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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania JANUARY 3, 2013
VOLUME XI, NUMBER 1
Jewish priorities to watch for in Washington in 2013 By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) – Will we fall of the fiscal cliff? Plunge into war with Iran? Dive into contentious confirmation battles? One thing’s for certain: There will be plenty of action in Washington that the Jewish community will be watching closely over 2013. Here are some likely focal points: Fiscal Cliff Unless President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives work out their differences by year’s end, the U.S. government will head off the fiscal cliff. That means that much of the federal budget will be subject to congressio-
nally mandated cuts of about 8 percent (“sequestration”), and tax cuts pushed through 10 years ago under President George W. Bush will lapse. But the government told federal employees last week to expect furloughs, not dismissals, and even these will not occur immediately. That will give Obama and Boehner several additional weeks after January 1 to work out a deal. More negotiations will mean more intensive lobbying from the Jewish groups that serve the elderly and poor. Count on a broad array of groups to push back against cuts in funding to social services, said William Daroff, the Washington director for the
Jewish Federations of North America. On the revenue side of things, expect Jewish groups to diverge a bit. Bend the Arc, a liberal group, is fighting against renewing tax cuts for incomes above $250,000. But some other Jewish groups may sit out this issue, not wanting to irk wealthy donors. Meanwhile, the Jewish Federations are pushing back against Obama’s proposals that would reduce tax deductions for charitable donations from high earners, which charities worry could cause philanthropic giving to drop. Israel With Obama facing down the fiscal cliff, contending with turmoil in the Arab world
and pursuing negotiations with Iran, the conventional wisdom is that the president is not likely to make an aggressive push to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, at least for the time being. A number of emerging factors, however, could renew U.S. involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli arena. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s slew of recent West Bank and eastern Jerusalem building announcements – announced in retaliation for the Palestinians’ successful bid for statehood recognition in the U.N. General Assembly – has earned a rebuke from the Obama administration. If Netanyahu wins Israeli See “Priorities” on page 16
BTA autumn networking breakfast called “an excellent resource in NEPA” Approximately 35 business owners, managers and representatives enjoyed a hot kosher breakfast in Scranton’s Radisson Hotel, making new contacts and renewing older relationships, at the Jewish Federation’s Business and Trade Alliance autumn networking breakfast. While most of the attendees were from Scranton, members of the BTA drove in from the Poconos and Wilkes-Barre, proving that the project of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania is “an important resource for all industries in our region,” a Federation representative said. Jeff Rubel, president of the Federation, introduced the featured speaker, Bob Graham, president of Riggs Asset Management, whose company sponsored the morning’s event. Graham’s presentation explained current trends in the national and international economy and what seems expected in the
L-r: Noah Ganz and Rob Gelb socialized at the breakfast.
L-r: Riggs Asset group’s Bob Graham, Sue Shoemaker, Alan Glassman and Liz Graham attended the Business and Trade Alliance autumn networking breakfast.
2013 UJA paign Update Cam
See “BTA” on page 19
Pay it forward & give to the 2013 Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania Annual Campaign! Goal: $800,090
L-r: Rob Gelb and Bob Solfanelli enjoyed the breakfast.
L-r: Robert Rahm of DDS, Rabbi Dovid Saks and Jeff Ganz posed for a photo together.
Federation on Facebook
L-r: Ed Weiss and Rich Kramer enjoyed the program.
L-r: Lou Nivert, Rabbi Dovid Rosenberg and Elliot Schoenberg attended the event.
The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania now has a page on Facebook to let community members know about upcoming events and keep connected.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Jewish music notes
Sandy relief update
Czech Jewish museum
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Candle lighting January 4.........................................4:29 pm January 11........................................4:36 pm January 18.......................................4:44 pm
A look at the Israeli band Shtar An update on local efforts to A new Jewish museum in the Czech PLUS and Jewish British pop sensation provide relief to Superstorm Sandy Republic is spread nationwide with Opinion...........................................................2 Alex Clare. victims in New York. exhibits in 10 restored shuls. Jewish Community Center News............6 Stories on page 7 Story on pages 10-11 Story on page 9 D’var Torah...................................................8
THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
a matter of opinion A bridge too far – the end of Oslo By Mark Silverberg Reprinted with permission of the Ariel Center for Policy Research – www.acpr.org.il The Palestinians have spent the last 20 years converting a strong Israeli majority in favor of the peace process into one that regards the whole concept as a dangerous fantasy. This belief was reinforced once again on November 29 when the overwhelming majority of members of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution upgrading the status of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority from an “observer entity” to an “observer state,” thereby granting it its most significant upgrade in diplomatic status in decades. It seems that this austere body cannot find the time to deal with Hamas’ threat of genocide against Jews in Israel, North Korea’s testing of a soon-to-be-developed nuclear-tipped ICBM, Saudi Arabia’s subjugation of women, China’s oppression of 1.3 billion citizens or its brutal occupation of Tibet, the slaughter in Syria, the genocide in Sudan or slave-trading in Mauritania, but it has all the time in the world to create a state where none legally exists so long as it furthers the demonization of Israel.
and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. The P.A. possesses none of these requirements. “Palestine” lacks a “defined territory,” something that has yet to be negotiated with Israel. It lacks a government that exercises control over that territory, as 40 percent of
from the desk of the executive director
When a “state” isn’t a state
To the U.N.G.A., it would seem that the legal conditions required for statehood by the Montevideo Convention (1933) are irrelevant. According to that convention, a “state” must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government
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Mark silverberG its population is ruled by a terrorist organization, 60 percent by an unelected administrative entity that has not held an election in seven years, while its control over the populations in Areas A and B on the West Bank as provided for by the Oslo Accords is only partial. It has no “capacity to enter into relations with other states,” as Hamas in Gaza is not bound by Abbas’ directives, nor is his authority recognized by it, nor can he bind “Palestine” to anything, nor has he honored his commitments in Phase I of the road map, which required him to dismantle Hamas and other terrorist groups. His “state” lacks a “permanent population,” since most Palestinians consider themselves not citizens of a new state but temporary residents, “refugees” according to United Nations Relief and Works Agency, awaiting their return to “Palestine” – meaning Israel. As Stephen Rosen wrote recently, this new “state” – comprised of Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Fatah-controlled P.A. areas – has “two incompatible presidents, two rival prime ministers, a constitution whose most central provisions are violated by both sides, no functioning legislature, no ability to hold elections, a population mostly not under its control, borders that would annex territory under the control of other powers and no clear path to resolve any of these conflicts.” So other than grabbing his moment in the sun and moving “Palestine’s” U.N. seat from the observer section to the “P” section between Pakistan and Panama, Abbas may have opened Pandora’s Box by claiming a pyrrhic victory on “statehood” without fully considering the economic and political ramifications of his actions. Although the U.N.G.A. has never had the power or authority to establish genuine legal states other than through non-binding recommendations, even so, by passing such a status-upgrade resolution, both the P.A. and the U.N.G.A. have effectively cancelled any chance that may have existed to establish a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In doing so, they have also laid the groundwork for nullifying the Oslo Accords that created the P.A. and the Paris Protocols – the section delineating economic agreements between Israel and the P.A. According to Article XXXI, Section 7, of the Oslo II Interim Agreement from 1995, “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of
permanent status negotiations.” Separate and apart from the fact that the Accords have been honored by the P.A. more in their breach than their observance for almost two decades (see below), even the act of requesting and receiving a change of status from the U.N.G.A. from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” may well have rendered those Accords null and void, should Israel wish to do so, since neither recognition of Israel as a Jewish state nor negotiating Israel’s security needs, nor any desire to end the conflict with Israel appears in the U.N.G.A. resolution. In response, the Israelis have several options, the most dramatic of which would involve nullifying the Oslo Accords, dismantling the P.A. and annexing at least Area C (as designated in those Accords), which covers 62 percent of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), where an estimated 270,000 Jews reside in 121 recognized Jewish communities under full Israeli security and civil control. From an economic perspective, the majority of Palestinians understand what’s coming up the pipeline. According to a poll published in Ma’an in early November, while an overwhelming majority, 84 percent, of Palestinians supported the U.N. bid, that support was tempered with 90 percent believing Israel would enact policies to punish the Palestinians for the maneuver, and more than 50 percent believing that the bid would have a negative effect on the Palestinians. The fear is justified. The P.A. is totally dependent on foreign aid and a recent World Bank report stated that its financial instability would not allow it to function as an independent country. Were it not for the financial resuscitation it receives from the U.S., the European Union and Israel, it would have imploded years ago. Economically, it already carries a $520 million deficit, cannot pay its suppliers and banks have refused to work with it. Much of its foreign aid covers the salaries to thousands of its civil servants and its 25,000 member U.S.-trained security force – not to mention “salaries” paid to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons and the families of Palestinian “martyrs” who were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Israelis. If it so wishes, Israel can also terminate many of the services it provides to the P.A., including water, sewage, electricity, fuel, postal services, communications, port facilities and tax collection. It can cease providing employment for the thousands of Palestinians who work in Israel and restrict VIP travel passes for P.A. leaders through Israeli checkpoints and into Israel itself. It has already delayed the transfer of $115 million in tax revenues it has collected on behalf of the P.A. and applied it against the massive electricity debt owed by the P.A. to the Israel Electric Corporation and other bodies. Gaza derives at least 40 percent of its power from Israel’s electrical power grid and the P.A.-controlled areas of the West Bank derive 100 percent of their electricity from Israel.
In addition, Netanyahu has authorized the construction of 3,000 new apartments to be built in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including expedited planning for the area known as E1 (which is in Area C), linking Jerusalem and its suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, with its 32,000 residents. Despite blanket world condemnation of Israel for having made this decision, it should be noted that the E1 area is virtually uninhabited rocky terrain and covers a mere 4.6 square miles. As Clifford May points out in National Review, by comparison, Denver International Airport covers 53 square miles.
International Criminal Court implications
Diplomatically, the P.A. may now be in a position to use its new U.N.-upgraded “state” status to bring legal challenges before the International Criminal Court at The Hague against Israeli leaders for their alleged policies and practices in Gaza and the West Bank, although its legal capacity to do so is by no means certain. On the one hand, the ICC is an independent organization, not a U.N. body, and is not obliged to follow the recommendations of the U.N.G.A. In fact, the ICC has made every attempt in the past to avoid being politicized and compromised, so it is doubtful that the P.A. would have the necessary “state” status to bring such an action. In his speech to the General Assembly, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said that the new status would not enable the P.A. to join international treaties, organizations or conferences as a state and does “not confer statehood on the Palestinian Authority, which clearly fails to meet the criteria for statehood” (as noted above). The 1998 statute of the ICC enables only internationally recognized states that are party to the statute to refer complaints to the court. Similarly, Ambassador Alan Baker, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, concluded, “Palestinians failed in 2011 to prove statehood when they attempted to obtain membership in the U.N. in light of the clear lack of national unity and capability of governance and inability to fulfill international obligations of a state, so now in 2012 it would be highly unlikely, even after an upgrade-resolution, that they will be able to prove to the ICC that they are a genuine legal state entitled to initiate complaints against Israeli officials and officers.” Moreover, the ICC generally does not get involved in countries that investigate themselves through formal, credible judicial reviews as does Israel. If, however, the P.A. does succeed in having the ICC accept jurisdiction, it could turn out to be a double-edged sword. Israel would argue that “Palestine,” which nominally includes Gaza, has committed war crimes against it by preaching genocide against Jews and the Jewish state; sending suicide bombers into Israel from both the West Bank and Gaza; using human shields to avoid Israeli retaliatory strikes; and firing missiles into Israeli population centers from See “Oslo” on page 12
letters to the editor A letter to Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown, CT The following letter was written to Rabbi Shaul Praver of Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown, CT. Dear Rabbi, Words cannot describe the sadness your community must feel over the tragic deaths of the 26 women and children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. We cry with you. The world cries with you. No words could possibly explain this tragedy, nor can they ease the pain of the parents and families of those who lost their loved ones to such a senseless, inhuman act.
No words can express the overwhelming sadness they must feel or the tears shed by those who must bury their children and all the hopes and dreams they had for them. I realize the anguish each of them must feel, and I know the sense of hopelessness and futility that must be overwhelming them at this time. Please know that their love for their children and parents is shared by all of us, their loss is our loss, their tears are our tears, and the hearts of each and every member of our Jewish communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania go out to them.
