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Scholar in Residence

Yeshivat Yavneh

Rabbi Yissachar Frand August 30-31, 2013 24-25 Elul Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech

Friday Night D’var Torah Shabbat Drasha Shabbat Afternoon Halacha Shiur 5:45 p.m. Motzei shabbat Pre-Selichot Drasha 9:15 p.m.

For more information please contact yeshivat yavneh at (323) 931-5808


Community Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Day School Tuition in LA: An Honest Discussion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Bridge to Life Hatzolah of Los Angeles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Camp Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

7 Questions with Mrs. Shulamith May. . . . . . . . . . . 27

jewish thought Judaism Alive - Sitting Alone at Breakfast. . . . . . . 17 Op-Ed A Time for Stringencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 A Meaningful Elul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

parsha Delayed Wages; Ultimate Reward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Mooncap - a Novel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Israel Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

history Forgotten Heroes: Meir Amit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Lifestyles Career Corner What Your Resume Really Says About You . . . . . . . . 22 Restaurant Review Two Dishes at MexiKosher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Recipe: Back to School with a Hearty Meal for your Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

The new school year is just around the corner and the kids are back home from camp. Hopefully they’ve come back with renewed positive energy, ready to head into another year of education and growth. Like a sapling and then a small tree, the efforts we put into raising them now will determine the shape, quality and taste of the beautiful fruit we hope they will become. We’ve decided to do a feature article on an oft-discussed subject with the hope that by addressing this in an honest way, we can perhaps learn some new perspectives that have perhaps been overlooked or not given the proper attention. If you feel you can contribute to this discussion, please contact us at editor@jewishhomela.com Our second cover story features the famous worldwide volunteer ambulance service, Hatzolah. No need to sing their praises, but just want to point out that a side benefit of their holy work is the tremendous kiddush Hashem it creates. Besides saving lives, they are also uniting people from all walks of life and inspiring each other to make this world a better place. We’ve got some interesting happenings this week, so make sure to check them out. This week Rabbi Einhorn explains how to feel complete at all times; Rabbi Wolf uses the law of paying a worker on time as an analogy for our relationship with our creator; Harkham Hillel helps us prepare our children for the new school year; Rabbi Shafran points out that accepting a new stringency can also be in matters relating “between man and his friend;” and lastly, Rabbi Lipschutz shows us how to have a meaningful month of Elul. So enjoy the review of a fast-growing restaurant, learn something new about applying for a job, or just check out what the principal has to say about the new school year. No matter which section you find the most enjoyable, or if you simply enjoy the great ads, we hope that after putting it down you’re left with an extra piece of inspiration, knowledge and of course a good laugh. As we are currently in the midst of reading the “seven haftarahs of comfort,” let us hope for the fulfillment of the promise: “For a brief moment have I forsaken you, and with abundant mercy will I gather you in” with the coming of Mashiach, who will bring the world its much needed comfort. Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Shalom Shalom Rubashkin

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Nothing but Nets

by Mushki Boteach Naparstek In a sublime state of prophecy, Isaiah called the Jewish People a “light unto nations”. Three- thousand years later, we have to scratch our heads and wonder whether the Jewish community has lived up to that title. Throughout our long, prolific and often painful history, the Jewish people haven’t had much interface with the “outside world”. On a surface level the reason is pretty simple: the pain was typically caused by an aggressor from that world. So they adapted and grew more insular, less trusting. The rare Jew who did breach the ghetto walls was usually considered dangerous and ultimately rejected. Today, “outreach” is the term we use for reaching out to other Jews- and this we are

pretty exceptional at. But what about that prophesy? That is precisely the question that Andrew Szabo asked when he looked around Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. In this region, studies estimate that Malaria claims a life every thirty seconds. Most of its victims are children and the fatal disease has moved the average life expectancy in Guinea-Bissau down to only thirty- seven years. In response, Szabo gathered a bunch of white, Jewish athletes and put them on a plane to Israel. Why? To compete in the Israeli Maccabi games. For every point scored by the Guniea-Bissau basketball team, ten dollars was raised for a mosquito net. These nets are a relatively cheap but extremely effective way of combatting the disease, that can offer up to five years of protection. “It’s a ‘Tikkun Olam’ project,” Szabo, the head of the delegation explained, “our mission as Jews is to reach out”. He believes that these nets and much more global relief, ought to

be supplied by the Jewish community and that this “movement” is a small but highly significant way to contribute. Entrepreneur and founder of Prodégé LLC, Josef Gorowitz, one of the ten basketball players, agrees. Like most of the Guniea-Bissau Maccabi team, he is a successful businessman who staunchly supports this cause, although he claims he’s not that great a basketball player. Gorowitz and Szabo met at the local Chabad House in Redondo Beach, and the two soon partnered in aiding this helpless corner of the world. Why would an orthodox Jewish entrepreneur living comfortably in the United States want to raise money for malaria victims in Africa? “We have to think about

our own people,” said Gorowitz, “and we have to think globally as well.” According to Gorowitz the team has raised over twenty-two thousand dollars so far. But to him, this initiative makes perfect sense. “Its what the Jews are all about: Making the world a better place.”

Amit’s Night of ‘True Treasures’ by Mushki Boteach Naparstek

On Tuesday, August 6th, an evening of “ Discovering True Treasures,” was held at the home of Elie and Sharon Gindi in Beverley Hills, benefiting Amit. The event mainly attracted women and high school age girls looking into seminaries for the coming year. The guests browsed through a pre- holiday boutique featuring Karen Michelle Clothing, Nora Schwartz Jewelry and more, while snacking on sushi and gourmet desserts baked especially by Joanne Adirim , founder of the HannahMax baking company. Ed Morris, distinguished President of Duveen & Edwards, who has been a featured appraiser on the HGTV series, ‘ If these Walls Could Talk,’ and TLC’s ‘ My Collection Obsession’ was on hand to professionally appraise the art, jewelry or personal collectables of the guests in attendance. Amit is the only government recognized religious Zionist school network in

Israel. It is part of the public school system and is mainly supported by the Israeli government. Amit is also partners with The Ministry of Education in Israel. They currently run 108 schools and youth villages, which are havens for children who have been removed from their homes. These facilities are also for kids who have been kicked out of other schools and have nowhere else to go. In addition, there are schools for kids who have disabilities and schools for incredibly bright and gifted children. Seventy percent of these school and institutions are in periphery development towns in Israel, where the population is made up of immigrant families living at or below poverty line. The schools are religious and Zionist; all the children educated within these schools are taught Jewish Torah values. Ninety eight percent of these children go on to serve in Israeli army. They ultimately come out of the Amit education system with a strong sense of Israeli citizen and love for the land. The event that took place on Tuesday was specifically to benefit ‘ Beit Hayeled,’ a child haven in Giloh, Jerusalem, where 129 kids between the ages of 5 and 12, live. These

kids have been removed from families by court order because their own home environment was deemed unsafe for them. The children are placed in a surrogate family called a “ Mishpachton.” This is a family unit consisting of an Aba, Ima and 12 other kids. Through this surrogate family system, the children grow up experiencing a real family life. Beit Hayeled has been proven to have incredible results. After graduation, the majority of kids continue on a stable path and have normal, successful lives. Midreshet Amit, a relatively new program, is a post high school seminary program for American girls. This ‘ seminary,’ however, is unlike any other gap year program in Israel. The girls get to spend their year in Israel, learning and volunteering at Beit Hayeled. They live in the Beit Hayeled dorms with the other children and in addition to their own studies, the girls spend much of their day learning and coordinating activities for the children there. The fundraiser on Tuesday was the launch of a new renovation project campaign for both Beit Hayaled and Kfar Blatt, the high school, in Petach Tikva. Both institutions have been around for a long time and there is great need for remodeling and all around restoration. In her opening speech of the night, Michal Taviv- Margolese, the Western Region Director of Amit, spoke about the importance of supporting these special children, “ Amit gives the

children their best chance of succeeding and integrating into Israeli Society… We give them the tools to recognize their own values and potential.” Following Michal’s speech was 19-year-old Eliana Porgess, who recently returned from spending a year at Midreshet Amit. In a heartwarming discourse, she shared her experience with the audience, “ I knew before I went to Midreshet Amit that it would be a challenge, but I didn’t know to what extent. The kids were resistant toward us at first, but they warmed up to us quickly and wanted to join in all the activities we set up for them.” Many of the children were obviously scarred and troubled from their past. Some had anger issues, etc, but as Eliana explained, it didn’t take long for the girls at Midreshet Amit to connect with these kids and really become a kind of ‘older sister’ to hang out with and talk to. Eliana concluded by saying “ I will never forget these kids and what they did for me. They thought I had such an impact on them, but they have no idea what an impact they had on me.” Liz Klibanoff, Associate Director of Development of Amit, who flew in from New York especially for the event, concluded the evening, “ The Children of Amit come to us broken and we put them back together again.” To find out more about Amit LA, check out amitchildren.org/la.


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by Mushki Boteach Naparstek

rescued about a hundred thousand Hungarian Jews during World War II. While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Bu-

dapest, he issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. When the Red Army took Siege of Budapest in 1945, Wallenberg was taken custody by Soviet authorities on suspicion of espionage and was never seen again. He was later reported to have died in 1947, while still imprisoned in Moscow. The motives behind Wallenberg’s arrest and imprisonment by the Soviet government, along with questions surrounding the circumstances of his death remain mysterious even today. Monday’s ceremony, which took place exactly one day after what would have been Raoul Wallenberg’s 101st birthday, occurred right in the middle of Fairfax Avenue. Police sectioned off the street so there was room for the ceremony to take place adjacent to the statue. It was open to the public and by 10am, there was not a seat unspoken for. Cantor Arik Wolheim, of Congregation Beth Jacob, opened the ceremony with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. He was followed Terry Friedman, President of Jewish Family

Service. Mr. Friedman gave over opening words and continued to MC for the duration of the event. Perla Karney, VicePresident of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust spoke next. She encouraged people to visit the museum in Pan Pacific Park, where there is an exhibition on ‘rescue, resistance and world response,’ which includes a special ‘Wallenberg exhibition.’ Speeches were also given by David Siegel, Consul General of Israel, who spoke about Wallenberg’s courage, pointing out that it says in the Torah, “ He who saves a single life, it is as if he has saved the entire world.” Marianne Engel, Erica Leon and Andrew Stevens, three California residents who owe their lives to Wallenberg for saving them during the Holocaust, shared their war experiences with the crowd. Andrew Stevens was part of the underground movement in Hungary and helped save lives by forging documents, some of which were used by Wallenberg himself. Stevens wrote a book about his experiences, ‘ Rebel with a Cause,’ and was awarded the ‘ Gold Medal of Merit,’ by Arpad Goncz, president of Hungary. Congressman Adam Schiff, LA County Supervisor, Zev Yaroslavski and LA City Attorney, Mike Feuer acknowledged the greatness of Raoul Wallenberg, who stood up to act when it was risky and inconvenient; the courage to stand against the tide. Paul Koretz, LA City Councilmember rededicated the Wallenberg Statue and con-

august 15, 2013

August 5th is now officially ‘ Raoul Wallenberg Day in the City of Los Angeles.’ Declared by the Los Angeles City Council, the ‘ City of Angeles’ will forever honor the memory of ‘The Swedish Angel of Rescue.’ To celebrate this special day, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, hosted a ceremony, rededicating the statue of the great Mr. Wallenberg that has been standing at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverley Boulevard for the past 25 years. The street corner was dubbed ‘ Raoul Wallenberg Square,’ shortly after the statue was put up. Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat and businessman, who famously

cluded the service. Raoul Wallenberg has been made an honorary citizen of the United States, Canada, Hungary, Australia and Israel. Israel has named him one of the Righteous Among the Nations and in 1989 the United States made Oct. 5 Raoul Wallenberg Recognition Day. In July 2012, President Obama signed The Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Act, honoring Wallenberg’s memory with a Congressional Gold Medal.

Beth Jacob Water Day On Sunday August 4th over 40 kids came to join in Beth Jacob’s Sunday Funday Waterday! Water Slides, Rock Climb-

ing, Moon Bounces and much more! The kids got to cool off with some water fun!

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Raoul Wallenberg Day in Los Angeles


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august 15, 2013

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Danny Danon Speaks at the Luxe Hotel by Mushki Boteach Naparstek

On August 1st, Danny Danon, Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense, spoke at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel. The event was hosted by an organization called, ‘ Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors,’ a group that is ‘dedicated to educating the public about the intellectual and cultural climate that led to the Holocaust through raising awareness of the aggression and scapegoating that inevitably follow the abandonment of individual rights and the embrace of collectivism.” The theme of the night’s speech was that indeed Israel does have challenges, but she remains strong and will overcome whatever adversary

she faces. Danon began by telling the audience that tonight he will cover all of the challenges, threats and problems that Israel faces, but at the same time, promised the audience that they would walk out optimistic. He continued by saying, “ one of the main problems that I see when speaking to people is that we are too apologetic. No, we cannot be apologetic- there is no reason for it. We need to stand up for our rights.” He explained that Israel has certain indisputable rights; The Biblical Right, which he suggests should be enough on its own. The 1920 San Remo conference that established, according to international law, that Jews should have their own state. And,

Nessah Israel Teens BBQ On Thursday, August 1st, “Nessah Israel Teens”, a youth program serving high school students in Nessah Synagogue, hosted a “BBQ Hangout Night.” This type of event takes place about 4 times a year. The BBQ was held at Nessah synagogue, outside on the patio. Burgers, hotdogs and all sorts of delicious munchies were served. There were games, music, and raffles with prizes. The Nessah Israel Teens’ mentors were invited to join the event and socialize with the teens. The purpose of the event was to gather Jewish high school students in a safe and comfortable environment where they could have fun, socialize, make friends, and get motivated to become active and make a difference in the community. Among other events that are organized by this group are: Shabbat Luncheon, Career Day, Giving Back to the Community project (such as feeding the homeless), parties and many other Jewish Holiday events such as Sukkah brunch. Events are mainly organized by adult volunteers and teenage committee members. In addition, during the school year, there are club meetings once a week, where students gather and have lunch together. Many weeks there is a special guest speakers who discusses different topics such as current events, upcoming Jewish holidays and college & career choices.

common sense, (his own theory,) that Israel won the war, therefore gets to keep the land. Danon made it clear that that night he was not planning on bringing up any new peace visions, or strategies, “when I said two weeks ago that I’m against the two-state solution I meant it. I am against a two state solution… Eight years ago I spoke out against the Israeli disengagement, saying that it is going to be a disaster. The headlines were saying that Danon and fellow Likud members were frightening the public. I’m telling you tonight that if a Palestinian state is established, G-d forbid, it would be a copy and paste of what happened in Judea and Samaria.”


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By Chaim Gold

HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, Shlita: Entering Yeshiva Gedolah Requires Tefillah Like a Yom Hadin The highlight of the event was the appearance of Rav Shteinman. Rabbi Avigdor Berenstein, a senior member of Dirshu’s hanhala, described the scene when the venerated Rosh Yeshiva exited the car to enter the Armanot Chen Hall in Bnei Brak where the gathering was held. “One could see how fatigued the Rosh Yeshiva was, but when he entered the hall and saw it packed with such a large crowd of serious yeshiva bochurim, who wanted nothing more than to hear guidance, he became infused with energy.” In his words, Rav Shteinman addressed the significant transition inherent in entering yeshiva gedolah. He said, “Every bochur must understand, that before each new stage in his life he faces something akin to a Yom Hadin, a Day of Judgment. He requires such rachamei shamayim to succeed. Now that all of you are entering a new stage in your lives, progressing from yeshiva ketanah to yeshiva gedolah you need to intensely daven, for success and growth. Rav Shteinman then quoted the well known words of the Vilna Gaon, who says, “There is no such thing in this world as a person who is stationary. He is either rising and growing or he is falling. A person must recognize that the fact that he can constantly better himself is a great quality that only a human being possesses.

Nevertheless, this wonderful quality also demands tremendous vigilance. He must see to it that he is always in sustained ascension, because if he isn’t, he is automatically in descent.” HaGaon HaRav Asher Ben-Naim, Shlita: “Can There be a Greater Simcha in the Celestial World?!” The gathering which hosted bochurim representing yeshivos from the entire cross-section of Klal Yisrael – Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Lithuanian and Chassidic

yeshivos - was opened by Rav Asher Ben-Naim, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Birchas Ephraim. He began, “The gathering of so many bochurim, who have come during their bein hazemanim to hear words of guidance is the ultimate response to those who seek to still the voices of the yeshivos. What are you doing during your vacation? You have come to hear chizuk on how to best utilize your years in yeshiva gedolah! Can there be a greater simcha in the celestial world than this?!” HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Shlita Gives Guidance He Heard from Rav Aharon Kotler, Zt”l A most comprehensive shmuess was given by the Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka, Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch. He said, “The main hatzlacha of every bochur, is dependent on the yeshiva gedolah years. That is why the milestone of entering yeshiva gedolah requires supreme dedication. If someone starts this new era on a high level, that level will continue for years into the future. Conversely if a bochur suffices with starting off this new stage with mediocrity, that too may continue for years… It is in these years that he must accept upon himself to fully and totally immerse in Torah learning, and to have real, authentic yiras shamayim. He must also make up his mind to wholly dedicate

himself to cultivating good middos, to be humble, to listen to a sevara that his friend conveys instead of immediately rejecting it. Humility is the key to all other middos tovos. Rav Hirsch explained, “My Rebbi HaGaon HaRav Aharon Kotler, zt”l would say, “Human nature is such that a person is afraid to accept upon himself the full yoke of Torah and yiras shamayim. He thinks that perhaps it will be too hard for him. Rav Aharon Kotler said, however, that he is making a mistake. He doesn’t

realize that when he accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah without compromises he will automatically begin to taste the sweetness of Torah. Rav Moshe Hillel continued with precautionary words, “Not all bochurim feel the sweetness and geshmak of learning immediately. For some it takes a bit of time. If , however, he perseveres, eventually he will have a true geshmak and satisfaction in learning.” The Slabodka Rosh Yeshiva also profusely praised Dirshu and its accomplishments in helping bochurim accept upon themselves the yoke of Torah and helping them to attain the goal of learning and knowing Torah. One who Truly Tries is Divinely Endowed with Newfound Ability Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Dirshu’s Nasi, spoke about the fact that a bochur might periodically deem himself incapable of accomplishing the goals that have been set for him. He might think, “It is beyond my ability.” “In reality, however,” Rav Dovid said “a person does not know the special strengths with which he is endowed. If he jumps in and tries with every fiber of his being, the siyatta d’shmaya comes along empowering him to draw on latent strengths which he did not know he possessed.” Rav Dovid also spoke about

the importance of each bochur having a Rebbi and attaching himself to a Rebbi. “One can’t learn from a seforim shrank or just from seforim. One needs a Rebbi who will teach him right from wrong.” HaGaon HaRav Chaim Avrohom Weisel, Shlita: Keep Your Distance from Harmful Friends Rav Chaim Avrohom Weisel, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, urged every bochur entering yeshiva gedolah to invest great effort in acquiring a good friend or good friends. “A bochur never knows what nisayon, what spiritual hurdles await him, but one thing that will certainly cause him to fall is a friend who exerts a negative influence on him. HaGaon HaRav Uri Weisblum, Shlita: The Most Effective Antidote: Being Prepared Rav Uri Weisblum, a talmid muvhak of Rav Shlomo Wolbe and a mashgiach with decades of experience assisting bochurim, gave a deep, powerful address. The bochurim sat at the edge of their seats absorbing every word. Rav Weisblum addressed the common feeling of many bochurim who were at the top of their class in yeshiva ketanah but upon entering yeshiva gedolah find themselves with considerably larger classes which boast other bochurim who are far more gifted. He guided them on how to deal with feelings of inadequacy and how to strengthen themselves. Another very important issue addressed by Rav Weisblum was sleeping in the dormitory. While in most yeshiva ketanos in Eretz Yisrael, bochurim sleep at home, in yeshiva gedolos, they sleep in dorms. Acclimating to a dorm and cultivating the personal discipline to go to sleep on time and get up on time is new and requires thought and effort. This new, uncharted territory becomes much easier to navigate when a bochur enters yeshiva gedolah knowing what he will face, Rav Weisblum stressed. The special event for bochurim was the third annual such event hosted by Dirshu. It has been enthusiastically embraced by the Gedolei Yisroel as an important primer for any bochur entering yeshiva gedolah. The necessity of the event was mirrored in the faces of all the bochurim who exited the auditorium, clearly uplifted, filled with simcha and a conviction to implement the advice and continue growing!

august 15, 2013

For three and a half hours they sat in their seats, quietly, intensely concentrating and taking notes. It was an event that they would remember, an event that they would one day recount to their grandchildren. It wasn’t only the appearance of a gadol hador of the stature of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, that so moved them, rather it was every speaker and all of the words of guidance that they received. It was Dirshu’s special gathering attended by more than 850 bochurim from across Eretz Yisrael who are entering yeshiva gedolah. At the gathering they received guidance from prominent Roshei Yeshiva and Mashgichim led by HaGaon HaRav Shteinman. The asifa, held this past Sunday just days before the start of Elul Zman, offered them advice from the gedolim on how to properly transition from yeshiva ketanah to yeshiva gedolah and on how to maximize their yeshiva gedolah years.

