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june 6, 2013
Mazal Tov to Shalhevet’s Graduates!
Acknowledge Him in all your ways Proverbs 3:6 JIM JOSEPH F O U N DAT I ON Shimon ben Joseph
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Going Places With Shalhevet!
Aardvark Bar Ilan University Bnei Akiva Hachshara Lev HaTorah Machon Maayan Midreshet Moriah Orayta Yeshiva Shaâ€™arei Mevaseret Zion Tel Aviv University Tochnit Shalem Torat Shraga Yeshivat Eretz HaTzvi Yeshivat Reishit YeshivaTiferet Young Judaea Year Course
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Emory University University of Miami Tulane University
2013 College and Israel Program Acceptances
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Contents Community How to Find Your Shidduch in LA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Tales from the Trenches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
So how do you like LA? How’s LA treating you? As a relative newcomer to this great city, here are my thoughts: The weather is an easy thing to love, and the city itself as well. The truth is, I say it’s the
The World in a Face . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
people who are the nicest part of LA! Everyone here is friendly, nice, inviting, and most
Are You Ready to Get Married? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
importantly don’t let differences get in the way of personal friendships.
Why People Go Off The Derech: A Scientific Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
“Yeshivish” and the family a block over is “Modern Orthodox”. Yet when we meet, we
Question and Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
connect like family. Sure we look different, but no one ever said siblings don’t choose
Parsha Korach - What Makes Mitzvos Shine?. . . . . . . . . . . . 19
different paths! While mulling over the above, please enjoy our take on the singles scene in LA, and whether single or married, let’s all do our part to be involved in Shidduchim and setting
OPED A Small Step towards Solving the Day School Affordability Issue by Rabbi Ari Segal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
people up. -Mazal Tov to our writer, Rachel Wizenfeld, on the birth of a baby girl!
Humor & Entertainment
great work which they do. This week’s Op-Ed seeks to help solve the tuition crisis, or at
Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
least minimize expenses with a good practical suggestion. The Touro section looks to
Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Serial Novel – Moon Cap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Odd-but-True Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
In connection with “Laniado Hospital Week” we’ve included some information on the
shed light on a most difficult subject & the student article addresses a fundamental part of our faith which can solve this all! So enjoy the read, discuss the ads, and please pop us a message along the way. Have a most wonderful Shabbos,
Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Forgotten Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Publisher & editor
Lifestyles Travel: North Carolina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Recipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Please submit ads to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Wizenfeld Alisa Roberts Robert Cordas
Friday, June 7 Parshas korach Candle lighting 7:45 Shabbos Ends 8:48 Rabbeinu Tam 9:16 Friday, June 14 Parshas chukas Candle lighting 7:48 Shabbos Ends 8:51 Rabbeinu Tam 9:19
Sara Dubrawsky Copy Editor
Esther Heller Berish Edelman Design & Production
From Our Inbox You wrote in your editor’s page you welcome comments. So here it is. Last night I was reading the paper with my 12 year old, she is Bas Mitzvah this week, and she wanted to use some of the articles for her school report. We began arguing over who had what part to read because we both enjoyed the paper that much! I am so happy you included the article on abuse by the dean of Valley Torah. It needed to be said and everyone needs to hear it. I’m so glad he speaks out about it.
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I also enjoyed a previous edition including the Korean article. My daughter said last night I really like this paper Mommy. I can read all of jokes and riddles, read the articles too and I don’t have to close my eyes every other page!! That’s the main point. Be well Shabbat Shalom! Minde
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 6, 2013
For instance, I’m a “Lubavitcher”, my neighbors are “reform”, across the street they’re
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Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
The Jewish Home
june 6, 2013
YULA Junior Starts Unique Business Most students hardly have the chance to keep up with all their classwork, let alone start a business. But Yonah Hiller, a YULA junior, is no ordinary student. When Yonah was in 9th grade, he decided to start a tzitzit company. “I was always interested in the mitzvah of tzitzit and wanted to fill a niche to make it more personalized.” So he started Mitzvah World, a business that specializes in creating custom tzitzit, talitim, and techelet. Yonah has been operating through word of mouth and social media, and recently received a very unique request. Nathan, a soldier in the American Army, reached out to Yonah to help him create a one of a kind type of tzitzit that would best suit his military circumstances. As Nathan relayed to Yonah, “As a pilot we can only wear natural fibers like cotton and wool while flying in case of a fire. All the cotton and wool tzitzit were too hot to wear under all of my equipment and I couldn’t wear
nylon mesh. The temperatures the last few days have bounced from104 to 108 just to give you an idea of how hot it gets. The temperatures are even hotter in the cockpit, especially once you add the layers of flight gear and body armor. Having a cotton mesh makes a world of difference! Thank you again for helping to fulfill a mitzvah, stay within Army aviation flight regulations, and not melt in the process.” Yonah was extremely touched when he received Nathan’s email. “So often people complain about wearing tzitzit in 75 degree LA weather, and here is a soldier running to do the mitzvah in 108 degrees in Afghanistan. It is truly inspiring and I hope other people will feel motivated by Nathan’s story as much as I was.” Mitzvah World has recently expanded to carry sefarim and Judaica items, and their website www.mitzvahworld.com, will be up and running in the summer.
Kids Helping Kids at Tashbar Torat Hayim The 3rd grade girls at Tashbar Torat Hayim held a special assembly to donate several copies of a book called “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle”. They presented the books and matching jester dolls to three LAPD detectives representing the Juvenile Department to distribute to children in need. The Jester Has Lost His Jingle was written by David Saltzman as his senior thesis at Yale University and was completed shortly before he died of Hodgkin’s Disease in 1990. In memory of David, the Saltzman family created The Jester and Pharley Phund to publish the book with the goal of making it available to
children and their families in distress. During a recent reading marathon, the girls collected pledges of a penny for each page they read. A copy of the book was purchased for each $10 they raised. The Jester and Pharley Phund donated jester dolls to be presented to the police department as well. The girls also gave the officers letters they wrote expressing their appreciation for all of their hard work and devotion on the job! For more information about The Jester and Pharley Phund visit their website at www.thejester.org.
Tashbar girls in 3rd Grade with representatives from the LAPD Juvenile Division.
7 The Jewish Home
Laniado Hospital Week Raising Awareness of Medical Challenges in Israel By Robert Cordas
was one of the first community hospitals in Israel to receive authorization by Israel’s Ministry of Health to acquire an MRI [machine].” The hospital was founded by Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam ZT”L, the Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe after the horrors he experienced during the Holocaust, which included losing his wife and 11 children. The Rebbe was shot in the shoulder on the death march from the Warsaw Ghetto to Dachau, but refused to seek treatment at the time, as he assumed the German doctors in the camps would kill him. The Rebbe made a vow then that if he survived he
and one of the featured speakers over the week’s events. “We needed a system that would be efficient and co-operational. The hospital organized everyone around them from the city, to the Police, the Magen David and the Israeli Defense Force.” The doctors and staff at the hospital have acquired world-class expertise in management of mass casualty events, probably being most noted for handling the infamous “Park Hotel Massacre” on Pesach Seder Night over 10 years ago. The hospital doctors have proved to be a vital resource to medical care teams and first responders in the aftermath of
would open a hospital in Israel. The Rebbe’s vow was fulfilled in 1975, when Laniado Hospital first opened its doors. The hospital is located in Netanya, and is the only medical center providing care for the 500,000 residents of Netanya and its surrounding areas. Netanya is located only 9 miles from the West Bank, causing the area Laniado hospital serves to become a favored target of terrorist attacks. Laniado Hospital has been at the forefront of the Intifada War, playing an important role as a Triage Hospital, treating over a thousand patients since its onset. “We became an expert, because we had to,” explained Lydia Lanxner, director of Laniado’s Intensive Care Unit
tragedies involving terrorism, including in the recent Boston Marathon Bombing. LA Sheriff Lee Baca visited the Laniado Hospital on a trip to Israel recently to learn about emergency preparedness. The hospital runs completely within a halachic framework, with a Rav on staff to answer halachic questions and non-Jewish staff assigned the purpose of taking notes and documentation on Shabbos and Yom Tov. At the same time, the hospital functions and abides by the nine founding principles articulated by the Klausenberger Rebbe when he founded the institution, which insures its “commitment to healing the world by treating anyone and everyone who seeks
help in a spirit of kindness, equality and compassion.” The hospital is in great need of an MRI machine, and the West Coast Friends of Laniado have taken on the task of raising the $2.5 million dollars needed along with a private donor. “While there probably are at least ten MRI facilities within a fifteen minute drive from Wilshire Blvd. here in Los Angeles; there is no MRI at all at Laniado Hospital,” explained Joe Kornwasser, Senior Member of the Board of the West Coast friends. There are only 10 MRI machines located in all of Israel. IDF regulations require that the MRI center be built underground and surrounded by concrete reinforcement so that procedures may continue during missile or bomb attacks, adding extra cost to the project. So far, the West Coast Friends have raised $350,000 dollars. The project still requires another $350,000 to be completed. “If the needed funds are raised, the MRI Center can be ready to function within six to nine months”, says Chaim Hammerman, CEO of Laniado Hospital. He explained that the hospital “doesn’t have a choice but to be professionally equipped to fulfill its strategic medical role in the region and be prepared for saving lives in time of disaster.” The MRI center would serve nearly 7,500 patients, and ensure more “rapid detection and greater accuracy in diagnosing disease, pathology, and injury.
Natan Sharansky Visits Los Angeles as Bath Jacob’s Scholar in Residence
june 6, 2013
The West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital are in the midst of holding a regional campaign in the Los Angeles community. Founded by the Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe, ZT”L , the hospital is located in Netanya and famous for its pivotal role in providing triage care and crisis management during the current Intifada uprising in Israel. The focus of the campaign is to bring awareness in the Los Angeles community of the urgent need to establish an MRI Center at Laniado Hospital as well as raise the necessary funds to complete the project. Doctors from the staff of Laniado Hospital who are world renowned for expertise in their fields of practice began presenting talks over this past shabbat in shuls throughout the community, presenting talks on various topics related to the vital crisis management and triage care that Laniado Hospital provides. A breakfast reception featuring Rabbi Marvin Hier will be held June 9th at 9:30 AM to culminate the campaign. The hospital is faced with many challenges in procuring an MRI machine. The medical resources in Israel are heavily regulated by the Ministry of Health and licensing proved a challenge until Laniado Hospital received approval in September 2011. Urie Lieberman, Director of the West Coast Friends explained that, “…due to Israel’s limited resources, up until a few years back there were only ten MRI machines in all of Israel… but in view of Laniado’ Hospital’s outstanding achievements, it
By Robert Cordas
Natan Sharansky, the famous former Russian Refusnik and current Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel visited Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills as its Scholar in Residence this past Shabbat (Parshat Shelach). Mr. Sharansky spoke Friday Night, Shabbat Morning and Shabbat afternoon. A Friday night dinner was hosted in honor of Mr. Sharansky in conjunction with the Beth Jacob Friday Night Meals for Young Professionals, after which he spoke in the main sanctuary which was filled to near capacity on the topic of The Challenge of the New Generation. The discussion was conducted in a Q &
A format hosted by Aliyah Schneider, Manager of Community Relationships of the Jewish Agency and an active member of the Beth Jacob Young Professional’s Group. Mr. Sharansky spoke about his experiences growing up in Soviet Russia with little to no knowledge of his Jewish Identity and the journey of self discovery that lead to his becoming an activist for Soviet Jewry, as well as his experiences while incarcerated in prison from 1977 until his release in 1986. He then related those experiences and offered insights on many of the challenges facing American Jews today. Shabbat morning Mr. Sharansky spoke more in depth
about his experiences transitioning from a Russian Refusnik to becoming an active participant in Israeli politics. In the afternoon Shransky was interviewed by Jay Sanderson, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, about his role in negotiating a solution to the divisive issues regarding prayer at the Kotel. “We are excited about the rare opportunity to host a true hero of the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Kalman Topp, Beth Jacob’s Senior Rabbi.
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june 6, 2013
Harkham Hillel’s Eighth Grade Israel Trip: A Trip to Remember By Rabbi Eli Broner, Director of Campus Life How do you put into words what can only be experienced? In fact the reason for our Eighth grade taking this trip is so that they can experience a deep connection to our home land as a culmination of their studies here at Hillel. It was a most inspiring and memorable trip. From the moment we left to the moment we returned our students truly exemplified what it means to be a Hillel graduate. From the first Minyan in LAX led by our students with true Hillel and Jewish pride to the last tear filled goodbyes in Tel Aviv, our students lived an experience that will stay with them forever. We landed on Yom Yerushalayim, and after being warmly welcomed by our partner school, Zeitlin, we headed directly for the Kotel to join in the festivities. As we entered the Kotel courtyard, we were welcomed by the dignitary speaking at the podium saying “Welcome Hillel school
who just arrived from Los Angeles”. We danced and rejoiced together with all who celebrated this great day. The next morning we walked the same tunnels that King David did to conquer Yerushalayim thousands of years before. Thursday night we settled in with our host families in Tel Aviv, and had a warm welcome in the Zeitlin School on Friday morning. Tzfat and Meron came next, bringing us up to the north of Israel. We enjoyed a relaxing Shabbat on the peaceful Yishuv of Eilonay Habashan in the Golan Heights. The atmosphere of Shabbat completely enveloped us as we walked the quite streets enjoyed song filled meals and played games to get to know one another better. Motzei Shabbat we enjoyed a night cruise on yam Kineret and dinner in Tveria. Horseback riding and jeep riding in the Golan Heights with tour guides that helped us appreciate both the importance of the Golan Heights
and seeing agricultural scripture come to life. We were on to Caesarea where we davened Mincha at the ruins of the city that was once the pride of Rome. At Zeitlin we had classes from Rabbi Pinchas Levi on both the importance of the State of Israel and the importance of relationships between the Jews in the Diaspora and Israel. Walking Tel Aviv, grabbing a fresh falafel, and visiting Rabin Square and the Palmach museum rounded out a full day in Tel Aviv. Erev Shavuot started with a view of Yerushalayim from Mount Scopus. Our students put their Hebrew and business skills to the test while shopping in the Machane Yehuda Shuk. Shavuot night students stayed up studying Torah. The girls were treated to a Shiur on Rut from Amira Felsanthal. Walking to the Kotel through the streets of Yerushalayim and joining ever growing crowds on their walk to the Kotel was magical.
Masada, Ein Gedi, Yam Hamelach and a walking tour of the old city of Tel Aviv rounded off our stay. On the last day we visited Independence Hall. We sat in the very room our state was declared. We listened to Ben Gurion declare the state and joined together in the singing of Hatikvah. A special thank you to our school twinning program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’s Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership for making this amazing trip possible. To quote one of our students “I have visited Israel many time before but nothing can compare to the way we lived in Israel on this trip." We experienced Israel in a way that changed each of us for life. We walked away having grown from the experience and inspired by our time spent in our homeland.
Are you Smarter than a Middle Schooler?
That’s what parent contestants at Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center were asking themselves on Wednesday night, May 29, 2013.
On that night, the school put on its first annual “Are you Smarter than a Middle Schooler?” event, which was attended by over 200 contestants, student panelists,
and audience members. The night was hosted by Emek’s Middle School Vice Principal, Mrs. Tova Bayever, and by its Director of Advancement, Rabbi Jonathan Benzaquen. Following the basic format of the now defunct television game show, the program tested Emek’s Middle School parents on information that was learned by their own children in grades 6-8. The questions, created by Emek teachers, posed serious difficulty to some parents, who were not used to answering problems in such areas as humanities, science, woodworking, algebra, and literature. Mrs. Erica Solomon, a middle school parent at Emek and one of the contestants at the show, remarked that “The students were
excited to ‘one up’ their parents with their knowledge. It was a feel-good evening that enhanced the ruach and comraderie of the school.” Throughout the evening, panels of students used their knowledge to help their parents win cash and prizes. Contestants were challenged to either answer the question or use the middle school students as lifelines to help them move on to the next level. Parents and students alike enjoyed the evening and commented that they look forward to next year’s event. “A night of fun and education,” said Mrs. Solomon, “without any other obligations on the students' or parents' part is a real win-win.”
Hillel students take top honors in Jewish Heritage contest! Since its inception Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy has participated in Torah Atlanta’s international Jewish Heritage Writing Contest. Jewish schools submit essays, stories, and poems based on a Jewish theme. We are proud to announce two winners in the 10th Annual Jewish Heritage Contest. 7th grader Liora Bentolila won first place in the Poetry Division. Her winning poem, “Excuse me please, have you seen my mother?” is a poignant reflection of the effects of the Holocaust. 6th grader Penina Waghalter, who also
wrote about the Holocaust theme, placed third in the Creative Writing category. Five 8th graders received Honorable Mention: Amira Felsenthal, in the Creative Writing Division, and Elie Benzaquen, Bina Gutstein, Jonah Kaye, and Josh Partovi, in the Poetry Division. Mazel tov to all our scholars! L-R Judaic Principal Rabbi Yahel Tsaidi, Liora Bentolila, Mrs. Judy Goldberg, Penina Waghalter, and Head of School Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin
By Adina Schuller
being, the bright colors you add to their days, the patience you know it takes to create something with commitment and compassion, all blend together to form the most powerful message that has no words.” Then, Moshe Branz, master illusionist and magician awed everyone present with card tricks, telepathy and above all with his metal bending ability. Moshe took the average fork and spoon and bent them with hot energy from his hands leaving everyone stunned! An interlude with 8 year old Shneur Baitelman singing “My Friend,” composed by Moshe Hecht especially encompassed what the Friends @ Home program is all about. One of the highlights of the entire program was meeting the affable and talented Andy Choueke – multi-media Artist. Andy has autism and is an incredible artist with amazing talent. He can draw anything flawlessly in just
a couple of minutes! His mom, Susan, described his work as she displayed one after another of his intricate pieces. Andy’s G-d given talents and capabilities reaffirmed everyone’s belief in their abilities and in what they are doing as a Friendship Circle volunteer. All volunteers were honored, and an additional award was given to those graduating High School. A special gift of handmade jewelry was presented to Tamar and Rachel Cohen on behalf of one of the VFC participants, 13 year old Jeremy Bernstein, recipient of the 2012 Naturally Autistic People Award who will be assisting in their new project: The VFC Entrepreneurs Club. The Cohen sisters have dedicated time and effort to their special friends and VFC even after they’ve left High School through College and beyond. All the volunteers also received metal link strap watches with the VFC logo on it. The event ended with a heartwarming
message of one volunteer’s lifechanging experience by Judy Leserman. Not only did Judy find meaning in the connection she made with her special friend throughout her High School years, she also found a greater connection to Judaism through the Valley Friendship Circle experience – changing from Public School to a Jewish High School two years ago. The entire event was truly meaningful and inspiring. It was simply a great way to show appreciation and importance to each volunteer who put in countless hours to be a friend to kids, teens and young adults with special needs. For the upcoming year, the Valley Friendship Circle has some exciting new programs, and two remarkable women on board. Marla Feinberg and Amy Leserman are helping plan many more opportunities for our programs, teens and families. We can’t wait to experience another amazing year with VFC.
june 6, 2013
On Sunday, May 26, the Valley Friendship Circle hosted a beautiful and entertaining Volunteer Appreciation Event for all of the dedicated volunteers at the Studio City home of Rabbi Yossi & Chanie Baitelman. The tables were set beautifully with canvases as centerpieces illustrated by Alisha Tal depicting the theme “The Art of Giving” through an art pallet with the VFC logo. The volunteers enjoyed a full BBQ buffet, smoothies and a delectable logo-themed cake. It began with a video showing the many activities and events that the VFC has done throughout their 11 years in the San Fernando Valley. Mrs. Chanie Baitelman, Director of the Valley Friendship Circle, shared a meaningful message. At one point she compared the impact the volunteers make upon the lives of their special friends and their families to a beautiful masterpiece, “the natural strokes you paint within the heart of another human
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Valley Friendship Circle 2013 Volunteer Appreciation Event
The Jewish Home
june 6, 2013
LINK Kollel In LA Holds 11th Anniversary Dinner On the evening of May 22, the Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel (LINK) held its 11th annual Dinner at the Nessah Banquet Hall. Over 300 supporters, many of them LINK students, turned out for an inspirational and deeply moving evening. Rabbi and Mrs. Shimon Abramczik were honored with the Rabbinic Alumni award. The Abramcziks were very popular members of the LINK team for 4 years, from 2004-8, giving classes and winning over many students with their clarity, warmth and sincerity. Rabbi Abramczik is now a very successful Rebbe at YULA Boys High School and a Gemara instructor for Aish HaTorah and Mrs. Abramczik is a beloved teacher to young women in a local Seminary for Baalos Teshuva. In his acceptance speech, Rabbi Abramczik thanked the Hanhala of LINK for being so supportive of his efforts and for providing a nurturing
milieu for him to develop his kochos in learning and in harbotzas haTorah. The evening was dedicated to the memory of Max and Marianne Hecht O”H, long tine proprietors of LA’s only Kosher delicatessen, Pico Kosher Deli. Their children, David and Jacob Hecht, are supporters and students of LINK and Jacob is a faithful attendee of Rabbi Gabi Heimowitz’ weekly Shabbos afternoon Ramban shiur. LIJNK formally renamed the shiur in memory of the Hechts and Jacob spoke movingly of his parensts’ encouragement for his continuing growth in Torah and mitzvos. Rabbi Asher Brander, the Founder and Dean of LINK, then made a surprise announcement. After noting the tremendous success of the Avreichim both in their personal shtieging and in their teaching efforts, he introduced the newest member of the LINK team: Rabbi Elchanan Schoff,
the new Assistant Rosh Kollel. Rabbi Schoff, a native Angelino and a talmid of Mir Yerushalayim, is the author of 3 Seforim (on Tehillim, Chumash and sugyos in Gemara Brachos). Before coming to LlNK, he has been a successful Rebbe at Aish HaTorah and at Rabbi Shmuel Brazil’s Yeshiva, both in Yerushalayim. One of Rabbi Schoff’s first responsibilities will be the establishment of a new Shabbos Shul (“LINK East”) in the area east of La Cienga Blvd., where a number of young frum families have been moving to. The new branch will begin in late August, IY”H, using the facilities graciously offered by Mesivta Birchas Yitzchak, under the leadership of Rav Shalom Tendler. The evening concluded on an emotionally pitched note with a mesmerizing talk by special Guest Speaker Rabbi Chaim Nosson (“Nate’) Segal, long-time Director of Community De-
velopment for Torah Umnesorah. After praising the accomplishments of LINK and the amazing dedication and leadership of Rabbi Brander, he trenchantly outlined three keys to spiritual success for Jews looking to grow: Develop a clear picture of what one’s purpose is in this world, recognize that one must cling to the Torah and its mitzvos for real security as one undertakes his growth and never be afraid of the path ahead of him. Rabbi Segal’s stirring words capped off an evening of inspiration and tribute. One of the most special aspects of the evening was the opportunity many donors had of meeting LINK students and seeing how their financial support was facilitating so much personal growth and metamorphosis amongst such a disparate group of earnest spiritual seekers.
