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Volume 7, Number 5 Bridal / Yom Yerushalayim

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Serving the Local New Orleans, Northshore, and Baton Rouge Jewish Communities

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

The newest holiday on the Jewish calendar celebrate the reunification of Israel's capital. By MJL Staff Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem Day — is the most recent addition to the Hebrew calendar. It is celebrated on the 28th day of Iyar (six weeks after the Passover seder, one week before the eve of Shavuot). In 2017, Yom Yerushalayim falls on May 24. Although Jerusalem has been considered the capital city of the Jewish people since the time of King David — who conquered it and built it as the seat of his monarchy in approximately 1000 B.C.E.–there has never been a special day in honor of the city until the Israeli army took over the ancient, eastern part of the city on the third day of the Six-Day War in June 1967. Shortly after the Six-Day War, “a municipal unification” of the two sections of the city took place, ending 19 years of separation between predominantly Arab and Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem, following the War of Independence in 1948.

The Israeli education system devotes the week preceding this day to enhancing the knowledge of the history and geography of the city, with a special emphasis on the unique role that it played in Jewish messianic aspirations since Biblical times.

Reciting Hallel

A Young Holiday

Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Rehavam Zeevi and Uzi Narkiss in the Old City of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. (Israel GPO) Due to the young age of this holiday, there is still not much that makes it unique in terms of customs and traditions. It is gradually

The status of Yom Yerushalayim in Jewish religious life seems more ambiguous than the religious status of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). Following the model of Yom Ha’atzmaut, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has decided that this day should also be marked with the recitation of Hallel (psalms of praise), and with the lengthier version of Psukei d’Zimra (the psalms in the earlier part of the becoming a “pilgrimage” day, when thousands morning service). It is quite clear that ultraof Israelis travel (some hike) to Jerusalem to Orthodox Jews, in Israel and abroad, have not demonstrate solidarity with the city. This accepted Yom Yerushalayim, but it is not clear show of solidarity is of special importance to how many Orthodox Jews chant the Hallel the state of Israel, since the international com- psalms on this day. munity has never approved the “reunification” Israel’s Progressive (Reform) prayerbook of the city under Israeli sovereignty, and many notes that Hallel should be recited on Yom countries have not recognized Jerusalem as Yerushalayim, but not so the Masorti (Conserthe capital of the Jewish state (The United vative) prayerbook, which does suggest a list of Nations “partition plan” of November 1947 supplemental readings for this day. The Ameriassigned a status of “International City” to can Conservative siddur, Sim Shalom, mentions Jerusalem).

that Hallel is recited “in some congregations” on Yom Yerushalayim. The ambiguity of the religious status of this holiday is reflected in celebrations — or lack thereof — outside of Israel. While the city of Jerusalem has significant meaning for all Jews, Yom Yerushalayim has yet to attain the popularity of Yom Ha’atzmaut and is not observed extensively outside of Israel. In addition, unlike Yom Ha’atzmaut — which is a day to celebrate the existence and successes of the modern Jewish state — Yom Yerushalayim can make some politically liberal Jews outside of Israel uncomfortable, due to the continuing conflicts over the future of the city. Even some Jews who believe that the city should remain undivided and under Israel’s control choose not to emphasize Yom Yerushalayim as a day of joy because of the deeply emotional, violent, and controversial state of affairs surrounding the Arab portions of Jerusalem. Others, however, believe that despite the current political conflicts, an undivided Jerusalem is something to be celebrated openly and unhesitatingly, a sign like Yom Ha’atzmaut of Jewish political independence. A common citation in Yom Yerushalayim celebrations in Israel is the quote (Psalm 122:4) Ir shehubrah lah yahdaiv — “a city that is compact together” or “a city uniting all.” (This translation is probably influenced by a rabbinic

midrash on this verse which interpreted the phrase to reflect events in rabbinic times. In using the citation today, a modern midrash has been built on the rabbinic interpretation.) The course which Yom Yerushalayim will take in future decades will be influenced, undoubtedly by the political developments that determine the status of the city in future times. ì


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If your group has an event that you would like for us to include on the Community Calendar please e-mail the information to jewishnews@bellsouth.net. All submissions are subject to acceptance by the Editor. ì Call Our Trained Experts & Experience the Difference

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The JCC will join with three Metairie synagogues to enjoy some classic movies this summer. RABIN: In His Own Words will be the first film on Monday, June 12th at Gates of Prayer. Contact: Judy Yaillen Phone: 504.897.0143 Email: judy@nojcc.org Free and open to the community Date: June 15, 2017 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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Ogden Museum Tour And Lunch At The American Sector Restaurant

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Join your friends at noon for a delicious lunch at The American Sector Restaurant, located in the WWII Museum, and then walk over to the Ogden Museum with us to enjoy a tour of the new exhibit, "Waltzing the Muse: The Paintings of James Michalopoulos." The Ogden Museum is free for Louisiana residents on Thursdays. Lunch is on you. RSVP by Monday, June 12 to Rachel Ruth at 897-0143 x161 or rachel@ nojcc.org. Contact: Rachel Ruth Phone: 504.897.0143 Email: rachel@nojcc.org No charge members and nonmembers

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Israel Under Radar

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AARP Safe Driving School

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If you are 55 or over, take this refresher course to become a safer, more aware driver. You may also qualify for great discounts on insurance. Members and non members of the JCC are welcome. Bring your lunch. Dessert and coffee will be served. RSVP by Monday, June 19, to Rachel Ruth at 897-0143 x 161 or rachel@nojcc.org. Contact: Rachel Ruth Phone: 504.897.0143 Email: rachel@nojcc.org $15 AARP member / $20 non AARP member June 29, 2017 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

New Orleans JCC - Uptown 5342 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70115 Movie Day: Dog Day Afternoon To get money for his gay lover's sex-change operation, Sonny (Al Pacino) -- who's married with kids -- teams up with Sal (John Cazale) to rob a New York bank on a scorching-hot summer day. The stickup goes awry when the press gets wind of the circus sideshowesque story. Chris Sarandon, Charles Durning and James Broderick co-star in this classic Sidney Lumet-directed film based on an actual event from the 1970s. Movie snacks will be served. RSVP by Monday, June 26 to Rachel Ruth at 897-0143 x161 or rachel@nojcc.org. Contact: Rachel Ruth Phone: 504.897.0143 Email: rachel@nojcc.org No charge members and nonmembers ì

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Chai Lights

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Brenda Schneider Florence Schornstein Touro Synagogue

ChaiLights features announcements of births, B'nai Mitzvahs, engagements, weddings, and honors. To request your special event be published in The Jewish Light send your material to United Media Corp., P.O. Box 3270, Covington, LA 70435 or e-mail jewishnews@bellsouth.net. Events are published on a first come, first served basis, as space permits. Photographs are welcom; professional ones preferred. The must be clear and in focus. ì

Beth Israel

Mazel Tov to... Shirl Watsky on the Bar Mitzvah of her youngest grandson, Jack Herman Meyers. Parents, Jason and Rachael (Kansas) Feder and to grandparents, Jacob & Lee Kansas, Maggie Feder and David & Sandra Feder on the birth of Sylvia June Feder on Sunday, April 16th, 2017

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Mazel Tov to... Richard and Kim Mayer upon the birth of their daughter, Bayla Chaya Leah Dovid & Dina Voskovsky and Rabbi Leibel & Mushka Lipskier for the upcoming Upshernish of Levi Yitzchak

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Mazel Tov to... Aaron Wolfson on being chosen as one of 2017 healthcare heroes. Carrie & Brint Marks on the birth of their son, Leon Isaac Marks.

Temple Sinai

Mazel Tov to... Daryl & Louellen Berger for underwriting and hosting the successful seventh annual Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans’ Goldring-Woldenberg Major Donor Dinner. Rabbi Alexis and Dr. Bob Berk on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Seth Jacob Berk. Shane Finklestein, owner of Nacho Mama’s Mexican Grill, for his restaurant winning third place in the Traditional Margarita category at Top Taco New Orleans. Rebecca Lederkramer (Religious and Hebrew School teacher since 2013) on her acceptance to the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion Rabbinical School, where she will study to THE

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become a Reform rabbi. Jules B. Puschett, MD, FACP, FASN, FAHA, FASH, FAAAS for receiving the 2017 Gift of Life Legacy of Leadership Award by the National Kidney Foundation Serving the Alleghenies. Dr. Puschett is a Research Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and a Research Professor of Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences at Texas A&M University. Florence Schornstein for having her life accomplishments profiled in The Advocate, and for being recognized at the National Council of Jewish Women Greater New Orleans Section’s 120th anniversary gala on April 22. EllenRae and John Shalett on the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Sydney Lynn Shalett. Sydney is the daughter of Jeremy & Jennifer Shalett. Alon Shaya for Pizza Domenica and Shaya making The Advocate’s “New Orleans Dining Guide, Spring 2017: The Essential 100,” and for being featured in the May 2017 issue of Bon Appetit. Pamela Steeg for being honored as a Partner in Justice by Avodah. Harriet Blumenthal and Barbara Greenberg for being recognized by the National Council of Jewish Women for their accomplishments as past presidents of the Greater New Orleans Section Moonlighters Branch Temple Sinai members who were recognized by the National Council of Jewish Women for their dedication and leadership as past Greater New Orleans Section presidents: Joan S. Berenson Barbara Bresler Julanne Isaacson Celia Katz Susan Kierr Pamela Lyles Beth Bloch Rosenthal Mimi Schlesinger

Mark Mintz and Jennifer Kitner on the birth of their son Zachary Saul Mintz and to grandparents Melinda and Morris Mintz Meredith and Zachary Engel on the birth of their daughter Margalit Shoshana Engel Zachary Engel on becoming nominated for the James Beard Rising Star award which honors the nation's top chef younger than 30 years old. Heather Glass on being invited to join the Theta chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, the National Honor Society for adult students at Tulane University. Benjamin Swig on winning the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea competition. Ben’s “Ready Responders” provides solutions to

improve response times to critical 911 medical emergencies, reduce unnecessary ambulance and emergency department utilization, reducing health care cost through the use of their innovative staffing model of EMTs and Paramedics, technology and patient-centered engagement. Ellen Balkin on being named the Louisiana Art Education Association's 2017 Museum Education Art Educator. She was also nominated for the Southeastern Region's award honoring outstanding service and achievement of regional significance. ì

Thank you to my friends in the Jewish Community for your continued support! Congratulations as we celebrate Israel’s Anniversary!

Paul Hollis

State Representative, District 104

SUMMER UNION SHABBAT During the months of June, July, and August, the three reform congregations in New Orleans will join together for Summer Union Shabbat Services. Shabbat Services will rotate between Gates of Prayer in June, Temple Sinai in July, and Touro Synagogue in August.

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JUNE AT GATES OF PRAYER Friday Evening Shabbat Services at 8:00PM Saturday Morning Shabbat Services at 10:30AM JULY AT TEMPLE SINAI Friday Evening Shabbat Services at 6:15PM Saturday Morning Shabbat Services at 10:15AM AUGUST AT TOURO SYNAGOGUE Friday Evening Shabbat Services at 6:00PM Saturday Morning Shabbat Services at 10:30AM Bridal/Yom Yerushalayim

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If you have a condolence that you would like for us to include in Life Cycle please e-mail the information to jewishnews@bellsouth.net. All submissions are subject to acceptance of the Editor. ì Bill Hess IDF Sgt. Elchai Taharlev CONDOLENCES Leo J. Gershen grandfather of To the Cotlar Family on the loss of Sara Gershen Marc J. Cotlar Evelyn May Hebert Schcexnayder, mother of Jane Chabad Soslow CONDOLENCES Jeannette Rita Olivier To Caron Bleich upon the passing Gagneaux and Emile Joseph of her mother, Mrs. Dorothy Gagneaux grandparents of Joseph. Rebecca Finger Lauren Zeitels friend of Shira Gates of Prayer Bergman-Cohen CONDOLENCES Eleanor Cogan Schlakman To Barbara Beerman on the death mother of David Schlakman of her sister, Lana Sue Corcoran. David Kaufman Nancy Robinson Moss ì To Stephen Cohen & Barry Cohen on the death of their father and grandfather James H. Cohen. To Cheryl Ross on the death of her father David Insler. IN MEMORIAM Daniel B. Alexander Lorraine Hurwitz Marc J. Cotlar Simon Bitoun, uncle of Jacob Bitoun Elizabeth Hess Wolff, aunt of

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Send editorial to us via e-mail at jewishnews@bellsouth.net or reach us by phone at (504) 455-8822. Our mailing address is United Media Corp. P.O. Box 3270, Covington, LA 70434 • To place advertising in THE JEWISH LIGHT, call United Media Corp. at: New Orleans (504) 455-8822 Northshore (985) 871-0221 Baton Rouge (225) 925-8774 JEWISH LIGHT carries Jewish Community related news about the Louisiana Jewish community and for the Louisiana Jewish community. Its commitment is to be a “True Community” newspaper, reaching out EQUALLY TO ALL Jewish Agencies, Jewish Organizations and Synagogues. THE JEWISH LIGHT is published monthly by United Media Corporation. We are Louisiana owned, Louisiana published, and Louisiana distributed. United Media Corporation has been proudly serving the Louisiana Jewish Community since 1995. Together, we can help rebuild Louisiana. We thank you for the last 22 years and we look forward to an even brighter tomorrow. THE

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The Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

Remembering Jerusalem permeates Jewish belief, thought, and practice in profound and powerful ways. By Rabbi Ed Snitkoff