On behalf of our Federation, I enclose a check in the amount of $750 that I would ask be applied to offset, in some small way, the funeral expenses that are to be incurred. Know as well that our hearts and souls are with you and members of the Newtown community during this time of great sorrow. With heartfelt grief for your community’s loss, Mark Silverberg Executive director, Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
community news Bais Yaakov news Temple Hesed to hold “Fun-Raiser” Bais Yaakov held Hurricane Sandy Shabbat takeout
Bais Yaakov of Scranton hosted a Hurricane Sandy Shabbat takeout program on December 1. Orders were taken for Shabbat food, prepared by the students and teachers of Bais Yaakov, in order to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The money collected was given to Achiezer in Far Rockaway. This was the first of other Shabbat takeout fund-raisers to be held.
Bais Yaakov Chanukah Dinner and Carnival called “a huge success”
Bais Yaakov hosted its annual carnival on December 2. Suzanne Severe and Leah Laury prepared the food with Vera Epshteyn, Nancy BenDov and Becky Shastey. More people than ever before attended Bais Yaakov’s Pre-Chanukah carnival. Booth sponsorships were available. Sponsors were Dr. David and Molly Rutta; Dr. Shaya and Phyllis Barax for a refuah shelaima for Rabbi Yeshua Rabenstein; Michael and Sheila Cutler in memory of Frank Nutis and in honor of Boots Nutis; and Miriam Gans and Harris and Janice Cutler in memory of Werner Brodman.
Bais Yaakov highlights
Bais Yaakov began the year with orientation at the Jewish Home, where students help feed the residents on a daily, rotational basis. The assistance helps improve feeding time for the residents and assists the staff. Speakers at orientation included Mae Murowski and Rabbi Samuel Sandhaus. Carolyn Levy held the feeding training session. Students also visit the Jewish Home regularly throughout the year, either to perform for residents, to create a crafts activity or to help bake. The students have made sukkah decorations, challah and, most recently, cookies in honor of Chanukah. They have also held a performance. Soon to follow are activities planned for Webster Towers and Elan Gardens. Bais Yaakov will continue its ongoing distribution of challah rolls to the residents of Webster Towers, as well as Shabbat food to other members of the community. Said a Bais Yaakov representative, “Bais Yaakov is here not only to offer a high standard of academic excellence, but to educate and train our daughters to help where help is needed and to understand each and everyone’s responsibility in helping each other in our own community and beyond.”
Bais Yaakov Chai Lifeline toy drive
Toys are still being collected for Chai Lifeline, an organization that provides financial help and support for children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, and their families. Toys are distributed on Chanukah and throughout the whole year. Toys can be deposited at the Bais Yaakov office at Beth Shalom, 1025 Vine St.
Temple Hesed has announced its first “Fun-Raiser,” featuring Al Kustanowitz, will be held on Saturday, January 12, at 8 pm, at the temple. Admission will cost $18. Reservations will be required. The event will be informal, featuring light fare. Kustanowitz’s lecture, “Jewish Humor on Your Desktop: More Than Just Catskills Comedy,” will include Jewish comedy, “funny-but-true” news stories, Israeli humor, Yiddish humor, Jewish holiday humor and Jewish pride. He will use video clips from the Internet to illustrate the anecdotes he presents. “It’s a great way to get out of the house in the dead of winter,” said organizers of the program. “We all have to pray that it does not snow!” To make a reservation or for more information, call Temple Hesed at 344-7201. For more about Kustanowitz, visit www.jewishhumorcentral.com.
From “Jewish Humor on Your Desktop,” a new book by Al Kustanowitz, “blogger-in-chief,” Jewish Humor Central. An American tourist in Tel Aviv was about to enter the impressive Mann Auditorium to take in a concert by the Israeli Philharmonic. He was admiring the unique architecture, the sweeping lines of the entrance and the modern décor throughout the building. Finally he turned to his friend and asked if the building was named for Thomas Mann, the world-famous author and Nobel laureate. “No,” his friend said, “It’s named for Sheldon Mann, from Miami.” “Really? I’ve never heard of him. What did he write?” “A check.”
B’nai Harim news By Lee Emerson
Soup dinner to be held January 19
Congregation B’nai Harim members Lew and Irene Stolzenberg have invited members, friends and anyone interested in attending to join them for soups and fresh breads at their home on Saturday, January 19, at 6:30 pm. There will be no active membership drive, just an opportunity to socialize together. There will be no cost to attend and no gifts for the hosts. Attendees have been asked to bring an item to replenish the temple kitchen’s supplies, such as coffee, sweetener, paper goods, grape juice, jams, wine and so on. Vegetarian and gluten-free soups will be available. For information and directions, visit www.bnaiharimpoconos.org or call the message center at 646-0100.
“Lox Academy” held by CBH
Congregation B’nai Harim sponsored a “Lox Academy” on December 2 at the home of Phyllis and Ira Miller. Dr. Aaron Kershenbaum presented a discussion on “Mining the Internet.” Before the discussion a brunch was served. From the early investigation of how to set up the Internet and how to manage it, Kershenbaum was part of the program. He has decades of experience with looking for and finding information on the Internet. Community members found the talk to be “interesting and educational,” leading to plans for a continuation and further discussion in early May.
Lox Academy is held several times a year by Congregation B’nai Harim as part of the adult education program. For more information on future offerings and other programs and celebrations, visit www.bnaiharimpoconos. org or call the message center at 646-0100.
S E N I L D A E D The following are deadlines for all articles and photos for upcoming Reporter issues.
Thursday, January 3.......................... January 17 Thursday, January 17........................ January 31 Thursday, January 31...................... February 14 Thursday, February 14.................... February 28
Taste-A-Thon held by Women’s League
The Women’s League of the Scranton Hebrew Day School recently held its bi-annual Taste-A-Thon at the home of Rochel Karp. Called “It’s An Occasion,” the event featured home-made items typically served at a bris, bar See “League” on page 6
Shani Davidson and Etty Fink compared notes on ingredients in the food.
Dr. Aaron Kershenbaum spoke at Congregation B’nai Harim’s “Lox Academy.”
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THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
HERC held professional development conference
A total of 47 individuals participated in the professional development conference held on November 29 in Brennan Hall of the University of Scranton, coordinated by the Holocaust Education Resource Center. Participants included educators from 24 area schools, two New York state schools and several members of the Center’s Holocaust Education Advisory Board. HERC Director Tova Weiss worked with the AntiDefamation League’s Philadelphia office to coordinate the event. Jerry Clark, the ADL facilitator and trainer, who led the seminars, has served as a senior facilitator with the ADL for more than 11 years, and has been involved in various capacities with nearly all of ADL’s educational programs. His career as a university professor, teacher, administrator and human relations specialist spans three decades, and “his expertise was obvious to all,” according to a HERC representative. Following registration and the receipt of materials, participants spent three hours focusing on the “Echoes and Reflections” Curriculum, a multi-media curriculum cre-
ated by top educators from the three leading international Holocaust education institutions: Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, formerly the Spielberg Shoah Foundation; and the ADL. It includes a DVD featuring accessible testimonies, documents, maps and other materials, and is supported by a website that is updated and expanded regularly. It is also geared toward national and some state standards for social studies; English or language arts; and viewing and media literacy, which can help make easy both preparation and cross-curricular use for educators. Participants were provided both an overview of the curriculum and specific details of how best it could be used. They played the role of students as Clark taught part of the unit on Resistance – one of 10 units in the curriculum – that covered both active and/or armed resistance, as well as spiritual and cultural resistance. The ability to access the appropriate survivor testimony to explain background information was called a “key element” of the program. The survivors’
testimony was looked at carefully, questions were asked and dilemmas discussed. Clark made the point early on that the difference “must be noted” in people’s situations and choices at different points in time and in different places. Possibilities of actions and the choices people could make differed greatly from 1938-1940, from 1940-1941, and even more so later on. He discussed the concept of “choiceless choices” many faced in different ways at different times, and how those choices narrowed. He was able to elaborate on this more specifically during the mini-lesson on resistance. One of the benefits of the “Echoes and Reflections” curriculum that a teacher remarked on is that it provided educators “the ability to build a unit to their needs,” whether
it be a brief unit or a more extensive one. The morning seminar was “very wellreceived and evaluations were extremely See “HERC” on page 9
Every group at the conference had one participant act as a “recorder.”
The “Echoes and Reflections” Professional Development Conference was held in Room 500, a large boardroom in Brennan Hall at the University of Scranton. Its flexibility allowed for both whole group sessions and small group work.
Phyllis Malinov (front, right), a member of the HERC’s Advisory Board, worked in a group at the conference.
There were 47 participants at the “Echoes and Reflections” conference.
Small groups worked together during the “Becoming an Ally” seminar.
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Jerry Clark (back, walking behind a group of teachers), the master facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League, led both seminars.
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UJA Campaign Chai-lights
Jewish Agency sends young Israelis to assist hurricane victims A delegation of 15 Russian-speaking Israeli young adults, recruited by the Jewish Agency for Israel, arrived in New York on December 15 to assist elderly Russian speakers and families whose homes and community centers have been destroyed or severely damaged. More than 800,000 Russian immigrants live in the United States, including a large number in New York’s five boroughs. Many of these New Yorkers speak little English and have been stranded on the upper floors of high rises that dot the shores of Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Far Rockaway, Staten Island and Belle Harbor. For senior citizens, still without elevator service, it has been extremely hard to climb the endless flights of darkened stairs in their buildings. As a result, they have been hard-pressed to replenish their food stocks, refill their medical prescriptions and access other basic living necessities. Even finding comfort in the company of fellow community members has been a logistical challenge. In addition to seniors in high-rises, many hundreds of Russian-speaking families in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are currently living in shelters after Sandy’s violent winds and heavy flooding rendered their homes temporarily or permanently uninhabitable. The Israeli volunteers are from families that immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Half the group is “Shinshinim,” members of an elite cadre of 18-year-olds who deferred their military service for one year to perform community service throughout the Jewish world. The other half are Israeli Scouts and former counselors at Jewish summer camps operated by the Jewish Agency in the former Soviet Union. The group was escorted by an Israeli Scout leader and a Jewish Agency staffer. “The Jewish people are there for each other in times of need,” said Misha Galperin, the Jewish Agency’s chief executive officer of international development. “This is true whether a disaster occurs in Israel or here in the United States – it’s a two-way partnership.” Members of the delegation integrated into the UJA Federation of New York’s ongoing relief efforts. In addition to delivering hot meals and essential supplies, as well as paying social visits to seniors stranded in their apartments,
the volunteers conducted needs assessments; cleaned up damaged homes, schools, synagogues and community centers; and worked with local community councils to sort through and distribute donated items. According to Roman Polonsky, the Jewish Agency’s unit director of Russian-speaking Jews that recruited the volunteers, there was “immediate and tremendous” interest among Russian-speaking young people in Israel to join the delegation and help their peer communities in the U.S. Within hours of posting the opportunity, Polonsky’s department was inundated with applications and had to close the list. “These young people represent a new generation of Russian-speaking Jews who want to be part of the global Jewish family,” Polonsky said. “They are oriented toward community service, a perfect path to connect with their inner Jewish spark and act in solidarity with Jews around the world. A thriving Jewish future depends on the active participation and leadership of the millions of Russian-
speaking Jews in Israel and the world. Hurricane Sandy has brought out the best in these young citizens of the Jewish world.”
About the Jewish Agency for Israel
Investing in “a vibrant Jewish future,” the Jewish Agency for Israel, which is funded by Keren Hayesod/ United Jewish Appeal Campaigns throughout the world, continues to address the challenges of the Jewish people in every generation. JAFI connects the global Jewish family, “bringing Jews to Israel and Israel to Jews.” It aims to build a better society in Israel and beyond, “energizing” young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the same time, the Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live. For more information, visit www.jewishagency.org.
Matisyahu “Festival of Light” concert came to the Sherman Theater Matisyahu, the famous Jewish reggae musician, performed on December 11 at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg. More than 600 people took advantage of the rare opportunity to attend a Jewish musical concert performed by a well-known entertainer. The audience was made up of mostly young people, and organizers of the program called their enthusiasm “contagious.” While the crowd inside sang along to Matisyahu’s reggae music, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania held a basket raffle to raise money for Federation programs. There were 18 baskets to raffle off, including a Matisyahu memorabilia basket with a “Meet and Greet” opportunity. Winning tickets were See “Concert” on page 6
L-r: Elisheva Kosmerl, Norma Levine, Merle Turitz and Mark Silverberg attended the VIP reception.