The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
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june 6, 2013
Rabbi Pinchos Gruman to Lead the Minyan at Aish Tamid Harav Pinchos Gruman will become the Rabbi of the Minyan at Aish Tamid effective immediately. One of the most respected Torah figures in Los Angeles, Rabbi Gruman has been described as “The Los Angeles link in the Mesorah of the Yeshiva World” by local Rabbi Nachum Sauer. As a talmid in Lakewood in the 1950’s, Rabbi Gruman received semicha from Harav Aaron Kotler (zt”l) and Harav Moshe Feinstein (zt”l) and soon moved to Los Angeles. Rabbi Gruman has a rich history of service to the Los Angeles Jewish community. He revived the Rabbinical Council of California and established a community kashrus committee of which he was the chairman for 13 years. He served with distinction for 40 years as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Los Angeles and of Bais Naftali. He was also a co-founder of the Young Israel of Hancock Park. He was the master Rebbe and principal of Rambam for twenty years. Rambam graduates have laid the foun-
dation for the Torah observant community in Los Angeles. He has continued in the same vein for the past 23 years at Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles. “No one in our City has impacted more students and their future Jewish homes in Torah than Rabbi Gruman shlita”, said Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn, Menahel Bais Yaakov. “ To r a h burns brightly in Rav Gruman and he will contribute much to the Minyan”, said Rabbi Yochanan Henig, Mara D’asra of the Chasidishe Kollel of Los Angeles. “Rabbi Gruman provides unparalleled experience, promotes achdus and inspires
all of us with his Torah thoughts. We are very excited about his involvement with the Minyan”, said Saul Ackerman, president of the Minyan. Rabbi Gruman is recognized internationally as a Maharal scholar. He published several well received works on the Maharal. Rabbi Gruman is also known for his original historical perspectives, his quick wit and a smile that lights up a room! The Minyan at Aish Tamid, located in the Hancock Park community of Los Angeles, was founded by Rabbi Avi Leibovic and Dr. Elly Berlin to create a warm and nurturing environment,
facilitating spiritual growth and connection to Hashem through tefillah and zimrah, divrei chizzuk, Torah learning and communal support for one another. “My goal is to maintain the warmth, decorum and ruach of the Minyan and enhance Torah learning”, said Rabbi Gruman. Rebbitzen Gruman has served with distinction as teacher and principal on the East Coast for over 30 years and is continuing her career in Jewish education as a principal in Bais Tzivia in Los Angeles. In addition to the existing Shabbos youth groups, there are plans to add weekly shiurim for adults and more educational programming for children. In addition, the formation of a women’s sisterhood will foster more family involvement and learning for all members of the family. A celebratory kiddush in honor of Rabbi and Rebbitzin Gruman will be held Shabbos Nachamu. For more information, please contact Seth Merewitz, (916) 496-0588 or email email@example.com
Valley Torah High School Girls Dominate at The Graceful Envelope Contest For the seventh consecutive year, Valley Torah High School girls have dominated the junior division (grades 9-12) of The Graceful Envelope Contest, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and administered by the Wa s h ington Calligraphers Guild. Out of more t h a n 3 0 0 entries in the student divisions, 12 out of the 15 winners are VTHS students. This year’s contest theme, A World of Change, “inspired many original and beautiful entries,” wrote Graceful Envelope Contest Coordinator Lorraine Swerdloff to the VTHS artists. They are Lauren Black, Chanie Frankel, Chani Kahnrose, Hilla Levi, Zoey
Mizrachi, Miriam Neissany, Estee Packer, Shoshana Shapiro, Gabrielle Sipen, Molly Socher, Miriam Yifrach. For the past 15 years, in their visual arts program under the direction of Hedy Harris, VTHS girls have excelled in the art of calligraphy, paper cutting and watercolor painting. And every year since 2007, the students h a v e achieved international recognition with their award winning designs in The Graceful Envelope Contest. In 2012, eight of the 15 junior division winners were VTHS students.
13 The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
ANNUAL RODEO &
KOBE BURGER EATING CONTEST
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june 6, 2013
Joy on the Basketball Court @ the Friendship Circle Loud cheering is heard as 14 year old Jason high fives his two volunteers as he masters the art of dribbling at Friendship Circle’s Basketball club this past Monday night. It’s taken three weeks of practice and lots of encouragement, but he’s grasped the technique without assistance and his half-hearted grin expresses his joy. The Friendship Circle’s recently launched basketball club is aimed for boys ages 10-22 who have special needs. At the club the boys learn technique on the court and develop social and teamwork skills in a spirited, supportive environment. “For the average teenager shooting a basket may not be the most difficult of tasks”, says club coordinator Chani Efune, “but children who have special needs often take longer to grasp the skill”. With over 30 years of coaching experience (including the NBA), coach Julius English and a team of dedicated teen volunteers lead a session full of cheer, encouragement and positive energy; teaching patience and perseverance, and building self-confidence on the court while teaching coordination, speed, agility and shooting prowess.
Volunteer and team captain of the basketball club, Jacob Dauer looks forward to attending each week. “Although it’s fun to help out with friends”, says Dauer, “my favorite thing about the club is seeing the kids’ smiles and knowing I had a part in making them happy”. “I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a good fit”, writes Friendship Circle parent and special needs blogger Michelle Wolf, “but with gentle assistance from two amazing teenage volunteers, along with the coach and Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy M.A., Danny participated, mostly from the sidelines”. “When the coach gave Danny the ball to make a pass, and everyone cheered him on, chanting “Danny, Danny”, his smile had no end”, Wolf reflects with pride. The Friendship Circle’s Los Angeles chapter services 140 children and young adults with the help of 400 teenage volunteers. It is in the planning stages of launching a karate club for boys aged 5-18. For further information on the Basketball or Karate Club call: 310 280 0955 or visit www.fcla. org.
The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
The Jewish Home
june 6, 2013
Preserving Our Most Precious Resource
Why People Go Off The Derech
By Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz
Can there be any question what is the Jewish community’s most precious resource? It is certainly the commitment and allegiance of our young people to the teachings and values of Judaism. Therein lies our future, and if young people fall by the wayside during their formative years, the likelihood is high that they will be lost to us—lost as adult family members, lost as participants in the practices and rituals of our faith, and lost in their commitment to the values and ongoing history of the Jewish People. Maintaining young peoples’ commitment to Jewish teachings and involvement in Halachic religious life—keeping them on the derech, “on the path” as they grow past adolescence into young adulthood—that is the enormous task that we face. The culture-at-large and the Jewish community in particular do not make it easy, for there are forces and problems (some self-inflicted) that have to be dealt with if young people are going to maintain their “Yiddishkeit.” Los Angeles has the second largest Jewish community in the United States (third largest in the world!), and, probably more important, the most ethnically and religiously diverse Jewish community… anywhere! We have reached a point where we see Torah-Judaism growing and developing in Los Angeles. Now the questions is, how do we keep that growing? During the past decade, researchers at Touro College in Los Angeles have studied attitudes and influences on this critical community, and have tried to do it using the techniques of modern sociological research. Spurred on by Dean Lowy, Dr. Aaron Brownstein, Director of Institutional Research at Touro-LA and a respected USC-trained researcher whose work has been published by the leading scientific journals in psychological assessment and models, has conducted ongoing research for the past decade (with the dedicated assistance of student researchers like Brochoh Cohen) among young people in the LA community, in an effort to determine what the key factors are that influence disaffiliation or that foster affiliation (those are the academic terms for what we are talking about here) among young Jewish men and women. The study (let’s call it, “The Touro Study”) analyzed how some two dozen factors influenced their levels of affiliation or disaffection, and correlated it to factors in their life-histories. While there will be those readers of this study who will question the usefulness of this kind of approach—they will say, “can’t we just figure it out by using our seichel (common sense)?” Well, no, not really. While there will be some findings that might be expect-
ed by some, there will also be surprises and unexpected findings, and these will support different strategies and approaches in addressing the problem. We live in a place where we are accustomed to “cutting to the chase,” so here are some of the factors that seems to have the greatest influence on whether a young Jewish person—a teen or in their twenties; male or female; from an observant family of long standing, a family only recently adopting observance (of, say, Shabbat and Kashrut); or a family marginally or inconsistently observant—is going to maintain an affiliation with Halachic Judaism or not: 1. Practice. A vital factor in maintaining Torah-true Jewish affiliation is whether the young person is observing the fundamental precepts—is he or she attending services at least on Shabbat and Yom Tov, and is he or she keeping Kosher? The research indicates that even if maintaining observance is being done for pure social and familial reasons, the percentage of young people who “fall off the derech” long term is far greater if they have already left the norms of practice, especially these seminal norms. What this tells us is that we as a community must provide the means and opportunities for young people to observe—to participate in the services and to enjoy the opportunity to maintain Kashruth at Shabbat and Yom Tov meals, on campus, in the shuls and centers, and even at people’s homes. What we are talking about is what has always been called “Youth Programs,” and communities who do not make a maximum effort in this area are providing an “escape hatch” through which young Jews might, chalilah, find their way out of the community—and ultimately out of the Faith. 2. Community. Closely aligned with this factor is creating a sense of community in which peers—young Jewish men and women of the same age and of the same area—can gather for Shabbos and Yom Tov, for special gatherings and classes, for celebrations, social interaction and camaraderie—where the affiliation and identity of these young Jews can be bolstered and reinforced. An LA neighborhood that does
not have an energetic program in which young people have this as an ongoing and frequent, ever-present element of their lives, is throwing the social development and spiritual maturation “to the wolves”— to the forces of acculturation that are to be found in the secular schools and the community at large. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that what the research shows—and that’s not one of the surprising findings. The next factor on this list is a bit of a surprise; and the one after is quite surprising. 3. Inspirational Leadership. Not every adult can communicate to young people on their “wavelength,” but when they can and do, the effect can be dramatic. Clearly, young people will be more influenced by teachers and spiritual leaders closer to their own age, but there are many instances where adults can exercise great influence— on a family, on young people, on a community—simply by making themselves available and engaging young people—with questions, thoughts, Torah insights. Never underestimate the influence of a regular study session an adult may have with a young person—a parent studying the Parsha with a son or daughter on Shabbos, or an adult studying bechavrusa (as a study partner) a Talmudic text an hour a week. Often, these tasks are assigned to specific individuals who cannot possibly reach every young Jewish mind in the community in need of this attention. It has to become the mission and responsibility of every Torah-committed adult who does not want to see the next generation squandered and lost. 4. Relevance. The surrounding culture in which we live is very adept at framing the issues and questions in terms that are relevant to young people. Their concerns are what the media addresses, and so must Jewish ideas and teachings stay relevant to the concerns and interests of young people. When young Jewish students look at the world of business, science, research, politics and social issues, they have to be able to relate what they learn in Jewish texts to the problems and challenges they see around them every day. Time after time in The Touro Study and in many others like
it, the key factor in young people moving away from Jewish observance and ultimately from Jewish affiliation and identity is their assessment that the precepts and values of Jewish principles and teachings are no longer relevant to the lives they are living. Correcting this erroneous idea is a huge undertaking that requires talent and commitment, and every generation must do it anew, relating Torah principles to the realities of life today. But it cannot be ignored and allowed to go unaddressed—not if we hope to keep our young Jewish people engaged and invigorated by the very relevant teaching of our Torah and its literature. 5. Education. The appearance of this factor usually disappoints people and causes them to groan, “not that again.” But let’s face it: in all other areas, young people are brought along to higher, more sophisticated formulations of what they learned as youngsters. From math to history to the arts—no one is expected to be learning at the same elementary-school level as they enter college age and beyond, and that cannot be allowed to suffice in Jewish learning as well. Currently, institutions are being developed in this area that address this issue—that are designed to convey Jewish principles and Torah values at a higher level that will reach and inspire Young Jews entering adulthood. But we are just at the beginning of this effort and there is so much more that could be done—that must be done. That what the research shows—that’s what the young people themselves are telling us: As Young Jews grow from adolescence into young adulthood, if they can be encouraged to maintain observance of Shabbos and Kashruth; if they can find friendship and joy with their friends in soul-enriching observances; if they can find inspiration from teachers and family who can speak to them in ways they can understand; if they can find the teachings and values of Halachic Judaism relevant to the problems they face and the lives they are leading (or trying to lead); and if they can grow in their understanding and appreciation of Judaism and Halachah that matures along with them into an adult and real-life understanding of Torah Judaism—then the likelihood is much improved—not only of maintaining their connection to Jewish Observance, but of influencing others among the younger ranks coming up behind them and turning them into leaders, teachers, educators, models and sources of inspiration. Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz is the Director of Student Success and a member of the faculty of Touro College Los Angeles. He earned smichah from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University and served as rabbi of Cong. Beth Israel of Malden, Massachuetts, and on the Va’ad Beth Din of Massachusetts.
Study conducted by Professor Aaron Brownstein, Ph.D.
17 The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
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The World in a Face member, this was the one thing that she was absolutely forbidden to do. The Torah records “His wife looked behind her and she turned into a pillar of salt.” After merely glimpsing the sight of the destruction, Lot’s wife transforms into a pillar of salt. Mrs. Lot’s transformative demise can be labeled, to use the language of our Sages, as a Nes Betoch Nes, “a miracle within a miracle.” Not only was it a phenomenon that her body was chemically converted into a pillar of salt, but it was doubly miraculous that her body did so only after observing, from afar, destruction by salt in Sodom. If Lot’s wife did something wrong by not heeding G-d’s word, why was she punished with the very same punishment as the people of Sodom? Turn to the end of the Book of Genesis where our forefather Jacob is on his deathbed. Short of breath, and ready to move into the next world, Jacob reaches out to bless his children. The Torah then instructs us that since his sight was diminishing, he had to bring his children close, and he had to embrace them and kiss them. The commentators note a problem with the text. What does Jacob’s loss of sight have to do with the necessity to embrace his children? Why does the Torah teach us that since he couldn’t see, he was forced to kiss his children? Moreover, is it critical, while we stand by and witness the last few moments of one of the most seminal figures in Jewish history, that we need to discuss the extent of his vision? The great Spanish Biblical commentator, Sforno, addresses this difficulty and develops an answer fundamental if only for its explanation of what a blessing is. When we give a blessing to another it means that we are basically handing over that which is the best of ourselves onto the other person. Jacob wanted to give his children his internal world, yet without seeing them, he could not fully bind his soul to theirs so that such blessing could be transferred. Instead, he quickly uses an alternative means by which he could transmit the spiritual gifts that he intended for his children. The alternative means was blessing his children while embracing them, hugging them, and kissing them. What do womanly pillars of salt, our teachers’ faces, and Jacob’s physical grip on his children all have to do with each other? Let us quickly review our questions. Firstly, why has it become a mitzvah on the Holidays to visit our Rabbis? Second, why did Lot’s wife receive such a unique punishment by simply looking at Sodom? And lastly, why did Jacob need vision to ideally impart blessing to his children? The answer to all of these questions sheds light on this perplexing path to achieving hap-
piness. The Rebbe of Sochotchov, 19th century Chassidic leader known for his masterful teaching abilities, sets down a premise that
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Renaissance artist, as he was conjuring up his David. What did he do? What was his process? He had this unbelievably big chunk of stone that was completely unformed. In that, he had the capacity to look at it and see tremendous potential. He was able to see the David. This illustration can also explain the cryptic statement of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The idea is that when we look toward people that inspire us, people that have achieved such personal greatness, we stop and say to ourselves, look what someone can do with all of their potential. This individual was created exactly like each and every one of us. In many cases, he or she could have even been raised the same. Just like the chunk of stone that was formed by Michelangelo into a magnificent masterpiece, we must realize that great things can happen for ourselves if we have the foresight to envision a better life for ourselves. This is one way to find happiness. We cling to people who are happy and who are good natured. Why? Because it affects our lives. The brilliant 20th century empathic scholar and sage, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, used to always smile. You would be hard pressed to find a picture without that famed smile. He understood this impact that we have on each other and said, “Who am I to cause other people to be upset?” When we see other people smiling, it becomes contagious. Try living your life surrounded not only with sages and people with lofty dispositions, but surround yourself with people that can also make you feel more positive. When you look at someone smiling and someone that is filled with joy, that emotion affects you. If you frequently find yourself around bitter and sour people, it also directly influences you no matter what you do. We are not looking for perfection. Nobody is perfect; that’s just part of the human condition. Rather, we are looking for people who constantly seek to work on their imperfections and come to terms with them. On a mystical level, when we look, it means we are there. But on a psychological level, it makes sense as well. We look towards people who are unbelievable; we see pure inspiration from their faces, they teach us that we too can soar.
When you look at someone smiling and someone that is filled with joy, that emotion affects you.
