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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania July 31, 2014


Federation launches an Israel Emergency Appeal The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania has launched an Israel Emergency Appeal, the proceeds of which will assist in relocating and caring for Israeli families and children in danger, strengthening trauma services, finding safe haven for all who are in harm’s way and providing financial assistance to Israeli organizations, such as Magen David Adom, that are providing emergency medical services. Israel is now engaged in an existential war with Hamas, an organization that was established by the Muslim Brotherhood for the sole purpose of destroying Israel and eradicating the Jewish state. Its dedication to that “holy war” has resulted in untold misery and hardship for the Israeli people. For years, terrorists have fired missiles indiscriminately into Israeli cities, towns and kibbutzim, traumatizing its population and forcing thousands of men, women and

children to flee into bomb shelters, just as the British were required to do during the London blitz during World War II. Now that Israel has decided to respond with a forceful land incursion to break Hamas once and for all, pressure is mounting on the Israeli government to accept another futile ceasefire, the effect of which would be to allow Hamas to rearm, regain its credibility, restore its power among the Palestinians and continue its genocidal war against Israel with even deadlier weapons. While Israel is waging its war against Hamas, we, too, have a role to play in this conflict. Although we cannot be with the Israelis, we must support them with our voices, with our hearts and with our resources. Just as we did in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012. Please join us in supporting Israel in its hour of need.

The scene of a gas station in Ashdod that was hit directly by rocket fire from Gaza on July 11, the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge. The rocket caused explosions and three people were injured, one of them critically. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)

All Israel Emergency Fund contributions are tax deductible and checks may be sent to Israel Emergency Fund, Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510.

Our hopes and thoughts are with the Israeli people. Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania

At right: On July 11, the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, Israelis in the southern town of Nitzan sat and prayed together inside a street-level bomb shelter in anticipation of a code red siren for incoming rockets. The government of Israel has asked Jewish Federations to intensify their efforts in providing humanitarian support to the people of Israel during this time of conflict. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli tanks crossed through a field in southern Israel near the border with Gaza, the day after Israel began its invasion of Gaza, on July 18, 2014. (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash 90) At left: The Iron Dome missile defense system battery launched an intercepting missile near the Gaza border in southern Israel during the Israeli army’s Operation Protective Edge. (Photo by David Buimovitch/Flash90)

Federation on Facebook

The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania now has a page on Facebook to let community members know about upcoming events and keep connected.

Israelis gathered in a public bomb shelter in the southern city of Ashkelon on July 18, 2014. (Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash 90)

Candle lighting

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Holocaust education

Families in war zones

News in brief...

August 1...........................................8:02 pm August 8...........................................7:53 pm August 15.........................................7:44 pm

Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law JAFI gives Israeli children breaks Ban orders a review after reports PLUS Act 70, which encourages Holocaust in the north; families grapple with of UNRWA giving rockets back to Opinion...........................................................2 education in Pennsylvania’s schools. the lasting effects of war. Hamas; and more. D’var Torah...................................................8 Story on page 4 Stories on page 7 Stories on page 11 News in Brief.............................................. 11


THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014

a matter of opinion Palestinian statehood revisited

Reprinted courtesy of Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) The mother of Amer Abu Aysha, one of the accused kidnappers/murderers of the Israeli teenagers, told Israel’s Channel 10 news, “If he did the kidnapping, I’ll be proud of him until my final day. I raised my children on the knees of the [Islamic] religion. They are religious guys, honest and clean-handed, and their goal is to bring the victory of Islam.” In Palestinian society, attitudes such as this are commonplace. For 20 years, Abbas and his colleagues in the Palestinian Authority have encouraged a toxic Palestinian culture that glorifies terror and terrorists; indoctrinates the Palestinians through a culture of hatred and violence against Israel and Jews; describes them as human scum; and seeks their annihilation. The Hamas Charter also makes it clear that the murder of Jews is not only defensible, but necessary. This message is communicated through nursery schools, universities, books, magazines, in their mosques, in summer camps, on television, radio and the Internet. Palestinians of all ages are taught that Jews have no right to live. In fact, they are encouraged to murder them and to view contributing to their death as their highest goal in life. The results are predictable. Nearly 2,000 Israelis have been murdered in Palestinian terror attacks since the P.A. was established. Hostage taking – a rec-

ognized war crime – is presented as one of the highest achievements in Palestinian culture. This is why the overwhelming majority of Palestinians applauded and celebrated the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the three Israeli teenagers. What kind of society names kinder-

from the desk of the executive director

“ The Reporter” (USPS #482) is published bi-weekly by the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510.

President: Michael Greenstein Executive Director: Mark Silverberg Executive Editor: Rabbi Rachel Esserman Layout Editor: Diana Sochor Assistant Editor: Michael Nassberg Production Coordinator: Jenn DePersis Graphic Artist: Alaina Cardarelli Advertising Representative: Bonnie Rozen Bookkeeper: Gregory Senger

Opinions The views expressed in editorials and opinion pieces are those of each author and not necessarily the views of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Letters The Reporter welcomes letters on subjects of interest to the Jewish community. All letters must be signed and include a phone number. The editor may withhold the name upon request. ADS The Reporter does not necessarily endorse any advertised products and services. In addition, the paper is not responsible for the kashruth of any advertiser’s product or establishment. Deadline Regular deadline is two weeks prior to the publication date. Federation website: How to SUBMIT ARTICLES: Mail: 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 E-mail: Fax: (570) 346-6147 Phone: (570) 961-2300 How to reach the advertising Representative: Phone: (800) 779-7896, ext. 244 E-mail: Subscription Information: Phone: (570) 961-2300

Mark silverberG gartens, schools, summer camps, sports tournaments and other institutions after terrorists and uses young suicide bombers as pedagogic role models? In a particularly striking case, at the end of 2012, the Fatah Facebook page posted an image of Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist who participated in the deadliest attack in Israel’s history – the killing of 37 civilians in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre. The image was posted with the declaration, “On this day in 1959 Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi was born, hero of the ‘Martyr Kamal Adwan’ mission, bride of Jaffa and the gentle energizing force of Fatah.” What kind of society encourages celebrations in its streets to mark the murder of Jews and Israelis? What kind of society uses its summer camps to train thousands of its children to make fire-bombs, use firearms, and ambush and kidnap Israelis?

What kind of society allows the portrayal of Jews as vermin and allows publication on its government’s Facebook page of a cartoon of three rats, each bearing the Star of David, dangling from a fishing rod? What kind of a society allocates $60 million (1.5 percent of its total budget) to paying salaries of terrorists serving sentences in Israeli prisons? What kind of society allows its official PA media to broadcast young Palestinian girls singing about Jews as “the sons of apes and pigs,” or (on January 9, 2012) a sermon by a Palestinian imam, in the presence of the P.A. minister of religious affairs, referring to Jews as “apes and pigs” and repeating the hadith about Muslims killing Jews hiding behind trees and rocks, because “Judgment Day will not come before you fight the Jews”? What kind of society allows its own government websites (in Arabic) to continue to feature the original PLO and Fatah covenants and other founding documents, all of which explicitly rule out recognition or peace with Israel and assert a claim to all of historic Palestine? What kind of society produces mothers who encourage their children to become suicide bombers and to slaughter their neighbors, as in the case of the Fogel family of Itamar on March 11, 2011? After stabbing to death the parents, a boy of 11, his 4-year-old brother and their 3-month-old sister, at the trial the terrorists regretted not having noticed two other sleeping children in the home.

