THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Beth Jacob Congregation Presents
Dudu Fisher in Concert Hosted by
Chazan Arik Wollheim
Sunday, November 17, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Beth Jacob Congregation Ticket prices are $36, $50, $75, $100, $125. Sponsorship: $1000 (includes two tickets and autographed CD) To purchase tickets today call (310) 278-1911 or visit us: Bethjacob.org/concert.html
Bring Torah to Life. Beth Jacob Congregation 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills (310) 278-1911 â€˘ www.bethjacob.org
3k Walk & Festival
Friendship la 2013 sUndaY NOV. 10 12-4 pm rancho park free entertainment featuring:
Rock Wall, Mobile Mural Lab, Train Rides, Human Spheres, Stilt Walker, Puppy Party, Carnival Games, Kiddie Play and much more!
kosher BBQ & concessions for sale!
Pre-register online before november 1st at
www.walk4friendshipla.com to receive a free t-shirt! THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: DaviD Kattan, MD A PUBLICATION OF THE LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY
Internal Medicine & Cardiology 549 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019 323.936.7279
OCTOBER 31, 2013
walk with YoUr commUnitY for Jewish kids with special needs
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THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 31, 2013 4
COMMUNITY Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 What’s New in LA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Rocking the Stage: How Jewish Women are Reimagining Hollywood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Paul Reichmann zt”l. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
7 Questions with Phyllis Folb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
One Night in Tokyo - How to Stay on Fire . . . . . . 17 The Jewish Scent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Student Op-Ed - The Spark within Us. . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Avraham Holid es Yitzchak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Where Does Jewish Learning Take Place . . . . . . . . 19 Hillel Question & Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT
Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Moon Cap: A Novel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Old News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Plan It Like a Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Op-Ed - Has Jewish Humor Lost the Will to Live? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Career Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Marketing Like a Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at Got Kosher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Travel – Washington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
“Twenty-six sex offenders of the worst degree are being released to help build trust between our peoples. They will be received as heroes for what they have done, lauded for their behavior on local TV, and we expect that they will probably continue supporting such activities in the future.” Sound offensive? Well, unless one thinks murder is any less of a crime, this is exactly what happened this week in Israel with the release of 26 actual murderers. In order to bring it home for our readers and show at least some solidarity for the families of their victims, we will list some of the prisoners and what they have done: Massoud Issa Rajib Amer, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was convicted in 1993 of brutally hacking to death Ian Feinberg, a young lawyer who spent time in Gaza cultivating ties to the local Palestinian community while trying to promote economic projects. Amer was also convicted of killing three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. Tukeman Yusef Suleiman Mahmed, Abu Hanana Zakariya Udia Usama, and Abdel-Aziz Said Kassam Ahmed were convicted in the 1992 shooting death of Moshe Biton. Biton was shot and killed after entering a convenience store, and his wife was shot after trying to tend to him. Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif, a Fatah operative, was convicted in 1991 for the murder of Avi Osher, his Israeli employer at the Jordan Valley farm where he worked. Asor Masbach Khalil Mahmad was convicted for the murder of Israeli taxi driver David Kaspi in 1985. Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa was convicted of killing Revital Seri and Ron Levy while they were hiking in 1984. (Source: The Jerusalem Post.) Granted, I’m not a policy expert and I don’t have years of experience in the political arena. But as we’ve clearly seen in the past few years, what’s important isn’t so much what the politicians decide behind closed doors or what they announce to the world in front of flashing cameras. Rather, it’s how the average person on the Arab street understands it. Will the teens currently at a crossroads in life get the message that peace is what’s to be admired, or constant war? Will they learn that compromise gets results, or terror? After all, government officials can sign whatever agreement they’d like, but it’s the people who will have to honor it and carry it through. At times it feels like a repeat of the emperor and his new clothes, only this time the shrewd tailors stick around for the parade and convince the crowd that the child (who calls out “he’s not wearing any clothes!”) is just another unintelligent individual who can’t see the beautiful reality. May we experience what Maimonides describes in the final chapter of his magnum opus on Jewish law: “In that era, there will be neither famine nor war, envy or competition; for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. And the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God”. Have a most wonderful Shabbos,
Shalom Shalom Rubashkin
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Welcome to the brand new column What’s New. The Jewish Home thought you’d be interested in knowing what’s going on in L.A., so in this space I’ll tell you which businesses are popping up, what Kosher restaurants have opened their doors, what’s new and fabulous for our schools and shuls, and general fascinating scoop. If you’d like your info to be included for the next article, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number included so I can follow up if necessary. Let us know if you’re into What’s New! There’s a woman who has the same exercise schedule as me, but looks a whole lot better. I’ve wondered for months what her secret is and finally asked her what she eats for breakfast. “Oatmeal and coffee”. I eat the same thing. “How about lunch?” “Juice.” I pause, waiting for the rest of the meal “No, that’s it. Juice from Pressed Juicery.” I am embarrassed to reply honestly with what I eat for lunch, so I get very busy folding up my yoga mat. Mystery solved. Pressed Juicery is one of the ubiquitous
juice bars that have sprung up lately. What makes it different is that the juice is made off site, so you don’t have to wait while they wrestle with fennel, and all their juices are O-U Kosher. Their green juices have a cult following, but I crave their chocolate coffee flavor with an almond base. That particular flavor was taught to me by my sensei of all things health food, Lauren Mann. Lauren Mann has been a talented graphic artist for years, what’s new is her company, Blue Ink which makes one of a kind invitations, greeting cards, and company logos. I have personally used her services and highly recommend her because: one, she’s incredibly good at her craft and two, she will get it done on time and do it over and over until you’re happy. Check her out at www.blueink.ca. Another creative mama, Menucha Levy has started a mommy and me empire. When I was new in town, her class helped me get know all the like-minded moms in the La Brea area. Each class starts with davening
and circle time and ends with goodbye songs and parachute play. In the middle, she takes a theme and crafts toddler activities around it, for example doctor day includes painting a nutrition pyramid with tongue compressors, dramatic play with doctors’ kits, and ballpit play with cotton balls. On Mondays the classes are at her home base 508 N. Pointsettia at 9:15, Tuesdays at Gan Chabad on Robertson at 9:15, Wednesdays at Yavneh at 9:00, Thursdays at Chabad Garden School on Pico at 9:15, and Fridays at Sinai Temple for grandparents only at 10:45. Menucha is also available in the afternoons for additional sessions, you can contact her at buybabyccino@ gmail.com. If your tot needs dental work, consider Dr. Gabe Rosenthal as your pediatric dentist. He’s a graduate of USC and does adult dental work as well- so bring the whole family. He has a fancy shmancy machine that makes crowns in one office visit, is available for Sunday appointments, and is on call 24 hours for emergencies. He takes PPO insurance and same day appointments. He has 2 locations: The Beverlywood office 10289 W. Pico Blvd. (310) 556-5600, and the Encino office 16055 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1001 (818) 981-0394. The Encino office has a huge merry go round across the street, so get the wee ones teeth cleaned then go for a whirl. So, your mouth is clean, but your house is still a hot mess, right? The Organizing Specialist by Nechama Munitz can take care of it. Nechama is a top-notch personal organizer with bargain-basement prices. I searched and searched for a reasonably priced personal organizer to help me when I moved and could not find one. Instead, I enslaved my darling sister in law, Courtney, to help me unpack, but you lucky folks have a no-brainer way to make your closets, cabinets, garages and toy rooms into Martha Stewart’s wonderland. She keeps all your slob-kabob ways hushhush, so don’t worry. You can reach her at: email@example.com or (323) 286-7573. If your hair or sheitel is what needs to be spruced up, Kayla Cohen is ready for you with incredible talent, patience, and a smile. She offers same day wig shampoo and style service, hair dressing from simple blowouts to complicated updos, as well as haircuts for wigs and real hair. She operates out of Young Attitudes Salon at 15053 Ventura Blvd. #201 in Sherman Oaks. Since Kayla is a Licensed Cosmetologist, she not only does wigs, but everything hair and beauty related from color correction to makeup and waxing. She can be reached at kaloonthego@gmail. com or (818) 514-5256 For a gorgeous outfit to go with your hair stop at Ainyah’s boutique at 7155 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, (323) 424-7313. When
the previous tznius shop, Atara’s, closed down I felt like I’d lost a friend. Please G-d let it not turn into a cell phone store! But, it did. For 2 weeks. And then, to my delight, a new kosher boutique opened up luxuriously decorated and packed to the gills with dresses, skirts, stockings, women’s suits and outfits. It also features a cute baby play area, so you can shop for yourself without neglecting your children. The fabulous people behind your simchas have banded together and created a new network called Simcha Network Los Angeles for party professionals including photographers, caterers, venue reps, center piece creators, invitation designers and flaming chainsaw jugglers. Their first event will be at the Luxe hotel 11461 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles on Monday, October 28th from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM. Register online at SimchaNetworkLA. com. The other day I was walking to shul and noticed an infusion of out of town looking eighteen year old girls, you know skirts a little longer than usual and a little more pep in their step. I asked if they were part of the new seminary and they confirmed that yes, they are and they love it. Founded by Mrs. Hadassa Spalter in honor of her mother, Mrs. Sara Rachel Schochet ob”m, along with Mrs. Chanie Pinson, they strove to create a Los Angeles seminary that takes advantage of our local geniuses; the staff includes the cream of educators and some of my personal heros: Rabbi J. Gordon, Rabbi M. Kesselman, Rabbi G. Schusterman, Rabbi Y. Shusterman, Rabbi A. Union, Rabbi Wagner, Mrs. S. Feigin, Mrs. D. Kreiman, and Mrs. C. R. Shusterman, Mrs S. Shusterman, Mrs B. Schochet, to name a few. They also ensured that the students had a comfortable, spacious house on Highland to stay in for the year and excellent food- Israeli seminaries take note! They received many applications and had to turn away about 25%, to keep the Ohel Sara seminary to a higher standard. For more information go towww.laseminary.com. Wanna do random acts of kindness, but don’t know where to start? Mike Rosenthal has an original idea for you: www.postforward.org. For just $5 you can buy a post it pad with 24 different, uplifting messages like “You have a beautiful smile” and “Thanks for all you do” that you can leave for friends, family, and random strangers to spread the love. How nice would it be if your waitress got a sticky note saying, “You went above and beyond today” with her tip? Also, $2 of every purchase goes to a charity. To get involved or add your charity to receive donations from the project email: rockforyouth@ aol.com And that my friends, is what’s new.
Academy and the fantastic teachers and staff.” He says, “It is a reflection of our cutting edge education and of our goal to produce students who not only excel both academically and in their Judaic studies, but are taught the principles needed to grow up a “mentsch” Yavneh Hebrew Academy is a dual curriculum school, encompassing preschool through eighth grade. The students are taught Judaic studies, Hebrew language, Jewish customs and laws, as well as a rigorous curriculum of English language arts, math, science, social studies and other subjects.
Rabbi Dear is a hands-on principal, constantly walking the halls, checking into classrooms and actively involved with the students. Among the parents, he is known for running a tight ship, in an exceptionally clean and secure environment. He is outside every morning and afternoon greeting each parent and child as they arrive to school. In his thirty years in the field of education, Rabbi Dear has won several awards. He is proud to return from Washington DC where he represented Yavneh Hebrew Academy at the award ceremonies.
Hillel Hebrew Academy Hosts a Shloshim for Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l by Mrs. Ilana Zadok, Special Programs Coordinator
Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills had the privilege of hosting Harav Yosef Dweck shlit”a, a close student and family relative of Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l to share intimate personal memories of Maran zt”l in honor of the Rav’s shloshim. Rabbi Dweck serves as Head of School of Yeshivat Barkai in New York and was recently appointed as the Chief Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Community of the United Kingdom. The gathering took place at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy on Monday, October 28th. In addition to the Hillel community, community Rabbis as well students from YULA, Shalhevet and Yeshiva High Tech were present. The Hillel Harwit choir beautifully led the crowd in the national anthems followed by a reading of the Hashkava by Mr. Joe Fallas, proud Hillel grandparent. Former Hillel president, esteemed board member and uncle of Rabbi Dweck, Mr. Michael Fallas, shared some of his personal fond memories he had during his time with Rav Ovadia.
The keynote speaker, Rabbi Dweck, inspired the crowd by sharing four messages that he supported with numerous stories about Rav Yosef: never give up, make the right choices, have facts and truth to support all opinion and ideas and then be confident to speak up, and care about all people. His dynamic style of speaking captured the attention of everyone in the room and left the audience of all ages inspired by the teachings and life of Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l. Rabbi Dweck’s special visit to Hillel concluded with an intimate conversation with the 8th graders as a part of their leadership program. The 8th graders had the unique opportunity to participate in a Q&A, learning more about Rav Yosef’s leadership as well as the leadership of Rabbi Dweck. One student asked, “how can we be part of Rav Ovadia Yosef’s zt”l legacy?” Rabbi Dweck turned the question back to the students who responded, “by studying Torah, by caring about people, by speaking up for what we believe.”
FIDF Soldiers Visit Hillel Hebrew Academy by Mrs. Ilana Zadok, Special Programs Coordinator
Thunderous joy filled the halls of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy as our students dressed in blue and white, waved Israeli flags, and sang Am Yisrael Chai, welcoming the twelve Israeli soldiers brought to Hillel in partnership with the FIDF. At an assembly for the fourth through eighth grade students, both soldiers and students, with tears in their eyes, sang a meaningful Hatikva. The soldiers introduced themselves to the Hillel community and then participated in a Q&A. The choir sang and the students and soldiers swayed arm in arm exemplifying Am Yisrael. After the
assembly, the soldiers joined the members of our student council, yearbook and newspaper for an intimate lunch in the library. The students felt so connected to the soldiers after sharing table conversation and getting to know them as regular people. One student shared, “one soldier had the same Hebrew name as me. She took a patch off her uniform and wrote me a message. I am going to keep it forever.” What a special day we shared filled with love for Am Yisrael and eretz Yisrael.
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Los Angeles Principal Rabbi Moshe Dear is the only Yeshiva Day School Principal to receive this 2013 honor from the NAESP: National Association of Elementary School Principals Rabbi Moshe Dear, principal of Yavneh Hebrew Academy for the last 15 years, is honored to have been chosen as one of six private school principals nationwide, and the only Yeshiva Principal to win the 2013 National Distinguished Principals Award from the NAESP. Rabbi Dear says he considers the award “a great honor not only for me, but, for the accomplishments of Yavneh Hebrew
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Principal of Yavneh Hebrew Academy Wins National Principal’s Award
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
YULA Boys Father-Son Learning: Sharing the Fire of Torah YULA’s beit midrash was filled with the beautiful sounds of learning and study late into the night on Thursday evening, October 24. Over 100 people attended the second Father-Son Learning of the year. It was inspiring to see so many YULA talmidim engaged so fully in their learning with their fathers by their side. The evening opened with 30 minutes of father/ son chavruta learning, followed by a shiur by Rabbi Joseph Schrieber on Kibud Av V’eim. Wrapping up the evening, students and fathers enjoyed delicious food from Jeff’s and rousing pre-Shabbat ruach and singing. Rabbi Dov Emerson, YULA Boys
Head of School, stressed the importance of events like these: “the Father-Son Learning Program is an extremely important way for us to reinforce the values of Achdut / unity and partnership between our Yeshiva and the home. Bringing Rebbeim, students, and fathers into the Beit Medrash together demonstrates that we are all aligned in our goals to inspire our students through the study of Torah. Letting our students see that Torah study is a priority for their fathers is an incredibly powerful way for us to work together and emphasize the central role that Torah study plays in the lives of Orthodox Jews.”
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succeed and for the special needs kids to get what they need, we must raise crucial dollars for uniforms, a behaviorist, and other necessities.” Adam has signed up to participate in the Friendship Circle’s Walk4FriendshipLA campaign and hopes to raise $5000 as part of his efforts. You can help support Adam’s club by visiting: http://www. walk4friendshipla.com/ Karate4specialkids. All donations are tax deductible. The Friendship Circle’s Walk4Friendship LA is the annual community walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for Friendship Circle and children with special needs. “This cause is very dear to me and I appreciate all the support I can get.” added Adam. I invite you to walk with me, and thousands in the community, as we walk for friendship and inclusion! This will be
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Shalhevet Junior and National Karate Champion Adam Rokah, is putting his martial arts skills to a new test. He is teaming up with the Friendship Circle of Los Angeles and is starting a new club known as The Karate Circle for special needs children. A group of dedicated High School students, including a number of his friends from Shalhevet, meet weekly with special need’s students from around Los Angeles at his father’s dojo. “The martial arts, particularly Karate, are scientifically proven to boost the performance of special needs kids as well as their confidence,” noted Adam. “Karate will help to improve the physical and mental condition of the special needs kids, who also have a great time hanging out with their new friends.” But according to Adam it’s not just the kids who will benefit from this project. “Teaching and having fun with these special kids will push the volunteers to another level as well,” he explained. “The strong relationships between volunteers and special needs children is amazing.” “However, in order for this club to
a great ‘kick’off to my special program.” “We could not be more proud of Adam,” said Rabbi Ari Segal, Head of School at Shalhevet High School. “It is amazing to see how he has taken the initiative to start such an important and meaningful program. At Shalhevet we want to produce more than just good students, we want to produce great mentsches and Adam is an
incredible example of that.” Karate is nothing new to Adam or his family. “I have been passionate about karate since I was young,” said Adam “My father is a world champion and my mother and I are national champions.” This past summer Adam won the US Youth National Championships in Karate.
Rabbi Daniel Grama Delivers Hesped for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to VTHS Boys Division On Oct. 14, one week after the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Daniel Grama, VTHS Boys Division rebbe delivered an enlightening hesped on the former Sephardi Chief rabbi of Israel and revered spiritual leader and founder of the Shas political party. Rabbi Grama shared numerous anecdotes about “Chacham Ovadia,” as he was affectionately called, which helped the students understand and appreciate why this gadol hador merited to have more than 800,000 people “spanning the entire spectrum of Israeli society” at his funeral, the largest ever in the country. Rabbi Grama explained that Chacham Ovadia, who grew up in a very poor family and remained poor for much of his early
adult life, was recognized at a young age as a child prodigy in Torah study. When the rabbi was around the age of 12, his rosh yeshiva noticed that his star talmid had been missing for a few days and when he found out that he had been managing his parents’ grocery store, the rosh yeshiva volunteered to mind the store so “little Ovadia” could stay in yeshiva and learn. Chacham Ovadia had “a brilliant, photographic memory, a razor sharp mind,” said Rabbi Grama, explaining to the boys that in his early years, when he couldn’t afford to buy seforim, Rav Ovadia would go to a book store, pick up a sefer, begin learning it and by the time the store owner got around to asking him if he wanted to
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Shalhevet Student Fights for a Great Cause
purchase the book he would already have it memorized! Rabbi Grama also shared with the boys that in the 1990s on a visit to America, Chacham Ovadia was challenged to test his knowledge against an IBM computer that was uploaded with Torah information. “Rav Ovadia won. He was faster and knew more information than the computer,” said Rabbi Grama, who also noted that on a different trip to America, after a meeting with Rav Moshe Feinstein, Chacham Ovadia wrote one of his most famous responsa, on agunot (women who are forbidden to remarry because they don’t have a get, or Jewish rite of divorce from their husbands), entirely from his head, without any
sources in front of him. This responsa removed the aguna status of women whose husbands were believed to have died in battle but whose bodies were not recovered. There was no doubt that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was brilliant beyond compare, but it wasn’t the fact that he was a genius that made him “one of the greatest talmidei chachamim and gaonim of our generation,” stressed Rabbi Grama. “It was his passion and his love for Limmud Torah… that was his life. The genius of his mind allowed him to remember, but the passion of his love for Torah gave him that desire to learn, that desire to know.”
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Tour De Summer Camps First Annual Cycling Event The first annual Tour de Summer Camps bike ride was a great success this past Sunday. A new program from the Jewish Federation to support Jewish summer camps, the ride drew over 450 riders and raised close to $600,000 for the community. “[The ride is] not just to raise money for Jewish summer camp, but to shine a light on a fact we know to be true: Jewish summer camp is one of the most meaningful Jewish experiences a young person can have,” says Jay Sanderson, Federation president. “One of the most important things for the continuity of the Jewish future is Jewish summer camping. Those kids who were able to have that [camp] experience are the leaders of today,” says Rodney Freeman, Ridemaster and one of the minds behind the event. Mr. Freeman, an avid cyclist himself, came up with idea while on a different charity cycling event. He wanted to bring the excitement of a charity ride to the Jewish community. “Our idea was to generate interest, excitement, and awareness of the importance of summer camp for Jewish continuity. There are too many kids who don’t get that opportunity because of their family’s inability to financially get them there. Through this, we thought there might
be a way to bridge that gap. I hope that this year every Jewish child who desires to go Jewish camping will have that opportunity. And if we’re lucky enough to continue to do this every year, I hope that will continue on.” Mr. Sanderson emphasizes that the funds raised will be going to all the Jewish summer camps in the community. The ride began and ended at a camp in Simi Valley, and included four courses ranging from 18 to 100 miles. “We have serious cyclists as well as community members,” says Mitch Hamerman, SVP of marketing at the Federation. The weather was beautiful, and everyone finished without notable injury. “It all went really well.” Riders did individual fundraising,
and additional funds were raised through corporate sponsors. A secondary goal of the event, as Mr. Freeman put it, was to break down some barriers. All money raised through this event will be going directly to Jewish camping, rather than through any general fund. This has helped draw supporters across the barriers of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism. “Everybody is uniting for one common cause for the benefit of the community. And that is working – the enthusiasm has really taken on a life of its own,” says Mr. Freeman. He illustrates his point with stories of individuals who raised funds for the event, including a 13-year-old girl who raised over $2000
Aaron Aftergood celebrating at the goal line.
as her bat mitzvah project. “It’s reaching beyond what we imagined. Someday my dream would be to take this concept and do a national day of riding to raise money all over the country, not just for the kids in LA.” But in the meantime, the kids in LA will certainly be benefiting. The money raised should provide for hundreds of additional campers this year. “The Jewish Federation is 250% committed to the future of this Jewish community,” says Mr. Sanderson. “And we know that the only way to build a bright Jewish future is by engaging our young people in Jewish life. Summer camp is one of the ways that we engage.”
Ridemaster Rodney Freeman, center, cycling in the Tour de Summer Camps
Incredible Harp Concert Benefiting AMIT of Israel the poverty line. “Amit is instrumental in bringing not only academics to these distressed communities, but also a sense of Jewish identity and pride,” explains Michal, who is the Western Region Director for Amit. She is also the one who worked together with 12-year-old Ayala Chocron to make this concert a reality through Amit’s Mitzvah program, where a child in America is matched with a child in Israel. They then choose a project to raise funds so that their Israeli match can also have a bar or bat mitzvah celebration. “I decided to do the Amit program because Orthodox girls don’t lain from the Torah, and I thought that just having a party didn’t really make you a woman,” explains Ayala. “So I decided to give my bat mitzvah some meaning, and help an Israeli girl in need.” Her mother, Shula Cho-
cron, echoes those values: “It goes against our principals to just have a lavish party and lose the meaning of what it is to be a bat mitzvah – becoming a more aware and more responsible Jew. Michal asked if we wanted to be part of their twinning program. I said absolutely. So we met and we brainstormed. Almost at the same time Ayala and I said, ‘Let’s do a harp concert.’ She’s been playing harp for about three and a half years, and it’s something that she’s been really dedicated to. I wanted to do something that would let her use the thing that she’s put so much work toward and where she could feel gratified.” Amit encourages the kids who become involved in this program to choose a creative project, and then helps them with promotion and fundraising. The concert was a decided success.
