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BACK! PASSOVER New book takes the stress out of Passover prep


MOYO In pursuit of justice

5 HEALTHY HOBBIES for seniors

CO N TE N TS Arizona Jewish Life March/April 2021 Adar-Nisan-Iyyar 5781 Volume 9/Issue 3




Gugulethu Moyo: In pursuit of justice BUSINESS


Ahron Cohen joins the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund 10 Mt. Sinai: A diamond in the desert 12 FRONT & CENTER

Artist Jere Moskovitz weaves wearable art Phoenix Art Museum’s new fashion exhibits Spring is in the air HEALTH

Take care of yourself to feel nourished and renewed ACTIVELY SENIOR

5 healthy habits for seniors with limited mobility Celebrate the Art of Aging


46 50 54 56 58 60




USHMM Presents 2021 Western Region Virtual Event SCC to host Genocide Awareness Week one last time


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PASSOVER Haggadah history Why is this wine different from all other wines? New book helps take the stress our of Passover preparation Purim and Passover: A tale of two tables

24 26 28 30





Summer camp is back! 32 Top ten things you never knew about camp 36 When at-risk and special-needs kids bunk together at camp 38 A taste of camp 42 15 benefits of summer camp 45

New book takes the stress out of Passover prep

5 HEALTHY HOBBIES for seniors


MOYO In pursuit of justice




MAR/APR 2021 Arizona Jewish Life • Adar-Nisan-Iyyar 5781 • Volume 9/Issue 3



Cindy Salt zman

602-538-AZJL (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


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ASTROLOGY: The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. SAMPLES SHOWN

TAMARA KOPPER tkplanets8@gmail.com


Spring, a season of hope CINDY SALTZMAN Publisher


lthough the hotter temperatures are just around the corner, we are truly enjoying these cool days as spring begins on March 20. Then, a week later, we will be celebrating the first night of Passover on March 27. It is difficult not to draw some symbolism from these two dates. Spring is associated with new life, and Passover commemorates the Biblical story of Exodus – where G-d freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  As more and more people are getting vaccinated, a sense of new life and new beginnings is taking hold. And few will take for granted the freedoms we had pre-pandemic. Let’s hope the progress continues. April brings a time of reflection during Genocide Awareness Month as we honor and remember the victims and survivors of genocides, including the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah. We also take time to honor the fallen soldiers and victims of terror on Yom Hazikaron. Then or sorrow turns to joy on Yom Ha’atzmaut as we celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s independence. We celebrate Women’s History Month in March, with the theme for 2021 being “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” We are thrilled to be featuring one of the most valiant Jewish women we know on our March/April cover. Gugulethu “Gugu” Moyo refused to be silent through genocide, imprisonment and suppression to build a thriving life and career and help so many along the way. Gugu – you are a wonder.   Gugu is the first Jew of color to lead a major Jewish museum in the United States. She is the executive director of the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center in Tucson, AZ. And Speaking of Tucson, we were saddened by the recent closure of the Arizona Jewish Post after 75 years. We have always admired Phyllis Braun’s work, who was AJP’s editor for almost 25 years. As an independent Jewish lifestyle magazine and content creator, we may look different than Jewish community newspapers, but we share the same goal of bringing awareness and sharing stories about all the remarkable people that make our community so vital. We will be working hard on expanding our coverage in the Tucson area to make sure that this vibrant Jewish community still has a voice. May this new season bring you renewal and hope,

Cindy Saltzman

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Yom Hazikaron APRIL 14

Yom Ha'atzmaut APRIL 15


Ahron Cohen

Joins the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund



xperienced sports chief executive officer Ahron Cohen has joined the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, a global leader in early-stage sports investing backed by lead and OurCrowd, as a venture partner. Armed with a specialized understanding of the business of sports, Ahron – the former president and CEO of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes – brings an experienced operator perspective in developing partnerships and commercial opportunities for ADvantage’s expanding global portfolio. “Working with the ADvantage team allows me to provide meaningful operational support to a growing portfolio of highly innovative technology companies, sideby-side with some of the industry’s leading investors,” says Ahron, who was widely recognized as the youngest CEO in major U.S. professional sports when he took over the Coyotes in July 2018. Before joining the Coyotes as general counsel in 2015, Ahron worked for the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise. Based in Phoenix, Ahron brought operational excellence and innovation to the team while CEO. He achieved franchise-record increases in virtually every business category during his time at the Coyotes, including ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, TV ratings, premium seating, merchandise and food and beverage. During his time with the Coyotes, the organization was widely recognized as a best-in-class franchise for fan experience, including a Top 3 ranking in the NHL by J.D. Power & Associates for overall customer satisfaction results. Ahron is also responsible for closing the largest nonnaming rights sponsorship deal in franchise history.

He was the recipient of the Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award in 2020, the Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award in 2019, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award in 2019 for his commitment to the Phoenix community. “Adding a seasoned operator of Ahron’s caliber to the team is highly complementary to both us and our portfolio companies, who do business with many of the largest leagues and media operators across the world,” says Jeremy Pressman, the founding partner of ADvantage. “Drafting Ahron to our all-star team further strengthens ADvantage’s ability to provide strategic value to our cuttingedge global portfolio.” Ahron joins an ADvantage team that includes former NBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist Michael Redd, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Christoph Sonnen, and investment principal and greatgrandson of Adi Dassler, Alex Bente. “It is a true privilege to join this exceptional ADvantage team,” Ahron adds. “I was immediately captivated by the team’s vision, investment philosophy and caliber of existing portfolio companies. Alex, Jeremy and the entire team have done a tremendous job positioning ADvantage as a market leader at the forefront of the rapidly accelerating sports technology world and I look forward to helping build upon this success. I am especially honored to be a part of an organization dedicated to advancing the global sports industry in the legacy of one of its greatest pioneers, Adi Dassler.”


For more information visit, advantagesportsfund.com. AZJL featured Ahron Cohen in our October 2019 issue. Read that article here.



Mt. Sinai: A diamond in the desert By Mala Blomquist



estled amid the xeriscape of northeast Phoenix sits “a diamond in the desert,” as Ira Mann, general manager, refers to Mt. Sinai Cemetery. The cemetery opened in 2005, and they are currently in the planning stages for the next 30 years. Mt. Sinai owns more than 30 acres of the land surrounding it and is now under construction to expand on the five and a half acres presently being used. In the next few weeks, the expansion will allow for the availability of 1,500 additional spaces. In the next phase, there will be 3,000 to 4,000 spaces added that will be available in a few months. Because they are a “newer” cemetery, they haven’t seen the heritage taking place – where generations are buried or planning to be buried near one another – until recently. Some of the children with parents at Mt. Sinai are starting to think of their legacy. “We have a lot under construction right now,” says Ira. “2020 was a crazy year for us between preplanning and people needing immediate services. Everything that was going on with COVID-19 opened up a lot of people’s eyes to preplanning. People that we talked to five or ten years ago, all of a sudden they’re calling up and saying, ‘You know, I think we need to get this done right now.’”

Nearly every rabbi in the Valley has officiated services at Mt. Sinai. Their goal is to provide a place for every single Jewish person, from Reform to ultra-Orthodox or even the unaffiliated. All are welcome. Jewish law stipulates that the body must be buried as quickly as possible following death, and even throughout the pandemic, Mt. Sinai has been able to offer this service to families. “We’re capable of doing it within 24 hours – or less,” says Ira. “As soon as we get the phone call, as long as we have a couple of hours in the morning to get it ready, we can have the service within 24 hours.” Ira credits this quick turnaround to an amazing team at the cemetery, including Ben Wilson. Ben is the grounds superintendent and has been with Mt. Sinai since 2005. “A lot of the people have been here for 11, 15, or 16 years, so it makes a huge difference,” says Ira. “Everybody knows what they’re doing.” The cemetery’s location amid the serene desert landscape also means that there is no grass and no lawnmowers driving around. Mt. Sinai also has sidewalks placed in front of all the plots so that visitors can pay their respects without walking on others’ graves. Another thing that sets Mt. Sinai apart is their commitment to the family; once they make contact, that person will handle everything for them. “You’re my family – from the beginning all the way to the end of the process,” says Ira. “You don’t go from one person to the other here. Whichever counselor you’re talking to from the beginning, we take care of you all the way through.” Throughout COVID-19, they have maintained their oneon-one personalized service, just without the handshaking or hugging that would typically happen when consoling someone who has suffered a loss. They adhere to mask protocols, sanitize the office daily, and have hand sanitizer available in multiple locations. They also keep services to a maximum of 10 people. Services are held outside under the large, covered pavilion that marks the center of the property. “The amazing part is we did not hit one stumbling block through this whole outbreak; we’ve run flawlessly throughout the whole time,” says Ira. Unfortunately, both he and the office manager caught the coronavirus; fortunately, they were mild cases. “We had our moments in life, but at the end of the day, we didn’t miss a beat, and we were able to accommodate every single person that walked through the door.” Mt. Sinai is located at 24210 N. 68th St. in Phoenix (off East Pinnacle Peak Road). For more information, call 480585-6060 or visit mtsinaicemetery.com.

“You're my family – from the beginning all the way to the

end of the process.”

- Ira Mann





MOYO In pursuit of justice By Mala Blomquist


ne might question how a girl that grew up in Zimbabwe, earned a law degree from Oxford and married a diplomat, ended up in Tucson, becoming the executive director of the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center. But the answers unfold when you hear Gugulethu “Gugu” Moyo share her incredible journey, and you understand that she’s right where she is meant to be. But it has not been an easy path. She is a genocide survivor, advocate for human rights, defender of media freedom, writer, mother, proud Jew, and now the first Jew of color to lead a major Jewish museum in the United States. Gugu does note that there is a familiarity with the vastness of Tucson’s landscape and the African savanna of her homeland. She loves the desert and jokes that sometimes she imagines it’s what being on another planet might look like. “Every day I go out of the house, I experience awe, in the real sense of the word, the beauty of this landscape,” says Gugu. “I haven’t been to many places that are more beautiful than this particular part of the world.”


