Jewish Home LA - 7-4-19

Page 1


The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

the lubavitcher rebbe rabbi menachem mendel schneerson ‫זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע‬

The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home



‫מ זי‬


"‫ה‬ ‫הנ‬





‫כ"ק אדמו"ר מליוב‬ ‫של‬


‫ג' תמוז‬







‫שבת קודש‬

the 25th yahrtzeit of

t h e l u b av i t c h e r r e bb e of righteous memory




hazal teach us that the day of a tzadik’s yahrtzeit is a most auspicious day, a ‫יום סגולה ועת רצון‬, to connect with the tzadik, granting us the potential to elicit brochos and yeshuos min hashomayim in the zechus of the tzadik. This Shabbos Parshas Korach, Gimmel Tammuz 5779 (July 6, 2019) marks the 25th yahrtzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ‫זי"ע‬.

The following are some suggested ways to commemorate this auspicious day and the days in close proximity to it: ‫ | לימוד התורה‬Learn a Torah teaching of the Rebbe, the baal hahilula, which may be found in over 250 volumes of his seforim and chidushei Torah. ‫ | אהבת ישראל‬Reach out to a fellow Jew in chesed. Share the warmth and beauty of Yiddishkeit with another Yid. ‫ | אהל הקדוש‬Be mispalel at the Rebbe’s tziyon. A kvittel may also be sent to the Ohel (see details at right). May all of our tefilos be answered, and may we merit the geulah shleimah speedily in our days.

the lubavitcher rebbe’s ohel is located in queens at: 226-20 FRANCIS LEwIS bOULEvARD, CAMbRIA HEIgHTS, Ny 11411

• • • • • • •

open 24 hours open to men and women kohanim-accessible shul and minyanim beis hamedrash mikvah on premises light refreshments

to send a kvittel to be placed at the ohel, call 718-723-4545 or visit THEREbbESOHEL.COM



The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home




Dear readers, The story of Korach’s challenge to Moshe Rabbeinu’s leadership has many lessons. 1. Most partisan attacks begin with raw jealousy. 2. It is then enclosed in reasoning to enflame the masses. 3. The complainer usually wants the same thing they’re railing against. In this case, Korach challenged the idea of there being a kohen gadol even though that’s exactly what he wanted. 4. Korach knew he was doing something wrong, but (as Rashi says) since he saw through ru’ach hakodesh that Shmuel HaNavi descended from him, he erroneously thought he would be successful. By and large, the false redeemers of society prosper by way of portraying themselves as one of the people, against real or imagined grievances. They propose a solution: give them power. Socialism, for example, portrays the selfish human businessman as evil but conveniently ignores the reality that human beings at the head of governments are just as selfish. Moreover, those in government have significantly more power. Indeed, tens of millions of individuals have been killed in the name of Communism. It’s interesting that religion and the belief in a Creator are reviled by these so-called revolutionaries. It’s as if they sense that any objective reality or moral code is squarely against their agenda. -This Shabbos marks the 25th yahrtzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the fearless defender and lover of the Jewish people. Many descriptions of the Rebbe have been given by the multitudes of people who met him: Exceedingly humble. Geonic genius. Man of great faith. Gentleman par excellence. But let’s focus on the following: In the entire four decades-plus of his leadership, he never took a day’s vacation—not one day. Every single day of every single week, he would come to his office in 770 Eastern Parkway to do his vital work of furthering Yiddishkeit amongst his chassidim and the rest of the Jewish people. Rain, snow, sleet, or heat wave, one knew that the Rebbe would be there. He implored that we view ourselves not as single individuals but rather as representatives of all the Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust: Warsaw, Kiev, Radomsk, Otvotsk, Radin, Vilna, Munkatch, Lvov… We are not simply Chaim, Esther, Binyomin, or Chana. We are remnants of all previous generations and must feel a spiritual urgency to finish the task for which the Jewish people have been assigned: making Hashem felt in this physical world by doing small actions with cosmic results. May this awesome day inspire us to focus on our next thought, speech, or deed, ensuring it be the one that tilts the scales in favor of redemption for us and the entire world. Wishing you an inspiring Shabbos,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y 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. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM

TheHappenings Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

OU West Coast Gala Banquet Recognizes Rabbi and Mrs. Kalinsky and Pat’s Restaurant and Catering Yehudis Litvak the West Coast, traveling to various synagogues as scholars-in-residence and serving as mentors for many Jewish professionals. “Rabbi Kalinsky’s role extends much beyond the OU,” says Mr. Nachimson. “On a personal note, Rabbi Kalinsky is not only the OU West Coast Director, but a

life-long friend. Many people look at him that way, and the huge turn out at the Gala is a testimony of that.” In addition to the Kalinskys, the OU West Coast also recognized the contribution of Pat’s Restaurant and Catering to the local kashrus scene. At the banquet, Errol and Pat Fine, owners of Pat’s, re-

ceived the OU National Kashrut Award for upgrading kashrus standards in Los Angeles. “When Pat’s first opened as a small store, there was a void in the kosher gourmet industry,” says Mr. Nachimson. “With their uncompromising drive for excellence and elegancy, Pat’s has changed how we see the industry today.”

Sukkot 2019 — Europe SUN. OCT. 13 - WED. OCT. 23, 2019 Errol Fine and Rabbi Kalinsky with their Congressional Certificates of Recognition from Congressman Ted Lieu





Jay Greenstein Chief Field & Transportation Deputy to Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District and Alan and Sandy Kalinsky receiving their plaque of recognition from the City of Los Angeles

On June 18th, over 300 people attended the Orthodox Union (OU) West Coast Gala banquet at the Sephardic Temple in Los Angeles, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization and honoring Rabbi Alan and Sandy Kalinsky. The Kalinskys received the Keter Shem Tov award at the banquet. Rabbi Kalinsky is the director of OU West Coast and has been serving the local Jewish community for over 33 years. He is transitioning to retirement in the next two years, passing along his responsibilities to the next generation of leadership. Before coming to Los Angeles, Rabbi Kalinsky served as a pulpit rabbi on the East Coast and as a chaplain in the air force. When he joined the OU West Coast, it had been a fledging office. “Rabbi Kalinsky built the OU office on the West Coast to its prominent position, directing the full range of the OU services: NCSY, Yachad, JLIC, and now advocacy as well,” says Martin Nachimson, past president of the OU, who presented the awards at the Gala. “The highlight of the banquet was thanking Rabbi Kalinsky for his years of service.” Rabbi Kalinsky’s wife, Sandy, has always been a partner in his work, giving shiurim, organizing events for women, and actively participating in the community. Both Rabbi and Mrs. Kalinsky are involved in all aspects of Jewish life on

• Just 1,000 feet from the beach, the stores, and the center of Forte Dei Marmi, in Versilia • Beautiful Sukkah • Outdoor jacuzzi and pool • Delectable Haute Italian Cuisine • Scholar-in-Residence • Optional tours: Pisa, Firenze, Genova, Lucca Cinque Terre, Viareggio, Livorno, and many more exciting cities

• Beautifully located in the center of Prague • 5-Star Luxury Resort • Scholar-In-Residence • Gorgeous Sukkah • Delectable Haute Italian Cuisine • Inspiring Lectures • Professional Day Camp • Evening Entertainment • Close to Prague Castle and 14th century Charles Bridge • Walking distance to Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square

Glatt Kosher Supervision by Rabbi G.M. Garelik and Rabbi M. Shaikewitz, The most well-known Hashgocha in Italy










TheHappenings Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

New Sefer Torah for Children is Dedicated at Kol Avrohom Yehudis Litvak For the past six years, Congregation Bais Bezalel on Pico Boulevard has hosted a children’s minyan named Kol Avrohom. Headed by Rabbi Zalmy Hecht, Kol Avrohom offers lively and inspiring davening for boys and girls from pre1-A through bar or bas mitzvah, when the young congregants become counselors and help Rabbi Hecht run the program. Some of the older boys become chazzanim and baalei koreh. Soon after Shavuos, Kol Avrohom

reached a new milestone when it welcomed its very own sefer Torah. Until then, the minyan had been borrowing sifrei Torah from Bais Bezalel, making do with whichever one was available, but its members and their parents yearned for a sefer Torah of their own. Rabbi Hecht shared their sentiments with his father, Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad shliach in Lomita, California. Rabbi Hecht senior loved the idea and decided to

make it happen, in loving memory of his parents, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Avrohom and Liba Hecht, for whom Kol Avrohom is named, and also in memory of his son, habochur hatamim, R’ Yehoshua Hecht, who passed away earlier this year. The completion and dedication of the sefer Torah, which took place on Sunday, June 16th, was a beautiful event. Rabbi Dovid Nissen Bressman, a renowned sofer and a proud Kol Avrohom parent, oversaw the completion and filling in of the letters. Many local rabbis participated in the ceremony, as well as the Biala Rebbe of Bnei Brak, who was visiting Los Angeles at the time. The last letters were carefully filled in by the rav of Bais Bezalel, Rabbi Moshe Levin, and Rabbi Eli Hecht, who noted that the last two letters, alef and lamed, are the initials of his dear parents, R’ Avrohom and Liba, in whose memory this Torah is dedicated. Many children and adults joined the lively procession, which paraded with dancing and singing from Bais Chaya Mushka, down Pico Boulevard, to Bais Bezalel, where the participants enjoyed hakafos and a festive meal. The young members of Kol Avrohom found the event especially meaningful. They each received a badge bearing the words “I am a proud member of Kol Avrohom Kids,” with material of the new Torah’s mantel placed in it. “When we use this sefer Torah on Shabbos, the children are excited to touch and kiss their own sefer Torah,” says Rabbi Zalmy Hecht.