My son, remember me always, and let the image of my countenance be never absent from before your eyes – Nachmanides to his son When you have once seen the flow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him – Albert Camus Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says that the first way to achieve authentic happiness is by seeing the face of a righteous person - the end all message of our eternal quest for contentment! While everyone all over the world has been on a journey for eternal bliss, colossal philosophers being locked out of this most elusive prize, and theologians lamenting existence without an answer, could it really just come down to hanging pictures of great sages on the walls of our house? How can we understand the connection between looking at a face and our inner contentment? The idea is not totally a foreign one to our tradition. There is a passage in Isaiah (30:20) that states that “Your eyes should see your teachers.” The Talmud uses this verse to teach us a great mitzvah or law: on the holiday of Sukkot we do what we can to visit our mentors. While it is very understandable to tell us to follow in the ways of the righteous and upright, why should we be asked to watch them? What are we staring at? Move back in history to the famous episode in the Torah where G-d is on the verge of destroying Sodom. Sodom was a city that was filled with iniquity to the point that G-d could not stand, so to speak, continuing its existence. Subsequent to G-d’s report that He is going to destroy this depraved city, Abraham decides to pray to G-d on the people’s behalf. His attempt to save Sodom is of no avail. God repeatedly turns Abraham down and finally there is a shift and He appears to acquiesce. G-d says to him, “Fine, Abraham, I’ll spare just one family; I’ll save Lot and his relatives.” Lot and his family are given one charge as they are leaving: do NOT look back at the destruction of the city or else you will turn into a pillar of salt. The time arrives for Lot and his family to run out of the city. At the risk of utter destruction and the foreboding threat of disintegrating into a big pillar of salt, curiosity gets the best of Lot’s wife and she turns around to sneak a peak at the town while it is being torn asunder. Re-
changes the way we look at vision. Colloquially, we understand vision to mean that when I, for example, stand at point A, and there is a tree in the distance at point B, I can see it but I am still here, and the tree continues to stay over there at point B. The Rebbe of Sochotchov says that this is not what mystical vision is all about. In our mystical teaching when one looks at something, he or she is not merely gazing at that tree from afar, bearing no connection between here where we stand and the tree. Rather, viewing something assumes that in some sense while I see the tree that is over there, a part of me is mystically over there as well. My perception generates an intense connection with that which is being perceived. With this we have a beautiful answer. Why did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt when she looked at Sodom, a place that was in the process of being turned into salt? According to our mystical definition of vision, when Lot’s wife looked back she was metaphysically really there in Sodom. So too, with this answer we can understand why we are told of Jacob’s loss of vision. Through the power of vision, one can connect to something on a deeper level. Since Jacob was blind he was unable to make this connection therefore he had to compensate for it by physically embracing his children. This dynamic idea can also help us understand the reason why we are taught to look at the faces of the righteous. A righteous person, in its most narrow definition, is someone that has, in a sense, come closer than most people to realizing their full potential. When we look up to the people that are inspiring to us, this in a mystical way - means that there is a part of them in us at that moment. It doesn’t mean that the great qualities that I see in another stands divorced from my position. But rather, the chasm that may separate us from the greatness witnessed in another can be rendered nil if we know how to look. Find your human inspiration. Whether the inspiration comes to us in the form of a friend that we care about, a Rabbi, or a teacher, it must be someone that has made use of their G-d given tools. For those of us who are not as mystically inclined, don’t worry, there is also a more rationalistic way to understand the emotional benefit of looking at the face of a righteous person. Think of what went through the mind of Michelangelo, early 16th century Italian
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Makes Mitzvos Shine? This week’s Parsha, Parshas Korach, presents a challenge to Moshe Rabeinu, a re-
challenged the office of the Kohein Gadol, the High Priest, and the appointment of Aharon to that office. He argued that, Kol Ha’aidah kulom kedoshim—“The entire congregation of Israel is Holy (16:3),” because, as Rashi says, all the Israelites stood at Sinai and heard from Hashem the words, Anochi Hashem Elokecha—“I am the Lord your G-d…”— the first verse of the Ten Commandments. If all of Israel, Korach argued, had heard these words and had experienced the Divine Presence directly, then all of Israel was worthy of serving in the office of the Kohein Gadol, not just Aharon. While Korach acknowledged, that Moshe was deserving of the highest position in Israel, worthy of being the King of Israel by virtue of his special experience of being in the Presence of G-d for forty days and bringing down the Tablets from atop Mt. Sinai, after that, Aharon had no more claim on the office of the High Priest than anyone else in Israel, and certainly no one else of the
of the entire episode came a deeper understanding of Torah, Mitzvos, the relationship between the two, and the role of the Tzaddik, the Holy individuals who serve as models
He confronted Moshe with the question, do these garments of T’cheiles still require Tzitzis. The Maharal tells us that Korach was certain the answer would be that they did not, since the entire garment was made of the thread that was designed to remind the wearer of the Almighty.
the Mitzvos become luminous searchlights that show the way to connect with the Creator and beacons to Israel—who turn Mitzvos into lights that illuminate the entire nature and
Moshe’s answer, however, was that, yes, those garments still required Tzitzis—the out-
purpose of Torah and Mitzvos. In this Mid-
ward and surface performance of the Mitzvah (of any Mitzvah) still required the spiritual insight and intelligent understanding that
rashic view of the episode, it would seem that the content of this revolt warrants a closer look. Three Dramatic Questions Because the narrative of Korach appears right after the portion in which the Mitzvah of Tzitis appears (at the end of the previous Parsha—15:36–39), Korach began his challenge with a demonstration involving this precept.
only Torah can provide. At this point, Korach staged the second part of his challenge: He created a house that was filled with Sifrei Torah—Torah scrolls; another enormously expensive demonstration—and asked Moshe if that house still required a Mezuzah—the small scroll with a short passage of the Torah affixed to the doorpost. Moshe’s answer
the verse (which has become a popular song): Moshe emes ve’toraso emes—“Moshe is true, and his Torah is true.” Many have asked, we understand the second half of that verse, for Korach had challenged the Torah of Moshe with regard to Tzitzis and Mezuzah, but why does Korach call out from the earth affirming the truth of Moshe? In light of the explanation here, however, we can understand this: Along with the need for both the performance of Mitzvos and their illumination through the study of Torah, there is a third element required: the luminosity of the entire world by the performance of Mitzvos by those imbued with the special spiritual sensitivity required to combine the ethereal concepts and teachings of Torah with the material, physical performance of Mitzvot. In the hands of Moshe—and of his brother Aharon—the Mitzvos become luminous searchlights that show the way to connecting with the Creator and with the realms that lay at the foundation of Creation. Anyone who has had the opportunity to experience and behold how the Sages of Israel perform Mitzvos—how their intensity and spirituality makes the Mitzvos glow, showing their
Tribe of Levi. Clearly, Korach was aiming for that office for himself, but the Midrash presents a picture of the rebellion that first, makes it a more subtle and more meaningful; Korach
The precept of Tzitzis calls for placing fringes of eight strands at the corners of four-cornered garments, and each fringe must contain a single thread of purple-dyed wool—the dye known as T’cheiles, a dye obtained from a
was: yes, the intellectual study of Torah is not enough. There must also be the performance of a Mitzvah, in the real world and as a real
deeper reality and meaning—will know that they have beheld something that lay beyond the plain meaning and simple performance of
experience. Again, Korach was surprised by this answer, believing as he did that Torah
the Mitzvah, that illuminates the way Mitzvos shine a guiding light on connecting Humanity
presented an argument that Moshe had to take seriously and answer. And second, the way the rebellion was staged and presented was in the most dramatic and public terms imaginable, involving over 250 of the leaders of
crustacean, the exact identity and harvesting of which has become lost over the ages. Tzitzis serve a dual purpose: the purple strand serves to remind the wearer of the Dominion of G-d in the universe—the colored
study alone without Mitzvos is enough, and Mitzvos without the insight and content of Torah suffices.
to the G-dly and to the higher realms of Holiness and reality. A Chassidic note on the word “emes”
But now Korach took aim at Moshe himself: If one needs both performance, action,
(“truth”) in the verse Rabba bar bar Channah heard coming from the ground has it that the
the Nation of Israel and in a demonstration that would have been the envy of the greatest of showmen and film-makers. And in the
strand is there to remind the wearer of heaven, which in turn reminds one of the Almighty Creator. But the strands themselves are there
three Hebrew letters of the word stand for “Aharon”, “Mezuzah” and “T’cheiles”—the three challenges mounted by Korach. We
final analysis, Korach and his cohorts were destroyed in a way just as dramatic and just as spectacular.
to remind us the centrality of Torah in the performance of any mitzvah. The Kabbalists
in the form of Mitzvos on the one hand, and Limud, the study of Torah to reveal the meaning and intention that lay behind the Mitzvos, on the other, then what need is there, Korach asked, for Moshe or Aharon or any leader.
point to the 32 strands of the Tzitzis as signifying the 32 “pathways of wisdom” by which, in the Kabbalah, the Torah is conveyed from Hashem to Bnei Yisroel. It is only the indepth learning that goes into the methods and
Any member of Klal Yisroel should be able to serve as a Kohein Gadol or a leader. What need is there for a Manhig, a Tzaddik of any kind? But here is where Korach made his biggest mistake: the manner in which the spiritu-
Torah scholars and righteous Tzaddikim. Korach himself was deemed worthy of being given the task of carrying and transporting
meaning of the Mitzvos, symbolized by the Tzitzis, that a plain piece of cloth becomes a Tallis, a prayer shawl, a garment that envelopes the wearer with sanctity and prepares one for prayer.
al giants of Am Yisroel perform Mitzvos are themselves beacons of understanding and insight into what Mitzvos are and what the Torah reveals about them and their relationship with the Creator and His Creation.
the Holy Ark. This in itself indicates a man of great stature and holiness. And the questions with which he challenged Moshe were born of great intellect and insight. It is no surprise that he was able to draw to his cause the great-
So the first challenge of Korach involved the Tzitzis. Korach clothed his 250-plus confederates in splendid garments made entirely of T’cheiles: dyed purple wool, with corners, but without Tzitzis—an operation that was
The Talmud (Baba Basra 74a) tells the story that a certain Arab showed Rabba bar bar [the grandson of] Chana the exact place where Korach and his followers were swallowed up by the earth. Rabba put his ear to the
est minds and spirits among the Nation of Is-
enormously expensive as it was impressive.
ground and heard from below the chanting of
Korach was himself a man of high standing in Israel; the Torah delineates his pedigree carefully—he was, “son of Yitzhar, son of Kehos, son of Levi.” The children of Korach (who steered clear of their father’s rebellion) became known in the years ahead as great
need all three elements—performance of Mitzvah; study of Torah; and the shining example of the Tzaddik—to light our way in the world. Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.
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volt—and it’s a challenge that came from an extraordinary source, and was conducted in an extraordinary manner. At its core, Korach
rael. The end of Korach was not simply the vanguishing of a revolt against Moshe. Out
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Rabbi Reuven Wolf
june 6, 2013
The Jewish Home
A Small Step towards Solving the Day School Affordability Issue
While all schools in Los Angeles have enjoyed considerable improvement over the past few years, they also face similar challenges. Foremost is the knowledge that in order to ensure viability, schools must offer educational and co-curricular resources akin to those of the most prominent and well-funded schools in the community. To do so, however, is often economically crippling and only adds to the severity of the “tuition affordability challenge” for these schools. The majority of Jewish Day Schools are currently in a predicament. They face two major challenges, and any attempt to address one only exacerbates the other: (1) Educational and Organizational Quality: our schools would benefit greatly from having “high quality professionals” in leadership positions from the leadership of a first-rate CEO to the fiscal knowledge of a strong CFO to the skill set of an experienced CIO, there is much to be gained. Yet employing a full range of professional leaders is a costly proposition that most schools simply cannot afford to undertake. Moreover, the limited talent pool and dearth of qualified professionals
only makes the challenge more difficult. The outcome yields diminished educational and institutional quality. (2) Financial Stability: Most of our schools are collecting between 50% and 80% of charged tuition and schools simply are not sustainable under that kind of pressure. We cannot continue using our current economic model. On the surface, any attempt to address the first challenge only makes the second one more difficult to meet, and vice versa. Perhaps the resolution of this dilemma lies at least in part in recognizing that these two challenges do not have to compete with one another; addressing one can simultaneously address the other. Schools and communities are operating in silos, which produces significant redundancy and waste. There is no reason why the functions of strategic planning, business management, marketing and other costly functions (Head of School…?) cannot be shared amongst schools. Sharing these resources would give greater access to these services and raise the quality of performance, all the while lowering the costs for participating schools. For the sake of the community, schools could and should group together into a consortium and consider sharing these high-cost and distributable resources. For those who think this is not doable, such educational consortia already exist, such as Five Colleges Inc. and Five Colleges of Ohio, and have proven to be quite successful. More importantly, Jewish schools in Los Angeles already have begun to implement this process with demonstrable success. This past year, Shalhevet established a technology consortium with Harkham Hillel and the Oakland He-
brew Day School and it has been a success for everyone involved (with a few bumps in the road). I am now working to build a Marketing and Communications consortium for next year and am hoping that other schools will work together with me on this front. Schools (and other communal institutions) must work together for the qualitative and financial benefit of the community. While this might fly in the face of the heretofore heated competition for community resources, I believe that consolidation of organizations would be wise. A shared approach would require all of the various stakeholders to make compromises. Unfortunately, compromise has become a dirty word in today’s era of consumerism. And we see this precise issue in this week’s parsha. Korach looked to divide the Jewish community. He wanted his personal needs to come before the needs of the community at large. He wasn’t willing to compromise his kavod for the sake of the big picture.
By Rabbi Ari Segal
But Korach is not our role model in building community. That job belongs to Aharon Ha’Kohen – referred to by the Torah as a ohev shalom. Aharon teaches us that compromise isn’t some sort of necessary evil but something that we should love; an ideal state. But like Aharon’s leadership, compromise requires vision, leadership and guts. And the community needs to be ready for it. Are we ready for it? Rabbi Ari Segal serves as Head of School at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles CA. He has also spent 7 years at Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, TX as Principal and Head of School. Rabbi Segal spent six years as Director of Student Programs at the Ramaz High School and Youth Director at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan. He holds an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an MSW in Communal Organization from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. He and his wife Atara have 4 wonderful daughters.
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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.
Dear Confused: Your question reminds me of the girl who is watching her mother prepare a roast. The mother cuts the end of the roast before she puts it in the pan. The daughter asks her mother. Why do you always cut off the end of the roast? Mother doesn’t know and says she does it because her mother did it.
making judgment calls about synagogues, communities and schools, but how often does a family itself take the time to define itself? This is critical. Our children must know what we as a family hold as our core values and what makes as special as a family.
You have touched on such an important issue. This has confused people throughout the generations. If only halacha was so clear, it would be obvious as to what standards we should expect from ourselves and our family. But, if that were the case, then much of the wealth of Jewish literature would get lost. Throughout the ages we have differences in opinion and had to rely on psak halacha to guide us. However, this in itself, will vary depending on the posek and the circumstance. To confuse things further, through the ages we find the concept of minhag—custom—becoming a part of our rich tradition. Minhag changes from country to country and sometimes from community to community in the same country. At the seder alone, look how many different family minhagim have evolved over the years. In our own community, walk into any Ashkenaz synagogue and you will likely find changes from the one down the street. The same holds true in the synagogues of the Edot Hamizrach and Sepharadim as well as the Chassidim.
Thirdly, let us remember that the Jewish people were divided into twelve tribes from inception. This is to inform us that G-d is okay with differences. Each family and tribe has its own way to reach G-d. Our Sages tell us that this is one of the reasons why there were thirteen entrances into the Temple, one for each tribe to enter and one for all Jews, no matter which tribe he or she came from. Metaphorically this suggests that each individual has his or her own way to connect to G-d; this is what a person should use to become close to G-d.
To assist in addressing the confusion and applying a practical solution for your family, let us dwell on a few points:
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Firstly, let us remember that as long as a halachic opinion or minhag follows the principles of our mesorah, we accept it as valid. The Talmud coined the phrase in reference to the disputes of Shammai and Hillel: “Both opinions are the words of our living G-d.” How to practice and what to do is something that every family has to determine based on their core values and their Rabbinic guide, but every opinion must be accepted as valid if it conforms to mesorah. Secondly, it is an imperative that every family take the time as a unit, to determine its own set of core values. We often come across families
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There are many different points of view and approaches within our own Orthodox community. How do we define as a family what standards we hold by and how do we make sure to be accepting of other’s standards? Signed: Confused
So the girl asks her grandmother and the grandmother doesn’t know and says her mother did it like that. So the girl calls her aging great-grandmother and asks the same question. Her grandmother says that she only had one pot and the roast never fit in.
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Question & Answer
Using these ideas we can now clear up some of the confusion. First and foremost, before deciding who and what to accept, take the time to sit with your spouse and define yourself. Use all the tools you need for this: your parents, siblings, grandparents, Rabbinic authority, and educators who have an impact on you or your children. Gather your information and then as a couple define what you are and what you want to become. Define your family. Once that is done, make sure you begin to see these values reflected in your lives. Once this starts to happen, then involve your children in practicing and understanding these core values. While doing this, be accepting of others’ values and teach yourself and your children that other customs are not necessarily bad and incorrect, but rather are not your family customs. It is okay to have a varied custom or practice, a different approach to halacha from your neighbor and friend. You can strengthen your family core values even more by accepting others’ values and understanding why you have chosen a different minhag or psak halacha. Our Sages tell us: derache-ha darchei noam vecchol netivoteha shalom—It’s (the Torah’s) ways are ways of pleasantness and all its pathways are peace.”
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the wheel of redemption Daniel Soroudi 9th Grade Shalhevet With time comes change, both physical and emotional. One of the greatest themes in Judaism is redemption. It is the ultimate goal that will save the world, but the path taken to this point changes with time. In every Jew’s life, there are three types of redemption: past, future, and personal. Each one of these categories is very different from the others purely because of one’s perspective on time. Past redemption revolves around how slavery, tragedies, and repression led to a physical freedom. If we look back to the Jewish people’s history, we can find a steady pattern. One of the first and most popular Jewish stories is that of Egypt, and the Jewish exodus from Egyptian rule. Skipping ahead in time, we arrive at the story of Purim. Today, we dress up in costume to enjoy festivities, but back when
this event actually took place, the Jews were once again facing anti-Semitism and the threat of annihilation. Just like in Egypt, they struggled because of a tyrant. Two other examples in Jewish History where this idea of captivity is present are the Crusades and the Holocaust. The Crusades transpired about 1000 years ago, a time period which is long enough to forget some of what happened, but the Holocaust, a much more recent form of Jewish persecution is still very relatable to my generation. For over 3000 years, from Pharaoh to the Adolf Hitler, the Jews have been persecuted and God has stepped in to save the Jewish People. This has set the standard for redemption in the past: freedom from bondage and repression. However, this type of redemption is no longer applicable, because modern times allows for relatively easier Jewish living. It is this freedom that we now have that helps to reshape our view of modern day and future redemption. Jews have progressed in society.
We now have our own state and freedom throughout much of the world, with minimal resemblance to former Jewish imprisonments and persecution. So what is the future of the Chosen People’s redemption? Rav Soloveitchik has a very interesting and useful take on our question. He believes that we must now reverse everything that we have previously thought about redemption. Whereas in the past redemption has been about erasing the negative from our lives, it now must be centered on the positive. With so much more freedom for Jews than there was in the past, we cannot begin to think about about what it means to escape captivity, because there is none. Our outlook must turn to the rest of the world, and our mission must be to help them instead of just helping us. We must act to change the current standard of what it means to live moral and ethical lives because it will stay the same if nobody takes action. The Jews should be the example for the rest of society and we must show the
world how to break through the next barrier to reach the next level in life. By doing so, we, along with the rest of the humankind, can achieve future redemption and elevate the world. Finally, I arrive to my personal feelings on redemption. To me, being redeemed is compensating for your actions. If I do something, I have to live up to it, and in turn make amends for what you have done. When I can take every action that I regret and admit to it, atone for it, and then plan not to do it again, I will have achieved a personal redemption. However, I also believe that once you compensate for an action, a new one will arise that you will need to address. You must then focus on compensating for that one, hence creating the never-ending cycle of personal redemption and personal improvement so that you can help the world reach its redemption in the future.
By Rachel Wizenfeld
working years. While more are returning in their mid-20’s for work or graduate school, the pool of both women and men in this area is still small, according to local matchmakers or people involved in the dating scene here. However for more Yeshivish singles, the women are often here but the men are on the East coast, or even farther off in Israel. More Bais Yaakov girls choose to stay in LA rather than go to NY after seminary, according to Rabbi Eli Stern, outreach director of LINK and father to several Bais Yaakov graduates, who says that Rabbi Yoel Burstyn, the head of school at Bais Yaakov LA, encourages girls to come back to LA after seminary to be close to their families. However since all the yeshivas for boys older than 19 or 20 are on the East coast or in Israel, most Yeshivish young men in that age range are simply not here. Similarly, in the Persian world as well, girls tend to stay closer to home – in Los Angeles – while many of the young men are in other parts of the country, either in school or pursuing work opportunities, according to Rabbi Stern, but the disparity is not as large as in Yeshivish circles. Conventional dating rules have changed because of this. While in years past it was expected for the boy to travel to the girl to date, nowadays many boys will not even consider a girl from the West coast, and will usually only agree to date as long as the girl flies out to New York (or Lakewood) for the first 3-4 dates. To help the problem and marry off Bais Yaakov LA girls, Rabbi Burstyn spearheaded an effort to hire a major Lakewood shadchan, Rabbi Shlomo Lewenstein, about eight years ago. Charged with giving LA girls better exposure on the East coast, primarily within the Lakewood yeshiva community, Rabbi Lewenstein dedicates a certain number of
LA Jewish singles (and their parents) talk about what it’s really like to be single in LA Have Realistic Expectations
“I’m not discouraged at all. I’ve been dating for a while now, but it’s not like I’m going on a date every other day. Sometimes it’s been dry for four months in a row either I’ve been busy at work, or it’s taking too long to check into someone. I have a lot of names and a lot more doors to knock on. I don’t go to social events because it’s not my kind of crowd. When you’re going through the shadchan system, a lot of fluff and nonsense gets cut out – they’re telling you stuff that’s tachlis. You’re not saying no to a girl because you went to a single’s events and the girl seems standoffish. “For shadchanim, in the sephardic community particularly, I alternate between Rebetzin Mahpari in the Valley and Bobby Refoua in the city. They both work very well and I’ve had pleasant experiences with them. They are both very proactive and quick to get back to you. “The main challenge I find is that some girls have unrealistic expectations. They want it all at once! They want someone who’s heimish, has simchas hachayim, is cute, someone who learns, someone who works, runs an amazing Shabbos table… there’s a lot of fantasy. It’s important to know a girl doesn’t find a man like that, she makes a man like that. If you go to your rebetzin’s house and her husband is amazing, remember that she made him that way – you create the product you want. “Another thing I strongly recommend is that people run things by their rebbeim or a rebbetzin. Like if a girl says she’s not “feeling something.” My rabbi said, “Is this Hollywood? Does she want to see stars in the sky?” You need to consult with really strong rabbis or rebbetzins who can tell you if you have unrealistic expectations. At the end of the day it all boils down to having the right expectations. “Some advice I would give to shadchanim, if they really want the people working with them to trust them and be open to accepting a match, is to get out of the formula mentality. Everyone comes with different emotional and mental makeups. You can’t try to make everything so cookie cutter and formula based. Sometimes people are scared to go on a fourth or fifth date because they’re worried it means things are too serious and the shadchan will be pushing them to move forward.” -- Late 20’s man working in professional services, Los Angeles.
