The Jewish Home july 4, 2013 2
3 The Jewish Home
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july 4, 2013
The Jewish Home july 4, 2013 4
Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Dear Readers, As we and our fellow Americans celebrate the Fourth of July and American
Four Questions with Rabbi Dov Emerson Head of School at YULA Boys High School . . . . . . . .6
independence, us Jews need to be especially thankful for this great country and its
The Jewish Home of LA Summer Guide, Part 1 . . 14
freedoms. As the story of our featured article relates, we’ve come a long way. While
BDS Movement Rising on UC Campuses. . . . . . . . 22 A Profile of Chabad Russian Immigrant Program & Synagogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
once we were persecuted for carrying out even the most basic of Mitzvot, currently there are times when we’re admired for the strength of character it takes to stick to our beliefs! Like everything good though, when taken the wrong way these freedoms can
The Personification of the Paradigm On The Occasion Of One Year since the Passing Of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zt”l. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
unfortunately be used to promote hatred and discrimination, as is so clearly outlined in
we are indeed grateful for, ultimately our souls yearn for true freedom, or, in the words of
Why Belong to A Shul? By Rabbi Adir Posy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Cross Currents - Crime and Prejudice By Rabbi Avi Shafran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Humor & Entertainment
the other featured article. Perhaps it’s a reminder that despite all these freedoms, which the prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah), a time when the “world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as water covers the ocean bed”. For those with kids at home who want to make this summer their best yet as a family,
Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
we’ve included a list of unique and adventurous places to take the little ones for a fun-
Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
filled day for all!
When the Messiah Comes – Cartoon. . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Serial Novel – Moon Cap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Just browse the happenings section to see how beautifully diverse the Orthodox community in LA is. Let’s keep it that way with each community bringing out its very
News Military News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
best for the rest of Klal Yisroel. A critical way to do that is, as Rabbi Posy points out so
Politics News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
clearly in his op-ed, by truly being involved with our Shuls through paying membership
Strange News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
and taking an active role. Rabbi Lipschutz reminds us the importance of Torah study
Health Bits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Financial News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
in our daily lives and the realtor column makes the argument that just because you’re
Around the World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
dealing with a relative, doesn’t mean he or she deserves any less than an outsider. So enjoy the read, laugh at the jokes, learn something you didn’t know before, and...
Israel Har Nof - More Than Just Stunning Views . . . . . . . 41
please patronize our supporters! Have a most wonderful Shabbos,
History 150 Years since the Battle of Gettysburg . . . . . . . . 42
Lifestyles Real Estate - Buying a Home with Help from Family and Friends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Travel: Oklahoma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Recipe: Havin’ Fun with Red, White and Blue . . . . 46
Shalom Shalom Rubashkin
Publisher & editor
Fitness - Summer Food: Camp Survival Guide . . . 40
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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, July 5 Parshas Matos-Ma’asei Candle lighting 7:50 Shabbos Ends 8:52 Rabbeinu Tam 9:21
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july 4, 2013
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Four Questions with Rabbi Dov Emerson Head of School at YULA Boys High School MN: Next year you will take position as the new Head of School at YULA Boys High School. Tell us a little bit about yourself; Where do you come from? What’s your background? Where did you work before coming to YULA? RDE: My name is Rabbi Dov Emerson, and I am truly thrilled to be assuming the position of Head of School at YULA Boys High School. YULA has a rich tradition as a premier Modern Orthodox Yeshiva High School in Los Angeles. In truth, I was drawn to Jewish education and communal leadership from a young age. I grew up in Memphis, TN, in a small Jewish community. My family was always very involved in Jewish communal endeavors: my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents consistently filled positions of leadership in our school, synagogues, and Jewish Federation. They showed me, through both word and deed, the importance of ‘stepping up’ and taking a leadership position, especially in the vital area of Jewish education. After my schooling in Memphis and my studies in Yeshiva in Israel, I studied at Yeshiva University, where I benefited greatly from a first rate dual-curriculum education, and strong relationships with my Rebbeim. In addition to my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, I also received a Masters degree from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Education, where I also continue to pursue my doctorate. I received semicha from Harav Ephraim Greenblatt, whom I was blessed to have as a rabbinic guide from a very young age, and a Masters degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. For the last 12 years, I have had the privilege of being part of DRS HALB Yeshiva High School for Boys in Woodmere, New York—a place with a wonderful culture of Achdut, respect, dedicated to developing strong relationships between rebbeim, teachers and talmidim. I first began working at DRS as a 9th grade Rebbe on the Judaic Studies faculty. After several years at DRS, I assumed an administrative role in addition to my teaching--first as Director of Student Programs, and then for the last 6 years as Assistant Principal. During that time, I had the privilege of enjoying a close relationship with my friend, mentor, and supervisor, Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky, Menahel of the DRS. I first met Rabbi Kaminetsky when I served as a counselor on the NCSY Summer Kollel, where I first began to appreciate the important role an educator plays in the development of young men. It has been invigorating to continue my commitment to goal by playing a role in a yeshiva that has inspired so many young men to grow as Jews. MN: What brought you to YULA? What about the school most attracted you to it?
RDE: YULA is an extraordinarily exciting place. I think that what drew me to the school professionally was that it represents a philosophy which captures my own vision of Jewish life and Jewish education life. YULA represents the ideals of Modern Orthodoxy, with a fierce and unyielding dedication to excellence in both Limudei Kodeh (Judaic Studies) and General Studies. At YULA Boys, we are training our young men to become the next generation of Orthodox Jewish leaders. As Modern Orthodox Jews, our graduates will proudly go out into the world and assume their place among the top lawyers, doctors, rabbis, entrepreneurs, and educators in their respective communities. In many instances, they will serve as the face of Judaism for their workplace colleagues. In addition to preparing them educationally for their chosen fields, we are teaching our young men the essential values of what it means to be a Modern Orthodox Jew and how to serve as an example of ethical fortitude for all of society. In so doing, we enable our students to serve in this invaluable role as an effective bridge between the spiritual ideals of our faith and the world around us. Of course, being a source of inspiration for others requires one to be inspired himself, and the primary means of doing this is by connecting to our Torah. A primary educational goal is therefore to teach our students the tools and skills they need to access our texts and traditions so that they will learn and love Torah, making it a part of their daily experience throughout their lives. I am proud of the intense Torah learning that takes place in YULA that results in over 70% of our students completing a siyum in a tractate of Gemara or a seder of Mishnayot each year. I am proud of the fact that we send over 75% of our students to study in Israel after graduating—an incredibly powerful experience which serves as a capstone to their spiritual development in high school. Our students are ambitious and hardworking. They have big dreams, and we encourage them to pursue those dreams. There is an excellent General Studies program in place at YULA, which we continue to build upon each year. Our new courses in Scientific Engineering represents our increased focus in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines and will complement our cutting edge robotics program. Our push for educational excellence opens doors and op-
By Mushki Boteach Naparstek
portunities for our students, especially as they make important decisions about what college they will attend. High school is a challenging time for students. Adolescence is marked by many ups and downs, as our young adults engage in an important process of self-discovery and identity-seeking. Having positive role models who genuinely care about them and can relate to their challenges is a vitally important component of our school. After meeting various YULA faculty and administration members, I was energized and inspired by their sincere love for our students, their positive relationships with them, and their desire to teach each “child according to his way” (Mishlei 22:6).. YULA has wonderful talmidim, and great things are already happening! If you look at the landscape of the community, our students are already playing leadership roles in NCSY, Yachad, B’nei Akiva, and the teen minyanim of most of the Orthodox shuls in the Los Angeles area. YULA students are leading the way in important learning programs like the new Camp Judah West Beit Medrash program, in which 15 of our students are attending. YULA, in an important partnership with Beth Jacob and YICC, has become synonymous with teen Israel advocacy, with our award winning Pro-Israel Teen/AIPAC program. Our students are leaders, and I am proud of the example they set in the community. Finally, YULA has the resources of dedicated lay leadership to provide an incredibly wide range of opportunities for our talmidim to shine. There are few things more powerful in high school than to watch a student take ownership and pride in their successful projects. Through our clubs, extra-curricular leadership opportunities, our athletic program, and beyond, each student can find something to call their own. In doing so, the high school experience is transformed from simply a place to be educated, into a place to be inspired. MN: What do you hope to accomplish as new Head of School at YULA Boys High School? RDE: My role as Head of School is to ensure that across all of our stakeholders— our parents, students, faculty, lay leadership, and community supporters—there is a clarity of vision—that is, a full and unified vision of what makes YULA special and unique. From this vision, concrete goals follow, and I know that our team is eager to take on new challenges to improve
our already excellent educational product. As Head of School at YULA, my ultimate goal is singular: to create the best educational product possible. To do so, YULA will remain committed to providing students with a high-quality educational environment that inspires them to learn. YULA will build on the already excellent education by continuously evaluating what we do, and holding ourselves accountable to standards based on best practices. In examining the ‘how’—how we integrate educational technology, how we mentor new teachers, and how define and evaluate success—we will emerge as an even stronger school. At the same time, we will continue to focus on educating our students in a manner that awakens their passions to learn and grow as Jews. Strong relationships with our excellent faculty, programming that highlights the beauty of the Jewish experience, and a focus on values will allow us to continue to inspire our young men to become the next generation of Jewish learners and leaders. As I begin at YULA, I also know that I need to do a lot of listening. I am new to the community and to the school, and the feedback from parents, faculty, and others is of vital importance for me in developing a clear picture of where our yeshiva is and where it can go. I have already invited each YULA staff member and YULA parent to set up a one-on-one appointment to meet with me this summer so that I can begin my ‘listening tour’ right away. MN: What’s the most exciting part of becoming new Head of School at YULA? What do you think will be most challenging? RDE: I think that a school is, at its core, a community and I consider myself privileged to have been invited to join this community. I am looking forward to developing strong and close relationships with our students, and to serve as a support for them in any way I can. I want our students to graduate with a special place in their hearts for YULA, knowing that they are loved and are always welcomed back with open arms. As I mentioned before, great things are already happening. But, as a mentor of mine once said, “Excellence is a race without a finish.” I am thrilled at the prospect of working with all of our stakeholders to help further our culture of excellence at YULA. Throughout the last few months, I was struck by the passion and fervor so many Los Angeles community members have for YULA. This represents both a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility. YULA is truly a central institution in the Modern Orthodox Los Angeles landscape, and I challenge all of our stakeholders and supporters to channel that energy into making sure the story of YULA is told, and in seeking out opportunities to continue enhancing our yeshiva.
The chazzanim were Yaakov Motzen of the Shul of Bal Harbour, FL; Arik Wollheim of Congregation Beth Jacob, Beverly Hills; Netanel Baram of the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, and Colin Schachat, originally of Johannesburg, South Africa. All have won acclaim for their concert tours and recordings, and all feature the ability to render a joyous Hallel, a somber Kol Nidre and Unesanah Tokef, and a stirring Shabbat and Yom Tov Kedushah.
From left: Cantor Colin Schachat, Cantor Yaakov Motzen, Cantor Arik Wollheim, and Cantor Netanel Baram.
The evening paid tribute to Janice and Philip Kaufler of Beverly Hills as the Keter Shem Tov Awardees and celebrated the completion of the YINBH’s stunning new building.
From left: Paul Glasser, OU senior director of Institutional Advancement; Dr. Stephen Tabak, president of OU West Coast; Rabbi Adir Posy, assistant director of OU West Coast; honorees Janice and Philip Kaufler; OU President Martin Nachimson; Rabbi Steven Weil, OU executive vice president; Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, director of OU West Coast.
The dinner supported the work of the Los-Angeles based West Coast Region of the Orthodox Union which serves communities from Vancouver to San Diego and as far east as Denver. Under the leadership of Rabbi Alan Kalinsky for 28 years, the OU West Coast Region has played an invaluable role in raising the level of Orthodoxy and Torah Judaism
throughout the Western United States and Canada. Its headquarters is home to West Coast NCSY headquarters, OU West Coast administrative offices, OU community and synagogue services staff, and serves as a community resource for Torah study and other programming. "This year’s annual awards banquet was not the usual event our donors and supporters have grown accustomed to -- rather it was a musical and cantorial extravaganza,” Rabbi Kalinsky stated. “Under the musical direction of Conductor Roi Azoulay of France, who was flown in to create the evening’s program, the world class chazzanim were accompanied by a symphony orchestra comprised of 25 gifted musicians from the University of Southern California. Special recognition is given to Cantor Baram for organizing this fabulous concert.” "Philip and Janice Kaufler have dedicated significant time and energy to the development of the Los Angeles Jewish community,” declared Rabbi Kalinsky. “Through Janice’s selfless acts of chesed and time spent volunteering for the community, she
is able to instill great values in those around her. During Philip’s fouryear tenure as president of the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, he successfully led the community through the building of the first Orthodox synagogue in Beverly Hills in over 50 years. Janice runs many of YINBH’s behind-the-scenes daily activities. As a couple, their community involvement reaches far beyond YINBH, demonstrated by their dedication to numerous charities, primarily centering on Jewish causes and needs. Honoring them was most appropriate holding the Tribute Dinner for the first time at their new shul.”
Honorees Philip and Janice Kaufler with Anne and Lee Samson of Beverly Hills at a pre-event reception hosted at the Samson residence for sponsors and trustees.
Backstage with the Performers of The Big Show “The Big Show, ” as the Beis Chaya Mushka concert was famously named, finally arrived on Thursday, June 20th. It took place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and as expected was a huge success. Together, 8th Day, Lipa Schmeltzer and Benny Friedman sang and danced up a storm that kept the sold out audience in a trance for the duration of the night. Modi, a Jewish stand up comedian and actor, served as host for the evening and kept the spectators in hysterics between acts. Mushki Naparstek from ‘The Jewish Home,’ was fortunate enough to catch up with the performers while they were practicing before the show and ask them some questions about the show and their connection to Jewish LA. Mushki: What do you hope to accomplish from tonight’s performance? Bentzy and Shmueli Marcus (8th Day): We hope that this raises the bar in kosher Jewish entertainment- we have fantastic musicians on board tonight. We also hope to bring our kids and families super quality Jewish music. Of course, we hope that this concert primarily raises money for the Beis Chaya Mushka. Our kids attend the school and they really get a great education there. They have an advanced Hebrew and secular curriculum. It sharpens the children’s minds- at the Pre-1A’s graduation, the kids recited an entire chapter
of Tanya by heart, then they recited a list of all the presidents of the United States, with a short bio on each of them and they finished by reciting a chapter of tehillim. These are six-year-old kids! It is truly a very impressive school. Modi: I hope that Beis Chaya Mushka has great Hatzlacha in raising money tonight. I also hope that as a comedian hosting the show, instead of a regular MC, I can bring a little more energy to the show and make it a little bit more unique and set precedence for how Jewish concerts should be. Mushki: What do you love most about coming out to Los Angeles? Benny: What I love most is just coming to LA- I actually started my career here, my voice teacher, Seth Riggs, lives down the block from here. I lived in Los Angeles for two years before I got married, so whenever I come back it really feels like home. The community in LA really feels more intimate, personal and for me, really more familiar than New York. Every time I come back to LA, I remember why I love it so much. Lipa: LA is really the center of all the superstars of the world and the entertaining field. Even a Jewish superstar can perform in LA. Modi: There’s a great energy is LA. I love how the Jewish community here is
very tight knit. In NY, there are so many different communities; everyone is spread out and doing their own thing. Mushki: Why don’t you think there are more live Jewish music shows in LA? BF: I don’t know, but my commitment to the LA Jewish community is whenever you call me, I will do my very best to come 8th Day: For some reason New York has really been a hub for Jewish music shows, all the big name artists have huge shows in NY. Hopefully, tonight’s show will really set a precedent to get more shows happening in LA. LA should become a hub, and people from NY should come out here for the live shows. As an LA based band, we are trying a lot of new things in music, hopefully that will contribute to and help build up the LA Jewish music scene. Lipa: There really should be more Jewish shows in LA, as well as in all other Jewish comminutes around the world. When I do shows outside of NY, I take less parnosa because I feel its my obligation to inspire with the talent that Hashem gave me and to get inspired by all the people who don’t have fancy kosher restaurants and have it much harder to live a Jewish life- in secular universities, etc Lipa Schmeltzer warming up before the concert
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The beautiful sounds of four great voices interpreting masterpieces of music from around the world were recently heard at the Orthodox Union West Coast Region Tribute Dinner and Concert held at the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills.
The Jewish Home
OU West Coast Annual Dinner Features World Class Concert; Honors Janice and Philip Kaufler of Beverly Hills
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
YU Alumni Student Connection About 40 alumni and current and future students gathered on Wednesday, June 19th in the home of Raphy and Rivka Nissel, parents of Tzvika ‘97YC, to mingle and learn about a new initiative to connect alumni with each other and with students. Aryeh Goldberg ‘01SB, one of the main leaders of the “Alumni-Student Connection,” spoke to those in attendance, encouraging them to get involved and highlighting the opportunity to strengthen
LA’s Jewish community by helping fellow alumni and students obtain internships and jobs in LA. Please join us in this initiative, to sign up your company to review resumes, to act as a mentor to students and recent graduates from LA, and to help organize future networking events. Contact WestCoast@yu.edu for more information.
Jewish Day at Dodger Stadium Thursday, June 27, The Los Angeles Dodgers played The Philadelphia Phillies in a thrilling nail biter, but Yasiel Puig’s clutch two out, two run single wasn’t the only exciting thing about the night’s game. It also marked the 14th Annual Jewish Community Night, at Dodger Stadium. The evening was set out to honor Jewish Dodger, Sandy Koufax, one of the greatest pitchers of all time who famously refused to pitch a World Series game on Yom Kippur. In fact, the first 50,000 fans in attendance
received a Sandy Koufax bobble head. Thousands of Jews were present, yalmukas were spotted throughout the crowd. Several Shuls throughout Los Angeles brought groups from their congregation along. You could even eat a kosher hotdog at the game, thanks to Jeff’s Gourmet. Whether you came with friends, family or coworkers, you were guaranteed a ‘whole new blue, with a touch of Jew’ experience.
hundred-fifty works, many of which he personally authored. His folksy, disarming style replete with deadpan humor, belied the depth and profundity of his many presentations. At the Seudah Friday night, he spoke about the famous teaching of Rebbe Nachman that this world is “a narrow bridge.” He applied it to how one should incorporate simcha in one’s life as a Jew while avoiding the many pitfalls of succumbing to temptations and false theologies. During the luncheon on Shabbos, he gave a very penetrating talk on twelve parts of the body that have the most profound effect on our physical and spiritual health. He masterfully sketched the mystical correspondence (based on the Zohar) between these
Dovid Manela and Dr Yehuda Frischman dancing at the Melava Malka
body parts and their role in affecting our Neshama. With this, he demonstrated how our physical bodies can become subordinated to our spiritual yearnings. In a talk before Mincha, he utilized several of the famous parables of Rebbe Nachman to help unlock the secret of the power of Shabbos. Finally, at Shalosh Seudos, he related the well-known parable of Rebbe Nachman called “the Lost Princess.” He related the brilliant explication of Rebbe Nosson of Breslov that sees all of world history - beginning with the Creation through the Revelation of Sinai culminating with the rebuilding of the Bais HaMikdosh with the advent of Moshiach - all hidden in this parable.
Despite the lateness of the hour (beginning at 11 PM Motzai Shabbos), close to 100 people attended the musical Melave Malka. The local Breslov Band warmed up the crowd with beautiful niggunim, setting the stage for Rabbi Kramer’s final presentation. He related about a dozen amazing stories of Jews that he met in his many travels around the world (disseminating the teachings of Breslov) who had returned (or even converted) to Torah Judaism as a result of reading the works of Rebbe Nachman in English. The band then played several rousing final songs to round out the inspirational Shabbaton, ending at nearly 1 AM with the crowd still in rapt attention.
Guest speaker Rabbi Chaim Kramer at left together with Rabbi Eli Stern LINK’s director of Outreach. Photo credit:Yosef Ober
Meet and Greet for Incoming VTHS Parents Parents of the 28 incoming Valley Torah High School freshman class attended a “Meet and Greet” on June 19 at the home of Dr. Uri and Efrat Zisblatt in Hancock Park. Uri is a VTHS alumni and their son, Yoni, who was the Yavneh valedictorian, will be joining the VTHS freshman class.