Held in the backyard of friends Mirelle and Nader Manesh, there were over 50 attendees and over $3000 was raised. All interviewed agreed that the six girls who performed, students of harp teacher Liesl Erman, put on an exceptional show. Ayala enjoyed it too. “We had a lot of fun.” The money will go to a girl living in one of Amit’s Beit Hayeled facilities, a home where children live with a surrogate family in place of an orphanage. “It felt to me like what a bat mitzvah should really be about,” says Mrs. Chocron. “People being really generous with their time and showing their love. We’re also going to have a small party, but to me this was Ayala’s true bat mitzvah.” To see more photos of the event or for more information about Amit, visit amitchildren.org/la
Photo credit: Naomi Solomon
The harp concert and tea party held recently in a private home in Beverlywood was a beautiful event – and a surprising one. “You see these little girls – I mean, they are 10, 12 years old – and they’re playing these huge harps,” says Michal Taviv-Margolese. “I had chills. The level of quality that they played was unbelievable.” The concert was arranged as part of a program of Amit, which is a network of schools in Israel. Amit has 110 schools in 29 cities and services 26,000 children, mainly in periphery development towns. About 70% of those children come from immigrant homes and live at or below
Ayala Chocron, posing with her harp
Amit Director Michal Taviv-Margolese addressing the crowd
how the convention came into being. She has been taking her students to national conferences for years. But all the conferences that they attend, with one exception in New York that often falls around Pesach, are partially over Shabbos. “We miss a lot,” Joelle said. “An Orthodox Jewish high school is on a different calendar, and yet we have to learn to do what the rest of them do.” A task made even more monumental by the fact that there is no journalism course at the school – they put together their paper during lunch meetings, after school, and via email. There is a course for staff writers, but even that is after school. And yet they have an award winning paper. Last year they were one of nine finalists for the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pacemaker Award. Unfortunately, they were unable to attend the ceremony, which was held on Shabbos. They are also the first high school paper to join the American Jewish Press Association – and to win two Simon J. Rockower Awards for Jewish journalism. They take their journalism very seriously, which made this convention all the more important. “Half the idea of this conference was to give kids the opportunity to learn it all,” Joelle explains. With workshops covering topics from page design and copyright to ethics and lashon hara, there was an incredible amount available to learn. And the other half of that idea, giving students the opportunity to explore issues particular to Jewish kids, was also well represented. Workshops were offered on covering Israel and finding news in Jewish topics, and Dana Erlich, Director of Public Diplomacy for the Israeli Consulate in LA, gave a keynote speech. Despite the challenges of starting something new, the conference came together well. “Everyone I asked said yes,” Joelle said, sounding slightly amazed. “I think people realized that there was a need. Jewish kids are not thinking about journal-
Students camparing notes during a “swap shop” at Congregation Bnai David-Judea
ism in a Jewish way, or at all. I think this idea was overdue.” This year, for its inaugural convention, 13 schools were invited; they are hoping to double that number next year. Schools came from the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as from Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and New York. Students from SAR High School in New York were some of those in attendance. Their paper, The Buzz, also runs entirely through after school meetings. When asked how they manage that on top of a regular course load, senior Ricki Heicklen responded, “None of us sleep.” But they enjoyed the convention. “We learned a lot that we can take back to our paper,” said senior Hilla Katz. And their paper, copies of which were available at the convention, is already quite impressive. Both The Buzz and The Boiling Point were filled with thoughtful, well-written, and often funny pieces. These young journalists are, as was plainly evident during the workshops, sharp analytical thinkers and eloquent communicators. As Rabbi Kanefsky of B’nai David-Judea said in his presentation, “The journalistic endeavor is about arousing conversation in the community.” Our up and coming journalists appear to be rising to that call.
Zev Hurwitz of the UCSD Guardian describing the challenges of covering Israel and Jewish issues on college campuses
OCTOBER 31, 2013
The future of the Jewish press took an important step forward this past weekend. Shalhevet High School, in association with the American Jewish Press Association, hosted a convention for Jewish high school newspapers in Los Angeles. This was the first convention for the newly-formed Jewish Scholastic Press Association, an organization designed specifically for Jewish high school papers. Held at B’nai David-Judea Congregation, the convention boasted an impressive array of speakers and presenters, including Rob Eshman (Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal), Susan Freudenheim (Jewish Journal), Jacob Kamaras (Editor-in-Chief, JNS News Service), Jennifer Medina (National Correspondent, The New York Times), Gary Rosenblatt (Editor and Publisher, New York Jewish Week), David Suissa (columnist and President of Tribe Media, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles), and Marshall Weiss (President of the American Jewish Press Association). The atmosphere on the first day of the convention was energetic and happy as kids gathered their badges and found their workshops. David Suissa, who gave one of the opening workshops, discussed journalism’s capability to unite the Jewish people. Speaking conversationally to a small group, he made the point that curiosity, a natural journalistic trait, is one that we as a people need today. While we are all eager to give to others, particularly of our thoughts and opinions, being open to the perspectives of others and curious about where they are coming from is a much more important – and challenging – position. “I found it fascinating,” said Anna Gordon, a Shalhevet student who had been an active participant in the discussion following Mr. Suissa’s presentation. Joelle Keene, Shalhevet’s journalism teacher and faculty advisor for their student paper, The Boiling Point, explained
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Shalhevet hosts First-Ever Conference for Jewish High School Newspapers
Rabbi Kanefsky addressing the issue of Loshon Horah and how it interplays with journalistic responsibilities
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky Speaks at Chabad of the Conejo on “The Lubavitcher Rebbe: Up Close and Personal” by Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
While much has been written and documented on the Chabad Lubavitch Organization and the Rebbe, details and specifics of day to day activities of the Rebbe are known only to the chosen few that have been in close proximity to the Rebbe on a regular basis. There is a troika of individuals that have had that z’chus to maintain a close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe over almost 40 years. A member of this elite group was Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the current public face of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hassidic movement and former secretary to the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky who is the Chairman of the Lubavitch educational and social services organizations deals with the thousands of shluchim that have brought torah and yiddishkeit to Jews throughout the world. It was with a desire to get more of an “up front and close” view of the Rebbe that Rabbi Moshe Bryski, Director and spiritual leader of Chabad of the Conejo in Agoura Hills, CA., invited Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky to provide the many California supporters and members of the Chabad community with a more personal glimpse into some of the daily activities at Chabad Headquarters, under the direction of the Rebbe zt”l. Rabbi Krinsky began by describing his youth growing up in a large Lubavitcher family in a Boston suburb. He was one of the first students of the Maimonides School of Brookline, Massachusetts. The school was founded by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik and his wife Tonya. Maimonides didn’t have a certified English program and Rabbi Krinsky had to attend public school until 1946, when his parents sent him to Lubavitch in New York. His father decided to send him during chol hamoed, before the official start of school, so he would experience Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah with the Rebbe.
“The Freidiker Rebbe passed away in 1950 and the Rebbe would go regularly to visit the ohel of his father-in-law and daven there. It was two years later when I was asked if I had a driver’s license and when I answered in the affirmative, I was given the task of taking the Rebbe to the Ohel. From that time on, I was the designated driver for the Rebbe.” “Were you able to strike up a conversation with the Rebbe during all those times that you were with him and drove him about,” asked Rabbi Bryski, “or where you just in a state of total awe and respect, so that you would not have casual conversations with him?” “We certainly had conversations. There was much that I had to do and the rebbe would discuss things with me. “During our trips he would sit next to me and talk to me about my learning and other things that concerned him.” “It was the Rebbe who notified me that it was time to get married and he played a significant role in my shidduch with Devorah Kasinetz, the daughter of Rabbi Zev and Etta Kasinetz, whose Brownsville home in Brooklyn, New York, was a center for early Chabad-Lubavitch activities in the Unites States in the late 30s and 1940’s”. “It was shortly before my wedding that the Rebbe asked me what my plans were for the future. I admitted that I had none and it was then that the Rebbe offered me the opportunity to join the secretariat. I was honored and of course accepted. I have been there ever since.” “From the first moment that I started my job, there were long hours and long nights.” Rabbi Krinsky went on to describe how early while working for the Rebbe he was called in and stood as he observed the Rebbe editing a letter that was typed for him. “The Rebbe was adding words and phrases in the margins and drawing arrows
as to where everything would go. He then handed me the paper and directed me to redo the letter with the corrections. The Rebbe said to me, “I know it looks confusing, but don’t get confused. Start from the beginning, go word by word, line by line and you will see that everything will work out fine.” “That was a lifelong message that he gave me, said Rabbi Krinsky. “and it is important advice that never left me. Never get confused, go through your work methodically and everything will come out fine.” Rabbi Bryski then asked about the Rebbetzin, who was not a public figure and seemed to stay pretty much in the background. “She was brilliant and had all the wonderful qualities of an eishes chayil. She was devoted to the Rebbe and concerned about him 24/7. They were very close. The Rebbe would have me relate various information to the Rebbetzin, so I got to know her. She called me one night after I had a back injury and I was in pain and could not sit in a chair. “I will call this orthopedic doctor I know, get you an appointment and drive you there. I told her, thank you, but if it is ok, I will drive there. She came with me to the doctor, waited for me like a mother taking care of her child. After returning to Crown Heights, I went into the office. The intercom button rang and I went into the Rebbe’s office. “What did the doctor say?” he asked me. I realized then that the Rebbe was behind getting me to the doctor! I feel till this day that the Rebbe always kept an eye on me, seeing how I was doing. ” As to the doctor’s advice, I told the Rebbe, “Walk straight, he said,” To which the Rebbe commented, “That is what I have always advised people.” But the most amazing story was the testimony during a deposition giving by the
Rebbetzin in the famous seforim case. In 1985 it was discovered that priceless seforim were disappearing from the Chabad library. The culprit turned out to be a relative of the Rebbe who claimed that he had ownership rights to these seforim. Insisting on questioning the ownership of the Library, this person insisted on taking the matter to the secular courts and not to a beis din to decide the matter. The Rebbe reluctantly had to take the matter to Federal court and the renowned Attorney Nathan Lewin filed on behalf of the Rebbe. While many were concerned about her having to testify in a deposition, she was a woman already in her eighties, the Rebbe said, “don’t worry, she would do fine. “After a long and intensive deposition, the attorneys pressed the Rebbetzin with a final question. “Tell us Rebbetzin, did the books belong to your father or not?” Her immediate and most poignant response was, “Everything my father had belonged to the Chasidim. Nothing was his, except for his talis and tefillim.” It was the Rebbetzin’s clear and decisive testimony that played a significant part in the Judge’s findings on behalf of Chabad and the Rebbe. It is clear that the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s aspirations went beyond Crown Heights and covered the entire Jewish World. The brilliance, genius and dedication of the Rebbe to Klal Yisroel cannot be contested or questioned. A major testament to his accomplishments is the vast network of sheluchim that have spread torah and yiddishkeit to the far corners of the world. As Rabbi Krinsky summed it up, “You never got used to the Rebbe. To this day, to me, he was an enigma. As close as I was, you never got used to being in his presence. So much went on, so much had to be done. There was always respect, reverence and love.”
by Alisa Roberts
money.” Dr. Bruce Logan, of New York Downtown Hospital, spoke about the four major terror attacks to strike lower Manhattan, including the September 11th attacks, for which he was present in the hospital. Unfortunately, there were not many survivors of that attack to treat. He discussed the inadequate decontamination site they used that day, and the tremendous progress they have made since. “We went to Israel to meet with the director of the ER and we literally copied things.” They now have the biggest decontamination center in New York City, and one of the most up to date ERs. Dr. William Begg, of Danbury Hospital in Connecticut, began his remarks by explaining that he didn’t enjoy leaving home. “I rarely travel. But I was so inspired by Dr. Applebaum that I felt compelled to come.” He discussed the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School, and stressed prevention as part of disaster preparedness. Treatment, no
matter how ready and fast, can come too late. In Newtown, “No one made it to the emergency room. They all died at the scene.” Dr. Joel Geiderman, of Cedars-Sinai, began his presentation saying, “I think we’re incredibly prepared in Los Angeles.” He went on to note that while we have not suffered any major terror attacks, our hospitals have worked successfully through other disasters, including train crashes, civil unrest, and earthquakes. Dr. Richard Wolfe, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, discussed the marathon bombing. They too were well prepared, having run various drills and welcomed visiting speakers from Israel and elsewhere. In fact, because of the marathon, they were especially prepared that day. The roads to the hospitals had already been cleared in case of any injuries at the race. Dr. Wolfe jokingly claimed that this “eliminated the greatest danger: we took the Boston driver off the road.” He also highlighted the amazing response
times from brave first responders on site. Dr. Ofer Merin, of Shaare Zedek, was the final speaker of the evening. He discussed Shaare Zedek’s unrivalled humanitarian work. They were first on the ground in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and the only foreign aid in Japan after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It was recently disclosed that they have been doing humanitarian aid in Syria during their ongoing civil war as well. They are also leading the way in terms of home disaster preparedness. They run regular full scale drills, where everyone participates. “Because we are in a constant state of war, preparedness on a personal level is very high.” While each of these tragedies has left a permanent mark, and while we can only prepare so much, Dr. Geiderman summed it up best: “We rise to the occasion. I think that’s part of the American spirit. And the Jewish spirit.”
OCTOBER 31, 2013
This Monday night, the American Convention for Shaare Zedek Hospital hosted the Dr. David Applebaum z”l Symposium at the Luxe Hotel in Brentwood. As David Segal, Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, said in his opening briefing, the event was a night “to celebrate a legacy of heroism, ethics, morality, and medicine.” The memory of Dr. David Applebaum, z”l, was very much alive in the room, and not just with his son Dr. Yitzchok Applebaum and his widow Mrs. Debra Applebaum. Many of the physicians who spoke had personal memories to share, and all were inspired by his work. Dr. Applebaum was chief of the emergency room and trauma services at Shaare Zedek before his murder at the hands of a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in 2003. He was a pioneer of emergency medical treatment. The topic for this year’s symposium was Preparedness For Mass Casualty Events. The panel of speakers included doctors from the US and Israel who had dealt with some of worst terror attacks our nation has faced, and devastating mass disasters from around the globe. After opening remarks from Dr. Daniel Wohlgelernter and Dr. Shlomo Melmed and the singing of the national anthems by Cantor Netanel Baram, Mr. John Voight came up to speak. In his brief remarks he asked the question: What is it about the Jews? His answer was, “The Jews are the conscience of the world.” He also spoke about the gift of Israel, and how we must all band together to support Israel and each other. Following his remarks was a brief overview of the work done by Shaare Zedek Hospital. Among many impressive statistics was the number of deliveries performed in the hospital: They expect to see 21,000 babies delivered in 2013, making them the most active maternity unit in Israel (and possibly the world). They also boast several innovative programs, including a new stem cell program. David Segal wrapped up the introductory portion with his words on what the hospital has accomplished. “The people from this hospital are not only treating Israelis, Jews, and Arabs – they’re treating the world…They are not just doing well but doing good. Good for the world.” Dr. Yitzchak Applebaum spoke briefly to introduce Dr. Peter Rosen, the moderator of the evening. Dr. Rosen, a legend in emergency medicine, introduced the panelists and entertained the audience with funny and sometimes wrenching anecdotes between speakers. While opening the discussion of the evening’s topic, he mentioned that he had been told people were upset with the state of our national emergency preparedness. “They may be, but I don’t think they should be,” was his response. He added, “My fear is not where we are today, but where we will not be tomorrow…If you’re going to save lives you’re going to have to spend some
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Shaarei Zedek hosts medical symposium on Preparedness For Mass Casualty Events
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Rocking the Stage: How Jewish Women are Reimagining Hollywood By Rachel Wizenfeld
‘Tis the season - for religious women’s performing arts, that is. From musicals to movies, LA’s Hollywood culture has spilled into the observant Jewish world, inspiring several local women to create exceptional opportunities for frum women and girls to practice and showcase their talents in a rigorous, yet modest and uplifting environment. Coming up right before Chanukah is a production of The Drowsy Chaperone, a Broadway musical being put on by the Jewish Woman’s Reparatory Company (JWRC). Organized and led by Margy Horowitz, a local piano teacher and now theater director, the group produces a different Broadway musical each year – this year will be its 9th -- where 20 or so actresses, singers and dancers from the community perform to a usually sold-out crowd at a local theater. The annual performance has become a ladies-night out for many women in the community who come to cheer on family and friends in the show, support religious women’s theater, and enjoy a show that’s just for them – no male audience members allowed. The Drowsy Chaperone tells the story of a lonely Broadway aficionado who plays the record of his favorite musical while the show comes to life onstage, accompanied by his wry commentary. The JWRC production this year features 23 actresses – most of them moms, who run the gamut of religious Jewish life in LA. The cast ranges from women who grew up frum to women who trained and performed professionally and became religious later in life, to women who wouldn’t mind singing in front of men, but love the camaraderie and connection of a women’s-only performance. “The primary mission is to give an outlet for women that otherwise don’t have an outlet - to put on a play and allow wives, mothers, teachers and professionals who would love to sing and dance, or women who used to be not frum and sang in front of all audiences, and suddenly don’t have an outlet to perform,” says Horowitz. That’s why she varies the shows,
switching off between more drama-centric and song-centric performances, to give women with all sorts of talents a chance to shine. It’s also why she shies away from casting high school girls, who usually have performance opportunities in their schools. The group started when Horowitz learned from a friend about a women’s-only performance happening in Chicago, where Horowitz is originally from, and decided to launch a similar production in LA. After consulting with Rabbi Steven Weil, then-rabbi at Beth Jacob who encouraged the idea, she and a friend walked up and down Pico Boulevard posting fliers about auditions. They were unsure if anyone would show up, but 20 women did for what became their first performance, The Mikado. Horowitz makes no personal profit for her work in organizing and directing the play, which requires hours and hours of time – almost like a part-time job, her husband jokes – but she says she loves doing it for the community. Each year the play gets a little more professional. The first show cost $7,000 total to stage, but the props were minimal and the theater was cheap. Now Horowitz publishes a playbill, rents a professional theater (which costs $20,000 for the week), and rents microphones along with hiring a make-up artist, the occasional musician and other expenses. Total costs run upwards of $50,000, which is offset by ticket sales, ads and donations raised at a yearly parlor meeting. “It’s expensive but it’s worth it,” Horowitz says. She says the impact she’s seen on the community has been phenomenal. Women tell her they plan pregnancies around the show so they won’t miss rehearsals, or arrange vacations so they won’t miss the performances. When Horowitz stepped into Bais Yaakov this past year to serve as music director, the girls were coming over excitedly and saying after they graduate and go to seminary they want to come back and audition. It also presents the Broadway expe-
rience and a slice of secular culture in a Another creative, women-led project modest, sensitive environment. in the works is the production of OperaHorowitz selects shows that can be tion: Candlelight, a professional action adapted easily to a frum audience, where, film with a cast made up primarily of resomewhat ironically, violigious girls and women lence is perfectly accept(there are a few men as able (in last year’s producwell). This is the third feation, 30 people died and no ture film written and directone seemed to mind) but ed by Robin Garbose who romance is cause for conruns Kol Neshama, a percern. She also wants moms forming arts conservatory to feel comfortable about for religious girls based in bringing their young daughLA. ters. Horowitz has tweaked Garbose, an award-winseveral scripts, changing a ning filmmaker and director prostitute in last year’s Les who previously directed for Miserables into a pickpockthe TV series’ Head of the et, and adding a secret wedClass and America’s Most ding to Once Upon a MatWanted (in which criminal tress so a child wouldn’t be encounters were reenacted born out of wedlock. in the hopes of catching real-life fugitive This year’s show takes place in the convicts – the show had a 65% success 1920s and is inherently clean, so it didn’t rate), is now famous for her women’s-only require any changes. musical movies, A Light for Greytowers Batsheva Frankel, a JWRC performer and The Heart that Sings. She’s currentwho studied acting at NYU, said a perk ly raising funding on Kickstarter.com to of the all-women’s performances is that finish editing and production for Operayou get the chance to play a man (taller tion: Candlelight, which tells the story of a women or those with lower voices tend to band of misfits at an Orthodox Jewish girls get the male roles), which she asserts is school who become an unlikely troupe of much more fun, what with the slouching heroes at the heart of a rescue adventure. and other male posVisitors to the Kol es. It also can creNeshama website ate casting snafus, (www.kolneshama. as couples on stage org) can view the can look odd if the movie’s dramatic man is much shorter trailer, which offers than the woman. a hint of the susWhile the repense, spirit and enhearsal schedule is thralling storyline, rigorous, requiring in which all the stars several nights a are well-trained week of hour-long (and adorable!) relirehearsals, Stefanie gious girls. Etshalom, a JWRC Most of the acregular who this tresses in the film year is playing Unare graduates of Kol derling the butler, Neshama, which believes “it’s good Garbose created 14 modeling for your years ago to be the children - that you Jewish answer to go and do someJuilliard. thing for yourself.” Patterned after a More imporclassical conservatantly, Etshalom tory, Kol Neshama asks, “Where else primarily operates can you sing in as a summer camp public as a religious in which experiKol Neshama director Robin Garbose in action women?” enced teachers instruct junior high and high school girls in a variety of techniques: The Drowsy Chaperone will be play- singing, acting, dancing, theme study, iming at the Nate Holden Performing Arts provisation and vocal technique. Center on November 23-24. To purchase “The actor needs to develop in all these tickets, which range from $15 to $40, visit areas in order to be a craftsperson,” she www.jewishwomenstheater.com. says, “and we teach this on a professional level.”
