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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania JUNE 19, 2014
VOLUME XII, NUMBER 13
Federation announces co-chairmen for the 2015 Annual UJA Campaign Federation President Michael Greenstein has announced that Mark and Joan Davis, of Clarks Summit, have agreed to chair the Federation’s upcoming 2015 UJA Campaign. The Campaign is scheduled to begin in September and continue through May 2015. “We are pleased and honored to have Mark and Joan Davis, two established leaders of our community, as co-chairmen of the Federation’s 2015 annual UJA Campaign,” said Greenstein. “Their involvement in Federation and synagogue activities over many years has demonstrated the kind of leadership skills we require for a position of such importance, not only to our community, but to Israel and world Jewry – all of whom benefit from our annual UJA Campaign. Both have been actively involved in numerous charitable enterprises in the general community and together they bring to the
Campaign the organizational skills that will ensure its success.” Mark and Joan have been residents of Clarks Summit for 15 years. Mark is a former president of Temple Hesed in Scranton and remains active on its Executive Committee and board. As president, he presided over the transition to the temple’s new spiritual leader, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, among his other duties. He is an active member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania and also the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania. Originally from Northridge, CA, Mark graduated with a B.S. from California State University, Northridge, and holds an M.Sc. from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. from Yale University, all in the field of geology. He is a senior materials research scientist at Schott North America
Joan and Mark Davis Inc. in Duryea and is an avid cyclist. Joan is currently serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors at Temple Hesed
in Scranton and was previously Sisterhood co-chairwoman at Temple Hesed. Originally from Fairfield, CT, she graduated with a B.S. degree in mental health from Tufts University in Medford, MA. She obtained her grades seven-12 high school certification and an M.S. in English from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and recently received her reading specialist certification from Marywood University. She is a teacher, a writer and a private tutor, and substitutes in area middle and high schools. She tutors students of all ages in reading, writing and language arts. At the present time, she is working on a memoir about her mother and is a member of the Scranton Tennis Club. Mark and Joan have two daughters: Emily, a freshman at George Washington University, and Sarah, a sophomore at Abington Heights High School.
Federation members march in the 50th Israel Parade On June 1, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania joined thousands of Israel supporters who marched down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade. Participants, both old and new, rode by bus from Scranton and East Stroudsburg for the parade. Many people have marched with the Federation since it began participating in the parade in 2008, and they commented that this one was “the best ever.” The theme of the parade was “50 Years of the Parade.” The group’s sub-theme, “Jubilee and Gold” was based on the verse in Leviticus announcing the 50th year as a time “to proclaim liberty throughout the land and its inhabitants.” Federation Tshirts depicted the Liberty Bell, on which
this verse was etched. Participants also carried photos of many of the medical and technological innovations developed by Israel. Additionally, Israeli flags could be seen everywhere. After marching and spending time watching the parade from the sidelines, the group departed for Teaneck, NJ, where participants visited a kosher restaurant and shopped along Cedar Lane. Marchers included Jeanne Blom; Phil Cutler; Dassy Ganz; Rick Gelb; Asher and Mindy Grossman and family; Linda Grossman; Dr. Joel and Leah Laury and family; Michael and Miriam Litvak and family; Gwen Pole; Becky Schastey and family; and Mark Silverberg, executive director of the See “Parade” on page 5
Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania members attended the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 1.
L-r: Joe Fisch, Gene Schneider and Richard Keleman participated in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 1.
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.
L-r: The Laury family – Dr. Joel, Rachel, Dassy, Leah, Shira and Dahlia – participated in the Celebrate Israel Parade.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Israel and world Jewry
June 20............................................. 8:21 pm June 27.............................................8:22 pm July 4................................................. 8:21 pm
Israel has OK’d a large investment An American olim is spearheading U.S. senior volunteers mobilize to PLUS in a world Jewry relations initiative, efforts to document the memories help their communities; a look at Opinion...........................................................2 but details remain unclear. of Israel’s founding. foreign care workers in Israel. Jewish Community Center News............6 Story on page 3 Story on page 7 Stories on pages 12-13 D’var Torah.................................................10
THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
june 19, 2014 ■
a matter of opinion UJA/Federation Campaign 2014 Honor Roll requests for anonymity accepted The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania will publish its UJA/Federation Campaign 2014 Honor Roll in August as a thank you to those community members who made a financial gift to our annual UJA
Campaign this year, thereby continuing our community’s tradition of tzedakah. Should any contributor to our 2014 UJA Campaign wish to remain anonymous, please contact Dolores Gruber, the Feder-
ation’s office manager, at 570-961-2300, ext. 3, or at jfnepareporter@jewishnepa. org, and your request for anonymity will be respected. On behalf of Jews everywhere who benefit
from your generosity to our annual UJA Campaign, please accept our sincerest thanks. Mark Silverberg, executive director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
A priest’s encounter with Jew-hatred By Father Gabriel Rochelle JNS.org I was in one of those big boxes in another city, waiting for a prescription. After wandering around for a few minutes, I sat down across the aisle from the pharmacy on one of the benches kindly provided by the store. I was wearing my cassock and vest and skufia (a priest’s cap). I had attended the New Mexico Orthodoxy clergy April meeting and stopped on my way home to fill a prescription, because it was significantly less expensive than at our home pharmacy. Several people wheeled their carts past me and said hello or made various comments. I forget that folks are not used to seeing clerical garb in public any more, not even Roman Catholic priests, so often people will comment or ask the question, “Oh what denomination are you?” That affords me the opportunity for the stock response, “I’m not in a denomination, I’m Orthodox,” which may or may not lead to further conversation. She was wearing a flower print dress and a matching scarf. The cross around her neck was tasteful, not too prominent, but nevertheless was not a mere charm; she meant
“ The Reporter” (USPS #482) is published bi-weekly by the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510.
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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: www.jewishnepa.org How to SUBMIT ARTICLES: Mail: 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 E-mail: email@example.com Fax: (570) 346-6147 Phone: (570) 961-2300 How to reach the advertising Representative: Phone: (800) 779-7896, ext. 244 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription Information: Phone: (570) 961-2300
it as a statement. She was, I would guess, about 40, though my estimate of people’s ages is notoriously flawed. She did not ask about my “denomination.” She allowed as how she had once visited an Orthodox church in yet another city in the state, and she was curious about something. She asked if I wore my hat when I was at prayer because, you know, St. Paul says that women should cover their heads in church, but right after that he says that men should not cover their heads. I replied that I was not then at prayer and asked if she was. I said that, if the priest in that other parish had worn a hat in church, he would have taken it off at moments of prayer because that’s what we do, us Orthodox. That seemed to settle the issue. In the next breath she quietly said something like, “You’ve got to be careful who you talk to, because many people who call themselves Christians have given up the true faith.” I realized that this might go rapidly downhill, so I simply agreed with her on the theory that she would wheel away at this point, satisfied that I was really Orthodox, or whatever she defined as Orthodox. I was wrong. She said, “You’ve got to be careful about the Jews, because you know they have taken over Hollywood and Wall Street and all the newspapers.” At this point I looked for any exit I could find, but the prescription was not yet ready. I said, “Where do you get such slanted information?” She replied that she did not really attend a church, because most of them were bogus, but she trusted a handful of preachers she had found on YouTube. They were telling the truth “like it is,” including the stuff about the Jews secretly
ruling everything. I thought I would throw in a sarcastic quip about “The Protocols of Zion,” but I realized that she would have received such a note unblinkingly, as if it were the truth and meant I was beginning to bond with her in our secret knowledge about the state of the world. I asked if she remembered that Jesus was a Jew and that the earliest church was and could only have been made up of Jews who followed him. She replied that Paul and Peter had argued about this, that Paul had won, and the Jews under Peter had lost, and nobody could force the Law on us anymore. I could see that this line of reasoning would lead to all Roman Catholics burning in hell, because they followed Peter as the first pope, but I didn’t go there. I said that Paul struggled mightily with the relation of Jews and Christians under the Romans – his masterwork, particularly in chapters 9-11 – and that he said that God’s plan was to reunite us in some mysterious way at the end of time, but that for the moment we had to struggle to find our unity on the ground. She stood upright, with a knowing look and narrowed eyes, and told me that I was one of those “Christians” who had given up the faith. I heard the quotation marks in her tone of voice. So I said in a loud voice, as the anger built within me, “These people are liars, they are leading you in the wrong direction, and you had better watch out for your soul.” At this she hastily pushed her cart down the aisle of over-the-counter medicines and disappeared around the end cap of the next aisle. My heart was pounding. People were looking, but trying not to. I was rattled. I drove home the couple hundred miles, rolling the events over and
over in my mind, looking for alternative ways I could have handled the situation. None appeared. This incident reminded me, in a stark way, that we have not dismantled the tide of hatred for the Jews who “rule the world.” No matter how many decades we have had since the Holocaust, an ocean of hostility continues, capable of rising to tidal levels in this one woman in a store on a sunny April afternoon. Most unnerving is that these attitudes and concepts and ideas are not at all perceived to be loony, twisted, or in any way prejudiced. They are simply perceived as the truth. And that’s that. I look in the mirror and ask whether or not I am guilty of perpetuating these dangerous negative myths. I look away, confident that I personally am not. I have devoted a great chunk of my lifetime, energy and work to combating such nonsense. But then I remember that this teaching was not uncommon in churches for more than a millennium, and that in my own tradition pogroms often happened on Holy Thursday – when people heard that the Jews had killed Christ, and that whole Jewish shtetls disappeared, wiped off the face of the earth by advancing Nazi hordes. It was not even a century ago. On a scale of world history, it is only moments since many of us (not all) have given up the teaching of contempt. We have no choice; we have to remain vigilant. Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy. Father Gabriel Rochelle is pastor of St. Anthony of the Desert Orthodox Mission in Las Cruces, NM, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel Project.
