Malachim show and give to these special children of Camp HASC. Indeed, we have a lot to be proud of in our own communities and schools. There were so many observations and highlights from the weekend, too many to reduce to writing in this short review. Many brought me to tears. Counselors and other volunteers walking and pushing jogging wheelchairs, a number of them ran while pushing the jogging wheelchairs. Among many special moments were those when I observed the HASC volunteers lifting their campers out of their wheelchairs and urging those who could walk somewhat, albeit clumsily, to actually walk and event trot: a true sense of running in the marathon. Each of these campers evoked emotions I never knew I had. Strangers who had never seen or heard of Camp HASC stopped in their tracks to observe the HASC volunteers walking and cheering their campers on. It was a true sanctification of Hashem’s name, one of many on that day; Tikun Olam at its finest. As the team members were lining up for the start of the race, the announcers couldn’t help but notice how the participating runners from Team HASC were overly excited, brimming with enthusiasm. The announcer singled out the group and was impressed with their purpose and spirit. Amongst the thousands of runners at the event, her interest was piqued. She asked “what is HASC!?” She was told that it was an organization for children and adults with special needs. As she listened and grasped the enormity of what she was witnessing, she uttered the following two words: “Good Lord!” This too was a massive public Kiddush Hashem. Numerous individuals stopped by the Team HASC tent to inquire about Camp HASC and expressed aloud how impressed they were with our turnout and dedication. One gentleman asked to take a picture of my T-shirt so he could look up the organization on the Internet. As my wife and I were leaving the hotel to the airport, two

runners from another group came over and said, “We were extremely impressed to see college kids pushing children with special needs.” They continued, “You did well and it’s so commendable.” The day was indeed an emotion explosion. A very overwhelming and touching finish line incident dictates that I share; allow me to have you picture it. Two Team HASC counselors were pushing a boy with special needs in a jogging wheelchair. They were about 100 feet from the finish line and they instinctively unbuckled their camper. They pushed the wheelchair aside, and struggled together with the camper hand in hand, stride for stride, as they crossed the finish line with their arms raised. The crowd roared with cheers and I felt my eyes swell up. What an incredible display of devotion, self-sacrifice and love. We are so proud to have the Z’chus to be a part of such an amazing organization. The entire staff defines what it means to be the ultimate role models of giving and selflessness towards one another. Disregarding any physical or mental disabilities that they may have, 12 campers in total with special needs crossed the finish line on their own accord. Among the finishers was a camper who is stricken with cerebral palsy. He walked with his counselors over the finish line. Another with a prosthetic leg, raced through the finish line on crutches with his counselors cheering right beside him. As each camper crossed the finish line, tremendous cheers and thunderous applause erupted spontaneously from strangers and spectators watching this incredible sight unfold before their eyes. Likely, these stories are best described by professional authors and movie directors, but I am an eye witness to these accounts. To the committee, head staff, counselors, nursing staff, volunteers, and all that are associated with this Makom Kodosh (holy place), you have made us so proud and inspired us greatly from what we have experienced on this special weekend. “Heaven on Earth” is indeed a good de-

scriptor of what is accomplished daily in this special place; truly a Kiddush Hashem of massive proportions. Let us hope that through your incredible actions that Im Yirtzeh Hashem, G-d willing, Camp HASC will be in Yerushalayim where all will be healed, and everyone will know that you are from the true heroes of Klal Yisroel.

Doctor Ronald Nagel with wife Cheryl and son Jeremy

HASC camper doing the leapfrog over her counselors to cross the finish line

HASC camper crossing the finish line with the help of prosthetic leg and crutches

Team HASC after running 13.1 miles


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By Daniel Steinberg, Los Angeles

The Penn Model Congress, one of the most significant events of the year hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, saw record attendance this year. The participation of 700-plus students from across the country was the highest it has been since

the program’s inception in 1997. Not only is attendance on the rise, but the involvement of Jewish schools is also higher than ever before. This past week, at the 2013 Penn Model Congress, out of thirty-eight participating schools from across the United States, four were modern orthodox Jewish day schools, including New York’s HAFTR High School, North Shore Hebrew Academy, and Ramaz Upper School. This impressive observant Jewish representation culminated in a Model Congress first: the election of a Jewish observant President. Daniel Schwartz, a Modern Orthodox Senior hailing from Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, was one of 45 applicants to seek the presidency. Chosen as a nominee by the Penn coordinating committee, Schwartz, a self-proclaimed “moderate conservative,” had a tall order before him: to convince a majority of the secular, liberal student participants to vote for him. Much like real presidential candidates, he had to run a careful campaign. Asked later how he won the election, Schwartz responded, “By campaigning the right way.” In his case, that way included a well-honed speech to the full congress, articulating his political platform, which covered lofty issues like ending Washing-

ton D.C.’s gridlock and enacting immigration reform. The speech, along with oneon-one campaigning, earned Schwartz the votes he needed. On February 7th, the Shalhevet senior managed to win the approval of the majority of the Penn Model Congress participants, becoming the first observant Jewish student elected to that post. Asked if he believes the Penn Model Congress values Jewish involvement, Schwartz responds, “They value America’s principle that no matter who you are or what you believe in, you can do anything.” There is weight to Schwartz’s comment, as several factors have hindered the involvement of observant Jews in these

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types of events. For example, Sabbath-observance means missing a full day of the competitive and tightly-scheduled 4-day events, putting these students at a significant disadvantage. Despite the impediment, religiously observant Jewish participants have managed to thrive and continue to win awards for their bills and presentation skills. Unlike the real presidency, faux-President Schwartz lost his title and any privileges that went with it, returning to his grueling class schedule as a mere student once again the day after the conference ended. While his term was short and it would seem that being President of Penn Model Congress is only relevant for the duration of the conference, this accomplishment nevertheless sends out an encouraging message. Jewish students are making an ever-increasing impact at events like the Penn Model Congress. As participants who are wearing kippot, keeping Kosher, and observing the laws of Shabbat take on such an integral part of the program, they can’t help but be noticed by the coordinators of the events as well as students from across the U.S.

Bais Chaya Mushka Annual Trustees Dinner

Touro College Los Angeles Crisis Intervention Helpline

Rabbi Dov Newman, Yossi Burston, Dov Blauner, Benny & Rocky Forer

Ari Weiss Rabbi Dov Newman & Adom Stauber

Students Helping Students Open to the Community Mon-Thurs 6pm-9pm (Starting February 18th)

Bais Chaya Mushka School Building

Mr & Mrs Josh & Yaffa Moorvich with Dr Marc Horowitz

Crisis Counselors trained by Dr. Lucien Chocron, Chairman of the Psychology Department and Licensed LMFT, License # 50440

Please Call: 323-822-9700 x 85151 All Calls Are Kept Confidential Bais Chaya Mushka Board Members with the Dean of BCM Rabbi Danny Yiftach.

L-R: R’ Yiftach, Yosef Gorowitz, R’ Nachman Abend, Josh Moorvich, Shaya Stauber & David Morris

february 28, 2013

Less famous than its UN-focused relative, Model Congress is a high school phenomenon that has been growing steadily for decades. At annual conferences, hundreds of well-practiced high school students gather on the campuses of the often prestigious university hosts, where they simulate the workings of the US government, including a Congress, a Supreme Court, and even an Executive Branch with a reigning President. For the first time, an observant Jewish student was elected to that coveted role at the Penn Model Congress last week.

The Jewish Home

LA Observant High School Student, Daniel Schwartz, Elected President of Nationwide Model Congress


Happenings

The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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Purim Chagigah at Valley Torah High School Purim is 0% alcohol, but 100% simcha at Valley Torah High School, where the boys division ushered in the holiday with its annual spirited chagigah Saturday night February 23. VTHS students and many alumni and guests enjoyed music, dancing, refreshments and an entertaining student Purim video contest. The winning video was “VTHS Rabbi Impersonations” by senior Roben Ohevshalom.

Purim at Yavneh


Happenings

9 The Jewish Home

The MBD Purim Concert

Sponsored by Mr Shlomo Yehudah Rechnitz

february 28, 2013

Purim at Hillel

Engineering the YULA Robotics Competition By: Micah Hyman

Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles Hosts First Robotics Competition and Wins Top Honors

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy First grade visiting a senior living facility to bring Purim Cheer.

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy’s Bnot Sherut Help spread The Purim Simchah.

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Head Of School Rabbi Sufrin reads Megillah for Hillel families on Purim day.

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy students get ready for their costume parade.

visiting schools. The competition ran very smoothly, and after a few hours of judging, the qualifiers started in earnest. By midafternoon, the teams stopped competing and began forming alliances for the elimination rounds. YULA partnered with the thus far number one seed, TartanBots, and worked out a strategy where YULA would play defense while the other team attempted to score points. The partnership worked out for both sides, as the alliance defeated the opposing teams to take home the win! YULA won both the trophy (and medals!) for Winning Alliance and the trophy for the “Most Motivated” team, with the most “motivated” supporters. Furthermore, YULA ended up being the number one seed selected to progress to the regional level competition, but because that competition is on Saturday, YULA cannot compete. Still, the achievements made by the second year team are quite impressive. Hopefully next year, the robotics organization that YULA participates in will hold competitions on Sunday so that when YULA makes it the regionals again, the team can participate! Overall, it was a fantastic event, with around 150 participants all coming together to witness the exciting robotics competition.

Last year, Gabriel Naghi (who has since graduated and is studying in Israel) and Alex Fax, father of then tenth grader Yair Fax, pioneered the YULA Robotics Team, a co-ed team that held bi-weekly meetings. Although the team built a robot that could have competed, all the qualifying competitions were held on Saturday, restricting the team’s ability to progress. This year, the YULA Robotics Team wanted to go further and be able to compete. The team added more students to the team, making the roster seventeen strong: Adoram Lalezari, Ariella Farzan-Nikou, Benjamin Krombach, Edwin Korouri, Hadar Abukrat, Irene Razi, Jasmine Peled, Joseph Sokol, Leeron Chalamish, Shirelle Chalamish, Maayan Gerson, Micah Hyman, Noah Paul, Noah Tarko, Noam Abukrat, Sabrina Mahboubi and Yair Fax. Work on the robot started even earlier and Mr. McKiernan, the Girls School chemistry teacher, agreed to serve as another mentor in addition to Mr. Fax. Most importantly, however, the YULA administration allowed the robotics team to host their own competition on a Sunday, which 10 other non-Jewish schools, as well as NCJHS, attended. The school’s auditorium was completely transformed into a Robotics arena, with classroom chairs stacked on the side and tables laid out for the judges and volunteers to work on. Speaking of volunteers, the entire competition was staffed by volunteers from both the Jewish community and the communities of the Yoni Talitman & Yair Fax


The Jewish Home february 28, 2013 10

Purim Photos


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The Jewish Home february 28, 2013


The Jewish Home february 28, 2013 12

Purim Photos


13 The Jewish Home

What is the purpose of the obligation for every Jew to view himself as if he personally left Mitzrayim?

february 28, 2013

Is the Korban Pesach an individual offering or a communal one? Why is the declaration, “Next year in Yerushalayim,” part of the Seder night? In this unique work, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of the internationally acclaimed Dirshu Torah organization, addresses these questions and so many others. Deep insights into the moadim of Pesach and Shavuos; as well as Sefiras Ha’omer, the Three Weeks, Tishah B’Av, Rosh Chodesh and the weekly “holiday” of Shabbos are analyzed. Every maamar in Dorash Dovid begins with several questions, then develops an in-depth approach, opening new vistas that enable one to truly grasp the messages that the Torah and our Sages impart.

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Happenings

february 28, 2013

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Rachel Wizenfeld

The Jewish Home

Start-Up Profile: LaunchBox

Batsheva Frankel produced LaunchBox after winning the LA Federation’s Next Big Jewish Idea Contest in 2011. Now, as her partnership with the Federation winds down, she needs to develop a lasting and sustainable business model. Batsheva’s 2011 win earned her mentoring, guidance and up to $100,000 in funding from the LA Federation to produce her idea – LaunchBox. Now, over a year later and with LaunchBox completed and in distribution, Frankel is deciding how to expand her product and sustain her funding model for lasting success. LaunchBox, an interactive toolkit with games, music, comics and interactive activities, is meant to provide “an out-of-the-box approach to exploring meaningful Jewish concepts,” according to the website, www.launchbox-la. org. Included in the box is an entertaining comic explaining different views of Olam Haba and the Jewish afterlife; text talk cards with quick bits of Jewish text to discuss around the dinner table; a legacy exercise to write down core stories that make up your family’s history; an ethical will worksheet to explore and compile your values, wishes and wisdom that you’d like to leave behind, and more. The concepts are deep, but the packaging is engaging and easy to get absorbed into, perfect for teenagers, a population segment that is often left out, according to Frankel.

Frankel’s personal and professional background lent creativity to this project. She spent years in the film industry and teaching acting classes, then left that for Jewish education. While Orthodox herself, she has taught at day schools, religious schools, adult education and youth groups across all Jewish denominations, and together with her husband created the website Jewww.org – Jewish Education on the World Wide Web. “I want people to be passionate and knowledgeable about their Judaism – that’s what’s important to me,” Frankel said. What Frankel thinks helped her win the Next Big Jewish Idea contest, and what is critical for all entrepreneurs looking for the first big break, is having enthusiasm, passion, and a solid business plan. “Entering the contest was a huge process and I really did put a lot of time and energy into making a business plan…it helped

the judges take me seriously,” she said. In addition, “enthusiasm and passion is paramount. You have to have passion to go through any process, and there’s always a process you have to go through.” Frankel also saw her product becoming successful in an area she didn’t expect, with Jewish educators. “That’s a really important thing that an entrepreneur needs to know – you have to follow the path where a project takes you. Don’t put a square peg in a round hole. If your project is actually round, put it in the round hole and don’t fight it.” Since Frankel’s grant from the Federation ends in June, she is using her current time to transition to a sustainable business plan where she can hopefully work on LaunchBox full time. (Currently Frankel teaches at several Jewish schools in LA, including Los Angeles Hebrew High

School, which is Conservative, and at Hillel Academy, where she is on the distance-learning team.) Some of the models she’s exploring include finding a major partner or donor to continue her original mission of delivering boxes on various Jewish topics directly to people’s homes; working for a publishing house or similar institution to create LaunchBox-style materials for classrooms, youth groups or DIY in the home– this would be a for-profit model; or simply applying for grants on her own to keep the project going and selling the boxes independently to have some income coming in. She would also then consider approaching specific synagogues or organizations to create customized boxes for their audiences. Frankel said she would be happy with any of these options, but would prefer a model where she doesn’t have to worry about day to day funding and infrastructure “With the last option, while it would be a lot of fun, I would have to be constantly selling the product again and again to another group; whereas if a publishing place took me in and I did the project with them, the infrastructure would be covered, and that is not my forté. My forté is the curriculum aspect.” While Frankel said she never saw herself as an entrepreneur, she always felt drawn to doing something that would have a larger affect than just what she could achieve in a classroom. One way she’s done that is to write articles for Aish.com, but she hopes through LaunchBox she can continue her mission of reaching many more people.

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PresenTense

(PresenTense.org) PresenTense fosters the next generation of social entrepreneurs by helping innovators and entrepreneurs build new ideas into transformational ventures through their fellowships, PTSchool seminars, and local innovation Hubs.

Jewcer

(Jewcer.com) Jewcer is a crowdfunding platform that promotes collaboration and trust both within and around our community to develop and implement projects linked to the Jewish people and/or Israel.

ROI Community

(ROICommunity.org) ROI Community connects dynamic Jewish leaders from around the globe, enabling them to turn their passion into action by creating transformative work for the Jewish world and beyond.


15

The Jewish Home february 28, 2013


Happenings Year 3 of NCSY’s Torah High is off to an Amazing Start! Torah High, a program of West Coast NCSY, began its third year at Congregation Shaarey Zedek two weeks ago and

The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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Torah High instructors Sara Solomon (pictured right) & Rabbi Yitchak Etshalom (pictured above) converse with students.

has developed an incredible following. Thirty public school students have turned out to attend the dynamic classes. During the first hour, the students are given the opportunity to explore the Torah through unique, informative, and fun approaches with Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom. During the second hour, students pair up for Hebrew Chat taught by Sara Solomon. It didn’t take long for the teens to break into Israeli songs and pair up as they converse in modern Hebrew. One student from the San Fernando Valley was thrilled with his Torah High experience saying, “I

couldn’t believe how much energy there was in the room! The morah had us up out of our chairs in the first five minutes. It was awesome!” When, due to high demand, a third Torah High class was opened last week at the NCSY office in Los Angeles, Solly Hess, Regional Director of West Coast NCSY, was ecstatic. “We are extremely pleased with the success we’ve had with Torah High.” Hess said. “Offering meaningful Jewish experiences to teens is what NCSY is all about!”