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HaGaon HaRav Shteinman, Shlita, and Other Gedolim Address Dirshu Gathering for Bochurim Entering Yeshiva Gedolah


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Graduate Benjamin Krombach Brings Art to Life at YULA by Aliza Ganchrow

Alongside R’ Soloveitchik, R’ Shach, and R’ Kotler, a fierce panther lunges. Designed and created by 2013 YULA graduate Benjamin Krombach, the painted panther enwraps three walls along and adjoining the main staircase of YULA Boys’ school, with a single disjointed paw hovering on the opposite wall of the perpendicular hallway. When viewed from the right position, the various segments of the stretched mascot—painted in YULA’s black and yellow—merge seamlessly into a single image. Look closely and you will notice the subtle words packed into the panther’s stripes: “YULA” and “kedushas, adam, makom, and zman”— which YULA student fondly recognize as the favorite saying of former Head of School Rabbi Heshy Glass. The words refer to the three features that can harbor holiness: times—such as Shabbos, places—such as shuls, and people—such as Torah scholars. The panther was born in an after-school art class taught by Fine Art Director Mr. Ian Arenas and facilitated by Dr. Paul Soifer, Director of General Studies. Inspired by the work of Felice Varini, who paints walls and buildings to generate the illusion of floating circles superimposed on a room or city, Benjamin first painted a floating

Mogen Dovid in the obscurity of the basement outside the art room. Emboldened by his success, he sought and received permission to produce something more public. Benjamin toiled for around 60 hours finding and designing the panther image and deftly inserting all the words into the compact space. Next, Benjamin, Mr. Arenas, and a few boys spent 40 hours over Pesach break projecting the feline on the wall, tracing it, and painting it—all depicted in a time-lapse video on the YULA website. Benjamin’s parents made him come home for bedikas chometz, after which he headed back to school to continue painting. Sunday, August 4 marked the dedication by YULA and the Krombach family of a plaque next to the mural with a colored key to the panther’s camouflaged words. At the event, Director of Development Mr. Joseph Small, Mr. Arenas, and Vice Principal of Torah Studies Rabbi Joseph Schreiber spoke about the project and its significance and thanked Benjamin for his unique contribution to the school. Though Benjamin has graduated, the finished piece proudly adorns the wall of YULA, proclaiming its hidden Torah message and standing testament to the power of creativity.


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great is our loss

vkudsv v,jpan ,t ojbh ouenv rehv ubrcj vkgc

j"um ;sur ub,kve sungu atr

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ohnhgbvu ohrehv ovhtmtm kfu h"b hcm ejmh 'gcahkt 'rhtn t"cc hjmbv whj,c v,utrku rpg hbfua ,mhevk vfzbu Our hearts cannot contain the pain and our minds cannot comprehend our loss as we try and share in the loss of our friend, pillar and founder of our Shul,

R’ Yisroel Zev Rechnitz and his Family. The tears flow freely with the knowledge that we have lost a real Ayshes Chayil, whose every moment of life was consumed with her family and the needs of our Kehilla. May the Ribbono Shel Olam, in his great love for you, help us find the words, or the silence, to be Menachem you and your precious Jewels, your beautiful children, Meir, Shevi, & Yitzchok Tzvi.

Beis Medrash Sha’arei Torah along with the entire Los Angeles Community

august 15, 2013

we join in the deep sorrow of the petirah of vrehv vcuajv vatv sxju vesmc vexg 'ohabc vraFv v,hc v,bc vnfjc

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cr iudhu rgmc

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14

Day School Tuition in LA: An Honest Discussion

It’s pricy, but nearly all of us would agree that it’s worth it. And while starting another discussion about the cost of day school tuition may feel like beating a dead horse, we’d like to add some honest, local flavor to the conversation and shed light on how administrators, teachers, parents and students in Los Angeles perceive the cost and value of day school tuition. For this first article, we reached out to principals and administrators at the major Orthodox day schools in LA. Some generously shared their thoughts (below), some were too busy to talk with the coming start of a new school year, and some needed more time to

Rabbi Einhorn, Dean of Yavneh

approach this topic, and they plan to share their perspectives and insights in the coming months. We hope to make this is a true community-wide dialogue, and we encourage you, our readers, to send in your own thoughts, questions and concerns on this topic to editor@jewishhomela. com. Tuition covers approximately 80% of operating costs at Emek Hebrew Academy, according to Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, head of school at the Orthodox day school in Sherman Oaks. The remainder is raised through fundraising and grants. Unlike many other schools in LA, Emek didn’t find the need to raise tuition both this year and last year, thanks to a significant influx of students. “The word’s getting around; more families from the Valley are staying and sending,” he says. Tuition at Emek is slightly lower than many day schools in the city, ranging from just over $8,000 for preschool to just under

$17,000 for middle school. Why is tuition so high in Los Angeles? Rabbi Shifman chalks it up to the high cost of living here, and for the need for academic diversity for all Jewish day schools, which requires more resources and specialized teachers. Schools need to keep their academics in tip-top shape in order to compete with all the other schools, and that takes money. And, of course, “housing is the greatest expense,” he says. Scholarships are generous at Emek – the school gives out $1.6 million in scholarships and over half of students are there on some type of scholarship.

be the only ones shouldering the financial responsibility of educating Jewish children. “Everyone has to help educate the Jewish community. Whether you have kids in school or you don’t have kids in school, everyone has to contribute to shouldering that burden.” He also believes that schools need to become more efficient and streamlined like a business. One of the things he’s focused on is using Emek’s facility to create other revenue streams, such as renting out the gym or main hall for bar mitzvahs and weddings, “to use every inch of space and bring that over to parents to help them with scholarships.”

Rabbi Sufrin, Head of School, Hillel

Do full-paying parents resent the scholarships? Rabbi Shifman says a newly implemented system has eliminated a lot of friction. Instead of handling the scholarship requests in-house, all financials are sent to an outside company, which crunches the numbers and sends the final number of available income for each family to the school. Then, if a family wants to challenge the decision, the request comes to the tuition committee and the family will speak to Rabbi Shifman, directly. “You don’t want information going around – that’s when you create that resentment,” he says. “People feel there is more of a fair process,” he says about the new system. “It’s the same for everybody; there are no deals being made. There’s a level of consistency and fairness.” However, despite the efforts his school and others make to help parents who struggle to afford tuition, he believes strongly that schools should not

By Rachel Wizenfeld

sort of aid a location can get from government, and what taxpayers in that area can afford to pay. He won’t disclose numbers of scholarship dollars disbursed or the percentage of parents on scholarship, but does say that there are “a bunch” of parents who not only pay for their own child, but sponsor tuition for another student as well. For parents who struggle to afford tuition, he says that “we tell parents that we have a very dignified process, a very open and honest process. Once parents go through it, we do whatever we can. We’ll never turn a child away for financial reasons, if the parents are

Rabbi Shifman, Head of School, Emek

Tuition was slightly higher this year at Yavneh Hebrew Academy, according to Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, who came on as dean a year ago, largely due to growth in academics, he says. “In an ideal world we would want to lower tuition each year, but each year as far as education is concerned, the technology is getting more advanced, the types of teachers we can hire are more qualified, and the gap between the operating budget and what comes in sometimes just grows and grows.” At the same time, he sees the cost of tuition, which Yavneh tries to keep on par with other day schools, as within a somewhat manageable range for parents, given that Yavneh is full this year with an enrollment of 499 students. Coming from New York, Rabbi Einhorn doesn’t see the tuition here as abnormally high. While perhaps higher than schools in some places, it’s certainly lower than many schools in Manhattan. It all depends on location, he says, and is largely affected by what

open and honest with us and work with us.” Rabbi Einhorn agrees that while everyone is trying to solve the tuition crisis, no one has found the magic bullet yet, and “we’re keeping our eyes and ears for a solution.” Minde Orneles, the director of early childhood at Tashbar Torat Hayim, says that the school really takes scholarships to heart. “Too many Orthodox Jews are going to public school because they can’t afford tuition payments,” she says. As the only Orthodox Sephardi day school in Los Angeles, she says that the small class sizes (approximately 10 students per class) and warm, family-like environment make the school a draw for Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, French and even Ashkenazi students. “Many of our parents are not wealthy people – many have five children and are living in two or three bedroom apartments. We understand that parents really go through things and


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to continue to rise. “At the tip of the tongue of parents is the fear of will their children be well educated and in a sophisticated enough manner to succeed in a 21st century society – and so they’re rightfully very demanding of schools,” he says. “But there’s a cost to that; there’s more to invest so we have more options for our children, better quality trained teachers and educators. All of that is going to cost money, and in order to successfully do that, you have to raise tuition.” Approximately 25-30% of students at Hillel receive some scholarship aid, ranging from slight grants to larger ones for families paying tuition for multiple children at the same time. Each year the school calculates how many scholarship dollars it can afford to give out based on how much money they anticipate being able to raise, “and when the dollars are up, the dollars are up.” One of the things Rabbi Sufrin has done to try to cut expenses is to partner with other schools to create a consortium and to have the buying power of a unit. More important, though, and what

he believes is the real key to day school sustainability and affordability, is building an endowment. Hillel is one of seven local schools building an endowment through Generations LA (Cheder Menachem is another one), an initiative spearheaded by PEJE, the Avi Chai Foundation and the BJE (Builders of Jewish Education). According to PEJE’s website, the goal is for schools to raise raise $20K-$30K in endowment funds per student after 10 years, which will provide schools with a cushion of $500-$750 per student annually. Schools receive incentive grants for meeting certain benchmarks, along with coaching and training. Hillel currently charges each family $100 annually for its endowment fund, which Rabbi Sufrin hopes will eventually help ease the tuition burden for families. “If 30 years ago schools would have put away money in an endowment fund, that would mitigate the cost of tuition for all families today,” he says.

august 15, 2013

the past five years) are calculated each November for the following year by crunching numbers for the past year’s expenses and factoring in anticipated programmatic changes. Recent changes that have helped spur the tuition rise include hiring more quality teachers (who tend to be more expensive), introducing a system that rewards teachers with bonuses for meeting goals, incorporating a new school-wide music program and an engineering program for middle-schoolers, among other new programs and initiatives. The school’s goal is to draw close to 80% of operating expenses from tuition and to fundraise for approximately 20-25% of the budget. “In reality that doesn’t always come true, but hopefully,” he says. Hillel calculates tuition by doing a careful analysis of the true cost of educating each child in its system, to make sure that they’ve come to an amount that is as responsible and manageable as possible. And because of a school’s need to keep improving and enhancing its overall curriculum, in Rabbi Sufrin’s opinion tuition is naturally going

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we don’t want to ever turn children away.” To help raise scholarship funds, this year Tashbar launched a new “Dollar a Day” campaign targeted toward the community. What makes tuition high? “It’s just the cost of living here: rent is extremely expensive, insurance is expensive, water bills, light bills,” she says. And because people who live here pay a lot for their own living expenses, schools have to maintain appropriate salaries for teachers, most of whom live right in the neighborhood. More than half of the student body at Tashbar receives some type of scholarship, which comes from dollars raised through the PTA, a Chinese auction, comedy night, an annual banquet and parenting classes that are open to the community and are meant to garner donations. “People know that times are tough,” she says. At Hillel Academy, things are planned, planned, planned. According to Rabbi Sufrin, tuition increases (tuition has been raised annually for


The Jewish Home august 15, 2013 16


17

Sitting Alone at Breakfast: How to Stay Divinely Connected Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

This existential “safek,” or uncertainty, is an untenable religious position. No strong relationship can be forged or developed if we don’t know whether we are in it or not. Millions of dollars are poured into the study of a basic human need and that is the finding of serenity. For some it means feeling connected, plugging in, or experiencing an active relationship with G-d. On one hand, the problem can be phrased as emanating from G-d not revealing Himself to us. Many people feel that when they talk to G-d they’re talking to an answering machine and that no one is really listening. This is a symptom of a deeper spiritual problem manifesting itself in the lack of a feeling of connection with Hashem. Israeli Educator and teacher Tziporah Heller points to a religious fallacy inherent in this outlook. Every day we wake up, we breathe, we laugh, we run, we survive. Those very consistent and animating behaviors and emotions ARE G-d’s revelation. We are living in G-d’s world. Life is one big intricate and complicated miracle that is designed to sustain life and trigger creativity. Revelation happens in real time and at every turn of our heads. G-d is there to connect to because we interact with G-dliness all the time and with every moment. The great Rosh Yeshiva, R. Chaim Volozhin, argues that conflicting perspectives are often at play in our misconceptions. The dominant theme of his masterpiece, Nefesh HaChaim, is the concept of ‫ ודיצמ‬vs. ‫ ונדיצמ‬- G-d’s vantage point vs. our vantage point. From our vantage point it sometimes seems like there is no Divine Presence among us. But from the accurate G-d perspective, Hashem is ever present in everything we do. So the problem is not one of revelation but rather one of connection or relationship. How is it possible to have a relationship with an infinite G-d? Or to state it a bit more pithily, how do we know if we are truly connected? know.

Possibility #1: We may never A famous pop song from 1985

Possibility #2: I think, therefore I connect.

An approach that works: We need something that ensures our constant connection; not just for a moment here or there: Rav Itamar Schwartz in his Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh to Yomim Noraim asks: how come on Rosh Hashana we switch to

whereby we find our connection. When we don’t answer the call, the reservoir of fluidity within us dries up. In 1955, a doctor named Robert Butler painstakingly studied the health and longevity of people over the age of 65. This study eventually became an obsession for Butler. He went on to publish his findings in a book called Why Survive? Being Old in America. He went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for his book. Butler’s research focused on individuals between the ages of 65 and 92 years old. One of the key discoveries that emerged from his research was a direct correlation between longevity, health and a clearly defined purpose. People who had a strong sense of mission simply woke up differently than those with shorter life spans.

When we live our lives with purpose, then even the “down moments” are part of our greater connection.

There are two steps within G-d’s commandments: there is the raw action and then there is the resulting connection triggered by that positive behavior. In Jewish Law there is a concept referred to in the Talmud in Brachos called “Machshava K’mayssa” – our thought is like our action. Why can a positive thought sometimes fill in for action? Because if the goal of a mitzvah is the resulting connection to G-d, then the very fact that we can think about the mitzvah and think about doing good creates our connection point. The Dinnover Rebbe suggests such a concept in his philosophical classic, Derech Pikudecha. Our relationship is apparent because G-d’s law is on our minds.

We may still need a bit more than that, because how do we ascertain the level of our relationship to G-d in the moments when we are simply living and not doing a mitzvah? Although, one could argue that living appropriately is itself a mitzvah. feeling?

out? Connected or not connected you’re probably not going to “feel” great.

Possibility #3: – How are you

Semi-mythical self-help guru Abraham Hicks argues that one who is feeling good will feel that way because G-d is flowing through that person. Conversely, when we don’t feel great it means that we’ve disconnected from our Source. Hicks (She?) calls this an Emotional Guidance System. Check in with how you are feeling and that will tell you whether or not you are currently connected to G-d. While there seems to a strong component of this outlook that may resonate with us, it too has its limitations. Take for example, an annoying morning. What if you wake up tired, knock your head on the breakfast table, accidentally spill the milk and then rip your coat on the way

Avinu Malkeinu - our Father, our King and move away from the relationship manifest in Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li – I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me? Because Father and King relate to a permanent relationship, the lover and the beloved is often of a more temporary nature. On Rosh Hashana we ask G-d for a relationship that is enduring. How do we make our relationship last? On Rosh Hashana we blow the Ram’s Horn. As Maimonides puts it, the blast of the Shofar is there to awaken the sleepers from their slumber. We are being beckoned to answer our calling. In other words, to plug in means to answer our life’s calling. call.

To plug in means to answer your

The Satmar Rav (Vayoel Moshe, Nasso) says that when an individual enjoys a particular mitzvah, and always looks for opportunities to fulfill that good deed, he or she knows that they were born for that mitzvah. The tribe of Levi was given the privilege of carrying the Ark in the wilderness. The primary responsibility went to Kehas. Why didn’t this right go to the first born – Gershon? Because this was Kehas’s calling. And when you find your calling, and you commit to it, there’s a unshakable connection that is forged. One of the first Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rav Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, says, “I was created because the time had arrived for me to fill a vacuum in the perfection of the real world. If I were to commit my efforts toward fulfilling the purpose of my creation, I would be considered ‘worthy.’” Purpose. It is living with purpose

When we live our lives with purpose, then even the “down moments” are part of our greater connection. Education author George Burr Leonard in his book Mastery states it perfectly: “Could all of us reclaim lost hours of our lives by making everything – the commonplace along with the extraordinary – a part of our practice?” Our whole lives are part of our mission. This goes one step further. When living a life with purpose it is not even the in-between moments that can be purposeful and filled with connection, but there is also meaning when we slip and tumble. The great Rosh Yeshiva Rav Yitzchak Hutner once lamented about the deleting of the human, day-to-day stories in the lives of great sages. In his own words: “Know my friend, the root of your soul (my comment – your connection point) is not in the tranquility of your positive impulse (my comment – when you feel good) but rather in the battle you rage with your darker self.” The fall is part of the ascent. Living purposely is a life of connection. It’s experiencing your world with G-d.

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at rabbieinhorn@gmail.com

august 15, 2013

has the lyrics “I say a prayer with every heartbeat..... How will I know if he really loves me?” The argument would then go that we pray with as much kevanna as we can and hope that some connection has been established.

