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Righting a historic wrong Dignity for survivors

WEDDINGS Our traditions • new • old • borrowed • blue

¡Americano! takes the stage


Jeweler Freida Rothman links her past with her future

CON T E N T S Arizona Jewish Life February 2020 Shevat-Adar 5780 Volume 8/Issue 4



FEATURES COVER STORY Love Knots: Jeweler Freida Rothman links her past with her future


BUSINESS Biz Ins & Outs


FRONT & CENTER Jonathan Rosenberg’s second act Born in the Shadow of Death Spring Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival

44 46 47

FOOD Chocolate Fondue


ACTIVELY SENIOR Helping to Right a Historic Wrong 5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

50 52





WEDDINGS Tradition! 5 tips to enhance your wedding décor Know yourself… in relationships Wedding dress trends for the new decade As the saying goes… Jewish Marriage University

22 24 28 30 38 43

JLIVING MEGA 2020 Previews Face & Places

54 56 58 FEBRUARY 2020

Righting a historic wrong Dignity for survivors

WEDDINGS Our traditions • new • old • borrowed • blue

COVER Ganit is wearing a dress by Enzoani

¡Americano! takes the stage


Jeweler Freida Rothman links her past with her future



FEBRUARY 2020 Arizona Jewish Life • Shevat-Adar 5780 • Volume 8/Issue 4



Cindy Salt zman

602-538-A ZJL (2955)

A DV E R TI S I N G A N D E D ITO R I A L D I R EC TO R Cindy Salt zman

E D ITO R- I N - C H I E F Mala Blomquis t


ART DIREC TOR Tamara Kopper

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sharon Gelbach Dorice Horens tein

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2020-2021 MediaPort LLC All rights reserved The content and opinions in Arizona Jewish Life do not necessarily reflec t those of the publishers, staf f or contrac tors. Ar ticles and columns are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Although ever y ef for t is made to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, Arizona Jewish Life, and its agents, publishers, employees and contrac tors will not be held responsible for the misuse of any information contained herein. The publishers reser ve the right to refuse any adver tisement. Publication of adver tisements does not constitute endorsement of produc ts or ser vices.





ebruary is here, and so is our wedding issue. We have included a special section on weddings and marriage for eight years. This year we tried to freshen it up a bit. We hope you like it.

If you would like to share your marriage or wedding story with us, how you met, marriage advice (c’mon, how often do you get to give marriage advice), or a few photos, we would love to receive them and share in next month’s issue and social media. Please send it to Mala at editor@azjewishlife.com. Nationally known jewelry designer Freida Rothman is the subject of our feature story. Freida ’s beautiful designs are all about empowering women and finding beauty in everything. As the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, her life and inspiration for her newest passion project has been informed by their stories and strengths. Thank you for reading, following and supporting us. To stay tuned to upcoming events, as well as highlights of past events, please subscribe to our weekly Happenings e-newsletter here.   And don't forget to check out our other themed e-newsletters at the same time.  Thank you for reading, engaging, emailing and following us on social media. We don't take it for granted.

Subscriptions: azjewishlife.com/ magazine-subscription Newsletter: azjewishlife.com, click on “Subscribe Now!” Facebook: @AZJewishLife Twitter: @JewishLifeNow Instagram: @JEWISHLIFENOW Call: 602-538-AZJL (2955) 8 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Email us: publisher@azjewishlife.com







We received such a great response to our cover story in our November/December issue called “Tikkun Olam Top 10” that featured unsung heroes, influencers and change makers in our community. Since there are so many out there making a difference, we figured why wait until the end of the



year to celebrate them. We have decided to introduce a new feature: Change Maker Monthly. Each month we will shine the spotlight on a different person in the community that you have recommended. To submit someone you think is worthy of the title, send us a few lines about this special person and why they should be featured, along with a photo. You can even suggest yourself! Please send the information to editor@azjewishlife.com. Full disclosure – don’t be shy. We will be posting the monthly winner’s photo and info on Facebook and in our Happenings e-newsletter.


What's the deal with

Arizona Jewish Life aka azjewishlife.com? Not sure you are ready for the change? We had to grow up sometime, right?

azjewishlife.com is

Digital, interactive, and spontaneous Positive, contemporary, inclusive and accessible


We are

Your tribe with a new vibe For the unkosher and kosher For the '' I know all the prayer ''Jews to the ''barely there'' Jews For the ''bagels are my Judaism'' Jews To the ''my gefilte fish is to die for'' Jews For the ''I've never met a Jew" to the ''newly minted'' Jews

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YOUR Jewish Life We've got you covered




Carlos Galindo-Elvira

Alma Hernandez

Steve Brass

Julia Miessner

Flying Aprons

Carlos Galindo-Elvira’s new role at Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Steve Brass publishes new book on self defense

Carlos Galindo-Elvira is the new director of community engagement and partnerships at Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. in Phoenix Chicanos Por La Causa was founded in 1969 and is one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country, promoting stronger and healthier communities throughout the southwestern United States. Prior to joining CPLC Carlos was the Arizona regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, where he was responsible for fundraising, program delivery, leadership development, communications and government relations to advance the ADL’s mission of protecting the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment for all. Carlos’ impact on human rights began as a councilperson, then Mayor, in his hometown of Hayden, Arizona, a small mining town with a population of about 900. There he sponsored and wrote anti-discrimination legislation, support for a paid Martin Luther King Day Jr. holiday, and popular vote of the town’s Mayor. cplc.org

Steve Brass, a Tucson-based personal safety specialist and certified use of force instructor. He has studied a variety of martial arts, including karate, kick boxing, Systema and aikido. Author of the landmark book, Fearless Living, and president of Link to Life Seminars Inc. a medical emergency training business, that has trained over 450,000 people, Steve is also certified as a “use of force” trainer. A system used by police, military and security professionals around the world. Steve has published a new book, Self Defense for Busy People. A straight-forward real-world roadmap to protect you from the “ugly.” Through dozens of examples, stories and strategies you will gain a refreshing new insight to defend yourself at home, on the street, at work, in your car and when travelling. Self Defense for Busy People is available from Amazon or by emailing streetsmartdefense@gmail.com. streetsmartdefense.net

Alma Hernandez makes Machers and Shakers list State Rep. Alma Hernandez was named to The Forward’s list of 50 “Machers and Shakers Who Influenced, Intrigued and Inspired Us This Year.” Hernandez also was appointed this month to be the Young Democrats of America Jewish Caucus Southwest regional director. This is the 26th anniversary of the list and in previous years, the Forward 50 attempted to collect the most influential Jews of the year. This year, the Forward editors wrote, “we aimed to go a bit beyond the headlines to find influential, intriguing and, yes, inspiring characters you might not know much about.” almaforarizona.org 12 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Julia Miessner named shareholder at BeachFleischman Julia Miessner, CPA, ABV, CFF, CGMA was recently named shareholder and practice leader for the Financial Forensics and Valuation Services Group of BeachFleischman PC. She has more than 23 years of public accounting experience with a diverse background in audit, accounting, tax and litigation. Since 2002, Julia has specialized in the area of financial forensics and litigation support services. Julia has authored numerous reports and provided testimony as an expert witness in connection with various civil litigation cases involving marital dissolution, probate and trust accounting issues, lost profits and economic damages, and business valuation. Julia has also conducted investigations involving allegations of financial mismanagement and fraud in connection with civil and criminal cases. Julia is a certified public accountant, accredited in business valuation, certified in financial forensics

Jessielyn Hirschl

and a chartered global management accountant. beachfleischman.com

Flying Aprons opens in Tucson Flying Aprons Tucson, a new cooking school with classes taught by Southern Arizona chefs, officially launched on Sunday, Jan. 19, at Open House at Cook Tucson at 1702 N. Stone Ave., the demonstration kitchen where classes are held. Most classes are about two-and-a-half-hours long and will cost about $69 per class. All classes include a cooking demonstration taught by a local chef and will give the student hands-on experience. Flying Aprons will be supplying all the materials needed to participate. Miriam Nickerson, a volunteer for Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and Michele Schulze, a long-time Tucsonan, are the principals. Flying Aprons will offer classes for adults, couples, teens, and kids, including weekend classes for families, summer camps, and special events such as birthday parties and corporate team building. flyingapronstucson.com