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Chai Lifeline Young Leaders Gather for 5th Annual Summer Soirée Over 100 members of Chai Lifeline West Coast’s Young Leaders Initiative gathered at the home of Marilyn and Jaime Sohacheski on June 17th for an evening of fun and inspiration at Chai Lifeline West Coast’s Fifth Annual Summer Soiree. The evening of appreciation recognized the commitment and support of Chai Lifeline’s Young Leaders—couples and individuals in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s who champion Chai Lifeline’s mission of enhancing the lives of children and families living with serious illness or loss in their homes. While the evening featured cocktails and a dinner buffet served under the starlit sky in the Sohacheskis’ beautiful garden, the highlight of the evening was hearing from two speakers who shared their personal experiences with Chai Lifeline. Mrs. Nadia Heckman, whose three-year-old son, Lazar, is battling a brain tumor, spoke about the 24/7 support she has received from Chai Lifeline. “I came here tonight to say thank you to all of you, Chai Lifeline Young Leaders, for supporting this organization and allowing them to help kids like Lazar and families like mine. I don’t know how we would manage without them!” Sixteen-year-old Bina, who was diagnosed with a chronic illness five years ago, shared memories from the magical summers she enjoyed at Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline’s flagship program for seriously ill children and teens. “Because of my illness, I would never be able to have the same carefree experience as other kids,” Bina shared. “Chai Lifeline and my amazing summers at Camp Simcha changed all of this for me. Camp Simcha

gave me hope that I’m not alone in this fight and gave me the childhood I would otherwise not have had.” Natalie Williams, Associate Principal of Yeshiva of Los Angeles Girls School, and a Chai Lifeline Young Leader, spoke about her family’s involvement in Chai Lifeline. Her son, Adriel, participated in Chai Lifeline’s newly launched Simcha Junior Volunteers, a program for middle school students. “Adriel is very proud to be a Chai Lifeline volunteer. He enjoyed going through the trainings and learned so much about chessed, empathy, and the importance of giving back to others.” Mrs. Williams also spoke about the important role Chai Lifeline serves in helping schools and communities through crises. “Chai Lifeline has been here for YULA to guide and assist us during difficult times. We know we can call them, and they will be here to help us through the crisis.” Moshe Buchman, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening, discussed the growth of the initiative since its inception five years ago. He also talked about the many opportunities that Young Leaders and their children can participate in throughout the year at Chai Lifeline programs and events, such as Chanukah An-

Israel Bonds’ Los Angeles Investors Forum and New Leadership Division Join Israeli-American Council (IAC) LEAD to Present “Drive a Point, Not a Wedge” Israel Bonds’ Los Angeles Investors Forum and New Leadership Division joined the Israeli-American Council (IAC) LEAD on June 18th at a private residence in Bel Air to hear from featured guest speaker, Lauren Weinstein. Weinstein— who has lectured at Stanford University and is the founder of Resonate Coaching—presented to a room of local professionals on the topic of becoming more powerful public speakers. Guests learned the essentials of communicating effectively and about strategies to share their point of view while respecting those with different opinions. Georgette Joffe, chair of Israel Bonds’ Investors Forum, helped facilitate the event along with Agathe Chiarini Cha-

dash, IAC’s senior manager of programs. Hannah Niman and Alex Masket, cochairs of Israel Bonds’ Los Angeles New Leadership Division, also contributed to the success of the event. “We are excited to bring together Israel Bonds’ New Leadership and IAC LEAD together for the common purpose of sharing new ideas and supporting the State of Israel,” said Erez Goldman, Western Region executive director of Israel Bonds. IAC LEAD is a community of successful young Israeli-American and Jewish American professionals, ages 25-45, who aspire to become leaders of the Israeli-American community and grow in their respective fields.

gels and the Buchman Birthday Initiative, where sponsors create birthday parties for sick kids in honor of their own birthdays. The evening was capped off with an exceptionally fun and competitive trivia game, followed by a delicious dessert bar. About Chai Lifeline West Coast Chai Lifeline West Coast is the regional branch of the international children’s health support organization. Chai Lifeline’s emotional, social, and financial support enables seriously ill children and their families to cope with the crises and daily challenges of serious pediatric illness. For more information please call (310) 2746331 or visit our website at About Chai Lifeline West Coast Young Leaders Initiative The Chai Lifeline Young Leaders Initiative is dedicated to building the next

generation of lay leadership to assure that Chai Lifeline’s doors always remain open to sick children and their families in need of help. Launched in 2014 under the leadership of Jenny and Moshe Buchman, Ilana and Brett Lipman, and Jacqueline and Alain Kuppermann, the Young Leaders Initiative has grown into an active and engaged division of Chai Lifeline West Coast programming and fundraising on the West Coast, with more than 100 individual/couple members representing diverse personal and professional backgrounds. Young Leaders are an integral part of Chai Lifeline West Coast through volunteerism, ambassadorship, philanthropy, and events. For more information, please call (310) 274-6331 or visit our website at www.

The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

THIS IS NEW! Ongoing seminary where

A special out of town seminary for special young women. Send your daughter to a seminary in Monsey. Give your daughter the same opportunity their sisters and friends have. Share 24/7 has a created a brand new Seminary/dorm in Monsey for girls of the I/DD population. The State of New York offers generous supports for your high functioning daughter. Now, every girl dreaming of seminary has a place of her own!

Program Director:

D'vora Adler Under the leadership of experienced mechanchim.

your daughter will gain independence for life.

Beautiful dorm with house mother Highly structured program with a warm, professional staff Vocational training and Life Skills Classes in Tefillah, Hashkafa, Parsha and Halacha Courses that can take you into the Workforce Inspiring Night Program Trips and Other Extracurricular activities Job Coaching and Job Placements

Limited Space! For more information and to learn about our other programs

SHOSHANIM Call Chana Zinstein, Intake Director 845.354.3233 ext. 1106


A project of Share 24/7


10 20

29, 2015 | The Jewish Home TheOCTOBER Week In News Parsha

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home


in 4

Parshas Korach By Eytan Kobre

Weekly Aggada And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households and all the people who were with Korach and all their possessions (Bamidbar 16:32) And a fire came forth from G-d and it consumed the two hundred and fifty men who offered the incense (Bamidbar 16:35) Some of Korach’s cronies were swallowed by the earth, and some of Korach’s cronies were consumed by fire. Korach, however, was consumed by fire and swallowed by the earth. Why was Korach given both punishments? Because had he been consumed by fire and not swallowed by the earth, those swallowed by the earth would have complained that Korach was the bandleader and brains behind the rebellion and why should they be swallowed by the earth and not he? And had he been swallowed by the earth and not been consumed by fire, those consumed by fire would have complained that Korach was the bandleader and brains behind the rebellion and why should they be consumed by fire and not he? So Korach was consumed by fire and swallowed by the earth: first he was enveloped by fire (as those consumed by fire looked on), and then a fireball shoved him into an opening in the earth to be swallowed with the others who were swallowed by the earth (Bamidbar Rabba 18:19).

Weekly Mussar And they rose up before Moshe, with certain of the Jewish people, two hundred and fifty; they were princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown (Bamidbar 16:2)

How different the Torah is from societal accounts of news and history! Societal accounts of news and history tend to paint all people with broad strokes, usually shaped by prevailing mores and biases. So those who hold an unpopular belief or who committed some minor wrongdoing in the past are vilified and branded as evil; descriptions and accounts of such people can admit no good about them. Not so, notes R’ Shlomo Brevda, with the Torah – the Torah of Truth. Korach’s cronies had rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu (of all people), and, by extension, G-d Himself. By all present-day standards, the Torah should have vilified them endlessly and branded them as wicked evildoers. But that would not be honest or accurate or fair. Those who joined with Korach indeed sinned, but they were still “princes of the congregation” and “men of renown.” And they would be recorded as such for posterity. How fortunate we are to have our lives guided by an authority as true as the Torah!

