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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania JUNE 6, 2013
VOLUME XI, NUMBER 12
Rabbi David Saperstein to speak
Oppenheim Institute at Temple Hesed to be held June 7 Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism, will be the guest speaker at the 12th annual Oppenheim Institute at Temple Hesed on Friday, June 7, at 7:30 pm. The service will be shortened to allow more time for Saperstein to speak. There will be an opportunity afterward during the oneg reception to meet with Saperstein. The event will be open to the public. During his tenure of more than 30 years as director and counsel of the center, Saperstein has been an advocate for a variety of social issues in Congress and in the White House. He previously spoke at the Oppenheim Institute in 2008 when his topic was “The Role of Religion in the 2008 Election.” Also an attorney who teaches at Georgetown University Law School, Saperstein was recognized in 2009 by Newsweek as the “Most Influential rabbi in the United States.” This year, he will talk about “The Bible, The Talmud
tee also is a co-sponsor of the and Social Justice,” exploring Oppenheim Institute each year, the roots for social justice in coordinating that with Social all religions. Action Sabbath. The annual Saperstein comes from a event provides an opportunity large rabbinic family and is to recognize temple members related to both Reform and who have volunteered in the Orthodox rabbis. His two greatcommunity and to praise the grandfathers were Orthodox activities in which the commitrabbis; his father, Harold, and tee participates. This past year, uncle, Sanford, were reportedly Social Action programs have well-known Reform rabbis, and included the Back-to-School his brother, Marc, is considered project, monthly volunteerto be a leading Jewish scholar. Rabbi David ing at St. Francis of Assisi The return visit by SaperSaperstein Kitchen, the High Holy Days stein this year is the “prize” Temple Hesed received as the winner Food Drive, a blood drive, the Mayoral of a nationwide contest among Reform Candidates Forum, roundtable discussions congregations for gaining the highest and several activities at Thanksgiving. The Oppenheim Institute was established percentage of members to sign up for e-mails from the RAC. The contest was in 2002 by friends and family in memory of one of the many activities undertaken by the late I.E., Ellis and Richard Oppenheim, Temple Hesed’s Social Action Committee, with the goal of providing “provocative chaired by Dr. Judith Golden. The commit- speakers and programs to Temple Hesed
Germany commits to additional $800 million for home care for Holocaust survivors By Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA) – The German government agreed to significantly expand its funding of home care for infirm Holocaust survivors and relax eligibility criteria for restitution programs to include Jews who spent time in so-called open ghettos. The agreement, reached after negotiations in Israel with the Claims Conference, will result in approximately $800 million in
new funding for home care for Holocaust survivors from 2014-2017. This is in addition to $182 million for 2014 that already has been committed. In 2015, the amount will rise by 45 percent, to approximately $266 million, and then to $273 million in 2016 and $280 million in 2017. Because the sums are set in euro, the actual amounts may change depending on currency fluctuations. The $84
Jeff Rubel, In Memoriam The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania extends it condolences to the Rubel family on the recent passing of Jeffrey Rubel. In the final analysis, his contributions as president of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, his support for Jewish education, Jewish continuity and for Israel, and his extensive involvement in many charitable organizations throughout Greater Scranton cannot be measured in words, but in his deeds. Jeff Rubel
His advice, his guidance and his commitment to Jewish life represent an example to be emulated by all those who will assume leadership roles in our community in the years to come. May his memory be a blessing, as was his presence among us. He will never be forgotten and he is deeply missed.
million increase in funding between 2014 and 2015 will represent the largest yearover-year increase since the program began with 30 million euro (approximately $36.6 million) in 2004, though a bigger percentage increase took place in 2010, when funding doubled from 55 million euro ($68 million) to 110 million euro ($136 million). “With this new agreement, the Claims Conference will be able to both increase the number of beneficiaries, thus eliminating waiting lists of survivors for home care, as well as increase the number of hours per person to a minimum level of dignity,” Claims Conference board Chairman Julius Berman wrote in a letter to the board. Some 56,000 survivors are now receiving home care through the Claims Conference. The announcement of new funding comes amid controversy for the Claims Conference over revelations related to bungled investigations in 2001 that failed to detect a broad fraud at the Holocaust restitution organization. A document obtained recently by JTA showed that top Claims Conference officials were involved in the botched probes, including then-executive vice president Gideon Taylor and Berman, who in 2001 served as outside counsel to the Claims Conference. Claims Conference employee Semen Domnitser, a director of two restitution funds who was at the center of the 2001 inquiries, was found guilty earlier in May in federal court of masterminding the scheme, which See “Germany” on page 6
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Warsaw’s Jewish museum
Water in Israel
and the entire community.” Jane Oppenheim has worked with Saperstein as a member of the board of the RAC and as a member of the board of the Union for Reform Judaism. Jane was the recipient this year of the B’nai B’rith Amos Lodge Americanism award, and Saperstein was one of the individuals who commended her on a tribute video created for the occasion. Social Action Committee members working on the Oppenheim Institute and Social Action Shabbat Service are Abigail Byman, Sondra Cooperman, Jimmie Ellenbogen, Esther Friedmann, Judith Golden, Donna Kostiak, Larry Milliken, Carol O’Brien, Jane Oppenheim, Bob Siragusa, Deirdre Spelman and Emily Trunzo. The publicity flyer was designed by Kerrie Gilbert. Additional support came from Board of Directors members Esther Adelman, Harry Adelman, Jerry Gilbert, Ken Miller, Steven Seitchik and Eric Weinberg. For more information, call the temple office at 344-7201.
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Candle lighting June 7................................................ 8:16 pm June 14..............................................8:20 pm June 21..............................................8:22 pm June 28.............................................8:22 pm
After years of planning, Warsaw’s The largest desalination plant in the Morocco’s king is funding the Museum of the History of Polish world is set to be operational and preservation of Cape Verde’s PLUS Jews is dedicated. providing Israel with water. Jewish heritage. Opinion...........................................................2 Story on page 5 Story on page 6 Story on page 8 D’var Torah.................................................10
THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
a matter of opinion What if the Nazis had tweeted?
By Gideon Behar (JTA) – What could Goebbels have done with 140 characters? The question, disturbing as it might sound, can no longer be approached only as theoretical. As the arch-propagandist of Nazism, Joseph Goebbels spread the demonic messages of his Fuehrer via the written word, mass demonstrations, radio and film. He used those avenues to near perfection, promoting what perhaps was the most evil publicity campaign in the history of humankind. Some eight decades later, the tools are different, but the motivations are the same. In the place of vitriol-filled radio broadcasts and Berlin stadia filled to capacity with saluting Nazis, the resources employed today by bigots are increasingly the Internet and social media. Undoubtedly the #HeilHitler hashtag, if launched in 1933, would have had followers in the many millions, likely surpassing even the numbers of the most revered celebrities who employ resources like Twitter. With all the tremendous good it does, and the hundreds of millions of people it entertains, inspires and educates daily, at its core the Internet is the most capable propaganda tool ever invented. The online community is both largely uncensored and without any natural borders or limits – a combination that makes it so effective and so dangerous. With the same speed it takes to reach millions with videos of laughing babies or talented Korean dancers, hate-filled messages pour into the world’s social media feeds and e-mail in-boxes. The reality in the online war against hate is that our enemies are smarter than any antisemitic forces we have ever seen. They understand the power of the Internet and embrace the protections under law it offers. Today’s most effective antisemites are not
“ The Reporter” (USPS #482) is published bi-weekly by the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510.
President: Jeff Rubel Executive Director: Mark Silverberg Advisory Board Chair: Margaret Sheldon Executive Editor: Rabbi Rachel Esserman Layout Editor: Diana Sochor Assistant Editor: Michael Nassberg Production Coordinator: Jenn DePersis Graphic Artist: Alaina Cardarelli Advertising Representative: Bonnie Rozen
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (570) 346-6147 Phone: (570) 961-2300 How to reach the advertising Representative: Phone: (800) 779-7896, ext. 244 E-mail: email@example.com Subscription Information: Phone: (570) 961-2300
the flag-waving, stormtrooping skinheads of yesteryear. While those forces still exist, their reach pales in comparison to the computer users able to spill their messages of hate to millions around the globe in a matter of minutes. The peace-loving forces within the international community are therefore faced with a daunting challenge – yet it is not insurmountable. First, we need to recognize the scope of the problem. Online hate is difficult to impossible to quantify. While perhaps we can try to count the number of problematic websites, there is no real way to know how many people those sites reach. All the more so with social media, where the trail of content can split into literally thousands of directions in minutes. The scope of the problem is unprecedented and enormous, and thus deserving of massive resources and international cooperation. Second, and perhaps more fundamental, the world must change its mindset for what deserves protection within the online community. Most often, when people speak about the Internet and the world of social media, terms bandied about are “marketplace of
ideas” or “common ground for expression” or similar terminology professing that users should be allowed to disseminate whatever ideas come into their minds at a given time. This position is defended by those who advocate that freedom of expression should be interpreted literally to allow people to express whatever they feel, regardless of how inflammatory or incendiary it might be. This must be rethought. Freedom of expression indeed means that people’s right to free speech and free speech can and must be protected. But the protection should never be extended to expressions that come at the physical expense of the other. Without entering into legal discourse that is far too complex for this forum, there is no disputing that hate speech on the Internet and in social media has the very real potential to inspire acts of violence. This has been proven countless times since the advent of the Internet and is realized every day through the examples of young and impressionable people who turn to the web for inspiration for all sorts of devious ideologies and beliefs. In order for the Internet to sustain its openness, all responsible parties must com-
mit to guarding against the use of online hate mongering. This new medium is so different from anything faced previously by the civilized world that it requires re-evaluated understandings of what is and is not acceptable. It will be a challenging process and requires an underlying commitment to protect the interests of all viewpoints, all the while rooting out those messages that cross the fine line between valid speech and toward dangerous incitement. The success of this effort will require the participation and involvement of the relevant commercial players who allow the Internet to flourish along with national governments and international law enforcement. It will not be achieved overnight. If the past has taught us anything, however, it is that the stakes are far too high to do nothing. This time, the world must be sure to respond. Gideon Behar is the director of the Department for Combatting Anti-Semitism of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the chairman of the Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism, which was scheduled to begin on May 28 in Jerusalem.