With the sound of shattering glass at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, generations of Jews were reminded that Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jewish people were in exile. With this ritual the vow recorded in book of Psalms was actualized: “If I forget thee Oh Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my greatest joy” (Psalm 137). While we are overjoyed for the couple, at the same time, we remember that this small shattering glass is filled with sad memories mixed with hopeful dreams. Yehuda Amichai, a well-known Israeli poet, wrote about remembering Jerusalem in a collection called “Songs of Zion the Beautiful“: Jerusalem’s a place where everyone remembershe’s forgotten something, but doesn’t remember what it is. This spiritual process of longing to remember and thereby touch that which is eternal is the essence of Judaism! And this remembering always connects to Jerusalem in one way or another… Jerusalem in the Bible While referred to a number of times in early biblical accounts from Abraham to Joshua, Jerusalem has been the central city of Judaism since the year 1000 B.C.E., when King DAv id conquered this small, remote Canaanite town and made it the capital of his kingdom. With the building of the Temple by King Solomon following the death of King DAvid, the city becomes the focus of three pilgrimages each THE

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year for thousands of Jews celebrating the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. These pilgrimages are in keeping with the command in the Torah to visit and worship “…in the place that God will choose, for the Lord God blesses you with produce and blesses the work of your hands and you shall rejoice” (Deuteronomy 16:16). Jerusalem is a major focus of biblical literature and the likely venue where much of this literature was written and preserved. The kings of Judah lived and died here, as recorded in the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Prophets were based in Jerusalem, interpreting the Torah and establishing the great moral and ethical standards of Judaism. The Book of Lamentations, often attributed to the prophet

Jeremiah, laments over the destruction of First Temple Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. The destruction of the First Temple and the rebuilding of the Second Temple (60 years later) are recorded in the books of Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. Following the biblical accounts, the Second Temple period added 500 more years of memories. These memories are recorded in many of the Apocryphal books, such as the books of the Maccabees, relating the events (mostly in the Jerusalem area) leading to and following the revolt against the Greeks in the second century B.C.E. (commemorated during the Hanukkah festival). With the rise of the Roman Empire, the city of Jerusalem grew and underwent a major facelift by Herod, the Roman appointed Jewish king who conquered Jerusalem with a Roman army in the year 37 B.C.E. Rabbinic literature records hundreds of events, stories, and descriptions of life in Jerusalem from this period. Jerusalem in Rabbinic Judaism After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the memory of the city came to embody the hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people within the developing tradition of Rabbinic Judaism. Jerusalem was now an ideal that represented redemption, perfection, and wholeness that Jews would study about, pray for, and try to spiritually experience from

afar. While Earthly Jerusalem may be in ruins, controlled by foreigners and unreachable, HeAvenly Jerusalem was in every Jew’s heart, waiting in the wings for the Messianic day when the promise of rebuilt Jerusalem would be fulfilled by God. How were the Jewish people to keep these memories and hopes alive and part of their lives? Jerusalem in Liturgy and Ritual A series of “reminders” (rituals, prayers, and special days) developed in Jewish antiquity and were designed to keep the memory of Jerusalem alive from generation to generation, for example: -Jerusalem is a central theme in Jewish liturgy and religious poetry. For example, one of the 19 blessings of the Amidah (silent prayer central to all Jewish prayer services) reads: “Return to Your city Jerusalem in mercy, and establish Yourself there as you promised… Blessed are you Lord, builder of Jerusalem.” The Amidah prayer is traditionally recited three times a See CONNECTION on Page

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Barnard College graduates beam at the Columbia University commencement ceremony in New York, May 18, 2016. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) -- In a recent analysis of U.S. religious groups, the Pew Research Center reported that the most educated American Jews are also the least religious. In considering these findings, it's tempting to think that secular education leads to assimilation among American Jews (I want to be clear that Pew, a leading source of data on contemporary Jews in the U.S., Israel and globally and a non-advocacy fact tank, did not put forth this reading of the data). The reason this might make sense: In a diverse, open society, education can draw people away from their particular group and its ways of life. Highly educated Jews, it seems, may be more likely to distance themselves from some traditional Jewish practices. But that interpretation would be narrow and incomplete. It turns out that sometimes secular education is linked to assimilation, sometimes to connectivity and sometimes to neither. Using data from its landmark 2013 survey of U.S. Jews, Pew showed that college-educated Jews are less likely than Jews without a college degree to believe in God with absolute certainty and less likely to affirm that religion is very important to them. Partly accounting for these differenes, Pew noted, are Orthodox Jews, who are more religious and tend to have lower levels of secular schooling than non-Orthodox Jews But even when non-Orthodox Jews only are examined, the more educated are less religious. My own analysis of the same survey data confirmed Pew’s findings and more. Jews with a college degree are also less likely to keep

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kosher at home, to refrain from handling money on Shabbat, to report that all or most of their close friends are Jewish, and to say that being Jewish is very important to them. (Note: I analyzed Jews 30 and older because by that age most people have either gone to college or decided not to). These data points may be particularly troubling because secular education has been one of the prime engines of Jewish social, political and economic success in America. Could it be that higher education, that storied upside of American Jewish life, has a serious downside, too? Fortunately, the answer is no. Jewish life is multifaceted. It encompasses religion, ethnicity and culture. It spans family, local community and global peoplehood. It has attitudinal and behavioral aspects. By looking further at the Pew survey data, we can see that in many cases college education has no association with assimilation. In other cases, higher education encourages Jewish connectivity, the very opposite of assimilation. The data reveal that Jews with and without college degrees display many similar attitudes and behaviors The two groups are just as likely to express pride in being Jewish, to have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, to feel a special responsibility to Jews in need, to say it’s essential to them to be part of a Jewish community and to be emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, they are just as likely to attend Jewish religious services monthly or more, to be able to converse in Hebrew, and, among those who are married, to have a Jewish spouse. On these measures, college education and assimilation do not go hand in hand. The data also show that in some circumstances, higher education is associated with connections to other Jews and especially to Jewish organizations. College-educated Jews are more likely than their noncollege educated counterparts to belong to synagogues and other types of Jewish organizations, to See COLLEGE on Page THE

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Making the Most of Technology in Jewish Education By Lewis J. Bernstein and Shira Ackerman (JTA) -- You've seen the adver- immersed -- and vibrant Jewish tisements: A fit young woman ped- communities. als a stationary bicycle while an The report provides a detailed instructor on a video screen shouts roadmap for Jewish funders as they consider investing in this area and look to leverage new technology and media in Jewish learning. Here are some key points: Define your mission, a vision of what you want to accomplish. Jewish educators and researchers tell us that American Jews have decreasing connections to other An Israeli working with campers at the Jews, Jewish communities, instituUnion for Reform Judaism's 6 Points tions and Jewish life. Technology Sci-Tech Academy in New Jersey. (URJ provides a means to reach all Jews 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy) with Jewish wisdom related to valencouragement. The company, ues and character, and “life lesPeloton, promises "fitness at your sons” on topics such as patience, fingertips," and both "live and on showing kindness to others and demand" spin classes and "world managing emotions. Jewish comclass instructors," all from the com- munity building and social interacfort of your own home. tion are essential, technology canWhat does a stationary bike com- not replace them — but it can be pany have to do with Jewish educa- used to enhance them. tion? Balance the need to engage Jews We believe that Judaism, a who are uninterested and unin4,000-year-old endeavor, has some- volved in Jewish life -- providing thing important and timeless to say them with authentic learning expeabout building character and val- riences -- with deep educational ues; about dignity, persistence and experiences for those already intersurvival skills; about humor, art and ested and invested in Jewish learnjoy -- all necessary attributes to ing. build that better future. And we Media is not an end. It is a believe that media and technology means, a tool that can reflect reality, have a place in this process to but with imagination, can also engage, model and teach. shape a new reality. What if Jewish funders and eduNurture young and established cators were to adapt the Peloton talent to experiment fearlessly. model to Jewish learning, offering Insist on quality and dream big. long-distance classes as well as Infuse a spirit of innovation into opportunities for in-person connec- all efforts. tions and interactions? Such a comBe willing to fail and learn from bined model could provide oppor- failures. tunities for learning and community Engage and educate through joy, building, for families with young humor and fun. children or college-age students, Perform research that is formabuilding on already existing physi- tive, iterative and summative. cal institutions such as JCCs. You can’t teach if you can’t The Peloton model is only one of reach. Be market knowledgeable dozens we explore in a new report, and sensitive. Smart Money: Recommendations Create a solid distribution plan: for an Educational Technology and all successful impact is dependent Digital Engagement Investment on reach and scale. In fact, it is as Strategy. Together with several col- important as the quality of the conleagues, all who work in the world tent created. of secular education and entertainWith these guiding principles, ment media, we advised the Jim we hope creative minds and funders Joseph and William Davidson foun- will consider developing these dations on the potential of ed tech types of Jewish ed tech opportuniand digital engagement to help the ties: foundations’ missions to create A blended Jewish lifelong learnmeaningful Jewish learning experi- ing academy ences -- for people on the margins The Khan Academy is an educaof Jewish life and those deeply tional organization that produces THE

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short video lectures, practice exercises and tools for educators in math, science and the humanities. Envision a Khan Academy-like resource with personalized instruction on Jewish education topics taught through video, and supplemented by virtual and in-person mentoring and community meetings. Narrative stories to engage audiences and link them to an eco-system of learning and community Just as masterful storytellers have adapted Shakespearean classics for the stage, film and television, so should Jewish educators and ed tech producers adapt Jewish stories, whether biblical, historical or contemporary, for digital media distribution. Innovative Israel education and partnerships Advisers stress an urgent need to address the changing views toward Israel and Zionism. They explain that though it is difficult, ignoring these ideas will be detrimental and lead to a decline in especially young people’s positive feelings for Israel and, by extension, Judaism. Create partnerships with Israeli tech and media companies, schools and universities for mentorship, exchange programs, virtual courses, joint storytelling and productions, and more. A "J-Game Lab" that focuses on integrating curricular content into a game format Experiment with virtual and aug-

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mented realities (VR and AR) to teach Jewish history, values and conflict resolution to give a sense of presence and empathy. VR and AR can be used for virtual visits to Israel, important Jewish sites and landmarks, or for virtual interactions with events in Jewish history. They can also be used to build empathy and an understanding of others through virtually walking in someone else’s shoes. These could serve as stand-alone experiences or supplement others as introductions to or follow-ups for programs such as Birthright Israel, camp or Poland trips. Empower and appeal to young people’s comfort with creating and using technology Encourage young Jewish talent by building a pipeline for Jewish college students and graduates to professionally explore new technologies in a variety of ways -- for example, by creating a Jewish Imagination Fellows Corps. Launch community building projects around Jewish and general social activism Create a Jewish Community Virtual Boomer Corps where retirees virtually mentor younger people and the younger people mentor the boomers, helping to improve their use of technology. Invest in educator training Support Jewish learning through See TECHNOLOGY on Page

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(JTA) — These days there are smartphone applications for pretty much anything, from ordering food to finding a date to reporting antiSemitic incidents. But what about tools for living a religious Jewish life? Well, there are apps for that, too. Whereas in the time before smartphones, observant Jews may have had to ask their rabbis certain questions or — gasp! — read a book, now there are apps available that can help with everything from putting on tefillin correctly to finding the nearest kosher eatery. Here are seven useful downloads for those who lead -- or wish to lead -- a more observant Jewish life. Tefillin Mirror: The rules regarding how to put on tefillin can be confusing — for example, the head phylactery has to line up in the middle of the wearer's forehead and it also has to stay above the hairline. This app functions as a mirror with three vertical lines that help the user properly align the tefillin. Minyan Now: Time to pray but can't find a synagogue? This app alerts Jews that someone nearby is looking for a minyan (the quorum of 10 people required to say certain prayers). Users can chat to coordinate a meeting place as they wait for 10 people — men in this case, as the app follows Orthodox customs — to respond. Shabbat & Holiday Times: Need to know when to light the

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Shabbat or holiday candles? This app shows the start and end times of Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Users can enter any location in the world or allow the app to access their phone's location for accurate times. Kosher Near Me: This app is perfect for travelers or anyone looking to explore new kosher options closer to home. Users can peruse kosher food selections — restaurants, grocery stores and takeout — around the world, including in the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Ecuador, Gibraltar and South Korea. Listings also include reviews written by users. Smart Siddur: The days of schlepping around prayer books are long gone thanks to this app. This high-tech siddur features the three daily prayers and services for various Jewish holidays in a clean, easy-to-read interface. It syncs with the Jewish calendar, displaying holiday-specific prayers on the appropriate days so users need not worry about forgetting any special liturgy. Sefaria: Now it's easy to study Jewish texts on the go. Sefaria, which was created by the website of the same name, offers a library of works, including the Torah, Talmud and Midrash, as well as Kabbalah, philosophy and a multitude of commentaries. Texts are available in Hebrew and English, and users can search the entire library for specific words or phrases. @TheKotel: Jews from around the world visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray. With this app, users can leave a prayer at the holy site without having to leave their homes. Electronically sent prayers are printed out and placed in crevices at the holy site, as is the custom. ì

Best Wishes to all of my Jewish friends and supporters! The Honorable Erroll G. Williams Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office www.nolaassessor.com

