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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania JANUARY 30, 2014

VOLUME XII, NUMBER 3

News analysis

In Iran sanctions debate, what the sides are arguing about By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) – The White House is mounting a full-court press in the Senate against a new Iran sanctions bill, but the fight is focused less on the proposed sanctions themselves than on their timing and the conditions attached to them. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is backed by much of the pro-Israel community, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The U.S. House of Representatives last summer overwhelmingly approved a similar sanctions package. The Senate bill’s backers say it gives the United States greater leverage in its efforts to negotiate a resolution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. But President Barack Obama says new sanctions could scuttle the talks. Two of the bill’s most controversial provisions are a requirement that Iran not be allowed to maintain any uranium enrichment capacity and non-binding language calling on the United States to support Israel if it strikes Iran’s nuclear program in self-defense. The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 was introduced in the Senate on December 20 and so far has garnered 59 co-sponsors, eight short of the two-thirds necessary to override a promised presidential veto. The bill enjoys the overwhelming support of

At left: The first fuel was loaded at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant on August 21, 2010. (Photo by Iran International Photo Agency via Getty Images)

Republicans, with only two GOP senators not among the co-sponsors. In addition to Menendez, 15 other Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors – although one of these, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), now says there “may not need to be a vote” as long as progress is being made in talks. At least 20 members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus have come out in recent days supporting the White House in its bid to keep the sanctions bill from advancing. White House officials have said in off-the-record conversations with Jewish leaders that the sanctions themselves are not controversial. Should the talks with Iran fail, officials have said that they would press to have Congress pass the new sanctions “in a day.”

What are the new sanctions? sanctions on Iranian crude oil would be expanded to include its refined version, petroleum, and its products. ‹‹ Existing sanctions on Iran’s shipping sector would also be expanded to include engineering, mining and construction sectors, as well as Iranian free economic zones. ‹ ‹ Existing sanctions on Iran’s financial sector would be broadened beyond current bans on its nuclear and energy sectors to virtually any dealings, save for humanitarian transactions. ‹‹ The bill also expands individuals targeted by sanctions to include employees of a broad selection of official and semi-official Iranian bodies. ‹‹ Existing

Pentagon’s loosened restrictions may still violate religious apparel statute By Alina Dain Sharon JNS.org The Pentagon has issued a directive that loosens restrictions for U.S. troops who wish to wear religious garments such as head scarves, turbans, and yarmulkes with their military uniforms, or to grow beards. But while the U.S. Department of Defense’s new policy should in some cases benefit Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and members of other faiths, men and women in the military must still seek special approval from their commanders to be allowed to wear religious garments and such requests can still be denied. “The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless a request would have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion and good order and discipline,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan J. Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. “All requests for accommodation of religious practices will be assessed on a case-by-case basis… Each request must be considered based on its unique facts, the nature of the requested religious accommodation, the effect of approval or

be seen how the changes will denial on the service member’s be implemented. exercise of religion, and the The Aleph Institute is one effect of approval or denial of three endorsing agencies for on mission accomplishment, Jewish chaplains in the U.S. including unit cohesion.” military. The Department of Constitutional law attorney Defense “provides instructions, Nathan Lewin told JNS.org but the details are left to the in an e-mail that despite the individual departments,” such loosening of the restrictions, the as the Navy or the Marines, requirement for soldiers to seek Dresin told JNS.org. permission from their military Dresin explained that these departments for religious clothing and beards, or the existence In March 2008, the military departments “have a of “any requirement of prior Georgia State Defense certain degree of autonomy” approval,” violates religious Force approved its first and that he hopes they “will not apparel statute 10 USC 774. waiver for a beard when set any obstacles” for individuPassed by Congress in 1996, the Rabbi Zalman Lipskier als who apply for permission to statute allows members of the was commissioned wear religious garments. The Department of Defense armed forces to “wear an item a s a c h a p l a i n . of religious apparel while wear- (Photo by Duane decision conjures echoes of the ing the uniform of the member’s Stork via Wikimedia case of Rabbi Menachem Stern, who was sworn in as a U.S. Army armed force.” Commons) chaplain in December 2011 folAccording to Col. (ret.) Rabbi Sanford Dresin, director of military pro- lowing the resolution of his lawsuit against grams for the Aleph Institute and Aleph’s the Army. The Army had refused to budge ecclesiastical endorser to the Department for Stern on its “no-beard” policy for several of Defense, the loosening of these restric- years, but finally decided it wasn’t “going See “Pentagon” on page 8 tions is a “terrific thing,” but it remains to

Hebrew literacy

See “Iran” on page 7

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Iraqi Jewish Archive

The White House’s principal objection to the bill is its timing. The Joint Plan of Action, the November interim agreement between Iran and six major powers, is intended to create a six-month window for reaching a final settlement. The interim agreement, which exchanged a partial rollback of existing sanctions for a partial rollback of Iran’s nuclear activity, requires the United States to “refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.” It’s unclear whether the legislation as currently devised violates those terms. Backers of the bill say that by allowing the president to suspend implementation for six months, the legislation does not violate the interim deal. “It provides the president the time he has requested to see if negotiations can succeed without additional sanctions being imposed during the talks if Iran keeps to its end of the interim framework agreement,” Brad Gordon, the director of policy and government affairs for AIPAC, says in a video message posted on the group’s website. But others argue that mere enactment of

News in brief...

January 31.............................................5 pm February 7.......................................5:08 pm February 14..................................... 5:17 pm

The U.S. Senate issues a resolution A new initiative hopes to increase A Luxembourg bank is fined for on returning the restored Iraqi Hebrew literacy among American Iran account; France to return three PLUS Jewish Archive to Iraq. Jews. Nazi-looted artworks; and more. Opinion...........................................................2 Story on page 3 Story on page 5 Stories on pages 9 and 12 D’var Torah...................................................8


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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

a matter of opinion The tyranny of deceit The following article is reprinted with permission of Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) In the aftermath of World War II, with the hideous revelation that two-thirds of European Jews had been systematically exterminated by the Nazis, antisemitism became unfashionable, but that is no longer the case. As the memory of the Holocaust fades into history, as we continue to transfer petro-wealth to our enemies; as Europe morphs into Eurabia; as Islamists take control over the U.N. and an increasing number of Middle Eastern and North African countries; and as our universities become hotbeds for virulent anti-Israel teachings and rhetoric, logic fades, fictions become facts, distinctions between democracies and tyrannies become irrelevant, history becomes unimportant and antisemitism and anti-Zionism become indistinguishable. Natan Sharansky uses what he terms “the 3D test” to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from antisemitism, and he identifies three categories – de-legitimization, demonization and the double standard. Taking these three factors into account, one can discern that the new antisemitism manifests itself in many different forms and in many different forums – through divestment campaigns, international boycotts of Israeli products, entertainers and academics, holding Israel to standards no other nations in the world are required to meet,

and “Israel Apartheid Week” on Canadian and American college campuses, where Israel is assigned the role of “Jew” among the nations of the world to be singled-out, cursed, harassed and defamed. As Richard Cohen wrote in The Washington Post, “Google ‘Israel and Apartheid,’

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Mark silverberG you will see that the two are linked in cyberspace despite the fact that Israeli Arabs, about one-fifth of Israel’s population, have the same civil and political rights as do Israeli Jews, and even sit in the Knesset.” Consider this: Under apartheid in South Africa, whites and non-whites lived in separate regions of the country. Non-whites were prohibited from running businesses or professional practices in the white areas without permits. They had separate amenities (i.e. beaches, buses, schools, benches, drinking fountains and restrooms); received inferior education, medical care and other public services; and, although they were the overwhelming majority of the population, they could not vote or become citizens. In contrast, Israel is a democracy in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights under the law, live where they choose and benefit from the same health, welfare and infrastructure policies and programs. Israeli Arabs also enjoy the highest standard of living, the highest rates of longevity and literacy, and the lowest rate of infant mortality of any Arab-Muslim population in the Middle East! Israel also has an open political system in which Israeli Arabs vote, run for office and serve in government. Moreover, Israel allows freedom of speech to a degree not tolerated in the Arab-Muslim world and, in fact, does not even employ the same kinds of safeguards against sedition and treason that are taken for granted in the United States and other Western democracies. Given all this, it should come as no surprise that Israel’s ambassador to Greece is an Israeli Arab; Salim Jubran, an Israeli Arab, sits on the Supreme Court of Israel; and Arabic is an official language in Israel, and is posted on all road signs. In 1948, there was only one Arab high school in Israel. Today, there are hundreds. And then there’s this: The valedictorian of the most recent graduating class at the medical school at Israel’s MIT – Technion – was a Muslim woman. Israel is the only country in the region in which the Christian population isn’t falling precipitously. Israel’s Arab Christians in fact make up one-third of Israel’s pharmacists and have a higher rate of success on their graduation exams than Israeli Jewish students. The Golani Brigade, an elite Israeli army unit, recently appointed Colonel Rassan Alian, a Druze, as its commander. Alian joins other members of the Druze community who are currently serving or have served as Israeli ambassadors to Brazil, Norway and the Dominican Republic. Moreover, in February 2013, a new Miss Israel was named. She was Yityish Aynaw, a 21-year-old Ethiopian-born Israeli. She is not the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to be honored. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of “American Idol.” In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel’s first Ethiopian-born ambassador to Ethiopia and, in January 2013, Pnina Tamano-Shata, of the Yesh Atid party, became the first Ethiopian woman to be elected to the Knesset. Some apartheid! The fact that these anti-Israeli boycott campaigners on our campuses attack Israel as an apartheid state not only demonstrates their ignorance of what apartheid was in South Africa, but raises the issue of why they do not propose boycotts of states that truly