Weekly Anecdote To be a commemoration to the Jewish people, so that no common man who is not a descendant of Aharon draw near to burn incense before G-d; and he should not be as Korach and his congregation; as G-d spoke to him by the hand of Moshe (Bamidbar 17:5) To illustrate the harm that could befall those who quarrel, R’ Gamliel Rabinovich tells the following story. A Jewish couple in the United States was killed in a tragic car accident, leaving behind two children: the older, a son, was newly married; the younger, a daughter, was of marriageable age but still single. The deceased

couple had lived in a valuable home (with the single daughter), the inheritance of which soon became the subject of a dispute between the orphaned brother and sister. The son maintained that the home ought to pass to him, as he was the firstborn (though he agreed to allow his sister to live in it); the daughter argued that the house should be hers, since their parents had already bought a house for the son, whereas she was all alone with nowhere to live other than the home of her parents. Ultimately, through bitter beis din proceedings, the home was awarded to the sister. As it so often does, however, the dispute escalated to full-blown war between brother and sister. And the relationship deteriorated, ultimately, to that point that they stopped talking to one another, completely losing touch and becoming entirely estranged. The years rolled on. The brother remained childless, eventually moving to Eretz Yisrael, where he founded a yeshiva. The sister married a fine young man and remained in the United States. Both were oblivious to the other’s whereabouts. And the years continued to roll on. The brother remained childless but took solace in the success of his yeshiva, which was flourishing. One American boy, in particular, showed exceptional promise, and the brother (as rosh yeshiva) grew particularly fond of the boy, regarding him almost as the son he never had. But all the solace the rosh yeshiva took in his relationship with the boy soon turned to despair, as the promising young boy fell gravely ill. The cause of the illness could not be determined, and his condition worsened to the point that he had to be hospitalized. Given his fondness for the boy, the rosh yeshiva devoted exceptional time to visiting and staying with him in the hospital,

but when the boy’s situation deteriorated further, the rosh yeshiva called the boy’s father and asked him to come from the United States to be with his son. In the hospital, the rosh yeshiva and the boy’s father got to talking, with the boy’s father telling the rosh yeshiva of his parents-in-law who had been killed in a tragic car accident before he could even meet them. “Did your in-laws have any children other than your wife?” the Rosh Yeshiva asked. “No,” replied the boy’s father. “My wife is an only child.” The rosh yeshiva continued with a stream of questions. Where did your in-laws live? What were their occupations? What were their names? The boy’s father was surprised at the rosh yeshiva’s keen interest in his family history, but he chalked it up to the rosh yeshiva’s fondness for his son...until the rosh yeshiva had a final question and request. “Are you positive that your wife has no siblings? Can you please ask her to confirm?” The boy’s father was puzzled by the odd request, but he honored the rosh yeshiva’s request and called his wife to ask. “Why are you asking me?” his wife shot back. “Why now?” When her husband told her of the rosh yeshiva’s odd request, the wife broke down. “Indeed, I do have one brother. But we have been estranged for many years, well before you and I were married. I know nothing of his whereabouts.” After the boy’s father reported back to the rosh yeshiva, and with further investigation on both sides, the rosh yeshiva and the boy’s mother confirmed that they were indeed brother and sister, long-estranged following the tragic death of their parents and the equally tragic quarrel over the inheritance of

The Week In News Parsha

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

their parents’ home. The boy’s mother rushed to Eretz Yisrael to be with her ailing son – and her long-lost brother. There, reunited after so many years of separation, brother and sister fell upon each other’s shoulders and sobbed away all the pain and hurt they had needlessly inflicted and suffered. After only a few days of brother and sister mending their relationship in the hospital at the boy’s bedside, the boy – son and nephew – made a swift and complete recovery. And within the year, the childless rosh yeshiva welcomed a son into the world.

and Aharon distancing themselves from Korach and his confederates (a “congregation” in the eyes of halacha), and another verse employs the term “within” in reference to holy utterances (Vayikra 22:32), we derive that a davar shebikedusha – certain

Kaddish, Kedusha, and Barchu (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 55:1). If one started to recite such a holy utterance in the presence of a quorum and then some left, leaving less than a quorum (but still at least six adult males), he may finish what

“Are you positive that your wife has no siblings? Can you please ask her to confirm?”

Weekly Halacha Distance yourself from within this congregation, and I will consume them in a moment (Bamidbar 16:21) Because this verse employs the term “within” in reference to Moshe

holy utterances – may be recited only in the presence of a quorum of ten free men (Berachos 21b; Megilla 23b; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 55:1). While open to some debate, the list of specific utterances that require a quorum generally includes

he started (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 55:2). There is some dispute over whether, for the purposes of saying one of these holy utterances, a quorum may be formed by nine adult men and a woman or a minor or a servant, but the overwhelming

consensus is not to rely on such a leniency except in the most urgent of circumstances (Shulchan Aruch and Rama, Orach Chaim 55:4). If the quorum is lost during Chazaras HaShatz, all agree that the shliach tzibbur may complete Chazaras HaShatz, but beyond that there is disagreement: some maintain that the Kaddish after Tachnun and the Kaddish after Uva Letziyon still may be recited (Mishna Berura 55:18-19); others hold that only one Kaddish should be recited after Shemoneh Esrei (Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim 55:7). The Weekly Halacha is not meant for practical purposes and is for discussion purposes only. Please consult your own rav for guidance.

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

KOSHER LUXURY IN ST. MORITZ Experience the spectacular mountain setting combined with strictly kosher gourmet dining, exceptional five-star service and countless activities for the entire family in the breathtaking surroundings of the Swiss Alps. Book your stay from 30 June to 1 September 2019 now and benefit from our early booker rate. +41 81 838 3067 Glatt Kosher leMehadrin under the supervision of Rabbi B.Z. Rabinowitz Of Biala, Chief Rabbi of Lugano..


The Week In News


JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

ELEVATING THE TORAH LANDSCAPE FOREVER. Be part of an experience that will change your life! TO RESERVE, CALL:





Heythrop Park Resort Hotel January 10-12, 2020

Yad Eliyahu Mid December 2019

‫ תש”פ‬,‫ט״ו טבת‬-‫י״ג‬

‫ תש”פ‬,‫כסלו‬


SOUTH AFRICA Scarlet Ribbon Hall January 14, 2020

EventCity January 5, 2020 ‫ תש”פ‬,‫ח׳ טבת‬

‫ תש”פ‬,‫י”ז טבת‬


Eretz Yisrael: 02-560-9000


Binyanei Haumah December 28, 2019 ‫ תש”פ‬,‫ל‘ כסלו‬

Les Docks des Paris January 12, 2020 ‫ תש”פ‬,‫ט”ו טבת‬

Europe: 020-8050-2615


Prudential Center February 9, 2020 ‫ תש”פ‬,‫י”ד שבט‬

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

will d"ra be held at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Additional locations worldwide.



Torah Musings The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Marriage Advice from a Woman Married 67 Years Sarah Pachter

I once walked into a Pilates class and saw a woman in her eighties waiting to begin. Oh boy, I thought, I signed up for the wrong class—this is going to be too easy. Well, I was in for a shock! As the instructor pushed us to our limits, I needed a break. While pausing momentarily, I glanced towards Miss 80-something, and she was keeping up like it was no sweat. I kept thinking, If this lady is doing it, I have to keep going! Physical aptitude wasn’t the only thing that impressed me about Leona Fallas, 84. As I continued taking classes and seeing her more often, I noticed that she always looked radiant. Her smile and chipper attitude bring positive energy into any room she enters. I secretly wondered where this energy, both physical and emotional, came from. With one foot out the door after class one morning, I overheard her say that her 67th wedding anniversary was coming up. That bit of information stopped me in my tracks. I immediately turned around and asked Leona for an interview. I knew that with her positive energy, physical prowess, and successful marriage, she would share much that I, and my readers, could learn. Positive Energy Leona has an upbeat aura around her. She claims, “I just like people, that’s all! And it’s not that I’m such an optimistic person; it’s that I’m very fortunate.” Leona has experienced major life challenges, including health issues, and yet throughout our conversation, she kept reiterating how blessed she is, particularly regarding her life’s trajectory with her husband. A native of Brooklyn, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of six. She met her husband through her older brother, who had served in the army with him. “I met him when I was 15 years old and he came to visit my brother. The summer I turned 18, we started dating. We were maintaining a long-distance romance through writing and calling, and then he wanted to come into town to propose. Our plan was to continue a long-distance rela-

tionship after the engagement.” Her aunt said, “That’s ridiculous, let them get married and go back together [to Pittsburgh].” So, her mother organized a wedding in only ten days’ time! Initially, they resided in Pittsburgh, but moved back to Los Angeles shortly after, living with Leona’s parents. Her husband worked at a retail store in Pasadena, and eventually they were able to rent a house. They began to open numerous stores of their own, and Leona would work at one while he worked at another. Finally, they saved enough money for a down payment on a house. Leona and her husband, Joe, who are cornerstones of the Jewish community, described that there were times when business wasn’t so good. She said, “There were bus strikes, and business was horrible. However, my husband’s father had a good name in the community, and therefore, people were willing to sell him quality merchandise because of his family’s good reputation.” This jump-started their ability to grow a business while simultaneously building a family. Together, they have four children, each with families of their own now. Leona ascribes their success in both business and marriage to mazal (good fortune), health, and a common bond of religion and values. The fact that she feels so blessed despite life’s challenges is a testament to her buoyancy. Physical Prowess Watching Leona’s strength and agility while working out, I asked her if she was always active. I was surprised when she told me she only began exercising later in life. After a few operations at the age of 40, Leona decided she needed to focus on her health. She described, “The time was going to pass, and it would either be spent waiting for surgeries and in doctor’s offices or it would be spent working out. I decided to take the bull by the horns and begin an exercise regimen. I initiated with aerobics, and later incorporated strength training, yoga, and Pilates.”

