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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania MARCH 27, 2014


Despite limited practical impact, BDS producing apprehension for pro-Israel academics By Maayan Jaffe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier in March that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (or BDS) movement against Israel will fail because various countries “are flocking to Israel” wanting Israeli technology. According to leading pro-Israel professors and academic leaders, on a practical level Netanyahu is correct. But that doesn’t mean BDS isn’t causing any apprehension. Ilan Troen, director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, tells that professors are now asking themselves, “Will the fact that I am Jewish – that I visited Israel – impinge upon the way I am perceived?” On the one hand, “We don’t see anything on the ground that one can say, ‘This is a result of the boycott,’” explains Prof. Rivka Carmi, president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Yet Carmi says that while there

Israeli Apartheid Week in May 2010 on the University of California, Irvine campus. (Photo courtesy of AMCHA Initiative) is no “open boycott,” there is “something underlying, something silent... It is creeping on you, it is insidious.” Moreover, there is increasing infiltration of BDS supporters in American academia, and local thought leaders say this could have a “long-term and heinous impact.” For example, the student government of Chicago’s Loyola University recently passed an Israel divestment resolution, while similar student

government resolutions at Arizona State University and the University of Michigan were tabled indefinitely. In April 2013, the Association for Asian American Studies voted to boycott Israeli and academic institutions. The American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association both followed suit last December. Soon, the American Anthropological Association will have the same debate on boycotting Israel. In January, the Modern Language Association delegate committee passed a resolution condemning Israel for alleged denials of entry for U.S. academics into the West Bank, though the group did not endorse a boycott of Israel. The actual effect of such efforts is minimal, said Brandeis’s Troen. Yes, there may be a doctoral student who is not admitted to a post-doctorate position when he was sure he would get in. There might be a keynote address that a fitting Israeli

Breakthrough Israeli brain-mapping technology was showcased at AIPAC conference By Maayan Jaffe It was one year ago February that President Barack Obama announced plans for a landmark effort to better understand the workings of the brain. It was seven years before then that a now-burgeoning company in Herzliya, Israel, began developing the ground-breaking brain mapping and imaging technology that will play a role in achieving the president’s goal by helping detect and manage a host of brain-related disorders and conditions. ElMindA’s Brain Network Activation (BNA) takes cognitive-electrophysiology to a new frontier, unparalleled by any other test. The breakthrough technology was exhibited at the 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference early in March 2-4. ElMindA was selected to exhibit its technology over hundreds of other Israeli companies. Ronen Gadot, CEO of ElMindA, explained in an interview with that the seeds for the company were planted 35 years ago, with the preliminary research done by Ben-Gurion University Professor Amir Geva, a graduate of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He said the BNA technology is based on non-invasive recordings of multi-channel electrocephalography (EEG) event-related potentials (ERPs), and a comprehensive multi-dimensional analysis of such recordings. The BNA algorithms use innovative sets of signal processing, pattern recognition, clustering and machine-learning techniques to seek and map activated neural pathways in task-related data points with respect to multiple dimensions, includ-

See “BDS” on page 8

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President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with ElMindA founder Ben-Gurion University Prof. Amir Geva (far left) and ElMindA CEO Ronen Gadot, during Obama’s visit to Israel in March 2013. (Photo by Kobi Gideon) ing time, location, amplitude and frequency. The BNA platform architecture is based on three elements: a data acquisition site, BNA analysis software, and cloud-based big-data management and reporting tools. “Such information can be vital to making progress against a host of disorders and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and Traumatic Brain Injury, and to improving health and well-being for hundreds of millions of people throughout the globe,” Gadot said. Today, two billion people suffer from brain-related disorders, including developmental problems (autism and ADHD,

for example), neurological disorders (brain injuries, epilepsy), mental problems and neurodegenerative disorders. But understanding these diseases and disorders can be highly complicated – because the brain is complicated, said Gadot. “The human brain is a highly complex multilayered organ composed of many billions of neurons, organized into complicated interconnecting neural networks. Typically, each neuron is connected to tens of thousands of other neurons through connections called synapses. Electrochemical signals that are passed between neurons through See “Brain” on page 6

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Bucharest theater

academic will not be invited to deliver. It may be more difficult to get a journal article published. But as long as “the loss of scientific contribution from Israel would be too harmful for the ultimate driving force of science and medicine,” collaboration with Israeli scholars will continue, said Abraham Zagen, an associate professor at BGU. Yet Dr. Samuel Edelman, director of the Academic Network of the Israel on Campus Coalition, said that in his role, he has heard many junior faculty members voice apprehension about being vocal in support of Israel on their campuses, out of fear that it could have an impact on their tenure or promotion. “This is all anecdotal,” Edelman tells “There are no statistics on whether or not there has been any conscious attempt to punish faculty for being pro-Israel. But this is a fear many faculty have voiced to me and that number keeps increasing.” Troen has seen a similar escalation in apprehension. “It makes people nervous,”

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Candle lighting March 28..........................................7:05 pm April 4............................................... 7:13 pm April 11.............................................. 7:21 pm April 14.............................................7:24 pm April 15..................................after 8:26 pm

Bucharest’s Jewish State Theater A new batch of children’s books Israel’s embassies close due to a survived wars, but it’s struggling feature Passover stories; recipes workers’ strike; Abbas says no peace PLUS to recover from a roof collapse. for the post-seder holiday meals. without Jerusalem; and more. Opinion...........................................................2 Story on page 9 Stories on pages 10-11 Stories on page 19 D’var Torah...................................................8


THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

a matter of opinion


If not insured now, then when? By Rabbi Lori Koffman What would you do if you saw someone drowning in a river? Or witnessed someone being torn limb from limb by wild beasts? Or if you stumbled upon someone who was under attack by armed robbers? Judaism is clear in its answer; you intervene to save them. The Jewish sages use these cases as the springboard to teach that we always have an obligation to save a life. Health insurance saves lives. That is why we have an obligation to try to reach every American who needs access to quality, affordable insurance, and to help each sign up through the new insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. Each and every one of us is fashioned in the image of God, and therefore every single life is infinitely valuable. And yet, as we all know, life – and disease – is unpredictable. The more than four million people who have bought private plans through the marketplaces so far understand this need for protection. They now have the life-saving benefits of insurance coverage. Moreover, they have the peace of mind knowing they will be able to access the care they need, when they need it. They can’t be denied coverage and it can’t be taken away. Up to 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions – including 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status. People don’t have to fear that their health insurance will be cut off once they reach an annual or lifetime limit on benefits.

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Preventive health care services – such as mammograms, birth control and immunization – are covered without added cost to the consumer; women are not charged higher premiums because of their gender; and approximately 60 million Americans now have, or will gain, expanded mental health and substance use benefits. There’s a problem, though: While enrollment continues to grow, many people still don’t know how, why or by when to get covered in the marketplace. That’s where we come in. We can help by encouraging people to explore their coverage options and choose a health plan that best fits their needs, or refer them to someone who can walk them through the process. Healthcare professionals, financial advisers and accountants can be especially helpful in telling others about open enrollment. No matter what you might have heard when the program first rolled out, the marketplaces are working well and individuals can find out everything they need to know by going to or by phoning 1800-318-2596. Through these resources, they can also learn if they qualify for federal financial assistance to help them afford private insurance, or if they are eligible to enroll in the Medicaid program. And while youth enrollment is outpacing all other age groups, it is especially important that we reach out to encourage more young people (ages 18-34) to enroll, not only because they help the economics of the insured pools, but more importantly because while youths often feel invincible, sadly we know that disease is age agnostic. Accessible, affordable health coverage isn’t just about health; it’s also about economic security. Each of us is equally deserving of access to health care – wherever and whenever we may need it – without risking our financial future or other basic needs. That’s where the “affordable” comes in. The majority of people without insurance today will be able to find a plan for $100 a month or less, although the marketplaces offer a variety of plans with different benefit levels with varying costs. The benefits of health coverage last a lifetime, but the window for signing up is closing. The enrollment period for this year ends on March 31. Save a life; spread the word. As Hillel, one of the greatest Jewish sages of all time, so aptly urged: “If not now, when?” Rabbi Lori Koffman is the founder and director of Mamash ( and a member of the National Board of the National Council of Jewish Women. In addition to a rabbinic degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, she holds an M.A. in political science from the University California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Obamacare offers health insurance, not healthcare By Matthew Brooks In March, the Obama administration reported on Obamacare’s enrollment numbers. Fewer people have signed up than the administration had hoped, especially among the young and healthy. For many people, even the previously uninsured, the choices in the Obamacare market are simply not what they’re looking for in a health insurance plan. It’s easy to understand why. Obamacare replaces a wide variety of market-determined plans with a limited number of plans containing narrow networks of doctors and hospitals and a required set of items covered. No more cheap catastrophic care plan for the young man in his first job. Families and businesses can’t choose an insurance plan that meets their circumstances and needs. Now the government sets the plans and the networks. The result is that cancer patients are losing access to the doctors and hospitals they rely on. Parents are losing their trusted pediatricians. And families may not have access to the hospital nearest to their homes. Consider this: In Georgia, one of the five insurers offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges has just one hospital in the entire state in its network. In California and New York, major plans exclude the world-class Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering. For those with serious and chronic illnesses, there is more terrible news. Many people are finding that their expensive, lifesaving medications are not covered under their new Obamacare plans. These narrow plans with narrow networks mean fewer choices, higher costs and difficult decisions for millions of Americans. Some families do pay less for their monthly premiums for Obamacare-subsidized plans. Many more working families, who earn too much to qualify for subsidized plans, are paying considerably more each month for their health insurance. But the monthly premium is not the only cost in a health insurance plan. Families are finding that their insurance won’t begin paying for care until they’ve spent $5,000, $10,000, or more of their own money toward the deductible first. And once the deductible is met, the co-insurance (the amount the plan pays) may be as low as 60 percent, leaving individuals to pay the rest of the bill for their care by themselves. Most plans in the previous insurance market had an “out-of-pocket” cap to prevent people from losing everything in the

