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Engagement ring trends & wedding guest fashion

Violins of Hope arrives in the Valley AG Mark Brnovich defends Israel from BDS




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GREAT FILMS With a little Jewish flavor

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STAGE WEST HERBERGER THEATER CENTER Evening Performances and Matinee Thursday – February 28 – 7:30 pm Friday – March 1 – 7:30 pm Saturday – March 2 – 7:30 pm Sunday – March 3 – 2:00 pm* *30th Anniversary Spirit of Dance Award reception at 12 pm. Special patron tickets include admission to matinee performance.

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CON TE N T S Arizona Jewish Life • February 2019 • Shevat-Adar 5779 • Volume 7/Issue 4




Sarah Gertrude Shapiro – Flees The Bachelor for UnREAL success 26


The fabulous bead brothers Biz Ins & Outs



Chef’s Corner: Choco Chicken

12 14


34 36


A home that nurtures creativity and creates fun



New medical breakthroughs give hope to cardiac patients 40 New singles group in the West Valley 41 Taking steps to prevent falls 42

AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich: Defender of Israel 46




WEDDINGS From classic to custom – What’s new in engagement rings? 16 Insider tips from a master wedding planner 18 Put more you in your wedding day 20 Modern-day mikvahs 22 Redefining the dress code 24

JLIVING JWV Post 619 celebrates 25 years 48 Federation notes 49 Faces & Places 50 Previews 52 Calendar 53



44 45


Chef’s Corner by Lucia Schnitzer


The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival The Valley’s connection to the Violins of Hope

Shabbat Adventure with Friends connects Jewish families JKids & Teens Event Calendar

ON THE COVER: Sarah Gertrude Shapiro P HOTO CO U RTE SY O F L IF E TIM E


Guest Speaker Emmy Award-Winning Actor Author • Director • Producer

HENRY WINKLER Thursday, March 7, 2019 Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale 85250

Event Co-chairs Sonia & John Breslow Danielle Breslow-Gross & Benjamin Gross

To inquire about becoming a table captain and/or an event sponsor, please contact 480.481.1752 or events@jewishphoenix.org.

With so many things to do, we suggest getting an early start on your want-to-do list. There’s a lot to do at Maravilla Scottsdale Senior Living Community — clubs, events, socializing, and more. So, go ahead and make your want-to-do list. But please don’t include a bunch of chores. We’ll take care of most of those for you. We invite you to see all that Maravilla Scottsdale has to offer (including assisted living services if needed) at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 480.359.1345 to schedule.

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FEBRUARY 2019 Arizona Jewish Life • Shevat-Adar 5779 • Volume 7/Issue 4



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“The times they are a changin’ ” The new year has begun, and what better way to represent the hope of new beginnings than weddings – the ultimate new beginning. Our special section on weddings is fun, informative and entertaining. We hope you enjoy it.   On a more somber note, I hope that by the time you read this the government shutdown is over and the following is irrelevant.    In any crisis, many people look inward and think, “What if that had been me or a loved one. What would I do? Who would I turn to?” Then one quickly looks outward and asks, “What can I do to help?” So many people have been affected by the shutdown and the economic and emotional hardship it has caused. The United States is a big country, but

We have started posting the agencies and organizations that are offering help during this crisis. As we have reached out to the community, we are receiving more and more responses. We will update our list daily, as new information comes in. If you do need support, whether due to the shutdown or for other reasons, please check our social media feeds and website daily for the updated resources and contact information that can help. Difficult economic times often exacerbate racism and anti-Semitism. Economic downturns historically have sent such bigotry soaring, and now is no different. We want your help in finding ways to help the community. We have created a survey, and we welcome your input. If you haven’t filled out our survey yet, please do so at azjewishlife.com/survey. May all of you go from strength to strength in these trying times and always.

at a time like this, it seems to be a small village; everyone knows more than one person who has been adversely affected, if not themselves personally.

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fabulous bead brothers the

By Melissa Hirschl


rothers Mitch, David and Bernie Lawitz have more than DNA in common; they all share the same passion – beads. If the name rings a bell, it’s because Mitch and Bernie were previous owners of the legendary Beads Galore in Tempe, and David worked in the family business for 20 years. Their enthusiasm for beads still sizzled, and since then, all three have struck out on their own. Mitch and Bernie have two thriving stores; Mitch’s Beads in Gilbert and Bernie’s Beads in Mesa and David went on to create the Arizona Bead Company, an online store. A leading authority on ethnic and vintage beads, Bernie is a walking Wikipedia on African trade, rare and collectible beads. Working with his son, Alex, and daughter, Hannah, Bernie loves to educate his shoppers on the story behind the beads. “Shoppers are stunned when they find out some of my beads are 5,000 years old,” he says. Shopping at Bernie’s is like being immersed in a National Geographic magazine. Old silver beads, turquoise, prayer necklaces and antique African trade beads dot the tables and walls, along with rare Ethiopian crosses and old Venetian glass beads. “I have beads that cost five cents and some that cost several thousand dollars,” says Bernie. “We have high quality, very unique things from around the world.” Mitch’s Beads also carries a wide and eclectic array of beads, but the focus is primarily semiprecious stones, such as lapis, tiger eye, onyx and more. Pendants, freshwater pearls, Czech glass, cubic zirconia and a large selection of chain and jewelry findings round out the menu. Also, the store carries copious amounts of charms that beg to be sifted through. “One of our big lures is our classes.” says Lisa, Mitch's wife. “Our employee Trish does free, one-on-one demonstrations with customers Wednesday through Saturday. Our other employee Memo, is our jewelry designer. Customers frequently get inspired by the designs he conjures up and want to


recreate them themselves.” The store also provides photoengraving. “Charms to You,” a separate company started by Lisa and her daughter, Amber, enables gold, silver and stainless steel to be etched with pictures of people, pets and more – even ultrasounds! “The whole business is built on imagination and creativity,” says Mitch. “It empowers you and makes you feel better when you wear something you created. It’s a euphoria you can’t explain.” According to Lisa, Mitch is like a kid in a candy store, when he shops for beads. “His eyes and whole face light up,” says Lisa. “He always wants to buy

Amber, Mitch and Lisa Lawitz

more; he is always looking for the unusual.” Mitch, Bernie and David all stand on the shoulders of their father, Norman Lawitz, the original owner of Beads Galore, who truly embodied the American

dream. After the Lawitz family moved to Phoenix from Long Island in 1973, Norman was looking for a new venture. He opened a small costume jewelry store for a short time, but it wasn’t the success he envisioned. Things changed dramatically when he rolled the dice with a $136 bead investment of mainly turquoise, silver and heishi (shell) beads. The business grew rapidly, but the caveat was that customers began coming to the Lawitz house at all hours of the day and night to buy beads. “Before long, our entire house was flooded

Bernie, Hannah and Alex Lawitz

with beads,” says Mitch. “We had no life. My mom finally gave my dad an ultimatum; it was her or the beads. Mom won out, and David Lawitz Beads Galore was born.” For 30 years, the store was a magnet for beading aficionados. This colossal 6,000 square-foot store attracted customers from all over the Valley. The knowledgeable and friendly staff were the store’s hallmarks, along with selection and inspiration. When the store closed in 2016, it was no surprise that customers were visibly shaken and saddened. “People actually cried, and wanted us to sign tee shirts,” says Bernie. The closing of the store did not diminish the brother’s love for beads, however, and the passion of Norman Lawitz lives on. Customers of Beads Galore can still expect the same expert, professional service from Mitch, Bernie and David. Mitch’s Beads is on 854 E. Williams Field Road in Gilbert (mitchsbeads.com) and Bernie’s Beads is on 1245 W. Guadalupe Road #B-1 in Mesa (berniesbeads.com). Visit Arizona Bead Company at arizonabeadcompany.com.

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Maya S. Horwitz

Marla Eglash Abraham

Horowitz Joins JCFSA Maya S. Horowitz joined the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Tucson, as project manager in November. Most recently, she was a marketing and digital communications specialist at Stanford University in California, where she also previously worked as a research assistant at the Center for Deliberative Democracy. She was a writer and editor for Talkdesk software in San Francisco, and a reporter at Connection Newspapers in Alexandria, VA, for two years. She also freelanced in the Bay Area as an editor, reporter and tutor. Maya holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and a master of arts in communications with a specialty in journalism from Stanford. Maya arrived in Tucson in August with her husband, David Enard, an assistant professor in the ecology and evolutionary biology department at the University of Arizona. jfsa.org

New Western Regional Director for USHMM The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum announced the appointment of Marla Eglash Abraham as Western regional director for the nine-state region that includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Marla was previously regional director of development at American Jewish Committee Los Angeles since 2013, leading all development initiatives in Los Angeles, as well as San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Phoenix and Denver. Her responsibilities included major gifts cultivation, solicitation and stewardship; qualification, cultivation and organizational engagement of high-capacity prospects; regional board and Board of Governor’s solicitations, direct mail, e-philanthropy strategies and honoree event-based development. 14 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Adam Trenk

Kaine Fisher

Marla is a published researcher, scholar and author in addition to facilitator and consultant for Central Conference of American Rabbis, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, Jewish Federations of North America, and Hillel International, among many others. ushmm.org

Changes at Rose Law Group Attorney Adam Trenk, director of Equine Law has been named partner at Rose Law Group, pc. As part of the announcement, Partner Kaine Fisher’s name has been added to the firm’s masthead. Adam has been an attorney with Rose Law Group since 2010. He practices in the areas of public policy, zoning, aviation, equine and business law, and works as a strategist consulting across multiple industries on matters of government relations and corporate development. During his career, he has helped draft the zoning ordinances relative to medical marijuana in several jurisdictions throughout the state. Adam established the largest equine law practice in the state of Arizona. He’s worked with clients from a variety of different industries to define and accomplish strategic objectives through changes to legislation, permit approvals, negotiations, and project management. “Being invited into partnership at the Rose Law Group is perhaps the greatest honor I could receive,” says Adam. “It is intensely validating to know that my friends and mentors at Arizona’s most dynamic law firm hold me in the same professional esteem as I have had for them since the start of my career here eight years ago.” Kaine Fisher, who was named partner in 2014 is now included on the firm’s masthead and serves as the director of Family Law at Rose Law Group pc. “We have a special group of brilliant, talented and interesting people working here,” says Kaine. “I cherish being a part of this unique culture and am honored that Jordan and the other named partners felt it appropriate to include my

Monica Rosenbaum

Sam Fox

Block 23

name on the door with theirs.” Kaine currently serves as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Pro Tempore and volunteers his time providing pro bono legal services for lower income litigants as a part of the Maricopa County Superior Court – Family Law Assistance Program. Fisher has also co-authored the Amazon bestseller A Cup Of Coffee With 10 Of The Top Divorce Attorneys In The United States. roselawgroup.com

Tucson JCC appoints new director of member relations Monica Rosenbaum is the new director of member relations at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. She has over 20 years of experience working for JCCs, holding roles from counselor to department director at JCCs in New York (Northern Westchester and Rockland) and Arizona (Scottsdale). Monica was selected to participate in the sixth cohort of Merrin Fellows, a JCC Association fellowship program created to support young professionals and their work at their respective JCCs. She is the second of four children born and raised in Westchester County, New York. She and her siblings were awarded financial assistance to attend JCC day camp after the death of their father in 1989. Her passion has been to give back and pay forward the JCC experience she was given. Monica will be joined in Tucson by her husband, Scott; daughters, Violet and Mia; and dog, Luigi. tucsonjcc.org

Sam Fox signs as first restaurant tenant at Block 23 Block 23 is the highly anticipated mixed-use project in Downtown Phoenix. The development will include approximately 330 apartments by StreetLights Residential, 200,000 square feet of creative office space, restaurant and retail uses along with above- and below-grade parking.