Health is something that Leona does not take for granted, but perhaps caring for her health has enriched her life in more ways than she realizes. Laura Doyle, the bestselling author of Empowered Wife, claims self-care is one of the six tools necessary to create a successful and intimate marriage. When your cup is full, and you are healthy, you exude happiness. This affects your relationship. This leads me to... Successful Marriage At my wedding shower, guests wrote marriage advice on a piece of paper, and I was asked to read each note out loud. While this was happening, I had flashbacks to my sister-law’s shower, when she was to marry my brother. My unconventional teenage advice to her had been, “Don’t look at his feet.” I’m pretty sure she didn’t appreciate that, and I hoped that karma wouldn’t return that “favor” as I was about to open my advice notes. Luckily, I opened my first note and read the traditional advice, “Never go to sleep angry.” Leona firmly believes that this advice is simply not true and claims the secret to a successful marriage is just the opposite. “I think it’s all right if you have to go to bed angry. You don’t have to make everything ‘lovey-dovey’ or smooth things over. If it’s important, it will be there tomorrow.” She went on to explain, “If it’s important, it can wait, and if not, it will disappear. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. They love you, and you love them.” Leona continued to expound on this idea. “Put on the brakes. Sometimes your spouse will do something you’re not happy about, but don’t jump. The first answer isn’t always the best answer.” When I asked Leona to give a tangible example of this idea, she opened up about a vulnerable experience in her younger years. “Many years ago, I remember wanting to leave. I don’t remember what exactly transpired, but I was upset in the relationship.” Leona chuckled quietly as she reminisced over this and continued to describe the memory: “I decided I wanted to head down to Palm Springs, where

we had a vacation condo, to get a break and think for myself. I even started driving down the highway. As I drove, I started thinking, ‘What’s the matter with you? Get yourself back on track, turn around…’ And so, I came home. “Sometimes. if you bring something out into the open, it can backfire because it’s too early or too fast. Swallow your words and reap the rewards. You’re not always on the same page, not always feeling good together, but give each other the benefit of the doubt. “My partner is a very strong person and often takes the lead. Sometimes this can be challenging, but it also has many benefits and serves him well in business. “Marriage requires commitment. As with everything in marriage, there are good times and bad times. I’ve learned how to navigate him and go along for the ride. He is a strong individual and has done much good for the community.” She recommends holding a gut reaction at bay and waiting to respond. The first answer isn’t always the best answer. “We all get tired. We all have times when our mates won’t be doing or saying the right thing, at the right time. Relax. Marriage is an investment.” When I asked Leona what she felt her husband did right in maintaining a successful marriage, she said it was undoubtedly his positivity. “My husband had a road map. He knew his end goal and let nothing negative get in his way. I’m very proud of his accomplishments. He sustained a synagogue and started a school [Gindi Maimonides].” It seems that for Leona, her marriage adds to her cheerfulness and health, and cyclically her health and positivity reinvigorate her marriage. Leona’s ultimate message is that marriage and life can be hard. But when we count our blessings, take care of our physical health, and reinvigorate our commitment, we too can have a lasting marriage of happiness.

Emotional Health The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Eight Ways Our Feelings Help Us Grow Rabbi Dov Heller, LMFT Feelings are information. In order to grow, it is essential to listen and learn from them. Here are eight ways that feelings help us actualize our vast potential. 1. Growing in self-care Identifying and meeting our unique emotional needs Jon’s friends are major party animals. He enjoys hanging out with them because they add an element of excitement to his life. But occasionally, being surrounded by lots of people drains his energy, and he needs to be alone. When his friends put pressure on him to join the party, he feels confused. He asks himself, “Am I anti-social?” After struggling with his feelings for a while, Jon decides to listen to them. He realizes that he is not anti-social, just a bit of an introvert. He simply needs more alone time to recharge his batteries. He has recently learned to pass on certain outings and feels much better about himself and his social life. 2. Growing in intimacy Deepening the heart-to-heart connection through being vulnerable Michelle’s boyfriend is a very hard-driving guy who wants to build his own online business. Michelle has a more balanced approach to life. Recently, Mark has been making critical comments about Michelle’s lack of ambition. She feels judged and hurt by his comments. When they have some quiet time, she talks to him about how she was feeling. After hearing her out, he realizes how much he really respects her and how much he cares about her. He thanks her for being open and honest with him about her feelings. After some reflection, he grasps that his criticalness came from his own insecurities. He resolves to get some guidance. As a result of Michelle’s communication, the depth of their relationship grows tremendously. 3. Knowing yourself Identifying and owning all that’s truly and uniquely mine Amy thought she was doing well at her law firm until they had a professional development seminar led by a psychologist who specialized in group facilitation skills. Amy was fascinated by this presentation and even felt a bit jealous of the psychologist’s ability to impact the firm’s lawyers. Amy was distressed but didn’t know why. After Amy talked with a friend about her feelings, she realized that social dynamics was much more exciting and attractive to her than the law profession. She discovered a part of herself that she had pushed away since she was in college, when she had enjoyed psychology courses. Because her family put so much pressure on her to become a lawyer, she’d never previously owned this part of her. Now, new career possibilities opened up for her. 4. Finding your life purpose Identifying and making one’s unique contribution to the world. Jacob was one of the best Talmud students in the yeshiva. He studied day and night and developed a reputation as someone who was not only hard-working but really knew his stuff. His rabbis told him that if continued

on this path, he could be a great teacher and perhaps reach the status of becoming a rosh yeshiva. Although Jacob enjoyed his studies, he also derived great pleasure from reading secular philosophy. He tried to ignore this feeling because it meant leaving the yeshiva to study in a university, something that was not strongly supported in his yeshiva. Eventually, he could no longer ignore his interest in philosophy. He made a courageous decision to enroll in university. After receiving his PhD in philosophy—while continuing his Talmud study—he found a way to integrate both of these disciplines by writing books on difficult topics of Jewish philosophy that appealed to both secular and religious Jews alike. Jacob felt a deep sense of satisfaction in this work knowing he was fulfilling his unique potential and life purpose. 5. Growing spiritually Courageously seeking the truth wherever it may lead One of Sara’s best friends was diagnosed with a serious illness. For the first time, Sara challenged how she really felt about G-d. While she grew up believing in Him, now she was swamped by a barrage of feelings and questions. She was angry at G-d—then felt guilty for feeling angry. She felt shame that she was not a good Jew and was slipping spiritually. Confusion became a constant emotion as her journey continued. Part of Sara just wanted to go back to when she felt comfortable. But she realized she could never return to her old spirituality. She needed to confront each of these feelings and questions and work them through. There was no turning back. Over time, she gained a new level of clarity. As her understanding increased, so did her inner peace. 6. Building character Human greatness is measured by greatness of character As marketing director of a large clothing company, Norm had little patience for colleagues who were careless and lazy. But one yearly review changed all this when he was told that people were afraid of him; they didn’t like working for him! He had to either become a more patient person or find another job. Norm decided he really liked this job and took on the challenge of becoming more patient. He realized that impatience is really about anger. Why was he so angry all the time? As he explored his anger, he realized some very upsetting things about himself and his relationship with an older brother who had always bullied him. Eventually, Norm reached out for some professional help. Over time, as Norm understood the meaning of his anger, he become less reactive and more patient. 7. Making good decisions The quality of a person’s life is measured by the sum total of one’s decisions. Natasha was constantly anxious in her relationship with Ralph. She always walked on eggshells around him, never feeling she could be herself. She constantly monitored what she said and how she said it. On the other hand, Ralph had so much she was looking for in a

man. He was dependable, smart, friendly, and generous. They were also on the same page in terms of values and priorities, and he was very interested in getting married. Natasha felt uneasy about getting engaged. She needed to understand her anxiety and why she felt so unsafe with Ralph. She decided to talk it out with a friend. The friend helped Natasha see that she was in a potentially abusive relationship. She decided to confront Ralph with her concerns. Much to her surprise, he was receptive and agreed to get some professional help. After six months, she was feeling more relaxed, at peace, and decided she could go forward and get engaged. 8. Building self-esteem and core emotional strength When we embrace reality, no matter how painful, we become stronger and feel more alive. Sammy was generally an aloof person. He preferred being alone, but often felt isolated. He avoided talking about certain topics with friends because he felt uninformed and not as smart as others. He often felt shame about his intelligence and as a result lacked confidence. This directly impacted his career path.