Monica Lewinsky interview re-opens old tale of “That Woman” By Regina Brett JNS.org Monica Lewinsky. The name makes you cringe, roll your eyes and shake your head. She’s frozen in time as “That Woman.” She’s the young intern who had “sexual relations” with a married president in the White House. She’s the woman who saved the blue dress that helped get President Bill Clinton impeached. Lewinsky is back in the news by choice after a 10-year silence. She recently wrote an article for the June issue of Vanity Fair. When I heard about it, I cringed, rolled my eyes and shook my head. I read the criticism of the article before I actually read the article. Big mistake. As expected, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd weighed in and was unkind. She criticized Lewinsky for “keening about her own social collapse. It was like a Golden Oldie tour of a band you didn’t want to hear in the first place.” Then I read the Vanity Fair piece and saw Monica Lewinsky in a new light. The queen of humiliation has much to teach us about humility, the good kind. She also has something to teach us about how to survive and how to treat others. Why speak up now? She wants to stop tiptoeing around her past, stop tripping over it everywhere she goes. She wants to
have a future that isn’t based on what she did in her 20s. The timing is right. Public humiliation has become a contact sport. We have contact with it everywhere. People post private text arguments on Facebook, secretly record conversations and put them online, tweet rumors and nasty comments. Anything can, and does, end up on the Internet. “No one, it seems, can escape the unforgiving gaze of the Internet,” Lewinsky wrote. The death of Tyler Clementi tugged at her heart. The 18-year-old Rutgers freshman was humiliated to death. It all started when his roommate sent this message on Twitter: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s (sic) room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” Three days later, Clementi, an accomplished violinist, jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death. Lewinsky’s mother wept for Clementi and for her daughter, whose bedside she wouldn’t leave after the Clinton scandal became public. Her daughter was suicidal from the shame, the scorn, the fear. Why speak up now? Lewinsky wants to be more than “the most humiliated person in the world.” She isn’t just an intern that once gave a president oral sex. She moved to England. Graduated from the London School of Economics with a
master’s degree in social psychology. But her “history” keeps her from getting traditional employment. “I’ve managed to get by (barely, at times) with my own projects, usually startups that I have participated in, or with loans from friends and family,” she wrote. Her friends have moved on. They married, had children, built lives and left their 20s behind. Yet Monica is frozen in time as “That Woman.” It’s time for a thaw. It’s time to let those two words, “Monica Lewinsky,” mean something else. It’s time to let her be someone else. We let Bill Clinton off the hook. He earns millions giving speeches. CNN reported that in 2011 alone, he earned $13.4 million. Lewinsky? She’s reduced to the woman who had “sexual relations” with the president. The jokes were relentless. She became the joke. Too often we lock people in. Reduce them to their worst mistake. She acknowledges her humiliation was a “consequence of my own poor choices.” She assures us it was a consensual relationship. She regrets it and adds italics for emphasis: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened … I look back now, shake my head in disbelief, and wonder: what was I – what were we – thinking? I would give anything to go back and rewind the tape.” See “Tale” on page 6
community news Jewish Family Service offering Case Management Service By Maggy Bushwick With many people confronted with concerns regarding issues related to the aging process, Jewish Family Service has expressed concern for older adults living in the area, and is offering to help those having difficulty caring for themselves or putting together a plan of care. In Lackawanna County, 18.3 percent of the population is 65 years and older according to the 2010 United States Census, compared to the Pennsylvania percentage of 16 percent and the national percentage of 13.7 percent, and finding services and support becomes more complex as people age. Issues of insurance, medical care, household maintenance, dependency, loneliness and socialization are just a few examples. Individuals and families may seek direction about available resources, as they may have questions in need of answers, or even be unaware of their need to ask questions. Jewish Family Service’s case management service is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults. A case manager’s expertise can help provide the answers at
a time of uncertainty. Case management is the process of planning, seeking, advocating for and monitoring services from different social services or health care organizations and staff on behalf of a client. The primary goal of social work case management for individuals with multiple complex needs is to optimize client functioning and well-being by providing and coordinating high-quality services in the most effective and efficient manner possible. The guidance of the case manager helps lead the person or care giver to actions and decisions that can ensure quality care and an optimal life, and thereby reduce worry and stress. The process of case management starts with an in-depth assessment and monitoring, and includes planning, problem solving, education and advocacy. The case manager can assist in a variety of areas including: Housing: assisting clients to evaluate and select an appropriate level of housing or residential option. Home care services: determining types of services that are right for the person and assist the person to engage those services.
Israel vows big investment in world Jewry project, though details are fuzzy that his network was not involved in By Ben Sales setting the budget passed by the Israeli JERUSALEM (JTA) – Its leaders call Cabinet on June 1. it a “historic development,” a “paradigm Sharansky set a timetable of one to shift” and a “change in the relationship” two months for program proposals to between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. But be drawn up. Following the initiative’s when it comes to the details of the Joint lengthy planning process thus far, which Initiative of the Government of Israel has included conferences and an online and World Jewry, key questions have forum for young Jews worldwide to yet to be answered – including what it suggest programs, Sharansky said that will do and who will fund it. The chairman of the Jewish Agency for “coming to practical decisions comes Conceived last year as a partnership between the Israeli government, the Israel, Natan Sharansky, seen during very quickly.” Dvir Kahana, the director-general of Jewish Agency for Israel and major Di- an interview with the press at his office in Jerusalem on September 12, 2013. Israel’s Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs aspora Jewish bodies, the initiative aims Ministry, said the initiative still requires to strengthen Diaspora Jewish identity (Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90) strategic planning in addition to practical steps. and connections between Israel and Jews worldwide. The Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, as well On June 1, Israel’s Cabinet voted to invest upward of $50 million on the initiative through 2017. The govern- as the Finance Ministry, will provide Israeli government ment intends to increase the sum to $100 million annu- funding for the initiative. It will be run by a body including ally by 2022. The government wants Diaspora sources representatives from the Israeli government, the Jewish – Federations, philanthropic foundations and individual Agency and Diaspora funders. “We’re going to have a strategic plan for the next 25 donors – to contribute double those sums for two-thirds years,” he said. “Not what we know to do now but what of the initiative’s total budget. The funding will go both we should and should not do. From that strategic perspectoward expanding existing programs for young adults and tive, with key people, we’ll make decisions both regarding creating new ones. “It’s a historic development that the Israeli government existing programs and programs we need to create. We’re has decided to take more responsibility for strengthening not set on any specific program.” According to the text of the resolution passed by Israel’s the identity of Jewish communities,” the Jewish Agency’s Chairman Natan Sharansky told JTA. “We’re talking about Cabinet, a key portion of the initiative is strengthening the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. The first Jewish identity built on a connection to Israel.” Given the success of Birthright Israel, a free, 10-day trip stage of the initiative will focus both on bringing young to Israel for Jewish young adults, the initiative will focus on Diaspora Jews to Israel and on Israel education in Diaspora immersive experiences in Israel, college campus programs, communities. There has not been a decision whether the Jewish summer camps and experiential learning, Sharansky project’s initial stage will also educate Israeli Jews about said. But though the Israeli government has set aside money world Jewry, Sharansky said. The Jewish Agency, historically focused on promoting for the initiative, it has neither lined up the matching grants from Diaspora foundations nor has it outlined the specific immigration to Israel, has in recent years taken up a new mission of strengthening Jewish identity in the Diaspora and programs that would receive the funding. A planning meeting for the initiative in November 2013 peoplehood. It now offers Diaspora Jews long-term experidrew a virtual who’s who of major Jewish organizations ences in Israel without a commitment to immigrate. Sharansky said that while Orthodox Jews can count and foundations. But Sharansky mentioned only Jewish Federations of North America as a potential initial source on ritual observance to keep them engaged in the Jewish of funding from the United States, saying he didn’t want community, Israel is the only proven anchor to ensure Jewish identity for non-Orthodox Jews. “In the non-Orthodox to single others out before a plan had been set. “There are many unanswered questions at this point,” the world nothing stops assimilation except connection to Jewish Federations’ CEO, Jerry Silverman, told JTA. “Six Israel,” he said. “In Orthodox communities, awareness of months from now many of those questions will be answered. Jewish identity is very high. They live through their faith We’re not at the finish line. We’re at the 30-yard line. We feel and Jewish tradition. When you move to others you find out that this deep feeling of your belonging to this Jewish confident we’ll get to the finish line together on this.” Silverman said that the Jewish Federations had yet to story and your desire to stay inside of it is becoming thindecide on an initial sum to contribute to the initiative and ner and thinner.” For information on advertising, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 1-800-779-7896, ext. 244 or bonnie@ thereportergroup.org
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Medical management: facilitating communication between doctors, clients and family, if appropriate, as well as monitoring clients’ adherence to medical orders and instructions. Communication: keeping family members and professionals informed as to the well-being and changing needs of the individual. Social activities: providing opportunities for individuals to engage in social, recreational or cultural activities that enrich the quality of life. Legal: referring to or consulting with an elder law attorney. For any questions or for guidance in putting a care plan together, contact Maggy Bushwick, LCSW, NCG, coordinator of older adult services, at 570-344-1186 or email@example.com.
Bais Yaakov of Scranton
By Devorah Krycer
Bais Yaakov attends D-Day exhibit at Everhart Museum
To commemorate D-Day, students of Bais Yaakov of Scranton toured the D-Day exhibit at the Everhart Museum. The exhibit portrayed through pictures and artifacts the attack that happened on June 6, 1944. Dr. Joann Small, Bais Yaakov’s history and English professor, critiqued the exhibit. Her comments were aired on WVIA news radio on Memorial Day.
Art fair and dinner
Bais Yaakov held an art and craft fair on May 21 when various vendors displayed their homemade crafts. Adults and children attended the fair, and participants had dinner prepared by Suzanne Severe and Leah Laury. Others involved included Nancy BenDov, Vera Epshteyn, Beckey Schastey and Adina Elefant. Vendors included micro-calligraphy by Elyakim Bruck from Israel, whose work is available for purchase from Etty Fink at 570-3432627; original crocheted items by Devorah Krycer; duct tape bows by Rachel Laury; headbands and bows by Sandi Raven and Atara Raven; photography by Gedalya Krycer; and original art by Phyllis Nissel. Bais Yaakov girls had a display of linoleum prints made in their art class with artist and teacher Gary Cangemi. He also donated a work made of postage stamps for a silent auction won by Shani Davidson. Mary Kay Cosmetics were available for purchase by Adina Harkavy.
S E N I L D A E D The following are deadlines for all articles and photos for upcoming Reporter issues.
Thursday, June 19.....................................July 3 Thursday, July 17....................................July 31 Thursday, July 31............................... August 14 Thursday, August 14.......................... August 28
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THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
june 19, 2014 ■
Continued from page 1
Federation. The Poconos marchers included Bernie Driller, Joe Fisch, Lily Harter, Mel Kaplan, Richard Kelman, Elisheva Kosmerl, Lois LaBarca, Sara McGowan and family, Rabbi Baruch Melman, Gene Schneider, Al Shivers, Al and Carol Sitroon, Donna Waite and Frank Wholey. The Jewish Federation thanked longtime Federation supporter Barth Rubin, of the Budget Inn and Suites, for his continued support of the event. Also thanked were Rabbi Moshe Saks, Leah Laury and Schastey for helping prepare materials for the parade, as well as Silverberg, Ganz and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania “for presenting an excellent program.”