merit international disgust and censure. These protests aren’t just against Israel. They are also against the Jewish people. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead at the close of 2008 – a legitimate act of self-defense by any and all international standards – evoked universal resentment and hatred. Around the world, synagogues and Jewish graves were desecrated and antisemitic chants were shouted at protests. In April 2009, a swastika was found painted on a Jewish fraternity house at the University of Florida. On American campuses, comparisons continue to be made between Israelis and Nazis, and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz. In all this, it is quite clear that distinctions between anti-Zionism and antisemitism are increasingly blurred. Taken in its totality, Israel not only has no right to defend itself in response to terrorist attacks, but it has no right to exist, which suggests that missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population are not only justified, but desirable. The lies perpetrated by otherwise respectable international religious, educational and political bodies, not to mention much of the Western media, against the only democracy in the Middle East are most notable in the double standards that are applied to Israel, as opposed to states that have slaughtered their own peoples for decades with absolute immunity from international censure. It is true, of course, that criticizing Israel does not make one an antisemite any more than criticizing the government of France makes one anti-French, but it’s one thing to criticize France, and something else to declare the French nation illegitimate and to advocate its destruction. Martin Luther King Jr. once referred to Israel as “one of the great outposts of democracy in the world,” with an “incontestable right to exist,” but on Canadian and U.S. campuses today, he would be a pariah. Funny how these campus activists never seem to mention the Syrian de jure occupation of Lebanon, or Saudi funding of global jihad, or the treatment of Saudi women, or the crushing of all democratic dissent in Iran. They have no difficulty bemoaning capital punishment in the United States, but say nothing when the Palestinians routinely execute suspected Israeli collaborators, including the mothers of young children, or when Hamas throws Fatah supporters to their deaths off 15-story buildings. These demonstrators have no problem with the anti-democratic regimes that govern the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania or the Islamic Republic of Iran, but they are incensed at the idea of a Jewish state of Israel (as is Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PLO), despite such a state being the only true democracy in the Middle East. It is shameful that pro-Palestinian professors and students on American, Canadian and European campuses pretend that the only reason for the problems in the Middle East is because of Israeli obstinacy, as if it is the fault of the Israelis and not the rejectionist Arab world. Not only has every Israeli concession and every act of goodwill and compassion not changed the way Israel is portrayed, but each concession, each accommodation, each withdrawal – first from Lebanon, then from Gaza – has only fed the furious hatred that Islam and the international community feels for it. Borders have nothing to do with peace in the Middle East. It is the existence of Israel as a Jewish state that offends the Arabs and their supporters. The Palestinians have never been willing to make do with a small state of their own. They want “justice,” revenge, recognition as victims and, above all else, the “right of return.” For that reason, they are unwilling to declare an end to the conflict, nor are they prepared to promise to make no further demands in the future. They will never recognize Israel as a

Jewish state. In fact, it is the history of Jews in that land stretching back 4,000 years that offends them, which accounts for their threats against Israel when it declares its intention to make the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb national historic sites with the aim of restoring them and opening them to the world. The fact that all religions will have freedom of access to such sites is irrelevant to the Palestinians, who have spent millions of U.S. and European dollars teaching their children that Jews are “the descendants of pigs and monkeys” who came to the land as usurpers less than a century ago, and that Abraham was a Muslim albeit the fact that he lived almost 3,000 years before Islam was born! Israel could grant its enemies every possible concession (and has), but that would not bring peace. Nothing short of Israel’s destruction will suffice. The truth is anti-Zionism becomes antisemitism when it reaches a certain pitch, and singling out Israel for condemnation and international sanction – out of all proportion to any other parties in the Middle East – is antisemitic, and not saying so is intellectually dishonest. In May 2010, a Turkish Islamist “charity” with close ties to terrorist organizations, as well as Turkey’s ruling party, sponsored a flotilla that it claimed was designed to “relieve suffering” in Gaza, but whose real intention was to support Hamas and demonize Israel. Yet, these same “human rights” organizations are silent in the face of atrocities being committed in Syria today and have offered nothing to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. So, why is all this passion, all this anger and rage, directed at this one country? Why not at Hezbollah, which has effectively orchestrated a coup in Lebanon? Or at Saddam Hussein when he ruled as the “butcher of Baghdad”? Or at those who continue to persecute Christians in Libya, Syria and Iran? Let’s call it what it is for those who arrogantly hold Israel to a standard of conduct to which no other nation in this world is held. Half a million men, women and children are slaughtered in Rwanda, and there is silence. The Chinese annihilate Tibetan culture, and there is silence. Tens of thousands of civilians are slaughtered in Chechnya, and there is silence. When the Muslim Brotherhood under Mohamed Morsi ruled Egypt and imprisoned the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world after a phony trial, and imprisoned U.S.funded pro-democracy American workers, not one single student group in America called for divestiture from Egypt or rallied for the release of the imprisoned workers. Even Congress was incensed. But where were the student rallies? Syria occupies Lebanon for a quarter century, chokes the life out of its democracy, assassinates its political leaders, effects a coup d’etat through its Hezbollah proxy, sends Islamic terrorists over its borders to kill Americans and Iraqis, and slaughters thousands of its own people, and not one single student organization on our campuses calls for divestiture from Syria. Iran uses its paramilitary Basij thugs to beat up student demonstrators in the streets of Tehran and squeezes the life out of that county’s embryonic democratic movement, and there is silence. Saudi Arabia denies its women the most basic human rights, and bans any other religion from being practiced publicly on its soil, so when is Saudi Apartheid Week? These human rights violations and tragedies dwarf anything done by the Israelis, yet they fail to elicit the same degree of moral outrage that Israel evokes among its campus critics. Three years ago, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, was shouted down See “Deceit 1” on page 4


january 30, 2014 ■

THE REPORTER

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community news Congregation B’nai Harim to hold “Soups On Winter 2014” Congregation B’nai Harim will hold “Soups On Winter 2014,” a soup tasting event, on Saturday, February 22, at 5 pm, to be held at a local home to be announced.

All members of Congregation B’nai Harim have been invited, as well as other community members who are interested in meeting the congregants and who may be considering affiliating with a synagogue.

There will be no active membership drive at the program. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be served. Anyone interested in attending or getting more information should call Irene or Lew Stolzenberg at 643-1131.

Senate issues resolution on U.S. returning Iraqi Jewish Archive By the 113th Congress, second session

Senate Resolution

Strongly recommending that the United States renegotiate the return of the Iraqi Jewish Archive to Iraq.

In the Senate of the United States

Mr. Toomey (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Kaine, Mrs. Boxer, and Mr. Menendez) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee.

Resolution

Strongly recommending that the United States renegotiate the return of the Iraqi Jewish Archive to Iraq. ‹‹ Whereas, before the mid-20th century, Baghdad had been a center of Jewish life, culture and scholarship, dating back to 721 B.C.; ‹‹ Whereas, as recently as 1940, Jews made up 25 percent of Baghdad’s population; ‹‹ Whereas, in the 1930s and 1940s, under the leadership of Rasheed Ali, anti-Jewish discrimination increased drastically, including the June 1-2, 1941, Farhud pogrom, in which nearly 180 Jews were killed; ‹‹ Whereas, in 1948, Zionism was added to the Iraqi criminal code as punishable by death; ‹‹ Whereas, throughout 1950-53, Jews were allowed to leave Iraq under the condition that they renounce their citizenship;

‹‹ Whereas, as result of past persecution, few Jews remain in Iraq today, and many left their possessions and treasured artifacts behind; ‹‹ Whereas the Ba’ath regime confiscated these artifacts, later dubbed the Iraqi Jewish Archive, from synagogues and communal organizations; ‹‹ Whereas, on May 6, 2003, members of the United States Armed Forces discovered the Iraqi Jewish Archive, which included 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents, in the heavily damaged and flooded basement of the Mukhabarat (secret police) headquarters; ‹‹ Whereas, under great urgency and before adequate time could be dedicated to researching the history of the Iraqi Jewish Archive, an agreement was signed between the National Archives and Records Administration and the Coalition Provisional Authority on August 20, 2003, stating that the Iraqi Jewish Archive would be sent to the United States for restoration and then would be sent back to Iraq after completion; ‹‹ Whereas, the Iraqi Jewish community is the constituency of the archive and is now represented by the Diaspora outside Iraq; ‹‹ Whereas, the current government of Iraq has publicly acknowledged the importance of the archive and demonstrated a shared respect for the wishes of the Iraqi Jewish Diaspora by attending the December 2013 burial of several Torah fragments from the Archive in New York; ‹‹ Whereas United States taxpayers have invested