“We wanted to give the incoming parents an opportunity to meet each other to develop a sense of camaraderie, and at the same time connect with our administration,” said Daniel Grama, VTHS boys division rebbe and director of recruitment. Many of these parents are sending their first
child to high school, he noted. VTHS Dean Rabbi Stulberger, Secular Studies Principal Randy Rutchman and Athletic Director Adam Levitt were introduced and spoke about some of the highlights of the previous year and goals for the upcoming year. “The energy was very
positive,” said Grama who hopes to make the “Meet and Greet” an annual event, which was proven by the fact that the parents stayed to mingle and enjoying until late into the night.
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The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles capped off a hectic two weeks of programming with a very successful Shabbaton and musical Melave Malka with Rabbi Chaim Kramer, Director of the Breslov Research Center in Jerusalem, during Shabbos Parshas Balak. Over two hundred people attended at least one part of the many presentations and/or the festive Melave Malka. Rabbi Kramer, a native of Brooklyn, learned at the Mirer Yeshivah in both Brooklyn and Yerushalayim before founding the Research Institute in Israel in 1979. Since then, he has become the foremost expositor of the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in the English language. The Institute has published over one
The Jewish Home
Over 200 Attend Shabbaton with Rabbi Chaim Kramer at LINK LA
The Jewish Home
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Yavneh Family Services Gala Benefit On Sunday, June 23rd, the Yavneh Hebrew Academy hosted their eleventh Annual Family Services Gala Benefit, at the home of the Hendeles family in Hancock Park. The evening was set out to honor Rabbi Joseph Bronner, a founding member of the community. Originally from South Africa, he and his extended family have a deep connection to Yavneh, having helped build up the school from its earliest stages. Rabbi Bronner has dedicated his life to Jewish education. Not only did he contribute to the founding of Yavneh, but he was also a founder of the first yeshiva in South Africa, Bnei Akiva Academy. The event however, was not a benefit for the Yavneh Academy School itself. Rather, it was a night dedicated toward the greater Yavneh community who come to daven at the school every shabbos and join in weekly morning minyonim and shiurim. “This dinner is specifically for the Shabbos component of the school. It’s almost its own entity,” explained Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh. According to Rabbi Einhorn, Kehillat Yavneh is a successful and growing
congregation, “One of our main goals tonight is to was make sure that we raise the number of attendants. Last year was the highest number of attendants that we had at this dinner, 125 people. This year it was raised to 149. The goal is to keep rolling the ball forward and bring up the numbers a little more each year.” In an attempt to stray from the formality and stiffness of traditional fundraiser dinners, the event organizers aimed to keep the night entertaining and light. There were bartenders shaking up special Yavneh themed cocktails, a lavish buffet dinner, and music by Mendel Simons. An acapella group was flown in specially from New York. Jeff Astroff, Hollywood comedy script writer, served as MC for the night. As expected, he proved to be truly entertaining, poking fun at his fellow Yavneh community members. Speeches were limited but were given by Rabbi Einhorn and Dr. Leila Bronner, wife of Rabbi Bronner. The night was a huge success for Yeshivat Yavneh. Guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves while joining together to support a worthy cause.
SWC Attends Knesset Briefing on Textbooks in UNRWA-funded schools in Palestinian territories - None show map of Israel SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper attended briefing at Israel’s Knesset reviewing the Palestinian Textbooks used in UNWRA schools in Gaza and the West Bank. The funding for the schools are provided by Western countries, led by the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia and others. Diplomats from Egypt, Canada, UK, and Norway were in attendance. Dr. Arnon Groiss, a respected expert in the promotion of Tolerance in Education, shared the results of his research, which found that textbooks used in UNRWA-funded schools never acknowl-
edge any Jewish rights in ‘Palestine’, nor any Jewish past in the Holy Land. Israel is almost never shown on any map and no city is ever identified as a Jewish city. “Israel is delegitimized, and demonized in these texts and no peaceful solution to Arab-Israel conflict is ever discussed’, Groiss noted, adding, “The rights of 4.5 million Palestinians around the world is heavily promoted.” The event was chaired by David Bedein, Director of the Near East Policy Research Center. “There is so much to be gained from providing an education to young Palestinians, that paves the way for peace
between two people, that is unfortunately not being promoted in Palestinian textbooks currently used in both Gaza and the West Bank,” noted Rabbi Cooper. “As far as the narrative presented in many of these books, there were two “occupations”, the post-1967 war occupation of the west Bank and Gaza and the 1948 “occupation” of the territory called the State of Israel. This isn’t a prescription for peace but for more tragedy, more violence and G-d forbid, more war,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.
S h a bb at August 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM
S un d ay
S h a bb at a l l a lum n i
at YULA Girls School
August 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM Sunday Carnival & BBQ $10 Adult / $5 under ten
at YULA Boys School
for 2000-2006 Graduates
TO RSVP Email Alumni@Yula.org YULA Girls High School Gindi Family Campus ❖ 1619 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles YULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus ❖ 9 7 6 0 W. P i c o Blv d . L o s A n g el e s
july 4, 2013
YULA High Schools Reunion
The Jewish Home
❖ YULA Alumni Weekend ❖
Los Angeles Chassidishe Kollel Celebrates Hachnasas Sefer Torah By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
bus bot, who give regular shiurim to the Kollel members and to baale batim who come for their own learning sessions. Among the daily and weekly shiurim at the Kollel given by Harav Henig and others, the Kollel hosts guest shiurim from the many rabbanim, roshei Hayeshiva, Dayanim and Rebbes who visit Los Angeles. Some of the visitors included, the Karlsburger Rav, Harav Yechezkel Roth, Harav Usher Weiss, Rosh Rav Yochanon Henig Mara dasra of the Chassidishe Kollel Machon Minchas Osher Kollel writing a letter in the torah with the Sofer R’ Moshe l’Torah v’Horaah, Harav Yisroel Hager son of the Viznitz Rebbe of Weider at his side Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon Monsey, The Biala Rebbe of Bnai On Sunday the 15th of Tammuz, 5773, Brak and the Shendishover Rebbe. June 30th, 2013, the Kollel Yechiel Yehuda, Today’s event was just another gem in known by all, as the Chassidishe Kollel of the crown of the Kollel. Los Angeles, joyously celebrated the comFor the Kollel, this day was a Yom pletion and gift of a new sefer torah. Tov. The community came dressed in their The Kollel, under the direction of its bigdei shabbos for the special event. much honored and revered Mara D’asWhile in the past, torah’s have been ra, Harav Yochanon Henig and its Rosh donated to the Kollel in memory of a Kollel, Harav Menachem Krybus, has family member, this torah was different been a place of torah and tefilah that draws and had a special significance. It was to be followers from all segments of the Los a torah written specifically for the Kollel. Angeles Jewish community. Initiated by Reb Motti Herzog, of the It is no surprise that people throughout Herzog Winery, and with the participation Los Angeles, many of them not Chassidim, of others who learn and daven and who came to attend this simcha and join in the support the Kollel, the writing of the sefer celebration of welcoming the new torah, torah was completed in the new home of Hachnasas Sefer Torah. Rabbi and Mrs. Ephraim Deutsch as part What is it that attracts such a varying of their Chanukas Habayis. A large turnout group of Jews to the “Chassidishe Kollel”? of Los Angeles Jews converged on the It is simple. There is a certain warmth Deutsch home for the honor in writing a and camaraderie that the Kollel exudes Hebrew letter “os, leshem mitzvas kesivas that attracts all Jews. They come to learn, sefer torah.” hear shiurim, listen to guest Rabbanim Following the completion of the Torah, and Roshei Yeshivos, join a shabbos tisch the crowd gathering in the streets escort with a prominent Rebbe and just to absorb the new sefer torah to its home at the the geshmaklichkeit (pleasantness) of this Kollel. makom tefilah and torah. The new sefer torah was carried Rabbi Yonah Landau, the mover and through the streets under a magnificent shaker behind all that happens at the Chupah with mounted crown given by Chassidishe Kollel welcomed the olam. Motti Herzog. Reb Yonah oversees the functioning of No procession is complete without the the Kollel, takes care of what needs being marching of children with their torches, done and delegates to those competent proud to be part of this great simcha and in seeing that all runs smoothly at the with the lively and festive music of Naftali Kollel. Through his guidance and with the Finkel. assistance of the many supporters of the The crowd danced enthusiastically Kollel, Reb Yonah brought into fruition the through the streets of Los Angeles, with acquiring of a much needed new home for Rabbanim and others, passing the honor of the Kollel in the immediate neighborhood. carrying the torah. Upon reaching the KolThe new Kollel Beis Hamedrash has an lel, the crowd continued dancing into the inviting ambiance that adds to its pleasantKollel and brought the torah to its place in ness and appeal. the aron. Speaking of the Kollel’s uniqueness, Later in the evening a dinner was held Elie Ryzman put it succinctly. “The Kollel at the Kollel and the participants heard makes us feel comfortable and a place divrei torah from the Dushinsky Rebbe. A where we want to come and learn. It is a special treat of chazanus was sung by Duvi place we always want to come back to and Blonder and Rav Yosef Tzvi Neilander. we do.” The Kollel Yechiel Yehuda, the The heart of the Kollel is the group of “Chassidishe Kollel” and the Jews of Los young men who have dedicated this time Angeles were part this day of a memorable in their lives to learn torah and teach it. experience not to be forgotten. Rav Yochanon Henig, the Mara Dasra of the Kollel, has guided the Kollel and directed its programs of learning together with the Rosh Kollel Rav Menachem Kry-
The new building of the Kollel Yechiel Yehuda, the Chassidishe Kollel on La Brea Avenue
Dancing with the new sefer torah.
Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon
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Photo credit: Arye D. Gordon
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
13 The Jewish Home
Summer at Etta as Safety Skills Training and Personal Health Skills. For example, the first day featured a presentation on oral hygiene by 13 UCLA School of Dentistry students led by Dr Joshua Lebovics (far left in picture). Director Leah Schachter says “The participants teach us how to appreciate every moment of our lives... and the counselors are incredible teens -- they give of themselves and their true happiness is seeing the happiness in the participants’ faces.” To follow Summer@Etta, visit Etta’s Facebook page (Etta Israel Center) or www.etta.org/blog. Weekly enrollment is still available for participants. Please call 818-985-3882 ext 231 or email leah@ etta.org
july 4, 2013
Summer@Etta, the Etta Israel Center’s summer program founded in memory of Avraham Moshe Ten, z”l, is a unique social and life skills summer program designed specifically for Jewish teens and young adults with special needs. Held on the YULA Girls School campus, Summer@Etta is the highlight of the year for participants and counselors alike. Favorite part? According to Sean Shaffa, 17-year old camper, it’s “going on field trips because I like to go on a bus ride.” This summer, over 75 participants and counselors are enjoying a program emphasizing independence, growth, and summer fun -- everything from karate and sports to Knott’s Berry Farm as well
Touro College Los Angeles Graduation Stresses Spirit, Continuity and Vision Touro College Los Angeles (TCLA) conducted its Seventh Graduation ceremonies Wednesday evening, June 19 at Sapper Hall at the TCLA West Hollywood campus. The event was graced by a Keynote Address by Touro President, Dr. Alan Kadish, who noted that he insisted on attending these ceremonies, even though TCLA currently accounts for a small portion of the nearly 20,000 students educated by Touro Divisions and schools worldwide. “You are the pioneers,” Dr. Kadish said, “who have laid the foundation for the future of Touro’s growth and its increasing service to the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community. The time has come to make Touro the institution that befits the second largest Jewish Community in the United States, and the third largest in the world. Your example,” he said, turning to the graduates beside him on the stage, “of spirit, performance and dedication will serve as a shining example to your peers and will attract more young dedicated Jews to Touro.” Dr. Kadish likened the students to the Bikurim—the First Fruits brought in the Temple—during which detailed recitation took place of the debt owed to those who came before and who defended the Land of Israel, cultivated its farms and whose effort allowed the first fruits to be harvested and brought. “Just as it is proper for you to thank all those who love you and who supported you in your efforts to reach this day, so will you be thanked in the future for laying the foundation and showing oth-
ers the way.” Dr. Kadish then announced that, with the imminent opening of Touro’s fourth Medical School, Touro will become the largest educator of physicians in the world. Valedictorian Leora Dahan delivered the Valedictory Address in which she spoke of how she was accepted and nurtured by the Touro community even though she was a very recent arrival in Los Angeles from her native Montreal. “Although we each had our own personalities and a diversity of backgrounds,” she said, “we approached our work and our school with a unified spirit—like the Israelites at Mount Sinai, who, though from many different walks of life and backgrounds, accepted the Torah, as the Midrash puts it, ‘with one heart, and as one person’.” She then outlined the extensive “Ruach”—school spirit—activities that made life at Touro a joyous celebration of Jewish tradition, particularly during the Jewish Holidays. Dean Esther Lowy presented academic awards to Menucha Cohen and Sharona Harroonian, and the “Spirit of Touro” Award to Student Council President Brana Ratner–Stauber in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of enriching student life at Touro. Dr. Lowy and Pres. Kadish then conferred Baccalaureate Degrees on the nineteen graduates, presenting each graduate with their Diploma, and concluding with the ceremonial moving of the tassels on their cap, to the cheers and applause of the assembled. In Dean Lowy’s concluding remarks, she pointed out that, though Touro was saying
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goodbye to these graduates, the Hebrew for goodbye is also the word for hello—Shalom— and has as one of its roots, the word for wholeness —Shaleim. One may derive from this that the most heartfelt expression of farewell is the one that conveys the idea that the parties who are parting will not consider themselves whole until they meet again and are reunited. “You are now Touro Alumni, joining the body of Touro alumni here in Los Angeles and around the world who are dedicated to furthering the goals and mission of the school and its founder,
Dr. Bernard Lander, zt”l (of blessed memory). And just as all the parts of the body contribute to a whole to make a healthy organism, so must each and every one of you contribute your unique talents, insights and ideas to the health of this body and the furtherance of its ideals. Knowing these young people as I do, I look to that future with great hope, great expectations and joyful anticipation.” The proceedings were concluded with a reception for the graduates, their families and guests and Touro faculty and administration.
Pictured from left to right: (back row) Gadiel Yaron, Chaim Marks, Dean Esther Lowy, Sharona Haroonian, Chanita Sipen, Bracha Ahuva Mahpari, Leora Dahan, Brana Ratner-Stauber, (front row) Zoya Ogiyvsky, Diana Cooper, Menucha Cohen, Joelle Czech, Rena Dahan. (Not pictured: David Oaknine, Aaron Rosenberg, Aliza Rosenberg, Joseph Schrage)
The Jewish Home july 4, 2013 14
The Jewish Home july 4, 2013
Why Belong to A Shul? By Rabbi Adir Posy
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
Recently, well known religion journalist Lisa Miller, wrote a piece in the Washington Post called “young Jews rebelling against paying dues” Her article touched on a phenomenon where she describes a growing resentment among what she refers to as the millennial generation to the “money culture” of synagogue life, where people look toward the financial demands made of them by a shul and they wonder if their getting their money’s worth. In a certain sense, this issue is indicative of the consumerist bent that our society has taken, but a historical approach offers an additional prism with which to view this dilemma. If we turn back to Parshat B’shalach, Pharaoh sends the Jewish People out of the Slavery of Egypt and Hashem makes an all important decision. Hashem did not let them go by way of the land of Plishtim because it may be that when the people see war they will “ ”נחםand return to Egypt. The word ינחםin this context seems a little bit out of place – usually we would translate נחמהas consolation – what or who exactly is being consoled here? There are many different approaches on how to read this verse, but one approach that resonated with me was the fact that Nechama does not actually literally mean consolation –it actually means a change in perspective. When you come to console someone who has suffered a loss, you are trying to help them change their perspective from the depths of their grief to how they can continue to grow through the experience. So it is here as well. The Pasuk
says that Hashem made sure that the first thing that the Jewish people would see on their way out of Egypt would not be a war with the Plishtim for it might change their perspective from the high in which they found themselves, right back into the pit of despondency that characterized their time in Egypt -פן ינחם העם. However, there is yet another pasuk that follows this one that tells us that – וחמושים עלו מארץ מצריםthe Jewish people left חמושים. Rashi offers multiple translations, but one of them is that it comes from the Word – חמשthat one fifth of the nation perished during the plague of darkness because they could not be part of the Jewish people. R’ Yosef Salant, in his Book Be’er Yosef elaborates that this may be true of the adults. But how could it be that the children of those Jews were punished, what could they have done wrong – and therefore he explains that the remaining fifth of the people who left Egypt took on the orphans from those who perished in Egypt. In other words - each family left with their own children plus the orphaned children from four other families. Therefore, we find that each couple left with “five children,” meaning five families’ worth of children. These two ideas create a fascinating synergy. The first is that we find that Hashem was so careful to preserve the mindset, the perspective that the Jewish people had as they left Egypt. Hashem gerrymandered our route so to speak to ensure that we would not have that perspective change. What was that perspective that was so crucial to uphold? It was וחמושיםthe care and responsibility that we took for one another which made us who we were and who we were destined to be as a people. And Hashem made sure to do everything He could to make sure that perspective would not be lost. To me, this idea is not only a beautiful exposition of the words of the Torah, but it hits at the very core of what it means to belong to the Jewish community. This Parsha
describes the formative stages of our peoplehood. According to this interpretation, our peoplehood is based on the principle of interconnectedness and being there for one another. Being there without asking questions, being there without regard to the personal inconvenience, being there because we are a family and we cannot abandon one another. Which leads us back to the article by Lisa Miller.. Her article this week, (which by the way is in the theme of an article she wrote for Newsweek called “the cost of being Jewish” has a very telling line about the generation that she is describing. Their parents might have written the membership check without a second thought, but these folks don’t part with their money so easily. Not when there are so many other bills to pay. Not when Jewish identity has become as much about what you eat (or don’t eat) and who you marry (or don’t marry) as where you worship – or, in the old vernacular, “belong.” What seems to emerge is that there is a growing trend not to have a need to belong, and the decisions about where one spends time energy and money are more based on a measurable return on one’s spiritual investment. However, while I do not argue that the phenomenon Ms. Miller describes in undoubtedly correct, I would argue and argue vehemently, that this approach is antithetical to our history as a nation. Because at its core, the question being asked is, what does membership get you – what does it mean to belong and how can it justify my investment? To offer an answer, I would point to a set of principles recently formulated by the executive director of a prominent Shul. • Membership “gets you” responsibility and the opportunity to give. • Membership gets you the opportunity to affirm that you believe in the importance and vitality of the Orthodox Jewish Community • Membership “gets you” the opportunity to get involved - serve on a committee, organize an event, spon-
sor a kiddush for a simcha or a shalosh seudot for a yahrtzeit so that you can share these events with your community (aka your fellow members). • Membership is taking ownership and responsibility for the future. • Membership is celebrating a simcha in a space that you feel a deep-rooted connection to. • Membership is getting an email or text to pay a shiva call or go to a funeral say tehilim for a sick or injured member • And here is the key that I fear that many of the people described in the article do not understand membership is the fundamental understanding that the opportunities presented above provide their own reward to the giver In a word, that’s what it means to belong, that’s what it means to be part of Bnei Yisrael. In my role as associate Rabbi in Beth Jacob and as associate director of the OU West Coast, my limited experience is that on the whole, we are winning this battle and the members of our communities truly “get it” when it comes to belonging. However, this is an uphill battle and there are many who do not see community this way. I fear that without a true understanding of “belonging” our community is in dire straits. As we look for guidance, we return to Yetzias Mitzrayim and we remember the core principle that defined us then, I truly believe that defines us now, and we desperately hope will define us in the future. It is the core principle that was the mantra of every Jewish family that without hesitation took in a group of orphans as they left Egypt. It is the understanding that if we want to be part of a people and we want that people to have a future, we need to look to how we can give and ultimately, how we can therefore belong. Rabbi Adir Posy is the Associate Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills and is the Assistant Director of the OU West Coast Office.
The Personification of the Paradigm youth, inspiring a generation to learn. He delivered few speeches and his door was opened for minutes a day, yet when he passed away, “Vayivku oso kol bais Yisroel.” In him, a nation saw what Torah can do to man and what man can do with the Torah. A nation saw that it was possible, in our day and age, to become one with the Ribbono Shel Olam’s words. A nation saw that Torah itself can be a source of life, more than food and sleep, and a man can be sustained for a century within its embrace.
Rashi explains that since Aharon, the oheiv shalom verodeif shalom, brought families together, solving disputes and increasing peace in Jewish homes, his passing was a personal blow to every individual.
The fact that Torah is life - not an outside ingredient, but the essence of our existence - was personified by Rav Elyashiv. Every visit to him, every image that hangs on walls and in sukkos, shows the same thing - the tall, regal figure hunched forward, eager for a bit more Torah, another line, another precious drop of Torah.