L-r: Al Shivers and Rabbi Baruch Melman marched in the parade.
L-r: Holding the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania banner was Rick Gelb, Donna Waite and Betsy Kosmerl.
L-r: Benny, Becky and Shlomo Schastey, with Al Shivers in background, posed for a photo during the Celebrate Israel Parade.
Cantor’s loss leaves Jewish Republicans bereft Orthodox Union, called Cantor By Ron Kampeas a friend who has “been a critical WASHINGTON (JTA) – Eric partner for the advocacy work of Cantor’s defeat in one constituenthe Orthodox Jewish community cy, Virginia’s Seventh Congreson issues ranging from Israel’s sional District, triggered mournsecurity and the security of Jewing among another: Republican ish institutions in the United Jews. Since 2009, Rep. Cantor States, to religious liberty to (R-VA) has been the only Jewish educational reform, and opporRepublican in Congress. After the tunity to defending the needs of 2010 GOP takeover of the House, the nonprofit sector.” he became the majority leader. Cantor was elected to ConHe is the highest-ranking Jewgress in 2000, at the age of 37, ish lawmaker in congressional history. But the meteoric rise of Rep. Eric Cantor, after having served nine years Cantor, 51, came to a screeching the House majority in the Virginia legislature. From halt on June 10 when he was leader, on Feb. 17. the start he made clear that he trounced in a major Republican (Photo courtesy had three bedrocks: his faith, his primary upset in his Richmond- of House majority state and his conservatism. His first floor speech, on January 31 area district by a poorly financed leader) 2001, was in favor of making Tea Party challenger, Dave Brat, the Capitol Rotunda available for Holoan economics professor. “Obviously we came up short,” Cantor caust commemoration, and in two minutes told his stunned followers in a Richmond Cantor wove together the importance of hotel ballroom. “Serving as the Seventh Holocaust education, a nod to two Virginia District congressman and having the privi- founding fathers and an embrace of the lege of being majority leader has been one foreign policy interventionism that would guide the George W. Bush administration. of the highest honors of my life.” “The remembrance of this dark chapter The defeat, with Brat garnering 55 percent of the vote to 44 percent for the incum- in human history serves as a reminder of bent, was a shock to Cantor and especially what can happen when the fundamental to Republican Jews for whom Cantor was tenets of democracy are discarded by dica standard-bearer. “We’re all processing tatorial regimes,” a hesitant and nervous it,” said Matt Brooks, the president of the Cantor said. “While we in the United Republican Jewish Coalition. “He was an States, the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson invaluable leader, he was so integral to the and James Madison, have experienced promotion of, to congressional support of years of peace and prosperity, we must the pro-Israel agenda. It is a colossal defeat not forget that genocide and human rights not just for Republicans, but for the entire abuses continue to occur elsewhere around the world. As the leader of the free world, Jewish community.” Cantor also was a natural ally for socially the United States must use its power and conservative Orthodox Jews who at times influence to bring stability to the world and have been at odds with the Obama admin- educate people around the globe about the horrors of the Holocaust to ensure that it istration on religion-state issues. In a statement, Nathan Diament, ex- must never happen again.” Cantor’s popularity in his district, his ecutive director for public policy of the
ability to garner supporters in the Republican caucus and his fund-raising prowess soon caught the eye of Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who in 2003 was set to become House majority whip. Blunt named Cantor his chief deputy, a stunning rise for a congressional sophomore who had not yet reached 40. Cantor’s Jewish involvement deepened as his days grew busier. Raised in a Conservative Jewish home, he started to keep kosher and take private classes with Orthodox rabbis. His three children with wife Diana, whom he met at Columbia University, were active in Jewish youth movements. Confidants say his commitment to Israel intensified after a cousin, Daniel Cantor Wulz, was killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
For Jewish leaders, Cantor was a critical address within the Republican Party for the Jewish community’s domestic agenda, said William Daroff, the Washington director of the Jewish Federations of North America. “When there was a need for a heavy lift for much of our Jewish Federation agenda, we could count on being able to call Eric and have him help us get to the finish line,” Daroff said. Cantor at first seemed to be riding the Tea Party wave. During the 2010 midterm elections, he joined with Reps. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Kevin McCarthy of California, calling themselves the Republican Party’s “Young Guns” in setting up a political action committee that championed younger See “Cantor” on page 7
Borscht Belt resort Kutsher’s facing wrecking ball By JTA staff NEW YORK (JTA) – Kutsher’s, the fabled Catskills resort hotel, is set to be demolished. The 1,300-acre property near Monticello, NY, was sold last year for $8.18 million to Veria Lifestyle Inc., which plans to turn it into a health and wellness resort. Pre-demolition work began in mid-May with the clearing of trees and brush, and the buildings were to be demolished as soon as the end of May, according a report the week of May 15 in the Times Herald-Record. Built in 1907 by brothers Max and Louis Kutsher, and taken over by the latter’s son, Milton, in 1946, Kutsher’s was the last of the Borscht Belt hotels in the Catskills. For decades it served kosher food and (mostly kosher) entertainment to generations of
Jewish New Yorkers. Celtics coach Red Auerbach summered there, and NBA star Wilt Chamberlain worked as a bellhop. Chamberlain also was among the numerous basketball stars who played in the charity tournament held annually for former NBA player Maurice Stokes. Veria, which is owned by the Indian media mogul Subhash Chandra, plans to build a spa and a 200-room hotel made of natural materials, according to the Times Herald-Record. The other Jewish resort hotels in the Catskills have been sold off, demolished or, as in the case of Grossinger’s, abandoned and taken over by nature. Some of the smaller properties also have been repurposed by haredi Orthodox groups that use them as schools, camps or summer colonies.
L-r: Three generations of Grossmans – Linda, Ella, Asher, Sara and Mindy – participated in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on June 1.
L-r: Sara McGowan, Shoshana McGowan, Lily Harter and Andre McGowan marched during the parade.
L-r: Lexy Novitski and Miriam, Laura and Michael Litvak marched in the parade.
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The closing meeting of the Senior/Social Adult Club was held on June 9, featuring the installation of officers for the 2014-16 term. Dan Cardonick, acting as installing officer, discharged Carole Fishbein, who has served as president of SAC for the last four years. He then installed Emily Trunzo, who will serve for the next two years. Along with Trunzo, the new officers and board will be: Lee Pachter, first vice president; Alana Arnowitz, second vice president; Morris Mertz, recording secretary; and James Ellenbogen, treasurer. Also installed as Board of Directors were Carole Flannery, Pat Gates, Marian Glassman, Arlene Lenc, Harriet Noble, Donna Lewis, Shirley Nudeleman, Roz Rutta, Kathryn Smith and Zippi Weinberg. Past President Eileen Baine presented Fishbein, the outgoing president, with a gift. In Fishbein’s closing remarks, she mentioned that she would “treasure this gift” as a reminder of their friendships and rewards she garnered in her years of service to the club. Following the installation ceremonies, attendees were served a birthday celebration cake and were entertained by a group of musicians. Although this was the closing meeting for this season, lunches will still be served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays of every week. There will be exercise on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mah jongg will
be held on Thursdays, bridge on Tuesdays, canasta on Wednesdays and rummikub on Wednesdays. Rabbi Dovid Saks will continue to speak on Mondays at 11 am. The auditorium and the Goodman Lounge are available for games every afternoon and coffee is served Mondays and Wednesdays in the morning. There are also first-run movies shown every Wednesday after lunch. The club has attended a number of event parties, such as for Chanukah, Tu B’Shevat and Passover. In April, all seniors ages 60 and older were treated to lunch and entertainment to celebrate Volunteer Month and, in May, the SAC Spring Fling was held. The program’s theme was “Italian Fiesta,” with pizza, salad, Italian ices and music. Both club members and non-members were invited to attend a day at Mount Airy casino in March, and a repeat of the trip will be held on Wednesday, June 25. In May, a trip to New York to see a Broadway show was held with dinner at Ben’s Kosher Deli. A dinner and bingo program will be held on Tuesday, June 24; a hot dog party will be held on Wednesday, July 9, at Daleville Day Camp; and plans are being made for a picnic in McDade Park in August, as well as another trip yet to be booked. For additional information, such as the cost and time, call Louis McNabb at 570-3466535, ext. 135. “With so much activity and fun, why not join the club?” asked a club representative. “Come on down for lunch and check out what’s going on. You will be
surprised by who you will meet.” The members and friends are said to be looking forward to “an exciting and fun filled year to come.”
Jewish Harlem tour
The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy will present the Jewish Harlem Walking Tour on Sunday, June 29, at 10:45 am. Urban historian Marty Shore will lead tour-goers through the sites of Jewish religious life in the urban settlement of Harlem, once the second largest Jewish community in the United States. In 1917, Harlem was home to more than 175,000 Jews. Tour-goers will see the exteriors of synagogues and other remnants of Harlem’s Jewish past. The tour will also include a stop at the Ethiopian Hebrew Synagogue “The Commandment Keepers” and the former homes of Temple Israel of Harlem, Congregation Shaarei Zedek and the Oheb Zedek Synagogue (home to Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt in the 1910s-1920s). The Jewish Harlem Walking Tour will meet at the northeast corner of Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and 125th St., in front of the statue of Adam Clayton Powell. Tickets are $18 for adults, or $16 for seniors and students, and can be purchased now at www.nycjewishtours.org. Tickets are $2 additional on the day of the tour.
Genesis Generation Challenge
L-r: new Senior/Social Adult Club President Emily Trunzo and outgoing President Carole Fishbein listened to JCC Executive Director Dan Cardonick at the club’s closing meeting on June 9.
L-r: James Ellenbogen, Emily Trunzo, Dan Cardonick and Morris Mertz were seen during the Senior/Social Adult Club officers’ installation ceremony.
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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The Genesis Generation Challenge will strive to find and fund “the next big idea” that could measurably better the world. The challenge is designed to encourage teams of change agents from across the world to submit ideas for projects, guided by Jewish values, that demonstrate innovation and creativity in addressing the world’s pressing issues. Up to 10 winning teams each will be awarded at least $100,000 to implement their initiatives. The competition will officially begin on August 1 through an online submission process found at www.Genesis-Generation. org. Winners will be announced in the first quarter of 2015.