event of a serious health problem. But in the Obamacare exchanges, some plans are offered with out-of-pocket protection only for care provided in-network. If you go to a doctor or hospital outside of your network, your insurance plan may pay nothing. People who rely on an expensive medication – for multiple sclerosis, severe rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV, for example – are seeing their medication costs skyrocket. If the medication is covered by their insurance plan, they may still have to pay 40 percent of the cost, or thousands of dollars a year, up to the out-of-pocket limit. If the medication is not covered, they must pay the full price and the cost does not count toward the deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Their expenses then are literally limitless. One of the most serious problems with Obamacare is that it mistakes health insurance for health care. Obamacare supporters pretend that if every person has a health insurance plan, then they are getting the health care they need. That is simply not true. As we have seen, a plan that doesn’t include your doctor or your medication doesn’t provide the care you need. But there is another serious problem quickly coming into view. For decades, poor people in this country have been eligible for Medicaid. The amount the government pays doctors to see Medicaid patients, however, is very low. At some point, when a doctor is not getting paid enough to cover the basic expenses of providing care, he or she will stop accepting Medicaid patients, or get out of medicine altogether. That is why, today, Medicaid patients can wait months for care, if they can find a doctor who will see them at all. Obamacare specifically expands Medicaid to a wider segment of the population. Young adults with low incomes and the children of low-income families may have Medicaid as their only choice in the Obamacare exchanges, based on family income. So far, enrollment in Medicaid has been more than half of the signups made under the new Obamacare rules. Who will provide care to those people? How long will they have to wait to see a doctor? In 2008, about 15 percent of Americans were uninsured. The Congressional Budget office projects that under Obamacare, in the years 2013-2023, the percentage of uninsured will never fall below 11 percent of the population. That’s not much of a change in health insurance rates, at the expense of more expensive, less accessible health care for millions more Americans. Matthew Brooks is the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Beating back the assault on Israel’s legitimacy By Jerry Silverman and Rabbi Steve Gutow NEW YORK (JTA) – Leaders of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement say they are protesting Israel’s policies in the West Bank. They are doing far more than that. BDS advocates routinely oppose a two-state solution and seek to delegitimize the sovereign, Jewish state of Israel. In some cases, BDS becomes the latest form of antisemitism. The BDS movement aims to isolate and punish Israel, using the same techniques applied to apartheid South Africa. Not hesitating to misrepresent facts and ignore context, these Israel bashers take advantage of ignorance and naïveté within civil society circles, mostly in Western Europe, to advance their anti-Israel agenda.

BDS advocates view the situation in the West Bank through a one-way lens, seeing only a single perspective. They cite, for example, the security checkpoints that make life difficult for Palestinians, but conveniently overlook the reasons for those checkpoints. They ignore the fact that hurting Israel’s economy would also hurt Palestinians who earn their livelihoods from Israeli-owned businesses. BDS backers don’t bother to protest the many countries that have horrific human rights records, instead singling out the world’s only Jewish state, often based on false or misrepresented information. A tipping point for the Jewish community’s response to BDS came in 2009 when a number of anti-Israel groups called for a boycott of the Toronto International Film

Festival because one of its themes was Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary. The Toronto and Los Angeles Jewish Federations joined forces and, with the involvement of major figures in the entertainment industry, fashioned an effective response. With calls for BDS escalating in the mainline Protestant churches, on college campuses and elsewhere, Jewish community leaders realize that the situation calls for more than an ad hoc approach: Local communities need a strategic approach with national support and coordination. In 2010, the Jewish Federations of North America, representing more than 150 local Federations, allocated significant resources so that the Israel Action Network could serve this purpose. The Jewish Council for See “Assault” on page 14

MArch 27, 2014 ■



community news Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld to lecture on “The New Antisemitism”

The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute has announced a lecture by Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld on the topic “The New Antisemitism” will be held on Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 pm, at Brennan Hall, at the University of Scranton. Rosenfeld, professor of English and Jewish studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1967 and has taught at Indiana University since 1968. He holds the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and is director of the university’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. He founded Indiana University’s Borns Jewish Studies Program and served as its director for 30 years. He has received Indiana University’s Distinguished Service Award and also the Provost’s Medal “in recognition of sustained academic excellence, vision and leadership, resulting in lasting and widespread impact,” according to the university. The editor of “William Blake: Essays” (1969) and “The Collected Poetry of John Wheelwright” (1972), he is also the author of numerous scholarly and critical articles on American poetry, Jewish writers and the literature of the Holocaust. Indiana University Press published his “Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel” (co-edited with Irving Greenberg) in 1979 and, in 1980,

ous scholarly journals, including Holocaust and published his “A Double Dying: Reflections Genocide Studies, as well as a board member on Holocaust Literature.” With his wife, Erna and scholarly consultant to various Jewish Rosenfeld, he translated Gunther Schwarberg’s institutions and organizations, including the “The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm,” a book on Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Nazi medical atrocities published by the Indiana Committee, the Lilly Endowment, the Wexner University Press in 1984. His “Imagining Hitler” Heritage Foundation, the Koret Foundation and was published by Indiana University Press in the Conference on Material Claims against Ger1985. He edited “Thinking About the Holocaust: many. He held a five-year presidential appointAfter Half a Century” (Indiana University Press, ment on the United States Holocaust Memorial 1997), a collection of articles by 13 scholars Council from 2002-07 and presently serves that includes his essay, “The Americanization on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s of the Holocaust.” His “The Writer Uprooted: Dr. Alvin Executive Committee. He is chairman of the Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature” appeared Rosenfeld Academic Committee of the Museum’s Center with Indiana University Press in 2009. His most recent study, “The End of the Holocaust,” was published in for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Additionally, Alvin is a member of Phi Beta Kappa April 2011 with Indiana University Press. In recent years, he has also written about contemporary antisemitism, as and the recipient of fellowship grants from the American “Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives,” an edited Council of Learned Societies, the National Foundation volume, appeared last spring. He is also editor of a series of Jewish Culture and the National Endowment of the of books on Jewish literature and culture, published by Humanities. He was awarded the doctor of humane letters Indiana University Press, as well as editor of IUP’s new degree, honoris causa, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in May 2007. He has lectured widely book series, “Studies in Antisemitism.” Alvin has served as an editorial board member of vari- in America, Europe and Israel.

