The Jewish Home june 20, 2013 2
The Jewish Home june 20, 2013
The Jewish Home june 20, 2013 4
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Dear Readers, Well the summer months are upon us. Schools are out and the kids are home after
Young Israel of Century City: Where Community Happens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
another successful school year. I don’t mean to overemphasize the subject, but the
We Don’t Abandon Our Dead An Interview with Rabbi Moshe Greenwald . . . . . . . 15
schools in LA do indeed provide a superb education!
over the year. Through more free time, activities, friendships and the general atmosphere of the summer months, we parents have a chance to bring out the natural joy in children
education Question and Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
and channel it for the good and positive... If you’ve ever contemplated saving someone’s life through donating a kidney, there’s
parenting Keeping Camp Safe for our Children – TJH speaks to Mrs. Debbie Fox of Project Safe Camp. . . . . . . . 26
Parsha Balak - Knowing the Good. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Balak - Holy Jews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
someone right here in LA who desperately needs one. Please see page 6 for details about this most important Mitzvah. Please enjoy the happenings section: breakfasts, dinners, an eating contest, graduations, awards, chesed, prayer, siyumim, we have a lot to be proud of! Continue on to memory lane through the eyes of LA’s second largest orthodox
OPED Kashrus in La – An Exercise In Communal Harmony by Rabbi Pini Dunner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
congregation, and be amazed at how far they as well as the rest of LA have come. Let
Humor & Entertainment
doing exactly that. Then Hillel Academy will deal with the problem of apathy, and Rabbi
Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Brander will remind us that all of our issues - real or otherwise - are not who we really
Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Serial Novel – Moon Cap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Odd-but-True Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Israel Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Rabbi Einhorn inspire you to “just do it” and then check out Rabbi Greenwald’s efforts at
are. Last but not least, look up the Op-Ed as it tackles a subject on everyone’s tongue, but from a unique angle... We wish all of those going to camp a safe trip and an enjoyable time, and hope you create memories for years to come. Have a most wonderful Shabbos and a healthy and happy summer,
Shalom Shalom Rubashkin
Publisher & editor
Forgotten Heroes: – The Battle of Malta . . . . . . . . . 32
Lifestyles Travel: Ohio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Recipe: Cold Summer Sweets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, June 21 Parshas Balak Candle lighting 7:50 Shabbos Ends 8:53 Rabbeinu Tam 9:21
Friday, June 28 Parshas Pinchas Candle lighting 7:50 Shabbos Ends 8:53 Rabbeinu Tam 9:21
The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.
june 20, 2013
Just Get Going . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The summer is an opportune time for kids to internalize the lessons they’ve learned
The Jewish Home
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
LA Father and Community Stalwart in Urgent Need of Kidney Five years ago, Menachem Goldberg, a longtime resident of Pico-Robertson and member of Anshe Emes synagogue on Robertson Blvd, experienced kidney failure and was forced to begin dialysis – a difficult regimen in which he connects nightly to a dialysis machine at home for eight hours at a time. Dialysis consumes a person’s life. Mr. Goldberg is unable to attend simchas or activities in the evening, and painstakingly arranges his dialysis schedule to accommodate going to Shacharis at 6:30am and Mincha and Maariv in the evening. Calculating his dialysis connection times to go to Selichos, and more recently to go the early minyan on Shavuos morning to say brochos for the congregation, is a delicate dance which he remains committed to, but is never easy to arrange. In addition, there are numerous health risks to remaining on dialysis, which is only meant to be a temporary solution. The only way for Menachem to resume a full active life is through receiving a kidney donation. (Despite being a diabetic for over 50 years, he has no other diabetes-related health issues, thank G-d.) At this time, all adult members of the LA Jewish community are encouraged to consider getting tested and donating a kidney to help this 60-something father of two married sons both learning in Kollel, known for his smiling face and positive demeanor, regain his independence. In 2008, when Menachem first became in need of a kidney, someone in the community volunteered to be a donor, and over the past several years there were two unsuccessful attempts to do a transplant with this person. The first attempt failed because Menachem caught an infection. The second attempt, a month later, also failed because of a lingering infection that began at the first attempt. Now, the donor is no longer medically available for the surgery and the Menachem is in need of more options. Menachem has now been waiting five years for a transplant to happen. Immediate family members are not available to be donors due to medical concerns. Menachem is open to living donors of ANY BLOOD TYPE. Cedars-Sinai is one of just a few hospitals that can address blood type incompatibility, with excellent results. Menachem and his Ashes Chayil, Golde, tried this method for the first transplant attempt which did not ultimately occur because of Menachem’s infection. Individuals that are interested in being evaluated as possible donors will undergo an extensive evaluation
Kidney Donation 101 – Details on this Tremendous Chesed Opportunity People are forced to go on dialysis when they experience kidney failure, or what’s called End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which means the function of their kidneys are less than 20%.. The most common causes of kidney failure
recovery period (with weight barring restriction for approximately 6 weeks following surgery). This is assuming that their hospitalization and recovery are uneventful. Although organ donation involves a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, there is risk related to this procedure, and possible long term effects on the donors health. Potential donors should carefully inform themselves of all aspects of the donation process, through researching the process at websites like Unos.org or OPTN.org. (Information on halachic live organ donation is also available at www.liferenewal.org.) People who step forward should consider their decision carefully and be willing to actively participate in the process. Organ donation for most living donors is an extremely rewarding & altruistic experience; labeled as a mitzvah by most. Virtually all Rabbis support live organ donation, according to Menachem Friedman, program director of Renewal,
are hypertension and diabetes. Dialysis is a difficult procedure, both physically and emotionally. Dialysis assists individuals with ESRD in removing toxins from the body. However, over time, the toxins that are not removed during dialysis can affect the individual’s overall health, which can increase their overall mortality and morbidity. Individuals on dialysis can experience a decrease in energy, disruption in their daily activities and continued debilitation of their overall health; making the need for kidney donors all the more urgent. A living donor organ lifespan on average is approximately 10+ years, but many have seen their organ last much longer than that. Living Donors, who proceed with organ donation, are expected to have minimal complications. During their evaluation, they will receive extensive education on the potential short and long term risks related to the surgery and to the donation. A donor who is approved for organ donation will be hospitalized for approximately 1-2 days, remain off of work for approximately two weeks, and will be given permission to return to light duty for the remaining four weeks of the
a Jewish organization dedicated to connecting, supporting and educating kidney donors and recipients. On Renewal’s website (www.life-renewal. org) are many rabbinic endorsements for live kidney donation, including endorsements from Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Tauber and more. Renewal, which was started 10 years ago to help support kidney donation in the frum community as well as well as connect donors and recipients, coordinates one transplant a week, on average, and has worked with male and female donors of all ages. Currently Renewal has 200 people in need of a kidney on their waiting list; depending on the recipient’s blood type and location – New York recipients have an easier time getting matched – wait times can range from three months to more than five years. It is Renewal’s goal that no person in need should have to wait more than 6-9 months for a kidney donation. What’s unique about Renewal is its extremely high rates of what’s called “altruistic” kidney donation, in which the donor doesn’t know or have a connection to the recipient, and is just donating a kidney altruistically, to help
at Cedars-Sinai to determine if they are medically & immunologically compatible with Menachem. Though times have often been difficult for Menachem and Golde, they maintain a strong emunah and belief that Hashem will give them strength until Menachem achieves his Refuah Shlema through a kidney donor. We are all familiar with the Chazal that saving a life is tantamount to saving an entire world. Please let us open our minds and hearts and consider the possibility of donating this most valuable resource to this most precious member of our community.
another human being. Two thirds of the approximately 16,000 kidney donations each year in the US are from cadavers, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA. gov). Of the remaining 5,000 kidney transplants, most donors are family or friends of the recipient, says Menachem Friedman, who estimates that only about 150 transplants are from altruistic donors. Of Renewal’s 50 donors a year, the vast majority are altruistic. He says donors are inspired by the opportunity to save someone’s life. “We put ads out and stories about people who need kidneys. Most people do not know who they’re donating to.” While he says that they always try to get families to donate first, and often are successful, many times family members will share the same disease and be medically unfit, or they aren’t a match. One big reason people don’t donate is because their spouses don’t allow them. “People on the street are scared of giving up a kidney – either because they don’t know you could give one up, or they’re scared of surgery,” he says. Renewal tries to ease both of these barriers by educating the community that people can live with just one kidney, and by handholding and supporting kidney donors throughout the transplant process. On Renewal’s site are featured testimonials from actual kidney donors. “There was no way I could walk around with two kidneys and he had none; it was the right thing to do,” said Cindy A. a woman from Allentown, PA. Faigy M., a grandmother from Brooklyn, NY, said, “Like giving birth and bringing life into the world, giving someone a new chance at life is an unbelievably wonderful feeling.” Most relevant to Menachem’s situation, however, is this quote from a donor from Cleveland, OH: “We saw a man who had been on dialysis seven days a week for the past fifteen months; a man who hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since his dialysis began. But on Monday, we saw a healthy, vibrantlooking man who seemed healthy, happy and ready to get on with his life.” If you are interested in becoming a kidney donor for Menachem (Harold) and perform this tremendous chesed, please contact his wife, Golde, at email@example.com or Cedars-Sinai directly to their Kidney Living Donor Program at http://apps.csmc.edu/ ContactUs/?to_email=kidneydonor@ cshs.org&to_group=liverkidney. In the “Your message” Box of this link, please indicate “Harold Goldberg” as the kidney recipient.
7 The Jewish Home
Remarkable Siyum At LINK Kollel In LA that he was the first observant Jew in his family in 4 generations on his mother’s side (Rabbi Yaakov Lipsky of Boston) and in 5 generations on his father’s. But he surprised everyone by relating that his great-great- grandfather on his father’s side was a well-know Gerrer Chassid, Rabbi Herschel Tzvi Yehuda Bienenfeld, who helped in the building of the Sefas Emes Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael over 80 years ago. Now, after so many years of American assimilation, he was reattaching the severed limbs of Yiddishkeit in his family, in a most remarkable way. Moshe first came to LINK exactly 12 months ago, to attend a Shabbaton with Rabbi Lazer Brody (well-known translator of Rabbi Shalom Arush’s popular seforim “Garden of Emunah, et al). Moshe and the yungeliet of LINK took an immediate liking to one another. Since then, Moshe makes the long trek via public transportation from North Hollywood to the LINK Beis Medrash five or six times a week, arriving for Shacharis at 6:45 AM and staying until late
afternoon. He is a fixture in the Beis Medrash, with his infectious enthusiasm for learning whether it be Tanach, Mussar, or Gemara. He occasionally astounds the avreichim with his vast knowledge of history (both Jewish and general), as well as many lesser-known Midrashim and Divrei Chazal. He has steadily grown in his commitment to Halacha and Yiras Shamayim, in a manner that gives inspiration to all. Most of all, as he recited in English the moving words of the Hadran (where he thanked Hashem for allowing him to have his portion with those who learn Torah), the many LINK students who attended (most of whom are Baalei Teshuvah) were struck with a penetrating insight: If Moshe, struggling with his disability, can nonetheless maintain a singular focus to finish tractate Brachos, how much more can they accomplish in their own daily learning, regardless of their background. With that, Moshe returned to his makom kovua to begin his study of his next milestone in Shas, tractate Shabbos.
june 20, 2013
A most remarkable siyum took place on Sunday morning Rosh Chodesh Tamuz (June 9) at the LINK Kollel in Los Angles. No, it wasn’t merely the fact that Moshe Bienenfeld, 25, had only recently become observant and had started coming to LINK exactly one year earlier, never having learned Gemara before. And it wasn’t merely that the mesechta that he was finishing - tractate Brachos – is word-wise, the largest mesechta in Shas. No, it was that Moshe has had the challenge of autism to contend with his entire life, as he attempted to start learning Torah. While being gifted with a vibrant intelligence, his autism caused him to often lose focus on what he was doing. But he was determined to learn through the entire mesechta (with the help of the Artscroll Gemara) and he succeeded. (His first project had been reading through the entire Tanach in English, which he finished a number of months ago.) The poignancy of the siyum was further enhanced by Moshe’s introductory remarks. He detailed
photo credit – Yosef Ober
Tashbar Torat Hayim Graduation
Tashbar - Graduating girls left to right-Lea Rauofpour, Sara Shemtov, Michelle Sasooness, Miriam Elyahoudayan, Ariella Graduating boys (left to right): Eitan Shavalian, Sammy Dayan, Leor Mahfouda, Jonathan Haroonian, Ariel Hanasab, Aviel Hanasab, Penina Sedaghat,Yehoudit Baubot Hanasab, Netanel Dayan, Natan Lavian, David Mokhtar,
Tashbar Torat Hayim’s graduates have once again been accepted to some of Los Angeles’s top Yeshivot. We are proud to announce that Tashbar’s stu-
dents will be attending Bais Yaakov, B’nos Devora, Ohr Chanoch, Ohr Haemet, Valley Torah and YULA,. Tashbar’s graduates are not only ded-
icated to a Torah way of life, but are students with stellar midot and a drive for success across the board. Hazak U’Barukh to the 2013 graduating class
of Tashbar Torat Hayim!
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
Yeshivat Yavneh ends Year with Bang Yeshivat Yavneh ends its 2012-2013 year with a real bang. The graduation ceremony, held in the Jack and Gita Nagel Gymnasium was a celebration of accomplishment and above all Midot. Executive Board Member Brian and his wife Tabitha Dror presented the “David Dror Midot Award”. This illustrious award is a $5,000 grant to one 8th grade boy and one 8th grade girl, chosen by their peers for exemplifying impeccable Midot. The gift is to be applied to the post High School yeshiva in Israel of the recipients choice. This years winners were Oshri Yechezkel and Talia Mahboubi. The community is very proud of their example and are also proud of the entire 8th grade class. 498 is the magic number at Yavneh. This year Yavneh celebrated a growing spike in their enrollment. 498 students are confirmed as attending by June 13. This number is the highest in Yeshivat Yavneh’s 99 year history. What can this number be attributed to? It is hard to say exactly but Yavneh insiders tell us that many of the prospective parents are simply looking to provide a Yeshiva education that aspires to excellence in Torah, academics, and above all Midot. And by the way, the commitment to excellence doesn’t stop there. Yeshivat Yavneh also displayed a brilliant athletic season as they went on to win the Yeshiva League Championships in Basketball and Volleyball. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store for Yavneh.
Western Kosher’s Second Annual Rodeo and Kobe Burger Eating Contest This Fathers Day Sunday, June 16th, held Western Kosher’s second annual rodeo and Kobe burger eating contest. It took place at the new Western Kosher location, in their enormous outdoor parking lot. Entry, rides and food were all on the house- hundreds of Jews from all over the Los Angeles area enjoyed a day of free eating and entertainment. There were pony rides for the young, and bull riding for the brave. The line at the hot dog stand and snow cone booth was long, but all were served. Taster Samples from the Western Kosher take out menu was given out in abundance; in
other words, no one went home hungry. Of course the highlight of the day was the ‘Kobe Beef Burger eating contests.’ Every hour, from 11am-4pm, there was another contest. The ‘most burgers eaten’ record still has not been broken from last year’s contest- a record breaking seven burgers in six minutes! So, what’s behind this great day of fun? Western Kosher owner, Dovid Kagan says it’s really a day of giving back to the community. As someone who has lived in the community his whole life, Kagan has always stressed the importance of maintaining a strong
relationship with his fellow community members. What’s truly special about Western Kosher, a family owned and operated business, is its need to have an ongoing, respectful and giving relationship with its consumers. Western kosher, truly values and appreciates all their customers business. At events like this, it is truly felt. “We started doing this ( event) last year,” says David Kagan. “We were opening up the new store and wanted to do something different, so we decided to do something with the community. It was such a success that we decided to
make it an annual thing. The customers really enjoy it- the kids are have a great time -that’s what its all about.” The relationship is of course mainly apparent in the stores themselves. Only the freshest and highest quality meats and produce grace the shelves in both stores on Pico and Fairfax. When asked what top three products that readers of the Jewish Home should try, Dovid Kagan suggests tamales from the deli department, the pulled brisket (served at the Sunday Rodeo event), and of course the marinated skirt steaks.
tion, with its flagship location being the large halls of Binyanei Ha’uma in Yerushalayim. A long list of premier gedolim, including HaRav HaGaon Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, HaRav HaGaon Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, HaRav HaGaon Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita, HaRav HaGaon Azriel Auerbach, shlita, HaRav HaGaon Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, shlita, the Belzer Rebbe, shlita, the Gerrer Rebbe, shlita, HaRav HaGaon Chizkiyahu Mishkofsky, shlita,
around the globe celebrate the completion of the complex Masechta and look forward to beginning Maseches Pesachim, b’ezras Hashem. It will also mark the first yartzeit of the gadol hador, HaRav HaGaon Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, whose sonsin-law, lbc”l HaRav HaGaon Yitzchok Zilberstein, shlita, and HaRav HaGaon Ezriel Auerbach, shlita, will deliver heartfelt words of remembrance. More than just the significance
HaRav HaGaon Moshe Tzadka, shlita, and many more, have enthusiastically lent their support for the gathering and most will iy”H personally participate in it. As this Kiddush Hashem will iy”H progress in the Holy City, communities around the world will be a part of history, by viewing and/or listen in to the event, as well as partaking in special satellite events of their own. In addition to its importance due to the circumstances of the world, the gathering will include a Siyum on Maseches Eruvin, as yidden from
of the various aspects of the program and the chizuk they offer, the gathering will be very professionally organized and comprehensive – as is Dirshu’s hallmark in all of its events. It will feature live song and dance, as well as a special mass recitation of the “Tefillas HaShla” for success in raising ehrliche children. The achdus that this event symbolizes cannot be overestimated. Family background or levush are no dividing factors when klal Yisroel gathers as one to celebrate what has bound us as a Nation since our inception.
Ashkenazim, sefardim, litvaks, chassidim and every other Torah community will have ample representation at the event – and its various satellite locations around the globe - and modern communication has obliterated much of our geographical limitations as well. Radio Kol HaTorah (97.5 FM), and the Kol Halashon and FNW telephone hotlines, will feature live hookups to the Yerushalayim event. There will also be full scale individual satellite celebrations in Brooklyn (Bais Medrash Birchas Avraham), Lakewood (Cheder Bnei Torah), Monsey (Hamaspik Terrace) and the Catskills (Raleigh Hotel) from 2-4 pm local time. Prominent local gedolim and community leaders will iy”H attend the local satellite events, along with a solid representation of their communities. Each of these events will feature an address from a local speaker, in addition to a hookup to the thousands of yidden gathered in Yerushalayim, with English translation available. The Lakewood event will have the particular honor of being attended by all Roshei Yeshiva, shlita, and addressed by HaRav HaGaon Malkiel Kotler, shlita. The Brooklyn event will be headlined by noted mechanech and speaker HaRav Hagaon Fishel Schachter, shlita. Noted Dirshu Maggid Shiur HaRav HaGaon Zev Smith, shlita, will headline the Catskills event. In addition to these four events and the electronic hookups, communities well beyond Yerushalayim and the New York metropolitan area will be able to partake in the gathering at live, local events of their own. At least seven communities in Eretz Yisroel, as well as London, Paris, and other transcontinental locations, will feature live events at local landmarks. The Torah Communications Network (TCN) will host satellite events in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Passaic, Montreal and Toronto – as well as other communities throughout North America. It may difficult for us to grasp the impact that this event will have on Heaven, as well as in the personal and spiritual lives of attendees and their families. Those who will follow the lead of an unprecedented cross section of our leaders, and thousands of devoted bnei Torah, will b’ezras Hashem derive inestimable merit in this world and the World to Come.
june 20, 2013
It is no secret that the Torah world – and the world’s frum communities in general – are currently undergoing a very trying period. Countless members of our community are wondering how much longer they – and, most of all, their children – will be able to sit within the walls of Torah and its sacred lifestyle. No shortage of mothers and children are wondering where their bread and milk will be coming from in the upcoming months and years. And who knows how much further our Nation’s sworn enemies can advance in their quests to amass the most pernicious weaponry, R”l. Nary a day goes by when we do not feel more hopeless than the previous day. What can we do? We cannot rely on anything other than Heaven for our ultimate salvation, but gedolei Yisroel from throughout the globe have called upon us to strengthen our pride and resolve in our Torah learning as the ultimate weapon to perpetuate our sacred way of life, b’ezras Hashem. Whether one lives in Eretz Yisroel or chutz l’aretz, whether one feels directly threatened by recent developments or not, we can do more than merely “share the burden” with those who feel like their physical and/or spiritual lives are at stake. Every yid has in his hands the wherewithal to counteract these negative developments and give chizuk to those who feel imperiled. “Me’at min ha’or doche harbei min hachoshech.” The dark forces focused on us are no match for the powerful beacons of light at our disposal. Hence, yidden from around the globe are anxiously looking forward to Sunday 15 Taamuz (June 23rd), when they will join in a historic gathering in honor of the Torah, its learners and our revered leaders. A cross section of senior rabbanim, admorim and Roshei Yeshiva have lauded the gathering as a most appropriate response to the challenges of our times, and urged all of klal Yisroel to participate in it. In a letter urging maximum public participation, the Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav HaGaon Malkiel Kotler, shlita, termed the gathering “an honorable event that will enhance the honor of Torah, and unite the Torah world that is persecuted and downtrodden.” The gathering has been arranged by the renowned Dirshu organiza-
By: Shimmy Blum
The Jewish Home
Gedolei Yisroel and Communities Around the Globe to Gather Sunday in Honor and Support of Torah
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
dxezd wefigl dicnele Torah observant Jews in Israel and around the globe are living under imminent existential threat. From Iranian nuclear weapons and Syrian chemical weapons to our own internal politics, the dangers are real and growing, Rachmana litzlan. This seemingly insurmountable situation, chas v’shalom, calls for an even greater “call to action” to improve our Limud HaTorah. It is for this reason that the Gedolei Yisroel have called for this global gathering for Chizuk HaTorah this coming Sunday, June 23 / 15 Tammuz. This worldwide event – broadcasting live from Binyanei Haumah in Yerushalayim – will feature critical timely messages and guidance from our venerable Gedolei Hador, who will be joining in honor of the Torah, and its learners.
Divrei Zikaron L’ilui Nishmas HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l
JUNE 23 11am-1pm
11 The Jewish Home june 20, 2013
l`xyi ilecb ipwf qepik Dirshu has arranged for this Kinnus of hope and inspiration to be broadcast live from Binyanei Haumah in Yerushalayim, to locations worldwide English translation will be provided.