Exhibit on town of Auschwitz
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City is holding the exhibit “A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community.” It explores the history of Oswiecim, Poland – the town the Germans called Auschwitz – through photographs that trace the life of the town and its Jewish residents, from the 16th century through the post-war period. For more information, visit www.mjhnyc.org/town/visit. html or contact the museum at 646-437-4202.
Continued from page 2 She can’t. But we can help her fast forward it. David Letterman, host of “The Late Show,” told viewers he read the Vanity Fair article and “started to feel bad, because myself and other people with shows like this made relentless jokes about the poor woman, and she was a kid. “I feel bad about my role in helping push the humiliation to the point of suffocation,” Letterman said. Monica Lewinsky is 40. It’s time we let her breathe. Regina Brett, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author, is a columnist for the Cleveland Jewish News, where this column originally appeared. She is the firstplace winner of the Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary for newspapers with a circulation of 14,999 and under in the 2014 Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism. Connect with her on Facebook at ReginaBrettFans and on Twitter @ReginaBrett.
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
Preserving the memories of Israel’s creation
By Judy Lash Balint JNS.org Elad Peled, 87, has told the story of how he was injured during the battle for Tzfat (Safed) in Israel’s War of Independence many times. Now, for the first time, the retired Israel Defense Forces major general’s account of his days as Palmach commander will be readily accessible through a joint project of Toldot Yisrael (Chronicles of Israel) and Israel’s National Library. For Peled and hundreds of others who played a pivotal role in the creation of the state of Israel, the Toldot Yisrael initiative provides peace of mind that their stories will not be forgotten. Conceived seven years ago by Eric Halivni, an American immigrant to Israel with a background in Jewish education and non-profit management, Toldot Yisrael has been quietly working to do for Israel what Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History project has done for Holocaust memory. Halivni says he was astonished to learn after he made aliyah that there was no comprehensive archive to document the founding of the state. “There are some oral and written histories in places like the Palmach Museum, the Rabin Center and Kibbutz Kfar Etzion,” he notes, “but no comprehensive project that makes all this incredible material easily accessible in one archive.” To date, with funding from several U.S foundations and private individuals, Toldot Yisrael has completed 1,000 interviews resulting in 3,000 hours of raw footage. “It’s not only about the War of Independence,” Halivni emphasizes. “We’re documenting people who were witnesses to history.” One of Toldot Yisrael’s first interviews was with Zionist leader Arieh Handler. Until
Cantor conservatives in a GOP that they said had become too moderate and complacent. In a book co-written by the three at the time, Cantor welcomed the Tea Party wave. “They saw that the powers in charge here are ignorant of what the people want and frankly arrogant about it,” Cantor said in the book, referring to the protests against President Barack Obama’s health care plan that had sparked the Tea Party movement. In the book, he again rooted his conservatism in the South and in his faith. “I pray on Saturday with a Southern accent, and Paul and Kevin go to church on Sunday and talk to God without dropping their ‘G’s,” referring to his colleagues. At the time, Cantor seemed to think he could harness the Tea Party insurgency. “Tea Party individuals are focused on three things: One, limited, constitutional government; two, cutting spending; and three, a return to free markets,” he told JTA in an October 2010 interview on the eve of the midterm elections. “Most Americans are about that and the American Jewish community is like that.” As majority leader, Cantor stayed to the right of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), and many believed he would soon challenge Boehner to become the first Jewish House speaker. Cantor and Obama have not had a good relationship – Cantor has not attended a single Jewish event at the White House during Obama’s two terms, although he has been invited to all of them. Until two weeks into the October 2013 shutdown of the federal government, Cantor resisted agreeing to a deal, and he conceded only when it became clear that the shutdown was damaging Republican electoral prospects. Heeding a Republican establishment that believed the Tea Party had gotten out of hand, Cantor more recently tilted toward the center, championing job creation programs, criticizing foreign policy isola-
Toldot Yisrael (Chronicles of Israel) initiative founder and Director Eric Halivni with the invitation to the 1948 ceremony of the Declaration of Israel’s In-dependence. (Photo by Judy Lash Balint) his death at age 95 in 2011, Handler was the last living witness to the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. During his interview for the Toldot archives, Handler produced a hand-addressed invitation to the event in Tel Aviv. For Danny Streifler, director of Digital Photo Archive and Interactive Services at the National Library of Israel, is excited at the prospect of bringing such gems to light. “The National Library was always very good at preserving material in the basement: now we want to provide the widest access, and the Toldot Yisrael collaboration is the perfect merge,” he says. While many interviews are available on YouTube, what the National Library hopes to offer is the added value of links to existing archival material on events recounted by the participants. Plans call for the Toldot Yisrael interviews and documentation to be used by scores of See “Preserving” on page 10
Continued from page 5
tionists within the GOP and expressing a willingness to consider elements of the 2013 Senate immigration reform bill, although until now he has resisted bringing it to the House floor. That tilt and, according to some local news reports, a perception that Cantor was not sufficiently invested in his district helped contribute to his defeat. Brat especially focused on criticizing Cantor’s tentative embrace of a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors. Hadar Susskind, the director of Bend the Arc, a Jewish group that is a leader on immigration reform, said it was bizarre to accuse Cantor of being overly accommodating on immigration. “He has been the single largest obstruction in the effort to reform our immigration laws, so those efforts lose nothing with his defeat,” Susskind told JTA. Democrats immediately seized on Cantor’s loss as evidence that the Republican Party is becoming increasingly extreme. “When Eric Cantor, who time and again has blocked common sense legislation to grow the middle class, can’t earn the Republican nomination, it’s clear the GOP has redefined ‘far right,’” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement. Steve Rabinowitz, a publicist who represents Jewish groups as well as liberal and Democratic causes, said he was conflicted about Cantor’s departure. On the one hand, he couldn’t help but be amused that Cantor’s flirtation with the Tea Party came back to haunt him. On the other, Rabinowitz suggested that Cantor’s defeat was a minus for the Jewish community. “Wearing my mainstream Jewish skullcap, it’s clear the community needs people like Eric Cantor,” Rabinowitz said. “This is a loss for the Jewish community. I have my disagreements with him, but he’s been there for the community.”
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june 19, 2014 ■
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 26 Annual Teen Symposium on the Holocaust! th
Survivors met with their Facilitators prior to the breakout sessions.
Mary Ann Answini, Symposium Coordinator, welcomed students and teachers.
Katheryn Bekanich, Facilitator, with Jack and Ruth Gruener, Survivors
Miriam Brysk, Survivor
Sonia Goldstein, Survivor
Ilse Loeb, Survivor
Lida Stein and the Righteous Gentile
Elly Gross, Survivor, with Bill Burke, Facilitator
Seth Gross, Facilitator, and Sonia Goldstein, Survivor
Stephen Berger, Survivor
Survivors and attendees were entranced by the play.
Master of Ceremonies Susie Connors
George Frank, Survivor
Elly Gross, Survivor
Walter Gantz, Liberator
David Fallk, Facilitator, with Ilse Loeb, Survivor
Susie Connors and Alan Moskin
Sister John Michelle and Alan Moskin
Ela Weissberger, Survivor
Ruth Hartz, Survivor
Miriam Brysk, Survivor, with Steven Feuer, Facilitator
Sol Lurie, Survivor, with Christine Eagan, Facilitator
Annie Blieberg, Survivor
Ruth Gruener, Survivor
Preparations continued with Susie Connors and Mary Ann Answini
Ruth Hartz, Survivor, center, with Facilitators Bill and Carol Burke
Frida Herskovits, Survivor was escorted by Bill Burke to Tunkhannock Area Middle School, where she spoke to 400 middle school children on the Holocaust. They prepared a welcoming committee with flowers, posters, and a song in her honor. Frida was in tears of joy over her warm welcome.
Frida Herskovits, Survivor with Marion Poveromo, Facilitator
Joanne Aronsohn Monahan gifted three books and a poster to all teachers to enrich their curriculum on the Holocaust.
Manya Perel, Survivor Trudy Klein Gompers, Survivor
2014 Teen Symposium Highlights: • 26th Anniversary of the event • More than 1400 participating students and teachers in 2 days • 30 schools districts represented • Special presentations
27th Annual Teen Symposium on the Holocaust will be held May 2015
Micha Tomkiewicz, Survivor
Sol Lurie, Survivor
Alan Moskin, Liberator
Wrap up see you next year! Micha Tomkiewicz, Survivor
THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
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d’var torah ABINGTON TORAH CENTER
Rabbi Dovid Saks President: Richard Rutta Jewish Heritage Connection 108 North Abington Rd., Clarks Summit, PA 18411 570-346-1321 • Website: www.jewishheritageconnection.org Sunday morning services at 8:30 am Call for other scheduled services throughout the week.
BETH SHALOM CONGREGATION
Rabbi Yisroel Brotsky 1025 Vine St., Scranton, PA 18510, (corner of Vine & Clay Ave.) 570-346-0502 • fax: 570-346-8800 Weekday – Shacharit: Sun 8 am; Mon, Thurs. & Rosh Chodesh, 6:30 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 6:45 am; Sat & Holidays, 8:45 am. Mincha during the week is approx. 10 minutes before sunset, followed by Maariv.
BICHOR CHOLEM CONGREGATION/ CHABAD OF THE ABINGTONS Rabbi Benny Rapoport President: Richard I. Schwartz 216 Miller Road, Waverly, PA 18471 570-587-3300 • Website: www.JewishNEPA.com Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am. Call or visit us online for our bi-weekly schedule
CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF THE POCONOS Rabbi Mendel Bendet 570-420-8655 • Website: www.chabadpoconos.com Please contact us for schedules and locations.
CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL
Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Allan L. Smith President: Henry M. Skier Contact Person: Cheryl Badner, Congregation Administrator (570) 253-2222 615 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431 570-253-2222 • fax: 570-226-1105
CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM
Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum President: Alan S. Wismer P.O. Box 757 Sullivan Rd., Pocono Pines, PA 18350 (located at RT 940 and Pocono Crest Rd at Sullivan Trail 570-646-0100 • Website: www.bnaiharimpoconos.org Shabbat Morning Services, 10 am – noon; every other Saturday Potluck Shabbat Dinner with blessings and program of varying topics, one Friday every month – call for schedule.
JEWISH FELLOWSHIP OF HEMLOCK FARMS
Rabbi Steve Nathan President: Steve Natt Forest Drive 1516 Hemlock Farms, Lords Valley, PA 18428 570-775-7497 • E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday evening Shabbat service 8:00 pm, Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am.