Jessielyn Hirschl joins Jewish Free Loan Jessielyn Hirschl is the new marketing communications manager at Jewish Free Loan where she will implement marketing, public relations and advertising activities that enhance fundraising efforts and coordinate community outreach activities and programs. Jessielyn is a graduate Muhlenberg College, a private liberal arts college in Allentown, PA. Her past positions have included manager of operations support at TEKsystems, director of youth engagement at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale and IACT coordinator for campus engagement at Arizona State University Hillel Jewish Student Center. jewishfreeloan.org

HAVE BUSINESS NEWS TO SHARE? Send your "Biz Ins" to editor@azjewishlife.com





LOVE KNOTS Jeweler Freida Rothman links her past with her future By Mala Blomquist FREIDA ROTHMAN is a nationally known jewelry designer whose jewelry is sold across the country at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and independently owned jewelry stores. She designs every piece that bears her name and wants the wearer to be reminded of her inner strength when they put on a piece of her jewelry. Her #GRITtoGLAM hashtag on Instagram symbolizes more than just the mantra behind her designs. It’s a nod to the life that her grandparents created, all four Holocaust survivors, when they came to Brooklyn. It’s a lesson that Freida learned young and wants to pass along to her children, that you can really find beauty anywhere.”

Above: The design that began it all; Love Knots ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 15

LOVE KNOTS REBUILDING “My father started this business close to 40 years ago,” says Freida of the jewelry business that now bears her name, the name of her great grandmother who died three weeks before the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. “His father (Aron Nussen) was a house painter and he wanted his parents to be busy, to have something to do, so his mother (Baila Nussen) helped him a lot with the accounting division, she was definitely a large part of his company.” In fact, it was Baila who encouraged her son to start his jewelry business on her dining room table when he was just 19 years old. As the couple grew older, Aron would sometimes come into the office to hang out, or bag some items, just to get him out of the house and give him something to look forward to. Freida’s maternal grandparents, Gita and Arthur Fisher, met in a displaced persons camp after World War II, and they married while still in Europe. They moved to Israel and lived there for a few years starting in the early ’50s. “My grandmother was a very strong woman (and one day) she said, ‘We need to have some money to raise our family, so I am going to America,’ ” says Freida. “She went by herself. She didn’t speak the language, and she came before my

come home with boxes full of jewelry and ask us kids to polybag and help him get these orders out because he was so busy,” she remembers. He would also pay people in the neighborhood to bag, and sometimes there was a line outside the house of people who wanted the work. She jokes that they never were short on bar or bat mitzvah gifts. She launched her own line, “Freida Rothman” in 2013. Freida is an artist, particularly fond of sketching and painting. She had been creating designs for other jewelry designers when her husband, Matt, said, “You realize that you are doing this for everyone else, I think it’s time to do this for yourself.” Freida went to her first trade show with her collection called “Love Knot,” and Nordstrom picked it up and launched it in 25 of its stores. “It was only the second time in the history of the company (Nordstrom),” she says. “They usually start with 5 stores; then they go to 6 , 7 and 10. So that gave me the push, and confidence. I turned to my husband and said, ‘I think we can do this.’ ” Her Brooklyn, NY surroundings inspire her unique designs; drawing from her rich environment, she combines the textures of her neighborhood. In one of her signature pieces, the

“I always feel very honored to have Freida’s name and to carry that legacy, it’s very special to me.” ~Freida Rothman grandfather to Brooklyn to see this place where you could make parnasa (a living).” Gita found work in a clothing factory and settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where her only surviving uncle lived and most people spoke her native language of Yiddish. When she was settled, she sent for her husband and four children. She lived in that same apartment, the home where she raised her four children, until she died in 2018. Aron Nussen’s late family, a wife and two children, died at Auschwitz. Baila was in Bergen-Belsen with her mother, Freida. A month before the camp was liberated, Freida died. “She (Baila) would always tell me whenever she saw me, ‘You have the same blue eyes as my mother,’ ” says Freida. “I always feel very honored to have Freida’s name and to carry that legacy, it’s very special to me,” she says. “I speak about my grandparents every single day; I have two huge pictures of them hanging in my office because they inspire me so much. “I have found that everyone in my office, my team, they have changed because of my grandparents,” admits Freida. “It’s because you realize every day that you can’t complain. You really can’t.” CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGE Freida grew up in the jewelry business. “My father would


double-sided pendant necklace, matte gold crisscross details represent the train tracks outside her Brooklyn office in Industry City and the black rhodium surface represents the asphalt surrounding her. In the fall of 2019, Freida was in a meeting with her creative team discussing future lines and trending topics, when someone asked Freida, “Who do you consider an empowered woman?” She thinks for a moment and responds, “For me, it’s always been my grandmothers. I really don’t know anyone else that’s even close to what it means to be an empowered woman.” She decided at that moment that she wanted to start a project honoring survivors. “They are so strong, and they are women to look up,” she says. “They are heroes that live amongst us. Sometimes you get stuck in that fashion cycle, and I attend all the shows and I go everywhere, and I wanted what I do every day to have more meaning to it.” Freida wanted to make sure that her entire company feels like they are working towards something higher than fashion. She began thinking of how to spread a story of strength and keep her grandparents’ story alive through what she does. The creative team asked her if she knew any survivors that were still alive. She said, “I do! Give me a couple of minutes.” She called her good friend Judy who has a great aunt and

Freida's maternal grandparents, Arthur and Gita Fisher.

The family

Freida's paternal grandparents Aron and Baila Nussen

Matt and Freida Rothman


Shulem Lemmer entertained the group.

Nachas Health and Family Network and Freida Rothman host a Women of Strenght luncheon. Survivor Judith Teichman

Survivor Anna Obstfeld

Survivor Dolly Rabinowitz

Survivor Lillian Feintuch 18 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Freida greets survivors

Survivor Itu Lustig

LOVE KNOTS grandmother who are survivors and live together. Freida has fond memories of these ladies as she would go to Judy’s house on Shabbos and play when she was a girl. After making sure that they were both alive and well, Freida posed her request, “I’m thinking out loud here, I really want to highlight women of strength. I want to highlight your incredible great aunt and grandmother. Would they be willing to do an interview? They can wear my jewelry or not; I just want to give them a platform to tell their story.” “Yes, I want them to do it – they have to do it,” Judy responded before she even asked them. CELEBRATION FOR SURVIVORS Dolly Rabinowitz, the great aunt, agreed, but only if it was OK with the Nachas Health and Family Network, a nonprofit she belongs to that is devoted to social events and support services for the Holocaust survivor community in Brooklyn. Freida reached out to Raizy Horowitz, co-director of Nachas. She remembers being extremely nervous as she began her spiel, “I’m working on this story – it’s fashion, and I know that she’s a survivor. I would love to combine the two where I can use my platform, because I find that fashion doesn’t focus on anything like this – and the story means so much to me.” As Freida took a breath from her story, she was worried about what Raizy’s reaction would be. But her response was, “Absolutely, they must!” She also asked Freida to repeat her name and told her that she recently stayed at her house when she needed a place to stay for Shabbat. Freida explained that she has a special guest area that she lets neighbors use when they have visitors who need a place to stay, and she doesn’t always meet her guests. “For you, I stayed in your house, of course, I’m going to help you,” says Raizy. “Let’s make this happen.” Raizy then called Dolly and told her that everything was OK. Freida scheduled a photo shoot and interview for the following Wednesday at 92-year-old Dolly’s home, where she lives and cares for her 103-year-old sister, Suzi.

about their stories, and that she has the platform to do good and feels the importance of sharing their stories with the world. They were all very receptive, and many of the women shared their stories with Freida as she made her way around the room. “The first lady, she’s holding my hand, first of all, when they hold your hand you feel something, you feel their strength,” says Freida. “This was a room full of Anne Franks. Each story was more amazing than the next.” Freida left the luncheon and went over to Dolly and Suzi’s house. This was their first time the sisters did a formal interview. “We sit down and we start to the interview with these two incredible women, and they shared their stories – there wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” she remembers. “They were holding hands; they both have the numbers (tattooed) on their arm.” Freida asked Dolly what she would define as her “moment of strength.” She explains that when she was on the death march (a forced march of prisoners in which individuals are left to die along the way) with her three sisters, Suzi couldn’t walk anymore. They knew if she fell, she would be shot by the Nazis. The two other sisters carried Suzi on their backs the whole death march because they knew otherwise, that would be the end. They each weighed about 40 pounds, it was cold, it was January, and they carried their sister. “That was my moment,” says Dolly. All three sisters survived. The next day, Freida had an idea. It was almost Hanukkah and she wanted to do a special event – a Women of Strength luncheon. She called Raizy and shared her idea and asked her how many ladies she could bring. “She said, ‘I can get up to 55 survivors to come to this luncheon,’ ” remembers Freida. She decided that the luncheon was not going to be focused on what happened to the survivors but to celebrate their life. To celebrate how they rebuilt their community, celebrate their courage and their strength.