What kind of society encourages its soldiers to hide among civilians during battle, uses children as human shields and builds plants for missile production under schools, clinics and mosques? What kind of society creates a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death, and consciously and purposely sacrifices its own youth for political gain and tactical advantage through a death cult? Not since the Children’s Crusade in 1212 has there been a horror such as this. Would any Israeli mother raise her children to become kidnappers and murderers and proudly say so to journalists? Perhaps the Palestinians, and their sympathizers in the Western media and the European Union, should recognize that a culture that openly celebrates martyrdom and the murder of Jews is not fit for statehood. Brett Stephens of The Wall Street Journal wrote recently that “post-war German society went through a process of moral rehabilitation that began with recognition of what it had done.” It is highly unlikely, however, that such moral rehabilitation could have taken place until the scourge of Nazism had been completely expunged from German society. According to the 2003 U.S. Senate Committee Hearing on Palestinian Education, Palestinian polls show that between 72-80 percent of children living in the Palestinian Authority yearn to die as martyrs. Until this culture of death worship has been expunged from Palestinian society, Palestinian statehood must never be granted.

Against antisemitism, self-defense is no offense By Ben Cohen The debate about whether Jews have a future in Europe has once again surfaced, as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge gained momentum in response to Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. The two issues are connected for a simple reason: on July 13, a large number of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris decided to attack a synagogue in the French capital, thereby demonstrating that these days, aspiring pogromists are more likely to wear a Palestinian keffiyeh than a swastika armband. I had originally intended to write about whether Europe’s Jews should stay where they are, or make aliyah to Israel. But while I was sifting through the various news articles concerning the attack in Paris, I came across an alternative version of that episode that changed my focus. In this tendentious narrative – embraced by both the left-wing antisemitic website Mondoweiss and the right-wing British Daily Mail tabloid – the violence was in fact provoked by Jewish extremists on the scene. According to Mondoweiss, the French branch of the Jewish Defense League and its allies initiated the clashes “in support of Israel’s ongoing bombing campaign that has thus far claimed the lives of almost 200 Palestinians.” The Daily Mail, meanwhile, harrumphed at the spectacle of “a group of 150 Jewish men… brandishing iron bars and cans of pepper spray as they clashed with pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Paris.” What isn’t in doubt is that a mob of violent antisemites tried to storm the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue in central Paris. Equally, there is no doubt that a group of brave young Jews associated with Betar, the Jewish Defense League, and the SPCJ, the official defense arm of the French Jewish community, repelled the attempted pogrom through a show of physical force. Writing in Commentary magazine, my friend Michel Gurfinkiel noted that “older Jewish men and women, some in their late 40s or early

50s, fought back as well.” Hence, there is a question that is more pressing than whether Jews should leave Europe and it’s this one: Should we take more responsibility for the physical defense of our community and its property, even if that means we land on the wrong side of the law? There are many reasons why we should avoid such an outcome, some of them credible, others less so. Groups like the SPCJ in France and the Community Security Trust in Britain have done a tremendous job of enhancing security at Jewish institutions, working closely with local authorities in the process. Why, then, take actions that risk those relationships? Surely, in democratic societies, we resolve our differences through politics, and we let the police take care of law and order?

The challenge now is balancing our respect for the law of the land with our resolve not to allow our synagogues to be burned or ransacked, as they were less than a century ago in Europe. Then there’s the fact that Jewish communities, and particularly their leaders, tend to take a conservative approach. Especially in America, Jewish advocacy revolves around gala fund-raising dinners, conferences and photo opportunities with foreign leaders. Throwing tables, chairs, kicks and punches at antisemitic thugs isn’t quite our style. Now, all those considerations are sound ones. But what happens when you have demonstrators chanting in Arabic, as they did in Paris, “Itbah al Yahud!” (“Death to the Jews!”)? How do we respond when some politicians, as was the case in France, claim that we should expect such attacks if we turn our synagogues into adjuncts of the state of Israel?

In those circumstances, I think, we have to fight back. We shouldn’t provoke violence, but we should be ready to defend ourselves against attacks, particularly when the police fail to do their job. It’s important to remember that this isn’t the first time Jews have faced this sort of dilemma. In the late 1940s, in London’s East End, the British Union of Fascists returned to the streets, harassing Jewish businesses and beating up Jews, frequently citing the conflict between the authorities in the British Mandate of Palestine and the Zionist Yishuv as justification. At a meeting of 43 Jews in the area, who later became known as the “43 Group,” it was decided that enough was enough. The result wasn’t pretty. “In October 1947, the 43 Group was attacking an average of 15 outdoor fascist meetings a week, and by whatever means, causing more than half to close down prematurely,” wrote Morris Beckman in his memoir of the 43 Group’s exploits. Those “means” included knives, knuckledusters and bricks. And it worked. By the end of 1949, the fascists had been driven out of east London. In these dark days, the experience of the 43 Group reminds us that in the not-so-distant past, Jews have refused to accept their lot as passive victims. The challenge now is balancing our respect for the law of the land with our resolve not to allow our synagogues to be burned or ransacked, as they were less than a century ago in Europe. Used sparingly and when necessary, selfdefense is no offense. And if it contributes to the authorities’ taking pre-emptive action against antisemitic demonstrations – as has occurred in France, where the police have banned another antisemitic rally scheduled in Paris – then so much the better. Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz and other publications. His latest work is “Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through TwentyFirst Century Antisemitism” (Edition Critic, 2014).

july 31, 2014 ■



community news Registration opens for religious school at Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms The religious school of the Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms is now open for children from 6-11-years-old. The school meets on Sundays from 9:30 am-12:30

pm from September-June. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to, Hebrew language, rituals and prayers, Torah study, holidays and Jewish heroes,

past and present. For more information, call Rhoda Barr at 570-775-9035 or the Fellowship office at 570-775-7497.