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7 New Books About the Holocaust You Should Read, According to Scholars By Josefin Dolsten (JTA) — From Anne Frank's diary to Elie Wiesel's "Night," books about the Holocaust remain some of the most powerful and well-known pieces of literature published in the past century. Books have the power to educate about the Shoah's unimaginable horrors and bring to life the stories of its victims, as well as unearth hidden details about wartime crimes. JTA reached out to Jewish studies scholars across the country seeking their recommendations on recently published books dealing with the Holocaust. Their picks, all published in the past three years, include an investigation into the 1941 massacre of Jews in the Polish town of Jedwabne (two scholars recommended the same book on that topic), a critical examination of theories trying to explain the Holocaust and a look at how Adolf Hitler saw Islam as a religion that could be exploited for anti-Semitic purposes. The Crime and the Silence:

Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015) By Anna Bikont Joshua Zimmerman, professorial chair in Holocaust studies and East European Jewish history, and associate professor of history at Yeshiva University, writes: This book, a winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award, was written by a Polish journalist who discovered she was Jewish in her 30s and became deeply engaged in the topic of Polish-Jewish relations. After Jan T. Gross’ controversial book "Neighbors: the Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland" (2000) proved that the local Poles — not the Germans — committed the massive pogrom in that town in July 1941, Bikont went to Jedwabne and its surroundings, interviewing eyewitnesses to the crime in the years 2000 to 2003, shedding new light on the character of the perpetrators, bystanders and the intricate way the crime was concealed for 50 years after the

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Holocaust. It is written in the form of a journal of the author’s travels and conversations with people. Barbara Grossman, professor of drama at Tufts University and former U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council board member, also recommended Bikont's book She writes: I first read about the Jedwabne massacre in Gross’ book and still remember being riveted by the cover image of a barn engulfed in flames. Perhaps because my paternal grandfather was from Łomża, Poland — a city relatively near Jedwabne — I felt a particular connection to this atrocity, as well as gratitude to him for leaving the country years before the Holocaust. I directed Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s "Our Class," a play loosely based on the events in Jedwabne, at Tufts in 2012, and remain fascinated by this story of greed, treachery and cruelty, a horrific crime in which as many as 1,600 Jewish men, women and children perished. Bikont’s magnificent work of investigative journalism details her meticulous reconstruction of the massacre and its subsequent decades-long coverup. It is a sobering and compelling account of anti-Semitism, denial

and isolated acts of heroism. The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust (Oxford University Press, 2015) By Lisa Moses Leff Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, writes: This award-winning book recounts the amazing story of Zosa Szajkowski, the scholar who rescued archives that might otherwise have been lost in the Holocaust. Szajkowski wrote numerous books and articles, but was also a known archive thief, caught red handed stealing valuable papers from the New York Public Library. Leff's meticulous account reads like a thriller, yet conveys invaluable information concerning the fate of Jewish archives during and after the Shoah, and why removal of archives from their original home matters. Brandeis University and my late father, Bible scholar Nahum Sarna, play bit parts in this story. I remember Szajkowski, too; in fact, I took a class with him as a Brandeis undergraduate. He told lots of stoSee NEW BOOKS on Page

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As a long-time strong supporter of Israel, Louisiana State Representative Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, prominently displays a large Israeli flag next to the American flag in her district office. The flags symbolize her deep belief in the important bond between the U. S., as well as Louisiana, and Israel. Rep. Hodges considers Israel to be America's greatest political and military ally, a vital economic partner to the U.S. and Louisiana, and a champion for Women's Rights in the Middle East.

Rep. Hodges has authored a House Resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the current 2017 Legislative Regular Session. Her HR also expresses recognition for “the cordial and mutually beneficial relationship between Israel and the state of Louisiana and the contributions of Israel to humankind, and to express support for the people of Israel and for their right to defend themselves and to live in freedom.” As soon as her HR is assigned a number, it can

Thank you to my friends in the Jewish Community for your continued support! Congratulations on this historic milestone as we celebrate Jerusalem’s 50th Anniversary!

Valarie Hodges State Representative District 64 Louisiana House of Representatives

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be read in its entirety on the Louisiana State Legislature website www. legis.la.gov. Recently, Rep. Hodges was contacted by the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest and has agreed to participate in a national celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem. The Embassy of Israel in Washington D.C is holding the main event and is trying to coordinate events in all 50 states. In Louisiana, Rep. Hodges' House Resolution is to be read from the floor of House of Representatives Chambers as well as a similar Senate Resolution to be read from the floor of the Senate Chambers. These events will take place simultaneously on June 7, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Rep. Hodges has authored resolutions expressing support for Israel five years out of the six years of her tenure as a state representative. Each annual resolution emphasized a different relevant issue regarding Israel. In 2016, HCR 57 condemned "any and all efforts to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel." In 2017, she has also authored, HB 685, which includes anti-BDS lan-

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guage. HB 685 passed out of committee and is scheduled for House floor debate on May 24, 2017. Prior to and during her tenure as a state representative, Rep. Hodges has attended and hosted events for various pro-Israel organization including AIPAC and CUFCI for many years and plans to continue in the future. Because of her great respect and love for Israel, Rep. Hodges considers it an honor to advocate for the right of the Israeli people to live in freedom and to defend themselves and to recognize the longstanding friendship between Israel and the United States of America and the great State of Louisiana. ì

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These Comedians Want to Bring Yiddish Humor to TV By Josefin Dolsten

Eli Batalion, left, and Jamie Elman created and star in the web series “YidLife Crisis.” (Darren Curtis)

(JTA) — It's safe to say that Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman are some of the funniest Yiddish speakers around. Their Yiddish-English web series, "YidLife Crisis," is a modernday, Montreal-based “Seinfeld” that would make any Jewish mother kvell ("It’s in Yiddish!") and kvetch ("The sex, drugs and Jesus jokes! Oy!"). The series, which premiered in 2014, follows the nebbish Leizer (played by Batalion) and rebel wan-

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nabe Chaimie (Elman) as they wander around Montreal, eat at restaurants and have Talmudic debates about their Jewish identities. In one episode, Chaimie tries to convince Leizer to order food in a restaurant on Yom Kippur. Leizer reluctantly agrees — but insists the waitress separate the meat and dairy-based foods. In another, which takes place at a kosher sushi restaurant, the two men fight, in

Entertainment Yiddish, over the affection of a woman (played by "Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik), not realizing that she can understand everything they are saying. Now Batalion, 36, and Elman, 40, hope to bring their brand of Yiddish humor to a larger audience. The duo is in talks with a Canadian broadcaster to create a TV show based on the web series. In addition, "YidLife Crisis" received an entrepreneurship grant earlier this month from the Jewish philanthropy Natan Fund to further expand its content. The challenge facing Batalion and Elman is how to broaden the appeal of "YidLife Crisis" beyond the Jewish community without abandoning its Yiddish roots. Though the pair say they hope to remain in the main roles, the TV show would also introduce a cast of characters from other religious and cultural backgrounds who grapple with similar questions of identity. The series “would take a lot of the content from 'YidLife Crisis' — the chemistry and ideas behind it — but

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go further down the road of multicultural Montreal, putting a few other multicultural characters on display as well,” Batalion said, speaking with JTA on a conference call with Elman. They're not particularly concerned that a departure from the show's tight Jewish focus will alienate the show's most devoted fans. Batalion, who has produced, composed and written content for "horror musical" films, assured JTA that a potential TV series "would still be extraordinarily Jewy." While the characters would speak more English on TV than in the web series, Yiddish would feature as “a code language” in which Batalion and Elman’s characters interact with older family members. “We love ‘Transparent’ as a show that at its surface is not about Judaism, but in practice it’s filled with loads of Jewish content. And we think this would be the same,” said Elman, whose acting credits include "Mad Men" and "Curb Your EnthuSee COMEDIANS on Page

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Fidget Spinner Was Invented to Stop Palestinian Kids from Throwing Rocks at Israelis By Gabe Friedman

Fidget spinners are the latest toy sensation. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Do we have Palestinian rock throwers to thank for the fidget spinner? The inventor of the ubiquitous stress-reducing toy says she came up with the idea during a trip to Israel in the 1980s, during the First Intifada, as a way to distract the “young boys throwing rocks at police officers.” Catherine Hettinger told CNN Money last week that she first brainstormed the gadget while visiting her sister in the Jewish state and hearing about the clashes 12 Bridal/Yom Yerushalayim

between Palestinian youth and Israeli security. She first considered designing a “soft rock that kids could throw,” according to CNN Money. “It started as a way of promoting peace,” Hettinger said. But soon after, upon returning home to Orlando, Florida, Hettinger put together the first fidget spinner — a propeller-like toy that spins around a center bearing. Hettinger secured a patent for the device in 1997, but sales languished for over a decade, and Hasbro declined to market it. Hettinger did not have the money to pay the $400 fee to renew her patent in 2005. It was not until last year that the fidget spinner became a sensation, appearing everywhere from office cubicles to elementary school classrooms. Some tout the toy as a stress reliever, but others find them disruptive and distracting. ì

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TEL AVIV (JTA) – Israeli startups are revving their engines ahead of the country’s largest-ever “smart transportation” ev21ent. Over 200 local companies working in transportation technology will be at the EcoMotion Conference on Thursday at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa. The plan is to give auto industry giants a look under the hood of “Startup Nation.” “Companies from around the world want to see what’s happening in Israel,” said Lior Zeno-Zamasky, the executive director of EcoMotion, a networking group for transportation technology companies in Israel that is organizing the conference. “The idea is ultimately to make deals, and I can tell you we’ve had a lot of success stories in the past.” Israel in recent years has become an unlikely center for automotive innovation – it has no car manufacturing to speak of, and the country is notorious for its bad drivers. It started with the electric car company Better Place, which in spite of its high-profile bankruptcy in May 2013 is credited with putting Israel's automotive tech scene on the map. The next month, Google bought the Raanana-based mapping company Waze for $1 billion. And in March of this year, Intel agreed to acquire the self-driving car technology powerhouse Mobileye, located in Jerusalem, for a record $15 billion. BMW, Ford, General, Honda, Motors, Uber, Volkswagen and Volvo have also invested in Israeli technology since 2016. Now that they have the world's attention, Israeli entrepreneurs have shifted into overdrive. According to Zeno-Zamasky, at least 550 startups now work in the country’s transportation technology industry. Here are some of the revolutionary things those attending the fifth annual EcoMotion conference are trying to make cars do. Run on electricity with little or no charging The era of the electric vehicle has officially arrived. A couple million plug-in cars are now whirring along

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roads across the globe, consuming a third as much energy as their gasoline-powered counterparts. Pulling over to recharge them, however, is a buzzkill. So Israeli startups are working on ways to make the pit stops faster and less frequent – or even unnecessary. Tel Aviv-based StoreDot claims to be developing an electric vehicle battery that can be recharged in five minutes — that's compared to the hours that are typically required today. The company says a single charge would run a car for about 300 miles — farther than almost any electric vehicle now on the market and nearly as much as a gasoline-powered car. StoreDot recently demonstrated proof of the concept on a single battery cell, and previously recharged a smartphone in 30 seconds. Electroad thinks its can do away with plugs altogether. At its headquarters in Caesarea, the company has developed an under-the-pavement wireless technology that recharges electric vehicles while they drive. With "inductive charging," vehicles can carry lighter, less expensive batteries -- and never have to stop to recharge. Israel's government is working with Electroad to build a half-mile public bus route in Tel Aviv using its technology. If the planned 2018 launch goes well, there are plans for more routes, starting with an 11-mile shuttle between the city of Eilat and the Ramon International Airport in the south. Navigate by 'sight' Mobileye provides most of the world's driver-assistance technology. That includes the sensors -mainly cameras, lidar lasers and radar -- and computing power that cars need to "see" the road. And the company is working with Intel and others to roll out a test fleet of 40 self-driving vehicles later this year. But car vision is still far from 20/20, and some Israeli startups apparently think they can do better. Innoviz Technologies, located in Kfar Saba, and Vayavision, from Or Yehuda, are both developing their own lidar laser systems, which use light and radar to determine distance. Meanwhile, Oryx Vision promises "nano antenna" sensors that perform 50 times better and cost See STARTUPS on Page THE

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The 3 Cancers Jews Need to Worry About Most -- and How to Reduce the Risks

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Better education about the dangers of sun exposure are credited for helping bring Israel's skin cancer rate down from the world's second-highest a decade ago to 18th today. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) By Niv Elis

NEW YORK -- As if Jews don’t have enough to worry about. Geopolitical threats to the Jewish people may wax and wane, but there’s another lethal danger particular to the Jewish people that shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon: cancer. Specifically, Jews are at elevated risk for three types of the disease: melanoma, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The perils are particularly acute for Jewish women. The higher prevalence of these illnesses isn’t spread evenly among all Jews. The genetic mutations that result in higher incidence of cancer are concentrated among Ashkenazim -- Jews of European descent. “Ashkenazim are a more homogenous population from a genetic point of view, whereas the Sephardim are much more diverse,” said Dr. Ephrat Levy-Lahad, director of the Medical Genetics Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. But there is some hope. Susceptible populations can take certain precautions to reduce their risks. Recent medical advances have made early detection easier, significantly lowering the fatality rates from some cancers. Cheaper genetic testing is making it much easier for researchers to discover the risk factors associated with certain cancers. And scientists are working on new approaches to fight these pernicious diseases – especially in Israel, where Ashkenazi Jews make up a larger proportion of the population than in any other country. Understanding risk factors and learning about preventative measures are key to improving cancer survival rates. Here’s what you need to know. Melanoma THE