This Sunday, June 23 — 11am-1pm LAKEWOOD
Cheder Bnei Torah, 419 Fifth St.
Hamaspik Terrace, 58 Rt. 59
Beis Medrash Birchas Avraham 1319 Fiftieth Street
Raleigh Hotel 243 Heiden Rd, S. Fallsburg, NY
LIVE ADDRESS BY:
HAGAON HARAV MALKIEL KOTLER
LIVE ADDRESS BY:
HARAV MOSHE GREEN
LIVE ADDRESS BY:
HARAV FISCHEL SCHACHTER
LIVE ADDRESS BY:
HARAV ZEV SMITH
— Listen Live — – LIVE RADIO/STREAM – 97.5 FM - Brooklyn NY www.RadioKolHaTorah.com – BY PHONE – 718-506-9099, Radio Kol HaTorah Sponsored by Xchange Telecom
732-551-3351 x9, FNW Lakewood
– KOL HALOSHON – United States: 718-906-6400 Canada: 416-800-2146 To listen LIVE: Press * and choose “Special Asifos” To listen to the archives: For English: Press 1, then press 7 for Special Topics, Press 4 for Special Asifos, Press 1 for Dirshu Chizuk Asifa.
TCN Locations BALTIMORE
Agudath Israel of Baltimore 6202 Park Heights Avenue
Chicago Center for Torah & Chesed 6333 N. Troy Avenue
Yeshiva Beis Yehudah 15751 Lincoln Drive
Bais Yaakov Seminary 2195 Ekers
ADDITIONAL CITIES INCLUDE: CLEVELAND LOS ANGELES MIAMI PASSAIC TORONTO Locations and additional TCN sites to be announced
For more information regarding live hook up locations, please contact: - North America 888-5-DIRSHU x 148 - Eretz Yisroel & Europe: 02-560-9000 - England/France: 07967-228624
Bottom Line Marketing Group: 718.377.4567
— Live Satellite Hook-up Locations —
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
Lehosheet Yad- Extending A Hand Over the last week, you may have seen a group of Israeli children traveling around the Los Angeles area. They probably looked happy, with cheery eyed smiles on their faces, as they ran around Universal Studios, sailed on private yachts and watched whale shows at Sea World. Like any regular kids, they are enjoying everything California has to offer. If you had run into these kids, perhaps you wouldn’t have noticed the dark reality behind those cheery eyes. These children are part of an Organization called ‘Lehosheet Yad,’ “an organization that promises a glimmer of happiness and joy for those children stricken with cancer all around Israel.” Lehosheet Yad LA was founded about five years ago by David and Esther Vered, who tragically lost their son, Adir, in a car accident. When
discussing the best way to honor the memory of their son, they took to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s advice, “by doing, you will be comforted.” The Vered’s along with co founders Eli and Aviva Shetri and Coby and Lilach Shirazy, dedicated themselves to making the Lehosheet Yad LA trip happen annually. They partnered with Rabbi Nachman and Elkie Abend and put the organization under the auspices of Chabad of North Hollywood to make sure the trip would be run in the best possible manner. ‘Lehosheet Yad LA’ is a sister organization to the original ‘Lehosheet Yad’ in Israel. Both branches are extremely active and involved in each others work and programs. They both have fun packed tour trips, pay hospital visits and provide all sorts of spe-
cial activates for kids who suffer with cancer. They do everything possible to provide these children with a measure of normality from the grueling treatment and endless suffering they go through on a day-to-day basis as cancer patients. The grand Los Angeles trip is for children ages nine through nineteen, who are cancer patients in Israel. Chaperoned carefully by a team of pediatric oncologists, to ensure the health and safety of the children, the group is taken to some of the most popular LA attractions. Counselors recruited from the local surrounding communities spearhead the exciting atmosphere and provide a constant ambiance of positive energy and fun. Many top quality kosher restaurants in Los Angeles, including Café 26, Nagila Pizza and Fish Grill, volentarely participate by
By Mushki Boteach-Naparstek
providing meals for the kids throughout the trip. Perhaps the highlight of the trip is a beautiful and inspirational Shabbat dinner, where they sing and dance together and then enjoy a lavish Shabbat feast. For some, it is the first Shabbat they have ever experienced. Indeed this trip is designed to give these special children, “ The time of their lives.” Time away from the hospital and the arduous cancer treatments they must face every day while living with this sickness. As Rabbi Nachman Abend puts it, “The sheer exhilaration of experiencing a trip like this one is a welcome distraction from their turbulent life and is something that will leave them with lifelong memories and a warm glow in their brave little hearts.”
who has witnessed this new climate first hand in the school’s efforts to provide for the religious needs of VTHS graduate Aaron Liberman (2011), a 6’10” freshman at Northwestern and a center on the school’s N.C.A.A. basketball team. The school “has been incredibly accommodating to Aaron’s orthodox commitment,” says Lenard Liberman, Aaron’s father, who credits Schapiro “with creating that kind of climate that is so sensitive to Aaron,” who walks to Friday night or Saturday practices and games, plays with his yarmulke on and takes cold showers afterwards (because of the prohibition to use hot water on the Sabbath). Mr. Liberman related that Aaron was walking home from a game one Friday night since he wouldn’t
take the bus and all the other freshmen on the basketball team walked back with him. According to an article about Liberman in The New York Times, Jan. 27, Northwestern makes separate travel arrangements for him if necessary so that he never has to fly on the Sabbath. Liberman is “believed to be the third practicing Orthodox Jew to be part of a Division I team,” the article noted. “Schapiro spoke from the heart about his faith and his strong Jewish roots,” says Stulberger. He also expressed his admiration for VTHS for producing students with the character of Aaron Liberman. The dinner was held in the magnificent backyard of Aaron’s parents, Lenard and Sarah Liberman, longtime VTHS supporters. VTHS President Jonathan Istrin spoke about some of the
VTHS Second Business Networking Event Over thirty alumni and friends participated in this month’s Business Networking Breakfast. For many, this was the second breakfast they attended. For some, this was their first time at a VTHS business event. After everyone introduced themselves, Paul Cohen spoke about how the challenges of remaining frum in the big-business, sports and entertainment industries can be managed. Many people lingered after the event to talk business and share contacts. We heard numerous comments from participants about how the last event successfully connected them to new business opportunities.
school’s recent accomplishments, such as the class of 2013 acceptances at several top colleges and universities, including Brandeis, California State Northridge Honors, Northwestern, Occidental, Stanford, University of Arizona, UCLA, University of Pittsburgh, USC, several UC schools and Yeshiva University Honors. The beautiful weather, ambiance and meal were complemented by exceptional entertainment provided by Eitan Katz who performed with the Skye Michaels Orchestra. With separate girls and boys divisions, VTHS is a leading college preparatory yeshiva high school catering to students with aspirations to attend top universities.
june 20, 2013
Valley Torah High School presented its first Educational Leadership Award to Northwestern University President Dr Morton Schapiro on June 6, at its Annual Trustees Dinner. Dr. Schapiro spoke on “The Role of Faith in Secular Universities” at the event, which supports the school’s scholarship fund. VTHS honored Dr. Schapiro for his encouragement of religious tolerance and sensitivity on the Northwestern campus, rated as a top 10 university in the country. Under his leadership “Northwestern has changed its climate, attitude and atmosphere” by accommodating the religious needs of Jewish students “and is attracting more high school graduates from Jewish communities throughout America,” says VTHS Dean Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger,
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Valley Torah Dinner
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june 20, 2013
Bais Naftoli Celebrates 21st Anniversary with Annual Breakfast Ceremony
By Robert Cordas
An estimated 300 people attended a catered breakfast in honor of the 21st anniversary of Congregation Bais Naftoli. Numerous government officials and dignitaries also participated in the event. U.S. Marshal Mark Singer and Dr. Arnold Ross were honored. Dr. Marc Goldenberg served as the master of ceremonies. Mr. Singer is the former chief of police for the Signal Hill and Whittier Police Departments. He has served as the U.S. Marshal for the Central District of California since 2010. Dr. Ross is a podiatric surgeon and lecturer in the area of orthopedic biomechanics. He is affiliated with the UCLA Department of Kinesiology and teaches at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Ross is an active member of Congregation Bais Naftoli and Young Israel of Hancock Park. Public officials who attended the event included Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonell, Hungarian Consul General Lazlo Kalman, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Brian Cummings. Bais Naftali is located at 221 South La Brea Boulevard in the Beverly La Brea Community. The Rav of the shul is Rabbi Avi Lebovic, a full time practicing attorney and the founder of the Aish Tamid Organization.
(L-R) Tzvi Grunfeld, Aaron Grunfeld, Rabbi Berish Goldenberg, Andrew Friedman
Andrew Friedman, President, Congregation Bais Naftoli with Mike Brown, Commissioner, California Highway Patrol
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Bais Naftoli Honoree Aaron Grunfled, Director, Metropolitan Water District with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca
How did you first come to learn about conditions at the cemetery? I read an article in the Los Angeles Times. When I saw that article I thought, what a chillul Hashem for the Los Angeles Times to write that the Jews abandon their dead. We take care of our dead. We are the most loving and nurturing to our beloved ones who have passed on. We have entire organizations dedicated to respectfully caring for our dead, and all kinds of people are involved in those organizations. We don’t abandon our dead. We don’t. After you read the article, how did you become involved in the project? So the day after Pesach, I went there with the intention of scouting it out for a cleanup day with our young professionals group. At the time, I was thinking that we would organize a couple hundred people, clean up the graffiti, pull the weeds, and the problem would be solved. But what I saw was much more devastating than what I had imagined. You walk through rows of hundreds upon hundreds of toppled and destroyed headstones, many of which are massive. Some of these
An Interview with Rabbi Moshe Greenwald
By Alisa Roberts
headstones weigh over two tons. Then other areas of the cemetery are in complete devastation. At first it was beyond overwhelming trying to figure out what to do. But the one thing I knew was that we couldn’t just ignore it and leave it as it was.
june 20, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, the rabbi of Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles, has been leading the recent campaign to restore Mt. Zion cemetery. Located just east of Los Angeles, Mt. Zion used to be a beautiful resting place for those who had lived in that once-affluent Jewish neighborhood. Beautiful would not describe it now. Due to years of neglect and vandalism, the cemetery is in reprehensible disrepair. But a few committed individuals are aiming to change that. They want your help. Rabbi Greenwald spoke with me this week about the importance of the cause, what needs to happen now, and what you can do to help.
We Don’t Abandon Our Dead
Can you describe it to someone who has never been there? First of all, it’s a unique cemetery because it’s mainly granite and concrete; there’s very little grass there. When you walk in, the front of the cemetery doesn’t look so bad. But as you get to the middle and the back you see toppled headstones, cracked and smashed ledgers. Many of these old headstones had photos attached, and people have torn them off, smashed them, or shot them off with guns. There’s some graffiti, and a lot of neglect. It’s very, very painful to see. This isn’t your only project. Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles is very involved with the community and many other charitable causes. What made you decide to make this a priority? First of all, because chesed shel emes is an utmost priority. Chesed shel emes is something which can’t be ignored. In Moed Katon, the Gemara says that even on chol hamoed Pesach one is permitted to be busy preparing the markers for a cemetery. This cemetery is one which needs a lot of attention, and ignoring it would basically be saying that the community doesn’t care about kavod ha’mes, doesn’t care about chesed shel emes. I don’t think that’s true. I think the community should care and does care. But they need to be informed.
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very generous contributors. But you still see this as a community project? Right. And we need more people to step up. Obviously a tremendous, tremendous yasher koach goes out to Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, who gave $250,000.00. He deserves extraordinary hakaras hatov for coming forward and putting the funds into place. Now we need the rest of the community to come forward as well.
Tell us a little more about how you see that happening. How can people get involved? First of all, many people are asking me how they can contribute apart from financially. And the answer is that there will come a time when we will have So far, the forward progress on this community cleanups to take care of the project has been made possible by a few weeds and some of the graffiti. But that’s 5% of the current problem; 95% of the problem has to be done by professionals. You can’t have volunteers picking up headstones that weigh 2000 pounds. You can’t have volunteers doing cement work and hauling out cement ledgers. We already have contractors who have agreed to do the work at cost. We have to pay for labor and materials, but they’re not making any money off of this job. Even so, we still have to raise a lot of money. So people can help by contributing. If every Jew in Los Angeles gave some money, the restoration would be completed in no time. And people should not think that if they’re not able to write a large check they shouldn’t contribute. We welcome the $15.00 and $20.00 donations the same way we welcome the $250,000.00 donations. If everybody gave a little bit, this would be done. Baruch Hashem, there is a lot of cemetery restoration happening in Europe right now. This Real estate developer Izek Shomof & his son Jonathan inspecting the damage with Rabbi Greenwald should not have happened in Los Angeles.
We’re not a small city. We’re the second largest Jewish city outside of Israel today. People have said to me that there are so many other great causes to contribute to – and they’re right. Education, feeding the poor…that all comes first. The living come before the dead. But we’re not exactly a poor city either. We take vacations. We drive nice cars. We live good lives. We can shed a few dollars to correct this tremendous wrong. Where can we give? You can go to restoremtzion.com or you can send a check to Friends of Mt. Zion, 219 W 7th St, STE 205, Los Angeles, CA 90014. It should also be said that all parties involved are doing this entirely as a chesed. No one is making any money out of this restoration; every dollar donated goes directly to the repairs. This is not a Chabad problem, or even an Orthodox problem. It’s the problem of every Jew living in Los Angeles. Everyone should be concerned, and everyone should do their part. Is there anything else you’d like to share? There’s a lot of history there. This was a frum cemetery. When you walk through it you see describing those buried as ohev l’Hashem, loving Torah, talmidei chachamim. You see pictures. Nowadays people generally don’t put pictures on headstones, but from that time you see people with full beards, women with kerchiefs. The people who are buried there were frum. They lived their whole lives as Orthodox Jews. They deserve better than this.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Just Get Going Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
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june 20, 2013
There was a time when aspiring music artists needed a record label and a lucrative contract for their songs to be heard. One hungry forward thinker named Derek Sivers changed the game. He created CDBABY.COM. CDBABY is a website that hosts independent artists and their music. Simple as that. This site turned into a huge success for Sivers and for hundreds of talented individuals waiting for that big break. When Sivers was asked how he got this almost-obvious concept off the ground, he didn’t respond that he waited for hundreds of investors, or for record companies to notice him. He didn’t wait for a full vision to emerge. He knew that he simply wanted to provide musicians a service and that impulse was enough to know for now. In Judaism we would say that he pulled a Nachson Ben Aminadav. He jumped right in. Rabbinic tradition (Mechilta to Shemos 19) teaches us that kol haschalos kashos - all beginnings are difficult. The start of any project can be fraught with challenges, pitfalls, and fears. But the Nachshon knows that
sometimes to get something done everything follows after the begin- of understanding a greater power you can’t wait, you need to jump right ning. Why is that? Why must every- in this world, changed humanity’s in. Nachshon destiny forever. Ben AminaEverything foldav was the lows after the When you look at someone smiling brother-in-law beginning. of Aaron, and and someone that is filled with joy, Modern sucmilitary comthat emotion affects you. cess formumander of the las instruct us tribe of Judah. to develop a During the Exclear vision of what we want, creodus, the Israelites stood at the edge thing flow from the beginning? Beof the Red Sea. The water was sim- cause the beginning sets the tone. It ate a plan of action, and then work ply not parting. Nachshon decided says I am somebody who is willing through the process, tweaking that he wasn’t going to wait. When to take chances. I am somebody who changes if necessary along the way. nobody else was willing to dare a is going to do what Hashem needs The problem with such an approach first motion, Nachshon put his foot me to do even if I am afraid. Once is, what if your vision is not yet fully in the water and said, “I believe the that first chasm is traversed you are formed, or the exact outcome is not yet known? Many times we don’t water will split.” The Chassidic Reb- never the same. know what exactly we want out of be of Alexander once interpreted an life until we’ve actually experienced Malcolm Gladwell’s favorite Tipinteresting Talmudic position (Sanhedrin) in a similar light. The Tal- ping Point example is Roger Ban- it. While a grand vision is wondermud says, “Kasha zivugin k’kriyas nisters “4-Minute Mile.” Once Ban- ful, you can’t always wait for one to yam suf,” finding a mate is as chal- nister did the unthinkable in 1954 come, sometimes you have to just lenging as the splitting of the sea. and ran a 4-minute mile, he generat- get busy moving. G-d is infinite - how can anything ed a tipping point which has allowed Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Efbe challenging? What is the point hundreds to break that same mark fective People advocates for starting of this comparison? The Alexander since. The record is currently 17 with the end in mind. Yes that is efRebbe says “kasha” is not difficult, seconds faster. I think this is more fective. But Abraham did not know but rather in Hebrew it can mean a than a tipping point. This is about the end when he began. Joseph did question, the question that we may somebody believing that something not yet understand why with all of have when it comes to finding our never done before can in fact be achis vision he would wind up as a life partner. Will I ever find him or complished. Jump in the water and forgotten soul in Pharoah’s dunher? How will I know that he or resolution will follow. geon. Einstein did not initially know she is the one? These questions are Abraham was called Avraham that E would equal mc2. When he similar to the questions at the sea: Ha’Ivri. The commentaries explain got turned on to physics and elecWill this water open for us? How that the name “Ivri” doesn’t mean tromagnetism in 1895, Einstein saw will G-d save us with thousands of the Hebrew, but rather the one that there were too many holes. He enemy combatants chasing us? The who stood on one side of the world knew that our current understandanswer, at times, to these questions against the other. Avraham was not ing was wrong. How was he going is just jump in. afraid. He was not afraid that his way to prove it? He wasn’t sure but he A Nachshon be- of looking at the world was differ- got started and dedicated the next ginning can be ent. He didn’t give in to the thought ten years of his life working toward so powerful. We that his burgeoning ideology flies in a vision. have a tradition the face of so much history. No, with (Pirkei D’Reb- G-d’s word, “Lech Lecha,” you shall be Eliezer) that surely go, Avraham understood that Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of relates to the even with a unfinished world-view, Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of a synagogue consulting group for the Orenergy of the not yet perfectly polished and clear- WINGS; hodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For initial moment: ly understood, he must begin his any comments, thoughts, or observations email the “Hakol holecch journey. His courageous Nachshon Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org achar harosh,” moment, when he left everything he once knew behind all in pursuit
Rabbi Reuven Wolf
have Bilam apply his skills against Am Yisrael in defense of his Moabite kingdom. The Chassidic Masters also tell us that Bilam’s talents lay in much the same areas of the spiritual realm as Moshe, only directed toward evil and sorcery instead of G-dliness and life, as was the case with Moshe. The key skill that is common to both of them—
He was able to see the point of light and the goodness that lay deep within the soul of people, and he could inspire that goodness and use it to lead the people, to defend them and to save their lives when the need arose. By contrast, Bilam was a master of Da’as haKelipah—deep knowledge of the dark inclinations that move people, even the most sincere and righteous
in the face of the many libels lodged against our people, we must be certain that we ourlseves do not fail to recognize that inner light the ability that is at the heart of the prophetic soul—is the ability to see and understand the depths of reality. In Judaism, Prophecy is not a trick done with crystal balls or tea leaves; it is a power of the mind and the soul to see the depths of reality. Prophecy calls upon the mind to reach what in Kabbalah is deemed the third level of knowledge and understanding. The first level, Chachmah, is simple knowledge— knowing the facts, but with a detachment and without intense involvement. The second level, Binah, occurs when the idea is integrated into the mind and spirit of the person, and then it becomes understanding. But the third level entails intimacy—becoming aware of the emotional and spiritual aspects of that which is known; this is called Da’as. At this level, the prophet sees the reality of some aspect of life and the world and recognizes its real content— its power for good or evil and its impact on the individual’s soul… and ultimately on the course of history and the fate of nations. So often, the wisdom of a Tzaddik, a person of spiritual greatness and righteousness, will amaze with the simple power of seeing simply what is the case, and noting what lies beneath the surface and is really at work in a situation. A Tzaddik attends a wedding and sees the potential good that will come from the union of the bride and groom and the home and family that the two newlyweds will, with the help of Hashem, build in Israel. Most of us ordinary people meanwhile take more notice of the smorgasbord. Da’as entails intimate understanding of something, not its formula or the inert fact. That is why the relationship between Adam and Eve is described with the words (Bereishis 4:1), ve-haAdam yadah es Chavah ishto—“And Adam knew Eve, his wife.” True knowledge involves intimacy and involvement. Moshe Rabeinu was the supreme master of knowledge of holiness—Da’as haKedusha.
of people. Bilam was the master of seeing the soft, fetid core of insincerity and hypocrisy that taints even the most selfless acts of kindness and charity. This was what Bilam was hired to do: to find that weakness that was buried beneath the righteousness and devotion that had been developed by the new generation that grew up in the wilderness over 40 years and believed it was prepared to enter Eretz Yisrael. Gone, they all thought, were all the degenerate influences of 210 years of bondage—spiritual more than physical bondage—that their parents and ancestors had endured in unholy Egypt. Living in the Presence of the Shechina and the protection of the Almighty, and preparing for their sacred nationhood, the Israelites, who stood ready to once again cross a body of water and enter history, would have sworn that any of the failings of the previous generation had been purged and purified out of them. But Bilam could smell a rat a mile away. His prophetic power of insight, his Da’as haKlipa, saw that deep down in the innermost animal soul of the Israelites there remained the faint strand of licentiousness, the small remnant of desire and the memory of the pleasures of the flesh that had been routine in Egypt. And so, having failed to find anything on the surface and in the open with which to curse Israel, Bilam thought perhaps he could design a test for the Israelites to see if those passions and desires could be awakened and lead Am Yisroel astray. The test, as the Midrash describes it, was designed with a cunning and thoroughness that would make Madison Avenue envious, and, it worked, one might say, “like a charm.” Only a rash act by Pinchas saved the day (as recounted in the closing portion of the Parsha). But where was Moshe during all of this? Moshe was so impressed with how dismally Bilam failed in his initial attempt to curse Am Yisroel that he kept his eye on the good and
righteousness that lay at the heart of the Jewish People and missed (or overlooked) this alltoo-human impurity in their animal instincts. Thus Bilam proved to be a match—a worthy opponent—for Moshe Rabeinu in his mastery of the mystical arts. And herein lies the lesson of Bilam. Bilam—whose very name means b’li-am; “without a nation”—was devoted to showing that the Jews were not loyal and devoted subjects of Melech Hashem, the Kingly Rule of the Almighty and followers of His Torah. They were no better than the rabble they lived with in Egypt, he showed, and just as prone to sin as before. And this has become the mission of the enemies of right and goodness throughout the ages: to show that the Jewish People can be seduced and swayed by the meaner, baser instincts and material weaknesses to which all flesh is heir. Amid all the instances in which Jews have been accused and singled out, fairly or unfairly, of acting badly and unscrupulously in the world, the enemies of the Jews and of the good have eagerly pointed out with a snicker that these misdeeds were performed by people who claim to have a closer relationship with G-d. But what they have purposely neglected to mention is that a great many of those who revealed and prosecuted these crimes were Jews—far more than the Jewish percentage of the population. Our people remain today as they have been for centuries—defenders without peer of what is right and champions of justice. As disciples of Moshe and rejectors of the cynicism of Bilam, we seek to find the genuine goodness and devotion to G-dliness that is at the core of every Jewish soul. In the face of the many libels lodged against our people, we must be certain that we ourselves do not fail to recognize that inner light—nor fail to know the good that moves our people— sometimes smoothly, sometimes careening— through history.