Barbara Kapitansky Religious School now accepting applications The Barbara Kapitansky Religious School at Congregation B’nai Harim is accepting applications for the new term and new program. Parents with children ages 5-8 can enroll them in the Little Scholars program. The cost for the program will remain at $50 per child for temple members. For those non-affiliated Jewish families whose child or children will participate in the program, the fee will be $100 for the first child and $75 for the second child. Older children are eligible for the religious school’s new

Jewish values curriculum. Religious school tuition this year will be $180 per child for the school year. An additional fee for supplies of $40 per family will also be required. Need-based scholarships are available. The new program aims to offer flexibility through both online and in-class components. Twice a week, sessions with the rabbi will be held through Skype. One session will be with the entire class. The other will be a one-onone with each child to review his or her Hebrew skills. These short (half hour maximum) sessions will provide

B’nai B’rith 62nd Annual Americanism Award Dinner

By Richard Bishop Amos Lodge 136 of B’nai B’rith hosted the 62nd Annual Americanism Award Dinner on May 18 at the Jewish Community Center of Scranton. Close to 200 community leaders and friends of the guest of honor were present to pay tribute to David J. Wenzel on his receipt of the award, given in recognition of “a lifetime of community service and leadership.” Wenzel was elected as Scranton’s 27th mayor in 1985, has continued to be active in public service and most recently was the vice chairman of the commission elected to study and make recommendations concerning the structure of county government. He is a veteran and war hero, and was seriously injured during the war in Vietnam. “He has overcome severe handicaps to serve as a role model to all who have had the See “Award” on page 5

time for students and interested family members to discuss weekly assignments. Parents have been invited to join their students as they engage in hands-on crafts based on text study from 9-10 am on the Shabbat mornings when services are held twice a month. The one-room schoolhouse approach is said to be “conducive to inter-generational learning.” The entire family has been encouraged to attend worship services after the morning class. “Hearing the prayers and songs makes learning easier and more pleasurable,” said a religious school representative. For more information and to download applications, visit or contact Director Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum at 570-871-3022 or Classes will resume on Saturday, September 6, at 9 am. Congregation B’nai Harim is located at 5349 Pocono Crest Rd., Pocono Pines, right off Route 940 at Sullivan Trail.



The following are deadlines for all articles and photos for upcoming Reporter issues.

DEADLINE The presenters and the 2014 honoree of the Amos Lodge 136 of B’nai B’rith Annual Americanism Award posed togther. L-r: Michael Washo, David J. Wenzel and Judge Thomas Munley.


Thursday, July 31............................... August 14 Thursday, August 14.......................... August 28 Thursday, August 38.....................September 11 Thursday, September 11............... September 25


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THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014

B’nai Harim team at Linda Creed Breast Cancer Rally

A team from Congregation B’nai Harim joined in a walk on July13 for the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. The walk was held on the grounds of Pine Crest Golf Club. Funds raised will be for local use. Linda Creed was 37-years-old when she succumbed to breast cancer. She was a well-known songwriter who wrote “The

Wind Beneath My Wings” and other songs. Friends and family joined to form the organization, helping generate funding for breast cancer screenings for low-income women. There are also educational programs and various other projects for breast cancer awareness and research. The team said it was “happy to participate” in raising funds for use locally.

Young Judaea TaglitBirthright Israel offers educational experience

Jewish individuals between the ages of 18-26 can take advantage of a free opportunity to visit Israel through Young Judaea Taglit-Birthright Israel. The offer can apply to those who have been to Israel before. Thousands of alumni have participated in

the program. According to Taglit-Birthright, “They’ve had tons of fun, gained a love for Israel and made a lasting impact on the lives of others.” To sign up for updates about when the 2014 winter trips open, visit

L-r: Dotty Pearl, Aaron Kershenbaum, Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum, Irene Stoltenberg, Honi Gruenberg, Barbara Kapitansky and Stan Kapitansky participated were part of the Congregation B’nai Harim team at the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Rally. Not pictured: Meredith Stemple and Randy Weinglass.

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition

Gov. Tom Corbett signs Holocaust education legislation into law – Act 70 of 2014 The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition has commended Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for signing into law legislation to encourage Pennsylvania schools to teach the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations. House Bill 1424, now called Act 70 of 2014, sponsored and championed by House of Representative Majority Education Chairman Paul Clymer, encourages schools

to teach students about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations by having the state develop curriculum options to teach the subjects, distribute the curriculum options to all school districts, train teachers to teach the subject effectively, assess schools’ use of the resources and assure that every school district is offering the subjects to its students. “Pennsylvania’s Jewish community ap-

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plauds Governor Tom Corbett for signing this important legislation into law,” said Matt Handel, chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition. “Act 70 of 2014 ensures that Pennsylvania students will receive the best possible education about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations. This curriculum will be developed with experts in the field and teachers will be trained to use it well. The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition wishes to thank Governor Corbett and the many senators and representatives who have played an essential role in helping to move this legislation into law. “Educating our students about our world’s historic atrocities creates an understanding of the need for tolerance and an understanding of the consequences of bigotry and hate,” added Handel. “We must never forget the horrors of what has happened, so that we do not allow these tragic chapters of history to be repeated.” The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition has been called “the eyes, ears and voice” in Harrisburg of the Jewish communities

across Pennsylvania, including Jewish federations in Altoona, Erie, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, WilkesBarre and York.

Exhibit about shuls

Yeshiva University Museum is holding the exhibit “Modeling the Synagogue: From Dura to Touro” until August 3. The exhibit features seven models of synagogues, which were built to show their intricate designed. The synagogues were chosen to show the geographic breadth of the Jewish world across the centuries, from the ancient Mediterranean to modern America and Europe. For more information, visit www. or contact the museum at 212-294-8330 or

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july 31, 2014 ■


pleasure to know him,” said a B’nai B’rith representative. Wenzel is currently a teacher at The Schemel Forum at the University of Scranton, and the president of the United Nation’s Commission. He is also an author, with his most recent book being about the mayors of Scranton. During the dinner, guests had the opportunity to view a slide show of Wenzel’s life, as organized by Abish Seiff Productions, and also watch a video produced in 1986 by the late Charles Kuralt, of CBS “Sunday News,” telling the story of how Wenzel overcame disability and undertook the challenge of improving his city. Following presentations and tributes from friends and admirers, including Congressman Matt Cartwright, City Councilman Joseph Wechsler, County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley and former Mayors Eugene Peters and James Barrett McNulty, the Americanism Award was presented to Wenzel by two of his friends, former County Commissioner Michael Washo and President Judge Thomas Munley. The proceeds of the dinner have been contributed to the JCC’s BBYO Chapter. Dinner co-chairmen were Richard S. Bishop and Edward Monsky.



Continued from page 3

Past recipients of the Amos Lodge 136 of B’nai B’rith Annual Americanism Award attended the dinner. Seated (l-r): Jane Oppenheim, Sondra G. Myers, 2014 honoree David J. Wenzel, Ann Moskovitz and William J. Nealon. Standing: Monsignor Constantine Siconolfi, Joseph Corcoran, James McLaughlin, Morey M. Myers, Jeanne Bovard, Mary Lou Burne, Dr. James Burne, Joyce Tressler, David Tressler, Raymond Angeli and Richard S. Bishop.

Leaders of the community’s fraternal organizations who support the dinner attended the May 18 event. Seated (l-r): Edward Karpovich, Friends of Poland; David J. Wenzel; and Dr. James Arscott, St. David’s Society. Standing: Richard S. Bishop, Amos Lodge 136 of B’nai B’rith; Richard Sabato, Columbus Day Association; and James J. Haggerty Jr., of Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Amos Lodge 136 of B’nai B’rith Annual Americanism Award Dinner guests who were seated at the head table included (seated, l-r) Edward Monsky, Michael Washo, 2014 honoree David J. Wenzel, Thomas Munley and Senator John Blake. Standing: Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) A. Joseph Albert, Joseph Wechsler, Rabbi Moshe Saks, Natalie Gelb, Joan Munley, Patrick O’Malley, Faye K. Bishop and Richard S. Bishop.