Israel divestment vote at UC Berkeley the latest sign of hostile campus environment By Matthew White JNS.org April’s Israel divestment vote at the University of California, Berkeley is just the latest unfortunate expression of how hateful an environment the anti-Israel movement can create for Jewish students and supporters of Israel on campus. I witnessed this first-hand during my four years as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley from 2007-2011. In 2010, when the last similar initiative was proposed before the ASUC (UC Berkeley’s student government body), urging the University of California Regents to divest funding from companies doing business with Israel, it was only the culmination to years of hostility against pro-Israel students. As founding members of Tikvah Students for Israel, the Zionist voice on campus, my colleagues and I were targets for hate. We were spat on. Our signs were blocked and ripped at protests. We were called “Nazis,” “kikes,” “baby killers,” “Christ killers” and “dirty Jews.” Swastikas were scrawled across dormitory walls and
signboards. Jewish students were physically assaulted at a pro-Israel concert. A pro-Israel student senator was voted out of office based on false charges. A filled shopping cart was rammed into a young woman because she was holding up a sign that read, “Israel wants peace.” Israel was libelously compared to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. The Israeli flag was trampled and used as an ashtray. During lectures, some professors screened films that justified Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Given this history, I thought I knew what to expect when an Israel divestment measure was again introduced to UC Berkeley’s student government. But divestment is never short of nasty surprises. The acclaimed author and civil rights activist Alice Walker was one of the first speakers during the hearing on the recent Israel divestment measure. Though her work in the civil rights movement is laudable, her refusal to allow her seminal book “The Color Purple” to be translated into Hebrew, thereby deliberately withholding from only
letter to the editor Guterman Fund does mitzvah To the Community: Rabbi Henry Guterman was a recognized, world-renowned scholar, revered by his congregation at Scranton’s Machzikeh Hadas synagogue and respected by all in the area. Residing in Scranton from 1910 for more than 56 years, he served as the city’s chief Orthodox rabbi for more than a half century and witnessed the beginning, growth and development of Scranton’s organizations and agencies. No communal occasion was complete without him, it is said, because he represented the one great integrating force within the Jewish community. On November 8, 1966, shortly after Rabbi Guterman’s death, the late Morris Gelb sent a letter to the community establishing the “Rabbi Henry Guterman Foundation” and requested funds from the community “for the purpose of fostering education, charity and religion of the kind and quality practiced by your beloved rabbi.” As a token of love, respect and admiration for his work and his memory, a
fund was established in his name to provide area synagogues with the funds necessary to ensure that their less fortunate members of the community could celebrate Passover in accordance with Jewish tradition. Since that time, the income from the Foundation was wisely administered by the late Larry Preven, former president of the Foundation, and has brought great joy and happiness not only to needy families during the Passover holiday season, but has been used to provide Hebrew school graduates with Judaica gifts to honor their graduation. As Marilyn Preven noted in a letter to the Federation, “I hope (as Larry wished) that you will continue doing all the good that the fund has done in the past with the necessary acknowledgments and that the monies will bring happiness to those who receive it.” Each year, more than $2,500 in income from the Foundation is forwarded to Jewish Family Service for area synagogues for
one group the very literature that can spur change, was a shameless act of bigotry. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of Jewish Voice for Peace called on the UC Berkeley student senate to disregard the Jewish voices in the crowd that did not support Israel divestment, because she claimed that a majority of Jews had supported slavery, too. Most other commentators at the hearing were UC Berkeley students. Sadly, their discourse was no less extreme. That same day, hours earlier, anti-Israel protesters and Israel divestment supporters had gathered on the campus’s Sproul Plaza and chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will all be free,” a slogan that calls for erasing Israel from the map and ending self-determination for the Jewish people. When the president and vice president of Tikvah Students for Israel mentioned the incident and the anti-Israel chant in their speeches before the student senate, many in the audience cheered for the chant. When an alumna mentioned her harrowing experiences of being told by anti-Israel students See “Berkeley” on page 8
distribution to their most needy families. Jewish Family Service also conducts a community maos chitin (tzedakah request) mailing, thereby increasing the funds available for these purposes. The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania wishes to express its appreciation to the founders and the benefactors of the Rabbi Henry Guterman Foundation who, throughout many years, have never forgotten his work and continue to honor his memory with these good deeds. On behalf of our president, Michael Greenstein, and the officers and trustees of this Federation, I urge every member of our community to contribute to this worthy cause. It is traditions such as this that have bound our people together throughout the centuries. Any donation would be gratefully appreciated. Mark Silverberg, executive director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
JUNE 6, 2013 ■
community news Jane Oppenheim receives Americanism Award Jane Oppenheim received the Americanism Award on May 19 at the 61st Annual Americanism Award Dinner, held at the Jewish Community Center. Sponsored by Amos Lodge of B’nai Birth, the award recognizes a lifetime of community service “best exemplifying the American way of life,” according to an institute representative. Oppenheim is the third member of the Oppenheim family to have been recognized for her community work, as I.E. Oppenheim received the award in 1953 and Ellis Oppenheim was the honoree in 1963. The more than 200 people present, including 15 past recipients of the award, watched a video tribute to Jane, sponsored by B’nai B’rith, that included remarks from each
of her children and from the recipient herself. The Americanism Award was presented to Jane by Rabbi Daniel Swartz, of Temple Hesed. There were also presentations from Mayor Chris Doherty, Senator John Blake and Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick O’Malley. Richard Bishop and Edward Monsky were the co-chairmen of the event, and Bishop served as the master of ceremonies. At the conclusion of the presentations, Jane accepted the award and thanked those who came before her in community service. She urged all present to “set an example for those who will follow us to be active in supporting community endeavors.”
Jane Oppenheim accepted a proclamation from Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley in recognition of her selection as the 2013 recipient of the Amos Lodge 136 B’nai B’rith Americanism Award. The longtime community volunteer has been active in a number of arts, cultural, educational and civic organizations in the community for a number of years.
Past recipients of the Americanism Award attended the annual dinner honoring Jane Oppenheim on May 19. Seated (l-r): Edward Boehm, Sister Adrian Barrett, Oppenheim, Ann Moskovitz and Sondra G. Myers. Standing: James McLaughlin, Regina Boehm, Richard Bishop, David Tressler, Joyce Tressler, Jeanne Bovard, Morey M. Myers, Mary Lou Burne, Dr. James Burne, Raymond Angeli and Joseph Corcoran.
The following are deadlines for all articles and photos for upcoming Reporter issues.
Thursday, June 6.................................... June 20 Thursday, June 20.....................................July 4 Thursday, July 18................................. August 1 Thursday, August 1............................ August 15
Above: The Oppenheim family posed for a group photo. Seated (l-r): Richard Oppenheim Jr., Ellen Oppenheim Feldman, Jane Oppenheim and John Oppenheim. Standing: Joshua Stein, Dana Oppenheim Stein, Ronnie Oppenheim, Caren Oppenheim, Andrew Feldman, Dr. Neil Feldman, Rebeca Feldman, Dr. Ian Oppenheim, Alison Oppenheim, Gregory Oppenheim and Nathan Oppenheim.
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At the head table were (seated, l-r) Rabbi Daniel Swartz, honoree Jane Oppenheim and Mayor Chris Doherty. Standing: LTC A Joseph Albert, Louise Blake, Senator John Blake, Faye K. Bishop and Richard Bishop.
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THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
Scranton Hebrew Day School celebrates its 65th Anniversary The Scranton Hebrew Day School, founded in 1948, recently celebrated its 65th anniversary with a gala dinner held at the Scranton Jewish Community Center on May 12. The evening began with a presentation honoring the families of its founders, the late Jacob Fink, Harry Harris, Benjamin L. Klein, Fishel Moskowitz, Morris Schorr and M. J. Waldman. Family members traveled to Scranton from various locations out of town to participate in the event. “Sixty-five years in the life of a person usually invokes thoughts of slowing down, taking it easy and stepping back, but for the SHDS, its 65 th anniversary signifies renewed energy and purpose,”
said an SHDS representative. The event featured tributes paid to Louis and Barbara Nivert, the guests of honor; Jerry Weinberg, who received the Award of Appreciation; Rabbi and Batya Freeman, Marbitz Torah awardees; and Howard Gans, Yovel Jubilee Alumnus awardee. Videos highlighting each of these honorees, including their accomplishments and their significance to the day school, were presented. A memorial tribute was presented to the late day school graduate Rebbitzen Becky Fine Charlop, of Cleveland. Additional memorial tributes were paid to David and Norma Harris, who passed away within
two months of each other this past year. David was a son of founder Harry Harris, and served in various leadership capacities in the day school throughout the years. At the time of his passing, he was the school’s president. He and his wife were considered to be mainstays in the Scranton Jewish community. “Their passing was a tremendous blow to everyone in the city,” said an SHDS representative. Members of the audience also watched a highlight video depicting the various scenes and personalities of the school’s 65 years. The entire video program was done by Abish (Seiff) Video, owned by a day
school alumnus. A musical interlude was provided by the Shapiro brothers – Elliot, of Monsey, NY; Sandy, of Stamford, CT; and David, of Teaneck, NJ – all SHDS graduates who have been recognized for their musical talent. Elliot, a member of the Yovel Graduating Class of 1963, also offered words of inspiration to the audience. “Fueled with good food, good friends and good times shared, those attending this wonderful event left with renewed vigor and energy to ensure the continued viability of the Scranton Hebrew Day School,” said organizers of the event.
Howard Gans (right), of Paramus, NJ, accepted the Yovel Jubilee Alumnus Award from his brother, Alex Gans (left), p re s i d e n t o f the Board of Directors.
The Award of Appreciation was presented to Jerry Weinberger at the Scranton Hebrew Day School’s 65th anniversary dinner. L-r: Yitzchok Elchonon Rich, director of administration; Rabbi Nosson Adlin, dean; Weinberger; Rabbi Dovid Rosenberg, director of development; and Alex Gans, president of the Board of Directors.
The Marbitz Torah Award was presented to Rabbi Dovid Freeman (center) by Rabbi Nosson Adlin (left) and Alex Gans (right).
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L-r: The Scranton Hebrew Day School 65th anniversary guests of honor, Louis and Barbara Nivert, accepted their award from Rabbi Dovid Rosenberg and Alex Gans.
L-r: Day School alumnus Dr. Bruce Klein accepted the Founder’s Award on behalf of the family of Bernard L. Klein from Rabbi Dovid Rosenberg and Alex Gans.
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JUNE 6, 2013 ■
Halterman Toyota joins Congregation B’nai Harim in awarding new car for hole-in-one By Lee Emerson The second annual golf outing sponsored by Congregation B’nai Harim will be held on Monday, June 24, at 11 am, at Pocono Farms Country Club in Tobyhanna. The outing will begin with registration and bagels, coffee and more. A “shotgun” start will begin at noon. A new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, with a three-year lease, will be awarded for a hole-in-one on any 3-par hole. Halterman Toyota is sponsoring the hole-in-one prize, and other prizes will be available. Proceeds from the golf outing will support students and families in need in the local community. A dinner following the event will be held at Lake Naomi Club in Pocono Pine. During the dinner, awards will be presented and a silent auction will be held. The cost for golf, including 18 holes, a cart, snacks and the dinner, will be $115 per person. The cost for the dinner only will be $45 per person. To sign up, visit www.bnaiharimpoconos.org and download the registration form. For more information, call the message center at 646-0100 and ask for Ira Miller.
At right: Lew Stoltzenberg and Ira Miller posed with the hole-in-one prize car.
Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews is dedicated By Ruth Ellen Gruber WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Krzysztof Sliwinski, a longtime Catholic activist in Jewish-Polish relations, gazed wide-eyed at the swooping interior of Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Nearly two decades in the making, the more than $100 million institution officially opens to the public in April amid a month of high-profile, state-sponsored events marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. “It’s incredible, incredible, incredible how things have changed,” Sliwinski told JTA. “I remember commemorations of the ghetto uprising under communism when only a few people showed up. How good it was that we were optimistic.” Sliwinski organized Jewish cemetery cleanups and other pro-Jewish initiatives under communism, when Jew-
ish practice and culture were suppressed by the regime. In 1995, then-Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, an Auschwitz survivor, appointed him post-Communist Poland’s first official ambassador to the Jewish Diaspora, part of the state’s unprecedented outreach policy. Both Sliwinski, now 73, and Bartoszewski, 91, joined hundreds of local Jews and other VIPs as Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, unveiled a mezuzah at the museum’s main entrance. “This museum is in the heart of what was Jewish Warsaw,” Schudrich told JTA. “It is in the heart of what was the Warsaw Ghetto. Now it will be in the heart of what Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, unveiled the mezuzah will be the future of Polish Jewry. It is a bridge from the on the entrance to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in past to the future.” Reflecting this symbolism, the mezuzah was made April. In the background, the monument to the Ghetto Heroes, See “Warsaw” on page 12 erected in 1948. (Photo by Ruth Ellen Gruber)
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THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
Water surplus in Israel? With desalination, once unthinkable is possible
By Ben Sales PALMACHIM, Israel (JTA) – As construction workers pass through sandy corridors between huge rectangular buildings at this desalination plant on Israel’s southern coastline, the sound of rushing water resonates from behind a concrete wall. Drawn from deep in the Mediterranean Sea, the water has flowed through pipelines reaching almost 4,000 feet off of Israel’s coast and, once in Israeli soil, buried almost 50 feet underground. Now, it rushes down a tube sending it through a series of filters and purifiers. After 90 minutes, it will be ready to run through the faucets of Tel Aviv. Set to begin operating as soon as this month, Israel Desalination Enterprises’ Sorek Desalination Plant will provide up to 26,000 cubic meters – or nearly seven million gallons – of potable water to Israelis every hour. When it’s at full capacity, it will be the largest desalination plant of its kind in the world. “If we didn’t do this, we would be sitting at home complaining that we didn’t have water,” said Raphael Semiat, a member of the Israel Desalination Society and professor at Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. “We won’t be dependent on what the rain brings us. This will give a chance for the aquifers to fill up.” The new plant and several others along Israel’s coast are part of the country’s latest tactic in its decades-long quest to provide for the nation’s water needs. Advocates say desalination – the removal of salt from seawater – could be a game-changing solution to the challenges of Israel’s famously fickle rainfall. Instead of the sky, Israel’s thirst may be quenched by the Mediterranean’s nearly infinite, albeit salty, water supply. Until the winter of 2011-‘12, water
Rows of filters at the Sorek Desalination Plant in Israel remove salt from water flowing in from the Mediterranean Sea. Desalination could soon account for 80 percent of Israel’s potable water. (Photo by Ben Sales/JTA) shortages were a dire problem for Israel; the country had experienced seven straight years of drought beginning in 2004. The Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Kinneret), a major freshwater source and barometer of sorts for Israel’s water supply, fell to dangerous lows. The situation got so severe that the government ran a series of commercials featuring celebrities, their faces cracking from dryness, begging Israelis not to waste any water. Even as the Sea of Galilee has returned almost to full volume this year, Israeli planners are looking to desalination as a
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possible permanent solution to the problem of drought. Some even anticipate an event that was once unthinkable: a water surplus in Israel. Israel Desalination Enterprises opened the first desalination plant in the country
Germany ran up more than $57 million in fraudulent claims from 1993 until 2009. The cost of the fraud was borne entirely by Germany. In his letter to the Claims Conference’s board announcing the result of the latest negotiations, former U.S. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, who leads negotiations with Germany for the Claims Conference, hailed the work of Executive Vice President Greg Schneider, who along with a senior Claims Conference staffer discovered and stopped the fraud scheme in 2009. “The lives of tens of thousands of Holocaust victims will be made easier in their old age due to Greg’s skill and vision,” Eizenstat wrote in his message to the board. “This unprecedented amount of funding means that we can give Nazi victims around the world the aid that they desperately need as they grow more frail. That the agreement encompasses funding through 2017 underscores the German government’s ongoing commitment to Holocaust survivors. It is all the more impressive because it comes at a time of budget austerity in Germany.” In the recent negotiations, which took place in Israel, Germany also agreed to relax eligibility criteria for the Central and Eastern European Fund and Article 2 Fund, through which the German government gives pension payments of approximately $411 per
in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon in 2005, following success with a similar plant in nearby Cyprus. With Sorek, the company will own three of Israel’s four plants, and 400 plants in 40 countries worldwide. The company’s U.S. subsidiary is designing a new desalination plant in San Diego, the $922 million Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will be the largest desalination plant in America. In Israel, desalination provides 300 million cubic meters of water per year – about 40 percent of the country’s total water needs. That number will jump to 450 million when Sorek opens, and will hit nearly 600 million as plants expand in 2014, providing up to 80 percent of Israel’s potable water. Like Israel’s other plants, Sorek will work through a process called Seawater Reverse Osmosis that removes salt and waste from the Mediterranean’s water. A prefiltration cleansing process clears waste out of the flow before the water enters a series of smaller filters to remove virtually all the salt. After moving through another set of filters that remove boron, the water passes through a limestone filter that adds in minerals. Then, it enters Israel’s water pipes. Semiat says desalination is a virtually harmless process that can help address the water needs prompted by the world’s growing population and rising standard of living. “You take water from the deep sea, from a See “Water” on page 9
Continued from page 1
month to needy Nazi victims who spent significant time in a concentration camp, in a Jewish ghetto in hiding or living under a false identity to avoid the Nazis. Until now, only those who were interned in closed-off ghettos were eligible for pensions. As of January 1, 2014, pensions will be available also to those forced to live in any of 300 specific open ghettos, such as those in Czernowitz, Romania, where Jews lived under curfew, lost their jobs and were subject to persecution. Germany in negotiations to take place this fall also agreed to discuss possible special aid for child survivors. The session that just concluded was the first time since restitution negotiations with Germany began in Luxembourg in 1951 that talks were held in Israel. For decades, the negotiations were held only in the German capital. In recent years, sessions also were held in New York and Washington. Before they began negotiating, German representatives met with survivors in Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, visiting private homes where survivors are receiving home care, a senior day center and a soup kitchen. They also took a guided tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem. The negotiations were held in a classroom at Yad Vashem.
A booklet tracking attendance will be kept by the instructor and a new healthy recipe will be distributed each week. Prizes will be awarded to those who lose the most weight and inches during the program.
Prizes! 1st Prize - $100 off JCC membership 2nd Prize - 2 Personal Training Sessions 3rd Prize - $25 gift card to Wegman’s
For more information or to register contact Cara at 346-6595, ext 117 or email@example.com German officials laid a wreath at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem as Claims Conference officials looked on in May.
JUNE 6, 2013 ■
Oldest known Torah scroll found in Italian university library By JTA staff ROME (JTA) – What is being described as the oldest Torah scroll known to exist was discovered in the library of the University of Bologna. The parchment scroll had been wrongly catalogued as dating from the 17th century, a university statement said. “Instead, ‘Roll 2’ was copied in a period between the second half of the 12th and the early 13th century (1155-1225), and is therefore the most ancient complete Hebrew scroll of the Torah known today,” according to the statement. The age was authenticated by “the textual, graphic and paleographic examination of the scroll,” according to the university, as well as by two carbon-14 tests carried
out at the University of Illinois. Hebrew Professor Mauro Perani made the discovery during his work compiling a new catalog for the university library’s collection of Hebrew manuscripts. The Torah scroll had been misdated when it was included in the first catalog of the library’s Hebrew manuscripts made in 1889. Upon examining the scroll, Perani noted many features of script and form that indicated it was far older than had been estimated. It is not known how or when the scroll was acquired by the library, but the university’s statement said it was “very likely” to have been acquired in the 19th century “after Napoleon’s suppression of monastic and religious orders.”
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tion to daily life and enormous cost overruns – is 8.6 miles long, with 23 stops between Mount Herzl, in the city’s southwest, and Pisgat Ze’ev, a northeastern Jewish suburb built on land liberated by Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War. Thus, it also serves the Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem, as the tracks wend their way past the Old City walls on the way to Jaffa Street, in the heart of western Jerusalem’s city center; station names are announced in Hebrew, Arabic and English, as they scroll across LED screens in the cars – in the same three languages. Trams are air conditioned, with large windows. The section of the light rail which most interests tourists extends between Mount Herzl – Israel’s equivalent of Arlington Cemetery, also adjacent to Yad Vashem, the international Holocaust Museum – and Mount Scopus, the famous Har HaTzofim, with its spectacular views of the Old City. A round-trip between the two ends of this stretch takes about one hour and 40 minutes. Starting from the Mount Scopus end, the train passes Ammunition Hill, site of one of the fiercest battles of the Six-Day War, fought in June 1967. It is now one of several official memorials symbolizing the reunification of Jerusalem. Battleground fortifications have been preserved and an underground museum honoring the fallen tells the story of the savage fighting. Next comes Shimon HaTzadik station, named for the location of the tomb of a high priest during the time of the Second Temple. Shimon HaTzadik Street is now a
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THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
Moroccan king funding preservation of Cape Verde Jewish heritage – but to what end?
By Cnaan Liphshiz PRAIA, Cape Verde (JTA) – A Portuguese rabbi and a Moroccan diplomat stood shoulder to shoulder in a Catholic cemetery here while 200 mourners howled in grief as they buried a resident of this island off the western coast of Africa. The foreigners had come to Cape Verde’s main cemetery earlier this month not to bury a local, but for the rededication of 10 gravestones of Moroccan Jews – members of an extinct community whose roots trace to the 1860s. With virtually no practicing Jews on Cape Verde today, the cemeteries had fallen into neglect. Now a Washington-based nonprofit is spearheading their restoration. The Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project has a board stuffed with Jewish Washingtonians, but its funding comes largely from one man – King Mohammed VI of Morocco. According to the group’s U.S. tax filings, the king was the organization’s sole listed donor in 2011, giving $100,000. Smaller donors make up about a quarter of the project’s funding, the CVJHP said. Andre Azoulay, a senior Jewish adviser to the king and a member of the project’s advisory board, told JTA that the effort is reflective of the king’s “deep commitment” to preserving Jewish heritage in Morocco and elsewhere. But even if, as some speculate, it is motivated by a desire to attract tourists and curry favor with American Jews, the king’s drive clearly sets Morocco apart from other Middle Eastern countries where Jewish sites have faced increasing threats under new Islamist governments. “This is all part of a strong push from His Majesty the King that started three, four years ago, when we saw cemeteries have become vulnerable because of lacking care by all of us,” Azoulay told JTA. Approximately 3,000 Jews are living in
Abdellah Boutadghart, right, of the Moroccan embassy in Senegal, and Rabbi Eliezer Di Martino of Lisbon at the main cemetery in Praia for the burial of a Cape Verde resident on May 2. (Photo by Cnaan Liphshiz) Morocco, a North African monarchy about the size of Texas that had been home to a large and thriving Jewish community for centuries. In the 19th century, a number of Moroccan-Jewish families resettled in Cape Verde, attracted by the financial potential of this transatlantic hub. Over time, the families totally assimilated, though their Creole-speaking, Christian descendants include some of Cape Verde’s most prominent businessmen and politicians, including the country’s first democratically elected prime minister, Carlos Alberto Wahnon de Carvalho Veiga. Unlike many Arab countries with once sizable Jewish communities, Morocco has taken wide-ranging steps to preserve its Jewish history. The Casablanca Jewish museum was restored, the small but colorful 17th
2013 Graduates in our Federation Family High School Chaim Ben Tzion Bilus Moshe Yehuda Davidson Yechezkel Deutsch Simcha Elefant Andy Feigelman Max Hollander Yeshaya Itkin Faigl Kofman Yisroel Luchins Zev Pressman Miriam Raven Asher Anshel Ringel Moshe Eli Rosenberg If you would like to have your name published on our list of graduates, contact Dassy Ganz at 961-2300 x2 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your information.
