Arizona Jewish Life Oct. 2019 Vol. 8/Issue 1

Page 1


Meet Coyote's CEO Ahron Cohen JUST FOR WOMEN:

Health, Travel, Fashion The B’nai Mitzvah Journey

IRIN CARMON Co -author of Notorious RBG and the Face of Feminism Today JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 1


WOMEN FOR ISRAEL LUNCHEON “Fighting for Gold: A Story of Motivation, Willpower, & Tenacity” FEATURING GUEST SPEAKER

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CO N TE N TS Arizona Jewish Life • October 2019 • Tishrei-Cheshvan 5780 • Volume 8/Issue 6





FEATURES COVER STORY Irin Carmon: The face of feminism today 22 BUSINESS Ahron Cohen and the Arizona Coyotes 10 Ins & Outs 12

14 16 18 20

FRONT & CENTER Lauren B. Grossman’s life: A delicate balance

34 36 38 39


WOMEN’S SPECIAL SEC TION Dr. Julie Best: Treating patients like family Marni Steinberg: Creating a parenting community Traveling solo? Book that trip! Get your duds delivered

Bat mitzvah bravery A unique wall in Israel unites b’nai mitzvah journeys Include marshmallows at your mitzvah Ask Helen: Writing a b’nai mitzvah speech


Chef’s Corner by Lucia Schnitzer 30 To Life! by Amy Hirshberg Lederman 40

JLIVING To Life! Stepping up and stepping back 40 AZJHS 2019 Jerry Lewkowitz Heritage Award 42 Federation Notes 43 Faces & Places 45 Previews 46


Chef’s Corner: Stack it up…

AC TIVELY SENIOR Making the most of the encore years



ON THE COVER: Irin Carmon





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OCTOBER 2019 Arizona Jewish Life | Tishrei-Cheshvan 5780 • Volume 8/Issue 1



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


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

ART DIREC TOR Philip Nerat



S U B SC R I P T I O N S A N D D I S T R I B U T I O N Subscribe online at or c all 602-538 -2955. Complimentar y copies of Arizona Jewish Life magazine are available at retail loc ations, grocer y s tores including synagogues, Jewish communit y centers and organizations, enter tainment venues, res taurant s and professional of fices.

Amy Hirshberg Lederman Lucia Schnit zer



Arizona Jewish Life magazine is distributed on the first of the month. Story ideas for features and special sections are due 45-60 days prior to publication.

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BIZ INS & OUTS: Business news is due 4 weeks before publication.

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2019-2020 MediaPort LLC All rights reserved The content and opinions in Arizona Jewish Life do not necessarily reflec t those of the publishers, staf f or contrac tors. Ar ticles and columns are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Although ever y ef for t is made to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, Arizona Jewish Life, and its agents, publishers, employees and contrac tors will not be held responsible for the misuse of any information contained herein. The publishers reser ve the right to refuse any adver tisement. Publication of adver tisements does not constitute endorsement of produc ts or ser vices.






ctober is National Bullying Prevention Month, and the quote that begins our Women’s Special Section, “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else” got me thinking. We need to support one another more and stand up if we witness bullying of any kind – to anyone. As bullying has gotten more pervasive in our society – from the political arena to the playground – this behavior is more apparent than ever. And being able to hide behind social media (cyberbullying) somehow makes things worse. There are many ideas as to why a person bullies another. Some people are victims of abuse themselves, and use bullying as a way to gain power or control. Others do it because they suffer from low self-esteem, peer pressure or for the attention it creates, even if it’s negative. Or, it comes from a misunderstanding about the other person – whether it be their race or religion. Whatever the reason, experts agree that it almost always stems from some insecurity. Being in the media industry, we know firsthand the power of words. Words do matter. Words have consequences. The rate of U.S. adolescents and young adults dying of suicide has reached its highest level in nearly two decades. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider

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suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. As the book of Proverbs states, “Hamavet v’hahayyim b’yad halashon – death and life are the hand of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21) We protect our homes, schools, synagogues and communities physically but we also have to protect them from words. We cannot allow people who speak hatefully – and especially those who bully others –to gain the misguided attention they are seeking. To stop these words, sometimes it means standing up in a more public way. The popular phrase “If you see something, say something,” can not only apply to safety issues, but acts of bullying that may escalate, and become violent, if not stopped. Anti-Semitism is a form of bullying, too. And on the world stage, Israel has consistently been bullied, especially at the United Nations and by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which bullies’ companies and individuals from doing business with, or performing in Israel. We don’t have the answers, but in the end we all need to be shomer achi – my brother’s (and sister’s) keeper.

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Federation matters to me because they provide not only funds to our community partners but is part of a collective that aids fellow Jews in time of emergencies whether it be in Houston, Pittsburgh, Paris or Jerusalem.


David Weiner Strengthening Jewish life. Helping Jews in need.

480.634.4900 | JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 9

Ahron Cohen and the Arizona Coyotes Ahron Cohen

By Mala Blomqist


hron Cohen celebrated his first anniversary as president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes this past summer. An anniversary of any kind is a means of celebration, but this one is made extra special by the fact that Ahron is also the youngest CEO ever of a major sports franchise. He joined the Coyote’s organization in August of 2015 as the club’s general counsel. He eventually became their COO and then in July 2018, became CEO. Growing up outside of Minneapolis, you would think that Ahron was playing hockey from an early age, but that’s not the case. “I was one of the few people that didn't play much hockey up there – other than some pond hockey with some friends,” he says. “I was a diehard basketball player and football player, and then I played football in college. For my bar mitzvah in Minnesota, we had a basketball court set up in the synagogue. That was the activity, rather than dancing and stuff, we just played basketball.” He went from one hockey hotbed to another, leaving Minnesota to attend college at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. With sports being such an enormous part of his upbringing, he wanted to find a way to stay involved with sports in some capacity for his career. He even considered going into broadcasting, having hosted a sports talk radio show in college. Ahron began giving thought to attending law school. “A number of front office executives throughout sports have a legal background, so I thought that that was a nice way to kind of try to stay involved and open up some doors,” he says. Ahron’s career fate was sealed when he came with his father 10 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

a winning combination

in 2006 to tour the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. “It was -10 (degrees) when I left Minnesota and I get here and it’s 70 degrees, and from day one I fell in love with the whole community,” says Ahron. He hustled when he got to law school and earned himself a legal and business affairs internship with the Minnesota Vikings. He would work with the Vikings during breaks from law school and then moved back to Minnesota to work with them after graduating. “I was working for the Viking’s chief operating officer, Kevin Warren who was from Phoenix,” says Ahron. “He's a great mentor of mine, and that's where I got my sports legal background.” Kevin advised Ahron that to be a good attorney, he had to get training at the best law firm he could. He convinced his soon-to-be-wife, Dana, to move back to Phoenix with him. “That was an easy sell to get out of the Minnesota winters,” he jokes. Dana and Ahron met right before he graduated from Bowdoin, and when he came to Arizona for law school, she joined him. She attended Midwestern University, becoming a certified physician assistant. She currently works in family medicine with Honor Health. When the couple returned to Arizona, Ahron got a position at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P where he practiced as a corporate attorney. While at Snell, he served as outside legal counsel to the 2015 Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. Then in the summer of 2015, he joined the Coyotes. As CEO, Ahron realized that the organization didn’t have clearly defined goals and objectives, so he set up what he refers to as the “three pillars.” “Those three pillars are: being competitive and winning on

the ice, promoting fandom and building fandom throughout the entire state, and, I view this just as important as the other two, is making a positive impact on the Arizona community,” says Ahron. “This past year we've really been very deliberate and intentional in terms of the pursuit those goals,” he continues. “This past season we’ve set franchise records in virtually every business metric that we have.” The team set a record for ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, they saw a 26% increase in television viewership and they ranked third in the National Hockey League in terms of social media engagement rate. What makes Ahron the proudest is that over this past season the Coyotes as well as the Arizona Coyotes Foundation raised and are now distributing more than $3,000,000 back into the community. “It really touches your heart to see the impact that we as a sports team can make in this community,” he says. Beneficiaries of these funds include Phoenix Children’s Hospital; New World Education Center in Central Phoenix that received all the supplies and help to construct a new playground and donations of sticks and pucks to establish a street hockey P.E. curriculum for more than 300 schools affecting Dana, Cameron, Carson roughly 200,000 students and Ahron Cohen this year. “We do everything we can to promote and grow hockey in our state, and our motto is that we're not going to rest until every single person in the state is exposed to hockey,” jokes Ahron. Ahron is living that motto, teaching street hockey in the driveway to his toddler son, Carson, who loves to come to Coyotes games and meet the mascot Howler. He plans to teach his infant son, Cameron when he gets older. The family recently joined Temple Kol Ami. “If you would have told me when I was 20 years old or when I was back in Minnesota, ‘When you're 35 you're going to be living in Phoenix, AZ being the CEO of the Arizona Coyotes hockey team,’ I would not have imagined that in my wildest dreams,” says Ahron.