College credit for 11th and 12th graders is given through a partnership with American Jewish University. For more details or top enroll your child in Torah High, visit www.westcoast. ncsy.org/th, call 310-229-9000 ext. 209, or email th@ncsy.org.

NCSY is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.

Rabbi Avi Stewart of the Westwood Kehilla Rabbi Avi Stewart and wife Shaindy, pictured here at his recent installation as the new Rabbi of Westwood Kehilla, has a personal mission of keeping Judaism real and relevant. With an exciting array of classes for all ages including a 3 part multi generational Passover program beginning Sunday March 3rd, Men’s and

Women’s learning, Tot Shabbat and warm and welcoming services and home hospitality, there is a place for everyone at the Westwood Kehilla, located at 10523 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA 90025.

For more information on the programming, meet the Rabbi or experience the Westwood Kehilla first hand, check out the website at www.kehilla. org or call 310-441-5288.


Judaism Alive

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

affirmed in the days of Esther. Based upon our thesis, we can say that the reaffirmation was an expression that the holiday of Purim is a time when we have to bring G-d out from the the hidden domain. It is a day

now comes close. This generates the most intense joy. The feeling of distance and detachment is, more often than not, a foible of our limited vision. We tend to see with tunnel vision and ignore G-d’s hand in our daily lives. Every breath, every movement, every passing step is a miracle. The innocence of life’s many tender dances are all signs that we stand right next to G-d. I close with the words of country singer George Strait: “Just walked down the street to the coffee shop, Had to take a break, I’ve been by her side for eighteen hours straight, saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk, pushing up through the concrete, Like it was planted right there for me to see, The flashing lights, The honking horns, All seem to fade away, But in the shadow of the hospital, at 5:08, I saw G-d today.”

As it turns out, you just jumped onto a movie set.

A

t times in life we lose sight of how profound something may be. We get distracted by the external. The Torah recounts G-d’s exchange with Moses: “Then I shall remove My hand and you will see My back, but My face may not be seen.” This is how G-d makes known to Moses the limit of human vision. What exactly is the meaning of this verse? The Talmud compares this world to night. Imagine that you are driving a car at night on the highway in the middle of nowhere. There are no lights on the road and you are wondering why the road curves so much and in such odd ways. You assume that the individual who built this road was utterly incapable. Little do you know, that were it to be day, you would notice that the area around the highway is filled with mountains, rivers, and numerous other natural obstacles. Therefore, the architect of this highway was actually quite ingenious. There is good reason for the road to constantly curve. The message here is that sometimes in order to understand we must see the entire picture. One more illustration which gets the same point across but in a subtly different way: imagine peering into a doorway and noticing two people engaged in an aggressive struggle with knives. On impulse you run into the room and tackle the two individuals to the ground. Suddenly you hear in the near distance “cut, cut”. As it turns out, you just jumped onto a movie set. Many times we are missing an important piece of information when we fail to see the whole picture. The Talmud speaks of a Bar Yochni a gigantic bird that with one drop of its egg it can wipe out an entire city. What in the world does that mean? What kind of bird can do such a thing? Rabbi Yisroel Salanter,

that focuses on seeing the entire picture. This is why they accepted fully the Oral Law on this day, for that is the nature of the Oral Law, taking the commandments in the Torah and revealing their true detailed makeup. It is critical that we begin to see the full picture for without it everything in life seems so disjointed, far and distant. This is precisely our relationship with G-d. It seems to be hidden. We at times feel like we are so far from G-d. But were we to understand the greater scheme, we would see how close, in fact, we are to G-d. There is a tradition on Purim to celebrate and drink a little bit. Some explain that the state we bring ourselves to is Ad Delo Yadah until the point where we no longer have clarity. Why? Up until now we had thought that we are so far from G-d but when our minds are in this semi-altered state we begin to realize that it is through this distance that we can come close. The perspective of near and far becomes blurred. When we lose our inhibitions we no longer fear the distance. This is the reason for the extreme level of jubilation on Purim, for it is the celebration of an individual who was once so distant and

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is currently the Rav & 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

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february 28, 2013

father the Jewish ethical movement, explains that imagine finding a newspaper clipping many years after its initial printing and the header on the article reads “drop of ink kills thousands”. We would presume that we are reading about some preposterously lethal pen. But the truth is that in context the headline is referring to a treaty that was signed which led to the suffering of a group of people. Sometimes you need to see the greater context in order to understand. R. Salanter says that the same is true of the Bar Yochni. This is also essentially what the Holiday of Purim and The Book of Esther are all about. The miracle of their story is hidden within the text and we are challenged to see the entire picture; to stand from afar and reveal the magnificent tapestry. The Talmud wonders where Esther is alluded to in the Bible. The Talmud turns to the words in Deuteronomy 31:18 “V’anochi Haster Astir panay bayom hahuh”“But I will surely have concealed My face on that day.” Esther’s name is the name that indicated the hidden. According to Jewish Law there is a specific way to read the Book of Esther scroll. The reader unfolds the entire scroll before beginning because it is essential that we see the whole picture. Likewise, G-d’s name seems to be totally absent from the Megilah because it is our job to lift up the curtain masking the real story. Jewish tradition has both a Written Law (called the Bible) and an Oral Law (called the Talmud). The essence of the Oral Law is about revealing the hidden. It is there to reveal the message hidden within the Written Law. The Talmud presents the opinion of Rav Dimi Bar Chama who says that G-d held Mount Sinai over the Israelites forcing them to accept the Torah. The Talmud then questions the legality of this acceptance as it was against their will. The answer to the challenge is based upon a verse in Esther “they kept and received.” This verse teaches us that the people reaffirmed their commitment to the Torah, thereby asserting their voluntary acceptance in the days of Esther.   Why would they need to reaffirm their commitment if the Israelites already declared at Sinai “we will do and we will hear”? An ancient source, called the Midrash, posits that they voluntarily accepted the Written Law at Sinai but not the Oral Law. The acceptance of the Oral Law was

The Jewish Home

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Farther Than They Are

17


Parsha

february 28, 2013

18

Rabbi Asher Brander

The Jewish Home

Ki sisa: The Essence of Leadership He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror. Leadership comes in many wonderful (and not so wonderful) styles. Some dictate, demand or wield, while others coax. Precious few inspire.. Corporate America, ever in search of the golden egg, has really gotten into writing about leadership. Our newly minted “success” literature (e.g. Seven Habits, Good to Great, Wooden. Tipping Point), obsesses over isolating those principles and behaviors that yield the best results. But for the most part, though there are significant exceptions, leadership literature is stylistically heavy and light in substance - placing a premium on strategies. Studying the essence of leadership, however, is a different matter. We want to identify the critical midot – character traits - of a leader.  Intuitively we understand that a leader must possess vision and courage.  Other critical elements emerge from our parsha: When Rabban Gamliel, a wealthy man, walks into the home of the saintly, but impoverished blacksmith, Rabbi Yehoshua, and sees the sqalor in which Rabbi Yehoshua lives, he expresses his compassion. For his part, Rabbi Yehoshua chides Rabban Gamliel, claiming that he was out of touch with the suffering of their people, Understanding one’s people, is a critical component of leadership. Small wonder that collectively, seven of our greatest

leaders are called the roeh shivah the seven shepherds, for a shepherd must intuit the needs of his flock. Leadership then requires empathy and understanding. But there’s more: In the aftermath of the Golden Calf,

The father has no patience … The teacher does teach his disciple, but the disciple very seldom becomes a part of him. When the mother teaches the baby, the baby becomes a part of her. The mother, when she rears the baby, has one calling, one purpose: to protect the baby. The Omen, or the mother basically, do not belong to themselves. Many may be critical of my statement but this is true according to Yahadus. A mother has no life of her own. … At least as long as the infant is helpless and is exposed to …a hostile environment. She belongs to the infant. Moshe discovered at this moment … that teaching is not enough for a leader of Yisrael. A teacher, no matter how devoted, has a life of his own. Moshe Rabbeinu’s job is nursing, carrying the baby in his arms, watching every step, guessing the baby’s needs, feeling pain when the baby cries and being happy when the baby is cheerful. A father may “understand” a child’s pain, but it is the mother who wakes to feed the baby. An educator may understand a child’s problem, but it is the caring teacher who will give of his/her time. A perceptive friend or a keen spouse might know what lurks in the hearts and minds of his significant other, but to the extent that that knowledge does not translate into acts of devotion, it is ultimately irrelevant. At the heart of the matter, lies plain ole’ mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice). As leaders in our families, workplaces and communities, we will only be able to make an impact on people when we are willing to give our most precious resource -- our very selves.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, & cleaned the mirror with it.

I

recently received the following email: A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick, and would put it on in the washroom. After they’d put their lipstick on, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. He called all the girls to the washroom and met them there with the maintenance man. He explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, he asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

‫ב”ה‬

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Moshe turns to God: (32:32): “Hashem, forgive Bnei Yisrael(,) and if not, -then micheini na misifrecha, wipe me from Your book that You have written”. What book is he referring to? Rashi (as most other commentators) assumes, we are talking about the Book, aka the Torah. Ramban (and Ibn Ezra) argue that Rashi’s approach is troubling for the following reasons: What would Moshe gain by being written out of the Torah? How would that improve his negotiations with Hashem as he pleads on behalf of Bnei Yisrael? Hashem’s response seems not to relate to Moshe’s request at all. Therefore, Ramban suggests a different book, the sefer hachaim - the book of life itself. In his final ploy for forgiveness, Moshe is willing to give it all up! He tells Hashem: I give up my eternity for the sake of Am Yisrael. (In the end, Hashem tells Moshe that vicarious atonement is not a Jewish concept – though that is not the relevant point here.) Who is Moshe? – This man of great accomplishments and many titles? Is he the intellectual titan, Torah-giver, savior, malkeinu - King of the Jews? Ultimately history records Moshe as Rabbeinu – our Rebbe (teacher). A Rebbe is neither an information automaton nor a living Torah rolodex. In a classic shiur on Behaalosecha, Rav Soloveitchik taught: What is an Omen? It is a nursing mother or father. Of course, a nursing mother teaches the baby. Perhaps the mother is the best and most important teacher in the life of a baby. But she does something else ... The nursing mother, in addition to teaching, carries the baby in her bosom, or in her arms. “...as a nurse carries a suckling child”. What does this mean? Usually the father doesn’t do it, the mother does.

Rabbi Asher Brander is the Founder of the LINK Kollel and Shul, located on 1453 S. Robertson Blvd and is a Rebbe at the wonderful Bnos Devorah Girls High School

(‫ שאי אתה יודע‬,‫אוי לו לדור שאתה פרנסו‬ ‫בצערן של תלמידי חכמים במה הם מתפרנסים ובמה‬ ‫) הם נזונים‬. Micha, 5:4, cf. Sukkah 52b


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19


Jewish Thought

february 28, 2013

20

Natan Davoodi

The Jewish Home

Jewish Business, Not Jew-Ish Business

guilty parties (once it has been determined that their actions were unlawful), why they thought it would be justified to treat their employees or business partners the way that they did. Their usual response: “It’s business…” Even after it has been established that their conduct was unethical, some still don’t understand what they did wrong – “it was just business… I don’t know why they took it so personally…” The goal of this brief piece is to address the mistaken belief held by some that business and how one treats others

are two separate and distinct concepts. Tractate Chulin is known for discussing the laws of proper ritual slaughter

learn from Tractate Chulin is the following. Even what we consider to be ordinary and part of our daily routine, the “chulin” part of our lives, is still replete with numerous laws and complicated ethical issues which need to be addressed. Additionally, the Gemara is illustrating another fundamental aspect of business: showing respect to the Torah should not be done at the expense of Torah. In other words, when R’ Chana sought to show respect to R’ Yochanan, he was not allowed to do so at the expense of the employer. The Gemara is teaching us that Torah and Business are not disparate entities allowing a person to prioritize one over the other. Business and Torah Ethic are one and the same and must be addressed simultaneously, as one cannot expect to show respect to the Torah while stealing. The Torah also understands that one’s business activities are intertwined with the essence of that person. Zohar BaMidbar 219 states that one who takes another’s money, is as though he spills his blood. This is because a person often pours his entire soul and effort into earning his wage, and to have someone steal his earnings, literally steals his heart and soul, his essence. To therefore hurt someone in business and then claim that “it was only business” is not only foolish, but also not in accordance with the Torah. When conducting business, we must continually remind ourselves of the sacred aspects of the mundane.

one’s business activities are intertwined with the essence of that person.

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and what injuries can render an animal a treifah. It’s interesting as to why a Tractate dealing with such issues would be called Chulin, as the word “Chulin” literally means “mundane” or “unsanctified.” When slaughtering an animal, we make a blessing, showing that the act of a Kosher slaughter is anything but mundane or unsanctified. Why not name the Tractate “Shechitah” or “Kesheira.” Moreover, isn’t it a bit ironic that a Tractate named “Chulin,” contains numerous and complicated laws, as something mundane and unsanctified usually comes with little instructions and few regulations? One answer I could give to explain this counterintuitive naming can be found in Tractate Chulin itself, on Daf 54b. While discussing what tracheal injury can cause an animal to become a treifah, the Gemara jumps to discuss business ethics. The Gemara states that R’ Chana, the moneychanger, once looked up from his money table and saw R’ Yochanan standing over him. When R’ Chana attempted to rise before R’ Yochanan and show respect, as one must to before a Torah scholar, R’ Yochanan said “Sit, my son, sit… as tradesmen are not allowed to rise before Torah scholars while engaged in their work.” The Gemara’s rationale being that an employee who interrupts their work while on the clock does so at the expense of the employer. I think that what we are meant to

-Natan is a practicing lawyer in the Los Angeles and San Fernando area. To get in touch please email him at natandavoodi@gmail.com


Hassidic Thought

Rabbi Reuven Wolf

The Jewish Home

Ki sisa: From Redemption to Redemption sing praises (Hoda’ah) to G-d at the Redemption; Dan to the fact that Egyptians will be judged and punished (Dan—judgement) during the Exodus. Now the redemption is not going to be recounted for two Parshas and several

Exodus from Egypt. The Talmud then explains that Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah used the strange language when he said he was like 70 years old, because he said this on the day he was appointed Nasi, leader of the Jews of Israel, replacing Rabban Gam-

we are also mired in a world of hatred, destruction, death and immorality.