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century synagogue in Fez was renovated, and dozens of former Jewish schools and more than 100 synagogues were rehabilitated with funding from the crown. In 2011, in a move that Azoulay calls
that her family in Israel deserved to be murdered by terrorists, there were laughs and snaps of approval. Among the most vociferous pro-divestment speakers was the student who brought Louis Farrakhan, who preached antisemitic and homophobic vitriol, to UC Berkeley a year before. But by far the most ludicrous and horrifying moment was when an Israel divestment advocate insinuated that Israeli soldiers sexually violate Palestinian women with rats. Seriously? This was a whole new level of libel that should have shocked even the Israel divestment activists in the room, but it didn’t seem to. The Israel divestment bill itself was filled with baseless accusations against Israel. It called for the University of California Regents to remove funding from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Cement Roadstone Holdings – the latter two because they provide Israel with security technology. Israel’s security fence and checkpoints were condemned as illegitimate, malicious impositions. No context whatsoever was included as to why Israel needs to take such precautions. The massive physical and psychological damage caused by the Second Intifada was largely ignored or dismissed. An amendment was proposed to recognize the daily hardships caused by the security fence and checkpoints, but also the massive decrease in terrorism that occurred after these measures were put in place. This amendment was voted down. Also denied were amendments that supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called for recognizing Israel as the homeland and state of the Jewish people. When it came to Jews, indigenous rights to Israel dating back thousands of years were not on UC Berkeley’s agenda, unlike the support and sympathy accorded to all other liberation movements. Many in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities felt marginalized by the false accusations that hid Israel’s narrative and reasoning, and declared one side of the story to be wholly correct, just and endorsed by the UC Berkeley student government in the name of an entire student body. The rejection of these more fair-minded amendments further reinforced such feelings. Ultimately, the Israel divestment measure passed in an 11-9 vote. Such a close margin indicates just how divided the campus was on this bill. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau thankfully released a statement that this vote would not affect the UC Regents’ policy on investing in Israel. Thus,
unprecedented in the modern Middle East, the Moroccan constitution was changed to note that the country has been “nourished and enriched... [by] Hebraic influences,” among others. The Moroccan parliament adopted the new language along with amendments that transferred some powers from the king to elected parties. “I am not trying to paint a one-sided rosy picture. There are some difficult and maybe black pages in the book of Moroccan Jewry,” Azoulay told JTA. “But there are many, many more beautiful chapters.” The king’s restoration activity already has brought benefits in the form of increased Jewish tourism. More than 19,000 Israelis entered Morocco in 2010, a 42 percent leap from the previous year, according to Israel’s Tourism Ministry. The World Federation of Moroccan Jewry says the kingdom receives another 30,000 non-Israeli Jews annually. Among them was Joel Rubinfeld, the Brussels-based co-chairman of the European Jewish Parliament, who spent 12 days in Morocco in March meeting with government officials and visiting his mother’s hometown. Rubinfeld believes the See “King” on page 11
Continued from page 2
Connor Landgraf, the student government president, could have executed his veto power to defeat a bill that was purely symbolic. He did not. His predecessor, Will Smelko, did veto the Israel divestment measure in 2010. Behind the scenes, the venom from the pro-divestment, anti-Israel crowd was no less corrosive. During the meeting itself, among many other ad hominem attacks, UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine’s Twitter released an infantilizing and racist tweet, “The ZiZis are literally white people crying about their privilege, lol,” a slap in the face to the many students of color who had opposed Israel divestment and expressed their opinions. In the aftermath of the vote, several senators who had voted against Israel divestment were verbally abused. They were subjected to epithets such as “baby killers,” “accomplices to genocide” and, according to UC Berkeley’s student newspaper, even death threats. There were even more dirty deeds: One pro-divestment senator slipped student government president Landgraf a scrawled note with the tantalizing offer to drop charges against him from an entirely different senate case if he opted not to veto divestment. I have to think back to the statement University of California, San Diego student government President Meggie Le made after Israel divestment passed there a month ago: “Was it all worth it? The answer is no.” Those who advocated for divestment at UC Berkeley ought not to be called “pro-Palestinian.” They excuse or justify Palestinian extremists’ self-destructive terrorism against Israeli civilians, and are silent about the appalling crimes committed by the Hamas and Fatah leadership against their own people. They selectively ignore more than a half-century of the degradation of Palestinians, often enshrined in law, by countries across the Middle East. Instead, guilty of omission, they function solely to ensure that Israel wrongly becomes an anathema to their fellow students. This is accomplished through such initiatives as the one that hit the UC Berkeley senate floor in April, an initiative whose supporters wore their true feelings on their sleeves during that heartbreaking night. For those divestment supporters, Israel is the whipping boy, the scapegoat laden with their own sins of bigotry and moral blindness. Matthew White, UC Berkeley Class of 2011, is the campus professional for the proIsrael education group StandWithUs.
JUNE 6, 2013 ■
Amid Portland’s Jewish population surge, community leaders try to lure the young and hip By Gil Shefler PORTLAND, Ore. (JTA) – Jessica Bettelheim, a business ethics lecturer at Portland State University and a young Jewish mother, has little time to spare on weekends. Like other professionals her age, she’s busy bonding with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, meeting friends at one of Portland’s many fine restaurants or gardening, a favorite pastime in this verdant metropolis known as the City of Roses. So when Bettelheim received an e-mail from the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland in April advertising Food for Thought, a festival that included a tour of the Portland Art Museum, she put it on her maybe list. “The only event that was appealing was the art walk,”
The skyline of Portland, OR, with the Williamette River separating the east and west sides. (Photo by Stuart Seeger/Creative Commons)
Continued from page 6
place that doesn’t bother anyone,” he said. But sesalination is not without its critics. Some environmentalists question whether the process is worth its monetary and environmental costs. One cubic meter of desalinated water takes just under 4 kWh to produce – that’s the equivalent of burning 40 100-watt light bulbs for one hour to produce the equivalent of five bathtubs full of water. Freshwater doesn’t have that cost. Giora Shaham, a former long-term planner at Israel’s Water Authority and a critic of Israel’s current desalination policy, said that factories like Sorek could be a waste because if there is adequate rainfall the desalination plants will produce more water than Israel needs at a cost that is too high. Then, surplus water may be wasted, or international bodies like the United Nations could pressure Israel to distribute it for free to unfriendly neighboring countries, Shaham said. “There was a long period of drought where there wasn’t a lot of rain, so everyone was in panic,” Shaham said. “Instead of cutting back until there is rain, they made decisions to produce too much.” Fredi Lokiec, an executive vice president at the Sorek plant, says the risks are greater without major desalination efforts. Israel is perennially short on rainfall, and depending on freshwater could further deplete Israel’s rivers. “We’ll always be in the shadow of the drought,” Lokiec said, but drawing from the Mediterranean is like taking “a drop from the ocean.” Some see a water surplus as an opportunity. Orit Skutelsky, water division manager at the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, says desalinated water could free up freshwater to refill Israel’s northern streams and raise the level of the Sea of Galilee. “There’s no way we couldn’t have done this,” she said of desalination. “It was the right move. Now we need to let water flow again to the streams.”
Water from the Mediterranean Sea rushes through pipes en route to being filtered for use across Israel in a process called desalination, which could soon account for 80 percent of the country’s potable water. (Photos by Ben Sales/JTA)
she said over coffee during an interview jammed between dropping off her daughter at day care and delivering a lecture at the university. “I might check it out.” Things came up, however, and she didn’t. It was a near miss for the local Jewish Federation, which has been trying to engage unaffiliated Jews like the Bettelheims ever since a demographic study came out in 2010 showing Portland with about 47,000 Jews – twice as many as previously thought. The profile of these mysterious Jewish arrivals is murky, as the study provided few details about them. It is widely hypothesized, however, that they are young, secular, liberal transplants from the coasts lured by professional opportunities at major multinationals such as Nike and Intel, or by the city’s casual lifestyle and famed weirdness. Portland, as the joke has it, is where young people go to retire. The Bettelheims moved from New York in 2009, drawn by the promise of a less pressured lifestyle. The couple routinely hold Shabbat dinners and observe the High Holidays, but they haven’t taken part in any organized religious activities. “We get home around 5 or 6 on Friday,” Bettelheim said. “The last thing I want to do is drive to the west side and go to shul.” Jodi Berris, who works at Nike’s sprawling headquarters in nearby Beaverton and organizes gatherings for young Jewish adults, says she’s been trying to involve an unaffiliated colleague of hers for years, thus far unsuccessfully. “It’s not part of her life,” Berris said. “Still, the survey counts her, her non-Jewish husband and all three kids as Jewish.” Portland’s Jewish establishment was eager to bring these elusive newcomers into the fold with events like Food for
Portland Jews attended the opening night of Food for Thought, a festival organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, on April 18. (Photo by LeeAnn Gauthier) Thought, which featured a smorgasbord of cultural events including a tour of a historically Jewish neighborhood, a party for Israel’s Independence Day and a latkes-hamentashen debate in which the merits of sweet and savory Jewish dishes were considered (latkes won). After the survey was released, the federation allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars for engagement events, applied for outreach grants and brought in a Jewish Agency for Israel youth emissary. “We don’t want one-shot deals,” Marc Blattner, the Federation’s president and CEO, told JTA. “We want lifelong involvement in the Jewish community however way they want.” See “Portland” on page 12
Quick Reference Guide to Planned Giving
Use this planned giving quick reference guide to help determine the best strategy for achieving your philanthropic and financial goals. For more information or to discuss these planned giving options, please contact: Mark Silverberg, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of NEPA, 570-961-2300 (x1) or at email@example.com.
If Your Goal is to:
Then You Can:
Your Benefits May Include:
Make a quick & easy gift
Simply write a check now
An income tax deduction and immediate charitable impact
Avoid tax on capital gains
Contribute long-term appreciated stock or other securities
A charitable deduction plus no capital gains tax
Defer a gift until after your lifetime
Put a bequest in your will (gifts of cash, specific property, or a share or the residue of your estate
Exemption from federal estate tax on donations
Receive guaranteed fixed income that is partially tax-free
Create a charitable gift annuity
Current & future savings on income taxes, plus fixed, stable payments
Avoid capital gains tax on the sale of a home or other real estate
Donate the real estate or sell it to a charity at a bargain price
An income tax reduction plus reduction or elimination of capital gains tax
Avoid the two-fold taxation on IRA or other employee benefit plans
Name a charity as the beneficiary of the remainder of the retirement assets after your lifetime
Tax relief to your family on inherited assets
Give your personal residence or farm, but retain life use
Create a charitable gift of future interest, called a retained life estate
Tax advantages plus use of the property
Make a large gift with little cost to you
Contribute a life insurance policy you no longer need or purchase a new one & designate a charity as the owner
Current & possible future income tax deductions
Receive secure, fixed income for life while avoiding market risks
Purchase a charitable gift annuity or create a charitable remainder annuity trust
Tax advantages & possible increased rate of return
Give income from an asset for a period of years but retain the asset for yourself or your heirs
Create a charitable lead trust
Federal estate tax savings on asset & income tax deductions for donated income
Create a hedge against inflation over the long term
Create a charitable remainder unitrust
Variable payments for life plus tax advantages
Make a revocable gift during your lifetime
Name a charity as the beneficiary of assets in a living trust
Full control of the trust terms during your lifetime
ÊVisit the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania on the web at www.jewishnepa.org or on Facebook
THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
d’var torah ABINGTON TORAH CENTER
Rabbi Dovid Saks President: Richard Rutta Jewish Heritage Connection 108 North Abington Rd., Clarks Summit, PA 18411 570-346-1321 • Website: www.jewishheritageconnection.org Sunday morning services at 8:30 am Call for other scheduled services throughout the week.
BETH SHALOM CONGREGATION
Rabbi Yisroel Brotsky 1025 Vine St., Scranton, PA 18510, (corner of Vine & Clay Ave.) 570-346-0502 • fax: 570-346-8800 Weekday – Shacharit: Sun 8 am; Mon, Thurs. & Rosh Chodesh, 6:30 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 6:45 am; Sat & Holidays, 8:45 am. Mincha during the week is approx. 10 minutes before sunset, followed by Maariv.
BICHOR CHOLEM CONGREGATION/ CHABAD OF THE ABINGTONS Rabbi Benny Rapoport President: Richard I. Schwartz 216 Miller Road, Waverly, PA 18471 570-587-3300 • Website: www.JewishNEPA.com Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am. Call or visit us online for our bi-weekly schedule
CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF THE POCONOS Rabbi Mendel Bendet 570-420-8655 • Website: www.chabadpoconos.com Please contact us for schedules and locations.
CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL
Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Allan L. Smith President: Henry M. Skier Contact Person: Ben Schnessel, Esq. (570) 222-3020 615 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431 570-253-2222 • fax: 570-226-1105
CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM
Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum President: Phyllis Miller P.O. Box 757 Sullivan Rd., Pocono Pines, PA 18350 (located at RT 940 and Pocono Crest Rd at Sullivan Trail 570-646-0100 • Website: www.bnaiharimpoconos.org Shabbat Morning Services, 10 am – noon; every other Saturday Potluck Shabbat Dinner with blessings and program of varying topics, one Friday every month – call for schedule.
JEWISH FELLOWSHIP OF HEMLOCK FARMS
Rabbi Steve Nathan President: Steve Natt Forest Drive 1516 Hemlock Farms, Lords Valley, PA 18428 570-775-7497 • E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday evening Shabbat service 7:30 pm, Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am.