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Janice Dinner

Nachum Erlich

Adam Trenk

JFCS Announces Janice Dinner as Vice Chair of Board of Directors The Board of Directors for Jewish Family & Children’s Service is pleased to announced that Janice Dinner has been appointed to vice chair. Janice previously served on the board, working alongside other members to carry out JFCS’ mission of strengthening the community through making quality behavioral health and social services available to people of all ages. “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are thrilled to welcome Janice Dinner as the vice chair,” said JFCS President and CEO Dr. Lorrie Henderson. “She has been a valuable member of our volunteer leadership team at Jewish Family & Children’s Service and we are grateful for her continued support and knowledge of the health and social services community in this new role.” As vice chair, Dinner is responsible for performing all duties of the chair in his or her absence, as well as being a director of the executive committee. Outside of the role with JFCS, Dinner is the senior associate general counsel for Banner Health as well as the general counsel for Sonora Quest Laboratories, LLC and Laboratory Sciences of Arizona. In addition to her board work, Dinner also serves on the boards for the Arizona Association of Health Lawyers, Temple Chai and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. “I am overjoyed to continue and expand my work with JFCS as the vice chair,” said Dinner. “JFCS plays a crucial role in our community, and I am eager to work with my fellow board members to further our mission.”

New Regional Director for IAC Arizona Nachum Erlich was born in Ramat Gan, Israel. He served in the Israeli army paratroopers and special forces. This experience gave Nachum excellent leadership and team12 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

building skills. After serving in the army, he joined his brother’s diamond business, which allowed Nachum to grow as an entrepreneur and to travel the world. A passion of Nachum’s is being an entrepreneur and building a dream. After 25 years in the diamond business, he moved on to ventures in the real estate market where he utilized his leadership, management and social skills to be successful. Nachum lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife, Alexzandra. Nachum has four children: Ella, Ben, Neil, and Idan. Nachum enjoys the outdoors and Krav Maga. His passion for both the community and the State of Israel make him a natural fit to advance the mission of the IAC. “It is with great humility, gratitude, responsibility, and sense of purpose that I take on the position of Regional Director for the Arizona chapter of the IAC,” says Nachum.

Rose Law Group Becomes First in the State to Establish Stand Alone Hemp Practice Rose Law Group, pc is pleased to announce Attorney and Partner Adam Trenk, has been named Director of the Rose Law Group, pc Cannabis and Hemp Departments. This comes as the innovative Scottsdale firm is the first in the state to establish a stand-alone Hemp Department. Rose Law Group has been on the leading edge of the burgeoning hemp industry and has been instrumental in working closely with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, as it promulgated rules governing the hemp industry in Arizona. “As the new director of both the Cannabis Law and Hemp Law, Adam brings deep roots in the agricultural community combined with vast regulatory and public policy experience. For nearly a decade he has been representing traditional agriculture interests in Arizona. His knowledge and experience has led to many legal victories when working

Keith Marcum

Molly Sheehy

Lisa Schachter-Brooks

with hemp regulations to provide clients unmatched advice and assistance. We are excited to see him now leading this area of our practice,” said Jordan Rose, founder of Rose Law Group. “Having started my career with the Rose Law Group pc and being immersed in the regulation and promulgation of the medical marijuana industry in Arizona for the past ten years, I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring the department forward and expand our area of practice to include industrial hemp production,” said Trenk. “Rose Law Group has a reputation of excellence at the cutting edge of innovation, and this professional development provides the opportunity for me to ensure it remains at the forefront as new markets emerge and drive our local and State economies.”

Jewish Community Foundation of Southern AZ hires Keith Marcum Keith Marcum joins the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona as communications and marketing manager. Most recently, he managed marketing and sales for Kuumba Made Inc., in Tucson. Before that, he was marketing manager at IMPACT of Southern Arizona, a Tucson nonprofit. He is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia and before moving to Tucson in 2015 was working on his M.F.A. in creative writing through the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program in Cleveland, Ohio. He also owned a video production company in Richmond, Virginia, for a decade. In Richmond, he volunteered with the Virginia Production Alliance and the Fan Free Clinic.

Molly Sheehy joins the Federation of Southern Arizona Molly Sheehy joins the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona as a project manager in the campaign department after six years in national service, most recently managing an AmeriCorps VISTA

Patrick McQueen

Benjamin Gottlieb

Grant with Arizona Serve. After receiving a degree in human development from Prescott College and serving a term as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation, she moved to Tucson in 2014. She is a volunteer with the Center for Community Dialogue and will be embarking upon a Master of Social Work degree through Arizona State University starting this fall.

New congregation director at Bet Shalom Lisa Schachter-Brooks has recently joined the staff of Congregation Bet Shalom as congregation director. This newly created position combines organizational administration with community and pastoral care. Schacter-Brooks joined the synagogue’s staff after three years as director of operations at the Jewish History Museum where she continues to stay involved as a volunteer.

Patrick MacQueen and Benjamin Gottlieb receive prestigious award Patrick MacQueen and Benjamin Gottlieb, the founding partners of Arizona’s top-ranked real estate law firm MacQueen & Gottlieb, PLC both have been selected to receive the prestigious Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement Award. The designation as one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys is by invitation only, and Lifetime Achievement Award recognition among America’s Top 100 Attorneys is meant to identify and promote the most outstanding and impactful legal talent currently serving throughout the nation. Only 100 attorneys in each state (of approximately 18,500 attorneys in Arizona) will receive this honor and be selected for Lifetime Achievement among America’s Top 100 Attorneys. This latest accolade continues the trend of prestigious awards and recognitions for M&G and its partners. The firm will celebrate its third anniversary in October. JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 13

Dr. Julie Davis-Best: Treating patients like family By Mala Blomquist



r. Julie Davis-Best, M.D. had been working for a large group practice when she was talking to a friend/ mentor on the labor and delivery floor one morning at 3 am. She had been looking into going out on her own, so she wanted to get this doctor’s opinion since she owned her own practice. Julie believes it was kismet because the doctor confided that she was getting ready to retire and was looking for someone to take over the practice. That was in July 2018, and today Julie is the solo practitioner at Desert Foothills Obstetrics & Gynecology. “I like the relationship I have with my patients,” says Julie. “It’s very special when you’re the only doctor they see, and I become very close to these people and their experiences. They become important to you, and you become important to them – it’s a great situation to be in.” Her practice is split about half between obstetrics and gynecology. And even though Julie practices on her own, she has a strong network of doctors in the community who are there for advice and support when needed. “I don’t ever feel like I’m alone,” she admits. She sees patients of all ages, mentioning that many women do not feel comfortable having their primary doctor handle their gynecological needs. “I deal with abnormal bleeding, with vaginal dryness, with libido issues – things a lot of family practitioners either don’t want to or don’t have the time or the experience to deal with,” Julie says.

Dr. Julie Davis-Best

There are also changes to her specialty that she can keep up on, such as the recent changes in how frequently a woman should get a pap smear. “Right now the recommendations for normal pap smears is every 2 to 3 years in your 20s, and over age 30 the recommendation is to do the pap smear with HPV co-testing every 3 to 5 years depending on family and patient history,” says Julie. The changes stem from several factors, one being if the pap smear is normal and the HPV test is negative, over the age of 30, the risk of cancer or precancerous changes happening within those 3 to 5 years is low. “We still encourage an exam every year so that there’s nothing that we’re missing,” says Julie. “But there is no need to do the actual pap smear every year anymore.” She’s also seeing a decrease in the number of hysterectomies being done. “The biggest thing I’ve seen in the last 3 to 5 years is with ablations,” explains Julie. “Which is where you burn the lining of the uterus for fibroids or uterine artery embolization to shrink down the fibroids by cutting down the blood supply.” When a woman does need a hysterectomy, they have begun to remove the Fallopian tubes, where once they would leave them intact with the ovaries. “There was a study that came out that said the majority of ovarian cancers might come from the end of the tubes,” states Julie. “So that’s a newer thing OB-GYNs are attempting to remove the tubes if they do a hysterectomy.” New things are happening on the other side of her practice too.