A Broken Shidduch System
“The system is disgusting, demoralizing and needs to be revised. I had people banging on my door about my son, and my daughter’s amazing, and no one cares. I’ve met with all the shadchans in LA about my daughter; I keep contacting them saying, “keep us in mind,” and it’s just awful. ‘Oh yeah, we have her on our list,’ they say. I think the biggest problem is yeshiva burnout. There are all these guys and all these really good girls that went to Bais Yaakov, and they should match up, but they don’t – the boys are not on the same level. Not every girl wants to be a kollel wife and not every family can support a kollel life. Long-term yeshiva learning is not for everyone, but it is often presented to both girls and boys as the only option. “Then there are the shidduch groups – the women are my age and really not in touch with things, although they try very hard. A girl has to come with makeup on to meet with them. My daughter is really into makeup and always looks put together, but I was talking to this one mom of a boy, and he wants a girl who’s natural, someone who only puts on makeup when she goes to a wedding and is just comfortable with herself. These shadchanim are putting these girls into a position that’s not natural – they’re making them into cookie cutter types. Then when they suggest someone, it’s very pressured – you have to give an answer right away. There’s not enough time to really ask the questions you want. Recently, my daughter was at a wedding, and found out that all her single classmates had been set up by these shadchanim with the same guy – and all these girls are completely different! “The conventional wisdom is there’s nobody in LA. I’ve talked to women with girls in my daughter’s class, and they said that after seminary, just pack her up and send her to New York. There are just less boys in the pool here. There’s a real disparity. Everyone talks about the shidduch crisis to make these girls crazy, and it makes them try to become someone they’re not. Who am I? I’m putting on a façade to please the shidduch ladies and to get a shidduch.” --Mother of a 20-year-old Bais Yaakov graduate “in shidduchim,” PicoRobertson
The Older Singles Scene
“Being the careful planner I am, I did absolutely no research before I actually returned to Los Angeles and jumped right into what is so endearingly called, “The Jewish Orthodox Singles Scene.” Of course, I had more pressing issues on my mind -- I needed to find work, and I needed to find it fast. When I was 20 and living in Israel, there was something romantically attractive to women about a man who had
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Finding “the one” and being single is hard in any Jewish community. Mix the typical struggles of dating with a smaller singles community, a quieter social scene (in comparison to NY), Hollywood influences, and an incredibly diverse pool of Orthodox singles – in age, hashkafah and background - and you have the unique experience of Orthodox dating in Los Angeles. Find out the challenges and benefits to dating in LA and learn some new resources to (hopefully) lead you closer on your path to marital bliss. The singles community in LA is large, varied and growing. Hundreds of singles here in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and up are seriously looking for a match in the greater LA area and using online dating sites and NY matchmakers to expand their options. What’s unique about the singles community here is its diversity: from Yeshivish to Modern Orthodox to Chabad to the Persian community to newer and older Baalei Teshuva to divorced men and women and single parents, each subset is navigating the LA singles scene, some with more challenges and limitations than others. For Angelenos in their 20’s who are college bound or who identify as Modern Orthodox, the primary dating scene is found in New York. While there is a small group who remain here for undergrad, more end up on the East coast, whether at YU and Stern or another college, and often stay for their early
Tales from the Trenches
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How to Find Your Zivug in LA
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working… the standard shidduch scene doesn’t work for some people.” While for Bais Yaakov graduates the first reaction sometimes was, “I’m not so desperate,” or “I’m not sure how tznius this is,” she says that feeling quickly dissipates in the elegant, vortlike atmosphere. Compared to NY, LA singles have a very limited social life, Gohary believes. While singles there have frequent engagement parties and weddings, shiurim and classes, “here you have a vort every three months. When’s the opportunity for a boy to see you?” The same can be said for the dearth of other events here like
sacrificed employment for the sake of pursuing his spiritual journey, but the same can’t be said for men living in LA close to age 40. “For me, a Shabbat dinner is one of the most ideal places to meet someone because you are most likely going to be encountering people of similar perspective, world outlook, religious ideology, and future goals as yourself. I am not saying that you are going to find an exact match, but you will certainly be in the same ballpark. “There is not a function that I attend in which there are single males and single females together under one roof in which the guys are not making a play at the unattached girls. It’s like a jester taking his turn to dance and entertain the king. My impression is that many of these women are jaded and really would rather not be at whatever social function they are attending. I was naïve to these nuances of dating back in those days three years ago. I had no idea about people being “jaded” or that there were even those who said “yes” to dates when they really wanted to say “no.” This notion of keeping your cards close to your heart and away from the vantage point of the other players is a great poker strategy, but one not applicable to dating and marriage where the goal of the “game” is to share yourself, your true self with another human being. I guess that vulnerability and intimacy are too scary for some people. They are scary for me too, but I am also very willing and very able to work on myself so that the hand that I eventually do show my partner is the best hand that I can make from the cards that I am dealt. “I feel like the time has come in my own life to take that step with my mate beside me. But at the end of the day, it is about what G-d wants and not what I want.” -- Mitch Karpp, Pico-Robertson
Dating as a Single Mom
“I don’t really date that much in LA, just a handful here and there. I date more back East, where the hashkafic level is more on target and people are more okay with me having a child. I find most of the people here are either much older, in their late 40’s, or they’re in their late 20’s, and those people aren’t going to date someone with a child. “I think having been married and having a child makes you healthier in the dating scene. A few people I’ve dated that were single and never married have told me, “You’re different from any woman I’ve dated. I’m so used to giving and women just taking and taking. You have a child – you’re used to giving.” Women ground men, and sometimes when a man gets to his late 30’s or 40’s without a woman there, they’re not grounded. They don’t know who they are, what they want and they just can’t make a decision. There’s something to be said for divorced men with kids. They’re more put together. They have to be! They take their kids on their own, they have to run their own house when their ex is not there. They have to make Shabbos plans. They’re hands-on dads. “With online dating, it’s hard because you’ll have a guy contact you, he’ll want to call and talk for awhile and then he drops off the planet. This has happened to a lot of my friends or me. Or you’ll have someone who texts and emails, but isn’t great about calling. Because there’s no shadchan behind it, you don’t know what they’re thinking. It could be you had a great phone conversation on your end, but they didn’t think so and you never hear from them again. Some friends of mine really like SawYouAtSinai because of the shadchan aspect, other friends do JWed and even Jdate. YUConnects is good. “I think the dating scene here is very positive for someone who does not have a child, someone who is Modern Orthodox, and is in their early 30’s or late 20’s, more late 20’s. Beth Jacob has more than 200 people like that at their singles’ dinners! “I have friends that have been dating a long time – since 20 and now we’re 33 – and they’ve developed a harder attitude about life and dating in general. I feel for them and know that it’s hard. When we have kids, we’re always doing, giving, going outside of ourselves. I feel that for the women who are divorced and have children, our life is more about our kids and dating just doesn’t consume us. I don’t have a bitterness about life or dating in general.” --Alanna Fine, Pico-Robertson
fundraisers, Chinese Auctions and more. There are certainly events catering to Modern Orthodox singles here, mostly at the shuls in Pico-Robertson like Beth Jacob (with its popular Friday night singles dinners) and YICC, and one Modern Orthodox matchmaker here who preferred to remain anonymous said that a unique advantage of being
single in LA is that there is always a stream of singles moving to LA, “so at any given time there are new faces.” At the same time, it’s a less intense dating scene in comparison to NY, where places like the Upper West Side can feel oftentimes like a meat market with zillions of singles, a lot of shuls, and an environment “where you can’t carry a conversation for longer than
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reasons these events are successful is simply because faceto-face meetings are more effective than matching on paper. “If I could show you 20 resumes of girls, they could look so alike,” says Gohary. “They went to the same schools, the same seminary, the same camps. But if you meet them, they’re so ridiculously different.” Her first event this past February, billed as a Singles Networking Hour, invited 30 each young men and women to an upscale melave malka with music, a magician, divrei Torah, and an interactive game with 2-3 men and women at a table with shadchanim and shidduch facilitators. Dozens of dates, as well as a first engagement,
resulted from the evening. While there was initial pushback from some right wing circles, the group was able to get a haskama (approbation) from Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, which ended the naysayers. Rabbi Burstyn was on board with the effort as well, as long as certain parameters were in place, such as restricting events to young women 21 and over. For the group’s second event, a post-Pesach barbecue in Gohary’s backyard, word spread and graduates of YULA and Valley Torah also attended. Their next event, taking place in the next couple months, is planned to be in NY to catch all the LA singles who are living in NY for social reasons. (To get on the list for future events, email Feigie at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Gohary, who fundraises for these events in addition to spending much of her own money, says that singles have to be open to nontraditional ways of meeting people. “If they’ve been dating 2-3 years and are still single, it’s not
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hours to working on LA shidduchim each day and flies out on occasion to meet with eligible LA girls. “There’s a philosophy in the NY area that LA is like Siberia,” says Feigie Gohary, a resident of Hancock Park who hosts Rabbi Lewenstein when he meets local girls and their families. “And Rabbi Burstyn was determined to do whatever he could to bridge that gap.” However while the effort proved successful for some – three of Rabbi Stern’s four married children were introduced by Rabbi Lewenstein - in the last two years the effort has started to peter out, says Gohary, partly because reduced funding is paying for fewer hours of his time, and also the general success rate has been lower, possibly due to other shadchanim jumping into the LA shidduch business. So Gohary, a real doer who runs two businesses from home in addition to her involvement with LA shidduch efforts, saw a need for a new approach. When a young man from the community approached her with the idea of organizing speed dating events, she was instantly on board. Speed dating has been taking off even in more right-wing circles on the East coast, as overloaded matchmakers and a bloated shidduch scene lead to more streamlined dating methods. One of the
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10 seconds before the other person is looking around,” he says. This matchmaker puts a lot of the onus of the stagnant older singles scene here (in which older singles meet and mingle but don’t end up getting married) on the men, saying that many of them are not “solid” enough careerwise, or many men are unrealistic and think they can marry much younger women – say a 31-year-old woman when they themselves are 45. “There’s a lot of high quality women who need mature men who don’t exist, and the older they get the more problems there are,” he says. He added that demographics are more promising when older men are widowed, or divorced with children. Then they no longer look for a women who’s 32, and some of these women are happy to be connected to a family. “That’s what you can hope to find for the matches that will succeed, I hate to sound so negative, but a lot of these older single guys are going to stay single, and because they are, a lot of the women are victimized.” Baalei teshuvah singles have their own unique set of circumstances. While nearly every singles community attests to having more women than men, in baalei teshuvah circles the rate
of women to men becoming observant is 2:1, according to Rabbi Stern and many other kiruv experts. Of course baalei teshuvah don’t necessarily have to marry other baalei teshuvah, but that is definitely a limiting factor in the dating arena for these singles. While the ratio is pretty much the same in NY, because you’re dealing with a smaller subset here, women will often say that they know all the men. “It’s not true,” says Rabbi Stern, when you count all the communities and list all the people, but he agrees that there’s definitely a feeling that “I know the players and I’ve exhausted the players in my age bracket.” While bicoastal dating is another option, anyone can tell you that longdistance relationships are challenging. However many singles feeling stifled by the smaller LA scene are turning to online dating for expanded options. A representative at JWed.com (recently known as Frumster) said that there are currently 591 male Orthodox members and 510 female Orthodox members from Los Angeles who are active on the site, and the number is probably greater in actuality since not all members record where they come from or where they live. Out of 2,266 total matches to date on the website, eight have come from LA.
Marriage Segulas both Interesting and Wonderful
Want to add some segulas to your mix of zivug-finding efforts? Here are some that have actually worked for Angelenos: • Saying Perek Shira 40 days in a row • Buying a talis for your husband-to-be (before you even know who he is!) • Saying Shir HaShirim for 40 days in a row • Drinking from the wine under the chuppah • Learning Hilchos Lashon Hara daily And the most interesting segulas for getting married we’ve heard: • Having bird droppings fall on your head at the Kotel • Pouring rosewater on your head while kneeling in front of a rabbi • Wearing a tichel (headscarf) on Purim What segulas have worked for you or what’s a crazy segulah you’ve heard of? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Attesting to the increase in longdistance dating, the JWed rep said they have recently introduced a “My Locations” feature, which enables members to showcase not only where they live, but where they will be traveling, where they often visit and where they grew up, to help them more easily arrange meetings with other members from different locations. Besides JWed, many Angelenos use SawYouAtSinai.com, YU Connects and even JDate. But even more important than how
you meet, is your perspective and approach to dating. “I stress to people, stop the nonsense,” says Gohary. “Just because a girl is beautiful doesn’t mean she’s a good person…Listen to your child and don’t worry what your friends say…We as parents have an obligation to teach our children that the most important thing in life is midos, because that will determine your happiness.”
LA Therapists Sara Lebovics and Rabbi Dov Heller on Becoming Psychologically and Emotionally Ready for Marriage By Alisa Roberts In the conversation about dating, it’s easy to focus on the external. Deciding how to best present ourselves takes thought. Deciding who to go out with takes time and energy. But what about the bigger picture? How do we prepare ourselves internally for dating and marriage? We can start by asking the experts. I spoke to two mental health professionals: Sara Lebovics, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, where she treats individuals, couples, and families with a wide range of challenges. She also offers coaching during the dating process to people of all ages. Rabbi Dov Heller is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who runs a private practice specializing in adult psychotherapy, marriage counseling and personal guidance. In addition, he provides an international coaching and counseling service via telephone helping people solve their relationship challenges. When asked what the most important things that a person should be aware of before starting the dating process, Rabbi Heller was quick to answer. “Their feelings,” he said decidedly. “The most important aspect of picking the right person is being very tuned in to your feelings. A person’s feelings offer invaluable information. Negative or uncomfortable feelings are particularly crucial. People make their biggest mistakes when they dismiss those feelings.
This usually happens because of some sort of social pressure. And sometimes people get bad advice: ‘Oh yeah, I went through that same thing. Don’t worry, it’s not a problem.’ But not listening to your feelings is often disastrous.” He went on to offer practical guidance on how to avoid that kind of disaster. “There are three steps to processing your feelings. First, identify what you are feeling. Second, understand why you are feeling it. That requires a thorough analysis. This step is where a well-trained professional can help. A professional can help a person process a feeling without dismissing it, and make sure the person is being honest with themselves. The third step is deciding what to do about this feeling. For example, if the issue isn’t something you can change, you could decide to stop seeing the person. Or, if it is something you can change, then you should have a conversation about it.” Mrs. Lebovics came at the question from a different angle. “While there is no single ‘recipe’ that suits everyone in terms of preparedness for dating and marriage, it’s generally a good idea to prioritize what one is looking for, and be aware that there is never a perfect person out there! Perfection, so to speak, is in the eye of the beholder. A lot of people I speak to get caught up with the fear that they are dating someone they like, but don’t know if it’s Mr. or Miss Perfect, i.e. THE ONE. It is a relief when they come to an understanding that if they are dating someone with whom they are very compatible, have shared life values and goals, and are attracted to on all levels, they can make it work, as long as there is no significant emotional dysfunction.” She went on to offer advice on the best ways to prepare for dating and marriage. “Consider talking over
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priorities and concerns with someone trustworthy, wise, and sensible in these matters. For those who are young, it is especially helpful to have a teacher, parent, mentor or some outsider as a sounding board. Sometimes people get swept up in the courtship pro-
cess, or vice versa, they get paralyzed with fear, and lose objectivity about what is going on. A third party can be extremely helpful.” Rabbi Heller agreed that advice from family, friends, and clergy can be extremely helpful, but with one caution: “There is some great advice out there; but it is important to listen critically. Any advice, no matter the source, must make sense to you logically and can’t interfere with what you’re experiencing emotionally. It can’t cause you to dismiss your feelings. Therefore a person has to be very honest with themselves when they get advice, and never accept it just because someone has a title or authority.” He had his own advice for preparation. “Know yourself well. I always recommend the book The Five Love Languages. What the author calls love languages are really core emotional needs. You need to know what your core needs are emotionally. You also have to know what you want in terms of lifestyle. When we’re speaking about Jewish dating, you also need to know your level of observance. Other important things to be aware of are your financial situation, and what you want in terms of family. Overall, the best preparation is to know yourself very well. And that may include, if you come from a not-so-healthy home, getting into therapy so that there won’t be any baggage coming up from your past.” Mrs. Lebovics had one last caution
to keep in mind: “One should not be fooled into believing that problems don’t exist among people who present themselves as charming and likeable. Our chapter [in the book I recently coauthored with Emunah Braverman, A Diamond for Your Daughter: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Shidduchim] on ‘red flags’ covers this issue very thoroughly and should be required reading to prevent potential pitfalls!” I was curious as to whether there were any dating issues specific to Los Angeles. Rabbi Heller hadn’t come across any, but Mrs. Lebovics had some practical insight: “Boys from New York are reluctant to travel, and sometimes hesitant to even start dating a girl from LA. Be aware that it’s nothing personal, and that you may have to extend yourself and travel there, if you want the date. It may not feel ‘right’ in the traditional sense of expecting a boy to come after the girl, but unfortunately it’s a reality. Long distance dating can be taxing and a strain, but for the most part, it works very well in the long run!” So after all of this, how do you know when you are ready and healthy for marriage? “Each person (or their parent, in the case of Charedi families where the person dating is generally very young) should be honest with themselves about this,” said Mrs. Lebovics. “If they have some sort of emotional struggle, it would be wise to address it before marriage. Marriage doesn’t clear problems up; it is not a cure all. I once had a client with a mild case of OCD who came in and courageously admitted she wanted to get treated before dating anyone. She did, her treatment was successful, and when she felt ‘healthy’ she began dating. She got engaged within a few months!” Rabbi Heller had an even simpler answer: “If you’ve done all the work we just discussed, then you are 100% ready. If you know who you are, what you want, and what you need, you will gain a clear focus and understanding of who you want to marry.”
june 6, 2013
Are You Ready to Get Married?
The Jewish Home
as an aside...
28 6,2012 2013 T hT eHEJThe eJ w iJewish s h h oHOME mHome e nn jMu AY njune e 264, ,2013 EWISH
You Gotta be
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.” The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.” “You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist. “I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?” “Well,” answered the man, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.” The woman below responded, “You must be in management.” “I am,” replied the man in the balloon, “but how did you know?” “Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”
Hmm...Not a Bad Thought
A man and his son were going to play a game, when the father realized the son was missing something. The playful father says to his son: “I’m not telling you what it is but I can tell you ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES, ISSUES.” The son nods and then runs to his room to get what he was missing. What was the boy missing? Answers on next page
• The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was. • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as warning to others.
• Eagles may soar, but weasels aren’t sucked into jet engines.
• If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you. • Money can’t buy happiness. But it sure makes misery easier to live with. • Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check. • Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by moving from where you left them to where you can’t find them.
• To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. • To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles. • The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up. • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
• If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
• If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.
• A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
• Change is inevitable...except from vending machines.
• Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
• Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
• For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. • Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
• Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now. • Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.