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.
june 20, 2013
This week’s Parsha, Parshas Balak, is unusual in a number of ways. First, nearly all of the events of the Parsha take place away from Am Yisroel; we, in fact, would never know of many of these events had Moshe not been informed of what Bilam and Balak were up to through a prophecy. Why are the evil schemes of these two despicable men so important that we need to know what they did, how they plotted, and in such detail? To be sure, there is a great warmth in the story in how soundly Hashem rejects the curses of Bilam and thwarts his evil designs—all in the midst of the instances in the Midbar when Am Yisroel erred and angered Hashem. The Sages derive smaller lessons about Bilam, such as: “In the way that a person is determined to go, the Almighty leads him down that path.” But is there something more—a lesson for not only the Jews of that time, but for the generations since and also for us? Perhaps there is such a lesson, for in the story of Bilam, we see a battle being waged that involves the Almighty, humankind and Am Yisroel, in a drama being played out over the course of all of history. The Kabbalists tell us that the Almighty created the universe to be ruled by opposing forces. As we read in Koheles (14:7), Zeh le’umas zeh asah Elokim; “one opposite the other the L-rd created”—from the day of the Fall of Adam to the coming of the Messiah, the world will be the battlefield between opposing and comparably strong forces of good and evil. We see this confrontation of opposing forces throughout the story of the Exodus: the evil power and kingship of Egypt is opposed and overcome by the power and majesty of Hashem. What we don’t find so readily is an opposing force to the heroic and magnificent way Moshe Rabeinu defends, prays and pleads for the Jewish People through all the mishaps along the way. Neither do we find an agent for the forces of evil and sorcery that can stand against Moshe. Once the snake that Aharon’s staff turns into devours the snakes of the Egyptian sorcerers, that part of the contest is over. Moshe may be challenged by argument, trickery and complaint, but not by sorcery from the side of Evil—not until the arrival of Bilam. The Midrash Sifre comments on the Posuk near the very end of the Torah (Devarim 34:10): Lo kam navi od B’Yisroel k’Moshe—”There has never arisen in Israel a prophet as great as Moshe…”—but outside of Israel, there was a prophet with powers of prophecy and mystical talents that were a match for Moshe, and that was Bilam. When we realize the extent to which Bilam had excelled in his mastery of the evil mystical arts, we can understand why Balak was prepared to spend enormous amounts to
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Balak - Knowing the Good
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june 20, 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.
My child is starting to show signs that he is apathetic about Jewish observance. What can I do to address this without turning my child off from Judaism any further? Concerned Dear Concerned: Apathy is generally indicative of a person who has lost interest in something. We find whole communities becoming apathetic in communal affairs as a result of feeling their opinion is not appreciated. Some people become apathetic towards a cause when they begin to feel that the cause is not exciting or has no special meaning to them anymore. At times people become apathetic “not” because they don’t care, but exactly the opposite. They care a lot, but they feel they cannot have an effect
on the outcome, so they just become apathetic and let the chips fall where they believe they will fall anyway. At times apathy can also come from people being overwhelmed and feeling nothing can help change things anyway. When a child exhibits apathy towards his or her Judaism, it can be a result of any one of the above mentioned reasons. Judaism can become so dogmatic at times. The rigmarole of doing the same mitzvot repeatedly without a seeming purpose can become monotonous as well as frustrating. Instead of blatantly challenging what he or she has to do repeatedly in this dogmatic way, the child begins to show signs of frustration through being apathetic. It may be that the child really does care but wants to see a purpose or feel some joy and novelty in the mitzvah. At a certain age the child may also want to begin understanding the why’s of
the mitzvah as much as the what’s. He or she may not know how to ask this question, and therefore chooses apathetic behavior as a result. The Parent Institute in Virginia suggests the following when dealing with an apathetic child in general: “One of the best ways to help children overcome apathy is by encouraging them to set—and achieve—goals. With your child, write down a specific goal. Now make a plan for achieving it. You’ll need to show your child how to break down a big task into several smaller ones. Make sure he checks these steps off as he achieves them.” One of the most fundamental principles in Jewish life can be referred to as the “naaseh venishma” principle. This is what we declared as a nation at Mount Sinai when the Torah was bequeathed to us by G-d. We accepted at Mount Sinai to learn how to do what is necessary, and once mastery is achieved to then take the time to understand the why’s of what we do. This gives each Jew the opportunity to avoid apathy. The knowledge and understanding associated with a mitzvah allows us to become motivated and re-energized in the performance of the good deed. The first verse we teach our children from Torah is: Torah tzivah lanu Moshe morasha kehilat Yaakov --”The Torah that Moses commanded us is an inheritance to the community of Jacob.” Our Sages point out that this verse is the first one children learn and recite, as this gives each child the message that he or she “counts.” Each child from the beginning of his or her development is made to feel like a direct recipient of this inheritance from Moshe and also as a personal owner of the Torah and its contents. When we own something, we cherish it and take ownership over it. Speak to your child about ways that he or she can “own” the Torah or its mitzvot. Engage in exercises and discussions that bring new life into observance and make it feel novel and exciting. Whatever you do, please do not overreact. Sometimes a child needs
space, and apathy may just be a natural “need to breathe” and to get some space. However if the behavior continues remember that the best way to turn around this behavior is to involve the child with an engaging task that is short term and can be accomplished easily. Give your child a task that brings excitement into his or her life and Judaism. Our Sages when noting that the Shema uses the word hayom -- “today” when discussing the commandment to love G-d daily, explain that even though the commandment took place thousands of years ago, every day we should consider it “new.” We imagine G-d gives us the Torah and its commandments anew daily. We have to imagine it is fresh and vibrant. Think to yourself. The last time a mitzvah was a little overwhelming or boring for you as an adult, how did you react? How many times do we hear adults whining over the length of a chag or the need to do a particular mitzvah again. Think what your child internalizes when he or she hears or sees this behavior from you or another adult. The answer to apathy is joy and energy. If we as adults find ways to insert vibrancy into our mitzvot our children will learn from our example and apathy turns into enthusiasm, excitement and joy. We can avoid reaching this challenge as well if we teach our children from an early age that G-d created the World for him or her and what he or she does really matters. Pirkei Avot advises us that Man was created alone to show he can and does rule and control the World. G-d believes in each individual. This messaging will help your child realize that doing that mitzvah or saying that Tefillah really does make a difference. At the same time, teach your child that Man was created last at the end of creation. All of creation is waiting for us to take on the responsibility that G-d entrusts us with. Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin and Rabbi Eli Broner Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Administration
By Rabbi Asher Brander
Lo hibit aven b’yaakov – v’lo ra’ah amal b’yisrael. Hashem Elokav imo uteruas melech bo . He perceived no iniquity in Yaakov; and He has seen no transgression in Yisrael; Hashem his G-d, is with him, and he has the King’s friendship One may justifiably wonder what rose colored glasses is God wearing? Does he see no iniquity among the Jewish people?– Then what shall we make of all the chastisements and punishments that are the leitmotif of the Prophets? - A recurring theme in the Torah, and more than an honorable mention in the Kesuvim? The secret, says Ohr Hachaim lies not in the sin – but in its residual effects; Sin may sully the neshama (soul) and distance it from her Creator - but at its core, the yiddishe neshama remains pristine. Shechora ani v’naava3 says Israel: I am blackened but remove the dirt encrusted over the top layer, and you will see- v’naava, that I am beautiful. Bilaam, in his quasi prophetic state, teaches us that God is a mabit, i.e. He gazes deeply4 and is able to see the neshama tehora (pure soul) that resides in every Jew.
Yom Kippur was nearing, and fears in the camp mounted – for everyone knew that the Germans especially liked to use Jewish holidays to inflict terror and death. In Janowska, a handful of “old-timers” remembered terrifying “selections” carried out on Simhat Torah and Purim. On the eve of Yom Kippur, at the height of the tension, a few Hasidim, not wanting to violate the holiest day of their year, approached the Rebbe and asked him to beg Schneeweiss not to assign their group, on Yom Kippur, to any of the thirty-nine main categories of work,. . The Rebbe was moved by the request of his Hasidim and despite his fears - for he would have to disclose his identity - went to Schneeweiss. He knew quite well that Schneeweiss did not have much respect for Jewish traditions. “You probably remember me. I am the Rabbi of Pruchnik, Rabbi Israel Spira.” Schneeweiss did not respond. “You are a Jew like myself,” the rabbi continued. “Tonight is Kol Nidrei night. There is a small group of young Jews who do not want to transgress any of the thirty-nine main categories of work. It means everything to them. It is the essence of their existence. Can you do something about it? Can you help?” The rabbi noticed that a hidden shiver passed through Schneeweiss as he listened to his request. He took Schneeweiss’s hand and said, “I promise you, as long as you live, it will be a good life. I beg you to do this for us so that we may find some
semblance of dignity in our humiliating existence.” The stern face of Schneeweiss changed. For the first time since his arrival at Janowska, there was a human spark in it. “Tonight I can’t do a thing.” said Schneeweiss, the first words he had uttered since the rabbi had come to him. “I have no jurisdiction over the night brigade. But tomorrow, on Yom Kippur, I will do for you whatever I can.” The rabbi shook Schneeweiss’s hand in gratitude and left. That night they were taken to work near the Lvov cemetery. To this day, the rabbi has scars from the beatings of that night. The next day, Schneeweiss took them to the S.S. Quarters in the camp, to a large wooden house. “You fellows will shine the floor without any polish or wax. And you, rabbi, will clean the windows with dry rags so that you will not transgress any of the thirty-nine major categories of work.” He left the room abruptly without saying another word. The rabbi was standing on a ladder with rags in his hand, cleaning the huge windows while chanting prayers, and his companions were on the floor polishing the wood and praying with him.”The floor was wet with our tears. You can imagine the prayers of that Yom Kippur,” said the rabbi to the Hasidim who were listening to his tale while he was wiping away a tear. “At about twelve noon, the door opened and into the room stormed two angels of death, S. S. men in their black uniforms, may their names be obliterated. They were followed by a food cart filled to capacity. “Noontime, time to eat bread, soup, and meat,” announced one of the two S. S. men. The room was filled with an aroma of freshly cooked food, such food as they had not seen since the German occupation: white bread, steaming hot vegetable soup, and generous portions of meat. The tall S. S. man commanded in a high-pitched voice, “You must eat immediately, otherwise you will be shot on the spot!” None of them moved. The rabbi remained on the ladder, the Hasidim on the floor. The German repeated the orders. The rabbi and the Hasidim remained glued to their places. The S.S. men called in Schneeweiss. “Schneeweiss, if the dirty dogs refuse to eat, I will kill you along with them.” Schneeweiss pulled himself to attention, looked the German directly in the eyes, and said in a very quiet tone, “We Jews do not eat today. Today is Yom Kippur, our most holy day, the Day of Atonement.” “You don’t understand, Jewish dog,” roared the taller of the two. “I command you in the name of the
Führer and the Third Reich, fress!” Schneeweiss, composed, his head high, repeated the same answer. “We Jews obey the law of our tradition. Today is Yom Kippur, a day of fasting.” The German took out his revolver from its holster and pointed it at Schneeweiss’s temple. Schneeweiss remained calm. He stood still, at attention, his head high. A shot pierced the room. Schneeweiss fell. The rabbi and the Hasidim stood as if frozen in their places. They could not believe what their eyes had just witnessed. Schneeweiss, the man who in the past had openly transgressed the Jewish tradition, had just sanctified G-d’s name, had publicly died a martyr’s death for the sake of Jewish honor. “Only then, on that Yom Kippur day in Janowska,” said the rabbi to his Hasidim, “did I understand the meaning of the statement in the Talmud: ‘Even the transgressors in Israel are as full of good deeds as a pomegranate is filled with seeds6. Much is remarkable about this story. To me, it was the Bluzhever Rebbe’s ability to evince that spark of soul that inspires. Our job in this world is to coax greatness from those whose heights are limited by the smallness of their self-perceptions, and who are clueless to the incredible treasure that lies within. May we be up for the challenge. 2 Cf. Baruch Sheamar by Rav Baruch HaLevi Epstein who employs the objective verification notion to explain mah tovu’s prominence inclusion in the service 3 Shir HaShirim, 1:5 4 The verb hibit, as distinguished from reiyah classically means more intense gazing – cf. Onkelos who translates the former istakeil and the latter chaza 5 Ultimately, Eisav was a tragic failure, but that was of course Eisav’s choice. 6 Berachos 57a, Eruvin 19a. Additionally, there is some Rabbinic source that teaches that a pomegranate has 613 seeds. (I have not been successful in locating it) The natural cynic in me assumes that this homiletics. Please note however the following chart that I found on http://www.aquaphoenix.com/misc/pomegranate/
min max avg #seeds #seeds #seeds 286 1370 680
Rabbi Asher Brander is the Founder of the LINK Kollel and Shul, located on 1453 S. Robertson Blvd and is a Rebbe at the wonderful Bnos Devorah Girls High School
june 20, 2013
Ironically and sadly, we need our enemies to remind us of our greatness. Perhaps this is why we walk into shul everyday with Bilaam’s prophetic observation, mah tovu ohalecha Yaakov (24:5 - How goodly are your tents, O Jacob) on our lips. Even though other motivations might be at play2, it is worth considering how much harder we must try to internalize mah tov chelkeinu – how wonderful it is to be a Jew. Yet, another Bilaam line seizes an even more prominent part in our liturgy (Rosh Hashana Mussaf). It is a line that for me carries a poignant message (23:21):
In an actual example of imitatio dei, Heilige (holy) Yitzchak, paradigm of Divine judgment, is somehow able to embrace Eisav. How? Shem Mishmuel argues that precisely because Yitzchak was so soul focused, he was able to peer beyond Eisav’s external coarseness to uncover a brilliant soul; one that would ultimately yield the prophet Ovadiah and the holy Tannaim, Rabbis Meir, and Chanina ben Teradyon. How ironic and yet precise that Yitzchak, whose eyes were dim, had such keen insight5. To a neshama aficionado, on his way to expose the dazzling diamond that is a soul, a bit of surface dirt is insignificant. No wonder that time and time again incredible Jewish heroism springs from the most surprising sources. In her modern Classic, Chassidic Tales of the Holocaust, Yaffa Eliach relates the story of Yom Kippur (1942) of the Bluzhever Rebbe. The notorious Jew, Schneeweiss (a flagrant Torah violator prior to the war,) and a kapo in the Janowska concentration camp known for his cruelty. The following is a slightly adapted version.
The Jewish Home
Balak: Holy Jews
KASHRUS IN LA – AN EXERCISE IN COMMUNAL HARMONY By Rabbi Pini Dunner
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
I have a strange and fairly eclectic hobby. I collect published Jewish polemics. Anything that has ever been published that was either the cause or the embodiment of a controversy within the Jewish world has a place in my collection. Seforim, books, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, handbills - and believe me there is no shortage. Many of them are hundreds of years old. Countless long forgotten disputes come to life in the shelves of my library and the leaves of my albums. No corner of the Jewish world, it would seem, has been immune from heated debates, and no subject has been off limits. From the angry polemics of R. Jacob Emden against R. Jonathan Eybeschutz, to the vigorous opposition to the Hasidic movement, to the internal disputes within the Hasidic community, and along the way anti-haskalah, anti-Zionism, anti-modernity, anti-Hebrew, anti-Yiddish, anti-Reform, anti-Orthodox, and much more, a lot of it parochial, all of it virulent and uncompromis-
ing. It turns out that Jewish life has never had a shortage of things to oppose, nor people to oppose them. And, crucially, the Jewish world has had no shortage of printers ready to publish the words of those people who took the time to record their passionate antipathy to those things. Over the years one of the subjects that has generated a huge amount of published polemics has been the vexed topic of kashrus. Time and again, over many centuries, rabbis have banned slaughterers, slaughterers have exposed rabbis, kashrus organizations have criticized each other, and ever so frequently suppliers of ‘kosher’ products have been publicly accused – in print - of misrepresenting themselves and selling treif to the unsuspecting Jewish public-atlarge. In one famous case in England in the late 1930s, private investigators discovered that 8 out of 11 butcher stores in London that were under the kashrus ‘supervision’ of a charlatan rabbi, were actually obtaining meat from the local non-Jewish wholesale market and selling it as kosher at prices that undercut the competition. After a bitter war of publications issued by both sides, one of the butchers was brought to trial for mislabeling his meat. In the heavily reported court case, he made the staggering claim that the rabbi in question had told him that if he bought the treif meat and washed it under running water
it would be considered kosher. The rabbi died quite suddenly during the trial, and the butcher was found guilty and heavily fined by the authorities. This latter topic of unscrupulous butchers is sadly very familiar to the Jewish public of Los Angeles after the recent humiliating exposure of a local butcher store, Doheny Kosher Meats, whose owner was shown on TV to have snuck some boxes of unidentified product into his store while the kosher supervisor charged with ensuring that such a thing didn’t happen went off to pray at a nearby synagogue. Incidentally, I am not aware of any published polemics about this latest controversy, although I am on the lookout. At this stage, at least, all those connected to this episode have willingly held up their hands and accepted responsibility, in one way or another, and – unusually – this unfortunate event has not resulted in a public dispute, in print or otherwise, that would no doubt only serve to generate hatred and generally produce an ugly public spectacle that would help no one, and least of all the kosher consumer. Which brings me, after a meandering and self-indulgent introduction, to the point of this op-ed piece. Namely, the value of communal harmony, particularly in relation to issues that are natural flashpoints. Odd, you may think, coming from someone who relishes the rhetoric of published Jewish polemics. Actually, not odd at all. Take it from someone who can give you chapter and verse and all the juicy details of every historical Jewish controversy, whether we are discussing the eighteenth century Get of Cleves storm, or the vilification of Mandatory Palestine’s Chief Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, or the more recent disputes between warring factions in the New York Satmar community – whatever the dispute is, and whether the motivations of the warring factions are pure or otherwise, there are never any winners, only losers.
Nobody ever wins a public war, particularly if both sides represent a value system that deplores spiteful arguments and hatred. Neutral or dispassionate onlookers may pick a side after considering the positions of each interlocutor, or because it suits them to do so, but in the process they will be irreparably harmed. Their overall respect for a system that is meant to be a beacon of light in a world that is flawed will have been damaged, or even destroyed. So congratulations to all the Los Angeles kashrus authorities for not surrendering to the compelling temptation to undermine their competitors publicly. All the rabbis in this city that I have met are committed root and branch to raising kashrus standards across the board, and to addressing any flaws in the system that may result in a failure. Providing public kashrus is a tough and demanding task. It requires commitment, long hours, expertise, and most importantly of all, religious integrity that stems from Yiras Shamayim. The cooperation between competitors in the field of kashrus in Los Angeles is essential if those involved in kashrus are not going to be distracted from providing the public with what it seeks, namely the highest standards of kashrus supervision. The fact that this cooperation exists, and is actively sought by all the rabbis of our sunny city, is both admirable and noteworthy, even if it means that my polemics collection is resultantly deprived of new material. Long may the cooperation continue, for all of our benefits. Rabbi Pini Dunner hails from one of Europe’s preeminent rabbinic families. For the past 2 years Rabbi Dunner has been the Mashgiach Ruchani at YULA High School for Boys, and later this summer he will be taking up the position as West Coast director of Mitchabrim, an organization that runs schools and community centers for expat Israelis living in the United States. Rabbi Dunner was also recently appointed to be a member of the Executive Kashrus Committee of the RCC. Rabbi Dunner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Shiffy Friedman ©
Recap: When Tuvia awakens and tells Davie not to ask any questions, Davie realizes that Tuvia had messed with his drugs. Lisa stands at her father’s door, ready to spill the secret that will change the life of her father and her sister, Becca. Davie Stein When the realization hits me square in the face, I spring from my bed at once. “I got it!” I feel a sudden urge to giggle, to laugh so loud that the crumbling walls around me will shudder. Tuvia, the strong one, had succumbed. He actually jumped from the ladder into my territory, the place in which people don’t deal with their problems, they just block them out as if they were never there. “Tuvia,” I say, not without a note of victory in my voice, “You’ve joined the ranks. Slap it in!” Tuvia looks at me stoically, his eyes focused. He doesn’t say a word. I wonder whether he’s disappointed in himself or just confused, rethinking his recent entry into a place he’d never come close to, let alone visited. For me, this is a milestone. Smart, solid Tuvia is on my side. The mere thought makes me want to celebrate, to down a bottle of good Cabernet. “So how was it, Tuvia?” I ask. “Talk to me.” He shakes his head, trying to let go of his stupor. He takes a deep breath. “It was good. Very good.” It feels good to know that the days of my aloneness are over. Suddenly, I remember my first time, the very first time I’d made my way into this beautiful world of euphoria. It is hard to remember my life before
it. How did I manage to maintain my composure, to keep strong like a guy when things were just impossible? It was also the day that I cried for the first time, perhaps the first time in my life, that I took to this shortcut. I mean, which guy ever cries? Only the weak ones, the meek ones, the ones who don’t have a hold on themselves. I had come home from yeshiva to find Dad stroll out of his office off the living room, his steps sure and steady. He was heading toward me, no doubt. “David,” he said firmly. When he calls me by my full name, I know there’s trouble brewing in his chest. Soon I’ll be smitten. “Yeah,” I said, kind of coolly. I try to stay chilled, unafraid. “I just spoke to your teacher.” Uh oh. I had cut class earlier in the morning. I hadn’t even remembered until now. Rabbi Silver’s classes were downright boring. I had jiggled with my legs for so long I had to air out. I take a step away. “What in Heaven’s name were you thinking when you left his class? What a disrespectful piece of garbage you are!” His eyes were spewing fire and his body was seething so fiercely it was shaking. “I hate you from the day you were born!” He yelled after me as I made my way to my room, putting up a facade of composure. I tried to distract myself at the computer but he was right there, at my door, practically banging it down. “Get out of my house!” He was screaming. “You useless piece of trash!” Would this ever end? His “useless piece of trash” maxim was getting to me already. I’d heard it from when I remembered myself, from when I was still in toddler clothes. Feeling useless made me nauseous
of my very self, it made me want to wretch. I hated feeling gross. I grabbed my phone and waited to hear him walk off so I could air out. It took a few minutes until he was drained of this yelling, his face so red it was almost blue, but then he finally took leave to his precious office, its life more valuable to him than of those around him. He was busy with his organization, hah, helping people while he trampled us to death. I walked into the evening air, taking deep gulps. I decided to call Avi, my friend who’d called it quits two months before. He always told me that when I was ready, he was there to help me. “It’s just great,” he’d said to me more than once. “Just try it and see for yourself.” Later that night, I was in this new world already, still very confused, but there nevertheless. And once I was there, there was no way out. Today, I’m in good company. While Avi is behind bars somewhere in New Jersey, Tuvia has joined me. Now it is my job to make him comfortable here, lest he leaves me too soon, before he has a chance to feel the happiness searing through his skin. Lisa Stein Marcus As the footsteps get ever closer, the rain intensifies. A sudden crash of thunder has me bite my lips so strong they’re almost bleeding. I can’t do this, I decide. While I hear Dad walk down the stairs, one at a time, I turn toward my car. Suddenly, I’m running, running so fast like the little carefree girl I never was. My rain coat slaps against the wind as I flee. Finally, I’m back in my car, the steam
blowing hot puffs of air into my nose. I watch from behind the windshield as a muscular man opens the door. When he looks in the direction of my car, I duck under the windshield, my eyes shut tight. I sit there for a long moment, my back aching, until I convince myself that he’s gone. I slowly, painfully, push my torso upwards until I catch a glimpse of the man I should’ve loved slamming the door behind himself. Ah! To breathe again. I turn on the ignition and pull out of the street, rain slashing against the windows all the while. It’s no fun to complete a mission like this, but I must. I’m not ready to return home just yet. Once I find myself dry and cozy, sipping tea with Nathan in our living room, I know I won’t ever venture out again. I won’t ever find the courage deep within to stick up for my poor mother. The time is now. I yawn. The thought of my living room and the chamomile tea lures me in. I find myself driving toward home. It is a smooth ride, alone in the night, until I stop at once. How can I do this to Mom? How will I ever forgive myself for this silence? The churlish attitude of her very flesh and blood cannot go unnoticed. From Davie, senseless, unthinking Davie, I’ve stopped to expect anything for some time now. But Becca? The thought of her makes me grit my teeth. Did Mom ever wrong her? How could she betray her like that? I can’t allow myself to sleep through this night without a promise. I vow to myself that tomorrow, as soon as the kids are in bed, I’ll pay a visit to Becca.