MACHZIKEH HADAS SYNAGOGUE Rabbi Mordechai Fine President: Moshe Fink 600 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 570-342-6271
OHEV ZEDEK CONGREGATION
Rabbi Mordechai Fine 1432 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA 18510 Contact person: Michael Mellner - 570-343-3183
Union of Reform Judaism Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz President: Ken Miller 1 Knox Street, Scranton, PA 18505, (off Lake Scranton Rd.) 570-344-7201 Friday evening Shabbat, 8 pm; Saturday Morning , when Shabbat School is in session, at 11 am
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF DUNMORE
President: Isadore Steckel 515 East Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512 Saturday morning Shabbat 7:30 am; also services for Yizkor
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF THE POCONOS
Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Baruch Melman President: Dr. Sandra Alfonsi Contact person: Dr. Sandra Alfonsi 570-223-7062 711 Wallace St., Stroudsburg, PA, 18360 (one block off Rte. 191 (5th Street) at Avenue A) 570-421-8781 • Website: www.templeisraelofthepoconos.org E-Mail: email@example.com Friday evening Shabbat, 7pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 9 am
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF SCRANTON
Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Moshe Saks 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: 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.
The question of balance Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 by RABBI MARJORIE BERMAN, SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR, RECONSTRUCTIONIST RABBINICAL COLLEGE IN PHILADELPHIA In parasha Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32, Korach, the great-grandson of Levi, and Dathan, Abiram and On, descendants of Reuben, along with 250 respected leaders of the community, challenge Moses and Aaron’s leadership of the Israelites. They dispute the system of hierarchy in the community, saying, “All the people are holy! Why then do you raise yourselves above God’s congregation?” Moses hears their complaints and instructs them to bring their fire pans and incense to the sanctuary on the following day, so that God can make known who is holy and who is not. The next morning, Korach has rallied much of the community to his cause. God, angry with the people’s rebellion, is ready to destroy them all, but Moses pleads on their behalf, asking, “If one person sins, will you be angry with the whole community?” In the end, God advises Moses to tell the people to withdraw from the original complainants. Once they have done so, the earth opens up and swallows Korach, Dathan, Abiram, On and their 250 followers. However, the trouble doesn’t stop there. The community turns on Moses and Aaron, accusing them of bringing death upon the people. A plague starts breaking out, and Moses quickly instructs Aaron to place his fire pan on the altar, asking forgiveness for the Israelites. The plague ends, but leaves 14,700 dead. As with all the parshiot (portions) that portray God as responsible for the death of thousands, this story is obviously very problematic. For believers in democracy, and for feminist theorists and others who critique hierarchy, the apparent problem with Korach is very challenging. It certainly seems that God and Moses are saying that unquestioning obedience to divinely elected hierarchy is the correct – and only – form of leadership for the Israelites. Based on our modern experience, one has only to look around the world to see how inherently flawed this model is. On the other hand, having gone to a Quaker school, I have learned how many issues arise out of a governance model of consensus, at the other end of the spectrum. One of the hardest things for humans to do, and especially to do well, is to create workable governments. In modernity, we have figured out how to purify drinking water in mass quantities, how to cure complex diseases and build skyscrapers. We can even send messages instantaneously through the air from one end of the planet to the other. And yet, all
over the world, people are still trying to figure out how to govern themselves and where to vest their authority. Even here in America, where we have had a relatively stable democracy for more than 200 years, we see how easily our government can be corrupted, bought and influenced by those who do not have the best interests of the people at heart on the local, state and federal levels. It turns out that finding a model of leadership that is effective, just and secure is exceptionally difficult. The truth is, it might not be possible to find a static model of leadership that will work at all times and in all circumstances – there will always be a tension between giving a voice to all and corralling the masses. With great leadership, people can be inspired and organized to do great things. Without leadership, chaos and violence often ensues. The question of balance is key: To what extent must leaders align the people with their vision, and to what extent must they align their vision with the people? It may be that the primary thing that is needed for good leadership and good governance is a constant and consistent involvement with both the question of what model to use and with the process itself. We need to keep asking, “Are we doing the best we can?” “Is it fair and just?” “Am I integrally involved in making my community, my city, my country, the planet a better place?” Otherwise, we run the risk of ceding power to the baser human instincts. A quote often attributed to Edmund Burke says, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Sometimes the most problematic passages of Torah get us to pay the most attention. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t just “pick out the good parts” – that is, the parts of Torah that we agree with and that easily conform to our modern sensibilities. Part of the genius of Judaism is our tradition’s ability to keep everything as part of our sacred text, the minority opinion along with the majority, the obsolete Temple customs that require creative interpretation to be relevant, and the challenging mores that get us to sit up and argue with our ancient stories. We may not be able to explain God and Moses’ action in the story of Korach in a way that satisfies our current beliefs, but in striving to we can clarify our own values, stretch to see the inherent complexities of leadership with a community in crisis and bring those insights to bear on today’s problems. We are Yisra-El, those who wrestle with God. Torah is our trainer, our exercise mat, our gym and our sauna. It challenges us, supports us, strengthens us, purifies and renews us. Happy wrestling!
Continued from page 7
Israeli teachers who attend summer programs at the National Library to develop curriculum related to Israel’s history. So far, material from Toldot Yisrael interviews has been used in the “Eyewitness 1948” series of documentary films that have aired on Israel’s History Channel and been viewed online more than 500,000 times, as well as in a series of twominute films titled “The Founders: The Story of the 1948 Generation,” which features kibbutzniks, new immigrants of the time, and members of the Lehi and Haganah who bring their different perspectives to that turbulent era. For Peled, the former Palmach (elite Haganah fighting force) commander, that’s one of the reasons for his enthusiasm for the Toldot Yisrael-National Library collaboration. “The same event can be viewed so many ways by different people,” he says. In order for history to be understood, various perspectives need to be taken into account, and that’s the strength of the huge number of interviews that will now be archived and available. “I didn’t dance in the street after the November 29, 1947, U.N. vote. I was on guard at Kibbutz Ramot Naftali near the Lebanese border. I was 20 years old and wrote a letter to my mother, that I had a very heavy feeling. I knew we were entering war,” he recalls. Peled, a former director general of Israel’s Ministry of Education, and his wife, Zimra, who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, have been married for 66 years. Zimra was also a member of the Palmach unit that escorted convoys between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the siege
Sacred and profane: Philip Roth, onetime “enfant terrible,” gets seminary honor
writings have similarly upset many Jews. But Though Roth has faced criticism from feminists over his By Beth Kissileff after decades as one of America’s leading liter- depictions of women, a query from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (JTA) – “What is being done to silence this ary lights, the anger Roth once evoked has been to the listserv for female Conservative rabbis soliciting man?” an American rabbi asked in a 1963 letreactions to the honorary doctorate yielded no responses. eclipsed by acclaim. ter to the Anti-Defamation League. He was The president of the Philip Roth Society, Aimee Pozorski, In a phone interview, the seminary’s chantalking about the novelist Philip Roth, whose cellor, Arnold Eisen – a sociologist and the said that Roth and JTS are not so different in their values. early novels and short stories cast his fellow only non-rabbi to lead JTS since World War “Ultimately, for the last 50 years, and despite opinions to American Jews in what some considered a II – called Roth the “greatest sociologist on the contrary, they have fought for the same ideals all along,” none-too-flattering light. American Jewish life, without doubt.” Eisen Pozorski added. “From the very beginning of his career, Fast-forward half a century. said that in his previous job at Stanford Uni- he has been deeply invested in representing the lives and On May 22, the writer whose works were versity, he frequently assigned Roth’s books to fates of Jewish youth.” once denounced as profane was honored by Roth, however, has demurred when it is suggested that one of American Jewry’s sacred citadels: The Philip Roth received students in his classes on American Judaism. Jewish Theological Seminary, Conservative an honorary doctorate Eisen noted his admiration for the Roth novels he should be defined as an American Jewish writer. “I did Judaism’s flagship educational institution, a t t h e J e w i s h that examined the relationship between Israel not want to, did not intend to, and was not able to speak for awarded Roth an honorary doctorate at its com- Theological Sem- and the Diaspora, such as “The Counterlife” American Jews; I surely did not deny, and no one questioned mencement ceremony. “From enfant terrible to inary’s commencement and “Operation Shylock,” as well as works that the fact, that I spoke to them, and I hope to others as well,” explored the American scene, like “The Human Roth wrote in his essay “Writing About Jews.” elder statesman. Time heals all wounds,” Rabbi in New York on May 22. Stain” and “American Pastoral.” At JTS, though, appreciation abounded for Roth’s conDavid Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles (Photo by Ellen Dubin “We are a community that treasures someone tributions to the Jewish world. “If the Western world views remarked to JTA via e-mail. who holds up such a penetrating and insight- itself through the lens of the modern Jewish experience, Early in his career, Roth drew outrage with Photography) ful mirror to who we are, and reveals the dilemmas and it is in large measure due to the novels, novellas and short sometimes stinging depictions of Jewish life, as well as his contradictions and aspirations of the community,” Eisen stories of Philip Roth,” wrote David Roskies, a JTS Jewish graphic portrayal in his 1969 novel “Portnoy’s Complaint” of the protagonist’s sexual desires. Some worried that his said. “We are grateful for the mirror, even if not everything literature professor, in a note to the class of 2014. He added that Roth “has done more than anyone to work would endanger American Jews, providing fodder you see in it is easy.” Elisa Albert, a fiction writer and the author of an epis- further the literary exploration of the Holocaust, in his for antisemites. In one notorious incident, Roth was shaken by a hostile tolary short story in which her alter ego offers to have own writings, and by promoting great works and writers reception he received at a 1962 literary symposium at New a baby with Roth, called the JTS recognition “a small throughout the world.” At the JTS commencement, the honorary doctorate reYork’s Yeshiva University. Recalling being shouted at by honorary justice.” “I’d imagine it’s an irresistible offering: a major in- cipients received their hoods, tribute to their various services hostile students after the event, Roth vowed to “never write about Jews again” – a promise, of course, that he stitution of the very community that once upon a time so to the Jewish people: Ruth Calderon, Knesset member and narrow-mindedly shunned him and his work now honors Talmud teacher; Rabbi David Ellenson, chancellor and did not keep. former president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute “There is a certain amount of poetic justice, an aestheti- him, decades later,” she wrote in an e-mail. Roth, however, has not exactly been a communal pariah of Religion; and Stanley Fischer, former governor of the cally satisfying irony, in Philip Roth’s beginning his career with a brouhaha at Yeshiva University and ending it with an over his long career. Three of his books were honored with Bank of Israel. When Roth was given his hood, he received a sustained honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary the American Jewish Book Award and in 1998, he won – an honor perhaps more significant than the Nobel Prize the Jewish Book Council’s Lifetime Literary Achieve- standing ovation. And at the ceremony’s end, Roth walked off stage in the final procession, bareheaded among the that eludes him,” Michael Kramer, associate professor of ment Award. The JTS honor seems to have elicited little controversy. kippah-clad crowd. literature at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, wrote in an e-mail. “Would Roth himself have imagined such a plot? His endings tend to the tragic.” Now the 81-year-old Roth’s own career is itself at an end. In 2012, Roth announced that he would not be writing more books. In May, he declared after a reading at New York’s 92nd Street Y that he was done with public appearances. “This was absolutely the last appearance I will make on any public stage, anywhere,” said Roth, although the news recently broke that he will appear as an interview guest on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” in July. Roth, in his books, poked fun at the wrath he incurred GOLF at Pocono Farms Country Club • DINNER at the Lake Naomi Club from some in the Jewish community. One of his recurring Enjoy a great day starting with a noon shotgun start of 18 holes of golf with cart. protagonists, Nathan Zuckerman, is a novelist whose own The Awards Dinner, complete with additional prizes, raffles and a silent auction will add to the fun at the Lake Naomi Club. Proceeds from this event will be used for community outreach projects.