“It’s become very popular in obstetrics to allow the (umbilical) cord to pulsate for a little bit after the baby’s born,” says Julie. “It’s shown to be a benefit to the baby; it has to do with blood counts and oxygenation. So we have been trying (to leave it) for a minute to two minutes.” Another procedure that has proved beneficial for babies is to allow skin-to-skin contact with either the mother or father for an hour after delivery, as long as it’s medically feasible. “We put them on their belly on a towel, wipe them down, so they don’t get cold, and then put the baby on the mother’s or father’s chest,” says Julie. “It helps the baby clear fluids and regulates breathing and heartbeat – it has been found to help calm them down and learn to breathe.” Julie has seen a lot of changes, having completed her residency in 2001. The one thing that has surprised her most recently though has nothing to do with medical advancements, but more with demographics. “The funny thing is, believe it or not, I’ve been told by several Chabad women I’m the only Jewish OB-GYN in the East Valley,” says Julie. “I thought that was pretty interesting.” Julie has Orthodox Jewish patients in addition to patients that are Christian, Hindu or Muslim, and she tries to be respectful of their faith and religious practices when it comes to childbirth. “I have taken a lot of comparative religion classes, so I try to learn what’s good and what’s bad,” she says. “II think being a minority makes you more sensitive to other people’s needs.” She admits being Jewish and not living in New York, Miami or L.A., you become more sensitive to the fact that religious and personal needs are important, and that helps her relate to her patients better. Julie realizes, “I can still care for them and not be exactly like them. I think that’s the other thing being a solo practitioner – the relationship I build up with my patients – it’s just completely different.” That was what Julie wanted when she went out on her own – to feel like she was a part of their lives, and they’re a part of hers. “It’s definitely different than when I was in a big group, I was going for that feeling like we’re family, and we’re in this together,” she says. “This isn’t your baby – this is our baby.” Desert Foothills Obstetrics & Gynecology is located at 5505 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite B-13 in Chandler. For more information, visit JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 15


Marni Steinberg:

Creating a parenting community

Right: Marni Steinberg Below: Attendes at iGEN Parenting Series.



arni Steinberg originally got the idea for iGen Parenting when she was listening to friends talking about the tribulations that their kids were going through in middle school. “I just felt like it would be great if there were some additional parenting resources to address these topics because it seems like there’s tons of parenting education when kids are babies but if you wait for them to be in high school – it’s like you totally missed the boat at that point,” she says. “Especially because things are happening earlier, and kids are getting into things earlier, it’s an idea that having information ahead of the curve can help you address some of those areas.” This is where Marni’s background in advertising, event planning and cause-related marketing projects came into play. She met with various community organizations and synagogues to get their feedback, and she sought out experts on a variety of topics to address parents of tweens – typically those in fifth through eighth grade. “I made la list of what I thought would be topics that people wanted to hear, or discuss, or find out more about, and then I sort of went through the process of looking for speakers.” Says Marni. The result of her hard work this past year is the iGen Parenting Series. The first presentations in the series were How to Reach, Teach and Support Today’s Kids on Aug. 20 and Drugs in Middle School on Sept. 17 (see sidebar for upcoming schedule). Although they are primarily geared towards parents of tweens, Marni has had feedback from attendees that they feel the topics are applicable for parents of kids in grades K through 12. “I’m really happy with how the line up came out,” says Marni. “I think that was a good evolution and flow from the first session topic all the way through – specifically the subunit that is November, January and February, which is sort of a mental health progression, all with therapists (presenting).” The February session will address Suicide Warning Signs, which when Marni read the statistics on the rise of suicide in children as young as 10 was startling, especially since her daughter just turned 8 in September. “I have a friend who teaches fifth grade, and just talking to her about what she is seeing in fifth compared to what I’m experiencing with my daughter in first, it’s

interesting, but you can see that evolution happening,” says Marni. The series provides parents with some expert advice, but it also instills the fact that they are not alone, other parents are going through the same thing. Marni hopes that the series builds a sense of community among the parents who are attending. The Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and Pardes Jewish Day School are supporting partners, and currently the series is primarily being held at The J with two sessions in 2020 being hosted at Pardes. “The approach and this positioning for year one were so I could start and build a base,” says Marni. “I live in the neighborhood that touches the JCC, so I mean it’s just like literally in my backyard.” All the speakers in the series are secular, so the program is open to all. It all comes back to the sense of community she hopes to build through the series, and the value that having that interaction with other parents brings. Says Marni, “I feel like you know you’re taking advice from other people who have been there, so why not take advice from an actual expert on the subject?”

IGEN PARENTING SERIES Sessions begin at 6 pm with schmooze time, and the presentations start promptly at 6:30 pm and ends at 8 pm. Prices are $18 per session. The sessions will take place at the Valley of the Sun JCC (12701 N Scottsdale Road) except Jan 14 and March 24 are at Pardes Jewish Day School (12753 N Scottsdale Road). For more information or to register, visit OCT. 15, 2019 Raising Good Digital Citizens While Keeping Them Safe Online Speaker: Ilana Lowery NOV. 19, 2019 Keeping the Conversation Going with your Tween Speaker: Therapy with Heart JAN. 14, 2020 Your Tween’s Mood: When is is More than “Just a Phase?” Speaker: A New Beginning

Wishing you and yours a sweet New Year filled with peace, happiness and good health.

FEB. 11, 2020 Suicide Warning Signs Speaker: Jill McMahon MARCH 24, 2020 No Place for Hate in the Schools (ADL Hate Crime Initiative) Speaker: Carlos Galindo-Elvira APRIL 21, 2020 Arizona Laws and your Tween: What you don’t know Speaker: Claudia Gilburd

480.634.4900 |




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By Mala Blomquist Do you hate to go clothes shopping? Did you know that you can have clothing and accessories delivered to your door each month that have been custom picked for you by a stylist? It’s true! Today you can get monthly subscription boxes filled with makeup, books, food, pet products and more, and clothing is a big part of that growing market. Interested? Perhaps you’ll give one of these subscriptions a try. Le Tote offers designerquality clothing and accessories from athleisure to professional styles for rent. Plans include one or two totes per month. Each tote contains three garments and two accessories. Wear them as often as you want and at the end of the month, return the pieces with the USPS prepaid shipping label. If you can’t part with one of the items, you can purchase it at up to 50% off. Cost: Subscriptions start StitchFix is a personal styling service. You begin by filling out a style profile where you set the price range that fits your budget. Styles for kids, men and women, with plus, petite and maternity sizes available. For each shipment, you pay a $20 styling fee, which is credited toward anything you keep. Each month, buy what you like and send back the rest. Shipping and returns are free. 20 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Luxe Catch is a surprise box service with apparel based on your style questionnaire and their monthly themes. You can choose from the Bargain Box for $50 per month with one or more items valued up to $200, or the Posh Box for $250 monthly that includes three or more items with a combined retail price up to $1,000. Cost: Starting at $50 per month.

WOMAN'S SPECIAL SECTION With Golden Tote, new totes go on sale the first Monday of every month, and if you like surprises, this is the service for you. The mini tote contains two clothing items, one you choose and one surprise. The Golden Tot contains five clothing items – two you choose and three surprises. The Surprise Tote contains three clothing items that are all a surprise. Items you want to keep are available for purchase at more than 50% off. Cost: Subscriptions start at $59 per month with $9.95 flat rate.