june 20, 2013
21 The Jewish Home
Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
The Jewish Home
june 20, 2013
Young Israel of Century City: Where Community Happens By Alisa Roberts
Young Israel of Century City was established in 1976 when a handful of people got together to create a new Modern Orthodox minyan. Five years later, the 40 families that made up its membership met in a rented storefront on Beverly Drive. Today, over 30 years later, it is the second-largest Orthodox shul in Los Angeles, which also makes it one of the largest Orthodox shuls in the Country. This is the story of how that happened. Humble beginnings Dr. Goldenberg, a long-time member of the community, remembers his first visit to the shul in 1981. “We had just moved to Los Angeles from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. When we came, the shul was across the street in a little storefront on Beverly Drive. I remember my first Shabbos there. My wife was sitting in the Ladies’ section in the back. The Ladies’ section was her, one other woman, and the refrigerator. It was a really big change from New York.” Close friends of theirs had encouraged them to visit the shul. Despite the differences from what they had been used to, they didn’t regret it. “We tried out other shuls in the area and we found that Young Israel was the most appropriate for us. It was the friendliest, the most welcoming.” An unexpected vacation Dr. Goldenberg was also there when the community made the decision that would lead it to where it is today. He was president of the shul when Rabbi Muskin was hired. He still remembers the interview: “He was on his honeymoon.” Not surprisingly, Rabbi Muskin also remembers that week. “My wife and I were married in January of 1985, in Israel. A few months later, in July, I said ‘Hey, let’s go to see the west coast.’ I’d never seen the west coast. So we came out here on our honeymoon. It was parshas Pinchas. We were staying with my wife’s aunt and uncle on the other side of town. As we were walking to Shaarei Tefila, this gentleman stopped me and asked, ‘Young man, what do you do for a living?’ I told him that I was a rabbi.” At the time, Rabbi Muskin had been leading a congregation in Washington Heights, New York. “On the way home from shul he stopped me again and said, ‘You know, there’s a young shul on the other side of town that’s
really looking for a rabbi.’ I had never heard of Young Israel of Century City; it was a small synagogue that was just beginning. It had actually had 10 years of previous history, but it had never had a full-time rabbi. It had had a very part time rabbi. And it turned out that they had actually been looking for a new rabbi for two and half years, from the time when their part-time rabbi had moved to Israel. So what was just supposed to be a vacation, a honeymoon, ended up as something very different. We were literally interviewed on our honeymoon. We spent that second Shabbos, where we had intended to travel up to San Francisco, here instead.” Rabbi and community were mutually charmed. “We were very impressed with him,” Dr. Goldenberg recalls. “We offered him the position. He’s a dynamic, hardworking, innovative rabbi.” Rabbi Muskin is no less effusive. “I hadn’t known about
the shul, but when I found out about it and was interviewed, it was like a dream for me. I had always wanted to build a shul. I never wanted to go into someone else’s shoes, if you will, and just take over a shul that was already in existence. I really wanted to start something, to create it and develop it accordingly. So this was a dream.” Even in the five years of growth that had taken place since Dr. Goldenberg’s arrival, the shul was not what you would call a stable and established organization. When Rabbi Muskin arrived in January of 1986 there were still fewer than 50 families. There was no shul office, no shul employees, no infrastructure of any kind. “They couldn’t even give me a current full list of members,” he tells me. For two and a half years, the shul had run without even a part-time rabbi, based entirely on the volunteer efforts of its congregants. That was
about to change. A new rabbi Rabbi Muskin was born in Cleveland. He is both the son and the grandson of rabbis; his father was a rabbi in Clevland for 40 years, and the grandfather after whom he was named was a rabbi in Chicago. He began his studies in Cleveland, but he didn’t end them there. “I went to Israel and studied at Kerem B’Yavneh for three years. Then I went to Yeshivah University, where I earned my bachelor’s, my master’s, and semicha. Then I did a master’s at Columbia as well. And then, during my college years and post-college years, I ran an outreach program called T’Chiya. We took the best college kids in America and brought them to volunteer for the summer in the poverty-stricken communities in Israel. It was a religious social service program, a fantastic program in its heyday.” After completing his education, he served as rabbi for five years at Mount Sinai Jewish Center in New York. At the time, Mount Sinai was an established but aging community. Young Israel of Century City would have an entirely different set of challenges. That wasn’t a problem for Rabbi Muskin. “We went from a shul with a part-time rabbi to, when we brought Rabbi Muskin in, a full time rabbi who helped grow the shul,” Dr. Goldenberg told me. “With a full-time rabbi there were services daily. Rabbi Muskin made sure there was a minyan both morning and evening all through the week.” He describes Rabbi Muskin as an impressive man, a sought-after speaker, but also very approachable and friendly. “He’s gained a reputation – not only for our shul, nationwide and worldwide – but also for himself. He has an international reputation, and he is known as one of the leading Modern Orthodox rabbis in the country today. He really services not only the congregation but the community, both in times of happiness and in times of need. Whenever there’s a simcha, whenever he speaks about anyone – the family, the bar mitzvah child, the bride or the groom – he knows them. His speeches are very personalized because he’s personally involved in people’s lives. He speaks as a rabbi, but also as a friend. And likewise, unfortunately, when he has to officiate at a funeral, he’s there to comfort and offer solace.” And Rabbi Muskin came
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june 20, 2013
along with one other powerful advantage: his wife, Rebetzin Muskin. “The rebetzin is right by his side,” says Dr. Goldenberg. “They’re partners. She chairs a number of committees in the shul. She makes sure that happy occasions are recognized by the shul, and when we have shiva houses, she makes sure food is prepared for the family for the entire week. Their home is always open to guests. They are very welcoming. “In addition, Rabbi Goldberg, our assistant rabbi, also adds tremendously to that. He interfaces with our young couples, but really with everybody. He also is a wonderful speaker and a terrific protégé to Rabbi Muskin.” Young Israel of Century City today “When we came – we arrived January 15th, 1986 – there were really fewer than 50 fully-paying members in the shul. Today we’re near 500 families.” In spite of the scope of that growth, the size of the shul alone is not Rabbi Muskin’s focus. “I think our tagline should be: “Where community happens,” because anything relating to the community we’re involved in. A large segment of the infrastructure of the Modern Orthodox Jewish community, and beyond, is run by members of my synagogue. So for example, almost every day school in this community – be it YULA, Shalhevet, Hillel, Maimonides, or Yavneh – all have leadership from Young Israel of Century City. If not the presidents, then others who are very involved in those schools.
The mikva leadership comes from Young Israel of Century City. A good part of the leadership of the OU has always been from Young Israel of Century City. Even the head volunteer of Tomchei Shabbos … and it just goes on.” Is this abundance of leadership a function of the kind of members that are attracted to the shul, or is it something that the shul itself fosters? “We take pride in the leadership of our members,” Rabbi Muskin says emphatically, “because we really believe in community. And we encourage it. It’s something very important to me. So we really encourage getting involved and taking leadership roles in many organizations.” That’s not the only thing the shul encourages. “We’ve also created a culture of intellectual inquisitiveness. Our program calendar is world-famous. We are known across the country for our shiurim, for our classes, for our lectures, for our scholars-in-residence. It’s an environment of intellectual learning. Learning is crucial to us. We have constant shiurim. We have outstanding scholar-in-residence programs and top-notch creative programs. And such a variety; we bring in so many different voices in the Orthodox Jewish community to be heard. If you want an intellectual challenge, it’s an invigorating experience. We have become a center for intellectual Orthodoxy. Our program calendar has won awards. We’ve set the tone.” And it’s easy to see why. The program calendar is 31 glossy pages of creatively arranged descriptions of events. The calen-
dar itself, as well as the events throughout the year, are modeled around a theme – this year: PatriotYICC. Their programs include presentations by historians, political activists, and National Security experts. And that’s just one page. Rabbi Muskin, like a proud parent, refuses to pick a favorite program. But he lists as many as he can think of in one minute. “Just this past year in November we had Dr. Rona Novick, from Yeshiva University, one of the leading Jewish educators in the country, spend the weekend with us. We hosted a scholar-in-residence weekend with Professor Isaiah Gafni, from Jerusalem, a leading Jewish historian of the Talmudic Period and Late Antiquity. We had an African-American speaker, Erroll G. Southers, who was the nominee for Assistant Secretary of the TSA and past Deputy Director of Homeland Security for California, speak to us about Homeland Security. We had Mayim Bialik, the actress, speak to our young professionals. We had a program with Professor Avi Helfand, who is a member in the shul, and is also Associate Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law and the Institute for Jewish Studies. He spoke about litigating religion.” When asked about having a shul member as a speaker, the rabbi doesn’t even pause. “We constantly do. We tap the best.” Dr. Goldenberg is also enthusiastic about the programming. “The program calendar is one of the things that stands out in the shul. We present it at Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur night. It caters to the entire gam-
ut of the congregation: there are lectures, there are movies, there are concerts. We have a Shabbat of song where we bring in a famous singer to lead services.” He is less reticent about mentioning a personal favorite. “I serve as a lay cantor of the shul. I’m one of the cantors there for the holidays. I boast that I have the largest choir in Los Angeles, because everyone sings along. It’s a very participatory service. On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur when you have hundreds of people joining together in song – it’s very uplifting.” But that’s not all. “We have all kinds of youth programs, very vibrant ones. We have all kinds of chesed programs. We’re involved in Tomchei Shabbos, where we deliver food packages to poor people on Thursday nights so they have food for Shabbat. We have blood drives. On Christmas and New Year’s Eve we help staff hospitals and other institutions so that their workers can be off – it’s not a holiday for us. So we try to be involved not only in the Jewish community but the entire community. We try to provide all kinds of opportunities for personal, spiritual, and religious growth. We really cover the entire gamut.” You might think this would be more leadership than you could expect from one community, even considering the size. But there is one other aspect in which this community leads. “I wouldn’t be surprised,” Rabbi Muskin says, “if, per capita, we are the leaders in the community in terms of the amount of tzedakah that is raised. The charity fund of Young Israel alone distrib-
25 The Jewish Home
utes over a quarter of a million dollars a year. That’s the generosity of the members of this shul. They are very involved and very generous. I constantly hear from people that we do more in one month then shuls all over the country might do in two and three years. We’re extremely focused. I’m very proud of my shul.” Location, location, location Young Israel of Century City is no longer in that storefront rental. Now located on Pico Boulevard, the shul is both central to its residential members and also just a few steps from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Marriott Residence Inn, and The Tower Beverly Hills. Rabbi Muskin explains what this means for the shul. “The shul is in an interesting position. We’re in a vacation area, but we’re also suburbia. It’s very rare to find a community where there are hotels right next to the shul. But we’re big city, and you have that here. So we have constant guests coming and going, coming and going.” Dr. Goldenberg also mentions the hotels. “Because of the location, with the hotels and restaurants in the area, on any given week we have 5 or 10 visitors from around the globe. So we’re always welcoming people, inviting them, and trying to make them at home. We have strangers coming all the time. But that welcoming nature is a core part of this community.” Los Angeles then and today Being in the center of it all gives Young Israel of Century City – and those who have been a part of it from nearly the beginning – a unique perspective on the larg-
er Los Angeles community as well. What was the Jewish community of Los Angeles like 30 years ago? Dr. Goldenberg has no trouble noting the changes. “We have watched the larger Los Angeles community grow by leaps and bounds in the past 30 years. It’s the second-largest Jewish community in the United States. The Orthodox community has grown; day schools and high schools have been established, families have moved in. New congregations keep popping up, growing and mushrooming. The community keeps expanding outward into new areas. It’s been a pleasure to behold, especially the level of quality of Judaism. The quality of life through Judaism has increased. And of course, now there are numerous kosher restaurants of every flavor you could like. There are numerous stores about with every product you could need. It’s become a very desirable Jewish city. The cost of living has gone up too, which presents its own set of problems, but despite that the community continues to grow.” Rabbi Muskin has also noticed the changes. “In those days, the only Orthodox shuls on this side of town were Beth Jacob; Young Israel of Beverly Hills, which was a small shul; and Young Israel of Century City, which was a small shul. In those days, none of the other shuls existed. There were no Chabads. You didn’t have any of the Sephardic minyanim yet, to the best of my knowledge. Bnei David was not an Orthodox shul. It did not have a mechitza yet. Mogen David certainly didn’t; that happened many years later. We’ve seen the transformation. When I first came, we barely had a minyan. Today we have, every morning, four strong minyanim. We have a 6:00, a 6:15, a 7:00, and a 7:45 every morn-
ing. There isn’t a day that we don’t have a mincha and maariv minyan in the shul. We haven’t missed once in my entire tenure. Baruch Hashem, it’s a strong community. Look at how many Orthodox synagogues are now lining the Olympic and Pico area! Beth Jacob is the largest, Young Israel is the second-largest. Bnei David is now Orthodox, as is Mogen David. And now there are also many smaller shuls. You have a number of Chabad minyanim. You have Aish Hatorah. (Aish Hatorah didn’t have its own building when I first came. It was an outreach program; it didn’t even have its own center.) You have the Sephardic shuls, the Persian shuls. There are shuls up and down the block. “And the kosher eateries on Pico … when we arrived they didn’t exist. There was Milky Way and there was a restaurant called Rafi’s, which today is a produce stand. In terms of Glatt kosher, that was basically it. So we’ve watched this community really evolve.” What does that evolution mean for Orthodox Jewry? “I think Los Angeles is a dynamic community that offers so much. You know, we live in Hollywood and nothing phases us because we’ve seen it all. So you’re always challenged to be more exciting and more cutting-edge in order to catch people’s attention, in order to even make them notice. Maybe more so than anywhere else in the world. So it’s exciting; it’s a challenge. We don’t have the critical mass of Orthodox Jews that you have in the New York metropolitan area, so it’s more of a challenge to succeed in terms of really making an impact on many people. However, you have the opportunity to be impactful, to be influential, on a personal level. You have the opportunity to make
Vision for the future Young Israel is already planning to meet some of those challenges. They are currently preparing to go into their third expansion. The land to the west has been purchased to the end of the street, and they are working with an architect on the redesign. “It’s a whole beautiful expansion design that we’re doing to meet the needs of the shul,” Rabbi Muskin explains. “The shul has just boomed. On a Shabbat morning we have four different types of minyanim going, so, thank G-d, we need more space. Being limited in space has limited us in terms of what we can do. Believe it or not, we would love to do much more. We just don’t have the space to do it in. It’s going to be a beautiful redesign. We’ve been working on this design for over a year, trying to make sure that we do it right.” What stays the same So the shul is changing again. But there is one aspect that, even after 30 years, hasn’t undergone much change at all. “It feels like a family,” Dr. Goldenberg tells me. Really? Even with so many people? “As the shul gets bigger it’s more of a challenge to keep that feeling of family. You can’t hang out with 500 families the way you could with 40. But there are enough groups that you are friendly with and feel comfortable with, that you look forward to seeing week in and week out. And even if there are people you aren’t particularly close to, when you hear their stories, when you listen to the rabbi speaking about them, and you’ve seen the child grow up in your congregation … you still get pleasure out of seeing them celebrate as if it was among your own. Personally speaking, whenever a simcha is celebrated in the shul, I feel a part of it. You see each other every week; some of us see each other every day. So it’s as if a member of the family is celebrating. And when, G-d forbid, someone has passed away, we share that with them as well. So it’s really not just a congregation but almost family.”
june 20, 2013
beautiful connections with people. And yet you’re in the second-largest Jewish community in the country. So it’s an exciting place to live. It’s also thriving. You have more kosher eateries on one block on Pico Boulevard than in any other place I can think of in the world. It’s amazing. But you know, there are still many challenges. We still have to make an impact upon the larger Jewish community. The Orthodox community’s biggest challenge, I believe, is not to become insulated and isolated. We have to have an impact on the larger Jewish community in a positive, proactive fashion. And that’s a whole different challenge.”
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Cover Story Rena Zingmond
ummer is around the corner and families nationwide are gearing up for the long-awaited outdoor fun. While kids may be bursting with impatience for the start of the camp season, parents may be battling other emotions at the thought of sending their children away for any amount of time, whether it be a few hours, weeks or months. In addition to providing their children with an enjoyable camp experience, parents today want to make sure it happens in the safest way possible. We spoke with Debbie Fox, LCSW, to learn what parents can do to ensure their kids a safer summer camp experience. Mrs. Fox is well known for her active involvement in promoting child safety all year round. Beginning at Aleinu Family Resource Center, a program of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, Mrs. Fox developed the nationally renowned Safety Kid® Program, which continues to educate over 20,000 students in the yeshiva system about abuse awareness and prevention. Her newest program, Project SafeCamp, is a comprehensive counselor training program aimed specifically at promoting safety in summer camps. Mrs. Fox suggests a three-prong approach for parents to follow, aimed at keeping kids safe and parents worry-free. She advises parents to ask questions of a camp beforehand, discuss safety awareness with your children once a camp is chosen, and to be on the lookout for signs of any discomposure upon their returning home. Ask Questions before Choosing a Camp Knowledge is power. It pays to get an early start in researching camps and their policies. Ask specific questions and, if it helps you remember, write down the answers. Asking questions lets the camp know that safety is important to you and that you expect a certain level of standards. You’ll breathe more easily after resolving your doubts and shedding a light on the unknown. Some important questions to ask are: • How are disciplinary and behavioral problems handled? • What kind of training do counselors receive before camp? Does the training include personal safety such as unwanted or inappropriate touch? • Are criminal background checks performed on all personnel? • How many references does the camp require and what is the process of checking those references? • What is the camp policy about supervision during changing or bedtimes? • At what point would a parent be notified about an issue with a camper? • To whom can the campers turn to if they feel uncomfortable or at risk, and is that clearly communicated to the campers themselves?
Posing questions and concerns to camps of interest will not only endow you with a better ability to make a more educated decision, it also sends a message to camps that parents take safety seriously and expect a viable plan of action. Summer camps, which are highly competitive, will be more likely to add safety training and awareness to their list of priorities when observing the interest and involvement displayed by prospective parents. Your questioning alone can spur camps to reevaluate their safety procedures, to everyone’s best interest. After asking your questions, pay attention to the answers. Says Rabbi Ronald Greenwald, director of Camp Sternberg, a girls’ camp in Narrowsburg, NY, “It’s important to choose a camp that acknowledges that these issues exist and endeavors to prevent them from happening. Be wary of statements like, ‘Things like that don’t happen here.’” If you are not comfortable with the director’s responses or camp policies, see what may result from offering positive recommendations. It’s safe to say that most camps place camper safety at the top of their priority lists; it just boils down to choosing the approach you feel is right for your child. Mrs. Stern was faced with a conundrum. All of her eleven-year-old son’s friends were going to a camp that confiscated cellphones from the minute they arrived on the premises until returning home. The boys would not be provided with any other means to contact their parents. When Mrs. Stern questioned the camp regarding this policy, the director responded that he felt it was important for the boys to mature and learn to handle things on their own. When Mrs. Stern inquired further as to camp procedures for handling emergencies or other significant issues, the director replied, “We’ve been involved with this for a long time – we know what we’re doing.” Mrs. Stern did not feel comfortable with the lack of contact she would have with her son under this particular camp’s rules. She was faced with a dilemma. Should she allow her child to attend the camp his friends were going to – to which he desperately wanted to go – or should she listen to her instincts and do that what she feels is safest for her son? We’ve all heard the familiar refrain, “But everyone else’s parents let!” If you couldn’t help rolling your eyes just now, we understand. It is always difficult to go against the grain, especially when the grain includes a desperate, uncomprehending, pleading child, who just wants to fit in and be with his friends. Ultimately, parents must find the strength to choose what they feel is the wisest, safest option for their kids, even if it’s not the popular choice. Mrs. Fox adds, “There are times when being a parent does not make us popular with our children. Our responsibility is to be their parent – not their friend.” Sometimes it takes that one parent to stand up for what s/he believes in to give others the strength to follow suit, enabling decisions to be based truly on what is best for the child.