chapters—why is there an allusion to the end of the story, the Exodus, at this point? Even more difficult to understand is what the Midrash says about Yoseph: His name is an allusion, not just to the Redemption from Egypt, but to the Redemption that will come with the coming of Moshi’ach: Yosef Hashem yado sheinis—“G-d will extend His hand [and Redeem the Jewish People] a second time [meaning, at the Coming of Messiah].” Why associate the names of these ancestors with the end of the story, a story that will not appear for a while? What we see is that at the very outset, the Nation of Israel was not—and has never been—a nation of exile, but always, in its very being, a nation of redemption. The Redemption is already foretold by the names of our Patriarchs. When we look at the Haggaddah—the Book of Redemption—we find (early on, while we are still awake and energetic) a beautiful passage, from the last Mishnah of the First Chapter of Berachos: Said Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, “I am ‘like’ 70 years old, yet I have never been able to prove that one must re-cite the Exodus from Egypt, until I heard the Drasha [teaching] of Ben Zoma, for Ben Zoma said: The Torah says (in Devarim 16: 3), ‘That you shall remember the Exodus from Egypt—kol ye’mai cha-yecha— all the days of your life.’ It could have said simply, yemai chayecha—‘the days of your life,’ but that would have meant only in the daytime—‘ALL the days’ means at night as well.” That Mishnah deals with the daily prayers, not just the Seder night. In fact, the Chachamim—the Rabbis—say the added word “And” also means to tells us that even when the Messiah comes, there will still be a requirement to remember the

liel in the period just after the Destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. (He was a much younger man, but he aged miraculously overnight and appeared “like” a 70-year-old so as not to appear unworthy to lead the Jewish people at a critical moment.) We might have thought this passage appears in the Haggadah to justify recounting the Exodus from Egypt during the night of the Seder, but we have other verses throughout the Torah that serve that purpose, and Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah wasn’t talking about the night of the Seder anyway. Besides, we also cite the opinion (with which Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah probably agreed) that the Exodus must also be recounted even after the Redemption of the Moshia’ch. So why mention all that at the Seder; why is it in the Haggadah? If we take a closer look at the Exile of Egypt—Mitzra’yim—itself, we find that the exile and bondage of Egypt was based on “restriction” (the very root of the word Mitzra’yim). Egypt represented the ultimate controlled life of every one of its people—the society that was the pinnacle in demanding conformity and obedience. This was how the Egyptians were able to subjugate whole populations like the Hebrews, and why so many who were subjects of this rule were so loathe to rebel or seek freedom. The security and comfort that Egypt promised and supplied was for many an irresistible temptation. This kind of subjugation appealed to the “animal soul”—the Yetzer Harah—which separates one from spirituality and leads one to the unholy, and ultimately to depression, addictions and licentiousness. But even on their way down to Egypt, the Midrash tells us, the children of Israel had the ability and the spiritual talent

to resist this kind of subjugation. It was something embedded in their very names! It thus becomes clear that remembering the Exodus becomes vitally important in three instances: First, during the day, when things are bright and life is good. Second, in the depths of the dark night, when we are beaten down by our animal souls and we can find no comfort in the Mitzvot or in life itself because we are separated from the Shechinah. (That was why Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said his teaching on the day he became Nasi: it was on that day that he became responsible for the spiritual well-being of his people.) And finally, we must remember the Exodus from Egypt when the final Redemption comes with the coming of Moshi’ach. Why is it important then? Because it was in Mitzrayim and during the entire experience of the Exodus that the Jewish People were imbued with the ability to conquer their Animal Soul and to adhere to the dictates of their Neshama, the Soul that was “a portion of G-dliness from on High” (Chelek Elokim mi-ma’al), given to them by Hashem—even before they went down to the Land of Egypt! When the Rabbis express their opinion as to what idea the word “All” in Devarim 16:3 adds, they put it as: “it [the word kol] brings us (le-havie) the Days of the Messiah,” instead of using the usual language: “it includes (le-rabos) the Days of Messiah.” The Rabbis are, in fact telling us, the Hassidic interpreters say, that remembering and commemorating the Exodus in all three situations—day; night; and the Days of Messiah—will be what will ultimately bring and hasten the Coming of Moshi’ach and the Final Redemption of Israel and Humankind. 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.

february 28, 2013

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s we approach Pesach—celebrating the Exodus from Bondage and from Egypt—we may well wonder, beyond all the busy preparations and the beautiful observances, what meaning does the Seder and Pesach have for us. After all, we are in a hard Galus, a hard and long Exile, and we are surrounded by much darkness, and hardship, and pain, and suffering. So many times in our history, we have conducted the Seder in the midst of tragic and terrible circumstances. And while we may enjoy some prosperity and some security in this land, we are also mired in a world of hatred, destruction, death and immorality. It’s not all that easy to identify with Yetzi’at Mitzra’yim— the Exodus from Egypt; for each of us to really feel, as we will say at the Seder, “as if he or she has gone out of Egypt,” meaning, actually experiencing the Redemption of that Exodus from the vantage point of the difficult Exile we are currently suffering. We experience every day and throughout our lives how bereft and deprived we are of the spiritual energy and joy that we intellectually know should accompany the performance of a Mitzvah, our Prayers, and the learning of Torah. One is reminded of the famous story told about the great Hassidic master, Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa (1765–1827), who told his students that they should always feel the pressure and dangers of the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination, so strongly, as if their heads were in a guillotine and the blade was right above their neck. When one student asked him, what if one doesn’t feel that way, Reb Simcha Bunim said, “Well, then it means your head has already been chopped off!” So how can we feel the Redemption of Yetzi’as Mitzrayim today when we have difficulty even feeling the absence of G-dliness in the world and in our lives? In the very beginning of Sefer Shemos, the Book of Exodus, when the Torah recounts the coming down to Egypt of the Children of Jacob and lists their names, the Midrash tells us that one reason their names (already well known to us from Bereshis) are listed is an allusion to the future Redemption and Exodus. Reuven, the eldest, is an allusion to the fact that G-d promises to watch and see (from the word R’eih—to see) the suffering of the Israelites in the Bondage; Shimon is an allusion to the promise that Hashem will hear (from Shema—to hear) the calls of the Israelites for help. Levi’s name indicates that G-d will “be with the Israelites” in their Bondage (Levaya—accompanies); Yehudah alludes to the promise that the Israelites will

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Cover Story

Rachel Wizenfeld

Your Vote Counts this Mayoral Election! Jewish Home talks with Adeena Bleich, founder of CivicCare, to get an inside perspective on the mayoral candidates & to learn how local political engagement can influence issues we all care about, like housing prices, tax rates, public safety & more.

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deena Bleich, a 35-year-old Pico-Robertson resident who ran for City Council in 2009 (her bid was unsuccessful), founded CivicCare, an organization dedicated to engaging and educating the broader Jewish community in LA on local politics, after she was surprised to find that no one else was galvanizing the Orthodox community to vote on

Bleich said she was “shocked” at the level of interest and engagement in the Orthodox community with regard to local politics. “We’re literally giving up our voice,” she said. “Generally our community is very mobilized when it comes to pro-Israel politics and voting for the president and for governor…people get that, but on a local level, people don’t get it.”

We’re literally giving up our voice

If residents would think about what it costs to run the city – the entire budget is in the billions – “well, where do you think they’re getting that money from? It’s our tax dollars!” said Bleich. “People have no idea where their money is going.”

This lack of engagement is evident in the way elected officials here perceive the Jewish community and largely engage with the Federation, while having a limited realization of the diverse Orthodox community, according to Bleich, who serves

How to Vote in the Upcoming Mayoral Election The upcoming mayoral primary election will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2013. If no candidate receives 50% of the votes, the two candidates with the most votes will face-off in the general municipal election on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

v

To find your polling place,

local issues. “The eligible votes that could come from the community are probably close to 15,000 plus,” Bleich estimated, “and it continues to grow, yet I would guess that at best about 2,800 vote in local elections on a good day.”

But local politics and legislation affect people in the Orthodox community each and every day, from issues like fire and police safety, water, power and sanitation, taking care of the roads – there are over 8,000 miles of paved streets in LA – parks, libraries, museums and more, she argued.

visit: www.lavote.net/locator or http://smartvoter.org.

To contact your county to find out if you are registered,

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The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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visit: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status.

Mayoral Debate at Beth Jacob


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The Jewish Home

Is your kitchen kashered for Pesach?

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february 28, 2013

8928 W. Pico Blvd. LA, CA 90035 • 310.246.1788 www.BibisBakeryCafe.com


Cover Story

The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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deena Bleich, a 35-year-old Pico-Robertson resident who ran for City Council in 2009 (her bid was unsuccessful), founded CivicCare, an organization dedicated to engaging and educating the broader Jewish community in LA on local politics, after she was surprised to find that no one else was galvanizing the Orthodox com-

nity is very mobilized when it comes to pro-Israel politics and voting for the president and for governor…people get that, but on a local level, people don’t get it.” But local politics and legislation affect people in the Orthodox community each and every day, from issues like fire and police safety, water, power and sanitation,

People don’t know about you unless you participate

munity to vote on local issues. “The eligible votes that could come from the community are probably close to 15,000 plus,” Bleich estimated, “and it continues to grow, yet I would guess that at best about 2,800 vote in local elections on a good day.” Bleich said she was “shocked” at the level of interest and engagement in the Orthodox community with regard to local politics. “We’re literally giving up our voice,” she said. “Generally our commu-

taking care of the roads – there are over 8,000 miles of paved streets in LA – parks, libraries, museums and more, she argued. If residents would think about what it costs to run the city – the entire budget is in the billions – “well, where do you think they’re getting that money from? It’s our tax dollars!” said Bleich. “People have no idea where their money is going.” This lack of engagement is evident in the way elected officials here perceive the Jewish community and largely engage

with the Federation, while having a limited ty, Bleich stressed that even City Council realization of the diverse Orthodox com- elections merit attention – especially conmunity, according to Bleich, who serves sidering the power that council members on the Community Engagement Board at wield here in Los Angeles compared to LA Federation. While Bleich believes other cities. New York has over 50 council the Federation does great work on behalf members while LA has only 15, meaning of the entire community, it does not nec- each one has increased political power. In essarily speak addition, the for all corners LA City of the Jewish Charter gives community city counin LA and so cilmembers a more engagelot of authorment by other ity in creating groups is neclegislation. essary. Through “People CivicCare, don’t know Bleich has about you organized unless you numerous participate… events at loyou have to cal shuls and be educated, community and politics centers for are made Jewish resiAdeena Bleich like that. It’s dents to meet based on the local legislapeople educating the elected officials and tors, ask questions and advocate for their the people coming to advocate and to lob- needs. One of CivicCare’s bigger events by,” she said. this year was a mayoral debate that was While mayoral elections draw in- held at Beth Jacob in January, in which the creased interest from the frum communi- five front-running mayoral candidates de-

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Easy Ways

YOU Can Get

Civically Engaged (Besides Voting)

1. Attend a CivicCare event and ask a question about an issue that

concerns you to an elected official

2.

Get educated on local issues that pertain to you (LAVote.net, Smartvoter.org and leagueofwomenvoters are great neutral and descriptive websites for election help and information)

3. Report a hazard in your neighborhood, whether it's a pothole, disturbing graffiti or a coyote sighting, by calling 311 or visiting lacity.org

4. Contact your city councilmember and mayor's office to thank them

for work well done as well as to complain about issues, and invite them or a representative to speak at your community events for shuls, schools and more during non-election season. Visit lacity.org for numbers and contact information.

5.

Ask someone from CivicCare or a history or social studies teacher to talk about the structure of local government and what they do in your child’s Jewish day school so that kids learn early on about civic participation.


Cover Story

with Adeena Bleich

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Keeping housing and rent prices stable, as well as enabling home expansions for larger families, are critical for Jewish families who want to continue to stay in their neighborhoods. Many young families are feeling “priced-out” of living in Los Angeles and are choosing to leave for more affordable cities. Communicating this need to elected officials and exercising our voting influence is one way of taking action on this issue.

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City Budgeting and Efficiency

We need to ask the city government to do a better job with our tax dollars, especially when it comes to community redevelopment and business development. As local business booms, so too will jobs; we’ll have better roads and streets, utility fees (such as water and power) will come down, libraries will have better hours, and parks will have better upkeep. Many religious families utilize the services provided by public parks and libraries – let’s make sure our tax dollars are utilized effectively.

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Community Awareness

City Hall elected officials are beginning to wake up to the frum community, thanks to the work of CivicCare and people like Dr. Irving Lebovics of Hancock Park. The LAPD has become amazingly aware of the frum community because of advocacy work that has been done by members of our community, particularly due to Rabbi Chaim Kolodny of Hancock Park, in the last 10 years. And of course the outreach that Chabad does with their Telethon and Menorah lightings raises awareness. But if you compare the relationship enjoyed by the Orthodox community and local government in places like the Five Towns, Brooklyn or Miami to that in Los Angeles, you’ll understand how much further we need to go with regards to voting. Turning out to vote in large numbers is one of the most powerful things a community can do to help themselves have a voice.

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Planning & Land Use

Orthodox schools, synagogues and businesses all need to work with planning or building and safety commissions at some point, and since Planning and Land Use Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and city council, having a strong local voice can help ease and enable growth and infrastructure development for the Orthodox community.

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Sales Tax

On the ballot is a proposition to increase LA sales tax from 9% to 9.5% to help balance the city budget - called Proposition A. A sales tax increase will affect the daily life of all LA residents, and is worth caring about and voting either for or against on March 5th.

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Traffic and Transportation

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Public-Private Partnerships with Schools

If the Orthodox community built up more political capital by voting, we would be able to come to the table and talk more about public-private partnerships for help with running private day schools. Although the city budget is projected to have shortfall, meaning it’s doubtful that funds would be available, there are still many other partnerships that might be found with more interaction, in-person advocacy, and of course, by voting.

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Eric Garcetti: “Also as a councilman he’s been very proactive, building parks and revitalizing Hollywood. I think he stands out that in addition to looking at the basics and making them run better, he has a bigger picture and vision – you can see that in his work in Hollywood. He created a phone app that when you see a pothole or something that’s not right in your district, you can take a picture and the app sends it automatically to the right city department. People don’t know what city departments are but people know how to use an app, so he has exemplified how to be in touch with all types of people in the district, and make things easier for people.”  Wendy Greuel: “Wendy Greuel is one of the most likeable people that anyone’s ever met. She cares a lot, but has been in the system for so many years – she always says that “she knows where the bodies are buried.” My concern with her is when you’ve been in the system for too long, you think it’s OK for the system to not change a lot, and LA is facing a huge fiscal crisis. She has a good track record, she reacted to things and got them fixed which is very important. We need someone who’s responsive, likeable, a good listener, someone who listens to what people need and can hear what the city needs and responds. I don’t know if she’s a visionary, and has that proactive element, though.” “Obviously, with regards to Jan Perry, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti – I saw them more first hand when I was working for Jack Weiss. I saw with all three of them, and I don’t think it’s their fault…they have to do so much politicking it takes away from their job. When people are attacking the city councilmen who have been in council for so long, I say, ‘you go do it; try to do as much as they have done and try not to do the politiciking.’ It’s a big piece of the system. For it to change, we need more people voting. Then it’s easier not to cater to special interest groups. More votes mean more backbone for any elected official.” For more information on Bleich and her organization, visit www.CivicCare. org.

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Affordable Housing

bated their policies and achievements and fielded questions from an audience of 400, largely from the Orthodox community. Bleich has familiarity with three of the mayoral candidates who are currently council members, due to her prior work as a field deputy on the LA City Council, and as someone well-versed in local politics she willingly shared her observations on all five front-running candidates: Emanuel Pleitez: “From a Jewish perspective, he was born to an immigrant mother who had nothing and built himself up to become a successful executive. He’s a strong person with a strong character, but I don’t know how much he knows about the inner workings of City Hall. It’s a great thing to see someone like that running, but you do need to know that running a business is not the same thing as running a government. You need to know how to fix the system by working with a broken system. He is talented enough to fix the problems no doubt, but he would be up against a very difficult political system. Kevin James: “He’s highly intelligent and clearly talented, and he has a lot of understanding of the system, but, as he said himself, he’s from the outside and he’s coming in with guns blazing. But when you look at the current city attorney, he also came in from the outside with guns blazing, and he had a lot of disenfranchised community seats behind him, but the rest of the political establishment shut their doors to him and he couldn’t get anything done. That’s my concern with these two outsider candidates (Pleitez and James) – you’re only one person, and the city council has a 2/3 veto vote over the mayor. That’s a concern, but at the same time I really admire their passion.” Jan Perry: “She’s a straight shooter, which is not often seen in politics. I’ve always appreciated that about her. She’s also definitely a doer: you can see the work she’s done to revitalize downtown. She was given the mandate to take care of her district and she did it proactively. She wasn’t just answering phone calls to fix potholes, she was out there fixing the potholes.”