Alma Hernandez

In January, RED Development announced its first restaurant tenant, Blanco Tacos & Tequila, a Fox Restaurant Concept will open by the end of 2019. Blanco Tacos & Tequila has current locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, San Diego and Houston. This sixth location will expand Fox’s presence in Downtown Phoenix and complement The Arrogant Butcher, a Sam Fox restaurant, located directly across the street at CityScape Phoenix. The modern, fresh Mexican restaurant has been a Valley favorite since it first debuted in 2007 and serves up a twist on Mexican food favorites with items such as chipotle shrimp, red chile chicken and grilled avocado tacos, Mahi fajitas, braised short rib “machaca” enchiladas and more. There is also an extensive cocktail and tequila menu to complement your meal. blancotacostequila.com

Alma Hernandez begins her term as state representative In January, Alma Hernandez, MPH, headed to the house floor along with her brother, Daniel Hernandez, as the first Mexican American Jew to be elected to the Arizona state legislature. She was included in Lilith magazine’s “7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2018.” She was featured in the October 2018 issue of Arizona Jewish Life as “One to Watch.” Alma will represent Legislative District 3, on Tucson’s west side. A native Tucsonan, she is a former Jewish Community Relations Council coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Alma received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Arizona. She is also co-founder of Tucson Jews for Justice. almaforarizona.org


Send your "Biz Ins" to editor@azjewishlife.com JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 15

From classic to custom – What’s new in engagement rings? By Mala Blomquist


16 Engagement ring trends 18 Insider tips 20 Put more you into your wedding day 22 Mikvahs 24 Fashion


ecoming engaged is a public declaration of a couple’s love and commitment to one another. The symbol of that love is the engagement ring – often a round solitaire with a simple band. Classic, like the “little black dress.” But today’s brides-to-be often aren’t opting for this classic. Amber Todd, a buyer and bridal designer for London Gold, “eats, breathes and sleeps jewelry” and knows what is trending when it comes to engagement rings. “Probably 75% of our business is custom bridal,” says Amber. “A lot of people have an idea of what they want and then we can go from there. Or even if they don’t, we have hundreds of settings in the store. They might like a top of one and the side of another, and we can guide them and show them how to make it all fit together.” Amber can sketch out a design for a couple and then the CAD designer will

build the ring. She can send the image to the customer through a special link, and the client will be able to take their finger (or mouse) and move the ring 360 degrees, to view

the design from all angles. The next step is to create a 3D printed ring from resin. The couple can come in and she can try on the ring and make any changes at that time. “The 3D print world has changed the way we design jewelry,” adds Amber. For many, the design starts with the stone – and “fancy” is what’s in. “Fancy means anything besides round (shaped),” says Amber. “I have been selling diamonds for 25 years, and I don’t think I have ever had this many people asking me for pears or ovals.” Another trend is the use of baguette-cut diamonds. However, unlike the early 2000s when they were all lined up in a channel, now they are being set next to small, round diamonds, accenting the center stone. Jewelry styles, like fashion,

are cyclical. The metal color of settings is one of those cycles. “We are selling more yellow gold and more rose gold right now,” she says. “The tradition is white gold,” says Amber. “During World War II the government put a ban on platinum – except for military use. Right after that, you started seeing a ton of yellow gold.” Now, rather than the big and bold of that era, the trend is delicate and feminine. Rose gold has not been popular since the 1920s, and it’s back in a big way. One reported industry trend that Amber hasn’t seen yet in her Scottsdale store is the demand for colored stones in an engagement ring. “We do have some very

cool bridal sets with sapphire or morganite center stones,” she says. “(But) diamonds are still king,” Though she has seen a rise in emerald-cut aquamarine rings since Meghan Markle flashed such a ring on the way to her evening wedding reception. “Trends now are different because of social media,” notes Amber. “Before it would take a while for a trend to hit and when it did, it would stay. Trends just come and go so much faster because we are exposed to so much more.” Social media can be beneficial when a man comes in alone to pick out a ring. “We will see if she has a Pinterest,” says Amber. “They usually create an engagement ring board or a bridal board.” Since people are exposed to so much more than even 10 years ago, a lot of women who have never set foot in a jewelry store will have a good idea of what they want from Instagram or Pinterest. “We get a lot of customers that come in as a couple and he’ll get an idea of what she wants, and we will do a client card on that couple,” says Amber. “He can then come in without her and we’ll know what she wants.” Occasionally, a guy will come in alone, not knowing what her style is and wants it

to be a total surprise when he pops the question. In that situation, Amber will rely on that “little black dress. “Everyone knows that the skinny band with the big diamond is an engagement ring,” she says. “I tell him let’s do a classic solitaire. She may want to change the setting, but at least you didn’t have to tell anyone what you were doing. She can be completely surprised.” Amber knows this is a big decision and something that will eventually be handed down to other generations. “Jewelry is one thing that looks just as pretty today as when your grandfather gave it to your grandmother 50 years ago,” she says. “Houses aren’t like that; cars aren’t like that – nothing that you have is as emotional and as beautiful as a handed down piece of jewelry.” London Gold has store locations in Chandler, Peoria and Scottsdale. For more information, visit londongold.com.


Insider tips from a master wedding planner By Lynda Barness You are now engaged! NOW WHAT? Here are five things to consider before jumping in, from a Master Wedding Planner: 1. BREATHE. I’m not kidding! Take some time to enjoy your engagement – and each other. And your families. And your friends. 2. G ET TO WORK. When you are ready to start working (and yes, it may feel like work, so now would be a good time to consider a wedding planner if you are thinking about hiring one), you and your partner will want to have a discussion about your wish list: time of year (and which year), which city, what type of officiant, what kind of venue and more. So often there are other voices in this discussion, but the couple can prioritize their wish list first and then discuss it with family and others. 3. GET YOUR GUEST LIST IN ORDER. You can’t possibly pick a place for a ceremony or reception without knowing how many people you will invite. A question that I am asked very often is about the drop-off rate. If you invite your whole guest list, how many can you figure won’t attend? You can’t figure this at all, so please don’t bother trying! I know of a wedding where 277 guests were invited and 275 attended. Look for a venue that will hold everyone you have invited. 4. CHOOSE AN OFFICIANT. The officiant will need to be the first to be chosen/hired. You need that person to be available and willing to be with you on your wedding day, and you’ll need to nail that day down before you can confirm with a venue. Next step is finding a venue. 5. SECURE THE RECEPTION VENUE AND START HIRING YOUR WEDDING PROFESSIONALS. This looks very simple in the abstract. It is not! Especially if one partner has always imagined getting married in a synagogue and the other has a picture of an outdoor ceremony in mind. This is a big decision to figure out together and often requires compromise – what better time than the present to work on that skill? If you are hiring a wedding planner, it will be helpful to have this person onboard at this point as well. When it comes to the wedding day itself, there are four things that I think are essential to keep in mind: 1. INVITATIONS AND THEIR WORDING. 18 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Do the names of both sets of parents appear on the invitation? Are only the hosts (the ones who are paying) listed? It is lovely to include all the parents and it is a clear signal to everyone that the two families are joining together. 2. CEREMONY LOGISTICS. Who sits on what side, who walks down the aisle with whom and who stands or sits where? This can get complicated, especially since different religions handle it differently. It’s a matter of compromise and sensitivity. Do mom and dad walk down the aisle with their child as Jewish tradition dictates? Or has the bride who is not Jewish always imagined herself walking down the aisle with just her father? Do the parents stand, do they hold the chuppah or do they sit during the ceremony? These are great questions to discuss with your officiant. 3. RELIGIOUS RITUAL OBJECTS. Do you want to have a chuppah (wedding canopy)? What about a ketubah (wedding contract)? Which rituals do you want to include? How can you best represent your individuality and your coming together as a new family? Again, your officiant can be a huge source of assistance here. If you are having a Jewish wedding, a great place to learn about rituals and ritual objects is in Anita Diamant’s go-to book, The Jewish Wedding Now. 4. THE JEWISH TRADITION OF YICHUD IS ONE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BECOME BOTH MODIFIED AND UNIVERSAL. After the ceremony, the couple has some private time (often with hors d’oeuvres and drinks) to simply share the first moments of their marriage alone with each other. This is such a special time and lovely tradition, and I always recommend it. The best advice I have heard is to take some days off every week and don’t even discuss wedding planning. It will be exhausting if you try to do wedding planning every single day from now until your wedding, so spend a little time with your honey without the stress of wedding or religion talk. Lynda Barness launched I DO Wedding Consulting in 2005. Lynda earned the designation of Master Wedding Planner from the International Association of Wedding Consultants and also has a certificate in Wedding Planning and Consulting from Temple University. This article was reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily. Learn more at interfaithfamily.com.


Put more you into your wedding day By Family Features


wedding day is filled with symbolic tradition, from religious customs to the never-ending circle reflected in the rings and the types of flowers accentuating the celebration. Even with all the traditional rituals to consider, nearly every bride and groom can find ways to give their special day some unique touches that reflect their personality and love. Music sets the mood for every wedding, and it’s an easy place to put your own spin on the celebration. Whether you forgo the traditional bridal march entirely or simply look for an arrangement that gives an updated twist to the classic version, let guests know this isn’t your average wedding by setting the festivities against a soundtrack that lets your true character shine. The wedding party is intended to be a collection of those nearest and dearest to the bride and groom, who help ensure the day goes off without a hitch and who lead fellow revelers in celebrating the start of the new couple’s life together. That being said, there’s no reason this group must be limited to women on her side and guys on his, or even that it’s limited to humans – a beloved pooch can make for an adorable ring-bearer, after all. Photography is an essential element of your big day, but think beyond the images you’ll capture throughout the wedding and reception. Photos lend a personal touch, no matter what your color scheme or theme. Integrate photos of the two of you at various stages of life, together as a couple and with loved ones (perhaps even some you’re honoring in memoriam). You can display these at a table with the guest book, as part of the table centerpieces, or even on the gift table. Or take things digital and load all your images into a slide show set to music. Make favors meaningful. Forgo more common items like bubbles and chocolate, and instead send a little of yourself home with your guests. Maybe it’s a memento from a place with special meaning to you both, or a bottle opener shaped like a bicycle to represent the way you met. Just think about the moments and things that define you as a couple and do some searching online. You’ll probably be surprised by how quickly the options pile up. Serve up a menu that shows guests more about your life together. Your loved ones can order basic beef or chicken anywhere. Instead, give them a glimpse into you. Make your main course the same food you enjoyed on your first date or during another monumental moment in your courtship. Or plan the entire menu around a region that you hold close to your heart. Weddings are filled with traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own touches on the day for a special event filled with memories that are uniquely your own.

Find more advice for life’s special moments at elivingtoday.com.