Talking Points to Prepare your Child for a Safer Camp Experience: • Choose friends and activities consistent with your home standards and values (open up a conversation about what your home standards and values are) • Remain in public areas of the camp – never separate yourself by being alone in an area that cannot be seen by others, whether it’s with an adult or even a friend. • Your body belongs to you – unwanted or uncomfortable touch is never okay (except by the camp doctor or nurse for medical reasons, where someone will always be with you). • You can and should say NO to anyone (whether it’s a fellow camper, counselor or respected adult) who wants to show you inappropriate pictures or talk about, look at or touch the private areas of your body • No one should tell you to hide anything or keep secrets from your parents. The best education starts at home. Initiating discussions with your children in a comfortable way about their personal safety and protecting their bodies during camp gives your children the clear message that you are interested and available to discuss these sensitive issues with them. Children will be more likely to confide in parents who open and welcome these discussions.
Mrs. Fox went on to establish her own organization called Magen Yeladim: Child Safety Institute, an agency geared toward developing and instituting programs that increase child safety. Recognizing that camp counselors, often adolescents themselves, appreciate the opportunity to learn about relevant issues regarding boundaries, limit setting, bullying prevention and respecting personal safety, Mrs. Fox created Project SafeCamp, the newest program of Magen Yeladim. Mrs. Fox began the process by interviewing camp directors, rabbeim and counselors throughout the country about what they felt were the areas that counselors needed the most education. Once the topics were developed, teams of highly skilled specialists (separate for male and female counselors) were elected to present the information in the form of four twenty-minute videos. Project SafeCamp has officially launched with the creation of its website, and counselor training can be completed online, at designated local venues or brought to the campsite itself.
There are times when being a parent does not make us popular with our children. Our responsibility is to be their parent – not their friend.
Be on the Lookout for Warning Signs The end of camp has finally come – your kids hop off the bus, complete with a ravenous appetite and mounds of dirty laundry. After sleeping for the next two days, it’s only natural that they’ll be talking over each other to give you the rundown on their camp experience. Mrs. Fox encourages parents to be active listeners and supply their own questions about the highlights of the summer, the productions, sports teams, favorite counselors and new friends. Fortunately, most of our children return from camp with only the best of memories and experiences. At the same time, she urges parents to take visual and emotional inventory and note any significant differences in their child. Some examples of changed behavior may include: • Suddenly exhibiting a newfound knowledge/interest in inappropriate topics, jokes, pictures or websites. • Becoming secretive (that might mean minimizing the computer screen every time you walk in the room). • Harboring a deep relationship or dependency with an adult or significantly older person (especially if there are secrets or gifts involved). • Significant differences in mood or behavior, i.e. depressed, hostile, or isolating him/herself since returning from camp. If you have reason to be concerned about an inappropriate relationship or incident that may have transpired in camp, it is most important to remain calm and express your support. If your child chose to confide in you, praise him for it and keep him informed about ways you are going to get him help. Although it may not be outwardly expressed, your child will welcome the unconditional love and support as only a parent can give. Counselor Training Over the course of many years, Mrs. Fox has developed various training programs in response to the prevalence of these sensitive issues. Safety Kid®, as mentioned earlier, was designed to help schools teach children strategies for keeping themselves safe from potential threats in a fun and kid-friendly manner. The program also includes components for staff and parents as well, making it easy for them to incorporate the material into their curriculum, educating them as to signs of abuse, and providing the appropriate recourse in case a disclosure is made.
Project SafeCamp provides counselors with tools in some of the following areas: • Developing appropriate counselorcamper boundaries, balancing the ability to relate to campers with maintaining a certain level of professionalism • Identifying and addressing high-risk situations (i.e. eating disorders, mental/physical health issues, family trauma, etc.) Preventing inappropriate touch in • camp
• Bullying prevention skills Counselors have myriad responsibilities in camp. They are responsible for getting their bunk to activities on time, providing the campers with a fun time, and keeping order in the bunkhouse. Many times counselors are just teenagers themselves and it requires extra insight to see the problems or anxieties that may be lurking beneath a camper’s smile. In one camp, campers thought they would pull a prank on Sarah so they put her in a garbage can filled with flour and sprinkled water all over her. All the girls stood around the circle and laughed at the funny scene. One of the girls snapped a picture which was circulated around the camp. Sarah was terribly embarrassed but too ashamed to show it. She tried to act as if she was laughing with the group. When the head counselor walked by and asked what was happening, Sarah told her everything was fine although she was holding back tears, and told her it was a joke. But it was not a joke. Pranks or jokes that single out someone are never funny and should never be tolerated. In this situation, the head counselor knew that what was being done was not right and swiftly disbursed the crowd. Immediate action was taken so the girls would know that actions like this would never be condoned. And a special chat with Sarah let her know that she was special and had an important place in camp. Leah looked forward to coming back to camp this year...she was sure it would be the safest place in the world for her. Mrs. Strauss, the camp director, noticed that she seemed sad and quiet and was barely participating in activities. In fact, her counselor was concerned about her. Sarah would not go swimming or participate in any activities where she would need to change into a bathing suit and although she slept fitfully, she was fully dressed in her bed. Before visiting day, she almost ran away from camp. Leah had a secret that she felt she could not tell. An intuitive counselor should be able to see the pain hidden beneath the surface. In this case, Mrs. Strauss was aware that something was wrong, and working together with the social worker and psychologist on staff, she was able to help Leah deal with the issues that had been plaguing her all year. Ultimately, camp was the safest place for young Leah, as here she was able to find the help she so desperately needed. Ultimately, the goal is to expand Project SafeCamp to a community-wide system that involves everyone – directors, parents, counselors and campers – in working together to keep children safe at camp. Says Meir Frischman, director of Camp Agudah, “The Project SafeCamp program is the counselor-training model we have been waiting for. Trained professionals address our counselors at home, in their neighborhood or at camp. I recommend every camp become a SafeCamp.” Camp experiences can be life-changing for a child; together we can work to ensure the impact is of a positive nature. With the increased awareness of parents, counselors and the kids themselves, we can, G-d willing, provide our children with an all-around fun and safe summer. For more information about Project SafeCamp or to schedule a training session please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (347)762-7276.
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Talk to Your Kids You are your child’s most powerful teacher. After selecting the camp you feel is the best fit for your child, Mrs. Fox recommends having a discussion with your children about protecting their personal boundaries. She offers a personal tip: instead of initiating a dramatic “camp talk” moment, try to find a natural window of opportunity during which to bring up the discussion. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to specifically identify an authority figure to whom your child should turn if they ever feel uncomfortable, frightened or concerned about boundaries. If that person is unavailable or does not respond, designate a second person they should approach. You might want to role play or share a camp story you know of to solidify their understanding and make the information more tangible.
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Three mothers were sitting around comparing notes on their exemplary offspring. “There never was a daughter more devoted than my Judy,” said Mrs. Kramer with a smile. “Every summer she takes me to the Catskills for a week, and every winter we spend a week in Miami Beach.” “That’s nothing compared to what my Joy does for me,” declared Mrs. Stein proudly. “Every winter she treats me to two weeks in Miami, and in the summer two weeks in the Hamptons, in my own private guesthouse.” Mrs. Geleibter sat back with a proud smile. “Nobody loves her mother like my Suzy does, nobody.” “So what does she do?” asked the two women, turning to her. “Three times a week she gets into a cab, goes to the best psychiatrist in the city, and pays him a hundred and fifty dollars an hour—just to talk about me.”
Avi, Ben, Chaim, and David each have an A in their favorite subject. Each student has only one A and it is in either in calculus, biology, physics, or English. Each student’s favorite class is taken during a different time from first to fourth period, and there is only one A per period. Match the student to their favorite class and the period in which the class is taken. 1) Avi’s class is after physics and before biology. 2) Chaim has an A in biology, so he tutors Ben during their free 4th period. 3) David is grounded for failing physics 1st period. 4) The student with the A in English has the class 4th period.
************** What were Jimbo’s first words after graduating 4 years of college? “Would you like fries with that?”
Answers on next page
Down 1. Please pay for my junk 2. This scientist proved that lightning was an electrical current in nature 4. In honor of all the great dads out there 5. Official flower of June 6. In 1937, this baseball great hit 3 1
8 9 10 11 12
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consecutive home runs against the St. Louis Browns 8. One reason to miss the winter 10. First woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean 11. Year-end exams 13. Something to do on Sundays Across 3. Pesky little creatures that won’t leave you alone 7. Commemoration of our Stars and Stripes 9. Although blind and deaf, she left a great mark on the world 12. Israel miraculously defeats its enemies on several fronts, in less than a week. 14. Longest day of the year 15. This nice Jewish boy makes his first pair of pants in 1850. 16. June birthstone 17. 160,000 Allied troops storm the beaches 18. World leader named U.S. honorary citizen by JFK
Across 3. Mosquitoes 7. Flag Day 9. Helen Keller 12. Six Day War 14. Summer Solstice 15. Levi Strauss 16. Pearl 17. Normandy 18. Winston Churchill
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You Gotta be
Down 1. Yardsale 2. Benjamin Franklin 4. Fathers Day 5. Rose 6. Joe Dimaggio 8. Allergies 10. Amelia Earhart 11. Finals 13. Barbeque
8. The Chicago Bulls won 3 straight NBA championships twice during the 1990’s. Which team interrupted the Bulls championship streak by winning back-toback titles themselves? a. San Antonio Spurs b. Houston Rockets c. Detroit Pistons d. LA Lakers
4. Who scored 48 points in his first ever NBA Finals game in 2001? a. Allen Iverson b. Kobe Bryant c. Tim Duncan d. Shaq
9. The Miami Heat defeated which team to win the 2006 NBA championship? a. Mavericks b. Spurs c. Lakers d. Kings
5. Which all-time great holds the record for the most points in a finals game? a. Elgin Baylor b. Kareem Abdul Jabbar c. Michael Jordan d. Kobe Bryant
10. Which of the following players won the most NBA Championships? a. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Answers 1. C- Jordan won 6 NBA titles and was the MVP of all six. 2. B 3. A 4. A 5. A-Though the Celtics won the 1961-62 Championship, those finals will be remembered forever because game 5 was the stage for Elgin Baylor’s best performance: he scored 61 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in a 126-121 Laker victory at the Boston Garden.
6. C- After tag teaming for 3 NBA Championships, the two had a feud about who could win without the other. Shaq left LA and Kobe went on to win 2 more NBA championships, giving him a total of 5 championships to date. Shaq won 1 more with the Heat in 2006, giving him a total of 4 championships to date. Kobe claims that they patched up their relationship, but says that whenever he sees Shaq he says, “What’s up Four?” 7. B 8. B 9. A
Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to email@example.com
b. Jerry West c. Bill Russell d. Michael Jordan 11. Which of the following players did not record 8 blocks in a finals game? a. Bill Walton b. Patrick Ewing c. David Robinson d. Shaquille O’Neal 12. Michael Jordan is 6 for 6 in the NBA Finals. What is LeBron James’ record in the NBA Finals? a. 1 and 4 b. 2 and 2 c. 3-4 d. 4 for 4 13. Which player has the record for most 3-pointers in an NBA Finals series? a. Jonathon Starks b. Tim Allen c. Nick Van Axel d. Danny Green
10. C- Bill Russell won 11 Championships with the Celtics between the years of 1957 and 1969. 11. C 12. That’s current events. If you don’t know the answer to this question, I ain’t gonna tell you! 13. Danny Green, who was cut twice by the Spurs and once by the Cavs, set the NBA Finals mark with 25 3-pointers in the first five games the 2013 finals. Scorecard 9-12 correct: Danny Green! From down toooown.. Yes! 5-8 correct: Must be a Knick—stuck at second rate. 0-4 correct: “What’s up Zero?”
Answer to riddle: Avi - Calculus, 2nd period Ben - Physics, 1st period Chaim - Biology, 3rd period David - English, 4th period
3. Who won the first NBA finals MVP in 1969? a. Jerry West b. Kareem Abdul Jabbar c. Willis Reed d. Elgin Baylor
7. What team is the only #8 seed to make it to the NBA finals? a. 1994 Denver Nuggets b. 1999 NY Knicks c. 1988 Washington Bullets d. 1982 Philadelphia 76ers
june 20, 2013
2. What is Phil Jackson’s record in the NBA Finals? a. 10-2 b. 11-2 c. 12-0 d. 11-1
6. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant teamed up to win how many championships for the LA Lakers? a. 1 b. 2 c. 3 d. 4
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1. How many times has Michael Jordan been named the finals MVP? a. 2 b. 4 c. 6 d. 7
The Jewish Home
NBA FINALS TRIVIA
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Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” I took out the ring and showed it to [Vladimir Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out. - New England Patriot owner Steve Kraft talking about how Russian President Vladimir Putin stole his Super Bowl ring from him What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird. I was standing 20 centimeters away from [Kraft] and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift. - Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Petrov, responding to Kraft’s claims This is what democracy looks like in a theocratic dictatorship. Iran’s presidential campaign season kicked off last month when an unelected body of 12 Islamic jurists disqualified more than 600 candidates. Women were automatically out; so were Iranian Christians, Jews and even Sunni Muslims. The rest, including a former president, were purged for possessing insufficient revolutionary zeal. Eight regime loyalists made it onto the ballots. One emerged victorious on Saturday. - Iranian expat Sohrab Ahmari, in The Wall Street Journal.
This man was elected president of the United States of America. - VP Biden introducing Al Gore at Democratic fundraiser
It’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney... Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school. - NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden I hope, I pray, and I ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason. I sense that you’re under much stress [from] what I’ve read recently, and [ask] that you not succumb to that stress ... and make a bad decision. – Lon Snowden, on FOX News addressing his son Edward Snowden Democrats terrify Hispanics into thinking they’ll be lynched if they vote for Republicans, and then turn around and taunt Republicans for not winning a majority of the Hispanic vote. - Ann Coulter, on the immigration debate
Marco Rubio [is] the Jack Kevorkian of the Republican party. - Ibid
Egyptian Politician Khaled Zaafrani in an interview on Egyptian television: Khaled Al-Zaafrani: It’s well known that during the Passover, they
make matzos called the “Blood of Zion.” They take a Christian child, slit his throat and slaughter him. Then they take his blood and make their [matzos]. This is a very important rite for the Jews, which they never forgo. Interviewer: Could you repeat the name of this rite? Khaled Al-Zaafrani: It is called the Blood of Zion rite. During the Jews’
Passover, they must slaughter… Interviewer: And the Jews do this to this day? Khaled Al-Zaafrani: Absolutely. The French kings and the Russian
czars discovered this in the Jewish quarters. All the massacring of Jews that occurred in those countries were because they discovered that the Jews had kidnapped and slaughtered children, in order to make the Passover matzos. Recorded evidence of this is kept in the Egyptian national archives. This happens to this day.
Now, techniques used to prevent attacks have been disclosed. I don’t know if you remember after 9/11, Congress had hearings, right? And you know what the hearings were about? We didn’t connect the dots. Well, we didn’t have the tools there to connect the dots. One of the killers makes a phone call from San Diego to somewhere, how come you didn’t know? We didn’t have the tools. We’ve got the tools. Now the people in Congress are saying, “Why are you connecting the dots?” It’s a tough assignment for the president. It is. - Former-President George W. Bush at a speech in California, discussing the NSA surveillance scandal This is a Glock block. We don’t call 911. - Posters with a image of a gun posted by residents of an Oregon neighborhood, after the police were unable to prevent a rash of petty crimes
This week a man was arrested for jumping over the White House fence and trying to spray paint a political message. If that guy really wanted to get a message to the president, he could have just written it in an email to literally anyone. - Jimmy Fallon
According to a Gallup poll, President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has “impeachment insurance.” It’s called “Joe Biden.” - Jay Leno
This day marks the 42nd anniversary of the war on drugs. Today our partners in Mexico observed it with a moment of silence followed by hours of laughter. – Jay Leno
Ever since the government’s spying scandal was exposed, sales of the novel 1984 have jumped 6,000 percent on Amazon. Yeah, 1984 shows how scary it would be if society tracked everything you do. And if you want to read it, just buy it on a website that tracks everything you do. - Jimmy Fallon [Obamacare] is a term, by the way, that I coined and used proudly long before the administration decided it was a good idea. - Anthony Weiner to the New York Times 20 brazen self-professed illegal aliens have just invaded my DC office. Obama’s lawless order gives them de facto immunity from U.S. law. - Tweet by Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) on Thursday, June 13, after demonstrators held a “sit in” in his office If we can’t secure the doors to a congressional office building, how in the world does John McCain and Chuck Schumer think we’re going to secure the borders? - Ibid
The Taliban is now recruiting women to become suicide bombers. And it’s not easy to qualify. The women must be able to push a car loaded with explosives because, as you know, they’re not allowed to drive over there. - Jay Leno
The only true democracy is one that is based on a people that are virtuous, and that’s what you’ve maintained through your traditions. - Sen. Rang Paul (R-KY) at a private luncheon with Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, after touring Beis Medrash Govoah The guy who blew the whistle on the NSA scandal is a former security worker named Edward Snowden. He is a high school dropout. He was making $122,000 a year. He lived in Hawaii...And he gave it all up. So not only is he a whistleblower. He’s also a moron. - Jay Leno
Our government spied on every single one of your phone calls, but it couldn’t find two pot-smoking deadbeat Bostonians with a hotline to terrorist central in Chechnya…really? And it’s built an apparatus to sneak into all of the good guys’ communications, but oopsy-daisy! It missed the Fort Hood mass-murder of our own troops, despite this Islamic terrorist declaring his ideology in numerous army counseling sessions…and on his own business cards. But… no red flags there. Really? - Sarah Palin at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority 2013 conference I say let Allah sort it out. - Ibid, in reference to the Obama administration’s decision last week to arm Syrian rebels
Well, [newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rowhani] was seen as the most reformminded of all the candidates who ran this time. That being said, they were all very conservative. In U.S. terms, it was as if all the candidates for the presidency came from the Tea Party. - CBS News reporter Elizabeth Palmer
The man who loved polls too much warns the president not to... Not only is President Obama leading from behind, now he’s leading from behind Bill Clinton. After dithering for two years over what to do about the slaughter in Syria, the president was finally shoved into action by the past and perhaps future occupant of his bedroom. Clinton told John McCain during a private Q. and A. on Tuesday in New York that Obama should be more forceful on Syria and should not rationalize with opinion polls that reflect Americans’ reluctance to tangle in foreign crises. ... As Maggie Haberman reported in Politico, Clinton said at the McCain Institute for International Leadership that the public elects presidents and lawmakers to “look around the corner and see down the road” and “to win,” not to follow polls. When the man who polled where to take his summer vacation ... tells you you’re a captive of polls, you’d better listen up. ...The silver-tongued campaigner has turned out to be a leaden salesman in the Oval Office. On issues from drones to gun control to taxes to Syria, the president likes to cite public opinion polls to justify his action or inaction. He seems incapable of getting in front of issues and shaping public and Congressional opinion with a strong selling job. ... [A]s the White House announced this pittance of a policy on Thursday evening, the president was nowhere to be seen. ... The less Obama leads, the more likely it is that history will see him as a pallid interregnum between two chaotic Clinton eras. - Maureen Dowd, New York Times I think he is really coming to Connecticut to congratulate us on getting the Cigna headquarters here and getting ESPN’s digital operations here, both of which considered Texas before deciding on Connecticut. Maybe he can talk about Texas’ higher crime rate, the higher murder rate, and higher assault rate. Also, low educational achievement. - Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, who spoke with reporters outside of a Connecticut restaurant where Texas Gov. Rick Perry was meeting with business owners to convince them to move their businesses to Texas The big story continues to be 29-year-old Edward Snowden, the man behind the leaking of the NSA spy scandal. Speculation is that Snowden is hiding in Hong Kong and could be working for China. Hey, let’s get real. Aren’t we all pretty much working for China? - Jay Leno
Mr. President, no one is saying you broke any laws; we’re just saying it’s a little bit weird you didn’t have to. –The Daily Show’s John Oliver on the NSA spying scandal
Ahmadinejad is retiring. He’s going to spend all of his time on his ranch in Crawford, Texas. - David Letterman
A recent report finds that by the year 2043 white people will no longer be the majority in America. And by 2050, people will be saying, “I’m not racist. One of my best friends is white” - Conan O’Brien
President Obama is traveling to Africa later this month, and it’s got some people upset because the trip is expected to cost taxpayers more than 60 million dollars. It’s mostly for security, hotel accommodations — plus Biden wants a giraffe. – Jimmy Fallon
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Due to the government spy scandal, sales of the classic George Orwell book 1984 have skyrocketed. So the fallout is worse than we thought. It’s making Americans read. - Conan O’Brien
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The Battle of Malta and the Heroes Who Fought Against the Axis of Evil
orld War II was a conflict that involved more countries than any other war and took place on three continents and off three others in naval and air battles. It’s no wonder
small island deep in enemy territory that survived despite being bombed and almost starved into capitulation. Many of the heroes deserve special recognition especially the airmen that prevented total destruction. There were several Jewish pilots that No matter despIte the facthow thatdire theytheir were merit acknowlsituation seemed to be, edgment including outnuMbered about 25 to 1, the Hurricane fighter they fought through pilot Cyril “Bam” platoon it had excellent posItIons. and prevailed Bamberger. After the outbreak of the war in that many of the battles are largely for- September 1939, the Germans took to gotten today and the heroes that fought the offensive in Europe while the Italthem are buried in history books—if ians attacked Allied, mainly British, their stories were written down at all. bases in the Mediterranean Theater The Siege of Malta was the story of a of Operations (MTO). Having landed
troops in North Africa and pushing towards Egypt, the Axis controlled the theater except one area between Alexandria and Gibraltar that was still in British hands. Malta is about 17 miles long and had a population of about 270,000 citizens with a small band of troops and airmen stationed on the island. These airplanes were able to reach areas in Italy, and the island could be used as a staging point for convoys on their way to attack Sicily. The Italians, and later the Germans, needed to put Malta out of the war. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused to give in to concession demands, which included giving
Connect to Your Past, Present and Future Yiddish
up Malta without a fight, made by the Italians in early 1940. Instead, he told
Cyril Bam Bamberger
the island to prepare for war, and the Italians declared war on Great Britain in June 1940. At the time, Malta had only three obsolete airplanes to defend
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weeks. Many of these kills were Italians for whom Buzz had much more respect for their flying skills than the Germans he encountered. After being shot down for the fourth time over Malta, he was hospitalized and sent back to England. His total Pilots returning from a mission over Malta for the war was 31 enemy aircraft downed and he was highly decorated. Malta left behind a legacy for future After the war, Buzz tried to fit into generations. The defenders of Malta civilian life but had a tough time ad- never gave up and by the end of 1942, justing. His marriage was failing so in the siege had been lifted and the Axis 1948 he turned to the skills that he knew forces were forced out of Africa. No best. This time he was recruited to fight matter how dire their situation seemed for the fledgling Israeli Air Force. Even to be, they fought through it and prethough he wasn’t Jewish, he offered his vailed. Most of these heroes are forgotservices for a $1,000 a month to fight ten today but their sacrifice and comthe Arabs in a P-51 Mustang. En route, mitment to free the world of tyrants will the plane he was test flying crashed over forever be remembered. Rome and he was killed. It was the tenth time he was shot down (he really did have nine lives!), and in 1950, he was Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to reburied by Har Carmel with full IDF The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.for future columns honors. Cyril Bamberger, George Beurling and can be reached at aviheiligman@ and the other pilots who fought over gmail.com.