MOYO FOUNDATION OF STRENGTH When Gugu was six years old, she lived with her grandmother, a teacher, and two aunts in a residential area in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in southern Africa. Political tensions were rising in the area in the months following Zimbabwe’s independence from the United Kingdom. Two liberation armies – Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army and the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army – both had set up camps in the suburb of Entumbane in Bulawayo as part of the demobilization exercise in the newly independent republic. Gugu’s home was located across the road from these encampments. In early 1981, a fight broke out between these two factions. When the gunfire began, the family fled their home in fear. “I remember being afraid and having to sort of crouch and move close to the ground. We had to run through a sports field because where we lived was near a school,” says Gugu. “I remember the sound of gunfire, but also red lights flying above you – bullets in the night sky.” The family ran through the city for about 10 kilometers until they reached the safety of a relative’s home. They went on to stay with various relatives until the violence paused and they could return home. “When we went back home, the walls were bulletridden. Someone had gone through the place and some valuables were gone,” says Gugu. Gugu remembers that once they got back, having to be quiet and hide within the home, sometimes under the bed, because soldiers were continually looking for people they referred to as “dissidents.” “A few months later (after we got home), we had to flee because the shooting started all over again. The fighting that was happening in the urban areas of Bulawayo.” The second time the family returned home, it was like déjà vu – bullet holes in the walls and the home had once again been ransacked. “I just remember the feeling and sense of helplessness,” says Gugu. “There was nothing ever done to address any of this. It was just an experience that people in this particular part of Zimbabwe had. In fact, many people deny that this happened.” These “Entumbane clashes” happened years before the Gukurahundi, a series of massacres of Ndebele civilians carried out by the Zimbabwe National Army, whose Fifth Brigade was trained by the North Korean military. Although there are different estimates, the consensus is that more than 20,000 people were killed from early 1983 to late 1987. The International Association of Genocide


Scholars has classified these massacres as genocide. “What did happen in the eighties was that there was a commission of inquiry established by the government at the time,” says Gugu. “But that report was never made public, I don’t know who’s read it, but it was never published.” The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe and Gugu is seen in other human rights organizations 2003 holding a have done reports on the atrocities. special edition of Still, there have been many the newspaper roadblocks to obtaining the truth where she worked, about the Zimbabwe National which was banned Army’s genocidal campaign against by Zimbabwe’s the Ndebele people. government “The obstacle is that the person who is said to have orchestrated the campaign is Zimbabwe’s president right now,” says Gugu. “And many of the military leaders who were involved are still in the army.” The murders took place across a fairly large part of Zimbabwe, and since there’s no formal documentation on who was killed and where, not all the victims’ bodies have been accounted for. There are mass graves in many places, and many have not been able to have proper funerals for their lost loved ones. “As a nation of Zimbabwe, we have not yet dealt with or addressed what happened,” says Gugu. “It makes a lot of sense that the people who are in power don’t want any proper investigation of this because there’s no real statute of limitation on murder, right?” PURSUING JUSTICE Gugu earned her first Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 1996. She also holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. For her, going to law school was about the pursuit of justice. “I had a very idealistic impression of what lawyers did and what the practice of law was,” says Gugu. “I went into law because I think lawyers working within the legal



system have a great deal of influence to how people are treated systematically. How rights are protected – or not.” Gugu was hired to be in-house legal counsel at Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the publisher of the Daily News, Zimbabwe’s largest daily newspaper that had a readership of almost a million people. The paper needed an in-house attorney because the laws that regulated media and journalism in Zimbabwe were intended to interfere with freedom of the press. Journalists were often intimidated, harassed, or charged with crimes of falsehood. “It was a criminal offense to publish false information,”







GUGU's PATH says Gugu. “Journalists make mistakes all the time, but can you imagine operating in an environment in which you could go to jail because of your mistakes?” The Zimbabwean government would offer incentives to people to put out false information to entrap journalists. They also required newspaper publishers to obtain a license under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. These licenses could be withheld or revoked by the Zimbabwean government based on the editorial stance of the publication. It was clear from the start that this legislation had been created to restrict media freedom. Gugu was always defending lawsuits against the paper. “Politicians would sue the newspaper, kind of routinely, for defamation,” she says. Fighting these continual lawsuits became a heavy financial burden on the paper. “They would sue the journalists or the publisher themselves for ridiculous amounts of money.” At that time, there were very few limits on the damages someone could claim. There was so much legal and physical risk involved with publishing in Zimbabwe. “Working for this publication was really an act of courage,” says Gugu. Independent newsstand vendors that carried the Daily News would be attacked on the street and have their newspapers stolen. The paper also had their offices bombed – twice. Throughout the time that Gugu worked there, everyone on the staff had been arrested or imprisoned at one point or another, herself included. (Gugu walked into a nightmare when she attempted to secure the release of a photographer that had been arrested covering Zimbabwe’s two-day national strike. She was repeatedly beaten and imprisoned for two nights, with no access to legal or medical help. Read The Guardian’s


coverage of the incident here.) “I went into this environment, not knowing what was going to happen, but I became increasingly committed to press freedom,” says Gugu. “The reason they were doing this is that we had so much power as the press. They wanted to keep the truth away from people. What we were doing to defend press freedom was incredibly important to our democracy.” The final straw came when the paper challenged the constitutionality of specific legislation. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ( which was the equivalent of the constitutional court) did not consider whether the law was in compliance with the press freedom guaranteed in the constitution. Instead, it told the paper to comply with the law first and come back to court afterward. “So we should have complied with the law before we challenged it? That was an unprecedented decision,” says Gugu. “The outcome was not what anybody had expected, and it drew a lot of criticism from the Zimbabwe legal community and legal communities and press freedom activists around the world.” After the decision came out, the police shut down the Daily News at gunpoint. That was in September 2003. A court order stated that the paper could re-open in December of that year, but when the paper prepared an eight-page edition for release, riot police arrived to shut down their printing press and blockade the building. Four top members of the Daily News staff were charged with illegal attempts to publish but were acquitted in





September 2004. MAKING A DIFFERENCE After Gugu left Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, she worked in Namibia for a bit. In 2004, she was recruited by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute to do advocacy work on the rule of law in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the region. With this position came a relocation to London. While in London, Gugu was intrigued when she saw that George Soros’ Open Society Foundation was looking to set up a legal aid organization to protect press freedom and respond to situations where the law is used to intimidate journalists. “Obviously, I was particularly experienced in ways in which legal pressure can be applied to interfere with press freedom and also the needs of those defending against these cases in difficult jurisdictions,” says Gugu. “I understood a great deal about that kind of operating environment. and what we could do.” She applied for the position and was hired as executive director for the Media Legal Defence Initiative in June 2009. The company was established as a nonprofit company in June 2008 and registered as an independent charitable organization in 2009. It was rebranded to Media Defence in 2020. Setting up a legal aid organization was incredibly ambitious work. The Open Society Foundation started it

off, but they were not going to support it financially for the long term. Gugu worked to raise funds from donors in both America and Europe. Some of these donors include the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Adessium Foundation, Google and the MacArthur Foundation. But Gugu’s work was not the only challenge in her life. She and her Jewish partner, Joshua Polacheck, a diplomat, were navigating a long-distance relationship. “I lived in London, and he was posted in Lebanon and then Pakistan during this period,” says Gugu. “We met in Zimbabwe; it was his first overseas assignment. I was working there at the time – I left Zimbabwe before he did.” The couple was married in New York on Aug. 25, 2009. But right before they entered the courthouse to exchange their vows, Gugu’s phone rang. “It was from somebody in Rwanda who was defending a journalist that had been incarcerated, and they needed funds to pay a lawyer. It was an emergency,” says Gugu. “I guess somebody else might have ignored that phone call. But I knew what that kind of experience was like for people, having lived in an environment like that.” She and Joshua did not want to live apart as a married couple, and they were trying to figure out who was going to move and quit their job. “Eventually, I moved to Washington, D.C., and that’s how I came to be living in the United States of America,” says Gugu.


MOYO JOURNEY TOWARDS JUDAISM When Gugu got to D.C., she formally started her path to conversion, but her connection to Judaism began many years earlier. “Working with lawyers, particularly South African lawyers, sparked my interest in Judaism,” says Gugu. “These South African lawyers, who, in that country, would have been classified as white, and so one would have expected them to go along with the apartheid system as most white people did at the time. But it was striking to me that these Jewish lawyers were often activists against apartheid, and played significant roles.” When she set up the Media Legal Defence Initiative, she also met icons of the human rights movement, who also were Jewish. One of these individuals was Aryeh Neier. Aryeh was president of the Open Society Institute from 1993 until 2012. He also co-founded Human Rights Watch and was the national director of the American Civil Liberties Union. She was curious about the ethics behind the faith, and as she learned and read more about Judaism, she came to a realization. “This is pretty much my tribe, you know? It was an organic sort of thing, a homecoming in terms of finding a community of people who share the same values about the world and ethics that I subscribe to.” Like most Zimbabweans, she grew up in a Christian environment, and attended a private Catholic school. “By the time I was exploring Judaism, I wasn’t seeking God because that’s not something I was in need of,” says Gugu. “It was about having a way of life that I thought was one that I wanted to lead. One of the things I particularly like about Judaism is that we examine and ask questions in order to get the truth, so agreement isn’t a requirement in Judaism. “The most important thing for me is the requirement to act and how much attention Jewish people devote to thinking about how we must act in the world, and the many ways that you can be a better Jewish person. That is something that appeals to me about Judaism.” FINDING A HOME IN THE DESERT In April of 2019, Gugu, Joshua and their young daughter decided to move to Tucson to be closer to her father-in-law, Dr. John Polacheck, z”l, who was ill. John had served with Indian Health Services in New Mexico, Alaska, Nevada and Arizona before settling in Tucson in 1992, when Joshua was in middle school. She remembers dropping their daughter off at preschool one day and talking to parents since they were “shul shopping.” One of the people they met was Bryan


Solomon “Sol” Davis, the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center’s executive director. He mentioned that the museum was currently looking for an operations director. They had only been in Tucson for about a month and Gugu applied for the job. She got that position and then officially became executive director in Jan. 2021, after Sol left to become the director at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. No one was probably happier for Gugu’s appointment as director of operations in July 2019 than her father-inlaw. John had been a volunteer involved in the restoration of the museum back when it was known as the Stone Avenue Synagogue. Built in 1910, it became the first Jewish house of worship in the Arizona Territory. After John died in November 2019, his memorial service was held at the museum. Aside from the building’s rich history, the museum is also Arizona’s only Holocaust history center. Gugu comments on the importance of the museum’s location, being so close to the border where migration is constant and immigrants escaping all kinds of situations end up settling in Southern Arizona. The concept of diaspora is something that she is very familiar with and has lived herself. “Because most of the collection at the museum is oral history, I intend to just keep telling these stories in more expansive and richer ways,” says Gugu. “What Jewish life is, and what it means to live a Jewish life in this particular part of the country.” She shares that the museum has done a significant amount of work educating people about anti-Semitism, including school children that make up the museum’s largest audience. Since the museum is also a Holocaust history center, Gugu says that they anticipated the upcoming mandate added to the state education standards where teachers will need to include lessons on the Holocaust and other genocides. They are working with the Holocaust Education Task Force and also with a small group of educators to create lesson plans, specifically for students in Arizona, that will not only teach Holocaust history but the history of several other genocides. Gugu also wants to include contemporary human rights issues and personal accounts from individual survivors. “When people can meet survivors and speak to them about their experiences, it’s a really powerful way of teaching this difficult history,” says Gugu. “The Holocaust was something that happened in Europe, but some of the people who were victims survived and ended

Left: With family at daughter, Thurza's, brit bat (welcoming ceremony). Top row from left, Michael Usher, Audrey Kremer, Marion Usher; bottom row from left, Joshua Polacheck, Gugu holding Thurza and John Polacheck, z"l Thurza's grandfather.




up here. They have carried on their life and have carried those stories with them and into their lives here. That is also true of other genocides.” She continues, “The Jewish History Museum tells complex stories in nuanced ways to help inform all of us about history. History that we don’t understand or don’t know. I also think it’s a place to reflect, share stories with others and learn from that history – what we can do better and how we can act in the future.”