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THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
Scranton Hebrew Day School held Junior Choir Community program
Above, left and right: The Scranton Hebrew Day School Junior Choir, under the direction of Rabbi Dovid Freeman, recently entertained at the JCC Chanukah Festival. Freeman’s class also made its annual visit to the Jewish Home and Webster Towers to entertain the residents.
Scranton Hebrew Day School held Chanukah assembly At right: The kindergarten class performed at the Chanukah assembly.
League A candle lighting was held at the annual Chanukah assembly of the Scranton Hebrew Day School and kindergarten students, who performed in front of parents, grandparents and friends of the school. Above: Rabbi Nosson Adlin, first grade student Bentzi Goldberg and Rabbi Shmuel Goldberg lit the menorah.
Continued from page 3
mitzvah, sheva brochos and more, and included appetizers, salads, soups and desserts. The program’s chairwoman, Batya Freeman, declared the event “a huge success” and thanked her co-chairwoman, Sara Meisels, and the guest speaker, Aviva Brotsky. Recipe books are still available for purchase. To place an order, contact the school office at 346-1576. The cost is $10. All proceeds benefit the school’s scholarship fund. At right: Participants enjoyed the food at the recently held Women’s League Taste-A-Thon.
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.
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Many different foods were available for sampling at the Women’s League Taste-A-Thon.
Continued from page 5 drawn and posted in time for players to check for their numbers after the show. Kristine Arvello, of Stroudsburg, won the “Meet and Greet” package. Before the show, VIP ticket holders were treated to a kosher sushi and dessert reception in the theater lobby.
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Elisheva Kosmerl and Donna Waite worked at the basket raffle.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
Jewish music notes
British pop sensation Alex Clare balances stardom and Orthodoxy
success and riding the publicBy Chavie Liber ity to fuel a European tour. NEW YORK (JTA) – Alex He will be performing in the Clare is really just a nice Jewish United States in late Novemboy. Sure, his hit “Too Close” ber. “It was definitely a good is currently the seventh most feeling to get that call that popular song in the United they wanted my music,” Clare States, his music video has said. “It’s tough not to want to garnered more than 18 million give up.” hits on YouTube and he has Clare began his career permobs of teenage girls chasing forming at bars and clubs in him around Europe. But at the London. For a time, he dated end of the day, he still likes to Emerging British pop sit down with a nice challenging star Alex Clare is working Amy Winehouse, the troubled page of Talmud. to balance his Orthodox pop star and fellow British Jew “I have to say, it’s pretty religious commitments who died of alcohol poisoneasy being in this business and with the demands of ing last year. After Clare was keeping the basics of Jewish global celebrity. (Photo picked up by Island Records in 2010, Winehouse reportedly law,” Clare told JTA in a phone by Jon Baker) told friends she was worried interview before a gig in Manchester, England, recently. “I travel with a Clare would reveal details about their refull set of milk and meat pots and dishes, lationship in his songs. Clare declined to discuss his relationship in addition to having a full suitcase of tins and dry kosher goods. And Shabbos and with Winehouse. Asked about the subject holidays aren’t an issue because I almost matter of his songs, he replied that they are always go back to London or Israel, or find about “deep” themes and that he’s currently working on balancing a life of stardom and a Chabad House to stay at.” Clare’s career got a huge boost this past religious identity. Watching Clare’s videos and hearing his summer when Microsoft chose “Too Close” for the commercial for the latest version of raspy voice, one wouldn’t immediately asInternet Explorer. The 27-year-old resident sume he is a devoted member of the tribe, but of the heavily Jewish London neighborhood he has been an Orthodox Jew for about five of Golders Green had been dropped from years. Raised in a secular home, Clare hooked his record label five months before the up with Chabad after studying in Jerusalem. While on tour, Clare relies on daily software company reached out to him. His 2011 album “The Lateness of the Hour,” spiritual guidance to help maintain his on which “Too Close” first appeared, was religious practice in a music world that provides no end of temptation. He studies considered a flop. See “Clare” on page 15 But Clare is embracing the commercial’s
The Israeli music scene’s rising “Shtar”
By Rachel Marder JNS.org JERUSALEM – When the men of Shtar walked into a Tel Aviv bar on Halloween to perform, the audience was left guessing as to whether the band was in costume. Five guys in black velvet kippot, white collared shirts and black pants, the typical garb of haredi men, is not the norm at Mike’s Place in Israel’s secular capital. But Ori Murray, Brad Rubinstein, Dan Isaac, Avi Sommers and Tzvi Solomons are the real deal. “I think to a good portion of the world it’s still a bit shocking,” says 29-year-old Murray – who goes by “M’Ori” – rap lyricist for the hip hop, pop, electronic fusion band, in an interview with JNS.org. “I just think they don’t associate normality with us. Definitely not rap, or any music style, they would not associate with us.” Though the band – whose name is a talmudic word meaning contract – is used to hearing initial chuckles in Israeli venues,
such as when they played the independent artists festival “InDNegev” in October, they say their music is bringing people together all over the world and changing minds, and once they start playing, they always get a venue bouncing. “I think we can build bridges,” says the 40-year-old Rubinstein (guitarist/songwriter/producer), a father of six who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh in a neighborhood a stone’s throw away from Murray, his wife and three kids, as well as 27-year-old Isaac, his wife and two kids. “Being a frum religious observant Yid doesn’t make you weird or restrict you in any way shape or form. You can definitely build bridges and create shalom.” Shtar released its new EP, “Boss,” in early December – 18 months after the release of its debut album “Infinity,” which was a collection of funk-inspired prayers like “Adom Olam” and “Shir Hamaalot,” original spiritual grooves and smooth, Sephardi See “Shtar” on page 14
At right: The men of Shtar: Tzvi Solomons, Brad Rubinstein, Dan Isaac, Ori Murray and Avi Sommers. (Photo courtesy of Shtar)
Sign up today! The Jewish Federation is proud to give a helping hand to the businesses, business professionals, and non-profit organizations of NEPA during these difficult economic times by creating the NEPA Jewish Federation Business & Trade Alliance.
It will allow people from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne and Pike counties 24/7 access to: . Exchange Business Leads . Promote your Business . Develop Critical Business Skills and Solutions
. Post Job Opportunities and Receive Resumes . Increase Search Engine Optimization . Socialize and Network with Other Successful Business people
Sign up for membership at http://JewishNepaBTA.org If you have not yet registered your business on our new Alliance web site, please contact Mark Silverberg at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1) or email@example.com with your contact person, business name, business phone number, business e-mail address, and regular business postal address to ensure further Business and Trade Alliance communications and event invitations.
Take Center Stage! Sponsorship Opportunities Available. Capture the leading role and benefits as an Event Sponsor. For more information, please call Mark Silverberg at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1). NEPA Jewish Federation Business & Trade Alliance
NEPA Jewish Federation Business & Trade Alliance in Groups
ÊVisit the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the web at www.jewishnepa.org or on Facebook
THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
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: Phyllis Miller 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday evening Shabbat service 7:30 pm, Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am.
MACHZIKEH HADAS SYNAGOGUE Rabbi Mordechai Fine President: Dr. Shaya Barax 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
Union of Reform Judaism Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz President: Eric Weinberg 1 Knox Street, Scranton, PA 18505, (off Lake Scranton Rd.) 570-344-7201 Friday evening Shabbat, 8 pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 11:15 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: Suzanne Tremper Contact person: Art Glantz 570-424-7876 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: email@example.com Friday evening Shabbat, 8pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 9 am
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF SCRANTON
Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism President: Michael Mardo 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
d’var torah Words can be a powerful weapon by RABBI PEG KERSHENBAUM, CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM Shemot, Exodis 1:1-6:1 “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s what they used to say when I was growing up and maybe when you were growing up, too. There’s even less truth than poetry in this little couplet. Names do hurt. Words can be used to damage and permanently mar. A bad reputation clings as much as the mud that was slung to create it. In Judaism, slander – the lies, distortions, catty gossip we direct even in what we think of as benign ways – slander stands in a category of sins like no other. We call it lashon hara or lushin hurruh in the more common Yiddishized pronunciation. However you say it, don’t. It is the sin most mentioned in the 44 al cheits of Yom Kippur. Count them next year! The perpetrator of lashon hara is said to be guilty of murder. We might demure, calling it merely “character assassination,” but we would miss the point. This week, we begin the book of Shemot, which literally means “names.” The name of a person or thing often marks or makes its essence, so a name can create a reputation even more easily than deeds. At the opening of this book, we are given a list of familiar names: all the sons of Jacob as they came down to Egypt with him. But then the names cease. A nameless Pharaoh takes a look at the swarms of these non-Egyptians seething over the face of his land and he makes plans to rid his country of what he sees as their pestilential and probably subversive presence. The xenophobic king appoints taskmasters, also nameless, and imposes harsh labors on the Hebrews. When wearing them out doesn’t work, he demands that the two Hebrew midwives snatch away and kill any boys born of the Hebrew women. Marvelous to tell, these women foil the Pharaoh’s plot. Even more marvelous, they are named, making them more memorable than Mrs. Noah and Mrs. Lot, of pillar-of-salt fame, to say nothing of several hundred other biblical females! One could have said that they made a name for themselves by taking a stand against the murderous decree. But in their case, their names preceded their determined resistance. Their names seem to be related to their profession: one, Shiphra, either cleans up the newborn or breathes into the nostrils of babies who have trouble breathing; the other, Pua, soothes them and their mothers with gentle sounds. For them to kill babies would thus go against their very essence, the names which they have been given and so live up to. That would seem to be the nature of many names in the Bible: They are predictors of character and action. Jacob, whose name literally means something like “heel grabber,” sought to trip up his brother and his father, was outfoxed by his father-in-law and was even involved in a wrestling match with a divine being. David means “beloved”; despite his sometimes underhanded dealings and adulterous affair, he remains loved by God. Moses – Moshe – we learn this week, means “I have drawn him out” – m’shitihu. He goes on to draw us out of slavery. The most significant name that we learn this week is that of God. When Moses asks how to refer to the Divinity in his message to the people, God responds with the famous utterance “Ehyeh asher Ehyeh” – “I shall be who I shall be” or “I am what I am.” Or any of dozens of permutations, all hinting at both the enduring nature of God and also the innate ability of God to be what we’ll need for our relationship to succeed. But somewhere along the line, others came along and read, translated and interpreted our stories, our sacred literature, and came up with a different description of God. How many times have you heard that “the God of the Old Testament [sic] is a jealous God” or a harsh, angry divinity “who metes out strict justice, not mercy”? How has this appraisal colored your reading of our Torah? Names are predictors and words have power to create and destroy. If someone puts the idea into your head that God is angry, you’ll find plenty of evidence of this. But if someone tells you God loves mercy as well as justice, God redeems,
inspires, saves, loves, nurtures – there is ample evidence of these qualities, too. Words wield the power of persuasion, focusing or distracting our attention, thus limiting our field of perception. If the words of others have so much power that they can change our perception of God – often despite our experiences to the contrary – how much more powerful can they be when aimed at people we don’t know well? A friend of mine got into the habit of describing workmates in the most unflattering words. Each co-worker got a sobriquet: the lazy, the crazy, the domineering one – I’m translating loosely. I got a real picture of each of these unsavory characters who made my friend’s life miserable as the friend vented, looking for relief from such an unbearable environment. I never met these folks and I surely did not want to. Then, one day, my friend and I were out walking and the friend grabbed my arm and pointed out a person walking toward us. Seemed to be a pleasant enough person, stepping happily along. (You know, we form impressions in under five seconds.) I would have smiled in passing the person and not given him another thought. But my friend identified the person as “the crazy one” and I felt my impression of the person swirl into something almost threatening and certainly negative. I felt cold and tense. I had never met the person, would have judged him favorably or not at all, but here, because of the verbal preparation, the name calling, I was feeling hostile toward this stranger. Sad to say, the chance passing of this person in the street unleashed in my friend a torrent of angry stories, more evidence of the person’s craziness, until I began to wonder about the friend and about myself. If I listen to this type of speech, do I encourage it? If so, am I helping my friend or allowing a harmful transformation to affect both of us? The Chafetz Chayim, a sage who lived from 1838-1933, wrote extensively on the dangers of lashon hara. He found it a deadly poison for at least three people: the one speaking, the one listening and the one spoken about. His writings on the Jewish laws of proper speech are clear but very challenging to implement in our lives. If we followed his precepts exactly, we would not chat about others, whether for praise or blame. Perhaps we’d turn our thoughts and tongues to greater topics and accomplish more good in the world. Perhaps we’d take more chances and stretch ourselves more, living without fear that our friends are talking about us behind our backs! We live without shame when we live up to our name. So, was the street wisdom of our childhood just bravado? We learned to fight with the very words and names that we said can’t hurt because we understood just how powerful a weapon we had at our disposal. Just as God’s words made the world at first and gave it a moral code later on, our words can make our world. Find what is good and praise it. Point out what is satisfactory and talk it up! Encourage, nurture and build with words and you will find yourself in paradise once again.