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THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014

Temple Israel of the Poconos Israeli Fair 2014 called a “huge success”

Temple Israel of the Poconos in Stroudsburg, held the Israeli Fair 2014 on July 6. To make the event a “Ben Yehudah Street experience,” it included falafel and pita; hand-painted silk tallisim and clothing; Israeli jewelry; Shabbat and holiday giftware; Yoel Sharabi singing in Hebrew, Ladino and English; original Judaic artwork; books; photographs; raffles and prizes; and socializing with other community members. Numerous vendors of jewelry, books, hand-painted silks, artwork and giftware attended. Participants were both local to the area and visitors from New Jersey and New York. The food available evoked the flavor of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, with fresh, handmade falafel served with Israeli salad and tehina, or hummus. Others had glatt kosher hamburgers and hotdogs. Entertainment and music was provided throughout the temple grounds all day by internationally-known Israel guitarist Yoel Sharabi. Several listeners took up the assorted drums from the stage of TIPOC and began to play along with Sharabi. Attendees also began to dance to the melodies in the middle of the social hall. For children, the fair offered balloon animals and face painting by Zoe the Clown. Temple Israel of the Poconos will hold another Israeli Fair next year.

Barbara Rosenberg, Lois LaBarca and Tony Stefano helped out in the kitchen.

L-r: Charlie Cahn, Yoel Sharabi and Rabbi Baruch Melman performed together at the Temple Israel of the Poconos Israeli Fair 2014.

Debbie Smith and Merle Turitz at a gift table.

Charlie Cahn and his grandson, Max, listened to Yoel Sharabi (not pictured) singing.

Zoe the Clown entertained the children at the Temple Israel of the Poconos Israeli Fair 2014.

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

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

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

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





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Photo exhibit of Anne Frank and family

The exhibit “Picturing the Frank Family” will be held until August 29 at the gallery at the Anne Frank Center USA, 44 Park Place, New York City. It features private photos of Anne Frank and her family. The photos were discovered by Frank’s father, the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust, on his return to Amsterdam after the war. For more information, contact the Center at 212-4317993 or

Portrait exhibit

Leo Baeck Institute in New York is holding the exhibit “Facing History: Portraits from the LBI Art Collection” through September 30. It features paintings for LBI’s core art collection. The paintings document the cultural history of German-speaking Jews from the 18th to 20th century. The exhibit seeks to not only look at particular aspects of families or regions featured in the works, but to serve as a mirror to their historical context. For more information, visit or call 212744-6400 or 212-294-8340.

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

july 31, 2014 ■


The Jewish Agency gives many southern children a break

Families grapple with lasting effects of Israel-Gaza conflicts

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By Maayan Jaffe “I feel so vulnerable when I am driving my car,” said Ehud Zion Waldoks of Beersheba. “I am constantly preparing to stop abruptly, to leap out and grab my daughter and run for cover. I am calculating my speed to be a little faster than usual, but not reckless. I am checking where the nearest wall is at every traffic light.” Waldoks’ story is similar to that of all southern Israelis – and now most of the state of Israel, as rockets penetrate deeper than ever into the Jewish state. But as a resident of Beersheba, Waldoks is more accustomed than others to the sound of sirens, to the 60-second rush to the bomb shelter. It has happened before. There were similar flareups with Gaza in 2008-09 and 2012. Yet consistency doesn’t make it easier, he said. In some ways, the ongoing rocket attacks, coupled with periods of heightened terror, make it more challenging. The current Israel-Gaza conflict will end, he said, but the war will have lasting effects on the nation. The test of talking about the war with one’s children is almost impossible to pass. Recently, the Israeli website Mako published an article offering tips for making the experience more bearable and appropriate. The first rule: don’t lie. Young children, psychologists recommend, should be spared the details, but simply hugged and reassured. Slightly older children, up to age 5, may benefit from drawing about their emotions or role playing. By age 6, psychologists recommend that parents explain about the army operation – currently called Operation Protective Edge – and the Iron Dome missile defense system; teens can be told what is really happening and should be empowered to take an active role in supporting younger siblings and those less able or stable than themselves. Parents on the ground said they read this article, but they find that the reaction to rockets has only somewhat to do with age, and more to do with maturity and general outlook. In the Waldoks home, there are three children under the age of 7, and the oldest is therefore forced to make her way into the shelter in the middle of the night on her own.

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The children and teenagers who participated in The Jewish Agency’s rest and recreation activities are in first-12th grade, and are residents of the Ofakim, Shafir, Lachish, Be’er Tuvia, Gan Yavne and Yoav regional councils, as well as recent immigrants from Jewish Agency immigrant absorption centers in Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Shaar HaNegev. In addition to the recreational activities, the Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror continues to offer immediate financial assistance to families affected by rocket attacks and other acts of terror. The financial aid of 4,000 NIS is meant to help the families cope with their immediate needs in the aftermath of their trauma, and has been distributed to families across southern Israel in recent days. The fund is sustained by contributions from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod-UIA and other donors. In addition to the immediate assistance, the fund provides supplemental financial assistance of up to 25,000 NIS to families recognized as victims of terror by the government of Israel. For more information, visit html#sthash.YHIXlcIO.dpuf or

Empire Kosher Chicken or Turkey Franks Einav Koren (center) and her family in Ashkelon. Koren, who is six-months pregnant, says her 5-year-old daughter won’t go to the bathroom by herself anymore. And when her daughter hears a rocket siren, she runs for the bomb shelter, dropping whatever she is holding and knocking away anything in her path. (Photo provided to JNS) “We are carrying the little ones so [the oldest] cannot be carried by one of us,” Waldoks told “It is so hard for her. In the moment, in the middle of the night, she hears the rockets and she does not know what is going on. But she does it – without any physical contact from us, without us holding her hand.” Their oldest daughter, he said, is consumed with questions about Operation Protective Edge. In contrast, their 2-year-old sees the nightly gatherings almost like a party. He doesn’t know what’s going on. In Ashkelon, Esti Day’s 1½-year-old daughter is having a different experience. “Whenever she hears sirens, she start screaming,” said Day. “She yells all the time. She wants to sleep in the shelter. When the siren is over, she doesn’t want to go out.” Being a parent during war, Day said, means putting your own needs and wants aside. It also means being prepared. “Take something as simple as a shower. Now, you have to do it very quick and have the towel See “Families” on page 10



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The Jewish Agency for Israel recently took thousands of children and teenagers from southern Israel for rest and recreation activities outside the line of rocket fire. The activities were made possible through the support of the Jewish Federations of North America and were undertaken in coordination with the National Emergency Authority, government ministries and local authorities. On jlu 14, approximately 1,500 children and teenagers participated in recreational activities at the Cheftziba amusement park; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and the Biblical Zoo. Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said, “It is both moving and inspiring to feel the mighty fortitude of the people of southern Israel – both immigrants and native Israelis – and the powerful solidarity of world Jewry, which draw upon and strengthen one another. The Jewish Agency is proud to serve as a conduit of positive energy between the Jewish world and the people of Israel’s south, and we will continue to do whatever we can to support the local residents during this trying time. Thanks to the immediate action of our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA, The Jewish Agency is able to offer a real-time response to the residents of southern Israel.”