Harper reiterates support for Israel in Knesset address

By JTA staff JERUSALEM (JTA) – Canada supports Israel “because it is the right thing to do,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a speech to the Knesset. Harper on January 20 became the first Canadian prime minister to address Israeli lawmakers in the parliament as part of his first visit since taking office in 2006. The visitors’ gallery was filled with Canadian-Israelis. “Canada supports Israel fundamentally because it is right to do so,” Harper said, speaking in English and French, Canada’s two national languages. He also expressed support for a Palestinian state. “A Palestinian state will come, and one thing that will make it come is when the regimes that bankroll terrorism realize that the path to peace is accommodation, not violence,” Harper said. Two Arab lawmakers, Ahmad Tibi and Hanna Swaid, interrupted Harper several times in the middle of his speech before walking out of the chamber. Their exit was applauded by lawmakers and the visitors’ gallery. Harper said Jews have been in Canada for more than 250 years and that “350,000 Canadians share with you their heritage. They are immensely proud of what was accomplished here,” he said. Earlier in the day, Harper traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where he announced $66 million in economic aid to the Palestinians to help bring “peace and stability” to the area. “Canada looks forward to a bright future for all

Palestinians, one in which security and prosperity are enjoyed in a viable and democratic Palestinian state,” Harper said. Harper arrived the night of January 19 and was greeted by an honor guard and words of praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “When it comes to antisemitism, you have stood up unabashedly at the side of Israel and the entire Jewish people, I think at the side of decency and fairness to everyone: Jews and non-Jews alike,” Netanyahu said. “And when it comes to Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s annihilation and its unrelenting development of nuclear weapons, you and Canada have stood unflinchingly on the right side of history. And finally, when it comes to peace, you recognize that a genuine peace, a lasting peace, must be based on mutual recognition and sound security arrangements on the ground. I think in all this and in so many other things, you have shown courage, clarity and conviction.” Just days before Harper’s visit to Israel, the Canadian Foreign Ministry issued an updated policy paper on Israel and the Palestinians stating that Canada believes Israeli settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace, Haaretz reported.

$3,000,000 to restore the Iraqi Jewish Archive, and the National Archives and Records Administration has worked diligently to preserve the artifacts; ‹‹ Whereas the National Archives and Records Administration is displaying the Iraqi Jewish Archive in Washington, DC, from October 11, 2013-January 5, 2014, and in New York City from February 4, 2014-May 18, 2014; and Whereas the Iraqi Embassy to the United States has said that the Iraqi Jewish community, like other communities in Iraq, played a key role in building the country, shared in its prosperity and also suffered exile and forced departure because of tyranny: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the Senate (1) strongly urges the Department of State to renegotiate with the government of Iraq the provisions of the original agreement that was signed between the National Archives and Records Administration and the Coalition Provisional Authority in order to ensure that the Iraqi Jewish Archive be kept in a place where its long-term preservation and care can be guaranteed; (2) recognizes that the Iraqi Jewish Archive should be housed in a location that is accessible to scholars and to Iraqi Jews and their descendants who have a personal interest in it; (3) recognizes that the agreement between the National Archives and Records Administration and the Coalition Provisional Authority was signed before knowing the complete history of the Iraqi Jewish Archive; (4) reaffirms the United States commitment to cultural property under international law; and (5) reaffirms the United States commitment to ensuring justice for victims of ethnic and religious persecution.

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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

Deceit 1

by Hamas supporters and radical leftists, and forced to leave the podium at the University of California Irvine, but when the university pressed charges against the students, they argued that their right to free speech was being infringed! Apparently, Ambassador Oren is not entitled to that right as well. In Jenin, in April 2002, Israel was painted as the world’s pariah: “Nazis,” “butchers,” “conducting war crimes,” “surrounding the infant Jesus with Israeli tanks,” claims of 3,000 Palestinians being massacred, claims that Israelis poisoned the Palestinian water supply and claims that Israel dumped Palestinian corpses into secret mass graves. A bishop in Copenhagen compared former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to King Herod. News outlets across Europe, especially the BBC, “substantiated” these lies with reports of grisly deeds by Israeli soldiers. Palestinians went on international media networks with the active complicity of those networks in accusing Israel of murdering Palestinians for their body parts – lies later reinforced by respectable European newspapers, and even by a member of the British House of Lords in February 2010. The problem with all this is that no massacre occurred in Jenin! Less than a hundred armed terrorists were killed in Operation Defensive Shield, and almost as many Israeli soldiers were killed because they were ordered to go from house-to-house to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible. But that was of little consequence to those in the media and on our college campuses who condemned Israel for “unspeakable war crimes.” In Lebanon in 2006, Israel was condemned for violating Lebanese sovereignty with scant mention made of the hundreds of Hezbollah missiles falling onto Israel’s civilian population centers, and its use of Lebanese civilians as human shields. The same hypocrisy held true in the conclusions reached by the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead, which accepted the lies of Hamas as fact, disregarded Israeli commission findings, denied Israel’s right to defend itself and condemned Israel for having conducted war crimes in Gaza. The

report made little mention of the 8,000 missiles fired at southern Israel, and minimized reports that Hamas used civilians as human shields, as well as mosques, schools and houses in residential areas to conceal its weapons – not to mention the millions of leaflets dropped and cell phone calls made in Arabic by the Israeli military to provide warnings to Palestinians in targeted areas. When the U.N. hosted the Third World Conference Against Racism in Durban, the nations of the world had an opportunity to address the hatred that afflicts hundreds of millions of people, but they only found time to dwell on Israel, accusing it of genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism and apartheid, while the genocides in Bosnia and the Sudan were barely mentioned. In the name of “human rights” and “justice,” these advocates and self-proclaimed “protectors of the free world” decry any and every Israeli action and seek to punish it by conducting academic and cultural boycotts of Israel while Palestinian clerics call for the murder of Jews without eliciting any protest whatsoever. The Saudi and Egyptian media report on Jewish conspiracies causing 9/11, and run TV programs on Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting) alleging blood libels, but there is no outcry against them for an international boycott. And the Western media isn’t much better. The recent death of Nelson Mandela triggered a media avalanche that inaccurately singled out Israel for its trade with apartheid South Africa. The South African Institute for Race Relations estimates that in 1986, trade with Israel was about $214 million, with arms sales a further $272-$544 million. In contrast, two-way trade with the U.S. at that time was $3.32 billion – repeat, billion – with Japan at $3.27 billion and Britain at $2.52 billion. The Soviet Union cooperated to ensure that South Africa’s De Beers company could maintain its world hold on the price of diamonds and thus helped to keep apartheid in place. Moreover, apartheid was able to survive because South Africa received all the oil it

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needed from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and other oil states. As for arms, South Africa also bought from Britain, France, Spain and the U.S., and enjoyed nuclear cooperation with France, the U.S. and West Germany. The bitter reality is that for Israel, neither the mainstream media nor international legal frameworks provide any protection or any hope for justice. Instead, these frameworks are used to exploit the rhetoric of human rights and morality to attack Israel. Today, even as Israel absorbs missiles fired indiscriminately at its civilian population by terrorists, one continues to hear the howls and hatred voiced about “The Wall,” particularly those “innocent” suicide bombers who are being kept from their religious duty of self-detonating amid crowds of Jews. In that regard, I was asked in a lecture to explain why Israel was “ghettoizing” the Palestinians by constructing a security fence in areas that served as transit points for terrorists entering the country. The questioner noted that, as a Jew, I should be more sensitive to the concept of a ghetto, and its dehumanizing effects on human beings. I responded that the security fence was neither built for reasons of discrimination nor motivated by racism, but as a deterrent to protect the lives of Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers and, in fact, it continues to accomplish its purpose. The suggestion that Israel may have had racist motivations in constructing the fence disturbed me because it is a recurring theme among major international bodies and on college campuses, so I asked the questioner why she had decided to sort Israel out for “special treatment.” After all, the security fence that Israel has constructed to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of its country is not unlike the security fence constructed by the Saudis to keep the Yemeni jihadists out of their country; or the one that India has constructed along its borders with Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh for the same reason; or the one that the Thais have constructed to keep the Malaysian jihadists out of their country; or the one that the U.S. is constructing to keep Mexican illegals out of our country, although I couldn’t recall the last time a Mexican selfdetonated in Albuquerque or fired missiles into Dallas or Houston. Antisemitism has evolved from an irrational hatred or jealousy of Jews to an irrational hatred or jealousy of the Jewish state, Israel. When did the European Union last call in the Palestinian ambassadors to complain about the incitement that calls for Israel’s destruction and the establishment of a “Jewfree” state of Palestine? Why is it that we don’t see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris or Madrid? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection? Why aren’t there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs by jihadists? Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of the Islamic dictatorship in Sudan? Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel? Why is there no outcry by the Europeans against jihadism?