Fabletics, co-founded by Kate Hudson offers athletic wear including leggings, shorts, yoga pants, sports bras, outfits and more. The monthly subscription gives you the option to “shop” or “skip” your shipment of workout looks based on your style and exercise preference. New VIP members can get two leggings for $24. Cost: Subscription is $49.95 with free shipping on orders

Trunk Club is Nordstrom’s personal styling service. Start by taking a style quiz where you will be paired with an expert stylist. The stylist will select apparel and accessories based on your preferences, and you will receive a preview email to review before the items are shipped to you. Keep what you love, return what you don’t with free shipping. Cost: $ 25 styling fee is applied towards items you choose to keep (fee is waived if you use a Nordstrom credit

ThredUp is “the world’s largest online thrift store,” where you can purchase new and secondhand clothing and accessories. You also can order Goody Boxes that give you the option of shopping the site or having a stylist pick out 10 unique items from $20 per piece. Your nonrefundable $10 deposit will then be applied to what you keep. Just return unwanted items within seven days with the included prepaid shipping label. They also offer a Clean Out service where you can fill their bag with highquality clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories. They will inspect, photograph, list and ship your items for you and you will earn cash or credit for accepted items. Unaccepted items are sent back to you (for a small fee) or responsibly recycled. Cost: $10 deposit for Goody Boxes (will be applied to kept items); no subscription necessary. JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 21



ward-winning journalist Irin Carmon, 36, says her earliest feminist memory is going to her school library wanting to read biographies of women. She found only two for young readers: one on Mary Todd Lincoln and the other on Julia Ward Howe. “Where are the rest of them?” Irin wondered. “We ended up writing one,” says Irin of the young readers’ version of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which she co-authored with Shana Knizhnik, the creator of the Notorious RBG Tumblr page. When Irin speaks to Jewish groups (as she will in Portland in November), the Israeli-born writer generally focuses on Justice Ginsburg’s ongoing work on the Supreme Court and how her Jewish heritage contributed to her legendary status as “the Notorious RBG.” Irin discussed how she came to co-author the book during a telephone interview this summer. She initially requested an interview with Justice Ginsburg in the summer of 2014. At the time, Irin was a staff reporter at MSNBC focusing on women’s rights. “As a journalist, I had been focused on issues RBG worked on her entire career – women’s rights and


its intersection with the law – and she was becoming more vocal,” says Irin. Irin was told the justice was busy, but that she might try again later because Justice Ginsburg would occasionally grant interviews during the Supreme Court’s winter recess. In November, a former colleague suggested to Irin that she might be a good fit to write Notorious RBG with Shana, the New York University law student who in 2013 created the Notorious RBG Tumblr to highlight Ginsburg’s dissent in the landmark Supreme Court case that gutted the Voting Rights Act. “I signed on to do the project and re-sent my interview request for MSNBC and the book,” says Irin. Though Justice Ginsburg had promised exclusivity to her official biographers, “she did speak to me in my journalistic capacity, which I could then use for the book.” After Notorious RBG was published in October 2015, it spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list, with the NYT describing Irin as someone “known for her smarts and feminist bona fides.” Though the co-authors tried to make the original book accessible to all audiences, they released a young readers’ edition for ages 8-12 two years later. Perhaps it was because Irin knew there was a dearth of such books available. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANTHONY QUINTANO






1. Fellow author and collaborator, Shana Knizhnik. 2. The book; Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

3. Carmon at one of the many book signing events.

4. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signs the ketubah at the September 2017 wedding of Irin Carmon and Ari Richter, at which she was the officiant. PHOTO BY CHAZ CRUZ


5. Irin Carmon interviews Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for MSNBC in February 2015.


“There is a reason we dedicated this book to the women on whose shoulders we stand – women like her who paved the way for younger women like Shana and me. This book is a recognition of how much is possible because of the work they did.” ~Irin Carmon

“It’s exciting to be able to add to that bookshelf,” she says. “But it’s really important to Justice Ginsburg herself for young people to see the Supreme Court is not just for one kind of person – that they be able to imagine themselves, especially young women, on the Supreme Court. She wants to be a role model for girls growing up.” Irin herself could be considered a role model for those same girls. She graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in literature. In 2011, she was one of Forbes 30 under 30 in media. Before joining MSNBC and NBC News, she wrote for Salon and Jezebel, a blog with the tagline “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.” As a Jezebel staff writer, Irin wrote a 2010 post calling “The Daily Show” a “boys’ club where women’s contributions are often ignored and dismissed.” Initially, the post drew heat from both “Daily Show” fans and staff. But more women joined the show over the next couple years; at the time Irin said she did not know if her article contributed to the change. But in 2017 she learned she had. “I was happy to see Jon Stewart recently credit the piece for opening his eyes to structural issues,” says Irin of Stewart’s comments to Mashable in November 2017. In that article, Stewart said his first instinct on seeing the Jezebel article was to be defensive. “My first response was like ... ‘No no no no, I’m an O.G. feminist, man! I was raised by a single mother in the ‘70s,’” he told Mashable. “She had a shirt that said ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.’ “ He said he went back to the writers’ room to rail about the article and realized, looking around the room, that it was right. Stewart thought his show was ahead of the game because it took blind submissions, but the submissions came from agents – who tended to be biased toward white men from Ivy League schools. “To change that system takes actual effort,” Stewart said in the article. Once he got past his defensiveness to examine the criticism, he said he tried to do better. In 2017-18, Irin teamed up with Washington Post coworker Amy Brittain to break the news of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Charlie Rose and CBS’ knowledge of those allegations. Their story won a 2018 Mirror Award for excellence in media industry reporting. Now a senior correspondent for New York Magazine and a CNN contributor, she reports on gender, the #MeToo movement, politics and the law, including the Supreme Court. Her interest in law comes naturally. When she was 2, her parents moved from Tel Aviv to the states to earn their master’s degrees at St. Johns University after earning law degrees from Tel Aviv University. Originally planned as a temporary move, her parents went on to focus their legal work on U.S.-Israel issues. Her mom, Rakeffet Carmon, works with Israelis in the United States. Her dad, Haggai Carmon, works with the U.S. government and other clients in Israel. Her father is also the author of five intelligence thrillers featuring fictional former Mossad agent Dan Gordon, who now works for the U.S. government. Irin grew up on Long Island but spent the summers in Israel. Her parents now live half the year in the United States and half the year in Israel. Irin visits Israel about every year and a half to see her grandfather, brother, aunts and uncles. In a 2010 article for Jezebel, Irin wrote, “I should disclose my bias




1. Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik speak at the Skirball Cultural Center when the center debuted the exhibit adapted from their book Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 2.Opening exhibition at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

3. Irin Carmon talks with Samantha Bee at a June 2018 New York Historical Society event. The Emmy-winning journalist and comedian Samantha Bee joined author and journalist Irin Carmon to discuss women, politics and the media today.

6 6. For the exhibition, Irin and her husband, Ari Richter, collaborated on RGBTatoo ll. Ari is an associate professor of art at LaGuardia Community College in The City University of New York.



4. Irin Carmon talks with MSNBC’s Joy Reid at a New York Historical Society event.

5. Irin and fellow reporter Amy Britton ccepting 2018 Mirror Award for excellence in media industry reporting.


3 4

as an Israeli-born Jew, whose European grandparents and greatgrandparents were among the few in their families to survive Nazi genocide because they were Zionists in what was then known as Palestine.” She frequently speaks across the country to a variety of groups including Jewish federations, campus Hillels and women’s groups. Earlier this year she addressed state policy officials at a conference in Phoenix, AZ. Irin says most of the groups she speaks to, which tend toward progressive, are interested in reproductive rights and the direction the nation is taking. “People are alarmed about the direction of the country in general,” she says. “In the last year or so, the anxiety about reproductive rights has gone into overdrive. It’s no surprise given the composition of the Supreme Court right now and given the hostility coming out of the federal government, particularly the presidency.” The stance of recently appointed justices seems in stark contrast to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s statement on the subject at her confirmation hearing: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.” Last year a museum exhibit adapted from the book Notorious RBG opened at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. For the exhibition, Irin was able to collaborate with her husband, Ari Richter. Ari is an associate professor of art at LaGuardia Community College in The City University of New York. He earned a BFA in drawing and painting from Florida State University and an MFA in studio art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His contributions to the RBG exhibition are just one of several exhibits he has contributed to throughout the nation in recent years. Ari’s “RBG Tattoo II” and other works are part of the exhibit also named “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” This fall the exhibit will be in Philadelphia Oct. 3-Jan. 12, 2020, before moving to Chicago Feb. 9-Aug. 16, 2020. Irin and Shana spoke at the opening in Los Angeles and are expected to participate in events at other venues of the traveling exhibit’s national tour through 2022. “I am honored to be somebody who is part of telling her (RBG’s) story,” says Irin. Irin readily acknowledges her accomplishments have been made easier by the work of early feminists such as RBG. “There is a reason we dedicated this book to the women on whose shoulders we stand – women like her who paved the way for younger women like Shana and me,” says Irin. “This book is a recognition of how much is possible because of the work they did.”


Lauren B. Grossman’s Life: A Delicate Balance By Barbara Russek


ave you noticed how people’s

lives sometimes

mirror their own

artistic endeavors? Take Lauren Grossman, for instance. This

multi-faceted lady entertained

friends as a talented juggler back in college.

Today, the busy 64-year-old juggles with the

same dexterity her own health issues, activities as a wife and mother, managing her husband’s dental practice and working on her fourth novel.

Born in Holyoke, MA, Lauren grew up in

nearby Springfield. At age 11, she made the

first of two brief forays into writing a novel.

