Volume 9, Number 6 Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Serving the Local New Orleans, Northshore, and Baton Rouge Jewish Communities
What if the Star of David Could Speak? More from The History of the Star of David Art Jewish-American Artist Marc Bennett Brings The History of the Star of David to Life Through Art Jewish identity has been the subject of many artists’ work. Chagall used color and light to illuminate the journey of the Jewish people. Nevelson’s sculpture paid tribute to the six mil-
A signed, limited-edition metal print of The History of the Star of David (Paul Bruinooge / Patrick McMullan Company)
lion Holocaust victims. Today, artist Marc Bennett continues this tradition by asking the question, “What if the Star of David could speak?” Bennett created The History of the Star of David artwork to serve as a time capsule that invites us to discover the centuries-long evolution of Judaism’s iconic star, which bore witness to the depths and heights of Jewish culture throughout history. “The History of the Star of David speaks volumes for the Jewish nation. Bennett, has created a profound and colorful artistic vehicle to educate children, as well as adults, about Jewish history, culture and identity,” remarks Nurit Greenger, executive director, Western Civilization Heritage, Israel Program Center. Bennett’s collage traces the evolution of the Star of David, from its first known use through its most recent appearance on the flag of the
From left to right: Star #1 Synagogue at Capernaum, Star #3 Sketch by Theodor Herzl, Star #7 Altenkunstadt Chuppa Stone, Star #18 The Flag of Israel.
State of Israel. The History of the Star of David artwork features 18 Star of David images meticulously selected for their historical significance and story-telling. One of the earliest known uses of the Star of David is a decorative stone carving from the synagogue in Capernaum, found near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is among the oldest synagogues in the world. The third star pictured in Bennett’s work highlights Theodor Herzl’s role in the formation of
the Jewish nation. He is considered to have been the father of modern political Zionism and promoted Jewish migration to Israel. The seventh star pictured in the collage marks one of the darkest chapters in Jewish history. This image shows a chuppa stone (wedding stone) from a synagogue built in 1726 in Altenkunstadt, Germany. For more than 200 years this synagogue was the cultural center of the Jewish municipality until “Kristallnacht” (Night of Broken Glass, November 1938) when a series of coordinated attacks, carried out by the Nazi party left Jewish homes, schools, and businesses in ruins. In 1988, the community replaced the stone with the hope of keeping the memory of Jewish culture alive. The last image shows the Israeli flag flying proudly during the Six-Day War in 1967. Here we see the same star that was once used as a sign of exclusion, humiliation and murder reborn as a symbol of national unity and Jewish pride. Bennett originally created The History of the Star of David artwork as a gift donated in conjunction with congregants Judi and Alan Altman to Rabbi Mendel Mintz to mark the opening of The Aspen Jewish Community Center. As the artwork was installed several members of the JCC became intrigued and began asking about it. Rabbi Mintz realized, that Bennett’s art could be used as a teaching tool. This led to the artist conducting talks, which captivated both children and adults by illuminating their shared history. “The History of the Star of David brings to life our rich history, triumphs, and struggles, as well as our promising and vibrant future. It evokes a sense of survival and determination, as well as a celebration of Jewish culture, tradition and faith,” recalls Rabbi Mintz. Since then, Bennett’s artwork has created something of a movement. A number of prestigious institutions have acquired pieces from Bennett’s series including: Yad Vashem, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Sinai Temple Los Angeles, the Aspen Jewish Community Center, the Jona Goldrich Center for Digital Storytelling at USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, Soroka Medical Center, and others. In the spirit of tzedakah (charitable giving) Marc Bennett has joined forces with Soroka Medical Center. Located in Be’er Sheva, Soroka provides state-of-the-art medical care for the Negev’s 1.2 million residents living in Israel’s most diverse region. The hospital treats people from all walks of life regardless of income,
race, religion, or politics. Through this collaboration, 10 percent of all History of the Star of David art sales worldwide will be donated to Soroka in perpetuity. Limited edition prints signed by the artist make an unforgettable gift for weddings, anniversaries, High Holy Days, and Hanukkah. Bennett’s beautifully finished metal and paper prints are available in various sizes perfect for the home, office, or institution and are available for purchase at www.StarofDavidArt.com.
Above left: paper print of The History of the Star of David artwork. On the right: metal prints featuring individual stars, which compliment any décor.
Marc Bennett’s The History of the Star of David is immediately engaging, drawing the viewer into its world on many levels. “Bennett’s artwork combines the pop sensibility of Andy Warhol with the mythological references and bold colors of Marc Chagall,” remarks Arthur Chabon architect for The Aspen Jewish Community Center. Bennett’s careful selection and juxtaposition of the images of the Star of David establishes a stimulating narrative and visual rhythm. “The History of the Star of David transcends cultural barriers with its message of perseverance in overcoming adversity,” states Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York. More than mere art, The History of the Star of David educates and inspires meaningful dialogue on the trails of the past, while challenging us to confront the issues Jews face globally at present. About the Artist Marc Bennett is an artist and filmmaker born in Brooklyn, NY, now residing in Aspen, CO. Bennett’s artwork has been used in campaigns to fundraise and elevate awareness for numerous organizations such as, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Museum of Tolerance. Bennett is committed to using art and film as visual languages that entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire positive change worldwide. Learn more about The History of the Star of David and to purchase visit: StarofDavidArt.com. For licensing opportunities please call +1 (212) 993-5815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Cantor Mariel Ashkenazy! We’re excited to welcome Cantor Mariel Guarrera-Ashkenazy as North Shore Synagogue’s new cantor started on July 1st! Cantor Mariel Guarrera-Ashkenazy was born and raised on the north shore of Long Island. She attended Skidmore College, where she studied Religion and Theater. After graduation, she worked with children with special needs and taught religious school at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove. She earned her Masters of Religious Education from HUC-JIR NY in 2015 and continued on in their cantorial program. She earned her Masters of Sacred Music in 2018 and was ordained in 2019. As a student, she served as Cantorial Intern at Temple Beth Am Shalom in Lakewood, NJ and at Temple Judea of Manhasset on Long Island. She discovered her love of Jewish music as a child, singing in her synagogue’s junior choir. She espe-
cially loves working with young children and in the summer of 2018 joined the second cohort of Sing Shalom teachers, a partnership of Music Together and the Jewish Education Project. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her family and crafting.
Table of Contents
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Arts & Culture
Focus on Issues
Israel Under Radar
July 18, 2019 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM New Orleans JCC Uptown 5342 St. Charles AvenueNew Orleans, LA 70115 Movie Day: Finding Your Feet When 'Lady' Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of forty years is having an affair with her best friend, she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister, Bif. The two could not be more different - Sandra is a fish out of water next to her outspoken, serial dating, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs at the moment, and she reluctantly lets Bif drag her along to a community dance class, where she starts finding her feet. Movie snacks will be served. RSVP by Monday, July 22 to Rachel Ruth at 897-0143 x161 or email@example.com. No charge members and nonmembers Contact: Rachel Ruth Phone: 504-565-7395 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org July 21-22 Sunday, July 21 – 9:00 AM. to 5:00 PM Monday, July 22 – 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM Temple Sinai Sisterhood Attic Sale Come shop for jewelry, kitchenware, books, furniture, clothing, and more at Sisterhood’s annual attic sale on July 21 and 22! All
proceeds will go towards Temple Sinai activities and programs. Early bird admittance: Sunday, July 21 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. $10 entry tickets sold at the door. The sale will be in Temple Sinai’s auditorium. Cash, and checks with proper ID, accepted. July 25, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM New Orleans JCC Uptown 5342 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70115 How To Use Apps Join us for a one-hour workshop, presented by People's Health, where we’ll share our favorite smartphone apps and how to use them. Paige Hoffmeister will talk about different apps, how to download them and basic usage. Some of the applications covered are Facebook. YouTube, Bitmoji, Pandora and more. We will also cover internet and texting slang. Dessert and coffee will be provided. RSVP by Monday, July 22 to Rachel Ruth at 897-0143 x161 or email@example.com. No charge members and non-members. Contact: Rachel Ruth 504-565-7395 Email: rachel@ nojcc.org Friday, July 26th following 7:00 PM Services Congregation Beth Israel Shabbat Dinner Welcoming Rabbi Joshua Pernick Join us as we welcome Beth Israel’s incoming Rabbi as he takes
If your group has an event that you would like for us to include on the Community Calendar please e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are subject to acceptance by the Editor. ì the pulpit. Come out for a delicious meal and to meet our new spiritual leader. Members: $18 pp Adult / $9 pp Child Non-Members: $25 pp Adult / $18 pp Child All Children 5 and Under are Free Please RSVP (REQUIRED) to RSVP@BethIsraelNOLA.com or by calling the shul office at (504) 454-5080 August 12, 2019 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM New Orleans JCC Uptown 5342 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70115 Morris Bart Lecture Series: Ian Mcnulty: The Future Of New Orleans Food, And What We'll Eat When We Get There Food is our constant conversation in New Orleans. Is the object of our infatuation changing? Ian McNulty covers restaurants and food culture for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, and he’s a contributor to WNNO 89.9 FM
and WWL-TV. He’ll share his perspective on where this cherished part of our New Orleans culture is headed and take your questions on our favorite topic - food. Lunch will be served. RSVP by Thursday, August 8. Contact: Rachel Ruth Phone: 504-565-7395 Email: email@example.com No charge members / $10 nonmembers
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Synagogues Are Now Conducting Active Shooter Drills During Services By Ben Sales (JTA) — When the ushers locked the door to the sanctuary, and the congregants prepared to flee the synagogue in preparation for a mass shooting, Rabbi Neil Cooper made sure it all happened before they had to take the Torahs out of the ark.