MACHZIKEH HADAS SYNAGOGUE Rabbi Mordechai Fine President: Dr. Shaya Barax 600 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 570-342-6271
OHEV ZEDEK CONGREGATION
Rabbi Mordechai Fine 1432 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA 18510 Contact person: Michael Mellner - 570-343-3183
Union of Reform Judaism Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz President: Eric Weinberg 1 Knox Street, Scranton, PA 18505, (off Lake Scranton Rd.) 570-344-7201 Friday evening Shabbat, 8 pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 11:15 am
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF DUNMORE
President: Isadore Steckel 515 East Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512 Saturday morning Shabbat 7:30 am; also services for Yizkor
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF THE POCONOS
Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Baruch Melman President: Suzanne Tremper Contact person: Art Glantz 570-424-7876 711 Wallace St., Stroudsburg, PA, 18360 (one block off Rte. 191 (5th Street) at Avenue A) 570-421-8781 • Website: www.templeisraelofthepoconos.org E-Mail: email@example.com Friday evening Shabbat, 8pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 9 am
TEMPLE ISRAEL OF SCRANTON
Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Moshe Saks President: Michael Mardo 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, 8 am; Mon & Thurs, 7:15 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 7:25 am; Rosh Hodesh & Chagim weekdays, 7 am; Shabbat Morning Service, 8:45 am; evening services: Sun – Thurs, 5:45 pm; Friday Shabbat and Saturday Havdalah services, call for times.
How far would you go? BY RABBI LEVI Y. SLONIM, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING AND DEVELOPMENT, CHABAD CENTER FOR JEWISH STUDENT LIFE AT BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 How far would you be ready to go for someone you love? To what extent would you bend yourself backwards to accommodate an acquaintance of yours? What about your enemy? Would you even consider inconveniencing yourself? Suppose you spent your entire life nurturing, educating and generally giving all that you had for a group of people. Suppose they decided at one point that you were no longer good enough for them and they revolted against you, how much of an obligation would you feel toward this ungrateful mass? In this week’s Torah portion, there is quick reference to an overture made by Moses toward a group of Jews. It is so subtle, it can easily be missed; but if we pay heed it can teach us a monumental lesson about unconditional and unadulterated love for one’s fellow. This parasha tells the story of Korach, a wise, distinguished but jealous relative of Moses who incited a mutiny challenging Moses’ leadership and the granting of the kehunah (priesthood) to Aaron. The saga ends with Korach and 250 members of his posse being swallowed up by the earth that had “opened its mouth” in miraculous fashion. This divine wonder dramatically disproved the veracity of Korach’s claims against Moses and quelled the revolt he had begun. Just moments before the earth opened up to swallow these men alive, Moses turns to look toward two leaders among this group, Dathan and Abiram, his inveterate foes. The verse reads, “Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram,
“restaurant row” of good Arab eating establishments and bars – where many young Jewish Israelis come to smoke water pipes. This whole area was no-man’s land between Israel and Jordan in the period from 1948, when the state of Israel was created, until the short 1967 war. Near Mandelbaum Gate – Jerusalem’s “Checkpoint Charlie” during this 19year stretch – is the award-winning Museum of the Seam, elucidating the “seam line” that now both divides and unites the city’s Arab and Jewish sectors. The elaborate Damascus Gate, or Sha’ar Sh’khem, is one of the main entry points into the Old City – a bustling market and shopping area between modern eastern Jerusalem’s commercial district and the beginning of the traditional Middle Eastern bazaar. At the other end of this souk is Jaffa Gate, one of the three principal entryways to the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Continuing along the beautiful Old City walls, the train runs slightly uphill, with the Notre Dame de Jerusalem on the west side, opposite New Gate on the eastern side (one of the few gates permitting vehicular entry to the Old City). Built in the late 19th century as part of a French complex of hostel, hospital and church, the Vatican-affiliated Notre Dame today is a hotel justly popular with Catholic pilgrims. The hotel’s medieval-looking towers are magnificent, similar to those of the nearby Italian Hospital. The stunning views from the hotel’s non-kosher rooftop restaurant rival those from its kosher counterparts along King David Street. Safra Square is the next stop, the access point for Jaffa Gate and home of Jerusalem’s City Hall complex. Most of the buildings in this area are from British Mandate times, including the Central Post Office and what was once the Anglo-Palestine Bank, recognizable by the still visible pockmarks from the Jordanian shelling of West Jerusalem. Here, the tram begins to fill up: the center of the city can be very busy, often standing room only. You are now on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem’s main thoroughfare, and one of the city’s two main pedestrian malls, along with Ben Yehudah Street. The area is busy day and night, catering to patrons of the fine shops and restaurants representing most of the main cuisines known to mankind. Just past the downtown triangle formed by Jaffa Street, King George Street and Ben Yehudah is Davidka Square, named after the crude artillery piece mounted in the plaza. Called the “secret weapon” of Israel’s War of Independence, it was not really very effective and dangerous for operators; its one virtue was that it was noisy: the enemy ran whenever one was fired. A good place to get off for a snack is the next stop: the Mahane Yehudah open-air market. Still famous for its fresh produce, and free samples of halvah, it is now being transformed by the entry of trendy cafés and restaurants and gourmet shops.
and the elders of Israel followed him.” (Numbers 16: 23) This seems a bit peculiar because immediately prior to this, the Torah records Moses speaking to them – appealing to them, beseeching them – to return from their ways, and his pleas had fallen upon deaf ears. Why does he once again return to them – especially since God had already decreed that they are to be swallowed up? Curiously, we find no record of verbal communication; Moses simply arose and walked toward them to look at them. The commentaries explain that once God had meted out their punishment there was no longer efficacy in Moses speaking with them. Still, Moses, in his unwavering and eternal love for the Jewish people – including those who had incited an insurrection against him – could not fathom giving up. He harbored a hope that he could still save them. And so he rose and went to gaze upon them, hoping that this would move them. This also explains why the verse tells us that “all of the elders of Israel followed suit.” Why is this detail relevant? When Moses arose in all of his glory to go toward Dathan and Abiram, this drew the elders of Israel to follow suit. Imagine this arresting sight, how this demonstration of love and concern might have inspired them to repent. The lesson in this verse is clear: Moses, the paragon of Jewish shepherding and leadership, would not and could not give up. Where there is life there is hope, and thus the responsibility to do yet more to turn the tide in a positive direction. We too dare not lose patience or hope with our loved ones, with those who challenge us and even with ourselves. We can always rise up to take yet another look at the situation in the hopes of eliciting a positive response. Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher rebbe.
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Continuing westward along Jaffa, the train glides past some architectural highlights of the heart of the city: glorious buildings now being restored, many of which are slated to become expensive apartment complexes. Just past the city’s Central Bus Station, the light railway traverses the “Bridge of Strings” or “Bridge of Chords,” designed by the Spanish architect Calatrava. Said to be similar to a construction in Seville, its name actually derives from the musical instrument it symbolizes: David’s harp. The impressive bridge, visible for miles from Jerusalem’s western hills and highway to and from Tel Aviv, is only used by the tram and pedestrians. After crossing the bridge, the train ascends Herzl Boulevard, taking us through the neighborhoods of Kiryat Moshe, known for its venerable yeshivas, and Beit HaKerem, one of the city’s original affluent suburbs. Finally, it stops at Mount Herzl, named after the father of modern Zionism, whose vision and drive was instrumental in the rebirth of the Jewish state. Sleek and peaceful, the tram is a perfect way to arrive. The official website of the light rail system is www. citypass.co.il.
Shabbat in the Park in NYC
Jewish National Fund’s JNFuture will host its sixth annual Shabbat in the Park at the Central Park Zoo on Friday, June 14. Shabbat in the Park, hosted by JNFuture, JNF’s young philanthropy division, is an evening that seek to celebrate the connection between Shabbat, Israel and the environment. It is the only formal Shabbat dinner ever held in Central Park. Proceeds from Shabbat in the Park will benefit JNF’s work with Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, a state-of-the-art rehabilitative village in Israel’s Negev Desert that provides people with severe cognitive and physical disabilities with medical and therapeutic care to help them realize their full potential. The event will take place at the Central Park Zoo at 5th Avenue and 64th Street, New York City. A VIP Cocktail Reception will start at 6 pm and the main event will begin at 7 pm. To register, visit www.jnf.org/SITP2013; sponsorships are available. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy Penchansky at 212-879-9305, ext. 804, or RSVPNY@jnf.org.
JUNE 6, 2013 ■
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government’s intention to honor the country’s Jewish past is sincere, but he said other considerations are at work as well. “There may certainly be pragmatic incentives: attracting tourism and investments down the line,” Rubinfeld said. “For some, it is a political calculation to improve Morocco’s international standing.” A Moroccan diplomat, who spoke to JTA on condition of anonymity, said the restoration project could bring political dividends for Morocco, which has been accused of human rights abuses in Western Sahara, a disputed territory to which the kingdom lays partial claim. “To Morocco’s great consternation, the U.S. [in April] proposed the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara help monitor human rights,” the diplomat said. “It’s very useful for us to have someone – a strong lobby group, perhaps – to help talk the State Department out of this idea. The Jewish lobby is a very strong one.” The board of the Cape Verde Jewish Heritage Project includes Howard Berman, a former California congressman who chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee until his defeat last year; Daniel Mariaschin, the executive director of B’nai B’rith International; Herman Cohen, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state; and Toby Dershowitz, who heads a Washington public affairs consultancy. But Azoulay grows indignant at any suggestion the king has his eye on the economic or political benefits of his largesse. “This effort is the concrete manifestation of a consensus in Moroccan society, that our society is partly built on Jewish culture, a culture deeply rooted in three millennia of history,” he said. “You have to understand the purity of it,” Azoulay added. “Those who think it is to attract tourists are just out of order.” As popular revolutions have swept the Arab world since late 2010, Jewish heritage has suffered under newly empowered Islamist governments. Two Jewish cemeteries were desecrated earlier this year in Tunisia, prompting Israel to express concerns for the safety of the country’s Jews, the daily Maariv reported. In Egypt, the government prevented several dozen Israelis from making the annual Passover pilgrimage to Alexandria’s main synagogue, one of the few properly maintained and functioning Jewish sites in the country. Egypt also briefly censored a film about the flight of its Jews following Israel’s establishment. But in Morocco, a similar film, titled “Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah,” won a prize in April at the Tangier Film Festival. It also triggered protests from a few hundred Islamists and left-wing activists saying the film promoted “normalization” of ties with Israel, the Associated Press reported. Still, many Jewish visitors speak of Morocco as a friendly place. Nuno Wahnon Martins, the director of European Affairs at B’nai B’rith International, said he felt safe enough to abandon all caution when asking for directions to synagogues during a recent visit. And Rubinfeld said he was surprised to hear a Hebrew song blasting from the stereo of a shop in Casablanca’s main market. “Being a Jew in Morocco is safer today than on some streets in Brussels,” said Rubinfeld.
2013 Annual Meeting Scranton Jewish Community Center, Linder Room Thursday, June 13th, 2013, 7pm
2013 Annual Meeting Program Tribute to Jeffrey Rubel Welcome & introductions ............................Dr. David Malinov, Chairman Invocation ........................................................Rabbi Moshe Saks, Temple Israel (Scranton) State of the Federation Address ..................Dr. David Malinov, Chairman 2013 UJA Campaign Report........................Donald Douglass, Esq., Barbara Nivert Presentation of Campaign Awards .............Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Nominating Committee Report...................Edward Monsky Esq., Chairman Installation of Officers and Trustees ...........Rabbi Moshe Saks, Temple Israel (Scranton) Closing Remarks .............................................Dr. David Malinov, Chairman Reception
Proposed Slate of Officers and Trustees 2013-2016 Officers* President........................................................... Michael Greenstein* Administrative Vice-President ...................... Douglas Fink* Vice-President ................................................. Dr. David Malinov* Vice-President ................................................. Elliot Schoenberg* Treasurer........................................................... Jerry Weinberger, Esq.* Assistant Treasurer.......................................... Barry Tremper* Assistant Secretary ........................................ Don Douglass, Esq.* *To be elected at the Annual Meeting
Board of Trustees Term Expiring in 2016* (3-year term) Jim Ellenbogen, Joseph Fisch, Esq., Leah Laury, Phyllis Malinov, Mel Mogel, Dr. Geordee Pollock, Alma Shaffer, Suzanne Tremper, Eric Weinberg *To be elected at the Annual Meeting
Tour of southern Italy
The tour “Southern Italy Through Jewish Eyes” will be held during October. Participants can choose either Part I – Calabria (October 1-6), Part II – Sicily (October 5-10), or the full tour of both regions (October 1-10). Rabbi Barbara Aiello, a first-generation Italian-American who became Italy’s first female rabbi and the founder of the first active synagogue in Calabria in more than 500 years, will lead the tour. Included will be a Ferramonti Symposium, where survivors of that World War II Italian concentration camp will share their stories of conditions and events of the period under Mussolini’s rule. Participants will learn the story of how nearly 4,000 Jewish inmates were saved by Italian soldiers and villagers. There will also be a tour of the renovated and expanded synagogue, Ner Tamid del Sud, the first active synagogue in Calabria since Inquisition times, renovated by locals, including Aiello’s family. The tour is being coordinated by Ellen Paderson of Smiles and Miles Travel, who has worked with Aiello on many bar and bat mitzvah tours in Italy, and Laurie Weiss Howell of AmalfiLife tours, who has organized several southern Italian tours with Aiello. For more information, costs and or reservations, contact Paderson, travel consultant, at email@example.com or 508-238-4088, or Howell at 347-240-1244.