Feeling insecure, he chose to stay where it felt safe rather than making moves which would advance him professionally. There was conflict between the part of Sammy which wanted to grow and the part of him which was full of shame. This conflict drained him of his emotional strength. Thankfully, a good friend finally convinced him to take responsibility for his insecurities and get to the root of them. After several months of counseling, Sammy was feeling stronger, more alive, more confident, and less conflicted. Emotional honesty allows us to become our best selves. As you can see by these examples, our feelings truly are our friends and our teachers. When we listen to them, explore them, and understand them, a new world of possibility opens up for us.

Dov Heller is in private practice offering psychotherapy and personal mentoring for individuals and couples. He can be contacted at You may also visit his website at



Feature In News OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 74 The Week

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Hate, Hope, and the Long Road Home A

rticulate, soft-spoken and pleasant with a kippah on his head and a Star of David around his neck, you would never guess the life that John Daly has lived by looking at him. John was a teenager who took a wrong turn and found himself in the darkest depths of hate, implausibly becoming a high-ranking officer in one of America’s largest neo-Nazi skinhead organizations. As Daly shares his story, he pauses every so often. He pauses not only as he retells his harrowing tale of being brutally beaten and left for dead by the neo-Nazis who had recruited him, but also as he reflects on the painful reminders of his family’s journey away from Judaism and his personal return back. On a recent speaking tour in the States, Daly was visibly moved by his surroundings. Taking the stage in the Young Israel of Woodmere, a vibrant Orthodox shul on Long Island, Daly shared the marked significance of the venue and the visit – the first visit back to New York since his ancestors sat shiva for his great-grandmother when she married out of the fold over 100 years ago. “As you can tell by my name, Daly is Irish. My dad’s side is Jewish and

By Tammy Mark

Irish,” he explained. “Three years ago, I had the great honor of speaking in Northern Ireland where I spoke to groups of Catholics and Protestants together. For the first time ever, they had come together in one room to hear one Jew talk about his story. In a sense, going to Ireland made me feel like I had returned home. Coming to this – it feels like a circle has been closed.” John traced his ancestors’ departure from their Jewish roots. His paternal great-grandmother was the first to marry a non-Jew because she didn’t want her children to be subjected to “the horrors” of being a Jew. John’s father’s mother was thereby Jewish, but also married a non-Jew because her mother had married a non-Jew. John’s mother’s lineage was Jewish throughout, though her extended family eventually became mixed as well. Daly can proudly trace his family tree back to Germany’s Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, an early religious Zionist.

A Feeling of Belonging Daly described how a Jewish boy from a loving home became involved with a gang of neo-Nazis, particularly a group considered one of the most dangerous hate groups in the United States.

He grew up in Ocala, Florida, as the second of four boys in a secular family. Though academically very successful, he was socially an outsider and often the target of bullying. He joined his first gang simply to feel like he belonged. “The first group of guys that I met were ‘anti-racist’ skinheads. Just a group of guys hanging out with shaved heads. They said, ‘We’re skinheads’ and I said, ‘Wait, I can’t be a part of this,’” John recalled. “One lifted up his shirt and showed me a white hand and a black hand cracking a swastika in two and said, ‘No, no, we’re not those guys – we’re not those types of people.’” John relished the sense of camaraderie he found in the gang, finally believing he was a part of something. He went from being picked on to feeling safe and powerful. The young teen put on combat boots and began to distance himself from his parents. Racism was rampant in Central Florida, and Daly’s situation abruptly took a dangerous turn. “Two of my friends went to Orlando and met neo-Nazi skinheads. Those guys don’t ask. One day I got a knock on the door...” To John’s shock, the neo-Nazi skinheads had come to his home to personally recruit him. They took him

for a drive and explained the violence that befell those who had tried to leave the group. “Once I figured out that they didn’t know I was Jewish and they said, ‘Welcome aboard,’ what was my choice? A group of Nazis don’t know you’re Jewish and recruit you, what do you say? Thanks – or ‘I’m Jewish’? What’s your choice?” he posits. “16 years old. On the spot, on the fly, I said, ‘Thanks,’ and I became a member. “Because I was a little bit different than most of the other radical crazy guys, I got moved up. Eventually I found myself to be the Northern Florida leader for a group called the American Front. He adds, “I rose up very rapidly through the ranks because, unfortunately, I was in gifted classes at school and most of the other guys had already quit school. So being gifted, having a job as a high school student – they found it incredibly different.” John used his wit to avoid partaking in gang violence whenever possible and would attempt to divert the hate talk away from targeting Jews. He refrained from getting a tattoo. “I knew that once you got a tattoo you were marked forever, and I knew this was not my life – this was not who I was.

Feature The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

This is what I had to be. I was hiding in plain sight, knowing at any given moment they would find out about who I really was.”

A Brutal Attack John successfully hid his Jewish identity from his neo-Nazi comrades until another member of the group decided to expose him. It was early October 1990 when John was ordered to go to an officers’ meeting and house party in Daytona Beach. John had a bad feeling that something was going to happen that night. John’s group was being watched, having grown to become one of the biggest hate groups with its members listed among the most terrifying skinheads in the U.S. He couldn’t imagine what could possibly come next. John worked hard to stay sober during that fateful party while the others were drinking all night. They suggested a drive down to the beach, and Daly took his own car in hopes of leaving. As the gang arrived at the beach, a violent and merciless attack on John began. When he heard the shouts of “Die, Jew boy, die!” John knew that his true identity was discovered – and that his closest “friends” were now assigned to be his executioners. The skinheads held him underwater until he passed out and was assumed dead. John soon awoke on the seashore in a state of confusion, and then they picked him up and started all over again. They again held him underwater as he held his breath as long as possible. John’s attackers later testified that it was one of the most savage beatings that they had ever participated in. “I was in and out of unconsciousness,” John recalled. “It was an extensive, lengthy, brutal kicking and beating. They left when I was a foot underwater with my eyes and mouth open – they pushed me and watched me go out with the tide. I woke up above the sea line – there’s no explanation as to how that happened. No one found me, there was no one there, it was the middle of the night. The tide was going out so there was no way of floating back up.” John saw this as an open miracle. “Hashgacha pratit. Nes galui,” he asserts. “The police, the doctors – everybody said that there’s no physical explanation as to how I was saved. Everybody said it all throughout the court

John’s eleventh grade high school photo a picture hated by his mother

John with his younger brother

testimony – they watched me float out and disappear because they wanted to make sure I was dead.” Beaten and bruised, John made his way back to his car and miraculously drove himself over 80 miles back to Ocala in total shock. He got home and went straight to bed. He initially told his parents it was a random attack, a “wilding” – so as not to worry them. But he inevitably shared the horrible

on. But his life was still under threat of retaliatory attacks.

Loving the Land An exceptional student who took the SATs in the seventh grade, Daly had always planned to go to college. Florida law enforcement told him he couldn’t risk staying in any one place, so college was not an option for him. He moved around trying to hide and

“A group of Nazis don’t know you’re Jewish and recruit you, what do you say?” truth. He was hospitalized for a week, with a guard put there to protect him, and was even moved at one point to the psychiatric ward for extra protection. As word got out that John had survived the attack, his assailants began to turn themselves in in the hopes of cutting a deal with law enforcement. “I made a decision when I was lying in the hospital bed that I knew would affect the rest of my life,” John says. “I could get on a plane and move to Israel immediately. If I did that, what message am I sending? If you beat up a Mexican, you go to jail; you beat up a Chinese person, you go to jail… But if you beat up a Jew, he gets on a plane – so beat up Jews, and they’ll all leave.” John bravely testified against his attackers and sent several of the most dangerous neo-Nazi skinheads to pris-

survive and fight the fear as much as possible. He studied martial arts and went for cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome the endless fears he was left with, such as fear of water and a fear of being touched. In 1997, as his attackers began coming out of prison, John knew the time had come for him to leave and finally make aliyah. He reached out to the Jewish Agency for Israel for help; the organization got him safely relocated in Ashkelon. John considers Israel his only home. “The land of Israel really helped me start keeping kosher more,” he shares. “I didn’t keep kosher before the attack. After that, I decided, for me it was a gift to Hashem daily that every time I ate that I be cognizant that I’m only alive out of His benevolence…modeh ani…