The art of David Gelernter
Yeshiva University Museum will host the exhibit “Sh’ma/Listen: The art of David Gelernter” through January 20. This is first museum exhibit of the art of polymath David Gelernter. It presents his word paintings and drawings, which are based on phrases from the Hebrew Bible, Jewish liturgy and other sources, and a new series of portraits of the first Hebrew biblical kings, inspired by medieval tomb sculptures. The words are done in a variety of media, including acrylic, oil, pastel, liquid iron, and gold and metal leaf. For more information, visit http://yumuseum.org or contact the museum at 212-294-8330 or email@example.com.
New Czech Jewish museum exhibits across 10 sites By Ruth Ellen Gruber PRAGUE (JTA) – A large Jewish museum set to open in the Czech Republic in October will be a far cry from any Jewish museum in Europe. Instead of one building or a complex of exhibition halls in one city, it will be a nationwide museum comprising 10 linked thematic exhibitions in 10 restored synagogue buildings located in as many different towns and cities. Called 10 Stars, the project is being coordinated by the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities, which owns the buildings, with the bulk of the funding coming from a $14 million grant from the European Union. About 15 percent of the financing is being provided by the Czech Culture Ministry. “It’s actually one museum scattered around the country,” said Tomas Kraus, the executive director of the federation. “The exhibition in each site will be linked to one certain phenomenon in Jewish history, culture, religion, traditions. The idea is that if you visit one of the sites, even by chance, you will realize that there are nine other parts of the exhibition, so you will want to visit them, too.” To encourage this, 10 Stars will issue a “passport” that can be stamped each time a person visits one of the synagogues in the
network. When all 10 stamps are filled in, the passport can be redeemed for a prize. “We don’t know what that will be yet, though,” said 10 Stars project coordinator Jan Kindermann. Following the fall of communism in 1989, the rescue and recovery of neglected synagogues and other Jewish heritage sites became a potent symbol of the revival of Jewish life, memory and culture in Eastern and Central Europe. This has been particularly true in the Czech Republic, where some 65 synagogues have been restored since 1989. Most of them are now used for cultural purposes, including several Jewish museums. Under development for six years, the 10 Stars project is the country’s most ambitious Jewish heritage project, linking 10 widely scattered sites into a coordinated whole. The idea of creating one museum spread across numerous sites sets 10 Stars apart from the dozens of other Jewish museums that have opened in European countries over the past two decades. They range from small community exhibits to mega projects such as the Russian-Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow that opened in November and the multimillion-dollar Museum of the See “Museum” on page 18
Interior of the restored synagogue in Jicin, Czech Republic, one of the 10 Sites locations. (Photo by Ruth Ellen Gruber)
HERC positive,” noted a HERC representative. Participating educators received their copy of the curriculum, including the DVD, at no charge. Although it sells for $100, noneducators were provided the opportunity to buy a copy at a discount on the day of the seminar. Participants broke for lunch and, upon returning, participated in an interactive workshop on “Becoming an Ally,” which dealt with bullying in a positive manner, empowering educators in school to deal with the problem. The workshop covered all aspects of bullying: verbal, physical and cyber-bullying. The latter has been called “a more insidious” form of bullying that in recent years has caused more teen suicides than the other forms. Participants worked in a large group, in shifting groups and, finally, in defined small groups during different phases of the workshop, and much thought and input were demanded of them. In the final small group exercise, each group also provided feedback on a particular situational problem with which it had been assigned. Program organizers said the afternoon workshop was “extremely well-received and highly rated,” and participants reported that they left feeling “enriched.” Additionally, several of the younger educators who began teaching the Holocaust more recently
Continued from page 4
said they “would love to receive further and deeper training in the subject, with specific classroom applications.” One young woman noted, “Both subjects were extremely important to cover, but I’d love to have an additional full day focusing strictly on the Holocaust, and even more time with an expert in this particular curriculum. There is just so much to learn and teach!” The HERC expressed its gratitude to several people and organizations for their support: The Jewish Federation of NEPA, the University of Scranton, the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute of the University of Scranton and the Rosen Family Holocaust Education Fund. For providing ACT 48 Hours to educators they thanked Northeast Educational Intermediate Unit 19. For help, advice and arrangements they thanked Dr. Darlene Miller-Lanning, of the University of Scranton, and Karen White, of NEIU. HERC also thanked David and Phyllis Malinov and Laura Santoski for handling the early morning registration and distributing materials, and Bill Burke for additional help provided. They also thanked Rae Magliocchi for her administrative help. Special thanks were given to Randi Boyette, associate regional director of education for the ADL, Philadelphia. The HERC hopes to provide additional professional development opportunities in the future.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
Superstorm Relief Fund update
Former leader brings aid and comfort to Queens By Corey B. Bearak Reprinted with permission of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council A former longtime resident who led two Jewish organizations in Queens returned on December 23 with relief supplies from her new home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, a past president of Queens Region Hadassah and the Queens Jewish Community Council, and former officer of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, returned Sunday in her role as director of the ongoing Northeastern Pennsylvania Federation Hurricane Sandy Relief Project of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania. On her first relief visit on November 25, Alfonsi brought a truckload of supplies to three sites in the Rockaways, the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, a private residence in Belle Harbor and at the Redeemer Christian Church of God in Arverne. The December 23 trip included four stops: Anche Shalom Chabad in Kew Gardens, which in turn will provide supplies, food and clothes for three congregations in the Rockaways. Rockwood Park Jewish Center in Howard Beach, a site damaged by Sandy, which will receive supplies. Belle Harbor Torah Institute, which will receive supplies, food and gifts for the congregation’s children. The Redeemer Christian Church of God Chapel of Praise in Arverne, which will receive supplies and clothes. For more information, call Mark Silverberg, executive director of the Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania (www.jewishnepa.org), which is based in Scranton. He can be reached at 570-961-2300, ext. 1. The visit’s itinerary included: Ansche Shalom Chabad, where Rabbi Mordechai Hecht received supplies, clothes and food for the three congregations that he services in the Rockaways. Rockwood Park Jewish Center, where Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz received supplies and showed Alfonsi the damage to his synagogue. Belle Harbor Torah Institute, where Rabbi Levi Osdoba received supplies, food and gifts for the children of his congregation and showed Alfonsi the damage to his Torah Center. The Redeemer Christian Church of God Chapel of Praise, where Pastor Foluso Akinbola received supplies and clothes, and showed the repairs that he and his community are making to his devastated church.
In addition to boxes of kosher food, household goods, clothing, utensils, blankets, toys, gift certificates from Home Depot and other office and home supplies being delivered to distribution centers, under the direction of Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, the director of Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts, the attached letters and checks were sent on December 21 to the following institutions that are serving as distribution
Notice to our Pocono Readers 911 Emergency Management Services has been updating mailing addresses in Monroe County and Lehman Townships in Pike County. Please don't forget to notify the Federation so you will continue to receive The Reporter. Thanks, Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
centers for area Jewish communities. Other institutions will be added to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Federation Hurricane Sandy relief efforts as they become known. Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz Rockwood Park Jewish Center, Howard Beach 156-45 84th St. Howard Beach, NY 11414 Rabbi Levi Osdoba Belle Harbor Torah Institute 211 Beach 140 St. Belle Harbor, NY 11694 Rabbi Mordechai Hecht Chabad Home Forest Hills – Anshe Sholom Chabad JCC 82-52 Abington Rd. Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Executive Director Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island 3001 West 37th St. Brooklyn, NY 11224-1479 Dear Rabbi, Enclosed is a check from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Superstorm Relief Fund in the amount of $500. The check has been made payable to your institution to assist in a small way in your recovery efforts over and above those supplies already provided to you. It is minor compared to the devastation you have suffered, but it is given as a token of our respect for the work you are doing and continue to do to sustain the Jewish communities in your area at this time of great need. I also thank you for working with Sandra Alfonsi, our director of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. She is absolutely committed to providing your institution and the Jewish communities in your area with the basic necessities of life – food, cleaning supplies, blankets, clothing, toys and $20 gift cards from Home Depot and other major distributors of household goods – all of which are being delivered to you under her direction as a token of our respect for the work you have done and continue to do for our people. Our request for donated supplies and funds continues and our Federation is honored that you have allowed us to perform this mitzvah. I wish it could be more, but please know that we will continue these efforts so long as we are able to do so, and so long as you continue to require our assistance. I wish you and yours better times for the future. Sincerely yours, Mark Silverberg Executive director, Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
A second trip into destruction, desperation and hope By Dr. Sandra Alfonsi On Sunday, December 23, my friend Tony Stefano and I set out from my house at 8 am for our second trip to the hurricane-ravaged areas of Howard Beach, Belle Harbor and the Rockaways. We had loaded our Mitzvah Van after Shabbat with cleaning supplies, clothes, toys, kosher food products and gift cards from Home Depot and Target. When we arrived in Queens, we stopped and picked up my friend Elana and her son, David. David will have his bar mitzvah this June and he wanted to participate and help others. It was fitting that he and his mom came with me since they, too, are “summer” members of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Jewish community and spend time in the family vacation home in Hemlock Farms. Our itinerary was a bit different on this trip, since we had our first drop-off at Ansche Shalom Chabad in Kew Gardens, Queens. We unloaded cleaning supplies, clothes, paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic silverware and kosher food products, including cereal and cookies, for the children. David helped carry some of the lighter boxes of paper goods and placed them in one particular area designated by Rabbi Mordechai Hecht. Cleaning supplies went into another area and clothes were hung or placed on tables in still another section. I stood and watched for a moment, trying to understand the careful layout of our donations. That was when Hecht told me that people come from the three devastated communities in Far Rockaway to choose what they need. I looked around at our boxes, bags and neatly hung clothing, and I was so proud of what our Jewish community in Northeastern Pennsylvania had just contributed to the welfare of people whom we have never met. Then, we set out for Howard Beach and a meeting with Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz, spiritual leader of the Rockwood Park Jewish Center. I knew that I was not prepared for what I would see and I was correct. My tears started as I saw the outside of the building – windows with no glass and covered with garbage bags or filled with mattresses; damage to the outside walls; bags of trash piled along them; uprooted bushes and trees. There were commercial standing lights with no
power to make them work, since the generator either was not connected or did not work. The more I tried to hold back my tears, the more I saw the Rockwood Park Jewish Center as I had known it – beautiful, with its sleek lines, well-trimmed hedges, flowering bushes and large elongated windows that let in light throughout the synagogue. Then I saw Berkowitz as he walked toward me. I looked at him and for the first time I saw face-to-face the human toll of this hurricane. When I spoke with him on the phone throughout the past two weeks, I noticed a lack of tonality in his voice. But now I saw that his body language and demeanor had also changed drastically. Berkowitz is still the tall, slender and impressive man whom I first met more than 12 years ago. But, just as his voice had lost some of its resonance, so had his stance and stride lost much of its energy. As we greeted each other, I asked myself what I could possibly bring to him that could help repair the trauma that continues to devastate his soul. It was Berkowitz who gave me the answer. He kept repeating that it has been seven weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit and that I am the only person to come to see him and his shul. I answered that with me is an entire Jewish community. He asked me if it was really 12 years ago that we last met. When I said yes, he asked me why I had come now. I answered that “what goes around comes around,” and that it was his loving act of chesed to me and Hadassah – when he welcomed me 12 years ago into his shul’s sukkah and helped me get new members for Hadassah, that has brought me to him. Berkowitz said what I already knew – that we are the first and only Jewish community to come to see him. We are also the only Federation to come. No one has come, called or tried to help. Berkowitz has been alone in this world of destruction and devastation for seven weeks, and his body reflects the damage to his soul. A good, generous, honest and wise rabbi whose very nature thrives on random acts of chesed, he has tried to figure out what to do and how to break out of this isolation and rescue his synagogue and congregation. Then, he took me into his beautiful shul and I saw for myself the horrible damage and destruction. And again, Berkowitz asked me what he should do and how his congregation will survive. When we arrived in our Mitzvah Van, Berkowitz finally saw that he and his congregation do indeed exist for the outside world – even though we are separated by an almost 250-mile round trip. But what he did not know, as we left his parking lot, was that we would be back in 20 minutes accompanied by a reporter from NY1 television, who would film the damage in the shul and interview him. She also interviewed me and I was so proud to say that we had come from the Jewish community of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was also proud to say that I was here as the past president of both the Queens Region Hadassah and the Queens Jewish Community Council, and that my dear friend Corey Bearak, a lawyer and chairman of the board of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, had worked so hard to publicize the visit. As I finished my interview, I looked at Berkowitz and I saw the strong, proud, vibrant rabbi who I had met so many years before. His eyes were finally clear and his voice strong as he thanked me. I knew then what we had brought to him. We had brought something very special and it had helped rescue this wonderful rabbi from the depths of despair – we brought him tikvah – hope and the knowledge that there are Jews who care and do acts of chesed that are not random. We left Berkowitz and went to Belle Harbor to find Rabbi Levi Osdoba, of the Belle Harbor Torah Institute. He waited anxiously for our Mitzvah Van and greeted me with a warm smile as I stepped out. I saw a young rabbi, a gentle man who had lost his Torah Institute but whose eyes were filled with hope and also gratitude. I understood that it was not merely gratitude for what we had brought to him – cleaning supplies, clothes, toys, kosher food products and gift cards from Home Depot and Target. His eyes brimmed as he thanked me for caring; for all the e-mails that I continue to send to him and Berkowitz with information on aid available to their communities; and for the delicacy with which we have approached this entire question of need within the Jewish community. Osdoba was the first rabbi to tell me about the shortage of food and the need for funds to buy food to give out. How proud I am of the fact that our Federation has sent him a check to help buy food for Shabbat and that friends have given me money to buy the kosher food that we delivered to him. What worries me is the fact that both Berkowitz and Osdoba have lived surrounded by mold for seven weeks, and that they no longer are aware of its odor. Tony, Elana, David and I were instantly aware of the presence of mold. I have asked my friend Corey to help me find help for this problem. See “Storm” on page 14
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
AN URGENT MESSAGE WAS SENT OUT BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF NORTHEASTERN PA AND YOU ANSWERED THE CALL AND DONATED TO THE
SUPERSTORM RELIEF FUND
Thank you... the good we do is up to you!