Term Expiring in 2014* (1-year term) Sandra Alfonsi, Phyllis Barax, Susan Columbo Diamond, Dan Marcus, Larry Milliken, Lynn Pearl and Karen Pollack *To be elected at the Annual Meeting
Continuing Terms Esther Adelman, Herb Appel, Jeanne Atlas, Phyllis Brandes, Mark Davis, Lainey Denis, Jacques Deutsch (replaced by Eugene Schneider), Atty. Richard Fine, Natalie Gelb, Laurel Glassman, Alan Goldstein, Jill Linder, Atty. Ed Monsky, Molly Rutta, Laney Ufberg, Paula Wasser, Steven Weinberger and Jay Weiss
Our thanks is extended to the following Trustees whose terms of office are expiring: Shlomo Fink, Dr. Gerald Fragin, Alex Gans, Janet Holland, Robin Jacobson, Susan Jacobson, Robert Klomp, Michael Mardo, Ann Monsky, Sam Rosen, Lew Sare, Atty. Ben Schnessel and Alan Smertz
THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
Hundreds of well-dressed party goers attended Food for Thought’s opening ceremony at the Portland Art Museum. Federation donors noshed on mini salmon burgers, drank champagne and mingled at a reception preceding the main event. Later, Jewish comedians David Steinberg and David Javerbaum regaled the audience with stories about working with comedic greats such as Jon Stewart, Larry David and the late Johnny Carson. The event had a solid turnout – but the crowd was predominantly elderly, not the sought-after newcomer demographic. “The Jewish youth and Jewish adult communities seem to be two completely separate entities that want nothing to do with each other,” said Justin Chilton,
25, one of the few younger people at the event. “Trying to bridge that gap is really weird and seemingly weirdly impossible.” One challenge is geographic. Nearly all the community’s institutions are west of the Willamette River, while most of the unaffiliated Jews are believed to be on the city’s hipper east side. That is beginning to change. Shir Tikvah, a progressive synagogue, was the first Jewish place of worship to open on the east side of Portland. Chabad recently followed suit with a new outreach center in the trendy northeast. Meanwhile, Blattner said the federation is considering opening a Jewish day care center there. “The river becomes a barrier to people,” Blattner
Continued from page 9 said. “We do not have formalized Jewish institutions on the east side of town, but we’re in discussions about that and the No. 1 thing we’re looking into is a Jewish preschool.” It’s unclear whether enough east siders are prepared to spend on the funding needed for such an endeavor, but Blattner hopes events like Food for Thought might plant the seeds for change. If not, and the gathering speaks only to the core group of committed Jews in Portland, he’s fine with that, too. “I hope that [the Jewish newcomers to Portland] know that when they do decide to come to the Jewish community,” Blattner said, “we will be waiting here with our hands open.”
Warsaw from a brick from a building in Warsaw’s prewar Jewish quarter, the area that the Nazis turned into the notorious ghetto and where the museum now stands. A huge flattened cube with a shimmering facade – broken by a dramatic gap that symbolizes both the biblical parting of the Red Sea and the rupture caused by the Holocaust – faces the monument to the heroes of the ghetto uprising. “I am one of the few here who witnessed the unveiling of the ghetto monument in 1948,” Bartoszewski told guests following the mezuzah ceremony. “If anyone had told me then that this could be happening now, I would have said they were crazy.” Designed by the Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamaki, the striking building with undulating interior walls is in fact still largely empty. The museum will inaugurated its cultural and educational programs in April, but its core exhibition – an interactive narration of 1,000 years of Polish Jewish life – will not be installed until next year. “The museum is a part of the history that it tells,” Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett, the New York University professor who is overseeing the design of the core exhibition, told JTA. “It speaks to the renewal of Jewish life in Poland, to the enormous Jewish presence in Polish consciousness.” On the eve of World War II, Poland had the largest Jewish population in Europe, with 3.3 million Jews making up one-tenth of the country’s population. More than three million Polish Jews were killed in the Holocaust; thousands more survivors left in the wake of postwar pogroms. Still more departed in the 1960s amid antisemitic campaigns by the Communist regime. But with the fall of Communism, there has been a revival of Jewish life in Poland and a movement by Jews and non-Jews to reclaim Jewish culture. “Imagine, the idea for this museum arose in 1996, just a few years after the fall of Communism,” Kirshenblatt Gimblett said. “The many efforts of the last two decades to renew Jewish life, to recover the Jewish past, and to foster open debate and dialogue about the most difficult moments
Continued from page 5
in the history of Poland and Polish Jews have created the momentum and support for this initiative.” The only permanent part of the exhibit installed to date is the reconstruction of the roof and painted ceiling of an 18th century wooden synagogue that once stood in Gwozdziec, now in Ukraine. So stunning that it has been compared to the Sistine Chapel, it features a wealth of brightly painted folk designs combined with Jewish symbolism: lions, griffins, Zodiac signs, birds, flowers, unicorns and much more. Financed by the Polish state, the city of Warsaw and numerous Jewish and non-Jewish private donors, the
development of the museum suffered setbacks and delays over the years due to political and organizational issues, as well as funding shortfalls. The very idea of such a museum in Poland, which many Jews regard as a vast Jewish cemetery, was long a hard sell. Over the past decade, however, Polish-born Jewish philanthropists, such as Americans Sigmund Rolat and Tad Taube, passionately took up the cause. Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation collaborated to provide the largest private commitment to the core exhibition of the museum, a total of $16 million since 2007. “The Taube Foundation and the museum share a similar mission: to understand not only how European Jewry died in the Nazi genocide, but how European Jewry lived in Poland and created a prodigious civilization over many centuries,” Taube told JTA. “This knowledge is not a betrayal of Holocaust memory. In fact, we honor Holocaust memory by reclaiming our rich, long and varied existence in Poland.” Taube and others say they are hopeful the museum and the story it tells can have a long-term impact: on local Jews, local non-Jews, and the Jews from the United States, Israel and elsewhere who are expected to visit. “The idea of there being an authentic Jewish community in today’s Poland is notoriously met with bewilderment and often sheer disbelief,” said Katka Reszke, the author of “Return of the Jew,” a new book about young Jews in Poland today. “The museum – its staff, its narrative and its programming – must be prepared to confront this skepticism and the often difficult questions coming from foreign Jewish visitors.” Swiss diplomat Simon Geissbuehler, a historian who has written several books on Jewish history, called the museum and its mission “an important step forward.” Still, he added, “We don’t have to have illusions. It will not change everything immediately. There are those who don’t want to recognize this part of their history. But I hope the museum will help.”
Exterior of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw showing the “gap.” (Photo by Ruth Ellen Gruber)
Interior of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw showing swooping walls. (Photo by Ruth Ellen Gruber)
Visitors standing under the painted reconstruction of the ceiling of the Gwozdziec synagogue. (Photo by Ruth Ellen Gruber)
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JUNE 6, 2013 ■
British Indiana Jones examines evidence for Jewish origin of Papua New Guinea tribe
“[In 2007] there was a declaration on 500 years was that they were Israelites, Jews, lost tribes. The By Alina Dain Sharon the part of the then-prime minister (Grand same thing is true on the colonial frontier in Africa, parts of JNS.org Chief Sir Michael Somare) that the people India, New Zealand, (inhabitants) were consistently thought During the 1990s, Welsh professor Tudor of Papua New Guinea would always wor- to be Israelites by the colonists who discovered them, and Parfitt, known around the world as the “Britship the God of Israel. On Israel’s Yom the aboriginals in Australia. People have been saying that ish Indiana Jones,” discovered evidence Ha’atzmaut every year, the capital of Papua the people of Papua New Guinea are Jews ever since the that the Lemba tribe in central Zimbabwe New Guinea is absolutely chockablock with 1700s, and finally these ideas sort of internalized. and northern South Africa has Jewish roots. “In many places, if it’s not Judaism, then it’s a kind of pro-Israel demonstrations, Israeli flags. He identified a genetic element in the male Many of the tribes, not only the Gogodala, Christianity that is very Judaic. An example of what very chromosomes of the tribe that comes from often happens in Africa is a group that celebrates the Sabreally believe that they’re Israelite.” the Kohanim, the Jewish priestly line. JNS: What is behind the “lost tribes” phe- bath, Jewish holidays, Passover and so on. They may very This year, Parfitt published his latest of 25 books, “Black Jews in Africa and the Dr. Tudor Parfitt, who is known nomenon and how does it manifest itself? well observe some aspects of kashrut, but they will have a Parfitt: “Ever since the beginning of belief in Jesus. On the one side of that, you’ve got groups Americas.” He also joined the faculty of as the British Indiana Jones. (Photo by Tim Long, Florida colonial intervention throughout the world, that are more Christian and on the other side of that, you’ve Florida International University and led an colonists, missionaries or public servants of got groups that are really completely Judaic. The Gogodala expedition to Papua New Guinea to visit International University) the Gogodala tribe, which, like the Lemba, claims to be of different sorts came to explain unknown peoples through find themselves on the same spectrum and moving fairly Jewish origin. Several FIU students and staffers, as well the paradigm of lost Israelites. If you can’t understand what rapidly, in my view, toward a more complete identificaas two New York rabbis from Kulanu, a Jewish outreach somebody is doing in a particular place, you don’t know where tion with Judaism. They celebrate the holidays and learn they from, one way of explaining them is to say, ‘Ah, they’re Hebrew. In my estimation, this is a group that a few years organization, joined Parfitt on the trip. Parfitt, who is also launching the Center for Global the lost tribes of Israel.’ This was consistently done in North down the road will be converting to Judaism. “The FIU Center for Global Jewish Communities, which Jewish Communities at FIU, which will study remote Jew- America with Native Americans or South Americans. The See “Tribe” on page 14 standard explanation of local populations over a period of ish communities, spoke exclusively with JNS.org about his research into the Gogodala tribe and other Judaizing movements around the world. JNS.org: You’ve been doing scholarly and field research in Jewish studies for many years. What drew you to this topic? At left: Members of the Tudor Parfitt: “When I was 18-19 years old, I did ‘VolGogodala tribe, who claim untary Service Overseas’ (VSO), which was the precursor to be of Jewish origin, in to the American Peace Corps. Originally I was supposed to Papua New Guinea. The go to Vietnam and then I was sent to Israel and spent 15-16 Gogodala is the latest “lost months in Jerusalem working with handicapped people. tribe” examined by the When I went back to England, I decided to switch from “British Indiana Jones,” Dr. history [studies] to Hebrew and Arabic. [Later] I went to Tudor Parfitt. (Photo by Tim the Hebrew University, where I had a fellowship, and then Long, Florida International I went back to Oxford and did my D.Phil. (doctor of phiUniversity) losophy). That launched an academic career in the field of Hebrew and Jewish studies. I am from a Welsh family that was very philo-Semitic. My father was involved in liberating a Displaced Persons camp in which there were many Jews in the Second World War… so I was very predisposed to being sympathetic to Jews from a very young age.” JNS: How did you begin your work with “lost tribes” who claim Jewish origin? Parfitt: “Ten years after I started teaching, I was asked to go to the Sudan to write a report about Ethiopian Jews, and according to the Minority Rights Group, which was the organization that wanted me to go there, the Ethiopian Jews were being poisoned in the refugee camps on the Sucolumns that cover everything from food to Dear Friend of The Reporter, danese side of the border with Ethiopia. They wanted me to go there and see if it was true or not. This was right at the entertainment. Each year at this time the Jewish Federation height of the great famine in 1984 and my visit happened of Northeastern Pennsylvania calls upon The Federation assumes the financial responto coincide almost to the day with the Israeli Operation members of our community to assist in desibility for funding the enterprise at a cost Moses. What I saw was life-changing for me, seeing these people in a terrible state, many of whom died. fraying the expense of issuing our regional of $26,400 per year and asks only that we “While I was there, I met an individual who eventually Jewish newspaper, The Reporter. undertake a small letter writing admitted to me that he was working with Mossad. [He said], mail campaign to our recipiif ‘you just keep your mouth shut until this is over, I will The newspaper is delivered twice ents in the hope of raising tell you what the story is.’ A few months later the story of of month (except for December $10,000 from our readerOperation Moses broke. Following that, I had a telephone and July which are single ship to alleviate a share of call from this guy and I published a front-page article with issue months) to each that responsibility. some photos in the Times of London saying exactly what and every identifiable had happened. Later, Lord Wiedenfeld (Arthur George Jewish home in NorthWe would be grateful if Weidenfeld, Baron Weidenfeld of Chelsea), a British-Jewish eastern Pennsylvania. you would care enough to publisher, asked me to write a book, “Operation Moses,” take the time to make a [which] launched me on a writing career. I became very As the primary Jewish donation for our efforts in interested in the kind of periphery of the Jewish world, and newspaper of our region, that led to many other things.” bringing The Reporter to we have tried to produce JNS: How did you first encounter the Gogodala tribe? your door. a quality publication for Parfitt: “I went to give some lectures on Hebrew literature at the University of Sydney and it was advertised in the you that offers our readerAs always, your comments, opinpress. A few days later the telephone rang and the person ship something on everythingions and suggestions are always on the other end of the line said that he was the spiritual from opinions and columns on welcome. leader of a tribe in Papua New Guinea and he read about controversial issues that affect our With best wishes, what I managed to do for the Lemba people, proving that people and our times, to publicity for the Mark Silverberg, Executive Director they were of Jewish origin, and he wanted me to do the events of our affiliated agencies and orgasame thing for him. A few days later, he flew from Papua Jewish Federation of NE Pennsylvania nizations to life cycle events, teen columns, New Guinea to Sydney and he brought with him 500 hairs 601 Jefferson Avenue personality profiles, letters to the editor, in a big black hat. He had plucked them from the heads Scranton, PA 18510 the Jewish community calendar and other of various tribal members, and he wanted me to take [the hairs] back to England to have the DNA extracted to try I WILL SUPPORT CONTINUATION OF OUR EXPANDED FEDERATION REPORTER BY CONTRIBUTING and say something about their origin.” JNS: Is the Gogodala tribe actually of Jewish origin? $36 $54 $100 OTHER AMT $ Parfitt: “When we finally did the test, we didn’t see very Name (s) (as you wish to appear on our list of “FRIENDS”) much at all. There’s no reason to at all suppose that the Go_______________________________________________________________________________________________ godala have come from the Middle East in genetically recent times, but the interesting thing is that throughout the world, Address:________________________________________________________________________________________ particularly in the area of the Pacific, there are many, many Phone:_________________________________________________________________________________________ other groups who are passionately pro-Israel and Zionist; __Check here if you prefer your name not to be published they passionately believe that they are of Jewish origin and they passionately want to learn about Judaism and in some Please write and send tax deductible checks to Jewish Federation, 601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510 cases are practicing it, like in the case of the Gogodala.
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THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
New Season of
June 2013 • Non-Feature Films • A Film Unfinished, a harrowing look at the devious art of a propaganda film made by the Third Reich, is a rich and well-researched investigation into the filmic history of the Warsaw Ghetto. As A Film Unfinished aims to set the record straight, it furthers a political resistance that Jews undertook during the war. In other words, this documentary is a tribute, a correction of history to honor those who died, witnessed, or survived atrocities prior to their move to Treblinka, Warsaw’s affiliate death camp. Blessed is the Match - In 1944, 22-year Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi- occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II. Budapest to Gettyburg - The past and present collide as a world-renowned historian confronts a history he has refused to study-his own. Gabor Boritt is an expert on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. But it took his son’s urging to get him to return to his native Hungary and learn about the Jewish experience there from the time of his childhood until, together with his family, he escaped to the United States. Constantine’s Sword, is a 2007 historical documentary film on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews. Directed and produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oren Jacoby, the film is inspired by former priest James P. Carroll’s 2001 book Constantine’s Sword. Inside Hana’s Suitcase - A real-life Japanese schoolteacher, who appears throughout the film, sparked this entire story by gathering artifacts for a Holocaust educational center she was developing along with a group of girls and boys called The Small Wings. After applying to receive Holocaust artifacts, a large box arrives with a handful of artifacts, including a battered brown suitcase labeled with Hana Brady’s name. The teacher and her students begin searching for the story behind the suitcase. What they discover will surprise you. They wind up unlocking--and showing us in the film--a whole series of deeply moving memories and other related artifacts and photos. Finally, Hana’s surviving brother George travels to Japan to meet the Japanese students. I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal - Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who lost 89 family members, helped track down over 1,100 Nazi war criminals and spent six decades fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story - This excellent documentary, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, portrays the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story was shown at the Opening Event for the 2012 UJA Campaign. The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost - Famed attorney, Alan Dershowitz, presents a vigorous case for Israel- for its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism and to defend its borders from hostile enemies. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg - As baseball’s first Jewish star, Hammering Hank Greenberg’s career contains all the makings of a true American success story. • Feature Films • A Matter of Size - Winner of numerous international awards, this Israeli comedy is a hilarious and heart-warming tale about four overweight guys who learn to love themselves through the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. (not rated) A Woman Called Golda - Ingrid Bergman plays Golda Meir, the Russian born, Wisconsin raised woman who became Israel’s prime minister in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Crossing Delancey - This is a warm comedy taking place in New York City. Isabella Grossman desires to rise above her family’s Lower East Side community but her grandmother has other matchmaking plans. Footnote - The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies departments of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Though the father shuns overt praise for his work and the son is desperate for it, how will each react when the father is to be awarded the most sought after prize, the Israel prize? This Oscar nominated film will entrance from the start. Frisco Kid - It’s 1850 and new rabbi Avram Belinski sets out from Philadelphia toward San Francisco. Cowpoke bandit Tom Lillard hasn’t seen a rabbi before but he knows when one needs a heap of help. Getting this tenderfoot to Frisco in one piece will cause a heap of trouble- with the law, Native Americans and a bunch of killers. Good - In an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies and they come across Johnnie Halder’s novel of a husband who aids his terminally ill wife in an assisted suicide. Because of this the Nazis flatter Johnnie arranging for high paying and prestigious positions. Never evil, Johnnie Halder is an Everyman who goes along, accepts what he is told without question until he is an unwitting accomplice to the Nazi killing machine. Hidden In Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians, and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jewish are sent to the ghettos. While some stand silent, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska chooses the role of a savior and sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Every day, she risks detection--and immediate execution--by smuggling food and water to the silent group living above her. And when two German nurses are assigned to her living quarters, the chances of discovery become dangerously high. This is the true story of a young woman’s selfless commitment and unwavering resolve in the face of war. Noodle (PAL version- can only be played on computer NOT regular DVD players) - At thirty-seven, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life. Nora’s Will - When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, Jose is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes that he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading Jose to reexamine their relationship. (not rated) Operation Thunderbolt - The true story of the Entebbe hijacking and rescue. “Operation Thunderbolt,” was filmed in Israel with the full cooperation of the Israeli government, and is an exciting re-creation of the events of those tense days. We see the full scope of the story, from the original hijacking to the passengers’ captivity in Uganda to the agonized debates at the highest levels of the Israeli government over a diplomatic vs. a military solution. “Operation Thunderbolt” is the thrilling and true story of how one small country refused to let their people be killed by terrorists and took action to prevent it. People who claim that Israel is a “terrorist state” should see the film and be reminded who the real terrorists are. Orthodox Stance (documentary-2007) - Dimitriy Salita, a Russian immigrant, is making history as a top professional boxer and rigorously observant Jew. While providing an intimate, 3-year long look at the trials and tribulations faced by an up and coming professional boxer, ORTHODOX STANCE is a portrait of seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support Dmitriy’s rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and the pursuit of a professional boxing title. Playing for Time - An outstanding cast brings life to this Fania Fenelon autobiography about a Jewish cabaret singer and other Jewish prisoners whose lives were spared at Auschwitz in exchange for performing for their captors. Rashevski’s Tango - Just about every dilemma of modern Jewish identity gets an airing in this packed tale of a clan of more or less secularized Belgian Jews thrown into spiritual crisis by the death of the matriarch who has held all doubts and family warfare in check. (not rated) Sarah’s Key - Julia Jarmond, an American journalist is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. The Angel Levine - Things couldn’t get worse for Jewish tailor Morris Mishkin (Zero Mostel). His shop has gone up in flames, his daughter has married outside the faith and, worse yet, his wife is slowly dying. But just when he decides to give up on God, a mysterious man (Harry Belafonte) appears, claiming to be his Jewish guardian angel! Doubtful that the stranger is Jewish, never mind an angel, Mishkin must overcome his skepticism if he wants one last chance at redemption. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent and naïve eight-year old boy who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops. The Couple - Based on the true story of a Jewish Hungarian’s desperate attempts to save his family from the Nazi death camps. Mr. Krauzenberg (Martin Landau) is forced to hand over his vast wealth to the Nazis for the safe passage of his family out of occupied Europe, only to find his two remaining servants are left trapped in a web of deceit and danger. Their only hope for survival relies on the courage of Krauzenberg. The Debt - Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson star in The Debt. In 1966, three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a feared Nazi war criminal hiding in East Berlin, a mission accomplished at great risk and personal cost… or was it? Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story - Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story is an incredibly riveting, Emmy award-winning, fact-based story about a hero who helped over 100,000 Hungarian Jews escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust. Ushpizin - A fable set in the Orthodox Jewish world in Jerusalem, Ushpizin tells the story of a poor childless couple, Moshe and Malli, whose belief in the goodness of the Almighty follows a roller coaster of situations and emotions but leads to the ultimate happiness, the birth of their son.