what else can I say? So every time I sit down to eat I’m thankful for the fact that I have the opportunity to eat.” He adds, “I’m always asked, ‘Is your life still in danger?’ Definitely yes. If they get the opportunity, they’ll do it. They’ll come after me again. They’ve tried numerous times over the years to organize or set up various hits on my life. That’s why I moved to Israel, because now I’ve got an army that stands between me and them. I live under a flag that says, ‘Not here, not today.’ It will always be my home.” When John made his move to Israel in 1997 he realized he was finally home and didn’t have to be afraid anymore. He easily embraced the culture and didn’t miss much from the States. “I didn’t drink Coca-Cola – nothing American, nothing. The United States told me You’re not welcome here anymore. I never thought I’d come back to the States again. Never thought I’d visit again.” John’s mother, Ruth, had planted seeds for John’s return to Judaism long before John’s move to Israel. Though they primarily observed the high holidays only, the Dalys would travel to Tampa to learn with a rabbi for many years. John had a bar mitzvah, and the family had attempted aliyah soon after in 1987. His mother immediately felt that it was home but, ultimately, the family couldn’t succeed there and returned to Florida. Though John knew he was Jewish, he had very little opportunity to practice. Shabbat at the rabbi’s house in Tampa was the only real exposure to Jewish life. John couldn’t even connect with his cousins, since their Jewish identity was hidden from them by their parents. “My mom’s connection was the Jewish Press – that was her only connection to the Jewish world. That came every week and that was her connection. It meant a lot to her,” John recalls. John’s mother would also send her sons to read Tanach as a form of discipline. This unique routine gave John a surprisingly strong textual background, which served him well during his journey to Judaism. After John’s father passed away, Daly brought him from Florida to be buried in Israel, where the Chief Rabbi of Chabad of Ashkelon did the hesped. Ruth subsequently made aliyah, happi-




OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

John with his mother, Ruth, and other relatives

ly joining her son in Ashkelon, and her sister now lives in Jerusalem. John’s brothers stayed in the States, one still in his hometown, with some of the family engaged in Jewish life on different levels. With rockets intermittently raining on Ashkelon, John checks in with his mother regularly for mutual reassurance of safety throughout his travels.

Nazis in Auschwitz John knew his father’s family was originally from Brooklyn. His recent visit to New York was more emotional than he could have ever expected. “I wept coming into New York because for me this was coming home in a different way,” John said. “It was like a spiritual return to where my family was lost, and it meant a great deal.” Bill Rothchild invited John on the trip to speak at the Gilbert Davidoff Memorial Lecture, an event in partnership with the Marion and Aaron Gural JCC. Bill and John then continued up to Canada. Though always reluctant to leave Israel and return to the States, John knew he had to. “I realize there are certain things I can talk about that other people can’t, things I’ve seen and things I’ve participated in…” John’s first visit back after his aliyah in 1999 was also with Rothchild, who at that time was the Palm Beach Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League. Rothchild had been dealing with the Ku Klux Klan for several years during John’s involve-

Speaking in Cote Saint-Luc in Montreal

ment with the skinheads but the two never crossed paths until Rothchild met John’s parents at an ADL meeting. Rothchild met John two years later. They formed a close relationship and have been touring together for nearly 20 years.

gives John the immense strength to keep going during all he has endured, including a harrowing “awake” brain surgery during which the anesthesia didn’t take. “Nothing bad comes from Heaven,” he asserts. “Hashem is in everything, we just forget to look for Him

“It was an incredibly moving experience to walk through the gates of Auschwitz, the gates of hell, with somebody that has a swastika on his shoulder. ” In 2009, John’s strength and leadership qualities were noticed in Israel as well. John was approached by a small Israeli party asking if he’d be on the list to run for the Knesset. “I agreed – I thought it’d be awesome,” he said. “At the time I was working on my Master’s in Public Policy and Administration. I ran and our party lost...baruch Hashem. Hashem had other plans.” That same year John was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He went on to have two brain surgeries and still continues to receive treatment. It is an unyielding faith in G-d that

– and that has been my mantra and my goal in life. The Al-mighty is in everything – if you look for Him, He’s always there. It’s up to Him; it has nothing to do with me.” In 2015 John began traveling and speaking throughout Europe. The reaction of students hearing his stories also gives John strength. “I speak to groups of Protestants, Catholics, atheists and Muslims kids together in one high school, all coming together to hear one Jew talk about hatred and how we need to stand and fight against hatred together. It is an honor that was worth

the story. It was worth taking the beating that I took,” he says. John warns of the never-ending threat of anti-Semitism. “It’s a statistical fact that anti-Semitism is on the rise,” he notes. “Their hatred for us is a colossal hatred against us as a people, as a religion, as an entity. I still have all the court documents, all the original documents going back from 39 years ago. It’s the exact same stuff. The beast from years ago is the exact same beast walking the earth today. The only change is that with social media it’s easier for them to connect than it was before.” He notes that there’s no simple solution. “To reach them would require one to show and prove some kind of humanity to them because we are less than humans to them. Just like the stuff that came out of Nazi Germany.” One of the most amazing aspects of John’s story is the possibility of change. He shares a story of Kevin Connell, a member of the neo-Nazi organization who wasn’t there the night of the attack. Connell, like John, was an intelligent outsider who had also joined the gang primarily for the camaraderie, and they had become fast friends. Connell contacted John 20 years after they had parted ways, explaining that he finally got out and wanted to make amends for who he was and what he had done. Connell made an astonishing request – he wanted to visit a concentration camp with John. John knew

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Feature The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The crew with John and Kevin filming their emotional journey

Cover photo of the film, Escape from Room 18

John and Kevin at Theresienstadt

it was a very risky situation: either an ideal setup or an incredible story. John called a contact in Hollywood and explained the situation knowing that either way it should be filmed. In 2014, John and the film crew flew to Prague. John recognized a neo-Nazi skinhead standing outside the airport. “I lost it. It’s a setup,” he thought. “We’re going to die. I was convinced. I was visibly shaking – you can see my fear in the film.” As the film crew backed up to get a better angle, John feared for his life. But what ultimately transpired was a positive and life-changing adventure. The unlikely reunion is documented in the film Escape from Room 18. The first stop was Theresienstadt, a

John and Kevin speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union

waystation concentration camp and ghetto established by the Nazis. The men visited room 18 at the camp; John explained to Connell how the number 18 in Judaism represented life, chai. They spoke about how “18” was eerily appropriated by the neo-Nazis to represent Hitler’s initials, since the numbers also corresponded to the letters A and H. Connell felt he needed to see more and pay his respects. “The following day we got up at the crack of dawn and went to Auschwitz,” John recalls. “It was an incredibly moving experience to walk through the gates of Auschwitz, the gates of hell, with somebody that has a swastika on his shoulder. As soon as we crossed into

the camp, he fell on me, wrapped his arms around and started crying, ‘I’m so, so sorry.’ That, to me, is why it had to be done.”

Keep Your Kids Close The film is being shown in schools around the world. John cautions that all children, even those from loving homes, could be at risk for going wayward. He admits that his tumultuous teenage years were partly due to a classic rebellion against his parents. “Make sure that they have an outlet, that they have a voice and someone they know they could turn too,” he cautions. “Most of these kids are on the fringe – they feel like they do not

belong anywhere to anybody and nobody wants them. “When they start feeling a sense of belonging it gives them a sense of empowerment,” advises John. “Give them a tool, give them a task – something they can do to raise their selfworth. When their self-worth is raised it makes them feel like they belong somewhere, that they actually have some sort of importance.” John looks back on both his ancestral and his personal journey, grateful to have returned to his roots and now reunited with his mother in Israel. “Loving parents are very important,” John says. “Marrying out is a silent holocaust – and part of my story is that we can come back.”



The Week In News

The Week In News

Hong Kong Protests Refuse to Die Down

It’s been over a month since the protests first began. Hong Kong remains wracked by civil strife as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators remain in the streets in the largest protest the island has ever known. On Monday, hundreds of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s parliament building, defaced its walls with graffiti, and chanted epithets against the government. The protest took place on the same day that Hong Kong marked the 22nd anniversary since ownership of the island was transferred from Britain to China. Angry citizens raised the flag the country had used under British sovereignty. According to Reuters, the protests deteriorated into a full-blown riot after a policeman was documented beating a demonstrator with a baton. Hong Kong residents have been protesting for since the local legislature – which is considered a puppet of the Chinese government – attempted to pass legislation allowing the extradition of criminal suspects to China. The law, which has since been scrapped, enraged Hong Kong residents, who see it as undermining their constitutional freedom. While Beijing denies that it is interfering in Hong Kong’s “internal” legislation, protesters view the bill allowing extradition as the latest step on the island’s journey towards being a Chinese puppet. “I came here today to support democracy in Hong Kong,” said Thomas Chen, one of the protesters. “From an economic point of view, it may affect investors’ confidence in Hong Kong and it will have an impact, but today I come to a much bigger goal – it’s a war for our future.”