2O13 National Spelling Bee (Final Round) Words
T HEJewish J EWISHHome HOME njune M AY6,2 2013 4 , 2012 The T h e J e w i s h h o m e n j u n e 6 , 2013
Match each word to its definition on the right 1.
A. A critic or faultfinder
B. The clinical term for the funny bone.
C. Adapted to pollination by snails.
D. A person with fair hair and brown eyes.
E. A type of migratory tropical ant.
F. A musical direction meaning “tenderly.”
G. A peach grafted on a quince root stalk. H. A device having a cup or spike at the top of a stick to which is attached a ball on a string. I. A group of people having a marked common quality or relationship.
GOT FUNNY? Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer to riddle: His tennis shoes.
Matches 1-G 2-I 3-E 4-A 5-C 6-D 7-H 8-J 9-F 10-B
BONUS QUESTION: Can you spell the winning word at the 2013 Spelling Bee? It is a small ball of dough made with matzoh meal and usually placed in chicken soup. In English it is called a matzoh ball. Which of the following is the correct spelling of the word?
Behavior befitting a second-rate actor.
Correct spelling of matzoh ball: knaidel. Now you can have your knaidel and eat it too.
30 T h eJ JEWISH e w i s hHOME h o m ennM AYj u 2n 4e , 62012 , 2013 T HE The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” Their paid liar, their spokesperson ... he’s still making up things about what happened. - Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), on CNN, discussing White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s characterization of the IRS scandal
In previous IRS scandals it was the powerful abusing the powerful—a White House moving against prominent financial or journalistic figures who, because of their own particular status or the machineries at their disposal, could pretty much take care of themselves. A scandal erupts, there are headlines, and then people go on their way. The dreadful thing about this scandal, what makes it ominous, is that this is the elites versus regular citizens. It’s the mighty versus normal people. It’s the all-powerful directors of the administrative state training their eyes and moving on uppity and relatively undefended Americans. - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal I confess that I was not aware of that report, but I’ll run out and buy the book or purchase it online. - White House Spokesman Jay Carney when asked to comment on a report in Ed Klein’s book indicating that the President has agreed to support Hillary Clinton in 2016
Storms now initiating south of Watonga along triple point. Dangerous day ahead for OK [Oklahoma]—stay weather savvy. - Final tweet by Tim Samaras, a highly respected storm chaser who was killed along with his son/partner in the tornado The mayor of New York City is running ADS again me, because I oppose President Obama’s gun-control legislation. … I’m Mark Pryor. And I approve this message because NO ONE from New York or Washington tells ME what to do. I listen to ARKANSAS. - Ad by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) The right reason is it’s important to reform a broken system. I’m not sure a right reason is that in so doing we win votes. I mean when you do the right thing, I think you win votes, as opposed to doing something that’s the right thing to win votes. Maybe there’s no difference there. It seems like there is to me, though. - Former President George W. Bush discussing the current immigration bill during an interview
Well, of course. Of course [Gov. Christie] should have [appointed a Republican to fill Sen. Lautenberg’s vacant seat]. And this is what really rankles conservatives. There’s not a Democrat governor alive that wouldn’t have seized the opportunity to appoint a Democrat senator, no matter what the status. As a matter of fact, in some states, they might even go try to sell it and get rich off it, as they did in Illinois. But all Christie had to do is appoint a Republican. That’s the correct move for him to make. Now, I put it down as debilitating stupidity, because the first rule of politics is don’t lose the friends you already have for the friends you’re never going to get. And if he thinks the Democrats are going to love him for being the guy who plays fair, rather than takes the political opportunity, he’s crazy. Democrats hate Republicans. Democrats aren’t going to vote for Republicans. They’re not going to get a break from the Democrats. They will use him – Obama will use him for political cover, as he’s done twice now, and then actively campaign against him. He will just have to learn the hard way, the way most fair-minded Republicans end up learning. I will do the right, fair thing, and you will cut my legs off and throw me under the bus. That’s what will happen to Christie. - Dick Armey, former Republican House Majority Leader, on CNN
This is not about me. - Former Rep. Anthony Weiner discussing his NYC mayoral run
I’ve known him for years and always knew something was wrong with him. - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talking a about Anthony Weiner One of the things I don’t do well is this. Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice. - Michelle Obama, when heckled at a fundraiser
We are running out of time. If we do not succeed now, and I know I’m raising those stakes, we may not get another chance. - Secretary of State John Kerry discussing peace between Israel and the Palestinians during a speech to the American Jewish Committee
She is totally liberated, and G-d bless her. - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on his mom saying he shouldn’t run for president
In Pakistan, the Taliban’s No. 2 man has been killed by an American drone. In a related story, today the Taliban’s No. 3 man said he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family. - Jay Leno
Starbucks is now banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores. It will get even worse for smokers once they realize every Starbucks is about 25 feet from another Starbucks. - Jimmy Fallon Today is the 60th anniversary of the first two men climbing Mount Everest: Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.... Historians say Edmund Hillary was the toughest dude ever named Hillary. Unless you count Hillary Clinton. - Craig Ferguson
During congressional hearings, Senator John McCain asked Apple CEO Tim Cook why the apps always need to be updated. McCain also wanted to know how often he should feed Siri. –Conan O’Brien
Please, suspend the rules. - Rep. Lou Barletta, (R-PA) to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding a regulation that is preventing a 10-year-old girl who needs a lung transplant from getting one because of her age and unlikelihood of survival I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies. - Secretary Kathleen Sebelius refusing to wave the regulation after explaining that the regulation is based on survivability
I wrote recently to inquire about the status of my leave from the university, and the letter I got back began, “Regrettably, Princeton receives many more qualified applicants for faculty positions than we can accommodate.” - Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke in his commencement address at Princeton University Note to journalists: This is a joke. - A footnote attached to the text of Chairman Bernanke’s speech provided to reporters. There is a problem within Islam...and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. - Former British PM Tony Blair, discussing the recent London murder
Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. - Tweet by NYU professor, landing him in hot water
If you don’t allow the Women of the Wall to pray in our way as is our custom, we will fight with you with every means and you will return home with the bodies of 100 dead chareidim. Your end is near... We will liberate the Kotel anew. - Letter sent by Woman of the Wall to the Chief Rabbis of Israel You know, I have been thinking, now that I have some more time on my hands, I am going to be pitching… a new show for Bravo... We could call it “Project Pantsuit.” - Hillary Clinton, speaking at a fashion awards show in N.Y.
It isn’t about the administration, and it should not be about the administration of the state nor federal level when it comes to Obamacare. But in fact it is. And why is that? I have talked to so many members in the House and Senate and you know what it comes down to? Are you ready for this? It is not about how many federal dollars we can receive. You ready? You want to know what it’s about? It’s about race. Now nobody wants to talk about that. It’s about the race of this African-American president. ... It comes down to the race of the president of the U.S. which causes people to disconnect and step away from the substance of the bill. - The head of the Louisiana Democratic Party, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, addressing the Louisiana state Senate and announcing the reason people oppose Obamacare
No, we’re not…this administration has put a real value on the rule of law and our values as Americans. - Attorney General Eric Holder, during a recent press conference, when asked whether, in terms of civil liberties, the Obama administration was comparable to that of George W. Bush
CNN is in talks with Newt Gingrich to co-host a revamped version of the TV show “Crossfire.” Gingrich is in demand for a lot of TV shows right now; he is also being considered for “The Biggest Loser.” - Jay Leno
A gun didn’t kill my husband; a man did. - Taya Kyle, widow of slain former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was killed in a gun range by a fellow soldier
This is the greatest day of my life. The Yankees and I were born in the same year. - Bernando LaPallo, age 111, after being allowed on the field during Yankees batting practice Everyone here should be maxed out. - First lady Michelle Obama encouraging donors at a Democrat fundraiser to pay the maximum allowed under campaign finance laws
Well, it’s hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were lowlevel employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is. They were basically throwing us underneath the bus. - A Cincinnati IRS employee testifying at a Congressional hearing
Women’s core identity lies in motherhood and her role should be defined within that framework, not in an economic context. - Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili
A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and as always, the Senator complied. - John McCain’s spokesman explaining why he posed in a photo with rebels who kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims
Wish we could see you in the World Series. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen. - Met owner Jeff Wilpon to Mariano Rivera during the Subway series You never know. - Mariano Rivera in response
T h eJewish e wJ iEWISH sh h o mHOME e june n nj u6,M n eAY 6 ,2 2013 The Home 2013 TJHE 4 , 2012
This latest California wildfire is getting pretty scary. But Governor Jerry Brown has it under control. He said he is going to tax and regulate the fire until it gets fed up and moves to another state. - Jay Leno
T hThe e J eJewish w i s h hHome o m e n june j u n e6, 62013 , 2013
Taking Back What Was Theirs
How the Israelis Deceived the French and Stole Back Their Boats
advisors onboard sunk the INS Eilat, a British-built WWII era destroyer, with new Styx missiles. The Israeli navy, with the backing of the government, decided that they needed something to counter this threat for future wars if
n the 1960s, Israel was under the constant threat from her Arab neighbors and always ready to fight any imminent attack. Most of the weapons and aircraft she possessed were upto-date with the weapons of the world powers of the day, the U.S. and Russia. Israel ordered ships from France and even though they were paid for, the French wouldn’t let them leave port. One night, they just disappeared. This is the story of how Israel “stole” back their ships and showed France how to fight with chutzpah. At the time, Russia was supplying the Arab countries with the latest technology and weapons and instructing them to use them against America and her allies. A few months after the Six Day War in 1967, two Egyptian Russian-built missile boats with Soviet
the israelis had slipped in scores of sailors dressed in civilian clothes and were preparing a Midnight party, but the french weren’t invited.
they wished to keep the Mediterranean shipping lanes open. Defense contractors had been working on a missile system that wouldn’t require a big ship to operate. Tests with the Gabriel missile
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created by Rafael Industries had been successful and now all that was needed was a warship to send into battle. A small patrol or missile boat would do the job. Israel’s warships were from the
fering from very high unemployment. De Gaulle then resigned but the new French president, Georges Pompidou, kept up the embargo, and the Mossad was forced to startplanning to “steal” back their own boats. The Israelis had paid for these boats and wanted them to defend their seacoasts. Prime Minister Golda Meir had first rejected any plan at all but then relented and said that it must be done legally. The Mossad made sure everything was done legally but translated the word very loosely. They were masters of deception. So the Israeli navy publicly “sold” the boats to a Norwegian firm owned by Martin Siem who was very pro-Israel. In a not-so-public meeting,
1948 war and were aging. The navy sent out envoys to western countries to find suitable replacements. Israel’s navy was under a heavy budget restriction and couldn’t afford a cruiser or even a destroyer. They settled on patrol boats from France. In actuality, the boats were of a German design copied from the S-boat that was used in WWII. Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told Admiral Bin-Nun The INS Mivtach was built in France that they would get the with German money for the Israelis money to pay for the twelve boats. The navy knew that the government didn’t have he nullified the sale and Israel was now the money for this and only later found free to command the boats. out that Peres had convinced Germany The next step was to deceive the to pay “retribution” money for WWII French about the future of the boats. and to build ships for the small coun- What the French didn’t know was that try. Due to public opinion, Germany the Israelis had slipped in scores of didn’t want to build the boats in her sailors dressed in civilian clothes and shipyards, so France was given the were preparing a midnight party and contracts. the French weren’t invited. The boats France at that time was on good left port every night for short voyagterms with Israel but was feeling pres- es into the Atlantic so that when they sure from the Eastern Bloc countries to were missing from port no one would cut ties with Israel. In January 1969, notice anything was amiss until it was they imposed an embargo on all mili- too late. Also, the loud motors were tary aid to Israel but not before seven kept running every night under the exof the twelve boats had been completed planation that the night winter weather and sent to the Middle East. President was too harsh for the boats to sit idle. Charles De Gaulle was going to cancel This would help mask their departure; the construction of the last five boats no one would become suspicious the but decided not to because he feared night that they left because they were public displeasure of taking away accustomed to the noise. jobs from the French who were sufOther preparations were being han-
given air escort by the air force. They help their country and had traveled well over 3,000 miles in showed France what the dangerous waters, encountered Amer- word chutzpah really ican and even Soviet ships and planes, meant. and then were given a warm welcome by the Israeli people. These five boats, named the INS Avi Heiligman is a weekly Sufa, INS Ga’ash, INS Herev, INS contributor to The Jewish Hanit and INS Hezt, were a major fac- Home. He welcomes your tor in the naval battles that took place comments and suggesduring the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In tions.for future columns the Battle of Latakia, two Syrian boats and can be reached at aviwere sunk by the Gabriel missiles that firstname.lastname@example.org. The stars of Cherbourg made their first battle engagement in the Yom Kippur War were shot from the Israeli missile boats. There were no Israeli casualties or losses during these naval battles and the victory ensured that the important Mediterranean shipping lanes would be kept open. The French government was embarrassed and humiliated by this event. They kicked out Israeli officials and promised heavy repercussions but never came through on their threats. However, future Mossad operations in France were foiled by the government although they couldn’t talk about them openly. The “stealing” of their own boats caused an international sensation. The Israelis were seen as the underdogs who came out on top again and had shown a pompous country what they could do if provoked, albeit in a nonviolent fashion. The If you can’t be there yourself, please give generously to the Jewish Community of Hebron. heroes were the Tax deductible donations should be made payable to: Mossad agents, the Norwegian busiThe Hebron Fund nessmen and the pro-Israel civilians 1760 Ocean Avenue who lived in the Brooklyn, NY 11230 city of Cherbourg. Last, but certainly not least, it was the Israeli sailors For tour and other information, please contact: who took upon In the US: 718-677-6886 email@example.com In Israel: 052-431-7055 firstname.lastname@example.org themselves the hazardous weekwww.hebronfund.org long journey to
one hundred miles R 106
The Cherbourg boats in port in France
left in a Force 9 storm. The boats were separated because of the tempest but were reunited off the coast of Portugal. The French authorities did not find out about their departure until a reporter noticed the boats missing. It must be noted that many French did not agree with the government and their stance on the embargo and actively or passively helped the Israelis. It’s safe to assume that the locals knew that the boats were missing much earlier than the government but didn’t say anything. The government’s official reaction was that of anger. They sent search teams to look for the boats and to destroy them but the orders were ignored. The search teams that did go looking for the Israelis were sent on wild goose chases near Norway and Alaska by false leads planted by the Mossad and the foreign company that bought the boats. As they passed Gibraltar, a British post signaled “Which ship?” The Israelis didn’t respond but the British knew who they were and signaled “Bon Voyage.” After a week at sea, the unarmed boats were nearing Haifa and were
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33 101 T h eThe Jew i s h h oHome m e n jjune u n e 66,, 2013 Jewish
dled in the weeks before the departure. Food for the eight day journey was being secretly stocked on the boats. It was bought in small quantities from local groceries. Usually the boats wouldn’t be fully fueled, so as not to arouse suspicion, five gallon drums were clandestinely brought aboard. Three other ships, the MV Lea, MV Natanya and the MV Dan, were being prepared to stand along the way and pump fuel into the patrol boats. On December 24, the boats were fully stocked and the crews comprising of 80 Israeli sailors were ready. They were to leave on December 25, 1969, at 12 AM but a strong storm forced the departure to be delayed. At 2 AM, the commander received news that there would soon be a break in the weather further out to sea and so they
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june 6, 2013
Financial update for the month ending May 31, 2013 The DOW finished May at 15,115, up almost 3% for the month and up 2,722 points from last May. That represented a 22% increase in a year! The Nasdeq closed at 3,456 up 11% from May 2012, and the S&P Index closed at 1,630, up 24.4% from May 2012! Data Quick reported median home prices earlier in the month up 23% year over year for April, and up 3.3% in April from March for Los Angeles. Most major U.S. cities showed similar gains. May figures will be out around the 10th of June. From what we are seeing on the street, it would not be surprising to see a 4% increase from April to May and 25% year over year! Inventory rates are still at all-time lows with a 2 month supply or less in most areas in Southern California. For comparison sake, we were at a 4 month supply in 2006 which was then an all-time low. Inventory levels peaked at about an 18 month supply in 2008. With record low inventories we did reach sales figures with the most homes sold in 5 years. This means that homes are coming on the market at a very good rate, but selling very quickly so the inventory levels are not able to increase. It does not look like there is any end in sight, at least in the next year or so. At some point prices will increase to a point that inventories will rise and prices will level. I would not be surprised if they go up another 30% to 35% before we see that! I’d expect to be there by mid-2015. Hedge funds that have been purchasing foreclosures for their rental portfolio stated they may begin taking profits and selling some of their portfolio. This could produce more homes to sell, but mainly lower priced homes. Another key indicator is the unemployment rate which dropped to 7.5% in April. It has dropped steadily since peaking in October 2009 at 10.2%. May unemployment rates should be announced around the middle of June. The state has also seen similar drops. The unemployment rate for April was 9% down from 9.4% in March. California’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.4% in 2010. California reported an unexpected budget surplus after years of deficits and the US reported that the budget deficit was about $300 billion lower that the CBO had forecasted. This was largely due to the following: Unemployment dropping more rapidly than forecasted, creating a larger tax base. Corporate profits higher than expected. Real estate sales and gains soaring beyond expectations. Profits from stock market investors. Even property tax revenue was up $50 million in L.A. county fueled by the rise in property values. Interest rates were the topic on everyone’s minds this month. At the beginning of May rates were at the lowest this year, but ended May up ¾ % to the highest rates in a year. As the economy is finally beginning to take off, the Fed has announced that they will begin pulling back on purchasing mortgage backed securities and treasury bonds steadily to end the quantitative easing program that they enacted to stimulate the economy. Yesterday to calm the treasury bond market they announced that they were going to begin pulling back purchases of mortgage backed securities first not treasury’s. That did not help mortgage interest rates! As I have been warning for a few weeks, we are seeing a steady increase in rates which should last until they reach a “market rate.” That rate will be one in which investors buy enough mortgage backed securities to satisfy the demand. That is estimated to be around 6%, still a great rate if you look at the last 50 years! Rising rates are making a red hot real estate market even crazier, as buyers are attempting to purchase before rates really start to go up. With the lack of inventory it has become a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers to take advantage of different aspects of the current real estate market.
This week, nationwide protests rocked major Turkish cities. On Tuesday, Turkey’s deputy prime minister apologized for the “excessive violence” police used against demonstrators opposing the razing of an Istanbul park. That first clash led to protests throughout the land against the pro-Islamic government. Deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc announced to the public, “It is wrong, unjust that excessive violence was used against those that acted upon their environmental sensitivities in the initial event,” he said, referring to the protest in Taksim Square on Friday, which ignited the widespread riots in 67 cities. “I apologize to those citizens.” The United Nations expressed concern over the excessive force and called for an investigation into the matter. The clashes commenced when plans were instituted to remove Gezi Park and replace it with a shopping mall. The park is the last significant green space in the center of Istanbul. The government proceeded with the plans with little to no public input. The clashes have led to the deaths of two people and more than 300 were injured. At least 1,750 have been detained by police. Many critics are saying that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Ergodan has been exhibiting tendencies that are seen as domineering. Recent regulations have been put into place to control the use and sale of alcohol. The prime minister had plans to build mosques around the capital without consultation, and he strongly suggests that Turkish families have at least three children. Unfortunately, the mainstream news channels chose to ignore the riots and instead broadcast beauty contests and documentaries on penguins while their fellow citizens lay bleeding in the streets. Some of the media has apologized to the public for ignoring their plight. On the fourth day of the protests, Erdogan called the demonstrations the work of “bums” and extremists who were trying to overthrow his government. He also hinted that a foreign
English-Language Publication Glorifies Murderers
Before you head to your local newsstand and pick up the latest issue of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, here’s a brief preview of what you will find: Inspire devotes almost all of its 40-odd pages to glorifying what it calls the “BBB” — the “Blessed Boston bombings.” It’s an unsurprising, if stomach-turning, move for the glossy, English-language propaganda magazine, which has previously run articles celebrating 9/11 and instructing readers on the intricacies of building bombs. The issue opens with a threatening “Letter from the Editor” and goes on to chronicle the attacks, the reaction from public figures, and the small role that Inspire itself played in the bombings. One article, “Inspired by Inspire,” is illustrated by a flaming iPad with a copy of the magazine on its screen. Another consists of a series of media passages that mention the magazine. The main takeaway from the issue might be that its editors are unabashedly pleased that copies of their magazine were
Google “Maps” the Galapagos Google announced its StreetView trekker has plunged under the waters of the Galapagos and tracked across its islands, bringing to the Internet 360-degree images of the isolated landscape and world’s largest living tortoises. A smaller version of the same technology Google has used to do photographic drive-bys of nearly every address in the world, the Google Street View trekker consists of fifteen lenses seated inside an orb and mounted on a 42-lb aluminum frame backpack, snapping 75-megapixel photos at 2.5 frames per second. Google is stitching together and processing the Galapagos photos, and hopes to publish them online later this year. These photos include underwater encounters with sea lions, giant tortoises munching on vegetation, and sightings of blue-footed boobies. “Google Maps users will be able to zoom in on their blue webbed feet,” Raleigh Seamster, Project Lead, Google Maps, told reporters. An interactive preview of the sea lion panorama is already online. 620 miles west of the Ecuadorian mainland in northwest South America, data collectors traveled by foot and horseback and by boat through choppy waters, over isolated trails and 2.5 miles of lava fields, capturing with the trekker’s eye landscapes empty of, and in some cases, forbidden from, even the most adventurous tourists’ hiking boots. Meanwhile, a team from the Catlin Seaview Survey Google partnered with the project captured underwater imagery.