Clockwise, above: Gugulethu Moyo, fourth from left, at Yad Vashem on a Sixth & I (their synagogue in Washington, D.C.) congregational trip to Israel in 2013. Rabbi Shira Stutman, senior rabbi at Sixth & I synagogue, is at far right; Gugu’s husband, Joshua Polacheck, is next to Stutman; the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center (courtesy Jewish History Museum); touring Yad Vashem; Gugu at Carmel Hai-Bar Nature Reserve in Haifa, Israel with Rabbi Stutman. PHOTOS COURTESY GUGULETHU MOYO

Entering the Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata, India



Haggadah history By Mala Blomquist


t’s always there, printed or photocopied, and as much a part of the Passover Seder as wine, bitter herbs and matzah – but have you ever thought of the origins of the Haggadah? The first-ever mention of the order of a Passover Seder is in the Mishnah, a written collection of Jewish oral traditions. The description is very similar to our modern-day seders, although history notes that the Haggadah did not come about until the time of the Talmud, probably in the third or fourth century CE. Over the next several hundred years, various parts were added and modified, until finally they were solidified around 700 -800 CE. Haggadah translates to “telling” in Hebrew. Reading the Haggadah at the seder table is a fulfillment of the mitzvah to relate the account of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt to the next generation. The Haggadah is said to be the most widely printed Jewish book. There are various Haggadot to choose from to fit nearly all religious, age-specific, political, or social justice needs. In addition to the Exodus retelling, it includes reading of the 10 plagues, asking of the four questions and explaining various Passover rituals. While some Haggadot are printed only in Hebrew and do not stray from the original text, many newer Haggadot explore alternative meanings for common seder symbols or encourage seder participants to reflect on the larger themes of emancipation and redemption and to explore their personal feelings of persecution and freedom. A Haggadah discovered in a trove of archived Jewish texts known as the Cairo Genizah in the storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat, The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah; The Emoji Haggadah The Baseball Haggadah: A Festival of Freedom and Springtime in 15 Innings


A family sits down to the Seder in the Sarajevo Haggadah. (COURTESY OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA.)

Old Cairo, Egypt, “is considered the oldest surviving Haggadah,” dating to about the year 1000. One of the oldest Sephardic Haggadot in the world is known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, believed to have been created in Barcelona by Spanish Jews around 1350 and bought by a museum in Bosnia in 1894. It is handwritten on bleached calfskin and illuminated in copper and gold. Its pages are stained with wine, evidence that its history includes many Passover Seders. According to My Jewish Learning, one of the most famous Haggadot in modern history is the iconic Maxwell House Haggadah, published by the Maxwell House coffee company. Having confirmed in the 1920s that the coffee bean is not a legume but a berry, and therefore kosher for Passover, Maxwell House tasked the Joseph Jacobs ad agency to make coffee, rather than tea, the drink of choice after seders. Maxwell House’s Haggadah was offered alongside its coffee cans in supermarkets throughout the United States beginning in 1932. It is still offered today at some supermarkets for free with a purchase of Maxwell House coffee. It has been updated over the years and even made it to the White House, where it was used by President Barack Obama when he hosted a 2009 seder. In 2011, Maxwell House edited the text’s section regarding the four “sons” to read “the four children,” and it changed “leavened or unleavened bread” to “bread or matzo” to modernize the language. In 2019, the company collaborated with Amazon to create a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-themed Haggadah. Unlike other Maxwell House Haggadot, this one contained a recipe card for “Midge’s Brisket” accord to eater.com. Following Maxwell House campaign’s success, nondenominational companies like Jack Frost Sugar, Borden Dairy and Crisco released “cookbook pamphlets” to remind consumers that their products were also kosher for Passover. A name synonymous with Passover, Manischewitz, which produces matzah, gefilte fish, and macaroons, as well as the infamous wine, put out a number of Haggadot in the 1960s through the ’90s. There are other playful Haggadot centered around pop culture printed in the past few years. Martin Bodek published The Emoji Haggadah (printed almost entirely in the colorful hieroglyphs) as well as The Festivus Haggadah, celebrating the sitcom “Seinfeld.” For sports fans, there is The Baseball Haggadah: A Festival of Freedom and Springtime

in 15 Innings, published in 2015 by The 1932 edition, Rabbi Sharon Forman. And in 2017, first pamphlet, Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg published with subsequent The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah, editions of putting the religious story in the the popular context of Harry Potter. Maxwell House For the DIYer, Haggadot.com lets Haggadah. you make your own Haggadah with thousands of options for blessings, artwork, translations, songs, activities and more. This year, whether you’re having an in-person seder, or Zooming it again, try incorporating a new Haggadah in the mix, but maybe keep the Maxwell version on hand, just for tradition’s sake.



W Why is this wine different from all other wines?


ith Passover just around the corner (starting sundown on March 27), many people choose to serve wines that are koshercertified. So, just how different is kosher wine from the non-kosher stuff ? “When it comes to taste, there’s no difference between kosher and non-kosher wine,” says Jay Buchsbaum, executive VP marketing and director of Wine Education at Royal Wine Corp. “In fact, many kosher wines are award winning – beating out their non-kosher competitors for top varietal prizes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and rosés as well.” Founded in 1848, Royal Wine Corp., the world’s largest purveyor of kosher wines and spirits, has been owned and operated in the United States by the Herzog family, whose winemaking roots go back eight generations to its origin in Czechoslovakia. There’s a common ‘urban legend’ that wine is rendered kosher after being blessed by a rabbi –that is incorrect. “For a wine to be made kosher there are strictly supervised purity guidelines that need to be followed from the moment the grapes enter the winery to when the wine is bottled,” adds Buchsbaum. To be considered kosher, Sabbath-observant Jews must supervise and sometimes handle the entire winemaking process, from the time the grapes are crushed until the wine is bottled. Any ingredients used, including yeasts and fining agents, must be kosher. Fining agents are substances that are usually added at or near the completion of the processing of brewing wine, beer and various nonalcoholic juice beverages. Their purpose is for removal of organic compounds; either to improve clarity or adjust flavor and aroma. Some Kosher wines are processed as mevushal, which means ‘cooked’ in Hebrew. Some wineries produce their mevushal wines by heating the must (grape juice) prior to fermentation, while others apply that procedure on the final product, prior to bottling. When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially, it will bear kosher certification granted by a specially trained rabbi who is responsible for supervision from start to finish. Recent years have seen increased demand for kosher wines, prompting a number of vintners in countries not previously represented to produce sophisticated kosher wines under strict rabbinical supervision in countries such as South Africa, Chile and Canada, in addition to traditional sources such as Israel, France, California Spain and Italy.

TEN MORE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KOSHER WINE 1. Kosher wine is made in precisely the same way as ‘regular’ wine. The only difference is that there is rabbinical oversight during the process and that the wine is handled by Sabbathobservant Jews. 2. Not all Israeli wines are kosher. Only about 30% of Israeli wine brands are certified kosher, but these kosher wineries produce over 90% of the Israel wine industry’s output. 3. In the 1980s, there were very few kosher wines. Buchsbaum says that Royal Wine only imported three kosher wines from Bordeaux back then. 4. The number of producers of kosher wines has dramatically increased in the past 10 to 20 years. To date, Royal Wine Corp. represents more than 60 kosher wine producers. This is due to an increase in interest from consumers who are adding to their kosher wine portfolios, and in some cases building actual kosher wine cellars in their homes, a rare sight just two decades ago. 5. While several well-known wineries in countries from all over the world including France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina are crafting special runs of kosher wine, California is not. Except for Marciano Estate, which produces a kosher run of their Terra Gratia, a high-end Napa Valley Blend, all kosher California

wine is made by fully kosher wineries such as Herzog Wine Cellars, Covenant and Hagafen. 6. The reason many Passover dinners feature red wine is because there’s a rabbinic opinion that red wine is preferable since it’s the same variety that Jews used during their seders after they escaped Egypt. 7. Kosher wines can range in price from $5 a bottle to $500. The average price for a bottle of good kosher wine is $25. 8. The most popular Moscato in the United States happens to be kosher. Bartenura produces the largest selling imported Italian Moscato in the U.S. The Moscato in the famous blue bottle sells over 5,000,000 bottles annually, only a fraction of which to the kosher market. 9. Currently there is a steady increase in total wine consumption and a great interest specifically in high-end Israeli wines, as well as the better French wines. 10. Drinking wine can be a mitzvah (good deed). Kosher wine is prescribed for use in many Jewish rituals: brit milah (circumcision), the wedding chuppah (canopy), and the Kiddush that starts all Sabbath and holiday meals. While most occasions call for just one cup, on Passover, Jews are required to drink four cups of wine at the seder.