Avi Abraham, a Krav Maga instructor who teaches self-defense classes to synagogue-goers, shows how to combat an attacker in a promotional video. (Screenshot from YouTube)
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Ten minutes later the worshippers were back in the pews, doors unlocked, and getting ready to hear the weekly Torah portion. The first active shooter drill at this suburban Philadelphia synagogue was over. “It was not a high-energy, kind of catching people off-guard kind of thing,” Cooper said five days after the June 22 drill at his Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood. “We also wanted to let people know, more than anything else, that we’re on top of this. We have a procedure. We have people looking out.” After a span of eight months that included shootings at two synagogues, in Pittsburgh and Poway, California, congregations across the country are actively drilling their members on how to act if the terror arrives at their doorstep. Some, like Beth Hillel-Beth El, have run active shooter scenarios during services. Others have detailed plans in place should a shooting occur. Others have trained a group of congregants in how to fight gunmen when they come through the door. The active shooter drills complement a range of other security measures that congregations have adopted since the Pittsburgh massacre, in which a gunman killed 11 worshippers in October. They have ranged from locking doors and reinforcing windows to hiring armed security. Some congregations have encouraged members to carry handguns at services, while
others have installed new restrictions on carrying guns in shul. “People very rarely rise to the occasion” in the event of a mass shooting, said Michael Masters, executive director of the Secure Community Network, an umbrella organization that provides guidance to Jewish institutions on security procedures. “They fall back to their level of training. Our goal is to give people a plan in their minds so that if an event happens, they have a toolbox they can draw from effectively.” The active shooter trainings often follow the mantra of “run, hide, fight,” which means to choose one of those three options and commit to it — either running to a safe place, hiding somewhere secure or fighting the gunman. As the congregants at Beth Hillel-Beth El filed through an exit at the front of the sanctuary, opposite the doors, ushers locked the main entrance and triggered a silent alarm to the police. The trainings complement active shooter drills that have been taking place for years at schools, including Jewish ones. Beth Hillel-Beth El’s preschool has been running active shooter drills since at least 2013. Because the kids range from infants
Police responding to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Oct. 27, 2018. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
to kindergartners, sometimes keeping them quiet during the drill means hugging them or giving them lollipops. “It not only makes it less scary to be playing the games, but it keeps their mouths active,” said Judith Scarani, the temple’s early childhood center director. “They’re kind of muted by the lollipops.” See SHOOTER DRILLS on Page THE
SHOOTER DRILLS Continued from Page 4 In Salt Lake City, the Utah Highway Patrol gave Congregation Kol Ami, a liberal synagogue, a briefing on security procedures. While the briefing did not include an active drill, Rabbi Samuel Spector said just having a plan in place made people feel more comfortable. “People were saying, ‘OK, now I’m thinking about what my escape route would be,’” Spector said. “If I’m here, could I throw my siddur at the person? I think that a lot of people, at least that night, started to think about their plan.” Some synagogues have pursued more aggressive training programs. Avi Abraham, an Israeli martial arts expert who teaches Krav Maga, the Israeli hand-to-hand combat technique, has taught self-defense courses to groups at more than 20 synagogues in the New York City area. His course consists of six hourlong classes for groups of congregants where they learn how to take down a shooter. He also offers the option of drilling the technique during services. The program costs $1,500 to $2,000. Abraham teaches the groups how to collectively pounce on a gunman from the side as he’s entering a doorway, then to tackle him and take his weapon. He said the technique depends more on “sechel,” or good sense, than on physical strength. Those who aren’t fighting, Abraham said, should lie on the ground so as to be out of the line of THE
fire. “In a few seconds, people find energy and willpower deep down to make sure they can protect their community,” he said. “The whole point is do ‘mesirut nefesh,’” Hebrew for fully dedicating oneself to a cause. If a gunman were to enter a synagogue, would the worshippers have enough mettle to execute their training in the heat of the moment? Abraham and one of his trainees both say yes, that adrenaline and focus would kick in when it counts. “We’re not done training,” said Mike Sigal, the volunteer head of security for the Orthodox Congregation Anshei Shalom in West Hempstead, New York, who did the training with a group of 20 congregants and is himself a black belt in karate. “We’re going to keep training. We’re going to keep practicing this. It’s got to become muscle memory, so you can alleviate some of that panic.” Those who have done active shooter drills say that, of course, pretending a mass shooting is happening does upset the intentional tranquility that Shabbat prayers aim to create. But rabbis sigh that at least they want to be prepared. “This is not business as usual,” Cooper said. “We just cannot do it like that anymore. We live in a world where it no longer can be assumed that things are safe, as unsettling as it might be. We have to run services in the world in which we’re living and praying.”
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Mazel Tov Beth Israel To Joe Bruchis and Jeanie Michel on their marriage To parents Rabbi Gabe & Abby Greenberg, and big sister and brother, Adra & Razi Greenberg on the birth of a healthy baby girl on June 23, 2019 at 9:20AM
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CONDOLENCES To Kenneth Mayers on the loss of his wife, Dr. Edith Grossman Mayers, daughter of Beth Israel’s Pre-Deceased Past President, Maurice Grossman and Past Sisterhood President Pearl Grossman.
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
How Jewish Day Schools Are Now Minting Future Engineers By Lori Silberman Brauner
may and concern. The fires were still fresh on the Jewish sophomore’s mind when she and fellow students Sarah Cohen and Devin Scharf put their heads together to come up with a novel concept for a school science project. Students from New York’s Hebrew The trio decided to engineer a Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway forest fire detection system that showcase a device they engineered to equips trees with sensors to signal alert parents and cool a baby in case firehouses in case of a blaze. The of an infant inadvertently left in a parked car. (Courtesy of the Center for project, which involved much trial Initiatives in Jewish Education) and error and took the students When California experienced nearly four months to develop, was one of its worst-ever wildfire sea- one of some 478 projects on display sons last fall, New Jersey high at a recent annual fair for students school student Orlee Sadinoff from Jewish high schools to demwatched from afar with grave dis- onstrate their prowess in engineer-
ing and design. More than 1,450 students participated from 44 schools in states including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Texas. The Modern Orthodox Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, which Sadinoff attends, has its own engineering department and was among the largest represented at the fair. “You go and experiment and you learn,” said Sadinoff, who is in Frisch’s engineering track for freshmen and sophomores. “By the time we got to this project, I was able to write my own code and figure out a lot of things on my own. I feel great to have accomplished something, knowing all the effort and work I put in. All that hard work really paid off.” The New Jersey fair — the eighth annual Innovation Day run by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education, or CIJE — was remarkable not just for the breadth of science and engineering projects, but for the diversity of Jewish participants: Students came from singlesex Orthodox yeshivas, pluralistic community day schools, Modern Orthodox schools, Reform schools and Solomon Schechter schools, which are affiliated with the Conservative movement.
“Each and every one of you has the strength within yourself, the ability and the passion to reach for the stars and to change — and not only change, but to improve the world,” Judy Lebovits, CIJE’s vice president and director, told the audience. Quoting the late Israeli president Shimon Peres, she said, “Dream big, work hard, be a good person — in other words, be a mensch and surround yourself with good people, then you will succeed.” As a school project, students from New Jersey’s Idea School engineered a robotic hand to help deaf children and their families learn American Sign Language. (Courtesy of the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) Three students from Golda Och Academy, a Conservative Jewish high school in West Orange, New Jersey, designed a Sabbath-friendly news ticker that automatically displays text headlines loaded from various news websites on an LED matrix screen. Sophomore Amitai Nelkin said that breaking news events on Shabbat, like the recent synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, California, underscore the need for the product, which they See DAY SCHOOLS on Page
Miriam Adelson Hopes There Will Be A Biblical ‘Book Of Trump’ By Josefin Dolsten
Miriam Adelson speaks at the IsraeliAmerican Council conference, Nov. 30, 2018. (Perry Bindelglass/IsraeliAmerican Council)
(JTA) — It isn’t news that Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are big fans of President Donald Trump. The Republican mega-donors gave millions to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. But Miriam Adelson took it one step further on Thursday. The Israeli-American physician compared the president to biblical prophets in an article in which she asked why he has not enjoyed higher support among American Jews. 6
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
“That this has not been the case (so far, the 2020 election still beckons) is an oddity that will long be pondered by historians,” Adelson wrote in an an article for Israel Hayom, of which she is the publisher. “Scholars of the Bible will no doubt note the heroes, sages, and prophets of antiquity who were similarly spurned by the very people they came to raise up.” She went on to say she wished there would be a biblical book named after Trump in the future. “Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?” Adelson asked. Last year, Trump honored the Israeli-born Adelson with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, noting her career in medicine and philanthropy. THE
Moe Berg’s Life As Ballplayer And Spy, This Time As A Documentary By Andrew Silow-Carroll
(JTA) — Moe Berg’s 15-year career as a major league shortstop, catcher and coach in the 1920s and ’30s wasn’t much to speak of, but his story keeps being told in about as many ways as there are to tell it. A Columbia Law School graduate who played for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and others, Berg is best known for working as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. His exploits include intelligencegathering trips to Italy and Switzerland to uncover secrets about the Nazi nuclear program. Berg’s story has been told in a nonfiction book and a feature film, but veteran filmmaker Aviva Kempner thought his story also deserved a full-length documentary. “The Spy Behind Home Plate” is in selected theaters nationwide. Kempner, who lives in Washington, D.C., and is the director or producer of four previous documentaries, spoke with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency via email. JTA: The story of Moe Berg has been told at least twice before — in the 1994 biography by Nicholas Dawidoff, “The Catcher Was a Spy,” and in the 2018 scripted movie of the same name starring Paul Rudd. What does your documentary add to what we know about Berg? Kempner: I had the advantage of incorporating 18 interviews conducted from 1987 to 1991 by filmmakers Jerry Feldman and Neil Goldstein for “The Best Gloveman in the League,” which was never completed. Their interviews were archived at Princeton, and The Ciesla Foundation supported digitizing them for use in “The Spy Behind Home Plate.” Their archival interviews include Moe’s brother, Dr. Sam Berg; Berg’s fellow players center fielder Dom DiMaggio, and pitchers Elden Auker and Joseph Cascarella; fellow OSS members Horace Calvert, THE
William Colby and John Lansdale. Two interviews with former OSS members Earl Brodie and Edwin Putzell, conducted by ESPN for its “SportsCentury-Moe Berg” biography, were also included. I also think the courage and accomplishments of the OSS, our too short-lived intelligence agency, should inspire numerous feature films, more documentaries and even a heroic television series. Your interest in Moe Berg’s story seems pretty natural — your previous films include “Partisans of Vilna” (1986), about Jewish commandos fighting the Nazis, and “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” (1998), about the legendary Jewish baseball player. But what was the specific impulse that led you to tell Berg’s story? Life-size wall hangings of my three favorite Jewish baseball players — Sandy Koufax pitching to Hank Greenberg and Moe Berg as catcher — adorn the curved wall of my home’s staircase. I was so proud of making “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” because he was a Jewish hero during times of teeming anti-Semitism in America and while the Nazis were raging in Europe. Businessman William Levine asked me after seeing “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” “Do you want to make a film on an unusual Major League Baseball player?” Levine pointed out that “Moe Berg was a great subject because he became a spy for the OSS during World War II, helping to defeat the Nazis.” I jumped at his generous offer to support a Berg bio film. “The Spy Behind Home Plate” fits perfectly into my goal to make historical documentaries about underknown Jewish heroes and my career focus on exploring courageous tales about those who fought the Nazis. Berg is usually described as “enigmatic” — I’ve seen the famously eccentric baseball manager Casey Stengel quoted as describing Berg as “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” There was speculation on everything from his sexuality to how many languages he actually spoke. Is there a key See MOE BERG on Page
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Israeli Softball Is Building A Women’s ‘Dream Team’ For The 2020 Olympics By Marcy Oster
Thirteen U.S. Jewish college students and recent graduates are playing for Israel in the hopes of making the Olympics. (Courtesy of the Israeli Softball Association)
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli Softball Association wants to take its women’s team to the 2020 Olympics, and it is counting on some Jewish American talent to get it there. Thirteen U.S. Jewish college students and recent graduates arrived in Israel at the beginning of the month to train as part of the 15-member national women’s softball team ahead of next week’s European Championships in the Czech Republic. Two of them have Israeli parents and are already Israeli citizens. Last week the other 11 women, who each have at least one Jewish parent, requested Israeli citizenship and received their official national identity cards. The other two team members were culled from the Israeli junior softball league. Tamara Statman of Phoenix, Arizona, graduated last month from the University of Arizona, where she pitched for the NCAA Division 1 Arizona Wildcats. She told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Thursday, hours before departing Israel for the Czech Republic, that it did not take too much to convince her to come to Israel to train with the national team, though she will return to the United States in the fall to start a job at a radio station (using her minor in sports management and communications). Statman visited Israel for the first time for the 2017 Maccabiah Games, playing on the U.S. Women’s Softball team. She said that she hopes to return in the future “for a more extended time and to help develop softball out here.” The team has traveled around the country, including practicing with girls’ softball teams in the north and center of the country. Statman said she enjoyed meeting older players 8
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
who have spent years practicing the sport. “They are playing because the absolutely love the sport” and not for college scholarships, she marveled. And, she said, “You don’t have to speak the same language to play the same sport.” Statman said that through practicing and traveling together the team has really “meshed together.” In fact, Statman knew several of the players from the Maccabiah team, from her high school and from university. Three of the coaches came from Arizona State. The team includes players from CAA Division 1 teams including Stanford, Northwestern and Indiana.