The Jewish Home

Issues at Stake for the Orthodox Community in the Upcoming Election

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The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

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Cover Story INTERVIEW Exclusive Interviews with Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry

Two mayoral candidates discuss their Jewish influences and their hopes to engage and support the Orthodox community in LA this. Wait until you see the video.” And when I saw the video of the rabbi and his wife and what they have already been doing, and how people were beaming, it was so Council Member Eric Garcetti Council Member Jan Perry special. And when the rabbi came down Q: What is your connection to or infrom the stage, many of the men embraced volvement with the religious Jewish comhim as if they were his father. You could munity? see he’s very special. He’s got a luminous EG: First and foremost, as a Jew I quality in the way he speaks. have a direct connection with the commuI’m also close with Fran and Joe nity – it’s something I’ve had my whole Grossman – they go to Beth Am. They’ve life. And as an elected leader, whether it’s all been huge Jewish influences in my life. going to services, Shabbos services, High Q: You’ve focused on job creation Holiday services and working with some and economic growth in much of your congregations directly, I’ve been very incampaigning how would your proposals volved in Pico-Robertson and in the Valtarget unemployment and spur small busiley. As mayor I would work to promote ness growth for people in more traditional and project Jewish culture in LA, and to communities? tell this great history of Jews in LA - the EG: We have a lot of business ownfirst president of the Chamber of Congress ers in Jewish communities and LA has was Jewish, the first nonprofit in LA was the highest business tax in the county. Jewish - something like The Hebrew BeAs mayor I would get rid of the business nevolent Society, founded in the 1850’s. tax (also called the Gross Receipts Tax) I’ve engaged with all sorts of things relatit taxes you even when you lose money ed to the Jewish community: public safety, it’s very business-unfriendly. It’s diffitraffic issues, and just coming and worcult to open small businesses here - for a shipping and breaking bread with comrestaurant it can take a year and a half. In munity leaders and engaging with them in traditional communities there are a lot of private and in public life.   requirements, and here after the religious JP: Over 30 years ago I put myself on a path to decide who I was, and I chose requirements, you have all the bureaucratto become Jewish. I first went to Rabbi ic requirements. I want to cut in half the Laura Geller, the Hillel rabbi at USC, and time it takes to open a restaurant. I also ended up studying for two years with Rab- want to make one place to go to to open a bi Chaim Seidler-Feller at UCLA and went business for people in traditional commuthrough a Conservative conversion and nities so they don’t have to run the gaunthave been Jewish ever since. It was a per- let. Right now you have to go to the city, sonal evolution to define myself in a much the county and the state to get necessary more significant and spiritual way, and that permits. I launched something through decision has brought a lot of joy to my life.  my site, CD13.com, called License 1,2,3 I’ve been active in supporting causes and where with three clicks you can have all participating in organizational events, like the permits and licenses you need in one the phone bank at the LA Federation, and place. While it usually costs $150, if you I participate in religious observances. I go through my site it’s free. Q: Affordable housing and rising rents like to go to different shuls - my godson is are a big concern for many large families about to be Bar Mitzvahed this weekend, who want to afford staying in their comand it’s just really a wonderful thing. munities.  What are your thoughts or plans Do you know Andy and Greg Smith with regard to affordable rents and housing [members of the Westwood Kehilla, an Orprices and enabling home expansions? thodox synagogue in Westwood]? They’re EG: I’m very proud of my record – my mentors. I’ve been very close to them I’ve chaired the Housing Committee for for a very, very long time. I spend as much four years and built up the largest houstime as I can with them. What I love about ing trust fund to build affordable housing them and what they embody about Judain the nation ($100 million originally, but ism is that they have a love for people and due to federal cuts it was reduced by half). a love of exchanging ideas and an openness to teach and to learn. The other night This fund subsidizes affordable housing I went to the dinner for their new rabbi [the for people with special needs, seniors and installation dinner for Rabbi Avi Stewart] more. There are lots of seniors that need and Andy told me, “You’re going to love affordable housing; $100 million in this

trust fund would leverage half a billion dollars of housing every year. I would really look to developers from our communities to partner with and people from our communities who need affordable housing. In Hollywood and in my district, we’ve done over 1,500 units of affordable housing in the last decade. JP: I have a good record on that. I’ve been the steward of 5,000 units of affordable, mixed-income housing. I’ve focused on very targeted housing: housing for working parents, housing for grandparents raising grandchildren, housing for people recovering from substance abuse, and everything in between. Housing for the frail and elderly and for people starting out with their lives. I’ve been creative about it and built mixed-income housing so market rate housing was built side by side with affordable units, so people could envision their way to the middle class. I built a women’s shelter downtown which contains permanent units for homeless women; and it really lifted the neighborhood and improved property values! Even in the economic downturn and with the real estate bubble bursting, I was pushing ahead with targeted affordable housing and will continue to do that as mayor. The market rate housing will happen no matter who’s in office, but what’s important for me is to fill in the blanks.  Q: What would you do in your role as Mayor to create more knowledge about Jewish culture and history in Los Angeles?  EG: I’ve been reaching out to community leaders and rabbis, and saying it’s time to write a second chapter. The first chapter was a good one and a strong one, but I want to see at City Hall not just the one person who brings the mayor to the Menorah lighting. I’m planning on convening a regular roundtable for all parts of the Jewish community to come to our table and talk about everything from traffic and Jewish schools and the safety needs around them to my initiatives as mayor and all the things we’re working on like hunger and homelessness. We have such an incredible history; I would love to do a program like in London with those blue signs on the streets that tell about history and significant events. We’ve already done that in our district, and I would love to do that in our city and go throughout LA and put those signs there so people could physically see the contributions of Jews and Jewish Americans in LA.  JP: You know what I would love to do? People don’t realize how important The Shoah Foundation is. I went to USC (where the Shoah Foundation is housed) so I’m biased, and the fact that it is such an expansive collection of testimonials,

and that it has branched out to be inclusive, it’s sort of like that effort to heal the world. I would really like to focus on supporting The Shoah Foundation, helping it grow, and enabling more people to partake of more of what it has to offer. It’s a life-changing experience just to see some of the witnesses, many of whom are still alive.  I participated in a genocide event over at the library and it was very, very powerful, and it’s a story that needs to continue to be told and passed on.  Q: What is your Jewish connection and affiliation?  How have religion and faith influenced your politics? EG: My grandfather was always very involved with institutions and federations, he was one of the founders of Brentwood Country Club (it sounds superficial but not having a country club was shutting a lot of Jews out of business deals since there wasn’t a place to cut those deals), he was very involved with Israel and at the same time he taught me to stand and fight for what we believe in – that as Jews we have to be heard and we have to be seen. My grandfather was a humble tailor and he rose to become tailor to President Johnson. I saw his successes. Yet he was opposed to the Vietnam War and he took out a full page in the New York Times telling President Johnson to get out of Vietnam. I saw then that when it came to a choice between giving voice to what he believed in and losing his most powerful client, it was never a question.  Being Jewish has helped with understanding the twin pillars of justice and law, of taking responsibility for the world around us, to be always questioning, and always having to pick up and be comfortable in other cultures. As mayor I’ll bring the skills that we as Jews understand, navigating different worlds simultaneously. JP: I derive comfort from my faith. It provides me with a framework with which to live, to debate, to deliberate, to choose, to be comfortable where I stand even when it’s difficult. Q: Anything else you’d like to add that you think is important for our readers to know? EG: It’s exciting that we can make history in this election. It’s exciting for me that the traditional community has grown so much and is so diverse, and I want City Hall to feel like a home for our community, and have our community have more of a say civically. JP: I’m an African American Jewish woman who speaks Spanish, and I want to be your next mayor – I want to be the mayor for everybody.


by Shiffy Friedman ©

Chapter One

of excusing my very existence. Perhaps because Rebecca had ironically taught me how to move uncaringly apart. Your fault then, Becca. “Here you come, Lisa,” Becca called out from the living room, her hand to her wig, as I came through the door. More than a welcome, it was a statement. She looked majestic in her straight indigo dress, a mirror to her eyes. Poised Rebecca always was she despite the storm raging tempestuously within. “You look beautiful, Becky,” I said to her, kissing her once on each cheek. I said nothing of the deep, deep lines that ran under her eyes like on rugged terrain. “Thanks, Lisa. Now come take a seat. Can I treat you to a divine petit four?” I didn’t resist. I didn’t say, “No, no, Becca, I’m your sister, not a guest,” because I wasn’t in the mood for artificial lines. Instead, I pulled up a white patio chair covered in quilted pique, and kicked my shoes off. While Becca walked off to the jar-lined buffet, I looked around the room. So many people (“How could we not come to Becca’s affair?”) in so small a place, all taking pleasure in the delicacies and fine company. From the decorative cradle nearby, a high-pitched squeal suddenly sounded. I hadn’t even looked at the baby! Forcing my shoes back on, I dragged over to the rocker and scooped up the tiny body. She was shrieking still, this little girl born after three boys. I caressed her cheeks, soft like the flesh of fruit. “Sweetie,” I whispered, “calm down.” A large woman wearing a hat too embellished for my liking approached Becca. “Who would ever believe you gave birth only three weeks ago?” she said. “How do you do this? And I hear you made those frosted cakes all on your own. You’re some angel, Rebecca dear.” Becca smiled a shy smile. She wouldn’t tell the raving woman of the nonexistent budget and the sleepless nights. It sounded better to be an angel than a martyr. When the baby was peacefully ensconced in Becca’s hands, I returned to my chair with a tall mug of cappuccino. I sipped in silence. All around me, conversations flowed painlessly, yet they were dull to my ears. The hands on my watch plodded along as I sat in the chair for what seemed forever. For a very short time, I had a talk with Becca’s sister-in-law, Chana. She wanted to know where I had picked up my sweater. I itched all over, thinking she asked as a nicety. “The girl will always find something to compliment on,” Becca had told me years

back, still charmed by Aron’s family. I was so happy for my sister then, so glad she’d finally become part of a unit. For her, it was the the sunshine on her head. Who understood her if not I? But as I sat on that too-fancy chair, my back aching from trying to lean but then being propelled away by the wooden rods, I felt I didn’t understand her anymore. We were growing apart, inch by tiny inch. In the very back of my mind, the optimist was saying, “She’ll be here soon. She’ll be here very soon.” I wanted to give Becca a chance. I hoped the voice was right. At twelve o’clock, the first of the men arrived. They came in droves, filling the room with the faint smell of alcohol that made me gag. I followed Becca from the corner of my eye. When Aron entered, he walked straight toward his wife. “Nice crowd.” She definitely looked happy to see him, to finally share the hosting role weighing too heavy on her postpartum self. When I looked at her for a moment longer, though, I caught a glimpse of something else in her eye. It was a look I wouldn’t appreciate. “Here are the plates,” she told him in an almost-whisper. “Will you help me please?” Her words came out in a hissing beg. Aron lifted the pile of plates. “No, no,” Becca said to him. “You have to cut the slices first.” His eyes darted across the floor. She sighed. “I told you we’d need a waiter.” “Not now,” he said quietly, lifting the knife. I watched as he cut the slices, impressed. Nathan could never do such nice work. Why, perhaps Aron could take a job at the local bakery (working behind closed doors, of course). Becca would definitely appreciate the extra income. “When you finish cutting them, you could put them out on the tables,” she said to him, walking away. “Need any help?” came a voice from behind. It was Davie’s. I was glad to see he’d had the sense to don his dress pants for the affair. Not that I cared that much, actually, but still. “Davie, Davie, what would we do without you?” Becca’s face lit up suddenly. “Anything for you,” he answered, combing long fingers through his gelled hair. I remembered that line of his well. It was the line that made me wonder how a person could contain so much good and so much no-good in one heart. They walked away, Becca and Davie, while Aron stayed obediently by the buffet.

february 28, 2013

The sweater I chose was green and scratchy even as I slipped on sleeve by grating sleeve, but my mood didn’t care for the silver one with the beaded jewels like suns on my chest. When I stepped outside into the April morning, the scent of bulbous lilies tickled the insides of my nose. My right hand dug into the deep pocket for a tissue-- it was cold inside!-- but resurfaced with a speck of lint. Why is it that things escape us when we need them most? I continued to walk, snuffling along as I passed block after endless block of well-tended gardens, large, spotless windows showcasing all but neatly drawn curtains masking lives in their shadows. A woman I recognized from my weekly supermarket trips but whose name I never knew whizzed past me in four-inch heels. “Gut shabbos,” she said before turning the corner. Although we were apparently en route to the same affair, I would probably arrive when she’d be zipping out the door. I chided myself for neglecting the callous on my pinkie when I was forced to stop at almost every curb to let the pain in my narrow shoe subside. The dark red line circling “Dr. Theodore Footer” was sliding seamlessly from week to week in my calendar overloaded with duties more important. Between my work with clients (invigorating), raising the rascals that are my two lovely children, date nights with Nathan (I wished to have them more often), and the weekly meetings at The Place (wouldn’t miss them for anything in the world), I often wished I could duplicate myself to perform simultaneous tasks. I realized it was three weeks since I last went out with Mom. Poor her. When we met for lunch at Cafe Orange-- she, Rebecca, and I-- sipping lemonade and cheating on half a sinfully good cinnamon bun, I could see her eyes glowing like lanterns extinguished for so long a time they almost forgot how to shine. How unfair of me to withhold the joy from her for this long. At that moment, I wanted to schedule our next lunch for Sunday morning, but a wicked voice inside of me laughed out loud. I was relieved when I finally reached Becca’s house. At long last, I’d be able to find a chair and treat myself to a frosted cake, diligently skinning the layers of sugar-loaded pink until I’d reach the rich chocolate hiding silently like a trophy inside. It was late when I knocked on her door, later than I should’ve arrived to this special affair. So why could I care less? Perhaps because I’d grown weary of excusing myself,

Cut, cut, cut. I had an urge to stand up and offer my help but I felt it wasn’t my place. I watched my sister walk toward the entrance of the room, where Dad stood licking his lips. Their embrace brought a burst of rage up in me. I fumed at the gall of my sister silly enough to grow close to the person who’d ruined her. Bile inched up my throat as I turned my face toward the patio, anxious to look away from the despicable sight. I wanted Nathan to arrive just then so I could finally leave the place that made my stomach lurch in sick anger. I beat the last drops of my cappuccino to a froth. When I had spoken with my mother on Friday, our conversation was short and stilted. “How was your week, Lisa?” “Wonderful and very hectic, as usual.” I said from my place at the stove. A long pause. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should try more of the lemon oil I gave you. It’s very uplifting and does wonders when you’re feeling stressed out.” “I should use it more often,” I said, just because I felt bad. I didn’t even remember where I’d placed the bottle. “Jasmine is also wonderful.” Okay, okay. “What else is doing?” I asked. Silence again. The lines were thick with the words I wanted to say. I wished to know whether she was invited, if Becca had finally found her mind and realized that she was ripping her mother apart, limb by limb. “Good, everything’s good. I got a new client this week, thank G-d.” “Nice to hear,” I said, stirring the soup. Hot steam rose to my eyes. I closed them for a long moment. All I could think of was the kiddush and Becca, mindless, heartless Becca. “Have a wonderful Shabbos, dear,” my mother said, picking up on the cues. “You too, Mom,” I answered, laughing sadly inside at the ridiculousness of my wishes. How did it feel to be so abandoned, dumped like a bag of trash at the curb? From the patio door, fresh bursts of spring air wafted in. They were good for me, the only person for whom this room was airless. The chatter of the many guests stung my ears like pins. Didn’t anyone realize that Becca’s mother wasn’t present? I stood up suddenly, allowing the anger to control me for once in a very long time. It led me toward Becca, thankfully alone for that split moment. For a flitting second, I wondered if Rifka and the others at The Place would’ve approved of my gesture, but I moved on anyway. “Rebecca,” I said, looking her straight in the eye, “Answer me. Where’s Mom?” I paused and grabbed her hand. The words came out in one long stretch. “Where-is-yourmother?” Her face a pale shade of white, she blinked hard and looked away. ...to be continued

27 The Jewish Home

Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at passionforthepen@gmail.com.


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T H E J Home E W I S H Hfebruary O M E n M AY 4 , 2012 The Jewish 28,22013

28

You Gotta be

Kidding!

Riddle

Submitted by Anna Ehrenster

Submitted By Shoshana Hines

Jimbo and Maryann were delighted when finally their long wait to adopt a baby had come to an end. The adoption center called and told them they had a wonderful Russian baby boy, and the couple took him without hesitation. On the way home from the adoption center, they stopped by the local college so they each could enroll in night courses. After they filled out the form, the registration clerk inquired, “Whatever possessed you to study Russian?” The couple proudly said, “We just adopted a Russian baby and in a year or so he’ll start to talk. We just want to be able to understand him.”

Bobby and his wife went to a local place to have dinner and see a show. They had been eating their meal and watching the show when Bobby started losing voluntary control over most of his body. His legs, arms, back and chest became tense. His facial muscles squeezed upwards. His stomach muscles and diaphragm began to spasm. His heart began to race and his blood pressure rose quickly. Yet nobody did anything for him and no medical attention was given. Why not? Answer on next page

• The President said he might drop in.

• I never go out on days that end in “Y.”

• The man on television told me to stay tuned. • I’ve been scheduled for a karma transplant.

• I just picked up a book called “Glue in Many Lands” and I can’t put it down.

• I did my own thing and now I’ve got to undo it.

• There are important world issues that need worrying about.

• I have to go to the post office to see if I’m still wanted.

• I feel a song coming on.

• I have to check the freshness dates on my dairy products.

• I’m trying to be less popular.

• I’m attending the opening of my garage door.

• I’m waiting to see if I’m already a winner.

• I’m being deported.

• You know how we psychos are.

• I’ve come down with a really horrible case of something or other.