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Modern-day mikvahs By Mala Blomquist T here are many reasons to visit a mikvah, or ritual bath. Jewish law requires that one immerse in a mikvah as part of the conversion process to Judaism and woman are required to immerse before getting married and when observing the laws of family purity. Both men and woman will visit the mikvah before Shabbat or Yom Kippur or before a special event such as a bar/bat mitzvah. OLDEST MIKVAH GETS A FACELIFT The oldest mikvah in the Valley recently received a complete renovation. Mikvah Chaya Mushka located at Chabad Lubavitch of Arizona in Phoenix opened in 1996. The renovation, finished in the summer of 2018, was sponsored by Tina and Kurt Woetzel. “We decided that after (more than) 20 years it was time to upgrade it completely,” says Rabbi Shlomo Levertov, codirector of Chabad of Paradise Valley. “We did a total upgrade. We put in brand new tiles, a big spacious shower, beautiful fixtures, a special soaking tub, built-in speakers with music and LED lighting.” The renovation took more than a year and was done in stages so that the mikvah could remain open during construction since it was the only Orthodox mikvah in the Valley at the time. “A mikvah is not about shul membership, it has a membership on its own,” says the rabbi. “Everybody uses it no matter what shul you go to. It’s a service that Chabad of Arizona offers the community.” Two attendants track appointments; nothing is entered into a computer to respect the user’s privacy. Chabad also pairs women getting married with a teacher who will teach them the laws of family purity and the laws of mikvah. “The most important thing is when a lady comes to the mikvah, she should feel that this is the most beautiful experience,” says Rabbi Levertov. “It should feel spa-like. We wanted to make it so nice that a person wants to do it.” He recently received a call from a woman asking where she can purchase the same soaking tub because she enjoyed it so much during her visit. For more information, visit chabadaz.com. Mikvah Chaya Mushka

NEWEST MIKVAH OPENS The newest mikvah in the Valley opened in November 2018. The Goldman Mikvah, located at Congregation Beth Tefillah in Scottsdale, was thoughtfully planned and designed when the new synagogue was constructed. “Mikvah is an ancient custom we have had since the beginning of the Jewish nation. It’s a commandment in the Torah to use the 22 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

mikvah for purity reasons,” says Rebbetzin Esther Allouche. “In the time of the Temple, if you were not pure you were not able to be part of the services in the Temple until you immersed in a mikvah.” The mikvah is filled by a combination of collected rainwater and tap water. “It’s like a spiritual cleansing because you are going back to the source, the water, as if you are going back to nature,” says Esther. “Also the way the mikvah is built, it’s built in the ground. Not only are you connecting with the water but you are connected to the source. It’s on a different level.” The mikvah is used primarily by women observing the laws of family purity. This Jewish law forbids a husband to approach his wife during the time of her menses, and extending beyond this period for another seven days, known as the “seven clean days.” It is a renewal for the relationship as the couple builds ties that are stronger than just physical contact. “They have to find other ways to connect – intellectually and emotionally,” says Esther. “Through going out, giving each other a gift, talking and finding ways to connect. It makes for excitement from when she comes back from the mikvah, and they can resume intimacy again.” She explains that even a woman who has entered menopause and has never participated in the ritual of family purity can enter the mikvah as a one-time immersion. “(The couple) will abstain from intimacy until she goes in the mikvah,” says Esther. “It will bring her the same blessings as if she had participated when she was younger. It’s a The Goldman Mikvah powerful thing.” CBT is holding an event on Feb. 8 with guest speaker Devora Goldberg, who will speak about Jewish marriage during a Shabbat dinner and lecture in the evening. During the day, women are invited to enjoy a spa day at Spa Lamar and attend a workshop to learn more about the laws of family purity. For more information on this event or the mikvah, visit bethtefillahaz.org.

Have a special event coming up? Pomelo at the Orchard is the perfect place for your next private party. The private dining rooms inside Pomelo at the Orchard as well as the beautiful Orchard Lawn and Barn can accommodate events as small as 12 guests or as large as 300. Whether it’s your next corporate event, baby shower or even wedding...

Let our team take care of you!

Originally an old citrus farm in the early 1900s, Pomelo is the site of the original home of the Wasser family! A hub of Arizona history, Pomelo at the Orchard is a location that will surely wow your guests! -Pomelo Team

Book your party now by calling

Pomelo at the Orchard, 7100 N. 12th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020

602-633-2600 or emailing Linda Schnitzer at Linda@lucisuc.com




By Tori Sokol


one are the days when every woman’s right of passage was when she received her very own copy of Emily Post’s 1922 book, Etiquette: In Society, In Business, In Politics and At Home. When asked about anything related to manners or social conduct, a key phrase would be repeated, “According to Emily Post…,” followed by the rule in question. Yes, as the years have gone by, some of Post’s topics are no longer as relevant today as they were back in the 20s. But, two questions continue to be asked: What’s the dress code? And, what does that mean for me? I’m going to break down today’s most common wedding dress codes for guests and redefine what each of them means for both men and women.


COCKTAIL ATTIRE is the most common dress code for weddings during all times of year. Ladies: This is your chance to break out your little black dress! If a dress is what you choose, keep it short – save your gowns for a more formal event. You can also wear separates like a long, dressy skirt and top or pants. Gentlemen: A dark suit with or without a vest is your uniform. A dress shirt, tie, leather dress shoes and dress socks will complete the look. Don’t be afraid to add some color by choosing a fun striped dress sock. This is a huge men’s trend!


Ladies: Alright, you’ve just been invited to a very formal event! Time to get all gussied up and put on your formal, floor length evening gown. Match that with a strappy heel or pump and a pashmina to keep you warm in the evening.


is an opportunity to pretty much dress as you would any other day, just a bit more elevated so it doesn’t look like you’re simply running to the grocery store. Ladies: A dress or skirt and dressy top would be a perfect outfit for the affair. If you’d prefer, dressy pants and a nice blouse paired back with some sandals or wedged espadrilles is another great option.

Gentlemen: Now let’s get you looking dapper! A black tuxedo with a formal white tuxedo shirt and shirt studs will have you looking like a star. Cufflinks, a black bow tie and patent leather or velvet tuxedo shoes will complete the look. Extras that you can choose to wear, but are not necessary include cummerbund, vest and suspenders.

Gentlemen: Jeans or slacks and a button down with no tie would be a nice choice for a dressy casual wedding. If a jacket is necessary, depending on the season and time of day, choose a grey or blue sport coat or blazer.


OR BLACK TIE OPTIONAL Ladies: You have choices here. You can either wear a dressy cocktail dress or separates, or you can take this up a notch and wear a floor length evening gown. Take the venue and weather into consideration when making this choice, but wear what you feel most confident in. Gentlemen: It’s time to dust off your tuxedo. A black tuxedo with a formal white tuxedo shirt, cufflinks and a black twill, silk or satin bow tie will complete the look. Leather dress shoes and dark dress socks are a must.

So next time you’re invited to a wedding, don’t stress over what you’ll wear. The dress code is your guide. Instead of digging up your tattered copy of Emily Post’s best seller, follow these what-to-wear tips and no matter what the attire, you’ll be looking like a million bucks! JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 25

Sarah directs an episode of “UnREAL,” the award-winning series she created based on her experiences with “The Bachelor.”





arah Gertrude Shapiro escaped her job as a producer on “The Bachelor” to find true love and professional and personal success.

After a couple of years in Portland communing with horses to restore her equilibrium, Sarah

is now living back in Hollywood with her wonderful husband, Jacinto, and young son, Moshe. As much as she is enjoying family life, her career is also soaring.

In the fall she signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios to develop projects for ABC

Signature Studios and ABC Studios.

She is also finishing a screenplay for Amazon Studios about women who were kidnapped and enslaved by

ISIS. Most of the enslaved women were from the Yazidi community, a Kurdish religious minority in the region ISIS seeks to control. But one of the enslaved women was an Arizona woman who went to Syria as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders.

According to a 2017 article on Deadline Hollywood (deadline.com): “One of the stories she (Sarah) is

researching is of Kayla Mueller, the young, Christian aid worker from Prescott, AZ, who was held captive and

made a sex slave with a Yazidi girl at the home of ISIS leader Abu al-Baghdadi. Mueller was held captive for 18 months. … The Yazidi sex slave eventually escaped and lived to tell the tale, but Kayla did not.”

Early reports described the film as a portrayal of the women who escape and create a 100-plus female

army fighting ISIS. Sarah's research has led many directions and she is now busy writing.



The nemisis, "The Bachelor."

The dream come true, "UnREAL."

Sarah in Oregon. 28 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Sarah’s professional rebirth began while she was living in Portland. She drew on her disenchanting experience at “The Bachelor” to write and direct “Sequin Raze.” She created the short film in 2012 for the American Film Institute Conservatory’s Directing Workshop for Women, which, per AFI’s website, is “a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally in screen directing.” Filmed in Portland, “Sequin Raze” won an honorable mention at SXSW’s (South by Southwest’s) Short Film Jury Awards. The film evolved into Sarah’s successful series “UnREAL,” a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program. “UnREAL” premiered on Lifetime on June 1, 2015. When the series ended after its fourth season last year, it had received an American Film Institute Award and two Emmy nominations. It was also nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award and three Critics’ Choice Awards, with Constance Zimmer winning the CCA for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. I read a couple of articles from the past year about your thoughts on reality TV – one regarding how the concept propelled Trump’s rise, and two, that it doesn’t need to be real, just entertaining. Are you considering another reality show in conjunction with ABC? To be honest, I never meant to work in reality TV. I went to Sarah Lawrence for fiction writing and filmmaking and considered myself a “Serious Writer.” “The Bachelor” was a day job for me when I first moved to Los Angeles and was playing in bands and writing short stories. I initially took a job on a different show, “High School Reunion.” While there I got approached by this lady who said, “I’ve heard good things about you kid, I want you to come work on my show.” She told me it was “The Bachelor” … and laughed when I explained I was a “radical feminist, hence pretty sure you’d hate me.” Then she told me to check my paperwork. It turned out I had signed an unlimited contract with that company. I couldn’t find a lawyer who would take on Warner Brothers to get me out of it. So I was stuck working on “The Bachelor” … for years. Can you share a bit about your time as a producer on “The Bachelor” and why you wanted to leave? When I worked on “The Bachelor,” my job was to manipulate the contestants into having breakdowns. That involved giving them terrible advice, depriving them of sleep and faking complicated manipulative friendships. Some of the worst things I did were on the night of the proposals. I would go to the hotel room where girls were staying and say, ‘I’m going to lose my job for telling you this, but he’s going to pick you – he’s going to propose.” After they got dumped, I’d join them in the limo and was told to drive them up and down the 405 until they cried, and “if they don’t cry – ‘You’re Fired.’” In hindsight being fired would have been a great solution to my problems.

Why did you choose to move to Portland when you left “The Bachelor?” Had you been here before? I took my junior year off in college and got a house off Belmont with my friends. I fell head over heels in love with Portland. I was a waitress at the Pied Cow, biked through Cherry Blossoms and made Super 8 movies. It was dreamy dream town. I wanted to drop out of college and stay in Portland forever, but my dad threatened to duct tape me to a plane and send me back to the East Coast to finish school. Portland was where I fell in love with filmmaking; I made my first film ever there. There was a place called the Northwest Film Center, and at the time Miranda July, Matt McCormick and Vanessa Renwick were making movies there. My first movie was called “Jelly” ... set in Portland and really fun. Were you involved with the Portland Jewish community while you were here? I went to High Holidays and did Pesach with friends. I’ve always embraced my Judaism, but have come to practice it more formally in recent years. How did you meet your husband? Tinder! (a dating app site). I had been so consumed with work for a decade that I had basically forgotten to make time for relationships. It was also scary for me to make myself vulnerable, open myself up to rejection. Writing alone is way more comfy for me. But when my father was diagnosed with cancer, it was a giant wake-up call. I suddenly forced myself to get out there and date; it was terrifying for me – I’m totally into “stranger danger.” I had some seriously terrible dates and then … one that wasn’t terrible at all. Now my life is overflowing with gardens, baby butt, obese cats, dirty diapers, family dinners, horrible drives, mud pits, sandboxes and a glorious private office covered in Post-its and whiteboards.