“This was a room full of Anne Franks. Each story was more amazing than the next.” ~Freida Rothman Raizy called Freida and asked her if before she went to Dolly and Suzi’s home if she could come to a survivors’ get together to meet some of them and describe what she was doing. Freida went to meet them. “I’m this young girl coming to speak to them about their crazy stories, and I was nervous,” she says. About 30 women were having their lunch and the first thing she says is, “I’m a granddaughter of survivors. So at least they understand I can understand a little – they know where I come from.” She went on to explain that she wants to raise awareness

Freida and her team put together the luncheon in three weeks and held it at their modern, chic office with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. They invited press including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NBC, and the Associated Press to interview survivors. She invited Hasidic superstar, Shulem Lemer, and he sang happy songs for them, Yiddish songs like Oyfn Pripitchik, and Hanukkah songs. “My favorite part of that luncheon was when they all got up to dance,” shares Freida. “I didn’t ask them to dance; they just felt it in their hearts, the joy. It was incredible.”



LOVE KNOTS She continues, “I want them to feel happy. We are celebrating your life after, how you rebuilt from the ashes, how you came out of this. Thanking them for teaching us everything they taught us.” People asked her if she was scared to tie her brand to survivors. “At this point, no. Maybe a couple of years back I would have been, but now I want every day to mean something,” says Freida. “I’m doing something good, especially with the rise in anti-Semitism, we have to educate. “The thing is, if not me, then who?” A MATTER OF PRIDE When Freida was growing up, almost everyone she knew was a grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. Now she travels around the country doing trunk shows (where Freida presents her merchandise to potential customers) and meeting people of all walks of faith. When she first launched her brand, she would not go into detail about her family’s history. She would share that she was a “second-generation jeweler” and leave it at that. “I had a consultant recently that came into my business and he started digging more into who I am, my background, and in passing, I mentioned that all four of my grandparents were survivors,” says Freida. He’s like, ‘Do you tell people that?’ and I’m like, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘Do you understand how powerful it is?’ I understand how powerful it is, but nobody wants to hear it. And he said, ‘I promise you, they do.’ ” He wanted to explain his point further, so he painted a scenario for her. “I want you to think of a room of 100 people who are in the world of jewelry. And you ask, ‘Who in here is a woman?’ 40 stand up; ‘Who here is married?’ 30 stand up; ‘Who here have four children?’ maybe 10 stand up; ‘Who here have one grandparent who is a Holocaust survivor?’ maybe one person stands up; ‘Who here have four grandparents who are Holocaust survivors?’ You’ll be the only woman standing.” She recently did a trunk show in Charleston, IL, and she started telling the women there the story of who she is and where she comes from. “They could not stop hugging me, and no one was Jewish!” says Freida. “They were just so supportive and so loving they just loved hearing the story, and they wanted to hear more.” Once Freida discovered that sharing her story is a source of inspiration for many, it gave her the courage to tell the stories and be proud of who she is, not to be ashamed. “Recently someone asked me, ‘Are you sure you want to go there,’ and I told them, ‘I’m proud, it’s OK, I’m done hiding.’ This is who I am.” She shares that she has only received the most beautiful, positive feedback since sharing her story – not one negative or anti-Semitic remark. “I have four children, age 7, 13, 15 and 19, and they are all named after survivors,” says Freida. She makes it a point to tell each one the story of who they are named after, so they understand. Freida had a non-Jewish employee ask her one Friday why she was shomer Shabbos, that it seemed hard and she was so busy with this or that, so why does she do it? Her answer was, “If you understand where I come from, if you understand my grandparents survived just to keep this alive and what my people went through. How can I say, ‘Goodbye, I’m done, I’m not doing this.’ It’s on my shoulders, and I believe in it, and I think it’s a beautiful way to raise my family.” Another beautiful thing is that Freida has discovered through sharing others’ stories that she can embrace her heritage, and there is nothing more empowering than that. To learn more about her jewelry, visit freidarothman.com.

“I’m doing something good, especially with the rise in anti-Semitism, we have to educate. “The thing is, if not me, then who?” ~Freida Rothman


Freida stands at the iconic Brookly Bridge.



TRADITION! There are many traditions that are unique to a Jewish wedding.

Whether you grew up immersed in the Jewish religion

and culture or barely attended temple, you may wish to incorporate Jewish wedding traditions into your big day. Depending on your subculture (Ashkenazi or Sephardic), your l

evel of orthodoxy and whether or not you are marrying a fellow Jew, these traditions may be optional or mandatory.


SIGNING THE KETUBAH The ketubah is a symbolic Jewish marriage contract that outlines the groom’s responsibilities to his bride. It dictates the conditions he will provide in the marriage, the bride’s protections and rights, and the framework should the couple choose to divorce. The ketubah isn’t actually a religious document, but part of Jewish civil law – so there’s no mention of God blessing the union. Signing the ketubah is one of the oldest Jewish wedding traditions, dating back two thousand years. The couple, the officiants, and witnesses all sign the ketubah prior to the ceremony. BEDEKEN Bedeken means “checking,” and this practice dates back to biblical times. According to one legend, it began after Jacob was tricked by his fatherin-law Laban into marrying Leah, who was presented to him as an already-veiled bride. Only after the ceremony did he discover that she was not Rachel, his intended bride. In another story, the first time in the Torah that we learn of love between two people is when Isaac and Rebecca meet. Out of modesty and humility, Rebecca lowers her veil and Isaac is so taken by her aura and beauty that he falls to the ground. If a bride is to be veiled, at some point before the ceremony – either before for after the processional – her intended places the veil over her face. CIRCLING  Among Ashkenazi Jews it is customary before entering the chuppah, for one partner to circle the other seven times, known as hakafot. This process alludes to the seven days of creation and as a reminder that marriage is itself a process of creation. Some couples choose a twist on this tradition by circling each other to demonstrate equality in their relationship. If this is the case, the bride circles the groom three times, the groom circles the bride three times, and then they circle each other once. OPENER - PHOTOGRAPHER JENN WAGNER • JENN WAGNER STUDIO • JENN-WAGNER.COM FLOWERS LARA LAKI • LAKI EVENTS AND DESIGN • LAKIEVENTSANDDESIGN.COM/

SHEVA B’RACHOT The seven blessings, called the Sheva B’rachot, come from ancient teachings. They are often read in both Hebrew and English, and shared by a variety of family members or friends, just as friends and family are invited to perform readings in other types of ceremonies. The blessings focus on joy, celebration and the power of love. They begin with the blessing over a cup wine, then progress to more grand and celebratory statements, ending with a blessing of joy, peace, companionship, and the opportunity for the bride and groom to rejoice together.

TALLIT A tallit, or fringed prayer shawl, may be used in several ways as part of Jewish wedding traditions. A tallit may serve as the top of the chuppah. A bride may also give her groom a tallit as a wedding gift. During the final blessings, the couple’s parents may wrap the tallit around the couple’s shoulders as a symbol of unity and being surrounded by love.