Whether for the Passover Seder or at a simple dinner with friends, these topquality wines are sure to satisfy on all occasions. Stoudemire Origins 2018 and Stoudemire Clarity Rosé 2020 – After establishing a line of kosher wines produced in the Upper Galilee, NBA All-Star Amaré Stoudemire expands his offerings to California in collaboration with Herzog Wine Cellars (USA). SRP: $24.99. Herzog Lineage Rosé 2020 – This casual rosé’s flavors include pomegranate, raspberry and tart cherry (USA). SRP $19.99 Château Roubine Rosé 2020 – The rosé wines of this top-ranking classed growth Provence Château are now imported exclusively by Royal Wine Corp. and are kosher for Passover, as well (France). SRP: $19.99-59.99 Herzog Generation IX Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Napa Valley 2018 – Herzog’s new flagship wine from the prized Stags Leap district, famous for putting California on the world wine map in 1976 (USA). SRP: $249.99 Bartenura Prosecco Rosé – Top quality pink sparkling wine from Italy, great for the Passover seder and all year round for small family gatherings and celebrations (Italy). SRP: $19.99 Château Meyney Saint-Estèphe 2018 – This famed Bordeaux Estate joins Royal’s family of high-end Bordeaux Châteaux producing kosher varieties (France). SRP: $79.99 Sforno – A new line of high value, affordable quality kosher wines produced by the celebrated Riglos winery (Argentina). SRP: $10-15



New book helps take the stress out of Passover preparation By Mala Blomquist


eira Spivak wants to help you not to be stressed about preparing for Passover – for real! Meira is the Oregon NCSY director, an international speaker and also a trained facilitator of the S.I.T method of creativity and innovation. She is a mother of eleven children and has used her first-hand knowledge of cooking, cleaning and child-raising to help other parents navigate Pesach preparations. She released a book at the end of January titled, How to Make Pesach in 5 Days, based on the class she has been teaching for many years of the same name. “I feel like people get over stressed about Passover prep,” says Meira. “People are cleaning their moldings – what are you doing? There’s no leavened bread on your molding.” She’s all for cleaning, but she believes that people get stressed when there is so much to do, and they are spending their time on things that are not important – and not part of the preparation. Meira also mentions that she intentionally used the word Pesach in the title and not Passover. “If somebody only makes one seder for Passover, it probably doesn’t take them five days,” she says. “This (book) is really for the people having multiple guests for many meals. You know, it’s overwhelming if you’re not organized about it.” The 70-page guide contains an easy-to-follow fiveday blueprint – along with sample menus, shopping lists, and heirloom recipes – to help you move quickly 28 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE




and efficiently through the steps of removing chametz, kashering the kitchen, and shopping and cooking for the holiday. Plus, a stress-free plan for taking care of pre-holiday details, such as preparing clothing, inviting guests and planning meals. Meira shares that she always tells people not to make a big deal out of things that are not a big deal. “It’s like when I go to the store during Thanksgiving time, and I see these people throwing things in their cart, and they’re so overwhelmed. I think, ‘I do this every week for Shabbat, chill out,’” says Meira. “What this book tries to do is break down everything, so it’s not a big deal.” She purposely did not put complicated recipes in the book because she believes when you come to a Pesach seder, the important part is the messaging and the experience. “If we’re so caught up about the brisket or when we’re going to eat, then we’re missing the point,” says Meira. “Things are going to go wrong – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Go with the flow. It’s more important for your kids to see you being positive and smiling; it doesn’t help anyone to get stressed out.” To order How to Make Pesach in 5 Day, visit oregon.ncsy.org/ pesachbook. All of the proceeds from the book will be donated to NCSY for their programming. NCSY’s mission is to connect, inspire and empower Jewish teens and to encourage passionate Judaism. Meira’s favorite recipe in the book is for her mother’s “killer” Rocky Road Brownies.

ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES Recipe by Susan Rabinowicz This recipe’s ingredients are broken down into three parts: INGREDIENTS:

A 1 ½ cups oil 3 cups sugar 4 teaspoons vanilla 6 eggs

B 1 ½ cups potato starch 1 cup cocoa ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt

C 1 bag chocolate chips 1 bag miniature marshmallows

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the ingredients from group A. Add the ingredients from group B and mix thoroughly. Then fold in the ingredients from group C. Pour into a 9” x 13” pan and bake for 45 minutes. WARNING – you might not be able to stop at one!


Purim and Passover: A Tale of Two Tables By Amy Hirshberg Lederman




he experience of celebrating conversation with meaning, and yes, an Jewish holidays has been even more inclusive seder with people dramatically altered since the under other circumstances would not onset of the pandemic more ordinarily be inclined to attend. than a year ago. From solitary Passover We read in the Haggadah about the Seders to attending High Holiday four sons (although today we speak services in our pajamas on zoom, we of the four children): the wise, the have tried our best to stay connected to rebellious, the simple, and the one who tradition despite the precautions and is unable to ask. Over 60 years ago, the restrictions COVID-19 has required. late Chasidic Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Last week we celebrated Purim, with Schneerson, wrote a seminal Passover many of us sitting at our kitchen tables letter that expanded the seder’s core zooming a Megillah reading while purpose: to find and invite the “fifth nibbling on hamantaschen and sipping son” – any man or woman who is schnapps. conspicuous by his or her absence from The Megillah, Book of Esther 1:1-5, the seder table. opens with King Ahashveros making This notion can inform us today an outlandishly lavish feast (mishteh, by creating an awareness of who is in Hebrew) for all of his officials, not at the table. It can also inspire us nobles, armies and servants, from the to invite to our seder any person – be In this painting by Edwin Longdsen 127 provinces over which he reigned. It it a stranger, friend, co-worker or Long (1829-91) Queen Esther is wasn’t just a one-night affair, either, but family member – who, for whatever preparing to see King Xerxes I, on a huge, elaborate and decadent festival reason, has left the tradition or never whom she will prevail to spare the that continued for 180 days! felt a part of it. And oddly enough, Jewish people from genocide. She The story goes on to tell us that COVID-19 has made that not only is celebrated for her success in the the drunken king demanded his easier but more natural. Jewish holiday Purim. queen, Vashti, to appear before him to Many of us will have Zoom seders show off her beauty (and who knows what else), but she for the second year in a row. But this year, let us not focus refused. Her punishment was irrevocable banishment and on what we may have to forgo – the joy of serving our the replacement by Esther, the most beautiful of all the matzah ball soup in person or kvelling up close when maidens to come before the king. the youngest child recites the four questions or finds the The king then made Esther’s banquet – a “great feast” afikomen. called the mishteh gadol – for his officers and servants. This year, let us instead focus on expanding our seders Rather than the mishteh described in the Megillah’s to include a “fifth child.” Let us employ the frustration, opening passages, Esther’s feast, by contrast, was much disappointment and fear that COVID-19 has caused as smaller and less opulent. (Esther 2:18) an impetus to bring others out of isolation and into our This seeming contradiction was beautifully interpreted homes to be a part of the seder experience. by a family friend, the late Dr. Arnold Schonfeld. Perhaps Because, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is this: the Megillah is suggesting that it is not the number of none of us should be forced to be alone, especially when people or the elaborate nature of how we entertain that we long to be a part of something meaningful and share defines the significance of an event, but the merit and our stories with others. As the Haggadah itself proclaims: value of those in attendance that give the event meaning. “Let all who are hungry, come and eat; all who are in need, This interpretation offers a lovely way to approach the come and celebrate the Passover with us.” holiday of Passover during the continuing challenges of In this way, COVID-19 can be a touchstone to inspire this pandemic. While we may be cautiously optimistic us to let all who are hungry for inclusion, partnership, about the future now that the vaccine is more readily sharing and relationship, whether near or far, be welcomed available, we must remain vigilant to protect the safety and to join our seder table. health of those dear to us as well as the general public. The net result will mean that many, if not most, of our seders will still be extremely limited in terms of size, grandeur Amy Hirshberg Lederman has written AMY more than 300 columns and essays and numbers of guests. HIRSHBERG that have been published nationwide, But, as the Megillah points out, we need not feel that LEDERMAN amyhirshberglederman.com less is less; rather, we can strive to create a seder table where less is actually more. More time to prepare, more ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2021 31


SUMMER CAMP IS BACK! Last summer, according to the American Camp Association, only 18% of the country’s overnight camps welcomed kids. Too much was unknown at that point about COVID-19, and restrictions in many states didn’t permit camps to open. This year is looking to welcome kids back to camp, with many of the restrictions we have grown accustomed to: enhanced handwashing, mask wearing and physical distancing. Gone will be indoor group singalongs and large gatherings. Campers will mingle in smaller groups, eat and participate in activities with those they share a cabin with. Despite the changes, camp will still be a wonderful experience where children can get outside, away from the constant pull of electronic devices, and make new friendships that can last a lifetime. 32 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


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This summer, we’ll be spending more time outdoors, taking advantage of our beautiful campus in the Prescott Pines, together with cabin-mates. We’re increasing cleaning and sanitization, we’ve replaced our sinks with touch-less faucets, and are designing new outdoor dining spaces.

What would you like to tell parents to alleviate their concerns about sending their child to camp this summer?

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Grilled cheese and tomato soup, Shabbat in our Pearlstein Chapel, and Maccabiah await! nifer Walker, a ssi Jen

Camp Daisy and Harry Stein Overnight camp in Prescott, AZ

What are some of the changes that you have implemented for the 2021 summer camp season?

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We’re so excited to be back up in Prescott and look forward to once again creating the magic of camp. We’re developing new programming and experiences with your camper’s health and well-being in mind. We know how difficult this past year has been for so many and can’t wait to welcome your children into our community. They’ll make new friends, take a break from technology (no Zoom!) and spend time outdoors. We’re ready to all return back to our summer home!

What are you most looking forward to this camp season?

We’re looking forward to seeing all of our campers and staff in-person soon! Grilled cheese and tomato soup, Shabbat in our Pearlstein Chapel, and Maccabiah await!

What’s your fondest memory of camp when you were young?

JB: I’ve always loved Shabbat at camp, especially Chef Moe’s broccoli and Shabbat chicken! It’s been so meaningful to see my campers become counselors themselves, and now join us on the leadership team at Camp Stein! JW: One of my favorite memories from when I started at camp was hanging out in the cabin with my campers and cocounselors.



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Staff work closely with our COVID-19 and medical committees to create our health and safety protocols. Our tzevet (staff ) are passionate  about creating super fun and creative programming that can be executed safely and still bring people together. They receive training on how to best support youth who may be struggling with the uncertainties and loneliness of life in a pandemic, something that everyone is dealing with right now. We know that Camp Miriam will be a safe place to find togetherness and community in whatever form camp takes this summer.

What are you most looking forward to this camp season?

I am looking forward to all of the Shabbat traditions that are a part of camp, especially doing Rikkud on Friday. Doing Israeli dancing in such a fun, silly and inclusive space has always been one of my happiest camp memories, and I can’t wait to do that again!

What’s your fondest memory of camp when you were young?

Picking the fondest memory of camp seems impossible because I have so many wonderful memories, but one that comes to mind is our Yom Meyuchad theme days. The theme of one of the first theme days I was ever a part of was Alice in Wonderland, and I will never forget how camp turned into another world and my madrichimot (counselors) became Alice, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. It was truly an experience of Machaneh Miriam Magic!



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What would you like to tell parents to alleviate their concerns about sending their child to camp this summer?