Continued from page 2 Why don’t they defend Israel’s right to exist? Where are the flotillas heading to Syrian shores? Where are the student demonstrations against female genital mutilation, to which 90 percent of Egyptian females are subjected according to the World Health Organization? Where are the student demonstrations against the continuing persecution of Christians by Islamists in Egypt, Syria and Pakistan? Where is the condemnation of the genocidal antisemitism that governs Hamas and Hezbollah, who treat the murderers of Israeli men, women and children as heroes? And why are the Europeans so obsessed with one of the most stable democracies on earth (Israel), rather than with the world’s worst dictatorships? So many stupid and irresponsible comments have been made and written about Israel, that there aren’t any accusations left to level against it. At the same time, the press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel, the indoctrination of children, or the corruption of the Palestinian leadership and the millions of dollars in international foreign aid that has been transferred into their private bank accounts, as was exposed by a former Palestinian leader in February 2010. When reporting about victims, why is every Palestinian casualty reported as a tragedy, while every Israeli victim is reported with disdain, if at all? This obsession with Israel represents a callous disregard for fundamental justice and antisemitism cloaked as righteous indignation. For example, with the start of Ramadan in early September, Israeli forces manning West Bank check-points were instructed to avoid eating or smoking in front of Palestinians as a sign of respect, even as the Palestinians continue to use the Tomb of Joseph as a garbage dump and have urinated next to the Torah scrolls in the Cave of the Patriarchs. And there’s more. Israel is constantly confronted with the demand that it must return Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinians and the Golan Heights to Syria – areas seized during the 1967 Six-Day War waged against it by the Arab world. Why, then, do we never hear that same argument being raised against other nations? After World War II, Poland annexed 10 percent of historic Germany (East Prussia); Morocco controls the Western Sahara; Armenia has controlled 15 percent of neighboring Azerbaijan since 1994; Turkey has controlled half of Cyprus since its 1974 invasion; Russia has controlled the Kurile Islands off northern Japan since the end of World War II; and China has occupied Tibet since 1950. One can only imagine the fury of the British government if Israel were to question the British occupation of the Falkland Islands. So, where is the international outcry demanding that these countries return lands they seized in war? Why is it that only Israel’s control over the West Bank – territory it seized in a war of aggression against it – merits international censure? See “Deceit 2” on page 6

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january 30, 2014 ■

THE REPORTER

Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin granted Israeli citizenship By JTA Staff JERUSALEM (JTA) – Russian classical pianist Evgeny Kissin received Israeli citizenship, saying now he could fight for Israel as an Israeli. “I am with you, state of Israel, I am with you, my people,” Kissin, 42, said in Hebrew upon receiving his citizenship on the night of

December 7 in Jerusalem. “Now I can tell the whole world not only I am a Jew, but also I am an Israeli.” He was presented with his Israeli identification card and passport by Minister of Immigration and Absorption Sofa Landver and Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky, according to the Jewish

Agency. Kissin, who travels frequently and is not permanently based in Israel, asked one year ago to become a citizen of Israel. Sharansky recommended that the Israeli government grant the request due to Kissin’s “significant contribution to Israel in the international arena,” according to the Jewish Agency, which said

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he has been an activist in fighting attacks on Israel’s legitimacy. The Moscow native appears regularly with leading conductors at major music festivals and has been awarded two Grammy Awards. He received an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in 2010.

New initiative to improve Hebrew literacy among American Jews By Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA) – For the first threeand-one-half weeks of the summer, one group of 5-year-olds at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, NY, was “very quiet” as the children went about the typical camp activities, according to Amy Skopp Cooper, the camp’s director. But in the fourth week, the talking started – in Israeli-accented Hebrew. By the end of the summer, evaluations revealed that most of the 20 children – all of whom had started out as Hebrew novices – “had gone up multiple levels” in their Hebrew proficiency, Cooper said. The campers were participants in a pilot Hebrew immersion program at the Jewish day camp 25 miles north of Manhattan. And if leaders of a new group promoting Hebrew literacy have their way, those campers will soon be joined by many others. The Hebrew Language Council of North America, which held its inaugural conference in November in New Jersey, aims to make Hebrew a more central part of American Jewish culture. Established by a partnership among several organizations including the World Zionist Organization and the Israeli Ministry of Education, the council is launching as growing numbers of Jewish educational programs are rethinking their approach to teaching Hebrew and as signs emerge of low Hebrew literacy among American Jews.

“Judaism is not just a religion, it’s a people,” said Arnee Winshall, CEO of Hebrew at the Center, one of the groups involved in starting the council. “We talk a lot about ‘am Yisrael’ [the people of Israel], and a language is part of what distinguishes a people.” Many Jewish educators consider Hebrew a core feature of Jewish identity building. But according to the Pew Research Center’s recent study of American Jewry, just 52 percent of American Jews know the Hebrew alphabet and only 10 percent can carry on a conversation in Hebrew. Even among those who attended yeshiva or Jewish day school, the numbers are scarcely better, with only one-third saying they can converse in Hebrew. The number rises to 64 percent for those with 10 years or more of day school education. Experts variously attribute the low numbers to poor teaching, lack of clarity about why Hebrew language acquisition is important and the few opportunities to speak Hebrew in American Jewish life. “We know many if not most day schools claim to be interested in [conversational] Hebrew proficiency, but the reality is they face limited time and unless you’re really committed, it’s not easy,” said Jonathan Woocher, president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and a longtime CEO of the now-shuttered Jewish Education Service of North America.

Day school directors face a “dilemma about where to put the emphasis and resources and how to deal with the fact that except for Israelis, there isn’t a community of active Hebrew speakers in America,” Woocher said. The emergence in the past six years of publicly funded Hebrew charter schools may help change the equation. There are now 10 such schools in the United States teaching Hebrew language and Jewish culture, but like all public schools they are prohibited from teaching Jewish religion. The schools are “forcing us to up our game,”

said Rabbi Andrew Davids, head of Beit Rabban, a small, nondenominational Jewish day school in Manhattan now revamping its Hebrew curriculum. Davids said four Beit Rabban families transferred their children to a new Hebrew charter school in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood this year. And while he recognizes his school can never compete with the free tuition of a charter school, Davids said he wants to make sure his school can offer a Hebrew program as good as the charter See “Hebrew” on page 7

ÊVisit the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the web at www.jewishnepa.org or on Facebook


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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

Deceit 2

And what of the demand that the Palestinians be allowed a “right of return” to Israel proper or at least fair compensation for having been displaced as a result of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948? Some 850,000 Jews left behind $300 billion in assets when they were forced to flee for their lives from Arab and Persian lands after the birth of the state of Israel. So, why are similar demands not being made of the Syrians, the Iranians, the Libyans, the Iraqis, the Yemenis and the Egyptians who displaced (or more specifically expelled) their Jews? I don’t recall any demands being made of any nation for compensation or allowing a right of return to any refugees displaced after any wars in modern times – except, of course, for those being made of Israel. Czechoslovakia expelled its Sudetenland Germans from their homes after World War II; the Poles expelled millions of Germans from East Prussia and absorbed that territory into Poland in 1945; thousands of Turkish Cypriots were displaced by Greek military forces in the 1960s and early ‘70s while Turkish forces displaced thousands of Greek Cypriots from Northern Cyprus after their 1974-76 war; 450,000 ethnic Chinese were expelled from Vietnam between 1978-79; the Bangladeshis expelled more than three million Hindus in 1974; 250,000 Georgians were displaced from Abkhazia between 1993-98; 500,000 ethnic Russians in Chechnya were displaced during the First Chechen War in 1994-96; and more than 800,000 Kosovar Albanians were expelled from Kosovo during the Kosovo War in 1998-99. Somehow, I must have missed offers of a right of return or any compensation package being offered to these millions upon millions of persons displaced by wars – except in the case of Israel. Then there’s the issue relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza. Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British premier Tony Blair, entered Gaza aboard a protest boat and told Ynet News in Israel that Gaza was “the largest concentration camp in the world today” and a “humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur.” She was later photographed at a seemingly well-stocked grocery store in the so-called “concentration camp.” So, let’s consider how these Israeli “monsters” have behaved. Hamas has declared its intention to destroy Israel and murder every Jew residing there, and has fired more than 8,000 missiles at southern Israel. In return, Israel is providing 70 percent of Gaza’s electrical power and each week sends tons of food, fuel and humanitarian aid to an enemy whose entire rationale for existence is the exter-