The only problem was they had no middle and no end! Graduating from Emerson College in Boston, the author moved to Los Angeles, as

she reminisced “to seek fame and fortune as an actress.”

Competing with thousands of other aspiring

starlets eventually lost its luster and she decided to move back to Springfield.

It was a fortuitous move. In 1985, she went on

a blind date with Michael Grossman, whom she later married. “Best blind date I ever had,” she

quipped. It must have been beshert.” The union produced two children: Zachary, 30, who lives

in Prague, Czech Republic and Rachel, 32, born

with what was then referred to as developmental


delays. “Doctors said she may never walk or

talk,” the proud mom stated. “She has proven

these dire predictions wrong. Rachel has grown

into a very loving adult who knows more people in town than I do.” She even volunteers at

Congregation Or Chadash, where the family has 28 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

been members for the past 21 years.

Lauren was diagnosed

with relapsing-remitting

multiple sclerosis 28 years

ago. Her primary symptoms – leg pain and fatigue – are

managed thanks to a cocktail


What does writing do for your soul? It uplifts me spiritually. To paraphrase one of

my favorite quotes, “The soul of a writer is born through their art.”

You have written three books, along with some short stories. Have any of

of medications. This

them won awards?

to say how much the

mention from the Writer’s Digest magazine.

courageous lady is quick support from her family

has meant.

The Grossmans decided

to leave Massachusetts in

Two of my short stories won an honorable

The Golden Peacock won finalist in the Readers’ Favorite contest. Recognition is always validating.

What is the writing

1995 after enduring two

consecutive record-setting

process like for you?

glimpse of the Santa Catalina

sit at my favorite table, poise

found their new home in Tucson.

and often do not look up for

winters. Upon their first

I go to a neighborhood cafe,

Mountains, the family knew they had

my fingers over the keyboard,

One night 15 years ago, she had a

four or five hours.

dream that included a beginning, middle and end. Upon awakening, she ran to

How did it feel being

morning led to her first novel Once in

2019 Brandeis Author

the computer and started typing. That

chosen to speak at the

Every Generation. The characters reflect

and Book Luncheon?

and working in theatre. “Write what you

experience. I was honored to

her own experiences in Massachusetts

It was a wonderful

know” is one of her mantras.

speak as the only local author

Her second novel The Golden Peacock

for this fundraiser.

began the Rainee Allen mystery series.

“Again, writing from what happened to

What’s next for you

survivor at the U.S. Holocaust Museum

third Rainee Allen

year age difference),” says Lauren. From

I am considering a

me, Rainee is handed the I.D. card of a

after you finish your

who shares her birthday (with a 30-


there, unfolds a story with twists and

lighthearted, humorous novel.

experience, will leave the reader stunned.

novels can make the readers

turns, which I can affirm from personal

The Verona Exchange is the second Rainee Alleen mystery,

which she wrote in collaboration with her brother Bernie. The

I’ve heard that my mystery gasp. This time I would love to make them laugh!

Lauren Grossman’s novels are available in paperback and

third I the mystery series is a work in progress. “It takes place in

e-book on Amazon.

times,” says Lauren. She has also written several short stories.

Barbara Russek is a freelance writer in Tucson.

Prague because my son lives there and I’ve visited a number of

Intrigued by her background, I wanted to ask Grossman a few


Stack it up… By Lucia Schnitzer 30 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE


his small dish dresses up any table as an elegant appetizer. It’s visually appealing and looks more complicated to prepare than it is. Substitutions for the recipe below can include pineapple, guava, cherry tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, quinoa, rice, cauliflower rice and cooked fish. There’s no limit to the layers, colors and taste profile you wish to create.


INGREDIENTS: 14 oz salmon filets, cut into cubes 4 avocados, cut into cubes 5 mangos, cut into cubes 4 tablespoons avocado oil 2 lemons (juice plus zest) 1/2 small chili pepper, minced (optional) Salt & pepper 1 clove of garlic, crushed 3 tablespoons sesame seeds 1 tablespoon chives, minced

INSTRUCTIONS: Place the salmon, avocados and mangos individually into three mediumsized bowls. In a small bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing together the the oil, lemon juice and zest. Add in the crushed garlic, the minced chili pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Pour 2/3 of the marinade over the diced salmon and stir in the sesame seeds. Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Divide the remaining 1/3 of the marinade into two and pour evenly over the diced avocados and the diced mangoes. Drain the mangoes in a colander to prevent them from being too juicy. Using a stainless-steel round form set on a serving plate, start with a layer of mango, then avocado and finish with salmon. Decorate with some chives on top and serve immediately.

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Making the most of the encore years By Leni Reiss

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni recently wrote

Mark Cohen

the following: “The hell of aging is limits.”

Two longtime Valley physicians are dynamically and

dramatically setting no limits to their retirement years. In

fact, they are crafting new and challenging outlets for their energy, intellect and creativity.

Mark Cohen, 78, a Brooklyn native and a graduate of

New York University medical school, is a former general surgeon who moved to the Valley with his wife, Shirley and their two children in 1973. He closed his Mesa

practice some 20-plus years ago when an injury to his

right hand affected his ability to handle instruments with facility.

An enthusiastic boat owner, in his early teens Mark Mort Dubnow

Arizona for lessons when he could, and even

joined a sailing club. He’s owned his own boat since 1978.

“I’ve really gotten into it post-retirement,” he

says. “I’ve crewed on race boats, even sailed long distances with friends as crew.” Now with some

physical limitations, “I still love it,” he says. “So I was busy with sailing, swimming, racing, family matters – but what came at me was this ‘art thing.’”

He recalls that friends early on took note of

his artistic potential and “harangued me,” he

says, to take up bronze and aluminum casting.

In high school, he had taken a class in casting,

so he signed up here in the Valley at Shemer Art

attended a summer camp in Canada where he learned to sail, and in his second year of medical school he took sailing lessons for a while. Time passed until, years later, he was re-introduced to

the sport when he attended a medical conference in San Diego. He rented a sailboat with a skipper, traveled to California from 32 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Center, “but all the students were artists – and I was a doctor!”

Encouraged by his teacher and with no idea what he was getting

into, he says, he graduated to figurative sculpting, learning figure drawing, building figures from blocks of clay, studying pieces

of sculpture – and learning the etiquette of working with nude

models. He acknowledges that his knowledge of anatomy really

helped. An annex to the home he shares with his wife, Shirley, is dedicated to figurative sculpting work.

“I had no idea that I would be any good at this, but it turns out

that I am, and I really enjoy the process of going from a brick of

clay to a bronze sculpture. Now I live in a social setting in an adult

community, have my own studio, and derive a great deal of pleasure in the creative process.”

“I am no longer just a retired physician,” Mark says. “I am a

sculptor.” And he adds with a grin, “often of naked women!”

A native Chicagoan and graduate of the University of Illinois

School of Medicine, Mort Dubnow and his wife, Paula, and their three children settled in Phoenix in 1968, after he served for two years as an army captain in Fort McClellan, AL. He joined a

Central Phoenix internal medicine practice and, from his early years here, he has pursued varied challenges, both physical and intellectual. He maintains a strict physical fitness regimen and

is regularly recertified in his field. He is a voracious reader, most recently completing the four-volume history of LBJ by Robert Caro.

Perhaps closest to his heart, however, is his increasing mastery of

classical guitar. “I had a background in piano and can read music,” he says, and he was continuously encouraged by a patient, a music teacher, with whom he studied guitar for several years.

“I love all music,” Mort says, “but there is something very special,

emotional and intimate about classical guitar.” He spends hours

practicing his repertoire, primarily of Spanish and Latin American composers. His favorite guitar, one of several in his collection, is

crafted of Brazilian rosewood. His progressive proficiency with the instrument and the music “adds so much to my life,” he says.

The day in 2013 when, at age 76, he formally retired from his

fulltime medical practice, Mort broadened his “pursuit of loves and passions.” He signed up for a thrice-weekly Interlingua Spanish language class.

“Living in Arizona and with the progression of Spanish speakers

in the U.S. and the fact that I enjoyed language studies in my

school years – I thought it would be fun.” More than fun, it turns

out. “It was phenomenal,” he says. “We spoke no English from the first day of class!” As his competency flourished, he participated

in three two-week “entertaining, stimulating and unique” Spanish

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immersion trips – in Guatemala., Peru and most recently in

Mexico. And he continues to meet with a teacher several times a month.