Tamara Statman thinks the team has a good chance of making the Olympics. (Courtesy of the Israeli Softball Assocation)
“I think our chances are really good,” she added. This year’s European Championships are the start of the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The top six European teams earn the right to go to the WBSC Europe/Africa Softball Qualifying Event, which will be held next month in Utrecht, Netherlands, where they will also face the top two African teams and compete for one Olympic berth. Twenty-three teams will compete in the European Championships, which begin on June 30. In the first three days of the tournament Israel is scheduled to play Ukraine, Turkey, Austria, Spain and Italy. The Tokyo Olympics will be the first time since 2008 that softball has made an appearance in the Olympic Games, which is why Israel has jumped to build a “dream team,” Israeli Softball Association President Ami Baran told JTA. Baran is counting on a good showing from the Israel team so that he can get government money See SOFTBALL on Page THE
‘Dead To Me’ Is The New Netflix Show Jewish Women Need To Watch By Lior Zaltzman This story originally appeared on Kveller.
It’s been a while since I felt like a show outsmarted me. But “Dead to Me,” Netflix’s new star-studded series, has made me gasp quite a few times. It manages to subvert all my expectations in a way that feels entirely purposeful — and not just for shock value. This compassionate, thrilling new “traumedy” (that’s what the cast calls it, and it’s quite a good description) is one of my new favorites. It’s a must-watch for Jewish mothers, women and TV lovers in general. And while nothing about the show is explicitly Jewish — aside from an incredible Jewish funeral scene, which I’ll get to later — its creator, Liz Feldman, is. And “Dead to Me” will unavoidably resonate with Jewish women and moms from all walks of life because of its sensitive handling of wide-ranging topics from parenting a teen to infertility to breast cancer. As Feldman says, “The story, though not autobiographical, is deeply personal. The facts are made up. The feelings are real.” The show features Christina Applegate as Jen, a real estate agent and mother of two whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Jen is acerbic and sharp, a strong woman who has an easy time saying no to anything she doesn’t want to do, but also a woman struggling with overwhelming grief and a real problem with rage. At a grief support group, she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), a quirky and bright yin to her yang. Judy is sweet and attentive to a fault, with tendencies to erase her own needs for others — a tendency that seems wholly familiar to many a Jewish mom. Judy is an artist who works at a retirement home. Her only other friend in the show is Abe, a Jewish THE
retiree played by the delightful Ed Asner, who is innocently flirtatious. (Disclaimer: Yes, there are creepy old men out there! But thankfully the show never lets him become one.) Abe is also unconditionally supportive — he reminds me of every sweet Jewish grandfather I’ve ever met. Judy and Jen quickly become an odd couple of sorts — a feminist, fully fledged version of the Neil Simon premise. But their friendship quickly hits a dramatic hurdle when Jen catches Judy in a big cavernous lie. (Don’t worry, we won’t spoil it for you.) What I like best about “Dead to Me” is how it portrays mothers as human. One of my favorite scenes shows how Jen channels her anger about her husband’s death by listening to heavy metal music on full blast in the car. (She tells Judy it’s her meditation). It’s a small gesture, but it’s a powerful portrayal of a mom who is still a person — and still edgy — even at her most pained. The problems facing Jen extend beyond her grief: Just like Applegate herself, Jen had a double mastectomy because she has a BRCA1 gene mutation (PSA: Ashkenazi Jewish women are more likely than the general population to have a BRCA gene mutation). While Jen initially shrugs off the mastectomy and surgical reconstruction, the series really touches the emotional impact this can have on a person and on a marriage. But for Feldman, the creator, it’s Judy’s struggles and losses that are the most profoundly personal. Judy comes to face the fact that she may never become a mother, no matter how hard she tries. This is a story that Feldman knows all too well; she has been trying to get pregnant for the past six years without success. In a moving piece for Glamour, Feldman describes her fertility “Odyssey” as a “full-on Greek tragedy,” full of “painful procedures, infections, and miscarriage.” But just like in the show, Feldman has found a way to look at these moments of profound pain and “see the comic aura around them. It’s
Arts & Culture become more than a coping mechanism; it’s my ethos.” And it is definitely the ethos of “Dead to Me.” If all this praise wasn’t enough, “Dead to Me” also has a scene that ranks as one of my favorite Jewish TV moments of all time. Judy is at a Jewish funeral, apparently for the first time. She lauds the rabbi (played brilliantly by the Jewish comedian Jenny Kober) for her beautiful recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish and asks what it means. “That despite losing somebody we love, we still praise God,” the rabbi responds. The two talk a bit about loss and faith, and the rabbi tells her that in Judaism, there is no heaven or hell. “In the Jewish faith,” the rabbi says, “if you’ve hurt someone you try to make amends, find a way to compensate for what you’ve done wrong.” That line sends Judy on a journey toward redemption — it’s a beauti-
ful moment and one that really gets at how much I admire the way Judaism deals with loss and wrongdoing. And it’s not a surprise that the show gets it so right — after all, Feldman once called herself a “big Jew” in an interview and admitted to catching the theater bug during a synagogue Purim play. Call Our Trained Experts & Experience the Difference
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
It’s Ashkenazi Vs. Sephardi Jews In This Take On ‘Romeo And Juliet’ By Josefin Dolsten
David Serero plays Romeo and Ashley Brooke Miller plays Juliet in a Jewish adaptation of the classic tragedy. (Josefin Dolsten)
NEW YORK (JTA) — A new production of “Romeo and Juliet” puts a Jewish spin on the classic Shakespearean love story. Produced by Paris-born opera singer David Serero, the musical is set in Jerusalem and imagines an Ashkenazi Juliet falling in love with a Sephardi Romeo, to the dismay of their families. The official opening night of the production at the Center for Jewish History here is Sunday, although this reporter attended a preview on MOE BERG Continued from Page 7 interview or piece of evidence that you discovered that unlocked some of his mystery? Nothing we could find verified he was gay. Quite the contrary, the interviews from 30 years ago with his fellow players point to Moe Berg being a lady’s man. Also, the documentary has testimony from Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julie Ruth Stevens, who danced with Moe on the ship to Japan in 1934. She talked about how he “came on to her.” And finally Paul Huni, the son of
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Thursday. Serero, who produced and wrote the adaptation, also plays Romeo in the six-person cast. Jewish jokes are rife. Instead of Shakespeare’s Friar Laurence, the priest who secretly marries the lovestruck teens, there is a tallit- and kippah-wearing Rabbi Laurence. Romeo’s mother plays off the Jewish mother stereotype and worries about her son being too thin and losing his hair. And Juliet’s dad seems preoccupied with the money he spent on what he thought was his daughter’s wedding to Rabbi Mordechai, the man he wanted her to marry. This “Romeo and Juliet” production also includes songs in Ladino, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and English — including a new take on pop star Ariana Grande’s hit “thank u, next.” Serero said he was aware of the fact that in the early days of the
State of Israel, there was tension between Ashkenazi Jews, with their roots in Germany, France and Eastern Europe, and Sephardim, whose ancestors were from Spain, Northern Africa and Muslim countries. At that time, marriages between the two communities were considered taboo, though today the groups mix more readily. But he chose to make Juliet Ashkenazi and Romeo Sephardi mostly because he wanted to show off the two rich cultural traditions, including by featuring songs in a range of languages. “I wanted to show the cultures, whether it’s in the humor, whether it’s through the songs,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The show is the result of a collaboration that started in 2014 between Serero and the American Sephardi Federation, which is hosted at the Center for Jewish History in downtown Manhattan.
As part of the project, Serero has adapted a range of classical plays, including William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and “Othello,” as well as others such as Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Leonard Bernstein and three other Ashkenazi Jews famously adapted “Romeo and Juliet” as the Broadway musical “West Side Story” and originally conceived the warring sides as Jews and Catholics. (Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book, felt it would be more relevant if it became about Puerto Rican and white street gangs.) Serero, whose family has roots in Morocco, likes including Sephardi elements in Jewish theater. “For the arts, especially the performing arts, the theater, that was mostly an Ashkenazi thing,” he said, “so I want to take all these classics but show my Sephardic chutzpah.”