Where was the wedding? The wedding was at a ranch in Santa Barbara where I rode horses as a kid. Rabbi Amy Bernstein officiated under a chuppah made from my grandfather’s tallit. We are raising our son Jewish but cherish both sides of his heritage. My husband is Mexican American. When/why did you move back to California? After I sold “UnREAL,” I moved back to make the TV show. It’s the place to be for the industry. I had such great relationships in Portland, but to work in TV on the scale that I wanted to, I had to leave. But it was absolutely heartbreaking to leave Oregon. How old is your son now? Does he like any Jewish rituals? He is 16 months old and loves challah! We don’t normally let him eat bread, but when we go to Shabbat mornings at the Silverlake JCC, he just about butt tackles other toddlers to get to the challah. He has terrible manners about it. And he loves the “Shabbat Shalom!” song.

Sarah and Jacinto exchange vows under a chuppah made from Sarah’s grandfather’s tallit. Rabbi Amy Bernstein officiated. Sarah’s Shabbat table includes family treasures.


What was your Jewish upbringing? Growing up we celebrated High Holidays in the woods, under scratchy wool blankets with my grandparents. It took me a very long time to understand their aversion to synagogue. It had to do with the old country and pogroms and some aversion to the trappings of organized religion, but they had deep spirituality and Jewish identity. Is there any Jewish concept, ritual or holiday that particularly speaks to you? The Kol Nidre gets me every time, and every year the High Holidays are a time of deep reflection for me. My Jewish upbringing also involved all of the secular values that I’ve only learned to adore the older that I’ve gotten; I want to pass them along to my son. Do your Judaism and feminism overlap, complement each other, or conflict? Mostly overlap and complement each other. However, it’s been a problem with some of my old school relatives along the way.

What feminist ideal are you most driven to achieve? Equality work wise – to dismantle the myth of the mad-male genius and to get people to start calling women geniuses! At different, perhaps more cynical times in my life, I thought equality would be when a mediocre, middle-aged woman showing up on set high and unprepared and still gets hired again and again – because I’ve seen many men get away with this. Somehow dismantling the idea that men can be creators and behave terribly, but women are just there to support them. So my feminist ideal is having a full range of opportunities for women to be considered full creative people and thinkers. And for women to be valued on the same playing field as men in terms of their creativity and output – whatever that is. Whether that’s decadent self-care, ill-planned desert road trips, sailing around the world with someone questionable or a cozy craftsman home with many, many children, a compost pile and a subscription to The New Yorker. For us to serve our desires and feel entitled to our own joy, rather than working ourselves into the ground in situations where the odds of ease and happiness are clearly stacked against

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro talks to actors Josh Kelly and Caitlin FitzGerald during filming of UnREAL.

us. That kind of martyrdom is taught early and rewarded. For me, it doesn’t mean leaving the industry; it just means choosing well and making sure to take care of myself, which actually works out better for everyone.


What project are you most proud of to date? The pilot of “UnREAL.” After years of rigorous work and persevering through some daunting challenges, I was finally able to make it exactly what I wanted it to be, which is incredibly rare. I couldn’t imagine a better articulation of the idea or a stronger cast and am so grateful to everyone who collaborated on that ride. Has your film on girls kidnapped by ISIS been released yet? It has not – we’re still in the writing process with it, super excited but busy with other projects, as well. The research has been pretty extensive, fascinating and terrifying.

Do you have any specific projects with ABC that you can share yet? I do have a couple specific projects that I’m not at liberty to discuss yet, but I am excited about all of them and loving the gig so far.

To read more about her projects as they evolve, follow Sarah: Twitter: @GertShap • Instagram: @sarahgertrudeshapiro JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 31



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Choco Chicken Recipe and photo by Lucia Schnitzer

When I think “love,” I think “chocolate.” One of my favorite family recipes is my mother’s chicken mole. It’s a long, tedious recipe with many ingredients including chocolate, but it’s mouthwatering and memorable. This version of the mole sauce is quick, easy and low carb. Make this dish for the ones you love, and make it a new family favorite.

Choco Chicken

Ingredients 1 whole chicken 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons avocado oil 1/2 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth) 1 can full fat coconut milk Mole Mixture 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoon of xylitol (or sugar) Instructions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place parchment paper in a baking pan and spray with cook-

ing spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in baking pan and roast for 45 minutes, uncovered. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or wok over medium heat, add avocado oil and onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are transparent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. In a bowl, combine all the mole mixture ingredients. Add the mixture to the pan, stirring quickly to coat the onions. Add the broth and deglaze the pan by using a wooden spoon. Add coconut milk and bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat to simmer and using an immersion blender, blend the sauce in the pan until smooth. Leave to simmer. Remove chicken from oven and let cool long enough to handle, shred the chicken. Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes. Divide the chicken among four plates or bowls and serve it with additional sauce spooned over the top. Serve on top of cauliflower rice or regular rice. Note: Both the sauce and chicken can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, up to two days, to save prep time.

Lucia Schnitzer and her husband, Ken, own Pomelo (a full-service restaurant), Luci’s at The Orchard and Splurge (a candy and ice cream shop), all at The Orchard Phx, 7100 N 12th Street, Phoenix. They also own Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, 1590 E Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, which they opened in 2009 in Lucia’s honor after her successful battle with breast cancer. JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 33


The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival Returns Feb. 10-24

The 23rd annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, running Feb. 10-24, at three Harkins theaters across the Valley, will showcase a slate of 20 independent films, including the Western United States’ premiere of a rare multi-camera shoot from the original Broadway run of the play about Golda Meir, Israel’s only female Prime Minister.

VENUES HARKINS SHEA 14 7354 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale HARKINS TEMPE MARKETPLACE 14 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe HARKINS PARK WEST 16 9804 W. Northern Ave. Peoria

TICKETS For more information, visit gpjff.org $11 for adults ($13 at the door) $7 for active military (ID required) and students (ID required, 25 years & under) $150 Festival Pass 34 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

The following is this year’s screening schedule by date: Sunday, Feb. 10, 3 pm (Scottsdale, Tempe) Sunday, Feb. 17, 11 am (Peoria)

BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY A tune-filled dissertation on the incalculable influence of Jewish composers, and Jewish musical idioms shaping the evolution of this great American art form. Short Film: CALL ME ALVY A boy’s obsession with Woody Allen sends his mother to desperate measures before his bar mitzvah day arrives. Showing at Peoria and Tempe. Sunday, Feb. 10, 7 pm (Scottsdale Monday, Feb. 11, 7 pm (Tempe) Sunday Feb. 24, 11 am (Peoria)

GOLDA’S BALCONY, THE FILM A rare multi-camera shoot from the original Broadway run of the play about Golda Meir, Israel’s only female Prime Minister. Monday, Feb. 11, 7 pm (Scottsdale)

THE LIGHT OF HOPE The harrowingly true story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz, awarded the status of Righteous Among the Nations by the Government of Israel in 2002 for her role as founder of the Mothers of Elne, an organization which saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish mothers and children along with other refugees during World War II. Short Film: A THOUSAND KISSES Separated by the fear of persecution in the Nazi Germany of 1933, a young Jewish couple in Berlin makes loose plans to reunite on the safe tropical shores of Brazil. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 pm (Scottsdale) Wednesday, Feb. 20, 7 pm (Tempe)

BUDAPEST NOIR When a young Jewish prostitute is found beaten to death, no one is interested in solving the bizarre crime except the cynical but inquisitive crime reporter, Zsigmond Gordon. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 pm (Tempe) Thursday, Feb. 14, 7 pm (Scottsdale) Wednesday, Feb. 20, 3 pm (Peoria)

THE CAKEMAKER Unwittingly united in grief by a closeted affair, a gay German baker and weary Israeli widow seek mutual catharsis in this film, a compassionate meditation on the human urge for connection.

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 3 pm (Scottsdale)

Monday, Feb. 18, 3 pm

THE ESSENTIAL LINK: THE STORY OF WILFRID ISRAEL Movies unravels the mystery of the oft-forgotten wealthy German Jew who, through a combination of wily negotiations with the Nazis, large sums of his own money, and a long series of selfless acts, saved thousands of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

WINTER HUNT On a mission of vigilante justice, a young woman goes to extremes to seek reprisal against a suspected ex-Nazi, in this psychological thriller.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 3 pm (Scottsdale) Sunday, Feb. 17, 3 pm (Peoria, Tempe)

A BAG OF MARBLES Left to fend for themselves in Nazi-occupied France, two Jewish brothers must rely on their courage and cunning to escape Nazi barbarism and avoid capture. (Suitable for ages 10 & up.) Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 pm (Tempe) Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7 pm (Scottsdale)

RESCUE BIS 300 An intense cinematic ride based on the true story of armed Palestinian terrorists who hijack an Israeli bus and lead the passengers not only towards the refugee camps in Gaza, but, possibly to oblivion. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 pm (Scottsdale) Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 pm (Peoria)

THE INTERPRETER Ali Ungár, comes across a book written by a former SS officer which recounts the officer’s war experiences. Ali realizes that one of the chapters quite possibly describes his own parents’ executions, and, arming himself, travels to Vienna to look for the SS man and exact revenge. Thursday, Feb. 14, 3 pm (Scottsdale)

SHINE Tells the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, an international prodigy who, after suffering a breakdown resulting in his institutionalization, gradually pieced himself back together and performed to critical acclaim. Thursday, Feb. 14, 7 pm (Tempe) Sunday, Feb. 17, 7 pm (Scottsdale) Tuesday, Feb. 19, 3 pm (Peoria)

SHOELACES Tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special-needs son, whom he abandoned while the boy was still very young. Sunday, Feb. 17, 3 pm (Scottsdale) Monday, Feb. 18, 3 pm (Peoria) Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7 pm (Tempe)

WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY A secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders fight and resist after being sealed inside the Warsaw Ghetto. Short Film: A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN Six months before the start of World War II, Madison Square Garden plays host to 20,000 American Nazis.Showing at all three venues.

Monday, Feb. 18, 7 pm (Scottsdale)

93QUEEN Offers a unique portrayal of a group of tenacious Hasidic women who smash the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 3 pm

SIMON & THEODORE In this quirky French comedy-drama, an emotionally-troubled man about to become a father wonders how can he take care of his baby when he can barely take care of himself? Wednesday, Feb. 20, 3 pm (Scottsdale)

ECHO When a husband suspects his wife is having an affair, he secretly records her telephone conversations. The film highlights the true-to-life depiction of the delicate intricacies of relationships. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 7 pm (Scottsdale) Thursday, Feb. 21, 3 pm (Peoria) Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 pm (Tempe)

THE LAST SUIT An aging Jewish tailor leaves his life in Argentina to embark on a journey back through time and halfway around the world. Short Film: JANEK/BASTARD Explores the intricate relationship between a Christian and a Jew in 1942 Poland. Showing at Peoria and Scottsdale. Thursday, Feb. 21, 3 pm (Scottsdale)

SCANDAL IN IVANSK A photographer uncovers a scandal when he travels to a small, Polish town in search of Jewish headstones and, more specifically, his grandfather’s life, death, and memories. Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 pm (Scottsdale)

FRACTURES A family’s life comes apart after the husband is accused of sexual misconduct with one of his students. With the birth of the #MeToo movement, the film’s topic is more relevant than ever; a searing drama that exposes the consequences of an accusation and the shattering effects it has on all surrounding parties. Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 pm (Scottsdale) Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 pm (Tempe)

WHY THE JEWS? From Moses to Maimonides, to Mahler, Marx, Freud, Einstein and 197 Nobel Prize laureates, the stunning social, scientific and artistic accomplishments of the Jews raise this obvious question. JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 35

Clockwise, from top, the Storch violin; Ruth Katzenstein’s passport photo; Elsa and Paul Katzenstein; Elsa Katzenstein and Ruth Katzenstein Storch; Elana Storch and Avshalom Weinstein in San Francisco.