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herself. chant ships were actually reaching the The defense of Malta was a two- island, aircraft were being flown off airstep process. The first was to bring sup- craft carriers to land airstrips. In the latplies, especially food and ammunition, ter months of the siege, American carriby ships, and the second was to defend ers were used but in November 1940, a her by the air. There were dozens of British carrier sailed to the Mediterraconvoys that tried to break through the nean on one of these missions. Bam was siege during the two and half years that onboard but since he wasn’t qualified the island was suryet to fly Hurricanes rounded by enemy or Skuas, he went ships, including the ashore via a demenacing U-boat stroyer. Those that submarines. Many did fly off the Argus of these convoys were decimated by were either turned the long flight and back or sunk by the eight of the 12 airtime they reached craft crashed into Malta’s harbors. the sea. Spared this Just enough supfate, he served with plies reached port to No. 261 Squadron prevent starvation, and he shot down although there was two Ju 87s in sucsevere rationing for cessive days over the citizens. As well Grand Harbor in as bringing in supJanuary 1941. The plies for the popRAF decided that Buzz Beurling, the Knight of Malta ulation and arms he had seen enough for the defenders, who were expecting action and sent Bam back to England to a German invasion at any time, planes train aspiring American pilots. were being flown off aircraft carriers. Bam fought in Malta during one The siege started in June 1940, and in the most trying times of the siege. He November, a young pilot flew off the left Malta in May 1941 and the fighting British carrier HMS Argus to join the continued above and around the island defenders. until December 1942 when the siege Cyril “Bam” Bamberger was born was broken. Many pilots became hein 1919 in England and dropped out of roes for the folks back at home for their school to become an electrical appren- incredible sacrifice and daring. One of tice. Two years later he volunteered the pilots that took a place in history for the Auxiliary Air Force as a pho- over Malta when Bam left was George tographer and in 1938 was given pilot Beurling. training. His unit, the 610 Squadron, “Buzz” Beurling was from Quebec was outfitted with Spitfires in 1940 as who was turned down by the Canadian it made the transfer from bombers to air force because he lacked formal edufighters. Bam was with them when cation so he made his way to England to sign up for the RAF in 1940. The Brits were glad to have anyone who would volunteer to fight the Germans and by early 1942, he had shot down 2 planes. Beurling developed a technique called deflection shooting and after his flying days were over, he wrote the manual for the Anti-aircraft guns on Malta RAF on the subject. they fought from the base at Biggin Hill Beurling, who earned the nickname during the Battle of Britain. During the “Knight of Malta,” was a careless man air battle that saved England from an in- and at times reckless with little regard vasion, Bam shot down one Me 109 and for authority. His commanders tried to was credited with another “probable.” settle him down but nothing worked As that fight began to wind down, expe- so they gladly accepted his request to rienced pilots were being sent to Malta be transferred to Malta. Over there, he to help with the siege. Bam volunteered barely listened to orders but his brash for the very dangerous but exciting as- nature was the order of the day on the signment. island as he shot down an incredible Since very few supplies from mer- 27 aircraft in his Spitfire in about two
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june 20, 2013
Global Iranians Elect Hassan Rowhani, a “Moderate Conservative,” as their New President
In a region where elections often spill out into weeklong street fights, Iranians overwhelmingly elected Hassan Rowhani last weekend to replace current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Perhaps more in sync with the region’s hypocrisy and manipulation, the newly elected leader declared that he will take the “path of moderation,” but that there will be no end to uranium enrichment. Although the world is congratulating Iran on their choosing a “moderate,” the lone voice of reason among global leaders on this issue, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, warned, “The international community must not become caught up in wishful thinking and be tempted to relax the pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program.” According to the country’s ministry of interior, Rowhani, a Shiite Muslim cleric, won with some 18.6 million votes—nearly 51 percent of the vote in a six-man field. The “runner-up,” Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, received only 6.1 million votes. “The sun of my moderation has risen,” announced Arman, a reformist newspaper. The election, according to another reformist newspaper called Shargh, signifies “the return of hope and victory for reformers and moderates.” The politician is touted as a moderate conservative, which may be so compared to his predecessor Ahmadinejad. But how conservative can a leader in Iran be when the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Shiite supreme leader, sets all major policy and can block almost any action set forth by the president? Even so, Rowhani pledged to reverse the damage Ahmadinejad perpetrated during his eight
year tenure. The United States commended the Iranian people for voicing their displeasure with the current regime and participating in the voting process. White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “We respect the vote of the Iranian people and congratulate them for their participation in the political process and their courage in making their voices heard.” He continued, “It is our hope that the Iranian government will heed the will of the Iranian people and make responsible choices that create a better future for all Iranians. The United States remains ready to engage the Iranian government directly in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.” Despite calls for a boycott of the election, voter turnout was just under three-quarters of the eligible voters in the country. When the results were in, crowds chanting and cheering flooded Haft-e Tir Square in the center of Tehran wearing purple t-shirts or scarves in support of Rowhani. Rowhani’s campaign color was the color purple, although, now that he is elected, he is looking to change his stripes. On Friday night, he tweeted to followers: “Let’s do something to celebrate success tomorrow; the day that our purple vote gives way to the green.” During his campaign, Rowhani pledged to improve the country’s human rights practices and young Iranians cheered the politician and packed his rallies. He also called for equal rights for women, freedom of the press, an abandonment of the ban on satellite television receivers, and for the government to remove itself from the arts in general. “If we want to eliminate corruption from the society, we should give freedom to the press,” he said, opening the prospect of a dramatic shift from the present situation in which the media acts as the regime’s mouthpiece. At a rally in Mashad, Iran’s second biggest city, the 64-year-old president-elect promised to restore safety and freedom to the country’s universities. “We are talking about running a country, not a police station,” he declared to shouts and chants. “I promise all of you that the era of extremism will end,” he said. Although Iranians were praised for participating in the election process, let it be known that Rowhani, just like all the other candidates, were chosen to run by the Guardian Council, which reports to the Ayatollah. Essentially, Iranians were choosing between six of the Khamenei’s puppets. Who would you prefer? Puppet 1 or Puppet 2? Additionally, although Rowhani calls himself a moderate, the term moderate is subjective. The Muslim Brotherhood is moderate compared with Al Qaeda. Bashar al-Assad is moderate compared with Saddam Hussein. Are they
true moderates? No. Is Rowhani a moderate? Well, compared to Ahmadinejad, he’s way conservative. Rowhani brings experience to the job. He sits on two top governing bodies that also report to the supreme leader: the Expediency Council and the Council of Experts. But, unlike the other candidates in this election, Rowhani headed the Center for Strategic Research, which analyzes economic and social issues as well as foreign policy, for 22 years. As such, he brings his own “think tank” to the position. He is also a former negotiator on the most contentious issue between Iran and the international community, the country’s nuclear enrichment program, which the U.S., Israel and other countries fear may lead to production of a nuclear weapon. Rowhani may not be the biggest reformer in the land, but he was the candidate that was closest to the reformist group. The other reformist in the race, Mohammad Reza Aref, dropped out of the race last week, pushing all of the votes for the reformist party in Rowhani’s favor. Iran’s future president studied at a Shiite seminary and has a bachelor’s degree in law as well as master’s degree and a Ph.D. from British universities. He served five terms in the parliament, rising to deputy speaker and head of the defense and foreign policy committees. According to his official biography, carried by the Iranian media, he speaks fluent English, Arabic and Persian and has written nearly 100 books and articles as well as conducting 700 different research projects. A question was raised during the campaign about his academic credentials, for his website had stated that he’d received his Ph.D. degree from Glasgow University. A Persian specialist at Radio Free Europe’s Persian service checked with the university to makes sure he’d graduated there, and the university had no record. Subsequently, Rowhani’s institute changed the listing on the website to the Glasgow Caledonian University, a less prestigious institution in Glasgow. It remains to be seen whether Rowhani will usher in a new era of moderate leadership in Iran or whether he is merely the “same cat with different skin.”
The Story of Putin and the Ring In 2005, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined several other American business leaders at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was noted that although Putin did come into the meeting wearing a ring on his finger, he left with Kraft’s Super Bowl ring. After many questioned the incident, Kraft released a statement saying he had given Putin the ring as
a gift to show his respect for the people of Russia. Now Kraft is changing the story. The Jewish owner of the New England Patriots now claims that Putin actually took the ring without his permission, and that the George W. Bush administration urged him not to make a scene because of concern that the incident would damage the U.S.-Russian already shaky relations. Kraft said he wanted to do whatever he could to get the ring back from Putin, but the White House pressured him to let it go.
“I really didn’t [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it,” Kraft said. “I don’t want to see it on eBay.” He said that a White House spokesman told him. “It would really be in the best interest of U.S.-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.” According to the New York Post, Kraft clarified the story this week at a public speech. He said, “I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.” They say there’s a truth behind every joke.
Kim Jong Un Gives Hitler’s Mein Kampf as Present to Officials A recent report from New Focus International, an underground North Korean news organization, revealed that senior government officials in North Korea received copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf for Kim Jong Un’s birthday in January. Apparently, the North Korean dictator gave the officials the book not to idolize the anti-Semitic rants of the Nazi leader but to have them focus on Hitler’s economic policies. Supposedly, Jong Un is impressed that Hitler ym”sh “managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War One,” an official stated. Therefore, “Kim Jong Un issued an order
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for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it.”
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Since most books are banned in country, only a few copies were handed out. Such gifts are called “hundred-copy books” in North Korea. A source revealed that many have been conjecturing that Jong Un has been trying to ratchet up his wild behavior to create a charisma for himself, something that some say he lacks. “One source says there have been many overt attempts to imbue Kim Jong Un with an ‘intimidating charisma,’ such as having him shout very forcefully at associates … and even throwing things at people,” says the paper’s international editor, Shirley Lee.
Missing Diary of Hitler Confidant Discovered
new light on a number of important issues relating to the Third Reich’s policy. The diary will be an important source of information to historians that compliments, and in part contradicts, already known documentation.” Rosenberg was convicted at the Nuremberg Trials and hanged in 1946. His diary was a significant piece of evidence presented during the trials but mysteriously vanished after the trial. Many suspected Nuremberg prosecutor, Robert Kempner, as being responsible for the missing diary and smuggling it back into the U. S. When Kempner died in 1993 at age 93, legal disagreements about his papers erupted between his children, his former secretary, a local debris removal contractor, and the Holocaust museum. Eventually, the children agreed to contribute their father’s papers to the Holocaust museum. However, when officials arrived to retrieve them from his home in 1999, they discovered that thousands of pages were missing. After the 1999 incident, the FBI opened a criminal investigation into the missing documents. No charges were filed in the case. The Holocaust museum recovered more than 150,000 documents in the decades following but the diary remained missing. Early this year, the Holocaust museum and an agent from Homeland Security Investigation tried to locate the missing diary pages. They tracked the diary to Herbert Richardson, Kempner’s former secretary who is living near Buffalo.
Philadelphia Orchestra Entertains Passengers of Delayed Flight
after it became the first U.S. orchestra to visit the country. Of course, several passengers quickly took out their phones and recorded the orchestra playing a selection from Dvorak’s “American” string quartet. The audience loved the five-and-a-half-minute performance and applauded the musicians with cheers and applause. That’s what we call in-flight entertainment.
North Korea Says to U.S. it Wants to Talk After talks set up between North and South Korea didn’t get off the ground last week, North Korea turned towards the United States to propose high-level talks to ease tensions between the two countries. The dictatorship said it wanted to discuss nuclear disarmament across the Korean peninsula, something that has rarely been proposed by the regime before. North Korea’s powerful National Defense Commission, headed by President Kim Jong-un, called on the US to set the time and the place for a round of unconditional talks to “secure peace and stability in the region and ease tension on the Korean peninsula.” Although the regime stated that it would like to talk about nuclear disarmament, it reiterated that it was not interested in giving up its weapons unilaterally. Pyongyang insisted that de-nuclearization of the region would also have to involve the South and end “US nuclear threats” against the North. Last week, North and South Korea were set to speak about proposals for economic cooperation, but those talks fell through when the two sides could not agree on who would lead the delegations.
German Nazi Found Living in Minnesota The U.S. government has recovered 400 pages of the diary of Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg was a close confidant of Adolf Hitler ym”sh who played a key role in the execution of millions of Jews during World War II. The diary could offer new insight into meetings between Rosenberg, Hitler, and other top Nazi leaders. It also includes details about the German occupation of the Soviet Union, including plans for mass killings of Jews and other Eastern Europeans. “The documentation is of considerable importance for the study of the Nazi era, including the history of the Holocaust,” according to the assessment, prepared by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. “A cursory content analysis indicates that the material sheds
An aircraft full of passengers was delayed for three hours on the tarmac in Beijing last week, but lucky for them there was some impromptu entertainment on board. Two violinists, a cellist and a viola player who are members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were aboard the delayed flight and took out their fine instruments and played a spontaneous concert for the people aboard the flight. The ensemble recently launched a tour of China, 40 years
Documents from a Soviet-era investigation uncovered by the Associated Press have led to the discovery that a 94-year-old German Nazi has been living peacefully in Minnesota for over six decades. Michael Karkoc emigrated to the U.S. in 1949. He is accused of being an SS leader in Ukraine and Poland throughout World War II and allegedly lied to officials about
his role in the war. The murderer directed the “liquidation of all residents” of Jewish town in Poland called Chlaniow, southeast of Lublin in 1944. Karkoc published a memoir in Ukraine in 1995 that told only part of the story of his role with the Self Defense Legion, a volunteer group of Ukrainians, Slovaks and Czechs during the war that had the support of the SS. AP was tipped off about the existence of the book by a British pharmacist who was researching the group and was seeking help. It is expected that Poland and Germany will seek prosecution of Karkoc. But from extradition forward, the international legal process can take several years, making it unlikely the 94-year-old will ever experience deportation, much less sentencing or prison due to his old age. That won’t stop them from trying, officials say. “Polish prosecutors will help American investigators, there’s no doubt,” a Polish embassy official stated. “Help will be provided to take steps to examine the evidence. Based on the evidence, a decision on extradition will be made.”
Egypt’s Alcohol Consumption on the Rise According to sources, Egyptians are consuming more alcohol than ever even as the country’s economic and political situation remains grave. The increase in alcohol consumption has boosted revenues for the clubs, bars, and the Egyptian government as well from taxes collected on the brew. Egypt was the first nation on earth to ferment barley to produce beer. The tradition of drinking beer is well accepted among many Egyptian Muslims and non-Muslims despite the fact that there is a prohibition against drinking intoxicants in the Koran. Most Egyptians don’t drink alcohol in public, but it is understood that many drink in the privacy of their own home. According to statements by the spokesman for the Dutch beer Heineken, alcohol consumption in Egypt increased in 2012 despite the 2011 revolution and drop in the number of tourists. Heineken made over $300 million in profits from beer sales in Egypt last year. According to an Al-Ahram Beverages statement, “Egypt is the 17th largest beer market in Africa and the Middle East, reaching a demand of roughly 110 million liters annually, of which 690,000 are alcoholic beer.” “My sales grew by 80% since the revolution started. People seem to have a lot to talk about and they come here to ventilate, drink a few beers,” Gamal Gomaa, a partner in Spitfire, an Irish pub in Alexandria said. “People tend to come more often despite the increase in alcohol prices
Termites Feast on Woman’s Life Savings
Phil Green’s backyard backs up to the Merrimack River. He often takes leisurely walks in the serene area. One day on his walk while the tide was low, he noticed an unusual looking rock. “There she was just sitting there, sticking up like that, and I said, ‘What is this?’” he recalled as he held a large greenish colored rock. “It just didn’t belong.” The rock was covered in mud so it was hard to see the burn marks on the side. At first Green thought it was a rock used to make arrowheads. Then he suspected it might be meteorite. He used a metal detector to check and found it wasn’t metallic, increasing his suspicions that it may actually have fallen from outer space. For six years, Green left the unusual rock under a tree without finding out what exactly it consisted of. But then, Phil’s sister-in-law sent it to a friend who works for NASA. That friend confirmed the rock was special, and that it wasn’t actually a rock at all. Green had found a piece of the Russian Space Station Mir. When Mir was de-commissioned, much of it burned up as it re-entered Earth’s orbit. The rest landed in the South Pacific Ocean. Somehow, one palm-sized chunk crashed into the Merrimack River in Amesbury, a suburb near Boston. Green works as a custodian at Amesbury Elementary School. He brought it to the school as a teaching tool. “I had a lot of fun taking it to school and showing it to all the kids,” he says. The rock is now displayed in Mr. Green’s home, next to a letter from the NASA engineer. The “rock” that started on Earth, went to space, and eventually made its way to Amesbury now has a place as Phil’s prized possession.
A Chinese woman almost lost her life savings when termites invaded a wooden drawer in which she kept a plastic bag containing 400,000 yuan: the equivalent of $65,000 U.S. dollars. Luckily, the woman decided to redecorate her home in the Guandong Province and she noticed the termites had dined on her hard-earned cash. A local bank generously scanned the remaining cash and was able to identify 340,000 yuan. The majority of her savings were salvaged although the termite’s meal cost the woman roughly $9,786. That’s one expensive bug supper.
Google to Launch Wi-Fi Balloon Experiment
Clinton: Israel Must Work on Two-State Solution Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addressed crowds on Monday night in Rehovot and advocated for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians. He also stressed that the Jewish State must “prepare for the worst” in these uncertain times. “But if all you do is prepare for the worst and you don’t work for the best then there is no possibility of ever seeing the triumph of creative cooperation,” Clinton said.
their real objective,” Clinton said. Although he stressed that Israel is “doing great economically” and enjoys “relative peace and security at the moment,” Clinton pointed out that “everything still seems to be going [bad] around” its borders. That being said, the former US president told his audience that “it is a fascinating time to be alive” as scientific breakthroughs and solutions to global challenges emerge all over the world. In order to “claim the benefits of a global economy” and do so in a way that espouses human equality, governments and businesses must adopt behaviors that are socially and environmentally responsible, according to Clinton. “Doing what is socially just is also helping to modernize the economy and lift the prospects of businesses,” Clinton said. Clinton praised Israel’s success for their startups, as only Silicon Valley sees more success for startups than the Jewish State. He commended the country on its desalination technologies and widespread internet use. “You have a lot to be proud of,” he assured the audience. The former president was paid $500,000 to speak at the event where 90-year-old Shimon Peres was present. He decided to donate the money back to the Peres Academic Center for scholarships for students in the institution.
Hamas Day Camp— Register Now!
Wireless Internet has become the standard form of internet connection over the last several years being that it’s the fastest and easiest. But Google has plans that could blow Wi-Fi off the market.
The company announced on Saturday that it plans to release 30 Wi-Fi test balloons into the atmosphere. The balloons are intended to beam down Internet access to areas without ground connections. “Project Loon” will begin on New Zealand’s South Island this month and will hopefully, according to Google, “connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.” Once the balloons are released, they will float in the stratosphere above 60,000 feet. Their altitude will be controlled from
At a gala event at the Peres Academic Center, the former U.S. leader said that Israel’s only choice is to remain a Jewish and democratic nation despite a surging Palestinian population in the West Bank and work towards a two-state solution. “You have to cobble together some kind of theory of a two-state solution, and the longer you let this go just because of sheer demographics the tougher it’s going to get,” he said. “I don’t see any alternative to a Palestinian state.” He also addressed the recent election in Iran. “There’s the Iranian issue lurking in the background and there’s the question of whether the new election offers some promise of negotiation which could lead to the fulfillment of Iran’s stated objective without the fulfillment of what we fear is
It’s a whole lot different than summer camps we are familiar with and while some camps have color war, this camp teaches real war. The annual Hamas-run summer camp in the Gaza Strip has begun and features activities such as learning to fire live assault rifles, avoid capture by the authorities, and abduct Israeli Jews. An estimated 10,000 Gaza kids between the ages of six and 16 attend the camp every summer. Children just finishing the first grade are being trained to kill people with guns and violently kidnap
june 20, 2013
A Space Station in his Backyard
“Loon Mission Control” using special software to allow them to pick up layers of wind traveling in the right direction and form a balloon network. If all goes as planned, about 60 people who’ve had a special antenna fixed on their homes for the trial will be able to connect to the balloon network. The signal will bounce from balloon to balloon, then to the internet back on Earth. Hundreds of people will be able to connect to one balloon at a time. According to Google estimates, twothirds of the global population is without fast, affordable Internet access.
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due to imposed alcohol taxes. People are a bit careful in their spending, but they still come and drink,” he said. Egypt imposes a 1200% to 3000% import tax on alcoholic beverages. The Egyptian collects a hefty tax on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages that amounts to about $1.2 billion annually.