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Riots Rock Turkey
found in the Tsarnaevs’ house, despite – or maybe because of – the fact that the men were apparently not affiliated with al-Qaeda. After all, Inspire’s mission, as articulated by Brookings’ Bruce Riedel, is to encourage “the aspiring jihadist in the U.S. or U.K. who may be the next Fort Hood murderer or Times Square bomber.” In the weeks since the attacks, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that he and his brother learned to make pressure-cooker bombs from the magazine. The younger Tsarnaev also said he felt inspired by the online sermons of al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who edited the magazine until his death in a U.S. drone strike in September 2011. Awlaki reportedly inspired at least a dozen other high-profile jihadists, including three of the 9/11 hijackers. The magazine also includes a one-page essay on the brutal beheading of a soldier in London’s Woolwich district, which it calls “the dear price” of Western oppression, and a blurb on the Oklahoma tornadoes, which it interprets as divine wrath.
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force may be behind the riots, although he chose not to specify. “Our intelligence agency has their own investigation on that — there is no need to disclose them as this or that,” the prime minister said. Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, called for calm from all sides and said protests and demonstrations were a natural part of democracy. “There is nothing more natural than various ways of expression other than elections if there are different views, different situations, objections,” he said. “Peaceful protests are surely a part of that.” By Monday evening, security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds. By Tuesday morning, Gezi Park was filled with people lounging on the grass and listening to music. The five days of riots were over but the tension that lies underneath is still there.
”Our mission is to make the most comprehensive useful and accurate maps,” said Seamster. “That means going to the farthest reaches of the world.” Previously the trekker has gone to places like the Amazon River, Grand Canyon and the Canadian Arctic, brought by trike, snowmobile and even a submarine.
Bangkok, Most Popular Tourist Destination Bangkok has beaten London to the number one spot as 2013’s most popular tourist destination. Why? Shopping opportunities, of course! Thailand’s capital is expected to receive 15.98 million tourists in 2013, compared to London’s 15.96 million and Paris’s 13.92 million, according to MasterCard’s latest Global Destination Cities Index. The city’s luxury malls are attracting millions a year. Bangkok’s Siam Paragon shopping mall is the world’s second-most photographed location on Instagram, trailing only Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.
The MasterCard data showed a surge of Chinese tourists, now the world’s most numerous at 83 million per year, visiting Bangkok. Chinese are notorious for their spending abroad. In 2012, $102 billion was spent by travelers with a large amount spent specifically in retail stores in Bangkok. “Most of them are avid shoppers, snatching up brand name products at duty-free shops and stores around Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong Intersection [home of Siam Paragon and several other big malls],” TCTA president Kasean Wattanachaopisut said.
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The average Chinese visitor spends $167 per day in Thailand, according to the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance, and most stay one week, coughing up a total of $1,000 to $1,300 each per visit.
Chinese Hackers Compromise National Security Chinese hackers have compromised the designs of some of America’s most sensitive and advanced weapons systems, including vital parts of the nation’s missile defenses, fighter aircraft and warships. The Washington Post cited a report prepared for the Pentagon by the Defense Science Board, which groups government officials and private sector experts. The document, titled “Resilient Military Systems and the Advanced Cyber Threat,” paints a grim picture of cyber-espionage emanating from China only 10 days before President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time. “I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. Beijing, riding a wave of robust economic growth, has been building up its military and while the report does not directly accuse China’s government of stealing the designs, such intrusions could help the world’s most populous country enhance its armed forces. The report coincided with an Australian news report that Chinese hackers illegally accessed the designs for the new top secret headquarters of Australia’s intelligence service, including communications cable layouts, server locations, and security systems. American officials have complained publicly and privately about Chinese cyber-espionage. Obama vowed in his State of the Union Address to take steps to protect the U.S. government and American businesses from such attacks though he did not specifically name China, or Chinese hackers, as the main perpetrators. The White House declined to comment specifically on the report. But a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Laura Lucas, noted that in general “cyber security is one of this administration’s top priorities, and we have long said that we are concerned about cyber intrusions emanating from China.” “What we have been seeking from China is for it to investigate our concerns and to start a dialogue with us on cyber issues,” Lucas said, adding that the United States is “pleased” that China agreed last month to start a new working group to discuss the issue. “Through such dialogue we seek longer-term changes in China’s behavior, including by working together to establish
norms against the theft of trade secrets and confidential business information,” Lucas said. “This dialogue will take place within the context of our broader effort to build a cooperative partnership with China that solves shared global challenges.”
ing a restaurant or hotel on vacation, compared with 57% of the 1,600 Americans surveyed.
Starbucks “Eau de Toilet” A Starbucks cafe in Hong Kong’s posh financial district, which used water from a tap near a toilet to brew coffee, prompted a torrent of angry reactions from customers. The coffee shop, in the famous Bank of China Tower, has been using the water from a tap in a restroom to make beverages since its opening in October 2011.
Images showed the tap with a sign that said “Starbucks only” a few feet away from a urinal in the dingy washroom, which the paper said was in the building’s parking lot. The water was collected less than five times a day by staff from a tap in a restroom located near the store, Starbucks spokespeople say, adding that it was dedicated for collecting drinking water. “There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that’s why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building,” said Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang. The water from the toilet tap would go through a filtration system in the store ensuring it passed local and World Health Organization standards, Pang said, adding the store is now using distilled water. “The issue that is more worrying is... the potential risk of transferring pathogens from the restroom environment into the Starbucks food preparation area,” Hong Kong University School of Public Health associate professor Benjamin Cowling said. “I wouldn’t go to the restaurant in the first place if I knew they were having potentially risky hygiene practices.” I’ll think I’ll stick to drinking my bottled Poland Spring.
To Tip or Not To Tip Germans are claiming that they are the world’s best tippers. According to a TripAdvisor survey of 9,000 vacationers, more than two-thirds of Germans said they always tip when leav-
TripAdvisor found that more than 80% of Americans are sometimes not sure about how much gratuity to leave, with three-quarters checking travel guides for advice. In addition, 112 of the Americans surveyed said they took a tip conversion sheet with them when abroad. The conversations of who to tip, when to tip and how much to tip has become an increasingly stressful topic for vacationers; 3% of Americans said tipping difficulties had “ruined” their vacation, citing staff asking for a gratuity or complaining about the amount. Americans and Germans were more likely to leave a tip than any of the six other countries surveyed, which included Russia, Brazil, France, Britain, Spain and Italy. “Tipping is a cultural norm in the States, and U.S. travelers have a tendency to take their customs on the road, whether they are on American soil or traveling abroad,” said TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. Among the countries surveyed, Italians seemed to be the least generous tippers, with less than 25% saying they always tip when on vacation.
Chinese Shamed by Teen who Defaced an Ancient Temple in Egypt A Chinese teenager who vandalized an ancient temple in Egypt with graffiti has come under criticism back at home where his vandalism prompted public concern about how to foster a positive image overseas as more Chinese travel abroad. The teen scrawled, “Ding Jinhao visited here” in Chinese on a temple wall in the ancient city of Luxor. The incident garnered attention when another Chinese tourist posted a photo of it on a popular microblog with the comment: “My saddest moment in Egypt. Ashamed and unable to show my face.” The photo quickly caught the attention of the Chinese public, attracting thousands of comments. It wasn’t long before the person responsible was identified as 15-year-old Ding Jinhao from the eastern
city of Nanjing. People have called Ding’s act an embarrassment to the country. “Why there are so many citizens who go abroad and humiliate us? How many generations will it take to change this kind of behavior?” Xuan Kejiong, a prominent journalist wrote on his microblog.
The sentiment was echoed by the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, the People’s Daily newspaper. “Nowadays, people in China no longer want for food and clothing, and even in the luxury shops abroad, there are advertisement posters in Chinese,” the paper wrote in a commentary. “But many people also feel as though their ‘hands are full but hearts are empty.’ In the process of modernization, how have the people come to lack modern manners and consciousness?” The outcry prompted Ding’s parents to publicly apologize. In an interview with a Nanjing newspaper, Ding’s father said, “The child has committed a mistake and the main responsibility falls on the adults. It was because we did not supervise him well, and have not taught him well.” China has been the fastest-growing source of international tourists in the world for the past 10 years, the World Tourism Organization, a U.N. agency, said in April. The organization said the volume of international trips by Chinese tourists has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Last year, China surpassed Germany to become the largest spender in international tourism, with tourists’ expenditure amounting to a record $102 billion.
France Attempts to Ban the E-Cigarette French Health Minister Marisol Touraine has called for electronic cigarettes to be banned from public places and their sale to be restricted to individuals over 16-years-old. In an interview, Touraine argued his case by saying that electronic cigarettes should be treated and regarded in the same way as regular cigarettes. “We want the same laws that apply to normal cigarettes to apply to electronic cigarettes,” she said, adding that advertisements for e-cigarettes should also be banned. Unlike cigarettes, electronic devices are not currently banned in most public places, making them a practical alternative
the shortages are part of a plot by opponents to destabilize the country while economists blame the government’s price and currency controls.
Since France banned smoking in public places in 2008, e-cigarette shops have become popular across the country. They have become the standard alternative. Touraine expressed her concern over the ongoing popularity of cigarette-smoking among young people in France, while in other western countries increasingly fewer young people take up the bad habit. She also warned of poor awareness levels among pregnant women in France, where more expectant women smoke than in any other European country. “I want us to rally against smoking,” she said. “There are still too many young people and pregnant women smoking in France.” Touraine proposed placing a logo on tobacco products warning women of the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, something similar to labels on alcoholic beverages. She also suggested creating “smoke-free spaces” outdoors, such as children’s parks. Touraine’s comments came as The World Health Organization celebrated the World No Tobacco Day.
Toilet Paper Seized in Venezuela In a previous issue we reported that Venezuela was short on toilet paper. Naturally when there is a shortage of a specific good, then it makes room for a black market. Police in Venezuela say they have seized nearly 2,500 rolls of toilet paper in an overnight raid of a clandestine warehouse storing scarce goods. The Thursday announcement on Twitter said that the officers raiding the garage in western Caracas also seized about 400 diapers and 7,000 liters of fruit juice. Police chief Luis Karabin said that authorities received a telephone tip and found “merchandise that we know is scarce on the shelves and doesn’t reach the people.” Toilet paper is hard to find in Venezuelan grocery stores, as are staple food items such as sugar, milk and cooking oil. The socialist government claims that
Yanira Maldonado found herself living a real-life nightmare. Mexican authorities arrested the American woman on claims that they found drugs under the bus seat she was sitting on while crossing the border. Although she proclaimed her innocence, she was thrown into jail on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico.. Maldonado was finally released last Thursday and returned to her suburban Phoenix home on Friday, a day after a judge in Nogales, Mexico, dismissed drug smuggling charges. The judge determined she was no longer a suspect, after analyzing a video that showed Maldonado and her husband, Gary, getting on the bus with just a purse, blankets, and bottles of water. “What happened to me can happen to anyone,” she said on Friday of her weeklong detention. Maldonado arrived home on Friday afternoon to be reunited with their seven children. She’s considered quite lucky since many other individuals in similar situations don’t get released for months and sometimes even years. The young mother was born in Mexico but is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Maldonado said she doesn’t blame her home country but Mexican authorities need to do a better job of arresting the actual drug smugglers “and not people who are innocent like me.” Traveling to Mexico can be quite dangerous. In fact, the U.S. State Department has a lengthy list of warnings about travel in Mexico. Kidnappings for ransom and cartel violence are common amongst travelers. The site also warns about getting caught up in drug smuggling, either by being used as a “blind mule” who doesn’t know drugs have been put in their car or luggage, or by being strong-armed by smugglers who threaten harm if a person doesn’t agree to transfer the drugs. Maldonado claims to have been caught up in a shakedown by Mexican police who were seeking a bribe. Her husband said police sought $5,000 to let her go. The incident has not been confirmed. An Arizona sheriff who has spent more than 40 years along the Mexican border said Maldonado’s case could very well be a shakedown. “They’ve got some good, courageous law enforcement officers in Mexico,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. “Coupled with that, you’ve got really corrupt ones too. And that goes at all levels.”
11 Kidnapped in Mexico As mentioned in a previous article, traveling to Mexico can be fairly dangerous. The U.S. State Department has a long set of warnings about travel to Mexico. Eleven young people were brazenly kidnapped on May 26 from a bar in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa. This district is known to usually be a calm neighborhood lined with offices, restaurants, and shops. The Associated Press has confirmed the names of most of the kidnapped, with the help of relatives. Their ages ranged from 16 to 34. Three of them were street vendors. One of them, Jennifer Robles Gonzalez, 23, was a single mother of a sixyear-old boy. Unfortunately crimes like this are all too common in the country. Many kidnapped are held for ransom or sold to the highest bidder.
Millionaire Households Around the World
lars or more in assets as a percentage of all households in the country. 15. The Netherlands: 2.6 percent of households in the country are millionaires 14. Japan: 2.6 percent of households in the country are millionaires 13. Canada: 2.8 percent of households in the country are millionaires 12. Belgium: 3.2 percent of households in the country are millionaires 11. Oman: 3.3 percent of households in the country are millionaires 10. Israel 3.8 percent of households in the country are millionaires 9. United Arab Emirates: 4.0 percent of households in the country are millionaires 8. Taiwan: 4.0 percent of households in the country are millionaires 7. Bahrain: 4.9 percent of households in the country are millionaires 6. United States: 4.9 percent of households in the country are millionaires 5. Singapore: 8.2 percent of households in the country are millionaires 4. Hong Kong: 9.4 percent of households in the country are millionaires 3. Kuwait: 11.5 percent of households in the country are millionaires 2. Switzerland: 11.6 percent of households in the country are millionaires 1. Qatar: 14.3 percent of households in the country are millionaires
Israel Netanyahu Prepares for War
According to a report just released by The Boston Consulting Group, the rich are getting richer. The report, “Maintaining Momentum in a Complex World: Global Wealth 2013,” shows that global household wealth grew by 7.8% in 2012, to $135.5 trillion. That’s after a 3.6% increase in 2011 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The greatest growth was in the Asia-Pacific region, where private wealth rose 13.8% in 2012, to $28 trillion. Wealth in Latin America grew 10.5%, to $3.9 trillion. The Middle East and Africa rose 9.1%, to $4.8 trillion. North America had a 7.8% increase, to $43 trillion while Western Europe rose only 5.2% to $35.8 trillion. You’re probably wondering where all the millionaires and their money are hanging out. Below are the top 15 countries ranked by households with a million dol-
In wake of the escalation of chemical weapons being used throughout the region, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took action this past week. Netanyahu has ordered the defense establishment to urgently get gas masks and protective kits into the hands of all Israelis. Currently, only an estimated 42 percent of Israelis have up-to-date gas masks and protective kits. Budgetary constraints in recent years prevented both the manufacturing and distribution of enough masks to protect the entire population. With the probability of an unconventional attack
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Arizona Mom Released from Mexican Prison
The Maldonados were traveling home after attending her aunt’s funeral in the city of Los Mochis, Mexico. After her release, Yanira gave thanks to the media for bringing her case to the public’s attention. She said that helped contribute to her release.
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for smoking in bars, public transport hubs, and even on airplanes.
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on Israel increasing significantly in the past year and with the recent proven use of chemical weapons in Syria, distributing gas masks to all Israelis has become more than just a “feel-good” measure. The considerable cost of fulfilling Netanyahu’s order will likely be covered by an increase in the national insurance every Israeli pays, though few are expected to complain over this particular tax boost.
GPS App Turns Down $1B Offer
Many of us use it, but until now may not have known where it came from. Israeli start-up Waze, which provides a real-time navigation and traffic report app for smartphones, is reportedly set to turn down a $1 billion acquisition bid by Facebook in order to keep its team in Israel.
With the improved GPS capabilities of newer smartphones like the iPhone and various Android handsets, Waze has seen a huge increase in usage in recent years, and today has an estimated user base of 48 million worldwide. The company competes directly with the “Maps” applications provided by Google and Apple, at least when it comes to traffic and road navigation. Most users say that in these situations, Waze manages to far outdo both of the technology giants. That’s what makes Waze a natural acquisition for Facebook, which competes with both Google and Apple on many fronts, but has yet to jump into the GPS-based navigation game. But, according to American technology website “AllThingsD,” talks between the two companies are breaking down. Despite a massive potential payday for the Israeli start-up, the Waze team has reportedly made keeping the bulk of their operations in Israel a red line, while Facebook is presumably insisting that Waze move to its headquarters in California. Accurate or not, this news is being met with a fair amount of national pride in Israel, where innovative start-ups spring up all the time, but almost always accept a foreign buy-out when it is offered.
Russia Selling Deadly Warfare to Syria Russia’s deal to sell advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria endangers Israel’s security. Speaking at a news conference with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria is “not helpful” for efforts to convene a peace conference. The comments came ahead of a preparatory meeting in Geneva next week on a U.S.-Russian bid for talks to end Syria’s two-year-old civil war. “In Geneva, we will test who is serious. Are Russians serious about pushing for that? I believe they are. President Putin said they are, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said it,” Kerry said. “Now, it is not helpful to have the S-300 transferred to the region while you are trying to organize this peace and create peace,” he added. “It is not helpful to have a lot of other ammunition and other supplies overtly going in not just from the Russians – and they are supplying that kind of thing – but also from the Iranians and Hezbollah,” said Kerry. He emphasized that the delivery would have a “profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region, and it does put Israel at risk.” “And it is not, in our judgment, responsible because of the size of the weapon, the nature of the weapon and what it does to the region in terms of Israel’s security,” Kerry added. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Russian leader Vladimir Putin two weeks ago, in an effort to forestall the transfer of the missiles to Syria. In recent days, there have been reports that the transfer of the advanced systems would not be carried out. However, despite what was reported last week, Moscow said this week that it still plans to deliver the S-300 to Damascus, explaining the deliveries were part of existing contracts. Sources in Moscow said that the S-300s that Russia has promised Syria would be delivered by 2014.
Lots of “Bills” For Bill’s Speech in Israel The Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet Leyisrael) will pay former U.S. President Bill Clinton $500,000 in return for his coming to Israel to give a speech at a gala evening in Rehovot and at a JNF event. He will also take part in the President’s Conference, where celebrities from around the globe will honor President Shimon Peres. The money will reportedly go to the Bill Clinton Foundation.
The gala evening will be held June 17 and will mark Peres’s 90th birthday. It will be held at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot, one of the few institutions in Israel that are named for living dignitaries. JNF hopes to improve the organization’s image abroad by bringing Clinton to speak about it in Israel and to have Clinton meet with its largest donors, thus bolstering donations. The Peres Center is not linked to Peres formally but its director, Ofra Elul, is the wife of former Labor MK Rafi Elul, one the politicians closest to Peres. Former Meretz minister Yossi Sarid said on Friday that each of the people invited to the event at the Peres Center was asked to contribute 3,000 shekels for students from low income backgrounds. Peres’s office reportedly did not know that the event would be used for fundraising, and said Peres may have to pull out of the event if this is the case. Clinton will be honored in Israel later this month, receiving the President Award from Peres on June 19.
Smokers Fined on No Tobacco Day
It seems hard to go anywhere in Israel without having to walk through billows of cigarette smoke but the country is taking a more proactive stand this year in deterring smoking and improving the health of its citizens. World No Tobacco Day is coming, and the Israeli Health Ministry has asked local authorities to be especially rigorous and active in handing out fines to smokers in public places. The event, marked around the globe since 1987, is aimed at increasing awareness of the deadliness of tobacco.