The Valley’s connection to the Violins of Hope By Mala Blomquist


hen the “Violins of Hope” exhibit comes to Arizona this month, there will be one violin on display that has ties to a Valley family. This violin had been somewhat of a mystery to the Storch family for a long time. They knew that the instrument had been played by Elsa Katzenstein and perhaps also by her daughter, Ruth, and that it had accompanied the family when they emigrated from Germany. “There isn’t anyone in the family to get a direct history from,” says Elsa’s grandson Dr. Daniel Storch. “My grandfather passed in 1983; my mother died when I was 7; my uncle died in the ’80s. There isn’t anyone to get first-hand information from. It also wasn’t really talked about then.” 36 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

When Ruth Storch Joseph (Daniel’s daughter and Elsa’s greatgranddaughter) had the opportunity to work in Berlin after college, she jumped at the chance to be so close to Hamburg, where the Katzensteins lived before fleeing Nazi Germany. While in Germany, Ruth took some time to work on the family’s genealogy. “There was a wonderful family in Berlin that sort of adopted Ruth while she was living there,” says Daniel. “They had a connection to this historian who had assisted them with their own family research.” This historian was able to grant Ruth access to some archives, allowing her to learn a lot more about her family’s history. She found out that Elsa was an accomplished violinist and was a member of the Reichsmusikkammer, an elite association of musicians. Only members of this association were permitted to give private violin lessons. Elsa was also a member of the Kammer-Orchestra Hamburg and performed on the radio in Hamburg. Elsa’s husband, Paul, was a prominent physician and cellist in the Jewish community. Paul was a member of the Arztekammer (a medical association) and Kassenartzliche (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians). He was banned from these associations on Sept.30, 1933, because of the Nuremberg laws. In the archives, Ruth also found an appraisal document for the violin. The documentation included appraisals for another violin and a viola, which the family believes were sold, along with most of their valuables, to gain transport to America. Shortly after Kristallnacht, in January 1939, Elsa and Paul put

their daughter, Ruth, age 11, on a Kindertransport to Antwerp, Belgium. A Christian family cared for her there until her parents could send for her and bring her safely to the United States later that year. That summer, Ruth, Paul and their son, Henry (who was too old for the Kindertransport) left Hamburg directly for New York. They brought the remaining violin with them to the states. “I really didn’t know what I would find,” says Ruth about her research. “I was very blessed to connect with this historian who was able to give me tremendous guidance and access to archives that were very difficult to access.” The violin had been sitting in a closet, and the family wanted it to be restored, but they didn’t want to give the project to just anyone. “We just didn’t really know where to go with it,” says Daniel. “When we learned about the project (Violins of Hope) we thought, one day when we go to Israel, we will take it with us.” After watching the documentary, “Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust,” the Storch’s figured that Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein would be the perfect person to do the restoration. Amnon has devoted the last 20 years to locate and restore violins of the Holocaust. He calls these the Violins of Hope. “When we learned that Violins of Hope was coming to Arizona and we would have the opportunity to have it restored by the Weinsteins, we jumped at the opportunity,” says Ruth. Daniel’s wife, Elana, traveled to San Francisco in October 2018 to deliver the violin directly to Avshalom Weinstein, Amnon’s son.

Avshalom is a luthier in Istanbul and works with his father on restoring violins from the Holocaust. Avshalom took the violin to Israel to begin restoration. The Storch violin will be on display in the “Violins of Hope” exhibit when it opens at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Feb. 26. Although many of the violins will be played at concerts throughout the state, the Storch violin requires further restoration; it will make its musical premiere in January 2020, when the exhibit travels to San Francisco. The exhibit exposes the visitor to the Holocaust through instruments that helped the imprisoned escape the darkness for a moment, giving hope through the language of music. “There are a lot of universal messages here,” says Daniel. “It’s a way of getting people to hear the stories. It’s a point of entry into the whole story.” “I think it’s so important – not just as the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, I think for everyone – to know about your heritage and your roots and where you come from,” says Ruth as she holds her newborn daughter, Elsa, who is named after her great-great-grandmother. “I hope that Elsa will have a good understanding of our history and some of the very tough decisions and sacrifices that people in our family made, so the future generations will have a better life and continue to uphold our family values, our religious values and our faith,” says Ruth. “Violins of Hope” will be in Arizona from February through March and includes exhibits, lectures, concerts and educational programs. For more information, visit violinsofhopephoenix.com.


A home that nurtures creativity and creates fun By Mala Blomquist


Robin with her goldendoodles Whitney and Joey. Whitney displays one of the pieces from City Trends, see inset. The peace and tranquility of the Zen garden.


obin and Russell Grossman have lived in their Paradise Valley house just since July 2018, but they have already put their own style into renovations and have made it their own. “I’m so happy here I don’t want to move,” says Robin. “I grew up in one house in New York and until I left to come out here, it was always my home. Since I’ve lived here and I’ve been with Russell, going on 19 years, we’ve moved three or four times.” The more than 7,000-square-foot home features five bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms, a guest casita, chef ’s kitchen, Zen garden, zip line, pickleball court, putting green, negative-edge pool and walls of glass offering stunning views of Camelback Mountain. The two met at a bar in Scottsdale in 1997. “We both went to ASU, we were both from back East and the smallest worlds of all – my dad and his mom graduated high school together in Brooklyn – same graduating class,” says Robin. “Her dad brings it up all the time,” adds Russell. Russell moved to Arizona when he was a senior in high school and since college has worked with his brother. “He made me a partner when I was 19; I didn’t know he made me a partner, I think my father made him,” jokes Russell. That was 28 years ago, and today BNG Enterprises Inc. is a successful company offering herbal body cleanses, health supplements and specialty products available at many major retail outlets. Robin has had her own business ventures over the years including a baby clothing line she created when her two teens were toddlers. Now her focus is on City Trends (citytrendshop. com), a jewelry line that sports the tagline “Diamonds. With. Attitude.” Her home town had a store called City Trends that catered to young adults with fun, unique items. “I feel like every time I did well in school or deserved something, I made my mom take me to the store City Trends,” says Robin. When she was developing her jewelry line, a stranger bought a piece of jewelry off of her in a Target. “While I was driving home from Target I thought, ‘I have to tell my

husband – you’re not going to believe this, but I think I really want to pursue this,’ ” says Robin. “ ‘He said, Great!’ He supports me in anything I do.” She went on a buying trip to New York, and since coming back the company has taken off – although you won’t see her pieces in any stores. “I want to be unique,” says Robin. “I want to sell directly to my consumers and I want to know my customers. For me, customer service comes before the sale.” It’s important for Robin that her jewelry be affordable. Sometimes people are skeptical that the pieces contain real diamonds and gemstones, but she assures them they are real. “Here I have a product I feel is affordable, customizable and you can buy it for bat mitzvah gifts or something for that hard

person to buy for,” she says. Some of the items she makes herself. She finds it therapeutic and admits that creating jewelry often leads to other ideas. She often does her jewelry-making at the long wooden dining table with sweeping views of Camelback Mountain and her goldendoodles Whitney and Joey by her side. She admits the area is her favorite part of the house. It’s filled with light and adjoins the kitchen where the couple does a lot of entertaining. The family all love to play games, and Robin shares that she and Russell are “kids at heart.” They play ping pong almost every day and enjoy all the different activities that the property has to offer, from the sport court to the zip line. “We never have to leave – it’s all here.”

Robin's inspirational view where she creates. The family thoroughly enjoys the pickleball court and negative edge pool.



New medical breakthroughs give hope to cardiac patients By Dr. Rick Kirshner

tional Intrepid TMVR system. We’re pleased with the results so far, and we continue to seek new patients who might be a good fit for this procedure. Patients have changed, too, over the past two decades – they are more empowered. They’re taking advantage of our cardiac rehab services, they’re joining support groups and participating in our educational seminars to learn a healthier lifestyle. It’s encouraging to see because we can’t do this alone. Patients and their families must take an active role in controlling their health. We certainly have more work to do. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one in four deaths in the United States each year is from heart disease. We should all be alarmed by that. Thankfully, there are more breakthrough treatments on the horizon.

February is Heart Month and the perfect time to make a commitment to leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. Whether you or a loved one has heart disease, it’s a good time to educate yourself about resources to help minimize risk for a heart attack or stroke. It’s also timely to discuss medical breakthroughs that could extend and improve quality of life. Recently, my colleagues and I at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital celebrated the hospital’s 20th anniversary. So much has changed in the past two decades. For example, heart valve replacement Dr. Rick Kirshner was tricky for even the most precise surgeons 20 years ago. It’s exciting to see the breakthrough technology in this area and how it Dr. Rick Kirshner is Director of Cardiac Surgery at Abrazo Arizona Heart extends our patients’ quality of life. I’m particularly proud of Hospital. our involvement in a clinical study of a new therapy to control a heart condition called mitral regurgitation. It's a dysfunction of the heart valve that affects more than half of Americans, age 70 and older. The condition occurs when blood flows backward through the heart’s mitral valve. Left untreated, it could lead to heart failure or death. When: Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 pm Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is one of only a handful Where: JW Marriott at Desert Ridge Resort, hospitals in the world taking part in the new Apollo trial for 5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) therapy. I What: Featuring a live broadcast of a cardiac procedure, liken this breakthrough to Star Trek – It’s a game-changer for along with patient and physician storytelling, education patient care in that it reduces surgery time and recovery time about advanced cardiovascular techniques and innovative significantly. solutions, and a question-and-answer session with Abrazo Rather than cracking the chest open, stopping the heart and cardiovascular specialists. trying to repair the valve, we go through the apex of the heart Free health screenings beginning at 5 pm provided to the with a catheter and deliver the valve into the mitral position. first 50 people signing up onsite. Then we deploy a new valve. The entire process takes about 20 Information: This is a free event. Register at abrazohealth. minutes. com or call 877-934-9355. Our goal during this two-year clinical trial is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of replacing the valve using the investiga-

Abrazo Heart Health Public Forum


New singles group in the West Valley By Mala Blomquist

There’s a new singles group in the West Valley for ages 55 and older, and Helene Fox hopes it is as successful as the one she started in New York in 1991. “I started a Jewish singles group in Orange County, in upstate New York,” says Helene. “It went over really well – we had 150 members. In fact, I met my husband there.” From New York, the couple moved to San Diego where her husband, Adrian, worked as a research chemist. When he retired, they moved to Las Vegas, thinking it was a nice place to live. “I was wrong,” jokes Helene. “It was so transient, it was not a place I wanted to be,” she says. “We always loved the West and loved Arizona so we came out here and we found a home in Sun City. I’ve been there ever since and I love it here.” That was in 1999. Widowed in 2015, Helene decided at the end of 2018 it was time for her to do something different, so she got together with a few friends and decided to start a singles group. “I haven’t done the online dating thing,” she says. “I like my life right now, but I think it’s a good way for people to make new friends and enjoy themselves.” Their first event on Jan. 20 had a turnout of about 50 people. The meet and greet was held at Temple Beth Shalom where Helene works part-time as a bookkeeper. “You don’t have to be a member of Beth Shalom to be a member of this group,” says Helene. “All Jewish men and women age 55 and over are welcome.” The group is using Beth Shalom as a venue right now, rather than having to meet in people’s homes. At their first meeting, Helene asked people to list what activities they might participate in. She has come up with a few ideas like brunch, dances, mystery bus rides – some events she had success with when she ran the group in New York. “Our vision is to have a place where Jewish singles can meet and feel comfortable, make new friends and enjoy their life,” says Helene. Right now, the group does not have an official name, but for more information, contact Helene at hrfoxie@cox.net.