• My favorite commercial is on TV.

• My plot to take over the world is thickening.

• I have to study for a blood test.

• I have to fulfill my potential.

• I’m observing National Apathy Week.

• I have some real hard words to look up in the dictionary.

• I’m going to the Missing Persons Bureau to see if anyone is looking for me.

• The last time I went out, I never came back. • I have to answer all of my “occupant” letters.

• I have to stay home and see if I snore. • I prefer to remain an enigma.

• None of my socks match.

• I have to make an air sandwich.

• I changed the lock on my door and now I can’t get out.

• I’m sorry, I have to rotate the strings on all of my shoes.

• I’m making a home movie called, “The Thing That Grew in My Refrigerator.”

• I’m too busy watching the paint dry.

• I’m touring China with a wok band.

• I don’t want to ruin our friendship. • I left my tolerance in another coat. I’m going to be playing with my mental blocks.


79 29 T H EThe JEW I S H H OHome M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012 Jewish february 28, 2013

Diplomatic Trivia With John Kerry recently taking over as Secretary of State and starting out with a few silly gaffes, we figured that it is time for you to brush up on your diplomatic skills. You never know when your country will call on you. 1. What would you say to Kim Jung Un upon meeting him? a. How do you keep your cheeks so rosy? b. Ever think of changing your hairstyle? c. They say there is lots of starvation in North Korea; you could stand to participate a little bit. d. North Korea is going south. e. None of the above, unless you really want to enrage a 29-year-old pudgster with lots of time and weapons on his hands. 2. Which one of the following is not the name of a country? a. Kyrgyzstan b. Kyrzakhstan c. Kazakhstan d. Kiribati 3. For many centuries, the two main sects of Islam have been at odds. It is the cause of much conflict in the Middle East. For example, Iran is dominated by one of the sects and until recently, Iraq was dominated by the other sect, thus leading to years of conflict between the nations. What are the names of the tribes? a. Shwarmas and Sishkababs b. Kayamarts and Wallamarts c. Ayllakahdonuts and Ayllakamuffins d. Shiites and Sunnis Answers: 1. E 2. B- Freshy Secretary of State John Kerry created the country of “Kyrzakhstan” in one of his first speeches. Speculation is that he got confused between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and created the hybrid. 3. D 4. A 5. C- Liechtenstein is a 62 square mile microstate of 34,000 people located on the Rhine River between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps. 6. B Scorecard: 5-6 correct: You are a natural diplomat. Just be careful, it’s dangerous out there and you don’t exactly want to be awarded with a job at a place like, say, Mozambique. 2-4 correct: Mediocrity. It’s a small country. Population: one—you. 0-1 Correct: Don’t worry, Mr. Kerry; you’ll get the hang of it someday.

4. To be a diplomat, you must be able to greet people all over the world with your sharpest fake smile. To be really good at it, you should greet them by speaking their own language. So, if you are on a mission to France, how would you say to your counterparts in French, “How are you?” a. Comment allez-vous? b. Au revoir? c. Au uar a snot? d. Je vous présente? 5. Why would you know about “Liechtenstein” if you were Secretary of State? a. Every Secretary of State had that one Jewish friend that he grew up with. Certainly that guy’s name is probably Liechtenstein, or something similar to that b. He is the new foreign minister of Israel c. It is a country d. It is a doctrine that the State Department abides by: When shopping on official State Department business always use coupons.

6. Upon meeting Queen Elizabeth II, what are you supposed to do? a. Pat her on the back and say, “I love the British accent.” b. Curtsy (and don’t say, “I’ve been practicing my squats for weeks now.”) c. Wink at her (like George W. Bush did) d. Kiss her hand (but don’t say, “May I ask: Is it true that you get your hats in the thrift shop?”)

Dear A PUBLICATION OF THEUnderlings, LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY Thanks to your efforts, I won!! I am now the Mayor of the Five Towns. It is just one more accomplishment for me to put under my belt. Just so you know, the first thing I did was contacted all the schools in town and arranged for extra days off of school this month. Therefore, I announce that there will be no school (for any and every school) on the following days in March: 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th.

Think you are funny? Show us what you got...

My pleasure,

Mr. Centerfold Commissioner SendMr.usMayor, your jokes, riddles and trivia, etc. and just an overall good guy editor@jewishhomela.com

GOT FUNNY? Let the Commissioner decide.

Send your stuff to centerfold@fivetownsjewishhome.com

Answer to riddle: They went to a comedy show. Bobby was laughing.


30 The february 2013 T h eJewish J e w i sHome h home n m ay 2 4 , 28, 2012

72

Notable

Quotes

“Say What?” “Former Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. pled guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds for personal use, including buying a $43,000 Rolex watch. How ironic is that? All that money on a watch, and now he’s going to wind up doing time.” - Jay Leno “South Korea’s first female president was sworn in. Meanwhile, North Korea said, ‘We’re just going to stick with men named Kim.’” - Conan O’Brien “What is the non-budget wonk to make of [sequestration] this? Who is responsible? What really happened? The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. ‘The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,’ Obama said. ‘It is something that Congress has proposed.’ The White House Chief of Staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the President two days later....The President and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book, The Price of Politics, shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.” - Bob Woodward “Over the weekend, President Obama played golf with Tiger Woods. Tiger said the president was a very good golfer for a guy who plays only five days a week.” - Jay Leno “Members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House however brief your appearance on the floor might be. You know who you are.” - Speaker of the House John Boehner on the House floor chastising members of Congress for not dressing appropriately “Here’s an interesting fact. Did you know the boat that Noah used as his Ark was 450 feet in

length, weighed over 2,000 tons and carried over 3,000 species of animals in squalid conditions? Thus, making it the very first Carnival Cruise.” - Jay Leno “Senate Democrats are in a hurry to confirm Jack Lew as Secretary of the Treasury before anyone notices his biography. Otherwise, liberal lawmakers might be embarrassed voting for a man who represents everything they’ve been campaigning against...Investor in Cayman Islands tax haven? Check. Recipient of a bonus and corporate jet rides underwritten by taxpayers at a bailed-out bank? Check. Executive at a university that accepted student-loan ‘kickbacks’ for steering kids toward a favored bank? Check. Excessive compensation with minimal disclosure? Check...Like a financial Forrest Gump, Mr. Lew keeps walking into the frame of the business-political dramas of the last decade.” - The Wall Street Journal “It was just announced that President Obama will speak at Ohio State’s graduation in May. It should be great. The President has a lot in common with those students: he’s currently in his fifth year and swamped in debt.” - Jimmy Fallon “In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be.” - John Kerry speaking in Berlin on his first international tour as Secretary of State “John Kerry says Americans have the right to be stupid. Add that to the right to vote and you get the 2012 election results.” - Ann Coulter “This will be my last term.” - Cuban President Raul Castro, age 81, announcing that he will retire in five years “They fight corruption in Nigeria. They support the rule of law in Burma. They support democratic institutions in Kyrzakhstan.” - Secretary of State John Kerry, during a speech in which he discussed the country of Kyrzakhstan, which doesn’t exist

Compiled by Nate Davis

“This woman has the ear of [Sen. McConnell] – she’s his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!” - A tweet sent out by liberal Super PAC along with a photograph of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife who is Chinese “According to a new Gallup poll, 70% of the country think that the country is headed in the wrong direction. The other 30% are so disillusioned that they say they are just going to move back to Mexico.” - Jay Leno “I don’t know why the president has to have people watch what he does.” - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “Next week Mitt Romney will be giving his first speech since losing the election. The topic will be: Rebuilding your life with just hope, a dream and $240 million dollars.” - Conan O’Brien “You know, the one thing about being president is, after four years, you get pretty humble. You’d think maybe you wouldn’t but actually you become more humble — you realize what you don’t know. You realize all the mistakes you made. But you also realize you can’t do things by yourself. That’s not how our system works. You’ve got to have the help and the goodwill of Congress, and what that means is you’ve got to make sure that constituents of members of Congress are putting some pressure on them, making sure they’re doing the right thing.” - President Obama in a speech about the sequestration battle “I wasn’t disturbed ideologically. The problem I have is their ubiquity. You know, the Obamas are everywhere, apart from the president giving a rally and a televised speech every other day, you know, he’s at the Super Bowl, he’s at the Carrier Classic, the basketball game on a aircraft carrier. You know, he does his brackets for the NCAA on live television, and now you get Michelle at the Oscars. Is there nowhere where we can be in the absence, even a temporary absence of this couple? And that’s perhaps why you get an increase in scuba diving in the country; it’s one place where you feel safe.” - Charles Krauthammer discussing First Lady Michelle Obama presenting the biggest award at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday night


Op-Ed

By Rabbi Effie Goldberg

The Jewish Home

Life’s Not a Fairytale

to establish a moral compass based on a celebrity. The often-cited letter written by Rav Yitzchak Hutner, The Pachad Yitzchak, Ig-

behavior. If someone murdered his girlfriend, he deserves the punishment that comes along with it and the system will hopefully take care of that. I am not dismissing the cruel acts; I just don’t want to disregard the lessons that emerge from their accomplishments. We look for inspiration in obscure and often times confusing areas, but like success itself, sometimes it can only be found in the most elusive and complex places.

Does being human belittle someone’s awesome accomplishments?

O

n February 15, 2013 the Wall Street Journal published an article, The Big Business of Fairytales, by Mathew Futterman, attacking Nike for choosing negative role models to promote its products. The article began by pointing out that one of Nike’s major spokesmen, Oscar Pistorius, aka “The Blade Runner”, has been charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It continues by illustrating further examples of the failure of spokespeople to lead in a positive manner. It exemplifies Michael Vick, Lance Armstrong, and Tiger Woods as well as others. The author is convinced that Nike does not sell a product but rather a lifestyle. My question is, are we truly convinced that serious faults and failure’s should necessarily demand that we discard the greater story and successes the person accomplishes? Of course without a doubt murder, cheating, sexual indiscretion and drugs have no place for our adulation, however; perhaps we discard the stories of people who commit even the most heinous of acts too quickly. Is there still a way for us to develop education and inspiration from stories of even the most spectacular failures. Nike is selling a culture. It has its famous swoosh and if you choose to be a part of it, that makes you a part of their bigger picture; a picture illustrating passion, strength and endurance. Many companies attempt to create a culture, something to bind you to them and thereby make you loyal to the brand. Tough Mudder, a challenge comprising difficult physical tasks and obstacles has had more than 700,000 participants, the entire branding of the race and its participants centers on the color orange. You pay them to show that you can succeed in their course and consider your-

gros Ksuvim 128, laments our contemporary style of storytelling where we choose to solely recount success and neglect to transmit failures. Even with great leaders or heroes, a crucial component of educational storytelling is the transmission of flaws, of reality. It is not to say that we should not be held accountable for our actions and it’s essential not to reward bad

Rabbi Effie Goldberg is Executive Director of the West Coast NCSY & lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife & five daughters Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the writer & does not necessarily reflect the view of The Jewish Home.

february 28, 2013

self a winner. There is no physical prize, just the knowledge that you are a Tough Mudder victor. “The thing about Nike that rarely gets acknowledged is that it doesn’t sell shoes…as much as it buys and sells fairytales,” says Futterman. They’re selling a dream that you too can accomplish great things. Most people have aspirations and it’s comforting to know that there are people that set goals and reach them and you can too. As an educator, a great way to make a message come alive is to underline life lessons via storytelling. However, when I use a true story involving a character, I don’t tell of the character’s entire life, but rather the part that pertains to the message. A few years back, when a new book was published, “The Making of a Gadol,” there was tremendous controversy that led to the book being blacklisted by right wing Orthodoxy. The issue they had was the fear that the telling of all of the plights of the gadol, his positive as well as his negative traits, brought him down to our level and took him off of the pedestal we are meant to have him on. I agreed with their point but not their conclusion. Does being human belittle someone’s awesome accomplishments? If someone is so far out of reach, how can we try and aspire to be like them? It is merely by humanizing them that we can imagine a route to growth and goals and reach high. I will reach for the sky but will I reach for another planet or will it be completely out of my orbit (excuse the pun)? Needless to say I got my hands on a copy of the book and read and enjoyed it immensely. I heard Eli Wiesel say, “It isn’t about the years, it’s about the moments.” I can’t say with certainty what he was referring to, but I think that viewing life as moments instead of years is an indication of the importance of treasuring and emphasizing success, no matter how brief, and triumphs rather then drowning in a broader picture often ensconced in despair and debacle. When I utilize a story to prove my point, I use a chapter of someone’s life, because it is also the chapters that make us who and not only book. Whether we are referring to Armstrong or Woods, who were both involved in dreadful activities, they still outperformed their competition. We can take the lesson, and still gain inspiration, without needing

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News

The Jewish Home

february 28, 2013

32

Global Spain’s Royalty Under Investigation

Although in America the First Family is often honored and adored in the media, we do not experience the same kind of awe, admiration, and respect as in a country ruled by a monarchy. That makes this scandal all the more shocking and disgraceful. The Spanish royal family belongs to the House of Borbón. Juan Carlos de Borbón became the king in 1975. Their middle child, Infanta Cristina, is married to Iñaki Urdangarín who was recently accused of embezelling millions of dollars in public funds. On Saturday, Urdangarin was questioned by an investigating judge for the second time this year. The king’s son-inlaw vowed that the royal family has nothing to do with his financial dealings. He and his former business partner, Diego Torres, are accused of stealing taxpayer money through a charity, the Noos Institute, that organized sports and cultural events. “The royal family did not give its opinion on, advice or authorize the activities of Noos,” Urdangarin said in a statement read aloud in court. Outside the courthouse, on the island of Mallorca, throngs of protestors chanted, “Down with the monarchy!” and “Down with corruption!” They have not been formally charged yet. The goal of the court hearing was intended to help the judge decide whether a trial should be held. Urdangarin stepped down as chairman of Noos in 2006 after allegations surfaced of financial irregularities involving the charity’s clients. He told the judge that he resigned as per the request of his in-laws. In recent months, Spain’s ruling class has been flooded by corruption scandals. Prosecutors are investigating allegations that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other conservative politicians accepted tens of thousands of dollars each in annual bribes from construction companies for nearly twenty years.

Urdangarin, 45, is a former Olympic handball champion who met Princess Cristina at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. They married a year later, and Urdangarin was given the royal title Duke of Palma. They have three sons and one daughter together. Authorities in the town of Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital, wrote to Urdangarin last month requesting that he give up his title of Duke of Palma. They also took down signs along Duke of Palma Avenue, which has been renamed, simply, Avenue. As head of state, the king is immune from prosecution, but other royals are not. Princess Cristina could potentially be called to testify. Reportedly, Spain’s royals have distanced themselves from Urdangarin. Supposedly he has been banned from royal events, cut out of the royal budget, and had his name and photo removed from the family’s official website. Spanish public approval of the royals has fallen in recent years, particularly after the king, 75, went elephant hunting in Africa last spring while the rest of Spain was gripped by recession, a trip that cost many times the average Spaniard’s annual income.

Hundreds of Refugees Drown in the Indian Ocean This was supposed to be their journey to freedom, to a better life, and to survival but instead it ended in death.

Last week, a rickety boat was rescued off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. After nearly two months at sea in dreadful conditions, hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar drowned in the vicious waters of the Indian Ocean. Survivors of the sunken ship say they undertook the arduous journey out of fear for their lives.

The outpouring of Rohingya refugees from western Myanmar and Bangladesh refugee camps has made the Indian Ocean “one of the deadliest stretches of water in the world,” the U.N. refugee agency said Friday. It estimated that last year, nearly 500 out of 13,000 people fleeing by boat in the Bay of Bengal perished. Reports of the dead are still being tallied. Sri Lanka helped the survivors who were rescued Saturday. The Sri Lankan navy also rescued roughly 130 people, believed to be coming from Myanmar and Bangladesh, earlier this month. The Sri Lankan Daily News reported that officials do not plan to bring charges against the latest group of fleeing Rohingya, but an immigration official said that it was working to start sending them back to Myanmar. The exodus stems from the violence that ravaged Rakhine state in Myanmar in June, as rival mobs of Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims attacked villages, torching homes and killing scores of people. Reportedly in October, the violence erupted once again. The Rohingya Muslims face severe discrimination in Myanmar. They are denied from citizenship in the country, where many see them as interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh. Dhaka also rejects them, leaving them essentially stateless. As thousands tried to flee the violence, Bangladesh dismissed their boats, saying it already hosted hundreds of thousands of people from Rohingya.