mination or subjugation of every Jew in Israel. During World War II, the Allies firebombed Dresden, obliterated German cities and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Talk about “proportional response”! Israel feeds its enemies! Finally, Israel has been condemned for retaliating against Hamas and Hezbollah for their missile attacks on Israel’s southern and northern civilian populations because, it is said, Israel is (and this is a direct quote from Human Rights Watch) “endangering non-combatants, using disproportionate force and committing crimes against humanity.” If Israel fired missiles into Gaza City, Sidon or Tyre, the world would be enraged, the U.N. Security Council would be called into special session, the U.S. and EU would be threatening Jerusalem and the media would be having a field day. So why is it that when the Palestinians in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon fire missiles at Israeli civilians as their primary target, it is barely mentioned in the media, but when Israel retaliates against those missile sites in targeted bombings, it’s considered “disproportionate force”? All of this leads to the real issue lurking behind the scenes here: our enemies’ tactical use of human shields. Why is criticism never leveled at Hamas or Hezbollah, who regularly use children as human shields to protect their leaders and schools, private homes and mosques to protect their weapons? In all of the condemnation being heaped on Israel by the media and the Goldstone Report for Israel’s retaliatory strikes in Gaza, and before that in Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War (and, indeed, any future conflict should a regional war erupt over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons), no one ever asks how any democracy can expect to win a war without “endangering civilians,” especially when the enemy uses human shields as a tactical weapon to insulate itself from military strikes? Are we not handing our enemies an enormous tactical advantage? How can any free nation ever hope to win a future war against enemies who use human shields if it is condemned for “endangering civilians”? It is this absence of balance, this flagrant and unforgivable deceit, that is most troubling. In all this, one can only conclude that Israel is inferior and must not enjoy the same rights accorded others. So, for those who argue that their right to “fair criticism” of Israel is being infringed, let them understand what “fair criticism” is not. It is not “fair criticism” to portray Israel’s presence on the West Bank as an illegal occupation (which it is not,

Friends of The Reporter Dear Friend of The Reporter, Each year at this time the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania calls upon members of our community to assist in defraying the expense of issuing our regional Jewish newspaper, The Reporter. The newspaper is delivered twice of month (except for December and July which are single issue months) to each and every identifiable Jewish home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

columns that cover everything from food to entertainment. The Federation assumes the financial responsibility for funding the enterprise at a cost of $26,400 per year and asks only that we undertake a small letter writing mail campaign to our recipients in the hope of raising $10,000 from our readership to alleviate a share of that responsibility. We would be grateful if you would care enough to take the time to make a donation for our efforts in bringing The Reporter to your door.

As the primary Jewish newspaper of our region, we have tried to produce a quality publication for you that offers our readership something on everythingfrom opinions and columns on controversial issues that affect our people and our times, to publicity for the events of our affiliated agencies and organizations to life cycle events, teen columns, personality profiles, letters to the editor, the Jewish community calendar and other

As always, your comments, opinions and suggestions are always welcome. With best wishes, Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Jewish Federation of NE Pennsylvania 601 Jefferson Avenue Scranton, PA 18510

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Continued from page 4 according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338), yet never utter a word of objection about Chinese, Serbian, Syrian, Turkish or Russian ethnic cleansing. It is not “fair criticism” to place the blame for Middle East violence at Israel’s doorstep while ignoring 14 centuries of Sunni-Shi’ite hatred, the damage done toArab society through decades of misrule by dictators, despots and Islamists, the Koranic-inspired hatred of a Jewish state existing in the midst of the Islamic umma, and the immense risks that Israel took in withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005, not to mention the sacrifices that it continues to make in its quest for peace with the Palestinians. It is not “fair criticism” to accuse Israel of apartheid or to support international boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel when it is the Arab world that preaches “Death to the Jews,” spreads antisemitic hatred from its mosques, teaches “martyrdom” in its schools and summer camps, demands that any Palestinian state established on the West Bank be Judenrein (Jew-free), and dances in the streets when jihadists succeed in murdering Israelis in their homes (as in the case of the Fogel family), pizza parlors, marketplaces, during their Passover seders and, most notably, in celebration of the 9/11 attacks. Demanding that good German Aryans boycott Jewish shops in Nazi Germany in 1935 is no different in its essence from demanding that good Western universities boycott the Jewish state today. Injustice in any language is still injustice. It’s all part of the same poison that feeds on the fabric of human decency. If a 5-year-old child can understand that slaughtering innocent people is wrong, then why can’t these campus student organizations, religious establishments like the United Methodist Church, the U.N., the international media, the Europeans and the academics on American and British college campuses see it and voice their dissent? If we cannot tell the difference between a democratic Israel and an apartheid South Africa, or a jihadist from a peacemaker, then we are all parties to the greatest moral failure of our time – the inability to distinguish between those who defend basic moral values and respect the sanctity of a single human life, and those who are the enemies of such values by justifying the murder of the innocent in the name of some religious or ideological cause. We have every right to expect more from those who teach our children on the campuses of America or who preach to the faithful from their pews. Their positions of authority do not entitle them to foster antisemitism in the name of “justice” and “moral decency.” Until there is universal condemnation of the discriminatory double-standards applied to Israel, claims by self-righteous international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the U.N. General Assembly, UNRWA, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the European Union and the International Court of Justice are more than meaningless. They are offensive and deceitful. Israel’s willingness to make peace has made it a target by an international community that blames Israel for Muslim violence around the world. As their thinking goes, if Israel would just do whatever it takes to make peace, then Muslim violence would stop not just in Israel, but in Burgas, Paris, London, Malmo, Brussels, Mumbai, Bangkok, Manchester, Basra, Marseilles, Lyons and Kabul. Anyone with any understanding of world events knows that this is pure, unadulterated garbage. All of this can be summarized as follows – the most dangerous threat posed to the Western world is its inability or unwillingness to stand together against those who seek to destroy our way of life. If we do not, as a collective, take a firm stand against these defamations; if we do not stand behind Israeli democracy in its just and moral struggle against expanding jihadism; if we do not prevent this widening witch-hunt, the international arrest warrants for Israeli diplomats, the indictments against Israelis for war crimes in the Hague, the erosion in the U.N., and the incitement against Israel; if we sit quietly and allow this insidious evil to flourish in our midst, then the legitimacy of the free world’s own struggle against jihadism will most assuredly be undermined. Mark Silverberg’s editorials and articles have been archived at www.marksilverberg.com.


january 30, 2014 ■

the bill, even if implementation is delayed, constitutes a violation. “This bill would impose new sanctions and, while the measures may not be enforced, they will become law,” says an analysis by the Arms Control Association. The White House has also warned that while the passage of new sanctions legislation might not spur Iran to quit the talks, as it has threatened to do, they might lead to the collapse of the international coalition that brought Iran to the table. Another White House objection has to do with outcomes required by the bill. The Obama administration complains that the bill would constrain its ability to negotiate an agreement with the Iranians. Backers of the bill admit as much. “The Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act of 2013 clearly defines parameters for a final agreement,” Gordon says in the AIPAC video. The most contentious of the requirements has to do with uranium enrichment. For the president to suspend the legislation’s sanctions provisions, the bill requires he must certify that a final agreement will “dismantle Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure, including enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and facilities.” Such a requirement comports with the demand of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that any final agreement permanently end Iran’s enrichment capability. Iranian nuclear knowledge and capability is advanced enough, according to supporters of this condition, that even enriching uranium to five percent – a level generally used for peaceful purposes – would allow Iran to quickly advance to weapons-grade enrichment if it so decided. White House officials have said that Iran would never accept a total enrichment ban and that the best possible outcome would be a five percent enrichment capability. The bill

Continued from page 1 would also allow Congress, by a vote of both chambers, to reimpose any sanctions that were suspended as a result of an agreement. The bill recommends U.S. backing for Israel should it determine that it must strike Iran. In its “sense of Congress” section, it says: “If the government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military and economic support to the government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people and existence.” That language, according to critics, amounts to allowing a foreign nation – albeit one that is a close ally – a determinative role in deciding when the United States joins a military action. “Let me acknowledge Israel’s real, well-founded concerns that a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten its very existence,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a January 14 floor speech opposing the bill. “While I recognize and share Israel’s concern, we cannot let Israel determine when and where the U.S. goes to war. By stating that the U.S. should provide military support to Israel should it attack Iran, I fear that is exactly what this bill will do.” The bill’s backers note that by definition, “sense of Congress” language is not binding and that the bill concludes that nothing in it “shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran.” Moreover, they note, the language is identical to a non-binding resolution that the Senate passed in May by a vote 99-0. Feinstein was among its co-sponsors.

Save the Date!

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Benefit Concert Thursday, March 20

Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra return to Carnegie Hall for a benefit concert. Joined by internationally known violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth, the orchestra performs Brahms’s Double Concerto in A Minor and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor.