Estella Huni, who Moe had a relationship with for over a dozen years, talks about how they had a great love affair. He also provided photos of them together. Yet we could not find much footage of Moe actually talking, so he remains a mystery to some extent. There are many myths and tall tales about Moe’s activities during the war, including the claim that he parachuted into Yugoslavia and met with partisan leader Tito. After extensive archival research, we found no evidence of this claim. Unfortunately, this story is featured in several museums and exhibits. Moe Berg, center, is seen on a “goodwill” assignment in South America, August 1942. (Courtesy of Linda McCarthy) In what sense is the story of Moe Berg — beyond the biographical facts of his being a son of immigrant Jewish parents — a Jewish story? Did he face anti-Semitism either as a ballplayer or a spy? And did he have an affirmative Jewish identity? Moe Berg did not have a bar mitzvah but did know Hebrew and Yiddish among his many languages. While attending Princeton in the mid-’20s, when Jews were labeled
“Hebrews” in the yearbook, Berg took a courageous stand of not joining a dinner club if other Jews were not allowed. While in the MLB Berg did not face the anti-Semitism that Hank Greenberg did as a slugger. And every day he was spying as a Jewish male in Europe during the war he was risking being caught and executed. He is an American hero for sure. You are the child of Holocaust survivors. Your first film, “Partisans of Vilna,” was I think the only one in which you approached the Holocaust directly, although I often notice that with some of your other subjects — Hank Greenberg, the comedian and actress Gertrude Berg, and Moe Berg — the Holocaust is hovering just outside the frame either as a presence or an absence. After “Partisans,” did you make a conscious choice not to make another direct Holocaust documentary? After “Partisans,” I have concentrated on making films about the Jewish-American experience and their heroes. Also, it seems I like making films about subjects with Berg in their names. Seriously, I wanted to show Jewish heroes reflecting nonstereotypical roles
and fighting the isms of fascism, sexism, McCarthyism and again Nazism. Hank Greenberg, Gertrude Berg, Julius Rosenwald and now Moe Berg are all those role models that are good for we as American Jews to revere and emulate. You and I first met somewhere in between “Partisans” and “Greenberg.” I think I learned from you that documentary filmmaking is about 30 percent making the film and 70 percent fundraising. How do you get a funder excited about a project? Has it gotten any easier? My 501(c)(3) produces my documentaries and yes it’s a challenge to raise the funds in a timely fashion. I am so lucky that after 40 years in the business that one angel came to the rescue to fund this film. In the past there have been dozens upon dozens of generous funders. I am just hoping there are other mensches like William Levine that want to support another Jewish hero or heroine. Bonus question: What are you watching these days? Are there some new documentaries you think our readers shouldn’t miss? There is a fun one called “The Mamboniks” about how Jews loved dancing mambo.
This Jewish Guide Found Healing In The Wilderness. Now He’s Helping Others. By Ben Harris
After struggling with depression and social isolation as a teen, Zack Slavkin went on a wilderness therapy program that changed his life, spurring his work to help heal others. (Courtesy of Slavkin)
In January 2011, Zack Slavkin traveled to a secluded property in northern Vermont, deposited everything he had into a locked closet and rode a snowmobile deep into the snowy wilderness. For most of the next two months, Slavkin lived in a canvas tent in the woods with a pair of guides and only a handful of other people. The 18-year-old cooked his own meals, hiked daily through the snow and kept warm by the heat of a wood stove. He also worked through an intensive curriculum designed to help him cope with the depression and social isolation that had nearly led him to take his own life. After 53 days, Slavkin emerged a changed man. “I think it was a combination of gaining the knowledge and confidence to accept that my depression was part of me and going to continue to be, and giving me the tools and the know-how to get through it,” Slavkin recalled. “It didn’t make all the problems go away. But it gave me the confidence to go forward knowing that I had the tools to get out of those dark places.” Now 26, Slavkin is helping troubled young people with backstories like his own as a field guide with BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, the only Jewish wilderness therapy program in the country. Housed at the Ramah in the Rockies ranch, a Jewish adventure camp some 90 minutes southwest of Denver, the initiative for 18- to 26-year-olds launched last year. Sixteen people have completed the individualized programs. The idea is to develop skills like Slavkin did in Vermont, except within a Jewish context. “In this type of environment, there’s no BS,” said Jory Hanselman, BaMidbar’s director. “It’s impossible to fake it. So you have to be unbelievably authentic and genuTHE
ine and able to bring your whole self to the experience. Someone with a lived experience of wilderness therapy can support students in deeper ways than someone who hasn’t had that experience because they have been on that road themselves.” As a child, Slavkin never imagined he would pursue a career as a wilderness guide as an adult. Indeed, he nearly didn’t make it to adulthood. The trouble began after he transferred from a small Jewish day school in Southern California to a much larger public middle school. Slavkin said he fell in with a bad group of kids and was regularly getting into trouble at school. “It was just kind of around that time that he started doing what we were calling ‘bonehead’ things,” said Slavkin’s mother, Ann. “He was a good kid. But he was doing these isolated things that seemed, in retrospect, like he was trying to say something.”
Participants in BaMidbar sleep in tents and go on extended excursions in the mountains of central Colorado as part of a program that combines the development of wilderness skills with emotional therapy. (Courtesy of BaMidbar)
After the police came to their home because Slavkin had come into possession of a stolen cellphone, his parents sent him to military school for a year. Slavkin did well within the school’s rigid structure. But the following year, when his family moved to Colorado, he found himself back in public school and struggling again. Slavkin was in an unhealthy relationship with a girl who was saddled with her own mental health issues, which sapped his energy. He had difficulty making friends and keeping up with his schoolwork. Toward the end of his sophomore year, the pressure was mounting. With final exams looming and feeling deeply unprepared, Slavkin went into a basement closet and contemplated suicide. His parents
found him and brought him to a hospital, where they discovered he had been cutting himself. “It just felt like the only option was to leave it all, to abandon ship and say I tried and it’s too much for me,” Slavkin said. For the next two years, Slavkin saw a succession of therapists and took medications daily, but nothing brought relief. Through a family friend he learned about True North, a wilderness therapy program located in Vermont’s Mad River Valley.
As lead field guide at BaMidbar, Zack Slavkin spends days at a time with students in the harsh mountain conditions of central Colorado, helping teens and young adults cope with their struggles. (Courtesy of Slavkin)
Slavkin was excited for the challenge, which combined learning “hard skills” like fire making and orienteering with a therapeutic curriculum focused on personal reflection. But it wasn’t easy living out in the woods through the frigid Vermont winter. At one point he found himself bedridden for four days with a severe stomach bug that nearly forced him from the program.` Yet Slavkin made it through, acquiring along the way not just the tools to cope with his illness, but a set of wilderness survival skills that would reset the course of his life. Over the next six years, Slavkin began spending his summers at Camp Ramah, first as a bunk counselor and later as organizer of trips. Located miles from the nearest paved road and lacking electricity or indoor plumbing, Ramah in the Rockies has a wilderness vibe. When the camp launched BaMidbar in January 2018, Slavkin was eager to jump on board. Like True North, participants in BaMidbar sleep in tents and go on extended excursions in the surrounding mountains. The program combines the development of primitive skills with a therapeutic component overseen by licensed therapists. But it also integrates a significant dose of Jewish spirituality, including daily prayer focused on mindfulness and meditation, and uses biblical stories as a means to bring Jewish wisdom to bear on the chal-
lenges facing participants in their lives. Each week, the group returns to Ramah to celebrate Shabbat. Slavkin is BaMidbar’s lead field guide, overseeing the work of two other guides and spending days at a time with students in the harsh mountain conditions of central Colorado. His own experience, he says, has afforded him a powerful means to connect with teens facing their own struggles. “It’s the reason I do this. It’s what drives me and brings me fulfillment,” Slavkin said. “Being able to use my story as a place of connection — particularly for young men who feel shame like I did about their struggles, who feel embarrassed, who feel they need to prove themselves and feel macho and not admit to these faults — has been a powerful tool for me to show them it’s OK to struggle and be imperfect.” This article, sponsored by and produced in partnership with The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, is part of a series about how young Jews are transforming Jewish life in the 21st century. This article was produced by JTA’s native content team.
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
7 Jewish Foods That Are Surprisingly Healthy
The Latest News About Jewish Food, Food Trends, Kosher Food, And More From Around The Jewish World
Love Jewish Food? These 3 British Podcasts Are For You. Pour Yourself A Strong Cup Of Tea And Enjoy.
By Shannon Sarna
By Rachel Myerson
Jewish food (particularly Ashkenazi) really gets a bad rap as being overwhelmingly fat laden, obesityinducing dishes lacking fresh fruit and vegetables. But Jewish food is diverse, vibrant and even uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, herbs, colors and spices. Here are a few surprisingly healthy, traditional foods to enjoy with none of the (Jewish) guilt. 1. Traditional tzimmes from Martha Stewart is actually packed with sweet potatoes, carrots and dried fruit — fiber, veggies and fruit all in one sweet, delicious side dish. 2. Sauerkraut and pickles are delicious, but also serve an important dietary purpose: The good bacteria help your body digest more effectively. And almost every culture has its own version of ferment-
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ed foods which aid in digestion (um, kimchi!). 3. Jewish penicillin, otherwise known as chicken soup, has garnered this nickname because chicken soup has actually been scientifically shown to help treat colds. In truth, chicken soup is the original bone broth. 4. Israeli salad is as about as delicious and fresh as it gets: chopped veggies, herbs and some lemon juice. 5. Not only is shakshuka ubertrendy right now, but it’s easy and good for you – vegetarian, made with with lycopene-loaded tomatoes, roasted, peppers, eggs and often other veggies like kale, eggplant, mushrooms or spinach. And there are so many ways to make it. 6. Tahini, made from raw sesame seeds , is considered a good fat. Drizzle it on salads and veggies or bake into some brownies. Hey, that’s healthy, right?? 7. Mujaderra is a delicious vegan dish ,packed with fiber and protein from the lentils and is also super easy to prepare.