Fatal Fire on Russian Submersible Fourteen sailors were killed when a

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

fire broke out on one of the Russian navy’s deep-sea submersibles. Russia’s defense ministry said that the blaze broke out on Monday while the vessel was performing tests in Russia’s territorial waters. It added that the fire was extinguished thanks to the crew’s self-sacrifice. The submersible is now at the Arctic port of Severomorsk, the main base of Russia’s Northern Fleet. The Russian navy uses Priz-class and Bester-class deep water vehicles, which have a hull built of titanium and are capable of operating at a depth of 1,000 meters (3,281 feet). They are transported to the area of operation by a carrier vessel and can operate autonomously for up to 120 hours. This particular vessel is said to have been used to study the seabed. The blaze marks the deadliest Russian naval incident since 2008, when 20 died when a firefighting system was accidentally initiated while the Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine of Russia’s Pacific Fleet was undergoing trials. In the deadliest naval incident in post-Soviet Russia, the Kursk nuclear submarine exploded and sank on Aug. 12, 2000, during naval maneuvers in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 crewmembers.

Japan to Resume Commercial Whaling

On Monday, Japan resumed commercial whaling for the first time in 30 years, following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The IWC’s ban on commercial whaling went into effect globally in 1986. While Japan had continued its activities regarding “scientific whaling” – a loophole to allow the country’s sale of whale meat – the withdrawal will now see Japanese whalers hunting whale species at risk of endangerment within Japanese coastal waters. However, Japan will not be allowed to continue its so-called “scientific research” hunts in the Antarctic and elsewhere that it had been permitted to conduct as an IWC member. Under this rule, Japan had killed several hundred whales each year since 1986. An open letter signed by celebrities and global conservation organizations urged leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka to intervene. “Commercial whaling is an inherently and exceptionally cruel practice which has no place in the 21st Century,” it stated.

“There is no reliably humane way to kill whales at sea, and exploding harpoons often cause these animals to die slowly and in agony.”

Russian Floating Power Plant

Russia’s plan to launch a floating nuclear power plant in the Arctic is raising concerns from environmentalists. Known as the Akademik-monosov power plant, the nuclear power plant will be towed next month to the Arctic coast of Siberia in order to provide cheap electricity to remote communities in the mineral-rich region. According to Russia, the 21,000-ton plant will then remain off the coast of Chukotka, providing power for the port town and for oil rigs. The plant is expected to produce enough electricity to power a town of 200,000 residents. But the nuclear power plant, which is expected to float on the Arctic Sea near the town of Pebek, in the Far East of Siberia, has also sparked environmental protests in the country, claiming that holding a sensitive nuclear facility in such an isolated region is a recipe for disaster. The concerns include possible flooding similar to what happened at the Fukushima power plant in Japan and the fact that the power plant will be located thousands of kilometers from the nearest population center, making it hard for rescuers to arrive. The station has already been nicknamed “Chernobyl Watch” and “Chernobyl on the Ice” among environmentalists after the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history. The claims have been rejected by Russian officials, who say that the floating power station uses the most advanced safeguards available. “It’s totally not justified to compare these two projects. These are baseless claims, just the way the reactors themselves operate work is different,” Chief Enviromental Engineer Vladimir Iriminku said. “Of course, what happened in Chernobyl cannot happen again.... And as it’s going to be stationed in the Arctic waters, it will be cooling down constantly, and there is no lack of cold water.”

Captain of Migrant Ship Arrested Carola Rackete, the German captain of a ship that had rescued 53 migrants off the Libyan coast, has been arrested for allegedly trying to sink an Italian police boat. Following a two-week standoff with police, the “Sea-Watch 3” vessel arrived

on Saturday to the Italian port of Lampedusa. According to Sea-Watch, a German non-profit dealing with civilian search and rescue in the Mediterranean, the ship entered Italian waters as it was the only chance of safely bringing the migrants ashore. Rackete was arrested on the spot and was accused by Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of attempting to sink a police boat, which he stated could be classified as an act of war. “She tried to sink a police launch with officers on board at night,” said Salvini. “They say ‘we’re saving lives,’ but they risked killing these human beings who were doing their job, it’s clear from the videos.” If convicted, Rackete could face up to ten years in prison.

Flouting Nuclear Deal, Iran Ups Uranium Enrichment Iran announced on Monday that it exceeded the amount of enriched uranium allowed under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the first time it has flouted the accord since it was signed. The news was first reported by the Iranian Fars news agency, which cited an “informed source.” The story was later denied by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted that “we have NOT violated the JCPOA.”

Under the terms of the deal, Iran is forbidden from enriching more than 300 kilograms of uranium, terms to which the Islamic Republic has kept to until Monday. While the amount of uranium enriched by Iran is not enough to produce a nuclear weapon, it is the latest sign that the 2015 Iran Deal has disintegrated. Two months ago, Tehran notified the British, French, German, Chinese and Russian ambassadors of its decision to stop implementing some of its obligations under the nuclear agreement following President Trump’s decision to leave the deal. President Hassan Rouhani also threatened that Iran would resume enriching uranium should Europe refuse to skirt the U.S. sanctions that have devastated the rogue nation’s economy. Trump responded by saying that Iran “is playing with fire” for restarting their nuclear program. “No message to Iran. They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with, and I think they’re playing with fire. So, no message to Iran whatsoever,” Trump reiterated on Monday. Earlier in the day, the White House

The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

said that it would stick to its strategy of applying “maximum pressure” on Iran “until its leaders alter their course of action.” Extreme sanctions have been levied on Tehran by the Trump administration.

Five Years Since Our Boys Were Killed This month, Israel marked five years since Eyal Ifrach, Gilad Shaer, and Naftali Frankel, Hy”d, were kidnapped and slaughtered. The three teens had been hitchhiking home when they were picked up by two Palestinians dressed as Orthodox Jews near the Gush Etzion Junction. Realizing immediately that they were kidnapped, Shaer called the police but his pleas for help were dismissed by a skeptical dispatcher.

Over the next month, a massive number of IDF troops embarked on a desperate search for the teens, tearing apart a slew of Arab villages in the Gush Etzion and Hebron area. Tragically, the searches were to no avail and the remains of the three boys were found buried in a pit three weeks later near the site of their kidnapping. The kidnapping and subsequent manhunt thrust Racheli Frankel, Naftali’s mother, into the limelight. The U.S.-born educator’s stoic faith inspired thousands of Israelis, famously telling the media after her son’s body was found that “we all ask things from G-d, but sometimes He says no.” Currently, Racheli Frankel teaches at the women’s Nishmat seminary in Jerusalem and is a much sought-after speaker. Recounting the trying episode in an interview with the Jerusalem Post last week, Frankel says that she wishes to be defined by her teaching and not by the tragedy she experienced. “The truth is, tragedy doesn’t define anybody. Not me,” Frankel said. Yet the

bereaved mother told over the many battles she fought with herself after her son’s grisly murder in order to move on with her life. “Originally, the challenge was to separate the memory from the pain,” she said. “Every thought about how he was a wonderful kid was a stab in the stomach. Today the thoughts and memories are very joyful. “Yet there is a tragic side – he is missing out so much, we are missing him.”

Bahrain’s FM’s Israel Comments

Clarifying that peace between Israel and the Arab world is a long way off, Bahrain’s foreign minister walked back remarks he had made last week that appeared to call for peace with the Jewish State. Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa had called for increased dialogue with Israel during a slew of interviews he gave last week on the sidelines of the Bahrain Economic Conference. His remarks, unprecedented for a senior Arab official, made headlines, leading many in Israel and around the world to wonder if Israel’s covert ties with Bahrain were coming out in the open. Yet Al Khalifa appeared to take back his statements in an interview he gave on Friday with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television station. While he stood by his decision to speak with the Israeli media, Bahrain’s foreign minister clarified that his country was not calling for establishing full diplomatic relations with the Jewish State. “There are those who say this is normalization. This is not normalization. This is not even a step toward normalization,” said Al Khalifa. “You must send the correct message to the person you want to address and solve a problem with. That is the Israeli people.” Al Khalifa added that his country’s role in hosting the economic workshop in Manama did not mean that his government dropped its support for a Palestinian state. “We support the right of the Palestinian people to a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the minister said. “The Palestinian Authority has a view that we respect and it respects our position.” During the peace summit in Bahrain a few days earlier, Al Khalifa had told the Times of Israel and Israel’s Channel 13 news channel that he recognized Israel’s right to exist and called for increased di-

alogue between Israel and the Arab world. “Israel is a country in the region…and it’s there to stay, of course,” he said. “Who did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to a state named the State of Israel, in the region… We do believe that Israel is a country to stay, and we want better relations with it, and we want peace with it.”