CHUPPAH The ceremony takes place under a chuppah, or wedding canopy, which represents God’s sheltering presence in the lives of the couple, as well as the new home they will build together. The presence of family members under the chuppah, as well as its lack of walls, signify that family and friends will always be welcome in the couple’s home. A tallit (prayer shawl) that has special meaning to the couple can serve as a chuppah as can a handmade quilt or other covering. Some wedding canopies are not free-standing, requiring four individuals, generally friends or family members of the couple, to hold the poles to which the chuppah is affixed.

HORA AND MEZINKE The celebratory dance at the reception is called the hora where guests dance in a circle. Oftentimes, you will see women dancing with women and men dancing with men. The bride and groom are seated on chairs and lifted into the air while holding onto a handkerchief or cloth napkin. There is also a dance called the mezinke, which is a special dance for the parents of the bride or groom when their last child is wed.

BREAKING THE GLASS At the end of the ceremony, the groom breaks a glass (usually wrapped in a cloth napkin or bag to avoid injury!) with his right foot. There are many interpretations of this ritual. Some consider it a reminder of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the most holy place in all of Jewish history. Others explain that the fragile glass reminds us of the delicate nature of marriage, which must always be cared for and cherished. At the sound of the breaking of the glass, guests traditionally clap and yell “mazel tov,” to offer congratulations and good luck to the couple.



Tips to Enhance Your Wedding Decor Courtesy Family Features Wedding days are meant

to be filled with love and celebration, and what better way to ring in the new stage of life as newlyweds than with a well-decorated venue to match the joyous occasion. Whether a couple is on a tight budget or picky when it comes to theme ideas, these decorating tips can help add more flair for the big day.

USE A NATURAL VENUE Many couples choose wedding venues that require immense amounts of decorations, but a venue with organic scenery or a beautiful view can help alleviate the stress. Consider having the ceremony near a garden or beach with enough natural surroundings to keep guests in awe.




Tips to Enhance Your Wedding Decor PLACE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AROUND THE VENUE With any wedding, you want the day to feel personal and intimate for the couple and guests alike. Consider decorating the venue with engagement photos of the soon-to-be spouses as they popped the question. This can allow the newlyweds to reminisce while guests view those cherished moments and revel in the occasion.



ADD CLASSIC LIGHTING At times, finding the right lighting to match the mood of a wedding venue can be tricky. In this case, less may actually be more. Try opting for a classic candlelit ceremony or reception to create a more romantic setting. This can save both money and countless hours spent attempting to configure elaborate light fixtures, and also provide a timeless feel. CHOOSE TABLE ACCESSORIES THAT POP Leave guests in amazement as they make their way to their seats for the reception with beautifully decorated tables. Table accessories can be anything ranging from patterned table runners to flowers in full-bloom placed in simple, elegant vases. If you are not having a formal sitdown reception, try using paper lanterns or hanging flowers from the ceiling to create an eyecatching atmosphere to remember. MAKE THE CAKE A CENTERPIECE Wedding cakes are almost guaranteed to be filled with flavor, but they can also serve as a decorative centerpiece for the reception. Choosing a cake topped with flowers, highlighting bright colors and placing it in a prominent spot at the reception can grab guests’ attention while also keeping them eager for a bite.


Know yourself…. in relationships

Bob and Dorice Horenstein then and now.

By Dorice Horenstein


just had the most wonderful evening the other day. Five couples got together for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It was so much fun connecting with some friends I have not seen for a while. What I noticed is that collectively we have been married for over 180 years!!! Yes! Some of us only married for 22 years and others for over 46 years. Can you imagine that? As my husband tells me, “You have been married to me 2/3 of your life!” So, naturally it got me thinking what makes some marriages last and others to break down. Not only that, but in the last month I have spoken with several people, men and women, who told me that their marriage is “on the rocks.” My heart ached for them and I hugged them and tried to give them my support for the daily struggles they are going through…so – back to my million-dollar question – what keeps a marriage happy and strong? I came up with a few ideas that are connected to my Jewish identity, values and thoughts that are instilled in me because of my background. And naturally, I am happy to share it with you!

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When I got married, I attended a synagogue that has a Jewish phrase right by the ark in which the Torah is placed. The phrase is, “Know before whom you stand.” When I saw this phrase for the first time, I was a newlywed and it made an impression on me. Knowing before whom we stand, knowing God, invites us to ponder, knowing who we are, know yourself ! I think when we begin a life with a partner, we also need to continue to get to know ourselves. And that means to really really know ourselves. If we don’t, how would we expect our partner to know us, to know our desires, to know our wishes? It is easy to put the blame on others… but do we have a part in it? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I want us to focus for a second on the second part. As yourself. The basic requirement, the way I view it, is: in order to be in a good and healthy relationship, we’ve got a love ourselves first! I don’t mean it in a narcissistic way, but I do mean it with truly deep intention. Loving ourselves does not mean that everything we do is amazing, or, for that matter, right. We can and will make mistakes; we are human being living and functioning in this universe with other beings! By loving ourselves, we value ourselves. We believe we should have a seat at the table. At the same time, we believe that our


partners have a seat at the table. “If I’m not for myself, who will be for me.” Ultimately, it is up to you, up to each one of us to take care of ourselves. We can’t and shouldn’t expect other people to make us happy, to make us loved. Only we have the power to internalize this feeling. This power belongs only in our court. Our strength as well as challenge is to convey that feeling and that sense of security in a relationship. I believe a good marriage brings out the love and acceptance so both partners feel loved. And when both feel loved, it is so much easier to give love. That is where heaven meets earth- the feeling of giving and receiving, of acceptance and harmony, of love and forgiveness, going back and forth between the couple.           


So, as I sat and dined with my friends and remembered other friends who are going through the pain of separation, I ask and beg for myself to never lose a sight of who I am, my wishes, wants and desires, and also understanding that my partners needs that as well. I cried with my friends who are not sure about the future of their marriage. I cried with them, and for them; For lost time, for a missed opportunity to put their own stake in the ground and be able to say “this is me, this relationship if for me, after all – the world was created for me.” But that is the ultimate journey of life. To be able to see where we veered off, to correct course, and to move forward. And moving forward, kadima, always mean to take what was ancient, kadum, with you. Remembering what brought us to a tough situation, learn from it, and grow from it and with it. May we all have a clearer path ahead.


Dorice Horenstein is a Jewish educator, turned speaker and author of Moments of The Heart: Four Relationships Everyone Should Have to Live Wholeheartedly. For more information, visit doricehorenstein. com or jewisheducationservices.com.

Bob and Dorice Horenstein on their wedding day.


Wedding dress trends for the new decade By Mala Blomquist New decades always bring new fashion trends, and wedding dresses are no exception. Bridal Fashion Week happened in New York in October 2019, and those designs are emerging from the runway for those brides planning a 2020 wedding. There are six fundamental wedding gown style silhouettes: empire, A-line, ball gown, trumpet, sheath and mermaid. But there are as many variations to those basic styles as there are brides. Here’s some inspiration that you may want to incorporate into your gown – remember it’s about your day and what you want to wear.

SLEEVES – THEY’RE BACK Reviving ’80s fashion is usually not a great idea, but there is a new take on the voluminous sleeves and cuts from four decades ago. Puffy sleeves are becoming a focal point on dresses. (It’s hard not to immediately think of a “Seinfeld” episode when you hear puffy sleeves, huh?) Created with flowing fabrics and structured shapes, these sleeves range from dramatic to divine. Some of the examples are puff sleeves that complement a sleek corset ball gown, oversized sheer lace on a fitted gown, voluminous sleeves on an ultra-glam gown or cuffed puff sleeves in a sheer tulle fabric for a feminine touch. None of these even remotely resembles the horrible sleeves from your family’s wedding albums.