Missing the “hands-on aspects and personal connections” of

providing medical care, Mort has joined a local office and sees

patients a few days a week, “allowing me time to do more of one of the things I love to do.”

Call it “re-wire-ment” or “re-fire-ment,” both Mark and Mort

are living their senior years with gusto.

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng 909 East Northern Avenue • Phoenix, AZ • 602.910.6319 JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 33



Bar & Bat Mitzvah Bat mitzvah bravery: How Western Wall sisterhood can transform your big day



or many young women, preparing for one’s bat mitzvah ceremony can be daunting: learning the intricate trope to confidently chant the Torah portion, bracing oneself to deliver a speech before the congregation, considering the weight of becoming an adult in the Jewish tradition. But for Olivia, who traveled from Florida to Jerusalem to mark her milestone moment, uncertainty hung in the balance, beyond the typical pre-event jitters: Would Olivia have a Torah to chant from at her bat mitzvah? Olivia Schottenstein is among the women of all ages who have chosen to mark their b’not mitzvah with Women of the Wall, an Israeli organization advocating for equal rights for women at the Western Wall (the Kotel) and beyond. Comprised of women from a variety of Jewish denominations (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.), the group prays at the Western Wall on Rosh Hodesh (first day of each Hebrew month). Over 31 years of resilience, WOW has withstood numerous arrests and detainments, as well as violence from worshippers who protest the group’s presence at the Kotel. WOW has succeeded in normalizing the image of a woman wearing ritual items such as tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries), yet the battle for women’s access to Torah still remains. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the authoritative body over the national public site, subjects WOW to degrading “security” checks, searching for a hidden Torah scroll, as none are permitted entry to the Kotel’s women’s section. With determination and stealth, WOW has successfully smuggled in Torah scrolls to use in their service. Thankfully, Olivia’s bat mitzvah was one of these triumphant highs. A bat mitzvah with WOW is an event whose resonance reaches beyond the immediate circle of celebrants, spreading a message of equal opportunity. For instance, only 5% of Israeli girls celebrate a bat mitzvah with any religious content. Only Women of the Wall has established a meaningful framework for

Olivia Schottenstein’s bat mitzvah service with WOW, from Rosh Hodesh Tamuz 2018. PHOTO COURTESY HILA SHILONI ROSNER

celebrating this milestone on Rosh Hodesh on the women’s side of the Kotel. Each bat mitzvah who joins WOW on her special day declares that Torah is not only her birthright, but that of every Jewish woman. WOW Board Member Rachel Cohen-Yeshurun grew up in ultra-Orthodox Beis Yaakov schools and only later in life gravitated toward Jewish feminism. Nowadays, Rachel is a regular leyner (Torah-reader) at Women of the Wall’s services at the Kotel. She especially enjoys sharing her skills with other women and girls. “Our bat mitzvah girls often need to bravely ignore the demonstrators who come to disrupt... But when I see a woman confidently chanting Torah at the Kotel, I am filled with hope that one day there will be an Aron Kodesh, an ark filled with Torah scrolls in the women’s section of the Kotel.” Courageously, Olivia chanted every note on her bat mitzvah. She recited the traditional blessings of gratitude for the Torah, for being given a part in its living legacy, and the words took on extra significance. “Each woman we empower by chanting Torah is one more soldier in the struggle for women’s equality at this holy site,” says Cohen-Yeshurun. For information on marking your bat mitzvah with Women of the Wall, please visit WOW’s site: bat-mitzvah/ or contact


Bar & Bat Mitzvah


Include marshmallows at your mitzvah By Mala Blomquist


ost of us were introduced to marshmallows around a campfire when someone handed us a decadent treat with the fluffy white confection sandwiched between golden graham crackers with melted chocolate oozing out – behold the s’more. Today, gourmet marshmallows are popping up as party favors and at candy stations at bar and bat mitzvahs across the country. The treats are handmade and come in a variety of flavors and colors. But have you ever thought of where these puffed confections originated? The original mallow plant that grew in marshes (marsh mallow) was used for medicinal purposes in ancient Greece to cure everything from sore throats to upset stomachs. The ancient Egyptians were the first to create a confection from the plant’s roots more than 2,000 years ago. They would combine the sap of the marshmallow plant with nuts and honey. This treat was reserved for pharaohs and gods. In the 1800s, French candy makers were the first to make the treat that we are familiar with today. They combined the marshmallow sap with egg whites and sugar and whipped the sweet treat by hand. The French also were the first ones to use corn starch molds to form the marshmallows so they could be made faster. In 1927, the Girl Scouts Handbook came out with a recipe for “Some More.” It instructed readers to “toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp, gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich.” The name was soon shortened, and s’mores have been an American campfire tradition ever since. Then in 1948, according to campfiremarshmallows. com, Alex Doumak (son of the founder of Doumak, Inc., the makers of Campfire Marshmallows) patented the marshmallow extrusion process, revolutionizing marshmallow production by making it fast and efficient. In extrusion, the marshmallow mixture is pressed through tubes, then cut into equal pieces, cooled and packaged. This new process allowed enough marshmallows to be produced that they became an everyday sweet treat and staple for favorite family recipes. A search of marshmallows on Pinterest leads you to hundreds of photos of multi-colored and flavored squares of the confection. Squish Marshmallows ( out of New York City offers a variety of flavors like birthday party and peanut butter and jelly time in addition to the classic s’mores. They ship their marshmallows across the United States, and they are certified kosher under United Kosher Supervision, Inc. So, if you’re thinking about adding a sweet party favor or dessert to your bar/bat mitzvah festivities, visit the many options available today – you’ll find it’s not your bubbe’s marshmallow anymore.



Bar & Bat Mitzvah

A unique wall in Israel unites b’nai mitzvah journeys

Sara Ross of Tucson stands in front of her grandson’s plaque at the B’nai Mitzvah Wall.

JNF’s B’nai Mitzvah Wall of Remembrance in Beit Shemesh, Israel. 38 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE


n 2006, when Max Levin – son of Judy and Bud Levin – was preparing for his bar mitzvah, his parents brought him to Israel to find a project that would mark his “coming-of-age.” Since Bud was (and still is) a Jewish National Fund-USA vice president, Max was taken to the 118-year-old organization’s Jerusalem office, where they looked at the Golden Books of Honor. The books are numerous volumes that document donations made to JNF-USA over the years, and today contain more than 200,000 inscriptions. They comprise the largest registry of names in the history of Zionism and bear testimony to Jewish communities around the world that have been destroyed. “One of these books contained the names of young people who, during the Holocaust, donated money in honor of their bar mitzvahs,” says Max, a Los Angeles native who made aliyah in 2012, served in the Israel Defense Forces, and is now studying business at Columbia University in New York. “When I asked my dad what happened to them, he told me they all died and that there’s nobody left to remember them. I was moved and decided that for my bar mitzvah project, I would make sure that they were remembered.” Max’s project led to the creation of the B’nai Mitzvah Wall of Remembrance in American Independence Park, located in the hills above the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh. Shaped like a Torah scroll, the B’nai Mitzvah Wall is covered with glass tiles, each one inscribed with an honoree’s name, hometown, and bar or bat mitzvah date, as well as the name and home country of a “twin” from the Golden Book. Max’s tile was the first, and he was twinned with Pinchas Cohen of Germany. Young men and women from all over the U.S. have chosen to include this special project as part of their b’nai mitzvah journeys. Sara Ross of Tucson, has two young grandsons, Benjamin and Jacob, who proudly chose to commemorate their coming of age with this significant gift. “I think it’s imperative to assist Jewish National Fund in the important work it does,” says Ross. “The B’nai Mitzvah Wall is one way to make a contribution that connects our children and grandchildren in the U.S. with the memory of the Holocaust and pays tribute to children who did not have the opportunity to celebrate a bar mitzvah.” The Ross boys were connected to family members who died in the Holocaust as young children, and Sara plans to visit Israel in May to see Jacob’s newly placed plaque. B’nai mitzvah plaques can be gifted for $1,800 by visiting

ask helen Dear Helen I help writing a speech. I am an adult woman (45 in November) who decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of being b’nai mitzvah. Long family drama short: my father died before my 13th birthday and my grandparents and mother were in such shock that the whole celebration was cancelled as inappropriate. In college and after I drifted from Judaism, though I did stand under a chuppah as I married a nice Jewish man. Our twins were bar mitzvah four years ago and now it is my turn. But I am not a scholar. How can I interpret Torah? Can you help me with what to say if I send you my Torah portion info? My Turn At Last Dear My Turn: Here’s the best news: a 45-year-old woman has lots of well-earned wisdom to share. I’m only an occasional speechwriter, so if you were hoping for a finished product you will be disappointed. But here’s how to succeed: For this and many other aspects of life I suggest a journal process. Sit some place you are not likely to be interrupted. Look up the Torah portion (easy online) and print it out. Then take a couple deep breaths and read the passage aloud slowly. Take note of anything that jogs your mind or heart: words, phrases, images, metaphors, whatever fodder your inner voice lobs to you. Write down any and all ideas right then before they flee. I strongly suggest doing this even before you finish reading this email. Then do some research. Go to your synagogue library and look up commentaries or put your parshah into a search engine and see what comes up. Browse at least a dozen sites. Make sure you look at Jewish ones. (Phrases like “the blood of the chosen one” are a good clue, LOL). Thousands of years of scholars will offer you zillions of insights. Think about how the passage relates to you and to your community, both local and global. For example, your