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Taking steps to prevent falls When you’re young, an injury from a fall may sideline you for a few days or weeks, but a full recovery is usually quick. As you get older, the consequences of falls can become more serious,

These steps from the experts at the National Council on Aging can help prevent falls:

setting up a sequence of events that can have longstanding implications on independence and health. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Although falls typical-


Exercise helps increase or maintain coordination and muscle

ly become more common and can be more serious as you age,

tone that can keep you steady on your feet and your reactions

falls are not a natural part of getting older. In fact, most falls are

sharp. Walking, gardening or taking an exercise class are just a

preventable. Knowing the factors that put you at greater risk of

few ways to keep your heart healthy and your muscles toned.

falling and taking proper steps can help prevent falls. Risk factors for falls in older people include overall health (chronic diseases and physical conditions), environment (hazards and situations at home) and behaviors, such as rushing around or standing on a chair to reach something. 42 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE



The better your overall health, the lower your risk of falls.

Chronic conditions like diabetes, depression, osteoarthri-

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Side effects from and interactions with some medications can cause dizziness that can increase the risk of falling. Types of medicine associated with an increased risk include sedatives and diuretics as well as those used to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about all

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Look around your home for potential hazards. Consider enlisting the help of a family member or neighbor who may be more likely to notice things you don’t. Install grab bars in your bathrooms, get rid of slippery throw rugs (or add a rubber backing) and keep passageways inside and outside your home well-lit and free from clutter and debris.

The buying process for our fleet and internet department is done at your speed. Our Fleet and Internet Managers will use their 15 years of experience to help answer all of your questions. This is a stress and hassle-free buying program and we are proud to help serve the local companies of Scottsdale and the sorrounding areas. Contact us today to get started.

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and teens too!

Shabbat Adventure with Friends connects Jewish families The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s PJ Library program is launching “My Shabbat Adventure with Friends,” a new program to help PJ Library families reach out to other families in the local Jewish community. Host families will commit to holding three Shabbat dinners for two to four families, inviting at least one family they are not well acquainted with or a family new to our community. Families are encouraged to organize additional play dates, outings or dinners, or to invite their Shabbat guests to other Jewish activities and events. My Shabbat Adventure with Friends is fully supported by the PJ Library program and sponsored by Marilyn Einstein and Steve Sim. All costs for challah, flowers, dinner and activities are covered, up to $150 per Shabbat. Each host family receives a PJ Library Shabbat Adventure Kit with a My Shabbat Adventure with Friends Shabbat Guide, Among items included with the kit are Shabbat candles, PJ Library blessing card, PJ Library tzedakah box and kindness cards, child’s kiddush cup and challah cover to decorate. Also, Shabbat placemats, a Bruchim Haba’im welcome sign to color and display, challah recipes, a box of Shabbat questions conversation starters and a Shabbat CD and more. The PJ Library staff and synagogue representatives in Southern Arizona choose host families, taking into consideration their physical location, willingness and ability to host other families. PJ Library is part of the community engagement department of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Support also comes from the Einstein-Sim family, the Loebl family, the Margolis family, the Rosenzweig family, the Viner family and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Loebl at pjlibrary@jfsa.org or 520-647-8443.


JKids & Teens Event Calendar ONGOING: Club J at the Valley of the Sun JCC Provides after-school programming ranging from sports to cooking and crafts to Israeli culture and more for those in K-8. Transportation from nearby schools available. Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, 12701 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480634-4949 or youth@vosjcc.org, vosjcc.org. J-Care After-School Program at the Tucson JCC Includes a variety of activities, Homework Hangout program (help from education specialists), arts, sports or teens can hang in the Youth Lounge. Bus transportation from schools available for K-12. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E River Road, Tucson. Contact Scott at 520-299-3000 ext. 256 or jcare@tucsonjcc.org, tucsonjcc.org. FEB. 1 Tot Shabbat at Congregation Anshei Israel, 5550 E 5th St., Tucson from 5:45 to 8 pm. Special Kabbalat Shabbat Service for young families to welcome the Sabbath with stories and songs, followed by kid-friendly Shabbat dinner. $25 per family (2 adults & up to 4 children). Additional adults $10 per person. RSVP to Kim, 520-745-5550 ext. 224 or edasst@caiaz.org. FEB. 2 Kids Night Out at Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 6 to 10 pm. Parents, enjoy a night out while kids grades K-4 have fun getting good and messy with hands-on experiments, slime, ooze and oodles of orbees. Members: $15; guests: $25, $5 more after 5 pm on Jan. 28, includes dinner, snacks, movie. Our last few KNOs have sold out so register today at vosjcc.org/ messyscience.  Tween Night Out at Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 6 to 10 pm. Tweens grades 5-8 cheer on our Phoenix Suns  as they take on the Atlanta Hawks! Game entry included, but tweens should bring money to for concessions and souvenirs. Members: $35; guests: $45, $5 more after 5 pm on Jan. 28, includes transportation, entry, dinner and all the fun. Register now at vosjcc.org/sunsgame.

FEB. 2, 9, 16 & 23 Camp Shabbat for ages 6-10 years at Congregation Bet Shalom, 3881 E. River Road, Tucson from 11 am to 1 pm. A wonderful, fun, learning experience with Israeli teens. Free. No RSVP required. For more information, call 520-577-1171 or rabbi@cbsaz.org. FEB. 3 Music, Memories & Mitvahs at Congregation Chofetz Chayim, 5150 E. Fifth St., Tucson from 11 am to noon. The congregation is looking for Jewish boys and girls of all backgrounds to join Rabbi Becker for a fun-filled experience that incorporates songs, stories and learning about Jewish life and celebrations in conjunction with bringing joy to the elderly. For more information, visit tucsontorah.org. World Wide Wrap at Congregation Anshei Israel, 5550 E. Fifth St., Tucson from 9 to 11 am. For this annual event, we will join the Religious School for Minyan and model for them how to wrap tefillin. Then fourth, fifth and sixth graders and their parents are invited to share a delicious breakfast buffet at no charge and the students will present what they learned about tefillin. No charge for Men’s Club members or religious school guests; all others $4 per person. For more information, visit caiaz.org. FEB. 4 Creation Storytime at the Chandler Public Library, Sunset Branch, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Join the Early Childhood Learning Center at the EVJCC for stories, songs and crafts. Free and open to the public. RSVP to pam@evjcc.org. FEB. 8 Family Shabbat Dinner at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 6 to 8 pm. Celebrate Shabbat with your family and friends at The J with candle lighting, dinner, kids activities and more! Members: $18; guests: $25 per person. Children under 3 free. No walk-ups, preregistration required at vosjcc.org/shabbat. Tot Kabbalat Shabbat in the Foothills at Congregation Beit Simcha, 3001 E. Skyline Road #117, Tucson at 5:30 pm. Join our first Tot Kabbalat Shabbat in the Foothills at 5:30 pm, and then our main service at 6:30 pm

as we celebrate Shabbat in our beautiful new sanctuary. For more information, visit beitsimchatucson.org. FEB. 10 Summer Camp: Rimon Gadol Open House at East Valley JCC, 908 N. Alma School Road, Chandler from 2 to 4 pm. It’s not too early to start thinking about summer camp. Come learn what they have planned for summer 2019. For more information, visit evjcc.org. Sunday Funday: Fun with Colors at Pardes Jewish Day School, 12753 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Join the Valley of the Sun’s Early Childhood Center for tons of colorful fun. ECC Families: Free; guests: $5 per family of four. Register at 480659-7769 or earlychildhood@vosjcc.org. FEB. 15 Family Shabbat at Congregation Or Chadash, 3939 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Join in a Shabbat celebration for the whole family followed by a kid-friendly oneg. For more information, visit octucson.org. Shabbat Rocks at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road, Tucson from 5:30 to 6 pm. Enjoy the vening service with Rabbi Appel, Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg, the Avanim band, youth choir and third grade students. For more information, contact 520327-4501. FEB. 18 Kids in the Kitchen at Chabad of the East Valley, 875 N. McClintock Dr., Chandler at 12:15 pm. Children in grades 1-6 will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves, cook, bake, and decorate fabulous foods, take home their own handmade creations and collect delicious recipes in their own recipe book. $12/per class, RSVP to youth@chabadcenter. com. School’s Out Day at The J at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 9 am to 3 pm. No school? No worries! We have lots of camp-style fun with sports, crafts, games, swim and more! Grades K-4. Extended am and pm care available. For details and registration, visit vosjcc.org/ schoolsoutcamp. JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 45


AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich: Defender of Israel By Mala Blomquist

Attorney General Mark Brnovich had never visited Israel until last year – and he ended up going twice (at no taxpayer expense). His first trip was in July 2018 where he attended the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue in Jerusalem. His second trip was in November when he was invited to speak at a cybersecurity and fintech conference in Tel Aviv. The term fintech, a portmanteau of “financial technology,” describes new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. Arizona recently passed a fintech bill, creating a “regulatory sandbox.” The “sandbox” essentially allows the AG’s office, to allow a company to prove whether or not their particular fintech program or service will work – without regulation for up to two years. They are able to test with consumers and determine whether or not they can launch, then grow and prosper as a business. “I always tell people the next great invention that may protect consumers or help consumers is something that may not have been invented yet, and we don’t want government or regulators standing in the way,” says Brnovich. “We are trying to balance protecting consumers and making sure that if people break the law there are consequences, but at the same time we don’t want to stifle innovation.” Israel is one of the leaders in the world right now for the fintech industry, so it was appropriate for them to host the conference. When Brnovich attended the previous conference during the summer, he only had one day to do some sightseeing, so when he returned in the fall, he knew he wanted to visit 46 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

more of the country. “We made some arrangements through Jewish National Fund and some other folks, even the consulate’s office,” says Brnovich. He and his group were able to visit many areas along the southern border including Sderot, Kibbutz Shalom and they also took a behind-the-scenes City of David tour. “We met with some of the foreign ministry officials to talk about what we are doing (toward) defending our anti-BDS law,” he says. At the end of September 2018, citing First Amendment violations, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the state’s 2016 anti-BDS law. The law specifically bars public agencies from entering into contracts with companies unless they provide written certification that they are not and will not engage in a boycott of Israel. After the judge’s ruling, the attorney general immediately started the appeals process. “That’s something that this office is very committed to defending – all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court,” says Brnovich. “It’s something that’s not going away, and something that’s very important. We are committed to defending the will of the lawmakers. As I’ve said to folks both here and in Israel, it’s the legally right thing to do – but it’s also the morally right thing to do.” Brnovich has been a long-time proponent of Israel in his personal life; now he has a chance to do it in his public life as well. He has read a lot about the history of the country, and there were many places he knew he wanted to visit. On this last trip, he got to check some of them off his list.