How can we understand this Rashi? Is it possible that one person, Aharon Hakohein, could have intervened and assisted with the relationships of every individual in the midbar? It was physically impossible for him to have had the time to deal with millions of people - kol bais Yisroel - even if he sat and counseled people all day, every day. Furthermore, it is unlikely that every Jewish home and person required the services of Aharon to help create peace.
Chazal tell us that at the beginning of time, Hakadosh Boruch Hu took the souls of the great tzaddikim and dispersed them throughout the generations, planting them at various junctures and stages in history, “shesolan bechol dor vador.” We, who were privileged to walk the same ground as Rav Elyashiv, will be held accountable as we lived in the dor in which Hashem planted this extraordinary neshamah.
We can explain that Aharon was not only a counselor, some form of super life coach who sat with people all day, providing advice to many individuals. Undoubtedly, he performed that function as well, but the Torah means something else when it tells us that Aharon brought shalom bayis to every family in the midbar. Aharon generated peace simply by being the person he was - a loving, compassionate figure, the epitome of ahavas shalom. Whoever saw Aharon went home a more peaceful person, having been influenced by being exposed to a figure of his caliber. Upon witnessing Aharon, a person became so uplifted that he rid himself of basic human foibles and failings. Thus, kol bais Yisroel benefited from him and learned from him.
Rav Yitzchok Hutner would retell the story of a visitor to pre-war Vilna who retained the services of a local wagon driver. Baalei aggalah, wagon drivers, were notorious for their illiteracy. As the passenger made himself comfortable in the wagon, he removed a Gemara from his satchel and began to learn. The wagon driver took notice and turned around to ask the learned passenger what masechta he was studying. The passenger politely answered, certain that this would be the end of the conversation.
There was once a gathering of children in Bnei Brak celebrating a Siyum Mishnayos. The arranger held the event in a large hall adjoining the Ponovezher Yeshiva, hoping that Rav Elozor Menachem Man Shach would make an appearance and address the young boys. When the organizer went to Rav Shach’s apartment to inform him that the boys were ready and waiting, the rosh yeshiva apologized. He was simply too weak to go speak. After the organizer left, Rav Shach looked at his close talmid, Rav Avrohom Tzvi Toib, and asked, “Do you think that was wrong of me?”
another, and, suddenly, a full-fledged pilpul ensued, with questions, arguments and proofs being shared. The passenger was amazed by the scholarship of his driver and asked him what the secret of Vilna is that even the wagon drivers are talmidei chachomim. “It is because here, we had the Vilna Gaon,” said the driver simply. “Oh,” replied the new visitor to town. “Was he the rov?”
The baal aggalah persisted, asking what daf he was studying. The passenger responded without looking up, amused that a wagon driver would care not only about what masechta he was learning, but also which page.
“No, he wasn’t.”
The driver asked one question, and then
“So was he the maggid here, inspiring people
“Well, then, was he the rosh yeshiva?” “Also not,” replied the wagon driver.
to learn?” “No, he was none of the above.” “Then how did he succeed in infusing the people with such ahavas haTorah?” wondered the guest. “Veil ehr iz duh geven. Because he was here,” was the succinct answer. The idea that with his very presence a person can affect how others behave and act is entirely believable, because we recently had such a figure in our midst. Just over one year ago, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv still lived. Eighteen months ago, he still pored over his Gemara from 2:30 in the morning until late at night. He was closeted in a tiny room, surrounded by the books that had been his best friends since
Rav Toib said, “I am not worthy of deciding what’s right or wrong for the rosh yeshiva.” “But,” Rav Shach persisted, “I sense that you think I should have gone.” “I can only tell the rosh yeshiva a story. My own father-in-law survived the horrors of the Second World War, enduring beatings and unimaginable torture. I once asked him how he managed to emerge from such a dark, bitter tunnel with his faith intact, and he told me that when he was a small child, the Chofetz Chaim visited his village. My father-in-law was a small child, and his parents felt that he was too young to go greet the gadol and too fragile for the inevitable pushing and jostling, but his grandfather insisted that he go. The grandfather carried my father-in-law, and when they got close to the Chofetz Chaim, he lifted the child high in the air. My father-in-law saw the face of
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In the recent parshiyos hashovuah, we read the sad tidings of the petirah of Aharon Hakohein and the impending petirah of Moshe Rabbeinu. Rashi (Bamidbar 20:29) famously points out that when Klal Yisroel lost their leader and guide, Moshe Rabbeinu, they mourned him bitterly, but when Aharon passed away, every single Jew, kol bais Yisroel, shared the sorrow and anguish, lefi shehayah Aharon rodeif shalom bein baalei meriva uvein ish le’ishto.
The Alter of Kelm observed that had Charles Darwin seen his rebbi, Rav Yisroel Salanter, he could have never entertained the possibility that human beings evolved from apes.
by Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, Publisher of Yated Ne’eman
The Jewish Home
On the occasion of one year since the passing of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zt”l
The Personification of the Paradigm
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
the Chofetz Chaim, rabbon shel Yisroel.’ “He told me, ‘You ask how I stayed strong. It’s because I saw the Chofetz Chaim’s face and that image remained imprinted in my mind in the darkest times, giving me chizuk and hope when things were so, so bleak.” Rav Toib completed the story and Rav Shach, elderly and weak, rose to his feet and reached for his hat. “Kum. Lommir gein redden mit di kinder. (Come. Let us go and address the children)” ••••• It was already a few hours into the Hakafos on leil Simchas Torah and no one could be blamed for running out of steam after having danced the whole evening. A bochur drenched in sweat left the line and was headed out of the hot bais medrash. His chaver saw him on the way out and said to him, “What’s going on? Where are you going?” The bochur responded that he needed a break. “Now? In middle of this niggun? How can you leave in middle of this niggun? You have to wait at least until this niggun ends.” The bochur, who was spent a minute ago, said, “You know what? You’re right. I’m going back in.”
every Yid. A person who sinned and repented and wanted to say, “I’m sorry,” brought a korban. One who wanted to express his thanks to Hashem brought a korban. Every Yom Tov had korbanos of its own, as did every Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and in fact every single day. At the time of the churban, the Bais Hamkidosh was destroyed, the Urim Vetumim was taken from us, and the Shulchan and Mizbeiach were gone, along with all of their benefits. Up until last year, there was an individual who sat, closeted in a world of Torah, connected to the Tannaim, Amoraim, Rishonim and Acharonim, linking us in the process. We had someone who saw with clarity and precision, his vision encompassing much more than we can see. We knew that he was there, and that knowledge impacted us. From the time he was a child, Rav Elyashiv immersed himself in learning, seemingly disconnected from the realities of daily life. Through world wars and political upheaval, he kept on learning. A state was declared amidst exploding shells and gun-smoke, and he learned on. The tiny country sustained hunger and privation, and assault from ever-present enemies, and he continued his learning. In time, every Torah Jew would know his name.
What was the niggun? It wasn’t some new trendy melody. It was a golden oldie, sung all over the world on the day we celebrate the siyum of the Torah: “Olam Haba iz ah gutteh zach, lernen Torah iz ah besser zach, varf avek yeden yoch, lernen Torah noch un noch, Olam Haba iz ah gutteh zach.”
When Rav Elyashiv’s father, Rav Avrohom, known as the Homeler Rov, was niftar, his talmidim at the Tiferes Bachurim shul were distraught. Rav Avrohom had led their chaburah with warmth and devotion, and now he was gone. His son, still a young man, seemed so distant and so unapproachable.
As many times as that niggun is sung, it’s never enough. The words keep churning in your head. Noch un noch. Lernen Torah noch un noch. Lernen Torah iz ah besser zach.
Rav Yitzchok Halevi Herzog delivered a hesped. Standing on the steps of the Tiferes Bachurim shul, he faced the people and cried out, “Yes, you have lost a rov, but you have gained a gadol.”
That niggun was Rav Elyashiv’s life. In the stillness of the predawn hours, the song began, and it continued, unabated, as he sat hunched over his Gemara in his room in Meah Shearim. The simple table in front of him didn’t just hold seforim and slips of paper. Rather, it sustained the world. In a world of mortals sat this angel. We gazed at him and saw the heights man can reach. The Bais Hamikdosh was the epicenter of Hashem’s goodness. It was from there that all good came down to the world. The Urim Vetumim answered all questions. There was never a machlokes that could not be decided. Everything was clear. Am Yisroel totally relied on Hashem, Who guided them every step of the way. One who was in need of special assistance in the area of parnossah davened in the direction of the Shulchan. It was possible to pray in the direction of the Menorah to gain chochmah. The Mizbeiach was there for
And they were comforted. As reticent as he was, they soon came to appreciate the rov’s son, their new leader, the tall, introverted man with a gentle voice. They appreciated his incredible clarity in learning and his meticulousness in his speech. They began to hold their heads a little higher. After all, this developing Torah giant was their rov. He was a gadol and they were his people. Despite the burdens of growing fame, Rav Elyashiv’s best friends remained the seforim and thick stone walls of the Ohel Sarah shul, where he spent his days and most of his nights closeted in the four amos of halochah. From within the cold shul with high ceilings, halochah began to go forth to Klal Yisroel, as astute Yidden sought him out. Over the years, he became the address for Yidden in search of a brachah, chizuk, guidance,
and clear, articulate p’sak halachah. His mastery of Torah was unparalleled. The gedolim of this generation were in awe of how much he knew. Rav Shmuel Auerbach wrote a landmark peirush on the complex masechta of Ohalos, investing thirteen years of toil in it. When the work was ready for print, he went to Rav Elyashiv to show it to him. As Rav Shmuel himself said, “I left his home with real chalishus hada’as (dejection). I had spent thirteen years living and breathing the concepts of the masechta, and the rov was completely at home in it, more so than me. There was nothing, no conclusion or proof, that wasn’t poshut to him.” The famed Litvisher mekubal, the Leshem, blessed his childless daughter that she would give birth to a son who would brighten the world with his Torah, adding, “Un viffel men vet em vellen shteren fun lernen, vet men nisht kennen.” It will be impossible to pull him away from the Gemara or nudge him an inch out of the four amos of halochah, the Leshem foretold of his grandson, Rav Yosef Shalom, prior to his birth. Halochah defined his every word. Rav Elyashiv was only interested in the truth. His only concern with respect to every issue and every topic was what the Torah had to say about it and how to view it through the prism of Torah. Torah was the one and only reality in his life. Those who view the world with Torahdike eyes marveled at his every nuance. I personally had the zechus to benefit from the sensitivity and the rochav lev of this quintessential ish ho’eshkolos. In 1999, I merited to go to Eretz Yisroel with my family. I received a call from Rav Yosef Efrati, Rav Elyashiv’s trusted personal assistant, who said that he told “the rov,” as he referred to him, that I was in Yerushalayim, and he asked that I come with my wife and children. I told Rav Efrati that we would visit during Chol Hamoed, as it had already become customary for people to pass by the rov and receive his brochos. He responded that Rav Elyashiv specifically wanted us to come before Yom Tov and that we should bring along someone to take pictures. Rav Efrati explained that the rov was of the opinion that photographing is an activity that shouldn’t be practiced on Chol Hamoed, and since he wanted us to be able to have pictures of the encounter, he asked that we come before Yom Tov. Rav Efrati gave us a time to come and said that he would be there to bring us into the rov’s home. It was sort of strange, as we didn’t know the purpose of the visit, but we were happy to be granted a private audience with Rav Elyashiv. When we arrived on Rechov Chanan, Rav Efrati was there to greet us and take us upstairs
to the rov’s dining room. It was a special treat to be able to get in without having to wait on line, and we were honored to have the rov to ourselves. He shook our hands and beckoned me to be seated. Rav Elyashiv then turned to my wife and said, “You are probably wondering why I asked for all of you to come. Let me explain. Your husband is involved in klal work and you therefore probably suffer agmas nefesh. I wanted to give you a little kavod and be mechazeik you. That’s why I asked for you to come here.” It was a visit that my family will never forget. A picture of us at Rav Elyashiv’s table hangs in my office, reminding me of his kindness, warmth, compassion and understanding, and, on many occasions, it has provided the chizuk to continue and persevere. Rav Elyashiv once related that Rav Zelig Reuven Bengis told him that he was upset when he received his first rabbinic position in a very small Lithuanian town. He complained to his rebbi, the Netziv, that all his vast Torah knowledge was going to be wasted in his role as the rov of a tiny conurbation. The Netziv told him that baalei batim can discern the difference between a rov who knows the entire Shas and a rov who only knows half of Shas. A rov who knows Shas can influence and lead his people much better than one who doesn’t. Rav Elyashiv was the greatest testimony to the truth of the Netziv’s words. Because he knew the entire Shas and had spent decades learning, hureving and mastering Bavli and Yerushalmi along with Rishonim, Acharonim, daled chelkei Shulchan Aruch, and all the teshuvah seforim, Klal Yisroel recognized his greatness, and he stood as the personification of the paradigm Am Yisroel aims for. Whenever there was a serious, intricate, vexing question anywhere in the Torah world, his was the definitive answer. A man of few words, he would listen to the question, grasp all the issues involved, and provide a response. He didn’t engage in small talk. He measured each word that he spoke. With exactitude, he crystallized the sugya in a few sentences and returned to the Gemara open in front of him, one hand holding the place. As the questioner stood up to leave, Rav Elyashiv was already areingeton in the sugya he had been learning before being interrupted. Every minute was precious and not to be wasted. Rav Elyashiv stood firm, leading with clarity and strength; a beacon for Jews everywhere. Though he possessed a faint heart, and was encumbered by a century-old body, the man who lived in a simple apartment on a tiny narrow street, pumped out life-giving sustenance to an entire nation; setting the example for ameilus and yegiah baTorah.
Even after his one-hundredth birthday, he delivered the shiur with youthful enthusiasm. With a minimum of flourish, he encapsulated many of the exegeses of Rishonim and Acharonim. It was like a shulchan aruch, a set table, laid out in front of you. The shiur appealed to learned talmidei chachomim who appreciated the nuances, as well as to laymen, who benefited from the clearest possible elucidation of the Gemara. But it wasn’t a laid-back affair. The ris’cha de’Oraisah was palpable. Every few minutes, one of the attendees would jump up with a question. “Uber der rebbe hut gezukt… Ich vill fregen oif dem…,” the man would say, as he launched into a question on the sugya that Rav Elyashiv was discussing. A lively discussion ensued. The attendees prodded the gadol with probing questions, and he responded with equal gusto to people one-third his age. The words on the aron kodesh in the bais
medrash right next to his seat read, “Toras Hashem temimah meshivas nofesh.” Anyone who wanted to see a live demonstration of what those words mean would trek to the end of Meah Shearim and watch the shiur take place. It was an enlightening and invigorating experience guaranteed to strengthen the faith of anyone who witnessed it.
july 4, 2013
In later years, his nightly shiur became something of a public event. A large group of regular attendees of his shiur were supplemented each night by people anxious to see and learn from the gadol hador. For many, especially thousands of visitors from all over the world, this was their only opportunity to be bimechitzaso, experiencing firsthand the greatness that was Rav Elyashiv. They took their seats and let the sweetness and clarity of his delivery draw them in. The sugya was opened wide, as his dual roles - maggid shiur for laymen and rebbi of Klal Yisroel - fused into one during that hour.
The Jewish Home
Rav Elyashiv’s existence was bederech neis in the zechus of Klal Yisroel and the Torah that he studied. He was weak and sickly as a child and was home-schooled due to his constantly recurring illnesses. He was so weak that he was never able to help out at home or undertake any strenuous physical activity. All he was able to do was learn with his father at home. His health did not improve with age. His children often feared that he was about to die and that they were going to become orphans. But Rav Elyashiv was Torah, Torah, un noch Torah. When he learned, he was as fresh and vigorous as a healthy, strong man. The Torah was his eitz chaim, sustaining him and giving him life.
Rav Elyashiv stood as a symbol of the greatness man can attain if he applies himself to Torah. There is no limit to what we can achieve. If a sickly, weak individual, with a heart that could barely pump, was able to master kol haTorah kulah, we, who are healthy, can surely reach high levels and light up the world with our Torah if we dedicate ourselves to it. If Torah becomes more important to us than anything else, we can reach the levels he personified. It was a gift to our generation that a person who we saw, spoke to and studied from lived among us and walked among us, in this day, in this generation, and epitomized a gadlus that the yeitzer hara says is impossible to reach anymore. Though he is no longer with us delivering shiurim, p’sokim and hora’ah for hundreds of thousands, the posuk on the aron kodesh which stood beside him, “Toras Hashem temimah,” is as true as ever. His message and example are still fresh for everyone to learn from and emulate. As we commemorate his first yahrtzeit, we are reminded to do our part to connect with the totality of the Torah.
We lived in an era with Rav Elyashiv. Many of us merited to see him, some even to speak to him. But those who never saw him heard tales of his unquenchable thirst for Torah. Kol bais Yisroel was elevated by having him in our midst. He was taken from us during the period when we mourn the churban. We don’t remember the Bais Hamikdosh, but we do remember Rav Elyashiv. As time passes, we grasp more of what it was that we lost with his petirah. We realize that he stood as a model of the prototype ben Torah we should all aspire to be. As we mark a year since his passing, we take hold of his memory, image and example, and we affirm our desire to live up to the achrayus we have as children of a generation that was so blessed.
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Crime and Prejudice By Rabbi Avi Shafran
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
My first encounter with the legendary Rabbi Moshe Sherer, z”l, the late president of Agudath Israel of America and the man who hired and mentored me as the organization’s spokesperson, was an unexpected phone call offering praise and criticism. It was the mid-1980s, and I was a rebbe, or Jewish studies teacher, in Providence, Rhode Island at the time. Occasionally, though, I indulged my desire to write op-eds, some of which were published by the Providence Journal and various Jewish weeklies. One article I penned in those days was about the bus-stop burnings that had then been taking place in religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel. Advertisements on the shelters in religious neighborhoods began to display images that were, to put it genteelly, not in synch with the religious sensibilities of the local residents, for whom modesty was a high ideal and women were respected for who they were, not regarded as means of gaining attention for commercial products. Scores of the offensive-ad shelters were either spray-painted or torched; and, on the other side of the societal divide, a group formed that pledged to burn a synagogue for every burned bus-stop shelter. It was not a pretty time. My article was aimed at trying to convey the motivation of the bus-stop burners, wrong though their actions were. Imagine, I suggested, a society where heroin was legal, freely marketed and advertised. And a billboard touting the drug’s wonderful qualities was erected just outside a school. Most of us would never think of defacing or destroying the ad but most of us would probably well relate to the feelings of someone who took things into his own hands. For a charedi Jew, gross immodesty in advertising in his neighborhood is no less dangerous, in a spiritual sense, and no less deplorable. Rabbi Sherer had somehow seen the article and he called to tell me how cogent he had found it. But, he added – and the “but,” I realized, was the main point of the call – “my dear Avi, you should never assume that the culprits were religious Jews. Never concede an unproven assertion.”
I was taken aback, since hotheads certainly exist among religious Jews. But I thanked my esteemed caller greatly for both his kind words and his critical ones. I wasn’t convinced that my assumption had really been unreasonable, but, I supposed, he had a valid point. To my surprise, several weeks later, a group of non-religious youths were arrested for setting a bus-stop aflame, in an effort to increase ill will against the religious community. How many of the burnings the members of the group, or others like them, may have perpetrated was and remains unknown. But Rabbi Sherer had proven himself (and not for the first or last time) a wise man. What recalled that era and interaction to me this week were the reports from Israel that arrests had been made in the 2009 case of a gunman who entered a Tel Aviv youth center for homosexuals and opened fire on those inside, killing two people and wounding 15 before escaping. Both Israeli and western media freely speculated at the time that the murderer was likely a charedi, bent on visiting his idea of justice upon people who live in violation of the Torah’s precepts. What has apparently turned out to be the case, though, as my colleague Rabbi Menken has pointed out in an “In Brief” item here on Cross-Currents, is that the rampage at the club had nothing to do with either charedim or religious beliefs. It was reportedly a revenge attack in the wake of a minor’s claim that he had been abused by a senior figure of the club. A family member of the minor allegedly went to the club to kill the suspected abuser but, unable to find him, opened fire indiscriminately. (Unsurprisingly, but worthy of note all the same, none of the media pundits or bloggerei who laid the shooting at the feet of charedim have offered apologies.) There are, to be sure, unsavory people in charedi communities, as there are in every community. Religious dress and lifestyle are no guarantees of what kind of person lies behind the façade. The Talmud includes a difference of opinion about how “Esav’s personification,” the angel with whom Yaakov wrestled, appeared to our forefather. One opinion holds that the malevolent being looked like “a mugger”; the other, “like a religious scholar.” But for anyone to assume that any particular crime must have been the work of someone in the charedi community – or in any community – bespeaks a subtle bias born of animus, whether recognized by its bearer or not. And such assumptions are criminal in their own right.