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june 20, 2013
Jews. To increase the realism, tires are left burning all around the campground, and the sounds of explosions can be heard constantly. A reporter in Gaza wrote that the camp “appears to have been designed to mold its visitors into the terrorists of tomorrow.” To make sure the children know just what it is their being trained to fight for, their masked Hamas supervisors also provide a number of lessons and workshops on Islam and becoming a martyr for Allah. Talk about making killing into a game.
Tel Aviv in Top Ten
publication. Of all of Tel Aviv’s beaches, only Gordon beach was mentioned by name. “Head to wide and sandy Gordon Beach to sit in a seaside café or take a dip in the saltwater pool,” recommends National Geographic. The beautiful city has over eight miles of beaches that are literally a few steps away from one of the biggest financially active cities in the region. While it came in ninth on the list, it is a still a very impressive ranking, and Israelis can be proud to be on the list considering that violence in the region usually affects rankings such as these.
Syria’s official SANA news agency quoted a government source as saying that Morsi was implementing the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has called for jihad against the Syrian regime, and ignoring the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The statement added that Morsi and the Egyptian clerics should direct their attention toward liberating “usurped Palestinian land, particularly Jerusalem,” rather than issuing fatwas calling for more “Syrian bloodshed.”
an aide to Morsi said this week that Cairo would not stand in the way of Egyptians who wanted to fight in Syria.
National Field of Politicians: Democrats Slaughter Republicans
Morsi Cuts Off Damascus
Barcelona, Cape Town, and Honolulu were the top three but Tel Aviv has earned a place on the list of the top ten beach cities around the world. The list was recently published by National Geographic Magazine, which is celebrating 125 years of
Syria has harshly criticized Cairo’s decision to sever diplomatic relations with Damascus, accusing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of joining a U.S. and Israel-led conspiracy against Syria. Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian official said that Morsi’s calls for foreign intervention in Syria and the implementation of a no-fly zone in the country would only serve the interests of the U.S. and Israel. The source added that the continued presence of an Israeli embassy in Cairo and Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David accords with Israel delegitimizes both Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Addressing a rally of Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, Morsi said: “We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime.” He also warned Assad’s allies in the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite militia Hezbollah to pull back from fighting in Syria. “We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people,” Morsi said. “Hezbollah must leave Syria – these are serious words. There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.” Morsi, who faces growing discontent at home over the economy and over fears that he will pursue an Islamist social agenda, said he was organizing an urgent summit of Arab and other Islamic states to discuss the situation in Syria, where the United States has in recent days decided to take steps to arm the rebels. The Egyptian leader said Syria was the target of “a campaign of extermination and planned ethnic cleansing fed by regional and international states,” partly in reference to Iran, though he did not name the Shi’ite Islamic Republic. “The Egyptian people supports the struggle of the Syrian people, materially and morally, and Egypt, its nation, leadership ... and army, will not abandon the Syrian people until it achieves its rights and dignity,” Morsi said. The Brotherhood has joined calls this week from Sunni Muslim religious organizations for a jihad against Assad and his Shi’ite allies. Egypt has not taken an active role in arming the Syrian rebels, but
If the annual Congressional baseball game is a harbinger of things to come, the Republicans are in real trouble. Once a year, the two parties that duke it out in the halls of Congress, join each other on the baseball field to, well, duke it out. The game was played at National Park, home of the Nationals, and featured the ballplayers on both sides of the aisle while their colleagues, journalists and political junkies watched from the stands. During batting practice, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joked about using the administration’s top-secret wiretapping program to gain an advantage over the Democrat team. “We had the NSA go through the Democrats, go through their batting records, and we’re really excited about what we discovered,” he said. “We think we found a flaw in their game plan.” Despite Sen. Paul’s clever idea, the Dems stomped over the Repubs with the embarrassing score of 22-0. This is the fifth time in as many years that the Democrats won. So, now we know that Washington Democrats are destroying this country, but at least they know how to play baseball; Washington Republicans are destroying this country and they can’t even play ball. Which team are you rooting for?
World’s Largest Solar Boat Docks in NYC New York’s harbor boasted an unusual ship this week. On Monday afternoon, the
NSA Says Surveillance Prevented Terror Attacks
The Sounds of Music on the Streets of New York Eighty eight beautiful, unique pianos were spread throughout public spaces in New York. The pianos pay homage to the 88 keys on each instrument. The Sing for Hope campaign was brought back to the city that never sleeps. The pianos vary from uprights to baby grands; all have been refurbished. Installation was completed on June 16 and the pianos were donated to community centers, healthcare facilities, and schools.
Obama’s Nine-YearOld Friends
Twin sisters Zea and Luna Weiss-Wynne boldly wrote a letter to President Barack Obama last year asking him for a few “favors.” Not only did the president answer their letter, he responded with an invitation to the White House. The 9-year-old twins were invited to a reception at the White House to outline their requests in public.
“We told the president that we would like for him to make some changes this year,” the girls said to the crowd. Among the things they requested was to “make it harder for bad guys to get guns,” The girls spoke about how they were affected by the tragedy of the Newtown, Connecticut. They said they felt “very sad.” The twins also requested more funding for schools. Zea, who loves to read, is hoping for more libraries in schools, and Luna wants more P.E. because she “thinks it’s healthy for kids and grown-ups.” As the sisters spoke, President Obama nodded his head and smiled. They concluded by introducing the president to the crowd. Obama took the podium and began, “I will not beat that act. We could not be prouder of Zea and Luna.” Budding politicians.
Rubio: Immigration Bill 95% Perfect
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio announced on Sunday said the comprehensive immigration reform bill is almost “ready to go.” He admitted that the reform still needs substantial border security fixes, dismissing accusations from conservative critics that he has been manipulated by veteran Democratic lawmakers in their efforts to pass the bill. “I think it’s an excellent starting point, and I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in
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After the blowup last week in response to Edward Snowden releasing classified information, the government is defending its controversial practices of gathering millions of phone and email records. U.S. intelligence officials released newly declassified information on Saturday stating that the National Security Agency’s programs helped stop “dozens of potential terror plots.” The three-page document regarding the NSA programs was released to congressional intelligence committees and states the plots were thwarted in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries. The data is destroyed every five years, according to the document. In an effort to prove that the surveillance program is less extensive than suspected, the officials reported that the NSA checked only 300 phone numbers last year against its database of millions of U.S.
These statements come after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked the information of the surveillance programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post earlier this month. Until now, the programs were known to Washington lawmakers but not to the public. Snowden remains in hiding in Hong Kong. “In recent years, the intelligence gathered under them has contributed to the disruption of dozens of potential terrorist pots here in the homeland and in more than 20 countries around the world,” the documents state. “We are working to be able to provide more information about this.” The officials offered more detail on how the phone records program helped the NSA stop a 2009 Al Qaeda plot to blow up New York City subways. The disclosures have generated debate and legal action against the Obama administration by privacy activists who say the data collection goes far beyond what was intended when expanded counterterrorism measures were authorized by Congress after the terror attacks of September 11th in 2001.
Sing for Hope began in 2006 when Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora, friends and Julliard graduates, founded the organization in an effort to improve communities by combining the arts and volunteerism. The organization now has over 1,000 volunteers who believe in making the world better through the arts. This year, the program was sponsored mainly by Chobani, the Greek yogurt company. The company designed two pianos themselves, one located on Prince Street and one at the DUMBO Archway. The pianos are scattered throughout all five boroughs. Unfortunately, one piano was stolen from its location in Soundview Park in the Bronx. It was stolen sometime between June 1st and 2nd, only one day after it was installed. A replacement piano was immediately put in its place. “Sing us a song, New York, you’re the piano man.”
PUNCTUAL COURTEOUS RELIABLE HAIMISHE
june 20, 2013
The catamaran, a multi-hulled vessel, has 5,554 square feet of solar paneling on its upper decks. The boat, in turn, can reach at average speed of 5 knots, with a maximum speed of 14 knots. It can carry up to 60 people on board. The vessel was built in Germany and this is not its first voyage on the high seas. In May of last year, the Tûranor finished a 37,000 mile trip around the world in over 584 days. That was its maiden voyage and the longest trip it has taken so far. Its unusual name comes from the book The Lord of the Rings and means, appropriately, “power or mastery of the sun.” This voyage, the boat has a group of scientists onboard who are tracking ocean currents and atmospheric conditions along the Gulf Stream. They are conducting research into climate change in the region and around the world. On June 21, they will set sail to Boston. Bon voyage! May the sun be with you.
phone records gathered daily. NSA chief General Keith Alexander said the agency is currently working on declassifying all the information of the many plots that were disrupted to try and illustrate to the public the importance and necessity of these programs. He explained that the agency must proceed with caution in order to avoid inadvertently revealing any details of the U.S. counterterrorism playbook in the process.
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world’s largest solar boat docked at North Cover Marina in downtown Manhattan. The Tûranor is making a trans-Atlantic expedition that started in the south of France in March. New York is the boat’s sixth stop.
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june 20, 2013
perfect shape and ready to go,” he said of the bill, which is being debated in the Senate this month. “But there are elements that need to be improved.” In response to the Democratic-Republican disagreement over the issue, Rubio said, “I recognize there is a division among conservatives about [immigration reform]. I respect other people’s views on it.” Rubio added, “I understand why they are frustrated by it. I just hope people understand that the reason why I’ve undertaken this is because this is a major problem that’s hurting our country.”
their foot in the door.” Time off from college in the summer offers students opportunities to intern at big companies. Many top CEOs started off as interns making coffee. The worthwhile internships are hard to come by but the experience earned there is worth its weight in gold. The career site Glassdoor.com rated internships across the country at companies that are currently hiring interns. The rankings were based on user ratings. If you’re looking for an internship this summer (although you may be a little too late), spend some time checking out these companies for some great learning experiences.
Mistake on Ed Koch’s Gravestone
Call this a grave mistake. Former New York Mayor Ed Koch died in February of this year at the age of 88. He said he was not afraid of death and meticulously planned the details of his burial, including what would be written on his gravestone. The mayor was famously hands-on and was proud to be a Jew, as he had the words said heroically by journalist Daniel Pearl before being killed by terrorists engraved on his stone, ”My father is Jewish; my mother is Jewish; I am Jewish.” But recently, it was noticed that all was not right with Koch’s gravestone. The mayor was born on December 12, 1924, but his gravestone states the date as December 12, 1942. The marker did not have the birthdate engraved on it when he was buried. Now, Tommy Flynn, who engraved the stone, says he feels “terrible” and will work “to make it right.” It will take around two weeks to fix the error. Diane Coffey was Koch’s former chief of staff. She said that the mayor always wanted to be relevant and in the news. And even in death, the mayor still grabs the headlines.
Best Internships in the Country College graduates often seek internships to build their resume or simply “get
hard!) If you’re interested in retail sales or fashion, then Nordstrom’s may be the best opportunity for you. If they treat their employees as well as they treat their customers, then it’s got to be a great place to work. Coming in at number 8 on the list, interns say that the department store has a warm and friendly environment. The pay is decent for the field; $2,064 is the average monthly base pay. Procter & Gamble (no. 4), JP Morgan Chase (no. 9) General Electrics (no. 13), Amazon (no. 15), IBM (no. 16), and Deloitte (no. 17) also made it to the top 20 list. Happy hunting!
The History of Big Money in the U.S.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google is the best internship program in America. Besides for the amazing experience working at the one of the world’s most innovative companies, the pay is very good at an average of $5,832 a month. One intern wrote, “Google treats interns even better than full-time employees. All of the employees all the way up to VP personally spend time with you and take your opinion.” The only con listed by users about Google was that “you will be surrounded by extremely smart people. It can be intimidating at times.” (I’d have to bet you’re pretty smart yourself to get an internship at Google.) Microsoft is the highest paying internship and the third best internship on the list. The average monthly base pay is $5,869. Interns also get a lot of experience. One intern wrote, “During my 3-month internship, I learned more than one academic year in college.” For accountants, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, or PwC, (No. 6) is an excellent place to start your work experience. The average monthly base pay is $4,162 but many interns at the company go on to earn themselves full-time positions, so the future is bright for interns. Users say that interns are treated well and are respected unlike in some other big firms. The only downside is that interns need to be prepared to stay till the wee hours of the night and still be there on time the following morning, especially during tax season. One user said, “Nothing can quite prepare you for three months of 70 hour weeks and working weekends.” (Work hard, play
Did you know that there were once bills that made $100 bills look like small change? In fact, during the recent battle in Congress over extending the debt limit, one of the solutions proposed by academics and commentators to prevent default was minting a $1 trillion platinum coin and using that to fund the government’s commitments until a more permanent solution could be found.
In 1928 and 1934, a $500 bill was printed with the image of President William McKinley in the center. There are still 280,000 in circulation. In 1934, the $1,000 note was printed with the portrait of then-President Grover Cleveland. Back in 1918, there was a $5,000 bill printed with President James Madison’s face. Madison was the fourth president and “father of the Constitution.” Currently there are only 353 of these rare bank notes still in circulation. That’s good because altogether they are worth $1,765,000. The $10,000 bill was printed in 1918 with a photo of Salmon P. Chase, secretary of the Treasury. This was the largest bill ever circulated among the general public by the Treasury. Chase was also the sixth chief justice of the United States, a passionate abolitionist and Treasury secretary to Abraham Lincoln. Only 346 remain in circulation today.
The largest bill ever printed by the federal government was the $100,000 note that bears the face of President Woodrow Wilson. The bill was backed by gold bullion but these bills were issued only to Federal Reserve banks for making large transactions with one another and cannot be legally held by collectors. The Treasury ceased issuing notes of more than $100 in 1969 due to nonuse.
Poverty in the NY Jewish Community According to a study released by the UJA Federation of New York last week, the New York Jewish community has an enormous and growing number of poor. The study was based on data collected during the organization’s 2011 study of the Jewish community in New York. The data revealed that more than 560,000 people live in almost 200,000 households defined as either poor or near-poor. UJA Federation officials are hoping that the report will play a role in “helping us and others to better serve this segment of our community and form strategies for combating poverty.” Dr. Jacob B. Ukeles, the lead author of the report, said that the scale of the poverty among the Jews of New York is “immense,” with 32 percent of community members living in poor or near-poor households. Forty-five percent of the community’s children live in such households. “In 20 years, Jewish poverty has grown much faster than the Jewish community as a whole,” Ukeles added. Data shows that now there are “twice as many” people living in poor households than there were in 1991. There have been large “changes in the composition of Jewish poverty,” he said. A large portion of the poor population are elderly, Russian-speaking households. A high percentage of the poverty in the New York area is concentrated in Brooklyn. In addition, the high birthrate in the Chassidic communities “undoubtedly” helps explain the increase of the number of children living in poverty. Among the modern Orthodox, “there is substantial anecdotal and qualitative evidence of real economic hardship in the Jewish community. Many people struggle to make choices between food and paying for day school tuition.” According to the report, 25% of poor Jewish households are comprised of Russian seniors, with the Chassidic sector coming in second with 22,300 poor households, or 17% of the total. There are a total of 129,900 poor Jewish households, according to the report, which noted that “more Jewish people are affected by poverty in the New York area than there are Jews living in any Jewish community in
Evelyn Kozak, 113, the world’s oldest Jew, died this week at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center after suffering from a heart attack. The mother of five was born and raised in New York and outlives two of her children and two husbands. During her long life, she survived two strokes and the Spanish flu. She is survived by her 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Kozak accredited her longevity to her healthy, active lifestyle. She was named the seventh-oldest person in the world. Ironically, the oldest person in the world, Jiroemon Kimura from Japan, died a day after her at the age of 116. Kozak would have turned 114 in August.
The fire raged for days. The burn zone extended nearly 25 square miles. Authorities believe that the two victims of the fire appeared to have been planning to evacuate the area but unfortunately, the fire caught up with them before they had the chance to flee. “It appears as though the individuals were in the garage, the car doors were open as though they were loading or grabbing last minute things, and all indications are from the evidence on scene that they were planning to depart very quickly,” Maketa said. The fire’s cause is now being investigated as a possible homicide, Maketa said.
IRS Employees Misuse Government Funds
Colorado Fire Claims 2 Lives A massive, deadly wildfire took Colorado Springs by surprise late on Friday. Thankfully, when cooler temperatures, rain, and calmer winds swept in, it allowed firefighters to contain the blaze to 30 percent. At that time, mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of Colorado Springs residents were lifted. Initially, more than 38,000 people were evacuated at the peak
The IRS was never the most loved agency in the United States. But recently, they have been receiving a lot of bad press. Last week, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed a shocking revelation in a recent audit report. The report reveals that in fiscal years
2010 and 2011, more than 1,000 Internal Revenue Service employees misused government charge cards issued by Citibank. The report indicated that during the two years in question, agency employees sent Citibank 325 bad checks written on personal accounts that had insufficient funds to cover them. Agency officials with top-secret security clearances had their charge accounts suspended for failure to pay the balances. Apparently the IRS had a tendency of being “overly lenient” in disciplining those who misused the cards. “We found that the IRS was generally effective in implementing travel card controls,” said the IG report. “However, in some instances controls were not implemented effectively, which increased the risk for misuse and resulted in some travel card misuse going undetected.” The report, which is dated April 18, 2013, was released on May 29. IRS employees who misused charge cards included an executive-level official, a criminal investigator, and multiple employees with security clearances. “We found that 15 cardholders with either secret or top-secret clearances had their travel accounts suspended due to their failure to pay outstanding balances,” said the IG report. “Two other cardholders with secret and top-secret clearances presented NSF [non-sufficient funds] checks to Citibank for payment of their travel card balance.” “In addition,” said the inspector general, “94 cardholders serving public trust positions requiring moderate and high-level background checks wrote one or more NSF checks, and 36 had their accounts charged off [written off as a loss by Citibank] due to their failure to pay outstanding balances…For example,” said the IG, “a tax compliance officer wrote seven NSF checks in FY 2011 while occupying a position that required a moderate-risk background investigation.” In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill authorizing federal employees to use “a government-issued travel charge card” to pay for most official government travel and travel-related expenses. IRS employees are not allowed to use their Citibank IRS travel cards for anything other than official government travel and travel-related expenses. “By accepting the travel card, employees agree to use it only for official travel and related expenses while away from their official duty station for which they will submit a travel voucher for reimbursement,” said the IG report. The report detailed the abuse of the travel card including use of the card by someone other than the cardholder, use while not on official travel, purchases from an unauthorized merchant, and failure to pay on time. “The lack of aggressive steps taken to address travel card misuse and the lack of a subsequent reevaluation of employee background checks and clearances reduces the overall effectiveness of controls over
the travel card program and provides a reduced deterrent factor for travel card misuse,” the report concluded. The key message in the inspector general’s report was that the IRS is more forgiving of its own employees’ transgressions than it is of American taxpayers.
That’s Odd Welcome to the Duct Tape Festival If you love duct tape and were looking for a sticky vacation, you should have spent your weekend at Avon, Ohio’s 10th annual Duct Tape Festival.
As you can imagine, the organizers of the event did not set out to celebrate the adhesive. They were in a sticky situation (pun intended) when their annual Festival of Flowers withered due to lack of interest. When they approached the makers of duct tape to sponsor the festival, they were asked if they could make it a duct tape festival. Well, that certainly took them for a loop. But now, the festival has become de rigueur in the town of 21,193 residents. Now, around 40,000 people are stuck on the idea of the festival and they flock to the town to enjoy the sticky festivities. Duct tape was developed during World War II to keep moisture out of ammunition, but today people have been using it for everything—from fixing cracked headlights to leaky boats. Some people are even using the adhesive to make items such as wallets and book covers. The festivities this year started off with the Duct Tape Parade and featured a car float made from 1,300 rolls of tape in 30 colors. That project took students at Elyria High School five months to complete. Then came a series of fashion shows, where designer duct tape outfits were showcased. One of the judges at the event, Michelle Lesniak Franklin, urged revelers to enjoy the tacky tape. “It’s tape! Have fun with it, push the color envelope and make it wild. And don’t cry if it doesn’t work out because you can always peel it back off and try again.” Sounds like they’re on a roll in Ohio.
june 20, 2013
World’s Oldest Jew Dies at 113
of the blaze. The fire is being called the Black Forest fire; it is documented as the worst blaze in the state’s history. It claimed two innocent lives and burnt 419 homes. “We had a real good day without wind in comparison to previous days,” El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “The cloud cover we got to experience and finally the rain made a tremendous impact especially with that duff that lines the ground and we’ve seen a lot of smoldering over the last several days. So some things finally turned in our favor ... and I think if you look at it as a fight, we got our tails kicked for a couple days.”
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the United States” with the “possible exception of Los Angeles.” In the summary of the report’s findings, the authors were careful to note that in 21st-century America, “poverty does not typically mean extreme deprivation” but “at the same time, poverty represents a real struggle.” “We have known for a long time that poverty is an issue in the community,” Ukeles commented. “This report shines a mirror on this important and major concern.”
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june 20, 2013
The Newest Food Fad: Craving a Cronut What would you do for a Cronut? Don’t know what that is? Get with the program. The Cronut is the newest food sensation to be sold at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho in New York. The pastry is a hybrid croissant-doughnut and they’re so good, people have been lining up starting at 5am for a taste of the delicious dessert. With layers of cream that is oh-so-good (I have yet to taste it as it does not yet have the OU!), lines form around the block for a taste of heaven.
shoes stilettos. A Texas woman faces a charge of murder after allegedly fatally stabbing a man with a stiletto heel at a luxury condominium early on Sunday, Houston police said. Ana Lilia Trujillo, 44, is accused of gouging a 59-year-old man with a stiletto multiple times, leaving puncture wounds all over his head, according to a Houston Police Department news release issued Monday. The victim has not yet been identified by officials, but police believe that Trujillo did know the man. Apparently knives come in all forms.
DUI Can Happen Anywhere
ing that park rules prohibit collecting and keeping the rocks. Upon realizing that the rock was considered “stolen,” the child decided to send it back with an anonymous letter. Perhaps the child left his name out for fear of punishment. The Channel Islands National Park Facebook page posted the letter with the following caption, “Take only memories, leave only footprints. Recently a very honest child (and possible future park ranger!) followed the national park’s ‘no collecting’ regulation and returned a rock in the mail that was taken from Santa Cruz Island. It’s never too late to do the right thing.” That’s what we call a rock-solid citizen!