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school. “We don’t want Hebrew to be the reason they leave,” Davids said. The new council joins a number of Hebrew teaching efforts that have been percolating for the past decade. In addition to Ramah Nyack, several other Jewish camps have experimented with Hebrew immersion. In Chicago, a program called Moadon Kol Chadash (New Voice Lounge) offers Hebrewimmersion Jewish preschool. And seven suburban public high schools, with support from the Jewish nonprofit Shorashim, are offering Hebrew-language courses. Hebrew at the Center, or HATC, a 6-yearold organization that recently partnered with Middlebury College in Vermont to create the Middlebury-HATC Institute for the Advancement of Hebrew Language, has helped train teachers for many of the programs. The Middlebury-HATC Institute is launching master’s and doctoral programs to train Hebrew teachers and support scholarly research. Until now, Winshall said, most Hebrew teachers in the United States have had little

Continued from page 5 formal training and many Jewish day schools recruit local Israelis with little expertise in teaching language. The Hebrew Language Council is planning to sponsor an annual three-day Hebrew language and Israeli culture conference; form a professional association for Hebrew teachers in North America; convene an online forum for sharing information about various Hebrew programs; and raise money for Hebrew education initiatives. While Winshall knows of no studies showing the impact of Hebrew literacy on Jewish identity, she said there is significant research on how language mastery influences a sense of connection to the culture in which that language is spoken. “When I spent a year-and-a-half in Israel, I had a different experience than my other American friends there who couldn’t speak Hebrew or could only function at the lowest level,” Winshall said. “I was invited to different things because people said they didn’t want to always worry about speaking English.”

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Prices effective Sunday, February 2 thru Saturday, March 1, 2014.


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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

d’var torah ABINGTON TORAH CENTER

Rabbi Dovid Saks President: Richard Rutta Jewish Heritage Connection 108 North Abington Rd., Clarks Summit, PA 18411 570-346-1321 • Website: www.jewishheritageconnection.org Sunday morning services at 8:30 am Call for other scheduled services throughout the week.

BETH SHALOM CONGREGATION

Rabbi Yisroel Brotsky 1025 Vine St., Scranton, PA 18510, (corner of Vine & Clay Ave.) 570-346-0502 • fax: 570-346-8800 Weekday – Shacharit: Sun 8 am; Mon, Thurs. & Rosh Chodesh, 6:30 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 6:45 am; Sat & Holidays, 8:45 am. Mincha during the week is approx. 10 minutes before sunset, followed by Maariv.

BICHOR CHOLEM CONGREGATION/ CHABAD OF THE ABINGTONS Rabbi Benny Rapoport President: Richard I. Schwartz 216 Miller Road, Waverly, PA 18471 570-587-3300 • Website: www.JewishNEPA.com Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am. Call or visit us online for our bi-weekly schedule

CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF THE POCONOS Rabbi Mendel Bendet 570-420-8655 • Website: www.chabadpoconos.com Please contact us for schedules and locations.

CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL

Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Allan L. Smith President: Henry M. Skier Contact Person: Ben Schnessel, Esq. (570) 222-3020 615 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431 570-253-2222 • fax: 570-226-1105

CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM

Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum President: Alan S. Wismer P.O. Box 757 Sullivan Rd., Pocono Pines, PA 18350 (located at RT 940 and Pocono Crest Rd at Sullivan Trail 570-646-0100 • Website: www.bnaiharimpoconos.org Shabbat Morning Services, 10 am – noon; every other Saturday Potluck Shabbat Dinner with blessings and program of varying topics, one Friday every month – call for schedule.

JEWISH FELLOWSHIP OF HEMLOCK FARMS

Rabbi Steve Nathan President: Steve Natt Forest Drive 1516 Hemlock Farms, Lords Valley, PA 18428 570-775-7497 • E-Mail: jfhf@enter.net Friday evening Shabbat service 8:00 pm, Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am.

MACHZIKEH HADAS SYNAGOGUE Rabbi Mordechai Fine President: Moshe Fink 600 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 570-342-6271

OHEV ZEDEK CONGREGATION

Rabbi Mordechai Fine 1432 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA 18510 Contact person: Michael Mellner - 570-343-3183

TEMPLE HESED

Union of Reform Judaism Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz President: Ken Miller 1 Knox Street, Scranton, PA 18505, (off Lake Scranton Rd.) 570-344-7201 Friday evening Shabbat, 8 pm; Saturday Morning , when Shabbat School is in session, at 11 am

TEMPLE ISRAEL OF DUNMORE

President: Isadore Steckel 515 East Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512 Saturday morning Shabbat 7:30 am; also services for Yizkor

TEMPLE ISRAEL OF THE POCONOS

Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Baruch Melman President: Dr. Sandra Alfonsi Contact person: Dr. Sandra Alfonsi 570-223-7062 711 Wallace St., Stroudsburg, PA, 18360 (one block off Rte. 191 (5th Street) at Avenue A) 570-421-8781 • Website: www.templeisraelofthepoconos.org E-Mail: tipoc@ptd.net Friday evening Shabbat, 7pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 9 am

TEMPLE ISRAEL OF SCRANTON

Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Moshe Saks 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: tiscran@epix.net Sunday, 8 am; Mon & Thurs, 7:15 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 7:25 am; Rosh Hodesh & Chagim weekdays, 7 am; Shabbat Morning Service, 8:45 am; evening services: Sun – Thurs, 5:45 pm; Friday Shabbat and Saturday Havdalah services, call for times.

On being “them” Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19 by RABBI BARUCH BINYAMIN HAKOHEN MELMAN, TEMPLE ISRAEL OF THE POCONOS, STROUDSBURG, PA Is God’s holy presence reserved solely for Israel? Or may others who recognize God’s oneness and uniqueness also maintain a connection to Him? Is the manifestation of God’s presence, the Shechina, an exclusive club, or does God’s love extend to all the righteous among the nations of the world? The answer is subtly revealed depending on how we read the text. Exodus 25:8 says, “V’asu li miqdash veshachanti betocham.” Chazal, the sages of blessed memory, teach that it means, “And they will make for Me a sanctuary and I shall dwell among them.” Well, it can also be read differently, with very different implications. Instead of reading the Hebrew word asu in the third person plural, we can also read it in the second person plural imperative. Thus it can also be understood alternatively as “and you (plural) will make for me a sanctuary and I shall dwell among them.” If the you is plural, i.e., referring to the b’nai Yisrael, the children of Israel, then the verse can only make sense if the word “them” refers to some other group. But to whom? Whereas the first reading implies “them” to be the children of Israel, the second reading implies another recipient of God’s indwelling presence: the righteous among the nations, the tzadikei umos haolam. This second reading allows us to celebrate a universalistic interpretation of

Pentagon

to take a chance with a lawsuit because they didn’t know what the judge could do,” Lewin – who represented Stern pro bono – said at the time. U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (DNY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) had all advocated for Stern’s cause. Lewin won a similar case for Rabbi Michell Geller in 1976. But in the 1986 U.S. Supreme Court case Goldman v. Weinberger, an Orthodox rabbi represented by Lewin was told by the U.S. Air Force he could not wear a yarmulke indoors while he was in uniform and on duty at his base. The rabbi argued that this policy violated his freedom of religion, which is protected under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, however, upheld the military’s policy in a 5-4 vote. Justice William Rehnquist’s majority opinion in that case stated the military is a “specialized society separate from civilian society,” and that to “accomplish its mission the military must foster instinctive obedience, unity, commitment, and esprit de corps.” One of the ways the military achieves this is through requiring its members to wear uniform clothing. Then came the passage of 10 USC 774 in 1996. Under that statute, Lewin said, the Department of Defense “is not authorized to institute a system under which prior approval has to be obtained to wear an item of religious apparel,” although the military can later prohibit a soldier if it deems that the religious clothing item or facial hair interferes with