Help is still needed. For information on giving, see the ad on page 13. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JewishNEPA
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THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
Gaza, and that if “Palestine” is a state controlled by the P.A., then its leaders are responsible for these war crimes. That is a case more easily proven than any case against Israel for having committed war crimes and/or crimes against humanity against Palestinians in its settlement policies, or in its response to missile fire and terrorist attacks emanating from the West Bank and Gaza. Even Human Rights Watch, known for its anti-Israel stance, recently accused Palestinian “armed groups” in Gaza of violating the laws of war during the November 2012 fighting by firing about 1,500 missiles at populated areas in Israel, making clear that harming civilians was their aim, and repeatedly firing missiles from densely populated Palestinian areas, placing Palestinian civilians at risk from Israeli counter-fire.
Abrogating the Oslo Accords
Despite their threats, the Palestinians do not need to annul the Accords because they never intended to honor them in the first place. Abetted by many Western governments, P.A. leadership has abrogated every agreement it has ever made
The seventh Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off will offer a chance to win the $25,000 grand prize, which includes appliances, cash, an expense paid trip and a crystal trophy. This year, the contest will be held at the Manischewitz Manufacturing Plant and Headquarters in Newark, NJ, giving contestants and guests a peek inside the production facilities. The entry deadline is Monday, February 4. To enter, log onto www. manischewitz.com and click on the cook-off banner to submit a recipe. The recipe must adhere to kosher guidelines, be prepared in under an hour and have no more than nine ingredients, which must include one of the Manischewitz all-natural broth flavors plus one additional Manischewitz product. Four finalists will be chosen by the judging panel and five semi-finalists will be posted on the site from February 21-28, allowing consumers to vote online to select the fifth finalist. For complete contest details, visit www. manischewitz.com.
with Israel. In fact, 10 days after the Accords were signed on the White House lawn under the auspices of then-President Bill Clinton, the terrorist attacks began and never stopped. Two decades of Israeli compromises and land concessions that granted the P.A. control over its own territory; military training and assistance, including stewardship by three American generals; a PLO office in Washington; billions of dollars in foreign assistance; and Israel’s dismantling of its settlements in Gaza were rewarded with Palestinian suicide bombers, a Second Intifada, missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population and the deaths of thousands of Israeli men, women and children. Rather than discussing the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, P.A. leaders continue to celebrate the deaths of their murderous “martyrs” by naming tournaments and streets after them. Their educational system teaches that Jews are infidels and the descendants of pigs and monkeys whose murder will lead them to paradise. Their maps show “Palestine” in place of Israel. Hatred continues to emanate from their religious and media sectors. From its inception, the P.A. has rejected Israeli offers for a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem both in the 2000 Camp David summit and in the ensuing offer conveyed by President Clinton at the end of that year. Despite its statements to the gullible Western media (in English), it continues to demand (in the Arab media) not a state beside Israel, but a state in place of it... the “final solution,” if you will. When the nations of the world declared the existence of “Palestine” on November 29, they not only destroyed what was left of the Oslo Accords, they rewarded the party that has refused to make peace, the party that has never hesitated to cheer the slaughter of innocent Israelis, and the party that continues to deny Israel’s right to exist in its ancient and ancestral homeland. Yet, they find the time to condemn Israel’s announcement that 3,000 apartments will be built in and around Jewish neighborhoods – including Ramot, Gilo and Ramat Shlomo – that no one ever envisioned being given to the Palestinians in any negotiated settlement. As for the E1 area between Jerusalem and its suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, it, too, is in an area that Israel has always intended to keep in any final negotiated settlement on borders and security matters. So, if the Palestinians, the U.N. and the Europeans do not feel bound to honor the Accords, then the sole remaining question is under what circumstances will Israel formally abrogate them and return to the status quo ante. The answer will come soon enough. In the wake of Israel’s eight-day counter-terrorism operation in Hamas-controlled
Continued from page 2 Gaza, Hamas’ stature was elevated in Palestinian eyes. As a result, Abbas now considers Hamas to be a political ally rather than an enemy, although he is about to discover that the enemy of his enemy (Israel) is not his friend. The P.A. is rapidly curtailing its security cooperation with the IDF – the only real barrier to a complete Hamas takeover of the West Bank. It has reopened Hamas’ dawah (Islamic proselytizing) institutions as a reconciliation gesture and suspended the arrests of Hamas’ West Bank operatives. It has allowed Hamas, for the first time since its 2007 civil war in Gaza, to stage a festival in Nablus to mark the terrorist organization’s 25th anniversary. It has broadcast live over official P.A. networks on the West Bank the incendiary speech of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Gaza calling for the destruction of Israel (while Abbas said nothing). In Hebron, thousands of Hamas, PLO, Islamic Jihad and PFLP supporters rallied in support of a Third Intifada, kidnapping more IDF soldiers and calling for the establishment of a single Arab state encompassing all of Israel. Paralleling these developments, a just-released poll by Arab World Research and Development, a Ramallah-based research center, shows that, for the first time since 2006, 88 percent of Palestinians favor Hamas’ strategy of “armed struggle” over Fatah’s (Abbas’) political approach. If these statistics are correct, for Palestinians, war and terrorism are preferable to peace negotiations, in which case there are dark times ahead. If the goal is to drag Israel into a confrontation with Palestinian civilians to embarrass the Israelis internationally and force them to capitulate, it will have the exact opposite result. Should Hamas (and its Iranian benefactor) seize control of the P.A. on the West Bank and begin arming itself with missiles, as occurred in Gaza, the consequences are predictable. Israel will never permit the establishment of a genocidal Islamic regime entrenched a mere eight miles from its major population centers. Given the existential nature of this threat, the issue will no longer be the extension of Israeli sovereignty over the cities and towns of Area C, but a massive IDF incursion into the West Bank along the lines of Operation Defensive Shield, the overthrow of the Hamas-led P.A. regime, and the return of the West Bank to pre-Oslo Israeli military control. The price Israel will pay for this will be international condemnation and possibly sanctions, but in the end, it is the price that Israel must pay if it is to survive. Mark Silverberg’s articles have been archived at www. marksilverberg.com.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
WONDERING WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP? DONATE NOW! The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath has devastated the lives of millions of people in NY, NJ and CT. Hundreds of thousands are without food, water, medical supplies, shelter and the basic necessities of life.
HELP US HELP THEM!
AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA:
SUPERSTORM RELIEF FUND
The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath has devastated the lives of millions of people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Hundreds of thousands are without food, water, medical supplies, shelter and the basic necessities of life. Their lives hang in the balance. As Jews, we must do our part in relieving their suffering as we have always done when faced with national catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina. The lives of millions of Americans hang in the balance. We must be there for them.
Please donate… Tax-deductible contributions made out to the Jewish Federation of NEPA/Hurricane should be mailed to our office at 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510. You can also donate online by visiting http://jewishnepa.org/site/hurricane-sandy-donations/
Thank you for your generosity.
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THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
choruses alongside eloquent raps. “Infinity” is more religiously themed and features more Hebrew than “Boss,” which is all in English, says Murray, who grew up in a rough neighborhood in Seattle. Rather than lines like “Who is like you in this living world/Who is like you in the heavens above/Who will last for eternity/Who created infinity,” from the “Infinity” title track, “Boss” features more of a pop and electronica sound, and songs about an individual’s struggles, as told through Murray’s own experiences. “On pretty much every track there’s a story,” he says. “I have ups and downs in my life. That’s what makes life life. You gotta take those emotions and bring them out. It’s beautiful to be able to connect to people on all levels.” Shtar hopes “Boss” can appeal to a broader range of
listeners. “People that don’t speak Hebrew or don’t have a religious connection or aren’t Jewish may not have been able to connect or latch on or really appreciate the ‘Infinity’ album to its fullest extent and we didn’t want that to happen this time,” says Murray. “We wanted to make this album more universal for everybody.” Still, spirituality continues to inspire their music, such as on “Rabbit Hole,” whose unique rhythm line sounds similar to a niggun (wordless melody) from the Shabbat liturgy that Rubinstein and Murray heard a cantor sing. “Overload” is about reflecting on the choices we make and our precious time on this planet, while “Rabbit Hole” is about realizing what’s real and what’s fake, or as Rubinstein calls it, “a song of clarity.” In the video for “Overload,” shot in downtown
Continued from page 10
We will continue to bring cleaning supplies, but it is evident that not enough has been done to make a difference. We left Osdoba with the promise that we will return in three to four weeks and the knowledge that the Jewish community of Northeastern Pennsylvania has him and his community in its prayers, and that Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania will continue to do all that it can to help. On our first trip down, I was able to visit a home in Belle Harbor and take photos of the damage. This trip was very different. I was honored to meet Saul, the owner of the home. Saul is a lovely man with a good heart and a brave smile. As he told me about some of the progress made in his home, he spoke of delays, setbacks and a recurring sense of helplessness. As I handed him an envelope with four Home Depot gift cards, I wondered what good this help would do. Saul looked at me and then hugged me as he said, “Thank you. Every bit helps so much.” Then he brought me into his home and took me downstairs. He told me that he finally has electricity and heat but pointed to the damage and spoke about the unbelievable force of the waters that had literally broken the doors and windows and engulfed the basement and first floor of his home. Saul’s eyes, which had been so clear when we stood outside, were now swimming in contained tears. We climbed the stairs from the basement and I asked him to explain to me how he was coping. He answered very simply that it is either cope or give up. As I walked away, I told him that I would be back. He smiled and answered, “I know.”
Our final stop was at the small church that we have adopted. How happy I was when Tony accompanied me in to the lower level of the church and we saw the progress – there is a boiler and a hot water heater and walls have been framed. The pastor and his charming wife were at another church where the pastor was the guest speaker. Two very charming women came to greet us and we unloaded cleaning supplies and clothes. I had bought a Christmas wreath with a red velvet bow for the pastor’s wife. Sister Margaret, one of the two women, took it and told me that she would place it on the door for her to see as she entered. This morning, she called me and continued to speak about their gratitude and asked for God’s blessings on all of us in our community. I told her that she did not need to speak of gratitude and that it is my honor – no, our honor, as a Jewish community – to help her community. As Tony and I drove home, I thought about Berkowitz and I told Tony the real mitzvah that we had carried in our Mitzvah Van was the gift of hope. Our act of chesed traveled more than 125 miles in one direction to bring hope into the lives and souls of individuals in pain. Isolated no longer, they understand the strength and reliability of the friendship of the Jewish community of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania. They also know that I will return to them in three to four weeks. And that is my promise... our promise. Dr. Sandra Alfonsi is the Northeastern Pennsylvania Federation director of the Hurricane Sandy Relief Project.