Writing a b’nai mitzvah speech at any age parshah may talk about an idea like “sacrifice.” You don’t have to talk about Biblical actions literally. Instead make it relevant and personal. Think about sacrifices you’ve made and make. Your reasons may range from generosity to codependence, but look deeply at family, friends, health, money, community service, etc. Consider when and how you have sacrificed for yourself or others. Ditto when others have sacrificed for you. What did it feel like, on both sides? What did you gain and learn, materially and emotionally? Would you or they sacrifice that way again again? Why or why not? Think about related words like gratitude and sharing, and loss, less, none. Then go bigger: how do these ideas play out everywhere from politics to socio-economic-environmental justice, or in everything from union strikes to Middle East peace. You don’t have to solve these problems, but look at what comes up and how it makes you feel, from guilty to empowered. See your talk as illuminating the relationship between Torah’s words and your very real life. A speech only needs a couple good stories, well told, to inspire listeners to examine their own lives. Even at 45, your Torah talk is part of a public ceremony of transition and initiation. Exploring the links between your smaller world and the bigger one we share is not about becoming a Torah scholar. It’s about bringing the ancient words to life, and making them relevant for those who will come to honor you. I promise you will inspire others to think about Torah more deeply even if you don’t cite a single rabbi. If you speak from your heart you’ll never go wrong, Congratulations and good luck. What does she do? What do you need? Motivation, Inspiration, Support, Problem-solving. A resident of Eugene since 1981, Helen Rosenau is a member of Temple Beth Israel. She’s a student of Torah and an artist (, a writer ( and the author of The Messy Joys of Being Human: A Guide to Risking Change and Becoming Happier.



Stepping up and stepping back

L iving

By Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I arrived in Tucson in the sweltering heat of the summer of 1976 with the intent of visiting my Aunt Gen for a few weeks and enhancing my already freckled tan. But what began as a pit stop on a cross country trip ended up 43 years later as my cherished home and community. Gen always took care of others; babysitting the grandkids, driving friends to doctors’ appointments

while counseling them on relationship issues and bringing meals and doing errands when they weren't well. But when she was in her late 60’s, she shared a story with me that has only recently taken on meaning as I enter my Medicare years. Gen had received a call about a neighbor who had an accident. A group of women were creating a food tree; could she bring dinner on Tuesday for the family? Almost 40 years later, I can still hear her voice. With total clarity she said to me, “You know, I think it may be time for someone else to bring the chicken soup.” That moment taught me a solid life lesson. That there is a time to step up and be actively engaged, to go the extra mile for family and friends, to guide the actions of our children. But there is also a time to step back and reevaluate our commitments to make space for others to take the reins. As Kenny Rogers sang so succinctly in the Gambler, “You’ve got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them.” 40 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

Now, 65 years young, I wonder if and how I can borrow from Gen’s chicken soup wisdom. When, how and to what do I decide to hold on or let go? What baton do I pass and to whom? And, if I am honest with myself, can I deal with how I will feel when I “let go” of taking care of the world I love and everyone in it? Of course, I don’t really think that the world will fall apart – or perhaps even notice – when I step back so that someone else can bring the soup, plan the holiday or make the baby shower. In fact, in creating space for others to take the lead, what may become apparent is that I am actually placing my faith and confidence in them. I think about this a lot these days, particularly in regard to my relationship with my adult children and the relationship my aging parents have had with me. In the Jewish tradition, parents have a responsibility to teach their children. The Hebrew word for parents, horeem, comes from the word “teacher,” and teaching our children is one of the centerpieces of the Shema. The Talmud in Kedushin 29A, tells us that, among other obligations, we are required to: teach our children Torah so that they can choose well and live moral and spiritually meaningful lives; teach them a vocation so that they can become financially independent; help them choose a suitable life partner so that they can live emotionally and spiritually fulfilling lives; and teach them to swim, so that they will feel secure in their physical surroundings. Our Jewish sages were pointing to the heart of all parenting, the idea that we should work towards enabling our children to become independent, competent and self-sufficient human beings. The natural corollary of that is that we must also learn to honor their independence at the appropriate time and let go of attempting to manage their lives or control the outcome of their decisions. Stepping back from the active role we long played as parents when our children were in their formative years is not easy for many of us. It requires a certain type of discipline on our part – to not interfere in their lives or family dynamics or offer advice when not asked. The idea of “zipping it,” of keeping quiet and not meddling, or becoming involved in a way that is neither needed or welcome, requires a conscious commitment on our part as parents if we hope to truly accomplish the goal of creating fully independent adults who can “fly from the nest” when it’s time. In letting go, we create the space for the next generations to engage in the values and traditions that we have hopefully inspired. We also manifest our trust in their ability to craft a life that is authentic, gratifying and meaningful and in so doing, accomplish our task as parents and can take joy in a job well done.

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L iving


Arizona Jewish Historical Society to honor Marnie & Harvey Dietrich with the 2019 Jerry Lewkowitz Heritage Award

Please join the Arizona Jewish Historical Society in honoring Marnie and Harvey Dietrich. Together, this dynamic couple has enriched not only the local Jewish community of Phoenix, but the state of Arizona, the nation and have also had tremendous impact globally through their activism, volunteerism, civic engagement and philanthropy. Proceeds from this gala event support the ongoing restoration of the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center and its museum exhibitions and educational and cultural programs. Marnie and Harvey Dietrich, longtime Arizona residents, exemplify the best of tikkun olam (repair the world). They have enriched not only the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix, but the state of Arizona, the nation, and the world through their activism, volunteerism, civic engagement and philanthropy. Harvey Dietrich is Arizona’s Jewish cowboy. He planted his boots in Arizona nearly 60 years ago, working first as a cattle buyer. Harvey and his partners founded Sun Land Beef in Tolleson, which was one of the top ten meatpacking plants in the United States. Harvey sold Harvey and Marnie Dietrich Sun Land Beef in 1997. For three decades he has operated Cholla Livestock/ Diamond A Ranch, Arizona’s largest cattle ranch covering 750,000 acres. Harvey has supported healthy food initiatives and led the fight to ban artificial drugs and GMO’s in cattle feed. In 2013, he and associates started the “Beef Additive Alert” website that exposes problems in the industry and advocates ethical treatment of animals and integrity in the meatpacking industry. In 2015, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City honored Harvey with the Chester A. Reynolds Award for lifetime achievements embodying the ideals of individualism, honesty, humility and integrity. Throughout his life, Harvey has promoted ethical business practices, including humane treatment of his livestock, fair treatment of his employees and 42 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

stewardship of the land. In 2014 Harvey was also honored as the Arizona Pioneer Stockman by the Arizona National Livestock Show. Marnie Dietrich was born and raised in Davenport, IA. From a very early age, she was identified as the “class artist” and knew she would one day become an interior designer. In high school, she made the local news for her ground-breaking enrollment in an allmale architectural drafting class. Having earned a full scholarship,

Marnie graduated with honors from California State University. After graduating from college, Marnie was employed as a flight attendant by Continental Airlines in the 1970s. Her main assignments were flights ferrying soldiers between the United States and Vietnam. After leaving Continental, Marnie enrolled in UCLA’s Graduate Program in Architecture and Design. She began her career by helping friends design their home and office interiors. During the 1980s, Marnie was a lead residential designer for Canal & Chaffin, a premier design firm in Newport Beach and Los Angeles. She launched her own company in the 1990s. Harvey and Marnie support a variety of civic and charitable organizations. They are generous supporters of medical institutions, including the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Honor Health Heart

Group, T-Gen Cancer Center and Barrows Neurological Institute. They also support the Jewish National Fund which supports development in Israel. They have traveled to Israel with JNF on two missions. Harvey is on the JNF’s Board of Trustees and Marnie is a member of the Sapphire Society and President’s Club. Harvey and Marnie also support education and the arts, including Hillsdale College, Chapman University, the Arizona Theatre Company, the Phoenix Symphony, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and the Phoenix Art Museum. Marnie is a former member of the ASU Women in Philanthropy and a current member of the Jewish Women’s Conservative Forum. Harvey and Marnie are members of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, and Harvey serves on its Board of Directors. They also are members of Congregation Beth Israel.