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Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn


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august 15, 2013

18

Delayed Wages; Ultimate Reward Rabbi Reuven Wolf

Near the end of this week’s Parsha, Parshas Ki Seitzei, we find the Mitzvah of not withholding the wages of a worker. Perek 24, Posuk 14-15 read: “14. You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is of your brethren, or a stranger in the land or within your gates,” and Rashi explains, that means, by delaying paying him his wages. The Torah continues: “15. On the day [of his work] you shall give him his wages; let not the Sun go down on him [without his being paid], for he is poor, and he sets his heart upon it [meaning, he depends on it]; or he shall call up to Hashem against you, and it shall be for you a sin.” The Talmud derives from this Pasuk that the employer has twelve hours to pay the worker—if the worker worked during the day, the employer has “until the Sun rises” to pay him; if he worked at night, he must be paid before the Sun sets the next day. Now the Sages tell us often that Hashem performs Mitzvos himself: Hashem, the Talmud (Berachos 6a) tells us, wears Tefillin; He prays, just as we do. He gives charity and performs acts of loving kindness by bestowing life, on us and on all of creation. So we would expect Him to perform this Mitzvah faithfully as well. In fact, the last three Mishnahs of the second chapter of Pirkei Avot compare our relationship with Hashem to that of a worker and an employer. For example: “Rabbi Eleazar said: …Know before whom you toil, and who your employer is, and know that He will surely pay you your wages (your “sechar”— your reward) for your work.” So we would expect Hashem to keep this Mitzvah as well. Yet, we also find in several places (Kiddushin 39b) the Talmud telling us, Sechar mitzvah behai

alma leika—“Reward for the performance of a Mitzvah is not [found] in this world.” But why not? Isn’t there a Mitzvah of paying the worker his wages within twelve hours? Wouldn’t we expect Hashem to keep this Mitzvah no less than the others? In fact, there is a famous story in the Talmud (Chulin 142a) in which a Sage watches a young boy climb a ladder to a high tree branch at the direction of his father to shoo away the mother bird on a nest before taking the eggs in it—the

why doesn’t Hashem fulfill this Mitzvah of paying his servants? Mitzvah of Shiluach Ha’Kan (which, incidentally is also in this week’s Parsha: 22:6–7). Seeing the boy performing two Mitzvos simultaneously—honoring his father and shooing the mother bird away—both of which Mitzvos for which the Torah says the reward is long life, the Sage says, “That boy will certainly have a long life.” But at that moment, the Talmud relates, the boy fell, broke his neck and died. The Sage (who was Elisha ben Abuya) was so stunned, that he became an apostate and wandered the pages of the Talmud under the name “Acher”—the “Other One”— searching for understanding. But the question remains: why doesn’t Hashem fulfill this Mitzvah of paying his servants, rewarding us for the Mitzvos we do right when we

Yeshiva Shaarei Torah Mourns the passing of

Mrs. Avigail Rechnitz A”H

a noted pillar of Chessed in the Los Angeles community. May her husband, R’ Yisrael Zev, and the entire family find comfort in the knowledge that her countless acts of Chessed will continue to be an everlasting Zchus and serve as legacy that will inspire all those that were fortunate to know her. ‫המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים‬ Rabbi Mordechai Wolmark Rosh HaYeshiva Yeshiva Shaarei Torah Monsey, NY

do them, just as an employer has to pay a worker before the Sun comes up the next day? The Iyun Ya’akov, a commentary on the Aggadic portions of the Talmud (collected in the work, the Eyn Ya’akov), offers the following answer: Doing Mitzvos is something we are “employed” to do for a lifetime, not just for a day. And the Halachah in the Shulchan Aruch concerning timely payment of a worker (as found in Choshen Mishpat, 339:5) is that, if there was an arrangement made between the worker and the employer

that payment would be made only when the job for which the worker was hired is completed, the payment does not have to be made daily—it can be made when the entire job is completed. So we will receive our reward, but only after we have completed our job—completed a lifetime of performing Mitzvos. This answer, however, depends on the debate between the Rambam (Maimonides) and the Ramban (Nachmanides) regarding the entire issue of reward and punishment. The Rambam says that we receive our reward in Gan Eden—in the Afterlife in Paradise, which (following some “prepping” of the Neshama) takes place right after a person leaves this world, meaning, immediately after death. But the Ramban (citing the Kabbalists in his work, Shar HaGemul—“The Gate of Reward”), says the ultimate reward a person receives for his Mitzvos he will receive only after the Messiah comes and the dead are resurrected— after Techi’as HaMeisim. The only reward that a person receives in Gan Eden, says the Ramban, is for the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah—we are rewarded then for the Torah we have studied during our lifetime. Reward for all other Mitzvos has to wait until the Messianic Age. So, according to the Ramban, why do we have to wait so long for our reward; why doesn’t our “employer”—Hashem—pay us our wages quickly, the way the Torah commands employers to pay their workers here in our Parsha? The question can actually be sharpened: consider all the places in the Torah where we are assured that if we perform the Mitzvos and follow the ways of the Torah, we will enjoy good harvests and a bountiful life. As we say in the Shema every day (Devarim 11:13–15): “If you will heed the Commandments that I have commanded you today… I will give you the rain in your land in its season… so that you may harvest your grain, your wine and your oil. And I will produce grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” It certainly seems that Hashem does reward good behavior, and quickly and in this world, so why do the Sages say there is no reward for Mitzvos in this world? To understand this, we have to realize that our relationship with Hashem is not simply as a servant to a master, a worker to an employer. It’s a bit more complicated. On the one hand, we are more like contractors: we are given authority over the physical world, over the Earth, to make it a place that is—and is worthy to be—a dwelling place for Hashem’s Presence, for the Shechina. And like a contractor, we have to use our talents and our wits to direct the work and design the world so that it is a world of right, of justice and of holiness—a place suitable for the Presence of Hashem. And

the Halachah is that a contractor, though he is going to be paid only after the job is completed, he must be supported and sustained while he works. So reward will not come until Moshiach comes, but assistance in the form of abundant crops and a blessing on the work of the land will be forthcoming as part of Hashem’s assistance of those who wish to perform Mitzos and follow the precepts of the Torah. In fact, the relationship goes deeper than that: we are partners with Hashem in this World— given the task of “fixing” and preparing it for the benefit of all humanity, for all Creation, and for the Presence of Hashem Himself, making it a fit place for His Presence to dwell. And the Halacha for cases where two people are partners in an endeavor and both are contributing resources, but only one is doing the work (the “heavy lifting”), the one working has to be supported and fed, as if he was a worker in the field or a simple laborer, even though both partners will enjoy the benefit of his work equally (Rambam, Yad: Hilchos Shiluchim veShutfim, Perek 8). As the Midrash puts it: One who says, Vayechulu Hashamayim [“He who completed the Creation of the Heavens…”] in Kiddush on Friday night becomes a partner with Hashem in the Creation.” So just as a partner who is charged with doing the work in the enterprise needs to be supported and sustained by the other partner—as if he was simply a worker, so too does Hashem promise to provide sustenance and good rain, and the resulting good crops that will assist the partner—His partner—in carrying out the work of making the world the place where the Shechina can reside. The Midrash (in Parshas Naso) goes a step further: The task of “Tikun Ha’Olam”—fixing the world and making it suitable for the presence of the Shechina—is one that is given to the entire nation of Israel—to all of Am Yisroel. It therefore seems right that the reward for the successful carrying out of this mission, this “contract”— that half of our partnership—will be appropriate only when the Moshiach comes and the world is imbued with the G-dly spirit of Hashem’s presence. So the problem asked on the Ramban—why doesn’t Hashem reward those who do Mitzvos immediately?—falls away: payment is rendered as soon as the job is completed, namely, when the world is “fixed”; everything else we receive as Hashem’s blessings are designed to help us complete our mission and our job: bringing about a world ready and prepared for Moshiach. As we approach the Days of Awe and the month of Tishrei, we pray that we will have the assistance of our partner—the Ribono shel Olam; Master of the Universe—to accomplish our mission and complete our task, fulfill our contract, and bask in the redemptive light of our father, our master, our employer and our partner—the Almighty Creator. Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidism.


19 The Jewish Home

Question & Answer Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries.   If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email educationqanda@hillelhebrew.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks.  All names will be held confidential.

With the school year approaching I would like to be sure that my child is set up for success putting the right foot forward. How can I help my child prepare? Right Food Forward. Dear Right Foot Forward: Providentially, school starts during the month of Elul, a time of reflection and preparation for the coming year. This month naturally lends itself to taking stock of the past year with an

eye towards planning for the coming. This is a perfect opportunity to sit down with your child and have a tete-a-tete conversation to plan for the coming year. Reflect on last year and make sure to have him or her describe what accomplishments he or she takes pride in from this past year. This will assist your child in focusing on understanding success and the feelings it brings. It will also assist your child in taking stock to resolve for the future what success for him or her will look like. This is a good time to talk about building upon past successes, and any new challenges your child is ready to assume. Talk about what makes the challenge difficult and which hurdles mat arise. Come up with strategies on dealing with these challenges. Brain storm ideas with him or her on ways to make it easier to accomplish the task or challenge. By going through this process

you are empowering your child with multiple tools. He or she is also learning how to be reflective. It also allows your child to learn that it is important to take pride in past successes and build on them. You are now building a context for future conversations throughout the year. By planning this way your child can also be cognizant of possible hurdles and allow him or her to deal with them in a more calm way. This gives direction for setting goals. When setting goals, help your child choose “S.M.A.R.T” goals: Be “Specific “ about the goal. General goals are usually not realistic. Make sure the goals are “Measurable” Goals that can be measured are easier to achieve. Using these strategies the goals are “Achievable.” Do not set goals that are beyond reach. And always make sure they are “Realistic.” “Timely” goals that have a clear benchmark of when the goals are accomplished ensure and give them a reasonable amount of time,

ensures success. SMART goals are a powerful tool in in your child’s toolbox. This is just one facet of preparing for the coming year. When you take the time to be reflective and plan you are setting the stage for a great year. You are engaging in the Mitzvah of “Vishinantom L’ vanecha” educating your child and ensuring you are a true partner with the school who is your agent to help fulfill the goals of this mitzvah. To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, emaileducationqandq@hillelhebrew. org. We want to hear your thoughts. This article was compiled by Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin and Rabbi Eli Broner Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Administration

august 15, 2013

Education is at the forefront of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email educationqanda@ hillelhebrew.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential.


august 15, 2013

20

A Time for Stringencies

The Jewish Home

By Rabbi Shafran

Friday

Chumros, or efforts to go beyond the letter of Jewish religious law’s requirements, have gotten a bad name over the years. And it is true, some stringencies can be unwise, even counterproductive.  Some are even silly. I recall a letter to the editor of a now-defunct Jewish magazine whose writer was deeply upset that an advertisement for a dairy product in an earlier issue had run face-to-face with one for a meat product.  Many readers, I’m sure, like me, first thought it was meant as a joke.  But it wasn’t Purim time and it didn’t carry any indication of wryness or satire.  The writer was serious, and, of course, deeply misguided. But when a stringency is adopted, either by a community or an individual, for a good reason, it should not be resented or mocked.  Sometimes a person may feel a need to draw a broader circle than the next guy’s around something prohibited; sometimes a particular  era or community will require the adoption of special stringencies.  Generally, chumros present themselves in realms like kashrus or the Sabbath, in the form of refraining from eating or doing even something technically permitted.  Other stringencies, though, consist of adopting as one’s norm the example of a great person. Among the greatest Jews who ever lived was the spiritual head of the Jewish people at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, the famed Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai.  The Talmud (Brachos 17a) relates that no one ever greeted him first, as he was always the first to offer greetings, “even [to] a non-Jew in the marketplace.” Now there’s an unusual – unnecessary, to be sure, but clearly laudatory – conduct worth considering these days, when civility seems on the wane. Obviously one can’t walk through a busy pedestrian area greeting every person one sees.  In any event, doing so might not endear one to those serially accosted. But there are many times when one finds oneself in the presence of another individual or two when the option of a “good morning” or “good evening” hovers in the air, easily ignored but entirely available.

Taking the opportunity to convey the wish, the Talmud teaches us, is something praiseworthy. And for Jews, the more “Jewish” one looks, I think, the more desirable it is to consider taking on the chumra of emulating Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. Because in addition to the inherent goodness of acknowledging another human being, there is the unfortunate fact that some people, for whatever reason, are quick to think of Jews, especially Orthodox ones, as “stand-offish.”  And our insular lifestyles, even though they are not intended to insult anyone, can inadvertently reinforce that impression. But it’s hard to maintain a bias against Orthodox Jews when one’s head holds the image, too, of a smiling such Jew offering a greeting. On a fifteen-minute walk to shul a few Shabbosos ago, I met: two other shul-goers, a Muslim family, and a young man of indeterminate ethnicity.  I also passed a fellow washing his car.  I wished the identifiable Jews a “good Shabbos” (actually, one of them a “Shabbat Shalom”) and offered the others a smile and a “good morning.”  All the greetees returned the good wishes, as did a large man with dreadlocks standing in line with me at the kosher Dunkin Donuts a day later.  That’s usually the case.  Rarely does someone greeted ignore the greeting; and when he does, it’s usually because he didn’t hear it (or couldn’t believe his ears). Whether my “stringent” behavior made the world any more civil a place I don’t know, but all any of us can do is our own small part. Some religious Jews, who – rightfully – value modesty and reticence, may feel that it’s somehow not proper to engage strangers in public places.  And in some cases that may well be true.  But in many, even most, cases, it’s certainly not. At least it wasn’t in Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s eyes.

© 2013 Rabbi Avi Shafran This essay and others, plus occasional musings of mine, can be read at rabbiavishafran.com.


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find within ourselves the strength and tenacity to begin the climb and to successfully ascend to the top.

This week’s parsha begins with the words, “Ki seitzei lamilchamah al oyvecha - When you go to war against your enemy.” While the Torah is speaking of a time when the Jewish people will go to combat against a physical enemy, many meforshim understand the posuk to be referring allegorically to Jews battling their yeitzer hara. In fact, the Chofetz Chaim remarked, “The most dangerous enemy man has is the yeitzer hara. We can never rest in battling him or we will be defeated by him.” Elul is meaningful, for it is during this month that we determine anew that we must and can defeat him. Last week, we read about the preparations Am Yisroel engages in prior to going to battle.

Weak soldiers are weeded out, lest their presence lead to defeat. The posuk (Devorim 20:2) relates that before the Bnei Yisroel go to war, the kohein announces to the entire nation not to fear battling their enemy for Hashem will be with them assisting them and ensuring their victory. Following that, the shotrim address the people and seek out those who fear war, “Mi ho’ish hayorei verach haleivov? Yeileich veyoshuv leveiso - Who is the man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him leave and return home” (Ibid 20:8). What is it about this fellow that causes him to be afraid to go into battle, after the kohein promised that Hashem will be joining them in the war and guaranteeing their success? Rav Yosi Haglili (Sotah 43a) explains that the man who leaves is afraid to go into battle because he is a sinner. In order to be worthy of fighting in Hashem’s army, every soldier must first purge himself of sin. In order to be worthy of victory, there can be no ra - no evil or sin - because ra separates man from Hashem. In order for a soldier to merit Divine beneficence, there can be no aveiros disconnecting man from Hashem. In order for us to be able to emerge victorious in our battle against the yeitzer hara, we also have to be purged of sin that erects a boundary between us and Hashem; bringing us down and causing our defeat. A successful campaign is contingent on proper preparation and planning. Therefore, the avodah of Elul begins with the blasts of the shofar each morning, calling to us to awaken from our slumber and begin working on strengthening ourselves, becoming powerful warriors filled with vigor and power and properly equipped to fight the yeitzer hara. The Munkatcher Rebbe, Rav Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the Minchas Elazar, was drawn to Rav Shlomo Eliezer Alfandari, the elderly Yerushalmi Sefardic mekubal. The fiery Hungarian zealot had been corresponding via mail when Rav Alfandari finally invited the Rebbe to travel to Eretz Yisroel to meet him. The Rebbe and an entourage made the journey to the Holy Land, eager to meet his mentor. The trip and visit were fascinating, though a few weeks after the Rebbe’s arrival, the 113-year-old mekubal passed away. Many observed that it was Rav Alfandari who had been waiting to meet the Rebbe. The only language they had in common was Lashon Hakodesh, and it was in that patois that they conducted their conversation. “Mosai yavo Moshiach?” asked the Rebbe during their first meeting. “When will Moshiach arrive?” “Yeish ikkuvim. There are things holding him back,” was the answer. The Rebbe hesitated before posing the follow-up question, very quietly and with much hesitation. “Ha’im anochi bein hame’akvim? Am I one of those who are a barrier to his arrival? Are my chato’im preventing him from coming?” The Rebbe was an effectual and dynamic leader. It would have been easy to blame Moshiach’s delay on others. As a kanna’i, the Rebbe surely had no shortage of what to blame the hindrances to Moshiach’s arrival on, but in the presence of the Kabbalistic master, he wasn’t looking outside. He was looking internally at himself. Ki seitzei lamilchamah, when we go to war, al oyvecha, against our enemies, and we seek

to do what we can to hasten the redemption, we must look at oyvecha, our personal enemy, the adversary within each of us, and when we defeat him, we can set out to join the army preparing the world for Moshiach. Where do we start? What can we do to enhance the meaning of Elul personally and for others, thus helping ourselves and those around us merit a successful Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, leading to a joyous Sukkos and an uplifting Simchas Torah? The parshiyos that we layen these weeks offer many lessons and examples for us to follow. Through looking inward and analyzing what is going on in our own souls as we strive to become better people, we will not only understand ourselves better, but also each other. The Torah commands us to love our fellows as we love ourselves, “V’ahavta lerei’acha kamocha.” By connecting love for another with self-love, the Torah is revealing how we can achieve that level of loving other people. Our meaningful contemplation allows us to get in touch with ourselves, “kamocha,” and then to apply what we have learned to “rei’acha,” our fellow man.

Great men don’t only understand the words and inflections of the Torah, but through it they also understand people and their needs.

Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the iconic Yerushalmi rov, asked why the Torah is so strongly critical with regard to charging interest for loans. After all, he wondered, why is it worse than charging rent for a property? When you rent a property, what you are doing is charging the person for using your home or item. Interest is essentially a charge to a person for using your money. Rav Sonnenfeld answered this question by explaining the mitzvah of shiluach hakan found in this week’s parsha. The Torah says (22:6) that if you chance upon a mother bird sitting on a nest containing her chicks, you must send away the mother and you may then take the offspring. Why, asked Rav Sonnenfeld, is there an obligation to send away the mother? A mother, he explained, will instinctively do anything to protect her offspring. Generally, if a person approaches a bird’s nest, the bird will sense danger and fly away. However, if the bird’s children are in the nest, the bird will resist the urge of self-preservation and will instead hover over the nest, despite the impending danger, because her concern for her offspring overrides her concern for herself. The Torah commands us to send away the

mother before taking the small chicks to teach us not to take advantage of the mother’s mercy. It would be so easy to capture a mother bird when she stands guard over her nest and chicks. We are not to take advantage of another’s predicament for our own benefit. The Torah adds that one who heeds this command will merit a long life. Hashem demonstrates mercy for those who demonstrate mercy toward others. Similarly, the Torah forbids one to take advantage of a person who is in financial stress and needs to borrow money. The Torah seeks to impart an important lesson through this commandment and others. We mustn’t act

randomly and without thinking of how our actions will impact others.