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THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014


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


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: 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: Please contact us for schedules and locations.


Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Allan L. Smith President: Henry M. Skier Contact Person: Cheryl Badner, Congregation Administrator (570) 253-2222 615 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431 570-253-2222 • fax: 570-226-1105


Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum President: Alan S. Wismer P.O. Box 757 Sullivan Rd., Pocono Pines, PA 18350 (located at RT 940 and Pocono Crest Rd at Sullivan Trail 570-646-0100 • Website: 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.


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

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


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


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


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


Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Moshe Saks 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: 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.

Anatomy of a garment by RABBI LEVI Y. SLONIM, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING AND DEVELOPMENT, CHABAD CENTER FOR JEWISH STUDENT LIFE AT BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Did your child ever misbehave? Did you ever say, “Listen hon, I’ve got a special present for you, it’s right here in the closet. I’ll even show you what it looks like, but you’re only going to get it when you behave.” The Chasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev related the following metaphor: A father once prepared a beautiful suit of clothes for his son. But the child neglected his father’s gift and soon the suit was in tatters. The father gave the child a second suit of clothes, but this one, too, was ruined by the child’s carelessness. So the father made a third suit. This time, however, he withheld it from his son. Every once in a while, in special and opportune times, he showed the suit to the child, explaining that when the child learned to appreciate and properly care for the suit, it would be given to him. This induced the child to improve his behavior, until it gradually became second nature to him – at which time he was worthy of his father’s gift. This Shabbat, the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av – the day that marks the destruction of both Holy Temples – is traditionally known as the “Shabbat of Vision.” On this Shabbat, we read a chapter from the Prophets titled “The Vision of Isaiah.” There is also a deeper significance to the name “Shabbat of Vision” expressed in the above metaphor: On the “Shabbat of Vision,” says Rabbi Levi Yitzchak, each and every one of us is granted a vision of the third and final Temple – a vision that, to paraphrase the Talmud, “though we do not see ourselves, our souls see.” This vision evokes a profound response in us, even if we are not consciously aware of the cause of our sudden inspiration. One detail that seems a bit curious in the above parable: Why did Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev choose to compare the Holy Temple to a garment? Wouldn’t it have

been more fitting to compare the temple to a building? After all, the Temple was a building and a very magnificent one, at that. What is the meaning and significance of a garment? The uniqueness of a garment over a building is in the fact that with garments, there is no “one size fits all,” every garment is custom made, fitted and woven to fit the individual. One may be larger, smaller, wider or narrower, masculine or feminine looking etc. On the other hand, a building has the advantage of being able to contain many people at once, whereas a garment cannot. The analogy of the garment highlights a unique function of the Holy Temple, which was not only to encompass all Jews as a collective group, but to serve the needs of each and every Jew as an individual. Indeed, the Temples were subdivided into specific areas for different individuals. There was a “women’s court” and a courtyard reserved for men, an area restricted to the Kohanim (priests), a “sanctuary” (heichal) imbued with a greater sanctity than the “courtyards” and the “Holy of Holies” – a chamber into which only the high priest could enter, only on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. The Talmud enumerates eight domains of varying sanctity within the Temple complex, each with its distinct function and purpose. During the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was teaching us to ponder all that the Temple stood for and rededicate ourselves to the re-enactment of both general functions. The Holy Temples as the central and only house of worship for all should inspire us to strengthen and deepen our connection with our fellow brothers and sisters. At the same time, we must understand the Temple as a model for building a personal sanctuary in our individual lives and suffusing each aspect of our life with sanctity. May it be the will of God that, through our efforts in both of these aspects – the collective and the individual – that we merit very soon, speedily in our days, to see the rebuilding of the Third Temple. Based on the teachings of the late Lubavitcher rebbe.

july 31, 2014 ■


An interview with Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum

growing up, that career path wasn’t open to schedule. They were loyal and patient. The women. At about the time that Rabbi Sally Preimost loyal and most patient was Aaron, “the sand became the first woman to be ordained by rebbitsir.” Not only did he end up doing a lot of our Reform Movement, I was raising a family, the chores, he had to put up with all the fellow serving on the synagogue board, teaching in the students who we housed so that they could get school, doing all the usual things that women to classes. It was so much fun to wake up to an used to do – and still do! I don’t even think I was instant chevruta (study group) and to study in entirely aware that she had thrown the door open! the car to and from school and to learn to sing It wasn’t until we were ensconced in Rockland blessings together! Aaron, with his yeshiva County, where we became active in “our own” background, was pleased to join in, or at least synagogue, that I had a real opportunity to begin to make things possible, not only for me, but to grow. The rabbi recommended me for outreach for so many friends too. training through the Union for Reform Judaism. What values or factors of your previous job At about the same time I began to study biblical are present in your current position? Rabbi Peg Hebrew at a nearby Christian seminary and I After my days as a classics teacher drew to Kershenbaum began to tutor. One of my adult students was an end, I became a Weight Watchers leader. Of studying biblical Hebrew in order to attend raball the things I’ve done or learned in my life, binical school. When he was accepted, he wouldn’t let me the skills I picked up in that job were the most important alone until I agreed at least to visit the Academy for Jewish for my rabbinate. Think of it: your learn to speak well Religion where he was studying. Oh, was he right! and persuasively in front of a group; you learn to listen Describe the transition for yourself, your family, etc., effectively and empathetically; you encourage people when you were becoming a rabbi. and instruct them in ways that will help make their lives At first everyone was very enthusiastic. When friends more fulfilling. You learn to choose and to tell stories with would hear of my decision, they’d say, “That’s perfect for a point. You learn to counsel without being judgmental. you!” I had to warn everyone that I was about to become And, there’s some fund-raising too! See “Rabbi” on page 11 a hermit for the foreseeable future because of the study

h a l a l n a d H , Hone d e s y He Continuing a Rosh Hashana fundraising tradition started by Roseann Smith Alperin (O.B.M.), as we begin 5775. • Proceeds benefit Youth Religious Education •

Gift Bag $20 • Mums $22

• The Gift Bag — contains a challah, container of honey, yom tov candles, an apple and candies. ——$20 delivered • Flowering Plant — A beautiful Mum in a basket. Perfect for those who cannot ac-cept gifts of foods. ——$22 delivered To order: Please make checks payable to “Temple Hesed Sisterhood”. Specify plain or raisin challah or the flowering mum. Mail to: Carol Leventhal, 125 Welsh Hill Road, Clarks Summit, PA 18411. For more information, call Carol at 570-587-2931 or email

We are delivering the gift bags and plants on Erev Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, September 24. DELIVERIES WILL BE MADE TO ANY ADDRESS IN SCRANTON OR THE ABINGTONS All Orders Must Be In By September 17, 2014

Volunteers Needed! To assemble gift bags at 1 pm, Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Leventhal residence located at 125 Welsh Hill Road in Clarks Summit. To make deliveries on Wednesday morning, September 4 Call Carol or Jeff at 570-587-2931 to volunteer.