CHARITY GOLF OUTING – Wednesday, July 2
11:00am .................. Registration and warm up 12:00pm ................. Shotgun start 5:00pm .................... Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar at the Lake Naomi Club in Pocono Pines, PA 6:30pm .................... Dinner
Jewish superhero exhibit
Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. (retired) Elad Peled and Dr. Zimra Peled, Palmach veterans. For Peled and hundreds of others who played a pivotal role in the creation of the state of Israel, the Toldot Yisrael initiative provides peace of mind that their stories will not be forgotten. (Photo by Judy Lash Balint) of Jerusalem. The Peleds said they are acutely aware of the need to intensify efforts to digitally record the testimonies of the shrinking ranks of eyewitnesses to Israel’s founding and surviving military veterans of the 1948 War. “This afternoon we’re going to another funeral of one of our Palmach chevra (group of friends),” Peled tells reporters. “We are disappearing every week.”
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The Jewish Museum of Maryland will hold the exhibit “ZAP! POW! BAM!” through August 18. Featured in the exhibit is superhero memorabilia, original comic book art and video interviews with the creators of superheroes. It looks at what is called the Golden Age of comic books. Designed for those of all ages and backgrounds, it includes an interactive telephone booth, a drawing studio that allows guests to try their hands at comic book art, and a ride on the Bat Mobile. For more information, visit http://jewishmuseummd. org or contact the museum at 410-732-6400 email@example.com.
Register to PLAY (Golf + Dinner $115/person): Register your own foursome, or sign up as a single and the golf pro will match you up with other Players.
1) __________________________________________________________________________ 2) __________________________________________________________________________ 3) __________________________________________________________________________ 4) __________________________________________________________________________ NAME(S)
Sign up for DINNER ONLY ($45/person): PHONE # E-MAIL ADDRESS
1) __________________________________________________________________________ 2) __________________________________________________________________________ 3) __________________________________________________________________________ 4) __________________________________________________________________________ Dinner Choices: (Includes salad, dinner rolls, two accompaniments, dessert, beverages) 1. Grilled New Zealand Lamb Rack (with a red wine Bordelaise Sauce and red onion raspberry marmalade) 2. Slow Roasted Angus Prime Rib of Beef (with a natural au jus & creamy horseradish sauce) 3. Oven Roasted Filet of Canadian Jail Island Salmon (with grape tomato & melted leek butter sauce) 4. Roasted Half Duck (prepared crispy and served with a fresh currant cassis sauce)
Please indicate any seating requests on an additional piece of paper and include with payment. Send this form and your check to: Congregation B'nai Harim, PO Box 757, Pocono Pines, PA 18350. For more information, call Ira Miller at 570-355-5350 or Lew Stolzenberg 570-643-1131.
ÊVisit the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the web at www.jewishnepa.org or on Facebook
THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
june 19, 2014 ■
Senior volunteers mobilize to help community and each other
In Israel, seniors and foreign caretakers develop symbiotic relationships
By Maayan Jaffe JNS.org Age can be just a number. “Just because someone is older or has limitations does not mean that [he or she] cannot continue to be valuable and make a difference for others,” said Carol Silver Elliott, president and CEO of Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, OH. It was with this in mind that Cedar Village’s Chesed Corps was established in 2009. Elliot said the group, the brainchild of a former director of resident programming, came when staffers realized that many of the center’s 300 residents had been successful businesspeople and engaged community volunteers before moving to Cedar Village, and that there was an opportunity to harness their drive. “We felt there was no reason for them to stop contributing to our general community just because they lived in a retirement community,” Elliott said. Since then, a sizeable cohort of residents has been making Shabbat baskets each week, which are delivered to Jewish patients at area hospitals. Monthly, they participate in larger projects, such as serving lunch at the Ronald McDonald House or offering music and a meal to the residents of the Center for Respite Care, a shelter for homeless men with
short-term medical needs. Participants serve at soup kitchens, collect and sort school supplies for underprivileged children, and bake and ship cookies for American troops. “It is just absolutely amazing,” said Elaine Dumes, 88, who has been active with the Chesed Corps since its inception. She said it makes her feel good to give back to the community, and that she tries not to miss a program. “I fell in the beginning of December in my apartment and I broke my femur,” Dumes explained. “I had to go upstairs to the healthcare unit for a month. But I fought my way back down and had an amazing and quick recovery – in part, it was due to this, to wanting to get back to the Chesed Corps.” Elliot said Cedar Village is careful to staff each volunteer opportunity appropriately to ensure the safety of the residents. Not every person can take part in every project; some volunteer in the building, while others are more comfortable going out. She said that seeing the volunteers in action, she is often unsure who gets more out of it, “the folks we are helping or our folks themselves… They often forget their own concerns as they focus on someone else’s needs.” In the spring, Chesed Corps received two national awards for its work, one from the
“Chesed Corps” volunteers of the Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, OH, created paper snowflakes in January 2013 to send to Sandy Hook Elementary School students in Connecticut. The snowflakes helped to welcome the students back to school after the shootings. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Village Retirement Community)
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By Jeffrey F. Barken JNS.org Janet Tauro and Varda Kahanovich made a deal upon which their lives depend. Tauro, a foreign worker from Mumbai, provides Kahanovich, a 90-year-old Israeli woman living on Kibbutz Maagan Michael, warm and devoted care. In return, Kahanovich hopes to live a long and happy life, well beyond her current age, with Tauro as caregiver. Morbid as it may be to contemplate an old woman’s passing, for Tauro and the 60,000 other foreign workers currently employed as caregivers in Israeli households, the stakes are high. Work visas are patient dependent and are granted for four years and three months, with no extensions or opportunities for reassignment in the event of the elder person’s death. Following the patient’s death, a caretaker
“Chesed Corps” volunteers of the Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, OH, made sandwich wraps at Cedar Village in April, a day before serving lunch at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Village Retirement Community) Association of Jewish Aging Services and another from Partners in Senior Life. In northwest Baltimore, older residents of an entire neighborhood are giving back through a supported community network, which was launched by Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. in March 2013. According to program director Risyl Edelman, Northwest Neighbors Connecting is a grass-roots, membership-based model in which services are provided to seniors by other senior members, volunteers and vetted vendors. It gives the area’s aging population the practical means and confidence to live independently, and remain in their homes and community. NNC was created after a 2010 Jewish community study revealed the 85-yearsand-older population had increased by 166 percent since 1999, and that 40 percent of Baltimore Jewish seniors over 65 who are living alone are in poor or fair health. Edelman said NNC members are interviewed to learn what skills they can “easily and happily” share with others, and to determine any needs they have. “After they sign up, we plug them in,” said Edelman. “While our vision is to assist people to remain in their homes for as long as possible, our work is to get them out of their house as much as possible.” Currently, there are more than 170 NNC members and another 70 people involved with the initiative in some way. The oldest volunteer is 92. Transportation and technology assistance are among the top volunteer services provided. In Florida, older adults and baby boomer volunteers are trained to function as liai-
sons, resource specialists, peer counselors and agency envoys in their own gated communities through the Ferd and Gladys Alpert Jewish Family and Children Services agency. Called “Ambassadors,” the program creates a trained network of seniors who can solve problems and support their frail neighbors. Some 13,000 elderly people live in West Palm Beach retirement communities, and as many as 70 percent of the area’s over-65 community is Jewish. “This is civic engagement at the basic level,” said Jenni Frumer, the incoming JFCS CEO. Frumer told JNS.org that ambassadors are trained by JFCS to identify neglect, listen and offer empathy in times of crisis, and offer personal planning advice to their peers. The volunteers created their own end-of-life planning guide, which they distribute throughout their retirement communities. They also write and act out skits at area synagogues, mahjong tournaments and other venues, educating seniors about matters such as the need to wear their hearing aids, to remember to put their emergency alert buttons on in the morning and to improve dialogue with their adult children. “Our older adults can still teach us how to make the world a better place,” said Cedar Village’s Elliot. “Their example of commitment and volunteerism speaks volumes about Jewish values and our obligation to help others.” Maayan Jaffe is a freelance writer in Overland Park, KS. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @MaayanJaffe.