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Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, representing some 80 percent of skin cancer deaths, and U.S. melanoma rates are on the rise. It’s also one of the most common forms of cancer in younger people, especially among women. Just a decade ago, Israel had the second-highest rate of skin cancer in the world, behind Australia. One reason is that Israel has a lot of sun. Some credit better education about the dangers of sun exposure for helping reduce Israel’s per capita skin cancer rate, now 18th in the world. But the sun isn’t the whole story. Jews in Israel have a higher incidence of melanoma than the country's Arab, non-Jewish citizens. What makes Jews more likely to get skin cancer than others? It’s a combination of genetics and behavior, according to Dr. Harriet Kluger, a cancer researcher at Yale University. On the genetics side, Ashkenazi Jews — who comprise about half of Israel’s Jewish population — are significantly more likely to have the BRCA-2 genetic mutation that some studies have linked to higher rates of melanoma. The other factor, Israel’s abundant sunshine, exacerbates the problems for sun-sensitive Jews of European origin. That’s why Arabs and Israeli Orthodox Jews, whose more conservative dress leaves less skin exposed than does typical secular attire, have a lower incidence of the cancer. “There are epidemiological studies from Israel showing that secular Jews have more melanoma than Orthodox Jews,” Kluger said. So what’s to be done? “Other than staying out of the sun, people should get their skin screened once a year,” Kluger said. “In Australia, getting your skin screened is part of the culture, like getting your teeth cleaned in America.” You can spot worrisome moles on your own using an alphabetic See CANCERS on Page

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Carl Reiner, 95, Dishes His Secrets to Longevity By Curt Schleier

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(JTA) — The first thing Carl Reiner does every morning is pick up the paper and read the obituary section to check if he's named there. “If I’m not, I’ll have my breakfast”— or so he says in the charming and appropriately titled HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” Then the 95-year-old actor, writer and director, the creator of the "Dick Van Dyke Show" -- “my greatest achievement,” he tells JTA -- goes to his computer to work on his latest project, a book. In fact, that’s what he was doing when a reporter calls to talk about the film and their shared genesis in the Bronx (and not necessarily in that order). Reiner, however, is not entirely in a reflective mood and dismisses the invitation to reminisce. “You know,” he says, “I wrote three books about growing up in the Bronx.” Instead, he quickly brings the conversation into the present. “It’s funny you mention the [Loew’s] Paradise [Theater on the Grand Concourse]. While we’re talking I’m working with a graphic designer," he says. "We’re putting together a book of posters of movies that influenced me as I was growing up. Movies and TV moved me more than anything. Eddie Cantor. Jack Benny. Fibber McGee and Molly.” The book -- tentatively titled “Carl Reiner Alive at 95 Recalling Movies He Loved” -- is one of several recently published or in the works in his crowded pipeline. These include a newly released children’s book, “You Say God Bless You for Sneezing and Farting,” and the forthcoming memoir “Too Busy to Die." Staying busy is one of the bromides offered in the the heartwarming HBO film Reiner hosts. The idea for "If You're Not in the Obit"

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percolated from an obituary Reiner read for actress Polly Bergen, who died in 2014 at age 84. “It scared the bejeebers out of me,” he says in the film. The obit, Reiner goes on, stayed with him. “How come we got the extra years and we’re thriving?” he wondered. So at the suggestion of his nephew, the producer George Shapiro, Reiner set out to find what keeps some old people young. For example, he visits 102-year-old Ida Keeling, who does push-ups and jogs daily. She started running at 67 to overcome depression resulting from the drug-related murders of her two sons. Among others appearing in this delightful film are Patricia Morrison, 101, who starred in the original productions of “Kiss Me Kate” and “The King and I”; comic actress Betty White, 94, and fashion icon Iris Apfel, 94. “People ask me where I get my vitality," Apfel says, "and to tell you the truth, I don’t have a clue.” A funny bone is one thing that almost all the people interviewed had in common. For example, the late Fyvush Finkel — who was 92 when he was interviewed in 2015 — says, “There’s nothing more boring than a clean old man.” Kirk Douglas, 100, speaks about how his wife urged him to go on the road with a one-man show to show how he was recovering from a stroke. “What does an actor who can’t talk wait for? Silent pictures to come back?” he asks. They also shared a zest for life, a joie de vivre. Among those interviewed were 93-year-old Harriette Thompson, the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon, and Jim "PeeWee" Martin, who fought in D-Day and still parachutes today. The film doesn’t provide a definitive answer to living a long life. “I think it’s partly your genes," Reiner says. "Also, it’s your environment. Also, if you have a funny bone; if you grew up in a family with a sense of humor.” See CARL REINER on Page THE

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How to Make Cold Borscht By Ronnie Fein

This version of cold borscht is a smooth, pureed soup of beets garnished with mint and citrus. (Ronnie Fein)

(The Nosher via JTA) — I can’t eat borscht that comes from a jar that’s been sitting on a supermarket shelf for who knows how long. So sue me. Tell me I’m a snob. I just can’t. It’s the wrong color, it’s too thin and has these shimmering chopped-looking things on the bottom that I suppose are beets but remind me of pocket lint. But I do love borscht, all kinds. Years ago I was surprised when a friend served me a version that wasn’t at all like the simple beet soup so familiar to Ashkenazi Jewish families. Hers was a thick, marrow bone-based dish laden with vegetables that included lots of cabbage, carrots, parsnips and potatoes, and beets of course. She told me this was the “real thing” and, after doing a little research, I learned that borscht covers a lot of ground and can be vegetarian or made with meat and even poultry. It may or may not be chock full of vegetables, but it’s always a slightly tart or sour soup with beets as the common denominator – whether it’s Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Jewish or any other type. My friend’s borscht is a hearty dish, fit for cold weather comfort. But now, with the arrival of spring and warm weather, I want a lighter, beets-only version – more like the kind sold in the jars, but thicker, richer and more flavorful. I’ve experimented with several recipes and I love this version with orange and mint. There’s enough orange peel and apple to give it that familiar borscht tang, which is balanced by sweet beets. You can make it with or without dairy, and you can serve it hot or cold. You can add half-and-half cream or coconut milk as an enrichment. Make it more substantial by placing slices of hard cooked egg or boiled potato into each serving, or THE

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top the soup with fresh mint, an orange slice or a blob of dairy sour cream or plain, Greek-style yogurt. You can make this soup two to three days ahead. It’s a good family dish and makes a lovely first course for Shabbat dinner. Ingredients: • 3 large or 4-5 medium beets • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 tablespoon butter, margarine, or olive oil • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger • 2 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • 4 cups water • 1 cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional • dairy sour cream or unflavored Greek style yogurt, optional • sliced hard cooked egg or potato, optional Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), orange peel, mint, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Serve garnished, if desired, with sour cream or yogurt for a dairy meal, or cooked egg or potato. (Ronnie Fein gave up a fasttrack, high-paying job as an associate at a major Wall Street law firm

NOSHER

(food)

to become a freelance food and lifestyle writer. Over the years she has written for the food sections of daily newspapers including Newsday, The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time.)

The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com. ì

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7 Incredible New Things the World Can Thank Israel For By Andrew Tobin TEL AVIV (JTA) – To build a Jewish state in the Middle East, Israelis had to be innovators. Some of what they've come up with has been used mostly by their fellow citizens — think Hebrew slang, Bamba snacks and the Iron Dome missile defense system — at least so far. But many other Israeli creations have changed the world: drip irrigation, the USB flash drive and actress Natalie Portman, among them. Here are some incredible things Israel gave the world this year, its 69th year of independence. A weed inhaler

Syqe

Medical's cannabis inhaler (Courtesy of Syqe Medical)

Puff, puff, pass the inhaler. In November, the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva announced it would begin marketing a medical cannabis inhaler in Israel that delivers precise doses of the drug. Rambam Hospital in Haifa had already been using the device for more than a year, making it the first medical center in the world to prescribe cannabis as a standard medical treatment. Perry Davidson, the founder and CEO of Syqe Medical, which developed the inhaler, said his company plans to eventually offer it around the world. “Israel is clearly just the start,” he told Bloomberg. “We expect to be approved for use in other countries in due course. The U.S., as the biggest medical cannabis market, is an obvious target.” The inhaler is far from Israel's first marijuana-related innovation. In 1964, Raphael Mechoulan, a chemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, discovered tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. He went on to identify the endocannabinoid system upon which cannabinoids act on the body. Last summer, the government approved a plan by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to relax some requirements for obtaining medical 16 Bridal/Yom Yerushalayim

The cast of "Fauda" (Ohad Romano)

cannabis. And in March, it decriminalized recreational marijuana use. A binge-worthy series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict The Israeli TV drama “Fauda” has given the world a compelling look inside the conflict at the heart of the Jewish state. Nearly two years after the show became a mega-hit in Israel, Netflix in December began streaming the first, and so far only season, in 130 countries. In the United States and elsewhere, English subtitles were added over the Arabic and Hebrew dialogue. “Fauda” – Arabic for "chaos" – was informed by the Israeli military experiences of co-writers Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz. The show follows undercover Israeli soldiers as they pursue a fictional Hamas terrorist in the West Bank and also delves deep into the lives of the Palestinian characters. Netflix previously bought the rights to other Israeli films and TV shows, including “Prisoners of War,” from which the hit U.S. show “Homeland” was adapted. Reviewers and fans have lauded “Fauda” for offering an unusually complex and humane portrayal of Arab characters, even terrorists, and for capturing the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli rule. Loaded with Arab actors, the show has won fans on both sides of the Green Line that demarcates the territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. “A sad reality,” one Arab Israeli viewer wrote on the official “Fauda” Facebook page. “I hope the day will come when Arab and Jews can live together in peace.”

A popular sport for middle-aged women Popularized by Israeli moms in 2005, the women's sport of catchball has recently gone global. Catchball is like volleyball, but easier, because catching and throwing replaces bumping, setting and spiking. Israeli women adapted the sport from Newcomb, which some Americans may know from summer camp or gym class. Meanwhile, catchball leagues in Israel boast more than 12,000 female members, almost all of them over 30. That is twice as many adult women as belong to basketball, soccer, volleyball and tennis leagues combined, according to data from Israel's Culture and Sport Ministry. “It’s like a disease among middle-aged women here,” said Naor Galili, the director-general of the Maccabi sports association in Israel. “We like it. We love it. We fully support it.” The Israeli Catchball Association in recent years has promoted catchball in more than half a dozen other countries and helped launch a sister association in the United States. At the July Maccabiah Games, an Olympics-style event for Jewish athletes held every four years, an exhibition tournament will features dozens of teams from Israel, along with squads from Boston, London and Berlin.

born, and Jerusalem, where he was raised. Cedar knowingly -- and often humorously -- navigates the gaps between the two worlds. As NPR’s pop culture critic John Powers put it, “Cedar cheerfully skewers Israeli politics and its emotional relationship to American Jewry in a way that U.S. directors dare not." The director doesn’t worry whether the film is “good for the Jews,” Powers noted. For better or worse, Gere apparently has no such hang-ups either. In Jerusalem last month for the local premiere of “Norman,” Gere told Haaretz that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are “an absurd provocation” and “this occupation is destroying everyone.” Treatment for thousands of wounded Syrians

Israeli soldiers treating wounded Syrians at the border, April 6, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Officially, Israel has maintained a policy of non-intervention in the Richard Gere playing a Jewish Syrian war and has not taken in any refugees. But the Jewish state has schlub still managed to offer some help to its northern neighbors. Since early 2013, the Israeli army has taken in some 3,000 wounded Syrians for treatment. Generally working at night, soldiers have provided initial medical care and then evacuated the wounded to nearby hospitals. Richard Gere stars as Norman The numbers are a tiny fraction Oppenheimer in "Norman." (Niko of the hundreds of thousands who Tavernise/Sony Pictures Classics) have been killed and wounded in Richard Gere, a famously suave the fighting between soldiers loyal gentile, stars as a schlubby Jewish to President Bashar Assad and rebel schemer in “Norman: The Moder- groups. But they are significant to ate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New those whose limbs and lives have been saved, including hundreds of York Fixer." Perhaps only Israeli director children. During a visit this month to the Joseph Cedar could have given the world such a gift. The bitingly Western Galilee Medical Center in funny film follows Norman Oppen- Nahariya, Israeli President Reuven heimer as he aspires to serve as a fixer between New York's Jewish See NEW THINGS 18 on Page community, into which Cedar was

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Israel's Demographic Future: Crowded and Very Religious Lane Bryant Was a Jewish By Andrew Tobin Orphan from Lithuania TEL AVIV (JTA) – Israel's projected future looks a lot like a visit Before She Became a to the Jerusalem central bus station: Household Name crowded and very religious. According to a government report to be released in full next week, the Jewish state's population will double in about 40 years. Some 29 percent — or 5.25 million of its projected 18 million residents — will be haredi Orthodox Jews. That's more than triple the current 9 percent. “Israel will have the highest population density in the Western world,” Sergio DellaPergola, a preeminent Israeli demographer and member of the report's steering committee, told JTA. "Interestingly, haredim will overtake Arabs as the largest minority.” The Central Bureau of Statistics revised upward its previous projection, made in 2012, that the population will reach 15.5 million in 2059, with 4.5 million haredim. DellaPergola said the bureau had wrongly assumed Israel's fertility rate would continue to decline. If this report proves accurate, Israel -- with a land area of some 8,000 square miles -- will be more densely populated than the West Bank and the Gaza Strip taken together are today. Some experts have warned of impending disaster, but DellaPergola said Israel still has room to expand outside its geographic center, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem region, in what Israelis call the "peripheria," or periphery. “Israel has a huge area that is very underpopulated,” he said. “If you can distribute the population more equally across the periphery, density is not a problem. But I haven’t seen much strategy from the government.” The government has implemented a development plan focused on poor rural towns, but a State Comptroller's report released last week accused former housing minister Uri Ariel of misappropriating tens of millions of shekels earmarked for such places. Gilad Malach, who analyzed the Central Bureau of Statistics report for the Israel Democracy Institute think tank, noted that other societies have proven able to adapt to high population density. “It’s not necessarily a disaster," he told JTA. "Singapore and Hong THE

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By Abby Sher

Kong are even more populated [than Israel is projected to be], and they are successful states. Great cities also function almost like states." Israel is growing rapidly mostly because of its birth rate, which DellaPergola said is the highest of the world's 100 most developed countries, "some of which aren't that developed." Once exceptionally fertile, ArabIsraeli women now have an average of 3.13 children, the same as their Jewish fellow citizens. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics report, Arabs will comprise 20 percent of the Israeli population in 2059, compared to the current 21 percent. By contrast, after ticking downward when child subsidies were slashed in 2003, the haredi fertility rate has stabilized the past five years at 6.9 children per woman. Malach said the projected haredi population boom should be a "call to action" for Israel. He recommended the government, along with civil society, invest in haredi education and workforce integration, as well as rethink its large-family policies. The idea is that as the haredi community becomes a bigger part of Israeli society, it must hold its own in the economy — but some current government policies incentivize haredim to remain out of the workforce. Hundreds of thousands of haredi men receive government stipends of $120 to $215 a month to study in yeshiva. Just under half of them do not work, although the percentage has been unevenly decreasing for over a decade. Haredi families also disproportionately benefit from monthly government allowances of $42 to $52 per child. "If we focus on policy regarding pro-natality, and specifically integration of the ultra-Orthodox into society, the dramatic growth predictions may not be fulfilled," Malach said. "It would also be good for the prosperity of the State of Israel."