It is incumbent upon us to seek to help others, not cause them pain. We must ensure that we don’t take advantage of others and that we help them and advise them without seeking anything in return. We must seek to help the abused and do what we can to try to bring a stop to abuse in our world. We must not ignore it, looking the other way as people take advantage of others. If we see that children of our neighbors and friends are, at this late date, still not registered in schools, we should move heaven and earth, treating their predicament as if it were our own children who have been left out. If we know of children who are at risk, we should do what we can to reach out to them and bring them back, showing them that someone cares about them and loves them. If we know of someone who is single and in need of a shidduch, we shouldn’t leave it for others to help them. We should do what we can to find a suitable match for them. If, regrettably, we know of women who are being held as agunos by people who refuse to give them a get, we should use any power and influence we have to bring that cruelty to a halt, preventing people from taking advantage of others in such a fashion. The Torah is a Toras chessed, and as bnei and bnos Torah, it would surely be a source of merit for us as we seek to experience a meaningful Elul to do what we can not only to help ourselves, but to help others as well. As we prepare for the Yom Hadin, we have to engage in serious introspection. We must look into our hearts and determine if we are holding back Moshiach through our aveiros. We must ensure that we are ready to go to war by having purged ourselves of chato’im that can cause separation between us and Hashem,

august 15, 2013

The late Slonimer Rebbe, Rav Sholom Noach Berezovsky zt”l, is known for his sefer, Nesivos Sholom, which has become a classic work. The Rebbe once called his chassidim together to relay his dream of the previous night. He dreamt that he was sitting on Motzoei Simchas Torah, but he had no recollection of the weeks of Elul and Tishrei that led to that night. In his dream, he was broken, wondering how he could have reached Motzoei Simchas Torah without experiencing the landmarks that define the path leading to Simchas Torah. How could it be, he cried out, that he didn’t experience the hopeful concern of chodesh Elul? “Did I miss the triumphant awe of Rosh Hashanah?” he asked. “Did Yom Kippur’s sweet brokenness skip over me? Was I not worthy of sensing the joy of Sukkos and the last minute desperation of Hoshanah Rabbah? How can it be that I missed out on the awesome day of Simchas Torah, the culmination of the weeks and experiences going back to Rosh Chodesh Elul?” The Rebbe told his chassidim that when he realized that he missed out on Elul and most of Tishrei, he cried over the precious gifts that passed him by. Then he awoke and realized that it was all a dream. His sadness turned to joy as he appreciated that he had so much to look forward to. We are now where the Rebbe was when he awoke. We have most of Elul ahead of us. We have Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Hoshanah Rabbah, Simchas Torah and so much more to look forward to. We stand at the foot of a ladder that reaches to the heavens. If we take the mission seriously and decide to climb the ladder, we can ascend to a realm of blessing and happiness. But in order to successfully reach those high levels, we must first have our feet firmly planted on the ground, as we contemplate the process we face. It has become de rigueur prior to a fast for people to wish each other “a meaningful fast.” I was never really sure what that meant, but I think that it would be appropriate at the outset of chodesh Elul to wish each other “a meaningful Elul.” A meaningful Elul calls for us to endeavor to be the very best that we can possibly be. We have to examine ourselves and determine what about us is good, what isn’t, and what we can do about improving that which needs betterment. It takes courage to honestly assess our position at the outset of the Elul climb, but if we want to have a meaningful Elul, then we have to

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

The Jewish Home

A Meaningful Elul


The Jewish Home

august 15, 2013

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What Your Resume Really Says About You (Part II - The Ugly)

This series discusses the discrepancy between what you think your resume says and what your resume is actually saying to a potential employer: both the bad and the ugly. In Part I, we discussed the bad. Now, we will count down the top 5 mistakes that makes your resume look ugly. #5: No White Space Serious and experienced job seekers understand that the resume is the most important sales document they will ever create. They may also understand that they only have a finite amount of space to make their sales pitch (see #3). The train of thought derails when the person thinks they need to fill every inch of space with as much information as possible. Wrong. Your resume needs to be visually appealing. Having blank white space is just as important as having the right information. Make sure you resume is aesthetic by having appropriate margins and spacing both within and between sections. #4: Inappropriate Email Address This is a personal pet peeve of mine and one that I see more often than I would like. I do not care which email address you choose for personal use but please make sure the email address listed on your resume is professional (i.e. firstname.lastname@server.com). Some of my all-time favorites include: the cute email address (i.e. Dadsgirl), the inappropriate use of numbers inferring date and/or year of birth and the adjective proceeding or following religious affiliation (i.e. Jewishboy). #3: Too Long While there are exceptions to the rule, most resumes, especially those of recent college graduates, do not warrant being longer than a page. As mentioned in Part 1, you only get 10-30 seconds to make an impression so make sure everything that you want to say is clear, thought out and fits on one page. #2: Nothing Stands Out This usually takes one of two forms. Either a job seeker’s resumes has nothing bolded/underlined or the majority of the resume is bolded/underlined. Whatever the case may be, the point is that if important titles are difficult to identify you have lost the reader’s in-

terest. Some tips: Make sure you name stands out in a larger bolded font (size 16-18), bold and/or underline headers like “education” and “job experience”. Most importantly, be consistent throughout the resume with whatever formatting you choose. #1: No Dates Whether the job seeker forgot their previous employment dates or thinks they can trick an employer by omitting them to avoid raising questions about gaps in employment history, leaving out dates is never a good idea. Employers want to know when and how long you worked previously. As a side note, they also pay attention to frequent changes in employment, which gives the impression of a lack of commitment. There you have it. The top 5 ugly mistakes job seekers make on their resume’s. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression and you want to make sure it is a good one.

About the Author: Jessica Yuz, MBA is the Founder of Yuz Career Advisers, dedicated to helping individuals identify their interests and set realistic goals so they can take control of their future. With nearly a decade of experience in higher education, Jessica works with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of career exploration, resume writing, interview skills, job search and placement, goal setting, time and stress management, and related fields. Jessica also specializes in assisting professionals of all ages’ transition between employment, finding fulfillment in their work and achieving a life-work balance. You can follow Jessica’s career blog at ycadvisers.blogspot.com or contact her at ycadvisers@gmail.com.


23 The Jewish Home

We mourn the Petirah of

Mrs. Avigayil Rechnitz v”g Illustrious wife of our dear friend,

R’ YISROEL ZEV RECHNITZ ‘hjha Daughter-in-law of our yeshiva grandparents

RABBI & MRS. YAAKOV RECHNITZ uhjha

Daughter of

RABBI & MRS. CHAIM WAKSLAK t”yhka Rav & Rebbetzin of the Young Israel of Long Beach

Devoted mother to

HER CHILDREN uhjha

vhsh kg ,hagbv ohna oa ausheu vru,v ,ezjv ,ufz /ohhjv rurmc vrurm v,nab tv,u wvrtupnv v,jpanku vk sungh /ohkaurhu iuhm hkct rta lu,c onjbh 'v

vru, hfrs vchah

YESHIVA DARCHEI TORAH Rabbi Yaakov Bender

Mr. Ronald Lowinger

Rosh HaYeshiva

President

iurjt ouhk eja<u vauck rsvu zug ihnujb, ka xuf ubt ohrdan

vrhstv .hbfgr ,jpank 425 East 9th Street ‚ Brooklyn NY 11218

ohabc vraf 'vnfju vcuaj vat ovn vscta kg

Mrs. Avigail Rechnitz

v"g

A pillar of chessed in the Los Angeles community We extend our deepest vnjb to her esteemed husband

R’ Yisroel Zev h"b

And to the parents of the nifteres

Rabbi and Mrs. Chaim Wakslak

Esteemed Rov and Musmach of our Yeshiva

ohnac v,jubn ouen kt v,ut ohuukn v,esm vagn tv, ohpf kt vkhp,c ubhcck tabu ohhjc cua v,utrk curec vfzba int ubhnhc vrvnc rpg hbfua ,mhevcu m"dcc

hexkgc hukv ktrah wr vchahv atr

Chaim H. Leshkowitz Chairman of the Board

Yitzchok Gottdiener Executive Director

august 15, 2013

t”yhka irvt ohhj ‘r ,c v”g kjr tnhn khdhct vnjur ,rn


The Jewish Home

august 15, 2013

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Bridge to Life Hatzolah of Los Angeles Rexford Drive is closed to traffic. Lights flash from the tops of multiple police vehicles, and a fire truck ladder cranes high above the street. But pedestrians are not being shooed away – they are welcomed in by law enforcement with smiling faces. Tonight is Beverly Hills National Night Out, an annual national event which brings the community together with public safety officials and organizations. The police are here, along with the fire department, and even SWAT. But along with them, at a table in front of an open ambulance and several other rescue vehicles, is Hatzolah. Dressed in dark blue and black t-shirts with the Hatzolah badge on the front, they look very much like the rest of the law enforcement and EMS personnel present – except for the kippas, of course. Hatzolah began in Brooklyn in the late 1960s. The organization was started by one individual, Rabbi Hershel Weber. David Bacall, Hatzolah of Los Angeles’s Public Information Officer (PIO), tells me the story: “At the time, there wasn’t EMS (emergency medical services) like there is today. EMS as we know it really only started in the 1970s. Before that there was advanced first aid, some Ghostbusters-looking vehicles, and some funeral directors. Big cities, like New York, did have ambulances – New York used to have New York City EMS – but they were a separate division, not even a part of the fire department. And in some areas of town – especially the poor and Jewish areas – you could wait an hour for an ambulance. So when somebody walked into Rabbi Weber’s store with trouble breathing and died right in front of him, he thought, ‘If we could have had some oxygen, we could have saved this guy.’ And that idea sparked into a group of volunteers.” These volunteers had basic first aid training. They left equipment in shuls and other gathering places. Those few volunteers in New York have grown into over 10 Hatzolahs that share a dispatch system and help with every-

By Alisa Roberts

thing from basic EMS to occasionally backing up the city. Today Hatzolah is the largest volunteer ambulance service in the world. Hatzolah of Los Angeles began around 12 years ago with 11 volunteers. “It was started by some members of Bikur Cholim who wanted a better understanding for this community,” Mr. Bacall explains. “There were many Holocaust survivors who were very timid of uniforms. As Los Angeles became home to more religious Jews, some of the cultures, customs, and languages were misunderstood, and they decided it was time.” They certainly encompass a diverse mix; responders – while all trained extensively – come from many different backgrounds. Current Hatzolah EMTs are also bookkeepers, editors, financial planners, nurses, and lawyers. They have English, Hebrew, and Persian speakers. These more than 60 volunteer EMTs and 20 volunteer dispatchers cover a wide area. Hatzolah runs in the Pico Robertson community, including Beverlywood and parts of Beverly Hills; the Hancock Park community, including the Wilshire, La Brea, and Fairfax areas and parts of West Hollywood; and the Valley Village community, including the North Hollywood area. “Our phones are manned 24/7/365. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday afternoon or, God forbid, the middle of Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur. An emergency is an emergency, and we drop what we’re

doing.” Their system works in a similar way to typical emergency services: You call a number and the dispatcher answers, gets the vital information, and puts out a call to the EMTs. But unlike traditional ambulances, Hatzolah volunteers are not grouped in a hospital parking lot – they are out on the streets in their everyday lives, often much closer to the emergency. And they don’t always have to get to the ambulance before heading to help; each volunteer carries lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators and oxygen in their cars. This cuts their response times dramatically. If you follow the Los Angeles Times, you’re probably already aware that the LAFD has been struggling with response times due to recent budget cuts. Depending on the neighborhood, people can wait 6 to 10 minutes for an ambulance. Hatzolah’s average response time is 2 to 3 minutes. This difference is more than just comforting for those waiting for help; it’s vital. Many medical issues can’t wait those extra minutes. Mr. Alan Abelson, one of the original members of Hatzolah of Los Angeles, sums it up with scary clarity: “If someone’s heart stops, there is a 10% less chance of survival for every minute treatment is delayed. So if after 3 to 4 minutes there’s damage to the organs and after 6 to 7 minutes the brain is dead, what good does it do for the ambulance to get there in 8 minutes? We serve as the bridge between the time that a person

Some of the Hatzolah vehicles being displayed at the Beverly Hills National Night Out

needs help and the time that the paramedics get there.” But Hatzolah is more than an ambulance service. In addition to emergency calls, they also do search and rescue for what’s termed critical missing: children, the elderly, missing hikers, and the like. Mr. Bacall remembers one particularly gripping search. “We got a call from Brooklyn. Some guy was at JFK. His sister had called him from California to say goodbye. ‘I’m hopping a plane to come out there, but you guys see if you can find her.’ We liaised with the Sheriffs, who were able to ping her cellphone, and they found her location to within 50 miles. We picked up our command center with Hatzolah members and community members. We did a grid search and found her car at a motel. We called local police and fire, who broke down the door and were able to rescue her. Those are the kinds of things a community can do when it really pulls together.” On another occasion they got a call from the LAPD, which had been asked to locate a missing person but were already stretched thin responding to a number of emergencies in progress. Hatzolah did that search for them. Hatzolah is also a Los Angeles County approved continuing education center. Which makes sense, considering how much education is required to become a Hatzolah member. “Every single one of our members is a certified Emergency Medical Technician,” Mr. Bacall explains. “To do that, you must take a 150 hour class and pass the national registry of EMT practical and written exams. That’s just to start. Then you can apply to become a Hatzolah member, and we have our own probationary training period with additional testing to make sure you are really street ready. Once you are a probationary member, you can work your way up to first responder. And then we’ll think about letting you drive.” Mr. Bacall is also an emergency vehicle defensive driving instructor, one of several class-


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25 The Jewish Home

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august 15, 2013

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es that Hatzolah offers. All of their drivers must pass this course and keep up their certifications in order to drive one of the response vehicles. They also offer EMT continuing education classes. “We’re always training.” There is one other area in which Hatzolah is prepared to serve the community – disaster preparedness. In the event of a catastrophe, emergency services are likely to be overwhelmed with maintaining order; Hatzolah is there for the sole purpose of responding to the needs of the community. They maintain fully equipped emergency disaster trailers, one of which was on display at the event, where they would be ready to use triage to treat and sort mass casualties. Unfortunately, the organization has already had some experience with this. On September 11th, 2001, Hatzolah was among the first responders to the World Trade Center, helping to rescue and treat victims alongside other emergency responders. Hatzolah of Los Angeles has plenty of its own dramatic stories, if on a smaller scale. EMT Shlomo Todd is quick to reply when I ask him what his favorite part of being a Hatzolah member is. “I get to save lives on a daily basis.” He helped deliver a baby just a few weeks ago. Last week he helped at the site of a car accident where the car had flipped onto its side. “We do everything from cuts to heart attacks,” he tells me. He has since run into the parents of the baby he helped deliver, who are always happy to see him. Some-

David Bacall, pictured with one of the Hatzolah Ambulances

times he runs into people he doesn’t even recognize – like the mother of a young boy he helped when the boy took a bad fall from his bike. “I have your picture on my fridge!” she told him. He hadn’t even noticed them taking the picture. There are less dramatic stories as well. “I was dispatched to a call,” Mr. Abelson tells me. “On the way to the call we asked our dispatcher what the nature of the call was. We needed to know the age of our patient and whether it was a trauma or medical issue. When I asked, the dispatcher responded, ‘Pediatric emergency.’ So I drive up to the location, and I see, standing in front of the house, an 85-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man. I said, ‘Did you call Hatzolah?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Where’s the patient?’ The old woman points to the old man. So I said, ‘The call came to me as a

pediatric emergency. Is there a child that needs help?’ And the woman said, ‘No, I just told the dispatcher that my son hurt himself when he was working in the kitchen.’” Her son got his thumb bandaged, and managed to pull through. And yet, even with everything they do for the community, not everyone is singing their praises. The Los Angeles City Fire Department has taken issue with Hatzolah responding to calls within their area. And with a good reason, that actually has very little to do with a criticism of Hatzolah: they have exclusivity. If LA Fire were to break exclusivity, it might open the doors for anybody to respond to calls. And as commercial operators – people who want to make money off of these kinds of emergencies – do exist, breaking exclusivity could potentially end up badly. Because of this, Hatzolah is working with the fire department to protect their exclusivity while working with them. This is a new problem which came about with a new administration; an administration that has not yet had much chance to work with Hatzolah. Past administrations were happy to work together, and praised them highly. Perhaps these concerns are connected to a misunderstanding of how Hatzolah operates. In the past, Hatzolah has been accused of being one of these commercial outfits. Or at least,

they have been met with plentiful skepticism regarding their funding. “Some people find it very odd that anyone would give their time this way,” Mr. Bacall explains. “So people have accused us of really billing but calling it a donation, of paying our people… They think no one would really do this for free. But we do.” It’s true; Hatzolah is entirely free. “We don’t bill anybody. Everything is paid for by donations.” Though this is not in any way a secret piece of information, it seems not everyone is aware of it. As I speak to the volunteers I hear person after person asking the same question: “It’s free? Really?” Really. Hatzolah supports its efforts entirely through volunteers and donations. The volunteer EMTs give their time not only to emergencies, but to extensive training. All their administration and coordination staff is volunteer as well, including the staff that teaches their continuing education classes. Their vehicles and equipment are paid for entirely through donations and fundraising efforts. Actually, they recently hired their first paid employee, an executive director, to organize the future growth and expansion they have planned. His salary will also be paid through donations and fundraising. And none of this fundraising is done at the time of the call – Hatzolah members give even more of their time to community fundraising efforts in order to keep the organization afloat. So what kind of help does an organization that does nothing but help the community need? They are always looking for volunteers either to train as EMTs or to help out with the administrative side. And they always need donations. If you want to help, you can donate by visiting their website: http://www.hatzolahofla.org. When asked if there was anything else that was important to let people know, Mr. Bacall didn’t hesitate. “If anyone ever needs help, they can always call Hatzalah and we’ll be there. It’s a very Jewish thing, to help.”


7 Questions with Mrs. Shulamith May Head of School at Bnos Devorah High School 1) Tell us a little bit about yourself? I am presently the Menaheles (Head of School) of Bnos Devorah High School (461 N. La Brea). I have been involved in Chinuch HaBanos (Girls’ Torah Education) for over forty years and I still love each day! 2) How did you get involved with Bnos Devorah? As principal, what’s your main responsibilities there? Bnos Devorah was created seven years ago by a group of parents who asked me to create a new Girls’ High School in Los Angeles. They were not comfortable with the other choices that the city offered and wanted an alternative option. Baruch Hashem, Bnos Devorah has become an outstanding option. As Head of School, I am responsible to insure that every aspect of the school is running smoothly and all needs are met. This includes the students,the faculty,the parents,the curriculum, the extra curricular, and of course the budget. Baruch Hashem, I am blessed with very capable Administrators who assist me in this huge undertaking. 3) Whats special about Bnos Devorah as a school? Bnos Devorah is not only a school- it is a “family”- a warm, caring, nurturing environment where each student can grow and develop herself as a Bas Yisrael, and excel in her studies. She creates deep and meaningful relationships with her mechanchos, teachers and administrators. She learns to discuss issues and internalize lessons. Through responsibility and accountability, she learns life skills and leadership qualities. A Bnos Devorah graduate is well

rounded and can live a beautiful ,balanced Torah life. 4) What is your favorite thing about teaching? I love teaching and always have. I am so fortunate to still be teaching a weekly Parsha class. I love making a genuine difference in my students’ lives as they inculcate the Torah’s beauty and wisdom into their neshamos. 5) Whats your favorite part about coming back to school? When school opens, the building becomes alive again! It is wonderful to hear the vibrant voices of students’ in the hallways- excited to learn and reconnect with their friends.

with a most Inspiring & Delightful

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6) What do you hope to achieve in the coming school year? I hope to have a year of Hatzlacha with every single talmida, and a year of growth and mazel for our school. 7) what message would you like to share with kids coming back to school after a long and fun summer vacation? Coming back to school after a summer vacation can be challenging. This year, in particular, we need to focus and adjust quickly. Rosh Hashana is around the corner and we certainly need to get ourselves ready!! Hatzlacha to all of you this year- Work hard and you will see success!! Ksiva V’Chasima Tova, Mrs Shulamith May

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27

august 15, 2013

By Mushki Boteach Naparstek

Join us As we start off the

The Jewish Home

New Year 5774

B”H


The Jewish Home

august 15, 2013

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MexiKosher

Behind the counter, with sleeves rolled up and eyes focused on stuffing the burritos before him, stands the celebrity chef of MexiKosher, Katsuji Tanabe. He concentrates while he works, but is warm and chatty when approached. Customers swarm through the festive eatery, many congratulating Chef Kat from his recent victory on the hit food competition show Chopped. Jeremy Avitan, a MexiKosher regular speaks about Chef Kat’s appearance on Chopped with the reverence usually reserved for sports superstars: “I thought the Chef was extremely creative and brought great pride to Kosher eateries and to his Mexican and Japanese heritage.” If you didn’t watch Chef Kat on Chopped, you must. It’s available on itunes and first aired on August 6, 2013. The premise of the show is that contestants have to open a basket of random ingredients and create an original, tasty, and beautiful dish in 2030 minutes. Sound easy? First, of all the timing is super tight; twenty minutes can go by and I’m still looking for my can opener. Second, the ingredients are ridiculous. Chef Katsuji’s first basket ingredients included: a lemon bar, acai juice, upland cress (a leafy veggie), and . . . a can of snails. Good luck with that. Katsuji Tanabe admits that he is very competitive and was quite sure he would win. (Spoiler alert: he did.) His biggest fear was getting chopped- literally- he was afraid he’d cut his hands while rapidly dicing food in order to beat the clock. Katsuji suggests I order one of the

specials tonight: Korean Short Ribs. I agree and also fall back on an old favorite- Tacos Birria. The short ribs are excellent, grilled to perfection, flavorful and juicy. The recipe contains chiles which, instead of the expected spiciness, leads to a fuller, tangier flavor than expected. The Tacos Birria are more typical of MexiKosher’s menu. You choose from burritos, tacos, rice, salad or nachos and then select what type of meat and salads you’d like on top. The tacos are handmade corn tortillas that are soft and earthy tasting, the meat has a little kick that lingers on your tongue. The salads and sauces complete the entrée, I especially favor the peanut butter sauce and chickpea salad. The kitchen is open and all meals are made while you wait. MexiKosher’s staff is unusually helpful and accurate in describing food, so feel free to ask questions before you order. So, how does a Mexican-Japanese chef known for his expertise in fine French cuisine end up owning and operating a Kosher Mexican restaurant? He pulls up a chair to delightfully describe how this “gringo” began cooking Kosher. After completing chef school, he worked as the sous-chef for Mastro’s steak house in Beverly Hills. You and I may not be in the know when it comes to treif restaurants, but according to over 2000 reviews on yelp, Mastro’s is the king of non-Kosher fine dining. In 2003 he went a PBS reality show called Cooking Under Fire and afterwards received a phone call which changed his life. A man called him asking if he would work as a consultant for a steak house. He asked, “which steak house?” The man said, “well, it’s a French steak house” again, he asked “which French steak house?” the caller continued, “it’s a steak house with a modern twist.” Intrigued, he agreed to check it out and when he arrived at Shiloh’s and realized it was a Kosher steak house, he looked for the exit. He had no idea what Kosher was but knew it entailed a lot of rules. It took some arm-twisting, but they worked out a deal and he became Shiloh’s new chef.