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It is rare that I do anything these days without a podcast for company: cooking, walking the dog and, yes, falling asleep. They are, I suppose, the millennial equivalent of having the radio murmuring softly in the background. And just like radio, podcasts are readily available, downloaded in an instant for free on a number of applications (iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean, to name a few), and cater to any interest or taste, no matter how niche. My favorite podcast addictions are on the topic of food. There’s something delicious about hearing strangers — often culinary heroes — enthuse about a topic I’m passionate about as well. I’m particularly partial to podcasts that focus on Jewish and Israeli cuisines. And as an Englishwoman living in New York, listening to British food podcasts connects me to my roots. Whether you’re British or not, if you love food and podcasts, you’ve got to check out these three favorites. So pour yourself a strong cup of tea and enjoy. Honey & Co: The Food Talks Husband and wife team Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer were born and raised in Israel. They both became chefs and moved to London, where they worked in various kitchens, including at Ottolenghi. In 2012 they opened Honey & Co., a 20-seat diner serving critically acclaimed Middle Eastern home cooking, and went on to open a deli and grill house, too. Their “Food Talks” are held monthly at their deli, Honey & Spice, in front of a small audience, then released as podcasts. Guests range from Netflix star and cookbook author Samin Nosrat to Joseph
Trivelli, head chef at the River Cafe, to Michael Rakowitz, an Iraqi-American artist of the Fourth Plinth commission “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist.” The standout episode for me was when Itamar interviewed Reem Kassis, author of “The Palestinian Table.” It was special to witness such a respectful, compassionate discussion of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Instead of focusing on what divides the two groups, they focused on the similarities between the two cultures, particularly in regard to ingredients and attitudes toward food, celebrating the many parallels. Listen for: An incredible breadth of culinary knowledge from experienced food industry professionals. Yotam Ottolenghi: Simple Pleasures Yotam Ottolenghi is the undisputed king of Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine worldwide, responsible for turning ingredients like zaatar mainstream and popularizing dishes like shakshuka. Having coopened five wildly successful cafes and restaurants in London, and written several international bestselling cookbooks, it was only a matter of time until he blessed us with a podcast. “Simple Pleasures” was released to accompany his latest cookbook, “Simple.” Ottolenghi cooks a couple of recipes from the book each episode for a variety of celebrity guests he hosts at home. As far as the menu goes, the braised eggs with leeks and zaatar alongside charred cherry tomatoes with yogurt that he cooks up for Lin-Manuel Miranda sound beyond dreamy. But the candid chat with his old friend Nigella Lawson is a joy to listen to — I almost felt unworthy of being a fly on the wall in the presence of such culinary greatness. Listen for: an intimate cookalong with a refreshingly down to See JEWISH FOOD on Page THE
Anti-Semitism is Strengthening on the Jewish Identity of Young People. Why Haven’t Our Organizations Embraced Them? By Howard Lovy
Young Jewish adults from all over the world participate in the Birthright Israel program in Jerusalem, Jan. 14, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Traverse City, Mich. (JTA) – The year was 2000, and Michael Steinhardt had just dropped a bombshell that nearly brought an otherwise dignified conference to blows. “I tend, in my dourest moments, to consider both the Reform and Conservative Jews as historic accidents in the 21st century and suspect, before the end of this century, they will have disappeared,” he said. Steinhardt, along with Edgar Bronfman and Charles Schusterman, was in Chicago at a meeting of STAR: Synagogue Transformation and Renewal, which was ostensibly designed to find ways to get young people back into synagogue pews. This and similar statements by Bronfman had understandably irked Rabbi Eric Yoffie, thenpresident of the Union for Reform Judaism. Undermining non-Orthodox synagogues was not the way to encourage experimentation. “I’m not going to get into a pissing match with Rabbi Yoffie over whether the Reform movement is a good movement or not because that’s not the point,” the secular Bronfman told me. “The point is, we have a crisis and I don’t care how we go about getting young people involved in their Jewishness.” Of course, it turned out that the BronfmanSteinhardt answer was Birthright Israel. At the time of this dispute, I was the managing editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. While covering the birth of Birthright, I often heard echoes of this deep depression and desperation among Jewish leaders to attract the young. Today, when Jewish leaders talk about problems facing young Jews, it is often not their lack of affiliation that’s in focus, but what they see as increased anti-Semitism in the form of antiZionism on college campuses. There may be fewer young Jews in the pews now, but as Jewish Theological Seminary professor Jack Wertheimer told me, that’s because millennials are waiting longer to have children. Many have yet to practice what Wertheimer calls “Judaism for peak moments” like bar and bat mitzvah or familyfriendly holidays such as Purim. THE
Yet for some reason, young campus Jews on about the organized Jewish world, having grown the front lines of this fight against anti-Semitism up primarily in small communities, often one of may never be counted among the affiliated if only a handful of Jews in town. The way I practhey never join a synagogue. It seems to be a lost tice Judaism is very personal and not at all comopportunity if we did not find a way to welcome munal. The publisher at the time hired me for them into the fold. Anti-Semitism has given my news judgment first, connection to Judaism them a heightened sense of Jewish identity, but second. I guess you could say that I was JTA’s the institutions aren’t in place or are unwilling to own private Birthright experiment. offer them a positive path into the Jewish fold. After the breakdown of talks between Ehud Though initiatives like STAR and Birthright Barak and Yasser Arafat and the beginning of the begin to address the issue, there are too few second intifada, I left JTA, moved back to Michiplaces that welcome Jews who feel a renewed gan and pivoted my career to cover science and sense of Jewishness in response to anti-Semi- technology. Sixteen years later, I began writing tism but don’t necessarily feel comfortable about Jewish issues again after I noticed more attending shul. swastikas in my social media timeline following a Going through my 20-year-old notes, I am decade and a half of being relatively swastika-free. struck at how often Jewish lay and religious I never wanted anti-Semitism to define the way leaders voiced a fear that an end to anti-Semi- I write about Judaism. But the rise in anti-Semitism would further erode the tenuous connection tism can perhaps help us see clearer than we did young people had to Judaism. Ironically, the rise 20 years ago. We can see who is with us and who in Jewish activism in response to anti-Semitism is not. Jews are standing up to be counted. I would could be an opportunity to find a place for them. be more optimistic for the future if we found a In 2019, while our institutions are hashing out way to embrace them. the same arguments, American Jews are faced with an altogether different existential crisis: the rise of American anti-Semitism. Now is the perfect time to truly reckon with what it means to be a Jew and who gets counted as a member of the tribe because people who never thought about their Judaism before Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office are now constantly reminded of it by anti-Semites. It is a sad contrast, the difference between the Jewish mood of 20 Attention property owners: all persons liable for taxes on years ago and today. There is a Real Estate (and/or improvements), Personal or Movable renewed sense of solidarity and Property, and/or Public Service Corporation are hereby notified in conformity with law that the actual valuations listed purpose among Jews of all denomifor assessment purposes for the year 2020 in the Parish nations in light of the threat of antiof Orleans have been completed and said Assessment Rolls Semitism coming from outside. will be opened for inspection and correction at the following Yet even though they were wrong locations from the 15th day of July through the 15th day of about an end to anti-Semitism, the August 2018, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: machers of two decades ago were City Hall, Room 4E01, 1300 Perdido Street, right in turning the discussion to Algiers Courthouse, 225 Morgan Street; and how to embrace more Jews who Lakeview Christian Center, 5885 Fleur De Lis Drive. acknowledge only a tenuous conYou can also visit the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office website nection to Judaism. That was the for more information regarding your property assessment original thought behind Birthright at www.nolaassessor.com. The Offices will be closed on Israel. Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Today, as I interview people Erroll G. Williams whose connection to Judaism is Assessor Parish of Orleans strengthened through the rise in www.nolaassessor.com anti-Semitism, it is still the case that many are unaffiliated with synagogues. Twenty years ago, they would have been counted as lost to Judaism – and these “cultural Jews” are still not counted in many official surveys or in institutional decisions. I was an odd choice for managing editor of JTA. I knew very little
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Discover the Jewish Practices That Wake You Up to the Meaning and Sacred Moments of Your Life By Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Distracted and caught up in our perpetual state of busyness, we often miss the awe and wonder that is all around us. (Xan Griffin)
Almost as far back as we look, actually, our culture has associated being deeply caring high achievers – with an accepted high level of striving, stress and busyness. Secretly, we may even be a little bit proud of our anxious, overworked minds – as if they’re a sign that we’re actually successfully marching through that long to-do list or toward that next goal we’ve set for ourselves.
SOFTBALL Continued from Page 8 to develop the program, which is currently run on a volunteer basis. The team must “show competitiveness” in order to secure government funds, he said. And government funds mean that the association can hire professional coaches and develop native talent. Players on the Women’s Softball teams must be citizens of the country for which they are playing. Baran, who also serves as the Secretary-General of the European Softball Federation, said that several of the teams have packed their rosters with American players who are now dual citizens of those countries. Baran knows that most of the women who are playing for Israel this summer will not make the country their permanent home. But he hopes a handful of them will be willing to continue to return to help develop the talent here. He notes that they have already shown a commitment to Israeli softball: Each of the women raised
Simply put, if we’re not that stressed or not that busy, it might feel like we’re just not trying hard enough. But what does being so distracted by and caught up in our neverending to-do lists cost us? And what if you could actually achieve more – while also feeling centered, clear-minded and present to the people around you and the everyday sacred moments of your life? (You can.) The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, a global leader in teaching Jewish mindfulness practices, offers online courses and retreats to cultivate awareness; connect with greater authenticity to yourself, JEWISH FOOD others and God; and find greater Continued from Page 12 meaning in your life. Find out more earth celebrity chef. at www.jewishspirituality.org. Jessie Ware: Table Manners Jewish singer-songwriter Jessie Ware may not be the first person you’d expect to host a food-themed podcast, but she does it brilliantly in “Table Manners” alongside her mother, Lennie — a textbook Jewish mother who’s become something of an icon. Together they bicker contentedly as they whip up feasts that sometimes prove unbelievably delicious and sometimes fail spectacularly. Though their guests aren’t your run-of-the-mill dinner companions — they deliver sausages to Ed Sheeran’s studio during a recording break (he has four helpings) and
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her own money to come to Israel and join the team. They were assisted in fundraising by the Jewish National Fund. Three of the team’s coaches, all from the University of Arizona, also paid their own way to volunteer to help out Team Israel. Head coach Stacy Iveson, director of recruiting-operations at the University of Arizona, recruited Arizona alumnae Debby Day, who works as the Cal Lutheran head coach, and Lisa Bernstein, as assistant coaches. The third assistant coach is Corey Vyner. Baran calls this year’s qualifiers and this year’s Team Israel “the chance of a lifetime.” He points out that there will not be softball at the 2024 Olympics in Paris but that there very likely will be at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, which gives him nearly a decade to develop some local talent. But it all begins next week in the Czech Republic.
invite Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, over to break his Ramadan fast — they keep it real, squealing hysterically in anticipation of Nigella Lawson’s arrival. And the two talk about their Jewish roots, like, all the time. They really dig into the Ashkenazi cooking tradition in the episode with food critic Jay Rayner, but go to town with Mark Ronson, who has two servings of chicken soup, four matzah balls and talks about the Passover seder he attended during Coachella. Listen for: the laughs. And a gratifyingly normal portrayal of the highs and lows of intergenerational cooking.