Temple Israel of the Poconos to hold Adult Learning Institute Temple Israel of the Poconos has announced the Adult Learning Institute of Temple Israel will hold several courses. The temple is located at 711 Wallace St., at Avenue A, Stroudsburg. “Koffee Klatch” Parasha Study meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:40-11:50 am, and offers discussion and

Bais Yaakov news

Bais Yaakov production “When You Believe” called “great success” More than 120 people attended “When You Believe,” a play and musical production performed by Bais Yaakov High School of Scranton, together with the students of the Scranton Hebrew Day School, on February 8. The original play and lyrics to most of the songs were written by Adina (Laury) Turoff, an alumna of Bais Yaakov. The show was directed by Leah Laury, Turoff’s mother and a supporter of the school. The music was played by Hindy Pressmen and Patty Schwartz. The choreography was directed by Chavy Schwartz. Adina Leah Bilus, a 10th grade student, created the younger girls’ dance. Devorah Krycer, a 12th grade student, designed all of the costumes. Several girls from the day school helped with lights, props and curtains. Atara Raven was in charge of makeup and hair. Sue Severe prepared a meal for all of the attendees after the performance. Bais Yaakov students attend Mishmeres Yom Iyun Bais Yaakov students were among approximately 1,000 high school students attending the annual Mishmeres Yom Iyun, nationwide program that promotes guarding one’s speech, on March 4. The speakers were Rabbi Paysach Krohn and Rabbi Dovid Kaplan. The participants also visited Masbia Soup Kitchen, a kosher soup kitchen that provides 500 meals daily and 1,300 food packages for Shabbat. They volunteered for about two hours in packaging and cooking. They then saw the Chareidim Shmurah Matzoh Bakery, where they watched the process of hand-baking from beginning to end. The students were chaperoned by Leah Laury and Esther Elefant.

analysis of the weekly Torah portion. “How to make Cholent” is held on Fridays from 10:3011:30 am, and provides a demonstration on making the traditional Jewish stew. The program is followed by library reading hour in the TI Judaica Library. “Learn to Chant the Haftarah and Torah” is held on Tuesdays from 6:45-7:30 pm and teaches the cantillation markings that represent musical sounds while chanting melodies and prayers. The class is for men and women who would like to occasionally chant the haftarah or a selection of Torah from the bima/lectern, as well as those who have never had a bar or bat mitzvah. “Yiddish With Bernie” is held on Wednesdays from 5:30-6 pm. Taught by Bernie Driller, the program introduces and practices new Yiddish conversational phrases each week. “Hebrew Reading Crash Course” is offered on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm. From the Family Education Division, the program intends to help participants of all ages read Hebrew fluently in eight weeks. “Introduction to the Mishnah and Talmud” is held on Thursdays from 5:15-6 pm. The discussions revolve around selections from the Mishnah, Jewish oral law, and Talmud, the central text of Judaism. Rabbi Baruch Melman teaches the class, and promotes learning and understanding of Judaism, and its core values. “Family Education Bar/Bat Mitzvah Course” is taught on Thursdays from 6-6:30 pm for the families of young men and women who will be preparing for their bar or bat mitzvahs. Each week, prayers will be reviewed and cantillation will be practiced as a group. Individual sessions for private lessons specific to each participant’s Torah and haftarah portion will follow in smaller time segments from 6:30-6:45 pm, 6:45-7 pm, 7-7:15 pm and 7:15-7:30 pm. For a time slot, schedule the appointments directly with Melman at 570-421-8781 or www.templeisraelofthepoconos. org. The course is free for members and their families.

Fees for private bar/bat mitzvah tutoring can be discussed with Melman. For more information, call 570-421-8781, e-mail tipoc@ or visit

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition

Pennsylvania House of Representatives oppose boycotts against Israel By Hank Butler The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously supported a resolution opposing the American Studies Association’s efforts to boycott against the state of Israel and Israeli academic institutions. House Resolution 627, sponsored by Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Armstrong, Indiana and Jefferson counties), Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny County) and Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny County and former chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition), condemned

the ASA’s actions as “antisemitic and an intolerable form of bigotry.” The resolution calls on the Department of Education, the State System of Higher Education, each of the state-related universities and all of the commonwealth’s independent colleges and universities to reject antisemitism and not participate in the ASA academic boycott against Israel. House Resolution 627 passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously, 191-0, showing “a clear unified voice in opposition to antisemitism and bigotry, stressing the need for tolerance in the commonwealth and our society,” said

a PJC representative. In a recent press release, Turzai stated, “Universities are special places for open debate and a free exchange of differing ideas, but the American Studies Association believes differently. In a unified voice, the House of Representatives has declared academic bigotry and hatred won’t be tolerated in Pennsylvania. Universities should be building bridges of understanding, not gagging differing ideas. Academia should be engaging minds, not estranging them.” With the passage of House Resolution 627, each college and university in the

commonwealth will be informed of the resolution’s passage. “The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition and all of the Jewish Federations in Pennsylvania worked to move this resolution forward and show the strong voice that our state will not tolerate antisemitism and bigotry,” said a PJC representative. The PJC has thanked the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania for its continued support and efforts to help move the resolution forward in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Hank Butler is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition.

National Jewish Book Award winners share their personal stories By Fern Sidman It is once again awards season, and as such, Americans find themselves glued to their televisions and computers – imbibing a plethora of star-studded tributes, a maelstrom of images, and the gossip that accompanies it. Be it the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globes, the Grammys or the Academy Awards, there are always a host of films, recordings, and personalities to cheer on. But recognizing outstanding achievement in the world of the arts is not limited to musicians and heroes of the silver screen. Since time immemorial, Judaism has placed a high value on literacy, education and enlightenment. As the perennial “light unto the nations,” Jews have sought to impart their diverse ideas and philosophies to humanity in the form of books. Thus, history has been immeasurably impacted by Jewish scholarship. For the last 64 years, the Jewish Book Council has undertaken the task spotlighting the best of Jewish books and their authors through its presentation of the annual National Jewish Book Award. On March 5, the winners in nearly 20 categories of Jewish books were assembled at the Center for Jewish History in New York City for a celebratory gathering.

when Zionist youth movements Yossi Klein Halevi were shaping the lives of future “I feel an overwhelming sense generations of Jews, Halevi vivof gratitude,” Yossi Klein Halevi idly recounts his activist days in – veteran journalist and author the Jewish Defense League in the of “Like Dreamers: The Story 1960s and 1970s in his first book, of the Israeli Paratroopers Who “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist,” Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a written in 1995.  Nation,” which received the JewHis second book, “At the ish Book of the Year Award from Entrance to the Garden of Eden: the council – tells “After 12 years of research and writing, Yossi Klein Halevi A Jew’s Search for God with (Photo by Frederic Christians and Muslims in the I now have some closure.” Brenner) Holy Land,” from 2001, details “Like Dreamers” provides a his spiritual journey as a religious portrayal of the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers, some from the politi- Jew into the worlds of Christianity and cal right and others from the left, and the Islam in Israel. “Like Dreamers” has caught the atnexus of the 1967 Six-Day War that both simultaneously galvanized them and tore tention of book critics around the world and garnered several impressive reviews them asunder in so many respects. “I feel like I’ve been writing this book in major publications. “Halevi expertly employs a traditional since I was 17,” says Halevi, who was born journalistic form: he isolates seven parain 1953. “I wanted to give American Jews a deeper troopers from that ‘mythic moment’ and connection to this story of our nation; I reconstructs their lives, before and since, wanted to present the real story to them. to render a complicated history intimate, And who is my ideal audience? Someone human, relatable,” Jodi Rudoren wrote relike myself. If I hadn’t made aliyah, I would garding “Like Dreamers” for The New York still be as passionate about Israel as I was as Times in October 2013. “His meticulous, a youth growing up in Brooklyn,” he says, sensitive, detailed reporting – the book is the work of more than a decade – is incredibly with fervor reverberating in his voice. Spending his formative years in Brooklyn effective at making the small big.” in the shadow of the Holocaust and at a time Dr. Phyllis Chesler Dr. Phyllis Chesler – a second-wave feminist icon turned voice for Israel’s survival, and an advocate for women-only prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall – is another

Jewish Federation of NEPA

Phyllis Chesler and her ex-husband from Afghanistan, Abdul-Kareem. (Photo courtesy of Phyllis Chesler) Brooklyn native who was recognized with a National Jewish Book Award. Chesler’s “An American Bride in Kabul” – called a searing and powerful memoir of her youthful romance with a Westernized Muslim man from Afghanistan who she met while attending college in New York, and her subsequent captivity in his native Kabul – won in the “Biography, Autobiography, Memoir” category. Raised as an Orthodox Jew in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, Chesler rebelled at a young age. Her 15th book chronicles her harrowing experience of being held against her will by her husband and his devoutly Muslim family more than 50 years ago. Beyond the compelling narrative, however, reviewers have described the book as a “geopolitical time bomb,” as it also explores