In 1897, a 16-year-old Jewish orphan from Lithuania named Lena Himmelstein arrived in New York City and found work in a sweatshop for $1 a week. After her first husband, David Bryant, died at a young age, Lena supported herself and her son by making and selling tea gowns. When she applied to open a bank account, someone misspelled her name as “Lane.” Thus, the clothing line Lane Bryant was born. In 1907, a customer asked Lena to design her something to wear during pregnancy – which was unheard of at a time when pregnant women were usually secluded until after birth. With some elastic and an accordion pleated skirt, Lena invented maternity wear. Her dresses were

a hit—though she often had to be inventive about advertising, since American society still couldn’t accept the shape of a pregnant woman. Soon, she branched out into creating fashions for plus-sized women as well. She met an eager audience. Together with her second husband and business partner, Albert Malsin, Lane Bryant broke new ground by selling stylish ready-to-wear clothing in larger sizes, all while offering employee benefits like insurance plans and pensions. Respecting all body types and the needs of employees – not a bad legacy for a poor orphan from Lithuania. ì

Although hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into haredi education and employment in recent years, child allowances were restored in 2016 as a condition of the haredi political parties joining the governing coalition. DellaPergola agreed that a change in government policies could lower the haredi fertility rate. But he insisted the Central Bureau of Statistics report was accurate to within "hundreds of thousands," saying it had taken into account the trend toward haredi employment. Moshe Friedman, the CEO of Kamatech, a nonprofit that helps bring haredim into the high-tech

industry, said there is no reason to fear the growth of his community. He said his group has trained or found jobs for 7,000 people since it started five years ago, and that he cannot accommodate everyone who wants to participate. A 40-person cybersecurity course he recently opened with Cisco got 900 applicants, he said. "I see a really good trend of haredim who want to be part of society, part of the economy," Friedman told JTA. "I understand from this new report the importance of the work we are doing to help the haredim integrated into society. So I think it will be OK." ì

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Israel Under Radar COMEDIANS Continued from Page 11 siasm," drawing a parallel to Amazon’s acclaimed series following a Jewish family as the father comes out as transgender. Working on scripts for the TV series keeps Elman and Batalion plenty busy -- that means they've had to put the third season of the web series on hold. “The goal from early on was to see if we can take this to long-form, so now that we’re given that opportunity to try, we’re putting all our eggs in that basket,” Batalion said. They noted, however, that they are still making Yiddish-language videos — including clips of Hollywood classics and holiday songs hilariously dubbed into Yiddish — to satisfy fans hungry for content. In creating "YidLife Crisis," Batalion and Elman said they wanted to challenge perceptions both of Yiddish and Judaism. “We wanted to show a different side of Judaism and a different side of Yiddish, and that Yiddish is not just a language for ultra-Orthodox Jews,” Elman said. Batalion and Elman, who both learned Yiddish as teenagers at the secular Bialik High School in Quebec, said a goal was to showcase the language and its cultural heritage. “We also felt that the Yiddish was critical to drawing attention to what we were trying to say, or to some of the themes we were speaking to -- themes of culture and how to preserve it," Elman said. "Yiddish is something that was nearly lost in the Holocaust.” The pair didn't become friends

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until 2007, when Batalion was on tour with his two man show, "J.O.B. The Hip-Hopera," which follows the biblical character Job as he is transported to modern-day New York. Batalion performed with his co-producer, Jerome Sable, in Los Angeles, where Elman was working as an actor. Wowed by the performance, Elman befriended the pair and went on to produce a web series with Sable. Batalion and Elman later found a way to meld their friendship and professional goals, creating "YidLife Crisis." Though the two live on opposite coasts — Batalion lives in Montreal, Elman is still based in Los Angeles — they film the episodes in Montreal. They have also filmed special episodes in Tel Aviv and London. When asked to describe their relationship, they draw on the two defining characteristics of the show: Judaism and humor. “Talmudic,” Batalion said of the duo’s connection. Elman, on the other hand, quipped that it’s “not entirely kosher.” Jokes aside, that juxtaposition speaks to a central theme in "YidLife crisis": the tension between the pull of the Jewish tradition and the appeal of secularism. That conflict is also present in the Yiddish language, Batalion said, noting that the language is in fact largely made up of German, a non-Jewish source. “The language itself is highly honed,” he said. “It speaks to and sounds like a thousand years of Diasporatic experience living in another culture. And that's what you get in our episodes — it's all about Jews living in a secular world.” ì

NEW THINGS Continued from Page 16 Rivlin promised the country would "continue to do everything it can with responsibility and wisdom in order to alleviate the suffering of the people who experience daily slaughter here on the other side of the border.”

From left: Amnon Shahua, chairman and chief technology officer of Mobileye; Klaus Froehlich, member of the management board at BMW, and Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., at a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 4, 2017. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/ Getty Images)

Israeli civilians have donated hundreds of thousands of shekels to help Syrian refugees, and there has been official talk of accepting 100

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orphans, though nothing has come of it. Self-driving cars Your next car may very well come with an Israeli driver, though it won't be human. The U.S. chipmaker Intel last month bought Israel's driverless technology company Mobile for $15.3 billion, the largest-ever purchase of a high-tech company in this country. In a joint announcement, the companies said the deal “is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and

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position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.” Founded in 1999, Mobileye has supplied integrated cameras, chips and software for driver-assist systems -- the building blocks for selfdriving cars -- to more than two dozen vehicle manufacturers. The company has already taken over 70 percent of the global market for driver-assistance and anti-collision systems. Mobileye was a supplier of vision systems to Tesla until the companies broke up last summer after a man died in a crash while his Tesla Model S was on autopilot. Co-founder and CEO Ziv Aviram has said Mobileye, with its 660 employees, will remain centered in Israel, from where it will develop Intel's first driverless car. A Wonder Woman with weapons training After first playing Wonder Woman in last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Israeli actress Gal Gadot will appear in her own DC Comics film this summer. As a former Israeli soldier, Gadot has brought some unique skills to the role of Amazonian superhero. In March 2016, she talked to ABC talk show host Jimmy Kimmel about how her army service, saying, “The military gave me good training for Hollywood.” In her previous “Fast and Furious” appearances (in which she plays an ex-Mossad agent), the one-time Miss Israel impressed director Justin Lin with her knowledge of weapons and performed her own stunts for the franchise. She also showed off her fighting abilities in last year’s “Keeping Up with the Joneses” as the better half of a suburban secret agent couple. While Gadot’s films haven’t exactly been critically acclaimed, she has remained a national hero. Israelis have widely admired her for fulfilling her mandatory military service while fellow Israeli swimsuit model Bar Refaeli has taken some heat for avoiding enlistment. Gadot is the first to play Wonder Woman on the big screen. Since superhero franchises never seem to end, Gadot -- who has two daughters with husband Yaron Varsan, an Israeli real estate developer – is set to play the character in at least two more films this year. ì THE

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training educators, specifically teachers who work in schools. If educators are not well trained, confident and competent in their use of a technology, the technology will not be used. We are living in a complex world filled with information, accessibility and opportunities on the one hand, and with uncertainty, intolerance, fear and upheaval on the other. The need to empower children and adults to build a better future could not be more dramatic and urgent. Our vision for this report is to stimulate funding to harness ed tech to transform Jewish learning and engage all Jews, whatever their beliefs and practice, with knowledge about Jewish values, legacy and teachings. How else will we transform this world for the better for our children and grandchildren? (Dr. Lewis Bernstein had a 40-year career at Sesame Workshop, with roles ranging from executive vice president of the Education, Research and Outreach Division, to serving as the Emmy Award-winning executive producer of the domestic "Sesame Street" series. Shira Ackerman has worked in education, educational technology and media for over 15 years as a teacher, a director of educational technology at a Jewish day school, and at Gonoodle, Scholastic, Amplify and Barnesandnoble.com. They both served as researchers for Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy.) ì

day, while facing Jerusalem. -Synagogues traditionally face toward Jerusalem. -At the end of Passover seder and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, we exclaim “L’shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim—Next Year in Jerusalem.” (In Israel, one concludes, “L’shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim habenuyah” — “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem.”) -On Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av, we mourn for the destruction of both Temples, sitting on the floor of the synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations to a haunting cantillation. In addition to ritual “reminders of Jerusalem,” many contemporary Jewish practices, customs, and beliefs can be traced to Jerusalem, providing a constant “meta-message” of the primacy of Jerusalem for anyone who scratches the surface. For example, the order of the synagogue service is modeled after the daily Temple service (Avodah) in Jerusalem. The weekly reading of the Torah was established in Jerusalem after the return from the first exile. The seder meal on Passover is based on seders held by generations of Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem. There are many more examples of home rituals, burial practices, and synagogue practices that can be traced to Jerusalem. Jerusalem as a Focus of Pilgrimage and Worship During the centuries following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., the Jewish connection to Jerusalem was mostly one of distant hope, but there was always a core of people waiting to visit and live in the city whenever the opportunity presented itself. According to the Church Father Jerome, the Jews of the fourth century would pay for the special privilege of entering Jerusalem on the Ninth of Av in order to mourn. The desire to stand as close to the area on which the Temple stood established the Western Wall area as a focus of pilgrimage and worship from

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as early as the seventh century. In 1099, Jews and Muslims fought the Crusader invasion together, standing side by side on the walls of Jerusalem. The great rabbi Nachmanides arrived in the city from Spain between 1265-67, establishing a synagogue that still exists, the kernel around which the present Jewish Quarter grew. By 1844, the Jewish community was the largest single community in Jerusalem, numbering 7,120 people (almost one half of all inhabitants). In modernity, the powerful pull of Jerusalem is expressed in the memoirs of Natan Chofshi, one of the early Zionist pioneers who arrived in the Land of Israel 100 years ago from Russia: I used to pray…for the return to Zion…I particularly recall the prayers during Rosh Hashanah… ‘And on that day the horn will blow proclaiming the return of the lost in Assyria and Egypt and their return to the holy mountain of Jerusalem.’

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These were sentences my father repeated at the holiday table. I was deeply affected by both the content and the tune of these words, and the tune resounds within me to this day. Thus I undertook the task of combining my own modest abilities and my best efforts…to hasten salvation. And now, in our lifetime, we live with the reality of Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish State of Israel. This did not just come about on its own, but is the result of the Jewish people’s active remembering of Jerusalem throughout the generations, leading to the deeds of pioneers such as Nachmanides and Natan Chofshi. In this way, the prophet Zechariah’s words hAve been fulfilled: “Thus says the Lord of Hosts: The day will come when old men and old women will populate the streets of Jerusalem…And the streets of the city will fill with boys and girls at play” (Zechariah 8:4). ì

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ries in class about his archival experiences during and after World War II, but it was only after reading Leff's wonderful book that I understood "the rest of the story." Why? Explaining the Holocaust (W.W. Norton & Company, 2017) By Peter Hayes David Engel, professor of Holocaust studies and chair of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, writes: I recommend this book for a lucid, well-crafted introduction to the history of the Holocaust. Unlike most works on the Holocaust written for a general audience, which tend to emphasize how the Holocaust was carried out and experienced, Hayes' book concentrates, as its title suggests, on helping readers to understand why the Holocaust occurred when it did, where it did, in the manner it did and with the results it produced. It offers readers a window onto how historians go about finding answers to these questions, why some answers turn out to be more compelling than others and how new evidence can change understanding. Probing the Ethics of Holo-

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caust Culture (Harvard University Press, 2016) Edited by Claudio Fogu, Wulf Kansteiner and Todd Presner Omer Bartov, professor of European history and German studies at Brown University, writes: This book comes out a quarter of a century after the publication of Saul Friedlander's crucial edited volume, "Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the Final Solution" (1992), which had challenged the conventional discourse on the mass murder of the Jews and critiqued its popular representation. The current volume attempts to grapple with the wider impact of Holocaust scholarship, fiction and representation in the intervening period. It includes fascinating essays on new modes of narrating the Shoah, the insights provided by the "spatial turn" on research and understanding of the event and the politics of exceptionality, especially the contextualization of the Holocaust within the larger framework of modern genocide. As such, it enables readers to understand both the ongoing presence of the Holocaust in our present culture and the different ways in which it has come to be understood in the early 21st century. Islam and Nazi Germany’s War (Belknap Press, 2014) By David Motadel Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, writes: This is a major work of scholarship, examining the various ways the Nazis fostered a relationship with Muslims both before the war and especially during the war. Jeffrey Herf wrote a book a bit earlier, "Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World," detailing Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda sent, in Arabic translation, to North African Muslims, and Motadel expands the range of influence: that Hitler understood Islam as a warrior religion that could be exploited for propaganda efforts and to serve in both the Wehrmacht and the SS. The indoctrination of Muslims with Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda may well have had effects lasting long past the end of the war, a topic that deserves addiBest wishes to our many friends!