North Korea Warns U.S. of “Miserable Destruction”

Call it what you want…a family feud, a cold war, a cat fight. North Korea warned the top American commander in South Korea of “miserable destruction” if the U.S. military presses ahead with routine joint drills with South Korea set to begin next month. Pak Rim Su, chief of North Korea’s military delegation, sent the warning on Saturday morning to General James Thurman. This kind of direct message is rare and unusual. South Korea and the U.S. regularly conduct joint drills such as the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises slated to take place next month. North Korea calls the drills proof of U.S. hostility and ac-

cuses Washington of practicing for an invasion. “You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction,” Pak was quoted as saying in his message to Thurman. He called the drills “reckless.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, has been making a round of visits to military units, guiding troops in drills and exercises. The threat comes as the U.S. and other nations discuss how to punish North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test on February 12 in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from nuclear and missile activity. North Korea has characterized the nuclear test, its third since 2006, as a defensive act against U.S. aggression. The U.S. and North Korea fought on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, and left the Korean Peninsula divided by a heavily fortified border monitored by the U.S.-led U.N. Command. Washington also stations 28,500 American troops in South Korea to protect its ally against North Korean aggression.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Resigns Bulgaria’s government resigned on Wednesday after mass protests against high power prices and diminishing living standards, joining a long list of European administrations felled by austerity during four years of debt crisis. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, an ex-bodyguard who took power in 2009 on promises to raise incomes and help the economy, announced to Parliament, “The people gave us power, and today we are returning it.” Earnings in Bulgaria are less than half the European Union average. Tens of thousands of Bulgarians have rallied in protests that have turned violent, chanting “Mafia” and “Resign.” The spark for the protests was high electricity bills, after the government raised prices by 13 percent last July. But protesters expected their overall frustration with Borisov and political elites with perceived links to shady business dealings. Borisov attempted to blame foreign utility companies for the rise in the cost of heating homes. Protesters didn’t accept that lame excuse. The eleventh day of marches ended with police clashes that sent 15 people to the hospital and 25 arrested. “My decision to resign will not be changed under any circumstances. I do not build roads so that blood is shed on them,” said Borisov, who began his career guarding the Black Sea state’s communist dicta-


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The Pole of Cold This winter was a delayed reaction. It suddenly and unexpectedly took a turn for the colder in recent weeks. It’s been cold, really cold but imagine a life where 27 degrees would be considered a spring-like winter day… The remote northeastern Russian village of Oymyakon is officially the coldest town on earth. The population of Oymyakon is 472.

In protest of deep austerity, the privatization of public services, and political corruption, tens of thousands of Spaniards marched through cities across the country on Saturday. People are angry. After a fiveyear economic decline that does not seem to be recovering, they decided to fight back. Students, doctors, unionists, young families and pensioners joined together as one under the banner “Citizen Tide.” They staged a rowdy but non-violent demonstration. “I’m here to add my voice. They’re cutting where they shouldn’t cut; health, education ... basic services. And the latest corruption scandal is just the tiniest tip of a very large iceberg,” said Alberto, 51, an account administrator. As the conservative government passes measures aimed at shrinking one of the euro zone’s highest budget deficits and reinventing an economy hobbled by a burst housing bubble protesting has become usual. Unemployment is terrible. More than half the country’s young people are out of work. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced some of the deepest budget cuts in Spain’s democratic history in an attempt to convince investors the country can catch itself before falling back on international aid.

Mass Wedding in China The room was an endless sea of pairs in black and white. Around 3,500 couples lined up at Cheongshim Peace World Centre in Gapyeong, 37 miles northeast of Seoul, China on Sunday, February 17, 2013. The small town has the lowest temperature ever recorded in northern hemisphere history. It rightfully earned its nickname of “Pole of Cold” in February 1933, when a temperature of -67.7°C (-90°F) was recorded. The town’s airport runway is only open in the summer since the ice during the winter never melts. Daylight varies from 3 hours in December to 21 hours in June. The forecast for the next few days? -15°C. Road trip, anyone??

The newlyweds celebrated a mass wedding ceremony. The first mass wedding was in 1961 with 33 couples. Now the ceremony has mushroomed in size.

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“He made my day,” said student Borislav Hadzhiev in central Sofia, commenting on Borisov’s resignation. “The truth is that we’re living in an extremely poor country.”

Spaniards March in Protest of Economic Decline

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tor Todor Zhivkov. Borisov attempted to gain the public’s approval in his earlier years in power. But critics say he often avoided due process, sometimes to the benefit of those close to him.

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In a photo from the event, many brides is seen snoozing ceremony. Her groom is seen head to pose for the camera. didn’t take it too personally.

one of the during the lifting her I hope he

ously thought that Iran may be close to exhausting its supply of raw uranium, Iran has announced that it has found significant new deposits of raw uranium to feed its nuclear program and has identified sites for sixteen more nuclear power stations.

epidemic. But the ministry acknowledged that in general, China uses “poisonous and harmful chemical products” that are banned in developed countries and “pose long-term or potential harm to human health and the ecology.”

Afghan Expels US Special Forces

The Afghan president has ordered U.S. Special Forces to leave Wardak province within two weeks. The expulsion comes after allegations of disappearances and torture by Afghans considered to be part of US special forces, said a spokesman for Hamid Karzai. The strategically significant central province of Wardak has been the recent focus of counter-insurgency operations. A US statement said it took all allegations of misconduct seriously. “This is an important issue that we must discuss with our Afghan counterparts,” the statement said. “After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as US Special Force[s] stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people,” the Afghan president’s office said. “A recent example in the province is an incident in which nine people were disappeared [sic] in an operation by this suspicious force, and in a separate incident a student was taken away at night from his home, whose tortured body with throat cut was found two days later under a bridge. However, Americans reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force. The meeting strongly noted that such actions have caused local public resentment and hatred.” In a hurried news conference, a presidential spokesman implied that many of the allegations centered on Afghan citizens he alleged were working with US Special Forces. “There are some individuals, some Afghans, who are working within these cells, within these [US] Special Forces groups” in Wardak province, said spokesman Aimal Faizi. “But they are part of US Special Forces according to our sources and according to our local officials, working in the province,” he said. The accountability of US forces and local militia working with them has been a growing source of friction in Afghan-US relations.

Iran Discovers More Uranium Bad news for us, sort of good news for Iran. Although Western experts had previ-

This announcement comes just days before talks with Western powers over its disputed atomic program. The Iran Atomic Energy Organization report cited that the deposits were found in “southern coastal areas” and had tripled the amount outlined in previous estimates. This news comes at an interesting point in time. Diplomats say the United States and its allies – the so called P5+1 – are set to offer Iran some relief from their sanctions at the talks in Kazakhstan on Tuesday if it agrees to curb its production of higher grade enriched uranium. The West says the production demonstrates Tehran’s intent to develop a nuclear weapons capability, an allegation the Islamic republic denies. Iran’s stock of reserves of raw uranium stood at around 4,400 metric tons taking into account discoveries over the past 18 months, IRNA quoted the report as saying. To further alarm us, the Islamic Republic’s powerful Revolutionary Guard conducted a threeday ground and air military exercise aimed at upgrading its combat readiness.

China Admits Pollution in “Cancer Villages” Several years ago, a report was published analyzing a supposed higher incidence of cancer in certain villages of China. In an official report released last week, China’s environment ministry acknowledged the existence of “cancer villages.” In recent years the public has been more vocal regarding their growing discontent over industrial waste, hazardous smog and other environmental and health consequences after years of rapid development. “Poisonous and harmful chemical materials have brought about many water and atmosphere emergencies...certain places are even seeing ‘cancer villages,’” said a five-year study that was highlighted this week. The report did not elaborate on the

Environmental lawyer Wang Canfa, who runs an aid center in Beijing for victims of pollution, said it was the first time the “cancer village” phrase had appeared in a ministry document. “It shows that the environment ministry has acknowledged that pollution has led to people getting cancer,” he said. “It shows that this issue, of environmental pollution leading to health damages, has drawn attention.”

Raul Castro Deliberates Retirement Cuban President Raul Castro has surprisingly raised the possibility of leaving his post after a long career. The Cuban leader is scheduled to be named by parliament to a new five-year term on Sunday, and Castro urged reporters to listen to his speech that day. “I am going to resign,” Castro said at a joint appearance with visiting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an enigmatic smile on his face. It was not clear whether he was joking. “I am going to be 82-years-old,” Castro added. “I have the right to retire, don’t you think?” When reporters continued to shout questions about his plans for the next five years, Castro replied: “Why are you so incredulous?” His only response was to listen to his speech on Sunday. “It will be an interesting speech,” he said. “Pay attention.” The Cuban leader has spoken before of his desire to implement a two-term limit for all Cuban government positions, including the presidency. That has led many to speculate that this upcoming term would be his last, though term limits have never been codified into Cuban law yet. Interestingly enough Cuban television downplayed Castro’s comments. The exchange was not shown on Cuban television, although other footage from his appearance with Medvedev was shown.

On Sunday, Raul announced that he will step down as Cuba’s president in 2018, putting a deadline to a Castro-led Cuba. He tapped rising star Miguel Diaz-Canel as his top lieutenant and potential successor. “This will be my last term,” Castro, 81, announced, shortly after the National Assembly elected him to a second fiveyear term of office. If he keeps his word, Castro will leave office no later than 2018. This will signify a change in U.S.-Cuba relations. The wording of Washington’s 51-year economic embargo against Cuba specifies that it cannot be lifted while a Castro is in power. A frail Fidel Castro made an appearance on Sunday alongside his brother, Raul. He received a thunderous ovation from lawmakers when he entered Parliament.

Israel Palestinians Request Investigation of Israel’s Treatment of Palestinian Prisoners Palestinians are asking for an international investigation of Israel’s treatment of detained Palestinians. Arafat Jaradat died at 30-year-old while in custody. In protest, four other inmates imposed a hunger strike on themselves. This sparked protests in the West Bank in a show of support for the prisoners.    Dozens of Palestinians in Chevron, the West Bank’s largest city, threw rocks, fired tear gas, and rubber coated steel pellets at Israeli soldiers. Similar violent protests also erupted near Jaradat’s village of Saeer in the West Bank. Palestinian officials and the detainee’s family alleged Jaradat was mistreated by the Shin Bet, saying he was healthy at the time of his arrest last week. Shin Bet claims that Jaradat died of a sudden heart attack. They fiercely deny any ill treatment.  


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Jaradat was arrested last Monday, after residents in his village of Saeer said he was involved in a rock-throwing attack that injured an Israeli. Jaradat confessed to the charge, as well as to another West Bank rock-throwing incident last year. The agency admits that during his interrogation, he was examined by a doctor who detected no health problems. On Saturday, he was in his cell and felt unwell after lunch, the agency said. “Rescue services and a doctor were alerted and treated him; they didn’t succeed in saving his life,” the statement said. At the time, Jaradat was not on a hunger strike and died of an apparent heart attack, said Sivan Weizman of the Israel Prisons Service.

Israel’s main forensics institute is to perform an autopsy, with a Palestinian physician in attendance.

Israel Has the Diamonds. Now They Need Someone to Polish Them Diamond manufacturing has become a deteriorating trade in Israel. The country has one of the world’s hottest diamond exchanges, but polishers and cutters of the precious stones have been replaced by cheaper workers in newer hubs like India and China. Israel wants to bring them back home. In an effort to jumpstart the diamond polishing industry, they are attempting to appeal to Chareidi Jews. The job of a diamond polisher is unique, said Bumi Traub, president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. It does not interfere with the humble and sheltered lives of Chareidi men. “The profession is fitting. You deal with the rock, and if you need to go pray, no one will bother you,” he said. About a third of rough diamonds produced in the world each year pass through the Jewish State and diamonds account for more than a fifth of the country’s industrial exports. In 2011, rough diamond imports to Israel topped $4.4 billion and $7.2 billion in polished diamonds were exported. Every

second diamond sold in the United States, according to value, came from Israel.

But only $1.5 billion of the stones were cut and polished locally, a much lower percentage than a decade ago. The rest were sent abroad to foreign firms or Israeli-owned factories. Salaries in India and China were just too cheap to compete with. Now, the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, has decided to open its lab in Israel. Now manufacturers can have their diamonds graded and evaluated in Israel. “It’s critical for the growth, for the international branding of the export business, and we think that we’re a good partner to help the manufacturing grow,” GIA President and CEO Donna Baker said when the lab opened. By cutting costs and allowing increased turnover, it will add between $30 million and $50 million a year to the industry. The Israeli government, eager to get as many ultra-Orthodox working as possible, is on board to help execute the plan. The government has already allocated $200 million over the next five years to encourage Chareidi integration in the work force. Many in the new generation of ultra-Orthodox are open to the idea of getting jobs. The key is finding one that fits, said Bezalel Cohen, 38, who has worked for years to promote employment among his fellow Chareidim. “The diamond industry’s initiative [to hire ultra-Orthodox] has potential to really succeed,” he said. “As long as the pay and training is proper, it should take off.” Aside from helping to pay the salaries for newly hired Chareidim, the government will offer grants to small exporters and marketing support.

Manuscript of Trajtenberg Committee Released The Trajtenberg Committee on Socioeconomic Change tailored some of its recommendations to be more politically pleasant, according to an investigation by Calcalist, which on Sunday uncovered the official transcripts of the discussions for the first time.

Professor Manuel Trajtenberg’s committee to map out policies to address the 2011 social protests omitted some recommendations on issues such as taxes, labor unions and the cost of living from its final report, in part to make the recommendations “easier” for politicians to pass, and in part in response to pressure from government representatives, according to the investigation, based on 184,797 words of transcripts in 763 pages. For example, in a September 2011 meeting, National Economic Council Chairman Eugene Kandel explained why the group did not address reforming tax-exempt continuing education funds (Keren Hishtalmut), which experts estimate cost the state NIS 2.4 billion a year in lost tax revenue. “There’s an agreement here not to touch it,” Calcalist quoted Kandel as saying. “Not because we don’t think it’s right, but because such an action complicates the system.”

When the committee moved to a discussion of the corporate tax rate, Avi Simhon, then a senior economic adviser to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, put it bluntly: “Something else that I perhaps should not say as an economist, but I will say anyway: When we do things, we can’t come and slap the policy-makers in the face.” In the discussion, which focused on what the corporate tax rate should be, Trajtenberg pushed for raising it a few percentage points. “We’re coming from a tax of 36 percent that dropped to 24%. The OECD average is 25.5%,” Trajtenberg reportedly said in an August 2011 meeting. Raising it to 26 or 27% would not be the end of the world, he argued, saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was willing to take such steps. An unnamed committee member responded to the Calcalist report, saying that the government was making its own political decisions, taking up only certain parts of the recommendations to implement into law.

Israeli Appointed Head of Socialist International Former Knesset member and former Israeli diplomat in the U.S. and Europe, Collette Avital, has been chosen as head of the Socialist International, the world

organization of social democrat political parties. She currently serves as the head of the Israel Holocaust Survivors Organization.

Avital was elected unanimously at a Socialist International meeting in Lisbon over the weekend. She was Israeli ambassador to Portugal from 1988 until 1992, and was Israel’s Consul General in New York City between 1992 and 1996. Upon returning to Israel, she was appointed Deputy Director in Charge of Western Europe, the third most important position in the ministry. Avital first ran for the Knesset in 1999, and served until 2009. In 2007, she ran for President of Israel against Reuven Rivlin and Shimon Peres, The Socialist International includes parties from 180 countries, among them the British Labor Party, the Social Democrat party of the U.S., the French Socialist Party, the German SPD, and Israel’s Labor and Meretz parties. The group also includes Pakistan’s social democratic movement, as well as parties from Turkey, and the Fatah terror group. The latter two are non-voting observers…I guess that explains why Avital was unanimously voted into this position.

National Richest Presidents in History It definitely pays to be President of the United States. It’s not the salary of being head of state that makes the big bucks; it’s the opportunities that come after leaving office.