CAPES AREN’T JUST FOR SUPERHEROES Capes may not be new to bridal fashion, but if you need more coverage for a sleeveless or off-the-shoulder gown at a winter wedding, this makes for a striking look that also emphasizes the gown underneath. Capes have also become a more modern alternative to the traditional veil. Fabrics for capes range from sheer lace to silk adorned with embellishments. The length can also vary from cropped capelets to floor-skimming designs that attach at the shoulder so that they can be ditched for the dance floor.



FLOWER POWER You don’t have to just carry flowers on your wedding day; you can wear them too! You can go for an all-over floral print (perfect for a garden wedding), or choose a 3-D floral appliqué, floral lace embroidery, hand-painted flower detailing, beaded buds or a tulle flower belt added to a sheath gown. Take the unique choice of a flowered dress one step further by matching the style of the flowers on your gown to the flowers in your bouquet. Your dress can also inspire the rest of the flowers from table settings to décor. It’s a detail that will make everything come together beautifully.

Swarovski Bridal Gowns ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 33

BLUSHING BRIDE Blush gowns are not new to the dress scene, but its updated counterparts buff and ginger (a tone between blush and champagne) complement a wide range of styles and skin tones, making it a favorite alternative to white. Perfect for a bride looking for something a little out of the ordinary, this color pairs well with bolder tones or metallic. It just stands out a little more than ivory or alabaster.

Atelier AimĂŠe



DITCH THE DRESS Dresses aren’t your only option for your walk down the aisle; meet the wedding suit. This borrowed-from-the-boys option has taken on innovative approaches. It’s not all about slim pants and blazers – styles vary from tuxedos to jumpsuits and even the dress-suit hybrid. Make it more feminine by adding a veil. If you still think a suit isn’t traditional enough, wear one to your rehearsal dinner, or after the ceremony, change into a suit jacket that doubles as a mini dress. You’ll be more comfortable dancing the night away.

Naheem Kahn

Galia Lahav



LACE – CLASSIC OR FUNKY From classic Chantilly to ornate three-dimensional, lace is a fabric that will never go out of style. Lace can be added as a simple embellishment, an insert, sleeves, or the whole gown. For something different, opt for a short or tea-length, lace wedding dress. A lighter style can also help you stay cool during a summer wedding. There is also a surprising trend if you search for “crochet wedding dresses” or “macramé wedding dresses” on Pinterest or Etsy. You will see a wide variety of beautiful gowns that look nothing like your grandmother’s bedspread or a hanger for plants.

Limor Rosen


LOTS OF LEG I don’t know if Angelina Jolie’s leg originally started this trend, but legs are on display again. Whether it’s short hemlines, thigh-high slits, or high-low hems, brides seem to be showing more calves and thighs. This look can be subtle yet sexy with a slit on the front, side or center of the skirt and works on almost any silhouette. And you get to decide just how much skin you want to show with how high it goes.

Alessandra Rich



As the saying goes

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. OLD

Hebrew Mahzor Talpiot Small Hebrew prayer pocket book. $84 • Esty.com boboCOLLECTED

ILISHOP Women's antique beaded party clutch vintage rose purse evening handbag. $26.99 • amazon.com

Rose gold bouquet holder $35.00 • Esty.com MarryMeBouquets

L'ETOILES | Starry Night Veil $810.26 gibsonbespoke.co.uk


NEW Men's Star of David crew novelty socks $9.99 absolutesocks.com

ESTĒE LAUDER limited edition Zodiac Powder compact $75.00 • esteelauder.com/makeup/compacts

Diamond point cuff links $375.00 • tiffany.com

Washable silk pant set $238.00 • rafael_jewelry_18k_rose_gold_star_of_david_pendant_with_ diamonds_sapphire_stones lunya.co

Fashion Champagne wedding shoes 2020 $89.00 • veaul.com ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 39


BORROWED Klienfeld wall rental from $1,800.00 blomespaperie.com

Celebration fireworks yellow gold and diamond earrings $18 per day rental trejours.com

CHRYSANTHEMUM 4' x 6' x 8' $850 • chuppahstudio.com

Tropical velvet tuxedo $145 rent | $650 buy theblacktux.com


White + Gold collection dinner plates. Rental - $1.75 per plate otisandpearl.com

Wedding DJ services. Popular package includes: Your own wedding DJ for the ceremony. cocktail hour and wedding reception. Microphone.MC, Two loudspeakers and subwoofer, unlimited consultaion. No hours limit. Starting at $999.00 • thisdj.rocks



BLUE Rafael jewelry 18k rose gold Star of David pendant with wdiamonds and sapphire stones $929.00 judaiicawebstore.com

Sapphire blue Peacock heart toasting flutes $148.00 • crystalrealm.com

Jonnafe light blue florl hair comb $13.00 • aliexpress.com

OPI nail polish To Infinity & Blue-Yond ($12.50) No Room for the Blues ($10.50) and Mi Casa Es Blue Casa ($13.00) opi.com


Getting married? It’s time to attend Jewish Marriage University

Guerlain L'Heure Bleue Eau de Parfum Spray 2.5 oz by GUERLAIN $63.26 ($84.35 / 100 ml) amazon.com

T Tears of Joy Tissues. 10 pack $6.00 • classybride.com

he Bureau of Jewish Education’s Marriage University is a unique marriage preparation program to help couples as they navigate their relationship or plan their future together. Some questions couples will receive answers to include: What does Judaism say about marriage? How can couples learn to communicate with each other and resolve conflicts, plan for their financial future together and support each other? What can be done to enhance one’s relationship and how can Judaism help? Jewish Marriage University offers couples a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills together to secure their future. Various professionals in our community share their expertise on appropriate topics giving couples insight into making their life together more meaningful and loving. Learning how to communicate effectively, how to solve conflicts and understanding finances along with Jewish traditions and rituals are among the topics covered. This program is meant to complement what couples may learn from their rabbi. This course is a must for engaged and committed couples and the recently married. Interfaith couples are also encouraged to attend and there is a separate session offered.

JEWISH MARRIAGE UNIVERSITY is held every fall and the next series dates will be: Sunday, October 18 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Sunday, November 8 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Interfaith class:  Wednesday, October 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm The cost is $50 per couple and all sessions are held in the BJE’s classrooms at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus 12701 N Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ. To register, or for more information, visit bjephoenix.org.



Jonathan Rosenberg’s second act By Mala Blomquist


When: Through Feb. 23; Tues.-Sat. at 7:30 pm Sat.-Sun. 2 pm Where: Phoenix Theatre 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix Tickets information phoenixtheatre.com



onathan Rosenberg has always been involved in the music industry in one form or another. He has worked as a disc jockey, lead singer in a band and has written and composed music, but it always took a back seat “because he had to earn a living,” which he did as a special education teacher and administrator. He had been doing some work as a playwright when he was struck with the idea behind his current work “¡Americano!” playing at the Phoenix Theatre through Feb. 23. Jonathan was waiting to pick up his daughter from high school and was listening to NPR on the car radio. It was the fall of 2016, and Antonio “Tony” Valdovinos was part of a round-table discussion about undocumented immigrants. “I was really impressed with his story, so I looked him up on the internet,” remembers Jonathan. “I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is a story that needs to be told,’ about a guy who keeps getting beat down and keeps getting back up on his feet.” Jonathan had made some prior connections in Phoenix, and through them, he was able to get Tony’s contact information. He told Tony that he would like to