Creating a meaningful life by RABBI RACHEL ESSERMAN Newspaper and magazine articles note how, although most Americans own far more material goods than their ancestors, they’re less content than former generations. The idea that our possessions do not bring happiness is commonly found in religious tracts; those writers suggest the key to contentment is focusing less on the material and more on the spiritual. Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, D.H.L., explores this idea from a Jewish point of view in “Saying No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom on Making Room for What Matters Most” (Jewish Lights Publishing). Goldberg explains that while life is filled with uncertainty and pain, we can learn to appreciate its gifts by finding “a kind of joy in being present” in the current moment. In order to accomplish this, it’s necessary to release what we don’t need, while, at the same time, discovering the most important facets of our lives. Goldberg offers three steps to help readers begin the process: “Find the space in your life to discover what your core values are and, through that discovery, what you want in your life. Second, identify the things you therefore cannot pursue, the opportunities you must willfully deny for the greater good. Third, practice the discipline of adhering to your choice. (No really means no).” In order to discover our core values, we need to pause and take a break from our busy lives. Although contemporary culture celebrates us being connected to the world 24/7, Goldberg believes that’s not conducive to living a meaningful or thoughtful life. However, escaping from the daily stress of work is only the first step. The author suggests that writing a mission statement is the best way to uncover our purpose in life. He lists slogans used by a variety of successful corporations as inspiration. The idea is not to model our purpose on their’s, but to show how, when businesses clearly focus on their core purpose, they have a far better chance of succeeding. Goldberg also believes we need to realize not only what we want to accomplish, but how to avoid activities we shouldn’t be doing. Among his suggestions for better ways to focus on “the most important things” are “less TV, more reading”; “less consuming, more creating”; “less busywork, more impact”; and “less noise, more solitude.” The author then outlines a variety of practices that can help us make room for what really matters, including: Letting go of resentments in order to free ourselves from the past. This allows us to go forward with our lives, rather than focusing on what can’t be changed. Exploring how downsizing our possessions can lead to more happiness. Goldberg offers seven different ways to begin the process. Suggesting how to be fully present for those we love by putting away our gadgets and giving them our complete attention. Explaining that while we should actively strive to do good, we must recognize we will never be perfect. Expectations of perfection can lead to feelings of failure, which then prevent us from trying and exploring new ideas. Learning when to say no to those we love, especially our children, in order to teach them resilience. Understanding the importance of small kindnesses. The author lists small acts that can make a true difference in the world. Facing our fears in order to put them into perspective. That robs them of their power and allows us to accomplish great things. Realizing there are no guarantees in life and that we have to learn to accept what is handed to us, while still working to follow our chosen path. Seeing “the Divinity in others” so we treat everyone with civility and respect. Goldberg’s practical suggestions on how to change our lives are excellent and thought-provoking. While I had difficulty formulating a mission statement (my life feels far too complex for just one), reviewing his suggestions struck me as a worthwhile exercise. His book works in several ways: as a self-help guide and as a blueprint to finding a greater spiritual connection to the universe. Anyone feeling dissatisfied with their life may find the answers they are searching for in “Saying No and Letting Go.”
Continued from page 14 I am the director of, is very conscious of the fact that Judaism is changing, that so many people are converting to Judaism and that there are so many groups around the world think of themselves as being Jews. The sense is that this is a huge phenomenon that involves millions of people, and that it deserves proper study. We’re offering for next year four or five fellowships to come to FIU to study this. It’s going to turn into one of the more interesting Jewish studies centers in the U.S. and it will be doing something that nobody else does.”
JUNE 6, 2013 ■
NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
Argentinian prosecutor: Iran built South American terror network
The Argentinian prosecutor in the AMIA Jewish center bombing case accused Iran of building clandestine intelligence stations in South American countries from which to launch terror attacks. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s office made the accusations in a 502page indictment released Wednesday that blames Iranian officials for the July 18, 1994, attack on the AMIA center, which killed 85 and injured hundreds. The indictment said the intelligence stations were established to sponsor, foster and execute terrorist attacks in order to export the Islamic revolution. Identical intelligence bases and centers were discovered in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname. According to the indictment, the intelligence and terrorist network that struck the AMIA Jewish center was nearly successful in an attempt to blow up the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The bid was thwarted, however, and the plotters were arrested and later sentenced to life terms in prison. Nisman offered new and corroborating evidence implicating the highest authorities of Iran in the AMIA bombing. The indictment stresses the higher degree of responsibility that Mohsen Rabbani, a former Iranian cultural attache, had not only in the attack, but also as a coordinator of the Iranian infiltration in South America. According to Nisman, Rabbani spread his activities to Guyana through his disciple, Abdul Kadir, a former Guyanese lawmaker who was among those imprisoned for the attempted attack on Kennedy Airport. Kadir was trained and supported by Tehran, the indictment said, and was arrested while boarding a plane for Iran. The indictment said the Iranian regime organized a 1982 seminar in Tehran on the subject of the “Ideal Islamic Government” that was attended by some 380 religious men from 70 countries. The meeting was a turning point in the regime’s method of exporting the revolution, which included the use of violence and terrorism. In the years following the seminar, the indictment said, Rabbani and Kadir were among the many high-level appointments that were made of leaders to infiltrate the South American countries.
Blaming Jews for Holocaust costs Polish prof his job
Polish historian Krzysztof Jasiewicz was dismissed from the Polish Academy of Sciences for laying some blame on the Jews for the outbreak of the Holocaust. Jasiewicz, 61, will lose his position as head of the Department of Analysis of Eastern Issues on June 1. He said he will appeal the decision. In the interview published in April in a special edition of Focus magazine marking the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Jasiewicz said that “generations of Jews worked for centuries to bring about the Holocaust”; that “without the active participation of the Jews the Holocaust would have been impossible”; and that “it is a waste of time to dialogue with the Jews.” Eugeniusz Cezary Krol, the director of the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, said in a statement that Jasiewicz was fired for violating the elementary standards of scientific rigor. Scholars and historians at the academy protested what Jasiewicz said in the popular scientific magazine, saying his opinions were harmful. In an article about the controversy, Jasiewicz told Do Rzeczy magazine, “The Jews accuse us [Poles] of the worst of everything; they are violent and arrogant against us. Our role in this dialogue is limited to apologizing.”
United Church of Canada formalizes boycott of Israeli companies
Canada’s largest Protestant church targeted three Israeli companies with operations in Jewish settlements for economic sanctions and boycott. In late April, the United Church of Canada’s governing General Council approved the start of a boycott campaign, encouraging “economic action” against Keter Plastic, SodaStream and Ahava. The move is an outgrowth of the church’s decision last year to boycott products exported by settlements on the West Bank and in eastern Jerusalem. At the time, the church called the settlements the “principal obstacle to peace in the region.” In the coming months, the church “will engage in dialogue with these companies regarding their involvement in the settlements and request that they cease all production in the settlements,” the church said. The failure to comply “will result in economic action against their products.” The church also promises to contact Canadian retailers carrying products from the manufacturers “and request that these items no longer be sold in their stores.” Depending on responses from the manufacturers and retailers, church adherents “will be invited to initiate economic actions to avoid identified products and to continue engagement with the companies and retailers.” The United Church claims some two million followers. In a statement, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA, pointed out that SodaStream employs “hundreds” of Palestinian workers. The church’s position, “which claims to advance Palestinian aspirations by increasing the number of unemployed Palestinians, can only be described as intellectually dishonest,” CIJA said. “Its goal seems to be the self-satisfaction of the General Council rather than an improvement in the life of the average Palestinian.” CIJA pledged that as in the past, it will issue a “buycott” to mobilize the Jewish community to support the three targeted companies “for the benefit of Israeli and Palestinian workers alike.”
Judge dismisses Alan Gross’ lawsuit against U.S. gov’t
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by Alan Gross, the American-Jewish contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2009. Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in an opinion issued on May 28 that under federal law, the government cannot be sued for injuries that occurred in another country. Gross and his wife, Judy, filed a $60 million lawsuit in November against the U.S. government and a government contractor charging that Gross should have been better trained and informed of the risks before going to Cuba to set up Internet access for the Jewish community there. Gross, 64, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba for “crimes against the state.” He spoke virtually no Spanish and traveled to Cuba five times under his own name
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before his arrest. Gross’ family and U.S. State Department officials say that Gross was in Cuba on a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to help the country’s 1,500 Jews communicate with other Jewish communities using the Internet. The main Jewish groups in Cuba have denied any contact with or knowledge of Gross or the program. The Grosses settled in mid-May with Development Alternatives Inc., a Maryland-based contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, for an undisclosed amount.
Norwegian daily prints cartoon of gory circumcision, child abuse
A leading Norwegian daily published a caricature depicting what some construed to be Jews torturing a baby during a circumcision. The caricature that appeared on May 28 in the Dagbladet newspaper – the country’s third largest in terms of circulation – showed police officers looking on as a bearded man wearing a black hat and black coat sticks a three-tooth pitchfork into the head of a blood-soaked baby while holding a book. Another unseen person cuts off the baby’s foot with a bolt cutter as a woman in a long-sleeve shirt and a hat shows the officers another blood-spattered book and tells them: “Abuse? No, this tradition is central to our belief.” The police officers apologize “for interrupting.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Copper, said the cartoon was “so virulently antisemitic it would make Hitler and Himmler weep tears of joy.” Manfred Gerstenfeld, a scholar of antisemitism and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the caricature “cannot be viewed separately from centuries of libels in Christian circles that try to establish a link between the ritual abuse of blood and the Jewish faith.” But in an e-mail sent to MIFF, a Norwegian pro-Israel organization, Dagbladet cartoon artist Tomas Drefvelin said he did not mean to draw Jews in his caricature, which he meant “not as criticism of either a specific religion or a nation [but] as a general criticism of religions,” Drefvelin wrote. He added: “I gave the people in the picture hats, and the man beard, because this gives them a more religious character – Jew-hatred is reprehensible. I would never draw to create hatred of a people, or against individuals.” Ervin Kohn, the president of Norway’s Jewish community, told JTA that in Norway, “it is not uncommon to compare brit milah with cutting off limbs and calling it mutilation. This is a form of lying, propaganda.”
Dutch school stalls Shoah memorial to avoid vandalism
A school in a heavily Muslim neighborhood of The Hague delayed plans for a Holocaust monument over vandalism fears. Gerard Brasjen, a spokesman for the Paul Kruger School, told JTA on May 28 that the Christian-affiliated school’s board had discussed a plan to place a commemorative plaque on the school facade, but the plan stalled “not because of the Jewish-Muslim issue but because it may not be wise in the neighborhood, which is not a peaceful place.” Before the Holocaust, the building of the Paul Kruger School, in the Schilderswijk neighborhood, housed the Joodsch Lyceum, a Jewish high school. Kruger was an Afrikaner national leader. A week earlier, the De Telegraaf daily reported that the school dropped the plan following objections by local residents who said a Holocaust plaque might not be acceptable to some members of Schilderswijk’s sizable Muslim population, but Brasjen said he was not aware of such objections. The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Hague-based watchdog on antisemitism, wrote in a statement on May 27 that “it seems that the school feared there would be protests,” but “there is little reason to fear violence against memorial monuments for Jewish children in the area.” Anat Harel, a co-organizer of a Holocaust commemoration event May 4 at the school, told De Telegraaf that a poster advertising the event could not be placed outside the building “because of concerns regarding kids hanging around the school.” Following the publication, the anti-Muslim Party for Freedom asked Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten to research antisemitism among Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands. The De Telegraaf report came on the heels of a story in the Trouw daily that said a part of the Schilderswijk neighborhood had turned into a “sharia area,” where police dare not enter and non-Muslims are regularly harassed – claims that city officials have denied.
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THE REPORTER ■ JUNE 6, 2013
See why everyone describes this as Unforgetable, the trip of a liftime!
Tel Aviv Caesaria Army Base Tiberias Sea of Galilee Jerusalem Tzfat (Safed) Golan Heights Masada Dead Sea Haifa
Saturday, October 12 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 We’ll arrive Sunday evening into Israel and stay overnight in Tel Aviv. The next morning we’ll travel up the coast of the Mediterranean to Caesaria, and then travel to the city of Tiberias, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where we’ll stay for two nights. We’ll travel throughout the Galilee, and we’ll visit the mountaintop city of Safed, and there we’ll go up to the Golan Heights. Then it’s off to Jerusalem, a truly magical city. We’ll go through the Old City, go to the Western Wall, and see many other sites throughout the city that are so special and so sacred. One day will take us down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and a visit to the mountain fortress of Massada. You will also have the chance to become “Archeologists For a Day”, as we take part in an active archeological dig, which is one of the most productive digs in the country! Near the end of the trip we will go to an IDF Army Base. We’ll have an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the youngsters who are serving in the Army today. We’ll also visit Tel Aviv, where we’ll sit in the actual place where Ben Gurion declared the state, in May, 1948, & then it’s off to the airport for our trip home. The cost of the trip is $3895 or $2965 for the land portion only. To sign up for the trip call Mark Silverberg at 570-961-2300 xt1. Questions? Call Barry Weiss, 570-650-0874 or Jay Weiss, 570-565-9515, or email bjtravel4@ gmail.com.
ISRAEL, 2013 Home to the World’s 3 Great Religions!
This journey will touch you spiritually, no matter who you are. Come and share an experience so unique, it will be like nothing else you’ve ever done!
June 6, 2013 Edition of the Reporter