Janet Tauro (right), a foreign worker from Mumbai, is the caretaker for Varda Kahanovich (left), a 90-year-old Israeli woman living on Kibbutz Maagan Michael. (Photo provided by Yad Beyad)
must return to his or her country of origin, terminating a source of income that has provided countless opportunities for their families. The lots of the elderly and the caretaker are intertwined. The situation of Tauro and Kahanovich is a familiar one in the Jewish state. “Today the foreign caregiver that lives with the patient – this is the most common way to grow old in Israel,” Yaron Bengera, vice president of Yad Beyad, a Tel Aviv-based agency that recruits foreign workers, tells JNS.org. “In the past, patients would be taken care of by their family, but this is changing fast. With more capitalism and more demanding lives, it gets harder.” There is a consensus among Israelis that caring for the elderly is demanding work. Many senior citizens require constant supervision and assistance. Despite their best efforts, working adults – balancing careers and young families – buckle under the pressures of modern life in Israel and are unable to provide adequate care for their aging parents without hiring help. Yad Beyad helps Israeli families find the right caregiver to suit their specific needs. The agency also supports foreign workers, providing information about their rights and cultural resources, and counseling them to ensure their success as caretakers. In the case of Tauro and Kahanovich, a perfect match was made. “I was astonished to see such a beautiful girl. She is my friend,” Edna Oren tells JNS.org, recounting the day that Tauro first arrived at Maagan Michael to take care of her twin sister. In this case the culture shock was minimal, since Tauro had previous experience working in another Israeli home and she had even learned Hebrew. “We are so lucky,” Oren says. “There are not many people like Janet. She has two brains, not one, and she has four hands. She even learned to sing ‘Hatikvah’ (the Israeli national anthem).” Tauro says she works as a caretaker, but also works “from my heart.” In her first job as a caretaker, she looked
Senior citizens enjoyed a Passover-themed meal during the week before the holiday in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on April 10. ( Photo by Edi Israel/Flash90) up Israeli songs on YouTube, singing and dancing with the woman she served. She even learned her patient’s style of cooking. “My motive is to make her (Kahanovich) feel like she is living in her own house and can make her own decisions,” says Tauro. The system is not without faults. Many foreign workers suffer emotional distress, having been separated from their children and families abroad. Likewise, difficult work environments have, on occasion, resulted in abuse. “You’re always dependent on your employer for your quality of life,” Nora Lender, Kibbutz Maagan Michael’s administration manager for the elderly welfare, tells JNS.org. Both Lender and Bengera confirm having personally witnessed cases where employers physically and mentally abused foreign workers. Hidden cameras have caught caretakers hitting elderly patients and revealed neglect. “Like anything in life, you take a chance,” Lender says. See “Seniors” on page 14
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THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
New Season of
• Non-Feature Films •
Blessed is the Match - In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II. Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy - This entertaining documentary, narrated by the award-winning Joel Grey, examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. There are interviews alongside standout performances and archival footage. Constantine’s Sword is a 2007 historical documentary film on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews. Directed and produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oren Jacoby, the film is inspired by former priest James P. Carroll’s 2001 book Constantine’s Sword. *Follow Me - The Yoni Netanyahu Story - featuring three Israeli Prime Ministers, Yoni’s ex-wife (for the first time on film) and recently released audio from the Entebbe operation itself. Follow Me brings a rare portrait of Israel’s elite soldiers and their greatest hero to the big screen. Inside Hana’s Suitcase - A real-life Japanese schoolteacher, who appears throughout the film, sparked this entire story by gathering artifacts for a Holocaust educational center she was developing along with a group of girls and boys called The Small Wings. After applying to receive Holocaust artifacts, a large box arrives with a handful of artifacts, including a battered brown suitcase labeled with Hana Brady’s name. The teacher and her students begin searching for the story behind the suitcase. What they discover will surprise you. They wind up unlocking — and showing us in the film — a whole series of deeply moving memories and other related artifacts and photos. Finally, Hana’s surviving brother George travels to Japan to meet the Japanese students. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story - This excellent documentary, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, portrays the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story was shown at the Opening Event for the 2012 UJA Campaign. The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost - Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz presents a vigorous case for Israel: for its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism and to defend its borders from hostile enemies. *The Flat - This gripping autobiographical documentary tells the story of the filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger, who travels to Tel Aviv to clean out the apartment of his recently deceased German-born Jewish grandmother. Goldfinger discovers, while going through her belongings, evidence that his grandparents were good friends with Leopold von Mildenstein, a leading official within the Nazi propaganda agency, and that they remained friends after World War II. He journeys to find out the details of this disturbing revelation. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg - As baseball’s first Jewish star, Hammering Hank Greenberg’s career contains all the makings of a true American success story. *Orchestra of Exiles - This riveting documentary tells the story of how Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman watched Jewish musicians being fired from classical orchestras when Hitler came to power. Huberman decided to build a new orchestra in Palestine and encountered many obstacles along the way. He ultimately succeeds and the Palestine Symphony gave its first performance December 1936. (When Israel gained independence in 1948, the orchestra was renamed the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, which remains to this day a world-class orchestra.)
• Feature Films •
Crossing Delancey - This is a warm comedy taking place in New York City. Isabella Grossman desires to rise above her family’s Lower East Side community, but her grandmother has other matchmaking plans. *Fill the Void - Fill the Void tells the story of an 18-year-old, Shira, who is the youngest daughter of her family. Her dreams are about to come true as she is set to be married off to a promising young man. Unexpectedly, her sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child. The pain that overwhelms the family postpones Shira’s promised match. Everything changes when an offer is proposed to match Yochay, the late Esther’s husband, to a widow from Belgium. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty. Footnote - The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies departments of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Though the father shuns overt praise for his work and the son is desperate for it, how will each react when the father is to be awarded the most sought after prize, the Israel Prize? This Oscar nominated film will entrance from the start. Good - In an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies and comes across Johnnie Halder’s novel of a husband who aids his terminally ill wife in an assisted suicide. Because of this, the Nazis flatter Johnnie, arranging for high paying and prestigious positions. Never evil, Johnnie Halder is an Everyman who goes along, accepting what he is told without question until he is an unwitting accomplice to the Nazi killing machine. *Hava Nagila: The Movie - Hava Nagila is instantly recognizable and musical shorthand for anything Jewish. But as audiences will discover in Hava Nagila (The Movie), the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. In its own believe-it-or-not way, it encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more. The film follows the song from Eastern Europe to Palestine and all the way to America. Hidden In Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians, and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jews are sent to the ghettos. While some stand silent, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska chooses the role of a savior and sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Every day, she risks detection — and immediate execution — by smuggling food and water to the silent group living above her. And when two German nurses are assigned to her living quarters, the chances of discovery become dangerously high. This is the true story of a young woman’s selfless commitment and unwavering resolve in the face of war. Noodle (PAL version- can only be played on computer, NOT regular DVD players) - At 37, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings — as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing — accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life. Operation Thunderbolt - The true story of the Entebbe hijacking and rescue. Operation Thunderbolt was filmed in Israel with the full cooperation of the Israeli government, and is an exciting re-creation of the events of those tense days. We see the full scope of the story, from the original hijacking to the passengers’ captivity in Uganda to the agonized debates at the highest levels of the Israeli government over a diplomatic vs. a military solution. Operation Thunderbolt is the thrilling and true story of how one small country refused to let its people be killed by terrorists and took action to prevent it. People who claim that Israel is a “terrorist state” should see the film and be reminded who the real terrorists are. Orthodox Stance (documentary-2007) - Dimitriy Salita, a Russian immigrant, is making history as a top professional boxer and rigorously observant Jew. While providing an intimate, 3-year-long look at the trials and tribulations faced by an up and coming professional boxer, Orthodox Stance is a portrait of seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support Dmitriy’s rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and the pursuit of a professional boxing title. Playing for Time - An outstanding cast brings life to this Fania Fenelon autobiography about a Jewish cabaret singer and other Jewish prisoners whose lives were spared at Auschwitz in exchange for performing for their captors. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent and naïve 8-year-old boy, who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops. *The Concert - Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Chatelet Theater in Paris has invited the Bolshoi Orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi Orchestra. He wants a young violinist virtuoso, Anne-Marie Jacquet, to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians. If they all overcome the hardships ahead, this very special concert will be a triumph. The Debt - Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson star in The Debt. In 1966, three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a feared Nazi war criminal hiding in East Berlin, a mission accomplished at great risk and personal cost… or was it? The Impossible Spy - Young Israeli husband Eli Cohen is recruited by the Mossad in the early 1960s and sent to Syria. Telling his wife he has a new job that requires extensive business travel, he takes up residence in Syria, where he befriends a high-ranking Syrian government official and provides invaluable information to Israel. On a visit home, his wife pleads with him to leave his job so he can be home more, and his handler tells him he has accomplished enough, but he decides to return to Syria one last time. One day, he learns of an attack on a kibbutz scheduled for that night; he abandons normal precautions in order to warn Israel as quickly as possible and is caught. The Other Son - The dramatic tale of two babies switched at birth, The Other Son creates a thoughtful presentation of what could be a soap opera-type event. Instead, director Lorraine Levy and a wonderful screenplay take the viewer down a very different path, allowing each to come to his/her own conclusions. Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story - Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story is an incredibly riveting, Emmy Award-winning, fact-based story about a hero who helped more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust. *Just added to the Jewish Federation’s Film Lending Library!
Continued from page 13 Israel may not be perfectly adapted to support a foreign work force, but a significant effort has been made to inform workers of their rights, regulate payment and provide a genuine welcome. By law, workers are entitled to a base salary of 4,300 NIS ($1,235) per month, out of which employers can make deductions accounting for the live-in caretaker’s room and board. Contracts also stipulate that caretakers receive nine paid holidays based on their own country’s calendar and 150-percent pay on weekends. It is not a competitive salary from a Western perspective, yet it “can be life-changing for families in the third world,” Bengera explains. “If you had a country that you could work in and then you could buy your own house, put your kids through school, you would take this opportunity,” he says. According to Kavlaoved.org, a website and hotline providing an overview of foreign workers’ experiences in Israel, nearly 80 percent of foreign caregivers in Israel are female. “We prefer to bring female caretakers with families to Israel because they need the income and are better motivated,” Bengera says. Bengera is conscious that the presence of this workforce is affecting the culture of Israel, as well as that of the foreign workers’ native countries. “In the worker’s homeland the fathers become the mothers,” he says. “Sometimes mothers don’t go back to their husbands. The women feel free here. We are not sure that this is for the better.” Patriarchal and traditionally closed societies are being pried open by what Bengera calls the “global competition for a workforce.” Israel is providing a path of escape to some individuals and a sound mechanism for social mobility. Critics may call the system exploitative, calling the isolation that foreign workers endure borderline inhumane. “If a first-degree relative is working in Israel it is almost impossible for [his or her kin] to visit,” Bengera notes. But workers like Tauro tell a different story. Asked how she copes with being so far away from her two children, she says, “It’s not the hardest part of my job, it’s the hardest part of my life.” Life’s circumstances led Tauro to the conclusion that seeking work abroad was the best way to provide for her children, and she is committed to the course she chose, no matter the hardship. “Everything I earn is for my kids’ education, I believe in education,” Tauro says, adding that her work will be complete only when her children can stand up on their own and say, “Mom, we’re done with the help. Now we want to help you, it’s our turn.” Being dependent on Kahanovich’s health for continued employment, there is always the fear that Tauro’s contract will end abruptly, leaving her unable to continue working in Israel and creating a family financial crisis. Bengera, however, affirms that the experience of foreign workers in Israel is valuable to other Western employers, specifically in the United States, Canada and England. Many workers use Israel as a stepping stone for better positions in other countries. Critics lament that for talented workers like Tauro, there is no path to Israeli citizenship and no exceptions to the patient-dependent contracts of four years and three months. Israel is throwing away valuable expertise whenever veteran workers are deported, they say. Bengera suggests that the contracts exist partially as a practical protection against worker burnout, but believes there should not be a limit on the number of years a worker can stay in Israel. “I think the [Israeli] government should recognize that these workers are a part of the fabric and culture, and I think it should be possible for families to visit,” he says. “It will do good for the workers and the tourists to see their children in Israel, and for the children to understand their parents’ work.” Tauro echoes those sentiments when she explains her sympathy and involvement with the Jewish people whom she has met and served in Israel. “After being in Israel this long, I am a part of the pain and the joy,” she says regarding her experience caring for Holocaust survivors and observing Israeli memorial days for fallen soldiers. “I salute the country.”
june 19, 2014 ■
NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
next week,” he said regarding the effort to link the divestment decision to Israel.