© 2013 Rabbi Avi Shafran This essay and others, plus occasional musings of mine, can be read at rabbiavishafran.com.
by Shiffy Friedman ©
Recap: Davie remembers the first time he took to drugs, after yet another bout of criticism from his father. Lisa flees from her father’s home in the last minute, vowing to pay a visit to Becca instead the very next day. Davie Stein It’s funny. I should’ve gotten bored of asking “May I take your order please?” by now, but I haven’t. Somehow, I’m sticking it out at the same steakhouse for two years now, arriving at 6:30 sharp (almost) every evening, donning the maroon blazer that’s too stiff at the neck, and serving happy couples and excited dates well into the night. Of all people in the world, it was actually Dad who helped me land here. I remember when he called me up with his old friend Yishai on the line. “Davie,” Yishai said to me in his trademark hoarse voice. I couldn’t help but clear my throat. I know, how mean of me. “Hello, Mr. Lawrence,” I said, trying to sound as respectful as I never was to him. The candy guy at our shul, he was the one from whom I stole the lollipops, just because I took pleasure in seeing his green eyes pop out like squish-balls. When he asked me what I was doing these days, I swallowed hard. What was Dad up to now? He knew I wasn’t thinking of getting places, not then anyway. Was this a college proposal conspiracy? “You know I have a steakhouse, the one on East 4th,” Yishai continued. Of course I did. “Yeah, yeah, now I remember,” I told him. When I passed the place on some nights, almost fainting from hunger, the smell of roasting steaks slashed through my innards. Once, I even contemplated taking advantage of my pull there but when I remembered the lollipops I nixed the idea, resorting to the dusty tuna cans in the pantry. “Your dad tells me you’re out of work now. Would you like to come in for an interview?” That was fast. Hoping deep down it would mean parties every night, I couldn’t give up this offer. These days, I do get to eat good stuff there but not before I finish my work. All night, every night, I wait at the tables, jotting down menus that make my mouth go wet. Medium-rare club steak is my favorite, especially with the butter-soft garlic potatoes on the side. Whenever I bring in an order for this dish, Chef Jake knows to put aside a generous portion for me. G-d bless him. On hard nights, it’s the thought of those potatoes waiting for me in the kitchen that oils my moves. It’s not always easy serving people, some of whom I remember from my childhood, as they sit comfortably, their bellies round and full, with the people
they love. Why, tonight, a kid I remember from school even proposed there. I’m so far away, so far away, from their place. I’m the waiter, single and alone, trying to make sense of the life that was handed to me, while they live in bliss, their shining eyes mirroring in the champagne glasses on the table. Oh, the pain. I hate this pain. I want to quiet it, to grind it to nothing. When I hate my life so much, the chest in the bathroom becomes my haven. Only on those nights I don’t show up to the steakhouse on time. When Yishai’s face tell me he’s annoyed, I don’t bother apologizing. What does he know? I just try harder to smile my widest smile until my muscles hurt. I can’t afford to lose this job at a happy place that teems with life. Once per month, though, Yishai allows me to take a paid night off. It’s on nights like these that I realize there’s life beyond the restaurant while I walk from kitchen to table, table to kitchen to the beat of the clinking dishes. I’m left to wonder if I’ll ever partake in it. What will I do tonight? I could ride my bicycle down the boardwalk with Tuvia, who’s begging me to join him on his nightly rides since ever. But I think I’d rather drop by at Dad’s place to show my face. I’m running low on petty cash and the cabinet in the bathroom is almost bare. Lisa Stein Marcus “There’s something on your mind,” Nathan said to me last night. The thought of disclosure floundered in my laden mind for a moment, but I persisted. It felt weird, even traitorous to me, but I thought it undesired to share. Though I take full credit in my self-directed healing process, if there’s anyone in the world who shares this pride with me, it is Nathan. Together, we’ve gathered the broken shards and made me whole. How could I unravel this exquisite mosaic that thrives in his mind, that brings him the purest joy a husband can ever feel? So all I said with a quick shrug of the shoulder was, “Nothing major, really.” When I readied myself to leave the house again tonight, my face undoubtedly a window to my tension, I was glad he wasn’t home. Thankfully, the kids were fast asleep when I reached the third page of our bedtime story-an unusual occurrence, actually. The sitter probably thinks I went out for dinner. Not really, Shira. I’d choose a night out anytime over this trip that’s making me sick. I notice now how I loath my spiteful self and I admit this realization makes me real proud. I haven’t inherited the gene, thank g-d. But now, this is my duty. The woman who birthed me comes before anyone in the world,
especially the man who killed her dreams and spread their ashes before her swollen eyes. If I convince Becca to bring an abrupt end to her senseless behavior, to bring our pained mother back into her life, every iota of tension and moment of breathlessness will not be in vain. How on earth can a daughter turn her back like that? Even if I expire tonight, I will die a peaceful death, knowing that I’ve done all I could to the woman who brought me to life. From where I stand on the curb near my parked car, I see through the paper shades that the lights in Becca’s third floor apartment are all lit, even in the bedroom off the kitchen. I glance at my watch, trying to make sense of the situation. I shouldn’t be so surprised, actually. This isn’t the first night that her children are awake past bedtime. I wonder if they even have one. Is this the right time to come to her, my mouth bulging with the threat that could have her fall on her face? Perhaps it is good for me to catch her when she’s not the Becca the street knows, to smack her when she feels so weak her heart will give like her knees. I’m breathless when I reach her landing, my palms wet. The smell of burned onions hangs heavily over the carpeted stairs that let themselves be heard as I tread on them, one by one. “Gabi, get over here right now!” I hear my sister’s irate voice on the other side of the door. With a cheeky snicker, Gabi’s off to the other end of the apartment. I ready myself to knock, to smile widely at Becca and ask smoothly, “Hi, Becca, I see you’re busy here but may I come in for a moment?” I swallow deeply, my finger on the door, when I hear a masculine voice inside. It is not Aron, the man who feels displaced in his own home. From what I know, Aron is probably out on the street or resting in bed. I don’t think he wishes to be home during the hours that the world knows as bedtime, when Becca becomes so anxious she lashes out at every cue. If only Aron had the courage to make for himself a life outside of his home, so many people would enjoy the subservience and serenity that render him so unique. “You never help me with anything,” I’ve heard Becca complain to him. “Why does everything have to fall on my shoulders? You’re so unfair!” I’ve heard her spit those words more than once, involuntarily contrasting my own view of my husband to hers. Although I’m grateful that Nathan shares much of the domestic onus with me, I do realize that we’re partners in all else in life while Aron desperately trudges behind Becca, his feeble attempts at pleasing her forever uncelebrated. “Avi!” Becca shouts this time. “Stop fighting with your brother!” “Wait here. I’ll be back in a minute,” I hear her say as she closes the living
room door and heads toward the kids. A quick slapping sound echoes into the hall. “But he started!” Avi yells back. “He stole the blocks from my drawer, the ones I got from my teacher!” “That’s not true,” I hear Gabi cry. “I promise I don’t know where they are.” Becca sighs loudly. “Kids,” she says, her voice rigid, “If you don’t get into pajamas by the count of ten, I’m throwing the new fruit punch straight into the garbage can. You don’t deserve this treat, not when you fight like animals. You’re embarrassing me!” She slams the door shut. Thanks to the fruit punch, silence finally reigns. Only the gentle melodies of the baby’s mobile fill the apartment. When Becca returns to the living room, I can hear the muffled masculine voice from the distance. He’s saying something to her, talking in an authoritarian tone that makes me shudder. My sister, the one who controls even the man of her home, is quiet, completely silent, while this person rambles on. I deliberate between hugging my own frame or the door in front of me. I so badly want to hear what is going on in my sister’s life but I’m so afraid for my own. Suddenly, my ear is pressed tightly against the hollow door. The sounds I hear remind me of the time I joined Becca and her friend on a seashell hunt one sunny morning during summer vacation. When I forced my ear so tightly against the cracks that I thought I heard the waves inside, all-knowing Becca had laughed and said, “That’s your own body you’re listening to, Lissy!” Now, the body I’m listening to is sweating, working overtime. My heart is pumping in my cheeks. A soft sound emanates from the direction of the kitchen. Apparently bored of the continuous melodies, Becca’s baby is starting to whimper. Poor child. How I wish I could lift her up and carry her away, to sprinkle magic dust over her so she has the blessed childhood she deserves. I can’t help but laugh at the memory of her perfect kiddush, her mother’s blue eyes sparkling majestically on that beautiful spring morning. Her whimpering doesn’t cease. Instead, it grows into a cry, a piercing, howling cry that makes a mother’s heart tear. “Becca,” I want to yell. “Give me that baby. Now!” The baby’s cries intensify. I picture her wet face, red and strangled, as she tries to catch her breath. She starts to hiccup, exhausted. Does Becca not hear her, not hear her at all? She’s her mother! I purse my lips, incensed. Finally, the living room door squeaks open. The man’s heavy footsteps follow Becca. Thank you, Baby! “Does she still cry all the time?” I hear him ask. Now I don’t have to press my ears against the door to discern the voice. In less than a split second, I recognize the very first person to ever hold Becca in his grip.
july 4, 2013
21 The Jewish Home
Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BDS Movement Rising on UC Campuses
Students and pro-Israel campus organizations discuss how the campus climate is changing, and how they’ll be better prepared for debates and resolutions next year.
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
At UC Santa Barbara, Jewish students were spit on and had their tires slashed. At UC San Diego, Jewish and pro-Israel students were called rapists, and were witness to accusations that Zionists are stealing Palestinian organs in the Negev. It’s all part of the drama surrounding the divestment campaigns, or BDS (standing for boycotts, divestments and sanctions) which took place on numerous California college campuses this year, where pro-Palestinian groups tried to pass resolutions through student government, calling on the UC system to divest from any corporation with holdings or ties in Israel. This type of anti-Israel activity is a little bit sneakier than what’s been standard in the past, according to Yael Steinberg, West Coast coordinator for Hasbara Fellowships, a project of Aish International, in that it doesn’t necessarily involve the gorilla theater that comes with public yelling and screaming on the quad. Instead, BDS targets the student governments, hoping they make a resolution to divest from Israel and vote on behalf of the entire student body. It’s also sneaky in the way they bring their resolutions to the student senate – often in a hush-hush atmosphere where the pro-Israel students don’t know until just before that a resolution will be voted on at a meeting, and thus aren’t prepared to present and defend their side, which is happened at both UC Irvine and UC Riverside. At UC Riverside, pro-Israel students found out that a divestment resolution would be voted on less than 24 hours before the vote took place, which didn’t give them enough time to request a presentation slot, according to Jacqueline Zelener, a sophomore this past year and StandWithUs Emerson fellow who was also the president of Highlanders for Israel, the pro-Israel group on campus. So while Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had 14 minutes to present a one-sided presentation in favor of divestment, pro-Israel students were only able to speak in two-minute increments at the end of the meeting. The resolution passed easily, but at the next senate meeting, Zelener and other pro-Israel students were able to make a dynamic, thorough presentation refuting all the points SJP made with documented sources, leading to a vote of 10-2, one abstaining, to rescind the resolution.
“The senators were really shocked by how they had been lied to,” Zelener says. “I’m really proud of the senators on campus and thankful that they were able to sit back for a moment and make an educated decision based on everything they had learned.” ”Obviously for Jewish students this is huge, and really affects the campus climate,” Steinberg says. “Basically Israel and Israelis are accused of doing terrible things, and it’s all under the umbrella of free speech. They can say whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s factual.” Over the past school year, resolutions for divestment were debated on eight college campuses in California; they passed at UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, and initially passed at UC Riverside before being reversed. Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz all defeated divestment resolutions this year. In addition, resolutions passed at the University of California Student Association (UCSA) and the United States Students Association (USSA). Having a divestment resolution pass is mostly symbolic, since UC campuses are bound by the UC’s governing Board of Regents, which decided in 2010 that a university would divest from American companies doing business with a foreign government only if that regime was committing acts of genocide. However divestment resolutions spread a negative story about Israel and contribute to pro-Israel students feeling marginalized and threatened on campus. Pro-Israel student leaders came into this year with a certain naiveté that no one would believe the outrageous claims against Israel that BDS backers were
making, says Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel campus outreach organization. “Oftentimes the students will feel as if they’ve got it covered. They think, ‘we’ll handle this,’ and they don’t realize they’re going to walk into a show: a well-prepared show with a parade of speakers and pictures,” she says, including claims like Israeli soldiers are shooting Palestinian children in their backs. “But they keep repeating it and banging the drum, and the student councils get carried away and are vulnerable, and then they believe this garbage.” Even one successful resolution is a problem, because the pro-BDS movement is quick to publicize any victory, Rothstein says, “so for us, having one to two dozen instances [of divestment resolutions] is too much.” Julia Turan, a senior at Stanford University who is the outreach chair for SIA, the Stanford Israel Alliance, says that dealing with BDS is her least favorite part of her involvement with Israel. “Both sides of the argument are trying to shoot the other one down, and the animosity it creates on our campus is something I wish we could get rid of,” she says. Whether a BDS resolution passes is less important to Phillip Brodsky, campus director for The David Project, than the fact that the conversation itself spreads negativity about Israel. “The biggest impact of the BDS thing is that it has made the conversation on Israel very negative, very black and white. For the most part, in general, students don’t want to have something to do with it either way.” However, while he and many others see BDS-backers as a fringe group, when resolutions come up in student government
By Rachel Wizenfeld
and student leaders spend hours debating divestment with some student councils ultimately passing it, that’s a serious issue that has to be dealt with. “I don’t think we can ignore it, but…it spreads negativity about the conversation on Israel, and if a pro-Israel group wants to partner and do a cultural exchange, there’s a possibility that students will say this is a negative issue. That’s more of what I worry about; it discourages mainstream groups from working with pro-Israel groups.” Students found out the importance of coalition building this year when their anti-divestment campaigns fared much better on campuses where they had strong relationships with student government and other student groups. At UC Irvine, where the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and SJP have a strong hand in the student government, the agenda with the BDS resolution wasn’t published beforehand so pro-Israel students didn’t know about it, says Hasbara’s Steinberg. In contrast, at UCLA, even though the BDS resolution was introduced discretely and last minute, Jewish leaders still had four days to galvanize and successfully struck down the resolution before it even came to a vote. All Jewish entities at UCLA came together: Jewish Student Union, Hillel, Ha’Am, Chabad, Jewish Awareness Movement (JAM), Bruin Republicans, Bruin Democrats and Jewish leaders of different campus organizations, says Avi Oved, an incoming junior at UCLA who was recently elected to serve as Internal Vice President of UCLA. “The way the Jewish community rallied, mobilized and organized in a matter of four days was amazing,” he says. He adds that student government is an extremely important space that needs to constantly have a Jewish presence.
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“I think that it worries a lot of people in the Jewish community,” says Brodsky. “An anti-Israel speaker comes to campus and Jewish communities feel like they have to react…but when you see who’s coming to Apartheid Week or the anti-Israel speakers, often it’s not a lot of students.” “They want to be seen as formidable, as a force to be reckoned with, but really they’re so fringe,” agrees Samantha Mandeles, the senior campus coordinator at CAMERA. “There are small groups from different parts of the spectrum, whether it’s SJP or MSU, or a group of anarchists. A lot of the time they’re so fringe and they end up making themselves look stupid.” Jewish groups may be partially to blame for giving the BDS backers some of their perceived clout. “70% of the BDS’ movements coverage comes from the Jewish community and from the Jewish community freaking out,” says Steinberg. “That’s not to say it’s not important and to not handle it, but we need to realize we’re giving them more publicity.” She gives an example of when one of the founders of the BDS movement came to a campus on Brooklyn College. Since the event was small with mostly pro-BDS people attending, the Jewish students decided to let the event fly without protest. However when the broader Jewish community got word of it, external leaders started to make a big fuss and the event got blown out of proportion.
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Students are realizing that their civic responsibility is just as important as their responsibility to the Jewish community and their immediate groups, like Hillel, Chabad and AEPi, says Steinberg. She adds that a lot of the minority groups on campus were on board with MSU and SJP because on campuses with a large Jewish population, Jewish students have sources of camaraderie through Hillel and Chabad, so “while we were building the Jewish community, they were making friends with minorities.” That’s why The David Project’s biggest tactics in pro-Israel advocacy are relational advocacy and campus mapping, in which pro-Israel student leaders determine which student groups and leaders are most influential on campus, and engage with them personally to forge a deep, personal connection that goes beyond the Israeli-Palestinian issue. “It’s more important to have 30 coffee conversations with different student leaders across campus than to run a program with 50-100 people that are already pro-Israel,” says Brodsky. However, some think the Jewish community is worrying about BDS more than they need to. Daniel Narvy, the incoming president of Anteaters for Israel at UC Irvine and a Hasbara and StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, says that while he considers BDS to be an anti-Semitic movement that singles the Jewish state out, demonizes Israel, and attacks the Jewish people, the majority of people on his campus don’t even know what BDS is, despite the BDS resolution passing. “Divestment resolutions...are symbolic,” he says. “What a student government made up of a handful of students decides, does not speak for the 20,000-plus enrollment at UCI.” In fact, despite the perceived anti-Israel climate at UC Irvine, the university recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Haifa in Israel.
“Part of what gives BDS so much attention is the Jewish community giving it so much attention,” Steinberg says. At the same time, there are students who were traumatized by this past year, from being vilified for being an Israel supporter and compared to the Nazis – one student was punched and called a Zionist rapist, Steinberg says, and the universities take minimal effort to condemn this activity and protect Jewish students. “It does marginalize Jewish students on campus,” says Rothstein from StandWithUs, and she notes that some groups are trying to involve administrators in getting student governments back on track so they aren’t just focusing on this one issue. “But until then, it’s free speech and the right of student groups to bring their agenda and hammer on everyone’s heads.”
“The university has not been supporting [students],” says Steinberg. “If there was a hate crime on campus against any other ethnic group, there would be condemnation from the administration. Someone would say this is not allowed.” But because the attacks are ostensibly against Israel and Zionism, and not Jews and Judaism, they’re allowed to propagate. There’s also the perspective that white Jewish students are privileged and don’t understand what it’s like to be marginalized, adding to the negativity. “It’s really hard doing this work on campus - I remember when I was doing it,” says Mandeles. “I think that and I hope that students become more vocal and willing to say, ‘no, I absolutely will not tolerate Israel being attacked as a pariah.’”
Photo Credit: New York Times
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july 4, 2013
A Profile of Chabad Russian Immigrant Program & Synagogue (Recently Featured in the New York Times) By Alisa Roberts
Rabbi Estulin is waiting for me on the corner. People are coming in and out of the two-story Chabad Russian Immigrant Program & Synagogue on Santa Monica Boulevard. They all have a greeting and a smile for the Rabbi. He has one for each of them, and for me as well. “Come in, let me show you our place!” Inside the center is open and airy, high ceilings filled with sunlight from the large, arched windows that line the walls. We pass the kitchen, then move into front room where one of the other rabbis is helping a man to put on Teffilin. There are people in offices, groups of men playing backgammon and dominoes. Everyone seems at home. I follow the rabbi into the Shul, also high-ceilinged and open. There is a large skylight over the Bimah, highlighting it with a spotlight of sunshine as if to point it out as the focal point for the room. Which isn’t a bad idea; during the week this room hardly looks like a Shul. There are tables lining the walls where people are still sitting and eating, chatting. I’m surrounded by Russian conversation. The rabbi tells me the stories of a few of the people at the tables. He seems to know everyone. I keep following him, this time upstairs to the library. The library is the first room not lined with windows. Instead, its walls are lined with books in glass-fronted cases. “We have books in five languages,” he tells me proudly. Before I can guess them all he is pointing to the table, where he has laid out food for me. Not just a snack but an entire meal. Actually, a choice of meals. “First you eat, then we’ll talk.” He is in no hurry, but I’m curious. How did this begin?