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I Didn’t Believe in God. Then I Had Kids. By Debra Jacobs
Header image via Katerina Sisperova/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
Something terrible happened and, for the first time in my life, I prayed. A while back, a playmate of my daughter, Melissa, got her hand stuck in the filter grate of a swimming pool. She spent 10 minutes underwater. The EMTs nearly gave up on reviving her, but one insisted on continuing to try — “She’s 8, we keep going!” — and they pulled her, miraculously, to just this side of life. Melissa’s tragedy belonged to her family, but it also deeply affected our community. “There but for the grace of God,” we all thought. But we also thought about how Melissa belonged to us, too, in the way elephant calves belong to the herd. So as she lay on life support, with doctors testing for any flicker of brain activity, I felt compelled to do something, anything. “Please pray for us,” her parents asked. And so I prayed Hard. I am not religious, but I have often envied people of faith. Believing in an ordered universe, where everything happens for a purpose, would make life so much easier. Perhaps a predilection toward faith exists in our DNA, but I’ve never been able to express that particular gene. I suppose that’s not surprising, given the spiritual milieu in which I grew up. My mother gasped in sorrow at any news of a bombing in Israel and appropriately “oy veyed” when a Jew was accused of a crime, but she couldn’t tell you what the Shabbat blessing meant. She lit candles on Friday nights and orchestrated 20-minute Passover seders, during which my dad rolled his eyes. Mom dragged us to High Holiday services, where if it weren’t for all the standing up and sitting back down I would have fallen asleep. Spiritual conversation never accompanied these efforts; in my family, the phrases “God willing” and “God THE
forbid” encompassed the entirety of our discourse about a higher being. Up through my young adulthood, I stood with nine toes in the profane and just my right pinky toe edging toward the sacred. I worked, traveled, rode my bike and tried to be kind. I had long talks with friends about politics, books and dreams for the future, but not about religion or God. There were occasional, isolated moments when spiritual transcendence jolted me out of the mundane. In Rome, as I stood high on the base of a huge column in St. Peter’s Square, I watched the crowd gathering below me for the pope’s Easter address. It began to rain, and suddenly some 10,000 umbrellas unfurled beneath my feet in a pulsing, otherworldly sea of color. Or the time I was riding downhill on the back of a tandem bicycle, watching lines in the pavement flash past as we neared 60 miles per hour, and not so much experiencing speed as becoming speed in a mystical way I have never since been able to recapture. Moments like these popped up occasionally like blips on an EKG, with long, flat stretches in between. Transcendent, yes, but not in communion with God. Then I became a parent. Nothing pulls you closer to a connection with the divine than your 3-year-old laying her cheek against your neck. Despite the mundacity of the day-to-day — the endless dishes, frantic cries of hurryup-put-your-shoes-on-we’re-late, the homework-induced meltdowns — my girls, now 16 and 20, have linked me to a more sacred stratum. I felt it when they were little and used to snuggle in my lap and watch the candles flicker after dinner on Fridays. More recently I’ve felt it when they want to talk late at night, sharing their singular and often profound views of the world. The flat stretches remain, but those spiritual blips spring up with greater regularity. They form a pattern of possibility, a plug into … something. Perhaps that something isn’t eternal, but it seems that it’s at least greater than myself. I didn’t want my children to have to wait until they became parents to
experience spiritual connection, or until they find some other portal to a sense of the holy. Wanting to offer them a more direct path and to give them the feeling of belonging that religion can provide, I became what a friend calls a “pediatric Jew.” I joined the synagogue in my urban neighborhood where the diverse congregation, so unlike the diamondstudded, teased-hair members of the temple I attended as a child, felt right. People walked around barefoot and in jeans, and in my daughter’s Hebrew school class Caucasian children were in the minority. There was only one problem. The place just seemed too, well, religious. I considered switching to Workmen’s Circle — decidedly secular with a focus on social justice — but I realized that volunteering at a soup kitchen would serve the same purpose, helping my girls learn to serve others but not offering access to spirituality. I felt the pushpull, wanting them to experience religion in a way I never did, then rejecting it as soon as we dipped our toes. When the pressures of school and other activities mounted, and something had to give, formal Jewish education turned out to be surprisingly easy to shed. Still, we lit candles every Friday night and celebrated all the bigleague holidays; we made latkes at Hanukkah and threw bread crumbs in the water on Rosh Hashanah, and added puppets and rap music to our Passover seders (and Grandpa rolled his eyes and asked when it would be over). I dragged my girls to family services on the High Holidays, where they would probably have fallen asleep if it weren’t for all the standing up and sitting down. We do all that, but we never pray. When I talk with my kids about God, my sentences usually start with “Some people believe …”
They inevitably ask me what I believe. Most of the time I say I’m not sure, but I believe there’s a spark of the sacred in all of us, connecting people, and the more we open ourselves to it the more we feel it. Prayer is a way some people find that spark inside themselves, and it’s a way of sending a web of love to others. When my friends asked me to pray for their daughter, I felt as if I were sending out threads of wool that knit themselves together with the threads sent by many others. These fibers formed a blanket, strong and warm, enveloping them in love. It held them as Melissa’s brain scans showed the first signs of alpha waves, as she opened her eyes, as she hugged her mom and dad. It embraced them as she breathed on her own, spoke her first post-accident words and walked independently. It carried and sustained them as she left rehab for home, for school and birthday parties and playdates, for a new normal. My daughter once asked me if prayer kept Melissa alive and made her better. “Mostly the doctors and nurses did that,” I replied. “But maybe.” Praying will never feel natural to me, or be a daily part of our lives. But I no longer dismiss the possibility of its power to radiate love, if not to keep someone alive. I’m still only one toe in, uncoupled from religion but open to the spark, hoping my kids find their own way to touch the sacred.
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Israel Under Radar
Department of Education to Investigate Middle East Conference Called Anti-Israel By Marcy Oster
The University of North Carolina hosted a controversial conference on Gaza using federal funding. (Wikimedia Commons)
(JTA) — The U.S. Department of Education will investigate a Middle East conference on Gaza co-sponsored by two North Carolina universities over allegations that it had an anti-Israel bias. Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., called on the department to check into the late March conference cosponsored by Duke University and the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill held at the latter campus. Holding said he had seen “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and antiSemitic rhetoric at the taxpayerfunded conference,” The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The universities budgeted $5,000 in Education Department funding from a four-year grant paying $235,000 annually for international and foreign language education programming. UNC told the newspaper on Tuesday that it spent less than $200 of the grant money. Education Secretary Betsy Devos
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responded in a letter to Holding on Tuesday. “I am troubled by the concerns outlined in your letter,” she wrote. “In order for the Department to learn more about this matter, I have directed the Office of Postsecondary Education to examine the use of funds under this program.” The conference, titled The “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities,” featured a performance by the Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar of the hip-hop group DAM. Edited clips of Nafar singing his song “Mama, I Fell in Love with a Jew” at the conference were posted on social media. “A performance during a recent conference held on our campus contained disturbing and hateful language,” read a statement by Kevin Guskiewicz, UNC’s interim chancellor, on April 12. “I am heartbroken and deeply offended that this performance happened. I stand steadfast against anti-Semitism and hate in all its forms.” The Louis D. Brandeis Center said in a statement that “the conference failed to provide its participants with what it originally promised — a nuanced and ‘deeper understanding of the context of these realities’ and realistic ‘options that can better the lives of Gazans.’ Other than perpetuating myths about Israel, the conference minimized Hamas’ role in perpetuating the crisis. The statement added: “Furthermore, panels and programs denied Israel’s right to exist, brandishing it a “settler-colonialist” entity while negating the enduring legacy of Jewish life in the region.”
DAY SCHOOLS Continued from Page 6 call Smooth News. Three ninth-graders from the Queens Bukharian boys high school Yeshiva Tiferet Tzion created a chip for students to scan at school that automatically records their attendance. The innovation by Michael Gavrielov, Zalman Akilov and Natanel Aminov saves teachers classroom time. The Innovation Day is one of several for Jewish day schools across the country. Others will take place this year in Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Boca Raton, Florida. The May 19 fair was held at Bell Works in Holmdel, New Jersey, the site of the former Bell Labs, where innovations such as the binary computer, transistor and touchtone telephone were invented. The crowds in the auditorium were a sign of the growing seriousness with which Jewish day schools are investing in the STEM fields: science, technology, math and engineering. More than 170 Jewish schools from across the denominational spectrum and in 16 states participate in STEM-oriented programs supported by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. For many students, the fair represents the culmination of months of preparation. “I’m just amazed at how much this program has grown,” said Anastasia Kelly, a fair judge and a local teacher. “The level of design and ingenuity is remarkable.” Using a set budget, students create and engineer their inventions using electronic components, coding and an Arduino platform — a package of hardware and software that allows students to build projects using components such as LEDs, motors, robots and drones. The projects must benefit society or their community in some way. Call Our Trained Experts & Experience the Difference
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More than 170 Jewish schools from across the denominational spectrum and in 16 states participate in STEM-oriented programs supported by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. (Courtesy of CIJE) A group of four high school juniors from Bnos Yisroel, an Orthodox all-girls school in Baltimore, engineered an ID tag that young children without cellphones can scan upon boarding the school bus that sends an automatic text alert to parents. The idea is to let parents know their kids made it to the bus stop and onto the bus safely. The RFID-based device, which the girls call Stay Pro“Text”ed, can also be put on a personalized keychain that attaches to backpacks or bracelets to ensure young kids don’t lose the tags. “In our community, the parents have phones and the kids don’t,” 11th-grader Menucha Shmidman said. “We wanted to help parents not be so worried in the morning that their kids got on the bus.” Judge and engineering teacher Raz Idan, director of fabrication at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester’s Upper School, said one of his main goals in sending students to the fair is raising their confidence levels. Aside from engineering, the students also learn important skills such as presentation and public speaking. Regardless of how successful the students’ projects turn out, even scientific setbacks offer learning value, Idan said. “Failure is part of the process,” he said. The ultimate goal of the project is to help Jewish schools transform the way they teach secular subjects — and maybe Jewish ones, too. “It’s about teaching by inquiry and helping students learn the importance of thinking and allowing kids to be creative and really address their own inner talents,” Lebovits said. “The pride these students gain is immense. They are able to dream and believe in themselves.” This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with the Avi Chai Foundation, which is committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people. In North America, the foundation works to advance the Jewish day school and overnight summer camp fields. This article was produced by JTA’s native content team. THE
Photo credit: Oscar Rajo
Great Wedding Gift Ideas Many people rely on bridal registries when buying wedding gifts for their loved ones. But for those who put off buying wedding gifts until registries have been picked clean, finding the right gift can sometimes be difficult. Even if men and women do not intend to buy wedding gifts directly off a couple's registry, it's best to first visit that registry to ensure that the gift that is ultimately purchased is not a duplicate gift. Shoppers who do know what to get the happy couple can consider the following gift ideas. · Luggage: Many couples put luggage on their wedding registries, so shoppers should double check before purchasing any luggage for the happy couple. Couples about to go on their honeymoons may love a new set of sturdy luggage for their travels, while others with a love of travel may appreciate being able to replace luggage that's bore the brunt of their globetrotting in recent years. · Airline miles: Though it might be unconventional, gifting airline miles to the happy couple may save them hundreds of dollars. Men and women with ample airline miles should determine if their agreement allows them to transfer those miles THE
to a loved one. If so, transferring the miles won't cost the person doing the gifting any money out of pocket, but it can save couples substantial amounts of money on their next trip, including their honeymoon if they have yet to book one. · Experience: Many people have embraced gifting an experience instead of an item to their loved ones. Some companies even facilitate such gifts to newlyweds. Websites like Traveler's Joy allow couples to establish honeymoon registries, building them with activities and experiences they hope to enjoy on their trips. Loved ones can then gift money toward those activities, providing a win-win situation for people who would prefer to gift an experience and ensuring couples' honeymoons will be that much more memorable. · Cash: Cash may seem impersonal, but couples tying the knot will no doubt appreciate an infusion of cash after saying "I do." According to The Knot, the average wedding cost more than $35,000 in 2016. Even couples whose parents foot the bill for their weddings will appreciate having some extra money on hand that they can use on their honeymoons or put toward a home.
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Wedding Venue
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Once couples become engaged and share the good news with their friends and families, the next step is to begin planning their weddings. While couples must make a myriad of decisions during the wedding planning process, perhaps none is more significant than where to tie the knot. According to a recent study by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding was $35,329. That's a sizable amount, and a big portion of that was spent on the wedding venue. The Real Weddings Study found that couples spent an average of $16,107 on their wedding venues. That figure easily dwarfs the next biggest expense ($6,163 for the engagement ring) for couples tying the knot. Because the wedding venue comes with such a potentially high sticker price, couples should give ample consideration to a host of factors before choosing where to get married.