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MArch 27, 2014 ■


Comedienne Jessica Kirson to perform at the Comedy Palace on April 26


Comedy Festival, Toyota Comedy Festival, Kirson has been known “to find humor in Marshall’s Women in Comedy Festival, Comeverything, especially herself,” according to edy Central’s South Beach Comedy Festival organizers. “No person, situation or thing is and HBO’s The Comedy Festival in Las Veimmune to her sense of humor.” Her stand-up gas. She has been featured on various televiroutines feature a variety of characters. sion shows, including “The View,” Comedy Kirson was voted Best Female Comic Central’s “Premium Blend” and “Fresh Faces,” by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” “Last Call and Clubs in New York City, and received Jessica Kirson with Carson Daly” and “The Tonight Show Night Life Award as the Best Stand Up comedienne in New York City. She will appear in a new with Jay Leno.” In addition to Kirson, two other comedians will perform, movie coming out in December with Nick Cannon and including Steve Leventhal, a Northeastern Pennsylvania George Lopez. Additionally, Kirson has performed at the Hamptons native. He has performed in comedy clubs, bars and private parties in the Northeast, including in New York City. He is said to be “looking forward to returning” to Northeastern Pennsylvania. Joining Kirson and Leventhal will be Raquel D’Apice. A comedy writer and comedienne, she has written for Slate, Readers Digest and the Huffington Post. She performs regularly in comic clubs in the New York and New Jersey areas. She has a blog on the Internet called “The Mostly Opera will present the program “A from Fromental Halévy’s “La Juive.” Cantor Ugly Volvo.” French Pastry” on Sunday, April 27, at 4 pm, at Marshall Wolkenstein will sing “Si la riguer,” the Committee members are Sharon Levy and Eric the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 550 Madison basso aria. “La Juive” (“The Jewess”) premiered Weinberg, patrons; Rich Mates and Joan Davis, publicAve., Scranton. “A French Pastry” will feature in 1836 and is the love story of a Christian man ity; Nancy Dressel, food; Esther Adelman and Barbara operatic scenes from French opera, such as the and a Jewish woman. The work has been seen Parker-Bell, table reservations; Mary Beth and Harry tomb scene from Charles Gounod’s “Romeo and by some as a plea for religious tolerance set in Adelman, set-up; Jerry Fragin, beverages; Abby Smith, Juliette,” starring Nicole and Dale Rideout; the France in 1414. invitations; Lynne Fragin, door; Sandy Cooperman, phone church scene from Gounod’s “Faust” with soprano For this performance, Mostly Opera will move squad; Kerry Gilbert, posters; and Chairmen Carol and Sarah Houck and baritone Chuck Unice; and act to the newly restored Covenant Presbyterian Jeff Leventhal. three of Jules Massenet’s “Werther” sung by DenChurch. “Mostly Opera is honored to perform For general, patron or table reservations, call either nis Fanucci, mezzo Abigail Zieger and Houck. Cantor Marshall here and we know our audience will delight in Temple Hesed at 570-344-7201 or Parker-Bell at 570-585In addition, Erik Sparks will perform the nine high this architectural masterpiece built in 1903,” said 1192 and leave a message. Credit cards will be accepted Wolkenstein Cs from “Le Fille du Regiment,” and he and Unice a Mostly Opera representative. “Its gothic quality and payment received will serve as a reservation. will sing Georges Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” duet. Bizet’s is a perfect showcase for our French composers.” For more information, visit or “Carmen” will be represented, with the letter duet sung by Tickets will cost $25 per person. There is parking e-mail the temple at Julie Ziavras and Sparks. The mezzo aria from “Samson and adjacent to the church and on the street, and the venue Delilah” will be performed by Ellen Rutkowski. Additionally, is handicap accessible. Checks can be made payable and Visit the bass baritone Gary Richards will sing one of Mephisto’s arias mailed to Mostly Opera, 142 N. Washington Ave., Suite Jewish Federation from “Faust.” 800, Scranton, PA 18503. Some rare pieces will also be presented, such as one For any questions, call 570-207-8410. on Facebook! Temple Hesed of Scranton will host comedienne Jessica Kirson at rhe Comedy Palace on Saturday, April 26, at the temple, 1 Knox Rd., Scranton. The event will begin with a cocktail hour starting at 7:30 pm, followed by the comedy program at 8 pm. General admission tickets will cost $25 per person, or $40 for a couple. Patron tickets will cost $50 per person. All ticket prices include snacks and desserts, as well as one beverage from the bar. Additional beverages of beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase. Snacks, drinks and desserts will also be available after the performance. Tables of eight can be reserved. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.

Mostly Opera program to feature French opera

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

Book review

Studying the laws of Shabbat: cooking and warming by rabbi rachel esserman When discussing scholarly books in this column, I’m usually referring to works published by university presses. The authors – who almost always have advanced degrees – approach their subject objectively, at least as defined by contemporary standards. However, there are other types of scholarly books that are equally interesting, at least for those of us fascinated by the intricacies of Jewish law. These works appeal to two audiences: those who study halachah (Jewish law) in order to follow the strictures of Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, and those who just enjoy exploring the many twists and turns of rabbinic logic. The recent “The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat” by Rabbi Mordechai Willig (Maggid Press) is a wonderful example of this type of scholarly work. It’s the second volume in The RIETS Halakhah Series, all of which are being written by staff of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theology Seminary of Yeshiva University. Willig, who is a professor of Talmud and contemporary halachah at YU, notes that anyone looking for quick answers will not find them in his book. Instead, his writing mines textural sources in order to discuss opinions offered by scholars throughout the ages. The work consists of two distinct parts: open it from the front and readers will find Willig’s English discussion of the subject, which consists of a 162page analysis of rabbinic arguments concerning cooking and heating on Shabbat. This is followed by a glossary and a list of sources cited. When opened from the back, there are 285 pages of primary sources (featuring the unvocalized Hebrew text) that the author refers to in his discussion. Readers are not only expected to have a basic understanding of the laws dealing with cooking/heating that stem from the biblical text (for example, Exodus 26:23, which forbids cooking on Shabbat, and Exodus 35:3, which forbids the lighting of fire on the Sabbath), but also to understand the two levels of halachic rulings (biblical prohibitions and rabbinic ones). For example, the biblical verses mentioned explicitly kindling a fire and cooking. The ancient rabbis extended this prohibition to forbid some activities that resemble cooking so that people won’t accidently transgress the law. Willig reviews a wide variety of subjects related to cooking and warming, with chapters focusing on such top-

ics as “Cooking after Cooking,” “Cooking after Baking,” “Pouring,” “Returning into the Oven,” “A Hot Plate” and “Timers.” While it’s impossible to replicate the discussions in a short review, it is possible to note some underlying questions. For example: ‹‹ To be considered cooking, must there be a physical change in the food, or is the method of cooking more important? Willig relates that while food cooked in a microwave has been changed physically, halachically it might not be considered cooked due to the fact that no actual fire was involved. This is based on the idea that food cooked by the sun, rather than fire, is allowed by the Talmud. ‹‹ There is a discussion about why food cannot be returned to an uncovered fire on Shabbat. Willig notes that scholars differ in their reasoning. Some worry that a person will forget it’s Shabbat and accidently stoke the coals (a forbidden activity). Others fear that returning something to the stove gives the appearance that one is cooking, which might lead people to transgress the prohibition.


these synapses allow them to communicate,” explained Gadot, noting that until ElMindA there was no way to properly analyze and explain these signals. Other tests, such as ImPACT evaluation, are affected by environmental (subjective) factors such as fatigue, hunger or other distractions, and can be “gamed” by the athlete taking them. MRIs take pictures, but even after applying “fancy techniques,” doctors can only look at how the brain is using energy and in what pattern. “It’s like a Google map,” Gadot elaborated. “If you look at a map, it will help you understand how to get from one place to another. But it does not show traffic, congestion. Looking at the structure of the brain is like looking at the map itself… Brain disorders cause a change in traffic, in flow of information. We are looking at the traffic.” Concussions are the most common brain injury, affecting as many as 3.8 million people in the United States, according to some studies. Given the great variability in symptoms and presentations, the clinical diagnosis of concussions is particularly difficult. Additionally, once a concussion is

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

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

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

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





Name (s) (as you wish to appear on our list of “FRIENDS”) _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:_________________________________________________________________________________________ __Check here if you prefer your name not to be published Please write and send tax deductible checks to Jewish Federation, 601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510

‹‹ The rabbis question whether or not performing an activity in the usual way is allowed. Willig shows that people are allowed to “place food on top of a hot pot [pan] on Shabbat,” even though this might heat the food or keep it warm because it “is not the usual manner of cooking,” meaning that people won’t mistake it for cooking and accidently perform a forbidden activity. However, there is some discussion as to whether or not this is allowed if the pan has been placed on the ground after being taken off the stove. “The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat” isn’t for the casual reader, but it does reward those searching for a deeper understanding of Jewish law. It would make an excellent text for a class, although it is written clearly enough for individuals to study on their own. Maggid Books is to be commended for offering this type of work in English: It allows those who are serious about Jewish law – but who may not be able to read the primary sources in Hebrew – to experience the process of halachic interpretation.