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
To a point, however. In Juilliard, Garbose says, there’s an unspoken awareness that at some point a woman will need to expose herself on stage – getting undressed is considered overcoming a woman’s personal obstacles and is lauded as showing vulnerability and being fully present on stage. “From the Torah perspective, it’s not looked at that way at all…while human emotional vulnerability is also what we’re striving for, certain ideas have to be weeded out,” Garbose says. “I look at media and art and I see the tools as neutral; it’s what you do with them.” After working to train all these actresses, the next natural step was to create actual performance opportunities, in the form of films, plays, dance sets and more. “I’m really interested in creating original and kosher media,” says Garbose, who adds that she saw a tremendous need for artistic and performance opportunities for frum women. “It’s twofold. The women and girls absolutely have a need to express themselves and have something to say, and then there’s a sort of international cultural dialogue that we need to be participating in as well.” While Garbose dreams big, her main limiting factor is money. Even with significant in-kind donations in the form of high-end cameras, costumes and props donated by major studios, an average film still costs $250,000 to produce, with additional funds needed to market and distribute. In 2004, when Garbose shot A Light for Greytowers, she got a sizeable grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, but such funding is hard to come by. “In the frum world, the precedent for supporting the arts doesn’t exist yet – we’re not on the radar,” she says. “And then in the secular world, they’re saying, ‘what’s this women’s-only stuff?’ We found ourselves looking for those fewand-far-between donors that really got us going.” Are people seeing a value to her work? The glowing reactions now are a far cry from the original skepticism she faced when she started out as a pioneer in frum women’s filmmaking. After just two years, though, people began to see how Kol Neshama was helping girls transform in their self-esteem, confidence and maturity. “The arts are an incredible tool for education,” Garbose says. “I wasn’t doing the Wizard of Oz, I was doing ‘Portraits in Faith’ by Marcus Lehmann, so when girls had the opportunity to play these characters, for them it was bringing it to life for them in a whole new and powerful way, and audiences were coming to see the plays and becoming inspired in their Yiddishkeit, and that really impacted the powers that be,” referring to community rabbis who supported and encouraged her work.
What are the halachic issues with producing a frum, female-only film? Since the onus of kol isha (the prohibition of a man listening to a woman’s voice) really falls on the man, Garbose is only required to post “For Women and Girls Only” online and where the movies and plays will be shown. Other interesting religious traditions come into play as well. In New York, movies have been forbidden by chassidish leaders to be shown publicly in Williamsburg, but they are permitted in Borough Park, so for past screenings of her movies, chassidish women came in droves to Borough Park and Crown Heights. Another concern was having both women and men appear in a film, instead of having women dress up as men (like they do in plays), which caused concern for some chassidim. The question was elevated all the way to the dayan (judge) of Bobov (a chassidish sect), who ruled that though it wasn’t their standard, it wasn’t asur (forbidden) because of how it was handled. Great care was taken so that men were only involved when necessary to the plot, and those scenes were handled with rabbinic supervision. Garbose tries to be sensitive and have only married couples play across from each other in a film. In a case where it doesn’t work, such as in Candlelight, where actress Rivka Siegel’s (Krinsky) real-life husband wasn’t available to act, Garbose cast Siegel and her stage husband in separate scenes, so they never appear together. After 14 years of running Kol Neshama, Garbose now has a bevy of trained actresses all over the world who have become cultural ambassadors of their own, through directing and choreographing plays, creating short films, doing music videos, and remaining in contact with Garbose and her continual projects. Hadas Forgy, a Kol Neshama graduate who now lives in Chicago with her husband and children, says that her experience at Kol Neshama was of considerable impact. “Since being there, I’ve worked for at least four to five different schools directing plays, choreographing…it really did let me know that this is something I could do for the rest of my life,” she says. Rivka Siegel (Krinsky) is a familiar face in the Garbose films (she appears in all three and was the lead in The Heart that Sings). An LA native who attended Bais Chaya Mushka and now works here as a painter and illustrator (rivkasiegel.com), Siegel says that acting helped break her out of her natural shyness and become outgoing and comfortable with herself. She also notes that starring in a film requires more focus than acting on stage. In Candlelight, where Siegel plays a kidnapped mother of two, she would be getting teary-eyed and emotional in preparation for her scene when someone would crack a joke or the director would call
More Performance Opportunities for Frum Women In addition to JWRC and Kol Neshama, a local dance studio and performing arts program called A Time for Dance offers drama, dance and vocal classes for girls in elementary school through high school, and dance classes for women. Sheila Meyer, director of A Time for Dance, says the program offers the same quality you would get in any other performing arts studio with professional and experienced instructors, except in a noncompetitive yet challenging environment that’s also tznius. In addition to developing technique, the girls’ program culminates in an end-ofyear performance – this year’s is The Wizard of Oz – which showcases their work. Many Kol Neshama girls attend Meyer’s program during the year, and she says the training they receive at both programs really shows during high school productions when she can pick out in a moment who’s had training and who hasn’t. In most high school productions, the girls are simply learning quickly to deliver their lines, while at A Time for Dance (along with Kol Neshama) they’re getting technique and training to become an actress. “They were more confident and had better stage presence,” Meyer says, “even if they came just for one year…the fact that they’re part of a team and practicing and performing, it seals the deal.” For women, Meyer organized a religious women’s ballet group called Yachad Dance Ensemble, which every other year puts on a full-length, choreographed ballet portraying a Jewish theme. Last year’s was “The Spirit of Shabbos,” in which each dance piece represented an aspect of Shabbos such as “Aishes Chayil” or candle lighting, amid song, personal stories and drama, and the performance prior was called “Crown of Creation” about women in Tanach. Nearly 450 women attend these powerful performances and all proceeds go to tzedakah. Meyer, who dreamed of opening her own dance studio since she was a child, says that performing is “something that really changes your life.” Learn more or view the class schedule at www.ATime4Dance.com.
Chaya Solika Garbose performing in The Rose, a kosherized version of Beauty and the Beast
“cut!” and the mood would break. The audience also feels bigger while acting in a movie. Onstage in a play, one can barely see the audience through the darkness, but with a film, there are at least a dozen other actors, camera crew and techies around. With all the distractions, “it’s a lot harder to stay in character,” Siegel says, “but I love it. There’s so much adrenaline.” The time for Jewish women’s theater is now, says Garbose. While the buzz phrase “The Jews invented Hollywood” remains, it seems as if everything has been done in Hollywood except for authentically Jewish
films. Fill the Void, an acclaimed movie by Israeli director Rama Burshtein that came out earlier this year, is another example of a recent movie depicting authentic Jewish life. “That’s the next frontier, and I hope I have the merit of being a director that can bring these films to fruition,” Garbose concludes. To learn more about Kol Neshama and help fund Operation: Candlelight, visit www.kolneshama.org.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Resolution #1: Zone of Proximal Development Sometimes a great body of work can almost go largely ignored. A famous example of that is Galileo Galilei. This great 16 century mathematician and scientist was considered to be beyond the pale and way too extreme in his lifetime. A large chunk of his theories went ignored until the world caught up to his brilliant mind. Another example is Lev Vyogtzsky. He was admitted to Moscow State University th
Resolution #2: Iron Mike I’d like to draw your attention, though, to a more important resolution to the question we posed at the outset. We asked how come according to Rabbeinu Yona there was a need for G-d to test Abraham after he passed the hardest of all tests – the Binding of Isaac? Maybe the 9 test (the binding of Isaac) was simply too big. Allow me to explain. Without a doubt the greatest boxer of the 1980’s was “Iron” Mike Tyson. Fights would end in record time as his legendary uppercut made a mockery of his opponents. But then it all changed with one fateful Shabbos night in Tokyo. The young legend faced the epitome of all underdogs, Buster Douglas. The world was shocked; Tyson lost. What happened? Sometimes when you have done it all, you let your th
guard down. Abraham had faced the greatest test that mankind would ever know of. He triumphantly stood up to the test and offered his son. But the real test only comes after you have achieved it all. Will Abraham have the fortitude to stay strong? Or will he let his guard down? We say in Psalms “mi ya’aleh B’Har Hashem” – who can ascend the mountain of G-d? And subsequently “mi yakum bimkom kodsho” - who can stay in His holy abode? It’s one thing to pass that great test. It’s another thing to stay at that same level. Our lives are an aggregate of peaks and valleys. We hope that there are more peaks than there are valleys. We need to keep in our mind that the goal is not the peak. The peak is just the beginning. When we reach the proverbial summit and accomplish a significant goal that we’ve been striving toward, it is at that moment that our real work begins. The challenge with staying strong in your victory is that the weather isn’t always the same. After an economic boom often comes an economic recession. After an innovative creative breakthrough comes a competitor who adopts a similar and sometimes more advanced strategy. How do we adopt the strategies that allow us to always stay a winner? There is a famous passage from the Talmud (Makkos 24b): “Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria, Rabbi Joshua and Rabbi Akiva went up to Jerusalem. When they reached Mt. Scopus, they tore their garments. When they reached the Temple Mount, they saw a fox emerging from the place of the Holy of Holies. The others started weeping; Rabbi Akiva laughed. They asked him, “Why are you laughing?” Rabbi Akiva responded, “Why are you weeping?” They respond, “A place [so holy] that it is said of it, ‘The stranger that approaches it will surely die,’ and now foxes pass through it, and we shouldn’t cry?” Rabbi Akiva came back to them and said, “That is why I laugh. Because it says, ‘I have for Me faithful witnesses--Uriah the Priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.’ What is the connection between Uriah and Zechariah? Uriah was [in the time of] the First Temple, and Zechariah was [in the time of] the Second Temple? But the Torah makes Zachariah’s prophecy dependent upon Uriah’s prophecy? With Uriah, it says: ‘Therefore, because of you, Zion shall be plowed as a field; [Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the Temple Mount like the high places of a forest.]’ With Zachariah it says, ‘Old men and women shall yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem.’ As long as Uriah’s prophecy had not been fulfilled, I feared that Zechariah’s
prophecy may not be fulfilled either. But now that Uriah’s prophecy has been fulfilled, it is certain that Zechariah’s prophecy will be fulfilled.” With these words they replied to him: “Akiva, you have consoled us! Akiva, you have consoled us!” Embedded in this prophetic message of hope is the tools we need to keep our head up. 1) Rabbi Akiva forecasted. He looked ahead. The Mishnah in Avos says: “Who is wise? He who sees the nolad – result.” Or as Covey likes to put it: “Begin with the end in mind.” A skilled manager is good at forecasting, seeing ahead. We can’t simply live in a bubble ignoring writing waiting to be written upon the wall. Simulate results, predict possible pitfalls, anticipate movements and plan accordingly. 2) Rabbi Akiva brought laughter. Different climates demand different approaches. Flexibility among different circumstances creates the opportunities we need to flourish. My teacher, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, commented that great leaders need not ask what did the past great leaders do, but rather what would the past great leaders do in this new circumstance. It’s a profound nuance that changes the way we engage a changing global market. Taking our construct to a business model would suggest that one ramp up advertising during a recession. Why? During a recession most companies invariably pull back. 3) Rabbi Akiva didn’t initially respond to their question, “Why are you laughing?” Instead he retorted by asking them, “Why are you crying?” Why? He didn’t just want to present his own view. He wanted to first shake up the way they viewed the world. In order to survive at the top or on an upswing we have to be willing to shake up the culture around us. We have to be willing to make those who are part of our team or those who assist us in our journey open to a new way of viewing the world. We have to be committed to educating those around us toward the concept of flexibility, forecasting, adaptation. This way, when change does come our way and circumstances are mercurial we have a team in place ready to use a synergistic approach to staying atop that mountain. May G-d give us the strength to climb the mountain and may G-d give us the ability stay there in victory.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
OCTOBER 31, 2013
I remember, as a kid, my walk to Synagogue February 12, 1990. That walk stands out because I passed a newspaper. On the front of the newspaper I saw something that I didn’t expect to see. There he was lying on the floor out for the count. The undefeatable Iron Mike Tyson knocked out in Tokyo by an unknown named Buster Douglas. How could this happen? How could a 37-0 undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world take such a fall to somebody who didn’t have much success before or after that fateful night? According to tradition Abraham faced ten critical tests in his life. The exact order is a matter of dispute. According to the most commonly accepted count, Abraham’s 10 test was the test by which all are compared to: the binding of Isaac. Abraham is asked to offer his beloved son on the altar and kill him. In the last moment G-d stops Abraham. An array of creative thinkers have grappled with this scenario from Maimonides to Soren Kierkegaard to Arcade Fire. The sheer magnitude of its implied tension makes it fitting for a 10 test. But there is another way to count Abraham’s 10 tests. According to 12 century Spanish scholar Rabbeinu Yonah, the binding of Isaac was the 9 test. The 10 test was whether Abraham would find the most sacred burial plot for his deceased wife, Sarah. Excuse me?! What’s the point of a minor league, yet meaningful, test after he has already passed the test of the binding of Isaac? According to Rabbeinu Yonah’s count, shouldn’t G-d have stopped after 9? I’d like to suggest two possible resolutions.
in 1913 under a “Jewish lottery” that only had a 3% quote on Jews. His work was considered controversial and non-applicable in the West for many years until a theory he developed caught our attention. His theory is known as the Zone of Proximal Development. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZOPD) posits that recognizing the area where a child is challenged just above the level they are currently at is the sweet spot for child development. Information that is too easy is below the range of optimal development. Information that is too challenging is likewise beyond the normal mode of development. But if we can place that lesson in the perfect spot between easy and too hard then we have struck developmental gold. The penultimate test of the binding of Isaac was simply too big. It was larger than life and in some way truly didn’t assess the level that Abraham is really at. There are many people who step up to the plate when the tragedy is a huge one. When the devastation is way beyond a manageable range, certain people are very good at emerging at those moments. But often, the response is less forthcoming when the tragedy or the pain of a friend is at a more moderate level. We are less likely to go into “battle mode” when the situation isn’t as dire. The same could be said for Abraham. Of course he stepped up at the binding of his son. It was such a huge test that it told us barely anything about who he really is. What is Abraham really like when the cause is not as dramatic? Finding a burial plot for his wife Sarah is deeply important for Abraham but it is a natural part of life. How committed will he be and how far will he put himself out to secure one of the holiest spots in the universe? With this test, Abraham has found his zone of proximal development.
THE JEWISH HOME
One Night in Tokyo How to Stay on Fire
THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Avraham Holid es Yitzchak Rabbi Reuven Wolf
This week’s Parsha, Parshas Toldos, begins with a review of the life of our patriarch, Yitzchak: “These are the offspring of Yitzchak, the son of Avraham; Avraham holid et Yitzchak—Avraham fathered Yitzchak.” One might wonder, if Yitzchak is the son of Avraham, then of course “Avraham was the father of Yitzchak.” Why does the Torah belabor this obvious conclusion? So Rashi tells us that this opening of the Parsha is aimed at countering the “scoffers of the time” who claimed that Avraham was not really the father of Yitzchak. Yitzchak was born after Sarah was abducted by King Avimelech, so that really (the scoffers said) Avimelech was Yitzchak’s father. Rashi then cites the Midrash (and the Talmud in Baba Metzia, 87), that Hashem made Yitzchak’s face to be so much like Avraham’s, that anyone looking at them could not help but conclude that Yitzchak indeed must be the child of Avraham. At this point we might wonder why it required this special act of Divine Intervention to make Yitzchak look like Avraham. After all, isn’t it very common that a child looks like at least one parent? Why did it require a special Divine act to make Avaham and Yitzchak look alike? But we must realize that one can tell a great deal from the face of a person—especially a person whose personality is a strong and forthright one. Avraham and Yitzchak were two very different people. The Sages tell us that Avraham personified kindness—he was the very incarnate symbole of chesed— a level of loving kindness that represented the Kindness of Hashem on earth; by contrast, Yitzchak, the Sages tell us, represented strength, discipline and might—he personified the quality of gevurah—mightiness—a very different quality that would certainly have been apparent on the faces of these two men. (For haven’t we all met such people: people whose very face radiates kindness and love; and others who very face exudes strength, austere might and uncompromising discipline?) It thus required a special miracle from God to make the two men, father and son, to appear to be “cut from the same mold” and have identical faces, so that there would be no doubt about Yitzchak’ parentage. But there is still an oddity that needs explaining: Why convey this point here in this Parsha, after we have already heard so much about Yitzchak and witnessed so much of his life in the previous Parshas? At this point, Yitzchak is sixty years old: the “scoffers” are long gone and the issue of Yitzchak’s parentage that was important when he was a child, is now no longer a subject for discussion. We can only conclude that this fact— Avraham holid es Yitzchak: Avraham fathered Yitzchak—is relevant to us at this
point. The Posuk wants us to know that Yitzchak was, indeed his father’s son, beyond simply looking like his father. Yet, this is even more difficult, because the personalities of these two individuals are so different: one was the embodiment of kindness and mercy; the other a tower of strength and fortitude. Perhaps we need
from the public. In our time, Fear is a difficult word—“We have nothing to fear,” a leader of this country once said, “but fear itself.” And isn’t that just another way of saying, we have absolutely nothing to fear—at all? So many people of our generation are “turned off” by fear because it is thought to be so negative and destructive
LOVE REQUIRES A SENSE OF SELF
to look a bit deeper to find an answer to this paradox—the soul of a man the ideal of strength and might, clothed in the outer appearance of a kind and forgiving father. When we look at Yitzchak, we find that there are surface elements of his life that convey elements of kindness, and that make his life and his personality even more paradoxical and difficult to fathom. For example, consider Yitzchak’s birth. Yitzchak (the Talmud in Tractate Shabbos tells us) was born on Pesach, even though the holiday that is closely identified with Yitzchak is Shavu’oth. Pesach is in the spring and is a happy time of year—the very holiday of Pesach exudes joy and elation at the exodus from Egypt and the taking of the Jewish People out of bondage into Freedom. Yet, the Patriarch that is the personification of joy and kindness, Avraham, was born on Rosh Hashanah, the august and fearsome day of judgment, and Yitzchak, the personification of the severe and the solemn, is born on Pesach. More paradox. Yitzchak’s very name means “laughter.” Combine that with the joyous time of year in which he was born—and add the fact that he resembled the kindest of men—Avraham—and we are at a loss to explain how all of this fits the austere, severe, and powerful personality our Sages attribute to Yitzchak. To resolve this puzzle, we need to think a bit deeper about what our task is in this world. We have Mitzvos, to be sure, but we also have a goal that is served by the Mitzvos. And that goal is two-fold: we are charged with two tasks. First, we are asked to develop the inner feeling of Ahavas Hashem—Love of G-d. And we are also given the task of Yiras Hashem—Fear of G-d. Now in this era in which we live, the first task—Loving Hashem—finds many supporters and many followers. Everyone can get behind the sensation of love and there is something warm—“warm and fuzzy”—about loving G-d and feeling His love in return. But ours is not an age in which fear of Hashem gets rave reviews
an emotion. But let us remember what the ultimate goal of both of these internal feelings, this two-fold work that we perform on our souls that leads us to our ultimate goal. And what is that goal? To be closer to Hashem—very much closer. So close, in fact, that we can cleave to Him—a level of attachment to Hashem that we see as the sublime goal and wonderful objective of our Mitzvos. We call this goal “Dveikus”, and it is the result of our inner struggle to inculcate within us these two feelings as the essence of our program to come closer, closer, and ever closer to Hashem. To accomplish this goal, we need both Ahavah, and Yirah—Love and Fear—but there is an important difference between these two emotions. Love requires a sense of self—we love something because of what it does for us, what it means to us, what it allows us to do for it. Love can never be completely and utterly selfless; there has to be at least some small bit of self that is aware of the love and is the source of the love. Fear, on the other hand, consumes the self—it can grow so great and so awesome that it annihilates and dissolves the self into a state of panic and senselessness—and ultimately into insensate selflessness. When faced with fear of devastating proportions, the person cannot eat, or feel anything— neither love nor joy. Fear paralyzes both outwardly and inwardly. In order for someone to sense the great love for and of Hashem, our sages tell us, we must first have that sense of self that stands in the way and separates us from Hashem. As great as our love may be for the Almighty, there is a limit to how close we can come to Hashem—and that limit is measured by the self we need to have in order to love Him. In order to bridge that barrier, to come ultimately close to Hashem so that we may cleave unto Him, we need to Fear—to stand in awe and tremble at His Majesty—to be consumed and dissolved in the fear we feel at His power, His Majesty, and His might. In this process, we
must negate and completely obliterate our selves—or better, allow the experience of Hashem to fill us completely with Fear so that there is nothing of ourselves to stand in the way. Then it becomes possible for the Love between us and Hashem to allow a coming together, a cleaving, a Deveikus. The answer to the paradoxes we have seen in Yitzchak is that he is not the antithesis of Avraham. He is possessed of the kindness that Avraham pioneered and brought to the world. But it is the fear of Yitzchak—Pachad Yitzchak—that allows that love to come as close as possible— right up to the Glory and Presence of Hashem. This is the “advance” Yitzchak makes, and why he is a critical link in the chain of he Avot, the Patriarchs. Thus, when Avraham passes the test of the Akeidah and is prepared to sacrifice his son, Yitzchak, to Hashem, Hashem says to Avraham, “Now I know that you are one who fears G-d.” One may ask: Why is this known only now? And why is this not said of Yitzchak? But It is known now of Avraham because he has demonstrated the ability to be consumed by the fear of G-d and to become completely selfless—selfless to the point that there was no hesitation, none of the arguing with Hashem that took place when Hashem wanted to destroy Sodom. In that verse, Hashem is saying, “I knew that you were one who loved Me, but now I know you can go further: you can negate your self completely and then attach yourself—with Love!—to Me directly,” as it were. Of Yitzchak, there never was any doubt about this. Yitzchak had all the attributes that Avraham had bequeathed to humanity and the world—you could see that just by looking at him!—but then he added another one—Fear of G-d—and completed the task of cleaving to Hashem. So when Yitzchak laughed, it was with self-less joy made possible by his mastery of the Yiras Hashem—his fear of the Majesty and Power of G-d. We learn the ways of Chesed, kindness, from Avraham, so must we, their children, learn the awesome combination of Love and Fear from Yitzchak Avinu.
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.
Where Does Jewish Learning Take Place?
By Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz
stances, the Torah itself seems to apply the term “hiddur” to the Mitzvah itself (calling the Esrog, for example, “pri eitz haddar”: usually translated, “a beautiful fruit of a tree.”) The question that Rav Chaim addressed was: is the hiddur, the enhancement of the Mitzvah, considered part of the essence of the Mitzvah itself, or is it an extra requirement that is separate from the Mitzvah itself. If the latter, it could then be seen as simply part of a Jew’s general commitment to performing Mitzvos in a beautiful and enhanced way—as part of the general devotion a Jew has to the performance of Mitzvot and service to Hashem. What difference would it make whether or not the hiddur, the enhancement, was part of the Mitzvah or simply an addendum to it? Well, one difference would be whether or not one could perform the hiddur in a case where the Mitzvah could be done on Shabbat in spite of requiring doing something ordinarily forbidden on Shabbat. In the case of Esrog, such a consideration would not be applicable since one is not obliged to perform that Mitzvah on Shabbat. But what about a Mitzvah that could be performed on Shabbat, such as circumcision, Milah, which entails an act (drawing blood) that would ordinarily be forbidden. (My apologies to those who read the articles that appear in this publication at their Sabbath table, as I am told some people do. I guess I should have warned you this was coming.) In Milah, too, there is the minimum requirement—and there is also an opportunity for Hiddur. To be precise: there is an extent of cutting that marks a minimum and fulfillment of the sacred precept of Milah, but there are “enhancements”—further cutting that, though part of the ceremony, do not disqualify the Milah should that tissue not be cut. In the language of the Halakhah, these are the “tzi-tzin sheayno me’akvin”—“tissue that [failure to cut during circumcision] do not render the circumcision invalid.” Now, if the Milah took place on Shabbat (as it should if that is the child’s eighth day since birth), may one cut the tzi-tzin she-ayno me’akvin on the Sabbath? One might have thought one could not because only the absolutely necessary part of the Milah may be performed on Sabbath; only that part of the ceremony supersedes the Shabbat, but not the Hiddur part of it. Yet the Rambam declares that these strands of tissue may be cut on Shabbat, and Rav Chaim deduces from this that, “Hiddur Mitzvah Ke’Mitz-
vah”—the enhancement of a Mitzvah has the same status as the Mitzvah itself—and the same attendant importance and the same ability that the Mitzvah itself has to supercede Shabbat, if the Mitzvah itself has that ability. It’s a beautiful concept (in spite of the unease anyone might feel discussing it in the context of Milah), and it gives the entire concept of Hiddur Mitzvah a greater place in Jewish Life. Consider that for much of Jewish history, Jews were forced to hide—to hide their performance of Mitzvot and their very identity as Jews from their neighbors. The artifacts that we may take for granted and routinely use to perform different ceremonies of Jewish life—a challah cover; a Kiddush cup; a Shabbat candlestick—were not commonly displayed openly in a Jewish home until well into the modern era. Even in the synagogue, where everyone agrees that enhancing the Sefer Torah itself is a Biblical Mitzvah, a Torah-based obligation, it is only in the modern era that it is considered an unquestioned basic requirement that a Torah scroll have a finely embroidered cover, a silver crown and breastplate, and the Torah arc have a fine curtain (peroches)—even a fine white one for the High Holy Days. The shiur ended and the Rav went to Brookline for Shabbat. I stayed in Onset, vacationing with my family, and I privately continued my own study of Yoma, the tractate dealing with the laws and Temple Service of Yom Kippur. And there I discovered—that very Shabbat—that a similar situation applied to the activities of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur: all the Hidurrim—the embellishments—that he might practice while performing the avodah, the service of the Day of Atonement, were all permitted to him along with the basic service activity itself. He need not refrain from any enhancement or embellishment of the service (the Rambam ruled) any more than he had to refrain from the service itself, even if such activities would be forbidden on the Shabbat (and, it should be realized, Yom Kippur is considered Shabbat par excellence). You would think I’d be delighted to discover this—a clear and striking proof to what I had learned just a day or two ago from the Rav. But in fact, I was a bit shaken. What are the odds, I asked myself, that I would come across so dramatic a corroboration of what the Rav had taught within a day of having first heard it? Had I convinced myself, or deluded myself,
into thinking this was indeed a proof and indication that “Hiddur Mitzvah ke-Mitzvah”—simply because I wanted it to be true? When the Rav came to Onset the following week, I went over to him after Shiur and asked him if the Halakha that a Kohen Gadol can do the Hiddurim of the Avodah on Yom Kippur is also a proof that the Hiddur of a Mitzvah is like the Mitzvah itself. “Of course.” He said. “In fact, Rav Chaim says so explicitly in his work. Why, do you doubt it?” “No. But I thought it was too much a coincidence that I should study that particular piece of Gemara so soon after Shiur last week, in which we learned that very principle. So I thought I’d better check.” He looked at me for a moment silently, and then he said something I’ll never forget: “I’m guessing,” he said, “that you learn by yourself. That you don’t have a chavrusa [a study partner] up here.” I nodded. Then I said, smiling, “I’m an ‘only child’, rebbi; I’m used to ‘going it alone’.” “That’s a big mistake, Tzi Hirsch. It’s only with a chavrusa that any real learning takes place. If you had learned that Gemara in Yoma with a chavrusa, both of you would have turned it over, considered it from every angle, and you would have had no doubt about what it showed or meant. You know the Talmudic phrase, ‘oh chavruta, oh mitutah’—‘either friendship, or death’? It’s usually thought to mean that a person cannot live without human friendship and contact. But I’ve always understood it to refer to the learning chavrusa, the person with whom you study in the Beis Midrash [the study hall]. That’s what keeps you from deadly mistakes and misconceptions. That’s where learning—real Jewish learning—takes place: between you and your chavrusa.” In a world where scholars talk at each other across the chasms of journal pages, never “talking it out” to the satisfaction of a kindred mind and spirit, we can appreciate the special power and quality of Jewish learning—learning through the give-and-take with your study partner, that has been the essence of Jewish learning for centuries—and ultimately the source of its brilliance. _________________________________ “Touro Corner” is edited by Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz, a member of the Touro College-Los Angeles Faculty.
OCTOBER 31, 2013
This incident occurred when I was in my twenties (giving lie to my belief that everything important I ever learned I learned before I entered college at 17). I was vacationing in Onset, a town at the very beginning of Cape Cod—hence the name. The shiur I attended during the week was being given by Rav Soloveitchik, zt”l, in the little shul that served vacationers in Onset. For some reason, he returned to Brookline every Friday for Shabbos and returned to the Cape on Monday. (We joked that, having commuted weekly from Boston to New York, as he had done for so many years, perhaps he found it impossible to simply live somewhere and give Shiurim… right there!) During one shiur at the end of a week, the Rav had occasion to mention a famous teaching, a chiddush, of his grandfather, Rav Chaim Solovetchik, zt”l, or, as he was known, Rav Chaim Brisker, who had revolutionized Talmudic learning in the late 19th century. The teaching dealt with the concept of Hiddur Mitzvah—the requirement that a person performing a Mitzvah, a precept, is required to beautify it by providing a more beautiful object with which to perform the Mitzvah. This is especially required for, say, the Mitzvah of Lulav and Esrog: it is possible for someone to fulfill the Mitzvah of the Four Kinds on Sukkos with an inexpensive (but kosher) Esrog, but there is a special, extra fulfillment of the Mitzvah if someone has spent more in order to procure an especially beautiful Esrog. Now one may wonder, is the requirement of beautifying a Mitzvah itself a Mitzvah mandated by the Torah, meaning a requirement of Biblical origin and authority; or is it a rabbinic requirement? Regarding most Mitzvot, there is a dispute (a machlokes) by the early Rabbinic sages (the “Rishonim”) on this issue: The Ra’avad believes it is a Biblical precept; the Torah says (Shemot 15:2): Zeh Keili-li ve-anveihu—“This is my G-d and I will glorify Him,” which is understood to mean it is a requirement not simply to perform a Mitzvah with a bare minimum, but to do more. Others—the Ritva, for example—believe it is no more than a rabbinic requirement. Two Mitzvot, however, are held by virtually all rabbinic authorities to Biblically demand extra enhancement beyond the minimum: the Mitzvah of the Four Kinds—Lulav and Esrog—and the Mitzvah of proper, respectful treatment of a Sefer Torah, a Torah Scroll. In both in-
THE JEWISH HOME
THE JEWISH HOME
OCTOBER 31, 2013
The Jewish Scent
Once again, in this week’s parsha, we read an account portrayed in just a few pesukim which reverberates through the ages. This week, in Parshas Toldos, we study the exchange between Yaakov and Eisov which eternally defines the role of Jews in golus and draws the lines of an eternal division bein Yisroel lo’amim. Every year, as the baal kriah reads how Yaakov Avinu, clad in the shaggy coat of his brother, enters his father’s chamber, our heartbeats quicken. We wonder how his father would accept him. We then hear how Yitzchok Avinu, unable to see, touched Yaakov and felt the hair of his coat, proclaiming, “The gentle speech and mannerisms are that of Yaakov, but the hands are those of Eisov.” Limited as his vision was, Yitzchok sensed something else. The posuk relates that when he kissed Yaakov, Yitzchok smelled his rei’ach and vayevurcheihu, blessed him. Rashi states that though the cloak was made of goat skin, which generally has an awful odor, the fragrance of Gan Eden entered the room with Yaakov. The posuk continues that upon noting that scent, Yitzchok proclaimed, “Reiach beni kereiach hasodeh asher beircho Hashem.” Rashi quotes the Chazal that Yaakov smelled of an apple orchard. Upon sensing the fragrance of the orchard, Yitzchok determined that Yaakov deserved the brachos of “Veyiten lecha.” Those brachos have endured through the ages - yiten veyachzor veyiten - and continue to sustain us. The Darkei Moshe quotes the Maharil, who says that this is the reason we dip an apple in honey on Rosh Hashanah: “kedei lirmoz al sedei tapuchim hayoduah.” Yitzchok smelled the chakal tapuchim as Yaakov appeared before him for the brachos. It is interesting to note that the Vilna Gaon in Shulchan Aruch [O.C. 583] states that it is well known that the story transpired on Rosh Hashanah. Apparently this is based on the Zohar in Emor 99b. The sweet scent of the orchard is what made the difference in Yaakov receiving the eternal blessings. If we approach this week’s parsha properly, we can learn a powerful lesson. We all know that we are judged by our words and actions. This week we find that we are also judged by our scent.
The intangibles and nuances of Yiddishkeit are what define us. One can be a great tzaddik, accomplished in deed and learning, but if he is lacking that “shmeck,” if something doesn’t smell right, he isn’t worthy of brochah. We are always being judged. As soon as a religious Jew steps out of his home in the morning wearing his yarmulka and distinctive dress, he is being studied, scrutinized and observed. The smell of Gan Eden is acquired by living a life of Torah and mitzvos, by being proper, kind, gentle and honest. Everything we do has to be beyond reproach. We have to be people about whom others can say that they sense the reiach of Gan Eden. We have to be people about whom others say that they see upon us the blessings of Hashem. Rav Meir Shapiro traveled to America to raise funds for his yeshiva, Chachmei Lublin. He visited several cities, soliciting donations from supporters of Torah. One of his hosts recounted that before leaving the house, the Lubliner Rov would stand in front of a mirror and brush his beard. The host was stunned. Noticing the sense of wonderment, the great rosh yeshiva explained his actions. “Here in America, there are many people from the old country who have discovered a new way of life. Many have left the path of their parents and grandparents from the old country, tragically veering off in a different direction. At the speeches I deliver in the cities I visit, I notice people who fit that description sitting in the audience. Some even bring their children to hear me speak. “It is likely that they come because with my rabbonishe hat, coat and long beard, I remind them of the rabbonim of their youth. As much as they try to acclimate to the new world, they miss the old one. I might be the only European rov their children have ever seen. I want the experience to be as effective as possible. I want to etch into their memory and conscience as positive an image as possible of an old-fashioned rov.” The Lubliner Rov lived a life of perfection in deed and thought. The subtleties and intangibles were equally beautiful, so that the scent of the garden never left him. The Torah is composed of halachos
and dinim, but not every situation is directly addressed in Shulchan Aruch. In situations such as those, an appreciation for the middah which constitutes the reiach of an ehrliche Yid is needed. It is in those times that people who are truly committed to the Yiddishkeit of Shivisi Hashem lenegdi somid reflect the beauty of the Torah way of life in the way they comport themselves. This mode of conduct is what Shlomo Hamelech refers to in his admonition not to depart from your mother’s teachings: “Al titosh Toras imecha” (Mishlei 1:8). The messages of a mother comprise the spirit of Torah. It is interesting to note that Yaakov Avinu embodied the middah of emitting the pleasant reiach specifically after following the direction of his mother to enter Yitzchok’s room, fulfilling the dictum of “Al titosh Toras imecha.” When we are asked questions by outsiders, we should ensure that we speak in a way that will generate Kiddush Hashem and not, chalilah, the opposite. Torah
and mitzvos are not bargaining chips. They are a way of life. When
politicians come around tempting us to support them, we should let them know that we follow an ancient creed and we are not for sale. We don’t always go with the winner. We have more pride than that. We have values and principles that are not for sale. When people turn to us for advice and counsel, and look up to us for guidance, we should present a proper tower of faith and always behave in an upstanding fashion. For a most inspiring example of how we can engage the outside world while maintaining a value system and living by its dictates, we need look no further than Reb Moshe Reichmann zt”l, a global figure with business interests in many realms and countries, but first and foremost an ambassador of Toras imecha. Whoever dealt with him sensed the reiach hasodeh. They saw the seriousness on Reb Moshe’s face and understood that this was a man with a higher calling. They blessed him and they trusted him, for they knew he was a scion of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov. They knew he wouldn’t lie, cheat or take advantage of anyone. In his business dealings, he was a gentleman of stature, dignity and integrity. In tzedakah, he was a trailblazer, setting
the bar and standard of what is demanded of the wealthy, going to unprecedented lengths in supporting the poor and needy. He was an unparalleled builder of Torah, establishing and supporting yeshivos, kollelim and Bais Yaakovs throughout Klal Yisroel, never seeking anything for himself. When Israeli mosdos haTorah were threatened by financial deficits several decades ago, he made up the difference and saved the world of Torah. He didn’t just give, he gave happily. He made himself available for collectors, never talking down to anyone. Every Toronto institution knew that he would cover their deficit. And when his business experienced a downturn and he lost billions of dollars, he didn’t sulk in a corner. He felt that he had the responsibility to keep the local mosdos afloat until they could regain their bearings. He himself went around soliciting on their behalf. And to the extent that he was able to, he continued writing checks. A prominent Toronto chessed personality and confidant of his accompanied hundreds of needy individuals to the Reichmann home over the years. He related that although Mr. Reichmann was always generous, what most touched him was not the size of the check. Nor was it the way he patiently listened to the pitch, respectfully asking questions and displaying a genuine interest in the cause. What this person found most touching was the way Reb Moshe would walk each visitor to the door and help them into their coat, offering them a parting message about their own significance. The askan recounted how the people he would accompany left the Reichmann home feeling ten feet tall, ready to take on the world, certain that their particular cause was a special one. Reb Moshe managed to imbue them with chizuk to go on, not only with words and actions. With his bearing and conduct he transmitted a strong unspoken message, enabling fundraisers to have the self-confidence to continue in their missions and visit benevolent Jews in the tzedakah-capital of Toronto. As you will no doubt read, Mr. Reichmann worked his way up the economic ladder. Following the war, he learned in England, Mir and Ponovezh, where he was
The bochur was quiet as he contemplated the reality, imagining the various scents of the Jewish year, and he nodded slowly. “Okay,” he told his rebbi, “you win.” The boy unpacked his stuff and returned to his seat in the bais medrash, along with the familiar smell of a wellworn Gemara he pulled off the shelf and the binding tape that held it together. Chazal tell us that the sense of smell is spiritual. It is pleasing to the neshomah. Even if this bochur’s guf was frustrated, his neshomah wasn’t about to give up on the lovely scent of avodah and the reiach nichoach of Yiddishkeit. Talmidei chachomim and great men always knew how to conduct themselves in a manner that allowed the Torah they acquired to be reflected. The ways of Torah are pleasant. “Derocheha darchei noam.” A friend of mine walked past the mikvah in the Shaarei Chesed neighborhood of Yerushalayim one Erev Shabbos. The great gaon, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, was leaving the building as someone right behind him was asking him a halacha question. Before answering the question, Rav Shlomo Zalman stopped at the door and turned to the simple Sefardic Jew who sat at a table near the mikvah’s entrance. In addition to taking the mikvah gelt, it was the man’s task to heat the mikvah and ensure that there were enough towels. It was apparent on his face that he took great pride in his job, As he was about to leave, Rav Shlomo Zalman leaned over and patted the fellow on the shoulder. “Hamikvah hayom hayah ‘achla,’” he said, using the slang term borrowed from Arabic which means “wonderful.” The attendant’s face lit up. The gadol hador had found words to please him, reaching beyond his vast repository of Torah and tapping into the reiach nichoach to lift the heart of another Jew. An encounter with a great person, a gadol, is to breathe in the reiach nichoach, which different people experience on diverse levels. Biographies of many roshei yeshiva, rabbonim, rebbes and all types of good Jews feature different versions of the same story: how non-Jewish workers and storeowners came and mourned at their funerals, and how even people oblivious to the niftar’s levels in Torah and avodah were saddened by their passing. The scent that Yaakov Avinu emitted while in that chamber can be reflected in so many ways. It can be expressed in middos, in conduct, in honesty and in temperament. The recently departed Reb Moshe Reichmann was a person who demonstrated how a Jew in business ought to smell. He gave off the aroma of a person who is entrenched in the words of sifrei halacha and mussar coupled with the splendor of Zevulun. Thus, he merited the brachos that Zevulun earns for supporting the Yissochors. In fact, at the levaya, it was noted that it
was this family, the Reichmanns, who first embodied the concept of hachzokas Torah in the modern era. They didn’t merely help Torah. They were machzik it. They strengthened and
encouraged and actively inspired those involved in disseminating it. Their prosperity was a tool which they used to make the world a much better place. Sifrei chassidus offer insight into the sodeh to which Yitzchok referred when he said that Yaakov’s aroma was that of a field - “reiach beni kereiach hasodeh.” Last week, in Parshas Chayei Sarah, we read that when Rivkah was brought to Yitzchok, the chosson was deep in prayer: “Vayeitzei Yitzchok losuach basodeh” (Bereishis 24:63). His tefillos in the field at that time were no doubt those of a Jew about to build his home. They were the tefillos of a chosson under the chupah, constituting the eternal plea of “Vezakeini legadel bonim uvnei vonim…zera kodesh baHashem d’veikim.” When Yaakov entered his room, Yitzchok sensed the effects of the prayer he had offered as a chosson so many years earlier. “Here,” he says. “In this son I feel the scent of the sodeh, the results of those tefillos.” Yaakov Avinu was the av, the father, of those who engage in commerce as a means to serve Hashem. Meforshim explain that Yaakov embodied many middos, including the middah of bechol me’odecha, the mandate to love Hashem with all our possessions. Yaakov Avinu is the one who promised to donate maaser of his possessions to Hashem (Bereishis 28:22). From him we derive the valuable lesson that “tzaddikim chavivin mamonom,” tzaddikim cherish their possessions. Upon his return from Lavan to face Eisov (Bereishis 32:25), he went back to retrieve pachim ketanim, small vessels, which had been left behind. He did so because his way in life was to raise the physical gashmiyus to the spiritual ruchniyus. To him, everything had the potential for elevation and was thus holy and worth recovering. That trait is evident in effective mechanchim, who recognize the potential in every student. Mr. Reichmann, who excelled in his shlichus as a mechanech, never lost the ability to appreciate and recognize even those things in which others saw little value. And as he did, he maintained a hint of the coveted sodeh, the fragrance of a life revolving around the middah of bechol me’odecha. Perhaps it was that zechus that allowed him to build like few others, having the merit of supporting so many yeshivos, kollelim, mosdos and individuals. The fragrance of serving Hashem bechol me’odecha is still found among us even after these many years in golus, as evidenced by Mr. Reichmann and those like him who dedicate their lives to helping and supporting others. He and they demonstrate the beauty of those who walk in the ways of the avos, not compromising their values and helping others who are less fortunate. He showed the way, an example for all people, teaching us that we can elevate ourselves, our lives and our possessions to create a reiach nichoach laHashem.
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Am Yisroel. When the famed mashgiach, Rav Yeruchom Levovitz zt”l, was niftar, Rav Doniel delivered a hesped. He recounted that during the First World War, the Slabodka Yeshiva was exiled from Lithuania to Kremenchuk in Ukraine. When the war ended, the Alter of Slabodka sent a telegram to his talmid, Rav Yeruchom, asking him to reopen the yeshiva in Slabodka so that when the talmidim would return, they wouldn’t come to an empty shell, but to a flourishing yeshiva. Rav Yeruchom, who combined the grandeur of Kelm and the gadlus ha’odom of Slabodka, rode the train to its last stop in the capitol city of Kovno. From there he set out to walk to Slabodka, a distance of a half hour. As he began walking, people saw him and began flocking to him. His regal stature and comportment were magnetic. Storekeepers who saw him walking by closed their shops and approached him. Before long, there was a trail of shoemakers, smiths, grocers, peddlers and young boys following Rav Yeruchom as he walked from Kovno to reopen the Slabodka Yeshiva. By the time they reached the building, there were three hundred people with him. He led them into the yeshiva. Rav Doniel recalled that they cleaned up the building and Rav Yeruchom delivered a shmuess. When he finished, the 300 people sat down and began to learn. Thus, the world-famed Slabodka Yeshiva was reestablished, and from there Torah emanated to the entire world. They followed Rav Yeruchom because they sensed in him the reiach nichoach of the chakal tapuchin. They followed him because the aroma was too strong to resist. It was a scent of authenticity, sincerity and truth, the fragrance of their fathers and grandfathers. A bochur once informed his rebbi that he was leaving yeshiva. He said that he was going to sign up for the United States military, where he intended to distinguish himself as a marine. He told his rebbi that he wouldn’t miss the yeshiva, or frum life for that matter, saying, “They don’t speak to me at all.” The rebbi quickly sized up the boy, who had grown up in a fine home and had attended good yeshivos. “You say that you are sure that you will not miss the rituals and practices of Yahadus,” the rebbi remarked. “Please do me a favor and imagine your first morning in the barracks, surrounded by people who never learned in yeshiva, to say the least. Think about the smells - the sweat of hardworking soldiers, perhaps the odor of a cheeseburger or pork rinds mixed in. Then think of the smells you’ll be leaving behind. “Think of the slight hint of esrog your hands absorb by the second day of Sukkos. Think of the smell of the s’chach. Think of Chanukah’s fragrance of olive oil burning late into the night and frying latkes. Imagine Purim’s unique aroma of red wine soaking through tablecloths. On Erev Pesach, you breathe in the sweet spring air and get a whiff of fire coming from every direction. Then think of the special smell of the matzos themselves. Think about how much you’ll miss that.”