He chuckles and recalls, “I never follow rules, but in Kosher, if you don’t follow rules, there’s no food.” He decided to make Kosher versions of “regular” food and immediately introduced a faux bacon and cheese burger. The first night 10 people walked out in protest. The owner began to sweat, but Tanabe remained confident believing that if people talk, other customers will be curious and come to the restaurant. Katsuji created another controversial dish: artificial bacon wrapped with fake scallops which set off a red flag for the Mashgiach, because the food looked and smelled traif with a capital T. His food was cleared as authentically Kosher, just extremely creative. After six fun years at Shiloh’s, Chef Kat was ready for a challenge. He was itching to open a restaurant that combined his knowledge of Kosher and celebrated his Mexican heritage. All his friends discouraged him, but he found two Jewish partners who loved the idea. He was determined to serve authentic Mexican dishes- unlike the leading fast food Mexican style joints that rely on heaps of cheese, sour cream, and crunchy shells, Katsuji’s meals would use traditional cooking methods, spices, and ingredients. He says that real Mexican food works perfectly with Kosher because dairy ingredients are typically not included. “I want my food to be the real thing. Super-traditional.”

Three years old and going strong, MexiKosher achieves its goal. He notes that the younger generation of Jews expects more gourmet dishes and are open to new tastes, which some of his older clients like to stick with their brisket and matza ball staples. Once, a chassid dressed in a shtreimel (traditional fur hat) and bekishe (traditional long black coat) came into MexiKosher and ordered a taco. He tried to eat it with a fork and knife and seemed frustrated, so Chef Kat came up to his table and showed him how to eat a taco with his hands, old school. He says, “It was so cool to experience someone’s first taco with them. I’m not in this business to be rich, I’m cooking to make people enjoy their food. I pass my joy into the food.” Chef Kat animatedly talks about the new MexiKosher taco truck that will be opening in the next few weeks. He’s eager to bring new dining experiences to the Kosher consumer. “I can’t think I’ll ever go back to cooking non-Kosher. I like the challenge.” Estee Cohen is a California native and goes out to eat more than is appropriate. She is a kosher food insider, has a patient husband and 3 little kids.  She is passionate about restaurants, science education, and collects rooster figurines.  


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32 15, 2013 T h e TJheThe h ihsohmheHome gaugust uays T2145, ,2012 2013 ewJiesJewish w o nm e anu m

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You Gotta be

Riddle!

Kidding!

At the police station, Bubba explained to the police officer why Jimbo shot him. “Well,” Bubba began, “We wuz havin’ a good time drinking, when Jimbo picked up his shotgun and said, ‘Hey, wanna go hunting?’” “And then what happened?” the officer interrupted. “From what I remember,” Bubba said, “I stood up and said, ‘Sure, I’m game.’”

You are standing over a table that has four envelopes. You are told that there is a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card in one of the envelopes. The inscriptions on each envelope read as follows: Envelope A: It’s behind B or C Envelope B: It’s behind A or D Envelope C: It’s in here Envelope D: It’s not in here Three of the inscriptions are false, and one is true. In which envelope will you find the card? Answer on next page

Employee Reviews

These individual quotes were reportedly taken from actual employee performance evaluations in a large U.S. corporation E “Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom... and has started to dig.” E “His men would follow him anywhere… but only out of morbid curiosity.” E “This employee is really not so much of a ‘has-been,’ but more of a definite ‘won’t be.’” E

“Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”

E “When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.” E

E

E

“He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.” “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.” “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”

E “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.” E

“This employee should go far... and the sooner he starts, the better.”

E “He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless.” E “I would like to go hunting with him sometime.” E “He’s been working with glue too much.” E “He would argue with a signpost.” E “He has a knack for making strangers immediately detest him.” E “He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.” E “When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.” E “If you see two people talking and one looks bored…he’s the other one.” E

“A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.”

E “A prime candidate for natural deselection.” E “Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.” E “Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.” E “If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change.” E

“Takes him 2 hours to watch 60 minutes.”


The T h Jewish e J e w i sHome h h o m e august n a u g15, u s T2013 1 5 , 2013

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1. For a number of reasons, the Pro-Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio. Which of the following is not one of the reasons that it is located there? a. The direct forerunner of the NFL (the APFA) was founded in Canton b. Vince Lombardi was born there and played high school football there c. Canton was a football city with the Canton Bulldogs being an early pro football power d. Canton citizens launched a campaign to build it there

5. Which future Hall of Famer has the most touchdown passes, with a total of 508 to date? a. Peyton Manning b. Dan Marino c. Brett Favre d. Tom Brady

2. Bill Parcels, who was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame this month, won how many Super Bowls as coach of the Giants? a. 0 b. 1 c. 2 d. 3

6. Which of the following quarterbacks played his entire career with the Green Bay Packers and won the first two Super Bowls he ever played in? a. Bart Starr b. Brett Favre c. Johnny Unitas d. Jack Kemp

T h e J e w i s h h o m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012

Pro-Football Hall of Fame Trivia b. Philadelphia Eagles c. Washington Redskins d. Minnesota Vikings

3. What position did 2013 Hall of Famer Warren Sapp play? a. Defensive tackle b. Tight End c. Running back d. Linebacker e. Receiver 4. 2013 Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Chris Carter played for which team between 1990 and 2001? a. Miami Dolphins

Answers: 1. B 2. C- Parcells coached the NY Giants from 1983 through 1990. In 1986, he led the Giants to a 14-2 record and defeated Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI. In 1990, the Giants won a second world championship with dramatic victory over the Buffalo Bills. 3. A

Scorecard: 5-6 correct: You are a Trivia Hall of Famer. 3-4 correct: You are a decent player but wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the cut. 0-2 correct: You can definitely get into the Hall of Fameâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;just bring $17.50, which is the admission cost, and make sure you get there early enough, because the lines build up quick, especially in the summer. 4. D 5. C 6. A

Answer to riddle: The card is in envelope D. If the card is in envelope A, then both B and D are true. If the card is in envelope B, then both A and D are true. If the card is in envelope C, then A, C, and D are all true. If the card is in envelope D, then the statements on all the envelopes are false, except for envelope B. Therefore, the card is in envelope D.

G ot fu n n y?

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ide

to fivetow centerfold@ nsjewis hhome. com


34 T h e TJHE e wJiJewish s h h o mHome e n anu august g u s T2145,15, ,2012 2013 The 2013 EWISH HOME MAY

66 88

Notable

Quotes

Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?” Exchange between Anthony Weiner and candidate George McDonald at an AARP sponsored mayoral forum after Weiner put his hands on the elderly McDonald:

MCDONALD: Don’t you ever put your hands on me again. WEINER: What’s gonna happen if I do? You have anger issues! MCDONALD: I don’t have anger issues. WEINER: Yes, you do, Grandpa.

I guess you all heard about this terrorist threat the president warned us about. One of the reasons al Qaeda is upset with the United States is because we are giving aid to Yemen. We didn’t have a choice. When life hands you Yemen, you give them Yemen aid. - Jay Leno Before they went on vacation, Congress voted to exempt themselves from Obamacare. They gave themselves a special exemption because they thought it was too expensive. So the people who voted for Obamacare for us voted to exempt themselves from it. You know how doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Congress apparently takes the “Hypocritic Oath.” - Jay Leno

President Obama sent Senator John McCain to Cairo to help solve the political problem that brought the Egyptian government to a halt. I got an idea: how about solving the problems that brought our government to a halt? Why don’t we start with that one first? - Jay Leno (as President Obama waited backstage to be his guest interview)

This is the real Disneyland. You need to come here and join us! - A terrorist propaganda video enticing Somali-American youths in Minnesota to come to the Middle East and join the jihad against America I am proud to be a traitor to America. - Machine gun-wielding young men in the video

The NFL announced that referees are going to crack down this year on excessive celebrations. NFL players are being told not to show off too much after a touchdown, a sack, or a murder. - Conan O’Brien

I worry for my kids, and I worry for your kids. I worry for you and I worry for me. Crime can come back any time the criminals think they can get away with things. We just cannot let that happen. - Mayor Bloomberg responding to a judge’s decision that New York City’s Stop & Frisk policy is discriminatory

If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here. - President Obama during an interview with Jay Leno, erroneously referring to several cities as being on the Gulf, even though they are not If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf – (and in) places like Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., or Jacksonville, Fla. – if we don’t do that, these ships are going to go someplace else and we’ll lose jobs. - How AP reported President Obama’s comments

The NFL announced that it’s going to start cracking down on players who celebrate too much after scoring a touchdown. Then the Jets were like, “Phew, good thing we don’t have to worry about THAT!” - Jimmy Fallon

LeBron James reported to jury duty in Akron, Ohio. He didn’t get picked, but when he walked into the courtroom the jury was made up of Cavalier fans who sentenced him to death. - Jay Leno

During a fundraiser last night, Mitt Romney told Republicans that they need to pick a candidate for 2016 who can actually win. And Republicans said, “Yeah, I wish you told us that last year. But hey, thanks a lot.” - Jimmy Fallon

The New York City Department of Education says that only 26 percent of the city’s students passed the English portion on a recent standardized test. But on the bright side, they’re too bad at math to realize how bad that is. - Jimmy Fallon

All our best to former President George W. Bush, who is recovering from successful heart surgery today. All day the media have been sending get-well wishes to President Bush. Fox News sent flowers. MSNBC sent a steak and cheese fries. - Jay Leno

We had no idea what we were takeing [sic]. Here your stuff back [sic]. We hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in people’s lives. G-d Bless. - A note left with six stolen laptops which were returned to a non-profit center for abused woman in San Bernardino, CA, several hours after they were stolen from the center


[Chris Christie’s] got a schtick going there where he’s got a YouTube videographer following him around in these set-up situations so he can be seen as perhaps a little avant-garde and ‘going rogue’ on things. - Sara Palin, criticizing Governor Christie Researchers at the University of Chicago say that dolphins, not elephants, have the longest memories in the animal kingdom. They confirmed this when a dolphin was upset that an elephant it had met 20 years ago didn’t even recognize him. - Jay Leno

Anthony Weiner has released a 19-page booklet on how to improve life in New York City. Oh, please. If Weiner wants to improve life in New York City, he should move to New Jersey. - Jay Leno Happy birthday to President Obama! He turned 52 over the weekend. You can see he is getting a little grayer. In fact, they are starting to call him “The Silver Fox.” That’s because most of the silver in his hair was caused by Fox. - Jay Leno

He started the day my boss. He’s going to end the day my chauffeur. - Paul White who won a $149.4 million share of last week’s Powerball, joking about his boss at a press conference I’ve totally been waiting for this day my entire life. Start the clock right now. -Ibid., jokingly lamenting that he has to wait two weeks to collect his lump sum I’ve spent my whole life to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Now I get to do whatever I want. - Ibid I don’t think you guys can understand — it’s crazy. No worries anymore. It’s crazy. - Ibid

I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up. - Maine Governor Paul LePage when asked while participating in a fighter jet simulation what he would most like to do. In offhand comment, LePage threatens to blow up Press Herald building. - Press release by the Portland Press Herald Threatened? It was a joke, folks! - Tweet by Governor LePage in response to press release

I’m just going to continue watching NASCAR racing on Sundays, maybe I’ll be in my log cabin on multiple acres of land. - One member of the group of 16 New Jersey garage workers who will split $86 million of last week’s Powerball at last week’s press conference I had to wake my poor husband up — who was no longer poor. - One of the members of the group talking about what she did when she realized they had won

Many Middle Easterners object to Israel’s existence, because they view it as a crusader state, a crusader kingdom. So when they see all these European, Russian Jews, coming to Israel, they’re saying look at these European settlers. They’re not Jews from this region, they have no ties to the land. Now, I’m not a proponent of attacking Israel or trying to dissolve it at this point, but I’m simply saying that that is why there’s so much antagonism to Israel. - Oliver Stone’s son, Sean, in an interview with Russian television

I was in Zurich the other day...and I go into a store and I say to the woman, “Excuse me, may I see that bag right above your head?” And she says to me, “No, it’s too expensive.” And I say, “No, no, no, you see the black one?” And she said, “No, no, no, you don’t want to see that one. You want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that.” And I said, “Well, no, I really did want to see that.” She refused to give it... and I tried one more time and said, “But I really do just want to see that one.” And she said, “I really don’t want to hurt your feelings.” And I said, “Okay,” and I walked out of the store. But that clearly is, you know . . . it [racism] still exists. - Oprah discussing racism in an interview This is not true, this is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. I don’t know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl. - The Zurich shop sales associate responding to Winfrey’s allegations

Last week, a woman in Nevada gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the bathroom of a Subway restaurant. Afterwards, the manager said, “Uh, you still have to buy something. Restrooms are for customers only.” - Jimmy Fallon I hope there are no climatechange deniers in the Department of Interior. - Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in an agency-wide address to employees

U.S. embassies are closed all around the Middle East this week due to a terrorist threat. What happened was the U.S. intercepted a conference call of 20 al Qaeda operatives. Twenty on one conference call! Who is their carrier? I go under a bridge and my cellphone drops the call, but they can get 20 people in one call from a cave? - Jay Leno

Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out! - AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, summarily firing an employee during a live conference call with 1,000 employees during which he told them that layoffs would be coming I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday... when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. It was an emotional response. - Ibid, in a letter to employees

My viewpoint towards America has really changed. Your honor, I love Americans. - Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ashan Nafis in a letter to a judge who is going to sentence him for scheming to blow up the NY Federal Reserve building with a 9,000 pound bomb

A scientist has figured out a way to turn coffee grounds into alcohol. He is not so much a scientist as he is an alcoholic. - Conan O’Brien

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Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, just bought The Washington Post for $250 million. He just walked into the Post’s headquarters and said, “Add to cart.” - Jimmy Fallon

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Global Obama Cancels Summit with Putin

Russia’s decision to grant Edward Snowden asylum resulted in President Barack Obama cancelling a meeting scheduled to take place in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin and Obama are far from friends and their recent respective political moves are a testament to their dislike of one another. “Given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda,” the White House said. The mini-summit was scheduled for early September, several days before the G-20 meeting of world economic leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia, is scheduled to take place. As of now, Obama will be in attendance for the main G-20 summit. Senator Charles Schumer, who had urged the Obama administration to call off the summit, saluted the White House’s decision, saying, “President Putin is acting like a schoolyard bully and doesn’t deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him.” After Russia granted asylum to Snowden, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called on the U.S. “to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia.” And it seems that’s exactly what the White House is doing.

Venezuelan Hair Thieves on the Loose A gang of thieves in Venezuela are

pursuing a bizarre product. No, it’s not diamonds, money, or precious metals; it’s human hair! Police in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo are searching for this group of burglars who have been holding up women at gunpoint demanding their locks. The robbers, known as “piranhas,” target women with long, thick hair. Their victims are usually found in malls. The demand for natural human hair extensions is growing tremendously, making human hair a hot valuable commodity. After victims are forced to tie their hair into a ponytail in order to cut it off, the hair is sold to beauty salons to be used for extensions. Depending on the length, human hair can cost anything from $500- $800. Police are warning women to avoid wearing their hair down or in a ponytail until the thieves have been arrested.

control key cities in Yemen like Mukala and Bawzeer. This would be coordinated with attacks by al Qaeda members on the gas facilities in Shebwa city and the blowing up of the gas pipe in Belhaf city.” Al Qaeda’s cunning leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, has been the focus of this terror threat. He was personally trained by the devil himself, Osama bin Laden. Wuhayshi is in the prominent No. 2 position in al Qaeda’s core organization. He is described as a highly effective organizer and charismatic leader.

Beijing’s Most Outrageous Illegal Structure

Russian Man Alters Credit Card Contract

Yemen Embassy Remains Closed Due to Threats

Last week, the U.S. closed many embassies throughout the Middle East and Africa as a precautionary security measure. There were no reported attacks but Yemen says it obstructed an al Qaeda plot to blow up oil pipelines and seize some of the country’s main ports. BBC reported that it appears that Yemen was at the center of “a complex and audacious plot which – had it succeeded – would have given al-Qaeda control over a crucial aspect of the country’s infrastructure.” The U.S. has decided to reopen all embassies aside from Yemen. Security remains tight there, with hundreds of armored vehicles stationed to protect targets. On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department ordered all non-essential staff and all U.S. citizens to leave Yemen “immediately.” There are some reports that suspect that the U.S. is preparing special operations forces for possible strikes against al Qaeda in Yemen. A Yemeni government spokesman was quoted as saying, “There were attempts to

signing on the dotted line.