Continued from page 1 diagnosed, determining when the patient is clear to return to full activity is an even bigger challenge. “Until now… physicians tried to estimate it by looking at symptoms, at cognitive problems – slow reaction, attention issues. But sometimes while the symptoms would get better, the brain was not fully recovered. Growing evidence shows that going back to play or hitting the head before full brain recovery can cause permanent brain damage,” said Gadot. This past fall, 150 youth hockey players participated in an ElMindA clinical research study to measure changes in BNA during the sport season in both concussed and nonconcussed athletes as compared to preseason BNA baseline scores. In addition, the study correlated the BNA test score over the course of the hockey season in both concussed and non-concussed athletes to the current standard of care measures. The research was used much like an x-ray to tell not only when during the season a player had a concussion, but also when a player did not. Those results will be available this spring. Dr. Sarah Haecker, whose son, Hudson,plays hockey on a Minnesota team, pushed to launch the study in her hometown. In an interview with CBS, Haecker said her son was diagnosed with a concussion in the previous season and was back on the ice two weeks later. “If I could have had the ability to use this test or see this test last year after the hit, it would have been a huge relief to me,” she told CBS. “As a mom, it takes the pressure off of me to determine when I think he should be able to go back.” The BNA test takes about 40 minutes. Doctors can read and interpret the results instantly. ElMindA has tested 1,000 people in concussion research over the last several years, including hundreds with diagnosed concussions. “We have a much better sense of what is going on in people’s brains now than three years ago,” he said. ElMindA is working in conjunction with a group of top Israeli partners, including those in academia, neurotech companies and the government. It has partnered with some of the leading academic, medical and industrial partners in America, including Harvard Medical School, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Michigan, among others. The BNA technology is currently being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. “Our vision is that our brain health will take a more significant part in our general health,” said Gadot. “With assistance of tools like ours, we will be able to better monitor the health of our brain on a regular basis and develop better treatments.” Maayan Jaffe is a freelance writer based in Overland Park, KS. She can be reached at maayanjaffe@icloud. com.

Notice to our Pocono Readers 911 Emergency Management Services has been updating mailing addresses in Monroe County and Lehman Townships in Pike County. Please don't forget to notify the Federation so you will continue to receive The Reporter. Thanks, Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania

MArch 27, 2014 ■


Registration is open for The 26th Annual Teen Symposium on the Holocaust Open to area students in grades 8-12 from public, private, and parochial schools, the Teen Symposium program is offered from 8:50am-2:00pm at Marywood University on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 and Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The program is coordinated through the Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) of the Jewish Federation of NEPA & Marywood University. For information please contact Mary Ann Mistysyn at (570)961-2300 EXT#4 or send email to Choice of Tuesday, May 13th OR Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 Time:

8:30AM registration; 8:50AM sharp program begins; 2:00PM dismissal

Where: The University’s Sette La Verghetta Center for Performing Arts, 2300 Adams Ave. (Between Woodlawn & Seminary Streets) What:

The Teen Symposium on the Holocaust is a full day program that deals with the causes and effects of the Holocaust. It also provides an opportunity for participants to meet with survivors of the Holocaust and American GIs, who liberated the Nazi concentration camps. Sessions with survivors are the core of the day. Meetings with these witnesses bring insights and understanding that only such “living history” can bring to those who hear firsthand testimony.

Each day’s program will be held primarily in the Performing Arts Center on Adams Avenue, with breakout sessions in different buildings. The day will begin with two brief introductory sessions followed by the film, Children Remember the Holocaust. Breakout sessions follow, in which small groups will meet with survivors in classrooms. After lunch, attendees will return to the theater for the production of Lida Stein and the Righteous Gentile, followed by a guided audience discussion. The afternoon session is a 50 minute play that follows “ordinary” people from “ordinary” families caught up in the extraordinary political and social upheaval of the Nazi era. It focuses on the relationship between Lida Stein, a Jewish teenage girl, and her best friend Dora Krause, a German teenage girl. The play probes issues from the perspective of teenagers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who are swept up in life-altering decisions about friendship, politics and family loyalty in difficult times. The audience discussion that follows addresses two key aspects of the Holocaust era: the gradual intimidation and eventual segregation of the Jewish community from the larger society, and the characters, motivations and consequences of the decisions of friendly and non-friendly German adults and youth. It will also focus on peer pressure and its impact on decision making, family loyalty, personal responsibility, moral strength, and commitment. The only cost involved (mandatory) is lunch prepared by Marywood University’s food service. The cost is $6.00 for students and $8.00 for teachers. (Please note that teachers will be eating with their students). Registration begins on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of this notice, and will end when available spaces are filled. Participation requires adherence to the time schedule, which includes check in before 8:50AM. Registration deadline is April 9th with payment in full. Please be aware, and make your students aware, of the fact that the survivor they meet will have gone through one or more of many experiences in the Holocaust, but may not be a survivor of a concentration camp. School groups are divided so that participants from each school meet several people and can share what they learn upon returning to school.

Registration form may be faxed to 570-346-6147 or mailed to HERC, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton PA 18510. DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9th Please Fill Out Completely CHOOSE ONE & CIRCLE:

Tuesday, May 13th OR Wednesday, May 14th

[Please note: you MUST circle your choice and if you wish to bring groups on both days, please fill out separate forms] Lead Name__________________________________________________________________________________ Best contact phone for you_____________________________________________________________________ School Name________________________________________________________________________________ Grade Level_________________________________________________________________________________ Email______________________________________________________________________________________ School phone____________________________________ ext. #________________________________________ # Students:__________ @ $6.00 each = $_____________ # Teachers: _________ @ $8.00 each = $____________ CHECK TOTAL: $______________ [Checks should be made payable to: HERC (not Marywood) – in full by April 9, 2014 or the day of symposium] Names of all attending teachers: __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ Please note: We do not automatically assume a school is attending this year because they attended in past years – This form must be returned by the deadline of April 9th with your choice of date clearly marked. Thank you for your cooperation!



THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014


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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Celebrating life and freedom

by RABBI PEG KERSHENBAUM, CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM, POCONO PINES Tazria (Shabbat HaChodesh), Leviticus 12:1-13:59 Tazria is a Torah portion that is sometimes read in combination with another section from Leviticus, Metzora. This year, it shares its week with the special reading for Shabbat HaChodesh, from the book of Exodus. Often much is made of the rabbinic “take” on Metzora (someone manifesting tzaraat, a type of scaly affliction that shows up on people, cloth or houses). Our sages deduced that this affliction appears on those who bad-mouth others. According to Maimonides, until they repent, the affliction worsens, spreading from the walls of the house in which they dwell, as if their speech poisoned the atmosphere of their homes, to their clothing or furnishings to themselves, in worsening stages. Motzi shem ra, slander or “bringing forth a bad reputation,” sounds like Metzora; thus, one who is so afflicted is assumed to be suffering for his or – notably in the case of Miriam – her slanderous speech. This year, let us briefly examine Tazria (Leviticus 12-13) with the wonderful section read in honor of the beginning of the month of Nisan and the imminent arrival of Pesach (Exodus 12:1-20). Could there be a connection? The opening chapter of Tazria describes how a woman who has just given birth to a son or daughter must be purified. The sacrifices asked of her (a burnt offering and a sin offering) are similar to those required (in Metzora) of people who have had a discharge from their generative organs. What have these conditions in common? They seem to bring a person closer to a death-like state. Birth, in those days, was an event fraught with danger for mother and child alike. The blood and discharges, even though associated with bringing forth new life, were

powerful sources of miasmic and physical contamination. So, too, were seminal emissions (representative of the loss of potential life). Judaism celebrates life; we’re told to choose life. We toast one another, “L’chaim, to life!” We praise God as the source of life, and the commandment to preserve life outweighs almost all other commandments. When we were enslaved in Mitzrayim, we were not only brutalized and confronted with the danger of sudden death, we were surrounded by a culture that celebrated and monumentalized death. Although we did not build the pyramids, they were certainly a conspicuous part of our daily scenery. When God begins to set us free, it is not only from bondage that we are taken, but from that poisonous atmosphere. We are given the gift that a free people enjoys when God tells us that Nisan is to be the first of the months for us. As slaves, we did not control our time. The first mark of our freedom is to claim the calendar for our own and fill it with days of celebration of life and freedom and elevation of the soul. We are to associate freely with one another and make sure that every family is able to be included in celebrating that life of freedom. Before we take even one step out of Mitzrayim, we step away from its culture, values and influence. Later, we are told how to keep ourselves from being drawn into the stain of death, pollution and alienation from the Divine. The connection between our two Torah portions emerges from the value and methods of drawing near to the source of life, freedom and spiritual elevation. May we continue to embrace our heritage and preserve its values throughout our seasons of joy for years to come. May our actions help remove the stains of oppression, servitude and despair experienced by others in our world.