What’s the story behind it all? “You eat, I’ll talk,” he says with a smile. Russia and the revolution The first story he tells me is about Russia after the revolution. It’s a moving story, but not the one I expect. It isn’t his story; it’s a story about the Lubavitcher Rebbes. He tells me how, after the revolution, the Previous Rebbe didn’t leave Russia or go into hiding. “He was the leader of a generation, a captain staying with his ship.” And so, while the KGB was dismantling religion as fast as it could manage, the Rebbe was building an entire underground network of Judaism. “When the communists took away one Shul, it became 30 underground Shuls.” Discovered and imprisoned – even threatened with a death sentence – the Rebbe remained strong and committed to his cause. That commitment is still paying off. While he eventually succeeded in regaining his freedom and came to America to set up the now-famous Brooklyn headquarters, the shuls and schools that he set up educated a generation of Jewish leaders. Including Rabbi Estulin. The rabbi of Chabad Russian Immigrant Program & Synagogue Rabbi Estulin grew up under communism. His father was a Talmud Chacham, “A giant of a man both spiritually and physically.” He fought, as did nearly everyone, in the Russian army. During the two years that his father fought in Stalingrad he ate only kosher food. He also carried a small set of Teffilin in his pocket which he put on every day, hiding in bombed out buildings from both the Nazis and the men in his own unit. He might have been fighting with the communists, but if they caught
Jewish veterans of the Red Army mark Victory Day
Rabbi Machlin puts on Tefillin with a regular visitor at the center him wearing Teffilin they could shoot him on sight. “That was the family I was born into.” Rabbi Estulin remembers his family practicing in extreme secrecy, going to great lengths to remain Torah Jews in Soviet Russia. He attended underground Chabad schools, where they dressed in a carefully non-Jewish fashion to avoid suspicion. This secret education continued after his bar mitzvah, when he was sent away to an underground Chabad Yeshivah. It wasn’t a traditional education. “We used to get Teffilin and Mezuzot from tourists the Rebbe would send us. We had nothing, so he would send tourists with things in their suitcases. They would leave the things in the shul and someone would come later to collect them.” At the age of 19, Rabbi Estulin left Russia and immigrated to the United States. He studied for a few years in Brooklyn, which was also where he met his wife, Faige. After they married in 1970, they were sent to Los Angeles. “The Rebbe sent me to Los Angeles to take care of the Russian Jewish community there. Many Russian Jews were supposed to go there. Chabad was already here, but for the Russian community we were starting from scratch.” They landed in Los Angeles 40 years ago; it has been their home ever since. Early days In May of 1972, President Richard Nix-
on visited Russia. It was the first time a US President had ever visited Russia. It was also in the middle of the Cold War. But as it turns out, Nixon brought more than a message of political cooperation to that historic meeting. He brought a message from the Rebbe. Rabbi Estulin tells me his side of that story. “When I arrived there were a few families, most hadn’t arrived yet. One day, the Rebbe’s secretary called me and asked me to be in touch with all the families here. He wanted me to find out from them if they had any friends or relatives who wanted to come out of Russia. I found out later that he had called and asked this question across the country. I put together a list of a couple thousand names. These names ended up on a list that the Rebbe gave to Nixon. You see, Russia used to claim that anyone was free to go if they wanted; it was just that no one wanted to go. It was such a good country, why would they want to leave? The Rebbe put together a list with over 50,000 names and addresses so that Nixon, on this historic first visit, could ask to let the Jews go. And Russia was legally obligated to do this in the case of reuniting families that had been broken up by the war.” It worked. Within six months, Jews were streaming into Los Angeles. When they settled, their families started arriving. There are now around 20,000 Russian Jewish families in the area. At that point they had the Jews, but very little else. Rabbi Estulin used to pick families up from the airport in a borrowed van. He would look for apartments for them, try to find them jobs. “Whatever they needed we tried to help them with. Like the Baal Shem Tov says, first you ask them if they’ve eaten, then if they’ve Davened.” This help included finding Jewish schools and summer camps for the children. It in-
The Jewish Home july 4, 2013
The Jewish Home
july 4, 2013
Jews. This was 1972, so there were already five or six Shluchim [in the Los Angeles area], but we were it for the Russian community.” The difficulty didn’t give them pause. They were here to help Jews and that’s what they intended to do. They opened a small Chabad office on Fairfax. There was plenty to do. “When we first came there were a couple hundred families, and almost no one was circumcised. The sons, the fathers, and sometimes the grandfathers – it was nearly impossible under Soviet Russia. The weddings also had not been kosher. We used to Rabbi Tsikman with Rabbi Estulin children, and we were crammed make 20 or 30 Chuppahs in one into this small space on Santa Monica near day.” All told, they performed thousands of Fuller. A Jewish man walks in. He’s maybe weddings, thousands of bar mitzvahs – and 75 years old. He comes into the old synover 10,000 Brisim. agogue and looks around, watching the They didn’t always know what they kids eating with such appetite. I was the were doing. Rabbi Estulin remembers findonly one who had a day camp that fed the ing a Sefer Torah for the Shul and having kids lunch. They didn’t have kosher food, no idea how he could afford to purchase and in general they didn’t have much food. it. “I called Rabbi Raichick. I told him I This man asks me, ‘What’s going on here?’ had found a Sefer Torah for $2000, but I I said, ‘These are Russian Jews that just didn’t have a penny. He sat me down and arrived. We’re taking care of them. We’re worked through a financial statement with feeding them.’ As I watched he began to me, taught me how to get a loan with the cry. I asked him, ‘What’s wrong?’ He said bank.” He got the loan, and the Shul got its to me, ‘I grew up in Czechoslovakia. I was first Sefer Torah. hungry until I was 19 years old.’ He was As the Russian community shifted its very moved. Then he asked me, ‘Why are place in the city, so did the synagogue. Afthey so squeezed?’ We were like sardines. ter the Fairfax location they bought a Shul on La Brea. Later, they moved to a loca- I said, ‘Because we don’t have any other tion on Santa Monica. The community had place.’ He told me that his wife had just grown, but the Shul had remained small. passed away and he had been looking for They desperately needed more space. Rab- something to donate to in her memory. He bi Estulin wrote to the Rebbe, telling him asked me to take a walk with him right then that he wanted a new building and asking and see what was available on the street. for a blessing. “He told me, ‘You will get We found this building. It was a garage. I more than you asked for.’” A new home Part of the reason Rabbi Estulin asked for a blessing was that it was not easy to find or purchase space in the area where they were looking. It was centrally located – ideal for a synagogue and community center, but problematic for a real estate search. And if you were lucky enough to find something you had to be able to afford the down payment, which rarely ran at less than half a million dollars. “It was three weeks after he gave me that blessing,” he pauses for a moment, calculating. “Actually, it was today, this very day 21 years ago. I was running a day camp for Part of the library, which is open to the public
ers for much of the labor. Rabbis Estulin remembers people standing on the street, watching the construction, crying. “This place became a home for Russian Jews.” A bigger space, a bigger reach They opened the new facility in September of 1991, for Yom Kippur. Well over a thousand people showed up. “There were helicopters, police, firemen. They didn’t know what was going on.” The rabbi laughs at the memory. While the city didn’t let everyone in, they didn’t close them down thought, ‘What am I going to do with a gaeither; they formed the crowds rage?’ But he saw the windows and he fell into lines and let them come in to Daven in love. Back in Czechoslovakia, the win- in shifts. It made such a splash that even dows in his Shul had been just like these. the Los Angeles Times ran a story about it. He said, ‘I love this place! I want it. I’ll The title was “Lines Form for Faith, Not come to Mincha to say Kaddish and you’ll Bread.” tell me what’s going on.’ Once the new center was open, syn“I called up the building manage- agogue services was not all it provided. ment, and they wanted almost $2 million There were, of course, Shabbos and High for the building. They also wanted at least Holiday services. But there were also large $500,000 as a down payment. Plus we Chanukah celebrations and Purim parties. needed almost a million dollars more to There was a variety of social programremodel. I came to Mincha thinking the ming, including the hot meals, Davening, whole thing was a dream, that he wouldn’t and games I saw on my brief tour. Today, even be there. But there he was. After Min- 300 to 400 people make their way through cha the first thing he said to me was, ‘Nu, the center on a daily basis while 150 or what’s happening?’ So I told him what they more people stop by for a meal each day. had told me. He said, ‘I wasn’t thinking There are bar mitzvahs, Chasunahs, Bikor to give so much. But I like the kids and I Cholim programs, and help with funerals – like the place.’ He wrote me a check for it’s hard to find an aspect of community in$50,000, handed it to me and said, ‘When volvement that Chabad Russian Immigrant you close escrow, I’ll give you the other Program & Synagogue doesn’t have a hand $450,000.’ Later he gave another couple in. There is even a Tashlich fountain, comhundred thousand on top of that.” plete with live carp, beneath the Holocaust They purchased the building and began memorial that hangs on one wall. As the the remodel, using Russian Jewish work- rabbi says, it’s “one stop shopping.” There is almost no Russian family in Los Angeles that isn’t attached to the center in one way or another. And, just as it was in the beginning, the help doesn’t begin and end with religious needs. At one point in the 1990s, an entire generation of Russians needed to gain their American citizenship in addition to a green card. For the younger, English-speaking generation this was not a problem. But the older people were afraid. If they couldn’t become citizens they would lose their benefits, which to an older person in a strange country literally felt like a question of life or death. “It Rabbi Zalman Estulin, R’ Naftoli’s father
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Wall of pictures showing the Chanukah events over the years was terrifying for them,” remembers Rabbi Estulin. “They thought, ‘We left Russia to die here?’” So the rabbi got in touch with the INS and made them an interesting offer. “We told them, we can bring you thousands of people to go through your testing, but they’ll take over your entire building. Or you can send us six or seven officers, and we’ll let you use our building. We’ll provide translators, coaches; everything you need. And they liked the idea. They sent seven, eight, sometimes nine officers twice a week. It was perfect, because not only was it easier for everyone involved, but the Russian Jews weren’t scared. They were on their home turf and the officers were very nice. 95% went through.” They didn’t just help the Russian community. “When word got out, others started showing up from other countries. It was like the UN here.” All in all, around 40,000 people were sworn in as citizens in the center at that time, far more than the Russian community alone. “We don’t discriminate. Anyone who needs, you have a place.” Chabad is not a party This acceptance isn’t just noticeable in the open doors and kitchens of the center, but in the staff and their attitudes as well. “I remember walking on the street at 6 AM one Shabbos on the way to Shul,” the rabbi tells me with energetic focus. Be-
hind us the dominoes still click, the phones ring, conversation buzzes. He doesn’t seem to notice. “This Jewish man was staring at newspaper rack, his face right up to the glass. And you know, I’m a Russian, I’m Chutzpadik. I said, ‘Mister, what are you doing?’ He thought I was crazy. He says, ‘I’m reading the news!’ I said, ‘The news is there? YOU make the news! WE make the news!’” He pauses to make sure I understand. “The Rambam says that the world is held in balance of good and bad. Every good thing that a Jew does – a good thought, a good speech, a good deed – tips the scale. When you open up another Shul, another school, when you do something good – that small action could bring salvation to the entire world. YOU make the news. People should know this. We don’t live by nature; if it were up to nature we would have been gone long ago. We’re a Mamlechet Kohanim, a royal family. Not because we step on people, like so many so-called royal families of the past. We are royal because the job the Aibishter gave us is to elevate the world! Each Jew is a light to the nations. That’s the news.” For Rabbi Estulin, these concepts of royalty and responsibility are very personal. “Chabad is not a party. It’s the heart of Judaism. We help Jews and teach them. You take a Jew who didn’t know the Alef Bet and you elevate him. You show him that he
is the best. He had no chance to study. His father was killed in a pogrom. His family didn’t have a penny for food, much less for education. There was a whole generation like that. They had nothing. So it’s not because that’s who they are; they’re not this. You are the royal family. You’re the most important to Hashem.” Moving forward Rabbi Estulin plans to continue this process of education and elevation. He has plans to add an English language newspaper to the Russian language educational paper that the center already produces and distributes. And, if he can find the funding, he wants to build a new youth center to provide an equally comfortable and healthy place for the younger generation. At the moment, this is more of a dream than a plan; the Shul is still paying off a mortgage and relies mainly on donations. But the rabbi remains positive. “There was never in history this much freedom around the world for Jews. You can daven, you can learn, you can make a Parnassah, Baruch Hashem. People don’t understand that it’s a process. Now, before Pesach in Moscow there are big signs: Come buy Matzah! We used to bake Matzah underground. It was so hard; you don’t know. There is no more Soviet Union; you cannot find it in the dictionary! And now in Russia there are 250 Jewish institutions. Step by step the redemption comes.”
I studied to be a computer scientist at Odessa University. After a year I was drafted into the army; everyone was at 18 years. After two years in the army I returned to university and graduated. I began teaching computer science. Then I was introduced to the Shliach there. I was introduced to Judaism. I was a beginner; I had never heard the word Torah before I met him. I began, step by step, to take things on. I visited him once a week. After one year I was Shomer Shabbos. I began keeping kosher. Keeping kosher there was not so easy. I would go to the market, find a chicken, and bring it to the rabbi who would Shecht it. Then I would bring it to my wife who would clean it and salt it. Then she would bake challah, and that was what we would eat all week. No beef, no dairy. Only vegetables, fish and chicken. After a year I was given the choice between continuing to teach at the university or moving to the synagogue. I changed careers and became assistant Rabbi. Now I am assistant rabbi at Chabad Russian Center.
Rabbi Machlin I was born in the Ukraine, in a city where there wasn’t a single synagogue, no Yiddishkeit at all. My father and mother were regular Russian Jews. But the Rebbe sent shluchim, and they opened a synagogue. As soon as we saw that there was a synagogue, that there were roots for our nation, everything changed. Instead of feeling bad about being a Jew, I started to feel like I was someone. Like I was from a royal line. I didn’t even finish high school, I went right away to a Yeshivah in Moscow, and
The centers building on the corner of S. Monica & N. Stanley
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Rabbis of Chabad Russian Center
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You Gotta be
Kidding! What did one flag say to the other flag? Nothing. It just waved! **************
A major explosion occurred in a fireworks factory, and once all the mess was cleared up, an investigation began. One of the few survivors was pulled up to make a statement. “Okay Joe,” says the investigator, “you were near the scene, what happened?” “Well, Old Charley was in the mixing room, and I saw him take a cigar out of his pocket and light up.” “He was smoking in the mixing room?” the investigator said in stunned horror. “How long had he been with the company?” “About 20 years, sir.” “20 years in the company, then he goes and strikes a match in the mixing room?! I’d have thought it would have been the last thing he’d have done!” “It was, sir.”
At a family’s July 4th barbeque, the following people were there: One grandfather, one grandmother; two fathers, two mothers; six children, four grandchildren; two brothers, two sisters; three sons, three daughters; one father-in-law, one mother-in-law, one daughter-in-law What is the least number of people who attended the barbeque? Answer below
Bald Eagle Facts 1. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson served on the committee that picked the eagle for the national seal. (Franklin wanted the turkey.) 2. Bald Eagles have few natural enemies and live only in North America. 3. Bald Eagles get their white head and tail feathers at about 4/5 years of age. 4. Bald Eagles are not, and never were, bald. The term comes from when “bald” meant “white-headed.” 5. Their maximum speed: 40 mph or over 100 mph while in a dive.
6. They can lift roughly half their body weight. 7. The Bald Eagle is no longer considered endangered and is now only considered threatened. 8. The only other kind of eagle in North America is the golden eagle. 9. Bald Eagles mate for life, but if one dies, the survivor will accept a new mate. 10. It is a felony to shoot an eagle. Bonus Fact: 7 out of 10 men in the Five Towns are “bald eagles.” (Ouch!)
Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to email@example.com
Answer to riddle: Four children—two boys, two girls; their mother and father; one set of grandparents
c. The Continental Army led by George Washington sneaking up on British forces in October 1775. d. Washington and his troops stealthily crossing the Delaware and capturing nearly 1,000 enemy soldiers at the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776.
2. Life, liberty and __________________? a. Big government. b. The pursuit of taxes. c. Freedom for all. d. The pursuit of happiness.
6. What significant event involving Israel took place on July 4th? a. On July 4th of 1983, a taxi driver admitted he was wrong during an argument with another driver, making national headlines in Israel. b. Yitzchok Rabin was shot and killed c. On July 4, 1976, the miraculous raid on Entebbe took place. d. The Six Day War ended.
3. In which other country is there a July 4th? a. France b. Britain c. Australia d. Canada 4. “The Midnight Ride” is the story of: a. Being stuck in construction traffic on Rockaway Turnpike at midnight while returning from a wedding—with a very loud band—in Brooklyn. b. Paul Revere warning that the British were coming.
5. What is the official name of the July 4th holiday? a. Fireworks Day b. Independence Day c. Barbeque Day d. Freedom Day
7. In what year was the Declaration of Independence signed? a. 1492 (by Christopher Columbus) b. 1969 (at Woodstock) c. 1772 d. 1776
Answers: 1. C- The bell cracked slightly on its first ringing. However, the large crack apparent today seems to have occurred on a later day. According to some, the large crack happened when the bell was rung to celebrate George Washington’s birthday in 1846. 2. D-“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence and considered by some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language. 3. A,B,C,D—duh… 4. B 5. B 6. C- On June 27, 1976, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by Arab terrorists. The plane was flown to Uganda where all of the passengers except the 106 Jews were released. In a daring and miraculous mission on July 4th, the IDF flew two planes into the Entebbe Airport and successfully rescued 102 of the hostages. 7. D Wisdom key: 5-6 correct: That American flag on your lapel finally rubbed off on you. 2-4 correct: Not bad, just continue your summer school classes and you will be alright. 0-2 correct: When your friends tell you to stand over the fireworks while lighting them, don’t listen!
Well Said Mr. Franklin Aside for being one of the Founding fathers of the U.S.A, Benjamin Franklin was also quite witty. The following sayings have been attributed to him: “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” “Fish and visitors smell in three days.” “Three may keep a secret, if two are dead.”
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”
“Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones - with ingratitude.” “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”
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1. How did the Liberty Bell get its crack? a. Some really big guy was invited to ring it one time and as he walked up to it, the bell cracked. b. Some lady was singing the national anthem and the bell and all surrounding windows in the area cracked. c. It just happened the first time the bell was rung. d. A kid was visiting on a Chol Hamoed trip and although the guard told him not to touch the bell, of course, he just couldn’t help himself.