Twins Times Three
Recently, there have been reports of scalpers standing in line for the Cronuts, which cost $5 a piece and then reselling them for $100—that’s a 2,000% markup! And since New Yorkers are used to everything being delivered to them, the Premium Cronut Delivery, which is not affiliated with the bakery, charges $100 for a single Cronut delivery and $200 for two. There’s a $3,000 charge for the delivery of 10 pastries. I guess they really are that good. The service only accepts five deliveries per weekday, probably because of the recent two-per-customer Cronut rule in the bakery. The baker, Dominique, says that he has received newspaper clipping and emails from customers informing him about the Cronut scalpers and the delivery service. “I’m really flattered by their care, and I know it’s coming from somewhere very sweet.” Just like his Cronuts. He also said that when he created the Cronut, he didn’t expect so much hoopla. “I’m a chef, and so I spend most of my time in the kitchen, and [the Cronut] was just one other creation. We didn’t do any marketing,” he said. “I went to sleep the night before being told there was a small article out on Grubstreet and a photo on the bakery’s Facebook site. When I woke up, there were 140,000 links and a note from the journalist that said: ‘Our traffic spiked. I’d advise you to make more Cronuts,’” Ansel said with a laugh. “Boy, was he right.”
Woman Uses Stiletto Heel as Weapon There’s a reason why they call these
Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Merill Moses, 63, is in a slew of trouble. He was busted shoplifting a Betty Crocker cake mix and chocolate chip cookies from a grocery store. But, that’s not why he is in so much trouble. After all, many a hungry thief has gotten away with merely a slap on the wrist for similar petty crimes. The problem for Mr. Moses is that he was drunk as a skunk when he took the items. “Why,” you wonder, “is that a problem?” Well, Moses wasn’t on foot when he pilfered the items. He was driving a motorized shopping cart and threatened to run over employees who were trying to prevent him from stealing the items. Once police arrived, he was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. A motorized shopping cart reaches a maximum speed of 5 MPH. Perhaps an insanity plea is appropriate for Mr. Moses...and for everyone else involved in this incident.
Boy Returns Rock to Park Every mother can attest to the fact that kids love collecting things. My child asks the mailman for rubber bands every time he sees him. He also collects tags from clothes, paper airplanes, and what I call nicely, “junk.” This story is about a boy who liked to collect rocks. The boy recently went with his family to Channel Islands National Park and while exploring the beautiful park, he pocketed some rocks, not realiz-
Mom Karen Rodger of Scotland gave birth to twin girls Isla and Rowan on Wednesday. The girls have four older brothers: 14-year-old twins Lewis and Kyle and 12-year-old twins Finn and Jude. Mazal tov, mazal tov! This is third set of twins for the family. The chances of having three sets of twins is 1 in 500,000. Rodger, 41, found out at her six-week CT scan, that she was carrying another set of twins. She said she immediately texted the news to her husband, Colin. “He thought I was joking and immediately wrote back to say, ‘This is not funny’. I had to explain that it really was true.” I guess the idea of twins wasn’t so shocking that it was normal for her to reveal it via text message. The mom of now six could hardly believe it herself. “How could that happen to me three times?” Isla and Rowan were born two minutes apart by cesarean section on May 29th. “They’ve been so helpful,” Rodger said of her boys. “I think they’ll be good brothers.” Imagine that! Three pregnancies, six babies.
Woman to Lottery Winner: It’s Fine That you Cut in Line When Gloria C. Mackenzie claimed her $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, she released a statement revealing that another
woman “was kind enough” to allow her to cut in line when she purchased the winning ticket. That woman has been identified as Mindy Crandell, 34. Crandell says she is not upset that her charitable gesture likely cost her an enormous fortune and says “things are meant to be for a reason.” Crandell, of Zephyrhills, Florida, was in line to purchase lottery tickets in Publix on May 18 while tending to one of her two daughters when Mackenzie, 84, stepped in front of her. “My 10-year-old said, ‘Mom, There’s a lady in front of us.’ I noticed that the lady was there. Didn’t pay a lot of mind to it,” Crandall said. The cashier stopped Mackenzie to allow Crandell to reclaim her spot in line. Crandell declined the offer and told Mackenzie “go ahead.” Mackenzie purchased one Quick Pick ticket and left the store.
Before it was revealed that the ticket was sold in the Publix of Zephyrhills, Crandell said family and friends began to joke that the lady she allowed to cut in line was going to win the mega jackpot. “The joke was, that’s the lady that’s going to win it. I was like, ‘Yeah right. No one is going to win from little Zephyrhills,’” Crandell said. When Mackenzie claimed the money on Wednesday, Crandell’s 10-year-old daughter, Mallory, immediately recognized her from Publix. “My daughter was like, ‘Mom, look at the lady,’” Crandell said. “Same day, same store. What are the chances of that happening?” Crandell holds no ill-will toward Mackenzie and hopes the money “truly blesses her family.” The one thing Crandell did gain from the incident was a lesson she hopes her daughters learned. “It could have been us, but things happen. Sometimes it’s better to be patient than right. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing,” Crandell said. The truth is that Crandell may not have been the one to win if she would have taken her rightful place in line. The winning numbers are based on odds throughout the state and the person who would have won may not have in been in that store buying the winning ticket. Mackenzie has not disclosed her plans for the money. She has opted for the lump sum cash payout of $370.8 million, before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19 million, a lottery official said.
Lost Ring Travels across the Country before being Returned In 2005, Shirley, 46, was shopping for home goods with her daughter when she met Smith, 46. Fast-forward two years later…the couple got engaged. “We always figured that when we got married, we’d have some sort of ceremony at IKEA but I didn’t think the store would allow it,” said Shirley. “So I called them and asked if we could just take our photos there. But they loved the idea and said we should have the whole ceremony there.” Shirley and Smith invited 20 of their closest friends, family, and coworkers to witness the ceremony. I hope they picked up a frame for their wedding photo while they were there. Did the store include instructions for putting together the perfect marriage?
A wedding ring lost in Chicago traveled 600 miles to Arkansas. Steve Anderson, 63, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, was unloading packages in the warehouse of Applied Industrial Technologies when he noticed something odd about one of the boxes. The box came from an Illinois firm called Lovejoy which makes industrial parts and uses Applied Industrial Technologies as a distributor. “On Monday I was unpacking our orders and I saw there was a ring in the wrapping of one of the boxes. At a second glance, I realized it was a wedding ring. The ring looked very expensive; it had several diamonds in it. And it looked like it was well worn, so I was sure somebody must have been looking for it,” Anderson said.
Doctors Save Infant’s Life Using Superglue Brilliant doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital saved an infant’s life with a little help from superglue. Ashlyn Julian was born on May 16; a few weeks later her parents noticed that their daughter changed drastically in the first few weeks of her life. They had trouble waking her to feed her and then Ashyln began screaming and vomiting. Her concerned parents rushed her to the emergency room, where doctors discovered an aneurysm in Ashlyn’s brain. The baby was quickly transferred to the better equipped KU hospital. By the time doctors at KU Hospital got to examine the baby, she had already experienced one bleed from the aneurysm, and before her surgery, she experienced a second. The standard treatment for brain aneurysms is to open the skull and operate,
Using the return address, Anderson was able to track down the owner, Barbara Kasang, of Romeoville, Illinois, a suburb outside of Chicago, was grateful and relieved to hear that her ring had been found. She noticed her ring was missing on Monday and was searching for it when she received a phone call from Applied Industrial Technologies saying the ring was in a box she had shipped to them. “My heart was pounding when I lost it and pounding when he said we’ve found it,” Kasang said. “It’s the first time something has happened like this at the warehouse. But I’ve lost things before and had them returned to
A Vegetarian Bridezilla Bridezilla is a term used to refer to brides who think that the world revolves around them because they are planning their wedding. They truly feel that all their friends, family, and acquaintances need to drop everything and run to their side. Well, this bride took Bridezilla to a whole new level. Rainbeau Mars is an actress, yoga instructor, and health guru and she is dictating to her guests exactly what they should be eating not just at her wedding but in the three weeks leading up to her big day. She has requested that her guests “try out a vegan, and subsequently live food diet for 21 days” before her upcoming Kauai wedding. Her reasoning behind it is that this way, according to the media, “everyone will look and feel their best for HER big day.” Mars claims that that’s not exactly what she said and that the story was twisted by the media. She came to her own defense on Facebook, saying, “The story was twisted and I never ‘demanded’ anything as such. We were intending to include everyone with an invitation to what is supposed to be a healing and purifying ceremony for all,” she wrote. “We did invite people to join us for the cleanse that my fiancé and I are doing in preparation for our sacred events. Some guests are joining us along with the other people that do this with us around the world and others are not. It’s all good.” Umm, only eating peas and carrots for the next three weeks? That will for sure turn you into a Bridezilla—even if you’re not getting married!
could sell some things at the garage sale,” said Racquel Cloutier, 31. Eric gathered some things he thought the family no longer needed including an “empty” watch box and headed to the sale with his kids in tow. “He didn’t know that before I went to the hospital, I put my ring in that box. I wanted the ring to be in a safe place and out of reach from my 2-year-old twins,” Cloutier recounted. When Racquel returned home from the hospital on June 5, she immediately noticed that the box with her ring in it was missing. “I go into my husband’s closet, can’t find the box, and then he tells me he sold it. I said, ‘You sold it? What do you mean you sold it?’ I immediately started crying,” she said. “I’m very, very, very upset,” Cloutier continued. “I’m trying to remain optimistic but I don’t know anymore. There’s a small chance whoever bought the box doesn’t know the ring is in there.” According to Eric, the ring was carelessly purchased by a blonde woman who was at first unsure if she would even buy the watch box. Racquel is still hopeful the ring will be returned. “I would never, ever keep the ring if I had found it. If you’re honest, you’re honest. Clearly, the ring was in the box by accident.” As for her husband, “He feels really terrible,” she said. I sure hope the buyer returns the ring; that would be the perfect gift for delivering their newest addition.
Heels of Gold
Designer Alberto Moretti created something truly unique: the first wearable heels made of 24 karat gold. But the designer shoes leave us questioning: are these shoes made for walking?
Man Sells Wife’s Diamond Ring at Garage Sale for $10 This is one expensive mistake… Eric Cloutier of Laguna Niguel, California, thought the box he found in the closet was empty so he sold it for $10 at a garage sale on June 1. Little did he know that his wife’s diamond wedding ring, appraised at $23,000, was inside. “Every year our community holds a garage sale. I was in the hospital. I just had a baby, so my husband thought it would be fun for my other kids if they
According to the brand’s Facebook page, the shoes were created in collaboration with HORO, a brand that has also made gold leaf T-shirts. The footwear will be available for purchase exclusively at five places around the world: Barneys in New York, Fred Segal in L.A., The Swank in Hong Kong, Level Shoe
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I’ve bought many things in IKEA but this one takes the cake. Shirley Stewart “bought” herself a husband in the store last week. Shirley and Rashid Smith were married in the frame department at IKEA on Saturday. Eight years earlier, the couple met in the exact same spot inside the Elizabeth, New Jersey store.
me. I always try to do what’s right. It felt good,” said Anderson. The ring of kindness goes round and round.
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Couple Marries in IKEA
but in a newborn, the procedure is not a great option unless completely necessary. In a race against time and with the baby’s life in grave danger, Dr. Koji Ebersole decided on a different course of action. Rather than opening Ashlyn’s skull and risking significant blood loss, Ebersole decided to close the aneurysm with special surgical superglue—a method previously utilized only on adults. The procedure is minimally invasive and was just as successful. Just one day after her aneurysm was eradicated, Ashlyn’s breathing tube was removed and she is recovering. What a miracle!
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District in Dubai, and Harrods in London. Prices start at $2,650. The shoe has a simple design and the company also created loafers for men. “Both models are simple with essential lines, the importance of the material that covers the entire surface of the shoe makes it unnecessary to any kind of decoration,” the brand said in a statement. With a price tag like that, they better match your entire wardrobe.
Singing on the Runway The most powerful tool during a stressful situation is a sense of humor. Allegiant Air passengers who were stuck for hours on the tarmac in the 110-degree Vegas sun this weekend battled the tension by bursting out into a spontaneous sing-a-long to a famous song called “I Believe I Can Fly.” The entire incident was, of course, captured on camera and posted on YouTube. By Tuesday, it had over 1 million views. Allegiant Airlines spokesman Brian Davis told NBC News that the plane didn’t have any air conditioning running during the 2 hours and 40 minutes the flight was delayed due to mechani-
cal difficulties. The plane did have air conditioning at the gate and after takeoff, but not during taxiing. One passenger said he saw a passenger vomit from nausea and two pass out on the floor from the heat. Passengers took turns in groups of three and four fanning elderly passengers on blood pressure medication who complained of nausea. The airline passed out only small bags of ice and didn’t serve water until the plane was in the air. Passengers were told that the flight could be further delayed if the crew distributed beverages. But the airline insists that water and other beverages were handed out to passengers numerous times during the ordeal. Additionally, the company says that when the passengers deplaned from the first plane to switch to another plane, a snack table with soda, water and food was provided. Passengers were offered a $100 voucher but many say they don’t plan on flying the airline in the future. I wouldn’t either if I had to sing for my supper.
Cheap Pasta Dish during Recession Earns Chef Award Giorgio Nava, an Italian chef based in South Africa, won the World Pasta Championship in the Italian city of Parma on Saturday. His low-cost recipe that he said was appropriate in Italy’s deep economic crisis earned him the award. The dish was simple but delicious. The jury sampled the cavatelli (small pasta shells) with broccoli and oregano flowers. “Simplicity was the key. I presented a recipe that is very cheap but very tasty,” Nava told Reuters after his victory. “Others competed with expensive fish-based recipes but right now, given the economic situation in Italy, it did not seem right to come forward with extravagant dishes.” The two-day pasta championship which is in its second year was held at the Barilla Food Academy in Parma. Parma is considered Italy’s food capital and best-known for Parmesan cheese.
There were 24 chefs competing for the award. Last year’s award went to Japanese chef Yoshi Yamada. Participants were given 40 minutes to complete their dish in the first round of the championship on Friday and only 30 minutes during the final on Saturday. “My dish is something easy to make, anyone can cook it a home,” said Nava. “After all, simple things are often the best.” Pasta with broccoli: sounds simple enough.
Precious Lincoln Document Found
Retiring President James Douthat of Lycoming College was cleaning out a closet in his office last week when he stumbled across a rather uncommon historical document that had been lost for years. It was a certificate signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that named the college’s founder a Civil War chaplain. The certificate, that’s still in good condition, was displayed inside a slightly-worn, black frame. Lincoln’s neat signature is clearly visible, just above an ornate, patriotic-themed imprint at the bottom of the commission certificate for Methodist clergy Benjamin Crever. “In the back of my mind, I remember hearing about it,” Douthat said. But he never went looking for it and didn’t know what it looked like. “I assume it was in the top of the closet 24 years ago. I had never seen it.” College officials say they always knew they had it in their possession they just didn’t know its exact location. “It was [initially] discovered a while ago,” associate dean and library director Janet McNeil Hurlbert said in her office as she proudly displayed the document on a table. “And then it got ... put someplace else for a while.” A preliminary appraisal has valued the certificate at more than $6,000. Until the school decides where to permanently place the document, it will be kept in the college archives in the basement of the library. But one thing is for sure, “We will know exactly where it will be from now on,” McNeil Hurlbert said.
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Leisure & Travel
From Sea to Shining Sea: Ohio
t’s almost July 4th, so you might as well make the trip to Ohio to visit the state where Harry M. Stevens gave America its first hot dog in 1900. No matter how you like it— with sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup or chili—what would Independence Day be without a dawg? And you should know, while you’re there, that Ohio seems to be about law and order (at least in the 1800’s). You see, Cincinnati established the first ambulance service in 1865, and it was also the first city to establish a professional city fire department. The city of Akron was the first city to use police cars. But it’s not all about emergency services in the Buckeye State. Some Ohioans are literally out of this world. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was from Wapakoneta. And John Glenn, who was an Ohio Senator, became the oldest man to venture into space on February 20, 1962. Never to let his age deter him, the space explorer returned to traveled back into space in 1998 at the age of 77. Speaking of famous Americans, seven U.S. presidents were born in the Buckeye State. These include Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, McKinley, Taft and Harding. And of course, if you’re looking for really famous people, head over to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There you can enjoy some of American history written in song. Things You Won’t Want to Miss West Side Market We all know, thanks to Drew Carey, that Cleveland rocks. While you’re enjoying the rockin’ city, spend some time in the West Side Market, which is one of the most stunning indoor public markets in the country. The market is located in what may resemble a converted train station and offers customers a large array of products. Looking for flowers, fruits or herbs? This is the place for you. The hustle and bustle doesn’t take place every day, so make sure to check out the market’s website for hours. After buying all those goodies, relax in Market Square Park across the street or spend time in Edgewater Park, just a short drive away. On a nice day, spend time to walk to the Hope Memorial Bridge, which offers wonderful views of the Cleveland skyline and of the Cuyahoga River valley. Cleveland Rocks If you’re into music, or even if you’re not, make sure to check out Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s a museum that’s alive with the spirit and the passion of the music it holds dear. The museum guides are energized about the exhibits—in fact, they are volunteers who just love
“music that soothes the soul.” You can spend an hour here or even a day. There are myriad exhibits to peruse and enjoy. Like the Beatles? John Lennon’s coat is on display here. The Rolling Stones’ exhibit celebrates 50 years of the band. And the roots of rock ‘n roll exhibit features the blues, R &B and country/folk music. The Signs of the Nation The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati takes visitors back in time from 1870-1970 in America’s history. It’s the “signs of the times”— hand carved wooden signs, electric bulbs, neon signs—that help visitors take a trip down America’s memory lane. South Bass island Did you know that South Bass Island, located in western Lake Erie, is part of Ohio? There’s plenty to see here, such as the Marblehead Lighthouse, the Cedar Point Amusement Park, and the William Perry Monument. Plus, if you like to fish, there’s plenty of fish in the lake for you to catch and release (or enjoy!). For those who like water sports, there are jet skis, kayaks and boat rentals available. Visitors can enjoy a ferry ride to the island, and golf carts are the best way to maneuver around the island itself. It’s fun for the day for the whole family! Cantwell Cliffs Just a short ride from Columbus, Cantwell Cliffs offers visitors amazing views and breathtaking scenery. The hiking trails are great for most members of the family—leave the family dog at home and anyone who is not in reasonably good shape. During the fall, the views are breathtaking but it is a worth a trip here in the summer months as well, as the flowers and foliage are bright and colorful. A Rose, is a Rose, is a Rose Columbus boasts one of the largest and most celebrated municipal rose gardens in the United States. The 13-acre Park of Roses is nestled within the larger Whetstone Park and contains over 11,500 roses with more than 400 varieties. If you’re looking to relax on your vacation, spend time here meandering the paths with the heavy scent of roses in the air.
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In the Kitchen Cold Summer Sweets Summer solstice is finally here (June 21st!) and that means the warm summer sun will be tanning our noses and painting our cheeks with dapples of freckles. Let’s enjoy the sweets of summer with ices, cakes and desserts that are sure to make your family ask for more.
Lemon Mint Granita Ingredients 4 Meyer lemons 1 cup filtered water ½ cup sugar 10 mint leaves Preparation Using a vegetable peeler, zest long strips from 2 of the lemons and set aside. Juice the lemons through a fine mesh strainer. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Take the pot off the heat and add the zest and mint. Allow the flavors to steep for 30 minutes while the mixture cools. Once cooled, strain the zest and mint from the sugar syrup and stir in the lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a brownie pan or flat-bottomed glass dish. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir the mixture very thoroughly with a fork and allow it to freeze for another 30 minutes. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for 3-4 hours. Make sure to mix the granita well every time, scraping down the sides. The idea is to prevent ice crystals from forming so you wind up with a consistency similar to sorbet. If the mixture isn’t stirred thoroughly you might wind up with small blocks of ice, which aren’t nearly as fun to eat. Doing this for three hours will give you a good granita, although, if you can, try to do this for four hours—this way you are guaranteed a perfect consistency. Best when served within 24 hours of making it.
Poached Peaches and Raspberries with a Kick Ingredients 1¼ cup dry white wine 1½ cups water ½ cup sugar 3 peaches, halved and pitted 1⅓ cups raspberries 1 (¼-ounce) envelope unflavored jello (1 tablespoon) Fresh mint sprigs for garnish Preparation In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup wine, water and sugar to boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add peaches and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to a cutting board; remove and discard peels. Carefully place peach halves into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add 1 cup raspberries to syrup and return to medium-high heat. Return to boil and cook for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Pour raspberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over remaining ¼ cup wine and let stand 1 minute to soften; add to warm raspberry mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Chill raspberry mixture, uncovered, in refrigerator until set, about 6 hours. To serve, remove peach halves from refrigerator and let come to room temperature, 15 to 30 minutes. Divide raspberry gelée into 6 serving dishes. Top with peach halves and garnish with remaining raspberries and mint leaves. Note: Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Keep covered and chilled.
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Ingredients 1/3 cup water 1/3 cup sugar 2 Â˝ cups fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon liqueur, optional Preparation Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves (3-5 minutes). Boil the mixture for one minute and then remove from heat. Pour the sugar syrup into a container and place in refrigerator until completely chilled. Meanwhile, thaw the frozen strawberries or clean the fresh strawberries. Place the berries in a food processor and blend until they are pureed. Transfer to a large bowl, add lemon juice and liqueur, if you are using it. Refrigerate that mixture until thoroughly chilled. Once both mixtures are chilled, combine the simply syrup with the strawberries. Transfer the mixture into a 8 or 9-inch stainless steel pan, cover with plastic wrap and then place in freezer. Once the sorbet is completely frozen (around 4 hours), remove from freezer and then let stand at room temperature until partially thawed. Transfer mixture into food processor and then process to break up any large ice crystals. Place the sorbet back into pan and refreeze for at least three hours.
Refreshing Fruit Soup Ingredients 5-6 ripe plums 5-6 ripe peaches 5-6 apricots 1 can pitted cherries 3 cups water or more to cover 1 package raspberry or cherry flavored gelatin Preparation Wash and cut fruits into slices or chunks. Add all ingredients to pot and then simmer on stove for 20 minutes until fruit is soft. If you like your soup to be smooth, blend the soup with an immersion blender once cool. Refrigerate until serving.
Note: If you find that after freezing the sorbet, the sorbet is too sugary or needs more sugar, add more sugar syrup (too watery) or water (too sugary) and then refreeze the sorbet.
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