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All the madrichimot (counselors) are looking forward to the time when we can reconnect and do the fun Camp Miriam things we love to do together, like Shabbat at the Point, toranut in the Chadar Ochel, and playing gaga with our friends. Our goal this summer is to bring as much of the Camp Miriam magic to as many chanichimot (campers) as possible. This means that we may be on Gabriola Island or do a kaytana (day camp) again in the city.  At this time, we sadly do not know if coming to Canada will be a possibility for U.S. kids due to  the Canada/USA border closure.



What are some of the changes that you have implemented for the 2021 summer camp season?

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Habonim Dror Camp Miriam Overnight camp in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Our goal this summer is to bring as much of the Camp Miriam magic to as many chanichimot (campers) as possible.



Top Ten Things You Never Knew About

CAMP Camp has become a staple of the summer season. Each year, millions of children, youth, and adults head to the hills, lakes, valleys, and parks to participate in the time-honored tradition of camp. And, while most people easily conjure up images of campfires and canoes, there is a lot more to the camp experience. Here are ten of the things you may not have known about the camp experience. 10. Camp is older than dirt, almost literally.

9. Camp is worth its weight in gold, and then some!

Started in 1861, the camp experience turned an impressive 150 years young in 2011. The secret behind the longevity? “One hundred and fifty-five years later, there is a camp for every child,” says Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer for the American Camp Association (ACA). “from specialized camps to general, traditional camps, the essence of the camp experience is stronger than ever.”

The camp experience is lifechanging – developing friendships and memories that last well beyond the final campfire. And, there is a camp for literally every budget. Often camps offer special pricing or financial assistance, and some camp experiences qualify for tax credits or for payment with pre-tax dollars. Visit ACAcamps. org for more information.


8. Green is “zen.” Research shows that first-hand experience with nature, like those at camp, reduce stress in children and help them better handle stress in the future. In addition to teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment, camps are teaching children how to enjoy the world around them and take a minute to breathe deep and feel the nature, which ultimately teaches them how to de-stress the natural way.

7. Mommies and Daddies do it too. Camp is not just for children and youth. There are family camp experiences, and camps for single adults, senior adults, and any adult that wants to relax and enjoy all camp has to offer. Adults benefit from the same sense of community, authentic relationships, and selfdiscovery that children do. Camp is an excellent vacation option, allowing adults to try a variety of new activities in a safe and fun environment. 6. Try this on for size!  Camp is a great place to try new activities and hobbies. Afraid of rock walls? According to ACA research, 74% of campers reported that they tried new activities at camp that they were afraid to do at first. And, those activities often leave lasting impressions. In the same survey, 63% of parents reported that their child continued new activities from camp after returning home. 5. Manners matter, and often linger.  The camp experience teaches more than just archery or lanyard making. The entire experience is made of teachable moments, perhaps one of the biggest is how to live with a group of people. Campers learn to pick up after themselves, respect each other’s property, and to say “Please” and “Thank You.” 4. Veggies taste better with friends.  Hollywood and fictional novels may have given camp food a bad reputation, but in truth, camps are constantly exploring healthy food options, and often are at the forefront of things like allergy specific diets, healthy snack options, and vegetarian meals. According to

ACA’s 2011 Emerging Issues survey, 90.7% of responding camps indicated that healthy eating and physical activity was an important or very important issue. 3. If everyone else went to camp, maybe there’s something to it! Camp has played an important role in the lives of some of the most talented people in history. ACA’s family resource site offers a list of notable campers – including business professionals, celebrities, artists and great thinkers. 2. Camp gets those neurons pumping!  Education reform debate and concern over summer learning loss have pushed academic achievement into the spotlight. Research shows that participation in intentional programs, like camp, during summer months helps stem summer learning loss. In addition, camp provides ample opportunity for developmental growth, which is a precursor to academic achievement. And, because of the “hands-on” nature of camp, often children who struggle in traditional education settings do well at camp. 1. Camp builds leaders for the 21st century and beyond!  Independence, resiliency, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and the ability to relate to other people – these are the skills that tomorrow’s leaders will need, and the skills camp has been adept at building for 150 years. “Camp gives children and youth the critical tools they will need to become successful adults,” says Rosenberg.

For more information on preparing your child for an independent, fun-filled summer, visit ACA’s family resource page at ACAcamps.org. Or, follow ACA on  Facebook and Twitter  for helpful hints and camp information. Reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association. ©2021 American Camping Association, Inc.

About American Camp Association The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 12,000 individual members and 3,100 member camps. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits more than 2,400 diverse US camps. ACA Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit ACAcamps.org  or call 800-428-2267.





When at-risk and special-needs kids bunk together at camp By Abigail Klein Leichman


uring the summer of 2019, two at-risk teens – Or, 18, and Ben, 17 – came to a unique sleepaway camp run by My Piece of the Puzzle, an Israeli nonprofit that integrates youth at risk and youth with special needs. From day one, these boys were aiming to get kicked out. “They didn’t follow directions at all, did whatever they wanted and weren’t nice to me or any of the counselors,” says cofounder Jenna Elbaz. “They made fun of the rules, smoked cigarettes during activities, made fun of the other campers – both youth at risk and youth with special needs. They threatened that if they didn’t get their own room they would leave.” On the second day their behavior only got worse, so they were asked to leave. “We don’t believe in giving up on anyone, but we felt like they weren’t keeping themselves and the other campers safe,” explains Elbaz. Before Ben and Or finished packing, a shy lowfunctioning 14-year-old camper approached. “Tomorrow we have horseback riding. Can you help me get on the horse?” he asked them. That changed everything. The boys begged Elbaz and cofounder Shaked Karp to give them another chance. “For the rest of the week they were amazing. They helped us with other campers who misbehaved and became very close with that camper with special needs,” says Elbaz. “On the last full day of camp, a friend of theirs was killed in a car accident. They were crying and we asked them if they would like to go home, but they said no. They chose to stay with all of their new friends until the end of camp.” OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING In a classic example of young Israelis taking extraordinary leadership initiative, Elbaz and Karp started My Piece of the Puzzle in their mid-20s. After finishing military service, they had gone to New Left: Counselor Tali Yechieli with My Piece of the Puzzle campers.

York to work at a summer camp that accepts a hodgepodge of troubled kids and special-needs kids unsuited to other camps. “We saw that if you pair at-risk kids with those with special needs, something magical happens,” says Karp. “This togetherness makes each population improve because kids with special needs usually stay together and don’t connect with others. And when kids at risk meet special-needs kids it opens their minds and makes them realize how much they can do for others.” She and Elbaz got permission to bring a few at-risk Israeli teens to the camp the following four summers. Wanting to benefit more teens, they innovated their own model of purposefully integrating the two groups at a free sleepaway camp in Israel for 14- to 18-year-olds. They decided to assign an even number of special-needs and atrisk campers to each bunk. One of the first volunteer counselors was a young man they’d brought to New York several years before. “It took us a long time to convince people that it’s possible and that the combination strengthens everyone.” GETTING KIDS OUT OF THE BOX Elbaz and Karp introduced some unique elements to their program. The main innovation is that My Piece of the Puzzle campers build relationships during the year so that they don’t come to camp as strangers. This is accomplished by partnering with one at-risk and one special-needs school in cities from north to south. Future campers meet regularly at the schools, which serve diverse populations; Karp says two Bedouin schools may be joining the program. Some of the teachers work as advisers in the summer camp. Another unique aspect of My Piece of the Puzzle is community service. One summer, campers delivered handmade puppets and costumes to a kindergarten for kids with autism. Another summer they crafted magnets as gifts for hospital workers. ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2021 39

CAMP My Piece of the Puzzle, an Israeli summer camp integrating at-risk and special-needs teenagers.

Supported by donations, My Piece agreed. “I felt like he just wanted to of the Puzzle operates on the 60-acre go home,” she explains. Jordan River Village in northern Israel, Surprisingly, Nimrod did not want which runs programs for children with to leave early. He was determined to disabilities or serious diseases. Elbaz, perform at the talent show on the last who has a degree in criminology and night of camp. education, worked at Jordan River “In My Piece of the Puzzle, we Village for two years. celebrate success and we set personal Karp, now finishing law and goals with every camper. We know psychology studies, says My Piece of the that our campers have very low selfPuzzle will expand. esteem and we believe in celebrating “We are spreading around our idea big and small successes such as Founders Jenna Elbaz and and vision because we see that it’s following directions, making new Shaked Karp. successful. Teachers in the schools we friends, stepping out of their comfort are working with see the benefits of helping these kids get zone, trying new things, kicking a ball, sharing their talent out of the box. We really think this will benefit them and with their friends, helping each other and more,” says Elbaz. society.” “Nimrod was very distant at first, but because he didn’t give up and came to every activity instead of going home, NIMROD TAKES THE STAGE he saw the amazing energy that the counselors have, he Nimrod, 14, came to My Piece of the Puzzle in the saw how other people stepped out of their comfort zone summer of 2017. Although he’s on the high-functioning and most important of all, he felt like he was in a safe end of the autistic spectrum, he didn’t interact with anyone enough environment in order for him to get up on the – not even the three classmates he came to camp with. stage and sing.” “His mom and I spoke to each other every day because I really wasn’t sure he was having fun,” says Elbaz. “I didn’t For more information, visit see him smile or connect with any of his friends or anyone mypieceofthepuzzle.wixsite.com/mpop. new.” Nimrod’s mother wanted to pick him up a day before Article courtesy ISRAEL21c. the end of the session to attend a family event, and Elbaz The piece first appeared on israel21c.org on Jan. 19, 2020. 40 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE


A TASTE OF CAMP Whether your child is anxiously awaiting

going to summer camp

or you are just going to sleep in the backyard

under the stars, recreate the fun desserts of

camping at home with these no-campfireneeded treats.


Recipe courtesy Mountain Cravings Camping isn’t camping without a roaring fire, and a fire isn’t complete without s’mores! Here’s an easy way to enjoy all the goodness of s’mores from your kitchen. Golden-brownslightly-charred marshmallows melt over rich chocolate ganache. INGREDIENTS: 8 graham crackers 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup milk 8 oz. chocolate, chopped 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 2 cups miniature marshmallows


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 325°. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until crumbs begin to clump together. Press crumbs firmly into an even layer in a foillined 8x8 pan. Bake crust at 325° for 10 minutes. While crust is baking, bring cream and milk to a simmer in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, vanilla and salt until smooth. Warm eggs under hot running water to bring them to room temp, then whisk into chocolate one at a time. Pour chocolate mixture over baked crust. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes, until chocolate is just set in the center. Scatter marshmallows over the top and gently press into the chocolate filling. Return to the oven and broil on high until marshmallows are golden brown. Let bars cool and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let filling completely set before cutting.