On Sunday, June 2, a ten-year-old Palestinian child received the gift of life. The young boy who suffered from renal disease received a kidney transplant at the Schneider Children’s Hospital. The boy had been undergoing dialysis and had been waiting for a kidney transplant for years. He is recovering in the ICU and is in stable condition. The transplant operation was carried out by a Schneider team headed by Professor Eitan Mor and which included all Jewish doctors: Dr. Sigal Eisner, Dr. Omer Gogia and anesthesiologist Dr. Meshulam Behar. The donor was Jewish as well. The father of the child said that he had no words to thank the Jewish donor’s family and he was forever grateful to them for renewing his son’s life.
NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg Dies at 89 On Monday, the five-term United States senator of New Jersey died at the age of 89. Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat, was the last surviving veteran of World War II and the oldest member in the Senate. The son of Jewish immigrants, the senator was passionate about the issues he cared out and advocated for many reforms throughout the years. His vacant seat will now be filled by someone, presumably a Republican, appointed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, someone who Lautenberg famously sparred with in recent years.
The politician was a wealthy businessman before he took office. He credited his drive in business to his roots. Lautenberg was born in Paterson, New Jersey, to Sam and Mollie Lautenberg, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia. Sam struggled to make a living for his family and after several failed attempts at setting up a small business, he returned to work in the town’s silk mills. In 2002, Lautenberg told a reporter that his father took him to one of the silk mills and told him to look around. “I was 12 years old,” Lautenberg recalled. “He hated working in the shop and the factory. He said, ‘You see how dark it is in here? Do you hear the noise? Do you see how filthy it is?’ And he took my hand and he rubbed it along the silk fibers … and it left a film. And he said, ‘You must get an education. You must never work like this.’” He told another reporter at another time, “It must have sunk in because I did get an education. I didn’t want to work and struggle like he did.” The senator served in the army during World War II and then attended Columbia University. After college, he joined with two friends to develop the payroll services company, Automatic Data Processing, now known as ADP. Already a wealthy
Lautenberg served three terms and then retired. But the active politician regretted that decision, and when Senator Robert G. Torricelli decided at the last minute not to seek reelection in 2002, Lautenberg took his place and won the election. He was reelected in 2008. During his tenure, the senator fought the alcohol and tobacco industries. He pushed to establish the national drinking age of 21 and argued that the change would save lives by ending a “crazy quilt of drinking ages in neighboring states and prevent teenagers from driving over “blood borders” for alcohol and then drive home under the influence. In 1989, Lautenberg fought to ban smoking on all commercial airline flights. The senator was a former smoker who smoked two packs a day. (Interestingly, his mother was also a smoker.) He also pursued legislation that prohibited smoking in federal buildings. The senator was an advocate for passenger railroads Amtrak and indeed a New Jersey Transit station is named in his honor. Lautenberg was a strong backer of motorcycle helmet laws. He kept a broken helmet in his office to show to visitors. Mark V. Rosenker, who led the National Transportation Safety Board from 2003 to 2009, explained, “He was skiing and he hit a tree or a rock or something, and that thing broke open like an egg, and it saved his life.” Lautenberg never considered his age to be an impediment to action. When he was 84-years-old, he once said, “People don’t give a darn about my age. They know I’m vigorous. They know I’ve got plenty of energy.” And indeed, he used his energy to advocate for the American people.
Supreme Court Says DNA is A-OK
In a decision reached on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples from those ar-
rested but not convicted of a crime. The justices agreed that a DNA sample taken through a cheek swab is equivalent to the 21st century version of fingerprinting. The ruling was tight—five to four. Justice Scalia, who is generally a conservative, joined three of the court’s more liberal members in dissenting the decision. There have been other decisions where Justice Scalia has joined more liberal members to fight for greater privacy rights. The five justices in the majority ruled that DNA sampling does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches. The sample can only be taken after an arrest while the suspect is in custody at the station for a serious offense. The justices noted that a cheek swab does constitute a search under law, but only requires a “light touch” and no surgical intrusion. Twenty-eight states and the federal government take DNA swabs from people under arrest before they can be tried. The case was presented to the court from an arrest of a 26-year-old Maryland man, Alonzo King, who was charged in a second-degree assault in 2009. When his DNA was run through a database, it was matched to an unsolved crime six years earlier. King was then convicted of the violent crime and sentenced to life in prison. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor for the 2009 assault. But later, the Maryland Court of Appeals overturned his conviction on the grounds that the DNA sample was considered an unreasonable search.
IRS Spend $50M on Conferences
Apparently, when the IRS wants to party, they like to do it right. According to recent information released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the IRS spent about $50 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012. There were 220 conferences in all; one conference in August 2010 in Anaheim, California, costs $4 million for 2,600 people. Instead of trying to negotiate lower room rates, as all fiscally responsible people do, the event planners focused on receiving perks such as presidential suites for the attendees. 15 speak-
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Palestinian Boy Receives Kidney
man, he then was elected to the Senate in 1982 at the age of 58. When asked why he would be entering politics at this age when he had been contributing to the campaigns of liberals in the past, Lautenberg retorted, “If I’m willing to support them, why shouldn’t I support myself?”
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Inspectors will visit hospitals, swimming pools, bus and train stations, government offices, wedding halls and other spots to catch smokers in the act. Not only will smokers themselves be fined, but also owners of premises where the violations are carried out, as owners are by law responsible for enforcing the laws or reporting violators to the municipalities and local authorities. According to the 2012 Smoking Report delivered by Health Minister Yael German on Monday, only 2,500 smoking fines were handed out that year all over the country, even though the municipalities have many hundreds of multipurpose inspectors. Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu asked the municipalities to send in written reports by next week reporting how many fines they handed out and where. Nevertheless, the ministry has not financed any new public service announcements on TV or radio in honor of the occasion, claiming that it lacks the funds, and German did not hold the traditional No Tobacco Day press conference, but only appeared with the report in the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee. The Israel Cancer Association (ICA) is sending messages to thousands of young people about to take driving tests stating that smoking while driving – and at all – is deadly. Leaflets stating, “A cigarette kills you in many ways” will be distributed. They explain that smoking while driving not only distracts drivers and can burn the upholstery, but also poisons passengers through secondhand smoke in a closed space.
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ers at the event received $135,000. “The IRS is an agency in crisis,” House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a news release. “The American people expect that their tax-dollars will be used responsibly and not for financing lavish hotel suites and entertainment for government employees.” The conference report is the latest trouble for the IRS, following the May 14 release of a TIGTA report detailing the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status and the subsequent resignation of then-acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller. The new acting commissioner, Danny Werfel, said on Monday that he’s looking at the “broad spectrum” of the agency’s activities in an effort to restore public confidence, and he promised “absolute transparency” in what he finds. To help in this endeavor, Werfel said he appointed two career IRS officials, Ken Corbin and Michael Julianelle, to oversee the unit that improperly targeted Tea Party groups for additional scrutiny. Werfel also told lawmakers that he’s already come to an “inescapable” conclusion: The targeting of those groups was inappropriate, and there was a “fundamental failure” by IRS management to prevent the affair and to halt it once it was discovered. J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, issued a report last month that revealed that IRS staff singled out groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot” or “9/12” in their names, sending their applications for tax-exempt status into limbo for more than a year. Werfel testified that there are still 132 “potentially political” groups backlogged for at least 120 days — and some for as long as 500 days. “This is unprecedented, Congressman,” George told Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. “During the Nixon administration, there were attempts to misuse the Internal Revenue Service in manners that might be comparable.” George said he’s also looking into whether the agency issued improper bonuses to employees.
Texas Man Linked to Ricin Letters Nathan Richardson, was unmasked as the Texas man being grilled in connection with the ricin-laced letters mailed to President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg. Richardson, an Army veteran who works at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, has been described as a person of interest by the FBI but has not been charged with a crime. Agents, including a hazardous waste response team, have been searching the sprawling spread the Richardsons share with their five sons since
Thursday. “They’ve only lived there about a year,” said neighbor Ruth Fields. “I don’t really know them, but this is pretty disturbing.” In New York, a defiant Mayor Bloomberg said he’s got more to fear from Mother Nature than any gun nut firing off ricin-laced letters. “I have more danger from lightning than anything else,” Bloomberg said. “And I’ll go about my business, and we’re certainly going to keep working on getting guns off the streets, out of the hands of criminals and people with mental problems.”
A McCain spokesman said that no one who met with McCain identified themselves by either of those names. “In coordination with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Senator John McCain traveled to and from Syria with General Salim Idris, the chief of staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian opposition, to meet with two senior Free Syrian Army commanders,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “None of the individuals the senator planned to meet with was named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim. A number of other Syrian commanders joined the meeting, but none of them identified himself as Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim.” Rogers said that if the man in the photo turns out to actually be Mohamed Nour that is “regrettable.”
also included the shooting of an 18-yearold man, three women and several others. The high level of violence in the month of May came shortly after the Chicago Police Department announced that crime in the city fell 8 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same period last year, and 15 percent from the same period of 2011. Chicago’s murder rate is widely considered to be fueled by the drug wars that are fought between the city’s networks of gangs. The homicide rate has been largely confined to the city’s south and west areas, African-American bastions of Chicago. ”Hopefully, this should be a reminder that the citizens of the city have not been able to get things under control,” said Damon Stewart, an attorney and activist who works with youth in Chicago. “If you really want to protect a child, families and communities have a role,” said Stewart, who is working with the Pendleton family on a foundation to honor their daughter. “And we have to be even more involved.”
“Knaidel” Wins It! The letters sent to Obama, Bloomberg, and Hizzoner’s Washington-based anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns were postmarked May 20 from Shreveport, Louisiana, which also handles mail from parts of Texas and Arkansas. The presence of ricin was confirmed in the letters containing an oily pinkish-orange substance. The feds still haven’t said whether Obama’s letter was also laced with the poison. Meanwhile, the FBI has arrested another alleged ricin-letter sender—a Spokane, Washington, man named Matthew Ryan Buquet—for targeting Obama, the CIA, a local judge, a nearby Air Force Base, and his local post office. Buquet, 38, was arrested on May 22 and pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to mailing a threatening communication charge. Investigators said Buquet’s case and the Richardson case are not connected.
McCain Denies Posing with Kidnappers Senator John McCain’s office is pushing back against reports that while visiting Syria this week he posed in a photo with rebels who kidnapped eleven Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims. The photo, released by McCain’s office, shows McCain with a group of rebels. Among them are two men identified as Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, two of the kidnappers of the group from Lebanon.
Rogers also suggested that the story had been slanted by pro-Assad forces: “It’s not surprising that the pro-Hezbollah forces supporting the Assad regime who originally promoted this distortion would seek to smear anything and anyone supporting the Syrian opposition.”
Crime Blows Through in the Windy City
The level of gun violence in Chicago has caused shockwaves nationally in recent months. The crime wave continued this week with eight people having been shot in the nation’s third largest city in a 24-hour period, including one that ended with the death of a 15-year-old boy. Chicago police said that the teenager, Patrick Sykes, was shot several times in the early afternoon. They said that witnesses offered conflicting versions of what occurred, with the shooters having been either on bicycles or on foot. Two people were taken into custody for questioning, but were released without any charges being filed. The 24-hour period of gun violence
As the confetti rained down after he won the 86th Scripps Spelling Bee, Arvind Mahankali, 13, was calm. “It hadn’t completely registered yet that I had won so I didn’t really appreciate the magnitude of what had just happened,” Mahankali recalled. In an ending any Jewish grandmother would be proud of, the teen from Queens, N.Y., took home the title by spelling the word “knaidel.” The Yiddish word has German origins and Arvind was not about to be knocked out of the bee again on that account. In the last two Scripps Spelling Bees, Mahankali had placed third after being eliminated by words with a German origin. “This year I decided that no matter what, I wouldn’t be eliminated on a German word so I decided to improve my skills with German,’’ he said. “So first I studied German language spelling patterns, and then I created a list of German words with help from my father, and then I had my mother quiz me on that list.” Mahankali is the first boy to win since 2008, and he brought home $30,000 in cash and prizes as well as the coveted cup-shaped trophy. He didn’t blink when
In a nation with many states on the verge of bankruptcy, Texas is thriving. It dominated the recession, crushed the recovery, and in a new analysis of jobs recovered since the downturn, its largest city stands apart as the most powerful job engine in the country – by far. The ten largest metros have recovered 98 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, on average. But Houston, the first major city to regain all the jobs lost in the downturn, has now added more than two jobs for every one it lost after the crash. So, how come? There’s the abundant land and famously favorable business climate (although let’s not dwell on the actual climate). With its proximity to oil and Mexico, Houston is blessed by topography and geography. But the secret sauce of the city’s success might be something else: history – and an ability to learn from past mistakes. The recession in Texas was relatively mild, partly thanks to mistakes learned by the region’s real estate and energy industries, said Patrick Jankowski, an economist and vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. Texas “won” the recession because of the jobs it’s created, but also because of the jobs it’s hoarded – particularly in energy. The Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 quadrupled oil prices in just three months, sparking a drilling boom that at one point accounted for half of all jobs in Houston’s export sectors. But when oil prices collapsed in 1982, oil and mining jobs fell by 57 percent. “By the time Houston’s economy hit bottom in January ‘87,” Jankowski said in an email, “the region had 221,900 fewer jobs than it had five years earlier.” But the energy industry avoided a dramatic boom/bust cycle this time around. “The region lost one in 22 jobs this recession versus one in seven jobs during the recession of the ‘80s,” he said. Why were layoffs so mild? One reason is that Houston’s energy sector is remarkably old – the average age is over 50 – and companies were nervous about laying off too many veteran workers before they had time to pass their skills down to
Ice Floods Alaskan Town A massive “ice jam” on the Yukon River has caused flooding in the town of Galena, Alaska, forcing residents to flee their homes. The flooding has lifted homes off their foundations and is currently straining at the dike protecting the community’s small airport.
The Alaska National Guard airlifted 32 people and 19 dogs to the safety of Fairbanks on Tuesday night, 270 miles east of Galena. Other residents evacuated sooner. Kevin Ray, 65, moved to Galena four months ago and was among the people flown to safety aboard the Guard’s C-130 cargo plane on Tuesday. He told reporters that all of his possessions, his office and apartment are underwater thanks to the flooding. “So basically, I’m kind of a homeless guy,” he said by phone from a Red Cross shelter in Fairbanks. “I never thought I’d be a victim. But hey, life is life.” The 30-mile stretch of ice and debris blocking the Yukon is expected to melt slowly over the next few days as temperatures reach the 80s. When the river breaks through the jam, the community of Koyukuk, located downriver, will be vulnerable to flooding. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plum. “And I don’t think these people here [have] either. The ice jam is amazing.” Reconnaissance flights over the jam say that the river is slowly chewing away at the ice. The flooding began on Sunday with waters steadily rising. Power, fresh water, cellphone service and road accessibility have all been disrupted by the flood.
Fire Aboard Cruise Liner For the second time this year, a fire at sea has halted a cruise ship’s voyage. This time, a blaze broke out aboard Royal
Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas, and the ship’s 2,200 passengers were expected back in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon after being flown on charter flights from the Bahamas. The fire began at 2:50 a.m. on Monday and was extinguished about two hours later, with no injuries reported. A cause was not immediately known, and Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in an email that she had no updates on what happened or where repairs might take place.
Photos show a substantial area of the stern burned on several decks of the ship the length of about three football fields. The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board planned to investigate. The ship, which left Baltimore on Friday for a seven-night cruise, was headed originally to CocoCay, Bahamas. Royal Caribbean said the ship never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, on Monday afternoon. All guests and 796 crew were safe and accounted for. Martinez said in an email that the company was arranging 11 charter flights. The company also said passengers will get a full refund of their fare and a certificate for a future cruise. Time to think of another way to spend your vacation.
Bike Program Rolls Out The nation’s biggest bicycle-sharing program got rolling this week, as thousands of New Yorkers got their first chance to ride a network billed as a new form of public transit in a city known for it. Suraf Asgedom pedaled along a lower Manhattan street on one of the royal blue, quick-rental bikes, and headed for a gourmet supermarket that’s usually a 25-minute walk from his apartment. The medical executive doesn’t own a bicycle because it’s a hassle to haul one downstairs, find a place to lock it up on the street and worry about it, he said. “This just makes it much more convenient,” said Asgedom, 39, who plans to use the bike system to get to work at a downtown hospital. The privately financed program — called Citi Bike, after lead sponsor Citigroup Inc. — kicked off with 6,000 bikes at more than 300 stations. Plans call for expanding it to 10,000 bikes docked at
600 places in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Riders now can unlock the threegear, cruising-style bikes from any station, take them for 45-minute rides and return them to any rack. “We now have an entirely new transportation network without spending any taxpayer money,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference. One of more than 500 bike-sharing systems around the world, New York’s is the biggest in the United States. Fifteen thousand people already have signed up for New York’s program, city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn said. While many New Yorkers already do without cars, Bloomberg’s administration has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and promoted cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to driving. Officials see bike sharing as a big next step.
The bike-sharing rollout has hit some bumps. The launch was delayed because of problems including damage from Superstorm Sandy, and a woman made off with one of the bicycles Sunday evening as workers unloaded them at a Manhattan station, police said. Bloomberg said the bike was recovered. Police were looking for a suspect. Some residents are incensed about the bike stations, saying the racks block entrances to their buildings or take up park space for a profit-making program. The city intends to split any proceeds with NYC Bike Share LLC, a company running the program. Citigroup is paying $41 million to sponsor it. MasterCard is paying an additional $6.5 million. Some racks have been shortened or moved, including one in front of a Greenwich Village apartment house where owners sued the city over it. Some of the rack was removed last week to create a gap in front of the main door. Officials say they held 400 community meetings to decide where to put the racks. And Bloomberg noted that New Yorkers have long had to work around parked cars and other curbside obstacles. “We have a busy city,” he said, and “we like that. That’s good.” Citi Bike subscribers pay a $95 annual fee for unlimited rides of 45 minutes. Starting June 2, riders also will be able
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Lone-Star State is Booming
the younger generation. Houston’s energy demographics “helped to moderate energy industry job losses,” leading to fewer job losses overall.
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challenged with words like “glossophagine,” “trichocercous,” “thonnier” and “chalumeau.” He was one of eleven young finalists in the event at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center outside Washington who made it to the end from a pool of 281 contestants. Mahankali also overcame a new hurdle introduced this year by contest organizers. A computerized test including vocabulary questions was added to deepen the contestants’ knowledge of the English language.
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to buy a 24-hour pass for about $10 and a seven-day pass for $25; both allow for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips. The usage time is logged when a bicycle is returned to a dock, with additional charges if the bikes have been out past the allotted time.
Luxury Hotels to Cut Room Service
One of the luxuries of staying in an upscale hotel is the room service. Need a coffee? Coming right up… But the days of delivery could be numbered for all of us. A big name hotel in New York City is eliminating the service due to economic troubles. The city’s largest hotel, the New York Hilton Midtown, will now offer an alternative “Herb n’ Kitchen” with “on the go foods” for people to pick up themselves. The cut will cause 55 people to lose their jobs. A Hilton representative said, “The staffing needs of this new concept are still being evaluated. We are committed to placing qualified employees in alternate positions within the hotel, where possible.” The changes are set to take effect later this summer. Other hotel chains are considering similar concepts. If room service is a luxury you can’t forgo, next time you book a hotel ask if room service is available.
That’s Odd Sixth Sense or Nonsense? Sometimes people are interested in possessing superpowers. Some express the desire to fly and others want to walk through walls. Still others are interested in attracting metal objects. (That was never something I wished to do, but hey, you never know!) New York City writer Dann Berg heard about the awesome power of being able to sense electromagnetic waves. So the intrepid reporter decided to get a magnet implanted into his finger. “I had a curiosity to
explore the world in a completely different way,” he explained. The procedure was extremely painful and was done by a body piercing specialist who sliced his pinkie with a scalpel and then slipped a “rare earth” magnet under the skin. There was no anesthesia since only a medical professional can administer the drug. Even before the swelling to subsided, Berg was able to pick up paper clips and safety pins with his pinkie. Gradually, his finger began to develop a “sixth sense” around any objects that gave off electromagnetic waves. “There is a half dome of vibration that surrounds the object almost like a tennis ball cut in half,” he said. “The vibrations vary in strength depending on where I hold my finger and it’s almost like the finger itself is vibrating against an invisible field of energy.”
dough and then served with mustard. And if you’re looking for something cool to eat while at the Kansas State Fair, take a pickle pop out of the freezer. These “freeze pops” are made of briny pickle juice and are just the answer for your sour craving.