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tional attention. My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past (The Experiment, 2015) By Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair Michael Rothberg, professor of English and comparative literature and chair in Holocaust studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, writes: Teege’s memoir, published in German in 2013 and translated into English in 2015, is a fascinating contribution to the discussion of the ongoing impact of the Holocaust over multiple generations. When she was in her late 30s, Teege discovered that her grandfather was a Nazi war criminal. And not just any Nazi: he was Amon Goeth, the commandant of Plaszów depicted in the film "Schindler’s List." Because Teege is herself a black German woman — the daughter of a Nigerian father and a white German mother who was herself the daughter of Goeth’s mistress — her story takes on additional resonance. Intercut with contextualizing passages by Sellmair, a journalist, Teege’s memoir both confronts historical conundrums about race, reconciliation and responsibility for the past, and offers glimpses of very contemporary questions about the contours of German identity. Her earnest reckoning with family and national history can inspire us all to reflect on what it means to be implicated in histories of racial violence, even those we have not participated in directly. They Were Like Family to Me: Stories (Scribner, 2016) By Helen Maryles Shankman Jeremy Dauber, director of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and professor of Yiddish at Columbia University, writes: Writing literature about the Holocaust is many things, but it is never easy; and writing Holocaust literature in the vein of magic realism is more difficult yet. It risks taking the great horror of the 20th century and rendering it ungrounded, imaginative, even — God forbid — whimsically slight. But when a skillful writer pulls it off — David Grossman, for example, and now Shankman — the fantastic casts illuminating and terrible light on the dark shadows of the history of the war against the Jews. The stories in her collection are by no means factual in all respects. But they contain unmistakable truth.ì THE

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much less than the technologies used by Mobileye. Last October, the Petach Tikvah-based startup raised $17 million in its first round of funding. If all goes well, it anticipates seeing its product on the road by 2020. By then, some analysts predict, there will be 10 million self-driving cars in operation. The Mobileye group has set the following year, 2021, as the target for its technology to take the wheel. Talk to each other and the world The cars of the future will communicate to avoid crashes and ease traffic jams. Experts predict some cars will have this ability within a year or two, and the technology will be commonplace in self-driving cars within a decade. Headquartered in Kfar Netter, Autotalks is making chip sets that can link vehicles not just to each other but also to infrastructure and people. The semiconductor company has collaborated with Audi on "smart antennae" and started selling to car equipment manufacturers. In March, it raised $30 million in funding, touting its chips' compliance with a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in December that would mandate the use of vehicle-tovehicle communication in new cars. The department estimated the rule could prevent more than half a million accidents and a thousand U.S. deaths every year. As cars become more connected, Herzliya-based otonomo wants to bring driver and passenger services -- from apps to roadside help -- via its cloud-based marketplace. It has deals with nine automakers, but as usual, consumers will pay with their data, which otonomo allows automakers to sell. While Autotalks and otonomo provide their own security, Argus Cybersecurity designs systems to protect the electronics that control a vehicle's basic functions from hackers. The Tel Aviv company does this by analyzing the data that come in and out of a vehicle's communications systems, which is otherwise highly vulnerable. Argus CEO Ofer Ben-Noon came up with the idea while serving in Israel's elite 8200 intelligence unit. For those attached to their regular old car but fed up with driving it, IVO Driver Robot has a solution: a robot that can drive for you. So far, the robot has mostly driven a golf cart-style buggy around a parking lot at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, where it is being developed. But a new and improved version is in the works. ì

make donations to Jewish causes, to travel to Israel, to hold or attend Passover seders, and to fast on Yom Kippur Here, higher education may promote increased Jewish connectivity (which elsewhere I have called cohesion), not assimilation. These patterns intensify when non-Orthodox Jews are analyzed separately, as I (like Pew) did. Among the non-Orthodox, college education promotes connectivity on even more measures and assimilation on fewer. So yes, higher education appears to make Jews less certain about the existence of God, less observant of some rituals, and less inclined to say religion and being Jewish are very important to them. It also appears to weaken Jewish friendship networks modestly. In these ways, then, education may contribute to assimilation. But taking a broader view of the multiple connections Jews have to each other and Jewish life allows us to see a fuller picture. Secular education often has no relationship to assimilation; Jews with and without college degrees are remarkably similar to each other on numerous Jewish behaviors and attitudes. Meanwhile, those with college education are sometimes more connected to other Jews, Jewish organizations and Jewish life -- that is, less assimilated -- than those with less secular schooling. Higher education, responsible for so much American Jewish achievement and vitality, has no consistent, straight-line relationship with assimilation. Instead, its association with assimilation and connectivity varies quite a bit. Jews have a quip that conveys the complexity of Jewish life: “Jews are just like everyone else, only more so.” As this example shows, Jews with a college education are no exception. The complexity of their lives demands close examination. It deserves a rich and nuanced understanding. And it defies easy interpretation. (Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, Ph.D., is senior director of research and analysis and director of the Berman Jewish DataBank, both at The Jewish Federations of North America. He served as an adviser to the Pew Research Center on its 2013 survey of U.S. Jews.) ì

For Reiner, at least, religion or spirituality hasn't played much of a role in his longevity. He didn't attend Hebrew school growing up. “I got a bootleg bar mitzvah,” he says. “An old Jew taught me just enough to sneak by.” Reiner's spirituality hasn’t increased much with age — his belief in a higher power was a casualty of World War II “Six million people died in the Holocaust and 6 million others yelling to God, 'Please stop this f***er,' and He didn’t.” Reiner does, however, point to family and friendships as an important aspect of achieving old age, noting in the film, “The key to longevity is to interact with other people.” His support system includes multiple Emmy Award winner Norman Lear and longtime buddy Mel Brooks. If not reflective about the Bronx, Reiner is more than willing to talk about his 67-year friendship with Brooks. “Mel and I go back to 1950, the first day I came to the ‘Show of Shows,'" he says, recalling the 90-minute variety show featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. "I was hired as an actor, to be a straight man for Sid. Mel was in the office. He wasn’t on the [show’s] writing staff yet. He was working for Sid, giving him jokes. “I came in and didn’t know who he was. But Mel was standing there doing a Jewish pirate, saying, ‘You don’t know how hard it is to set sail. It’s $387 for a yard of sail cloth. I can’t afford to pillage and plunder anymore.’ “So I just started interviewing him, and I just interviewed him for the next 10 years.” The pirate warped into the 2000 Year Old Man -- a routine they performed at parties and made a private recording “for our non-antiSemitic friends," Reiner quips.

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"Cary Grant loved it and asked if he could have a dozen records. He was going to England and wanted it for his trip. You know they speak English there. “When he got back he said, ‘she loved it.’ We asked, 'Who?' and he said, ‘the Queen Mother,'" he says. "What an endorsement. The biggest shiksa in the world loved it.” Reiner and Brooks became inseparable buddies; an intense friendship that continues to this day. Reiner says that what helped cement their relationship was that their wives, Estelle Reiner and Anne Bancroft, got along. Bancroft, an Academy Award-winning actress, died in 2005, and Estelle Reiner passed away in 2008. “It was easy; it was a foursome," Reiner says. "Mel still comes over almost every night. We watched 'Captain Blood' yesterday.” Who decides what to watch? “We talk it over," he explains. "We’ll see anything on that’s worth a look. We also watch journalism -- Rachel Maddow, who knows that Trump is a schmuck.” (That's an opinion Reiner frequently shares about the president with his 169,000 followers on Twitter.)ì

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Health CANCERS Continued from Page 13 mnemonic device for letters A-F: See a doctor if you spot moles that exhibit Asymmetry, Border irregularities, dark or multiple Colors, have a large Diameter, are Evolving (e.g. changing), or are just plain Funny looking. Light-skinned people and redheads should be most vigilant, as well as those who live in sunny locales like California, Florida or the Rocky Mountain states. If you insist on being in the sun, sunscreen can help mitigate the risk, but only up to a point. “It decreases the chances of getting melanoma, but it doesn’t eliminate the chances,” Kluger warned. As with other cancers, early detection can dramatically increase survival rates. In the meantime, scientists in Israel – a world leader in melanoma research – hold high hopes for immunotherapy, which corrals the body’s immune mechanisms to attack or disable cancer. At Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Cyrille Cohen is using a research grant from the Israel Cancer Research Fund to implant human melanoma cells in mice to study whether human white blood cells can be genetically modified to act as a “switch” that turns on the human immune system’s cancer‐fighting properties. Breast cancer

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(Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images) Breast cancer is already more common in developed, Western countries than elsewhere -- likely because women who delay childbirth until later in life and have fewer children do not enjoy as much of the positive, cancer riskreducing effects of the hormonal changes associated with childbirth. Ashkenazi Jews in particular have a significantly higher risk for breast cancer: They are about three times as likely as non-Ashkenazim to carry mutations in the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes that lead to a very high chance of developing cancer. One of the BRCA-1 mutations is associated with a 65 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Based on family history, including on the father’s side, the chances could be even higher. “Every Ashkenazi Jewish woman should be tested for these mutations,” said Levy-Lahad, who has done significant research work on the genetics of both breast and ovarian cancer. Iraqi Jews also have increased prevalence of one of the BRCA mutations, she said. Levy-Lahad is collaborating on a long-term project with the University of Washington’s Dr. MaryClaire King -- the breast cancer research pioneer who discovered the BCRA-1 gene mutation that causes cancer -- on a genome sequencing study of Israeli women with inherited breast and ovarian cancer genes. The two women are using a grant from the Israel Cancer Research Fund to apply genomic technology to study BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations and their implications for breast cancer risk in non-Ashkenazi women in Israel, who are similar to populations in Europe and the United States. In a project that is testing thousands of women for deadly cancer mutations, they are also studying how mutations in genes other than BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 impact inherited breast cancer in non-Ashkenazi Jews. The earlier breast cancer mutations are discovered, the sooner women can decide on a course of

action. Some choose to have bilateral mastectomies, which reduce the chances of breast cancer by 90-95 percent. Actress Angelina Jolie famously put a Hollywood spotlight on the issue when she wrote a 2013 op-ed in The New York Times about her decision to have the procedure. But mastectomies are not the only option. Some women instead choose a very rigorous screening regimen, including more frequent mammograms and breast MRIs. Early detection is the cornerstone of improving breast cancer survival rates. “Breast cancer is not nearly as deadly as it once was," Levy-Lahad said. Ovarian cancer Israel has become a hub for cancer research, including at this lab at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. (Keren Freeman/ Flash90) Of the three “Jewish” cancers, ovarian cancer is the deadliest. Linked to the two BRCA mutations common among Jews, ovarian cancer is both stubbornly difficult to detect early and has a very high late-stage mortality rate. Women should be screened for the mutations by age 30, so they know their risks. In its early stages, ovarian cancer usually has no obvious symptoms, or appears as bloating, abdominal pain or frequent urination that can be explained away by less serious causes. By the time it’s discovered, ovarian cancer is usually much more advanced than most other cancers and may have spread to surrounding organs. If that has occurred, the five-year survival rate drops considerably. Women with the BRCA mutations have about a 50 percent chance of getting ovarian cancer. The best option is usually to remove the ovaries. “We put a lot of pressure on women to have their ovaries removed because it’s a life-saving procedure,” Levy-Lahad said. That doesn’t mean these women can’t have children. The recommendation is that women wait to have the procedure until after they complete child-bearing, usually around the age of 35-40. Much work still needs to be done on prevention, early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer, but new research shows some promise. “The exciting thing is that we live in a genomic age, and we have

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unprecedented abilities to understand the causes of cancer,” LevyLahad said. “There’s a whole field that, if you become affected, can look at the genetic makeup of the tumor you have.” The study of these three “Jewish cancers” are a major component of the work of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, which raises money in North America for cancer research in Israel. Of the $3.85 million in grants distributed in Israel last year by the fund, roughly onequarter were focused on breast cancer, ovarian cancer or melanoma, according to Ellen T. Rubin, the ICRF’s director of research grants. The organization’s Rachel’s Society focuses specifically on supporting women’s cancer awareness and research. A significant amount of the organization’s grants is focused on basic research that may be applicable to a broad spectrum of cancers. For example, the group is supporting research by Dr. Varda Rotter of the Weizmann Institute of Science into the role played by the p53 gene in ovarian cancer. P53 is a tumor suppressor that when mutated is involved in the majority of human cancers. Likewise, Dr. Yehudit Bergman of the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School is using an ICRF grant to study how the biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off – called epigenetic regulation – operate in stem cells and cancer. “Only through basic research at the molecular level will cancer be conquered,” said Dr. Howard Cedar of the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. "Hopefully, one day there will be easier and better ways to detect and destroy the cancerous cells that lead to these diseases. But until those research breakthroughs, medical experts say that Jews, as members of a special high-risk category, should make sure they get genetic screenings and regular testing necessary for early detection and prevention. (This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with the Israel Cancer Research Fund, which is committed to finding and funding breakthrough treatments and cures for all forms of cancer, leveraging the unique talent, expertise and benefits that Israel and its scientists have to offer. This article was not produced by JTA’s staff reporters or editors.) ì THE