PA Arrests Palestinian for Participating in Bahrain Workshop

The Palestinian Authority (PA) arrested businessman Saleh Abu Miaala for taking part at the Bahrain economic summit last week. Officially titled “The Path To Prosperity,” the economic workshop had convened

in Bahrain in order to promote U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The PA had vehemently opposed both the deal and the economic workshop and had pressured Palestinians not to attend amid claims that the peace plan ignores their aspirations for statehood. According to reports, PA policemen detained Abu Miaala after raiding his home in Hebron on Saturday, shortly after he returned from Bahrain. After taking the businessman into custody, PA police then ransacked his house and confiscated surveillance camera footage from the residence before leaving after IDF troops arrived. Palestinian officers also attempted to arrest another businessman who had also participated in the summit but he managed to escape and remains in hiding. Officially, Abu Miaala was arrested for refusing to serve out a prison term he was sentenced to last year for attacking a Palestinian Authority policeman. However, Fox News reported that he was taken into custody as part of a wave of arrests by the PA designed to intimidate those participating in last week’s economic confab in Bahrain. The effort to punish those who had defied the PA’s instructions not to travel to Bahrain didn’t only end in arrests. Throughout the weekend, a list of Pales-

Honoring Our Traditions As a member of the Orthodox community, I am pleased to have joined the Mount Sinai family as an Advance Planning Representative. Mount Sinai is committed to respecting the Halachic needs of our community; and I look forward to working with you. Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills 5950 Forest Lawn Drive Los Angeles, CA 90069

Mount Sinai Simi Valley 6150 Mount Sinai Drive Simi Valley, CA 93063

Our parks are open Sunday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily except Saturday in observance of the Sabbath.

MY DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION: Naomi Silbermintz 323-769-1374 nsilbermintz@



The Week In News tinians who had participated in the Bahrain conference circulated on social media, drawing heated responses and death threats. Speaking with the Times of Israel, a Palestinian who had attended the Bahrain conference said that he and his counterparts have been persecuted ever since returning to their homes. “We are being pursued and threatened. All of us are in a precarious position,” he said. “Why is it that people working on advancing peace and building a better future receive this type of treatment?”

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

el’s neighboring Arab states. “I think it is imperative that this region be united,” he stressed. “When that happens, it will unleash enormous economic potential and greatly expand security.”

FM Katz Visits Abu Dhabi

Kushner: Bahrain Conference a Success

Jared Kushner, who has been tasked by President Donald Trump to hammer out a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, hailed the recent economic conference in Bahrain as a “tremendous success.” The conference had taken place last week in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama and featured businessmen from all around the world. The confab was the first stage of Trump’s “Deal of the Century” and encouraged foreign investors to invest in a variety of projects in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Speaking with the Arab Al Sharq Al Aswat newspaper, Kushner said that the fact that so many entrepreneurs agreed to attend proved that an economic Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative was feasible. While admitting that the parameters of his peace plan differed sharply from previous efforts, Kushner said that the consistent failure of past diplomatic efforts meant that a new approach was needed. “It is a waste of everyone’s time,” Kushner asserted, referring to the history of failed negotiations between the Israel and the Palestinians. “After extensive review, people were very positive about [the plan] and considered it achievable. “As for other issues, this plan is not political,” continued Kushner. “So I think those who criticize the plan for this reason do not realize the purpose of this economic effort.” While maintaining that he remains optimistic over his plan’s feasibility, Kushner cautioned that it can only move forward as part of a wider effort involving all of Isra-

Foreign Minister Israel Katz made an unannounced visit to the Gulf city of Abu Dhabi this week, taking part in a UN climate conference and discussing “the Iranian threat” with an Emirati official. Katz is the latest high-level Israeli official to make an official visit to the Emirate. His visit comes on the heels of a U.S.led conference in nearby Bahrain at which Israelis openly met with Gulf officials. Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, which, like most Arab countries, refuses to recognize the Jewish state over its policies toward the Palestinians. The two countries, however, have reportedly developed covert ties over their shared concern of Iran. At the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting, which ended on Monday, Katz met with an unnamed “senior UAE official” to discuss “regional issues and relations between the countries,” according to a statement from his office. The meeting focused on “the need to deal with the Iranian threat related to the nuclear issue, missile development, Iran’s support for terrorism in the region, and the violence employed by Iran against the interests of the region,” the statement said. The two officials also discussed cooperation and bolstering economic ties, especially in the fields of high-tech, energy, agriculture and water. The statement said Katz also presented his “Tracks for Regional Peace” initiative, a proposal to link Israel’s rail network through Jordan to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, opening the countries to travel and trade, and giving Arab states access to Israel’s Mediterranean ports. Katz presented the plan last year during a conference in Oman, another Gulf state which has no formal ties with Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman and met with the country’s ruler in October, a month before Katz’s visit.

The foreign minister said his trip to Abu Dhabi marked “a significant advancement” in ties between Israel and countries in the Middle East. He also promised to advance Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “normalization through strength policy that we’re leading, whether in the fields of defense and intelligence or in civilian affairs.” Katz’s visit to the UAE was the third by an Israeli minister to the emirate since October. During his tenure, Netanyahu has pushed to develop ties with the Gulf states, which, like Israel, view Iran as a major threat. The only Arab countries Israel has formal ties with are Egypt and Jordan. Katz’s trip also came amid other signs of a gradual thaw in ties between Israel and Arab states, such as last week’s U.S.-sponsored conference in Bahrain to roll out the Trump administration’s peace plan. Though no Israeli officials invited, a number of Israeli journalists were. According to a New Yorker report last year, Israel has maintained a clandestine but extremely close relationship with the UAE for over two decades, with their ties focused heavily on intelligence sharing and security cooperation, including potential arms deals. In 1996, Israel officially opened “trade offices” in Oman and Qatar, which have since closed, but the Jewish state has never had formal ties with the Emirates.

Bank Leumi CEO Steps Down

On Sunday, CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach of Bank Leumi Le-Israel announced that she will be stepping down from the nation’s biggest bank by market capital. Russak-Aminoach, 53, is the third CEO of Israel’s five largest banking groups to announce a departure in the past four months. Arik Pinto, 58, the CEO of the nation’s second largest lender, Bank Hapoalim Ltd., said in April that he would be leaving his position at the end of 2019 after four years. The CEO of Israel Discount Bank Ltd., Lilach Asher-Topilsky, 49, said in June she would step down to become a senior partner at the Israeli private equity fund FIMI Fund. She was at the helm of Israel’s fourth largest lender since February 2014. Russak-Aminoach and Pinto did not give a reason as to why they were leaving, but commentators say it is a combination

of increased regulation in the industry, which limits the ability of CEOs to steer their firms to where they’d like, and the siren call of higher salaries in other, non-financial sectors, like private equity funds, tech firms, construction companies or even chemicals manufacturers. Financial website Globes said Russak-Aminoach was in talks to join Israeli firm Team8, a cybersecurity think tank and investor. Team8 and Moody’s Corp., the ratings agency, said last week they will be setting up a joint venture for what they hope will become a global standard for evaluating how vulnerable companies are to cyberattacks. In 2016, Israel passed a law capping executive compensation in financial institutions, including banks and insurance firms, at NIS 2.5 million ($700,000) a year, or no more than 44 times the net salary of the lowest worker in the company. Before the cap, top CEO banking salaries reached as much as 8 million shekels a year. Such generous pay is “unjustifiable and beyond all reason,” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said at the passing of the law curbing executive pay in the financial sector. The curbs and increased scrutiny on bankers’ activities were set in the wake of public outrage at the high salaries paid out to bankers even as banks wrote off colossal debts of millions of shekels belonging to business moguls with whom they cozied up to. A cross-party parliamentary commission of inquiry set up in 2017 said earlier this year that these bank bailouts for failed tycoons have cost the Israeli public billions of shekels. Yet detractors of the law, mainly representatives of the financial industry, warned at the time of a brain drain from the financial sector toward other industries in which limits were not imposed. And that, it appears, is coming true: the combination of capped salaries and increased scrutiny is turning these CEOs away. “The capping of salaries is definitely a wrong move once this regulation was imposed only on the financial sector,” noted Yaniv Pagot, an economist and head of strategy at the Ayalon Group, an institutional investor. “In the long run this will cause damage and mean that first choice candidates won’t be leading our most important and sensitive banking institutions.” The Israeli banking system is dominated by five main groups: Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd., Israel Discount Bank and First International Bank of Israel Ltd. At the end of 2018 the five banks jointly showed a 9.4 percent rise in net interest income to NIS 30.7 billion ($8.6 billion) and a 2% rise in net profit, to NIS 9.3 billion. Once notorious for inefficiency and unbreakable strong labor unions, Israeli banks have over the years managed to become more efficient through the use of technology and by downsizing workers and branches.

The Week In News

JULY 4, 2019 | The Jewish Home

MASTER’S DEGREE in SOCIAL WORK Through Wurzweiler School of Social Work in partnership with WITS/MAALOT

APPLY NOW FOR FALL 2019 An affordable and practical Master's Degree in Social Work with a WITS "out of town" feel.

Program designed to meet your needs • Scholarships available • Personalized attention

Offered through WITS in Baltimore, but sensitive to the west coast time zone.

• Placements where you live • Small class sizes • Class schedule accommodates Yomim Tovim

Earn a degree respected everywhere For more info: Call 410.358.3144 | Email | Visit





JULY 7 - JULY 18




On the Shores of La Jolla, San Diego

Beaver Creek, Colorado




718.778.4241 | KMRTOURS.COM