CREATE YOUR OWN CAMPSITE Recipe courtesy Sandra Denneler for SheKnows

Create clever tent cookies and campfire crackers in your kitchen with a few simple ingredients. No baking required!

TENT COOKIES RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Chocolate candy melts (1/2 cup or less) Graham crackers Caramel apple wraps INSTRUCTIONS: Form tent from graham crackers Melt chocolate candy melts in a microwave safe dish. Pour into a pastry bag (or use a zip-closed bag with the end snipped off). Pipe the edges of three graham cracker squares with the candy melt and join to form

an A-frame tent. Wrap tent in caramel Allow them to dry and harden. Place one side of the graham cracker tent on a caramel wrap. Fold the caramel over the graham cracker tent, until it reaches the bottom edge of the other side. Seal tent back and create opening Cut the front and back flaps of caramel. Wrap the back flaps to seal shut. Cut the front pieces to make the flap openings of the tent.

CAMPFIRE TREATS RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Ritz crackers Peanut butter Red/Yellow Fruit Roll-Ups Pretzel sticks Chocolate-covered raisins Powdered sugar PREPARE THE CRACKERS Spread peanut butter on the crackers. CREATE THE “FLAMES” Cut strips of red and yellow Fruit Roll-Ups into jagged, triangle/flame-like edges. Layer the red strips

over the yellow strips and cut into 1-inch segments. Attach the “logs” and “flames” to crackers Insert tiny pieces of pretzels and the Fruit RollUp fires into the peanut butter centers. ADD THE FINISHING TOUCH Dust chocolate-covered raisins with powdered sugar. Attach chocolate-covered raisin “rocks” around the outside edge of the crackers. Present your adorable tent cookies and campfire treats together!



CAMPFIRE BANANAS AT HOME Recipe courtesy Joy the Baker

INGREDIENTS: Bananas, ripe and peeled Milk chocolate chips Miniature marshmallows Chopped pistachios Rainbow sprinkles Crumbled Oreos Sugary cold cereal INSTRUCTIONS: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat oven to 400°. Slice bananas down the center vertically. Top each banana with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Wrap each banana individually in aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until chocolate and marshmallow has melted and the bananas are softened slightly. Remove from the oven, carefully open the foil and top with whatever toppings you’d like. Enjoy!


15 BENEFITS OF SUMMER CAMP As adults, many people look back fondly on the days of summer camp. They remember the thrill of building a fire with friends for the first time, or the carefree afternoons spent swimming under the summer sun. Camp became not just a way to pass summer break, but a vital part of who they are. At camp, children grow, explore and learn about themselves and the people and world around them, and they have fun throughout the entire process.




Develops Lifelong Skills

Provides Fun Screen-Free Activities

Nurtures Friendships

2 Promotes Independence 3 Makes Time for Play 4 Teaches Teamwork 5 Teaches Resiliency

7 Encourages a Connection with Nature 8

12 Teaches Kids to Respect Differences 13

Fosters Growth

Keeps Kids Intellectually Engaged



Builds Self-Esteem

Promotes Growth in a Safe Environment

10 Supports Healthy Living

15 Gives Children a Sense of Purpose

Gateway Region YMCA 2019 ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2021 45



Jere’s latest creations are crocheted baskets


Jere Moskovitz weaves wearable art By Mala Blomquist


ucson artist Jere Moskovitz says that she was always a “textile kind of person.” She was taught how to knit and crochet by her mother and grandmother as a young girl. After earning a BFA in Apparel Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, Jere began a 20-year career in the apparel industry. Her work took her to yarn mills, dye factories and yarn shows throughout Europe and Asia, which further cemented her love of textiles. In 2010, Jere was searching for a particular kippah to wear to her son’s bar mitzvah. “I ended up having one made by somebody who had a different kind of look than what the typical ones were,” says Jere. “When I got it, I said, ‘Wow, I can do this. I can do better than this.” She started researching

crocheting with wire. Jere tried knitting the wire as she would yarn, with standard knitting needles. But wire doesn’t have the same kind of give as fiber does, so she wasn’t pleased with the results. Then Jere discovered fiber artist Adrienne Sloane from Massachusetts. She was intrigued by the look she was achieving with her wirework, so she signed up for a class with her. When the class was canceled, Jere was able to book some one-on-one time with Adrienne at her studio. “I spent a weekend with her, which was the most incredible experience of my life,” shares Jere. “I had never taken classes. I was self-taught on a lot of things as an adult, and she taught me this method – there is really no name for it – I’ve seen it referred to as a finger loop knitting.” Jere explains that

you form stitches on a mandrel or anything round – like a pencil or knitting needle. Then as you go, you flatten out the stitches and manipulate them to connect to one another. The result is a knitted piece with an even structure. She had been experimenting with this technique when a friend approached her and asked if she would make her a kippah for her son’s bar mitzvah. This woman was a jewelry maker, and asked Jere if she would incorporate beads into the headpiece. “I didn’t even own a bead at that point because I’d never done any beadwork,” says Jere. The woman supplied the beads and was thrilled with the results. “I showed it to my friends that were at my synagogue that worked in the gift shop, and they said, ‘Oh, that’s really


Knitted titanium color wire necklace with black and silver bead woven slider bead.


Crocheted wire bracelet with glass beads and leather cord.


cool. You should make some for the gift shop.’ So I made a couple of dozen, and they let me show them at their Hanukkah boutique.” Jere was having a challenge with how to price her items, so she consulted the owner of The Aesthetic Sense in New York, who was very knowledgeable about the Judaica market. She sold everything from high-end Judaica art to women’s tallitot and kippot. She liked Jere’s work, so she started leaving her a few dozen kippot on consignment, “We had a good relationship for several years,” says Jere. “She ultimately ended up closing her retail store, but she still sells online.” As more and more people started seeing Jere’s art, people would tell her that they loved her work, but they don’t wear a kippah, and started asking, “Why don’t you make jewelry?” In fact, Jere had been experimenting with making jewelry, but she hadn’t quite found the right clasps

and findings in the metal she liked working with. “I had this particular look – antique copper, vintage bronze, titanium, hematite – those are my colors,” says Jere. “Sometimes I combined two colors, so I’d get an iridescent effect, but I had to find clasps that matched to the wire. So once I found those then things took off in the jewelry department.” After making her kippot for about six months, Jere was made aware of a head covering exhibition in Canada. She knew that she had to “push the envelope” on her creations if she was to be chosen for this show, so she began weaving yarns and ribbons in a variety of textures and colors along with the wire. Both of the pieces she entered were selected for the exhibit. Being in that exhibit gave Jere the confidence to apply to a large, high-end Judaica show held annually in White Plains, NY. “It was a limited, juried application process. I had (artist) friends that tried and couldn’t get in,” says Jere. “My first year I got into that show and sold very well. I only had a little bit of a jewelry presentation, but I had a big kippot presentation, and that was very exciting. It just kind of helped me get into that world of Judaica shows, and it blossomed from there.” Jere’s kippot and jewelry can be found at specialty shops and galleries; she prefers people seeing the work

Technicolor antique silver crocheted wire kippah with multi color variegated ribbon yarn and beaded edge.

in person instead of selling online because of her pieces’ tactile nature. Mostly she sells her art through shows across the country, and since the pandemic, those have stopped. But her creativity hasn’t. Her jewelry work is continually evolving, in addition to her “chunky necklaces,” she has been creating more delicate, longer necklaces and also pendants that are woven with seed beads and can be interchangeable. Shas also added a new piece to her repertoire – baskets. “I took some silk sari ribbon and captured it in a basket as I was crocheting it, and I really love that look so I made maybe half a dozen baskets at the beginning of the quarantine.” She does admit that she has “backed off ” a little in the production department. “When the pandemic first occurred, I was like, ‘I’ve got loads of materials, I can just keep creating. After filling in some inventory on jewelry, I thought, ‘I’m not going to keep doing this because I have no idea when I’m going be able to do a show again.” Until we can see Jere’s art at a show, you can see her art at studiojere.com or by contacting studiojere@gmail.com. Sweet Pea - silver crocheted kippah with purple/lilac beads.

Rose Garden antique copper crocheted wire kippah with variegated rose and purple ribbon yarn and beaded edge.



Peggy Moffitt modeling ensemble designed by Rudi Gernreich, Fall 1968 collection. Photograph © William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management & Fahey/Klein Gallery Los Angeles, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark.


Phoenix Art Museum’s new exhibits showcase daring fashions by design trailblazers


his summer, Arizona audiences will have the opportunity to view some of fashion’s most daring and iconic designs in “Fashion’s Subversives” at Phoenix Art Museum. Spanning the 19th century through today and featuring work by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Geoffrey Beene, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo (commonly known as Giorgio Sant’Angelo), Balenciaga, Rudi Gernreich and Paco Rabanne, the exhibition showcases nearly 40 examples of garments and accessories – from the humble denim jean to the scandalous bikini – that broke from culturally accepted norms and forever changed popular fashion and the fashion industry. “Fashion’s Subversives” will be on view from June 5 through Nov. 28, in the museum’s Ellman and Harnett galleries and complements the forthcoming exhibition “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich,” that will be on exhibit from April 7 through Sept. 26. “We are excited to present ‘Fashion’s Subversives’ to our audiences,” says Tim Rodgers, Ph.D., the Museum’s Sybil Harrington director and CEO. “This exhibition, presented in conversation with ‘Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich,’ examines the history of garments and their designers who bucked tradition. These stories, of artists who used their craft to challenge societal norms that limited self-expression, will surely resonate with current conversations about what’s beautiful and possible.” “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich” explores the significant social and cultural impact of the work of Rudolph “Rudi” Gernreich (1922–1985) through more than 80 ensembles and a collection of original sketches, letters, personal papers, photographs, press clippings and newly filmed oral histories. The acclaimed designer is best known for innovative and body-positive creations such as the “monokini” topless swimsuit, the thong, unisex clothing and pantsuits for women. Born in 1922 in Vienna, Austria, Gernreich, who was Jewish, fled Nazi oppression as a teen and immigrated to Los Angeles, where he continued to face discrimination. He eventually found a safe haven in the performing arts community and the gay rights movement, which drove him to seek social change and promote a truer expression of self through fashion design. Gernreich was propelled to fame when he launched his “monokini” design. He continued to create trailblazing designs throughout his career that illustrated his dedication to inclusivity, non-conformity and liberation. Created as a complementary exhibition to “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich,” “Fashion’s Subversives” amplifies the concepts of revolution, resistance and authenticity captured in the retrospective of Gernreich’s life and work, which is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Much like Gernreich’s own brave and audacious designs, the ensembles in “Fashion’s Subversives” changed contemporary fashion not only on the runway, but in real life. “’Fashion’s Subversives’ is very much born from the energy of ‘Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich,’” says Helen Jean, the museum’s Jacquie Dorrance curator of fashion design, who curated the exhibition. “These designers thumbed their noses at the idea of conforming to traditional standards of popular fashion and were uninterested in anticipating the newest trends. Instead, they sought to create something entirely new, something that people had never seen

Rudi Gernreich at his office in Los Angeles, 1966. Photograph © William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management & Fahey/ Klein Gallery Los Angeles, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark.