Continued from page 7 Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, a young man comes to a violent realization about the consequences of his actions. They collaborated with Grammy award-winning producer and engineer Adrian Bushby on “Overload” and “Gone Again,” and with producer Nissim Black (formerly D.Black) on “Rabbit Hole,” a rapper from South Seattle who became an Orthodox Jew. The band plans to follow up the five songs on “Boss,” with a second EP by the early summer and a U.S. and U.K. tour next year, where they say they’ll play at any venue, from a club to a Jewish Community Center. Shtar formed in 2006 when Rubinstein and Murray were studying together at the Aish HaTorah yeshiva in Jerusalem, which specializes in educating Jews raised with little tradition. Though the two, who came to Orthodox Judaism as adults, were focused on their intense studies, they started creating music together, with Rubenstein singing and playing guitar and Murray rapping and making the beats. They had set aside music to focus on Judaism, but with rabbinic encouragement and a desire never to look back with regret, they re-embraced their passion. Murray came to Israel at 21, leaving behind a promising career as a rapper and MC on Seattle’s Drum and Bass scene, while Rubinstein, a native of Essex, had been the guitarist and songwriter for Lisp, an electronica band signed to London Records. Rubinstein recalls his wife’s reaction when he put his guitar back on after three or four years of not playing. “That’s the man I married,” she said. Looking back on his recording days, he says, “I felt I had never reaped any true benefits out of it… It all came together when I was at yeshiva. I realized there was a reason for recording so many years ago; to start recording and producing again.” Over the years, they teamed up with Sommers, Solomons and Isaac, a native of London who comes from a line of Sephardi cantors and also works as a Torah scribe. Though they released “Infinity” through Shemspeed Records in the U.S. and 8th Note Records in Israel, this time around they are taking the independent route, recording themselves, handling their marketing and bookings. “We feel confident in our fan base and what we’re doing with our album, it’s not such a risk,” says Murray, adding that thanks to Facebook and YouTube, they have fans from all over, and recently new Muslim fans in particular. “Whether or not the band is successful, hopefully we will be,” says Murray. “We’re just gonna keep making music because it’s an expression of who we are.”
Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment
Your gift to the Annual Campaign DOES A WORLD OF GOOD. Endowing your gift allows you to be there for the Jewish community of NEPA forever. A Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment (PACE) is a permanent fund that endows your Jewish community Annual Campaign gift as a lasting legacy. A PACE fund will continue to make an annual gift in perpetuity on your behalf. To determine the amount you need to endow your entire campaign gift, multiply your current annual gift by 20. You can fund your PACE by adding the JEWISH FEDERATION OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA to your will, or by making the Federation a beneficiary of your IRA. All contributions to establish a PACE are tax deductible.
Let your name be remembered as a blessing. Endowments can be created through a variety of vehicles, some of which do not necessitate funding during your lifetime yet still provide your estate with considerable tax benefits. They also enable you to perpetuate your commitment to the Annual Campaign in a way that best achieves your own personal financial and estate planning goals. Examples Of Ways To Fund Your Pace Gift Are:
* outright contribution of cash, appreciated securities or other long-term * capital gain property such as real estate * charitable remainder trust * gift of life insurance * charitable lead trust * gift of IRA or pension plan assets * grant from your foundation * reserved life estate in your residence * bequest Using appreciated property, such as securities or real estate, affords you the opportunity to eliminate the income tax on the long-term capital gain, will in some instances generate a full income tax charitable deduction and will remove those assets from your estate for estate tax purposes. For more information contact Mark Silverberg at Mark.Silverberg@jewishnepa.org or call 570-961-2300.
Food Network personality embraces tzedakah, grows his brand consistently gives back through By Robert Gluck tzedakah. Among his charitable JNS.org causes are police officers, fireThe grandchild of Holofighters, the military, teachers, caust victims, Duff Goldman the Make a Wish Foundation, became a brand name through Habitat for Humanity and the hard work, creativity and a Lower East Side Girls’ Club. blowtorch. Born in Michigan, These causes, he said in an Goldman was once in the Guininterview, are just the tip of the ness Book of World Records iceberg. “I’m a cook who won for baking the world’s largest the lottery,” Goldman told JNS. cupcake. A graduate of the org. “Seeing the effects this Culinary Institute of America, he is the executive chef of the Duff Goldman. (Photo has had on everybody makes Baltimore-based Charm City c o u r t e s y o f D u f f us want to give back. Every time we give it makes us want Cakes, a shop featured in the Goldman) to give more.” Goldman was Food Network reality television show “Ace reluctant to further describe his charitable of Cakes.” Goldman’s bakery shop – which recently efforts, citing the tzedakah principle of givadded three locations in Los Angeles – is ing anonymously. Cooking since he was 4 and working unusual in that blowtorches, as well as power tools such as grinders and drills, help form professionally since he was 14, Goldman’s the underlying supports of the shop’s unique unique approach comes, in part, from his artistic Jewish family. His great-grandmother edible creations. According to Goldman’s instructor at “Mamo” came to the United States from CIA, pastry chef/team leader Robert Jorin, Ukraine and became a baker and cook. Her Goldman was more enthusiastic about his daughter, Duff’s grandmother “Nana,” was work than most students. “He knew what a professional artist whose work includes he wanted to do when he came here and he painting, printmaking and silversmithing. always put a lot of effort into it,” Jorin told Goldman’s mother Jackie is an artist who JNS.org. “He wrote in his first essay that began in printmaking, created and taught his goal was to be on the cover of Pastry ceramics in her own commercial studio, Art and Design. That set him apart from moved on to stained glass for more than 30 years, and is now working on clay, silver the rest.” Amid his increasing fame, Goldman and gold creations. “I was taught growing up that they can take everything away from you, but they can never take away your heart and your education,” Goldman said. “As long as you keep your brain and your heart, you can carry on.” During his younger years in northern Virginia, Goldman studied art at Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC, and was a local graffiti artist. With his culinary degree and growing experience, he baked bread for Todd English’s DCbased Olives Restaurant under executive chef Steve Mannino. Inspired by the chefs he worked for, Goldman’s entrepreneurial sprit took him back to Baltimore in 2000, where he realized his dream and opened Charm City Cakes. Goldman said word-of-mouth, the media, and even the health department all began to take an interest, and he soon found himself in a real bakery of his very own.”It was small, but it got the job done,” Goldman said. Goldman kept the health department happy, his press coverage increased and a growing list of clients helped propel him into an even bigger location: an old church he retrofitted into a modern bakery. “The important part that all these great chefs taught A cake designed like a robot from Duff me is how to dig real far into yourself and Goldman’s Charm City Cakes. (Photo by how to do your absolute best,” Goldman See “Tzedakah” on page 16 Charm City Cakes)
the Tanya, a work of Chasidic philosophy by the founder of the Chabad movement, and the Talmud tractate Brachot. He also finds time to work on a new album, expected next year, which he says will incorporate subtle spiritual messages. “One new song I’m writing is sort of based off of Shir HaShirim [Song of Songs], but you would never have known unless I told you,” he said. “But my goal isn’t to have an agenda through my music. Just to be living the way I am is a message in itself.” Clare is part of a growing corps of Jewish artists whose religious commitments preclude performing on Friday nights, including the Moshav Band, Peter Himmelman and Dov Rosenblatt of The Wellspring. But a more apt comparison may be Matisyahu, the reggae star and onetime Chabad adherent who achieved global success singing about spiritual themes while clad in the black and white garb of a Chasid. Clare acknowledges that many compare
Continued from page 7 him to Matisyahu but insists that his mission is different, adding he doesn’t come with the same “shtick.” “I’m not trying to be a religious symbol for anyone,” he said. Clare said his team helps him keep certain religious laws: For example, his bodyguards help ward off the mobs of screaming teenage girls – and there are many – so that nobody touches him, since he adheres to religious laws of modesty which forbid touching women. “I know clubs and concert halls are not the best place for a nice Jewish boy, but everyone has their life choices and this is mine,” he said. “It’d definitely be different if I was a Satmar Chasid. They’d probably disown me.” Clare says that he did lose a record deal opportunity because he refused to play on Sukkot and tour over the holidays. But he says these are small prices to pay, and even with sacrifices made, a little faith can go a long way.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
Create a Legacy for our Jewish Future in NEPA Your charitable gifts to the Federation can result in immediate and/or future benefits for you and your family.
TYPES OF GIFTS PERPETUAL ANNUAL CAMPAIGN ENDOWMENTS (P.A.C.E.) There are considerable tax advantages in establishing a P.A.C.E. gift to the Federation outright or as part of your estate planning. In doing so, you can perpetuate your annual UJA Campaign gift in your name, the name of your family, in memory of a loved one or in celebration of a significant event in your life or the life of another. On average, the annual income normally calculates out to 5% of the amount of your P.A.C.E. endowment. The corpus of your Fund would not be affected, and only the income would be used for the annual UJA gift – in perpetuity. That is, a P.A.C.E. endowment of $100,000 would normally produce an annual gift of $5,000 to future UJA Campaigns. IMMEDIATE GIFTS OF CASH Cash contributions are deductible as itemized deductions in the year you make the donation(s), up to 50% of your adjusted gross. Excess charitable deductions can be carried forward for up to five years. GIFTS OF SECURITIES The best stocks to donate are obviously those with increased value. However, depreciated securities are not necessarily unworthy of charitable contributions. In order to preserve the best tax advantages, with regard to appreciated and depreciated securities, please contact the Federation. MATCHING GIFTS If you work for a company that participates in a Matching Gift Program (see details in this issue of The Reporter), then the company will match your gift to the Jewish Federation. Please check with your Human Resources Department for more information. GIFTS OF MUTUAL FUNDS Contributing mutual fund shares can provide the same tax advantages as appreciated stocks. Due to the great complexities involved with the transfer of mutual fund shares, please begin the transfer process well before December 31st. GIFTS OF REAL ESTATE A charitable contribution of property is most attractive when there is no mortgage balance and the property is increasing in value. Based upon the fair market value, you may claim an income tax deduction, avoid all capital gains taxes, and remove that property from your taxable estate. You may transfer real estate to the Jewish Federation at any point, but please consult your tax professional or financial advisor prior to a real estate transaction. DEFERRED/PLANNED GIFTS Deferred gifts are often called “planned gifts” because they are integrally connected to your financial and/or estate plans. They may range in size from very small bequests to multi-million dollar trusts. They are deferred gifts because, even though they are given today, the Jewish Federation will not realize their benefit until some time in the future. Please contact the Federation for more information regarding various planned giving options. GENERAL ENDOWMENT FUNDS The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania expresses its gratitude to those who have made a commitment to our Endowment Fund. These very special contributions represent a commitment to maintain a high quality of Jewish life in our region for the decades that lie ahead.
CONTACT For further information, please contact Mark Silverberg, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1)
THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
said. “It’s about striving for excellence, making things as perfect as possible.” As word about his unusual and daring cakes got out, Goldman hired staff with more artistic experience than the typical pastry chef, like painters, architects and sculptors. His team produces cakes that range from “Star Wars” characters and vehicles, to a replica of the Stanley Cup, to a working life-size motorcycle, a Hogwarts Castle for Warner Brothers and the premiere of “Harry Potter,” to thousands of more creations for everyone from the bar across the street to the NFL celebrating the Super Bowl. In 2006, the Food Network tapped Goldman and his fellow baking artists to star in “Ace of Cakes.” After six years and 10 seasons, the show is popular not only in reruns, but also in more than 40 countries worldwide. In 2011, the show saw
its United Kingdom premiere draw record numbers for Food Network’s latest overseas venture: Food Network UK. In addition to his work on “Ace of Cakes,” Goldman also stars in the Food Network series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and has been featured in episodes of “Iron Chef America” and “Cupcake Wars.” He also guest-starred in both TV and film, including Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Fox’s “King of the Hill,” Walt Disney Pictures’ “You Again” and the indie film “Below the Beltway.” “He was always innovative and the wild one when it came to ideas,” his teacher, Jorin, said. “He was not the quiet person in the class. In the kitchen, he got things done without hesitation. His projects were always interesting and out-of-the-norm. This is what sets people apart who are going to be successful later on.”