Playwright Jonathan Rosenberg and Antonio "Tony" Valdovinos

make his story into a musical. “I don’t think he had ever seen a musical in his entire life,” says Jonathan. Tony agreed, so Jonathan contacted Michael Barnard, the artistic director at the Phoenix Theatre Company and prominent public relations executive Jason Rose, and set up a meeting. “That’s how this whole thing got started,” says Jonathan. “For me it’s like a second act,” he says. “I’ve spent 40 years of my life as an educator, but I’ve always been playing around with music. It’s always been my love.” Jonathan just retired from teaching in June 2019. “Last year at this time I was working with students, and now I’m sitting in a rehearsal studio watching the play that I co-wrote with Michael Barnard being performed, and I’m going. ‘This is unbelievable!’ ” says Jonathan. “¡Americano!” tells Tony’s story that is similar to many other “Dreamers” – undocumented residents who were brought to the U.S. as children. The galvanizing moment in Tony’s life occurred when he was 12 years old and saw the towers come down on 9-11. He decided then that was going to enlist in the Marines, and when he was old enough, he tried, only to be rejected because he was not a U.S. citizen. “This is not a political show at all, we’re not advocating anything in the show, we are telling this person’s story to the best of our ability,” says Jonathan. “We are telling his story so that people can decide what they want to do. My grandparents came from Ellis Island; my wife’s grandparents came from Ellis Island – we’re all immigrants.” He continues, “It’s a story that I think that no matter what your political bent, you’ll leave the theater moved.” The production features a cast of 24 and a live orchestra, Okesta Mendoza, which is led by musical arranger Sergio Mendoza, who also plays with the Tucson-based band Calexico. The composer for the show is Carrie Rodriguez from Austin, TX. “I’ve seen a fair number of musicals in my life, and I’ve never heard music like this before,” says Jonathan. “It’s gonna blow people’s minds.” After the show’s run in Phoenix, the plan is to bring it to New York for a reading to gauge interest. “I am in love with this play, and if it’s as good as I think it is, there’s a chance that we could be in New York next year at this time, which is pretty amazing,” says Jonathan. Jonathan is quick to say that none of this would have been possible with the help of his wife, Ilene Kruger. It was her relative that made the initial connection so that he could meet Jason Rose. “She believes in me. I’ve never had anyone in my life believe in me the way she does, and it’s made all the difference,” he says. He continues, “It took a good Jewish woman to kick me in the ass and to believe in me enough to make this all happen. I will always give all the credit to my wife.” ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 45



Born in the Shadow of Death

oin Chabad of Paradise Valley and special guest Dr. Mark Olsky as he shares his experiences as a child born to a Holocaust survivor on a cattle car driven by Nazis. The lecture is titled “Born in the Shadow of Death.” The Nazis murdered his father, but his mother would not let evil take their unborn child too – a remarkable true story about a mother who defied death to give her child life. When Mark was 6 or 7, he asked his mother where he was born. “On a train,” she replied. And he thought, “That’s cool. I liked trains.” It was only later he learned it was a train of cattle cars carrying prisoners to the Mauthausen, one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps. Dr. Olsky’s mother, Rachel, was two months pregnant when she was sent to Auschwitz where she waited in line as the SS “Angel of Death” doctor, Josef Mengele, judged the new prisoners. Instinctively, Rachel did not admit her pregnancy. As a result, she lived and survived Auschwitz then Freiburg. On April 20, 1945, on the final train ride to Mauthausen, Mark was born. In 2015, author Wendy Holden took an interest in the story and wrote a book about Mark and two others titled, Born Survivors, published by Harper Collins. The Dr. Mark Olsky, as a child, with book tells the tale three his mother Rachel. babies born within weeks of each whose mothers were all on that same train. The Nazis had killed all three of their fathers and their mothers were “walking skeletons,” but somehow, all three women and their babies managed to survive. Dr Olsky shares a story of courage, survival and rebuilding. The program is suitable for people of all ages, including teenagers. This lecture is a special opportunity to hear a first-hand account from someone whose life intersected with one of the most compelling figures in our history. Chabad of Paradise Valley and JPhoenix Young Jewish Professionals are honored to sponsor the event. Corporate sponsorships are also available. 46 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Born in the Shadow of Death WHEN Feb. 19, 7-9 pm WHERE Scottsdale Plaza Resort 7200 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale TICKETS $10 before Feb. 12; $18 after Feb. 12 INFORMATION Visit jewishparadisevalley.com/Lecture


hunderbird Artists visits downtown Carefree this spring for the 25th Annual Spring Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival. The event will highlight the juried artworks of 160 of some of the world’s finest artists, along with local wineries/distilleries, international wine sellers, live music by several musicians, including guitar legend Esteban and his daughter, violinist Teresa Joy, with food trucks and sweet treats. The featured artist for this festival is ceramic sculptor, Randy O’Brien. Randy O’Brien began working with clay while he was a student at the University of California at Berkeley and has been a full time potter for 30 years. His love for the wilderness and adventure led him to move to Alaska in the late 1980’s, where he established a pottery studio in Homer. He returned to art school in the mid 90’s earning a BFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. While a student at Alfred, he focused on the development of special effect, low fire glazes. He developed his current body of work in the year 2000.  Inspired by the mineral formations, mudflats and lichens of southern Arizona, he developed a three dimensional glaze surface that mimics the aesthetic of a naturally occurring material. Each piece is both wheel thrown and hand built. Although obviously man-made, Randy strives to give the impression that they could be formed of the earth by natural processes. The surface treatment was developed through decades of glaze experimentation and study.  The platelets and fissures are composed entirely of glaze - a glaze that is three dimensional. It blurs the boundary between a geological formation and a living organism. The festival is also home to 160 other world-class artists displaying pieces in a variety of avenues and subject matters, from paintings in all mediums, to blown glass, hand thrown pottery, wood works, gourd carvings, metalsmithing, small, medium to life-sized sculptures in metal, stone, bronze and mixed-media, to photography, one-of-a-kind jewelry and more!  Entertainment features some local favorites as well, Violinist Teresa Joy and Esteban, world-renowned flamenco guitarist. Teresa will be performing daily throughout the event, with her father, Esteban, joining her for special appearances. In the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, AfterGlow will play smooth jazz pieces while patrons enjoy the ambience of the wine pavilion. This spring fine art event, widely known as “…a Collector’s Paradise,” will take place in the heart of downtown Carefree, surrounded by beautiful gardens emphasizing the plants and cacti indigenous to the Arizona desert.  Hours are 10am to 5pm each day. Admission is $3.00 and parking is free all weekend. Join Thunderbird Artists at the Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, February 28th, 29th & March 1st! For more information, visit thunderbirdartists.com.

Ben Kinne

Spring Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival Angela Kullmann

Andy Sewell

Randy O'Brien

Virgil Ortiz

Turza & Andrew Shows

Dona Bollard


Chocolate Fondue By Mala Blomquist


here may be no dessert that says, “I love you” more than chocolate fondue. Fondue is versatile enough to be a romantic dessert for two or a fun time for the whole family. The best part is that you get to linger, talk and genuinely enjoy the food and the people around you. If you are intimidated by fondue – don’t be! It’s effortless to prepare and looks impressive, and you don’t even need a fondue pot – a small slow cooker works just as well. Use your imagination with your dippers too. Pineapple dipped in warm chocolate is exquisite and frozen cheesecake takes two wonderful flavors to the next level.

INGREDIENTS 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream 12 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (you can also use a mix of 6 ounces semisweet and 6 ounces milk chocolate) 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt For dipping: sliced banana, pineapple, berries, pretzels, pound cake, angel food cake, marshmallows, cookies, cheesecake, etc. DIRECTIONS Prepare all of the items for dipping. The preparation of the fondue goes quickly so you will want to have all the fruit and other dippers ready ahead of time. Heat the heavy cream in a pan over medium-low heat until hot and bubbles form around the sides of the pan. Do not bring to a boil. Add the chocolate to the pan. Turn off the heat. Stir until completely smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm while serving. Serve immediately with dippers. 48 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


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Helping to Right a Historic Wrong