Rudi Gernreich with Peggy Moffitt modeling the “Marlene Dietrich” pantsuit, 1964. Photograph © William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management & Fahey/ Klein Gallery Los Angeles, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark. Rudi Gernreich papers (Collection 1702). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


Peggy Moffitt modeling ensemble designed by Rudi Gernreich, Resort 1968 collection. Photograph © William Claxton, LLC, courtesy of Demont Photo Management & Fahey/Klein Gallery Los Angeles, with permission of the Rudi Gernreich trademark.

before, and this exhibition celebrates those moments of going against the grain in big and small ways to challenge long-held views of propriety, beauty, and taste.” Jean organized the exhibition’s ensembles and accessories into sections based on the subversive ideals they embody. Works by designers who prioritized utilitarian function and comfort, including jumpsuits by Gernreich, Diane von Furstenberg, and Geoffrey Beene, contrast with garments by those who departed from the use of traditional fabrics and materials to create dresses made of chainmail, plastic discs, and, like Giorgio di Sant'Angelo, Lycra. A 1968 dress made of the stretch fabric by di Sant’Angelo hugs the body of its mannequin in, what was then, a scandalous celebration of the human form. Additionally, miniskirts and hot pants from the 1960s and 1970s and bathing suits that scandalized the beaches from the 19th century through the birth of the bikini after World War II, including iconic versions by Emilio Pucci and Rudi Gernreich, address the complicated subject of modesty. The exhibition also explores the histories of denim jeans as a symbol of 1950s youth culture; designs such as Chanel’s little black dress and the advent of costume jewelry, which undermined the socioeconomic hierarchy of the industry by making versatile, stylish and expensive-looking clothing and accessories affordable for the masses; and various ensembles that, in their time, transcended accepted gender norms, including Yves Saint Laurent’s 1967 smoking suit – the first tailored tuxedo suit for women. For more information on both exhibits, visit phxart.org.

Rudi Gernreich (in black necktie) with original members of the gay rights organization Mattachine Society, 1950. J. Gruber Papers, James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library.


Spring IS IN THE AIR After, what can be said, is one of the most trying years, the look towards spring conjures up flowers, freshness, color and hope.

SISGEM 14K solid gold flower stud earrings. $139.00 amazon.com

DOLCE & GABBANA Flower print silk organza trench coat. $2636.00 luisaviaroma.com


GUCCI Rouge à Lèvres Voile Sheer lipstick. $42.00 sephora.com Color shone: Millicent Rose

PASOTTI Spring floarl umbrella. $140.00 artemest.com

MARC JACOBS Daisy Love Eau So Sweet Eau de toilette. $86.00 1.7 oz. ulta.com IPHONE CASES Gustave Klimet Flower Garden • $26.99 • society6.com Yellow Cherry Blossom Floral Case • $25.00 • getcasey.com Frieda Floral iPhone Case • $26.99 • society6.com

JOULES Welly print - Grape Leaf Bircham Bloom $50.00 • luckoflouth.co.uk


H E A LT H Take care of yourself to feel

nourished and renewed By Bonnie Groessl


elf-care is an important part of staying physically and mentally healthy. When do you take care of yourself ? Very often, we put the needs of our work, families and other people ahead of our own. In order to be able to do all the things you do; you 56 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

must take care of yourself first. In fact, it’s the only way you are going to have the energy and strength to move ahead. What is good self-care for you? Perhaps you like to journal or text something nice to a friend. Maybe it’s

spending time watching videos of puppies, kittens, or something that makes you feel good. We all need those little mental breaks in our day. You may enjoy time in reflection, meditation or prayer, or perhaps going for a walk. It could be that you enjoy kickboxing to release stress or dancing in your living room like no one is watching. It is healthy to move our bodies in whatever way makes us feel good. Even daydreaming about something that makes you feel good is a way to practice selfcare. DECIDE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU You are unique. Everyone is. It’s essential to determine what actions make you feel good. Practicing self-care is meant to help you feel nourished and renewed. If you go to the gym because you think you should, but hate every minute of it, then it’s not helping you. It is not the self-care practice that is right for you. Anyone can provide examples of how to provide good self-care, but ultimately you need to decide what helps you feel nourished and renewed. The activities that help you relieve stress and feel good may change from time to time. Life is a journey and we are always evolving. Taking care of yourself starts with cultivating healthy habits to manage your stress and nurture yourself. Basic self-care measures include healthy eating, exercise, restful sleep, meditating, or just taking time to pay attention to your breath, even for a few minutes. DO WHAT YOU ENJOY Simple is not the same as easy. We all know adopting a new habit can be a challenge. It takes consistency and commitment to make changes in your daily routine. Self-care should not be just another thing you have to do, and you don’t have to change everything in your life all at once. Just choose one thing that you can adopt. Pretty soon, it becomes a part of who you are and not another thing to do. Life is busy, so do what you can. Incorporate activities whenever you can fit them into your day. A few minutes here and there is more manageable than setting aside a

longer time. This way, it doesn’t feel like another thing on your “to-do” list. CLICK HERE to see a demonstration of my twominute realization technique on YouTube. You may want to think about adding this to your daily routine, or whenever you need a break. SOME SELF-CARE PRACTICES TO THINK ABOUT ADDING TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE Begin at the beginning, with a healthy diet. You can enjoy some quick success simply by making healthy food choices. Eliminate processed foods from your diet and replace them with fresh, whole foods. It is wise to shop around the outside of the grocery store and limit the time you spend in the aisles. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking enough water will help you feel less hungry during the day while giving your body more of what it needs to operate efficiently. Even mild dehydration can cause decreased brain function. Hint: notice how your houseplants look when you forget to water them. As humans, we are meant to move. Activity helps you strengthen your muscles, and improve balance and coordination. Walking 30-40 minutes a day three to five times per week helps prevent cognitive decline. Keeping your heart rate up during your exercise period improves your cardiorespiratory endurance and helps create a healthier heart. Exercise that you enjoy is also a great stress reliever! Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. Being still and resting rejuvenates your body and mind. Not getting enough rest can negatively affect your mood, immune system, memory, and stress level. A good night’s sleep is vital for your health. Restful sleep can also improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory. However you choose to practice good self-care, it is essential to be kind to yourself. None of us are perfect and follow our plan 100% of the time. When you fall off the wagon, acknowledge it without judgment and pick up where you left off. Practicing self-compassion can promote positive thoughts, feelings and emotions. This practice enhances your mental well-being so you can truly enjoy your life!


Bonnie Groessl is a best-selling author, podcast host, holistic nurse practitioner and success coach. Her mission is to educate, empower and facilitate your well-being while nurturing the mind-body-spirit connection. For more information visit BonnieGroessl.com.




for Seniors with Limited Mobility By Martina Merashi Aging is inevitable. But the sad thing is with aging may come limited mobility. Such limited mobility among seniors may be due to injuries like falls or health issues like stroke, severe arthritis, etc. When mobility issues happen, some hobbies or leisure activities that seniors used to engage in to have fun and lift their mood become quite challenging. That is why if you are a caring relative, friend, or senior caregiver, you should pick at least five healthy hobbies for seniors with limited mobility that they can engage in and make their life more enjoyable. Below are some ideas of hobbies to try:


With dementia as a concern among many seniors, reading can be a worthy hobby to help keep their cognitive functioning checked. Do not force reading culture onto someone; talk to them first and let them see its value. Additionally, if they were scholars or loved reading in the past, reading can help improve their sleeping patterns, avoid boredom, reduce stress, improve their memory and delay or prevent the effects of dementia. Reading physical books, magazines, e-reading, or listening to audiobooks can all be beneficial for seniors.




Puzzles and games can be another entertaining source for the elderly. There are games that seniors can play online with different apps. Secondly, there are puzzles and games that other household members can engage in with them, maybe on the weekend, during days off, or evening hours. Some notable puzzles that seniors can play are crossword, jigsaw, and math fun. If gaming is your senior’s thing, picture-seek, cards and classic games are the real deal.


At times, seniors might feel like a burden and less important when their mobility is limited and there is little they can do physically. Textile activities need less mobility and help them feel vital to their families and society as they create useful objects. For example, knitting, sewing, weaving, crocheting, embroidery and macramé can be enjoyable and beneficial hobbies. Look for charitable organizations that may accept donations of hats, blankets, pullovers, seat covers, etc. With such connections, they will understand that their hobbies contribute positively to the community.


Apart from having assisted living software for seniors, which are tech innovations used to make the caregiving hustle less challenging, online genealogy innovations can also help make senior life fun and enjoyable. Genealogy, the study of family history and tracing of family linage, can be both a hobby and an essential undertaking for seniors regarding family history preservation. Websites like Ancestry.com are an excellent place to start this important research. They can add family data and watch their input blossom into family connections, stories and family trees that will run for generations. As they become engaged in their family history, it’s also good to encourage them to talk about their own history. They can write it down or have a family member record their stories.


Boredom can make anyone irritable, and seniors are no exception. Introduce them to creative hobbies such as coloring, sculpting, painting, or drawing; they can turn their days into fun and enjoyable moments.   Secondly, activities such as family album organization, family recipe book creation and scrapbooks can get your senior engaged. With creative activities, aging brains get stimulated, helping to fight against decreasing cognitive abilities and the onset of anxiety and stress. Being a caregiver can be challenging, but hopefully, these hobbies will give you some ideas to help keep the aging adult in your life engaged and thriving.