December 24, 2012
Dear Friends, Your generosity this year was amazing! Although the economy has affected everyone, your hearts and pocketbooks were opened wide. Thank you so much for keeping Project Joy a priority. Many, many organizations received toys beautifully wrapped by our volunteers. Jewish Family Services received multiple toys for over fifty children. Some individual special families, who were brought to our attention, received holiday gifts for their children. The children and their parents in the pediatric departments of Mercy, Moses Taylor Hospital, and CMC were especially touched when we personally visited them and presented their children with holiday gifts and get well wishes. Multiple families were adopted from Lackawanna Children and Youth and Catherine McAuley Center. These children received new toys and clothing which were requested from their own specific and personalized wish lists. These gifts could have been their only visit from Santa. St. Joseph Center received arts and craft items and other toys from their wish list which is what they needed. Children’s Advocacy was thrilled with the gifts for older children who are sometimes over looked. Teenagers deserved gifts too!
Our heartfelt thanks to the following contributors: Everything Natural Lucy Hufford Sam’s Club Carol & Jeff Leventhal Lawrence & Judie Golden Saul & Sharon Levy Michael Roth Nancy Friedman David & Gail Dickstein Richard & Cari Leventhal Mahler Liesel Krugh Sam Harris Nikki Gardiner Deutsch Family Foundation Oppenheim Foundation Donald & Joyce Douglass Robert & Elaine Ufberg Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Tim & Debbie Shane Faye & Rick Bishop Jerry & Lynne Fragin Rhoda Barr Rosalie Engelmyer Lindsay Leventhal Jim & Jacqueline Verano Jack & Carol Nogi Richard & Carole Fine Judy & Lou Premselaar Jane Kessler Guitelle Rothstein James & Patricia Alperin Beverly Klein Stuart & Janet Moskovitz Gary S. Davis Eric & Angela Weinberg Ilise Rubinow Cal & Doris Leventhal Jay Rosenstein Steve & Ellen Seitchik Joe & Ruthie Hollander Michael Mardo & Iris Liebman Adele Baldinger Ed & Phillis Brandes Zipi Weinberg Hollyanne Kupinski Jerald & Kerrie Gilbert Ann & Ed Monsky Seth & Sheryl Gross Andrea Vidal Amos Lodge Michelle Breese Barbara & Fred Levy Faye & Robert Rosenberg Gayle & Mike Greenstein Toby Silverman Susan & Ricky Jacobson Phyllis Weinberg Margi & Louis Shapiro Robin & Jeffrey Jacobson The following volunteer wrappers and delivery personnel spent hours making these gifts look especially festive for each child. A special thank you to these wonderful people: Susan McKay Nancy Friedman Faye Bishop Ann Monsky Hilary Kingery Michele Wilk JCC Maintenance Staff
Lucy Hufford Jane & Emily Kessler Phyliss Weinberg Lynne & Jerry Fragin Sharon Levy Lindsay Leventhal Angela Weinberg
With deep appreciation,
Carol Leventhal Carol Leventhal, Project Joy Chairwoman
Vince Kalinoski Hollyanna Kupinski Marlene Czachor Eileen Baine JCC Office Staff Jeff Leventhal
Continued from page 15 The growth of Goldman’s brand isn’t finished just yet. In 2012, he opened Duff’s Cake Mix, a bakery in Hollywood where customers create their own cakes, and he is collaborating with “Electus for Hungry,” a new food-centric channel debuting exclusively on YouTube. But before he made all those artistic cakes, Goldman made a bunch of flops. “You don’t learn anything by succeeding all the time,” Goldman said. “You’ve got to fall down, get hit and beat up. You’ve got to fail. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not advancing.”
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elections on January 22 and, as expected, forms another right-wing government, he may feel domestic political pressure to accelerate building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority will be watching closely. It already has announced its intention to call for a renewal of negotiations with the precondition that Netanyahu freeze building in settlements and eastern Jerusalem. If that does not happen, Palestinian leaders say they will use their new U.N.-conferred status to seek war crimes charges against Israelis and suspend the security cooperation that has left the West Bank relatively quiet. In this event, Israel likely would ask for U.S. diplomatic assistance to inhibit any Palestinian standing in the international court system. The collapse of Israeli-Palestinian defense cooperation – seen as a signature U.S. policy achievement over successive administrations – could force Obama into crisis management mode. Other sources of regional turmoil that likely will pose challenges for the U.S. in the new year include an empowered Hamas, the struggle in Egypt fueled by the power seizures of President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist backers, and the civil war in Syria. Iran Ending months of tensions with Obama over what would be the trigger for a military strike on Iran, Netanyahu, in his September speech to the U.N. General Assembly, gave the United States some space to press forward with efforts to resume negotiations between Iran and the six major powers attempting to get it to halt its suspected nuclear weapons program. Such talks may resume before the end of 2012. Reportedly on the table from the United States are a lifting of some sanctions – including one that bans the sale of parts for civilian aircraft – and allowing Iran to enrich uranium to civilian-use levels, up to 5 percent. In exchange, Iran would agree to a much more intrusive inspections regimen by the International Atomic Energy, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Those terms do not please the pro-Israel community. A letter backed by theAmerican Israel PublicAffairs Committee urging Obama to enhance existing sanctions and insist on no uranium enrichment has garnered the signatures of 73 U.S. senators. The Iranian nuclear issue could be a source of tension between the Obama administration and Congress over the next year. And if talks fail to yield progress, the debate over Israeli or U.S. military action could heat up again. U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court is considering at least two hot-button social issues that Jewish groups have weighed in on: same-sex marriage and affirmative action. Liberal Jewish groups have been strong supporters of same-sex marriage. Orthodox opponents of same-sex marriage worry that their religious freedom could be curtailed – for example, by penalizing a kosher caterer for refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding. The court will be weighing the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in the 1990s and defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, as well as a California court ruling quashing a referendum that sought to ban same-sex marriage in that state. Liberal Jewish groups plan to join amicus briefs supporting same-sex marriage, while at least one Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America, has indicated it will be filing on the other side. Also on the docket, once again: Race-based affirmative action in public university admissions. But whereas in previous cases major Jewish groups have been divided on the issue, this time they have lined up in support of the university policy favoring affirmative action. The Supreme Court already has heard arguments in the case, and its ruling is pending. Liberal Jewish groups also are considering joining a defense of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires states once afflicted by Jim Crow to pre-clear district changes with Washington. Conservatives on the court have signaled that they are ready to retire the act. Obama’s re-election, meanwhile, clears the way for the court’s two older liberal judges to step down, although neither of them – Stephen Breyer, age 74, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79 – have suggested they’re interested in leaving. Ginsburg and Breyer, like the most recent appointee, Elena Kagan, are Jewish. Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly has told friends he’s thinking about retiring – but the staunch conservative may try to stick around until there is a Republican president to pick his successor.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
Report: One-quarter of Israelis – and 37 percent of kids – live in poverty By Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA) – The numbers tell a consistent storyline: Nearly one in four Israelis lives in poverty. A recent report by Israel’s National Insurance Institute showed that 1.8 million of Israel’s eight million people live below the poverty line. In 2011, the year for which the report was issued, more than 36 percent of Israeli children were poor, a jump of 1 percentage point from the previous year. Poverty afflicts more than 400,000 Israeli families, including nearly 7 percent of families with two working people. Among developed countries, Israel had the secondhighest poverty rate, behind only Mexico, according to statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. “There’s a very large segment of the Israeli population that isn’t receiving tools they can use in the modern economy,” said Dan Ben-David, executive director of Israel’s Taub Center, a think tank that recently released its “State of the Nation” report analyzing Israeli socioeconomic policy. “It’s not only bad for them, it’s also become a huge problem for the country over time. They’re dragging down our productivity and growth.” Israel’s poverty rate stems in large part from two sectors
A homeless man in Jerusalem took cover in an entrance of a building to protect himself from a downpour in November. (Photo by Oren Nahshon/FLASH90/JTA)
of the population that are especially poor: Israeli Arabs and haredi Orthodox Jews, who have poverty rates of 53 and 54 percent, respectively. Israeli Arabs constitute about a quarter of all Israelis, while approximately 10 percent of the country is haredi Orthodox. The Israeli government defines the poverty line as individuals with expendable income of about $9,500 annually after taxes, which is approximately 50 percent of People waited in line for food packages at a distribution center for the needy in Lod, the median Israeli expendable near Tel Aviv, in September. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel / Flash90/JTA) income. Exactly 24.8 percent of Israelis, or 19.9 percent of families, live in poverty. Israelis took to the streets to protest the high cost of livBy comparison, the United States is fourth-highest on the ing and growing wealth inequality in the country, which OECD list with a family poverty rate of about 17 percent, were seen as hurting the middle class. Though the issue according to the OECD’s standard. Twenty-three percent has received much attention in Israel’s current election of U.S. children live in poverty. campaign, it does not dominate headlines the way it did In Israel, poverty usually does not mean starvation. during the 2011 protests. Unemployment in Israel is at 6 percent, and one of the In November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netancountry’s socialist legacies is a strong safety net for the yahu announced a new commission of government ministers poor, sick and elderly. Israeli economic policy has, however, to streamline socioeconomic reforms. He did not specify turned more conservative in recent years. what the reforms would be. Shlomo Yitzhaki, Israel’s government statistician, says the Ben-David said Israel’s security needs often make it hard higher-than-average birthrate among haredi and Arab Israelis to find enough money to address the country’s other chalis the principal reason for their high poverty rates. “If you look lenges. Defense spending makes up about one-fifth of the at income by family size, as the families get bigger, from five total budget, and social service spending adds up to about members and up, total family income gets lower,” he said. two-fifths. “That we have such a high defense budget means Arabs and haredim also are exempt from Israel’s com- we have to be judicious with the rest,” he told JTA. pulsory military service, which makes it harder for them Nonprofit groups here have stepped in to alleviate to find work in a culture where army service often serves poverty in Israel, including many managed by haredim. as a career starting point, allowing people to network and But Yoram Sagi Zaks, founder of the Movement for the in some cases gain specialized skill sets. War on Poverty in Israel, says the government still needs Ben-David says Israel’s problems aren’t limited to to take primary responsibility for helping the poor. “The minorities, and that the state needs to invest in education nonprofits help people, but they need to supplement the and transportation infrastructure. state, not replace the state,” Zaks said. “Poverty is not a In the summer of 2011, hundreds of thousands of fate. This is not something we need to get used to.”
THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
New Season of
January 2013 • Non-Feature Films • A Film Unfinished, a harrowing look at the devious art of a propaganda film made by the Third Reich, is a rich and well-researched investigation into the filmic history of the Warsaw Ghetto. As A Film Unfinished aims to set the record straight, it furthers a political resistance that Jews undertook during the war. In other words, this documentary is a tribute, a correction of history to honor those who died, witnessed, or survived atrocities prior to their move to Treblinka, Warsaw’s affiliate death camp. Blessed is the Match - In 1944, 22- year 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. Budapest to Gettyburg - The past and present collide as a world-renowned historian confronts a history he has refused to study-his own. Gabor Boritt is an expert on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. But it took his son’s urging to get him to return to his native Hungary and learn about the Jewish experience there from the time of his childhood until, together with his family, he escaped to the United States. 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. 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. I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal - Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who lost 89 family members, helped track down over 1,100 Nazi war criminals and spent six decades fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people. 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 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. • Feature Films • A Matter of Size - Winner of numerous international awards, this Israeli comedy is a hilarious and heart-warming tale about four overweight guys who learn to love themselves through the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. (not rated) A Woman Called Golda - Ingrid Bergman plays Golda Meir, the Russian born, Wisconsin raised woman who became Israel’s prime minister in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. 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. 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. Frisco Kid - It’s 1850 and new rabbi Avram Belinski sets out from Philadelphia toward San Francisco. Cowpoke bandit Tom Lillard hasn’t seen a rabbi before but he knows when one needs a heap of help. Getting this tenderfoot to Frisco in one piece will cause a heap of trouble- with the law, Native Americans and a bunch of killers. Good - In an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies and they come 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, accepts what he is told without question until he is an unwitting accomplice to the Nazi killing machine. Hidden In Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians, and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jewish 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 thirty-seven, 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. Nora’s Will - When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, Jose is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes that he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading Jose to reexamine their relationship. (not rated) 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 their 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. Rashevski’s Tango - Just about every dilemma of modern Jewish identity gets an airing in this packed tale of a clan of more or less secularized Belgian Jews thrown into spiritual crisis by the death of the matriarch who has held all doubts and family warfare in check. (not rated) Sarah’s Key - Julia Jarmond, an American journalist is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. The Angel Levine - Things couldn’t get worse for Jewish tailor Morris Mishkin (Zero Mostel). His shop has gone up in flames, his daughter has married outside the faith and, worse yet, his wife is slowly dying. But just when he decides to give up on God, a mysterious man (Harry Belafonte) appears, claiming to be his Jewish guardian angel! Doubtful that the stranger is Jewish, never mind an angel, Mishkin must overcome his skepticism if he wants one last chance at redemption. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent and naïve eight-year old boy who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops. The Couple - Based on the true story of a Jewish Hungarian’s desperate attempts to save his family from the Nazi death camps. Mr. Krauzenberg (Martin Landau) is forced to hand over his vast wealth to the Nazis for the safe passage of his family out of occupied Europe, only to find his two remaining servants are left trapped in a web of deceit and danger. Their only hope for survival relies on the courage of Krauzenberg. 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? 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 over 100,000 Hungarian Jews escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust. Ushpizin - A fable set in the Orthodox Jewish world in Jerusalem, Ushpizin tells the story of a poor childless couple, Moshe and Malli, whose belief in the goodness of the Almighty follows a roller coaster of situations and emotions but leads to the ultimate happiness, the birth of their son.