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By I. Greenwood andNate Avi Yishai Compiled by Davis
At a G8 Summit press conference No one knows exactly where after an icy meeting between NSA whistleblower Edward U.S. President Barak Obama and Snowden is hiding at the Russian President Vladimir Putin moment. He released a during which they disagreed on statement that says, “No one core issues involving Syria: will find me unless some bigWhat the world [Obama about being No one has gotten near the bottom of this President Barackpromised Obama would never The “Faces of Globalis] more concerned mouth jerk starts blabbing.” President Obama: We scandal. Journalists shouldn’t be trying happen is happening at this very moment. right than he is concerned about getting makes the first extended trip Terrorism” bus ad - Jay Leno compared notes on President to make the story disappear. The revenueWhat theoftop of Israel’s defensefeaturing photos thingsof done… to Africa hisranks presidency 16 Putin’s expertise in judo gathering arm of the federal government establishment promised would next week — but he won’t be never wanted terrorists is not appears to be politically biased, corrupt New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Politico, and my declining skills in inits happen isat inthe factcountry happening. stopping of hisIran is only offensive to Muslims actions, and unable to reform itself. June 30 And we both becoming a nuclear power, while Israel Tell your boss I owe himThe only way tobasketball. birth. and ethnic minorities, but make that story go away is to agreed that as you get older (which is sunk in summer daydreams ) another friggin’ beer. get to the bottom of it and fully reveal it. It’s - Opening sentence in a Yahoo! it encourages racial and it takes more time to recover. stands alone….The international optimists - NSA Director Keith Alexander not ato bungle, it’s a scandal. news story religious profiling. I agree [W]e have an administration today that and the Israeli optimists were wrong, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, June 29 that civilianIvigilance am proudisto say no longer the hearing about Vladimir Putin: The president at adefends Congressional big time. Surprise, surprise: Benjamin important to the fight against constitutionality of DOMA of the(Defense NSA surveillance scandal wants to relax me with his Netanyahu was right… Hey, the Feds are terrorism. Representing Marriage Act). That’s an right enormous stepboth finished after they statement of age. to address President Obama flew to Germany interviewing my “close testifying forward.from Ari Shavit, veteran left-wing Haaretz terrorists, however, the German people in Berlin. It might cheer friends andadmitting associates.” Secretary of State John Kerry, The Washington only one ethnic or religious columnist, that he and his friends him up. He’s been ripped by both U.S. parties Perhaps if authorities Post, June 27 group promotes stereotypes were wrong about Iran,arrive June 27 lately for being an authoritarian and a Fashion designers Dolce [at] BuzzFeed... [it] may be and ignores other forms of You see, at the heart of compulsive speech-maker, so he might as well & Gabbanaappreciated. have been wise to immediately request go where it’s traditionally extremism. liberalism, is the idea that sentenced to 20 months in Did Ms. Lerner attempt to cover up the legal counsel before any - From a letter sent by Rep. Jim It is remarkable that when the scientific only a great and powerful targeting? “I don’t know the answer. ... jail for tax evasion. Their Argus Hamilton, Jewishworldreview.com, June 25 conversations or interviews Wash) to the consensus on global warming is at itsMcDermott (Dbig government can be the There’s no evidence on the record.” lawyers are appealing the about our news-gathering Director of the FBI urging him weakest state in years, President Barack benefactor was the person responsible for the of social justice to stop usingWho “offensive” bus sentence while Dolce & practices or related Obama has decided to make the issue a all Americans. But the Cincinnati office’s targeting for of tea-party ads that show sixteen faces of Gabbana are appealing the journalism issues. Also: I’m new focus of his troubled presidency wanted - and, Al Qaeda groups? “We are looking into theisfacts We will approve the meeting on condition left onlyand concerned with terrorists prison uniform. Orange is so onto a big story, and need to the issue as circumstances that arose.” one thing: control. And there are no Jews. indeed, that he intends to use last year. go the radar forfor a bit. All Who in Washington told IRSthey workers to hold theoff launching pad a radical extension disguise this control up the applications? “I don’t know the answer the best, and hope to see you - Jimmy Fallon of federal power even more significant as charity... My brothersA senior Palestinian lawmaker to an The Consumer Protection to that question.” all soon. Michael. American delegation, Gatestone Institute, than his health-care takeover. and sisters of the American Agency hasHow recalled 96,000 do you know the circumstances within June 27 - Email sent by BuzzFeed community, please join baby strollers tax-exempt unit aren’t more widespread Editorial,Michael National Review, June 26 Jeep Libertythe journalist Hastings Thank you, L-rd. Thank you into abandoning the within IRS? “I’ve asked me them look for because there is athe problem several hours before he was for calming that cable. evidence of problems.” government plantation and with the tires blowing out. killed in a fiery one-car crash - Nik Wallenda as he tightropehowever, it appears President Obama got some good news today. party teaof disappointment. How fat areHe ourdid, kids gettingagree that the walked 1,500 feet over the Grand [I]n truth Mr. Obama’s target is all forms party groups were sent on for extra scrutiny. can write off the first half of So that we may all echoThe IRS ruled he when they’re blowing out Canyon last weekend and faced “We did not find evidence ... we found no of carbon energy. Natural gas is next. The his second term as a total loss. of one Republican leader tires on their baby strollers? heavy winds Yesterday, FBIripple admitted indication ... that progressives was a term” higher coststhe will through the energy who famously said, “Free at they dowhich use drones on U.S. Jay Leno, NBC, June 24 chain, is precisely Mr. Obama’s- Jay Leno used to alert screeners. So there’s that. last, free to atapply last. Thank G-d Who initiated the targeting of donors soil domestic surveillance. goal.for Only by artificially raising the cost of we are free at last.” gift taxes to their donations?Almighty, This is “subject The FBI’senergy Robert Mueller Men’s Wearhouse founder carbon can he make even heavily to further investigation.” Louisiana State Sen. Knock, knock. Who’s there? subsidized “renewable” competitive. told Congress that he does spokesman George Who leaked the donor lists? Elbert “I do not have during his To return to theand Guillory, immigration bill, and allafter its George Zimmerman. George sometimes use drones, but Zimmer has been fired that information.” announcement that he left the assurances that those amnestied will “go to Editorial, The Wallnews Street ZimmermanWho who? good, he said the good is Journal that 40 years with the company. at Ah, the IRS was involvedDemocrat in covering party and joinedthe theend of the line” and have to wait longer you’re on the these drones are made in upjury. the patterns of abuse? That’s being party. I don’t know Republican for full-blown green cards andabout longeryou, still but investigated, too. - George Zimmerman’s defense America, by Americans, to I do NOT like the way thisof for citizenship, do you seriously think any Danny Werfel, the acting head of the IRS under attorney Don West during his spy on Americans. that hooey will looks. survive its first encounter with So glad you finally woke up to the fraud opening statement highlighting questioning in Congress by Ways and Means a federal judge? In much of the Southwest, -that Jay Leno - Jimmy Fallon is @ChrisChristie… We would hope that the difficulty Committee of finding an Chairman Dave Camp, The Wall you’d have jurisdictions with a majority of Russia would not side with unbiased juryStreet in theJournal, case. June 28 Hispanic residents living under an elderly, Ann Coulter, Newsmax, June 28 someone who is a fugitive disproportionately white voting roll. You can Modesty isn’t about hiding from justice... We have cut-and-paste Kennedy’s In the middle of all “improper these guff about ourselves; it’s about It sort of broke my have heart. seven prisoners to All you to do is look at returned Obamacare, animus” toward “a groupPresident of people” Obama straight scandals, into the first immigration appeal, and rammed through the congress with a bare revealing our dignity. – Hit man John “the Executioner” them in the last two years got some good news atoday. If amnesty passes, country is over. Thanks, thousand more. AndIRS that’s supposing minimum of votes, signed into law by the Martorano, testifying at Whitey -Chris Hollywood spokeswoman for a that they requested. Christie. The ruled that hethe can administrative agencies pay any attention to president, and the American people are in Bolger’s trial about finding out new modest swimsuit company write off the first half of his - Secretary of State John Kerry, the “safeguards” in the first place. that his friendmore and mob boss was opposition to it today than the day it was that Ibid.is gaining popularity across requesting that Russia extradite second term as a total loss. ratting to thepassed. FBI That is not how we want to deal with the U.S. Edward Snowden - Jay Leno Mark Steyn, National Review, June 30 immigration.
Speaker John Boehner on the immigration bill, June 30
And then at the end, he says the other reason I didn’t is because I don’t want to make this important enough that springing him becomes an issue on which I have to wheel and deal with the Russians and the Chinese. Well, has Obama ever been accused of wheeling and dealing successfully with anyone? How’s the wheeling and dealing over the RESET gone, over Syria and Iran and other issues? He says he doesn’t want to be over-taxed. He’s got other stuff to do as he tours Africa.
Charles Krauthammer, Fox News, July 1 When Anthony Kennedy wishes to do it, when “Emperor Anthony” is the supreme arbiter of all things for 300 million people, I think that’s pathetic. And I don’t think - and it’s particularly pathetic when you read his opinion in this case, which basically imputes animus to anyone who disagrees with him. It’s the most immature opinion. It doesn’t even take on arguments about DOMA. It basically says the guys who did it were motivated only by an antipathy… Mark Steyn in an interview with talk show host Hugh Hewitt on the Supreme Court’s striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the 5-4 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, June 28 It’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his weekly radio show on WOR Radio, June 28
We see the denigration of this country, no matter where we look. We’re seeing the crumbling, the literal tearing down of the foundations that have built this country and maintained it. That is what’s so unsettling to everybody, is that there doesn’t seem to be anybody else concerned about it.
Rush Limbaugh, EIB Network, June 27
It’s like shearing a piglet. Too much squealing and not enough wool.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on why he wishes Edward Snowden would leave the Moscow Airport, June 27
Rev. Al Sharpton commenting on Bloomberg’s remark, NY1, June 29
Our Constitution was designed for a moral and a religious people; it is wholly inadequate for the governing of any other.
Quite often, I find myself wishing that Obama had stayed in Illinois and settled for being the governor. I’m sure he wouldn’t have handled that job any better than he’s handled the presidency, but at least there’s a history of those guys winding up in the poky. In fairly recent history, four of those mugs Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich - went from the governor’s mansion to the penitentiary. Bret Prelutsky, Townhall.com, June 30
Speaking of Obama, there’s a delicious irony in the fact that the industries that he has championed in word and with our tax dollars - namely, electric cars and solar panels - have failed miserably. However, the one he has waged a campaign against - gun manufacturing - has flourished to such an extent that in 2011, alone, the sale of guns and ammo resulted in federal excise taxes of $4.59 billion! Ibid.
We are stuck with a president so divisive that while his opponents regard him as dangerous, even his defenders find him disengaged. Republicans view him as a menace to America and the world, while a great many Democrats consider him passive and as a man who leads from behind. Ibid.
Wall Street fell, costing investors billions in lost stock values in the same day polls showed that Hillary Clinton is the huge favorite to be the next president. It wasn’t all bad news for the Republicans. It turns out that depression is covered under Obamacare. Argus Hamilton, Jewishworldreview.com, June 28
Liberals just want to get rid of G-d because they are just uncomfortable with the whole idea. [Forget about the] Constitution. They don’t even know what that is. Rush Limbaugh, EIB Network, June 28
John Adams, second US president Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. Abraham Lincoln America is great because America is good, but if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville upon his 1830s US visit
Kennedy didn’t say “tired and old.” It was a matter of style, emphasis, tone and focus. It wasn’t so much an explicit contrast. The most powerful argument in politics is where the voters themselves fill in the conclusion itself.
Karl Rove on how Republicans should campaign against the aging Hillary Clinton, June 30 I was almost moved to tears by Senator Schumer’s concern for the future of the Republican party. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Charles Schumer’s admonition that it would be suicidal for Republicans not to approve the Senate’s immigration bill, June 30
The United States, by cancelling his passport, has left him for the moment marooned in Russia. I think that every citizen has the right to their citizenship; to take someone’s principle form of citizenship, their passport, is a disgrace. He is a hero. He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on NSA leaker Edward Snowden, ABC News, June 30
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I mean, the arrogance that he’s of such Olympian stature and then he pretends that it’s just a 29-year-old hacker, when as you showed earlier in the show, the Secretary of State said that this could cost lives, and the head of the NSA had said it’s extremely damaging. So, I mean, obviously he’s trying to save face, but it’s making it worse.
The tone that has been set by that remark not only polarizes the city, it gives a false sense to police that they can step over the line because it gives the implication that somehow, whites are being victimized in the city rather than the data showing that profiling is here and it needs to stop, and we do not need to play games with that.
The Jewish Home
So he doesn’t speak to the head of Russia and China because he doesn’t have to. It’s beneath him, you see. The mere sheer radiance of Obama ought to be enough to persuade them to turn over Snowden and that apparently hasn’t worked yet.
The Jewish Home july 4, 2013 32
33 The Jewish Home
hours to help you raise a Mensch*
july 4, 2013
Rabbi Leib Kelemen’s
CHINUCH SERIES Ancient Wisdom for Child-Rearing in a modern World 28 one-hour lectures available in DVD, CD, MP3, or web access For further information, contact: www.MiracleofChange.com RAF622@MAC.COM 310-927-2146
*Mensch: an emotionally mature, spiritually reÞned human being (Yiddish)
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july 4, 2013
Buying a home with help from family and friends
Asking a friend or family member for a home loan can be tricky, considering the large sum of money involved. Entering into a private home loan isn’t a decision to make lightly—after all, you’ll be seeing Mom, Dad, or Uncle Jimmy at the Shabbos table for years to come—but your loved one might be more likely to make the loan if you explain how it will also work to his or her advantage, but more importantly creating a solid game plan for repayment will instill confidence for the lender in your sense of responsibility and maturity.
How to ask for the loan
When you approach your friend or family member for a home loan, have a plan in mind. As the borrower, one should approach a private home loan the same way they would a mortgage from a bank. Borrowers should be realistic about what a practical repayment plan would be and not try to borrow more than they can repay. You have to treat it the same as any kind of loan and be realistic. If this approach seems businesslike, that’s because it is. When you create a legally binding loan contract, even your mother can take you to court for missed payments—and she can win!
How private home loans are similar to traditional ones
Private home loans, also called private mortgages or intrafamily mortgages, aren’t all that different from a loan from a bank. Like institutional loans, with private home loans: •Both lender and borrower sign a promissory note stating the terms of the agreement. •Your promissory note should establish the amount loaned and the interest rate, as well as the repayment dates and frequency. •You will draw up a mortgage (also called a deed of trust). This document gives the lender the right to foreclose on the property if you fail to stick to the repayment plan. •The lender holds a lien on the mortgaged property. The arrangement legally protects the borrower as well. The lender may not foreclose on your house due to a family disagreement and can’t request repayment in full because of other financial needs. So if Uncle Jimmy wants to go on a cruise, he can’t demand that you foot the bill, as long as you’ve been sticking to the agreed-upon repayment schedule.
How can private home loans benefit borrowers?
When you borrow from a friend or family member, you benefit in several ways: •Better interest rates. You can negotiate with your lender to determine the interest rate that works best for you. Even if that rate is lower than what you’d pay for a loan from the bank, it can still work out to the lender’s advantage – please see note at the bottom of the article regarding Halachic guidance. •Setting your own repayment terms. When you and Uncle Jimmy make a contract, you can determine which repayment schedule works best for you— monthly, semi-weekly or any other. Don’t take advantage of your lender’s generosity, though: You are still legally obligated to make payments as stated in your promissory note. •Federal tax deductions. With a private home loan, you can still take the same tax deductions that you would with an institutional loan.
How can private home loans benefit lenders?
Lenders also receive benefits in a private home loan: •Better interest rates. Even if you and Uncle Jimmy agree on an interest rate that is lower than what is offered through an institutional loan, he can still come out ahead. The rate you determine could still be higher than what he earns through a savings account or other investments. – please see note at the bottom of the article regarding halachic guidance. •Regular income. With the structure provided by your promissory note’s repayment plan, Uncle Jimmy will know exactly when to expect your payments and how much they will be.
Missing payments with a family loan
No matter who loans the money, Uncle Jimmy, or a bank, sometimes unforeseen life twists happen. You might lose your job or have medical bills that pile up. As with any lender, discuss the situation with the family member who loaned you the money. The options are the same as other lenders: loan modification can include lowering payments in exchange for a longer loan term, temporarily freezing payments or maybe letting some payments slide. However, dodging Uncle Jimmy’s calls aren’t the way to go! Especially living in Los Angeles, with the home prices being as high as they are, borrowing money from friends and family in order to purchase a home is sometimes the only way to make home ownership happen. Thank G-D so many people have those who can help them. Just make sure to treat the person and the loan with as much respect, if not more, than if you were to borrow the money from the bank. Please note: Taking a loan from another fellow Jew has very important Halachic guidelines that must be adhered to. Please consult with your Rav before borrowing or lending money, even if it’s amongst family.
Michelle Hirsch, Rodeo Realty
35 by C.B. Weinfeld
According to lead study author, Philip Gehrman, PhD, «Understanding environmental and behavioral risk factors associated with the onset of common major mental disorders is of great importance in a military occupational setting.»
categorized Germany as a “third-class” partner, and that surveillance there was stronger than in any other EU country, similar to China, Iraq or Saudi-Arabia. “We can attack the signals of most foreign thirdclass partners, and we do it too,” Der Spiegel quoted a passage in the NSA document. The European Union demanded that the United States explain the report, using strong language to confront its closest trading partner over surveillance activities.
Staying one Step Ahead Members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are switching their communication methods in response to the leaked details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, this poses a major problem to the intelligence community, entrusted with staying ahead of potential plots.
According to Jonathon Burns, lead researcher in the study, “We took 100 soldiers; 25 were Special Forces qualified and had beards, while 25 were Special Forces qualified without beards, 25 were regular Army allowed to grow beards for the study, and the last 25 were regular Army without beards. All 100 of these subjects were in direct combat in Afghanistan during the study.” He continued, “Xegis Solutions had researchers embedded with these troops to make observations on their combat effectiveness. The results were overwhelming. Out of the 50 soldiers with beards, zero were wounded or killed, and they had a significantly higher accuracy of fire than the soldiers without beards! The soldiers lacking beards also had a higher rate of weapons malfunctions.” In response to the study, CENTCOM established a new rule demanding men to grow beards. Commander General James Mattis issued a statement to all troops in combat zones. “The time has come for the Armed Forces to accept the facts, and the facts are that beards save lives. All this time it was speculated that Green Berets were better because of their superior and intensive training, in fact most of it had to do with beards.” General Mattis knows he might ruffle some beards, but won’t take no for an answer. “It’s settled science. In light of this information, we will enforce a rule requiring all males to wear at least one inch of facial hair at all times. Furthermore, any females able to grow facial hair are encouraged to do so as well.”
Lack of Sleep makes a Bad Situation Worse It’s common sense, but it still needs a study to make it official. New research shows that people in the military who have trouble sleeping before being deployed are at a higher risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression when they return. The study was carried out by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of
“These acts, if confirmed, would be completely unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned.
Whodunit? In response, CIA Director John Brennan is launching a new campaign to pressure CIA officers to keep the intelligence agency’s secrets secret. In a memo to the CIA workforce, Brennan says the “Honor the Oath,” campaign is intended to “reinforce our corporate culture of secrecy” through education and training. Brennan says the campaign stems from a review of CIA security launched last summer by former director David Petraeus, following “several high-profile anonymous leaks and publications by former senior officers.”
Ouch! American Spy Habits, Unsealed It’s unnerving to have your deep, dark secrets revealed by your erstwhile friends. The United States currently taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a regular month, and classified its biggest European ally as a target on the same level as China, secret U.S. documents prove. The revelations of secret U.S. surveillance programs based on documents taken by Edward Snowden have raised a political furor across the world. The German newspaper Der Spiegel quoted from an internal NSA document which its reporters had seen. The document proved that the United States
A Modern-Day Houdini Heist The FBI is red-faced over the theft of, which arrived at New York’s JFK International Airport from Zurich, Switzerland, over a week ago. The money was stacked in a shipping container, piles of $100 bills supposedly protected by numerous safeguards. Flight 17 was a passenger flight with air cargo, including a shipment of currency, said FBI spokesman Jim Margolin. After the plane landed, the shipment of cash was found to be $1.2 million short. The cash was missing from a container that the bank uses to transfer currency, which is loaded into a larger cargo container. It would take a forklift to lower the currency container into the larger container, or to remove it entirely. A law enforcement official said the money was headed to the Federal Reserve. It belonged to a U.S. bank that was transferring currency from offices in Switzerland to the U.S.
Politics A Slap in our Faces Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi is considered a radical Muslim, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. He and his group have openly called for the killing of Jews and Americans.
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Legacy of Blackbeard What’s the newest ‘must have’ for soldiers, more effective than the latest high-tech weapons? Men, hold onto your beards. No, this is not a misprint. The newest tool coming to combat troops is pretty lowtech, and involves letting one’s beard grow. In a recent report, research think-tank Xegis Solutions has proven that beards have a direct correlation to combat effectiveness.
Pennsylvania and the Naval Health Research Center. It shows that pre-existing symptoms of insomnia increase the risk of developing mental disorders after deployment.
The Jewish Home
As a result, the United States officially bans him from entering the country. Yet behind the scenes, his men have been welcomed at the White House.
The Jewish Home
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women and girls around the world.” “Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center.
From the Liberty Medal to “Old News”? Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to turn a successful politician into yesterday’s leftovers. Stuart Stevens, the top strategist for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, recently said to an audience of reporters that electing Hillary Clinton would be like going back in time. Abdallah Bin Bayyah is vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a group founded by and headed by Qaradawi. The IUMS has a long history of supporting Hamas and of calling for Israel’s destruction. Shockingly, Bin Bayyah’s website claims that on June 13 he met with senior Obama administration officials at the White House. Even worse, it was the Obama administration that asked for the meeting with Bin Bayyah, his website’s account said. “We asked for this meeting to learn from you and we need to be looking for new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association of Muslim Scholars (another name used for the IUMS),” said Gayle Smith, senior director of the National Security Council. Bin Bayyah’s June 13 account mentioned other senior officials in the meeting, including Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and White House spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. Smith also thanked Bin Bayyah for “his efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity” during the meeting. Need we say more? A Champion for Human Rights Hillary Clinton, whose successful public service career includes being secretary of state, presidential candidate, senator and first lady, has been chosen to receive the 2013 Liberty Medal. Clinton will receive the medal in a Sept. 10 ceremony at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Liberty Medal sponsors said Clinton’s nearly four decades of public service exemplify the qualities that the award was established to honor. “The Liberty Medal recognizes individuals who have furthered the ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality, often against great odds,” said Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center president and CEO. “Hillary Clinton has devoted her life to expanding opportunities for `We the People’ not just in this country but around the globe.” Liberty Medal sponsors recalled Clinton’s work as secretary of state from Jan. 2009 to Feb. 2013, when she traveled to 80-plus countries “as a champion of human rights, democracy, civil society and opportunities for
“She’s been around since the ’70s,” he quipped at a conservative conference recently. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ridiculed the 2016 Democratic field as “a rerun….” referring to Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is 70. And Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said to an audience in Washington, “If you want to keep thinking about tomorrow, maybe it’s time to put somebody new in.” The 2016 election may be far off, but Republican strategists want to shine a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton’s age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election.