The average consumer with decent credit gets bombarded with credit card offers. Most of them can be used for scrap paper since they often have unattractive rates and hidden fees. In 2008, Dmitry Agarkov received an unsolicited letter from Tinkoff Credit Systems (TCS) offering the 42-year-old Russian man a credit card. The rates and fees were high but instead of tossing the letter, Agarkov had a better plan. He decided to tailor the credit card into a card that would be useful to him. He scanned the contract into his computer and altered it to promise 0% interest rate, no fees, and no credit limit. He also put in a clause that the bank would have to pay him for every time they violated the terms. Surprisingly, Agarkov’s contract was accepted, and he received the credit card. “The bank confirmed its agreement to the client’s terms and sent him a credit card and a copy of the approved application form,” Agarkov’s lawyer, Dmitry Mikhalevich, said. Two years later, Tinkoff sued Agarkov for failure to pay his card and the associated fees. The court ruled in Agarkov’s favor and only required him to pay his balance on the card. But since then, Agarkov has countersued for 30 million rubles, highlighting the part of the contract that tacked on penalty fees for every time the bank violated the contract. The suit is expected to go to court in September. Tinkoff’s founder, Oleg Tinkov, says that instead of profiting the suit, Agarkov should end up in prison for fraud. Perhaps the credit card companies should start reading their contracts before

He may have thought he was above the law, but he’s now being told he’s subject to it as well. For years, residents in a 26-story building in China had to deal with construction during the night. It seems that the medicine mogul who lived on 26th floor built himself what the media calls “the most outrageous illegal structure.” The edifice consists of rooms, rocks, trees and bushes and looms over the building in a shape that looks as if it’s been built into a seaside cliff. The unauthorized structure is 8,600 square-feet and residents complained that it was damaging the building’s structure and its pipe system. But all their complaints fell on deaf ears. The owner was arrogant and “couldn’t care less,” according to an irate neighbor. Authorities turned a blind eye. But now, with media exposure, management has been forced to deal with the situation. The villa’s owner has officially been told that he has 15 days to either prove that the structure is legal or tear it down. The owner insists, though, that the huge structure is merely an “ornamental garden.” It is common in China for the ordinary Chinese to have to deal with frustrations when they see the rich and politically connected receive special treatment. China’s leader Xi Jinping has vowed to crack down on corruption, although it’s hard to purge scandal from society when it is so engrained in the culture. Recently, a developer in Hengyang got into trouble for building an illegal complex of 25 villas on top of a shopping center. He won permission to keep the villas intact as long as they weren’t sold to others. (Why would he need 25 villas for himself?) Technically, all land in China is owned by the government, and residents receive 70-year leases to use the land. So much for equality in the Communist state.


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Egyptian military forces have recently captured over 100 Islamist terrorists. Over a third of those detained were from Gaza and all were carrying fake Egyptian identity cards. They were arrested in northern Sinai, near Gaza, with some arrested south of Eilat. The false identity cards were probably produced in Gaza, Egyptian officials said, using machinery that had been smuggled into Gaza through underground smuggling tunnels with the tacit approval of Egyptian authorities. Now, the machinery is being used to manufacture ID cards for use in Sinai and Egypt. Many of the Islamists belong to al Qaeda and other affiliated groups. They have been charged with rioting and promoting violence during the recent upheavals in Egypt. Several also are said to have participated in attacks on Egyptian security agents. Last month, Egypt requested permission to send thousands of soldiers to Sinai, in order to battle Islamist groups that have ensconced themselves there after fleeing Egypt’s major cities. According to the Camp David Accords, in which Israel surrendered Sinai, liberated in the Six Day War, to Egypt, only police and other peace officers are allowed in Sinai without the permission of Israel and the U.S. The

ers that the strike was carried out by Israel, while an Egyptian army spokesman issued a statement on Facebook several hours after the strike denying Israel was behind it. Israeli officials, meanwhile, declined to comment on the reports.

Israel Mi K’amcha Yisrael Nine months ago, Rabbi Shmuel Scharf lost his wife and unborn child while visiting Israel. The couple were Chabad shluchim based in India. They had come to the city of Kiryat Malachi to attend a memorial for their fellow emissaries, Gabriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who were murdered by terrorists in India. Gaza terrorists fired rockets into the city and Mira Scharf, 26, was murdered, and the rest of the family sustained many injuries. This week, Rabbi Scharf has revealed how he plans on taking “revenge” for the attack. Showing unimaginable courage and resolve, Rabbi Scharf will be returning to India with his children to build a new outreach center in his wife’s memory. The center will be called Beit Mira. “The entire building will serve as a reminder. Not just of the loss, but of the fact that the Jewish people cannot be defeated,” Scharf said. “The more they attack us, the more we will spread light,” he declared. While they were in India, the Scharfs provided more than a hundred people each week with free meals on Shabbos. Rabbi Scharf now plans on doing even more to help the Jews in the region come closer to a religious way of life. “Our decision to go back to work as emissaries isn’t meant to just continue the work we did until now, but to do even more, to increase our activities,” he explained. “The Lubavitcher Rebbe sent us to spread the news of redemption to every place on earth. So we need to put aside our personal pain and loss and continue forward,” he concluded.   

Israeli Drone Strike Kills Four Terrorists

An Israeli Air Force drone reportedly bombed a rocket-launching site in the Sinai Peninsula near the Israeli-Egyptian border. The drone strike killed four suspected terrorists who were planning to launch missiles at Israel, according to Egyptian security sources. Details of the strike remain unclear. Five different security sources told report-

One source said that the Israeli aircraft had observed the militants preparing three rocket launch pads to hit Israel. It launched a missile, killing two men, and then killed another pair who stepped up to the pads after the first strike. Egyptian sources were also quoted as saying the IDF coordinated the attack with the Egyptian authorities, but an Egyptian military spokesman denied that report as well. “The claim that there exists coordination between the Egyptian and the Israeli side in this matter is a matter completely void of truth,” he said.

Israeli-American to Receive Presidential Award

An Israeli-American professor will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year by President Barak Obama. Daniel Kahneman, a professor emeritus of psychology at Princeton University and a Nobel laureate in economics, is one of 16 people who will receive the prestigious medal. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded for meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. In addition to winning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, Kahneman has won the Hilgard Award for Lifetime Contribution to General Psychology and the Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. In 2011, he was named a distinguished fellow of the Amer-

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Sixty years ago, most South Koreans were illiterate. Since then, South Korea has dramatically improved its education system and now routinely outperforms the U.S. For example, the U.S. has a highschool graduation rate of 77%, while South Korea country boasts a 93% rate. Additionally, South Korean 15-year-olds rank No. 2 in the world in reading. So they must be doing something right… Perhaps the secret to the success of the South Korean education system are hagwons, after-school tutoring academies. Students go to these programs after school to reinforce the subjects they learn in school. This isn’t a new concept; tutoring services can be found throughout the world, but the South Korean market has developed a sophisticated and effective system. Hagwon teachers are paid according to the demand for their skills, making it a potentially lucrative business and creating an incentive for these private tutors to make sure their students succeed. That also may explain why there are more private tutors in South Korea than schoolteachers. Students sign up for a specific teacher, so the most respected and successful teachers get the most students and also make the most money. Teacher performance evaluations are typically based on how many students sign up for their classes, their students’ test-score growth and satisfaction surveys given to students and parents. To recruit students, hagwons advertise their results aggressively. They post their graduates’ test scores and university acceptance figures online. The hagwon makes it a top priority to involve students’ families. Parents get text messages when their children arrive at the academies each afternoon; then they get another message relaying students’ progress. Two to three times a month, teachers personally call home with feedback. If parents aren’t engaged in their child’s studies, it is considered a failure of the educators,

Egypt Captures Terrorists in Sinai

Accords essentially demilitarized Sinai, although Egypt has several times in the past sent in army troops to deal with specific security situations. Currently, there are more Egyptian troops in Sinai than since the Yom Kippur War. Their mission is to clamp down on Islamists, members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups, who have fled Cairo and Alexandria since the ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi.

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S. Korea’s Education System Thriving with the Private Tutors

not the parents. The best of the best of private tutors record their lectures and offer them for purchase online at about $4 an hour. Of course, since these services are expensive, the best services are reserved for the richest families. Eight out of 10 South Korean parents say they feel financial pressure from hagwon tuition costs. Still, they keep paying the fees, convinced that the more they pay, the more their children will learn. According to statistics, nearly three of every four children in South Korea participate in the private market of tutoring. In 2012, parents spent more than $17 billion on these services.


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ican Economic Association. The American Psychological Association recognized him with its Lifetime Contribution Award in 2007. He is the author of the popular book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. “Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology. After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Dr. Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist. Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in ff2002,” said the White House in a statement. Last year, Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to President Shimon Peres. There were calls on Peres to refuse the Medal of Freedom from Obama because he ignored Peres’s request to free Jonathan Pollard, but the Israeli president chose to receive the medal anyway.

Tourism Reaches All-Time High

Heading to Israel this summer? You won’t be alone. Tourism in Israel reached a milestone between January and July, attracting more than two million visitors, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday. The record total represents a 1 percent increase from the same period during 2012, 8% more than in 2011 and 6% more than 2010. The country reached an all-time record for tourist entries during July, according to the report. A total of 246,000 tourists, staying more than one night, entered the country last month, a 2% increase from July 2012, 4% more than in July 2011 and 3% more than in July 2010, the statistics bureau said. “Israel is an attractive country, and the tourists are voting with their feet,” Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said in a statement. Of the two million entries, 1.7 million were tourists – 1% fewer than in 2012, 2% more than in 2011 and 6% more than in 2010. Approximately, 357,000 entries were day visitors, 10% more than during

the same period last year. Roughly 1.4 million entries arrived by air, a slight increase of 0.4% compared to the same period in 2012; about 139,000 arrived on cruise ships, 27% more than last year; and 148,000 came via border crossings, a 9% drop from 2012. “Tourism is an essential engine for economic growth, and we will continue our work in increasing the number of visitors to Israel and realizing the tourism potential,” Landau said. Selicha adoni. Know where I can get the best falafel around?

National Congress Ruled to be Above Obamacare

Ayathollah Condemns Peace Talks In what no one is calling a “surprise,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke out this week against renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The Ayatollah warned that the talks would force “the Palestinians to relinquish their rights.” Speaking in Tehran on the occasion of Id al- Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan, Khamenei said the U.S.-led negotiations would be “detrimental” to the Palestinian cause. The comments were made as the U.S. State Department announced that the peace negotiations would be resumed in Jerusalem this week.

Khamenei said that the renewed peace talks would “encourage the aggressors to increase their aggression and suppress the rightful resistance of the Palestinians.” The Iranian leader called on the Muslim world to be active in supporting the Palestinian cause and condemning Israel. “The Muslim world must not back down from its support for Palestine, and it should condemn the oppressive action of fierce Zionist wolves and their international supporters.” I wonder how many times people can listen to him say the same thing.

When Congress passed Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required lawmakers and their staff members to purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose their current coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. In a ruling issued this week, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff. The amendment’s author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it. But it soon became clear that the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs. This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher healthcare costs and leave federal service, causing a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill. The problem surrounding the Obamacare language for Capitol Hill staff was the subject of intense negotiations in recent weeks between House and Senate leaders and the Obama administration. Some Republicans immediately announced their opposition to the OPM decision, using it as fuel for their campaign to turn public opinion against Obamacare just as its core provisions are due to go into effect. “While the administration has handed out waiver after waiver and exemption after exemption for the well-connected in Washington, they have done nothing to lower health care costs for families in

Michigan,” said Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. Last week, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the clause would have caused unintended “collateral damage” on congressional staff, causing many to leave for the private sector. “They are a tremendous intellectual resource, people who could, shall we say, be better compensated financially outside” of government, said Pelosi, who spearheaded passage of the health care law in 2010 as House Speaker. Sounds like those who make the laws are now above the law as well.

Offensive Hitler Ronald McDonald Causes Controversy A very bizarre painting in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan has caused a lot of controversy lately. An “artist” named Whisbe has painted a picture of Ronald McDonald, icon of the world’s biggest fast food company, giving a Nazi salute to drivers and passers-by. The cartoon mascot is dressed in green military style fatigues, and is seen holding a Happy Meal, the special McDonald’s meal for kids. He also appears to be wearing Nazi-style boots and has his hand splayed upwards in a “Heil Hitler” salute. People are not really sure what to make of the drawing. Soho is not known to be a breeding ground for white supremacy groups so many interpretations are likely. The painting is possibly meant to be a commentary on the nature of the fast food industry. Or perhaps it reflects on the American culture’s love of fried foods. Or maybe it’s just some artist trying to be controversial enough to get noticed. Regardless of the intent, the Nazi imagery has been very difficult for many Jews and Israelis in Manhattan to handle. One Israeli entrepreneur, Ami Mesika, insisted that “to see images of a Nazi Ronald McDonald is simply offensive and horrific to anyone of any religion. Living in the area and seeing these images is disgusting and someone needs to take them down.” Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should do something about this. Oh right, it’s not a Styrofoam cup or margarine, so he just doesn’t care.

Bangladeshi Man Sentenced to 30 Years on Terrorism Charges On Friday, Quazi Nafis was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New


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MLB Suspends 13 Players

NY Tops Richest Towns in America After you’ve earned your first million or two, where is the best place to settle down? Well, it seems that if you’re looking for the good life, there are few towns across America that attract the wealthy like these do.

Is Your PIN 1234?

Having a secure pin number for your debit and credit cards is crucial since identity theft is rampant. Identity theft and fraud affect millions of Americans each year and it’s important to protect yourself. According to Forbes, the United States and Mexico are home to the greatest number of credit and debit card thefts around the globe. A study from Aite Group and ACI Worldwide reveals that 42% of Americans claim they have been a victim of some form of card fraud. According to the Department of Justice, about 10% of all Americans suffer from credit card fraud each year and another 7% have their debit cards hacked or stolen. More than $5.5 billion in theft is attributed to credit card fraud each year. Your personalized PIN could put you at a greater risk so be thoughtful when creating it. A new study from DataGenetics lists the top ten most-used PINs, making them the least safe. The study says that credit and debit card thieves are able to successfully guess more than 25% of PINs within 20 attempts. The worst PINs are those that are overly simple or sequenced and the best are those “with no special significance.” The 10 most-used PINs are: 1. 1234

were the second-highest in the state last year—and came in fifth on the list. Winnetka, IL; Orinda, CA; West University Place, TX; Hinsdale, IL, and Rye, NY, rounded out the top ten.

In Scarsdale, NY, the median family income is $291,542, thanks to many residents who work in Manhattan and then commute back to their Westchester homes. The average home price is $1.2M and the children living in those homes go to some of the nation’s best schools. According to the numbers, this is the richest town in America. Not to be outdone, Weston, CT, is home to many of the wealthy as well. The average family income is $275K and homes here go for an average of $755K. There’s adddd ton of shopping here and lots of nature to explore. But if you’re looking for a home on the west coast, consider moving to Hillsborough, CA. Here, your neighbors earn an average of $262K and homes here go for a whopping $2.4M, on average! Many residents commute to nearby San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies like Oracle, Visa and Facebook. Potomac, MD, is the fourth richest town in America. The town of 46,387 residents is still considered horse country with its rolling green hills and polo club. Many of D.C.’s elite call Potomac their home. New Canaan, CT, boasts some of the best schools around—the district’s SAT scores

put him on the disabled list July 15 instead of sending him to the minor leagues. He is hitting .463/.540/.778 at Triple-A after failing to crack a .200 batting average with the Mets this year. Escalona, 29, spent parts of two seasons in the major leagues and is at Double-A Corpus Christi. He underwent surgery during spring training in 2012 and returned this year. In 12 appearances at Double-A, he has a 6.60 ERA and has allowed 31 base runners in 15 innings.

Baby Boy Born in Penn Station Performance-enhancing drugs have once again been the center of controversy for professional sports. Major League Baseball announced last week it will suspend Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo, New York Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin, and Houston Astros minor leaguer Sergio Escalona for their involvement with the Biogenesis wellness clinic. The three are among the heretofore-unreleased names of players who have agreed to suspensions with the league after documents and testimony from Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch linked them to performance-enhancing drug use. Each will receive a penalty of 50 games. Players who the league believe lied during interviews pertaining to Biogenesis could receive additional discipline. The league announced the suspensions for them, along with 10 other players, including a ban through the 2014 season for New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Other players receiving 50-game suspensions for their involvement with Biogenesis are Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, minor leaguers Jesus Montero, Cesar Puello and Fernando Martinez, and free agents Jordan Norberto and Fautino de los Santos. Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun already accepted a 65-game suspension. Bastardo, 27, is one of the top left-handed relief pitchers in the National League and has a 2.32 ERA through 42 2/3 innings this season. He has been the lone consistent pitcher in the worst bullpen in the National League. The Phillies’ bullpen ERA entering Sunday’s game was 4.35. Valdespin, 25, was recently demoted to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, Las Vegas, where he is serving a three-game suspension for inciting a benches-clearing brawl after showboating a home run. Valdespin has been very verbally upset at Mets manager Terry Collins after the team refused to

Ana Aguirre, 32, welcomed her baby boy, Oscar, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces on Wednesday at 10:04 am…in Penn Station. Aguirre told the Daily News that she felt perfectly fine when she set out on her commute from Centereach on Long Island to Manhattan on early Wednesday morning. She went to her scheduled appointment but on her way home, she began feeling labor pains. “When I was returning, the pain got much worse,” she said. “I had already bought the train ticket and was waiting for the train.” Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) police officer Melissa DeFrancesco said that at around 9:45 a.m., she and three other officers, Joe Cona, Vinay Hathiramani, and Burt Silva, got a call about a woman in distress. Earlier that morning, an officer had called EMS to aid another passenger, so two trained paramedics were already in the station. The officers located Aguirre in the district (precinct) waiting room. “She was doubled over in pain,” said DeFrancesco. The MTA officers escorted her into a private office, and the EMS workers took over. “We had another call and when we returned—it was only 10-15 minutes later—she had had the baby.” The mom of four and her brand new baby were then transported to Bellevue Hospital to recover. That’s what we call an express delivery!

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2. 1111 3. 0000 4. 1212 5. 7777 6. 1004 7. 2000 8. 4444 9. 2222 10. 6969 DataGenetics said the least used PIN is “8068.” (I guess they just ruined it).

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York. The 22-year-old Bangladeshi man pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in February after a government sting operation last fall. Investigators claim that Nafis selected his target, drove a van loaded with 1,000 pounds of dummy explosives up to the door of the bank and tried to set off what he believed was a bomb. He used a cellphone he thought had been rigged as a detonator. The plan, however, was a set-up by a federal undercover sting operation, and Nafis was caught red-handed. In a letter, Nafis told the judge he was extremely sorry for what he had done. “I’m ashamed. I’m lost. I tried to do a terrible thing. I alone am responsible for what I’ve done. Please forgive me,” Nafis said before his sentence was handed down in Brooklyn federal court. He said he was taken in by Islam and now regrets his ways. The judge took his remorse into consideration when she sentenced him to just 30 years in prison.


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First Woman to Lead U.S. Air Force Academy Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson has been promoted to be the first woman to lead the U.S. Air Force Academy. The appointment hopes to be the start of a new era for the 59-year-old military school in Colorado.

A Change of Command ceremony welcomed the lieutenant general where she told a crowd of hundreds of cadets, staff, service leaders and supporters that she looked forward to the challenge of leading the academy through both its triumphs and its challenges. “We can find meaning in adversity, and there are lessons from overcoming negative experiences and to grow stronger through them,” she said. Johnson takes over for Lieutenant General Mike Gould, a 1976 graduate who was superintendent for four years and who is set to retire in October. Johnson is the academy’s 19th superintendent. The arrival of a female chief signals a change for a school that has seen its share of scandals, most recently the dismissal of cadet Jamil Cooks after his conviction on a charge of abusive conduct. Johnson, a 1981 academy graduate, was the academy’s first female cadet wing commander. She comes to the academy after serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations and Intelligence at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Johnson attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a master’s degree in politics and economics.