Kerry calls for release of kidnapped Israeli teens, cites likely Hamas involvement
Pope Francis defends Pius XII’s wartime record
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for the immediate release of three kidnapped Israeli teens and noted the “many indications” pointing to Hamas’ involvement. In a statement released the afternoon of June 15, more than 48 hours after the teens’ abduction, Kerry said he “strongly condemns” the kidnapping and reiterated that Hamas is a “terrorist organization.” Kerry said Washington officials “continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.” Along with calling for their immediate release, he said the United States hopes for “their quick and safe return home.” He said the U.S. continues to “seek details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement. We reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past,” Kerry said. The three Israeli teens, including one dual Israeli-American citizen, have been missing since the night of June 12. They were last seen trying to get rides home from a yeshiva high school in Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements located south of Jerusalem. The missing teens were identified on June 14 as Gilad Shaar, 16, from Talmon; Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad; and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon, the American citizen. In a statement released on the afternoon of June 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated, “These teenagers were kidnapped and the kidnapping was carried out by Hamas members. Hamas denials do not change this fact. And this attack should surprise no one because Hamas makes no secret of its agenda. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians – including children.” Netanyahu said that “Israel holds the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas responsible for any attacks against Israel that emanate from Palestinian-controlled territory. The Palestinian claim that the Palestinian Authority cannot be held responsible for an attack that took place in an area under Israeli security control is patently absurd.” Later, the Israeli leader said, “We will do whatever needs to be done to protect our people, our citizens, our children and our teenagers from the scourge of terrorism.” In a letter on June 15 to Netanyahu, the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America declared its “complete solidarity” with the prime minister, the families of the kidnapped teens and with “the entire people of Israel. ...The three kidnapped teens are our sons too, and we join with Jewish parents around the world to offer our prayers, thoughts and solidarity with you as you stand up to terror and mount every possible effort to bring the boys home,” the letter said.
Israel retaliates for Gaza strikes, moves Iron Dome battery
An Iron Dome anti-missile battery in southern Israel was moved near the coastal city of Ashdod following an increase in rockets fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome battery was moved into position on June 15, according to Israeli media reports. The repositioning came after a night in which Israeli airstrikes hit at least eight sites in the Gaza Strip identified as terror activity sites and weapon storage and manufacturing facilities. The strikes on Gaza were retaliating for a volley of rockets fired on June 14 from the coastal strip on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. The rockets landed in open areas and did not cause any injuries or property damage.
Tel Aviv Shabbat dinner sets Guinness mark
More than 2,000 people in Tel Aviv set the Guinness World Record for largest Shabbat dinner. At an event the evening of June 13 hosted by Chabad-Lubavitch and White City Shabbat, a Tel Aviv organization that hosts and coordinates Shabbat meals, 2,226 people gathered for what was billed as the largest Shabbat dinner ever. An official representative of Guinness World Records present at the event certified that the dinner had set the mark. The organizers for the dinner – held in a large atrium at the Tel Aviv Port – purchased 800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 1,800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef and 250 vegetarian meals. Attendees also ate rice, peas, a range of Israeli appetizers and cake. Chabad representatives led Orthodox services before the dinner, which was dedicated to the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher rebbe who died in 1994. Among those on hand were Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren and former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. “The jubilation in the room when Guinness World Records announced the official results was palpable,” White City Shabbat Co-director Deborah Danan said in a statement. “We are witnessing the transition of Tel Aviv as being the new capital for Jews – not just for those with professional impetuses but also for those who want to see the revival in Jewish life continue.”
Methodists: Divestment move was about prisons
The United Methodist Church’s pension board clarified that a divestment move claimed as a victory by boycott-Israel activists was actually about the targeted company’s work with prisons in general. Supporters of divestment targeting Israel had hailed the pension board’s decision to divest from G4S, which supplies security equipment used in Israeli prisons and elsewhere. But in a statement issued on June 13 the pension board stressed that the divestment action was specific to the company’s involvement with prisons. “The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits sold its G4S shares for reasons related to a number of that company’s business activities. Our decision was specific to G4S,” said David Zellner, chief investment officer of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church. “Our rationale for selling G4S was that we felt the inherent nature of the company’s products and services – which are tailored to the prison industry – may not align with UMC values. We are waiting to conduct additional research after our Board of Directors meets in July to review and discuss the broad range of our investment policies – we may have additional comments after their deliberations.” A news release issued by United Methodist Kairos Response, a movement within the church that advocates on behalf of Palestinian Christians, had said the decision to divest from G4S was “due in part to concerns about the company’s involvement in human rights violations in the Israeli prison system and the military occupation of Palestinian territories.” The New York Times published an article about the vote on June 12 titled “Methodists to Sell Shares as a Protest Over Israel.” The move comes just days before another mainline Protestant denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is scheduled to consider five resolutions that would advance divestment from companies that deal with Israel’s military and one that would reconsider whether the church supports a two-state solution. But Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations at the American Jewish Committee, who has been closely following the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, said the decision on G4S does not reflect the United Methodist Church’s position on Israel divestment. In 2012, the church voted 685-246 against divestment from U.S. companies doing business with Israel. “This is a transparent media stunt on the eve of the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly trying to prejudice that deliberation of anti-Israel and pro-divestment resolutions in Detroit
Pope Francis defended Pius XII’s record during World War II, calling the former pope “the great defender of the Jews.” In an interview the week of June 13 with Spain’s LA Vanguardia newspaper, the pope said Pius hid many Jews in convents and even his own residence, including 42 babies born in the pope’s “own bed.” “I don’t want to say that Pius XII did not make any mistakes – I myself make many – but one needs to see his role in the context of the time,” Francis said. “For example, was it better for him not to speak so that more Jews would not be killed or for him to speak.” The interview was reprinted in English translation on the Patheos blog. Critics have long accused Pius of not having done enough to help Jews during the Holocaust, while the Vatican has asserted he worked behind the scenes to save Jews. The Vatican has kept its archives from the Nazi era closed to researchers, but Francis has said he will open them. Pius XII was declared “venerable” and put on the path to sainthood in 2009. The pope also noted the failures of the Allied powers to act more forcefully during the Holocaust. “I also want to say that sometimes I get ‘existential hives’ when I see that everyone takes it out against the Church and Pius XII, and they forget the great powers,” Francis said. “Did you know that they knew the rail network of the Nazis perfectly well to take the Jews to concentration camps? They had the pictures. But they did not bomb those railroad tracks. Why? It would be best if we spoke a bit about everything.”
Yad Vashem recognizes first Peruvian Righteous Gentile
Yad Vashem recognized its first Righteous Among the Nations from Peru. Israel’s national Holocaust memorial on June 12 posthumously honored Jose Maria Barreto, a diplomat in Switzerland who used his position to attempt to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. A ceremony for Barreto will be held at a future date, Yad Vashem said in a statement. As the consul general of Peru in Geneva, Barreto issued 27 Peruvian passports to 58 Jews, including 14 children, even though the government of Peru by 1938 had given instructions to its consulates in Europe not to issue visas to foreign immigrants – with an emphasis on barring Jews in particular. Barreto was acting on the request of Abraham Silberschein, the head of RELICO, a Jewish relief organization in Switzerland funded by the World Jewish Congress, to issue Peruvian passports for Jews under German occupation. Silberschein in a letter from August 1943 said, “Mr. Barreto, deeply moved by the suffering of millions of human beings in the occupied countries, wished to participate in helping to alleviate the plight of these innocent people, and decided to agree and provide us with a certain number of passports so that we could send them to different persons in the countries under German control. Mr. Barreto was convinced that by this highly humane deed he would save a number of people.” That year, the Peruvian foreign minister canceled the passports and ordered the closure of the Peruvian consulate in Geneva. In addition, Barreto was fired and dismissed from Peru’s Foreign Ministry.
Stanley Fischer confirmed as Fed’s vice chairman
Stanley Fischer, a former Bank of Israel governor, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. The confirmation vote on June 12 was 63-24, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fischer, 70, succeeds Janet Yellen, who was elevated to Fed chairwoman in February to follow Ben Bernanke. All three are Jewish.
2014 Graduates in our Federation Family High School
Eliyahu Aichenbaum Yosef Leib Berlin Ali Epstein Rebecca Fallk Esther Goldberg Tuvia Guttman Yehuda Herber Yehudis Kurtzer Lauren Larar Rachel Laury
Daniel Arcus Merwyn Blatt Jordan Fiegelman Jason Pollock Joshua Smertz
Justin Levy Rina Minkoff Rachel Pollack Mordechai Pritzker Ephraim Seiff Steven Silverman Bradley Smertz Sam Vale Yosef Weg Chaya Sara Weinreb
If you would like to have your name published on our list of graduates, contact Dassy Ganz at 961-2300 x2 or email@example.com with your information.
THE REPORTER ■ june 19, 2014
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This year the Federation and Temple Israel of Scranton are joining together to take our annual visit to Israel. This time we will be offering a very special price for those who haven’t gone on a Federation trip before to Israel.
The land portion of the trip comes down to $2695/per person! (There will also be special pricing for 2nd timers available.) To get full information about the trip please join us at one of our Introductory Meetings: Temple Israel, Stroudsburg...... 7:00 PM ......... June 9 711 Wallace St. JCC, Scranton ............................ 7:00 PM ......... June 17 601 Jefferson Ave. Hemlock Farms.......................... 7:00 PM ......... June 18 Lords Valley, PA
We’d be pleased to have you join us!