God’s mission vis-a-vis the chosen nation of Israel. The sanctuary, eventually to become the beit hamikdach, is to serve as a locus and focus of holiness both for Israel and the world-at-small (it was once large in the imagination, but no longer, and Israel was once small in the imagination, but no longer). The Temple offerings served to bring atonement not only to Israel, but for all the world as well. This concept is pointedly evidenced by the 70 bullocks offered at the festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Each of the atonement offerings corresponded to each of the proverbial 70 nations of the world, the shivim umos haolam. It has even been said that had the Romans known how our Holy Temple was for their benefit, they would have never destroyed it. But, indeed, the concept of a transnational deity was entirely foreign to their way of thinking. Therefore, when we read about the construction of the Mishkan, the holy tabernacle, we should be inspired to reflect upon how revolutionary was the Jewish idea, that the God of Israel transcends all borders, all nations, all races and creeds. As the God of Israel made His home among Israel, so that His word and message could be spread among all the earth, so too would His Temple, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, one day be a house of prayer for all the nations: “Ki beisi beit tefillah, yikarei lechol he’amim.” These words of Torah are written in the merit of my beloved father, Israel J. Melman, obm, Yisrael Yehoshua ben Harav Ya’aqov Hakohen Melman, and in memory of my beloved mother, Esther Melman, obm, Esther bat Baruch. Continued from page 1 “the performance of the member’s military duties,” or if the item is determined to be “not neat or conservative.” “If approval is denied, the applicant can go up the ladder within the military service to seek approval. If he or she goes directly to court, the service may claim that he or she has to exhaust internal military remedies, but I think there is a good argument if the applicant is denied the right to wear religious clothing (or a beard) while the process is ongoing that this is an infringement of a freedom-of-religion right that warrants immediate relief in a court,” said Lewin. Jews in Green, an independent organization representing Jews serving across the Department of Defense that is not affiliated with the Department of Defense itself, applauded the new Pentagon policy. “The new policy doesn’t make any drastic changes, nor does it allow any items previously prohibited. However, it does clarify the process for granting religious accommodation, and potentially opens the door for observant Jews to serve and observe mitzvot with greater ease,” Jason Rubin, a spokesman for Jews in Green, told JNS.org. Rubin added that the policy also includes loosened regulations on religious observances such as Shabbat and dietary considerations. “Perhaps the most important thing about the update is that it shows the DoD’s recognition that religious observance is something that is important to our service members, and by making reasonable accommodations we can be a stronger and more effective force because of it,” he said.

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THE REPORTER

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NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA

White House taps special envoy for Shoah survivor community

The Obama administration named a special envoy to the Holocaust survivor community. Aviva Sufian, a staff member at the Health Department’s Administration for Community Living, will be the special envoy for U.S. Holocaust survivor services, a White House announcement said on Jan. 24. “Her work as special envoy will focus on those survivors currently living in poverty, as well as those who may not be receiving services for which they are currently eligible,” according to the statement. The appointment arises from a pledge in December by Vice President Joe Biden to address the needs of aging survivors and as Congress considers legislation for that purpose. It stems in part from a growing consensus among experts that Holocaust survivors should age in place and avoid the institutional care that health providers and government services generally recommend for the infirm. Institutionalization can trigger traumatic memories for survivors. The White House statement said that 25 percent of the estimated 150,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States live below the poverty line, as opposed to 9 percent among the general over-65 population. Sufian previously worked for the New York City Department for the Aging and at a “large nonprofit organization that provided support for Holocaust survivors living in the New York metropolitan area,” the White House statement said. Also on Jan. 24, parallel to the White House announcement, the Jewish Federations of North America unveiled a new initiative “to assess and communicate the needs of the Holocaust survivor programs,” the umbrella group said in a statement. Mark Wilf, a major Federation donor and an owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, will chair the initiative.

the Danish College of General Practitioners – a group with 3,000 members – said in statement that non-medical circumcision of boys amounted to abuse and mutilation, the Danish BT tabloid reported on Jan. 26. “We are not religious experts, but for medical reasons, we cannot approve a procedure that removes tissue from the genitals in which the risk is so great for serious complications,” said the Swedish association’s ethics officer, Thomas Flodin. The recommendation, which is non-binding, also said that circumcision should be performed only by physicians in a medical facility. Sweden’s minister for integration, Erik Ullenhag, said existing rules that allow for ritual circumcision would not be changed. In Sweden, non-medical and medical circumcision may be performed only by licensed professionals, as per legislation from 2001. Under the legislation, Jewish ritual circumcisers, or mohels, in Sweden receive their licenses from the country’s health board, but a nurse or doctor must still be present when they perform the procedure. “I have never met any adult man who experienced circumcision as an assault,” Ullenhag said. “The procedure is not very intensive and parents have the right to raise their children according to their faith and tradition. If we prohibit it, we must also address the issue of the Christian ritual of baptism.” In recent years, Scandinavian countries have seen an intensification of efforts to ban ritual circumcision by activists who say it violates children’s rights and by anti-immigration nationalists who seek to limit the effect that Muslim or Jewish presence is having on Swedish society. In September, the rightist

Sweden Democrats Party submitted a motion in parliament in favor of banning ritual circumcision. In October, the children’s ombudsmen of all Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway – released a joint declaration proposing a ban on circumcision.

France returning Nazi-looted artwork from museums

Government-owned museums in France will return three Nazi-looted paintings, the country’s minister for culture said. Aurelie Filippetti identified the paintings as “Paysage Montagneux,” by the Dutch 17th century painter Joos de Momper; a painting of the Madonna and child; and another unidentified oil portrait of a woman. Two of the paintings were in possession of the Louvre Museum and a third was found at the Museum of Dijon, according to the BFM television channel. “I will return them very shortly to the legal beneficiaries of their owners at the time of their dispossession,” Filippetti reportedly said the week of Jan. 24. She did not reveal the identity of the beneficiaries, but the Le Figaro daily reported they were Jewish. The paintings are part of a list of 2,000 objects of art flagged as stolen by the Nazis that are in the possession of French cultural institutions, according to a report on the France3 television network. In 2013, French authorities returned seven artworks to descendants of Jews who had lost the objects during the Holocaust. France has returned approximately 65,000 works of art and other objects stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners, Le Figaro reported.

Treasury fines Luxembourg bank for hiding Iran holdings

A Luxembourg bank paid a $152 million fine for masking the Bank of Iran’s $2.8 billion U.S. securities account. “Clearstream provided the government of Iran with substantial and unauthorized access to the U.S. financial system,” Adam Szubin, the director of the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a Jan. 23 statement, referring to Clearstream Banking, S.A. “Today’s action should serve as a clear alert to firms operating in the securities industry that they need to be vigilant with respect to dealings with sanctioned parties, and that omnibus and custody accounts require scrutiny to ensure compliance with relevant sanctions laws,” he said. According to the statement, Clearstream in 2008 said after meeting with Treasury officials that it would end its relationship with the Bank of Iran, which is subject to U.S. sanctions in part because of its involvement in Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. Instead, Clearstream disguised the account, hiding the holdings in the account of a European bank unnamed in the statement. David Cohen, the Treasury undersecretary who supervises sanctions monitoring and enforcement, told The New York Times that the fine is part of a message that Iran is “not open for business” despite limited sanctions relief triggered by Iran’s agreement in November to negotiate its nuclear capacity.

Swedish, Danish medical groups call for ban on ritual circumcisions

Large medical associations in Sweden and Denmark recommended banning non-medical circumcision of boys. In Sweden, the recommendation came in a resolution that was unanimously adopted the week of Jan. 23 by the ethics council of the Sweden Medical Association – a union whose members constitute 85 percent of the country’s physicians, the Svenska Dagbladet daily reported on Jan. 25. It recommended setting 12 as the minimum age for the procedure and the boy’s consent. Jewish ritual circumcision, or brit milah, is performed eight days after birth. Muslims typically circumcise boys before they turn 10. In Denmark,

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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

February 2014

• Non-Feature Films •

Blessed is the Match - In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II. Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy - This entertaining documentary, narrated by the award-winning Joel Grey, examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. There are interviews alongside standout performances and archival footage. Constantine’s Sword is a 2007 historical documentary film on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews. Directed and produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oren Jacoby, the film is inspired by former priest James P. Carroll’s 2001 book Constantine’s Sword. *Follow Me - The Yoni Netanyahu Story - featuring three Israeli Prime Ministers, Yoni’s ex-wife (for the first time on film) and recently released audio from the Entebbe operation itself. Follow Me brings a rare portrait of Israel’s elite soldiers and their greatest hero to the big screen. Inside Hana’s Suitcase - A real-life Japanese schoolteacher, who appears throughout the film, sparked this entire story by gathering artifacts for a Holocaust educational center she was developing along with a group of girls and boys called The Small Wings. After applying to receive Holocaust artifacts, a large box arrives with a handful of artifacts, including a battered brown suitcase labeled with Hana Brady’s name. The teacher and her students begin searching for the story behind the suitcase. What they discover will surprise you. They wind up unlocking — and showing us in the film — a whole series of deeply moving memories and other related artifacts and photos. Finally, Hana’s surviving brother George travels to Japan to meet the Japanese students. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story - This excellent documentary, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, portrays the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story was shown at the Opening Event for the 2012 UJA Campaign. The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost - Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz presents a vigorous case for Israel: for its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism and to defend its borders from hostile enemies. *The Flat - This gripping autobiographical documentary tells the story of the filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger, who travels to Tel Aviv to clean out the apartment of his recently deceased German-born Jewish grandmother. Goldfinger discovers, while going through her belongings, evidence that his grandparents were good friends with Leopold von Mildenstein, a leading official within the Nazi propaganda agency, and that they remained friends after World War II. He journeys to find out the details of this disturbing revelation. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg - As baseball’s first Jewish star, Hammering Hank Greenberg’s career contains all the makings of a true American success story. *Orchestra of Exiles - This riveting documentary tells the story of how Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman watched Jewish musicians being fired from classical orchestras when Hitler came to power. Huberman decided to build a new orchestra in Palestine and encountered many obstacles along the way. He ultimately succeeds and the Palestine Symphony gave its first performance December 1936. (When Israel gained independence in 1948, the orchestra was renamed the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, which remains to this day a world-class orchestra.)