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beloved by his rabbeim and chaveirim. Recognizing his talents, Rav Avrohom Kalmanowitz dispatched him to Morocco to direct the local Otzar Hatorah school. He improved the yeshiva and attracted one thousand children to be educated in the ways of Torah. He established schools throughout that country for thousands more. In fact, The New York Times, in a glowing obituary, wrote that “in an interview with Institutional Investor [in the year 2000], Mr. Reichmann said his business accomplishments had never given him the sense of fulfillment he experienced as a youthful” mechanech back then. When he immigrated to Canada, Reb Moshe settled first in Montreal, where his initial commercial efforts didn’t meet with much success. The Satmar Rebbe came to town, and when they met, the Rebbe asked the young Moshe Reichmann how business was going. Reb Moshe told the Rebbe that he wasn’t doing too well. He said that although the opportunities for success were better in Toronto, he remained in Montreal for the chinuch of his children. The Satmar Rebbe advised Reb Moshe to move to Toronto and told him not to worry about his children. They would do well there as well, the Rebbe said, assuring him that his children would make him proud. The brochah went on to be fulfilled in a most obvious fashion. There is something special about the entire family, a mishpacha of elegance, grace, tznius and genuine achrayus to Klal Yisroel, children and ainiklach who stand as tall as the buildings he built. In his hesped at the levaya, Rav Yaakov Michoel Hirschman recounted that Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l told him that Toronto is a meritorious city because Reb Moshe Reichmann lives there. It can be said that he possessed the “reiach hasodeh asher beircho Hashem.” Several years ago, I read a book that recounts heroic tales of the Holocaust, describing what transpired when the Nazis arrived in Kelm and the Yidden there knew that their end was near. They were rounded up and marched out to their certain deaths. Rav Doniel Movoshovitz of Kelm asked for permission to return home one last time. Once permission was granted, he went home, brushed his teeth and then returned to the lineup. Calmly and softly, Rav Doniel explained that the Yidden were going to be offered as korbanos tzibbur. A korban tzibbur, he said, is described as bearing a reiach nicho’ach, a pleasant smell. “I wanted to be sure that as a korban, I will have that reiach nicho’ach, so I went home to brush my teeth,” said Rav Doniel. He then proceeded to address the other korbanos tzibur, preparing them for their holy mission. Rav Doniel, Rav Gershon Miadnik and Rav Kalman Beinishevitz led the talmidei hayeshiva and residents of Kelm in the singing of Adon Olam and ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu as they returned their holy souls to their Maker. The Kelmers lived lives of reiach nichoach, attracting talmidim from all over and inspiring generations. Their tragic petirah was also a reiach nichoach, a kapparah and a source of merit for the rest of
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Question & Answer Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email email@example.com and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential. How do I strike a balance between giving my child the space to grow in his own way yet giving him the mesorah I want? Same But Different. Dear Same But Different, When parenting our children we cannot help but look inward to our own upbringing as a way of knowing how to guide our own children. What is essential though is to be sure to differentiate between living vicariously through our children and genuinely giving them the best of our life’s experiences. How do we identify what is a value that we impart as opposed to having our child do it the same way we did it? How do we inculcate in our children an appreciation for our way of life yet give them the oppor-
tunity to blaze their own trail in this world? In this week’s Parasha, Parashat Toldot the opening Pasuk states:” These are the offspring of Yitzchak, son of Avraham – Avraham begot Yitzchak.” A classic question is asked why does the Torah need to tell us that Avraham begot Yitzchak if it already said Yitzchak son of Avraham? The Midrash explains that they physically looked alike. Other commentaries explain that both father and son where spiritually alike. If we examine the lives of both Avraham and Yitzchak we would see that they seemed to serve Hashem in very different ways. While Avraham traveled the land Yitzchak stayed primarily in one location. Avraham is symbolized primarily by Chesed (kindness), opening his home to all. He reached out and taught others with kindness bringing them closer to Hashem. While Yitzchak is symbolized primarily by
Gevurah (severity and restraint), digging wells even in the face of his enemies filling them. He used his attribute of strength to break through the dirt and rocks that seemed to conceal the life giving waters underneath. Different situations call for different solutions. In the times of Avraham what was needed was loving kindness to teach the world about Hashem. In the times of Yitzchak what was needed was the approach of strength and perseverance. While these two very different individuals embarked on two very different missions they were spiritually identical. Their core principles, values, and dedication to Hashem remained the same. They walked different paths but both led to the same place, toward making the world around them a more moral and holy place to live. To translate this into action for your family, take time to identify the core values
that both you and your child share in your service of and relationship with Hashem. If you both crave meaning discuss how each of you goes about finding meaning in your lives. If you want to identify with Tefillah then discuss the connection and relationship building qualities of Tefillah, and then have your child identify how he or she will go about creating that connection. The goal is the same. Work together to find the individual way to make it happen.
We are united. Throughout a period of around 1,700 years, the Jews have faced over eighty expulsions. We have been the victims of countless massacres and the focus of ceaseless hatred. How is it that we have survived? That we are here? And most of all-how is it that despite all who are against us, we have established our own country- a home to call our own? Throughout all our suffering and misery, we have always reached out to each other. We give one another our support, comfort, strength and all that we have because it is not only them who have been in suffering. We have all been in pain and in need of someone to relieve our backbreaking burden. It is then, that we become united and strengthened. And as we pick up the shards of our shattered past, we know when it is time to move on. To rebuild, restart, to reignite our flame. Now, as we live in our own country and hold our own power, we make it our duty to always support and give to those who are in need. To list the least, Israel donated money to both Ethiopia and El Salvador following terrible disasters
in order to improve living conditions. In response to devastations in Turkey, Haiti, and Japan- Israel immediately sent aid to those in suffering. Israel also raised $1 million to save the lives of one hundred African children in desperate need of heart surgery. When others are in need, we are the first to lend out a helping hand because throughout our history, we were the ones who always needed a hand lent out to us. Our instinct is always to fight on, to survive and push through in the midst of destruction. To give and support when there is nothing left for us. And to unify when we are being pulled apart. Our strength does not lie in numbers. Rather, it is derived from the mere few that we are. Our flame blazes fiercely within each and every one of us. And when it is diminished, we refuse to be consumed by the darkness. As we unite, we support each other with our strength, and catch one another as we stumble. We give every ounce within us to rekindle just a spark. And that, is when the flame within us is reignited.
To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear your thoughts. This article was compiled by Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin and Rabbi Eli Broner Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Administration
The Spark within Us It is during the times when we are crushed that we fight to stand up. The times when we are defeated that we refuse to give up. The times when our shattered pieces tear us apart that we become whole. When one falls, our flame is diminished. When our sorrow and agony
threaten to overtake us, it is then, that we reach out. Tightly clutching one another, we hold fast in our desperation. The light that we crave, to illuminate this heavy darkness, is not the fire we hold- it is the fire within us. We are determined to reignite our flame. We are strong. We are indestructible.
- Talia Mahboubi is a student at YULA Girls High School
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23 THE JEWISH HOME
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
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Cover Story Nate Davis
PAUL REICHMANN A Majestic Life Lived with Humble Dignity
WHERE OTHERS SAW PROBLEMS, PAUL REICHMANN SAW PROMISE.
he industrialist legacy of Paul Reichmann— or as others would put it “the rise and fall of Paul Reichmann”— is majestically visible along the Thames River in London when one looks at the ten skyscrapers that form Canary Warf and along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan as one looks at the World Financial Center. Undoubtedly, if asked to describe the characteristics of the developer of those projects, most people would probably use adjective such as “grandiose,” “ruthless,” and “tough,” after all, open any business publication and you will be regaled with stories about how titans of industries built iPhones, casinos, real-estate and investment empires through reigning terror on anyone who dare step in their way. But Paul Reichmann was different. In his book about Paul Reichmann, Peter Foster describes him as a person who was “polite and courtly, shy and sensitive” and who “always appear[ed] quite without vanity or personal pride.” Anthony BIanco, in his book about the Reichmanns, described Paul Reichmann as a “capitalist daredevil in the guise of an undertaker.”
In 1947, shortly after the war ended, Paul, then age 17, left his family and went to the Pupa Yeshiva in Antwerp. However, after a few months his visa expired and he went to London where he would learn in various yeshivos over the next five years. He was known as a masmid who was passionate about rebuilding postHolocaust Yiddishkeit. In fact, he once reflected that during the time that he was in yeshiva he didn’t foresee himself ever going into business because he “wanted to do something for the world.” Once he did go into business, he often said that the best training for business was learning gemara. From London Paul journeyed to Israel to learn in the Mir. But within ten months he was persuaded to move to Casablanca, Morocco, to become the educational director of Ozar Hatorah, which was an organization for Orthodox Jewish education founded after the war. From 1953 to 1956 he worked tirelessly to ensure that the children were being taught a Torah curriculum. He also opened a girl’s seminary in Tangier.
THE YOUNGER YEARS
In 1955, Paul married Lea Feldman, whom he met while learning in the Mir in Israel. In 1956, he followed his family to Canada, where three of his brothers — Edward, Louis and Ralph — had established the Olympia Floor & Wall Tile Co. He quickly joined the business. Paul’s business acumen was on clear display when the brothers decided that they needed a new warehouse. The lowest construction bid to build the warehouse was $125,000. Rather than hire a contractor, Paul had the warehouse built by himself, at a cost of $70,000. The brothers sold the warehouse one year later for a $34,000 profit. Thus, what started out as a tile business quickly morphed into Olympia & York Developments. Within a short time, the Reichmann brothers built a significant real estate portfolio in Canada, including the development of a 72-story tower which, at the time, was the tallest building in Canada. Eventually Olympia & York would not only have holdings in worldwide real estate but in a diverse array of industries, including petroleum, newsprinting, liquor distribution and railroads.
Paul was born in Vienna in 1930. He was the fifth of six children. Entrepreneurialism ran deep in the family veins. In the 1920s, his father and uncles built an egg distribution business and quickly became the biggest egg dealers in Vienna and its environs. Much as his son Paul would later be described, Samuel was known as being deeply pious in his religion, yet deeply progressive in his business practices. Within a few years, the brothers built a large modern warehouse and employed the latest state-of-the-art equipment to run their business more efficiently and effectively. Samuel Reichmann became a rich man and a noted community askan. But then the wrath of Hitler arrived. Much like he was a visionary in business, Samuel Reichmann foresaw what was about to happen to the Jews in Europe. In a series of steps—which included stops in London and Paris— Samuel relocated his young family to the Moroccan city of Tangier. The Reichmann family remained in Tangier throughout the war.
THE START OF HIS EMPIRE
ENGLAND’S CANARY WHARF
Paul Reichmann knew London very well based on the five years he was in yeshiva there. He also did some small projects there in the late 1970s. The Reichmanns saw first-hand that the British development environment was encumbered by government red-tape and regulations which made quick construction impossible. However, in 1987, Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister based on her promise to revitalize the economy. She immediately took steps to make real estate development easier. The Reichmanns felt that there may now be opportunities for them in London. Shortly after being elected, Prime Minister Thatcher called Paul Reichmann to ask whether he would develop a stretch of wasteland in east London known as Canary Wharf. The vision was similar to that of the World Financial Center in New York.
Although it was two and a half miles from the financial heartbeat of London, she hoped financial institutions would quickly gravitate to the vast, new stateof-the-art financial center, away from the tight confines and rigidity of central London. Nobody was better equipped to handle this project than Paul Reichmann. To encourage Paul to press ahead, Ms. Thatcher essentially gave him the Paul Reichmann showing Prime Minister Thatcher a model of Canary Wharf land for free. She also promised infrastructure improvements, such as the extension of the Jubilee Line on the Underground. In return, Paul would build a new mini-city with tens of buildings and 10 million square feet of office space. In 1991, the Canary Wharf’s first tower, 50-stories-high and Britain’s tallest building, was completed. But things quickly went downhill. The project ran into major cost overruns; the Jubilee subway line connection to Canary Wharf, crucial to making the whole project work, was not built; and the economy went into recession. Paul had to leverage other properties keep the project afloat. But as the global real estate market tanked, the Reichmanns’ holdings in New York and other cities was not able to offset their losses on Canary Wharf. For a while Paul was able to borrow from banks, but eventually that dried up and Olympia & York went bankrupt in 1992. The Reichmanns lost the World Financial Center and Canary Wharf and were left with a net worth of less than $100 million. Eventually, Paul was able to regain partial control of Canary Wharf and the Reichmanns were able to start rebuilding their real estate empire. But it never returned to what it was in its glory days.
A MAN OF TZEDAKA
Most businessmen consider themselves brilliant when they are up and unlucky when they are down. Paul Reichmann always considered himself to be lucky, or better said, he considered himself to have mazal from Hashem. He famously quipped that business is “95 percent mazal and 5 percent brains. And if not for the 5 percent brains I would be much richer.” Although his real-estate empire mostly collapsed, his tzedaka empire endures. During the Reichmanns heyday, they supported Torah and chessed institutions throughout the world. The Reichmann brothers were the first people klal Yisroel turned to when there was a tzedaka need. Like his mother, who worked throughout the Holocaust to rescue Jews, Paul was relentlessly devoted to the needs of his people. Despite worldwide fame, which made it impossible for Paul to hide from the limelight, he did not look for recognition. Rabbi Avraham Halpern of Sh’or Yoshuv recalls visiting Paul Reichmann with his father-in-law, Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld zt”l. Earlier in the day they had visited numerous donors at their homes. In the evening, they called Paul Reichmann and he told them to come over. However, when they arrived, Paul was waiting outside and insisted that the meeting be held in the car since Rabbi Freifeld was not well and Paul didn’t want to inconvenience him to have to exit the car once again. Paul’s business ventures will be studied for years to come. Some will say he was brilliant, some will say he was lucky, and some will say he took gambles that inevitably caught up with him. But one thing is not debatable; he was a mensch who cared deeply about klal Yisroel and who was a magnanimous baal tzedaka. And at the end of the day, at the end of a life, that is all that matters. May his memory be blessed.
HE FAMOUSLY QUIPPED THAT BUSINESS IS “95 PERCENT MAZAL AND 5 PERCENT BRAINS. AND IF NOT FOR THE 5 PERCENT BRAINS I WOULD BE MUCH RICHER.”
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THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY
In 1977, the Reichmanns purchased a package of nine buildings in Manhattan—known as the “Uris Package,” named for the selling corporation— for $320 million. The purchase instantly made them the second biggest landlord in the city. The deal also brought great attention to the Reichmanns, not because the deal was seen as smart, but because it was seen as a big gamble. Although it is hard to fathom nowadays, in the late 1970s, the New York City economy was decimated and the Manhattan real-estate market was in shambles. Although developers from all over the world had looked at the package, they all determined that it was not worth the asking price. Crime, government red-tape and a bad economy convinced developers to look elsewhere for opportunities. But, the Reichmanns foresaw that the economy would turn around and were willing to take the gamble. They refurbished all of the buildings and improved services and amenities. Sure enough, the economy started improving and the buildings’ rent rolls increased. Within several years, real-estate circles no longer referred to the deal as the “Uris Package” purchase, rather they started referring to it as “the Deal of the Century.” Even more than the admiration that he gained from this venture, Paul was known for his integrity. In real estate circles, his handshake was known to be as ironclad as a contract. In 1980, Paul Reichmann won a contract to build office towers in Manhattan’s Battery Park district. Much like their last big deal, there was rampant skepticism about this deal. The property stood on a landfill that was created by excavation for the World Trade Center. Even more challenging was the fact that the towering Twin Towers had 28 million square feet of office space; why would there be a need for any more space right across the street? On a more mundane level, how would the Reichmanns make their buildings stand out right beneath the shadow of the majestic Twin Towers? But, once again, where others saw problems, Paul Reichmann saw promise. Paul hired famed architect Cesar Pelli to build the World Financial Center, which would be a complex of office towers, high-end stores and giant atriums decorated with 100-foot-high palm trees. Upon its completion, the former landfill now held four majestic towers enclosed in reflective glass and granite and topped with copper domes. Although the complex was off the “beaten path” of the financial corridor, the Reichmanns convince prestigious financial institutions to lease space. Within a short time, Merrill Lynch, Dow Jones & Company, and Deloitte & Touche were all tenants. And all of the eight million square feet of office and retail space was leased. By this time the Reichmanns were known as the biggest realestate developers in the world. In 1991, Forbes magazine estimated the Reichmann family’s value to be $12.8 billion. They were the fourth richest family in the world; the third richest person was the King of Saudi Arabia. So far all of Paul Reichmann’s projects—what some in the industry referred to as “gambles”—paid off. The next one was Canary Wharf.
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
Got Kosher You know when you’re hanging around Cedars Sinai, hopefully just visiting someone or picking up some cream to subdue your hypochondria and you realize that you’ve already blown $19.75 on parking so you might as well stay for lunch? So you take yourself over a bridge and down a hall and on the wrong elevator and over another bridge and through a waiting room on your way to the dining hall to grab a bite from Cedar’s awesome cafeteria. Visions of granola bars, soda, and maybe a banana are met and exceeded when, to your great joy, you realize there is an entire refrigerator dedicated to Kosher sandwiches, wraps, and salads each neatly packed and labeled with a cheerful Got Kosher? sticker. Don’t worry, I’m not reviewing Cedars’ cafeteria, though I’m tempted to. Let’s talk about the uncommon and underrated brand Got Kosher?. Got Kosher? is the genius behind the pre-wrapped Kosher foods found in California hospitals and airports, but their original claim to
fame is their unique pretzel challah. My sister in law, Coutney, has excellent taste- literally; she bought our family Got Kosher’s pretzel challah when she was engaged to my brother and quickly secured her place as the sister in law in the know. If you haven’t had it yet, surprise your family and pick up some pretzel challah on a Thursday. It’s best to order in advance because by late Thursday night you’ll be left with either nothing or a stray raisin pretzel challah. If you like big soft pretzels (and who doesn’t?) you will thank me. So, I knew about Got Kosher’s food service items and pretzel challah, and vaguely heard about their tasty bakery offerings, but for some reason their restaurant was off my radar for years. I finally ventured inside their café-like storefront on Pico boulevard and tried to guess what genre of cuisine they would serve. I was leaning towards bistro, but I was wrong. The chirpy, Jim Carrey doppelganger waiter informed me that the fare was French-Moroccan. I
vaguely conjured up images of stews, spicy stuff, and dried fruit from the few Moroccan weddings I’ve been to. Yup, nailed it. Their menu includes lots of Moroccan style fish, couscous with broths and meat stews, funky salads, and a mix of American appetizers like avocado rolls and typical main dishes like steak. The food is higher end and more plentiful than expected for the meager prices. Avocado rolls for 5 bucks and many main dishes under $18. If they put out a couple of candles and white tablecloths they could easily pass for fine dining. My 2 favorites from what we ordered are the Pulled Brisket Sandwich- Memphis style and the Paleo salad. The brisket has the peely, stringy quality that makes a brisket a brisket and the meat is amply piled on. Great barbeque flavor and delicious, fresh, in house bread. All main dishes come with your choice of 2 sides- soup, salad, or fries. Definitely go for the soup, we had the chicken soup and tomato carrot, both were
flavorful, thick, and flavorful. I got into the Paleo concept after reading A.J. Jacobs’s book about health fads that he tried out for a year. Paleo is a diet that includes solely food that cavemen ate: meat, fish, poultry, nuts, fruits and vegetables. The Paleo salad has a thin strip of steak resting on a serving bowl sized portion of salad and nuts with creamy dressing. I enjoyed half of it the next day for lunch and it tasted even better. I find that many mid-level restaurants have a perfunctory attitude about dessert. This is not the case with Got Kosher. Because their roots are in baking, they offer a variety of conventional desserts like the delightful yet ubiquitous chocolate molten cake as well as French Moroccan desserts such as honey soaked cakes, lemon tarts, and marzipan tube-shaped candies wedged into sliced open dates giving them a hot dog-like look which are sui generis. One last thing: whether you’re a tea drinker or not, order tea with your dessert at Got Kosher. It’s a ritual in itself featuring Moroccan tea spiked with Chinese gunpowder (yeah, I don’t quite get that either- what’s next, wood chips?) and fresh mint, served in an old fashioned silver tea pot covered with a lacy tea cozy and ornate, gold decorated glasses. It tastes wondrous and authentic to the Moroccan theme, all that’s missing from the experience is silk floor cushions to sit on and maybe a fez.
Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids. She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.
Stanley M. lintz
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Valley Torah high School Yeshiva Tzvi Dov V’Ephraim Menlo Family Boys Division
“Making Excellence our Hallmark”
Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 pm at
Valley Torah High School Menlo Family Boys Division Campus 12517 Chandler Blvd.
Entrance Exam - November 17
YOU’RE INVITED TO AN
FOR PARENTS AND 8TH GRADE GIRLS • Wednesday, Nov. 6 • 7 p.m. - School tour and registration • 7:30 p.m. - Program begins • Valley Torah High School girls’ campus 12003 Riverside Drive, Valley Village 91607
Spotlighting a quality Jewish education where your daughters can shine Meet with our staff and get acquainted with our curriculum and co-curricular activities 818.755.1697 • email recruitment director Yehudis Orloff at email@example.com
OCTOBER 31, 2013
Invites you and your son to our
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
WHERE TO MAKE THE WEDDING? I Love New York, but LA (can be) the Place! By Tali Merewitz, Events Enchanted
Your daughter is engaged, mazel tov! Now what? Where do we make the wedding? Generally, weddings are held in the bride’s hometown, but these days though that’s not necessarily the case. While the ease of travel makes the world smaller and locations more accessible, there are other considerations when choosing a location for your wedding. Many families consider New York, Los Angeles, Israel, or some other destination. So often, families are nervous about making a wedding in a different city. How will they find the right vendors? Will their guests get taken care of? Will they have people attend to share in their joy? Every wedding has the same basic ingredients and with a few tips and tools, it can be a simcha, and not feel like punishment, no matter where it is held.
Los Angeles has Amazing Hachnasas Orchim People go to great lengths and sacrifice to join a simcha in another town, so they are due a warm welcome. Sometimes dozens of families come into town and they each have their own needs. Some people make their own arrangements but the majority relies on the wedding hosts to attend to them and care for their essentials. Los Angeles has a well-deserved reputation for its hachnasas orchim and we are proud of our ability to take care of our guests, even though it does add pressure to
and the East Coast. For example, in Los Angeles one can easily make a very nice wedding without serving a smorgasbord. Tray passed items and maybe some fruit and cake is respectable. However, a New York crowd would be embarrassed not to serve at least a few hot items during the Badekin. And another example, many East Coast families are usually insistent that there be a full bar available to their guests, in Los Angeles, wine served with dinner is sufficient for alcohol. On the other hand, in Los Angeles the flowers can be more extravagant than on
The simcha halls are focused on an efficient set up and take down and do not generally get involved with the needs of the family, guests or wedding party.
A simcha should be a simcha, no matter where it is held. It is critically important that the bride and groom identify what’s important to them so the wedding can reflect them individually and as a couple. Then the families can make decisions with that focus in mind. A simcha should be a simcha, no matter where it is held. Are Simcha Halls Really Less Expensive? We hear the conversation over and over again, “should we keep the wedding here or take it to New York?” Everyone has to decide what is best for them and their families. There are certainly savings to having a wedding in New York, the simcha halls there simply cost less per person than in Los Angeles, especially since they offer the catering in house. The sheer volume of simchas in New York allow for a competitiveness Los Angeles simply cannot match. There are a number of halls offering package deals, every vendor is chosen for you and presented with a flat fee. However, the cost of flying everyone across the country and lodging for a large family can make the expenses prohibitive. Consider the impact of not having many of your friends and family unable to attend if the wedding is out of town.
entities. Other vendors need to be engaged regardless of the wedding location. In New York it is uncommon to have a coordinator if you are working with one of the simcha halls. They generally will have an in-house coordinator that can help with most of your needs. However, the simcha halls are focused on an efficient set up and take down and do not generally get involved with the needs of the family, guests or wedding party. More and more families are starting to hire a professional coordinator to help them consult and negotiate with the simcha hall and hotels on their behalf.
the wedding planning. On the East Coast it is more typical for the guests to make their own arrangements.