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Summer Bridal Planning Your Jewish Wedding Seven Simple Steps. By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer wed on Saturday at sundown, so that they can begin their ceremony with havdalah, marking both the end of Shabbat and the end of the time that came before their public commitment to one another. Some

couples choose to wed on Tues- 2. Selecting an Officiant days, believing it to be an especialFor some couples, this step is an ly blessed day, since in the Biblical easy one. They may be active memstory of creation, the phrase “God saw that it was good” appears twice See PLANNING 24 on the third day. on Page

Mazel Tov! If you or someone close to you is planning a Jewish wedding, you are in the midst of an exciting — and at times stressinducing — experience. Besides the many wedding details that all couples need to plan, Jewish brides and grooms have several other important factors connected to their ceremony to consider. Whether you are Jewishly knowledgeable or relatively new to Judaism, you may want to review the following list before you make your plans to create a meaningful Jewish wedding: 1. Choosing a Date

Jewish weddings are traditionally prohibited on Shabbat and most holidays — including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur , Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot — and the fast days Tisha B’Av, the 10th of Tevet, the 17th of Tammuz , the Fast of Gedaliah, and the Fast of Esther. Traditionally, Jewish weddings are not held during the counting of the omerbetween Passover and Shavuot, although customs differ as to whether that entire seven-week stretch or just part of it is a problem. Marrying during the three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av is also prohibited in traditional Jewish practice. Because many of these dates fall during prime wedding season (spring-summer), it’s important to check a Jewish calendar before you select a date. And although Shabbat weddings are out, many couples choose to THE

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bers of a congregation or have a childhood or Hillel (college) rabbi that they are still close to. But for many engaged couples who are not affiliated with a Jewish community in a formal way, finding a rabbi or cantor to lead their wedding ceremony is a daunting task. Parents may suggest using the rabbi from their congregation, whether or not the couple knows them. First off, it’s important to know that a rabbi is not the only person who can lead a Jewish wedding. A cantor can officiate, as can another educated professional serving the Jewish community. Increasingly, couples are asking friends to officiate by becoming ordained as a Universal Life Minister. To meet most states’ requirements, the officiant does need to be a recognized member of the clergy; be sure to ask this question of any clergy you speak with. You may want to begin the search for your rabbi by visiting local congregations and observing how different rabbis lead services. You can also contact rabbinical schools to connect with a student rabbi, whose work will be supervised by an experienced faculty member. Students are eager to gain experience and may even give you more time than a busy congregational rabbi could. Rabbis’ schedules fill up quickly, so if you have a particular rabbi in mind, be sure to clear the date with him or her as soon as possible. Interfaith couples who encounter difficulties finding a rabbi can contact Interfaithfamily.com (Officiation Request Form), or the Rabbinic Center for Research and Counseling (www.rcrconline.org), which work with interfaith couples and can help them to find a rabbi. When you meet with rabbis you are considering, be sure to ask them their philosophy about leading weddings, if they are open to adapting rituals, and what kind of ketubah[marriage contract] text they prefer that couples use. You want to make sure that you are on the same page about major issues from the start.

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3. Planning the Ceremony Even couples who grew up in a Jewish home with years of Jewish education may find themselves surprised when it comes to examining traditional Jewish wedding rituals. For example, in a traditional ceremony, only the groom gives the bride a ring, an act which is thought to symbolize kinyan (acquisition). Many contemporary egalitarian couples find this ritual to be not in keeping with their values and choose to do a double-ring ceremony; some Orthodox rabbis will allow a modified form of this. While working with a rabbi can help you learn about the wedding rituals, you will probably get more out of the experience by doing a bit of research, so you can bring ideas to your meetings with the rabbi. (See Recommended Reading.)

4. Choosing a Ketubah Just as our government issues a marriage license, Jewish law has historically used a ketubah to sanction a marriage. ketubah means “writing” or “written” and refers to the document that is signed by witnesses before and often read during a Jewish wedding. Traditionally, a ketubah served as a kind of premarital contract, outlining a bride’s ongoing rights: food, clothing, and even sex should be provided during the course of the marriage. The ketubah also specified her rights in the case of her husband’s death or their divorce. Many contemporary couples choose to veer away from the traditional ketubah text and its implications and instead choose a text that expresses their hopes and commitments for their marriage. Some couples write their own text, while others search for a text that speaks to their vision. Historically, the ketubah is not only a legal document, but also an artistic one. Ketubot [plural of ketubah] have long been–and continue to be–an expression of Jewish creativity. So couples not only have See PLANNING on Page THE

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PLANNING Continued from Page 24 decisions to make about the text, but also the kind of art they want for their ketubah. Some couples shop together for a lithograph; others hire an artist to create an original design. Couples should also think about who they want to invite to sign their ketubah. Traditionally, a witness must be a religiously observant Jewish male, unrelated to the bride or groom. Reform and Reconstructionist and some Conservative rabbis accept women as witnesses, though most still prefer that the

witness be Jewish. 5. Selecting a Chuppah The chuppah is the canopy that covers the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony, creating a sacred space that is both open for all to see and private and intimate for the couple beneath it. It symbolizes their new home together, and is said to be open as was the tent of Abraham and Sarah, who were always ready to receive visitors. In planning your wedding, think about what kind of chuppah would be special for you. Some are covered in flowers, others are made of fabric squares that friends and family decorate for the couple. The chuppah is attached to four poles, which can be free-standing or held by four people. It is considered a great honor to hold a chuppah pole, so this job should be given to people very close to the bride or groom.

6. Including Ritual Objects Jewish weddings call for some objects that, with a little thought, can be enhanced to create special meaning for your wedding. For example, at most Jewish weddings kippot (yarmulkes) are provided for guests. Many couples have them imprinted with their name and wedding date; others knit original kippot or paint or decorate satin or felt ones to match wedding decor. Couples also need a kiddush cup for under the huppah, and some couples are creating a new tradition by using one heirloom cup from each family. And no Jewish wedding is complete without the glass for breaking at the end of the ceremony. Today’s couples are sometimes saving the pieces of their broken glass to be transformed into a new piece of Judaica, such as a mezuzah or candlesticks. 7. Making Pre-wedding Choices One of the greatest things about Jewish weddings is that the celebration is spread out over time, giving you maximum time to honor bride and groom. The celebration may begin with an aufruf, when bride and groom (in traditional circles, only groom) are called to the Torah for an aliyah. They receive a mi shebeirakh blessing, which invokes God’s blessing for the bride and groom, and then they are showered with candy, a symbol of sweetness to come in their life together. Many couples host a kiddush lunch following services. This can be an

ideal time to include the entire community in your wedding joy. You and your partner should also discuss whether you want to include various traditional pre-wedding rituals such as going to the mikvah (ritual bath), separating from one another during the week before your wedding, and fasting on your wedding day. These rituals can help the couple prepare spiritually for the seriousness of the day to come. While a Jewish wedding is full of joy, it is also like a personal Yom Kippur for the bride and groom, who want to enter their marriage with a pure heart. Many couples

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choose to follow an altered version of some of these traditions, such as eating something light before the ceremony to protect against fainting. You and your partner should give yourselves ample time to talk through each of these seven steps, and to use the process of planning your wedding as an opportunity to learn more about Jewish tradition and the way each of you envisions your life together once you step out from under the chuppah, hand in hand. ì

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So you’ve been invited to a Jewish wedding but don’t know exactly what to expect? Here is a quick guide about what to do and how to act at the joyous occasion. Keep in mind that every Jewish wedding differs slightly from the next, depending on the religious and cultural background of the couple — and of course their personalities. The particulars of the guidelines below will vary depending on the celebration you attend. What to Wear to a Jewish Wedding Like most weddings, the dress code for a Jewish wedding can be influenced by location and time of day. At many Jewish weddings, men wear kippot (skullcaps), and they will most likely be provided at the wedding. In some circles, you may see women wearing kippot too. Women at more traditional Jewish weddings wear skirts or dresses that fall below the knee and cover their shoulders — or elbows, in even more traditional circles. Sometimes women wear wraps or jackets that cover their shoulders just for the ceremony, and then they uncover for the party. Before the Jewish Wedding Ceremony You might have received an invitation with two different start times. The first time listed refers to the start of the kabbalat panim — the time for greeting the couple before the ceremony — and the second time refers to the actual start time of the ceremony. Though it is nice for close friends and family to arrive at the beginning of the kabbalat panim, you can consider all of the kabbalat panim as an appropriate window for showing up. If there is only one start time listed, that is probably when the ceremony is scheduled to begin, so be on time. The kabbalat panim prepares the couple for the wedding, and a lot of

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different things might take place there. At a more traditional kabbalat panim, the bride and groom sit in different rooms or areas, and guests greet them and often enjoy some light — or not so light — refreshments. Some brides and grooms fast on their wedding day until after the ceremony. It’s completely fine to eat in front of them at the kabbalat panim, but you may want to think twice before offering them refreshments. At a traditional kabbalat panim, the bride often sits on a special seat, and guests approach her to give good wishes. She may offer a special blessing in return. The groom might have a tisch, where he sits around a table with his family and friends singing songs. He may also share words of Torah. The guests often heckle him by shouting and singing to interrupt him, and you can join in the fun. The bride may have her own tisch as well. During the kabbalat panim, some couples read a document called tenaim, which outlines the conditions of the marriage and declares the couple’s intention to wed. This is followed by the breaking of a plate, usually by the mothers of the bride and groom. Symbolically it reflects that a broken engagement cannot be mended. Bride and groom signing a katuba in front of a Rabbi during their wedding ceremony The ketubah — the Jewish marriage document — is normally signed at this time. In more traditional circles, it is signed at the groom’s tisch. In more liberal circles, the ketubah signing may be the main event of the kabbalat panim, with the couple, witnesses, and all the guests present. After all the legalities are taken care of, the groom is escorted by his friends and family, usually with dancing and singing, to meet the bride and veil her in a ceremony known as the bedeken. This is often a particularly moving moment of the wedding, so if you’re planning to come late and skip the kabbalat panim, try to come at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is schedSee BEING A GUEST on Page THE

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BEING A GUEST Continued from Page 26 uled. In a wedding with only one start time, the ketubah signing and veiling are usually taken care of with the rabbi in private, before the ceremony begins. The Jewish Wedding Ceremony Jewish weddings do not usually follow the custom of having the bride’s and groom’s guests sit separately, but at some Orthodox weddings, men and women sit on opposite sides of the aisle. As you enter the room for the ceremony, look out for a program that explains what’s going on. Not all weddings have these, but they are becoming increasingly popular. A rabbi or cantor usually conducts the ceremony, standing under

the chuppah (marriage canopy) with the bride, groom, and sometimes their families and friends. In the middle of the ceremony, the ketubah may be read by a rabbi or friend. The ketubah is often a beautiful piece of art, and after the ceremony you may be able to admire it if it is on display. Near the end of the ceremony, the sheva berakhot — seven blessings — are recited over a cup of wine. These may be recited by one person, often the rabbi, or by several people. the bride and groom wish to honor. The guests in the crowd may sing along during the sheva berakhot. Feel free to hum along even if you do not know the words. The wedding ceremony ends with the breaking of the glass, which symbolizes that even in times of great joy, we remember that

there is still pain in the world (which Jewish tradition relates to the destruction of the Jewish Temple). In most weddings, after the glass is broken it is time to jump up and yell, “Mazel Tov!” After the conclusion of the ceremony, at more traditional weddings, the couple heads directly to a private room to spend their first few minutes of marriage alone. In this case, there will not be a typical receiving line. If the cocktail hour didn’t already happen during the kabbalat panim, guests are invited for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Be careful not to fill up. Even at the most elaborate spreads, there will most likely be a full meal served during the reception. Jewish Wedding Celebration Lively circle dancing — popularly known as the hora — usually

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starts immediately when the bride and groom enter the party room. At more traditional weddings there are separate circles for men and women — sometimes split by a mehitzah (divider). In more liberal crowds, men and women dance together. Get ready for some raucous dancing, and feel free to take your turn dancing with the wedding couple. As part of the hora, the couple will be seated on chairs and lifted in the air — if you’re strong, you can lend a hand. While they’re hoisted up, the bride and groom might hold onto a kerchief or napkin. You might recognize this part from the movies. The couple may take a break from dancing themselves, sit down on chairs on the dance floor, and let the guests entertain them. You can dance for them or show off your back-flipping, juggling, or fireblowing talents. Be creative — it’s all about making the newlyweds happy! After the meal, more traditional weddings end with the recitation of a special grace after meals, which includes a recitation of the same sheva brachot recited during the ceremony. Guests are seated and join together for this. Many couples produce benschers (grace after meals booklets) with their names and the date of the wedding printed on them. You can take one of these home as a party favor. Of course, there is great variation in Jewish weddings, so it is always good to check with your hosts prior to the wedding if you have any questions. ì

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Planning My Southern Jewish Wedding By Alachua Nazarenko

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Defining Southern Charm And Hospitality