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Size Until they can agree on a guest list, couples might want to delay even looking for venues. However, some couples might want to first look at some venues so they can determine just how many guests they can afford to invite. Whether they're hosting small affairs or large parties, couples should choose venues that can comfortably accommodate all of their guests. If possible, look for venues with multiple reception areas, which might allow for some wiggle room if the guest list grows or dwindles during the planning process. Availability Some couples might have an ideal time of year they hope to get married. Some even know the exact date they hope to get married. While that can help with the planning, it can also limit couples with regard to their venue options. Some venues may be booked for as much as a year or more in advance during peak wedding season. The Knot’s Real Weddings Study found that the most popular months to get married are October and September, and couples who hope to get married during peak seasons may need to book their wedding venues well in advance. Those who can be more flexible regarding their wedding dates may find it easier to book their dream venues. Insurance Ask about the venue's insurance policies, including the policies the venue has to protect itself. In addition, ask if the venue requires couples to have their own wedding liability insurance for protection in the event of injury, property damage or incidents related to alcohol. Couples may also want to make the investment in cancellation/postponement insurance, and some venues may even require it. Financials It's easy for couples to be focused on the bottom line when choosing wedding venues, but it's also important that they get a complete grasp of the financials before choosing a wedding venue. Ask about the amount of the initial deposit and if that deposit is refundable. In addition, ask when the deposit is due and when each subsequent payment is due until the balance is paid in full. This can make budgeting easier and planning less stressful. Couples should have fun choosing their wedding venues while recognizing that certain factors must be given ample consideration before signing any contracts. We recommend talking with Dolly at the Louisiana Castle (504455-8700) when you are considering the venue for your big day!
Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips for the Bride
(NewsUSA) - You want everything to be picture perfect for your wedding, including your skin. But like everything else about your big day, that perfect glow could require some work ahead of time. In fact, experts suggest starting your entire beauty regimen six months before the wedding. Here's a complete pre-wedding beauty checklist. * Surgery: Any surgical interventions, such as Blepharoplasty, neck liposuction, or facelift should be at least six weeks before any of the special events begin. * Lips: Get soft, kissable lips by
brushing away flakes of dry skin with an infant toothbrush soaked in baking soda and water. Apply healing ointment, and in no time, your lips will be ready for that "kiss the bride" kiss. * Teeth: A cosmetic dentist can often correct an imperfect smile with veneers. But if spending painful hours in the dentist's chair getting your teeth ground down sounds like it would put a damper on all the joyful planning, here's good news: Lumineers (www.lumineers.com) are now used by thousands of dentists nationwide and can be applied in two short, pain-free appointments. Unlike other veneer procedures, Lumineers are so strong and thin that they don't require removal of sensitive tooth structure. The procedure is quick, painless and even reversible. * Makeup: Women with warm skin tones look best in makeup with pink, coral, peach, amber, brown and red with yellow undertones. If you have a cool skin tone, choose pink, berry, lilac, mauve or red with blue undertones. * Skin: Make your face glow with a good cleansing program. Use a cleanser that's appropriate for your skin type in the morning, makeup remover and cleanser at night and a daily moisturizer. Use a gentle facial scrub once a week. If the extra stress is causing
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hedgewoodplasticsurgery.com breakouts, a Retin A program would start about six weeks before the wedding. Chemical Peels such as glycolic would be scheduled about four weeks in advance, and Light Based Intervention such as IPL, Fractional CO2 Laser, should be scheduled about 6 weeks prior, but keep in mind that some procedures may require multiple treatments, so 4-6 months may be necessary. * Injectables: When considering any injectable fillers, such as BOTOX ™, Restylane ™ and Vollure ™, schedule at least two weeks in advance of the wedding, but if you haven’t used these products before, you may want to schedule even earlier in your timeline. * Hair: If you're planning to change your hairstyle or color, experiment several months before the wedding so you have time to correct any mistakes.
* Nails: If you're a nail-biter, get weekly manicures to keep your nails healthy. Plan your last manicure a couple of days before the big day. Choose a pretty pale pink or splurge on a French manicure, not just because it looks great, but because the chips won't show as much and are easy to fix. You'll have beautiful hands for the rehearsal dinner and any other festivities. Don't forget, practice makes perfect. Schedule a trial run with your hair and makeup artists several days before your wedding, so there are no surprises the day of the ceremony. If you have concerns regarding your skin, especially regarding your face or neck, and would like to speak with someone about your concerns, we recommend calling Dr. Thomas Moulthrop at Hedgewood Plastic Surgery at 504-8957642.
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Hiring a Marquee for a Wedding Ceremony By Katie Holmes A marquee is a large tent which is open in either all or just two sides. Marquees are used in many social functions like weddings, meetings and outdoor entertainment. Marquees have proven to be very efficient when holding social functions but there are a few factors that should be considered before choosing the type of marquee to rent for an occasion. Looking for a marquee to hire can be a very tiring task especially if you are looking to hire one for the first time. There are a few
things that one should consider before going out to hire a marquee for a wedding ceremony. The first thing that should be considered when looking for a marquee to hire is the size of the crowd that will be attending the wedding ceremony. You might rush to rent a marquee because it was cheap on rent but you will realize that the crowd in attendance is not going to fit in it. It is very important to keep records of the guests that have been invited
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officially for the event so as to plan on the size of marquee which will suit the crowd. Other weddings are not invites only and everybody is invited and in such cases, an enormous marquee should be hired in order to cater for all the people in attendance. Another important factor is to know the size of the marquee venue so that you can plan on where to locate the marquee and sitting positions of all the guests. It is important to know the size of the venue so that you may consider the type and size of marquee that will be suitable for the venue. May tents have certain features that will only be suitable for garden weddings and events and they include the shape of the tent, height, width and the nature of the tent whether it is open on all the sides or just the front part. If the venue is a bit small, there are marquees that can be extended from a building's wall so as to create more space for accommodating the guests in attendance. A good
marquee renting company will send a representative to come and survey the ground and advise you accordingly on which tent to rent. After you have decided on the type of tent that will suit the venue and occasion, you should get quotes on renting a marquee from different companies so as to get a great deal. Some of the companies that rent tents charge a huge amount for their services and requesting quotes is the best defense from this. You should also take time to go and check on the quality of the marquee because the weather conditions may change and the guests may get rained on while the ceremony is taking place. This is the worst thing that could happen during a wedding and it is therefore very important to check on the quality of the marquee before deciding to rent it. Once you have considered these few points, you should rent a suitable marquee and enjoy the occasion. For your special event, we recommend calling the Tent Man at 504-780-8368.
Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wedding Caterer By Jerry Leung Tips Of Choosing The Perfect Wedding Caterer By: Jerry Leung The success of your wedding reception depends on the experience of your guests. Your event will be a wonderful one if all the guests feel happy. There are a few different issues to consider. For instance, you need to prepare nice entertainment. The decorations also play an important part. You will also have to pay special attention to the catering services. Yes, the foods to be served in your reception are very essential. If the foods are bad, your guests will not feel comfortable. You will certainly want to make sure that they can fully enjoy your wedding. As a result, you need to choose the best caterer. You have to create a perfect menu for your reception, and it is a must to discuss with the caterer about the foods and beverages to be served. And, don’t forget some finger foods so your guests can have something www.thejewishlight.org
to eat when they are waiting for your grand entrance. You should try to understand what the majority of your guests love and need. Make sure that you will prepare menus that can cater for their needs and requirements, such as vegetarian options. Is there a reception theme? You want to make sure your caterer can provide options and displays to fit your theme. The next issue you will consider is probably the reputation of the caterer. This can make sure that they can meet your expectations. You need to search for different vendors before you make the final decision. Sometimes you may find it hard to find a caterer that you can trust. You can ask for opinions from your friends. They may know some good caterers and this can save you some time. You can also join some online discussion groups and get some information from other brides and grooms. If it is possible, you can arrange a food tasting with the caterer you are planning to hire. There may be a small charge, however, it is always worth spending the money, because you can literally taste for yourself the foods that your guests will enjoy. By doing a tasting, you will know to look for other vendors if you find the food is not to your liking. We recommend speaking to Patti Constantin at Designs in Catering at 504-913-6866. THE
Keep Your Wedding Gown White
Many brides walk down the aisle in white gowns, which have long been considered the most traditional choice. Wearing white can be a frightening prospect to some brides, who fear that white clearly shows every blemish or stain. Protecting a white dress so it looks pristine on one's wedding day takes a little effort, but such efforts are well worth it. Before the wedding When trying on the gown, be sure that your hands are clean and you are not wearing any makeup. You may want to wear a thin pair of gloves so any oils from your hands are not transferred to the gown. If anyone helps you in and out of the gown, ensure their hands also are clean. Try on the gown sparingly before the wedding, ideally only for fittings. When you are not trying it on, store it in a protective garment bag until it needs to be steamed just prior to the wedding. Some seam-
stresses or tailors will hold onto the gown until the final alterations are done and then steam out any wrinkles prior to delivery. Wedding day On the day of the wedding, resist the urge to handle the gown early in the day. The gown should be the last thing you put on during wedding day preparations. Wait until just before departing for the service to get fully dressed in your gown. Again, make sure your hands and the hands of any helpers are clean. Ask for help so that the gown can be placed gingerly over your head, avoiding any makeup in the process. Some brides may find it helpful to leave lipstick application for the very last step in getting ready. Should an accident occur, bright lipstick on the white gown can be especially difficult to conceal. Pack an emergency stain-fighting kit to bring along to the ceremony and reception. This way, should a minor stain occur, it can be treated right away. Use sparingly because you will not know just how the cleaning product will react with the gown's fabric and overuse may make the stain worse. If possible, test the product on a small swatch of gown fabric prior to use. After the wedding Use caution when removing the gown and then promptly repackage it into its garment bag. After the wedding, take the gown to a professional dry cleaner to have it cleaned and preserved. Then the gown can be used by future generations or simply saved as a keepsake. We recommend contacting Liberto Cleaners 504-861-7812 to discuss preserving your wedding gown.