Christie of pandering to President Obama after Superstorm Sandy. But during a visit recently to a Republican stronghold, the governor clearly put barriers between himself and the Democratic president. Before taking questions from the public, Christie spoke of the problems in Washington and “a president who can’t figure out how to lead.” The Republican governor, now running for re-election, says Obama is more concerned about being right than “getting things done.” When a woman thanked Christie for his warm response to Obama after Sandy, the governor cut her off mid-sentence. He says he didn’t vote for Obama and added, “I don’t want him to be president.”
Why Bother Working Hard?
Once you’ve been famous, you don’t have to work for a living anymore. CUNY will be paying former CIA Director General David Petraeus $200,000 each year to teach--for three hours per week. His class will be filled by graduate student staff, who will handle “course research, administration, and grading.” Normal adjunct professors at CUNY earn approximately $25,000 per year. After all is said and done, Petraeus could earn even more than that. In February, then-chancellor Matthew Goldstein offered Petraeus “a salary of $200,000 per annum, supplemented by funds from a private gift. While I do not yet have a commitment for such a gift, Sid Goodfriend and I agreed that, working together, we can make it a reality.” Instead of being grateful, Petraeus told CUNY dean Ann Kirschner, “The truth is that I could have had gotten more money or more prestigious places, but Matt and you convinced me that this was the principal place to teach.”
Will they Buckle under Pressure? All in Favor, say “Aye” Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., and a strong political ally of President Barack Obama, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate last Thursday to be transportation secretary. The Senate voted 100-0 in favor of Foxx. As part of his responsibilities, Foxx, 42, will oversee the agencies that regulate the nation’s aviation, rail, transit and highway systems. He replaces outgoing secretary Ray LaHood, who campaigned against distracted driving and led efforts to improve the nation’s transportation. The mayor won national recognition when Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention last year. Foxx was a key surrogate in North Carolina for the president during his re-election bid last fall. “Anthony knows firsthand that investing in our roads, bridges and transit systems is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in a 21st century global economy,” President Obama said. Saying it Like it Is
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will cave into pressure and pass the immigration bill approved by the Democratic-led Senate by the end of the year, Senator Charles Schumer predicted. Schumer, a Democratic member of the bipartisan Senate group that crafted the immigration measure, said House Republicans will ultimately be convinced by political concerns about the party’s future. “I believe that by the end of this year, the House will pass the Senate bill. I know that’s not what they think now. And they’ll say, ‘Oh no, that’s not what’s going to happen.’ But I think it will,” Schumer told the media.
Republicans were quick to accuse New Jersey Gov. Chris
Senior House Republicans rejected Schumer’s
ripped into her boat and caused it to sink. Due to the remoteness of the location, rescue officials sent an air boat to locate the woman and bring her to safety. According to the National Park Service, the Florida Everglades is approximately 1.5 million acres in size. It offers a habitat for rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile and the Florida panther.
A Lot of Buzz over the Bees
District Attorney George Gascon said the couple’s tactics were “so outlandish and brazen that it sounds like the plot line of a horror movie.” The Macys pleaded guilty to two felony counts of residential burglary, one felony count of stalking and one felony count of attempted grand theft.
She had a Meltdown An obviously unstable woman was forcibly removed from a US Airways flight last week for refusing to comply with flight crew instructions. The entire saga was videotaped by a fellow passenger. The flight, US Airways 906, was bound for Charlotte, N.C., from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Passenger Lindsay Bien-aime refused to obey flight attendant instructions before takeoff and “became unruly.” The pilot ordered the woman off the plane. Despite orders from Broward County officers who had boarded the flight, Bien-aime “continued to refuse to exit the plane” and “became irate, screaming and yelling profanities.” “I will hold up this whole plane,” the woman can be heard saying on the video. “I don’t care where people gotta go.” According to the police report, Bien-aime “scratched, kicked and violently resisted” attempts to remove her from the plane. She was charged on three counts, including battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest with violence. ** Next time, Use a GPS An elderly Kansas couple who embarked on an eight-hour trip from Kansas to Illinois to visit family last Monday was found Wednesday afternoon in Michigan, about 400 miles from their original destination. “They took a wrong turn,” Garnett Police Chief Kevin Pekarek explained. Vernon Hunt, 92, and his wife Goldie, 81, of Garnett, Kansas, were reported missing by their son Jay Selanders late Monday afternoon. The couple left their house early Monday morning to visit Goldie’s twin sister in Dwight, Ill., but never arrived. Pekarek said law enforcement agencies across three states – Kansas, Missouri and Illinois – had been looking for the couple. Their children, who went to pick them up, said they won’t be traveling alone ‘anytime soon.’
Think your landlord is difficult? Read on.
Up to 50,000 bumblebees were honored in a memorial last weekend at the Wilsonville Target where most of the insects died. State officials directly linked the dieoff to trees that had been sprayed with the insecticide Safari.
Jailbird with a Full Stomach An unpaid $70 dinner bill, plus a record of walking out on previous meals without paying, has landed an Illinois man in jail for three years. Anthony M. Malabehar, 47, ordered appetizers, steak, and an alcoholic drink at the Alamo Steak House in Mattoon, Illinois. But when his server asked him to pay the bill, “He told her with a smile on his face, ‘I need to tell you a secret -- I don’t have any money,’” the restaurant’s general manager, Alex Schmink said. Schmink called police, who arrested Malabehar. When the Alamo Steak House incident occurred on April 4, Malabehar had been out of jail for just one day after serving a 60-day sentence for the same crime. In February, he had eaten at another local restaurant and racked up a bill of $100. On that occasion, he also told the staff he could not pay before being arrested. Malabehar’s criminal record includes at least 13 prior convictions for theft or burglary and about 70 prior arrests for theft. Alligator Attack! Beware of boating in the Everglades. You never know what you’ll find. Palm Beach County authorities say a woman was rescued after an alligator attacked her inflatable boat in a remote part of the Florida Everglades.
A couple who was determined to drive tenants from a San Francisco apartment building harassed and intimidated their tenants, even cutting holes in one tenant’s floor with a power saw while he was still inside.
Rozzell Medina, of Portland, said the event will “memorialize these fallen lifeforms and talk about the plight of the bees and their importance to life on Earth.” “I thought it would be a good opportunity for people to see that this is not just a news item,” Medina said.” With a lot of these ecological catastrophes, they become so abstract that people become scared to feel them.”
One Good turn Deserves Another An organization called “Drey’s Alert Dogs” is training dogs to help diabetics control their blood sugar by pawing at them when the dogs smell blood sugar below 80 or above 180. The organization has enlisted children to help socialize the puppies. While being socialized, one of the dogs diagnosed the 7-year-old boy taking care of him with diabetes. Drey’s diabetic alert dogs are currently helping people all over the United States.
Miracle Breakthrough for Diabetics A “reverse vaccine” that allows people with Type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin has passed its first test with human subjects. The success points to a potential new strategy for treating those in the early stages of the disease. Fire Rescue officials said the woman was floating on an inflatable raft in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge when the aggressive alligator
The therapy is designed to protect cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone the body needs to convert sugars and starches into energy.
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Nicole Macy, 37, and Kip Macy, 38, threatened to shoot tenants, changed locks, cleared apartments of belongings, and reported tenants as trespassers in their own apartments. They were trying to drive renters out of their building in the expensive South of Market neighborhood, where rents have soared recently.
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prediction. Republican Speaker John Boehner said the House will write its own immigration bill, rather than bringing up the Senate bill, supported by President Obama. Fourteen Senate Republicans joined Senate Democrats in backing a Senate bill that features a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States.
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In people with Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks those insulin-producing cells. Researchers dubbed the treatment a reverse vaccine because it suppresses the immune system instead of stimulating it. As hoped, the experimental vaccine reduced the number of immune system “killer” cells that went on the attack. “We’re trying to turn off one specific immune response,” said Dr. Lawrence Steinman, an immunologist at Stanford University. About 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
Another Reason to ‘Hit the Sack Early’ Chronically sleep deprived? No wonder you can’t lose weight. If you are healthy and don’t sleep enough, your risk of gaining weight is significantly greater than if you go to bed earlier and enjoy a good night›s sleep every night, says a new study published in the journal Sleep. If you snack late at night, you will probably gain even more weight, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania added. In fact, the extra eating among sleep-deprived individuals appears to be the main reason for the weight gain. The authors published the largest study of healthy people that demonstrates a clear association between very late night sleeping combined with weight gain. Andrea Spaeth and team had one group of participants sleeping just from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. each night for five nights, and compared them to a control group who were in bed from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. The investigators found that those who slept much less consumed more food and calories, compared to the normal-hours sleepers. Meals eaten during the late-night hours had a higher overall fat content than the other meals.
may have gotten extra scrutiny, the IRS didn’t target those. “TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny — specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report. From our audit work, we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled ‘Progressives,’ were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited,” Inspector General J. Russell George said. While 30 percent of groups that had the word “progressive” in their name were given extra scrutiny, 100 percent of groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names were pulled out for strict scrutiny. Mortgages on the Upswing Didn’t refinance yet? Too bad.
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages surged this week to their highest levels in two years, and the rate on the 30-year loan jumped by the most in 26 years. The increase proves that the Federal Reserve’s comments about possibly reducing its bond purchases are already affecting consumers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average on the 30year loan jumped to 4.46 percent. That’s up from 3.93 percent last week and is the highest since July 2011. The increase was also the biggest since April 1987. The rate on the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.50 percent from 3.04 percent last week. That’s the highest since August 2011. Interest rates have jumped after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed could slow its bond purchases later this year if the economy strengthens. Since Bernanke’s comments, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has risen to a two-year high. Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the Treasury note. A buyer taking out a $200,000 mortgage at a 3.35 percent rate would pay $881 a month, according to Bankrate. com. The monthly mortgage payment jumps to $1,008 a month at a rate of 4.46 percent. That’s an increase of $127 a month, which over 30 years adds $45,720 to the cost of the loan.
by three payments or more. Not all of those mortgage holders have Fannie or Freddie loans, however. The Streamlined Modification Initiative won’t require borrowers to file any financial paperwork. Instead, they just need to make the new payments for a trial period of three months and then the modification becomes permanent.
Do you Still Trust your Bank? Bank of America executivess routinely denied qualified borrowers a chance to modify their loans to more affordable terms. Even worse, they paid cash bonuses to bank staffers for pushing homeowners into foreclosure. “We were told to lie to customers,” said Simone Gordon, who worked in the bank’s loss mitigation department until February 2012. “Site leaders regularly told us that the more we delayed the HAMP [loan] modification process, the more fees Bank of America would collect.” In sworn testimony, six former employees describe a process that has frustrated homeowners across the nation. There were systematic efforts to undermine the program by routinely denying loan modifications to qualified applicants, withholding reviews of completed applications, steering applicants to costlier “in-house” loans and paying bonuses to employees based on the number of new foreclosures they initiated. For shame. The Axe falls on Corzine’s Empire U.S. regulators charged MF Global, along with its former Chief Executive Jon Corzine and former Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien, over failed futures due to misuse of customer funds and related violations. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said MF Global had agreed to settle all charges against it, pay a $100 million penalty, and pay all the funds owed to commodity customers.
A Pleasant Surprise
Struggling to pay your mortgage? Help is on the way
Patriots Bore the Brunt The rest of the story: The IRS‘ auditor stands by its determination that conservative groups were uniquely singled out for special scrutiny by the tax agency, rebutting Democrats’ claim that liberal groups also were targeted.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) sent a letter to congressional Democrats, telling them that while several liberal groups
MF Global collapsed in October 2011 after aggressive bets on sovereign debt, thin capital and questionable disclosures to investors. Customers were devastated after over $1 billion of their money could not be found. Corzine is charged with violating his legal obligations to diligently supervise. O’Brien is charged with aiding and abetting the firm’s misuse of customer funds.
Hundreds of thousands of struggling borrowers might be offered a quick and easy way to get their mortgage payments back on track. Through a new effort called the Streamlined Modification Initiative, borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who are at least 90 days behind on payments will start receiving offers from lenders to lower their mortgage payments. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that about 1.1 million borrowers are behind on their loans
Will he Rest in Peace? Marc Rich, the trader known as the “King of Commodities” whose controversial 2001 pardon by President Bill Clinton unleashed a political firestorm in 2001, died last week at the age of 78. Rich died of a stroke in a hospital in Lucerne, Switzerland, and was buried in Israel. He fled from the United States to Switzerland in 1983 after he was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on over 50 counts of fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis and evading over $48 million in income taxes. These crimes
39 The Jewish Home
could have earned him more than 300 years in prison.
toppled Gaddafi in 2011. Daad Sharab, a Jordanian businesswoman who had high-level contacts in Saudi Arabia, says Prince Alwaleed sold the Airbus A340 to Gaddafi for $120 million in a process that lasted from 2001 to 2006.
A “Sweet” Deal for Coca-Cola Coca-Cola has announced plans to sell the company’s first stevia-sweetened Coke product, Coca-Cola Life, in Argentina. Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from plants native to South America, Central America and Mexico, is sweeter than sugar but has no calories. The new Coca-Cola Life will have about half the calories of regular Coke. The news comes after Coca-Cola announced it would make over Sprite’s recipe in the U.K., substituting stevia for some of its sugar content. They also advertised an antiobesity campaign. Experts say soft drinks made with stevia are not a healthy option for people suffering from obesity and diabetes. Following the Sprite announcement, Dr. Sharon R. Akabas, a director at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, aired her concerns. “It gives the impression that [drinking stevia Sprite] is a really healthy thing to do,” she said, “but it’s still … calories of sugar, which has no nutrients.”
No Scruples among the Uber-Rich The secretive sale of a private jet to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi by a billionaire Saudi prince was recently reviewed in a London courtroom. A businesswoman who brokered the deal is suing the prince for $10 million in commissions. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and one of the world’s richest men, has been asked to appear in court. The private jet has a colorful history. Gaddafi sent the plane to pick up Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi when he was freed from a Scottish jail in 2009. It was shown off as a trophy by rebels who
Sharab, 52, says the prince promised her $10 million in commission, yet she received nothing. Alwaleed’s lawyers say she “played no part in the ultimate sale of the aircraft” and is not entitled to payment.
Around the World
You’d better Behave…or Else! President Obama warned American reporters to “behave” during a joint press conference with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa last weekend. Obama reminded U.S. journalists not to ask too many questions, complaining that “my press” tried to squeeze “three or four or five questions in there.” At the same time, he complimented Zuma on his more compliant media. Press freedom is not taken for granted in South Africa, where the ruling African National Congress (ANC) resents exposure of its corruption scandals. Media networks are dominated by the government-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which favors a pro-ANC line. Yet Zuma wouldn’t dare tell his press to “behave.” Obama’s admonition of American journalists is not the first time he has rebuked them in the presence of a foreign leader, on foreign soil. In March, during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, he scolded NBC reporter Chuck Todd for asking several questions, saying an Israeli reporter who asked only one question had “behaved” better. Why Egypt should not be on your ‘To Visit’ List Protesters in Cairo stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, President Mohamed Morsi’s party, as the demonstration against Morsi’s government mushroomed. Millions joined in the demonstrations across the country that coincided with the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration. Violence erupted, and eight people were killed, including an American citizen. Andrew Driscoll Pochter was a Jewish 21-year-old college student from Maryland. He was in Egypt to teach English and improve his own Arabic. Although the State Department advised against nonessential travel to the country, Pochter was already in Cairo when the protests began. He was watching the protests when he was stabbed by a participant.
Broken Ice Shelf Helicopters flew to the Canadian arctic last week to rescue 20 tourists, including two Americans, adrift at sea on a chunk of ice for two days. The tourists were camping out on the ice, when a four square mile sheet broke free last Tuesday and floated away from land. High winds and fog forced the Royal Canadian Air Force to abandon two attempts to pick up the 10 tourists and 10 guides from the three-mile long ice shelf in the remote Nunavut territory. Major Steve Neta said that two CH-146 Griffon helicopters were able to extract them shortly after 6 p.m. last Wednesday. “Thankfully everyone was in good condition,” he added. “It was a great cooperative effort and we’re very pleased the rescue went well.”
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Rich remained on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, narrowly escaping capture in Finland, Germany, Britain and Jamaica, until Clinton granted him a pardon on Jan. 20, 2001, the day he left office. According to Federal Election Commission records, Rich’s ex-wife, Denise Rich, gave $201,000 in political donations to the Democratic Party in 2000 as lawyers pressed the U.S. government to drop the case. Rich’s attorneys turned to Clinton when the Justice Department refused to negotiate. Eric Holder, the current U.S. attorney general, was deputy attorney general to Clinton, and recommended Rich’s pardon. Only weeks later, he told the House Government Reform Committee, “Knowing everything that I know now, I would not have recommended to the president that he grant the pardon.”
Tamarod, the main opposition group, issued a statement demanding Morsi’s resignation, saying he would face a campaign of civil disobedience if he did not step down. Tamarod supposedly collected more than 22 million signatures--over a quarter of the country’s population. ** Scandals at the Vatican The director of the embattled Vatican bank and his deputy resigned following recent developments in a finance scandal that has landed one Vatican official in prison and added urgency to Pope Francis’ reform efforts. The Vatican said Paolo Cipriani and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, stepped down “in the best interest of the institute...” Cipriani, along with the bank’s former president, was placed under investigation by Rome prosecutors in 2010 for violations of Italy’s anti-money-laundering laws. Financial police seized 23 million euro ($30 million) from a Vatican account at a Rome bank. Neither has been charged and the money was eventually released. The bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, has remained under the scrutiny of prosecutors on suspicion of being an offshore tax haven. ** Putting a Plug on Snowden? Russia’s arrogant President Vladimir Putin says that National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia. Putin, speaking at a news conference, insisted that Snowden isn’t a Russian agent and that Russian security agencies haven’t had contact with him. He says that Snowden considers himself a rights activist, and compared him to Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov. Snowden has been staying in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport where he arrived from Hong Kong. The U.S. has annulled his passport.