Minnesota Man Wins $150M: I’m Never Working Again

“It’s crazy,” were Paul White’s words after winning the $448 million Powerball jackpot. At a news conference on Thursday in Minneapolis, White said, “I’ve gone through this in my head so many times and now it’s coming true.” White, 45, works for an electrical contractor and lives in Ham Lake, Minnesota. He was one of three winners who will split the jackpot, one of the largest in lottery history. The other two winning ticket holders have not come forward yet; both tickets were purchased in New Jersey. White hadn’t checked his ticket until his friend, Kim VanReese, 45, called him at his office and mentioned that there was a winner in Minnesota. White dismissed VanReese saying he was too busy and would check his tickets later. But when she said the Powerball was 32, he remembered he had 32 on two of his five quick-pick tickets. With VanReese waiting on the phone, White checked the winning numbers and discovered he had hit the jackpot. “I said, ‘I have to call you back later,’” he said. “I think I had 10 people verify [the ticket] before I left the office.” Lottery officials said White chose the cash payout option and was presented on Thursday with a pre-tax check for $149.4 million. White brought his boss and long-time friend to the news conference and joked, “He started the day my boss and will end the day my chauffeur.” He continued, “I’m not going to be one of those people who says I’m going to keep working. I’m never going to work for someone again.” White plans to use the money to pay college tuitions for his son, 16, and daughter, 14. He also intends to buy himself a new car and go on a luxurious vacation. He will also help his parents who are in their 80s. The winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing were 58-5-25-59-30 and Powerball 32. Well, he’s certainly living the dream.

Bloomberg’s Latest Target: E-Cigarettes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s next campaign is to regulate the use of electronic cigarettes.

After his attempt to ban Big Gulp basically failed, Bloomberg submitted three tobacco-related bills to the New York City Council. The bills seek stricter regulations on tobacco products by raising the minimum age to buy them from 18 to 21, prohibiting the display of cigarette ads in stores, and creating a $10.50 price floor for cigarette packs. The plan would also prohibit the use of tobacco coupons and increase fines against those selling illegal cigarettes. According to this plan, electronic cigarettes classify as tobacco products, even though they are tobacco-free, according to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. There is no scientific evidence proving that electronic cigarettes are harmful to one’s health. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about e-cigarettes saying that some may contain ingredients found in anti-freeze. However, a recent study released by Drexel University resolved that the chemicals in electronic cigarettes are harmless to users or those in their proximity.

New Jersey: Least Friendly State Condé Nast Traveler recently held their annual Reader’s Choice Survey, asking readers to weigh in on their favorite and least favorite cruises, hotels and travel destinations. Among the categories, readers were also asked to rate U.S. cities on their friendliness factor. Here are some of America’s friendliest and least friendly cities. The Friendliest Cities: 1. Charleston, South Carolina 2. Galena, Illinois 3. Savannah, Georgia 4. Asheville, North Carolina 5. Austin, Texas

seeing the steel and concrete structure this week, commuters got a colorful surprise when they crossed the bridge covered in yarn. It took a weekend of work and 18 months of planning to cover the bridge’s walkways in 580 blanket-sized panels. Each 72-by-34-inch panel was knitted by hand. “What’s amazing about this project is how many people it’s brought together,” Penny Mateer, co-director of Knit the Bridge, said. “Thinking of the bridge as a metaphor, it’s bridging differences and getting people to meet each other.”

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, which organized the roughly $100,000 project through endowments and individual donations, called it the nation’s largest “yarn bomb.” It will be on display until September 6.

Schindler’s List for Sale A rare piece of Holocaust history has been put up for sale on eBay. One of “Schindler’s Lists” has been put up for auction and so far has no bids on the popular bidding website.

The Least Friendly Cities: 1. Newark, New Jersey 2. Oakland, California 3. New Haven, Connecticut 4. Detroit, Michigan 5. Atlantic City, New Jersey I guess I won’t be visiting New Jersey in the near future. Mr. Booker, you still have a lot of work to do.

That’s Odd Bridge of Yarn This weekend, more than 1,800 knitters worked together to transform Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Bridge. Instead of

The list was put up for sale on July 18, and ran for 10 days until July 28. The auction, which started at an eye-popping $3 million for the document, was open only to approved bidders. The winning bidder would be required to pay a $10,000 deposit. The remaining amount owed would be due within seven days. The winner also would need to pick up the document in Israel.


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We’ve all lost our keys at some point, but one man was very determined to get his back and ended up with a very big surprise. When Welsh farmer Ifor Edwards, 56, dropped his keys on a tract of land he owns called Oak Farm in Bronington, he was determined to find them, so he and his wife, Anna, 40, called in metal-detecting experts from the Wrexham Heritage Society. Thankfully, Cliff Massey, 83, found the keys, but he also found 14 medieval coins

The Wrexham County Borough Museum is purportedly interested in acquiring the coins, and Edwards and Massey will split the proceeds. “It’s extraordinarily rare to find a coin like this—you have better odds of being hit by lightning than finding this particular coin,” coin appraiser Beth Weingast, a certified member of the Appraiser’s Association of America, said. Surprisingly, it’s not the first time rare treasures have been found in the area. In 2011, a ring-shaped silver brooch was found two feet down the side of a riverbank at Glasgoed farm in Ruthin. Experts suspect the jewelry dates back to the 13th or 14th century and is worth a few hundred dollars. The same year, a local man found a gold ring (known as a mouring) in a pasture in Hawarden. It was imprinted with the words, “tho ded I bee remember mee” and experts confirmed it was 82 percent gold, 10 percent silver, and a popular accessory during the reign of Charles II during the late 17th century. In 2010, a man found a silver buckle in Penrhyn Bay. It was 99.7 percent silver and believed to be from the 13th century. I know where I’m going treasure hunting next!

Hotel Room for $80K a Night We all splurge a little on extra luxuries while on vacation. And sometimes a few extra dollars is definitely worth it for an upgraded hotel room. But in our wildest dreams we probably can’t imagine spending a yearly income on just one night at a hotel – no matter how nice. Well, some people can. With 12 rooms (and, naturally, 12 bath-

rooms as well), the Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva is believed to be the most expensive hotel suite in the world at about 75,000 Swiss francs – or $80,000 – a night. Just blocks from the United Nations building, on Lake Geneva, the suite reportedly has housed heads of state and billionaires like Bill Clinton, Richard Branson and Bill Gates – not that a hotel of that caliber would confirm those names.

Nations – the precursor to the U.N. What better way to honor Wilson’s dream of unity than building an opulent hotel suite that few can afford. The hotel advertises the Royal Penthouses as being “known throughout the world as the largest and most luxurious of hotel suites.” Reservations cannot be made online, naturally. And, specific prices are only doled out upon contacting the hotel. If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it.

Tower of Terror

What could possibly cost that much money for a one night’s stay? Well…the suite, which is 18,000 square feet and takes up the entire eighth floor, houses four bedrooms, multiple living rooms, a library and a dining room that seats 26 people. Don’t worry about feeding all those people – a private chef and butler are at your disposal. Inside the suite you’ll find a billiards room, a Jacuzzi, a Steinway grand piano, and one of the very few 103-inch Bang & Olufsen flat screen TVs (with surround sound installation) – a nice viewing experience that would cost $130,000 if you bought the TV yourself. While the hotel has meeting rooms and fitness centers for all its guests, you certainly aren’t paying $80,000 a night to mingle with the masses. Host meetings in your own private “royal boardroom”; exercise in your private fitness center; and rush out to your waiting limo via your own private elevator. Or lounge on your own private 1,680 square foot terrace, which includes a telescope in case the panoramic views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc aren’t enough to look at. The entire floor is decorated with handpicked art on all the walls and the highest of high-end appliances. Of course, with the kind of money that can pay for the Royal Penthouse suite, comes a worry about people taking that money. The suite comes with its own security team and extensive security system. The place is equipped with bulletproof windows, armored doors and a human-sized safe. Surveillance cameras and magnetic sensors that can detect an intrusion guard the entrance. The two main bedrooms also have panic buttons in case of an unwelcome visitor. The Hotel President Wilson was built in 1962 and named after Woodrow Wilson for his efforts in promoting the League of

At 47 stories, the In Tempo skyscraper in Spain is slated to be the tallest residential building in the European Union. And although it may take the award for being the tallest building, it can also boast of its lack of sense, because, as they say, the elevator here just doesn’t reach the top. Believe it or not, the elevator here stops at the 20th floor—there is no elevator for anyone living on the 21 through 47 floors; they have to take the stairs. Originally, the pair of towers was designed with only 20 stories. Later, it was upgraded to add the extra 27 floors. In an effort to rush construction along, someone appears to have neglected to allocate space for the elevators to the top part of the towers. Obviously, the architects were forced to resign after much embarrassment. (You think?!) The building was set to be completed in 2009. It is now said that it would be completed this December, although with bumbling architects and construction crews, you just never know. I wonder if they have a gym in the building. Residents don’t seem to be needing a Stairmaster—especially if they have to climb up and down so many flights of stairs just to get there.

Coins Sold at Auction for $3.1M Found in Recluse’s Home

Valuable coins that were found in the fortune of Walter Samaszko, Jr., who died last summer, were auctioned off last Tuesday for more than $3.1 million. The coins were discovered packed

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15th Century Relics Discovered by Accident

from the 14th and 15th centuries! John Gittins, a coroner who performed an investigation on the findings, described the coins, which are composed of 90 percent silver and likely from the days of Edward III, Henry V and Henry VI, as a “treasure.” Edwards explained that this is a “once in a lifetime thing. It is such a shock; you just can’t quite believe it. You realize those coins were there before they ever found America or anything. You just can’t believe you’re holding something that is 600 and something years old. We only bought the land three years ago and nothing like this has ever been found before.”

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The list is named for German businessman Oskar Schindler, who compiled the 801 names of workers he deemed essential for his enamel factory, thus sparing them from concentration camps. Only four original lists are known to exist, including the one up for auction dated April 18, 1945, which is described as 14 onionskin pages long. Some experts feel that the date on the document is part of the reason it has not received much interest. The two original lists were subsequently updated and this document is one of the revised lists. “When they say ‘Schindler’s list,’ it’s almost like they are using the romance of the original list and the magic of that to sell what was prepared at the end of the war,” said David Crowe, Holocaust historian and the author of Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List. “This list is far less valuable.” He added he had not personally seen the list that had gone up for auction. The seller actually references Crowe’s book in the original listing: “Up for auction is not a copy of that list, but the actual one. It was sold by Itzhak Stern’s nephew to the current owner. It is dated in pencil on the first page, April 18, 1945.” The listing continues, “The auction will also include a copy of the affidavit from Stern’s nephew, recounting more details and provenance on The List. There’s a complete history of the composition of the list in David Crowe’s brilliant bio, Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List.” For those who want to see that piece of history without paying for it, a copy of the list also can be seen for free at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The seller has said he has no plans to reduce the price. “The value and price of noted historical documents has been rising the past two years as investors realize their significance and investment value,” he said. “It’s a fair price given its history and its provenance.”


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tightly in ammunition boxes in Samasko’s garage by a cleaning crew that went through his home in June 2012. Neighbors described Samasko as a loner who always kept to himself. “Anytime you have the ‘hoarder mentality’ where someone very unassuming is in possession of so much, you sort of say, wow,” said Allen Rowe, the owner of Northern Nevada Coin and Bullion, who purchased four of the six lots auctioned earlier this year and picked up two more lots on Tuesday for a total of $816,000. The auction, which lasted about 30 minutes, was delayed briefly after Rowe said he had spotted at least 20 counterfeit gold coins among the more than 2,000 to be sold. The bidding restarted after Alan Glover, the Carson City clerk-recorder in charge of handling the estate, and estate lawyer Dawn Ellerbrock agreed with five potential bidders that any coins certified as fake could be returned. The overall estate earned more than $6 million. After taxes are taken off, the fortune will go to Samaszko’s only known surviving cousin, Arlene Magdanz, of San Rafael, California. Magdanz has not spoken publicly about her new-found riches but one thing is for sure, she certainly won the lottery.

Drawings said to be created by Andy Warhol are being sold on eBay for $2 million. An Englishman originally bought the drawings at a Las Vegas garage sale for $5. “I don’t think it is particularly pretty, but it has an immense importance in the art world,” Alan Fields, 49, of Tiverton, Devon, in the U.K., said. “I only realized the drawing was done by Andy Warhol when I was framing the drawing in my home and saw the signature.” “I was told by Brett Maly that this is the earliest example of pop art and Warhol did it in when he was 11-years-old,” Fields said. “I’ve spent two years trying to authenticate this drawing. And I have found so much evidence tying this work to Warhol,” he said.

Laughing in the Air

Fields also reached out to the man who sold him the drawing. “The gentleman told me that he grew up a few blocks away from Andy Warhol and they used to party together,” Fields said. But currently there is no one organization that is authorized to authenticate Warhol’s works. As such, “no auction house can sell it,” Fields explains. “The only other auction house I could think of was eBay.” Prospective buyers can bid on the drawing on eBay’s U.K. website. Bidding for the drawing ends on Thursday. As of now, Fields has not had any serious bidders.

Little Red, the domestic off-shoot of Virgin Atlantic, offers flights from London to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. To promote the brand, the company will be performing comedy and musical performances while in-flight on flights bound for the Scottish capital. This month, stand-up comics will take to the aisle for “impromptu” joke-telling and in September, passengers will get to enjoy acoustic arrangements from aspiring musicians. Virgin Atlantic will give specific details about performances through their Facebook and Twitter pages. The exact flights, however, will not be listed in advance. Comedians will include fullfledged professionals heading to Scotland to play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs until August 26. Virgin supremo Sir Richard Branson said, “We launched Little Red to shake up domestic flying in the UK. In true Virgin Atlantic spirit, we are doing something a little different, and providing our passengers with a line-up of gigs to ensure we offer an unforgettable flying experience.” So if you were hoping for a peaceful flight to catch up on your reading you may want to consider a different airline.

$5 Andy Warhol Drawing for Sale on eBay for $2M

into a tremendous sub. It will cost you $49.95 and could probably feed your entire family, but according to the website’s rules it can only be ordered if one courageous eater accepts the challenge. Supposedly, the monster sandwich weighs nine pounds and stretches to 27 inches. “This sandwich is available for our food challenge only, however if eaten by one adventurous soul in 40 minutes or less, the sandwich is free and that amazing human can create and name their very own ‘fat sandwich.’”

Stone told San Diego station NBC7 that the idea for the competitive sub came to him in a dream. “I was very hungry when I went to sleep. And I was full when I woke up,” he said. “We came up with this monster sandwich with every ingredient from every sandwich, and it still tastes good,” Capek said. “The thing is you either did it or you didn’t do it. You didn’t almost do it. You win or you lose. No second place,” Capek added. Fat Sal’s menu now offers a Fat Jamie sandwich, named for a man who succeeded in eating the Big Fatty Fat. Stone said that about 700 to 800 customers have competed in the challenge and only two people have won.

ful. That stress is intensified if you’re at the airport rushing to catch a flight and attempting to pay your baggage fee. Reddit contributor “brbmycatexploded,” who identified himself as “Andy,” recently experienced this situation at Tampa International Airport. “Having my card declined was extremely embarrassing, even though I didn’t know a single soul in that airport,” Andy said. He left the counter to check his card balance on his phone and when he returned, he found a note from a generous person who had been standing on line behind him. The man had paid his baggage fee and left a note saying: “Hey, I heard them say your card was declined. I know how it feels. Your bag fee’s on me. Just pay it forward the next time you get a chance. Have a safe flight. :)” On Wednesday, Andy posted a photo of the note on Reddit and wrote, “If you’re reading this, thanks for making my day.” “Seriously, reading their note gave me goosebumps and gave me faith that there are still good people out there,” Andy said. When asked how he plans to pay it forward, he answered, “I think it will be a random decision, a spur-of-the-moment type of thing. I really don’t think that that person walked into that airport, saying, ‘I’m going to pay someone’s baggage fee today.’ So neither will I.” This one small act of kindness has the power to create a domino effect.

Woman with Turner Syndrome Adopts Girl with Same Condition

What Goes Around Comes Around

Dr. Catherine Ward-Melver was born with Turner syndrome, a genetic condition that causes short physique and other medical complications. She knew since she was a little girl that sadly she would not be able to bear children.

Having your credit card declined can be embarrassing, frustrating, and stress-

But happily, Ward-Melver, who is a geneticist at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio, just became a mother. She adopted a 4-year-old girl named Zoe from China, who has the same condition as herself. Ward-Melver intends to get her daugh-

The Big Fatty Fat Sandwich Looking for a ffflunch that will really fill you up? Head to California and you’ll get more than you pay for. Fat Sal’s is a Southern California restaurant that recently opened in Hollywood. It is co-owned by Jerry Ferrara, Josh Stone, and Sal Capek, childhood friends. Their menu offers a variety of fast-food entrees but its big star is the Big Fat Fatty. The extra-large sandwich is an overdose of all the fast food regulars. Cheesesteak, five cheeseburgers, 10 chicken fingers, pastrami, bacon, five fried eggs, a basket of French fries, 10 onion rings, 10 jalapeno poppers, marinara, chili, and something called fat sauce are all packed


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ter the best medical care and supportive contact with other girls who have Turner syndrome. Ward-Melver had not met any other girl with Turner syndrome until she attended medical school.

“We are having a lot of fun,” said WardMelver, 40. “Overall, it’s been relatively very easy for this little girl, especially her age. She has opinions and she is not afraid to voice them. She bonded with us very quickly, much more quickly than we expected.” Zoe is likely to grow taller than her adoptive mother who is 4’8”, due to the availability of growth hormones. When Ward-Melver was diagnosed as child at the age of 7, those medications were in the experimental phase. “There’s a critical difference between being four-foot-eight and five feet in terms of practical things,” she said. “It’s not just major discrimination, but things like clothes fitting. The world is built for someone taller.” Turner syndrome is a genetic condition that only affects women. It was named for Dr. Henry Turner, who was among the first to describe the features in the 1930s. An estimated 71,000 American females suffer from the condition, according to the Turner Syndrome Society. Doctors do not know the cause and unfortunately there is no cure, but thankfully there are now treatments to help patients.

Most Outrageous Concierge Requests Concierge service is a luxury that highend hotels offer. They are there to grant the guests any wish to make their stay more pleasant and enjoyable. They get asked mostly about local sightseeing and activity recommendations but sometimes they get bizarre requests that they try to fulfill.

Often luxurious hotels offer young guests a small stuffed animal as a “welcome amenity” to make them feel welcome. But at a hotel on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, a guest wanted to surprise his daughter, who was celebrating a birthday party, with two, real, live, small lions. The concierge was able to locate a pair through a local circus animal tamer, and “the young girl found the two cubs when she came into her room at Plaza Athénée,” says the hotel spokesperson. The cubs were accompanied by the tamer and “both lion cubs behaved very well.” Rose petals scattered across the bed

of a suite may be a hotel classic, but one guest wanted a more dramatic welcome statement. According to the concierge at a Milan hotel on the Piazza della Repubblica, the guest asked the hotel to order 1,000 red roses and spread them along the corridor of the Presidential Suite. This romantic feat cost the guest about $13,000, that’s $13 per rose, since the thorns had to be removed. The next morning, housekeeping spent more than an hour cleaning up.

Fitness centers are a staple for any upscale hotel. But a guest at the former Georgian estate in Ascot, England, wanted his own personal treadmill in his room. Although the task required a forklift and the removal of one window, the guest got what he had requested. “Our guests’ suites become their homes for the time they are with us,” says a hotel spokesperson. “If they are used to having a running machine next door to their office at home, then we will try and replicate their requirements whenever we can.” At the Fairmont Chateau in Whistler, British Columbia, one guest wanted to make his marriage proposal really spectacular and reminiscent of storybook romances. He asked the concierge to help find a suit of shining armor, complete with a white horse. Luckily, after all that trouble, she said yes. A trend in hotels recently is accommodating four-legged guests. Often guest show up with their pets in tow and that brings along specific demands. One hotel in Beverly Hills caters to dogs. Upon check-in, dogs receive biscuits with their names inscribed in icing, and they enjoy the use of custom-made dog beds, pink hotel tennis balls, and their own selections on the room service menu. So when one guest asked the concierge to help her plan a doggie wedding at the Crystal Ballroom, they didn’t laugh in her face. The party ran the dog owner about $15,000. The next time you ask the concierge to arrange airport pick-up for you, just know that he’s secretly sighing in relief that you didn’t ask him to remove a window or dethorn roses.