Hesed, Hallah and Honey Order Form Order before Sept. 17 • Delivered September 24 YOUR NAME

Name___________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________ Name___________________________________________ Address__________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Enclose check, made payable to: Temple Hesed Sisterhood Mail order to: Carol Leventhal 125 Welch Hill Road Clarks Summit PA 18411

¨ Challah______ = $20/each ____ Plain _____Raisin ¨

Mums_______= $22/each

Phone___________________________________________ GETTING GIFTS

By Daniel and Sarah Shaykevich Authors’note: Congregation B’nai Harim is blessed with a great leader and teacher, our Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum. Our first service with her was right after Sarah’s bat mitzvah and a year before Daniel’s bar mitzvah. She has encouraged and helped us from then through the following six years and counting. When then-President Phyllis Miller approached us with the idea for this article, we were thrilled at the opportunity to learn about Rabbi Peg’s journey to become the rabbi she is today. It seems that Rabbi Peg has always been a teacher; before becoming a rabbi (Hebrew for “teacher”), she taught college. Her love of and aptitude for teaching and learning shines through in conversations and from the bima. Her responses, given in her usual inviting and absorbing style, give us insight, inspiration and even a laugh. Where and when were you born? What do you remember as your earliest Jewish experience? I was born in Brooklyn, NY, where my family had lived for a generation and a half. Believe it or not, I used to feel that something was the matter with our family because it took so long to “get back to Europe.” One set of grandparents came from Brooklyn and Manhattan, I believe. The other came from Virginia and Rhode Island, and met in Manhattan. Both sets of grandparents were very involved in Temple Ahavath Shalom, the “Avenue R Temple,” and my parents met there through the youth group. How connected were your family, friends and community to Judaism? Where did you go to school? How was Judaism involved? My family was very involved with the Reform Jewish community. My mother wrote for the temple’s newsletter using a style that I incorporate in the articles I write. One grandmother was the president of the True Sisters group at the Avenue R Temple. The other was the head of the religious school. While I was growing up, the whole family would gather at the home of this latter grandmother for Shabbat and for holidays. Her seders, to me, were absolutely formative. In making my own haggadah, I made sure to include the readings all my cousins remembered from those occasions. Although my family was committed to Reform Judaism, I had one special friend who was Conservative and one who was Orthodox from a Sephardic background. We were inseparable through school and Brownie Scouts, our mothers serving as leaders for years. We went to the same public school, where it was common to be in classes entirely filled with other Jewish children. Many of the teachers and the principal were Catholic. Junior high and high school introduced a little more diversity to our classes, but had no impact on my Jewish studies, which continued at the same synagogue my parents had joined. There I went through the Sunday school and was confirmed. I had to wait until years after I had been married to celebrate [my bat mitzvah]. All the way throughout school I had a great interest in religion. Part of that came from family celebrations, of course, but part came from my mother’s storytelling skills and desire to keep peace during long car rides! She began telling Bible stories to me and my brother to keep us from re-enacting the story of Cain and Abel in the backseat of the car! When we ran out of Torah stories, she told about the prophets and kings and then some of the megillot and even a psalm or two. Then she shifted to classical mythologies, to Arthurian legends and whatever else would keep us quiet. When, in later years I drove a carpool, I’d always have a story going. The children who got off first made me promise not to tell anything more until the next time! When Aaron and I were going to be married, we spoke with my rabbi. We were going to go to California to study and he wanted to know what I was interested in. He was worried that my interest in comparative religion would drive me from Judaism. I think his fears were quite unfounded! What was your original career and what sparked your interest in it? I was an adjunct lecturer in classics at Brooklyn and an instructor in Latin at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Part of what impelled me on that path was my mother’s stories. Part of the push came from my wonderful third grade teacher, Mrs. Kutik. I was blessed to be able to be an adjunct for a very long time and to inspire some others to continue in the field. I especially loved the study of ancient Greek and Latin and still use these languages, along with Hebrew, in a dictionary project in which I’ve been involved with Rabbi Bernard M. Zlotowitz. How was Judaism present in that career? While Judaism was not present per se, the skills I learned in studying and teaching classics were the same as those I needed to prepare for some of my rabbinic courses. Ultimately, learning about classical cultures began to seem less compelling and I wanted to learn more about Judaism, ancient Hebrew and our culture. What first made you want to become a rabbi? I think I always wanted to be a rabbi, but when I was


Name___________________________________________ Address__________________________________________

¨ Challah______ = $20/each ____ Plain _____Raisin



Mums_______= $22/each

Phone___________________________________________ Name___________________________________________ Address__________________________________________

¨ Challah______ = $20/each ____ Plain _____Raisin



Mums_______= $22/each


ÊVisit the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the web at or on Facebook


THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014


New Season of


August 2014

• Non-Feature Films •

*NEW* Everything is a Present: The Wonder and Grace of Alice Sommer Hertz - This is the uplifting true story of the gifted pianist Alice Sommer Hertz who survived the Theresienstat concentration camp by playing classical piano concerts for Nazi dignitaries. Alice Sommer Hertz lived to the age of 106. Her story is an inspiration. Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story - Yoni Netanyahu was a complex, passionate individual thrust into defending his country in a time of war and violence. The older brother of Benjamin Natanyahu, the current Israel Prime Minister, Yoni led the miraculous raid on Entebbe in 1976. Although almost all of the Entebbe hostages were saved, Yoni was the lone military fatality. Featuring three Israeli Prime Ministers and recently released audio from the Entebbe raid itself. Hava Nagila (The Movie) - A documentary romp through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy and more, the film follows the ubiquitous party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine to the cul-de-sacs of America. Inside Hana’s Suitcase - The delivery of a battered suitcase to Fumiko Ishioka at the Tokyo Holocaust Museum begins the true-life mystery that became the subject of Karen Levine’s best-selling book Hana’s Suitcase. The film follows Fumiko’s search to discover the details of Hana’s life, which leads to the discovery of her brother George in Toronto. *NEW* Israel: The Royal Tour - Travel editor Peter Greenberg (CBS News) takes us on magnificent tour of the Jewish homeland, Israel. The tour guide is none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The viewer gets a chance to visit the land of Israel from his own home! Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (narrated by Dustin Hoffman) - This documentary portrays the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. More than a film about sports, this is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of traditions, the shattering of stereotypes and, most of all, the greatest American pastime. *NEW* Nicky’s Family - An enthralling documentary that artfully tells the story of how Sir Nicholas Winton, now 104, a British stockbroker, gave up a 1938 skiing holiday to answer a friend’s request for help in Prague and didn’t stop helping until the war’s beginning stopped him. He had saved the lives of 669 children in his own personal Kindertransport. *NEW*Shanghai Ghetto - One of the most amazing and captivating survival tales of WWII, this documentary recalls the strange-but-true story of thousands of European Jews who were shut out of country after country while trying to escape Nazi persecution. Left without options or entrance visa, a beacon of hope materialized for them on the other side of the world, and in the unlikeliest of places, Japanese-controlled Shanghai. The Case for Israel - Democracy’s Outpost - This documentary 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. *NEW* The Jewish Cardinal - This is the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of PolishJewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg - As baseball’s first Jewish star, Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg’s career contains all the makings of a true American success story. Unmasked: Judaophobia - The Threat to Civilization – This documentary exposes the current political assault against the State of Israel fundamentally as a war against the Jewish people and their right to self-determination.