Aviva Silberman believes that Holocaust survivors deserve to live in dignity and comfort By Sharon Gelbach


he statistics are grim: a quarter of Holocaust survivors in Israel and a third of those in the US are living in poverty. These nowelderly people, who experienced some of the worst traumas in modern times, are subsisting on so little they can’t afford both food and medicine, or dental treatment, or house repairs, or to replace a broken appliance. Many are childless; many are the last remnant of their extended families, with no support network to advocate for them in their twilight years. According to attorney Aviva Silberman, founder of Aviv for Holocaust Survivors, an organization that helps survivors apply for special benefits, thousands of Holocaust survivors fail to take advantage of the compensation that’s legally coming to them. “They simply don’t know about the benefits and what they’re entitled to, what forms to fill out, how to fill them out, or where to submit them,” she says. There are several reparation payment or allowance programs available to survivors living Aviv for Holocaust Survivors founder, Attorney Aviva Silberman with survivor Yaffa Einhorn. Attorney Liora Zamir with Henia and Aryeh Klatsch. PHOTOS COURTESY AVIV FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS


around the world; however, deciphering the fine print as to who is eligible for which payment, which forms need to be completed; and what supporting documents must be provided for each can be overwhelming. Aviv for Holocaust Survivors was founded in 2007 with the goal of helping Holocaust survivors access the benefits available to them. In its 13 years of operation, with the help of five lawyers and hundreds of volunteers, Aviv has helped 65,000 survivors actualize their rights and access more than $1.2 million payments and allowances completely free of charge. NO LONGER RELUCTANT Silberman explains the roots of this rampant poverty: “Due to their wartime experiences, some survivors continued to suffer psychological and physical problems that hindered their ability to work. This pattern has also carried over to the next generation.” In the past, many people opted not to accept money from Germany, irrespective of their financial situation, observes Silberman. “Today, however, survivors realize that they are not helping anyone by refusing the money, and that at their stage of life, they certainly deserve to enjoy a higher standard of living.” In addition to not knowing how to go about accessing payments and reparations, Silberman says that survivors are often fearful that by applying for additional benefits they will lose what they already have. In reality, however, about half the survivors who are assisted by Aviv are, in fact, eligible for more than they are currently receiving. “We encourage survivors to inquire about their benefits. In many cases, what they were told several years ago about not being entitled, has changed.” A case in point, and one that affects thousands of survivors globally, is the new law, from July 2019, recognizing 20 Romanian cities as being ghettos. The significance of the revised legislation cannot be overstated: survivors from Romania who previously were not eligible for any of the German “rentas” or pensions, are now eligible for various grants and monthly allowances. Leah, a survivor from Ramnicu Sarat, Romania, had previously fallen between the cracks in terms of receiving any financial aid, due to various technical and bureaucratic reasons. With the help of Aviv’s attorney Yael Gertler, she was able to receive a lump sum of $2,800 as well as a monthly allowance of $1,100. “Finally, at the age of 89, I’m finally recognized as a Holocaust survivor!” Leah says. “For decades, Germany never acknowledged the suffering we endured in Romania. I’m gratified that I am still alive to see Germany taking responsibility for what they did to us!” DAUNTING RED TAPE Holocaust survivors and their children are often daunted by the seemingly endless paperwork and complex bureaucracy associated with applying for compensation. Working for 13 years with a team of professional lawyers, Aviv for Holocaust Survivors is uniquely positioned to assist survivors receive what is coming to them, thereby improving their quality of life immeasurably. Continued on next page ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 51

ACTIVELY SENIOR Gila, an 84-year-old survivor from Bulgaria, suffers various pageailments along with dementia. For many years, she received a $700 monthly reparations allowance. In view of her mother’s degenerating state, Gila’s daughter Ronit requested an increased stipend from the government, but was turned down because they said Gila did not meet the necessary criteria. It never occurred to Ronit to try again, until she spoke to Linda Levy, one of Aviv’s consultants, who investigated the case and discovered that Gila had spent the war years in the ghetto in Sophia. Familiar with the updated rights due Holocaust survivors, she applied to various agencies including the Israeli Treasury and the German government. The applications were approved, and Gila began to receive $2,000 monthly from the Israeli government, as well as a lump sum of $16,700 and another $90 monthly allowance from Germany. Thanks to the extra income, Ronit can now afford to give her mother the best care available including costly treatments to ease her health issues. IN THE WAR IN UTERO One of the more unexpected criteria for eligibility is “one who was a fetus at the time their mother suffered persecution by the Nazis.” Henia Klatsch, a survivor from Haifa, was born just two months after the end of World War II. Her parents had survived the Holocaust by hiding together with their two children in the home of a Polish family. Henia grew up with parents and siblings who emerged from the war alive in body, but severely scarred emotionally. After a turbulent childhood, Henia married Aryeh, also a Holocaust survivor. A chance visit to the Aviv Entitlement Center in Haifa proved to be life-changing for the Klatches. Attorney Liora Zamir informed Henia that she might be eligible for Holocaust reparations due to her having been an unborn baby while her mother suffered persecution, and thus began a protracted bureaucratic process that included procuring several hard-to-get documents. “I wanted to give up a hundred times over, but Liora never let me,” Henia shares. “She fought like a lioness on my behalf! It’s only thanks to her caring, and her professional, devoted service that my application was eventually approved.” The couple, which had previously subsisted only on Aryeh’s reparations, received a substantial financial boost. “A stone has been lifted from my heart,” Henia says. “I never had a childhood, but no one acknowledged my suffering before. This allowance is helping us make ends meet, and now I can even give something to our grandchildren, something that had not been possible before.” Aviv for Holocaust Survivors works to raise public awareness of the rights of Holocaust survivors and to make that information freely accessible. The organization operates 18 Entitlement Centers, in collaboration with local municipalities and the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, to assist survivors in actualizing their rights. Aviv’s lawyers accompany survivors throughout the process, providing all services completely free of charge. For more information, visit avivshoa.co.il. 52 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Ways to Improve Your Heart Health Article courtesy of Family Features


f you worry that you or someone you love will get heart disease or even have a heart attack, it’s understandable. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Research shows you can lower your risk, particularly if you team up with family, friends or co-workers. This kind of social support may be the key to your success. To mark American Heart Month in February, NHLBI, one of the National Institutes of Health, is inviting people across the country to team up and join #OurHearts, a national heart health initiative that encourages people to improve heart health together. “Studies show that having positive, close relationships and feeling connected to others benefits overall health, blood pressure, weight and more,” says NHLBI’s Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences.



Solution: Move more throughout your day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Build up to activity that gets your heart beating faster and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re busy, try breaking your daily activity into 10-minute chunks. Stay motivated: Make walking dates. Join a pickup soccer or basketball game. Join a fitness class with your neighbor. Grab a loved one and dance in your kitchen.


Solution: Consider an option like NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is free and scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook up heart healthy recipes together. Start a lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.


Solution: Quitting can be beneficial to your overall health, even if you’ve smoked for years. Set a quit date and let those close to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in the past, consider what helped and what made it harder. Stay motivated: Ask your family and friends for support or join a support group. Find resources and connect with a trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or smokefree.gov.


Solution: Sleeping 7-8 hours each night helps improve heart health. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight may also improve sleep. Stay motivated: Resist that late afternoon nap. Turn off all screens at a set time nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading or taking a bath.


Solution: To help manage stress, try relaxation therapy and increase physical activity. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone you trust. De-stressing may also help improve sleep. Stay motivated: Join a friend or family member in a relaxing activity like walking, yoga or meditation every day.

Learn about heart health and heart healthy activities in your community at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends, colleagues or family members are being heart healthy together. SOURCE: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 53

LIVING Joshua Malina


he theme of this year’s MEGA 2020 event held on March 5 is “Modern Mensches & Mitzvahs” with Joshua Malina as the headliner. Joshua graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in theater studies. He made his professional acting debut in the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men.” Joshua is well-known for playing Will Bailey on the NBC drama “The West Wing,” Jeremy Goodwin on “Sports Night,” David Rosen on “Scandal,” and President Siebert on “The Big Bang Theory.” He is very active in Jewish affairs, appearing in the Jewish Federation’s “Live Generously” campaign and has spoken at dozens of Federations and Hillel events across the country. Joshua also starred in a video aimed at Jewish high school students to prepare them for the possibility that they’ll face an anti-Israel climate on college campuses. During MEGA 2020 members of the community will be honored. The Medal of Honor will be awarded to David Weiner and the Harold & Jean Grossman Award will be bestowed upon Esther and Don Schon, MD.