Man Bitten by Shark and Snake, Struck by Lightning, and Punched Twice by Monkeys Erik Norrie was vacationing in the Bahamas with his family this summer. All was well in the sun and sand until July 29, when Norrie was attacked by a shark. He was snorkeling and spear-fishing in five-feet of water when the sea creature took a nice big bite out of his leg. Norrie is a firm believer in G-d and he has acknowledged that he only survived because of his unshakeable faith. But this isn’t Norrie’s first run-in with nature. He has a whole history of unusual

and uncommon experiences. The chances of being struck by lightning are one in 700,000. Norrie was one of the unlucky ones.

of the home and spread to the kitchen is under investigation but the family is lucky that Carroll persevered in his quest to save them.

Judge Orders Parents to Change Baby’s Name

The chances of being bitten by a poisonous snake are one in 37,500, and again Norrie was one of the unlucky ones. The chances of being punched by monkeys twice are definitely rare although there are no stats to support that. Yes, Norrie was punched by monkeys two times. The chances of being bitten by a shark are one in 11.5 million, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Norrie is still recovering in the hospital; he will need several major skin graft surgeries in order for his foot to heal. I think it’s best if he takes a stay-cation next year instead of spending it at sea (or in the jungle or forest or wherever!).

Newspaper Boy Saves Family from Fire A newspaper carrier for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch is being credited with saving 11 people’s lives after discovering a house on fire early on Thursday. Ben Carroll, 28, was in the right place at the right time. He was riding his bike, delivering papers along his normal route at approximately 5 a.m. when he smelled smoke. “It smelled like garbage burning,” Carroll recalled. Suddenly, he saw flames on the side of a duplex and knocked loudly on the front door. When no one answered, he called the fire department. “Then I went around and banged on the side door and no one answered,” Carroll said. “I could see a child through a little window. I just kept banging and yelling and banging and yelling.” Eventually, a man came to the door but was reluctant to believe his house was on fire. “He probably thought it was a prank,” Carroll said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, your house is on fire.’“ Carroll convinced the man to step outside and see the flames for himself. The man ran back inside, emerging along with four other adults and six children. Thankfully, no one was injured. And Carroll is a hero. “I did what I was supposed to do,” Carroll said. The fire that started on the back porch

A judge in Tennessee demanded that parents change their 7-month-old’s name from “Messiah” to “Martin.” “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person,” said Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew in explanation of her decision. The boy’s parents feel that Ballew has no right to force them to change their baby’s name because of her personal religious beliefs and plan to appeal the decision. The Cocke County chancellor will hear the appeal on September 17. Oddly enough, Jaleesa Martin and the father of Messiah originally involved the court because they couldn’t agree on the boy’s last name. Martin has two older children named Micah and Mason. She chose the name Messiah because it is unique and she liked how the name sounded with her other two. “Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else,” Martin said. The judge ruled that the child be named, “Martin DeShawn McCullough” which includes both parent’s last names but leaves out Messiah. Ballew claims this is the first time she has ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially since it is growing up in a county with a large Christian population. “It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is,” Judge Ballew said. Clearly, being a parent does not mean you have your own common sense.

One of the World’s Last “Munchkins” Dies At 16-years-old, Margaret Pellegrini staked a claim in cinematic history as one of the residents of Munchkinland in “The Wizard of Oz.” The actress died last Wednesday at the age of 89 in Arizona. Pellegrini played the role of one of the “Flower Pot” Munchkins who greet Dorothy when her house lands in Oz. She was spotted by a talent scout at a state fair when she was only 13, and a few years later, she was invited to take a train to Hollywood to appear in the movie. Pelligrini continued to take part in “Oz” related events throughout her life. She was present in 2007 when the remaining Munchkins were given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Of the 124 actors who participated as Munchkins in the original production, there are now only two known survivors: 95-year-old Ruth Duccini, who played a villager, and 93-year-old Jerry Maren, who was the green-clad middle member of the Lollipop Guild. “There’s no place like home…”


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Fielding Teams From the 3rd - 8th Grade Levels, Yeshiva Basketball Proudly Represented The Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish Community With Dignity, Poise and Sportsmanship

YESHIVA BASKETBALL PLAYERS CONTINUE TO GRADUATE FROM OUR PROGRAM TO EXCELLENT PLAY AT LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS AND SOME AT YESHIVA UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK AFTER HIGH SCHOOL Yeshiva Basketball Players Take National Honors For High School BB:  Jack Gindi (YULA) National Player of The Year TWICE / 1st Team All Jewish Hoops / Sarachek Champion  Zach Finder (YULA) 1st Team All Jewish Hoops America  Benny Silver (VTHS) Honorable Mention All Jewish Hoops America  Ari Wachtenheim (Shalhevet) Point Guard Sarachek Tournament Champion  Avi Zilberstein (Yula) Honorable Mention All Jewish Hoops America  Nathaniel Lieberman (VTHS) All Jewish Hoops American 2nd Team TWICE  Yisroel Solomon (Yula) Honorable Mention All Jewish Hoops America / Sarachek Champion

Be A Part Of History As We Make It! Try Outs Will Be Held August 26th, 28th, & 29th At John Burroughs MS 600 S. McCadden Ave., 90020 Call Or Email For Information About Your Grade/Age Schedule Contact: Beinish Kaplan--323-954-1343 Bryankaplan@yeshivabasketball.net

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The Jewish Home august 15, 2013


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Forgotten Heroes

Avi Heiligman

Meir Amit

Heading the Fearless Mossad

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0th century warfare was much more than men on the front lines with guns. Many factors were required to keep them in the fight. One of these factors was intelligence that many times defines the outcome of a battle. A first world country needs spy and intelligence organizations, and when Israel was created in 1948, it was no exception. The Mossad was formed during the War of Independence to gather intelligence. After the hostilities ended, the organization started taking on many tasks—most of which are unknown to the general public. In 1963, a new director took it to a whole new level. Meir Amit was responsible for making the Mossad a fearful word in the terrorist lingo. Meir Amit was born in 1921 in Tiveria which at the time was under British control. His original name was Meir Slutsky and he added the name Amit because he wanted to be seen as a friend of everyone. Like many of the great spy chiefs, he started his career as a soldier and in this case it was in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence as a member of the Haganah. He joined the underground organization in 1936 and rose up in rank when they fought Arabs in battles the year before independence. During the war, he served as a company commander in campaigns to gain territory

and became a protégé of Moshe Dayan. After the war, he traveled to the U.S. to study in Columbia University and earned a business degree. Returning to Israel in 1961, he served as head of Military Intelligence for two years until he was appointed to head the Mossad. Mossad is short for the words HaMossad leModiʿin uleTafkidim Meyucḥadim which translates to Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. Their main tasks include intelligence gathering, HUMINT (Human Intelligence as opposed to information gathered from technology like radar and satellites), covert operations and counterterrorism. They report directly to the prime minister and are one of the main pieces in the Israeli intelligence community. Most of the Mossad’s missions are kept secret from the public and only some of their biggest and most important operations make the papers. One of their most famous operations was the 1960 capture of the Nazi beast Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. By the time Amit came to the Mossad in 1963, they were ready for operations against their most dangerous enemies— their Arab neighbors. He began searching through files of potential agents to send to spy on Arab countries. One name that particularly interested Amit was that of Eli Cohen.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Cohen had for making the operation work. HUMINT was a very important served in the Egyptian Army but was booted out after his loyalty was ques- factor in the defeat of the Egyptian tioned. He moved to Israel and soon Air Force in the opening hours of the became involved with underground Six Day War. Amit set up a network of work and espionage activities. When spies and informants that relayed vital Amit was looking for an agent to infil- information of the planning, buildup trate the Syrian government, Cohen’s and disposition of the Egyptian forces name was on top of the list. After un- prior to the start of hostilities. The Isdergoing an intense six month training raelis were able to make a preemptive period, he was sent to Syria. Cohen strike on the air bases and land targets established working relationships with opportunity before the Egyptians realhigh level government officials and ized what was happening. After his military and espionage started sending vital information back to Israel. Even though he knew that the career ended, Amit turned to politics, new Syrian head of intelligence was on serving in the Knesset. He was aphis trail, he was sent back to Syria for pointed Minister of Transportation and a third time. In the middle of a trans- Minister of Communications under Menachem Begin but mission over a secret had to resign from radio, Eli Cohen was those posts when his finally caught and party broke up. executed in a public During Amit’s cahanging in 1965. He reer, he strengthened was one of Mossad’s the Mossad’s bond best agents in their with the CIA. Afshort but colorful hister his time with the tory. CIA and involvement Amit’s next misin Israeli politics, he sion that went public personally used his helped the Israeli Air many friends within Force combat the new the agency to recruit Russian-built MiG-21 a nineteen-year-old fighter jet. His soluAmerican as a team tion was to steal one leader in a very secret from the Iraqis. The intelligence unit. first two tries were During the War Meir Amit died unsuccessful, and three Mossad agents were caught and in July 2009 and upon hearing of his executed. Then, in 1964, an Iraqi Jew death, Shimon Peres stated, “Entire contacted the Israeli embassy stating generations of Israelis owe Meir Amit that he had a Christian pilot who was Slutsky a debt of gratitude for his imdoubting his loyalty to the country. mense contribution to Mossad and the The pilot, Munir Redfa, had admira- defense community, a large part which tion for the Israelis because they were remains secret now in building the so few and fought against so many. strength … of Israel. He was a natural After many discussions and complex leader, whom people trusted, and at the plans to get his family to Israel, Redfa same time he was a visionary for the flew his MiG-21 to the Holy Land on state. We are proud to have a personalAugust 16, 1966. The plane was stud- ity of his stature born in our country.” ied and analyzed by the air force for its strengths and weaknesses so that during battle, Israeli pilots would be able to master it in aerial dogfights. The Six Day War took place a year lat- Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to er, and the MiG-21 was a mystery no The Jewish Home. He welcomes your commore for the Israeli pilots. In 1968, the ments and suggestions.for future columns U.S. borrowed the plane to inspect it, and can be reached at aviheiligman@ and the CIA was grateful to the Mossad gmail.com.


by Shiffy Friedman ©

Chapter Nine

Recap: Lisa eavesdrops on Becca’s conversation with Davie, from which she learns that Davie’s providing Aron with drugs in exchange for Becca’s compliance to cut all ties from their mother. Davie Stein The feeling I get when I leave Becca’s house on nights like these makes me feel warm inside. This is what it must feel like to be the shrink, the one behind the desk talking in a butter-soft voice and “tsk-tsk”ing just the right amount of times. It’s like peeking into someone’s life only enough to see her pain-not to really feel it pierce your own skin-- but still feel like a hero. I can see that Becca’s suffering. Living with a depressed husband is painful. When I visited once last year, Becca was serving dinner when he emerged from the bedroom for what looked like his morning coffee. The guy hadn’t held down a job in months. “Do you think this is normal?” She asked me right there, in front of a pajama-clad Aron. I don’t blame her for not wanting to live with this. I don’t blame her for her outbursts either. It’s just a tad uncomfortable to be in their presence when it happens. Since I’ve started to help out, though, she claims Aron’s doing much better. Now, if I’m not the hero then I don’t know who is. I’m not sure what he does these days, but Aron’s usually not home when I come. That tells me he’s not in bed, which is a good sign, I think. My drive to work is smooth. I stop at every stop sign, I wait at every yellow light. “You’re so late tonight,” reads the text message from Al, my manager.

“Almost there,” I reply, only at a red light. When I finally arrive to work, the place is already teeming with people. My eye catches a guy seated at the first table near the entrance. I observe his gestures as he gives his order to the waitress. He’s tall, broad, masculine. His dark hair forms a mountain of gel sprouting from his creased forehead. I know the guy from somewhere. Who is he? I have the urge to approach the table and take his order again so I can ask for his name. I stop short. Can it be that he only resembles someone I know? Tuvia! I rub my eyes roughly. The guy looks so much like Tuvia that I can’t stop staring at him. The resemblance is startling. He can’t be Tuvia, though. Tuvia is at an interview right now. “Enough,” he told me three weeks ago after I’d returned from work, my monthly wage in my hands like a trophy. “I must get myself a job.” I agreed. I never thought I’d be the one at a paid position while he’d be unemployed for so long a time. Things would’ve never turned out this way if I hadn’t introduced him to my world. Because before he knew of a way out, commitment was Tuvia’s strength. He was so sincere about his work at the salad bar he knew precisely how many seconds longer it took to slice a toasted baguette over a fresh one into two. It amazed me to watch him at work, to see how he picked those lettuce slivers with such precision as if one tasted different than the next. His sandwiches were a work of art. But when he had too many bad days in a row, and the solution was already within his reach,

he was jobless in no time. And who wants to hire a guy who’s so unpredictable, who might not show up on the busiest day of the year because he was plainly knocked out, just like that? Tonight he’s on an interview, though. Every time I pass the first table on my way to the others, I think of him again. The guy is chomping on his steak while Tuvia’s sitting with the jitters somewhere on the other end of town. I hope he gets the job. I really do. Lately, I’m starting to feel sorry about urging him to pay his share of rent when I know his earnings total to all of zero. Me, I can always rely on Dad to fill in these days. But he’s all on his own. A lonely man in a dark world. “If I get this job,” he told me this morning, “The first thing I’m saving up for, after paying up my rent debt, of course, is rehab.” I cringed. Was I on the verge of losing my only friend? But I knew the truth. I was more experienced than him. A statement like this was free breath, but arduous-- impossible, perhaps-- to carry out. Lisa Stein Marcus “Rifka, Rifka!” I cry into the phone when Rifka answers after four rings, “I’m ready for the trial!” My breath is heavy with excitement. If I do this trial and I do it right, the position of my dreams awaits me. Can it be that the opportunity to change the world is on my horizon? I can almost touch it with my bare fingers. “I knew you would do this,” Rifka says. “I knew I could count on you, Lisa.” My chest rises and falls in quick

succession as the epiphany pulses through my every vein. “Are you sure this is a family you can work with?” Rifka asks me. “What do you mean?” “I know that from your end the commitment is there, but you do understand that the family has to cooperate with you on this project.” Sometimes Rifka is too straight for me. “I don’t understand,” I say. Isn’t it my job to heal a family? “Is the family interested in moving beyond the abuse, in leaving it behind and starting anew?” She clarifies. The castle in my mind is at risk of deteriorating into a hollow glob of sand. “They’re actually not,” I say. “I’m not sure they realize what the abuse is doing to them.” I pause. How can I convince Rifka that this is the case, the perfect family to work with in order to prove my competence? The words escape me. They evaporate into thin air before my very eyes. I’m so desperate I’m on the verge of tears. “Rifka,” I try again. I can’t lose this opportunity, not when I can already hug it from up close. “I… I really feel that because they don’t realize how wounded they are they just might be the people I’m looking to help. Don’t you understand? They’re precisely the people I’m looking to heal.” Why is it taking so long for Rifka to give me an answer? It’s getting stuffy in the car. I could use some air. “I hear what you’re saying,” she finally says. “It’s starting to make sense.” Finally! “I wonder, then,” she says, “How do you know they’re being abused?” “Because I want to heal my own… my very own family.”

august 15, 2013

Part One

49 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 passionforthepen@gmail.com.


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In the Kitchen Naomi Nachman

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Back to School with a Hearty Meal for your Family

et another summer has flown by. I can’t believe that camp is almost over and school is starting in just a few more weeks. For me, that means packing school lunches, hearty dinners and finally getting back into a routine. Dinner planning is always hard. What should I make? I get a text every day around 5 pm right as my kids are getting on the bus asking, “What’s for dinner?” I have even dedicated a segment of my radio show “Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” on the Nachum Segal Network to what to make for dinner for the family. I try to answer them with something tasty that I have prepared for them. I also find that when we sit around as a family on Sunday night (eating Shabbat leftovers), I take the opportunity to ask my kids what they would like to eat

for supper during the upcoming week. Getting them involved in the planning stage also encourages them to eat the dinners rather than turning up their noses with a “I don’t like that” attitude. If they help choose it, they are more inclined to eat it. I take a suggestion from each child and then mix-and-match in all their requests. I try to make a soup each night (which I double and freeze one in case time is short and I can’t cook one night), plus one salad, side dish and main. Once in a while, I will also make a dessert (especially when I buy a new cookbook and I am dying to try the dessert!). Here is a quick and easy dinner that my family looks forward to:

Easy Cauliflower Soup Adapted from Estee Kafra This is great as it has (almost) no carbs. Ingredients 2 tablespoon olive oil 3 leeks, sliced thin, dark green part removed 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped 1 medium baking potato, peeled and chopped 2 pounds frozen cauliflower 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon white pepper Water or Trader Joe’s vegetable stock to fill to top of vegetable line Preparation In a medium pot, heat oil, then add leeks, and sauté for 2 minutes until soft. Add zucchini and potato and cook for ten minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally

making sure not to burn the leeks. Add cauliflower, salt and pepper, and add water or stock to just cover the vegetables. Cook for 40 minutes and keep stirring. When vegetables are soft, use an immersion blender to blend the soup.

Marinated Tomato Salad I love tomatoes and every summer I plant a few small tomato vines in my yard. By August we are reaping the benefits of yummy, sweet, Woodmere-grown tomatoes. My kids love to pick them and help make the salad. Ingredients 6-8 tomatoes, sliced ½ red onion, finely diced 1 cup baby bella mushroom sliced (optional) ½ cup olive oil ½ cup balsamic vinegar 1 tsp dried basil 2 cloves crushed garlic 1 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper Preparation Mix tomatoes, onion and mushrooms in a bowl. In a cruet or jar, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over salad and marinate for at least an hour before serving. Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website,www.theaussiegourmet.com or at (516) 295-9669.


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Coke Chicken

august 15, 2013

This dish looks nice as the chicken gets shiny and dark. I often double the sauce and freeze half for another time.

The Jewish Home

Ingredients 2 large onions, sliced 8 chicken pieces 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 cup Coke 1 cup ketchup 1 cup apricot jam Preparation Place sliced onions on the bottom of a large baking pan. Place chicken on top. Set aside. Mix next four ingredients together to make the sauce. Pour over the sauce and bake at 375° for 1hour and 15 minutes.

Shallot Potatoes Yukon gold are my favorite potatoes to use. They are especially good in potato kugel. Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup diced shallots (you can also use onion) 8 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a medium to large dice 2 cups chicken stock (I use Trader Joe brand) Salt and pepper ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley Preparation Heat oil in a heavy 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring for about 4 minutes, until soft and translucent, but not colored. Stir in the potatoes and continue cooking several minutes longer, stirring to ensure that the potatoes are coated well with the olive oil and shallots. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and have absorbed most of the stock. Fold in the parsley and serve immediately.

Apple Cinna mon Pie I serve this with Soy Delicious ice cream on the side. Always a hit! Ingredients 4 green apples, peeled and sliced 1 tablespoon cinnamon 2 tablespoon sugar 3 eggs 1 ½ cups sugar 1 ½ cups oil 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ½ cups plain flour Extra cinnamon sugar mixture for sprinkling on top Preparation Preheat oven to 350°. Layer apples in 9-inch round pan so they come 2/3 up on the sides of the pan. In a separate bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle 1-1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon and sugar all over the apples, reserving the rest for later. Make a batter by beating the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well, then stir in the flour. Spoon the batter on top of the apples and then sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar on top of the batter. Bake for 1 hour until a skewer comes out clean.

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