• Feature Films •

Fill the Void - This is the story of an eighteen-year-old, Shira, who is the youngest daughter of her family. Her dreams are about to come true as she is set to be married. Unexpectedly, her sister dies while giving birth to her first child. The drama of the story reaches its peak when the girls’ mother proposes a match between Shira and the young widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty. Footnote - The winner of the Cannes Film Festival (Best Screenplay) is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son, two eccentric professors, who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies. Each has a need for recognition in his chosen field and the day comes when father and son must look deeply inside themselves for the truth- advancement of his own career or of the others. Hidden in Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jews are sent to the ghettos. While some stand silent, Catholic teenager, Stefania Podgorska, chose the role of a savior and sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Noodle (compatible only on PAL – DVD players - Hebrew with English subtitles) This film was a beloved entry in the Jewish Federation of NEPA’s Jewish Film Festival. It tells the heartwarming story of an Israeli stewardess, Miri, whose personal life as a war widow leaves her without much joy. Everything changes for Miri when her Oriental housemaid disappears one day leaving her with her young Oriental child! The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Based on the best- selling novel, this movie is unforgettable. Set during WWII, the movie introduces us to Bruno, an innocent eight-year-old, ignores his mother and sets of on an adventure in the woods. Soon he meets a young boy and a surprising friendship develops. *NEW* The Concert - Andrei Filipov was prodigy- at 20 he was the celebrated conductior for Russia’s renowned Bolshoi Orchestra. Thirty years later, still at the Bolshoi, he works as a janitor. Ousted during the communist era when he refused to fire the Jewish members of the orchestra, a broken Andrei now cleans the auditorium where he once performed in front of thousands. The Debt - In 1966, three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a feared Nazi war criminal hiding in East Berlin, a mission accomplished at great risk and personal cost- or was it? The Other Son - As he is preparing to join the Israeli army for his national service, Joseph discovers he is not his parents’ biological son and that he was inadvertently switched at birth with Yacine, the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank. This revelation turns the lives of these two families upside-down, forcing them to reassess their respective identities, their values and beliefs. *Just added to the Jewish Federation’s Film Lending Library!

Continued from page 7 beside you. You need to make sure all the children come in the bathroom with you – there wouldn’t be time to get them from another room,” she said. Shachar Liran-Chanan, a student of psychology and education at Ben-Gurion University, explained, “Parents are told to stay calm. They try to hide their real feelings from their children. But the children see through them.” “It is very different when you have children,” said Einav Koren of Ashkelon. “I worked for five years at Sapir College in Sderot. My parents were also so worried and I could not understand it. Now, as a parent, I am more worried about the kid than myself.” Lilach Nissim of Herzilya works with the municipality to prepare for emergency situations such as the current one. Born and raised in Ashkelon, she spent three years working in the rocket-battered city of Sderot. “Imagine yourself having two or three small children,” she said. “Your husband is not home and there is an alarm and you have to get to the shelter in 15 seconds. You cannot take them all. Who do you take first?” Nissim said her cousin in Ashkelon was once driving when a “code red” siren sounded. Her then 3-year-old and 10-month-old children were strapped into the car. She stopped the car, but in less than 15 seconds needed to decide what to do: either take them out to lie in the middle of the street, or grab one and run for shelter. “She took the small baby and ran and left the big one in the car,” recalled Nissim. “He sat there crying. She will never forgive herself for the choice she made. These are the dilemmas that lots of parents are dealing with.” On the other side of the border, in Gaza, Hamas does not build bomb shelters, but rather takes its own citizens hostage and uses them as “human shields.” This refers to the deliberate placement of civilians in harm’s way in order to prevent a strike on a particular target. The Israel Defense Forces is currently using leaflets and phone calls to warn Gaza’s civilians to evacuate buildings prior to airstrikes on Hamas terrorists. Israel used the same approach during its 2008-09 and 2012 operations in Gaza. Mahfouz Kadariti, a father of five in the Palestinian coastal enclave, confirmed that Israel tells Gazans to leave their homes before an offensive. But he claimed that in some instances, as many as 50-60 family members live in one home, and that the time allotted to leave is not enough. “My children are panicked. ‘Where can we go? Where can we go?’ they ask me. There is nowhere to go,” Kadariti told Gaza resident Joe Carton said, “The first concern for all of us here is staying alive.” Yet the Hamas Interior Ministry has urged Gaza residents to ignore the IDF’s pre-airstrike warnings, saying in a statement, “To all of our people who have evacuated their homes – return to them immediately and do not leave the house,” Ynet reported. Indeed, Israelis understand that while their government goes to great lengths to protect them, the same cannot be said about the leadership in Gaza. “In Israel, we have the full support of the entire nation of Israel, we have psychologists, and shelters, and [the] Iron Dome... While the IDF is doing everything in its power not to harm innocent people, I know Hamas is trying to use those innocent people so the IDF will hit them,” Nissim told “I pity them.” Koren said Israelis “don’t take lightly what is happening in Gaza. I am also worried for them,” she said. “They should be building shelters there. Where is their government?” Israeli research, meanwhile, sheds light on the long-term effects of the conflict with the Palestinians. Clinical/community psychologist Golan Shahar of BGU, working with Georgia State University’s Dr. Christopher C. Henrich, followed 362 adolescents from southern Israel between 2008 and 2011. Four times per year, they measured the adolescents’ exposure to rocket attacks and their levels of anxiety, depression, aggression and violence. Longitudinal results evinced modest effects of rocket exposure on anxiety and depression, and no effects on aggression, but robust effects on violence commission. “I am not talking pushing and shoving, I am talking carrying weapons, carrying knives,” said Shahar, explaining the increased violent tendencies produced by subjects of the study. On the Palestinian side, Shahar said, there is “no reason to expect the kids in Gaza are not becoming more violent from what they have to endure. “Unless this conflict is contained, unless it is resolved, the worst is yet to come,” he said.