24/7 Wall St. examined the finances of all 43 presidents to identify the richest. The wealthiest living President on the list is Bill Clinton, who now has an estimated net worth of $55 million. Clinton


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Homes of the Rich and Famous

Google Glass

“OK Glass.” Are two words that will mean a lot if it’s meant as a command for Google’s glass computerized eyewear. Google released a sneak peak video entitled, “How it Feels.” A person speaks the words “OK Glass” and then he can pick from a list of featured voice commands to send a message, record a video, take a photo, launch a video-chat, conduct an online search, check the weather, or get directions. All from his glasses. This clip illustrates how Google is transforming its reputation as simply a search engine to a technological giant. The Glass eyewear perches a screen just above a person’s ordinary field of view; the device itself is equipped with a processor, camera, head-tracking orientation sensors, and other electronics drawn from the smartphone industry. Google began selling Glass developer prototypes called Explorer last year for $1,500 that are due to ship this year. Google’s site shows off Glass’ GoPro-like video camera abilities, with first-person views of table tennis, sword-

When you’re rich, you can practically live anywhere. And it seems that there are cities in America that are more appealing to those who have millions in their bank accounts. Recently released census data suggests which cities hold the most appeal for wealthy folks. These areas have the highest percentage of households with high income, representing household incomes of at least $191,469. Napa, California, came in at the tenth spot on the list. And that’s not too shabby. Known for its fine wines, beautiful weather and great golfing, living here is like living the dream. But houses here don’t come cheap—the average listing price in Napa is $1.2 million. Boulder, Colorado, located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, came in ninth place. Boston, Massachusetts and Thousand Oaks, California came in at the eighth and seventh spots, respectively. New York came in at the sixth place. The NY metro area includes northern New Jersey and Long Island along with parts of Pennsylvania. The average listing price in NYC hovers around $2.35 million—and that’s in a building without a backyard. Trenton, New Jersey; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and San Jose came in front of New York. The number one city in the United States for wealthy Americans? Stamford,

Connecticut. The cost of living here is more than sixty percent above the national average and the average listing price for a home is only $728,603. Hey, maybe I can move there!

Millions of Dollars for Renewable Energy in Colorado The federal government has its eyes on Colorado to fulfill its dream of renewable energy. Scientists and executives doggedly explore a new frontier at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The NREL deems solar panels, windmills, and corn the energy source of the future. If you think it sounds idealistic and frivolous, think again because the highpaid staff of NREL has millions of your dollars at their disposal. The taxpayer dollars fund top executive, Dr. Dan Arvizu’s, million dollar salary as well as his two top lieutenants who earn more than half a million each and nine others that make more than $350,000 a year.(Any job openings?) The site is patrolled by security that will stop you if you even try to get close; what goes on inside NREL is “top secret.” Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, NREL started in 1977 as a Solar Energy Research Institute, a Jimmy Carter-era response to the 1973 Mideast oil crisis. Its budget then was about $100 million. That budget was slashed by the Reagan administration. After that, it increased steadily before ballooning to $536.5, a beneficiary of President Obama’s stimulus plan and a $135 million contract spread out over five years to construct a new science center. Its current $352 million budget is down slightly from last year’s $388.6 million. Mysterious…where’s Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys?

Saddest Cities in America If you’re ever in search of a depressing vacation spot, just visit one of the cities on Forbes magazine’s saddest, most depressed cities in America. Detroit, Michigan, marked number one on the most miserable cities list. The rankings are based mostly on economic factors, including unemployment, foreclosures, income and property taxes, and home prices. Violent crime was also heavily factored in. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told Forbes, “Right now, it’s all about survival.” The city suffers from high crime rates and falling house prices. The Midwest was heavily represented

on the list. The 20 most miserable cities also included Rockford, Illinois (third); Chicago, Illinois (fourth); Lake County, Illinois (ninth); Toledo, Ohio (11th); St. Louis, Missouri (12th); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (14th); Cleveland, Ohio (17th); Gary, Indiana (19th) and Youngstown, Ohio (20th). The cities had mixed reactions to their rankings. While Detroit acknowledged their pitiful state, many other city mayors bashed Forbes for putting them on the list. It makes me depressed just reading about it.

Bloomberg Ban Costing Families More On March 12, the ban on large sodas being sold in New York City will take effect. Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery and pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party. They’d violate Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The city’s Health Department last week began sending brochures to businesses that would be affected by the latest ban, including restaurants, bars and any “food service” establishment subject to letter grades. Merchants were shocked to see the broad sweep of the new rules. Consumers, especially families, will soon see how the rules will affect their wallets – forcing them to pay higher unit prices for smaller bottles. Typically, a pizza shop charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda. The smaller bottles will generate more revenue for the restaurant, which means more tax dollars for the city, but cost consumers a lot more. I thought a mayor was supposed to look out for his constituents.

Identity Theft on the Rise Some 12.6 million Americans were victimized by ID theft in 2012, the second-highest total since the Federal Trade Commission began counting victims in 2003, and roughly 1 million more than 2011, according to a survey by Javelin Strategy and Research. The record – 13.9 million victims – was set in 2009. Overall, slightly more than 1 in 20 consumers were victims last year, the survey found. A large portion of the increase was driven by “dramatic jumps” in more-serious forms of ID theft, such as new account fraud, where a criminal uses a victim’s

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play, trapeze acrobatics, jumping rope, sculpture carving, hot-air ballooning, and more. The company is trying to demonstrate it as a sort of real-time video Facebook you can use to share life with others as you experience what’s going on around you. The company hopes that Glass will be ready for consumers in 2014. Google also announced a promotion in which people who share interesting ideas about what to do with the device get the chance to become a “Glass Explorer,” and can then pre-order a $1,500 prototype. The application deadline is February 27. I’m sold!

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continues to make millions of dollars in speaking fees. Although President Obama did not make the list, his net worth increased from $5 million in 2010 to an estimated $7 million, primarily from his book sales. If Bill Clinton is any indication, Obama can expect to make much more money in speaking engagements once he exits office in 2017. Trends show that the fortunes of America’s presidents are often linked to the economy of their time. The ten wealthiest presidents of all time are (all in 2010 dollars): 35th President John F. Kennedy, who had a net worth of $1 billion; Bill Clinton; 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at $60 million; Herbert Clark Hoover at $75 million; Lyndon B. Johnson at $98 million; 4th President James Madison at $101 million; Andrew Jackson with $119 million, Theodore Roosevelt at $125 million; third President Thomas Jefferson at $212 million; and George Washington at $525 million. Not too bad.

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personal information to open new credit cards or other kinds of loans. New account fraud jumped 50 percent last year, according to the report, with the total fraud-loss doubling year over year to just under $10 billion. “I don’t think [the data] shows that banks are losing control,” said Jim Van Dyke, author of the study, when asked about the significance of the new data. “But it’s really wise to look at where we haven’t gotten anything under control, and that’s new account fraud.”

The news comes amid a cascade of hacker stories this week, giving the impression computer criminals are gaining the upper hand on many fronts. Agents working on behalf of the Chinese army have successfully attacked dozens of U.S. companies, according to U.S. security firm Mandiant. Large U.S. media companies have also fought off Chinese hackers, and not always successfully, according to several reports. Burger King and Jeep suffered embarrassing Twitter account takeovers. And both Twitter and Facebook have had to announce in recent weeks that they had been hacked.

Universities with Wealthiest Alumni Want your child to have a real shot at becoming a billionaire? Send him to Harvard. Harvard has graduated some 52 billionaires, with a collective fortune of $205 billion. This number doesn’t include Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, who both attended Harvard but did not complete their degrees there. Together Microsoft and Facebook’s CEOs are worth $45 billion. Wealth-X created a global list of universities ranked by alumni worth $1 billion or more.

Harvard was number one and had near-

ly twice as many billionaires as the number two school, University of Pennsylvania, which has 28 billionaire alumni worth a collective $112 billion. “It shows the power of networks,” said David Friedman, president of Wealth-X. “Harvard has this entrenched, powerful network that extends across so many sectors and is incredibly pro-active about connecting its alumni. You get a great education, but you also get access.” Harvard’s success, said Friedman, “validates what we all whisper and now we know: It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.” Stanford University has 27 billionaires to its credit, ranking third. M.I.T., sixth on the list with 15 billionaires, has sprinkled its number-crunching analysts throughout Wall Street and hedge funds. The University of Cambridge, the only school outside the United States to make the top 10, is a high-tech leader in the U.K. Is it the school that makes the man or the man that makes the school?

US Stopping Use of Term ‘Negro’ for Census Surveys After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word “Negro” to describe black Americans in surveys. Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels “black” or “African-American.” Nicholas Jones, chief of the Census Bureau’s racial statistics branch, said the change will take effect next year, when the bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households. According to Jones, months of public feedback and census research concluded that few black Americans still identify with being Negro, and many view the term as offensive and outdated.

Ford Laser hatchback as it labored along under the power of its 1.3-liter engine. Wellington police spokesman Guy Callahan said, “He would have done a double take. The officer basically pulled the vehicle over and discovered it was full up with men and sheep… It’s quite a small vehicle.”

The sheep had allegedly been stolen from a farm. Three of the men were charged with theft of stock and cruel treatment of an animal. The men were 35, 22 and 21, Callahan said, adding that stolen sheep are generally slaughtered and eaten. He admitted that the meat is expensive in New Zealand. “A lot of sheep get poached, especially during lambing season,” he said. “But something like this is not regular.” The sheep were found unharmed, though presumably shaken, Callahan said, adding that he thought the cruelty charge was particularly appropriate, given the hog-tying and the weather. “It’s bloody hot here because it’s in the middle of summer,” he said. “So 10 wool sheep and four men – it’s, well … it’s hot.” Local media reported that 11 sheep were stolen but Callahan said he was confident the number was 10. “Maybe one of the men was mistaken for a sheep,” he said. Where, oh where, is Little Bo Peep?

Attorneys for Animals

That’s Odd Four Men, Ten Sheep, One Car During a routine patrol in New Zealand, police discovered four men and ten sheep jammed into a small car. No, this is not a joke. Somehow they all manage to fit into the small car. An officer was patrolling the area when he noticed something strange about a 1994

Many pet owners think their animals have a lot to say. And it seems that lawmakers agree with them. A Connecticut

legislator has proposed a bill that would allow the appointment of an advocate to act on behalf of an animal during court proceedings. Connecticut State Representative Diana Urban proposed the bill, known as HB 6310, “An Act Concerning Animal Advocates in Court Proceedings.” It would permit a veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture to be appointed as an advocate for an animal whose welfare or custody is the subject of a civil or criminal court proceeding. “HB 6310 would give the option for an advocate in court for an egregiously injured animal,” said Urban, a Democrat from North Stonington, Conn. “This would enable the animal’s injury to be identified as a red flag for future violent behavior. We are putting together a public/private partnership with the state Department of Agriculture and nonprofit rescue groups including Connecticut Votes for Animals to be available to speak for the animals in court.” The bill, which is awaiting action in the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, has the support of other lawmakers. “Much like our children who cannot advocate on behalf of themselves, innocent animals that are abused or worse, killed, deserve that same right,” said Rep. Brenda Kupchick, a Republican from Fairfield, Connecticut. “Violence of any type is unacceptable and we must do whatever we can to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.” I totally woof, I mean, agree with you.

Double Funeral is Bittersweet Norman Hendrickson was known for telling jokes and never wasting money. So when he died suddenly while en route to his wife’s funeral, the couple’s daughters knew there was only one thing to do: hold a doubleheader service. The 94-year-old World War II veteran’s impromptu wake was held on Saturday at the same eastern New York funeral home where his wife Gwen’s funeral was already scheduled. She was 89 when she died on February 8. After Norman died just steps from the funeral home, the daughters decided their parents would be mourned together at the same time. The daughters said it was a fitting way to say goodbye to a couple who had been together since meeting in Europe during World War II and who had been married for nearly 66 years. “After we had a little time to process the shock and horror, we felt we couldn’t have written a more perfect script,” their daughter said. “My sister said the only thing he didn’t do was fall into the casket.”


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A Hood County woman was arrested after calling 911 to request cigarettes.

Linda White, 48, now admits it was a frivolous request and says she regrets calling 911 at about 1 a.m. on February 11 asking deputies to make a delivery. In a recording of the call, White can be heard saying, “I need some cigarettes.” Apparently, it was an emergency. On Tuesday, though, she apologized and tried to explain. “We were just kicking it in the backyard – a few beers too many,” she said. “Next thing you know, we’re out of cigarettes. Well, I didn’t want to drive to town...I was drunk, you know, but in my backyard.” “Who’s the safest person to call?” she asked. “Your police department, I thought.” Drunk or not, the sheriff’s office said 911 is reserved for emergencies. Hood County Chief Deputy Biff Temple stated the obvious. “A call for deputies to bring cigarettes to the resident is not an emergency call,” he said. “I am deeply sorry for what I did,” White said in an interview outside her home. “I’m embarrassed. It’s not me.” “It is kind of funny,” she said laughing. White added that she learned the hard way not to call 911 with a frivolous request. “They don’t deliver – they pick up,” she said. And they’ll charge you for it too.

Woman Shot by Oven Aalaya Walker, 18, was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg, Florida, when she had a craving for waffles. The unsuspecting young woman from Tampa Bay, Florida, began preheating the oven, unaware that her friend, JJ Sandy, 25, was storing a magazine from his .45-caliber Glock 21 in the oven. The magazine exploded at about 9 p.m. Eastern Time, spraying casing fragments at high speed and striking Walker. She managed to pick some of the fragments out of her leg and chest and then took a

Pieces of Outer Space for Sale You thought the price of gold was high? Hunters in Russia are frantically searching for fragments of the space rock from the meteor that exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains last week. The blast and the aftershock wave shattered windows and injured almost 1,200 people. It caused $33 million in damage. It also started a “meteorite rush” around the industrial city of Chelyabinsk, 950 miles east of Moscow, where groups of people have started combing through the snow and ice. One amateur space enthusiast estimated that chunks could be worth anything up to 66,000 rubles ($2,200) per gram; that’s more than 40 times the current cost of gold! “The price is hard to say yet…The fewer meteorites that are recovered, the higher their price,” said Dmitry Kachkalin, a member of the Russian Society of Amateur Meteorite Lovers. Scientists at the Urals Federal University were the first to announce a significant find: 53 small, stony, black objects around Lake Chebarkul, near Chelyabinsk, which tests confirmed were small meteorites. The fragments were only 0.5 to 1 centimeter (0.2 to 0.4 inches) across, but the scientists said larger pieces may have crashed into the lake, where a crater in the ice about 8 meters (26 feet) was wide open up after Friday’s explosion.

It gives a new meaning to the phrase, “Space for Sale.”

“We just completed tests, and confirm that the pieces of matter found by our experts around Lake Chebarkul are really meteorites,” Viktor Grokhovsky, a scientist with the Urals Federal University and the Russian Academy of Sciences said. “These are classified as ordinary chondrites, or stony meteorites, with an iron content of about 10 percent.” Residents of a village near Chelyabinsk searched the snowy streets, collecting stones they hoped would prove to be the real thing. “I will keep it. Why sell it? I didn’t have a rich lifestyle before, so why start now?” a woman told state television as she clutched a small black pebble. The authenticity of the items is difficult to confirm. One seller of a large, silver-hued rock wrote in an advertisement, “Selling an unusual rock. It may be a piece of meteorite, it may be a bit of a UFO, it may be a piece of a rocket!”

Thieves Steal Millions of Diamonds in Plane Parked on Runway In a daring break-in, eight armed and masked men made a hole in a security fence at the international airport in Brussels, Belgium, and drove onto the tarmac right up to a passenger plane that was preparing for departure. They grabbed millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot and sped away into darkness.

Authorities say the gang used two vehicles in their operation. One of the two cars was found burnt-out close to the airport.

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february 28, 2013

Emergency Cigarettes

bus to the hospital, where she was treated and released. Sandy told police he’d stored the gun in a drawer but had stored the magazine in the oven. Gun and ammunition references indicate that the .45-caliber bullets commonly used in Glocks can explode at temperatures as low as 280 degrees — or even lower if they’ve been exposed to heat for a long time, which can degrades the structure. Sandy “stated that he does not have a temperature gauge on the oven so he estimates the temperature based on how far the knob is turned,” according to the police report. “I observed that the inside of the oven was damaged.” The report said, “Without a gun barrel to contain and direct the propellant gases, the bullets did not develop enough speed to pierce the glass or steel portions of the oven. The shell casings actually caused more damage than the bullets.” Sandy wasn’t charged because he had a proper concealed weapons permit. This weapon was definitely concealed.

The Jewish Home

I guess he couldn’t bear to be without his precious wife. Their hearts beat as one.