Celebrate the

Art of Aging By Mala Blomquist


hrough the Wise Aging program, participants explore the joys, possibilities and challenges of growing older in small classes that last between six to nine weeks. These classes cover a broad spectrum of aging issues, such as difficulty losing a spouse, first-time grandparenting, dealing with aging parents, and redefining life after a lifetime of working. Wise Aging was created in 2014 through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. The early programs were held in synagogues and community centers around the United States, under the guidance of trained and knowledgeable facilitators who began leading peer groups. These classes utilize the book, Wise Aging, Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit, by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal that provides practical and real-world suggestions for becoming stronger and more resilient as you age. “Before COVID-19, we were all in person, and due to COVID-19, it has turned into a national program. Everywhere people are Zooming us and want to attend,” 60 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

says Linda Levin M.A., director of Wise Aging Center at the Bureau Of Jewish Education in Phoenix. “We’ve expanded; that’s the one good thing. But I miss the physical interactions, the body language of sitting with a group of amazing people and talking about various topics.” Linda was trained under Dr. Linda Thal when Wise Aging began in the Valley four years ago. Since then, Linda has trained numerous individuals – doctors, psychologists, therapists and business people – to become facilitators. “The people that are wanting to be a part of this are some of the most highly intelligent, interesting people who are also open-minded to the journey of aging in a positive manner versus a negative manner with despair and worry,” says Linda. Linda says that she’s even trained her husband, Ken, to be a facilitator. “We’ve had a lot of women attend, but we wanted to open the door to men, and we thought maybe men would be more comfortable talking to other men,” she says. “It’s hard for them to speak about loss, death and relationships. When they speak to each other, it’s often about business or sports, not about what they’re going through as they’re aging because it’s hard for them to show vulnerabilities. After I trained my husband, he said, ‘I’m doing this.’” As with their classes, their annual gala will also be on Zoom this year. This year’s “Celebrate the Art of Aging” event will be held on April 25 from 10 am to 11:30 pm. The event will


highlight information about adopting positive attitudes believed to guide aging with vibrancy and vitality. The keynote speaker for the event will be Ashton Applewhite. She is an anti-ageism activist, TED mainstage speaker and an author. She wrote This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, a book that debunks the countless harmful myths and stereotypes about aging, and she is also the voice of the “Yo, Is This Ageist?” blog. “She is considered one of the leading experts in ageism,” says Linda. “She’s brilliant, and we are so excited to have her as our keynote speaker. She asks the question, ‘What if discrimination on the basis of age were as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice,’ that›s a powerful statement.” Linda credits Nancy Pollinger, board member and facilitator, with discovering Ashton and booking her to appear. “She worked on that, and I credit her completely

for that,” says Linda. “As a committee, we all thought, if we›re going to get people to sign up from all over the nation, we›ve got to get somebody who›s a force and knowledgeable and an author and speaker, who is interesting to listen to.” The event is also being dedicated to the memory of Joan Sitver, z”l. She was an integral part of the BJE’s Wise Aging program, both as a participant and planning the 2020 Wise Aging Celebration. After teaching for more than 30 years, Joan lived with joy, resilience and spirit. The third chapter of her life was filled with family, music, books, Jewish learning and enhancing Jewish life. She was a real example of a model Wise Ager. For more information on the Celebrate The Art of Aging event, visit bjephoenix.org/theartofaging.

OUT OF ARIZONA A stepping stone to unique and alluring works of art

Jewelry made from semiprecious stones that have been cut and polished by hand. Each piece is unique and a one-of-kind work of art. Many of the stones have been collected by hand in the desert Southwest by the jewelry maker. Many stones are set in sterling silver.

outofarizona.com ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2021 61


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Presents

‘2021 Western Region Virtual Event’


t this historic time for reflection and action – members of the Western Region community supporting the efforts of the D.C.-based United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) will come together virtually on March 11 at 8 pm. The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changed much of how the USHMM does its work, but not why it’s done. Eric and Suzi LeVine, from Seattle, will represent the Western Region Leadership Committee and join Museum supporters from 10 western states including, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington to renew its pledge to ensure that the critical lessons of the Holocaust – lessons about the fragility of societies, the nature of hate, and the consequences of indifference – help shape our nation’s way forward. The annual “What You Do Matters” Western Region Dinner normally held in Los Angeles and historically attracts up to 1,000 guests in-person, including many Holocaust survivors, will this year feature the theme of “Survival, Hope and Resilience” with special guests; compelling Holocaust testimonies from survivors and liberators told by celebrities Morgan Freeman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Camryn Manheim and Tim Matheson, among others; inspiring specialty music; and important messages about the museum’s role in these challenging times. Emmy Rossum will emcee the “2021 Western Region Virtual Event.” Rossum has been captivating audiences with her varied and exceptional talents for more than a decade. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance as “Christine” in The Phantom of the Opera and starred in nine seasons of Showtime’s critically-acclaimed dark comedy series, “Shameless.” She has been an outspoken critic of anti-Semitism and bigotry in Hollywood. Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor and 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient R. Derek Black, renounced white supremacist movement 62 MARCH/APRIL 2021 | ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE

Emmy Rossum

Taking part in a special segment will be Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, acclaimed author, humanitarian, subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary “One Survivor Remembers,” and 2010 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “One Survivor Remembers” relates the harrowing story of Klein and her journey of survival and remembering both before and after the war. Home Box Office and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum co-produced the documentary film, which was awarded both an Emmy and an Academy Award.

The USHMM’s “2021 Western Region Virtual Event” comes at a pivotal moment for the nation and the world. The Holocaust is a harsh reminder of the consequences of unchecked hatred and the fragility of societies. Its lessons have never been more relevant. Today, with an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, racism, and neo-Nazism, the country and its citizens must recommit themselves to learning those lessons. Derek Black, raised in a prominent white supremacist family, will talk about experiences that led him to renounce the white nationalist movement and inspire his current work of understanding and teaching the origins of race, racist ideologies and anti-Semitic beliefs. In addition, conservatory students from The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School in Los Angeles will perform music from the museum’s collection, which is the world’s largest archive of Holocaust artifacts and materials. “These challenging times compel us to present a program that initiates critical thinking, inspires self-reflection and motivates the community to create positive change,” said Marla Abraham, the museum’s director of the Western Regional Office. “We are grateful to have Emmy Rossum emcee our virtual event and recognize the significant work that the Western Region Leadership Committee put forth to make this non-traditional program deeply impactful. The event will be a memorable and powerful experience with appearances by Gerda Weissmann Klein, Derek Black and the musical performance by students from the Colburn School.” The “2021 Western Region Virtual Event” is open to the public, but advance registration is required. Registrants will receive a link via email to access the program a day before the virtual event. Groups and individuals interested must register by March 10. For more information, contact the museum’s Western Regional Office at 310-556-3222, western@ushmm.org, or visit ushmm.org. ARIZONA JEWISH LIFE | MARCH/APRIL 2021 63


SCC to host Genocide Awareness Week one last time By Mala Blomquist

Keynote speaker KERRY KENNEDY



pril is Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month, and Scottsdale Community College will once again present its Genocide Awareness Week conference. This event “seeks to address how we, as a global society, confront violent actions and current and ongoing threats of genocide throughout the world, while also looking to the past for guidance and to honor those affected by genocide.” This year, the event will be held virtually from April 12-17 and includes lectures, exhibits and storytelling by survivors, scholars, politicians, activists, artists, humanitarians and law enforcement members. As always, the event is free and open to the public. For the conference’s 10th anniversary, in 2022, the location will be moving to Arizona State University. With increasing attendance year after year, the conference has outgrown SCC. John Liffiton, who has been the conference director, will be accompanying the event to its new home. “I’m retiring from community college after 20 plus years. I am taking the conference to ASU, and I’m going to be a consultant at ASU for one year,” says John. “Then I will retire, and ASU will take it on from there.” In bringing the event to Tempe, John has been working with Lisa Kaplan and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson with ASU Jewish Studies, along with many other individuals and departments at the university. The conference is currently the largest one held in North America, and John believes that once it starts at ASU, it will become the biggest genocide awareness conference in the world. ASU is also working in partnership with the University of Arizona, the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University and the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center in Tucson. These partnerships will allow for a more comprehensive statewide conference and bring students and faculty from all the states’ universities to ASU. “We’re already working on 2022 now and have some speakers booked,” says John. “The keynote speaker will be Father Patrick Desbois.” Father Desbois, a French Roman Catholic priest, founded Yahad-In Unum (translation: together as one), a non-governmental organization based in Paris, to research and uncover genocidal practices worldwide. His first book, The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, documents the daunting task of identifying and examining all the sites where Nazi mobile units exterminated Jews in the Ukraine in WWII. His second book on this topic, In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets, was released in 2018.

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Speaker Oskar Knoblauch and Educator Kim Klett

Father Desbois was scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the 2020 conference, and then the pandemic hit, and the event was canceled. Fortunately, John was able to reschedule him for April 2022. John says that they will also be bringing back the exhibit, “In Broad Daylight: Holocaust by Bullets,” to ASU. The exhibit was at the Arizona Capitol Museum for a brief time at the beginning of 2020. Even though it’s bittersweet to not have the conference in person for its last year at SCC, the online accessibility will allow a larger audience to access the high caliber of speakers that have been assembled. This year’s keynote speaker will be Kerry Kennedy. Kerry will speak at 5 pm on April 12. She is a human rights activist, writer and the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy. She is currently the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit human rights advocacy organization. “What she’s speaking on is something that we have never had anyone speak on yet,” says John. “She’s going to speak on the Rohingya Crisis, where the Buddhists are killing the Muslims in Burma.”


Other topics being covered include The Assyrian Genocide, Building Trust in Rwanda, Genocidal Warnings along the U.S.-Mexico Border, Genocide and Human Rights, The Armenian Genocide and Jewish Refugees in the Caribbean. A majority of the conference addresses the Holocaust, and there will be speakers from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in addition to local survivor Oskar Knoblauch. Special Law Enforcement and Society Workshops, that are not open to the general public, will be held on Friday, April 16. These law enforcement presentations are restricted to sworn law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys only, and registrants will have to provide proper identification before registering. For educators, Kim Klett will present an ADL Educators Workshop on Echoes & Reflections. This program introduces students to the complex themes of the Holocaust to understand its lasting effect on the world. Kim teaches English at Dobson High School in Mesa, where she has developed a year-long course, Holocaust Literature. She also teaches a Holocaust course at SCC and is the board secretary for the Phoenix Holocaust Association. Throughout the week, the schedule will include a couple of presentations in the morning and then a larger one in the evening. Registration is free for all the programs, and there is no limit to the number of people that can attend a presentation. “The platform that we’re using at SCC to run this virtual program can accomodate 10,000 people, so there’s no issue with the technology,” says John. “I’m excited. I think we’re going to have a good virtual conference.” To see the complete schedule or to register for Genocide Awareness Week, visit scottsdalecc.edu/genocide-awareness-week-2021.

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Arizona Jewish Life March/April 2021 Vol. 9/Issue 3