july 31, 2014 ■




Ban orders review following allegations UNRWA gave rockets back to Hamas

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commissioned a review of U.N. practices for relocating weapons found on its premises following reports that rockets found in an UNRWA school were returned to Hamas. “The secretary-general is alarmed to hear that rockets were placed in an UNRWA school in Gaza and that subsequently these have gone missing,” Ban said in a statement on July 23, a day after the second such cache of weapons was uncovered in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the principal group assisting Palestinian refugees. “The secretary-general has asked for a full review of such incidents and how the U.N. responds in such instances,” the statement said. “The United Nations is taking concerted action to increase its vigilance in preventing such episodes from happening again.” Ban, the statement said, directed two security departments to “to immediately develop and implement an effective security plan for the safe and secure handling of any weapons discovered in U.N. premises.” Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, accused UNRWA of returning the missiles to Hamas when he met on July 23 with Ban, who is in the region trying to bring about a cease-fire, The Jerusalem Post reported. Christopher McGrath, an UNRWA spokesman, told JTA in an e-mail that UNRWA’s practice was to refer unexploded ordnance to “local authorities.” He said the local authorities in this case did not answer to Hamas, but to the government of unaffiliated technocrats in Ramallah. “They pledged to pass a message to all parties not to violate UNRWA neutrality,” he said of the authorities. Another UNRWA spokesman said the missing weapons to which Ban referred was the second batch, discovered on July 22. UNRWA evacuated the school, Christopher Gunness told JTA, and its staff sought appropriate personnel to remove the weapons only to discover the next day when they returned that the weapons had been removed. “We evacuated the premises and placed a guard at the gate,” Gunness told JTA in an e-mail from Jerusalem, where he is based. “At the same time, we began intensive consultations to find an international actor to help survey the weapons so the extent of the problem could be ascertained and a safe disposal plan developed,” he said. “There were 1,500 displaced civilians in schools on either side of the installation and their safety was paramount. UNRWA staff did not re-enter the installation until the following day when displaced people from Beit Hanoun forced open the school seeking refuge. At that point our staff went to secure the area in which the weapons had been discovered the previous day and found they had been removed.” Gunness noted that UNRWA staff have come under fire during the war. Three teachers, all women, were killed on July 24 by Israeli fire – two in their residences, where family members also were killed, and one returning home from an UNRWA emergency shelter. “Our hearts go out to their surviving family members,” he said.

law and international humanitarian law” in Palestinian areas, particularly the Gaza Strip, where Israel and Hamas have been at war since July 8. Prior to the vote, Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said Hamas and Israel were likely both guilty of war crimes. In making the case against Israel, Pillay cited the deaths of children, noting the killing of four who were playing on a beach and three playing on a rooftop. In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office faulted the resolution for not singling out what it said was Hamas’ practice of endangering Palestinian civilians by placing its fighters and weapons among them. “The decision today by the UNHRC is a travesty and should be rejected by decent people everywhere,” the statement said. “The UNHRC should be launching an investigation into Hamas’s decision to turn hospitals into military command centers, use schools as weapons depots and place missile batteries next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques.” A similar inquiry, the Goldstone report, launched after the 2008-09 Israel-Hamas war led to calls for war crimes charges against Israeli officials. Israel would not cooperate with that inquiry. Its lead author, SouthAfrican Judge Richard Goldstone, eventually renounced the report, acknowledging some conclusions were colored by anti-Israel bias. In the July 23 UNHRC vote, 29 nations voted for the resolution and just the United States voted against. There were 17 abstentions, including a number of European nations. Israel and the United States have faulted the Human Rights Council for its lopsided focus on Israel.

West Bank Rabbi Dov Lior: Jewish law permits destruction of Gaza

Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading West Bank rabbi who endorsed a book justifying the killing of non-Jews, issued a religious ruling saying that Jewish law permits the destruction of Gaza to keep southern Israel safe. Lior, chief rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement, issued the opinion after receiving questions about Jewish law’s position on harming civilians during wartime. “At a time of war, the nation under attack is allowed to punish the enemy population with measures it finds suitable, such as blocking supplies or electricity, as well as shelling the entire


Continued from page 9 Are there any experiences that stand out as being important in shaping your path? At just about each step of the way there has been someone who has provided some tool or skill or insight or some amount of encouragement or just the right sort of discouragement to allow me to put together just what I needed to become a rabbi. Two experiences that helped put the finishing touches on this phase of my career were my internship and my post as rabbi of B’nai Harim. During my three-year internship at Temple Beth Rishon I worked closely with Rabbi Ken Emert. I was his very first rabbinic intern and he sought to share everything about this challenging and multifaceted career he had experienced for more than 25 years. I wrote, preached, counseled, composed ceremonies, created two junior congregations and more. But his continued friendship is the real inspiration. As rabbi of Congregation B’nai Harim, I get to put into practice mostly all of the wonderful things that I learned in school. I also get to see what was only wonderful in theory, but not in practice! The training that I received from the Academy for Jewish Religion prepared me to bring the richness of our tradition to real people in compelling, fresh and meaningful ways. Despite my living at a distance from the synagogue, I’m always happy to be on my way to lead services, to meet, to teach, to console and to rejoice with our congregants and their families. One of the things that makes me most proud of this community is that we have wonderful students who are active and committed and who stay in touch! My path is made even more rewarding when I can guide such Jewish souls.

Two infants diagnosed with herpes following metzitzah b’peh

Two more New York infants were diagnosed with herpes after undergoing the controversial Jewish circumcision practice metzitzah b’peh. Both boys developed symptoms of herpes earlier in July soon after the direct oral suction technique was used, according to an alert issued on July 22 by the New York City Health Department. The health department in 2012 implemented regulations requiring parents to sign a consent form prior to such circumcisions. Agudath Israel of America and other haredi Orthodox groups have opposed the regulation, contending in a lawsuit that it violates religious freedom. They also have insisted that metzitzah b’peh is not dangerous. A federal judge upheld the regulation in 2013, but the health department has not been aggressive about enforcement, the Forward reported. Since 2000, the health department alert said, there have been 16 cases of infants contracting herpes following metzizah b’peh. Two of the infants died and at least two others suffered brain damage.


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Israel calls for rejection of U.N. Human Rights Council inquiry

Israel’s government called for the rejection of a U.N. Human Rights Council inquiry into the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The council on July 23 voted to launch an inquiry into “all violations of international human rights

area according to the army minister’s judgment, and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing deterring steps to exterminate the enemy,” Lior said in his opinion. “The defense minister may even order the destruction of Gaza so that the south should no longer suffer, and to prevent harm to members of our people who have long been suffering from the enemies surrounding us,” he wrote. The opinion cited the Maharal, a 16th-century rabbi, talmudic scholar and philosopher. Lior was arrested in 2011 after months of refusing to appear for questioning for his endorsement of the book “Torat Hamelech,” or “The King’s Torah,” by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, which justifies killing non-Jews. Meretz party leader Zahava Gal-On asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to launch an investigation against Lior for incitement. Another West Bank rabbi, Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, said in a post on his Twitter account, “In time of war, it is unethical for a nation to endanger the lives of its own soldiers in order to ensure the safety of inhabitants in enemy territory, after having been warned to evacuate.”

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THE REPORTER ■ july 31, 2014

Profile for Becky Schastey

July 31, 2014 edition of The Reporter  

July 31, 2014 edition of The Reporter

July 31, 2014 edition of The Reporter  

July 31, 2014 edition of The Reporter