Continued from page 1

he says of BDS and its possible ramifications. In the case of University of California, Santa Cruz Professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, “nervous” is an understatement, she says. Benjamin describes that ever since she came out against the “implicit and explicit [antiIsrael] bullying that goes on,” she became “a pariah in my university and other campuses in California.” Students for Justice in Palestine put up flyers across the campus with Benjamin’s picture, terming her an Islamophobe. She was threatened with lawsuits and defamed in the student press for fighting antisemitism, objecting to the use of the classroom to promote BDS, and combating a campus climate that she feels is wrought with bullying tactics and harassment of Jewish students and faculty members. “On some campuses, it is impossible. Unless you don’t care about your job, you’ll shut up or even go along [with the anti-Israel movement],” Benjamin tells Josef Olmert, who teaches at the University of South Carolina, says he had a Jewish colleague inform him he shied away from teaching about Israel for fear that he would be accused of bias. Olmert, himself an international studies professor, was told he could not teach about the Middle East when he worked at American University. “I do not like to be spat at in the face and [be forced to] pretend it was a blessed rain,” says Olmert, who is originally from Israel. In response to growing tension, the ICC has created a national network of senior faculty, staff and administrators who are supportive of Israel on college campuses to serve as mentors for junior faculty and students, and to help advocate for them. Edelman says junior faculty can rely on these mentors to guide and support them in the tenure process. Students, meanwhile, are increasingly grappling with BDS. Benjamin, who has been tracking the impact of BDS on students for nearly a decade, says she has seen in recent years an increasing number of professors using the mantle of academic freedom to justify advocating BDS both on campus and directly to students in their classrooms. “I have students who have told me they think they were graded down because they expressed a sentiment about Israel different from the professors,” Benjamin says. “This is very difficult for the students. You don’t want to get a bad grade or ruin a relationship with a professor that you might need to write you a recommendation.”

Israeli Apartheid Week in May 2010 on the University of California, Los Angeles campus. (Photo courtesy of AMCHA Initiative) Anti-Israel bias is also not limited to traditional humanities courses, as some might think. Troen says he has seen examples of top chemistry professors or experts in Russian literature sounding off about how terrible Israel is. This has an impact on young people, he says. Student organizations are almost powerless against antisemitism and anti-Israel messaging in the classroom, according to Benjamin, because student groups don’t share the same legitimacy as the staff. “These faculty members are brazenly using their academic credentials to advance their purely activist agenda... Once that’s happened, it’s legitimated,” she says. In the short-term, “there is a growing sense of feeling uncomfortable” for the pro-Israel community on campuses, Olmert says. “Already college students are not as favorable toward Israel as the general population of the U.S.,” says Edelman. In the long-term? “Down the road, [current college students] are going to be our future leaders. Faculty has a huge impact on that,” Edelman says, adding that more Jewish community funding should be put into faculty education, including visits to Israel. “This needs to be addressed,” he says. “And if it is not addressed quickly, then we will have more and worse challenges down the line. We only have a short window to do this.” Maayan Jaffe is a freelance writer in Overland Park, KS. She can be reached at


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MArch 27, 2014 ■


In Bucharest, a Jewish theater struggles to cheat death once more By Cnaan Liphshiz BUCHAREST, Romania (JTA) – When secret police opened fire on protesters near her home, Maia Morgenstern headed for the Jewish State Theater. It was 1989 and Morgenstern, then 27, and a few of her friends took refuge in the theater as protesters outside clashed with forces loyal to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Hundreds died in two weeks of chaos that culminated with Ceausescu’s execution and the end of decades of communist tyranny. For Morgenstern and her friends, the theater was a natural destination amid the chaos. Between the bunker-like walls of its 19th-century building, Romanian Jews have historically found a rare space in which they could come together as a community even during their country’s bloodiest periods. “It was my second home,” said Morgenstern, who became the institution’s manager in 2012. “We went there because it offered us a sense of safety.” Throughout Romania’s tumultuous 20thcentury history, the Jewish State Theater

remained open and Jewish, providing the capital’s Jewish community an island of sanity and a sense of continuity through difficult times. More recently, the theater has become a cultural bridge, attracting large nonJewish crowds to its Yiddish-language performances, an unlikely development made possible by simultaneous translation technologies and Morgenstern’s star status. As an actress, Morgenstern has appeared in dozens of Romanian films and television shows and, in 2004, came to the attention of English-speaking audiences when she portrayed Mary in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” But the institution’s future was plunged into uncertainty recently after a snowstorm destroyed parts of its dilapidated roof and interrupted performances for the first time in decades. The theater is now mounting a campaign to repair the structure and ensure the institution’s survival. In February, a cast of 20 performed the comedy “Mazl Tov and Justice for All” on the street in front of the

At left: Nicolae Botezatu, seated, and the cast of Bucharest’s Jewish State Theater performed last y e a r. ( P h o t o by the Jewish State Theater of Bucharest)


At right: The roof of Bucharest’s Jewish State Theater collapsed under the weight of snow on January 25. (Photo by the Jewish State Theater of Bucharest)

theater to raise awareness about its plight. “This show is meant to be a warning to public opinion, but also for the authorities,” said a statement announcing the show. “Do not let a theater with a unique tradition and identity disappear from Europe’s cultural landscape because of carelessness.” The Bucharest city council has promised to repair the theater. Legally, it is required to do so, as the building is registered as a national monument. But Morgenstern is skeptical. She says the council had made repeated promises to upgrade the building before the accident, but nothing happened. Complicating matters is that the building was neglected for so long that merely repairing the roof won’t suffice. Morgenstern points to deep cracks that crisscross the ceiling, pillars and beams. The cost of fixing it all is estimated at several million dollars. “The building is so rundown that a renovation won’t do,” Morgenstern said. “It needs restoration, not renovation.” On January 25, about 80 square yards of the theater’s roof caved in under snow, producing a cascade of moisture that de-

stroyed the building’s old wood floor. The theater suspended shows, which had been running every other day. Before the roof collapse, the theater had a mostly non-Jewish cast that performed 70 percent of its shows in Yiddish before a predominantly non-Jewish crowd. Attendance jumped over the past year from 50 audience members a week to roughly 500. Staff say this was made possible by Morgenstern’s outreach to non-Jews and her celebrity status. Romanian leaders had long visited the theater on Jewish holidays as a gesture of closeness to the Jewish community. But Morgenstern wanted ordinary Romanians to come. She enlisted support from friends in the entertainment industry and launched a public relations campaign that helped raise the theater’s profile among non-Jewish patrons. Morgenstern also drew non-Jewish acting students to the theater, helping them hone their craft at a private acting academy. Some students began performing at the theater and are now part of the rescue campaign, See “Theater” on page 13



Of Northeastern Pennsylvania

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

A reminder: Don’t pass over the post-seder meals

By Helen Nash NEW YORK (JTA) – Planning Passover meals is always a wonderful challenge. For the seders, most of us focus on traditional family recipes because they are tried and proven, and because everyone likes them (and often asks for these favorites dishes). But what about the remaining six days of meals? They must be considered. Once the big seder meals are done, it’s nice to be able to eat healthy, simple and flavorful meals for the rest of the week. An abundance of vegetables, fruits, poultry, meat, fish and fresh herbs can be incorporated into cooking on Passover. Here are some recipes that I make on Passover because they are easy to prepare and provide flexibility as to when they can be served – not to mention they are quite delicious. Carrot-Ginger Soup Makes 8 servings The apple and the ginger give this creamy soup, which is made without any cream, a bit of a bite. The ingredients are always available, so you can serve it in any season at any temperature – hot, cold or room. I must confess, though, that I love it best when the weather is warm. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin Ginger Carrot Soup, a creamy olive oil 1 m e d i u m o n i o n , soup without using cream, can be served at any room sliced 2 garlic cloves, quar- temperature. (Photo courtesy Helen Nash) tered 1¾ lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced, plus 1 extra carrot for garnish 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced 5½ cups vegetable broth 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, apple and ginger, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Cool a little. Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return it to the saucepan. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. To prepare the garnish: Steam the remaining carrot until just tender and grate. Before serving, sprinkle each bowl with the grated carrot. Halibut Ceviche Makes 4 servings Ceviche is a refreshing appetizer that I make with fresh

fish marinated in lime juice. The juice “cooks” the fish in a very short time, allowing it to turn opaque and firm. It can be served on a bed of butter lettuce with slices of avocado. It’s a wonderful alternative to gefilte fish for an appetizer, or it makes a nice, light lunch. 1 lb. skinless halibut, cut into ¼ inch cubes Halibut Ceviche serves as an 1 tsp. kosher salt 1/ alternative to gefilte fish for 3 cup lime juice, plus an appetizer or light lunch. 2 Tbsp. 2 jalapeno peppers, (Photo courtesy Helen Nash) seeded, finely chopped 2 scallions, including the green part, thinly sliced ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves Freshly ground black pepper Butter lettuce Slices of avocado Place fish in a nonreactive bowl and season with salt. Pour juice over fish and press down so the fish is submerged in the juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until fish is opaque and firm. Drain off and discard the lime juice. Add peppers, scallions and cilantro to the fish. Just before serving add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chicken with Potatoes and Olives Makes 4 servings I am always pleased to come up with a dish that is a meal in itself, one that combines either chicken or meat with vegetables. This is one of my favorites. I bake it in an attractive casserole so it can go directly from the oven to the table. 5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 9 garlic cloves Kosher salt ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Leaves from 10 thyme sprigs Freshly ground black pepper 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each) 5 plum tomatoes 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, quartered ½ cup pitted black olives, quartered Preheat the oven to 450°F. With 1 tablespoon of the oil, grease a glass, ceramic or enamel-lined baking pan that can hold all the vegetables in a single layer. Coarsely chop 4 of the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and, using a knife, crush them into a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and combine it with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, half of the thyme leaves and pepper to taste. Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken

Temple Israel of the Poconos

711 Wallace Street at Avenue ‘A’, Stroudsburg, Pa. 18360

is proud to announce the first

Contemporary Family-Oriented

Second Seder Tuesday, April 15

• Doors open at 6:30 PM • With an early 7 PM Candle lighting for everyone to participate • The traditional reading of The Story of the Exodus from Egypt of The Hebrews begins at 7:15 PM • With Interactive Haggadah Readings for all participants • A Full Kosher Seder Dinner will be served for everyone $35 for Members of Temple Israel of the Poconos $45 for Non-members - Open to the Pocono Mountain Community $15 for University/College students - with University/College ID $10 for children under 12 Reservations: Please call Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, President TIPOC at 570-223-7062 or email

with the mixture and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water; bring the water back to a boil and drain. Core the tomatoes and slip off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. (Some seeds will remain.) Cut the tomatoes in quarters. Thickly slice the remaining 5 garlic cloves and spread them in the prepared baking pan along with the tomatoes, potatoes, olives, the rest of the thyme leaves and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until almost tender. Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Turn them over, spoon on some pan juices and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is slightly pink on the inside. Cover with foil for 1 minute. Roasted Cauliflower Makes 4 servings Roasting is an easy and delicious way to transform this reliable standby into a wonderful dish. 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lbs.) 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with foil. Cut the stalk and leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut the head into small florets. Place the garlic in the baking pan. Arrange the florets on top; drizzle with the oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender. Chocolate Meringue Squares Makes 3½ dozen squares These meringue squares are like cookies, but they are light, chocolaty and surprisingly low in calories. They can be presented as cookies or cut into individual squares and served with either sorbet or fresh fruit on the side. 1 Tbsp. unsalted margarine, for greasing the pan ½ lb. blanched almonds 6 oz. good-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces 8 large egg whites (see note below) 1 cup sugar Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with wax paper and grease the paper with the margarine. Chop the almonds in a food processor, in two batches, until medium-fine. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the chocolate in the processor until fine and combine with the almonds. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the balloon whisk attachment, beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the chocolatealmond mixture into the egg whites, making a motion like a figure eight with the spatula. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost dry. Cool on a wire rack. Invert onto a cutting board and peel off the paper. Cut into 1½-inch squares. Notes: It is easier to separate the eggs straight from the refrigerator, when they are cold. Make sure the whites have come to room temperature before beating. To freeze the squares, place them side by side in an air-tight plastic container, with wax paper between the layers.

MArch 27, 2014 ■


Max, Hannah and some frogs: Kids’ books bring new friends By Penny Schwartz BOSTON (JTA) – Frolicking frogs and magical matzah balls are featured in this season’s crop of new Passover books for children that are sure to engage, inform, entertain and inspire. David A. Adler, author of the popular early reader “Cam Jansen” series, offers “The Story of Passover.” Adler is highly acclaimed for his David A. Adler in “The Story straightforward narrative of Passover” provides littlestyle in non-fiction books, known answers to some including dozens on Jew- intriguing questions. (Photo ish holidays. He says he courtesy Holiday House) likes to appeal to readers of any Jewish background, whether from traditional, observant Jewish families or those who are interested in learning about Passover. “I like my books to be open and acceptable to all,” Adler tells JTA. With his author’s note on the seder, Adler offers littleknown answers to questions that can spark the curiosity of a broad audience. Other titles this year include “Frogs in the Bed,” offering an engaging book version of a lively Passover song, and “Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls,” which provides a delightful spin on a familiar folk tale. Passover, which this year begins on the evening of Monday, April 14, provides an endless source of inspiration for writers of children’s books. Among the dozens that line library shelves, some recount the biblical Exodus, while others retell Jewish folktales or tales of Elijah the Prophet, who figures so prominently in the seder. Contemporary stories depict families celebrating Passover, and activity books and children’s haggadahs promise to engage kids with puzzles, songs and jokes through the long night of the Passover seder.

The winner of the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award for young readers given by the Association of Jewish Libraries is a Passover story, “The Longest Night,” by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Catia Chien. The beautifully illustrated book is told in poetic rhyme from the perspective of a young girl as if she were an Israelite slave living through the Exodus from Egypt. The following is the new crop of children’s books for Passover: “The Story of Passover” by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House $15.95); ages 4-8 The story that is retold at the Passover seder begins 3,000 years ago in the biblical days of Jacob as he settles in Egypt. Readers learn how the Israelites become slaves, and follow Moses as he is raised by Pharaoh’s daughter in the palace and later as he leads the Israelites out of Egypt. Weber’s detailed illustrations evoke the color palette and landscape of ancient Egypt . She gently conveys the suffering of the Egyptians through the plagues and the triumph of the Israelites in a fantasy-like drawing as they cross the Red Sea into freedom. “Frogs in the Bed: My Passover Seder Activity Book” by Ann D. Koffsky, based on the song by Shirley Cohen Steinberg (Behrman House $7.95); ages 4-7 Young kids will have fun with the frolicking frogs in a book that also includes a comic book story and activities for before or during the seder. Koffsky’s colorful, cartoon-like illustrations animate the song. Cute frogs turn up everywhere Pharaoh goes. They also pop up out of chandeliers and juggle fruit. The book includes the Four Questions, as well as mazes and other seder-related distractions. An easy set of instructions with shapes to trace lets kids make their own jumping froggy. The sheet music is included. “The Littlest Levine” by Sandy Lanton, illustrated by Claire Keay (Kar-Ben $7.95); ages 3-8 Hannah Levine is not happy about being the littlest (and youngest) one in her family, with two older siblings who do all the things she isn’t allowed to do yet. Her grandfather,

P A S S OGreetings V E R Deadlines: April 2 (April 10 issue)


Passover is traditionally a time for sharing with family, friends and strangers. While your seder table may not be large enough to fit all these people, you can share the warmth of this holiday with the entire local Jewish community by placing a Passover greeting in The Reporter. You may choose from the designs, messages and sizes shown here - more are available. You may also choose your own message, as long as it fits into the space of the greeting you select. (Custom designs available upon request.) The price of the small greeting is $18 (styles C, E & F), the medium one is $36 (styles A, B & D) and the largest one (style G) is $72. To ensure that your greeting is published, simply fill out the form below and choose a design that you would like to accompany your greeting, or contact Bonnie Rozen at 1-800-779-7896, ext. 244 or Checks can be made payable to The Reporter and sent to: The Reporter, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY 13850.

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who lives with the family, keeps reassuring her, “Your holiday is coming, my littlest Levine.” As Passover nears, he makes her feel special, teaching her the Four Questions. When it’s time for the seder, Hannah is ready to enjoy the spotlight. This charming intergenerational story will strike a chord for many kids In “The Littlest Levine,” young and may help those who Hannah prepares for her are a tad reluctant to re- moment in the seder spotlight cite the Four Questions. with her grandfather. (Photo Keay’s brightly colored courtesy Kar-Ben Publishing) illustrations are active, warm and upbeat. “Max Makes a Cake” by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Random House $17.99); ages 3-7 Max is ready for Passover.The endearing young boy knows the Four Questions and can tell his baby sister why Passover is different from all other nights. He’s also eager to bake his artist mom a Passover birthday cake. But with the baby in the house, his dad gets a bit distracted. Losing patience and with little time to spare, the ingenious young fellow takes matters into his own hands. He creates a memorable cake all by himself. The recipe for a “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry Cake” is included. Santoso’s bright, lively illustrations place readers right in the action. “Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm” by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Maryam Tabatabaei (Albert Whitman $16.99); ages 4-7 In Jewish folk tradition, Chelm is known as a makebelieve town filled with naive fools who, despite themselves, manage to impart wisdom with a huge dose of humor. In this story, Linda Glaser gives a Chelm spin to