Los Angeles has a well-deserved reputation for its hachnasas orchim and we are proud of our ability to take care of our guests. Guest accommodations need to be reserved, guests and hosts matched up. Welcome bags and schedules need to be put together and delivered with a hostess gift. Airport pick-ups and meals provided. The list can be daunting and requires organization and help. We have services in the Los Angeles to take care of all of these aspects. It’s All in the Details! There are a few basic differences in the local expectations between Los Angeles
the East Coast. The arrangements are larger and the detail more elaborate, in New York its not uncommon to have silk flowers on the table. Finally, In Los Angeles the halls don’t come with a mechitza or chupa, in New York you rarely have to worry about either of these items. Plan accordingly! Do We Need a Professional Coordinator? In most cities, a wedding can require a professional to help with advance planning, vendor selection, contract negotiation, design and “day of” coordination. Without a hired coordinator the family is at a disadvantage in negotiations with the various vendors and not able to be a part of the simcha. I often say, you can enjoy you simcha or you can run your simcha! The six basic vendors are the same for all weddings: Caterer, band, photographer, videographer and florist. On the East Coast the photo and video are done by the same company, in Los Angeles they are more often separate vendors. In New York the hall will house a caterer, whereas in Los Angeles they are usually separate
In Los Angeles it is almost required to have a coordinator for the day of the wedding, as all of the vendors are handled separately and need to be managed. Moreover, each vendor is doing their own job, but no one else is focused on the big picture other than a coordinator. A Final Thought… or two… Many of us enjoy hosting part of a simcha in our home and having friends share in the simcha by helping. As the parents of the bride, consider what it means not having your simcha at “home.” Being a guest at your own simcha can be somewhat painful. Finally, with a wedding a new home is being created; the foundation should stand on good middos. Whether the wedding is in Los Angeles or New York or Montreal or Jerusalem, everyone should make sure to keep the focus on the couple and their future. Tali Merewitz is the owner of Events Enchanted and has been involved in Jewish and corporate events since 1999. Events Enchanted is involved in all aspects of event planning for 2-15,000 people, vendor selection and negotiations, decision-making and event coordination. Tali can be reached at Tali@EventsEnchanted.com or www.EventsEnchanted. com
THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 31, 2013
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You Gotta be
Bob and Drew were two of the biggest baseball fans in the world. For their entire adult lives, Bob and Drew discussed baseball history in the winter and they pored over every box score during the season. They had not missed a World Series game together in 60 years. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven. One summer night, Bob suddenly passed away. A few nights later, his buddy Drew awoke to the sound of Bob’s voice from beyond.\ “Bob, is that you?” Drew asked. “Of course, it’s me,” Bob replied. This is unbelievable!” Drew exclaimed. “So tell me, is there baseball in heaven?” “Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?” “Tell me the good news first,” says Drew. “Well, the good news is that, yes, there is baseball in heaven, Drew.” “Oh, that is wonderful!” says Drew, “So what could possibly be the bad news?” “Well,” Bob says, “You’re pitching tomorrow night.”
There is a small town in Maine that has two barbershops each with a single barber and on opposite sides of town. The barbershop in the good part of town is immaculate. The floors and windows are washed and the air is fresh. The barber is very friendly, always smiling; he has shined shoes, a nice head of hair, and a clean dress shirt. The barbershop in the bad part of town is a mess. The entire barbershop is covered with a layer of dirt, and the air smells of trash. The barber always has a frown on his face. His skin is oily, his hair is ragged, and there are always stains visible on his shirt. A man comes into town and hears of both barbershops, and the man decides to go to the dirty barbershop in the bad part of town. Why does he do this? Answer on next page
“If you know how to cheat, start now.”– Baltimore manager Earl Weaver to pitcher Ross Grimsley on the mound
you could see him drifting back and forth across it.” – Brooklyn Dodger Manager Leo Durocher on team executive Larry MacPhail
“You can sum up the game of baseball in one word: ‘You never know.’” – Joaquin Andujar, St. Louis Cardinals
“Last night I failed to mention something that bears repeating.” – Seattle Mariner announcer Ron Fairly
“I walk into the clubhouse today and it’s like walking into the Mayo Clinic. We have four doctors, three therapists and five trainers. Back when I broke in, we had one trainer who carried a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and by the 7th inning he’d already drunk it.” – Tommy Lasorda
“On this special Father’s Day, we’d like to wish all of you a very Happy Birthday.” – New York Mets announcer Ralph Kiner
“He’s got power enough to hit home-runs in any park, including Yellowstone.” – Manager Sparky Anderson, on Willie Stargell
“Who is this Baby Ruth? And what does she do?” – George Bernard Shaw
“You want proof that baseball players are smarter than football players? How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” – Jim Bouton “There’s a thin line between genius and insanity, and in Larry’s case it was so thin
“There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world: Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.” – Tallulah Bankhead
“I watch a lot of baseball on radio.” – Gerald Ford “If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.” – Bill Veeck “Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn’t score any runs.”– Tim McCarver
In the Name of the Game
“I think I throw the ball as hard as anyone. The ball just doesn’t get there as fast.” – Eddie Bane “I never took the game home with me. I always left it in some bar.” – Bob Lemon “After Jackie Robinson, the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson.” – Reggie Jackson “We know we’re better than this, but we can’t prove it.” – Tony Gwynn
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World Series Trivia 1. Who is the only player to play in 75 World Series games? a. a. Yogi Berra b. b. Mickey Mantle c. c. Joe DiMaggio d. d. Phil Rizzuto 2. Everyone knows that Sandy Koufax declined to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it was Yom Kippur. What do you know about the rest of that series—how many games did he pitch? a. 1 game b. 2 games c. 3 games d. He was benched and was not allowed to play at all. 3. Which team appeared in the World Series the most in the 1990s? a. Indians b. Tigers c. Yankees d. Braves 4. In 2003, the Yankees won 101 games but lost the World Series to this team, which only won 91 games and was appearing in only their second World Series: a. Baltimore Orioles b. St. Louis Cardinals c. Atlanta Braves d. Florida Marlins 5. Who was clearly not the MVP of the 1986 World Series? a. Ron Darling b. Bill Buckner c. Roger Clemens d. Bob Stanley 6. In the 1996 World Series, this pitcher had four saves for the Yankees, earning his the MVP award: a. Enter Sandman...Mariano Rivera b. Jeff Nelson
c. John Wetteland d. Doc Gooden 7. How many World Series rings does Joe Girardi have? a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4 8. Which pitcher threw a four-hit shutout to defeat the Giants in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series? a. Whitey Ford b. Bill Stafford c. Ralph Terry d. Jim Bouton 9. Which one of these players never hit three home runs in a World Series game: a. Babe Ruth b. Derek Jeter c. Albert Pujols d. Reggie Jackson Answers: 1. A 2. C- In Game 2, Koufax pitched six innings, giving up two runs, but the Twins won the Game 5–1 and took an early 2–0 lead in the series. The Dodgers then won Games 3 and 4. With the Series tied at 2 to 2, Koufax pitched a complete game shutout in Game 5, giving the Dodgers a 3–2 lead as the Series returned to Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium for Game 6. The Twins won Game 6 to force a seventh game. Starting Game 7 on just two days of rest, Koufax pitched through fatigue and arthritic pain. Despite giving up on his curveball early in the game after failing to get it over four strikes in the first two innings and pitching the rest of the game relying almost entirely on fastballs, he threw a three-hit shutout to clinch the
Series. The performance earned him his second World Series MVP award. 3. D 4. D 5. B- In game 6 with the game tied, Mookie Wilson hit a dribbler up the 1st base line which should have been a routine play to end the inning and put the Red Sox up to bat, but Bill Buckner had a Little League moment and the ball went right between his legs into the outfield. The Mets scored and won the game and went on to win the Series in the 7th game. 6. C- Mo was the set-up man in 1996. 7. D- He was on the Yankees for their 1996, 1998 and 1999 wins and was the Yankee manager when they won in 2009. 8. C 9. B Scoreboard: 8-9 correct: You are like a World Series MVP! (Ain’t it a shame that nobody cares about baseball anymore) 3-5 correct: Not bad. Well, actually, if you got 3 correct, you lose. If you got 5 correct, you win, with one to spare. 0-3 correct: You get the Bill Buckner award!
GO FUNNT Y?
Comm Let the ission er dec Send your s tuff
Answer to riddle: The clean-cut barber must have his hair cut by the dirty barber and the dirty barber by the clean-cut barber, so it’s obvious that the dirty barber gives a better haircut.
o fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” A 25-year-old man in New York was arrested for trying to join al Qaeda. Here’s the amazing part: He said it was easier to join al Qaeda using their website than it was to sign up for Obamacare. - Jay Leno
This was a little shocking to me that I couldn’t remember my daughter playing youth soccer. It was just one summer, I think. I could remember her playing basketball, I could remember her playing volleyball, so I kind of think maybe (I thought) she only played a (soccer) game or two. Well, I think she played like eight. So that’s a little bit scary to me. So for the first time in 44 years, that kind of put a little fear in me. - Former quarterback Brett Favre revealing to Sports Talk 570 in Washington, D.C. that he has suffered from memory loss
Over the weekend a woman gave birth in a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Out of habit the parents briefly looked over the newborn baby and then went home and bought a cheaper baby on Amazon. - Conan O’Brien
Komsomol is not only politics, its true friendship and love, student years and the romanticism of new roads, common goals and dreams and the most important -- being part of the fate of your homeland. - President Vladimir Putin speaking on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Komsomol, the youth division of the Communist Party
A new study reveals that the average fast-food chicken nugget is almost 60 percent fat. The study also says that the average fastfood customer is almost 60 percent chicken nuggets. - Conan O’Brien
The notion that stand your ground laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not borne out by the facts remotely. - Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Trayvon Martin’s mother at a Capitol Hill hearing on “Stand Your Ground” laws.
I don’t think that one Republican voted for the Social Security Act, even though those old enough enjoy the benefits. - Rep. Charlie Rangel arguing that Obamacare is not a bad law just because no Republicans voted for it (81 House Republicans and 16 Senate Republicans voted for the Social Security Act)
Obama said they’ve had some glitches with the Affordable Care website. I’ll tell you something. If you order a pair of pants online and they send you the wrong color, that’s a glitch. This is like a Carnival cruise! - David Letterman
Today Obama was in so much trouble he called Hillary Clinton and he said, “Could you start early?”
People have been speculating lately about what President Obama will do when he leaves office in 2016. The one thing I think we can safely rule out — website designer. - Jay Leno
One GOP House Leader told the president: “I cannot even stand to look at you.” - Sen. Dick Durbin sharing on Facebook what happened at a White House meeting with Congressional members during the shutdown I will say this, I spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen. - White House Spokesman Jay Carney
- Ibid. The new iPad will be available on November 1. And it is important that you get it right away. Otherwise you could be mistaken for a homeless person and restaurants will refuse to seat you. - Conan O’Brien
A new report found that 700 IRS employees owe a combined $5.4 million in back taxes. When IRS workers got the news, they said, “Oh man, I hope I don’t find out about this!” - Jimmy Fallon
It is terrific to be back in America. - Senator Ted Cruz greeting Tea Partiers in Houston German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the U.S. would have to regain her trust after the NSA eavesdropped on her cellphone. You know things are bad when we’re being accused of having boundary issues by Germany. - Conan O’Brien
Mike also said he and I are fishing buddies, which is simply not true. Never happened. - Dick Cheney on ABC News talking about Republican Senator Mike Enzi who his daughter is challenging in the Wyoming primaries I anchored the One Fly Fishing Contest with him one time, and I was asked to speak at his induction in the fly fishing Hall of Fame, and we’ve talked about fishing when we’ve been together. - Senator Mike Enzi in response
Here’s my favorite part: The president said yesterday that if it’s taking too long you can bypass the website and enroll by mail. Only the federal government could come up with a website that’s slower than sending something by mail. - Jay Leno
No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is! - Rep. Frank Pallone (D- NJ) getting heated during a hearing about the Obamacare website
The Obama administration has now asked Verizon to help fix the Obamacare website. Verizon wasn’t the president’s first choice. He initially reached out to T-Mobile, but they dropped the call. - Jay Leno I love people, and people love me, but when I am doing my job, I am carrying out the law of Allah… In all honesty, I love my work. I just love it! I never say “no” when they need me at work. This is my work and my livelihood. - Hajj Abd Al-Nabi, who has presided over 800 executions in Egypt in a television interview about his job
The U.S. has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for more than 10 years. Merkel actually called Obama to say that eavesdropping on allies “is not acceptable.” Then Obama said, “Yeah, well that’s not what you said to England.” - Jimmy Fallon
Benghazi, you let them die. - A heckler to Hillary Clinton while she spoke at University at Buffalo We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want, which doesn’t include yelling. – Hillary Clinton in response Saudi Arabia is now threatening to sever diplomatic ties with the United States over Syria. I hope that doesn’t cause them to do something drastic, you know, like overcharge us for oil. - Jay Leno He’s a good man. Excuse me, he’s a great man. - Shaquille O’Neal in an ad endorsing Governor Chris Christie
Despite our love of candy and fast food, the number of Americans who will live to be 100 years or older will increase dramatically. In 2010, there were 53,000 centenarians in the United States, and I have driven behind every single one. - Jimmy Kimmel
A new book claims that John F. Kennedy’s brain was stolen by his brother Bobby. That seems almost unbelievable, doesn’t it? — That there was once a time in this country when politicians actually had brains worth stealing. - Jay Leno
The Obamacare website has all these glitches and now tech experts are saying that the only way to fix it is to completely start over and redesign the whole website from scratch. While the guys from the Geek Squad said, “Turn it off, wait five seconds, and then plug it back in.” - Jimmy Fallon
President Obama’s people can be quite nasty. They don’t like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they’re not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job. - CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello I was that person. - Karmel Allison on nearly fainting in front of the president
They’re still having a lot of trouble with Obamacare. First the website had all these glitches, and now people are getting a busy signal when they try to apply over the phone. So you can’t use the Internet and you can’t use the phone. And now fax machines are like, “Look who’s come crawling back to Mr. Fax Machine.” - Jimmy Fallon
A new study says that due to debt, 20-somethings will retire 12 years later than their parents do. When they heard this, 20-somethings said, “Retire from what?” - Conan O’Brien
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What I would say [to Iran] is, “Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.” You pick up your cell phone, even at…roaming charges. You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, “OK let it go.” So there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. And then you say, “See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.” - Billionaire tycoon Sheldon Adelson at Yeshiva University discussing what to do about Iran
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Sailors Abducted at Sea
Washington Spying Scandal Goes Global
The Obama administration is in hot water over the recent phone tapping scandal that has come to light. The German government has discovered that the National Security Agency has been monitoring the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama will have to decide if it is wise to continue the age-old game of spying on America’s friends and risk undercutting cooperation with important partners in tracking terrorists and slowing Iran’s nuclear program. Many of the United States’ closest allies have demanded explanations from Washington after similar disclosures about the breadth and sophistication of American electronic spying. The tension with Germany built last week after German officials were given evidence of the cellphone monitoring by Der Spiegel, the German weekly newsmagazine. The first protests to Washington came in an angry phone call to Susan E. Rice, the president’s national security adviser, from her German counterpart, Christoph Heusgen. During the call, according to German officials, Ms. Rice insisted that Mr. Obama did not know about the monitoring of Ms. Merkel’s phone, and said it was not currently happening, and would not in the future. But according to American officials familiar with the call, Ms. Rice would not acknowledge that the monitoring took place, even though she did not dispute the evidence the Germans had provided to her, which stretched back into the administration of President George W. Bush. In the past, Germany has pushed for an agreement similar to the understanding that the United States has with Britain and three other English-speaking allies that prohibits spying on one another. Until now the Obama administration has been reluctant to broker such a deal with the Germans who have publicly stated their interest in a non-spying pact partly because other nations would demand a similar arrangement. But recent days have strained relations between Washington and Berlin so much that some sort of an agreement must be made if the two countries are to remain allies.
Pirates in the waters off of Nigeria have captured an American captain and chief engineer of an oil supply ship. The U.S.-flagged C-Retriever was targeted in the Gulf of Guinea. Nigerian military officials who deployed army and navy units in the hunt to find the kidnappers have no “hard information” on the whereabouts of the ship or the two American sailors. The spokesman attributed the abductions to “criminals in the delta,” emphasizing they were common criminals and pirates, not militants. Creeks and swamps leading to the Nigerian coast are being searched for the hostages. Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore owns the seized vessel. According to local news sources, there are no U.S. warships in the region and no immediate plans for a hostage rescue attempt. However, there is a contingent of U.S. Marines aboard a Dutch warship in the area as part of a military exchange program. “We’re obviously closely monitoring reports that two U.S. citizens have been kidnapped from a U.S. flagged vessel,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a press briefing. “Obviously our concern at this point is for the safe return of the two U.S. citizens. We do believe that this was an act of piracy.” Earlier this month, the International Maritime Bureau reported that pirate attacks off Nigeria’s coast had jumped by a third this year, with 29 attacks on vessels recorded in the first nine months of 2013, up from 21 in the same period last year. “Pirates, often heavily armed and violent, are targeting vessels and their crews along the [Nigerian] coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters,” the IMB said. “In many cases, they ransack the vessels and steal the cargo.” The IMB said in the first nine months of 2013 the Gulf of Guinea accounted for all crew kidnappings worldwide, 32 of them off Nigeria, and two off Togo. In such incidents, sailors are taken ashore and usually held for ransom. In a separate report, Denmark-based security firm Risk Intelligence announced earlier this month that an estimated 117,000 tons of oil products worth around $100 million had been stolen by pirate gangs in the Gulf of Guinea since 2010.
Smog Shuts Down Chinese City Large cities have an index called PM2.5 to measure pollution. PM is short for particulate matter and it measures pieces in the air that are greater than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. The World Health Organization recommends a daily level of no more than 20, and over 300 is considered very hazardous. This week Harbin, a city in China, was shut down for having PM2.5 readings of over 1,000!
Harbin is the capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province and home to 11 million people. Schools were closed, all airplanes were grounded and traffic came to a crawl as the smog reduced visibility to 30 feet. Officials blame the first day of winter for the murky atmosphere, as everyone in the city turned on their heating for the first time. Air quality has become a front and center issue in Chinese politics. The wide gap between the poor and people of privilege is seen in this area in particular. Media outlets in China frequently show the large expensive air purifiers that government officials have in their homes and offices. They also run reports on special organic farms those in power use as they do not risk suffering from recurring food safety scandals. The government has announced plans over the years to tackle the pollution problem but has made little apparent progress. Last week, Beijing city released a color-coded alert system for handling air pollution emergencies to include the temporary halt of construction, factory production, outdoor barbeques and the setting off of fireworks. Beijing suffered its own smog emergency last winter when the PM2.5 surpassed 900 on one particularly bad day in January.
Saudi Arabian Women Drive in Protest Strict rules in Saudi Arabia have led to some pretty interesting protests. Because there is ban against women driving a car in
Saudi Arabia, more than 60 women across the country claim they drove cars in defiance over the weekend.
The campaign’s message is that driving should be a woman’s choice. The struggle is rooted in the kingdom’s hard-line interpretation of Islam known as Wahabbism, with critics warning that women driving could unravel the very fabric of Saudi society. Though no laws ban women from driving in Saudi Arabia, authorities do not issue them licenses. Women who drove in protest had driver’s licenses from abroad, activists said. Activist Aziza Youssef, a professor at King Saud University, and another activist said protest organizers received 13 videos and about 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven. She said they have no way to verify the messages. May Al Sawyan, a 32-year-old mother of two and an economic researcher, told reporters that she drove from her home in Riyadh to the grocery store and back. Activists uploaded a four-minute video of her driving to the campaign’s YouTube account. Al Sawyan said she was prepared to be jailed if caught by authorities. She said she was far enough from a police car that she was not spotted. “I just took a small loop,” she said. “I didn’t drive for a long way, but it was fine.” Al Sawyan’s husband and family waited at home and called her nervously when she arrived at the store to check on her, she said. She drove with a local female television reporter in the car. They were both without male relatives in the vehicle, which in itself defies the country’s strict norms requiring women to have a male relative in public.
16 Executed in Iran In a prison in Zahedan, in northeast Iran, sixteen prisoners have been executed. Their crimes were described by the province’s attorney general as being “linked to groups hostile to the regime.” They were hanged in retaliation for 14 guards being killed in an ambush on the Iranian border according to Iranian news sources. The link between the two events is still not crystal clear, with some news agencies saying that those killed had already been tried and convicted. Iran regularly executes people who are convicted of murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and espi-
The Gulf emirate of Dubai is known for doing things over the top. On Sunday, the city opened what will be the largest airport in the world when it is completed. It is now the second airport in Dubai. A Wizz Air plane from Budapest was the first passenger plane to land at the sprawling new facility of Al-Maktoum International, and it was welcomed on the tarmac with a water cannon salute.
Currently, there are 36 cargo carriers operating out of the new airport. The airport opened for cargo in June 2010. Once completed, there will be five runways that will be able to handle an annual capacity of 160 million passengers. The airport “will play a vital role in the future development of Dubai as a centre for trade, commerce, transport, logistics and tourism,” Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, said in a statement. 57 million passengers passed through Dubai International airport in 2012.
Long Battle Won in Ukraine For decades, a very large number of Torah scrolls have been held from their rightful owners by the state of Ukraine. When the country was under Communist rule in the 1920’s, over 300 scrolls were confiscated and never returned. This week, the Kiev Central Synagogue finally won the legal battle over the scrolls and a court has ruled them to be returned. A speech was given by Alexander Levin, the president of the World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews and a commu-
financial hub. There will, of course, be a very large retail area and the outside plaza will be Disney-themed. “China’s flagship Disney Store will feature the largest and most diverse collection of Disney products by local and international designers,” Stanley Cheung, executive vice president and managing director of the Walt Disney Company, Greater China, said.
Where Comes the Bride in Denmark
support for the revolution among several countries and, needless to say, its financial support has helped Egypt avert many crises,” he said. “I am very upbeat about the future of Egypt, but that does not mean things will be easy. Egypt is now like a recovering patient who needs to be attended to carefully,” said Beblawi. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and supported the military coup by the Egyptian army, have already pledged $12b in aid.
Israel The population in the Danish Faroe Islands is dwindling fast, and if nothing is done about it, it will soon be near extinction. A falling birthrate in recent years and a lack of natives staying on the islands has led to a population of just 48,500. The real problem is that men outnumber women on the islands by over 2,000. Many Faroese women leave the islands to study in large cities like Oslo, Copenhagen or London and half never return. Hermann Oskarsson, the islands’ former chief economic advisor, warned that by 2023, the population could fall to 37,000. He told a local newspaper, “It is a question of survival. The young women that should be here to give birth to children are gone.” To help solve the problem, women have been brought in to fill the void from the Philippines and Thailand. “Importing wives” has become the new trend and the number of foreign women has doubled since 2006. Technically, it is unclear if the rise in immigration of people from the Philippines and Thailand is due to the “bride imports” or to employment or other factors. But the trend cannot be ignored. According to couples on the Faroe Islands, the Filipinos and Faroese have common cultural values which include close family ties and leading a simple life.
Mickey Mouse Goes to China As if China wasn’t large enough, they will soon boast the world’s largest Disney store. Walt Disney Co. is catering to the nation’s rapidly growing middle class, and they are starting with a 53,000-square-foot store. The store is expected to open in early 2015 and will be located in Shanghai’s
China is really opening up to American stores this week. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, just announced its plans to open up to 110 facilities in China between 2014 and 2016, in addition to the 30 it has already opened this year. Disney is scheduled to open its first Disney resort in Mainland China by the end of 2015. It now operates a theme park in Hong Kong.