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Speaking about finances in advance of the wedding and working together to form a financial strategy can set a steady course for a couple's financial security. Happy couples experience various changes after tying the knot. One of those changes concerns couples' finances. According to an analysis of data from the National Survey of Families and Households, arguments about money are a frequent concern with married couples. Furthermore, there is a higher correlation between the risk of divorce and the prevalence of financial disagreements. While fights about money do not necessarily cause divorce, they can create rifts in relationships. Even couples who have plenty of money may have disagreements about their finances. Arguments may stem from couples not understanding how their partner views money or the disparities in spending habits among partners. Couples who make early efforts to get on the same page concerning finances may have smoother waters ahead than
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those who delay such discussions. · Establish goals together. Couples should define their financial goals together. Is it a goal to save for early retirement? Is a house in the immediate future? Is frequent travel a desire? Are we planning to contribute much to future children's educations? These questions and more need to be addressed early on. By creating a financial plan together, couples can more clearly map out their financial futures. · Combining accounts may be easier. Some couples want to maintain their full financial independence. But combining accounts can help couples avoid arguments about secrecy and concerns about partner spending. Combining accounts also affords couples a clearer picture of their spending and saving habits. · Assess debts as a team. One person may be bringing more debt to the marriage than another. It's important for all cards to be on the table and to work together to eradicate debt. If a person will be coming to the marriage with poor credit, it may be worth it to keep things separate until a spouse works on remedying his or her finances, according to Credit.com. · Decide how to split expenses. One partner may make more money than the other, and one may spend more time handling household needs or future childcare responsibilities. Couples need to agree whether one person pays for certain bills exclusively, whether they spend from one salary and save the other, or combine finances completely and spend equally, offers NerdWallet. Engaged couples who develop a post-wedding financial plan may find their transition to being married much easier than those who delay such discussions. When you and your partner are ready to discuss your financial strategy, visit home24bank.com to find a local Home Bank branch.
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22 Summer Wedding Guide 2019
Second Marriage Guide Taking a chance on love and marriage for the second (or third) time is certainly worthy of celebration. The Pew Research Center reports that at least four in 10 new marriages now include at least one partner who has been married before, a trend that is on the rise. Planning a second wedding can be challenging, as individuals may be worried about proper etiquette, superstitions or meeting the expectations of others. But there are no hard rules governing second weddings. Now that couples are older and a bit more experienced, wedding planning may be met with greater enthusiasm and patience. These tips can help the process along. · Dress it up. Brides need not eschew white if they prefer to wear it for their second weddings. White, cream, ivory, or other shades are perfectly acceptable. Also, brides can make their gowns as lavish or as simplistic as they desire. The length and style of the dress should reflect the formality and scope of
the event. · Make it unique. Couples who have been married before may want to set this new occasion apart from their previous weddings. Bride’s magazine experts suggest discussing previous celebrations and what can be done differently this time around. Couples can use this opportunity to get to know each other more intimately by personalizing their festivities. · Don't feel beholden to intimate affairs. Second weddings tend to be more intimate, as guest lists tend to be smaller and couples tying the knot again may prefer more intimacy and less hustle and bustle. But couples should not avoid inviting people simply because second weddings are typically small affairs. Invite as many friends and family as you want and as your budget allows. · Set up a registry. Established couples may have the household basics already in place, but registries can include fun or entertaining gifts that speak to couples' interests.
These may include home theater systems, fancy cookware, athletic equipment, or even funds for travel. · Involve the children. Couples who have children can make them a special part of their second wedding celebrations. Kids can play any role in the ceremony, depending on their age. If the second marriage comes after an amicable divorce, couples can invite their former spouses to provide support to their children so they can feel comfortable in the wedding. · Be prepared. The marriage application process is similar the second time around, but additional documents, such as a divorce decree or death certificate, may be necessary. These legal documents also will be needed for men and women who intend to change their last names after getting married. A second marriage deserves as much celebration as the first and gives couples an opportunity to express their love for each other and their appreciation to their friends and families.
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Wedding Website Dos And Don'ts Technology continues to infiltrate all areas of life. So it should come as no surprise that apps and digital organization play a prominent role in many couples' weddings. Couples may now feel it is necessary to design a wedding website to keep their guests up-to-date. Though they're useful when planning a wedding, websites are not a must-have, according to bridal etiquette experts. However, those who choose to delve into the world of wedding websites can keep these pointers in mind when navigating. DO use the wedding website as a central hub for putting pertinent information about the wedding that may not be covered on invitations or save-the-date cards. DON'T ignore the potential for identity theft and privacy. Wedding websites can put quite a deal of personal information out for public consumption. Not only will the website advertise when the wedding takes place (when your home and the homes of all your guests will be empty), but also it could include birthdays, maiden names, and other information that would normally be more difficult to track down. DO use a wedding website provider that gives you the option to password protect your website. THE
Urge guests not to share this protected information with others. DON'T caption engagement photos, bachelorette party photos and more with dates and names on the wedding website and on other social media. DO skip the wedding website if you are strongly opposed to it. When properly composed, a wedding invitation will convey all the pertinent details. A group email or
phone calls can alert guests to any changes after the fact. DON'T forget to link to gift registries. DO use the wedding website to collect responses and then make a table seating arrangement online. This will help you stay more organized and streamlined. Wedding websites are yet another tool couples can use to stay organized as they plan their weddings.
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Rehearsal Dinner Planning Pointers one or two nights before the actual wedding, depending on the availability of the wedding venue. · Confirm who is paying for dinner. Tradition once suggested that the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner while the bride's parents foot the bill for the wedding. But perhaps due to the rising cost of weddings, many couples no longer feel beholden to such tradiRehearsal dinners are customari- tions. If couples are financing their ly held after couples and their bridal own weddings, parents of both the parties walk through the wedding bride and groom may want to pay ceremony. Rehearsals may occur for the rehearsal dinner. If parents
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are splitting the cost of the wedding, then couples themselves may want to pay for the rehearsal dinner. Confirm who is paying and if there is a budget to work with before booking a restaurant. This way there is no confusion once the bill is brought to the table. · Give consideration to bridal party members' dietary restrictions. Couples may not want to book a seafood restaurant if a handful of guests have shellfish allergies. So before booking a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, couples can ask members of their bridal party and other attendees if they have any food allergies. · Emphasize location. Couples whose bridal party includes out-oftowners should look for a restaurant that's close to the wedding hotel and/or the ceremony site to host their rehearsal dinner. Ideally, one that's within walking distance of both makes getting to and from a lot easier. Regardless of where the restaurant is located, make sure to arrange for transportation for any out-of-town guests who are not planning to drive to the wedding. · Inform guests about the dress
code. Rehearsal dinners tend to be laid back affairs, but members of the bridal party may be uncertain about what to wear. Couples should inform rehearsal dinner guests well in advance of the wedding if the dinner will be casual, semiformal or formal. This gives guests the time to shop for and pack their attire for the night, and saves couples the trouble of answering wardrobe inquiries in the busy final days before the wedding. · Toast the guests. Brides and grooms are toasted at their wedding receptions, but rehearsal dinners afford happy couples the chance to thank their closest friends and family members for their love and support. Plan to give a brief toast to loved ones at the dinner. Grooms may also want to use this opportunity to toast their brides-to-be, thanking them for all their efforts planning the wedding. Although, rehearsal dinners typically are fun, less formal affairs, even the least formal dinners require some planning. When you are ready to consider your rehearsal dinner, we recommend calling Calcasieu at 504-588-2188.
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5 Great Reasons to Take Engagement Photos During their engagements, couples will make many decisions in regard to their weddings. Wedding planning can sometimes seem like a runaway train of appointments, schedules and deadlines. As a result, some couples do not take the time to enjoy being engaged, which is a special and unique time in their lives. Engagement photo shoots can be a unique way for couples to commemorate and enjoy the months preceding their weddings. Engagement photos memorialize the engagement and provide many additional benefits as well. 1. Engagement photo shoots give couples a chance to connect with their photographers. Booking an engagement photo shoot provides helpful information to both the couple and the photographer. The photographer gets to see how the couple interacts in front of the lens and can determine any insecurities or strengths and weaknesses couples may have. These lessons can be filed away and help make wedding day photos look better. Similarly, spending time with the photogra-
pher gives the couple an opportunity to develop a rapport with their photographer. If couples and their photographer don't click, scheduling an engagement shoot well in advance of the wedding gives couples a chance to find someone else to take their photos. 2. An engagement photo shoot gives couples time to spend together. An engagement photo shoot is an ideal time to spend an afternoon in a special location focusing on each other without wedding planning taking up your time. 3. Photo shoots provide a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera. Professional photographs taken before the wedding enables couples to view how they will appear in pictures. Seeing these photos might help couples grow more comfortable in front of the camera. This practice can help couples temper their anxieties prior to the wedding. An engagement shoot also can be a great time for couples to speak with their photographers about angles or styles they prefer or dislike. 4. The bride and groom have save-the-date or social media pho-
tos. Engagement photographs can be used for save-the-date cards or social media postings (check with the photographer for licensing agreements). This can be a great way to spread excitement about the upcoming nuptials. 5. Photo shoots provide a chance to experiment with vivid backdrops.
Engagement photography gives couples plenty of opportunities to experiment with different locales, which may not be possible, come the wedding day. When you are ready to discuss your engagement photos, we recommend talking with Oscar Rajo at 504-605-8931. ďƒŹ
Summer Wedding Guide 2019
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Wedding Tools Make Planning Easier couples manage their budgets, timelines, wed- ent packages cater to various name-changing ding parties, and seating charts, while also needs. allowing them to share photos. There is a free · Vistaprint: These stationery specialists version and basic packages that allow access to offer an array of services, from cards to invitations to personalized envelopes. Once a design more features. · iWedding Deluxe: In addition to managing is chosen, Vistaprint will offer add-on suggestimelines, to-do lists and vendors, this app tions for coordinating items, helping to create offers inspiration ideas for gowns, manages a cohesive look for the festivities. Wedding websites, apps and more can and tracks gifts, and offers first dance suggestions from iTunes. However, it is only avail- streamline wedding planning. able to iPhone users. · AllSeated: This tool can help couples figure out seating arrangements by creating 3D floor plans of the event, and couples can pull contacts from email and social networks to establish a guest list. If floor plans are unavailable in their database, they can be drawn. · The Knot's Marketplace: With the click of a button, couples can search for wedding vendors in all different categories, read reviews, and directly connect with those businesses. · HitchSwitch: Brides or City Park for grooms who may be changing Storybook Romance* their names can do so in one Call 488-2896 convenient place. Three differ- *Princes not provided Photo Credit: Oscar Rajo
Ensuring an event goes on with minimal hiccups takes patience and thorough planning. This is especially true for weddings, when many elements must merge together for a memorable day. Today's couples have a bevy of new resources at their disposal to facilitate wedding planning. The internet makes vetting vendors and reading reviews that much easier, but weddingrelated apps also can simplify wedding planning. The following are some top picks as culled by Wedding Shoppe, Inc., The Knot and Life hacker. · Wedding Spot: Couples can search for their ideal wedding venue based on location, budget, styles, and capacity. The website enables users to plan their ideal weddings and get cost estimates based on guest list and options. Users also can access discounts and exclusive deals. · Wedding LookBook: This app enables couples to browse through thousands of dresses, accessories, jewelry, and much more. The app will help customers find products in their area. · Shutterfly: This photo, invitation and image-sharing tool can be an inexpensive place to create save-the-date stationery, invitations, and photo memory books. · Appy Couple: This app and website helps
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Summer Wedding Guide 2019
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