• Feature Films •

Crossing Delancey - This is a warm comedy taking place in New York City. Isabella Grossman desires to rise above her family’s Lower East Side community, but her grandmother has other matchmaking plans. *Fill the Void - Fill the Void tells the story of an 18-year-old, Shira, who is the youngest daughter of her family. Her dreams are about to come true as she is set to be married off to a promising young man. Unexpectedly, her sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child. The pain that overwhelms the family postpones Shira’s promised match. Everything changes when an offer is proposed to match Yochay, the late Esther’s husband, to a widow from Belgium. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty. Footnote - The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies departments of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Though the father shuns overt praise for his work and the son is desperate for it, how will each react when the father is to be awarded the most sought after prize, the Israel Prize? This Oscar nominated film will entrance from the start. Good - In an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies and comes across Johnnie Halder’s novel of a husband who aids his terminally ill wife in an assisted suicide. Because of this, the Nazis flatter Johnnie, arranging for high paying and prestigious positions. Never evil, Johnnie Halder is an Everyman who goes along, accepting what he is told without question until he is an unwitting accomplice to the Nazi killing machine. *Hava Nagila: The Movie - Hava Nagila is instantly recognizable and musical shorthand for anything Jewish. But as audiences will discover in Hava Nagila (The Movie), the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. In its own believe-it-or-not way, it encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more. The film follows the song from Eastern Europe to Palestine and all the way to America. Hidden In Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians, and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jews are sent to the ghettos. While some stand silent, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska chooses the role of a savior and sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Every day, she risks detection — and immediate execution — by smuggling food and water to the silent group living above her. And when two German nurses are assigned to her living quarters, the chances of discovery become dangerously high. This is the true story of a young woman’s selfless commitment and unwavering resolve in the face of war. Noodle (PAL version- can only be played on computer, NOT regular DVD players) - At 37, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings — as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing — accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life. Operation Thunderbolt - The true story of the Entebbe hijacking and rescue. Operation Thunderbolt was filmed in Israel with the full cooperation of the Israeli government, and is an exciting re-creation of the events of those tense days. We see the full scope of the story, from the original hijacking to the passengers’ captivity in Uganda to the agonized debates at the highest levels of the Israeli government over a diplomatic vs. a military solution. Operation Thunderbolt is the thrilling and true story of how one small country refused to let its people be killed by terrorists and took action to prevent it. People who claim that Israel is a “terrorist state” should see the film and be reminded who the real terrorists are. Orthodox Stance (documentary-2007) - Dimitriy Salita, a Russian immigrant, is making history as a top professional boxer and rigorously observant Jew. While providing an intimate, 3-year-long look at the trials and tribulations faced by an up and coming professional boxer, Orthodox Stance is a portrait of seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support Dmitriy’s rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and the pursuit of a professional boxing title. Playing for Time - An outstanding cast brings life to this Fania Fenelon autobiography about a Jewish cabaret singer and other Jewish prisoners whose lives were spared at Auschwitz in exchange for performing for their captors. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent and naïve 8-year-old boy, who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops. *The Concert - Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Chatelet Theater in Paris has invited the Bolshoi Orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi Orchestra. He wants a young violinist virtuoso, Anne-Marie Jacquet, to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians. If they all overcome the hardships ahead, this very special concert will be a triumph. The Debt - Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson star in The Debt. In 1966, three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a feared Nazi war criminal hiding in East Berlin, a mission accomplished at great risk and personal cost… or was it? The Impossible Spy - Young Israeli husband Eli Cohen is recruited by the Mossad in the early 1960s and sent to Syria. Telling his wife he has a new job that requires extensive business travel, he takes up residence in Syria, where he befriends a high-ranking Syrian government official and provides invaluable information to Israel. On a visit home, his wife pleads with him to leave his job so he can be home more, and his handler tells him he has accomplished enough, but he decides to return to Syria one last time. One day, he learns of an attack on a kibbutz scheduled for that night; he abandons normal precautions in order to warn Israel as quickly as possible and is caught. The Other Son - The dramatic tale of two babies switched at birth, The Other Son creates a thoughtful presentation of what could be a soap opera-type event. Instead, director Lorraine Levy and a wonderful screenplay take the viewer down a very different path, allowing each to come to his/her own conclusions. Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story - Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story is an incredibly riveting, Emmy Award-winning, fact-based story about a hero who helped more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust. *Just added to the Jewish Federation’s Film Lending Library!


january 30, 2014 ■

THE REPORTER

11

Lester’s charitable giving said a lot about him. What will yours say about you? Lester Abeloff, who passed away in his home in Stroudsburg in July 2013, was part of America’s “greatest generation.” During World War II, he flew 56 combat missions on B-17 “Flying Fortress” heavy bombers attaining the rank of captain. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart medals for his service in the Army Air Corps, later achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel upon retirement from the USAF Reserves. Following the war, he began his long, successful career in the automobile business. His generous donations to the community included the Clementine Abeloff Community Center at the Pocono Medical Center and the Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts at East Stroudsburg University. The generosity of Lester and his late wife Clementine resulted in numerous community lifetime achievement awards and tributes. During his lifetime, Lester and his late wife Clementine established a Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment for the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania totaling $100,000, which has been added to by contributions from the Lester G. Abeloff Foundation. The income from his Legacy will be added in their names to the Annual UJA Campaign of the Federation and will be used to perpetuate Jewish life in Northeast Pennsylvania, to sustain our many institutions and to support Israel and our People in 57 countries around the world - wherever Jews are in need or under threat. Our community is eternally grateful for their Legacy. Write your prescription for a better Jewish future by remembering the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in your estate planning. For more information, please call Mark Silverberg, Executive Director at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1) or e-mail him at mark.silverberg@jewishnepa.org if you have any questions.

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Quick Reference Guide to Planned Giving Use this planned giving quick reference guide to help determine the best strategy for achieving your philanthropic and financial goals. For more information or to discuss these planned giving options, please contact Mark Silverberg, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of NEPA, 570-961-2300 (x1) or mark.silverberg@jewishnepa.org.

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THE REPORTER ■ january 30, 2014

NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA

Johannsson talks up SodaStream in addressing Oxfam criticism

Scarlett Johansson addressed criticism from the Oxfam aid organization over her role as spokeswoman for SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank. “I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” Johansson, a Jewish-American actress who serves Oxfam as a global ambassador, said in a statement released on Jan. 25. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment, but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. As part of my efforts as an ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another,” she said. SodaStream, an Israeli firm that manufactures home soda makers, signed Johansson to be its first global brand ambassador. She is set to appear in a television ad for the company during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The company employs Israeli and Palestinian workers at its factory in the Maale Adumim settlement. Oxfam addressed Johansson’s association with SodaStream in a statement on its website, saying “Oxfam is now considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.” On Jan. 23, in a statement posted on its website, Oxfam wrote that it “believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.” Johansson has traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya on behalf of Oxfam. Her statement concludes, “Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two-state solution in the near future.”

“Second-timers” get go-ahead for Birthright trip

Jewish young adults who previously visited Israel on a high school program will still be eligible for Birthright. The Taglit-Birthright Israel Steering Committee approved the expansion of the free 10-day trip to Israel at a meeting on Jan. 21, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry announced on Jan. 23. The expansion is to go into effect with this summer’s trips for 18-26-year-olds. The committee also voted to increase funding to attract more French young adults, who face escalating antisemitism at home, to the program. French aliyah has nearly doubled in recent years. The decision to offer a Birthright trip for second-timers comes after operators of high school programs in Israel complained that the heavily subsidized Birthright trips have hurt enrollment in their programs, according to reports. The trips of the second-timers will be funded solely by donors, as opposed to first-time visitors to Israel, whose trip is one-third funded by the Israeli government.

Lockheed Martin to open R&D center in Israel

The U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said it is opening a research and development center in Israel. The company, which manufactures fighter jets, said it would open the center at a new industrial park in Beersheva in southern Israel in conjunction with EMC Corp., which manufactures data storage equipment. The initial combined investment of $1 million will go toward projects in cloud computing, data analytics and cyber technologies, Reuters reported. “Our goal is to foster applied research and continued growth in Israel’s technology sector,” said John Evans, Lockheed Martin vice president of international engineering and technology, in a statement. “We recognize evolving global needs, as well as the wealth of innovation taking place within Israel and its universities.”

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Janauary 30, 2014 Edition of The Reporter  

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Janauary 30, 2014 Edition of The Reporter

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