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The Jewish Home
Summer Food: Camp Survival Guide
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Health & Fitness
chool is over, and summer is here! It’s that stressful time for parents when they must pack a superabundant amount of clothing, items, and most importantly, food, for their kids who will soon be away at camp. Summer is an extraordinary season where children have amazing memories in camp, and their parents enjoy the well-deserved serenity at home. However, food and nutrition have an interminable affect on this seemingly carefree time of year. Many kids come back from camp stronger and lighter, while others are supplanted by the all-powerful foe we know as food. Three unique aspects of this battle must be addressed. The first stage of summer nutrition is the packing phase, where anxious parents pack pounds upon pounds of food for their excited kids. The next level is when the kids are actually away at camp where they must make wise choices when they supplement their meals with snacks and beverages. The final obstacle our children must face is the meals served in camp. With careful, sagacious planning, we can make this summer the most fantastic and healthiest summer yet! First, parents must know which snacks and drinks to choose when they go on that long-awaited big shop at the local supermarket. • The best foods possible are the healthy one hundred calorie snacks! These snacks outwardly look and taste like the guilty pleasures we have come to love such as popcorn, pretzels, baked chips. These one-hundred calorie snacks are a healthier alternative to some of our favorite nosh. Also, fiber crackers are very nutritious and great for the body. • Dehydrated fruits such as Apple Crisps and berries taste great and are much healthier than any sugar snack. Craisins are also awesome and come in
with carefUl, sagacioUs planning, we can make this sUmmer the most fantastic and healthiest sUmmer yet! 100 calorie packets. • Sugar snacks should be avoided. Little bags of these snacks are loaded with calories and sugar! • When you have to choose drinks, only choose water! Water is the number one best drink you could possibly buy. Seltzer is also really good along with the copious amount of flavored seltzers. Especially in the intense heat, when your child is playing sports or on hiking, water is crucial! The bags are all packed and the kids are off to camp! How do they supplement their meals with healthy foods? • The snacks we discussed previously are great! Children should turn to their stash of healthy nutritious snacks and drinks in between their camp meals. • The camp canteen can present a formidable obstacle to our goal of a healthy summer. Train your children to buy the ices or sorbet rather than the ice cream. Greasy fried foods, such as French fries, should be avoided! Fruits, vegetables, and salads will always be great alternatives to the fattening deepfried foods at the canteen. Now we can discuss the most important part of summer eating: the meals! Breakfast: Camps ubiquitously serve cereal, milk, and a juice drink for breakfast. Sugar cereals are the enemy and should be avoided at all costs! • Bring your own cereal. The identifying characteristics of a healthy cereal are that it should be high in fiber and
unsweetened, such as Fiber One, Special-K, and Puffins. • Oatmeal is awesome! • Make sure to pack your children with rice cakes. They are delicious, filling, and healthy. Melba toast is also very nutritious! • Low-fat peanut butter is amazing! • We have so many choices for a healthy breakfast, but we must keep in mind which foods are off-limits. These include French toast, pancakes, and fruit juices. • Fruit, low-fat milk, and yogurt is just one example of a perfect meal. It’s time for lunch! Camps generally serve foods that are very caloric and high in fat at lunchtime. Here’s a guide how to approach it properly: • Salad, Salad, Salad! This is the best option for lunch. It can be combined with the other options listed here. • Bring tuna fish or sardines; they are healthy and very good for your body. • Grilled cheese is fine as long as you take the right portion. Try to have only half the bread. Cottage cheese is very healthy too. • A low-fat peanut butter is perfect. • Stay away from the lasagna and macaroni and cheese! Dinner is very hard to plan out and pre-prepare food for your children, so the most important term to remember here is portion sizes. • Camps will commonly serve
chicken or meat, along with soups and vegetables. • Whichever choice your kids make, they must remember that the dish is healthy as long as it’s the right size. Try to avoid taking a second portion. • Avoid the creamy soups, however, a vegetable or broth-based soup is fine. • Try to complement your main dish with vegetables and other healthy side dishes offered. • Stay away from eating more than just a modicum of food after dinner because all the food eaten will not be burned off since you will be going to sleep. Camp is a place where kids make new friends, experience new things, and have a lot of fun. It is important, however, to make sure to continue a healthy lifestyle in camp by eating right. The aforementioned advice should be taken to heart. It is completely tenable to have an enjoyable nutritious summer without a drastic lifestyle change or narrow diet. While food choices and portion sizes are extremely important, make sure to encourage your children to stay active by participating in organized sports, swimming, hiking, and exercising. The level of activity in children is directly correlated to their metabolism. By eating right and exercising, our children can come off the buses after the memorable summer feeling great and looking healthier. Have a great summer! Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a Master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Aliza’s new line of prepared, healthy meals-to-go are available at Gourmet Glatt. Aliza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
93 Gedaliah Borvick
Har Nof More Than Just Stunning Views
ar Nof is a bustling neighborhood located on the western edge of Jerusalem. Established just thirty years ago, Har Nof’s history hearkens back over 1,500 years when it was an agricultural colony. As one would expect, when construction of Har Nof began in the early 1980s, remains of wine presses and farmhouses were found along the perimeter of the neighborhood.
The Perfect Name Har Nof literally means Mount View, a perfect name for this neighborhood which is situated on a mountain ridge 800 meters above sea level and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Judean Hills. The neighborhood is built along the
sides of a mountain, and many buildings have two entrance levels: one on a lower street and one offering entry on a higher street. These multi-level
buildings have become a community icon, which adds to the neighborhood’s charm. Great Access Though located on the western border of Jerusalem, Har Nof offers its residents outstanding access to the city. Numerous bus lines start in Har Nof and wind their way through various sections of Jerusalem. One bus line ends at the Kotel, which is a 45 minute trip. The center of town is within a 20 minute ride and the Jerusalem central bus station, which offers access to the entire country, is 10 minutes away by bus.
In addition, the neighborhood is close to Highway One, the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv artery. Har Nof has some shopping establishments, but neighboring Givat Shaul, literally five minutes away, offers a veritable smorgasbord of retail opportunities that can satisfy one’s every wish. Many Har Nof residents work in Givat Shaul, as it has numerous office buildings which house many companies. Demographics Har Nof has always been a soft landing spot for American olim for a number of reasons. First, there are many English speakers in the neighborhood. Second, the Har Nof Anglo community is very welcoming, and third, many programs and community services are available to help acclimatize new immigrants. In addition to Hebrew and English, one hears a significant amount of French and Spanish spoken throughout the neighborhood. Har Nof is a religious neighborhood, of which approximately 70% of its residents are Charedi (yeshivish) and 30% are Dati Leumi (national religious). Due to its residents’ varied backgrounds, Har Nof has a high percentage of professionals and businessmen, in addition to rabbis and educators. Over the years, Har Nof has become the capital of the Sephardi Shas
party, as its spiritual leader Rav Ovadia Yosef and many of the party’s leaders live in the neighborhood. There are also Ger and Vizhnitz chassidim, plus many rabbinic luminaries from the Ashkenazi Haredi community, including Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch and the Bostoner Rebbe, amongst others. Har Nof is home to countless synagogues, yeshivas and seminaries. A wonderful benefit of living in this neighborhood is the abundance of Torah classes, offered in numerous languages and all levels, for its residents to choose from. Despite its relatively recent establishment, Har Nof has become a landmark Jerusalem community.
Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at gborvick@ gmail.com. Please visit his blog at www. myisraelhome.com.
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Cover Story Avi Heiligman
since the Battle of Gettysburg
ractically every major country has had a civil war. Most of these wars were essentially rebellions against the ruling powers and each side sought to annihilate each other. The American Civil War (1861-1865) was different because when the Southern forces broke off from the North, they just wanted another country with their ideals cemented into the Constitution. Hence the secession (states declaring they were no longer part of the Union) and the North fighting to regain the entire country. This was the cause of the war and not the issue of slavery (even though it was a major reason why the states seceded). The South had prepared a letter of peace to be handed to President Lincoln when the South had won a major battle in Northern territory. In 1862, Southern forces had tried to penetrate the North but were stopped cold at Antietam. Now, in July 1863, they were reinforced and about to concentrate their forces at an important crossroads called Gettysburg. It is interesting to note that both of these battles were of the bloodiest in American history. Historians discovered that the armies were using Napoleon era (early 1800s) tactics but were using the most modern weapons. The rifles used the mini-ball which was much more devastating than earlier ammunition. The rifles had a much longer and accurate range, and the repeating rifle (a gun that doesn’t need to be reloaded after every shot) was introduced during the war. With men stacked in neat rows of twenty soldiers wide and eight lines deep, it was hard to miss the target. The commanders should have used tactics that were employed in later wars. The particulars and order of the battle are complex and too long for this article. Instead, we will focus on the general battle lines and some peculiarities that occurred during the three-day engagement. The Confederacy was short of almost all essentials to fight a major war and were lacking in replacements of men. Therefore, they were only able to put in about 71,000 soldiers into the field, while the Union had about 93,000. One major advantage that they did have was superb leadership. General Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia and had some legendary commanders under him including Generals James Longstreet, Henry Heth, A.P. Hill, George Pickett and flamboyant cavalry General Jeb Stuart. Union forces were led by newly appointed General George Meade. Only a few days earlier, he replaced General Hooker who had proved inept after the debacle at Chancellorsville. President Abraham Lincoln had a tough time finding suitable generals and that was apparent through their performance during the war. There were a few good leaders like General Winfield Scott Hancock, cavalry Colonel John Buford, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and a young dashing cavalry officer named George Armstrong Custer. Louis Leon Lacking proper uniforms,
General Pickett's troops were decimated after Pickett's Charge
the Southern troops looked like a ragtag bunch of rogues. Essentially, they were that but they were amazing sharpshooters and had a fighting spirit that is very hard to match in the history of warfare. One piece of uniform that many soldiers found hard to live without was shoes. On June 30, a Southern infantry brigade went looking for footwear and was coming upon Gettysburg. They retreated when they saw a column of Federal cavalry approaching the town. They withdrew for the night while plans were being made by General A.P. Hill to “get those shoes.” That’s how the battle got started the next morning. At first the Confederates outnumbered the Federals who sent their men into battle in piecemeal units. One issue for the Northerners was the distance they had to march to find the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee for his part chose to make a stand at Gettysburg and had most of his army available that first day. Union cavalry led by Buford was the only thing preventing the South from gaining the important heights. Buford held on long enough for infantry to come up and support his troops who were forced to fall back on the town. Lee was very cautious because he was essentially in enemy country blind. His cavalry under Jeb Stuart were supposed to supply the army with the Union troop movements and approximate strength. However, Stuart went on a raiding party, and Lee was forced to rely on some sketchy reports provided by untrained scouts. Stuart arrived on scene late on July 2, and only had a minor part in the battle. If he had been there on day one, he would have informed Lee that the Union was attacking piecemeal and were taking their time in coming up. Lee would have then sent his army immediately to attack and grabbed the heights instead of waiting for Longstreet to come up with his corps. At the beginning of Day 2 of the battle, the Union line was in the form of a fishhook defending the important heights. The Confederates tried several tactics to break the line but failed. The main points of attack were at the flanks but they were poorly coordinated. Longstreet took an extra six hours to prepare his attack on Cemetery Hill, and by that time, Union forces reinforced the defensive positions and drove them off. By the beginning of the third day, Lee thought that even though he hadn’t broken through the Union lines, he had sufficiently battered the flanks enough that all the reinforcements would be sent there. The Confederates themselves were tired and worn out but there was one division still uncom-
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and captured at Gettysburg but was released mitted and in full strength. Lee sent Genbefore the war ended when he took an oath of eral George Pickett’s Virginians in an all-out allegiance to the Union. attack on the Union center. In fact, Meade had The following is an excerpt from his diary. reinforced Cemetery Ridge with fresh troops. His unit was not part of Pickett’s Charge but Another disadvantage for Pickett’s troops was was fighting on Culp’s Hill on the left side of the the sloping ground that they had to ascend in the battlefield. probably 100 degree July weather. Longstreet July 1- We got to Gettysburg at 1 P.M., 15 had a bad feeling about the attack and advised miles. We then advanced to the enemy’s line of Lee to cancel it but Lee was unwavering in his battle in double quick time. We had not gotten opinion that it would succeed. more than 50 paces when Norman of our comPickett’s Charge, as the attack became pany fell dead by my side. Katz was going to pick known, started off with a bang. In probably the him up. We then crossed over a rail fence, where largest exchange of cannon fire in the 19th century, the Confederates sought to blast off the Union President Lincoln giving his Gettysburg address in November, 1863, our Lieutenant McMathews and Lieutenant Alfour and a half months after the battle cannon on the ridge. However, the batteries on exander were both wounded. That left us with a the ridge fired back and Longstreet was forced captain and one lieutenant. After this we got into to send Pickett in without fulfilling the precondition of dislodging the Union battle in earnest and lost in our company very heavily, both killed and wounddefenders. The sound was deafening when 15,000 Southern troops started the ed. This fight lasted four hours and a half, when at last we drove them clear out mile march from the tree line to the converging point along the Chambersburg of town, and took at least 3,000 prisoners. At dusk I was about going to hunt up Pike. They first needed to get past a stone wall with thousands of Union men my brother Morris, when he came to me. Thank G-d, we are both safe as yet. using it as a barricade for shoot-and-duck-for-cover. It proved too much for July 2- Our division was in reserve until dark, but our regiment was supPickett’s troops because by the time the remaining troops reached the top, porting a battery all they were exhausted and facing fresh soldiers who were waiting in the shade. day. We lost several Even when they broke through at a place called The Angle, they were repulsed killed and wounded, and forced to retreat. All of the generals and colonels that led the charge were although we had no either wounded or killed. Pickett himself watched from a nearby hill and was chance to fire—only uninjured when Lee told him to look after his men. His famous reply was lay by a battery of “General Lee, I have no division.” They were decimated. artillery and be shot In a move that ultimately got him fired, Meade did not go after the batat…One of the boys tered Confederates as they retreated over the mountains and into home counshook me and told me try. A day after this victory, a Union army on the Mississippi River captured Katz was wounded the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg. That commander, Ulysses S. Grant, by a piece of a shell was subsequently named general of the largest Union army (the Army of the striking him on the Potomac fought the most important battles) and eventually became the 18th side, and he was sent president of the United States. to the rear. John Lawrence Burns became known nationally as the Hero of Gettysburg. July 3- When Burns was a veteran of the War of 1812 and at the time of the Battle of Gettysunder a very heavy burg, he was already 69-years-old. During the Civil War, Burns was initially fire, we were ordered rejected for combat because of his advanced age. But that did not deter him on Culp’s Hill, to for fighting for the Union. On July 1st, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the support of Gen. Burns took his own musket and powder horn and headed off to fight. He asked A. Johnson. Here we stayed all day—no, here, I may say, we melted away. We a wounded soldier for his more modern weapon and then Burns approached were on the brow of one hill, the enemy on the brow of another. We charged Major Thomas Chamberlin for permission to join the combat. Burns was on them several times, but of course, running down our hill, and then to get dressed peculiarly for battle; he was wearing a blue waistcoat and a high black them was impossible, and every time we attempted it we came back leaving silk hat. Ultimately, Burns was wounded in battle and then convinced the Con- some of our comrades behind. Here our Lieutenant Belt lost his arm. All of our federate soldiers that he was just a civilian. After the battle, the aged veteran lieutenants are wounded. We fought here until 7 P.M., when what was left of us was hailed as a national hero. President Lincoln asked to meet Burns when he was withdrawn and taken to the first day’s battlefield. I know that our company came to deliver his famous went in the fight with 60 men. When we left Culp’s Hill, there were 16 of us that Gettysburg Address in Noanswered to the roll call. There were 12 sharpshooters in our company and vember of that year. A poem now John Cochran and myself are the only ones that are left. written by Bret Harte about his exploits was published Leon’s account was typical of the soldiers that fought in the bloody battle. in 1864. His gravestone at There were about 23,000 casualties on both sides but the Confederates had Gettysburg is engraved with about 4,700 killed to the Union’s 3,150. The rest were wounded, missing the word “Patriot.” (presumed dead) or captured. It was the blow that the South couldn’t take. There were many Jewish They had a tough time as it was putting men in the field and now they couldn’t soldiers who took part of the replace the men they had lost. The Union did not have such a problem and battle on both sides. Louis were able to replace the losses. The war lasted for another two years, as the Leon was a German born Union army chased the Confederates around in the South. Lee took blame for sharpshooter He moved to the loss, and in April 1865 surrendered to Grant. Charlotte, North Carolina, The battle was significant for several reasons. The Confederates were and joined Company C of driven from the North and didn’t try again to invade the Union territory. The the 1st North Carolina Volthreat to Washington and other important Northern cities went away when John Burns, the Hero of Gettysburg unteer Regiment. He kept a they retreated. Gettysburg is called the turning point of the war, and after 150 diary starting in 1861 and identified five other members of the regiment as years, it is still memorialized as one of the most important battles in American being Jewish, including Sergeant Major Aaron Katz. Katz was wounded history.
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Leisure & Travel
From Sea to Shining Sea: Oklahoma
h! Oklahoma! If you’re looking for Western adventure, the great outdoors, and a wealth of things to enjoy, put the Sooner State on your list of things to do. Oklahoma comes from the words “okla,” meaning people, and “humma,” meaning red. In fact, the state has the largest Native American population of any state in the United States. It is the tribal headquarters of 39 tribes. But the state is not only about cowboys and Indians (even if the National Cowboy Hall of Fame is located in Oklahoma City). If you like pecans, make sure to visit Okmulgee in June. The city rolls out its welcome mat to thousands of visitors participating in its annual Pecan Festival. In fact, the town owns the world record for largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, pecan brownie, and biggest ice cream and cookie party. There’s certainly no shortage of dessert there! Oklahoma is serious about its food. On the second Saturday in August, Rush Springs holds its annual watermelon festival. Since 1948, 50,000 pounds of juicy, ripe melon are enjoyed by festival goers and seed-spitting contests draw huge crowds. The Watonga Cheese Festival is held in October, and in May, El Reno holds Onion Fried Burger Day to celebrate the greasy town staple. When you’re finished chowing down, head over to Jenks, the Antique Capital of Oklahoma, where you can get the best variety of antique stores, gift shops, galleries and crafters malls. While you’re lugging all your finds to the car, take a moment to thank Sylvan Goldman, an Oklahoman, who invented the first shopping cart so you don’t have to break your back as you juggle all your newest purchases. Whether you’re into food, friendly folks, or fall foliage, Oklahoma is more than an “OK” place to visit. Things You Won’t Want to Miss The Beauty of Nature The beauty of Oklahoma grabs you from the second you arrive in the state. So much of the nature there is preserved for visitors to enjoy the simple splendor of its land. There are 35 state parks in Oklahoma—and each of them offers something truly unique. Spend time rappelling down the canyon at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Go boulder hopping and rock climbing at Robbers Cave State Park. Rent an ATV and fly over the dunes at Little Sahara State Park. Lake Tenkiller’s dive park is a dream for those who love scuba diving. There’s fishing, hiking, boating, camping and, of course, picnicking all with the grandeur of Oklahoma as your backdrop. Rev it Up on Route 66 The nation’s longest drivable stretch of Route 66 cuts
through Oklahoma, and for 400 miles, you can experience the Southwestern state by car, driving past charming towns and roadside diners. Along the way, you’ll see quirky attractions and meet friendly individuals. Each of these small towns adds flavor to the state and celebrates the uniqueness of America. It’s hard not to fall in love with a state that is so comfortable with itself and makes you feel so comfortable as you drive through. Family Fun “Native America” is a great place to visit with the whole family. Children will love the hands-on experience at the Science Museum Oklahoma and Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse. They’ll get up close and personal at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Tulsa Zoo—both places where kids will become friends with beasts big and small. Parasailing at the Sail Grand on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is sure to give your teens an adrenaline rush. Wandering through a cornfield maze and frolicking on a farm are great ways to enjoy the outdoors as family. Connecting with the Past If you like history, Oklahoma is a great place to visit to connect to the past. Oklahomans make history come alive with Civil War battle re-enactments, fur trader re-enactors, and “powwows” with the pageantry and friendship of Native American traditions and dance competitions. The Washita Battlefield National Monument memorializes Custer’s surprise attack on the Southern Cheyenne village of Chief Black Kettle. Visitors can trek the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to learn more about the famous cattle trail that spanned the state, and they can see the last standing original sod house on the prairies of Oklahoma at the Sod House Museum. Past and present meld as you journey through the state.
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In the Kitchen Havin’ Fun with Red, White and Blue Whether you’re hosting an Independence Day barbeque, coming as a guest to one, or enjoying a regular dinner at home on the Fourth of July, let your patriotic colors show through with the good ol’ red, white and blue.
Su mmer Berry Trifle
Berries ‘n Crea m
Patriotic Créme Puffs
Ingredients 1 package instant vanilla pudding 4 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries) washed and hulled, plus extra for garnish 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 24 to 36 ladyfingers
Ingredients 12 strawberries, washed 1 bar white chocolate Blue sugar sprinkles
Ingredients 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 container Rich’s Whip ½ cup raspberries or strawberries, cut in half ½ cup blueberries Confectioners’ sugar
Preparation Prepare the pudding according to the package directions and chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Slice the strawberries. Toss all of the berries with the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the berries to release their juices. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream, vanilla extract, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside. To make the trifle, set a layer of ladyfingers (around 7 or 8) on the bottom of trifle bowl. Top with 1/3 of the cream and ½ of the strawberries. Then make another layer of ladyfingers, top with 1/3 of the cream and then with ½ the blueberries. Place another layer of ladyfingers on top, top with cream and decorate with strawberries and blueberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8 to 10.
Preparation Wash and clean the strawberries. Dry them well. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, being careful that it doesn’t burn. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper and place sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate and then into sprinkles. Place on parchment paper and freeze for a few minutes or leave out until they dry. Refrigerate until serving.
Preparation Preheat oven to 400°F. Unfold pastry sheet and cut into 3-inch squares with a sharp knife. Bake pastry on an ungreased baking sheet until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. Once cooled, cut pastry in half horizontally into two layers. Whip up Rich’s whip until it reaches the consistency of cream. Add 1 tsp of vanilla, if desired. Just before serving, assemble the dessert. Put bottom half of pastry on plate and top with cream. Dot cream with strawberries or raspberries and blueberries. Cover with top half of pastry and top with cream and berries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
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CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
july 4, 2013
Weekly Clubs Include Choices Like: Cooking Woodworking • Lego Robotics • Ceramics • Art Cinematography • Crazy Science • Karate Daily Davening Hands on Learning Swimming • Sports Fun Trips
Located at the
Professional coach will lead Sports Mini-Camp each week with choices like:
9930 S. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills
World Series Baseball World Cup Soccer Stanley Cup Hockey
Beverly Hills Jem Center
Dates: July 22nd- August 9th Hours: Monday -Thursday 9:00am-3:30pm Friday 9:00am-2:00pm
Boys: Pre-First Program Grades: 1-4 Jr. Program Grades: 5-8 Pioneers Program Price $180 Per Week
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