During the City of David tour, Brnovich gained a deeper appreciation for the archeological preservation going on in Israel. “You go to Jerusalem today and whether you’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim – whatever your faith is – those sacred sites of all the religions are being preserved and protected,” he says. “I didn’t fully appreciate that until I got there – what a great job they are doing.” The attorney general had a small-world moment when he visited the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, located less than a

AG Brnovich on Arizona's anti-BDS law: "As I’ve said to folks both here and in Israel, it’s the legally right thing to do – but it’s also the morally right thing to do."

From left, Jason Isaak (campaign staffer), Joseph Sciarrotta, Jr. (deputy division chief counsel) and AG Brnovich inside the Sderot Playground.

AG Brnovich looking from an observation tower near Black Arrow along the Gaza border.

AG Brnovich with Shahar Hermelin (Director of Tourism, JNF) outside the Sderot Playground.

mile from Gaza. Jewish National Fund built the 21,000-squarefoot secure indoor playground and community center in 2009. Inside the music room at the center, there was a photograph on the wall of his University of San Diego School of Law professor, C. Hugh Friedman, z”l, playing the clarinet. The plaque below read, “In Loving Memory of C. Hugh Friedman, a loved and admired gentleman, respected author, inspirational professor, renowned lawyer and legal scholar and a really cool musician!” “I thought what a small world, this guy taught me business law 25-30 years ago and now I’m sitting in some room halfway

across the world looking at a picture of him and how he helped create this music room,” says Brnovich. But then the light-hearted mood turned somber when the realization hit him of having to raise your children in an area where an indoor playground is a necessity. “Image growing up in an environment where people are firing rockets at you and you have 15 seconds – it makes me emotional even thinking about it right now – just 15 seconds to make a decision whether you go in the shelter,” he says. “Fifteen seconds – a life or death decision.” Brnovich admits that he thinks quite a bit about something an Israeli friend told him. “If the Palestinians gave up their arms, there would be no more war in the Middle East. If Israel gave up theirs, there would be no more Israel.” “People forget that Israel is surrounded by bigger enemies that are sworn to destroy it,” says Brnovich. “So when we reach a point, hopefully in the near future, when its neighbors recognize its sovereignty and its right to exist, then maybe the Israelis can start laying down some of their arms. “Until that day happens, they have to be prepared,” he says.


L iving


The JWV Copper State Post 619 anniversary celebration committee. Back Row, from left, Joyce Spartonos, Shirley Gersten, Lee Ross and Glenda Warshaw. Front Row, from left, Myra Buckner, Adrian Bendick, co-chair and Nancy Stutman, co-chair. Not pictured: Carole Pessin, Shelly Henden, Viv Sloane and Gabe Forsberg

JWV Post 619 celebrates 25 years of supporting local veterans Copper State Post 619 of the Jewish War

Veterans will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gala luncheon at 11:30 am, Sunday,

April 7 at Oakwood Country Club, 24218 S.

Oakwood Blvd., Sun Lakes. The event will pay tribute to the devoted, hardworking members of the JWV Copper State Post 619 who for

says Leo Pessin, JWV Post 619 commander.

“We look forward to honoring our dedicated

volunteers including several charter members

at the luncheon, along with the amazing work of some very special organizations.”

The luncheon will feature brief presentations

the past 12 years have donated an average of

from 10 veterans’ organizations supported by

support veterans.

ans Stand Down Alliance, American Service

$34,000 annually to local organizations that “It is part of our mission to fund Arizona


organizations which support all veterans,”

the JWV Post. These include Arizona VeterAnimal Society, Veterans Furniture Center,

Veteran Tickets Foundation (VetTix), Unified Arizona Vet-

erans, Catholic Charities MANA House, U.S. Vets – Grand

Avenue, Veterans First LTD, the VA Medical Center and the Arizona State Veteran Home.

Local companies and individuals are supporting the event by

sponsoring tables for each of the veterans organizations. Sponsors include Foothills Physical Therapy, Precious Elements,

Renaissance, Coolidge Law Firm, Energy Savings Group Inc., Sante, Hospice of the Valley, East Valley Jewish Community Center, Sun Lakes Chandler Animal Clinic and Associated Internists of Ahwatukee.

Tickets for the luncheon are $35 payable to JWV Copper

State Post 619. The luncheon includes a choice of prime rib, grilled salmon or a vegetarian option. To purchase tickets

contact Adrian Bendick at 480-510-1733. Tickets must be purchased by March 25.

JWV Post 619 members participate in philanthropic activ-

ities to help Jewish and non-Jewish veterans. During the past 25 years, JWV Post 619 has held parties at the U.S. Veterans Home and VA Hospital, served refreshments at VA clinics,

supported Fisher House in Tucson, refurbished rooms at the

Arizona State Veteran Home, and sold poppies at supermarkets to support hospitalized and homeless veterans. They’ve

also supported veterans who’ve returned from the Middle East with significant problems, and purchased a van and bicycles to assist veterans in getting to the VA Hayden Hospital. Support is provided to veterans of all religions and beliefs.

The Copper State JWV Post 619 was re-established on

Aug.24, 1994, by a group of 13 Jewish veterans and patrons living in Sun Lakes. It grew out of an original East Valley

chapter chartered in 1985 that was only active for a few years. JWV dates back to 1896 when a group of Jewish Civil War

Veterans organized the Hebrew Union Veterans, an organization that later became the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. It is the oldest Congressionally chartered veterans’ organization in the United States.

Post membership is open to both Jewish veterans and

patrons. Patron status may be designated to both veterans and non veterans of other religions. For membership information, please contact Bob Brooks 480-558-1822 or Ron Siegel 480-773-6461.

FEDERATION NOTES A Season of Hope By Marty Haberer As things began to turn in Germany in the 1930s, both sets of my grandparents made the brave decision to leave behind their homes and all they knew to start anew in America. This past summer, as part of the Federation mission to Berlin and Budapest, I was the first member of my family to travel back to Germany. In Berlin, I felt sadness at the unfathomable hatred and brutality that occurred in the not-so-distant past. I was also comforted to see Germans and Germany are accepting responsibility for their past and how they are living with that history. With a population of 175,000 Jews, many that were refugees from the former Soviet Union, Germany is now one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the world – an outcome I suspect Hitler did not anticipate. During our MEGA event on March 7, we are welcoming actor, producer, director and best-selling author Henry Winkler. Like my family, his parents emigrated from Berlin in 1939, a decision that likely saved their lives. From his iconic role on “Happy Days,” to his current Emmy-award winning role on “Barry,” Winkler has thrived. In addition to the keynote by Winkler, violins from the Holocaust will play musical selections from Jewish Broadway and film at MEGA. Each violin has its own unique and inspiring story. They are part of “Violins of Hope,” a community collaboration of music, education and exhibition that educates both young and old about the Holocaust in a deeply personal and emotional way. I am pleased that our Federation helped bring “Violins of Hope” to our community and that we are recognizing one of the women who, with Rachel Hoffer, worked tirelessly to bring it to Greater Phoenix, Julee Landau Shahon. At MEGA, she will receive our highest recognition, the Medal of Honor. Like our Jewish community, our pasts and presents weave together, often in ways we do not even see. But, together we are stronger. I invite you to attend MEGA and hear about the work Federation is doing on behalf of Jews in need here, in Israel and around the world. I also invite you to attend the amazing events surrounding the “Violins of Hope” this month and next, for this is truly a season of remembrance and hope. Learn more at jewishphoenix.org/mega2019 and violinsofhopephoenix.com. Marty Haberer is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 49

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MAGICAL EVENING – On Jan. 15, Jewish National Fund hosted an event, “The Magic of the Negev Desert: From East to West and Everything in Between.”

RIBBON CUTTING – On Jan. 21, Michael Pollack cut the ribbon on the brand new Daniel Pollack Playground located at the Chandler Jewish Preschool. From left, Rabbi Mendy Deitsch, Michael Pollack and Cheryl Pollack.

GRAND SHABBAT – Harold and Linda Mann had a wonderful time visiting with grandson Benjamin Strite during the Valley of Sun JCC Early Childhood Center’s recent Grandparent Shabbat. More than 200 guests celebrated with music, songs and lots of fun.

ABOVE From left, Jami Schulman, Susan Farber, JNF AZ Board President and Sandy Rife BELOW From left, Caryn Fisch, Judy Bassett and Jody Bartel, event host ABOVE From left, Carol Knoppow, Cindy Saperstein and Toni Dusik

NIGHT OUT – Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley, Or Tzion and Beth El all joined together for a night out at Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo. The kids participated in a scavenger hunt competition. 50 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

BELOW From left, Itzik Becher, JNF major gifts director, Roma Witcoff and Michal Uziyahu (JNF Liaison from Gaza Envelope/Negev Region)


TU B’SHEVAT CELEBRATION –Kids, parents and grandparents celebrated Tu B'Shevat with PJ Library of Southern Arizona.

MAHJ ON – More than 70 women got their “mahj on” at the Mahj, Mojitos and Mitzvahs event on Jan. 9 hosted by JFSA’s Women’s Philanthropy Young Women’s Cabinet.

GALA EVENT – More than 700 guests attended the Valley of the Sun JCC gala honoring Sue and Bud Selig on Dec. 8 at the Arizona Biltmore. The evening raised more than $2.2 million for The J and its programs.

Jay Leno with Rachel Hoffer and immediate past J board chair Jonathan Hoffer

Honorees Sue and Bud Selig accept the inaugural William S. Levine Family Community Excellence Award

Emcee Bob Uecker has a little fun with Bill Levine, presenter of the inaugural William S. Levine Family Community Excellence Award

Ed Gorman, Gail Flinn, Sheila Cohn, Matthew Cohn and Andrew Cohn enjoy mixing and mingling

Rachel Hoffer presents the Maya Schulder Rising Star Award to her sister Sara Schneider

Acclaimed late night-show television host, stand-up comedian and bestselling author, Jay Leno, provided lots of laughs as the evening’s featured entertainment

William S. Levine Family Community Excellence Award honoree Bud Selig shares a few laughs with emcee and longtime friend Bob Uecker


L iving



This Valentine’s Day, love - and flavor - is in the air at Arizona’s authentic New York City deli, Chompie’s. It was 40 years ago that the Borenstein Family — Lou & Lovey and their children, Wendy, Mark and Neal — ventured west to bring classic family recipes from Queens, New York to Phoenix, Arizona. Fulfilling their dream to start a business, Chompie’s Bagel Factory was born on February 14th, 1979 in a strip mall at 32nd Street and Shea, and the rest is delicious history. Chompie’s truly loves their customers and to thank them for forty years of good times and great eating, they’re spreading that love with special anniversary deals. • Beginning Feb. 1 and for a limited time, get a $10 Chompie’s gift card if you spend $50 or more on mouthwatering food from Chompie’s flavor-filled menu. This offer does not include catering.

PREVIEWS engage the participants and stimulate their minds and bodies. Socialization is a key component to the cafés, as they are meant to be a place to relax, meet others and have fun. Coffee and snacks are provided. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. To register or for further information, contact Kathy Rood at 602-452-4627 or Kathy.rood@ jfcsaz.org.