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Southern & Jewish Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all! Planning a wedding is quite a feat. A fun, exciting, thrilling, crazy

feat…but a feat nonetheless. Especially when you’re planning a Jewish wedding — and most especially when you’re planning a Southern Jewish wedding! Over the past year, as I get closer and closer to my own April wedding date, I’ve learned about this firsthand. Between flowers, hotel blocks, invitations, and all the other details spinning in my head, I am up to my ears in decisions. In addition to the decisions every bride must make before the big day, I have discovered a whole new side of planning a wedding: the Jewish side. I have always known that I would have a Jewish wedding, but the extra details that go into its planning have become apparent only this year. Below are my top 5 Jewish wedding details, with some Southern twists thrown in for good measure: 1. Sunrise, sunset. Never in my life have I been more obsessed with sunset than I am right now. When does it go down? When can we do Havdalah? When will the more

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observant guests be able to drive again and participate in activities? How hot is it going to be in the Deep South in April? Time and temperature require a lot of thought… 2. The John Hancocks. Everyone knows that there are certain honors to give to people at a wedding, but even more so in a Jewish wedding. One of the most important honors to give to someone is choosing them to be a witness and sing your ketubah. This process is a tough, but important piece of the planning puzzle – their name will be displayed on your wedding contract forever! 3. Blessed. In addition to the important task of choosing who will sign the ketubah, there is also to honor of choosing someone (or many someones) to recite the seven blessings at the wedding. Friends? Family? One language? Multiple languages? Oy vey! This decision is quite an important one in planning a Jewish wedding. 4. To kippot or not to kippot, that is the question. There are certain customary pieces of any traditional wedding attire: white dress, veil, and tux. But what about for a Jewish wedding? How should we dress? Are kippot and tallit required, or maybe a full kittel?! For us, the kittel was pretty easy to rule out, but we are still working on the rest of the accessorizing. 5. Let them eat non-dairy cake. Last, but certainly not least, planning food for a Jewish wedding is quite the process. For me, it’s all about balancing the food I love with the food I know my kosher-observant guests can eat. I am asking myself these essential questions: Do I have enough vegetarian options? Are at least some of my meat options without dairy? Do I have enough food without shellfish (like I said… it’s a Jewish wedding, but it’s also a Southern wedding)? Do I have vegetarian meals without dairy so that folks can eat those with the meat dishes? Hopefully….YES! Planning a Jewish wedding has required me to go above and beyond when it comes to organizational skills. Those are my top 5 essential pieces. For all you other Jewish brides or brides-to-be out there, what are yours? ì

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What Gift Do You Give at a Jewish Wedding? By MJL Staff

So you’ve been invited to a Jewish wedding, but don’t know what to give the couple? We can help. Of course you can always buy something off their registry, if they have one, but there are some special traditions when it comes to Jewish wedding gifts. We’ve outlined five categories of useful and appropriate gifts for Jewish newlyweds. We hope they ease your gift-giving angst! 1. Friday Night Essentials Shabbat belongs to the entire Jewish people The benefit to giving a wedding present related to Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) is it enables the couple to use and appreciate your gift every week for years and years to come. Shabbat begins with candlelighting and the accompanying blessing. A pair of candlesticks, like this gorgeous crystal set will shine in any couple’s first home. We’re firm believers that a table full of guests doesn’t have to mean a ton of work for the hosts. A leverstyle rabbit corkscrew makes opening wine bottles a snap, and this kiddush fountain with 9 cups does the work of pouring the kiddush wine for guests. Traditionally after kiddush (the blessing over the wine), guests wash their hands in preparation for the blessing over the challah . With this beautiful, lightweight stainless steel washing cup, the couple can observe this custom in style. Another gift that could brighten up their Shabbat table is a gorgeous hand-painted challah cover, like this one. All these gifts can be used week after week, setting your gift apart as something special and THE

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kadosh (holy), just like Shabbat. 2. Keeping an Organized Kitchen Slow cook crock pot meal Another genre of wedding gifts that we’re fond of giving (and, yes, receiving) are those that ease food preparation and kitchen organization — both important considerations, especially if the newlyweds are kosher-observant. A good and inexpensive way to help the couple stay organized is a three-piece cutting board set to prepare meat, dairy, and pareve foods. This colorful set of 3 cutting boards is bright and fun. Everyone’s into fresh, healthy cooking these days, but what if the couple wants to make a good old classic dish like, say, brisket? Get them a Dutch oven! This Lodge 6 quart red dutch oven is a steal compared to some of the fancier brands. Or, if they want cholent (a slowcooked stew) on a cold Shabbat day, a crockpot like this Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Slow Cooker is a needed addition to make those yummy Sabbath stews. But don’t forget the potatoes. You can make their potato-grating for latkes (potato pancakes, traditionally served on Hanukkah ) unbelievably easy with this Black & Decker 8-Cup Food Processor. And have you ever seen something as ingenious as this nifty Non-Stick 3-Tier Cooling Rack? It’s just crying out for some piping-hot treats. 3. Judaica To Round Out a Jewish Home Whether the newlyweds are looking forward to hosting Passover seders and need a seder plate, like this unique Israeli one by Yair Emanuel, or they’re going to be having friends and family over for

Hanukkah and could use some extra menorahs, now is a great time to help them build up their Judaica collection. This crystal Hanukkah menorah is elegant and sophisticated, and this Copper finish menorah has a more classic air. Or, if you give a glass Rosh Hashanah honey dish, it can double as a sugar bowl the rest of the year! A couple can store their Sukkot etrog in style in this Yair Emanuel wooden etrog box. A havdalah set, like this silver-plated ceramic one is something they can use each week to say goodbye to Shabbat. Finally, a mezuzah like this gorgeous and funky one, completes any Jewish home. As newlyweds set up their lives together, they’ll need multiple mezuzot, so don’t worry about duplicates. 4. Cookbooks Filled with brand-new dishes and cookware, a newlyweds’ kitchen is a great place to experiment with recipes. We recommend giving both classic cookbooks and some new takes on kosher cooking, which can be great gifts for a couple looking to develop their recipe repertoire. The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen offers the whole megillah of kosher cooking, with expert tips from a seasoned chef. And for a more contemporary twist, The Modern Menu is a great find. Sections are categorized by flavors and

textures, rather than by courses. For a couple that’s looking to expand their soup options, Soup: A Kosher Collection has more than 100 recipes to choose from. And you can help them step up their pareve (containing neither meat nor dairy) dessert recipes with The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy. Finally, you don’t have to be vegetarian to appreciate Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World. Giving a newlywed couple a few cookbooks is essentially handing them the tools for successful, enjoyable meals for years to come. 5. Show Them the Money In Jewish circles it is customary to write checks in multiples of $18, corresponding to the numerical value of the Hebrew word for “life” or chai. If the couple is already fairly established in their home, an appropriate alternative is to make a charitable donation in the couple’s honor. It’s a good idea to check with the newlyweds about their charity preferences, as a donation to a charity that they have a personal connection can be a very meaningful gift. Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a hearty “mazel tov,” from all of us.ì

Best Wishes to my friends in the Jewish Community as we celebrate Israel’s Anniversary! Judge Piper Griffin

Civil District Court Division I

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How To Make Your Wedding Inclusive 10 tips for making families, friends and guests of all backgrounds feel comfortable and welcome on your big day. As interfaith weddings are becoming more common, cultural differences can add more stress to the occasion, especially if couples seek to honor both religious traditions. In fact, how to make wedding ceremonies inclusive and comfortable for the families, friends and guests is one of the most frequently-asked questions InterfaithFamily receives. 1. Involve Involve family and friends in the planning. They will be more connected to the wedding if they have been a part of making the day a special one.

2. Explain Provide a program with definitions and explanations of the various traditions and rituals represented in the ceremony, and ask the officiant to explain them during the ceremony. 3. Acknowledge Acknowledge the couple’s two faith backgrounds at various points during the ceremony. 4. Be Sensitive Choose readings that either are common to both traditions, or do not offend either one. Many wonderful readings used by interfaith

couples do not come from any religious tradition, while other readings and prayers that do come from one religious tradition are not inconsistent or off-putting to participants from another faith. Consult with clergy over any questions or concerns you may have. 5. Common Rituals Similarly, include rituals that are common to both traditions, or do not offend either one, for example blessings over wine, or lighting a Unity Candle, a traditional part of a Christian wedding. 6. Customize Your Ketubah

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Create an interfaith ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, now often a work of art couples frame and display in their homes. 7. Bring Both Families Under the chuppah Involve both families and traditions with the chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, representing the home that the couple will build together, that often consists of four poles and a cloth covering. Have the parents who are not Jewish make the chuppah covering. Have members of both families decorate and/or hold the chuppah poles. Have the chuppah covering reflect the tradition of the family that is not Jewish. One couple with a Chinese background had guests sign a red silk piece of material that was then used for the chuppah covering. (In Chinese culture red symbolizes joy and features prominently in wedding clothing and ritual objects). 8. Make the Sheva Brachot Participatory Choose seven friends and family members from both sides to offer either the original or alternative versions of the sheva b’rachot, the seven blessings traditionally recited during a Jewish wedding. 9. Translate the Hebrew Be sure that anything said in Hebrew — and any other language incorporated into the ceremony — is translated so that everyone present can understand. 10. Other Inclusive Activities Include inclusive activities such as the handshake of peace, passing around a challah, or joining hands to sing a song together or to wish the couple well.ì

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Jewish Marriage

Jewish marriage is not merely a household worker, he received from secular legal partnership, but a the groom’s father a bride price, called 2017 mohar, in exchange for his union sanctified by God. Winter Genesis tells us that God recog- daughter. The groom would also nized “it is not good for man to be give gifts to the bride, called matalone” and created the first human tan. Over time, the mohar evolved couple, Adam and Eve. Their “mar- into a gift to the bride’s father, a riage” ensured the propagation and portion of which he passed on to his S/BL/Bleed daughter. survival of humanity, and the joy of During late-biblithis archetypal couple is reflected PLEASE CHECK YOUR in one of the Jewish wedding bless- cal and post-biblical AD CAREFULLY economic ings: “Make these beloved compan- times theFOR SPELLING & GRAMMAR, AS worsened. ions as happy as were the first situation WELL of AS ACCURACY OF ADBecause men were human couple in the Garden afraid NUMBERS to marry and Eden.” DRESSES, PHONE & take on extra finanJewish marriage is not merely a OTHER VITAL INFORMATION. secular legal partnership, but a cial responsibilities, Your fathers ad willbegan run to offer union sanctified by God. Marital AS-IS unless changes obligations, therefore, are not mere- dowries to attract eliare made and gible men. To relieve ly personal, but have implications financial for universal harmony. Theapproved exis- the groom’s with your at the time tence of God as a “silent partner” in burden Account Executive by of Jewish marriage endows a relation- marriage, the mohar transformed ship with sanctity and solemn com- was again, this time into a mitment. lien to be paid by the Judaism views marriage as the NOON husband to the wife basis of human companionship and 12/16 the cornerstone of Jewish commu- in case of divorce. nity. As the venue for fulfillment of This change also gavedeadline, the bride some the biblical commandment ofAfter p’ru this changes protection against an u’rvu, be fruitful and multiply, the Jew-only thatofmay be made arbitrary divorce. ish marriage is also the basis Jewish survival. are toEventually correct a minimum this obligaDesirable times for a Jewish PUBLISHER’S for ERRORS. wedding have been set by both cus- tory lien was speciThis is afied low-resolution in the marriage tom and law, but Jewish weddings of your contract, known as a traditionally are not held onPDF the proof advertisement ketubah: 200 dinars Sabbath; on the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, (may not befor truean to unmarried actual size)girl . and 100 for a widow. Shavuot, and the first and last days It is property of The Publishing groom could of Sukkot; and around certain fast Renaissance also days. (or the originalprovide creator) an How Has Jewish Marriage and “additional cannot beketubah,” a gift corresponding Evolved? reproduced, Over time Jewish marriage has to the ancient mattan. duplicated or used in any What Were the evolved from a property transaction other format. Rituals of Marriage? to a more spiritual commitment. In Copyright Until2016, the late Midbiblical times the fathers arranged Renaissance Publishing. marriages. Because the father of the dle Ages, marriage bride would be losing a valuable consisted of two cer-

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emonies separated in time: the betrothal and the actual wedding. The betrothal was a legal marriage and could only be dissolved by a formal divorce, yet the woman remained in her father’s house. The betrothal constituted the actual “purchase” of the bride, and her later move to the groom’s house, the “delivery” of the purchased “property.” By talmudic times, a betrothal celebration followed the signing of the ketubah. The groom gave the bride an object valued at less than a prutah (small coin) and declared in the presence of two witnesses: “Be thou consecrated to me, be thou betrothed to me, be thou my wife.” The betrothal itself was renamed as kiddushin, implying sanctification or setting apart and suggesting a spiritualization of the original property transaction. A betrothal bless-

ing prohibited forbidden unions and permitted only unions sanctified by Jewish marriage. The actual wedding, approximately a year later, was preceded by a lively procession escorting the bride to the home of the groom. The chuppah (today, the marriage canopy) was originally a decorated pavilion in the house of the groom or his father, where the sheva berakhot, or seven blessings, were recited over a cup of wine. Contributing in any way to the joy of the bride and groom was deemed a mitzvah (a religious obligation). Today, the betrothal and wedding generally both take place under the chuppah. As is still the custom today in traditional communities, the celebration continued for seven days at festive meals where the sheva berakhot were repeated following the grace after meals. ì

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The day you have always dreamed about is our pleasure.

To plan the wedding you have always dreamed of, contact the Catering Team at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans at 504.670.2871 or visit ritzcarlton.com/neworleans.

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The Jewish Light Summer 2017 Issue  

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day

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