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FEDERATION NOTES The Days of Awe By Marty Haberer The period between Rosh Hashanah, this year beginning sundown on September 29 and ending with Yom Kippur the evening of October 9, is known as The Days of Awe. This reference was first noted in the Jerusalem Talmud and expressed the idea that this 10-day period provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our actions of the past year and ask for forgiveness of those whom we may have transgressed against. All the way back to the third century, there was a belief that three books are opened in heaven on Rosh Hashanah: one for the wicked, one for the righteous and one for those in between. The righteous are immediately inscribed in the Book of Life. The wicked are inscribed in the Book of Death and the fate of those in between is suspended until Yom Kippur. If they do well, they are inscribed in the Book of Life. If not, they are inscribed in the Book of Death. Remarkably, even in today’s technological world where religious beliefs are often muted, synagogues worldwide are packed during these Days of Awe. Something very strong still draws us to seek forgiveness from our G-d as well as our fellow human beings. In fact, for many of us, it is harder to seek forgiveness from our family members, friends and colleagues than G-d, because it can be embarrassing to dredge up and rehash the things we are not particularly proud of and regret. However, this is what has made the holidays even more special to me in

recent years. I have really tried to go the extra step to apologize to people for things I may have said and done, sometimes as far back as elementary school. And when those friends forgive me, I am bathed with a sense of relief and growth. In our Jewish tradition, one must apologize to his fellow human beings at least three times. If still unforgiven the third time, the one seeking forgiveness is relieved of responsibility for the original sin. In fact, the sin becomes the responsibility of the one who won’t forgive. During these Days of Awe, I extend my hand and ask you to join me in seeking forgiveness of those we may have hurt in our homes, businesses and communities. If you join me, I suspect you too will receive the joy of forgiveness. So I humbly ask that any of you whom I may have offended or hurt to please forgive me. I am sincerely sorry. Wishing you and your families a meaningful and healthy High Holiday season. Shana tova U’mituka! Marty Haberer is President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. JEWISH LIFE | OCTOBER 2019 43

L iving


FACES & PLACES SPIRITED CELEBRATION – Nedda Shafir, left and Ellen Dean were in the audience for the spirited interfaith concert on June 30 at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix. The church choir and Jewish Cantorial Soloists Todd Herzog and Emily Kaye rocked the full house with music from the African-American and Jewish spiritual traditions. Photo by Leni Reiss

LEARNING THEIR As and BEEs – Before they dig into apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, Tucson Hebrew Academy’s kindergarten class learned all about how bees make honey, from resident bee expert, Josh, from Arizona Pest Control. Photo courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy.

FOR THE LOVE OF ART – Cooki Shindler and Arlene Feldman expressed their emotions through art with the Valley of the Sun JCC’s Color Me Art Pen & Ink led by local artist Debra Lee Murrow. The class is just one of the amazing Culture & Learning offerings at The J. Learn more at Photo courtesy Valley of the Sun JCC

POWER PANEL – Lucia Schnitzer of Luci's Urban Concepts, Janice Dinner of Banner Health, Courtney Beller of Fennemore Craig and Hilla Sferruzza of Meritage Homes are all smiles during the Jewish Federation Business & Professionals Women’s Professional Panel held Sept. 11 at Fennemore Craig. Photo: Courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix 44 OCTOBER 2019 | JEWISH LIFE

ISRAELI SCOUTS – Barbara Grossman, left, and Ellen Rosenbaum flank Shany Factor, Israel Scouts Caravan female leader, at the Scouts June 23 performance at Tempe Chai. Grossman is on the board of Arizona Friends of the Israeli Scouts; Rosenbaum is board co-chair. Photo by Leni Reiss

SUMMER SMILES – Alan and Judy Silberman enjoy a sunny summer day during their visit to Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. Photo by Leni Reiss

LUNCH WITH THE FONZ – Harvey and Sandy Belfer had lunch with Henry Winkler in Beverly Hills. Mr. Winkler was kind enough to throw it in as part of their bid for his signed leather coat at the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix's MEGA held in March.

FABULOUS FIDDLER – Leni Reiss with Zalmen Mlotek, musical director of The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's remarkable production of Fiddler on the Roof, now playing at Stage 42 in NYC.



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During the entire month of October, more than 130 San Diego hotels,

Join the Jewish History Museum at 564 S. Stone Ave. in Tucson on Friday,

restaurants, attractions, museums, tours and transportation companies

Oct. 25 at 11 am for a free Gallery Chat with Steve Saltonstall and John

offer families the opportunity to unwind in San Diego without having to

Hoelter, volunteers with Humane Borders, speaking about acts of con-

worry about breaking the bank. “Kids

science and faith in the Sonoran Desert.

Free San Diego” provides parents an

Hoelter and Saltonstall will describe their

opportunity to save with a variety of

efforts to aid refugees making the perilous

unique free incentives for kids, ranging

journey on foot across the Sonoran Desert

from complimentary attraction admis-

from death by dehydration and exposure.

sion to meals, welcome amenities at

They will discuss the religious and political

area hotels and much more.

aspects of their work, including the universal

With world-class family attractions, a

need for compassion, and how institutional

rich arts and culture scene, delicious

and systemic oppression continues impact

Cali-Baja cuisine and popular activities

attitudes and lives.

on land and water, San Diego is con-

Stephen Lee Saltonstall is a volunteer water

sistently rated one of the top family

truck driver with the Tucson-based humani-

destinations in the United States. In

tarian organization Humane Borders. He is

October, after the summer crowds

a mostly retired lawyer who concentrated

diminish, visitors to San Diego can

on criminal defense work for indigent and

relish in the region’s sunny weather

low-income people, including a successful

and warm temperatures and enjoy

challenge to the now-defunct Massachusetts

numerous fun-filled fall activities at

death penalty law, and cases for environ-

reduced prices.

mental groups and the American Civil

For a listing of all the free offers for

Liberties Union.

kids available, visit

John D. Hoelter is a third-generation, mostly


retired Lutheran Pastor and was a Chaplain for Carondelet Hospice in Tucson. John


has been a volunteer water truck driver for


Humane Borders for more than a decade.

Join Tucson Hebrew Academy at 3888

He serves as a member of its Board of

E. River Road in Tucson from 5:30 to


7:30 pm on Oct. 17 for a free joyous,

For more information, visit jewishhistorymu-

participatory, and multi-sensory cele-

bration! Activities include a kid-friendly mac and cheese dinner, Sukkot blessings, Sukkot crafting, inflatables,


games, apple slice bar, Wild West Promotions and Congregation Or Cha-

The first Friday of each month, beginning Nov. 1, Beth Emeth Synagogue

dash’s Fun Photo Booth, potato sack races, wagon rides and more.

at 13702 W. Meeker Blvd. in Sun City West will be holding their traditional

Please bring canned tuna or peanut butter to be donated to Jewish Family

Friday night services with a twist. Each month from 6:30 to 8 pm in their

& Children’s Services. Please RSVP by Oct. 10 at

Chapel/Library they will focus on a special aspect, theme, or prayer from

For more information, contact Mary Ellen at 520-647-8443 or pjlibrary@

the Shabbat evening liturgy. This service is for beginners and experienced

members alike. They will answer your questions about the service, and Jewish prayer in general, to help each person have a more spiritual


experience of connection with prayer and community. There is no fee and

Join Rebbetzin Chana Goldstein for Shabbat service and dinner in honor of

these services are open to everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. They will

Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Friday, Oct. 18 at 5:30 pm at the Ina

include familiar songs and the traditional prayers each week.

Levine Jewish Community Campus at 12701 N. Scottsdale Road in Scott-

More more information, contact Beth Emeth at 623-584-7210

sdale. Those who attend can save 50% on prenatal and BRCA screening


with the Minkoff Center for Jewish Genetics. Cost is $18 per person; dietary laws observed. RSVP by Oct. 16 at


For a complete calendar of events for October, visit






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