UAE Donates $4.9B in Aid to Egypt
A $4.9 billion agreement has been signed between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Originally in July, the UAE agreed to support the country’s development with a mere $1 billion, but $3.9b was added in the last few days. The signing of the agreement took place in the presence of General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The deal calls for the construction of 25 wheat and grain silos and other healthcare, housing, and development projects. Interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, in a meeting with members of the Egyptian community in Abu Dhabi, said that the UAE was providing vital support for Egypt after its revolution. “The UAE has been extending support to Egypt in political, economic and investment fronts. Moreover, the UAE diplomacy played a key role in rallying
Israeli Swimmers Without a Country The winter season has begun for competitive swimming in the Persian Gulf. Israeli swimmers have been performing very well and have even broke some records but the organizers of the competition are obviously uncomfortable with the Israeli flag’s presence in the games. In Dubai and Qatar, at the FINA Swimming World Cup 2013, the Israeli flag was blurred off of the screen and a colorless white flag was used to show which country the swimmer represented. When Amit Ivry, Israel’s most successful female swimmer, jumped into the water, the screen showed her name but no flag. The organizers had no trouble mentioning her record achievement in the past week: a silver medal, and another record – 58.66 seconds in the non-Olympic heat, which marks an improvement of almost a second from her previous record set last week. But only she got the credit, her home country was conspicuously not mentioned. Gal Nevo, a silver medalist, recounted his experience in Dubai: “Three years ago we arrived in Dubai for the world championship and were surprised to discover that despite the image of an advanced emirate, it is a Muslim country which refuses to recognize Israel. The name Israel was not mentioned, throughout the competition we were presented as ISR swimmers, and the editors of the television broadcast were instructed to do everything in their power to remove us and our flag from the frame. “Several days ago we arrived here for the second time, this time for the World Cup, and at the beginning of the competition it seemed like a rerun – once again ISR instead of Israel, and once again the television is excluding us from any possible frame.”
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Dubai Opens World’s Largest Airport
nity leader in Kiev, in which he thanked Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for his support. The ruling, Levin said, is “proof that there is no state anti-Semitism in the Ukraine.” After so many years in Soviet and then in Russian hands, the Torahs are in need of being restored. Experts are already working on beautifying the sifrei Torah to their original magnificence.
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onage. Under the new “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani, the execution rate in Iran has not slowed. According to Amnesty International, at least 508 people may have been executed in Iran this year. In 2011, Iran put to death more than twice as many people as it did the year before.
OCTOBER 31, 2013
on the Farm
39 THE JEWISH HOME
Wednesday, November 27 1st night of Chanukah
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are begging for liposuction to remove any excess they may have around their waists so they can pass the body fat test. “They come in panicked about being kicked out or getting a demerit that will hurt their chances at a promotion,” said a Maryland surgeon.
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But defense officials have defended the test and say only a small fraction of those who exceed body fat limits perform well on physical fitness tests. “Those incidences are far and few between,” said Bill Moore, director of the Navy’s Physical Readiness Program. “We want everybody to succeed. This isn’t an organization that trains them and says, ‘Hey, get … out.’” The checks are designed to ensure troops are ready for the rigors of combat. Pentagon officials say the military does not condone surgically altering one’s body to pass the test, though liposuction is not banned. The Defense Department uses what is called a “tape test” to make a body fat estimate by taking measurements of the waist and neck. Those who fail are ordered to spend months in a vigorous exercise and nutrition program, which Marines call the “pork chop platoon” or “doughnut brigade.” Even if they later pass, failing the test once can halt promotions for years, service members say. Military officials say failing the test three times can be grounds for getting kicked out. The number of Army soldiers booted for being overweight has jumped tenfold in the past five years from 168 in 2008 to 1,815. In the Marine Corps, the figure nearly doubled from 102 in 2010 to 186 in 2011 but dropped to 132 last year.
While some soldiers resort to liposuction to pass the test. Others go on crash diets or even use weights to bulk up their necks to make them more in proportion to their larger waists. Dr. Pasquale, a former soldier, admits, “I’ve actually had commanders recommend it [liposuction] to their troops. They’ll deny that if you ask them. But they know some people are in really good shape and unfortunately are just built wrong,” he pointed out. Others say that the tape test is only meant for those in the normal population but not for those with bulkier bodies, like athletes. Air Force Gen. Mark Walsh noted only about 348 of 1.3 million airmen have failed the tape test but excelled otherwise. Even so, his branch heeded the complaints and modified its fitness program in October. The Air Force obtained a waiver from the Pentagon so airmen who fail the tape test but pass physical fitness exams can be measured using the Body Mass Index, which is a chart based on an individual’s weight and height.
More Americans Receive Government Funding than Full-Time Workers According to recent data released by the Census Bureau, Americans who were recipients of government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers. In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were 108,592,000 people in the country who received one or more means-tested government benefit programs. In the same report published last week, it was listed that there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011, including both those in the private-sector and government workers.
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Recipients of means-tested government programs included “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.” That extended itself to include those who live in households that receive more than one form of government programs. Among the 108,592,000 people who fit the Census Bureau’s description of a means-tested benefit recipient in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 82,457,000 who receive Medicaid; 49,073,000 who receive food stamps; 20,223,000 on Supplemental Security Income; 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children program; 13,433,000 in public or subsidized rental housing; and 5,854,000 in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Also included were those who receive free or reduced-price lunch or breakfast, state-administered supplemental security income and means-tested veterans’ pensions. Individuals who receive government benefits from non-means-tested government programs were not included in the number. Non-means-tested government programs include those who receive Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, or non-means-tested veterans’ compensation. Those numbers were also released in the Census Bureau: 49,901,000 people received Social Security benefits, 46,440,000 received Medicare benefits, 5,098,000 were on unemployment, and 3,178,000 received non-means-tested veteran’s compensation. Time to get out and work, America!
Do you believe in stereotypes? It is known that the U.S. has regional stereotypes; New Yorkers are rude, Texans are friendly, and Californians are laid-back. But where do these assumptions come from and are there any real facts to back them up? A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by a team of researchers in the UK analyzed American behavior in an attempt to prove these stereotypes. The 13-year study mapped out the “American mood” by rating personality and temperament on a
state-by-state basis. It included nearly 1.6 million respondents from the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Some less obvious results from this study include: Wisconsin residents are the most extroverted in the nation, Vermonters are the most reserved, residents Utah is the most agreeable, and Washington, DC, is the least agreeable place in the country (shocking!). West Virginia is also considered the most neurotic state, while Utah is the least. Even though the study has concluded that these stereotypes may be true, it’s each individual in the state who determines their own personality and character.
35 Contenders for Mayor’s City in Minneapolis
Minneapolis is a metropolis, but it’s the Wild West when it comes to the mayoral election this year. Due to a few factors— including no incumbent on the ballot and a low candidate filing fee of just $20—35 people are vying for the role of mayor in Minnesota’s largest city. The list of those running includes two City Council members, two former City Council presidents, a former county commissioner, and Captain Jack Sparrow. “It’s like mayor soup,” said Katherine Milton, a Minneapolis voter and arts consultant who is one of many trying to figure out the city’s “ranked choice” voting system. “It’s like putting together a 5,000-piece puzzle.” This is an important time for the city as its population has begun to increase after decades of decline. The outgoing mayor, R.T. Rybak, was instrumental in luring many young professionals and empty nesters to the city by highlighting the area’s parks, lakes, bike trails and thriving restaurant and nightlife scene. But after 12 years of working for his constituents, Rybak, 57, is calling it quits. And now voters have to learn how to use the novel ranked choice voting system, which asks voters to pick a first, second and third choice for the job. Those selections come into play if no candidate gets more 50 percent of the first-choice votes, triggering a series of automatic runoff counts. That’s put the candidates in an unusual position. “It’s an unnatural act for a politician to ask to be somebody’s second choice,” said Mark Andrew, a Democratic former county commissioner who’s among a handful of front-runners. “But if people tell me they are supporting someone else, then I ask to be their second choice.”
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42 The race features eight relatively conventional contenders who boast a wide range of experience in local politics. But then it seems that everyone including the kitchen sink is running for mayor in this town. “I’m just a regular guy who is trying to wake people up,” said Jeff Wagner, an airport baggage handler whose offbeat swimsuit video went viral. Then there’s the frequent but always unsuccessful candidate who will appear on the ballot as Bob “Again” Carney. And Captain Jack Sparrow, a self-proclaimed “occupirate” who espouses Occupy Wall Street ideology, who shows up at campaign events in full pirate garb. May the best person win.
Government Workers Miss 50% More Work than Those in Private Employment Calling in sick? You probably work for Uncle Sam. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a government worker is 38 percent more likely to take off from work for personal reasons or illnesses than those who work in the private sector. Additionally, government workers miss 50 percent more of their usual work hours as a result of such absences than those in private employment. In 2012, according to the bureau, 4 percent of government workers reported being absent from work in the typical reference week compared to 2.9 percent of private-sector workers. Thus, a government worker was 38 percent more likely to be absent than a private-sector worker.
Most Dangerous States in America America’s most dangerous states may not be as obvious as you think. After 20 years of a steady decline, violent crime
rose slightly last year, just under 1%. The FBI’s latest statewide statistics analyze where violent crimes, murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are most common.
Although there is no clear cause for violent crime it has been linked with low income and low education areas. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime, eight have lower rates of adults with bachelor’s degrees, and most of them had median income levels below the national figure in 2012. These are the five most dangerous states in America based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report: South Carolina, New Mexico, Alaska, Nevada and Tennessee as the most dangerous state in the entire nation.
Cheney Admits to Fear of Assassination
Recently, Dick Cheney revealed in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he had the wireless function on an electronic heart implant disabled because he was afraid that it could potentially be used by to terrorists to trigger a massive electric shock in an attempt to assassinate him. “I found it credible,” said the former vice president. “I know from the experience we had and the necessity for adjusting my own device, that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible.” Cheney suffers from chronic heart problems. He suffered from five heart at-
tacks before undergoing a heart transplant last year at the age of 71. Cheney’s doctor, cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, confirmed he switched off the implant’s wireless function. Reiner told CBS he was also concerned that Cheney could suffer from another serious heart attack due to the stress and shock of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. After watching events unfold on TV, Reiner remembers thinking: ”Oh, great, the vice president is going to die tonight from hyperkalemia.” Luckily that didn’t happen and he was able to help keep the nation calm after the attacks.
heed and limit their children’s exposure to too much screen time.
Doctors Warn Parents to Limit Children’s Exposure to Social Media and Computers
Which of these words do not belong? Soothing, spa, snakes. If you guessed snakes, you’d be like most people in the world who don’t think that snakes are anything but slithery and slimy. But patrons of the Bali Heritage Reflexology and Spa in Jakarta, Indonesia, think differently. There, customers are treated to massages with several pythons placed on the body. Supposedly, the movement of the snakes and the adrenaline of the fear have a positive impact on the customer’s metabolism. There are several massages offered with different snakes being used. This is sss-ertainly not the next stop on my next vacation.
We didn’t need a study to tell us what we’ve known for years: too much exposure to computers and other social media is dangerous for children. Doctors are now officially warning parents to limit their children’s exposure to tweeting, texting, and to keep laptops and computers out of their bedrooms. The group of physicians has pointed out that violence, cyberbullying, obesity, lack of sleep and other problems have been linked to those with too much access to social media.
“Many parents are clueless” about the profound impact media exposure can have on their children, said Dr. Victor Strasburger, lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics policy. “This is the 21st century and they need to get with it.” The policy is aimed at all kids, including those who use smartphones, computers and other Internet-connected devices. It expands the academy’s longstanding recommendations on banning televisions from children’s and teens’ bedrooms and limiting entertainment screen time to no more than two hours daily. Under the new policy, those two hours include using the Internet for entertainment, including Facebook, Twitter, TV and movies; online homework is an exception. Strasburger realizes many kids will scoff at advice from pediatricians — or any adults. “After all, they’re the experts! We’re media-Neanderthals to them,” he said. But he hopes that parents will take
That’s Odd Snake Spa
This Belly is not for Touching Any pregnant woman can confirm that people just love to rub that bulging belly. Friends, coworkers, family, the elderly, and even complete strangers think that it is okay. But it’s not okay and one man found out the hard way in Pennsylvania. This week, a Pennsylvanian man was charged with harassment for allegedly hugging a pregnant woman and rubbing her stomach without her consent. According to police and a legal expert this seems to be the first case of its kind. Legislation in Pennsylvania dictates that a person can be charged with harassment for any action they take that has an intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person. But this is the first known case of it applying to touching a pregnant woman’s belly. “It’s extremely rare and uncommon,” said Pittsburgh attorney Phil DiLucente. “I have never heard or saw this ever being found.” He added, “This might be the first of its kind.”. Word to the wise—this belly is hands free.
Art Thief Blames Museum for Easy Access to Masterpieces It seems that no one takes responsibil-
Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Something Bombed I’m sure your mother, grandmother, or teacher once told you that a joke is only a joke if everyone is laughing. Well, Neil McArdle never got the memo. The groom planned a hoax for his wed-
The British bridegroom forgot to book the venue for his wedding at Liverpool’s St. George Hall. He only realized his forgetful mistake on the day of his wedding. With his bride and guests getting ready for the big event, he was forced to pull some tricks. In a quick-thinking move, McArdle called the hall from a phone booth claiming that a bomb was set to go off in 45 minutes. His fiancée, Amy Williams, was left stranded in the street in her wedding gown while the building was evacuated. McArdle, 36, admitted that he had given the anonymous false tip and was arrested the same day, his supposed-to-be wedding day. “He did say several times how embarrassed and ashamed he was and how sorry he was,” said prosecutor Derek Jones. Judge Norman Wright sentenced McArdle to 12 months in jail saying that he had frightened staff at the venue with his hoax and undoubtedly disappointed his fiancée. (I sure she is now glad that the wedding was called off.) “You did not say ‘We need to talk.’ You tried to weasel your way out by creating a bomb hoax so the wedding would not take place,” the judge admonished. Astonishingly, McArdle’s lawyer says that bride and groom are still in touch and engaged to be married. Advice to the future Mrs. McArdle: Don’t take what this guy says too seriously…
Most Traveled Man in History Returns Home If you spent twenty years traveling to more than 190 countries you would have a lot of stories to tell. That is the case for Mike Spencer Bown who has been dubbed the “World’s Most Traveled Man.” Spencer, 44, left his hometown of Calgary 23 years ago with a backpack and a dream of visiting every region on Earth. And now he’s back and telling his story. “Some of the least-traveled people I’ve ever met have been to 100 countries, or even as high as 170 countries — what they do is fly between major cities and especially capital cities, stop off in the airport or take a hotel for the night, and then say that they’ve ‘done’ such and such country,” Bown told a reporter. “To my view, such people are passengers, not travelers.” Nobody would argue with Bown’s status as traveler par excellence. He’s
had hair-raising experiences that include “taking local transport across Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and hitchhiking through Iraq during the U.S. invasion, including a visit to Saddam Hussein’s hometown.” He also made it to way-out outposts like Antarctica, Greenland and Easter Island. The adventurer made headlines when he became the first tourist to visit Mogadishu, Somalia, in more than 20 years. Puzzled officials at first tried to put him back on the plane, mistaking him for a spy. But eventually they let him stay for a few days. “We have never seen people like this man,” Omar Mohamed, an immigration official, told a reporter at the time. “He said he was a tourist, we couldn’t believe him. But later on we found he was serious.” Bown’s top 80 experiences include standing in the graveyard of the blue whales, South Georgia Island, Antarctica, and hitchhiking past bandits, Central African Republic. He avoided capture in the land of pirates, Puntland State of Somalia, and got lost on the three interlocking subway systems in Tokyo. Bown’s idea for such a quest began all those years ago on a mountainside, when he “wondered if it was possible to visit the whole world ... (and) see everything of interest.” Bown explains that he was able to keep up his travels by living frugally and staying at cheap hotels, like one in Nicaragua that cost him the equivalent of just 3 cents a night.
Good Deed of the Day In a very nice showing of human goodness, after four years being lost, a jacket was returned to its rightful owner along with the $1,700 that was in the pocket. Owen Schipnewski accidentally left his jacket behind during a 2009 goose-hunting trip at the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area in northern Minnesota. Trent Jorgenson found the jacket alongside a road and tossed it into the back of his pickup truck. He never bothered to look inside the pockets to see its contents. Years later, a group of friends invited Jorgenson on another hunting trip. He needed a waterproof jacket and remembered the one he found alongside the road. He was about to put it in the laundry when he decided to check the pockets. There he found Schipnewski’s driver’s license, credit cards, $20 bills and $100 bills. He called a few numbers and was finally connected to the jacket’s owner. When his friends asked him if he was tempted to keep the cash, he said, “Bad karma,” he continued. “I felt good about it,” Jorgenson said. “Made my day probably as much as his.” Despite a protest, Schipnewski left Jorgenson cash to buy a waterproof jacket of his own. “It says there’s still good people in the world,” Schipnewski said.
Granny Goes Back To School
Most of us can’t wait to get out of school, and once we have that diploma in hand, imagine never coming within a five block radius of our alma mater. But not so for Frances Wood, an 82-year-old great-grandmother, who has gone back to school after a 63-year hiatus. Since enrolling in classes at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, this year as a way to refocus her life after the death of her husband of 59 years, Wood has become something of a campus celebrity. She has been making friends with people born six decades after her and has just been named honorary homecoming queen by her fellow students. Wood says she broke the ice with classmates early on by handing out business cards with her contact info — and the name “Granny Franny.” “My grandson calls me that, and I think it’s kind of cute, and I thought, well, then [the students] won’t have to wonder what to call me,” she says. “And they, in turn, have just been so approachable.” Wood, who lives in Hiawatha, did go to college before, but she dropped out after three semesters. Soon she nabbed a job as a clerk with the local utility company and wound up marrying her supervisor, with whom she had three daughters. Wood says she never regretted leaving school. “I can’t even remember what classes I took,” she admits, and lived an active life raising kids, traveling the world, and exercising. After becoming widowed she wanted a change of pace, and decided that learning — particularly about scriptures, personal finance and history, the subjects she’s studying — would be the best route to take. Her personal-finance professor, Mike Gough, says that the biggest lessons the students have learned from her “is to have zest for life. She’s very energetic and positive.” Wood, who has received a fair amount of the spotlight for her back-to-school endeavors, is perplexed by all the attention. “I’m a little overwhelmed. I mean, I haven’t done anything,” she says. But she does hope that, if anything, she can encourage the younger students around her to really appreciate and take advantage of their time in school. Granny Franny gets an “A” in my book!
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“We can clearly speak of negligence with serious consequences,” defense lawyer Catalin Dancu told the media. “If we do not receive answers about who is guilty” for the failure of the security system at the museum, “we are considering hiring Dutch lawyers to start a legal case in The Netherlands or in Romania.” The lawyer explained that, if found guilty of negligence, the Kunsthal “would have to share the burden of compensation” with his client, who faces millions in claims from insurers. The three oil paintings are still missing. Many suspect that they were destroyed after Dogaru’s mother admitted that she had torched them in her oven in her remote Romanian village of Carcaliu in an attempt to hide evidence against her son. She later retracted her statement but experts from Romania’s National History Museum said ashes retrieved from her stove included the remains of three oil paintings and nails from frames used before the end of the 19th century. Dogaru said that after he was detained, his mother gave the paintings “to a Ukrainian man named Vladimir Vladimirenko living in London.” Now Dogaru says the paintings were sold and insists that his mother did not torch the precious paintings.
ding day that led him to a year in jail instead of a religious YouTube following.
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ity these days. Even thieves are blaming the victims for their crimes. Radu Dogaru is among six Romanians on trial for stealing masterpieces by Gauguin, Monet and Picasso from a Dutch museum last year. The three-minute predawn heist from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam on October 16, 2012 shocked the art world but Dogaru is saying it was easy. In fact, the heist was so easy that he is threatening to sue. The paintings were estimated to be worth 18-million-euro ($24 million) but none of the paintings that belonged to the Triton Foundation were equipped with an alarm. “I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security,” Dogaru told the court on Tuesday.
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
THE OTHER ROAD - MAY BE A DEAD END A Primer on Good Advertising
I remember exactly where I was on the morning of 9-11. I was driving to work, half listening to the radio, when I suddenly heard someone talking breathlessly about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. From where I was, I had a clear view of the Manhattan skyline, so I looked out my car window and just stopped my car (not a good thing to do) frozen with shock, watching the smoke pouring out of the North Tower. It’s something I’ll never forget.
as long as that line doesn't stay flat. It doesn’t matter what the venue is print, radio or on screen. The ultimate purpose of the ad is to get a person to react.
I remember exactly where I was when the Gulf War broke out. It had special significance for my family because my wife’s brother was deployed there at the time (his was one of the first units sent to Kuwait), and she was beside herself with worry. People who were around when JFK was assassinated remember every detail of what they were doing when they heard the news. And there are happy occasions that I remember equally vividly. My wedding, the births of my children, to name just a few. Folks in the advertising business spend sleepless nights trying to create unforgettable moments. They have 15, or 30 or 60 seconds to make an impression on you. I like to use the example of an EKG. The viewer comes into the ad with a flat reading. The goal of the ad agency is to provoke a reaction - to make the needle on the EKG move - whether up or down - to try and get you, the viewer to feel something. It can be happy, sad, excited, scared, shocked, angry, desirous - butsomething -
Acura TL Special Edition called Best Kept Secret which is very well done (see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aSiNhgxqCg). If you look around on their YouTube channel, there are some other very imaginative ones there as well. But this one for the RLX is called The Other Road (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZeTlelQFia4), and quite simply, it stinks. You’d think a big company like Acura would know better. Or at least that their agency would. Taking my EKG metaphor and applying it to this ad, it would be flat coming in, and flat straight on through. Not one bit of emotion is stirred up as a bland voice intones bland, meaningless dialogue overlaid over bland, generic shots of a car streaking across the bland background. Let me back up for a moment and give you some context. In classic advertising, the idea is to create a fantasy setting in which the viewer can imagine him/herself being the central character. Ideally, the viewer should be able to imagine him/her-
The Dead End So imagine my surprise when I came across an ad online for the all new Acura RLX sedan. Acura’s had some impressive advertising in the past. There’s a nice one for the
self being the one eating the luscious slice of pizza, chatting happily on the iPhone, or racing down the road in the gleaming sports car. With this Acura spot? Meh. Rather than imagining myself behind the wheel of this $60,000 car, all I could think of was the 30 seconds of my life that I’d just used up by watching it. So why did they do it? I can only guess. But it may not be the agency’s fault. This may be a case in
has to feel something strongly enough to do it. Sympathy and envy are both strong motivators as is physical desire. A major complaint on the entire advertising industry is that it is too quick to resort to playing on the basest of human desires in order to drive up sales. They answer quite honestly that it's easy and it works. Personally, I try to hold to a more refined standard that takes a higher view of human nature. But whatever the vessel, the method is essentially the same.
which the client had too much creative input, and wound up stifling the creativity amongst those who are supposed to excel in it. I’ve seen it many, many times. An executive has an agenda or a vision for a campaign, and bullies it through, despite being warned that it’s off-track. But that’s only conjecture.