The Jewish Museum in New York City will host a collection tableaux until February 3. It features four works from the museum’s collection that explore the table as a place where festivity, sanctity and history converge. Included in the piece are Isidor Kaufmann’s painting “Friday Evening”; Beth Lipman’s crafted glass replicas of holiday and food-related objects in the museum’s Judaica collection; Izhar Patkin’s paper collage “Salonière”; and the construction “Linen” by the Israeli artists’ collective Studio Armadillo. For more information, contact the museum at 212-4233200 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.thejewishmuseum.org.
Jewish online student newspaper
The Israel Campus Beat, www.israelcampusbeat.org, is a student-written online publication that covers Israel trends and events on campus. Its student-reporters cover Israel advocacy on campuses across the United States and Canada. Each reporter writes from his or her respective campus. ICB covers multiple campus Israel angles, including collaboration attempts between Israel groups and other campus entities; new tools and projects in the campus realm; detractor events and Israel delegitimization efforts; and advocacy trends and practices.
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History of Polish Jews in Warsaw that is slated to open in the fall. “It is a cross-regional ‘net’ project,” said Kraus. “There is a uniqueness that ties it together, even though every region is different and every building is different.” 10 Stars is a national adaptation of the model of the Jewish Museum in Prague, whose collections are displayed in themed exhibitions housed in several historic synagogues in the capital’s old Jewish quarter. With more than 500,000 annual visitors, it is the most frequented museum in the country. Expanding that approach to synagogues throughout the country, the 10 Stars plan calls for complex preservation and restoration work on some synagogues and much-needed maintenance on others, including several that already have been restored. Thematic exhibits, largely based on photographs and text panels, will include Jewish education, Jewish life and practice, antisemitism, synagogue architecture in the Czech Republic, sources of Judaism, Jewish writers, Jewish industrialists and inventors, and the rabbinical world. “Each main exhibit will focus on that theme, but there will also be a section that gives the Jewish history of the town,” said Kindermann. “There will also be space for temporary exhibitions and events like concerts and workshops. We also will be having small traveling panel exhibitions on each theme that can be installed in the other places in the network.” The aim is to provide an educational resource for schools as well as to engage tourists and other visitors. But Kveta Svobodova, the program and exhibitions director, told JTA that the educational program is still under development. “I think the real importance of these places is for local people to use as educational resources to break stereotypes,” said Martin Smok, a Prague-based consultant for the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California. “I am aware that they are rescuing buildings, but I do hope that adequate attention will be paid to the content, the programming and the professionalism of the exhibits.” A few of the themes will be linked specifically to a particular site. The town of Polna, for example, between Prague and Brno, was infamous as the site of a blood libel case in 1899. The 10 Stars exhibition there, to be housed in the restored 17th century synagogue, will focus on antisemitism and be a revamped version of an older exhibition in place since 2000. Jicin, northeast of Prague, was the birthplace of the caustic critic and writer Karl Kraus, who was born a Jew, but converted to Catholicism as a young man. The former Jewish school there, across the street from the restored synagogue, will house an exhibition devoted to Jewish writers, playwrights and critics of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as a small conference facility. The 17th century synagogue in Boskovice, which had been restored a dozen years ago, stands at the heart of one of the more extensive and best-preserved old Jewish ghetto areas in central Europe and will house an exhibit on Jewish quarters and ghettos in Czech lands. And in Plzen, the only 10 Stars site that is home to an active Jewish community, the permanent exhibit to be installed in the restored Old Synagogue will deal with Jewish life and practice, and will include video interviews with local Jews and Holocaust survivors.
JANUARY 3, 2013 ■
NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
Ex-Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman indicted for fraud
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein submitted the indictment on Dec. 27 against Liberman for allegedly advancing the position of Zeev Ben Aryeh, Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus, in exchange for information on an investigation against him. The indictment followed more questioning this week of members of a Foreign Ministry appointments panel as well as further questioning of Liberman. Liberman resigned in Dec. 18 as foreign minister, although he remains a member of the Knesset and the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party. His resignation came days after Weinstein on Dec. 13 closed a 12-year investigation of Liberman, dismissing most of the charges but saying he would file the indictment for fraud and breach of trust. Last spring, Ben Aryeh confessed that he had received and passed documents to Liberman in 2008. The filing of the indictment had been postponed following a report on Israel’s Channel 10 news that several members of a Foreign Ministry appointments panel were not questioned in the Ben Aryeh case and that their knowledge could lead to more serious charges against Liberman. New evidence includes a conversation between Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that reportedly shows Liberman actively lobbying for Ben Aryeh’s appointment as ambassador to Belarus. Liberman announced recently that Ayalon would not be included on the Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset list for the Jan. 22 elections. The party is running on a joint candidates’ list with the ruling Likud Party. Ayalon has stayed on at the Foreign Ministry despite Liberman stepping down. Moral turpitude was not added to the charges, though it had been expected. Those convicted of moral turpitude cannot seek public office for at least seven years.
Remove Israeli threat to inspect Parchin nuclear site, Iran says
Iran said it would open the Parchin military complex to United Nations nuclear inspectors if threats of an Israeli attack are neutralized. “If external threats were defused, then they – the IAEA – could be enabled to inspect Parchin,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashghavi reportedly said on Dec. 27. Israel has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if nuclear enrichment is not halted. President Barack Obama has indicated that all options are on the table. A seven-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency met with Iranian nuclear officials earlier in December. The team also attempted but failed to visit Parchin, which the IAEA has been trying to see for the last year. Satellite photos of the site near Tehran indicate that it has been used for nuclear weapons experiments. In August, the IAEA released a report that included details on Iran demolishing buildings and sterilizing the Parchin military complex, which would make it harder to detect the nature of nuclear research efforts there. The IAEA regularly visits Iran’s declared nuclear facilities, including enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordo. Tehran says its nuclear activity is for creating domestic energy and peaceful research. The West believes Iran is attempting to create a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu, Jordan’s Abdullah meet over Syrian chemical weapons
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in a secret meeting in Jordan talked about chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war. Unnamed senior Israeli officials confirmed the meeting to Israeli media outlets on Dec. 26. The meeting was first reported earlier in the week by the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Quds AlArabi. Netanyahu and Abdullah discussed whether Syrian President Bashar Assad would use chemical weapons against rebels in the civil war and whether they could fall into the hands of radical elements such as Islamist militants or Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, according to reports. Israel reportedly has asked Jordan twice in recent weeks for permission to attack Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, according to Haaretz, citing a report by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic. Jordan reportedly has told Israel that it is not yet the time for such an attack. “The Syrian Air Force has attacked hundreds of Syrian civilians and they do not hesitate to use any means,” Netanyahu said on Dec. 27 at Hatzerim Air Base at the Air Force Flight Academy graduation ceremony. “Israel is monitoring developments in Syria and will do its utmost against this threat and against all threats.”
Marwan Barghouti says he’ll be president of Palestine
Marwan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist jailed in Israel, said he will be the president of a Palestinian state. Barghouti also said in an interview reported on Dec. 26 on Israel’s Channel 10 and conducted jointly with the Haaretz newspaper that he would not promise that there would not be a third intifada – unlike Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – though he believes it could be a nonviolent uprising. Military censors did not allow the actual film of the interview to be broadcast. Instead, Barghouti’s comments were repeated by reporters. The interview had taken place in November during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. A member of the ruling Fatah party led by Abbas, Barghouti is among the most popular Palestinian leaders. Fatah controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and officially supports the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences and an additional 40 years for terrorist activity. He was arrested on April 15, 2002. In the interview, he reportedly said he would not compromise on the right of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, saying the right of return is “sacred.” Abbas earlier in December said he did not need to return to his hometown of Safed.
“Him,” is part of a new exhibition by Maurizio Cattelan titled “Amen,” according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In a statement on Dec. 27, the center called the display a “tasteless misuse of art.” Efraim Zuroff, the center’s Israel director, referred to the statue as “a senseless provocation which insults the memory of the Nazis’ victims.” The statue reportedly was placed in the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw in November and recently opened to the public. The art center’s website describes the exhibition as an exploration of the notion of “love thy enemy,” adding, “What does forgive those who trespass against us mean? Evoking the traumas of history, they deal with memory and forgetfulness, good and evil.” In the summer of 1942, about 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to the Nazi death camp Treblinka.
Brooklyn man indicted for throwing bleach in rabbi’s face
A Brooklyn fishmonger was indicted for allegedly throwing a cup of bleach in the face of a Chasidic rabbi who had accused the man’s father of being a sexual predator. Meilech Schnitzler, 36, of Williamsburg, a member of the Satmar Chasidic sect, was charged on Dec. 26 on two counts of attempted assault, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He could face up to 15 years in prison. Schnitzler on Dec. 11 allegedly threw a cup of bleach in the face of Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, who advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the haredi Orthodox community. Rosenberg, 62, also of the Williamsburg neighborhood, was treated for burns on his face, around his eyes and in his left eye. The rabbi runs a website and blog for sex-abuse victims, as well as a telephone hot line, and made the accusations against Schnitzler’s father on the blog. Rosenberg reportedly had recognized his assailant. The incident came a day after Nechemya Weberman, a Satmar leader, was convicted on 59 counts of sexual abuse of a now-18-year-old woman when she was between the ages of 12-15 and went to Weberman for counseling. Rosenberg supported and assisted the victim throughout the judicial process.
A 3,000-year-old temple, sacred vessels unearthed near Jerusalem
A temple and sacred vessels from the First Temple period were discovered near Jerusalem. The nearly 3,000-year-old temple was unearthed by the Israel Antiquities Authority during excavations at the Tel Motza archaeological site west of Jerusalem, prior to work being carried out on a planned expansion of Highway 1. “The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judea at the time of the First Temple. The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site’s proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom’s main sacred center at the time,” Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz, directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. Many finds have previously been uncovered at the Tel Motza site, from a variety of periods. Among the vessels unearthed in this recent find are ritual pottery vessels, with fragments of chalices (bowls on a high base that were used in sacred rituals), decorated ritual pedestals, and a number of pottery figurines of humans with a flat headdress and curling hair; and figurines of harnessed animals.
Jerusalem building committee approves 1,200 apartments in Gilo
A Jerusalem building committee approved the construction of more than 1,200 apartments in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. Gilo is located in southern Jerusalem on land that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered a settlement by the international community. The approval late Dec. 24 by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee comes less than a week after Israel was slammed by the international community for approving plans for building Jewish housing in other eastern Jerusalem communities. More than 4,000 housing units were approved a week earlier for the eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo and Givat Hamatos.
future. Following the talk, Graham answered questions from the audience. Mark Silverberg, executive director of the Federation, greeted the group and introduced Becky Schastey, of BLS Strategies, who is the director of communications for the BTA. She presented an idea for the BTA to consider: an entrepreneurial trust with funds
Continued from page 1 from local businesses to encourage young, local businesses and perhaps to bring more business to the area. Schastey then invited each member in attendance to introduce himself or herself and his or her business. Though the breakfast ended then, many stayed to socialize and network.
L-r: Greta Kreidler, Steve Feuer and Becky Schastey networked at the breakfast.
Hitler statue unveiled outside former Warsaw Ghetto
An Italian artist reportedly placed a statue of Adolf Hitler in a building outside what used to be the Warsaw Ghetto. The statue, which depicts Hitler kneeling and is titled
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THE REPORTER ■ JANUARY 3, 2013
January 3, 2013 Edition of the Reporter