MEGA 2020


David Weiner has worked tirelessly for the Phoenix and greater Jewish community for the past 30 years. He has devoted much of his time to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix where he recently finished a three-year term as Board co-chair, having also served on Federation’s Grants and Israel & Overseas Committees as well as leading the 2016 Annual Campaign. He has served in leadership roles with AIPAC and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix and received the Young Leadership Award for his commitment to Federation and the Jewish community. In addition to currently serving as majorgifts co-chair for the 2020 Annual Campaign, David is a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Esther and Don Schon’s service to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix runs broad and deep. Not only has Don served as an officer of the board and Esther as chair of Women’s Philanthropy, they served together to chair the 2015 annual campaign and have held other campaign leadership positions. Esther and Don believe deeply in the work of Federation to support both our local and worldwide Jewish community.

Don Schon, MD., and wife, Esther

MEGA 2020: Modern Mensches & Mitzvahs WHEN: Thursday, March 5; 5:30 pm social hour, 7 pm program and dessert WHERE: Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas, 6333 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale TICKETS: $180 per person SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES: Meet & Greet with Joshua Malina 5:30 pm (minimum $12,000 household contribution to the 2020 campaign); Ben-Gurion Society Reception immediately following program (for young adults ages 25-45 who make a contribution of $1,000 or more to the 2020 campaign) INFORMATION: RSVP by Feb. 28 to 480-481-1754 or jewishphoenix.org/MEGA2020

David Weiner




Celebrating 25 Years of Gratitude for Stuart Mellan Join Congregation Or Chadash on Feb. 21 to honor Stuart Mellan, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona for his more than two decades of service. There evening will begin with a happy hour at 4:30 pm and dinner at 5 pm at the Deanna and Harvey Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy at 3718 E. River Road in Tucson. Following dinner there will by a service at Congregation Or Chadash at 3939 N. Alvernon Way in Tucson to celebrate Stuart’s retirement and 25 years of a fabulous relationship together. Stuart will give the sermon during the service. There is no charge for the service and dessert following. Tickets for the happy hour and dinner are $75 per person or $125 per patron (names will be listed in the program). Proceeds from the evening will benefit Congregation Or Chadash. Congregation Or Chadash will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona in honor of Stuart Mellan. For more information, or if you are unable to attend and you wish to make a donation to honor Stuart, visit orchadash-tucon.org.

Soul Conference – A Day of Learning

Rabbi Pinchas Allouche

Rabbi Moni Even-Israel

Rachelle Fraenkel

Please join Congregation Beth Tefillah & The Aleph Society, in a conference unparalleled by any other, for this full, inspiring, and never-seen-before-in-Scottsdale Soul Day of Learning. The conference features world-renowned speakers, best-selling authors, Kabbalists, scientists, movers and shakers including Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rachelle Fraenkel, Arthur Kurzweil, Rabbi Meni Steinsaltz-Even Israel, CBT’s Rabbi Pinchas Allouche and more. The event will be held from 4 to 7 pm on Sunday, Feb. 16 and include a formal dinner, speakers’ welcome and conference opening. On Monday Feb. 17 the event will run from 56 FEBRUARY 2020 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Arthur Kurzweil

8:30 am to 6 pm and feature a full day of learning including breakfast, lunch and dinner. All events for the conference will be held at Congregation Beth Tefillah at 6529 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale. Cost for the entire conference is $500 and include food, beverages, learning materials and books. There is also a President’s Day concert by Jeryko held at 6 pm on Monday, Feb. 17 that is free for Soul Conference attendees and $36 per person for the general public. Registration for the conference closes on Feb. 7. For more information, visit bethtefillahaz.org

The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is here

The 2020 Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival runs from February 9-23 at three Harkins Theatres located across the Valley: Scottsdale Shea 14 at 7354 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale; Tempe Marketplace 16 at 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. in Tempe; and Peoria Park West 14 at 9804 W. Northern Ave. in Peoria. This year’s Festival is the biggest one in their history with 32 feature films, 14

Brandeis Annual Luncheon – Pearls of Wisdom The 30th Anniversary of Brandeis National Committee, Phoenix Chapter’s Book & Author Luncheon will take place on Friday, Feb. 21 from 9 am -3:30 pm at the The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa at 6902 E. Greenway Pkwy. in Scottsdale. The 2020 panel of best-selling authors speaking at the Pearls of Wisdom event are Jamie Bernstein (Famous Father Girl), Gabriel Bump (Everywhere You Don’t Belong), Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt), Tim Mason (The Darwin Affair) and Brad Taylor (Hunter Killer). AZfamily.com’s Stanley Roberts will be the moderator. Proceeds from the event, Brandeis Phoenix Chapter’s major fundraiser, will benefit the Sustaining the Mind Fund to advance neuroscience research at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. At the luncheon, attendees 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 luncheon are $135 per person. For more information, contact Carol Abrams, publicity chair at 480-382-4494 or bncphxba2019pr@gmail.com.

Rab bi

Introducing Federation’s FUSE Society



eller The FUSE Society is a new group where yB e n like-minded, Jewish women professionals and entrepreneurs discuss topics and make meaningful relationships vital to thriving in today’s business world. Hear from Rabbi Elana Kanter and Courtney Beller on ways to look for and obtain new challenges and leadership opportunities, in both your professional and personal lives. The first event will be held on Feb. 18 from 4:45 to 7:30 pm at a private residence (location provided upon RSVP). The event will begin with registration at 4:45 pm, with a discussion beginning at 5:15 pm, followed by an opportunity to connect. The cost is $18 per person and includes wine and nosh (dietary laws observed). RSVP by Feb. 16 at jewishphoenix.org/FUSE The FUSE Society is a collaboration between Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and Fennemore Craig Attorneys. Cou r

short films and 48 individual screenings. The new screening times this year are 11 am, 3 pm and 7 pm, and there is even one Saturday night film. Ticket this year are $11 for adults ($13 at the door); $7 for active military (ID required) and students (ID required, 25 years & under); $150 Festival Pass. To see previews of all the films and purchase your tickets and film passes, visit gpjff.org.

na Ela


FACES & PLACES Healon G ast o




Alan Sandler. right, at ASU Faculty Club with noted author Healon Gaston who spoke about her new book, Imagining Judeo-Christian America: Religion, Secularism, and the Redefinition of Democracy. Sandler is associate director of development, humanities, at the university. GROUP PHOTO BY LENI REISS

ALL THAT JAZZ – Linda Moskowitz, pictured with her husband,

Les, was honored at Congregation Or Tzion’s All That Jazz Gala at Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas on Feb. 1.

GOING PUBLIC – Jake Bennett gave public testimony on

Jan. 29 at the Arizona Senate committee hearing on Arizona’s anti-Semitism bill. When passed into law, it will adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism as a tool for evaluating and identifying incidents of anti-Semitism in the State of Arizona.


CRIMINAL EVIDENCE – At the opening event on Jan. 26 at the Burton Barr Central Library, of the Holocaust by Bullets Exhibition, Nancy Herman and Bob Mautner meet with Ewa Schaller, center, representing American Friends of Yahad-In Unum. Since its founding in 2004, the organization has conducted numerous research trips, identifying execution sites and interviewing more than 7,000 eyewitnesses in 11 countries. For information about the ongoing exhibit go to HolocaustbyBulletsAZ.com. GROUP PHOTO BY LENI REISS

SURVIVOR’S SPEECH – Former Sunnyside Unified School District teacher and Holocaust survivor Theresa Dulgov spoke at a hearing to promote a bill which would ensure that Arizona students are taught about the Holocaust at least twice between seventh- and twelfth-grades. PHOTO BY MORGAN WILLIS/AZEDNEWS

NOTED LECTURER – “Who is a Jew: Identity,

Peoplehood and Conversion” was his wide-ranging topic when Rabbi Dr. David Ellenson addressed a welcoming crowd at the Jan. 23 Valley Beit Midrash event at Temple Solel. Ellenson is Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College. Pictured with him are A.J. Frost, VBM senior director of operations and Lisa Hendizadeh, event coordinator. PHOTO BY LENI REISS ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020 59

Profile for JewishLifeMagazine

Arizona Jewish Life Feb. 2020 Vol. 8/Issue 4