• On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the first forty customers at each location will receive a FREE Early Riser breakfast sandwich (which are 40% off the rest of the day) plus they’ll also feature a special 40th Anniversary menu with deep discounts on Chompie’s family favorites. For forty years, Chompie’s has been putting the deli in DELIcious and on the day to celebrate love – Valentine’s Day – they invite customers to help them mark 40 years of delivering authentic New York City favor to the Valley of the Sun.

For the third year the Weintraub Israel Center, in collaboration with Tucson’s congregations and agencies will bring the Shinshinim L’Tucson program to the Tucson community. Shinshinim is an acronym for shnat sherut, meaning year of service. The Program brings recent high school graduates from Israel to nurture close relationships with their host community in Tucson. Join shinshiniyot, Ron and Rotem, and Amir Eden, director of the Weintraub Israel Center for Havdalah on Feb. 9 at the Ruth and Irving Olson Center for Jewish Life at 190 W. Magee Road #162 in Tucson from 6:30 to 8 pm. For more information, contact the center at 520505-4161 or RSVP at jfsa. org/nwhavdalah



• On Wednesday, Feb. 13, stop by any of Chompie’s five Valley locations and save 40% off a Bagel Box (thirteen signature bagels and two half-pound containers of cream cheese).

Jewish Family & Children’s Service presents its monthly Memory Café on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Beth El Congregation, 1118 W. Glendale Ave. in Phoenix, from 10 to 11:30 am. February’s special guest artist is Michael Brace, who plays guitar and invites everyone to sing along with him. “It’s a treat to have Michael with us,” says Kathy Rood, JFCS senior services coordinator. “He is a great fit for our Café, He has a terrific voice, knows the kind of music our participants like to hear, and even projects the words so all can easily sing-along.” The Café is a meeting place for those with changes in their thinking or memory, mild cognitive impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder, along with their care partners. Offered on the first Thursday of the month, each Café has a new theme and includes meaningful, fun activities to Michael Brace 52 FEBRUARY 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Tucson Shinshiniyot, Rotem and Ron.

The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation presents “Fried Chicken & Latkes” with Rain Pryor on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Leo Rich Theater at 260 S. Church Ave. in Tucson. Rain Pryor This one-woman show looks at the hilarious and heartwrenching story of growing up Black and Jewish in a politically incorrect era. Rain Pryor is the daughter of comedian Richard Pryor and a Jewish onetime go-go dancer turned astronomer. She was raised in Beverly Hills in a biracial household. Directed by Eve Brandstein, the show premiered at the Jewish Women’s Theatre in Los Angeles. Preferred seating will be set up on a first-paid basis by category; tickets start at $180. Your contribution supports Hillel’s Annual Campaign. Enjoy the evening knowing that your donation helps build a vibrant, meaningful, diverse, empowered Jewish community at the University of Arizona by assisting Wildcats on their Jewish journeys. For more information, visit uahillel.org or contact hillelarizona@gmail.com.


The 29th Annual Brandeis National Committee, Phoenix Chapter Book & Author Luncheon will take place on Friday, March 1 from 9 am to 3:30 pm. The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa at 6902 E. Greenway Parkway in Scottsdale will be the location for this stellar panel of five bestselling authors. The 2019 panel features Marie Benedict (The Only Woman in the Room), Matti Friedman (Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel), Ann Hood (Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food), Tim Johnston (The Current) and Matthew Quirk (The Night Agent). The Moderator for this event will be Lindsey Reiser, CBS 5 News. Proceeds from the event, Brandeis Phoenix Chapter’s major fundraiser, will benefit the Magnify the Mind Campaign to purchase a 2-photon microscope to advance neuroscience research at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The attendees at the luncheon will have an opportunity to meet and listen to the authors, purchase books and have them personalized. An added attraction for this event is the presence of more than a dozen vendors at the Boutiques section, which is open to the public. Tickets to the Book & Author Luncheon are $135. For more information, contact Carol Abrams, publicity chair at 480-382-4494 or bncphxba2019pr@gmail.com.

FEBRUARY CALENDAR Throughout Feb. Chompie’s Restaurants Celebrate 40 Years in Business. See page 52.

Through March 10 Jersey Boys at Phoenix Theatre, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Times vary. “Jersey Boys” tells the rags-to-riches story of how four boys from New Jersey became a legendary sensation. Get behind the music and experience this Tony Award-winning true-life musical phenomenon! For ticket information, visit phoenixtheatre.com.

Feb. 1

MEGA 2019 FEATURES HENRY WINKLER Emmy-award winning actor Henry Winkler will be the keynote speaker at MEGA 2019 presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. The event also features remarks by Roman Polonsky from The Jewish Agency for Israel, and musical selections from Jewish Broadway and film performed with the “Violins of Hope.” The event will be held at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas at 6333 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale starting at 7pm. $150 couvert per person; special opportunities available for major donors. For more information, visit jewishphoenix.org/mega2019.

Brighter Tomorrow Luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix at 11 am. The event will showcase Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s impact on the well-being of the almost 50,000 people, including children, adults and families, the organization serves across the Valley. For more information, visit jfcsaz.org.

Feb. 3-March “Violins of Hope” at various locations throughout the state. A twomonth event that includes exhibits, lectures, concerts and educational programs. This is the first and largest collaboration of nonprofit organizations to be implemented throughout the state. Many events are free or low-cost to encourage participation. For more information, visit violinsofhopephoenix.com. JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2019 53


Feb. 10-24

Current Events Discussion Group at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 2 to 3:30 pm. Bill Adler leads stimulating discussion each month on current events. Bring your ideas to share with the group. Free. For more information, contact Harriet at 480-481-7033 or harrietc@vosjcc.org.

Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival. See page 34.

It’s Not Just Lunch at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from noon to 1:30 pm. Great food, speaker and new topics each month. Enjoy a full kosher lunch and stay for our Discussion Group at 2pm. In partnership with Smile on Seniors. Suggested donation: $5. For information, contact Chani at 602-492-7670 or chani@sosaz.org.

Feb. 7 Sing Along with Memory Café. See page 52.

Feb. 8 Women’s Spa Day at Spa Lamar at 5115 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 9 am to 12:30 pm. Features spa treatment, Family Purity Workshop and brunch. For more information, visit cbtaz.org. Shabbat Dinner and Lecture at Congregation Beth Tefillah, 6529 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale at 5:45 pm. Welcome Shabbat with song, joy and inspiration. Guest speaker Devora Goldberg will present “Rekindling Your Flame of Love: A Deeper Look at the Beauty of a Jewish Marriage.” For more information and to RSVP, visit cbtaz.org.

Feb. 9 Meet the Shinshiniyot Havdalah. See page 52.

Feb. 10 Limmud AZ at ASU Conference Center at Memorial Union, 301 Orange Mall, Tempe from 9 am to 4 pm. Limmud AZ is a gathering of hundreds of Jews from all walks of life, all Jewish backgrounds, all lifestyles and all ages that offers a full schedule of workshops, discussions, arts, music, performances, text-study sessions, and much more – all planned by your Limmud AZ community of volunteers. For more information or to register, visit limmudaz.org.


Feb. 12 Arizona Kicks on Route 66 with Marshall Shore at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 11 am to noon. Enjoy Shore’s storytelling magic as he brings to life the history of Route 66, its impact during its during its prime, and how the new interstate drew life from the road and its towns. Members: $5; guests: $15. Register at vosjcc.org/route66. Discussion with the Rabbi at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 11 am to noon. Gather together with Rabbi Levi Levertov for a stimulating discussion on an issue relevant to Judaism in contemporary society. Bring your questions; he has answers! In partnership with Smile on Seniors. Free. For information, contact Chani at 602-492-7670 or chani@sosaz.org.

Feb. 14 Interactive Genealogy Workshop at Jewish History Museum, 564 S. Stone Ave., Tucson from 10:30 am to noon. Open to beginners who are interested in starting their Jewish genealogy research. $10; registration required at least two days prior. For more information, or to register, visit jewishhistorymeuseum.org/events.

Feb. 15 Abrazo Heart Health Public Forum. See page 40.

investing in future generations. L’Door V’Dor is a play on the Hebrew saying L’Dor V’Dor, meaning “from generation to generation.” The 1969-themed evening includes dinner, dancing, a 50/50 raffle, and the dedication of the Susan & Saul Tobin History Hall. Memories and photos from community members will be shared throughout the night. $69 per person by Feb. 4 ($79 per person after Feb. 4). For more information, visit caiaz.org.

Feb. 18 Man of the Mountains at Buffalo Collection, 7044 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Meet the artist and artist reception for internationally collected, extremely talented, self-taught painter Dan Deuter. Dan is a painter, mountain man and historian. For more information, visit buffalocollection.com.

Feb. 19 Art Appreciation at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 11am to noon. Share the world of art with docents from the Phoenix Art Museum. This month, explore ‘Postal Art.’ Free. For more information, contact Harriet at 480-481-7033 or harrietc@vosjcc.org.

Feb. 21 Mature Mavens Dinner at 5 pm. Make new friends as you meet for dinner and socialize. Dinner is separate checks. Please contact Bunnye at 602371-3744 for our current schedule of restaurants and reserve your place.

Lunch & Learn with Author Adena J. Astrowsky at the Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Join author Adena Astrowsky as she shares her grandmother's remarkable life, a Holocaust survivor. Dessert included. Bring a daily lunch or stop by milk+honey espresso bar & eatery for take-out. Members: $5; guests: $15. Registration is required at vosjcc.org/adena.

Feb. 22

Feb. 16

March 1

Fried Chicken & Latkes. See page 53.

NowGen Shabbat Hop at Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale from 6:15 to 9 pm. The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s NowGen is hosting its Shabbat Hop for young adults in partnership with CBI. Dinner immediately follows Shabbat services. Free, but registration required at jewishphoenix.org/ shabbathop.

Annual Brandeis Book & Author Luncheon. See page 53

Feb. 17 “L’Door V’Dor” 50 Years on 5th Street Come Together Gala at Congregation Anshei Israel, 5550 E. Fifth St., Tucson from 6 to 9 pm. This special event will honor those who opened Congregation Anshei Israel’s doors and those

March 7 MEGA 2019. See page 53.



Closing Concerts

MARCH 19, 2019 | 7:30PM

MARCH 23, 2019 | 8PM

Honoring Holocaust Survivors and Those Who Perished SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS BOX OFFICE: 480-499-8587

Music and stories combine to express the themes of spirit, resistance, resilience, and hope. Featuring guest artists, Violinists Gil Sharon and David Ehrlich, Pianist Teresa Ehrlich and Clarinetist, Nikola Djurica will accompany the Red Rocks String musicians in a program featuring Klezmer, Classical and inspirational music selection. With Lin Sue Cooney as emcee and special guests, Violins of Hope Co-Founder Avshi Weinstein and local survivor, Charlotte Adelman.


Meet the artists at a dessert reception immediately following the concert.

MARCH 24, 2019 | 6PM ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER PLANETARIUM BOX OFFICE: 602-716-2000 “Shalom Shanghai” is an original theatrical concert based on the memoirs of Jewish musicians who escaped Nazi Germany and found refuge in Shanghai during World War II. Created and produced by Xiang Gao, a worldrenowned Chinese American musician and the founding director of the University of Delaware (UD) Master Players Concert Series and Festival.

For a complete listing of events and to purchase tickets, please visit violinsofhopephoenix.com


Profile for JewishLifeMagazine

Arizona Jewish Life February 2019 Vol. 7/Issue 4  

Arizona Jewish Life February 2019 Vol. 7/Issue 4