What I’m trying to convey to you is what not to do. Don't become so bogged down in bureaucracy or egos or smallmindedness that you forget what the purpose of your ad or PR piece is - namely to get a reaction. If it fails to make people feel - if that EKG needle doesn't budge when they watch or listen or read your material - then the road you took really was a dead end. What do you think? I’d love to hear!
End of the Road - Or The Beginning? Every PR piece or advertisement should be geared toward getting a reaction from your audience. What that reaction is depends on the piece. If it’s a sale on widgets, you want them to bring the coupon in to your store (or mail it in, or enter it on an online order form) and buy some widgets. If it’s brand reinforcement, you want them to walk away with a certain perception of your brand. If it’s a fundraising appeal, then a different action will be called for; either a straight donation, or perhaps a reservation at a fundraising event or an ad in a journal. But whatever the action, the person
Danny Kay is a marketing and advertising professional as well as a designer and photographer with over 25 years of experience. He’s worked with businesses and organizations of all sizes, up to Fortune 500. He can be reached through his website, www.dannykaydesign.com, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
45 THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 31, 2013
7 Questions with Phyllis
By Alisa Roberts
Tell us about yourself. I am the college counselor at Yeshiva High Tech. Can you describe Yeshiva High Tech for us? This is our second year. We focus on blended education, providing students with a self-directed education based on Torah values. This model provides the tools necessary to participate in society while living to a life of Torah and Halacha, as well as contributing to the Jewish and global communities. How did you get involved in the school? I was born and raised in LA. I have always been passionate about education, and I particularly love young people of this age. When I heard this school was starting, I literally just said I want to be part of it. I wanted to start right at the beginning and see it grow. And here we are! It was a match made in heaven; I love the kids, I love the people, and I really believe in it. You’re launching a new program soon. What is the idea behind it? The program that we are working on is a Yeshivah Seminary Gap Year Fair. It’s a citywide program and we are really excited about it. Traditionally, each year the yeshivas and seminaries would visit individual schools to tell them about their program in Israel. But years ago there was to be a gap year fair, just like the college fairs, where parents and students
could see a variety of programs in one spot. That has not happened in nearly a decade in Los Angeles. It occurred to us that this is an opportunity that we need to jump on. It’s very important for parents and students to see a cross-section of programs, because yeshivas and seminaries can only visit so many schools individually. You may not have an opportunity to see a school that isn’t visiting your school for no other reason than there is not enough time. And that might have been the perfect program for you! By having all the programs in an environment where you can see them all together, it not only opens your mind to programs you might not have thought of otherwise, but it provides extra excitement for the kids. Why are gap year programs so important? The gap year, where students go to yeshivah or seminaries between high school and starting college, is traditional in our community. But even in the secular world there has lately been more emphasis on the importance of the gap year. The secular academic community is now finding that kids that go on gap year – using this time between high school and college to do something of importance, whether it’s learning-focused or community service – gain maturity from the experience. And when they come back to their studies in college, they come with a whole different perspective and their success rate is much higher. Colleges are now coming to support the
gap year; so Jewish schools have really been ahead of the game all these years in encouraging that. My feeling, as a college counselor and a parent who has sent my children to Israel, is that one shouldn’t think of this as a separate time. This gap year should be part of the whole college experience. How did this Gap Year Fair come about? I was reaching out to the Israel programs, setting up times for them to come visit us, and I realized that we should all be in this together. All of the high schools want our kids to go to Israel. Why not make that happen together? I knew about college fairs, and I remembered that years ago, when my girls were looking for programs, there had been something similar. I started wondering why we hadn’t done it before. And so when I went to see the new regional director at MASA, Annie Lascoe, to talk to her about our portion of it, I threw this idea out, just to ask her what she thought. It turned out that they do these programs in other places, so she thought it was a fantastic idea. And that very minute we decided we were going to do it. So we contacted the different area high schools and they were on board. This fair is the only thing of its kind in the region – I have kids coming from San Diego, because there really is nothing else. Tell us what we can expect to see there. The fair will take place Sunday,
November 3rd. There will be about 35 programs in attendance. There are two sections: the boys’ section will be from noon to 3:00PM, and the girls’ program will be from 4:00 to 7:00PM. It will be located at Yeshiva High Tech, at 555 W Olympic Blvd. It’s going to have the following components: The traditional college fair thing where you’ll be able to wander and meet the different schools on a more casual basis; a more formal presentation that discusses the gap year and the importance of the gap year, with a keynote speaker for both boys’ and girls’ sections; and MASA, who we are doing this in conjunction with, will be talking about financial aid and programs to help parents and students get to spend their year in Israel. Then the programs will break off into separate rooms to get formal presentations from the different yeshivas and seminaries in their particular session. So it will really be a fantastic opportunity for parents and students to explore. My goal is to grow this every year. We want more schools involved and more programs visiting. There were actually more who wanted to come this year but couldn’t for scheduling reasons. We have a fantastic Jewish community here, and we should be at the forefront of encouraging our kids to go to Israel and supporting the yeshivas, seminaries, and gap year programs.
Major Abraham Baum, a Jewish American Hero
ne of Germany’s fatal mistakes (whom the Abrams Battle Tank is during World War II was the use named after) for suggestions. Abrams of manpower to man concen- wanted to use his entire combat comtration camps, gather Jews from their mand but it was rejected. They settled on using a task force led homes and to defend arthe operations officer of eas around POW (pristhe command, Major oner of war) camps. By Baum. He was to have March 1945, the war 304 men and 57 vehihad all but been won by cles which included 16 the Allied armies who tanks and 18 half tracks. were pressing in from Camp Hammelburg three directions. The was split into two arGerman frontlines were eas—one for the encaving in but the fanatlisted men and one for ical SS troopers were the officers. The camp defending the camps originally held mainly with such fervor that Serbian prisoners but many people, including Major Baum in later years after the Battle of the hundreds of thousands Bulge in December of Jews were dying at a much higher rate compared to the pre- 1944 many more Americans were sent there. Some of these men were capvious months. The only way for the camps to be tured during the battle but many were liberated was to be overrun by the ad- transferred there from other camps vancing armies. There usually was across the shrinking German empire. plenty of warning for the guards who One of these prisoners was Lt. Col. moved the helpless Jews and POWs to John Waters, General Patton’s son-inmore secure areas inside German bor- law. Patton later claimed that he had ders. Many people died on these death marches. American Third Army Commander General George Patton decided to mount a raid to release American POWs from a camp at Hammelburg. He appointed Major Abraham Baum to lead the task force. Abraham Baum was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1921 and enA US tank crashes the fence of the camp listed in the army right after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He con- no idea that Waters was there and only vinced the army that he was an engi- sent the task force because they were neer by telling them he was one while in the vicinity and had the opportunihe was really working at a woman’s ty to free the prisoners before the end blouse factory in the Bronx. He was of the war. However, when Baum and assigned to the 4th Armored Division many of the task force members found and was wounded in Normandy by an out about Waters, they didn’t buy into anti-personnel mine called a “Bounc- Patton’s reasoning. ing Betty.” In mid-March 1945, he was Many of Patton’s aids tried to dissurprised when General Patton called suade him of the plan claiming that at him into his office. Patton wanted him least 3,500 men would be needed, and to lead the task force. not just the 300 men that were actually The Third Army was getting clos- sent. The camp was 60 miles away and er to Hammelburg, and Patton want- no one actually knew of its precise loed the prisoners there released before cation; without accurate maps it was a anything worse happened to them. disaster waiting to happen for a rescue He asked Lt. Col Creighton Abrams mission. Baum was told that only 300
prisoners would be there and to prepare to evacuate that amount. Even though he had doubts about the rescue, Baum and his men set out on March 26 in the direction of Hammelburg. After breaking though the German bridgehead and suffering some casualties including the loss of a tank, the task force reached the camp in the afternoon of the 27th. The guards at the camp either fled or surrendered. The advancing Americans mistook the Serbs for German guards and fired on them, and the commandant tried to arrange a ceasefire with Waters as the American intermediary. However, Waters was shot and wounded by a German soldier. After the firing stopped, Baum took a look around the camp and was amazed at what he saw. Instead of the 300 POWs, there were thousands of prisoners that needed evacuation. With only half of the task force in fighting shape and some vehicles disabled, Baum had room for only 200 men on the tanks, trucks, half tracks and jeeps. He declared that only high ranking officers could get a ride and anyone else who wanted to come would have to walk. They filled up the vehicles and with several men walking (most decided to stay because of their weakened state), they began the ill-fated journey back to the American lines. Starting out on a moonless night, the task force ran into problems immediately. They had to run with the lights on to provide navigation, which in turn alerted the Germans to their position. Not far from Hammelburg, they ran into an ambush which destroyed the remaining tanks. The survivors regrouped and waited for sunlight. With little fuel left they decided to make a run for it and sent the wounded back to the camp. Baum didn’t know that the
Germans had surrounded their position overnight and almost as soon as they started out, they came under heavy fire. It was each man for himself. A few men made it to the woods, including Baum who was wounded by rocket fire and a bullet to the groin, but most were captured. They were sent to POW camps and awaited liberation. Baum was later captured by the German Home Guard and sent to Hammelburg—this time as a prisoner of war. 32 American soldiers were killed
and many were wounded. It was a steep price to be paid for a mistake by one of the best generals in American history. Patton later said, “I can say this, that throughout the campaign in Europe I know of no error I made except that of failing to send a combat command to take Hammelburg.” Abraham Baum was liberated from Hammelburg nine days after his capture. He received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars and several other medals for his heroism during the war. After leaving the U.S. Army he went to join his brethren in Israel and fought with Moshe Dayan during the Israeli War of Independence. He died on March 3, 2013 at the age of 91 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Even though task force Baum led failed, the men who participated showed heroism and dedication to their brothers who so desperately needed their help.
Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns and can be reached at email@example.com.
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Tips for Success by Jessica Yuz
Part I: Tips for Interview Day Arrive Early: Arrive at least 15 minutes early. Interviews are stressful enough without the added pressure of running late in an unfamiliar environment. When you schedule the interview; confirm the street address, suite and phone number(s). I always recommend doing a dry run by traveling to the interview location a day or two before to scope out the building, figure out parking and logistics and become familiar with the environment. Come Prepared: It never ceases to amaze me how many job seekers come to an interview empty handed. At the very least you need to bring a black or blue pen, two or more copies of your resume (one for you and one for each person participating in the interview) and a notebook. I recommend investing in a leather bound portfolio to take with you to interviews. This will come in handy for any professional meeting or interviews you embark upon in the future and can be purchased for as little as $20. Be Positive: Treat everybody you come in contact with during the interview process (whether in-person or via telephone/ email/etc.) with the kindness and respect you would show the interviewer. From the parking attendant to the receptionist you never know whom the interviewer will look to for input on your personality and behavior. Greet people with a warm and sincere “hello”, smile and, when appropriate, a firm handshake. Be Polite: Looking for a good time to brush up on your manners? There is no better time than interview day to be polite. Always say “please” and “thank you”, do not enter a room or sit down before you are invited to do so and make appropriate eye contact. Show Enthusiasm: Employers want to know that you are not only qualified for the job but are also excited about the prospect of working for them and/or their company. The best way to demonstrate your enthusiasm is by staying upbeat and positive throughout the interview. This can be draining, especially for introverted job seekers, but hopefully your hard work will pay-off. Part II: Dress for Success Employers will make a decision about you within minutes of meeting you. Some of that decision, whether you like it or not,
can be based strictly on your appearance. If you are dressed inappropriately or look sloppy, you have already gotten off on the wrong foot. A good rule of thumb is, if it is too casual for a house of worship, it is too casual for an interview. Even if you are sure that the work environment is not formal, you should still dress professionally.
Wardrobe SuggestionsMen: Dark suit Collared shirt Conservative dress shoes with dress socks- No white sports socks Neutral Tie- No cartoon and/or family portrait tie Belt- that matches shoes Women: Dark skirt -it should not be too tight or short Dress shirt or blouse Conservative dress shoes- closed toe, no more than 3” heels Pantyhose
Hygiene Tips: Make sure your teeth are clean, your breath is fresh, your nails are well manicured, and your clothes are wrinkle and stain free. If you have body art cover it to the extent possible. Keep perfume/cologne to a minimum. Ladies, keep make-up tasteful. If you are tempted to play with your hair (a common nervous habit) pull it back in a neat and professional bun. Men, make sure the hair on both your head and face is neatly trimmed. Be Prepared: Always have extra clothes in case you dirty or sweat through what you are wearing. Keep a toiletry bag with breath mints or mouthwash, hairbrush, lint brush, mirror, deodorant, etc. to use as needed. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it is a good one. Part III: Avoid These Common Mistakes Salary: Asking about salary, benefits, vacation, etc. at the first interview Cell Phones: This is a plea to anyone going to an interview. Please leave your cell phone in the car. If you have information or notes in your phone that you want to have handy for the interview, print them out and put them in your portfolio (see #3). You will, inevitably, either forget to turn off or silence your phone and receive a call, email or text at the most inopportune time. Leaving your phone in the car will also help you to resist the urge to browse
the web while you wait, instead of looking over your resume and running through your responses. Rude or Inappropriate Behavior: This is likely one of those “preaching to the choir” situations but I’ll enumerate it anyway. Avoid these and similar behaviors including; chewing gum, excessively clearing your nose or throat etc. Nervous habits: Some of these are listed above in “rude or inappropriate behavior” others include; playing or twirling hair, awkward or inappropriate hand gestures, biting or picking nails, tapping hands or feet, and so on. Often job seekers are unaware of their nervous habits. This can be detrimental during an interview when ones nervous behaviors may distract the interviews from your responses. In my experience the best way to identify and stop these behaviors if by doing a mock interview with a professional trainer to identify and help you work through these nervous tendencies.
About the Author: Jessica Yuz, MBA is the Founder of Yuz Career Advisers, dedicated to helping individuals identify their interests and set realistic goals so they can take control of their future. With nearly a decade of experience in higher education, Jessica works with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of career exploration, resume writing, interview skills, job search and placement, goal setting, time and stress management, and related fields. Jessica also specializes in assisting professionals of all ages’ transition between employment, finding fulfillment in their work and achieving a lifework balance. You can follow Jessica’s career blog at ycadvisers.blogspot.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Congratulations! You landed an interview. Now what? In this series we will discuss the must do’s before, during and after an interview.
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48 by Shiffy Friedman ©
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OCTOBER 31, 2013
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 email@example.com.
Recap: Lisa’s birthday party goes well, until Dad launches into his fury rampage, with Becca as the victim this time. Lisa Stein, 14 “Happy birthday, Lisa.” “May it be another great year for you, Lisa.” Another? My friends file out of the room one at a time, their quiet goodbyes and happy birthday wishes deafening to my tingling ears. I watch as they tiptoe down the stairs, their eyes cast downward. What a shame. With their hands still chocolaty from Mom’s forlorn cupcakes, they turn the knob to leave this furnace. There’s this urge inside of me to watch them still, to follow their paths with my eyes, even while we’re miles and miles apart, so I’m at the window again, staring as they turn from discernable figures to tiny specks in the distance, their lips pursed as they trudge along. Tap. Tap. Tap. A soft rain is starting to trickle, its drops barely surviving their voyage to the ground below, which reminds me of the dryness in my throat. My tongue feels like sandpaper against the roof of my mouth. For a moment, I contemplate opening the window and sticking my tongue out in the very same way Becca taught me when we were tiny tiny and he locked us out for crying too loud. We would stand in the driveway, our feet cold, our thin strands of wet hair hanging limply over our shoulders, licking a mix of tears and rain-
drops. They didn’t taste that bad, actually, but they didn’t come anywhere near the lemon drops and gumdrops we sang about in the lovely safe haven that was kindergarten. I push the window upward, but then remember I’m already fourteen. Tongue dear, you’ll have to wait some time until I’m ready to go downstairs. For now, I’d rather stand here in peace than quench my thirst. Come to think of it, I’m good at making do. If I’d move out today (I wish!), I’d know exactly how to keep house too. Whenever he decides Mom works too hard, which I think she does but not in the way his crooked eyes see it, housekeeping chores fall heavy on Becca’s and my shoulders. If the floors and walls aren’t scrubbed down to glister like mirrors, we didn’t do anything. “You call this clean?” He’s prone to yell. “What can you do if you can’t wash a floor properly?” Of course, before long we’d be banished from his quarters, too undeserving to inhale his air. Undeserving. What is it about this word that he loves so much? I puff some air onto the window and doodle carelessly. Why is every decent thing I get in this house considered a prize? What does he find so special in a chicken quarter, in a plate of vegetable soup? I’m surprised to see the word I’ve written: Dad. Isn’t he supposed to be my father? Who else is to love me if not the blood from which I come? Pressing my entire palm against the window, I erase the word in one fell
swoop. I’m an experienced vagabond, only now I choose to remain apart. This time, it is I who doesn’t want to join the rest of them. It is I who wants to sit here in solitude, licking the wounds that ooze from every pore. Did I just lose the only people I still lived for? Will my friends ever think me normal again or will I forever be tainted, forever branded as the other? The door bursts open at once. “Who’s there?” I ask lazily, my nose to the window. Becca lands in the room as if propelled by a fierce wind. I turn to face her. “What’s going on?” I don’t know why I ask this. Her cheeks are beet red, her eyes full. They look like sagging squishballs, her eyes, but this time they’re also full of something I don’t recognize, something within her that’s unabashedly pouring outward. Suddenly, her eyes don’t look so piteous anymore. There’s a tinge of— is it anger in there? Perhaps it is a spring of determination I see? “I’ve had it,” she tells me, her words tumbling out. “This is it.” She grits her teeth, her brows coming low between those adamant eyes. I don’t say anything. This is her time to vent and I’ve learned it’s best to let the anger tumble out like hot steam so it clears her innards until the next storm hits. “How can we be so crazy?” She starts to cry. “Why are we letting this happen to us?”
Her why is so potent, so laden with breath that I want to break down with her. “If only the world would know in what darkness we live, if only people would really see who he is,” she shakes her head. If only… The last time I met his friend Avi’s daughter, I almost wanted to put my fingers in my ears as she ranted about the gifts he bought them upon their move to a new home. How blinded can a person be? Does she not see the wickedness, the utter cruelty that hides right underneath his smooth skin, only dormant until he slams our front door shut? Where are the neighbors? Are they deaf to the thunder, blind to the lightning? Our home is caught in a tempestuous cyclone as the world around us wallows in delightful sunshine. “Things must change around here if I want to live another day. I hate it here,” Becca sobs. “I HATE it here!” She plops onto her bed and grabs the pillow. “I’ve never had a good day in my life but I won’t allow him to continue ruining it for me. Take my word, Lisa,” she wags her index finger at me. “Things will never be the same.” From your mouth to G-d’s ears, I think. “Everything is going to change.” But I wonder. How does she know that? Does she really possess prophetic powers, this shattered sister of mine?
ashington seems to be famous for its food. There are Washington apples, shiny and crisp. There’s Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world, which was founded in the state. And then there are red raspberries—90% of the nation’s production of this berry came from Washington. So I guess you can say that Washingtonians are serious about their food. But don’t just head to Washington for its produce and cuisine. Washington boasts some of the nation’s most beautiful and serene landscapes. It’s known for its commerce and technology. And it’s known for its people— quirky and smart, funny and nice. Washington’s motto is “Al-ki,” which means “bye and bye” or “hope for the future.” A trip to the Evergreen State is a guarantee of a future filled with fun and adventure.
Things You Won’t Want to Miss The Space Needle Towering above Seattle, the Space Needle is the symbol of the city. The observation tower was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair and is 605-feet high. When at the top, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and Elliott Bay. A trip to the top takes just 41 seconds—the elevator travels at a whizzing 10 miles per hour. Once on top, visitors can enjoy the gift shop and a revolving restaurant. At night, the Needle is bathed in light and provides an impressive backdrop to the Seattle skyline. Pike Place Market If you’re looking for personality and character, head to Pike Place Market in Seattle. The market is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the nation and features antique dealers, collectible shops, restaurants, produce and fish stands, and flower shops. Street musicians and entertainers make sure that shopping is never dull. Take a stroll to Pike Place Fish Market, a shop that has been featured in TV shows. When customers order a fish, the fish is thrown from employee to employee with a loud yell. The “flying fish” is sure to entertain— even if you’re not a fan of
seafood. And when you’re in the mood of some java, make sure to check out Starbucks Coffee’s first store—located at 1912 Pike Place, just by the market. Olympic National Park Over 922,651 acres of preserved wilderness is found in Olympic National Park. Its natural diversity and breathtaking beauty include eleven major river systems and 100 kilometers of wilderness coastline. There are temperate rainforests, a mountain range, large lowland lakes, wild rushing rivers and saltwater beaches. Make sure to visit the Quinault Rainforest with the largest Sitka Spruce Tree in the world, stretch out on Kalalock and Ruby beaches, and check out the whales at La Push. The Sol Duc falls, river and hot springs are breathtaking with lush greenery year-round, great hiking trails and mineral hot springs. Mount Rainier National Park Ascending 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainer stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. The national park is composed of five developed areas, each with its unique beauty and landscape. The park is perfect for all seasons—glorious views, old growth forests and wildflower meadows brighten up spring days; sledding and cross country skiing are enjoyed in the winter months. Mount Rainier is a volcano that is often shrouded in clouds that hide it from the crowds who gather to see its glorious peak. Glaciers dot the park and almost 10,000 people attempt to climb to Mount Rainier’s summit every year.
The Jewish home n
OCTOBER 31, 2013
From Sea to Shining Sea: Washington
49 THE JEWISH HOME
o c T o b e r 2 4 , 2013
Leisure & Travel
THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 31, 2013 50
THE JEWISH HOME OCTOBER 31, 2013
Herzog Wine Cellars presents
ON THE BEACH This year, we invite you to celebrate Chanukah on the shores of Hollywood Beach at Chabad of Oxnard. It’s a complete weekend get-away with food, fun and rooms at the shore. We have made arrangements with two of the area’s hotels, both within an oceanside stroll of Chabad of Oxnard. Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort starting at $159: (805) 984-2500 Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor starting at $99: (805) 985-1100
Just mention ‘Herzog’ to get our group rate. Shabbat Meals To-Go by Tierra Sur
For a Schedule of Services, Visit: www.ChabadofOxnard.com 112 Los Altos Street, Oxnard, 93035 (805) 382-4770
Rooms Starting at:
per night (+tax)
Shabbat Meals To-Go by the chefs of Tierra Sur and weekend fun at Herzog! Thurs: Thanksgiving at Tierra Sur Friday: Lunch Specials and Shabbat Meals SATURDAY NIGHT! Tierra Sur opens at 7:30pm for dinner & live entertainment:
Johnny Ace Palmer
voted Best Close-up Magician at the Magic Castle in Hollywood - GREAT FAMILY FUN FOR EVERYONE!
For More Details and to Order Shabbat Meals, Call Michael Gomez at (805) 983-1560 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Home LA - 10-31-13