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The Jewish Home

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The diamonds are estimated to be worth about $50 million. Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre said, “What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum.” The robbers got out of the car, flashed their weapons, and took the loot. The entire operation lasted only a few minutes. The Swiss flight, bound for Zurich and operated by Helvetic Airways, was canceled. Airport spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse could not explain how the area could be so vulnerable to theft. “We abide by the most stringent rules,” he said. The insurance for air transport is generally relatively cheap because it’s considered to be the safest way of transporting small high value items, logistics experts say. Unlike a car or a truck, an airplane cannot be attacked by robbers once it’s on its way, and it is considered to be very safe before the departure and after the plane’s arrival because the aircraft is always within the confines of an airport — which are normally highly secured. Philip Baum, an aviation security consultant in Britain, said the robbery was worrying — not because the fence was breached, but because the response did not appear to have been immediate. That, he said, raised questions as to whether alarms were ringing in the right places. “It does seem very worrying that someone can actually have the time to drive two vehicles onto the airport, [carry out] the robbery, and drive out without being intercepted,” Baum said. That’s a high-priced heist.

outpouring of support she has received to fulfill the dying wish of her husband. Joe Smith passed away at age 88 on February 5. For the past two years, he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Elsie Smith had only $9 to her name and a funeral and burial to pay for. She planned to sell all her possessions to bury her beloved husband, Joe, at the same cemetery as their family members in Snohomish, Washington. The couple had been married for over 46 years and Elsie was committed to giving her husband a respectable farewell. Somehow the public got wind of Smith’s situation and struck a nerve, After many generous people called the station to donate money, Mrs. Smith was presented with a $12,000 check by ABC News’ Seattle affiliate. “I don’t know what to say. I’m just dumbfounded,” Smith said, after finding out her husband’s burial was taken care of. Stories like these show me that Americans are truly kindhearted people.

cost at Starbucks? $47.30 for a single 52 ounce cup. Beau Chevassus ordered what may be the most expensive Starbucks drink ever on February 9 in Washington state but he didn’t actually pay for it. It was his 27th birthday, so the “Quadriginoctuple Frap” as dubbed by Chevassus was free. Chevassus posted his experience from the Starbucks in Enumclaw, Washington, on YouTube, where it has close to 350,000 views. Starbucks did not confirm that Chevassus’ order is a record. Beau Chevassus admits it took several days to consume the beverage. “I did it for fun, for a bit of entertainment and to see if it is at all possible,” Chevassus told the New York Daily News. “I was surprised how cool the Starbucks employees were. They seemed almost more interested in trying to set the record than I was.” I hope he enjoyed every sip…happy birthday!

Most Expensive Cup of Joe

$11K in a Bag

A couple visiting San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on February 14 discovered an unattended camera bag in a nearby parking lot. Before opening the bag, the couple, Carlos and Barbara Landeros of Vallejo, California, thought the owners would return to claim their lost bag so they waited. But after 45 minutes, their patience ran out, and Barbara opened the bag. Inside the bag were several credit cards, some paHow much would forty-eight shots of pers, and over $11,000. espresso, some protein powder, two ba“I got nervous at first, it could be drug A 91-year-old Arlington, Washington, nanas, a few caramel drizzle Frappuccino money,” Barbara said. “I was scared.” cash-strapped widow is grateful for the chips, some vanilla bean and a little soy So the lucky finders turned the bag and its contents over to the police. Detectives were able to locate the owner, a Chinese tourist, Mark, who’d accidentally left the bag in the lot. He was underCommercial & Residential Insurance standably excited and relieved to have his bag returned. The cash wasn’t all Mark’s; it belonged Agent to several other families with whom he was traveling. 5850 W. 3rd St. Ste. 320 Los Angeles, CA 90036 Mark was very thankful to david@morrisinsgroup.com • www.morrisinsgroup.com the Landeroses. First he tried to call them, but had the wrong p: 323.833.9912 number. He then drove his famif: 213.406.1314 License # 0G71537 ly across the bridge to the Land-

$9 To Bury Her Husband

David Morris

Armed with a 52-ounce coffee mug, a Washington State man headed to his local Starbucks to make history.

eros’ house, only to find that they weren’t home. Finally, they connected over the phone after Mark got the right number. He told them he put a check in the mail as a reward. They should rename the bridge, the Bridge of Happiness.

World’s Most Expensive Omelet If you’re looking for an expensive egg, look no further. Norma’s Restaurant is located in the Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. Its menu hosts the most expensive omelet in the world. “The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata” has a price tag of $1,000. The menu reads, “Norma’s Dares You to Expense This.” Chef Emile Costillo says that the restaurant doesn’t even make money on the dish since the 10 ounces of caviar that comes along with the eggs costs $1,000. He said, “It’s more for the fun of it.” He said about 12 people order the dish a year. There’s nothing like a good room service breakfast. Just put it on my tab.

Why Women Talk More Men say it. Women deny it but apparently it’s true. And now scientists claim to know why. There seems to be a biological explanation for why women are chattier than men. Scientists have discovered that women possess higher levels of a “language protein” in their brains. Previous research has shown that women talk almost three times as much as men. In fact, an average woman notches up 20,000 words in a day, which is about 13,000 more than the average man. In addition, women generally speak more quickly and devote more brainpower to speaking. This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, explains the biological factors that contribute to previous research. In 2001, a gene called FOXP2 appeared to be essential for the production of speech. Researchers have detected 30 percent more FOXP2 I the brains of females. No denying it now.


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The Jewish Home february 28, 2013


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Avi Heiligman

Mitchell Flint

A Hero Who Answered the Call of the State of Israel

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hen asked about why they fast Kamikaze (suicide) plane that was joined the service, most air headed towards American ships. For force pilots reply, “To serve his service in the American navy, he my country” and/or “I was born to fly.” was awarded three Air Medals. There was group of pilots who took Following his release from the upon themselves navy, Flint attendthe very dangerous ed UC-Berkeley task of defending and graduated in a newly created June 1948. He country that they heard about the were never in creation of a Jewbefore. These ish country a heroes were the month earlier and Machal pilots of wanted to help out. the Israeli War He reminisced, Mitchell Flint in front of of Independence “I wanted to help an Israeli P-51 Mustang in 1948. Mitchell Israel survive. It Flint was one of these pilots and while was the only place my Jewish comhe never shot down an Arab plane, he patriots were able to be welcomed to certainly did his part in ensuring that come and live.” Israel was looking for the Jewish state would survive. volunteers for their ragtag air force— Mitchell Flint was born in 1923 in at first they had only three pilots—and Kansas City, Missouri. He inherited was searching in America for flyers his passion for flying from his father, who had fought in WWII. Flint told Harry, who was a decorated WWI pilot his mother that he was going overfor the US. When Mitchell was a teen, seas to watch the London Olympics, Harry took him to the local airfield and even though he went to England, and Mitchell was soon hooked on fly- it was only a stopover to arrange for ing. While in high school, he took part relatives to send prewritten postcards of JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ to his mother. His final destination was Training Corps), and at the age of 18, the Holy Land. He didn’t want to tell he volunteered in the US Navy. anyone his true intentions since it was After pilot training, Flint was sent to illegal for an American to serve in the the Pacific to fight the Japanese aboard military of another country. the aircraft carrier, USS Wasp, under Before he went to Israel, Flint the command t r a i n e d of Admiral in Ceske John McBudejovice, Cain Sr. He Czechofirst flew in slovakia, the F6F Hellto learn to cat and then fly the twoin the F4U seater Avia Corsair and S-199. He participated hated flyin several ing the plane dive bombbecause it ing missions was a hard against Japaaircraft to nese held control and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Mitchell Flint islands. One required a time, he had full month of to ditch his plane in middle of the training. Finally, at the beginning of earth’s largest ocean but fortunately August, he was sent to Israel to join the was rescued by Americans. Another 101 Squadron. time he chased and shot down a very The 101 was made up of mainly

dence Day celebration that spring. Flint’s last operation was a spy mission over Syria. As was (and still is) the practice, he flew with a wingman. This time it was Danny Shapira and while Flint was taking pictures of an enemy airbase, Shapira’s plane disappeared. He was on extra alert because the Syrians also flew some Spitfires. He saw one and as he thought that Shapira had been shot down, he geared up for an attack. To his great relief, he noticed the Israeli markings on the plane and realized it was Shapira. Low on fuel, they flew back together and thus ended Flint’s combat career. He felt that he was pushing his luck too much and decided to go home. At that time, the Israelis had started training their own pilots and Machalniks were no longer needed in large numbers. Flint returned to California where he married and had two sons. He went to UCLA’s law school and ran a familylaw firm for fifty years. A huge sports fan, he was kind of disAT-6 Dive Bombers of the Israeli Air Force. appointed that Flint is probably flying the 1105 plane in the foreground. he missed the 1948 London them loose. Upon landing, he went to Olympics. His son, Mike, a Hollywood check them out and they fell into his producer, arranged for them to go to hands. His most memorable mission the 2012 London Olympics and prowas against an encircled Egyptian duced a film on the birth of the Israeli unit trapped in a “pocket” in the Ne- Air Force entitled “Angels in the Sky.” gev. Flint led the bombing and straf- Mitchell Flint was certainly a hero for ing charge. They later learned that the not just answering the call to arms to commander of the Egyptians was none fight for a country he had never been other than Colonel Gamal Abdul Nass- in before but for his heroics to ensure er the future Egyptian President. that the Jewish State of Israel would In February and March 1949, Flint survive. flew transport planes in a Dragon Rapide. He was transferred back to the 101 Squadron in April to fly the British-made Spitfire fighter plane. He said Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to that one of the highlights and proud- The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comest moment of his service in Israel was ments and suggestions.for future columns flying a Spitfire in formation with 101 and can be reached at aviheiligman@ Squadron during Israel’s first Indepen- gmail.com. English-speaking Machalniks (volunteers from abroad) most of whom had combat experience. It was Israel’s first air unit and was under the command of Modi Alon, and Flint flew alongside with Ezer Weizman, the future president of the country. On his first flight on August 15, 1948, Flint was looking for a downed aircraft but came under Egyptian antiaircraft fire and barely escaped himself. He continued to have trouble handling the S-199 and damaged two planes while landing. He was asked to transfer to the dive bombing unit and readily agreed and was made executive officer (the second in command of a unit). In December on a bombing mission against Egyptian units, his bombs wouldn’t release and he couldn’t shake

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Health & Fitness

Aliza Beer

Food and Drugs: An Unfriendly Mix?

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any patients come to me on one or more medications, without ever being counseled on potentially dangerous interactions with their medications and certain foods. The most commonly known interaction is between grapefruit juice and grapefruit products and the statins (cholesterol-lowering medications). What many people are unaware of is the fact that certain chemicals in grapefruit products can interfere with the enzymes that metabolize various medications in your digestive system. This can result in more medication in your body and could lead to dangerous levels. Avoid consuming grapefruit products within four hours of taking your medications. The following chart lists a few prescription medications that can have a serious interaction with grapefruit products, so check with your doctor on how to proceed: There are numerous other foods

and herbs that have potentially harmful interactions with various medications; here is list of some important ones. 1. Leafy Green Vegetables. Those that are high in vitamin K should not be consumed in great quantities while taking blood thinners like Coumadin. They could interfere with the effects of the drug and cause blood clotting. 2. Orange Juice. Should not be consumed when taking antacids containing aluminum; the juice increases the absorption of the aluminum. Orange juice and milk should be avoided when taking antibiotics. 3. Aged Cheese, fava beans, sau-

erkraut, Italian green beans, some beers, red wine, and overly ripe avocado. Should be avoided by people taking MAO antidepressants. The interaction can cause a fatal rise in blood pressure. 4. Black Licorice. Should be avoided by people taking digoxin. Together they can result in irregular heart rhythms and cardiac arrest. Licorice and diuretics can also produce dangerously low potassium levels.

Examples of grapefruit-medication interactions type of medica-

Medication name

anti-anxiety

buspirone (buspar)

anti-arrhythmia

amiodarone (cordarone)

antidepressant

sertraline (Zoloft)

antihistamine

Fexofenadine (allegra)

anti-retroviral

saquinavir (invirase), indinavir (crixivan)

anti-seizure

carbamazepine (carbatrol, Tegretol)

calcium blocker

Current production is YOSHON. For more information, please see The Guide to Chodosh, section 8.1

medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and narcotics. It’s best not to consume any alcohol when taking prescription medications. 8. Caffeine. Asthma drugs and caffeine together can cause excessive excitability. The next time you want to unwind with a glass of wine or some freshly squeezed grapefruit, make sure to take into account the seemingly unconnected medications you also consume. Our medical access is growing and unfortunately harmful effects inevitably result. Most Americans do not realize the serious implications and consequences that can result from the interactions between the items they put into their systems.

channel

nifedipine (procardia), nimodipine (nimotop), nisoldipine (sular)

immunosuppressant

cyclosporine (neoral, sandimmune), tacrolimus (prograf), sirolimus (rapamune)

statin

simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (lipitor)

5. Garlic capsules combined with diabetes medication can cause a dangerous decrease in blood sugar. Garlic also has anti-clotting properties, so check with your doctor if you are on anticoagulant drugs. 6. St. John’s Wort. Is a popular herb used for the treatment of mild depression. The active ingredient is hypericin, which is believed to exert a similar influence on the brain as MAO inhibitors. Those taking St. John’s Wort should avoid the same foods as those taking MAO inhibitors. 7. Alcoholic Beverages. They tend to increase the depressive effects of

lovastatin

(mevacor),

It is sagacious of people taking these medications to write down a personalized list of all the foods that may impair the desired goal of their prescriptions. Keep this list in mind when you sip your morning coffee or drink your slightly chilled juice! Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a Master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Aliza’s new line of prepared, healthy meals-to-go are available at Gourmet Glatt. Aliza can be reached at alizabeer@gmail.com.


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In the Kitchen Easy, Breezy Dinners for the Family Purim has come and gone and we are still sweeping those last bits of cellophane off the floor. With just a few days to breathe before Pesach cleaning starts in earnest, here’s a few dinner recipes the whole family will love—especially Mommy!

Vegetarian Lasagna Ingredients 4 medium zucchini 1 package of fresh mushrooms 1 medium onion Fresh garlic 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach 28 oz. jar pasta sauce 24 oz. mozzarella cheese Olive oil Lasagna noodles Directions Boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Mince zucchini, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Sauté zucchini, mushrooms, onion and garlic in teaspoon of olive oil until tender. Add defrosted spinach. Spoon some sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Lay lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Layer vegetable mixture on top of noodles; sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Top with noodles, some sauce, vegetables and cheese. Layer noodles with a little sauce on top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for an hour until brown and bubbly at 350°. Serve with warmed Italian bread and fresh salad.

Maple Glazed Chicken Ingredients 2 pounds chicken on the bone, cut into large chunks Kosher salt 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 apples (1 red, 1 green), cored and cut into wedges 8 medium shallots, quartered lengthwise 1/4 cup fresh sage, torn 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar Directions Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken skin-side down and cook, undisturbed, until the skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and add the apples, shallots and sage to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook until the chicken is browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and continue to cook the apples and shallots, stirring, until golden, about 2 more minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Mix the chicken broth, maple syrup, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the skillet with the apples and shallots and boil until reduced by about three-quarters, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet, turning to coat, until cooked through, about 2 more minutes.

Strawberry Spinach Chicken Salad Ingredients 4 medium chicken cutlets ¼ teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth Warm Citrus Dressing 6 cups torn fresh spinach leaves 2 cups halved strawberries ¼ cup chopped pecans or almonds, toasted Directions Sprinkle chicken cutlets with pepper and salt. Pour chicken broth into a large skillet. Bring broth to boiling. Add chicken; reduce heat. Cover and simmer chicken for 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning chicken once halfway through cooking time. Remove chicken from broth with a slotted spoon; discard broth. Meanwhile, prepare the Warm Citrus Dressing. When cool, thinly slice the chicken. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries, and chicken. To serve, drizzle warm dressing over salad. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.

Warm Citrus Dressing Yield: 3/4 cup Ingredients ½ cup strawberries 1/3 cup orange juice 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional) ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt Directions In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries, orange juice, canola oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar, chili powder (if using), freshly ground black pepper, and salt. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan; bring just to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm until needed. Makes 3/4 cup dressing.


47 The Jewish Home february 28, 2013

‫ בערב‬7:30 ‫בליל ראשון דחג הפסח יום שני בערב י”ד בניסן בשעה‬ First Seder: Monday, March 25th 2013 • 7:30 pm njoy the Holiday of Freedom with your family at an inspirational Seder, complete with the original hand baked Shmurah Matzah, Four Cups of fine kosher wine, and a gourmet Passover dinner.


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