If snakes are your thing, visitors to the California Exposition and State Fair may want to sample the grilled python kebabs that “taste like chicken” and are seasoned with lemon-pepper. And for dessert, deep fried jelly beans are a favorite at the Big E in Massachusetts. I think I’ll just stay home and eat my meatballs and spaghetti for supper tonight. It seems a little safer. Sometimes, the magnet pulls to one side inside his pinkie and sits on the edge. That could be uncomfortable, Berg admitted. But so far, all is good with his superpower. He has not demagnetized any credit cards or set off any alarms. And dangling small magnetic objects from his pinkie is surely a great way to impress your date.
Craziest Fair Foods: Snakes on a Stick If you’re bored with the same, old dinner menu every night at home, perhaps it is time to head out to some fairs around the U.S. and sample the crazy things that people are eating around the country. You’ll be begging for chicken and potatoes when you head back home. In Arizona, fairgoers were treated to caramel apples dipped in mealworms in 2011 along with deep-fried crickets. Yum! In Tampa, Florida, a cheeseburger topped with deep-fried ice cream had one woman laud it as a “milk shake burger.” Speaking of ice cream and meat, in Indiana, the Indiana Beef Cattle Association disguised its beef in the form of an ice cream sundae, calling it the Hot Beef Sundae. Mashed potatoes formed the “ice cream” along with marinated beef, gravy, “sprinkles” of grated cheese and a cherry (tomato) on top. Think we can deep-fry anything as long as it’s solid? Think again. At the Texas State Fair, beer was deep-fried in pretzel
A Marriage Blooms after 63 Years Last week, Cynthia Riggs, 81, married Howard Attebery, 90, in Martha’s Vineyard. That in itself is noteworthy, but their story is even more intriguing when you hear about how they met.
was powerful. “I have never stopped loving you.” So she set out to find her longlost friend. It wasn’t easy. The return address was written in code as well—in latitude and longitude—but Howard mistakenly wrote the wrong coordinates. After several failed attempts to find Howard, Cynthia reached out to him through the California Dental Association, as she knew he had gotten a dental degree. She wrote him a letter and he responded with a postcard. The sweet back-and-forth written correspondence went on for nearly a year. They learned more about each other and about the experiences they had over the many years they were out of touch. Howard mentioned that he wanted to send Cynthia something special: a manganese nodule, which is a rock formation found at the bottom of deep seas. Interestingly, Cynthia says, “No individuals own these things that I know of,” she said. “But the funny thing is, I have a sack full of them.” Clearly it was meant to be. He also sent her various seed packets for her garden. The first letter of each flower or vegetable spelled out the words, “H loves C.” Finally, Howard sent a train fare to Cynthia to join him in California. “The last time he saw me I was 18,” Cynthia said with trepidation. “And I’m 81.” But she needn’t have worried. Within an hour of meeting, he had proposed to her. The story ends (or begins) on Sunday when 150 people gathered on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate their marriage. Asked about the beautiful, blooming relationship, Howard says, “There’s that word grand that you don’t hear so much anymore,” he said about the whole experience. “Well, this is grand for me.”
Ebay’s Selling Death
63 years ago, Cynthia and Howard worked side by side at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Together they counted plankton and wrote each other notes written in a simple code known only to them. Since then, the two had married other people, had children and then were either divorced or widowed. Essentially, they led separate lives—until last year. Cynthia, who’s a prolific mystery novelist, received a short but revealing note written in code last year. She immediately knew who the sender was and the message
People have sold interesting things on eBay including ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak (how would they do that?), an “awkward date with a weird guy,” an old pair of men’s ski socks (starting at $6 million), and a vampire transformation spell. But this week, a posting on eBay was not for the faint of heart. The state Office of Mental Health is selling a morgue refrigerator on eBay. It was used at a Manhattan psychiatric ward and according to the Post, it is “used” but “in good condi-
A South Florida man has reached a rare milestone. He has donated 100 gallons of blood throughout his life. The Palm Beach Post reports that 84-year-old Harold Mendenhall started giving blood on July 7, 1977, more than 35 years ago. Last month, he logged his 100th gallon. Mendenhall started donating blood when his wife, Frankie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she died seven years later, Mendenhall says he was distraught. He stopped by the blood bank on his way home from work one day searching for comfort. He found that this act of kindness helped him cope just a little bit and shortly thereafter he was donating six gallons a year. He donates platelets rather than whole blood, which means he can give two pints per donation instead of one and can give every two weeks instead of eight weeks. Mendenhall says giving blood helped him deal with the deep pain of losing his wife and, later, two sons. I guess you can call him the platelet philanthropist.
Reddit user RyMiDo stumbled upon a collection of loose change his father accumulated for more than 30 years and decided to wrap the coins. After seeing images of the haul on Reddit, a commenter asked if any of the $640 worth of quarters were from before 1965. “Yup,” RyMiDo replied. “They were all pre-1965.” Well, if the coins are in fact all pre1965 then his stack of quarters are worth thousands. $10,000-$12,000, in fact. Typically, collectors typically pay $4 to $5 for each pre-1965 quarter.
Pilot Celebrates 90th Birthday Crossing Border 90 Consecutive Times John Lawton is celebrating his 90th birthday, but not with a traditional party. He will attempt to make 90 flying passages across the U.S.-Canadian border in his Cessna 172. The senior has been a pilot for 56 years. “Somehow, I got a wild idea that I needed to do something different for my birthday,” said Lawton. He decided to set his sights on a watery stretch of the northern border in the Niagara River, north of Buffalo. The spot gives him a good view of the border, he explained. It’s also near a location that is meaningful to Lawton. On a dark and snowy flight home from a December 1956 business meeting in Syracuse, Lawton had “the closest call” of his flying career just near that location. It miraculously ended with an unannounced landing at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which had been closed amid an 11-inch snowfall.
Brenda, his non-pilot daughter, will be going along for the ride. Lawton’s son, a pilot, will stay on the ground so no one can
Upon arriving in their hotel room the curious 10-year-old began opening all the drawers, and announced, “I found money!” Stuck at the bottom of one of the drawers were mounds of bills. The stack of bills totaled $10,000. “We didn’t know what to do at first,” Cody said.
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Florida Man Donates 100 Gallons of Blood
These Quarters are Worth Thousands
question who was really at the controls. “I’ve been working on it and am trying to perfect the flying technique to do it,” Lawton said by phone from his Westfield Township, Ohio, home. He has made practice runs over a roadway to get a feel for the turns and timing. In 2007, he received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, given for 50 years of safe flights. Flying high at 90. I wonder what he’ll do for his 100th!
Karate in the Air
Ernie Torres, a skydiving instructor, a black belt in karate, and member of the U.S. Navy, set a world record last week. “It really was one of the greatest adrenaline rushes of my life,” the fearless adventurer said. “As if throwing myself from an airplane and falling towards the Earth at terminal velocity wasn’t exciting enough, I thought I’d throw a little karate in the mix and try to smash a world record while I was at it.” And so he did. After jumping from the plane, Torres broke 12 pine boards in what he called the Blackbelt Skydive. Don’t think that Torres was the only person to have performed karate chops midair. The previous record was held by Jason David Frank, who broke seven sets in the air in January. Torres and hi group of skydivers from Skydive Arizona jumped at 16,000 feet and deployed parachutes at 4,000 feet, giving Torres 70 seconds of free fall in which to break as many boards as possible. All the skydivers landed safely and Torres achieved his goal of most boards broken in a free fall. Ha-ya!
10-Year-Old Finds $10K Tyler Schaefer is just 10-years-old but has the mind of a detective. The boy was with his father, Cody Schaefer, at a hotel near a Kansas City Airport when he found $10,000 in cash. Tyler discovered the bills neatly stacked in one of the drawers in the hotel room. Cody Schaefer, Tyler’s father, says Tyler, a Cub Scout, is always on the lookout for clues and treasure. “He looks for stuff at random,” Schaefer said of his son. “He’s very observant.”
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tion.” The ad lists the stainless appliance, equipped with four doors for body storage, as having “signs of cosmetic wear” but being “fully operational.” It is a tremendous freezer, standing 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, it could fit more than 2,000 12-ounce cans of soda. If you have the cash, a place to store it, and a truck to transport the freezer it can be yours. “Buyer must dismantle unit to remove from room,” the ad states. The buyer, the ad notes, is responsible for cleaning it. “The potential buyer is strongly encouraged to inspect item prior to bidding.” The item is listed as a Norlake Scientific 4 Drawer Morgue Refrigerator with compressor on top. The bidding was at $2,000.10 with 70 bids as of Monday. A spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services, which sells unwanted government goodies, admits she’s never seen anyone sell a morgue fridge. “Every once in a while, we get an unusual item — and this would be that,” said spokeswoman Heather Groll. She added there are no regulations for the buyer. It can be bought by any individual or agency and no background checks are required. This would make a morbid birthday gift.
The police were contacted and it was unclear how long the cash was lying there. According to a Missouri statute, lost money could revert to a finder after about seven months if no one can prove ownership. But the owner then has another year to prove the money is his or hers and claim it from the finder. “I didn’t come there with $10,000 and I didn’t leave with $10,000,” Cody Schaefer said. “So it was a wash.” Clearly, the hotel’s cleaning crew is not doing a thorough job.
Oldest Living Man Turns 116
Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest known living man, celebrated his 116th birthday this past Friday. Born in 1897, Kimura is reportedly the last man still alive that was born in the 19th century, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The resident of Kyotango, Japan, is also the oldest man in verified history. Kimura is part of an elite group of seniors who have made it to their 110th birthday and beyond. Dr. Tom Perls, the director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University Medical Center, estimates there are approximately 200-300 of these “supercentenarians” in the world. “People who live to that age are incredibly homogeneous, as if they have some key genetic features in common that get them to an incredibly old age,” Perls said. Approximately 90 percent of superagers are
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women. He speculates that having two X chromosomes offers a certain amount of protection from disease and disability. “If one chromosome has some less-than-desirable aging or disease genetic variance, women seem to have the ability to choose a variant on the other chromosome that is more conducive to survival,” he explained. As for living a clean and healthy lifestyle, Perls said the research is conflicting, with one study showing approximately 20 percent of those over the age of 103 practicing truly horrendous lifelong health habits including smoking, drinking, eating junk food, and avoiding exercise. Happy sweet 116th to you, Mr. Kimura.
Woman Delivers her Twins, Resuscitates Eldest A Utah woman delivered her own twins on the side of Highway I-80 about 25 miles outside of Wendover, Utah. The brave mother also revived one of the babies who was not breathing. In a dramatic 20-minute 911 call, Lynette Hales can be heard crying over her non-breathing baby boy while a dispatcher instructed her on how to perform CPR. “My daughter told the driver that the babies were on their way, and they needed help,” Hales mother, Sharon Wyatt explained. “So they pulled to the side of the road, and the first one was born and was not breathing.” “Oh my G-d. The baby is coming out,” Hales’ friend can be heard saying to the 911 operator. “Support the head and shoulders,” the 911 operator instructed. “Tilt the head and give two puffs of air into the mouth.” Hales resuscitated the firstborn, and approximately half an hour later, the second baby was delivered by state troopers, who’d shut down a portion of the highway to assist with the birth. Hales and her two sons were taken to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. “Both of them were just
over 3 pounds, but they’re doing fine now, they’re making it,” Wyatt said. “I think my daughter did wonderful under the circumstances.” Way to go mom!
Hamptons Residents go “Glamping” East Hampton residents have an opportunity to make some serious cash this summer. As summer approaches, many families are renting out their year-round homes to vacationers and are camping out in “trailers.” “It’s a piece of paradise. That we live here [is] a blessing to me,” Montauk resident Jeanette Esposito told the media on Thursday. Esposito was referring to the Ditch Plains Trailer Park at Montauk Shores. It’s right on the coast and 200 families get to enjoy the swimming pools, beaches, and parks. Living here has been dubbed “glamping” (glamorous camping), since it’s hardly a camp-out.
Teen Awaiting Heart Transplant Attends Graduation from Hospital Bed “We don’t like to refer to them as trailers. Some people have the connotation it is rundown. I would say 90 percent of our residents live elsewhere for most of the year and they spend their summers here,” said Hugh Herbert of Montauk. Owners of Hampton homes can rent their homes for thousands and thousands of dollars. Even more modest homes are collecting $50,000 in rent for July and August while they will pay just $1,400 a
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month to lease trailer space at Montauk Shores. Hamptons realtors said the new trend makes financial sense. “We are finding a lot more homeowners are putting their houses up for rent, due to paying for college, or economic distress,” said Jacqueline Dunphy of Corcoran Group Real Estate. “We have a place in Montauk called Ditch Plains is a very trendy trailer park. The homeowners go and live in that for whatever time period they’ve rented for.” Matthew Bergman lives year-round in East Hampton but plans to rent his home for the month of August. “It’s just too much money to refuse,” Bergman said. The trailer park in Montauk is full and there’s a waiting list for interviews. Although the trailer park in Montauk has been around for more than 50 years, the people who run it are saying this is the first time they remember seeing Hamptons families moving in for the summer, perhaps reflecting difficult financial times. Hey, anyone interested in renting out my home in Lawrence for July? I’m only asking for $50K in rent for the month…
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Taylor Haberman is thankful. She is currently in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant in Gainesville, Florida. But thanks to the help of an adolescent palliative care organization, she was still able to celebrate the milestone of graduation. Through a five-camera stream, the 18-year-old from St. Johns, Florida, accepted her diploma from the principal of Bartram Trail High School in real time and saw her peers graduate on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a live video feed that broadcast the graduation to the hospital’s conference room. The entire graduating class wore hearts on their gowns to honor their classmate. “She was ecstatic. Just like any other senior, she did it,” Taylor’s mother, Kelly Haberman said. “While it was nothing like being with your own graduating class, it was the next best thing.” Taylor has been waiting to receive a heart transplant for six months at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville. The teen was born with congenital heart disease. While Taylor had several corrective surgeries as a toddler, her condition worsened around the end of her junior year in high school.
“It was coming down to the last straw of what we could actually do for her,” Haberman said. “[Being admitted] into the hospital was the last alternative.” Haberman said adjusting to hospital life was a difficult transition for her daughter, especially because she realized she would have to miss out on the pivotal events that often characterize a teenager’s high school experience. “You look forward to your senior year, that’s when all the fun is,” Haberman said. “It was a huge transition for her. She’s leaving all her friends, she’s missing everything.” For a graduation present, Taylor asked for a trip to New York City as soon as she’s out of the hospital. “At this point, it’s just a waiting game,” Haberman said. “We’re waiting for that call to come in.” We hope that you recover soon. We’d be glad to show you all the fun in the Big Apple.
Taco Bell Responds to Employee’s Facebook Photo Taco Bell is responding to a Facebook photo of an employee licking a stack of shells while on the job. The company says that the photo was most likely a prank but they are “conducting a full-scale investigation.” The photo shows a man in uniform in a Taco Bell restaurant licking a stack of about 30 taco shells. The photo was originally posted on the man’s own Facebook page but quickly went viral, popping up on many blogs and other people’s Facebook pages. A spokesman for Taco Bell, owned by Yum! Brands, said the company is investigating which store the photo was taken in. The company responded quickly, “We have strict food and handling procedures and zero tolerance for any violations,” Taco Bell says in a statement. The company insists that the franchisee — whose name and location it hasn’t revealed — did not serve the taco shells to any customers. “They were used for training only and in the process of being thrown out,” the company says. Taco Bell declined to specify whether the employees behind the photo were fired. “We will not tolerate this type of behavior, and particularly its impressions on our customers, fans, franchisees and team members.” The statement says, “We are working with the franchisee to take appropriate action against everyone involved.” So is this what really goes on behind the scenes? I’m nauseous.
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Leisure & Travel
From Sea to Shining Sea: North Carolina
arolina is the subject of many songs you’ll hear on the radio while driving down to North Carolina. You’ll hear about the beautiful beaches and the clear waves that crash into the shore. And you’ll hear about the peaceful way of life in North Carolina. But nothing can prepare you for the most wonderful vacation you’ll have sitting on its myriad beaches with a cold glass of iced tea. North Carolina is a big part of U.S. history. Did you know that the first English colony in North America was located on Roanoke Island in North Carolina and was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh? Unfortunately, the colony mysteriously vanished without a trace except for the word “Croatoan” etched into a tree. Speaking about American history, the Wright brothers made history in 1903 when they made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill. And Babe Ruth made baseball history when he hit his first homerun in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914. Who knew that that would be the first of a whopping 714 runs for the Bambino? North Carolina is important (in my eyes at least) because Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was founded in this state. And second-most important (again, in my eyes), Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern in 1898. Speaking of food, North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in America. (Pass me some pie!) In fact, students at a Wilson County school actually petitioned the North Carolina general assembly for the establishment of the sweet potato as the official state vegetable. Things You Won’t Want to Miss The Outer Banks A visit to North Carolina would be incomplete without a day or two spent at the Outer Banks, a long string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Besides for offering visitors some of the most beautiful beaches in all of the country, the Outer Banks has other attractions for those who don’t wish to spend their day in a towel on the sand. The tumultuous seas right off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these waters the name the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Indeed, there is a museum in Hatteras Village dedicated to these seas and their ill-fated ships. The Wright brothers started their famous flight at Kill Devil Hills, located on the Outer Banks. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation air-
field located there. And the English Roanoke Colony vanished from Roanoke Island in 1587. The Lost Colony, a play written to commemorate the original colonists, is the largest running outdoor drama in the United States. The Appalachian Trail Almost 300 miles of this Maine-to-Georgia slice of splendor is located in North Carolina. A hike along the Appalachian Trail is a favorite among avid hikers. The terrain differs as you continue your trek. Some areas feature some 4,000-foot gaps along with 5,000foot peaks. Other sections offer panoramic views of western North Carolina. While hiking, you’ll experience a deep feeling of remoteness in the foliage of the lush forests and flowering shrubs. Dismal Swamp State Park Don’t be scared off by its name; a trip here won’t leave you dismal and you certainly won’t be stuck in the mud while visiting here. Just a few years ago, in 2007, the great Dismal Swamp was designated a state park. In 2008, the park was opened to the public. Make sure to spend some time in this glorious gem where hundreds of butterflies fly freely and subtropical birds sing their sweet songs. The Dismal Swamp Canal is full of canoes and kayaks exploring its waters; visitors enjoy its halfmile boardwalk to the mysterious swamp. North Carolina Arboretum If you’re looking to connect with nature, this treasure of 434 acres contains 65 acres of cultivated gardens that flower and bloom with a rainbow of colors. There are also ten miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy along with one of the finest, most unique bonsai collections in the United States. If you’re planning your trip now, know that the Mountain Laurel blooms blossom at the end of May, so you’ll be in for a treat when you go there. You can even enjoy the foliage on rented Segways. Who can ask for more?
96 70 46 THE h e JJewish JEWISH e w i s hHome h o m e nn j u6,n22013 e4 ,6 ,2012 2013 june TThe HOME M AY
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few weeks ago, I bought tons of strawberries at Gourmet Glatt. They had amazing first-rate strawberries which they had recently purchased from the fresh-produce markets. (Ziggy, who runs the fruit department at Gourmet Glatt Emporium in Cedarhurst, helps me pick the best fruits.) My kids took some to school for snacks and I also served them for dessert at home. However, I still had so much left over. I just didn’t have the heart to waste them so I began surfing the internet to learn about roasting strawberries. After culling through numerous websites, I came across this recipe and after tweaking it somewhat, the results were unbelievable. My family already loves the three key ingredients individually: goat cheese, strawberries and balsamic vinegar, and they couldn’t stop raving about it! Try it out on your own family if you have the opportunity.
Roasted Strawberries and Goat Cheese Salad (adapted from closetcooking.com) Ingredients 8 oz. goat cheese or a large log of goat cheese ¼ cup panko 2 cups fresh strawberries (stemmed and halved) 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 2 handfuls romaine lettuce, cut into bitesized pieces 1 red onion, sliced thinly 1 handful honey glazed pecans 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp mustard salt and pepper to taste Preparation Freeze the goat cheese for 20 minutes then slice into discs. Press the goat cheese rounds into the panko crumbs and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the goat cheese in a preheated 425°F oven for six minutes. In mean time, toss the strawberries in the honey and balsamic vinegar to coat. Place the strawberries in a baking dish in a single layer lined with parchment paper. Roast the strawberries in the preheated 425°F oven until slightly caramelized, about 10-12 minutes. Pour the juices from the pan into a bowl and mix with the olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Assemble salad and toss to coat with the dressing. Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website,www.theaussiegourmet.com or at (516) 295-9669.
47 The Jewish Home june 6, 2013
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