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

For Stan Fischler, “The Hockey Maven,” it’s all about the game – and Israel, too

By Hillel Kuttler UNIONDALE, NY (JTA) – As the Boston Bruins buzz the Islanders net throughout the opening period of a game at the Nassau Coliseum, Stan Fischler is standing 10 feet behind the Plexiglass to the left of New York goaltender Kevin Poulin. Fischler, a hockey broadcaster for four decades, can feel the rattling boards of forechecking Bruins. There’s no place he’d rather be. Providing New York-area hockey fans with a bird’s-eye view and expert analysis is what Fischler, 81, has done on broadcasts of Islanders, Rangers and Devils games. He’s had a love affair with the sport since he was introduced to it quite by accident as a 7-year-old growing up in Brooklyn. The hockey community in New York has returned the fondness, notably when the younger of his two sons, then a teenager, was critically ill with a heart malady. “The Hockey Maven,” as Fischler has long been known, has a love affair, too, with Israel. He and his wife, Shirley, visit there each summer. And their younger son, Simon, now 35, lives on Kibbutz El Rom in the Golan Heights and blogs on diplomacy while also writing for Fischler’s hockey newsletter. Simon, not surprisingly, taught the sport to his children at the ice rink in nearby Metulla. He recalls his father asking him when he was 8 to find Israel on an atlas. The boy couldn’t, so dad pointed it out. “That was one of my earliest memories: This is our land,” said Simon, who lives on the kibbutz with his wife and three children. “I thank him every day for it because I am extremely proud of my Jewish national heritage. It’s why I live in Israel.” Fischler says his mother, Molly, losing nearly all her relatives in the Holocaust in the former Czechoslovakia helps explain why his support of Jewish causes “revolves around the security of Israel.” It was his mother – “Malka Devorah, I love that name; it’s very lyrical,” he says – who introduced 5-year-old Stan, her only child, to spectator sports, a Brooklyn Dodgers game they attended at Ebbets Field. But two years later it was his father, Benjamin, who would bring Fischler to his first hockey game. They were intending to see “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” but emerging from the subway into torrential rain at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue, where

Stan Fischler is flanked by producer Glenn Petraitis, left, and co-host Peter Ruttgaizer at the Nassau Coliseum set of their pregame and postgame shows. (Photo by Hillel Kuttler) Madison Square Garden then stood, the plans changed. “Forget it,” said Benjamin, a big-time sports fan, in spurning the film, Fischler recalled. “We’ll go to the game.” The Rangers’ minor league team, the Rovers, was taking on the Washington Eagles, and the bawling boy was hooked. After each Rovers game, Fischler would write a recap in his souvenir program. A hockey writer was born. Several years later, at 10, Fischler first saw the real Rangers play. A sign in the Garden’s rotunda touting hockey as “The Fastest Game in the World,” along with the “magical brew” of indoor ice, sticks and skating, “really made an impression on me,” Fischler said. Fischler would handle public relations for the Rangers, then work 20 years as a newspaper reporter before moving into broadcasting, first for the World Hockey Association’s New England Whalers and then the New York-area teams in the National Hockey League. The opinionated broadcaster has won multiple Emmy Awards and, in 2007, the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy for advancing American hockey. His love and knowledge of the game are apparent in the pregame and postgame shows he co-hosts for the New York area’s NHL teams on the MSG Network. His producer, Glenn Petraitis, says Fischler has retained “the passion of a young person. He obviously lives, eats and sleeps hockey,” Petraitis said. “He’s a passionate sports fan.” Fischler just had his 100th book on the

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sport published. “We Are the Rangers” is an oral history of the team that tugged at Fischler’s heart as a boy growing up in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Some of the books were co-authored with Shirley, with whom he lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (Their elder son, Ben, lives in Portland, OR.) His subjects have included Hall of Fame players such as Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Stan Mikita and Rod Gilbert. Others have been on coaches, teams, great moments and rivalries. Fischler also has written wellreceived books on New York’s transit system and the old trolley lines in Brooklyn. The epilogue of the new book tells of Simon needing a heart transplant in 1993. Fischler writes of the Rangers’ then-coach and goalie, Mike Keenan and Mike Richter, visiting his son – a diehard fan of the Islanders, the Rangers’ bitter rivals. Unwritten was what Gilbert told JTA: He


and grapples with the history of the Jews of Afghanistan, the genesis of contemporary terrorism and the hitherto unknown mysteries shrouding Islamic fundamentalism. Asked why she decided to share her story so many decades later, Chesler intimates that this chapter in her life had served to forge her eventual dedication to feminism that defined her life’s work. “Afghanistan and its people seem to have followed me into the future and right into the West,” she tells “Islamic hijab (headscarves) and niqab (face masks) and burqas (enveloping out garment) are here in America, on the streets and in the headlines.” Chesler says she does not oppose the hijab, but does oppose burqas. The author noted the “eerie coincidence” that Afghanistan “is the country where I was once held hostage; it is the country which sheltered [Osama] Bin Laden after he was exiled from Saudi Arabia and Sudan; he hatched his 9/11 plot in an Afghan cave,” while now “the entire civilian world is being held hostage by Al-Qaida and Al-Qaida-like jihadists. “Israel and the Western democracies are all up against tribal cultures whose values are very different from our own,” Chesler says. “It is crucial for us to understand what

also had come to the hospital, where he and Simon, sitting alone, discussed hockey and prayer. That evening, an emotional Fischler phoned Gilbert, a friend since the player’s debut in 1960, with the news that a donor heart had become available. “Call it coincidence, call it energy or whatever you want,” Gilbert said. “I was very grateful that he did successfully get a transplant.” Told of Gilbert’s comments, Fischler says the visit came when Simon’s condition was dire. “I did attach something positive to Rod Gilbert’s visit. Rod was basically doing some preaching, some talking about getting through his [own] medical experiences,” Fischler said. “When you’re in a situation like that, you welcome any source of hope.” Another source was praying at the family synagogue on West 110th Street. The crisis wasn’t discussed on-air. Viewers tune in to hear Fischler opine and inform on hockey – the sport he adored alone among his childhood pals in Williamsburg. Fans strolling the Nassau Coliseum concourse during the Islanders-Bruins game stopped by the white picket fence delineating the set where Petraitis, Fischler and the broadcast’s other co-host, Peter Ruttgaizer, ply their trade. They seek out Fischler to banter, ask questions and pose for photographs. “You turn on MSG and there’s Stan,” said Kyle Hall, 25, after taking a picture with Fischler. “I only know things are true if Stan says so. He’s knowledgeable.” Preparing for the pregame show, Fischler says, “It never stops being exciting because you never know what’s going to happen from game to game.”

Continued from page 4 those differences are.” Chesler is no stranger to taking on controversial subjects in her writing. Her first book, “Women and Madness,” was published in 1972 to critical acclaim and sold close to three million copies. Her other books include bestsellers such as “Women’s Inhumanity to Women” (2002), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), “The Death of Feminism” (2005) and “Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody” (2011). Sharing her initial feelings on learning that “An American Bride in Kabul” had been honored by the denizens of the Jewish literary world, Chesler says, “I was pleased, proud, satisfied and very surprised. Then, I felt as if I truly belonged to the ages, not just to this age. But me? The rebel girl from Boro Park had a place there, too? Now that I’ve received the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, together with so many other truly distinguished authors, I feel daunted, sober. I feel the weight of responsibility even more. “And so, my people have claimed me as one of their own,” she says. “When I speak, I represent us – all of us, those with whom I agree, those with whom I wrestle. I hope to speak softly, modestly, respectfully, clearly and with strength.”

MArch 27, 2014 ■


New Ritz bacon-flavored crackers may taste treif, but they’re kosher By Adam Soclof NEW YORK (JTA) – Ritz has a new bacon-flavored cracker hitting shelves – with kosher certification. The signature O.U.-Dairy symbol appears on the box of the Nabisco nosh. “There was much discussion over the decision about this product,” acknowledged Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union Kashrut Department. “The reality is there’s nothing close to bacon in this product. There are artificial bacon flavorings that give the ‘bacon flavor.’ “Nobody’s going to think this is actual bacon,” he added, noting the packaging, which has the words “Artificially Flavored” in large type right below the word “Bacon.” At least one reviewer, however, says the cracker tastes like the real thing. “These actually taste too much like

bacon,” commented Rina Raphael, style editor for NBC’s “Today” show, who sampled the new Ritz flavor before they hit shelves. That’s not the sort of claim the people at the kosher certification agency can verify. “We’re not in any way saying that it tastes like the real thing,” Elefant said. “That’s not at all what our certification represents.” Kosher imitation-bacon products may be rare, but they aren’t new. Elefant vaguely recalled another bacon-flavored product that nearly lost its O.U. certification for not printing the words “imitation” or “artificial” prominently enough on the packaging. Ultimately, though, the manufacturer addressed the O.U.’s concerns. Jeffrey Yoskowitz, who runs the website Pork Memoirs though he does not eat pork, pointed to beef fry, a postwar


giving interviews to local and international media. “I think it would be a tragedy for all Romanians if this place is lost,” said Irina Varius, an 18-year-old, non-Jewish acting student who rehearses at the theater every day. During the Holocaust, the theater’s importance grew for Bucharest’s Jews because it was the only Jewish cultural institution left standing. It was also the only venue open to dozens of Jewish actors, among them some of the greatest names in Romanian theater. Artists like playwright Moni Ghelerter and director Alexanderu Finti had been barred from working elsewhere because of racist laws passed under Romanian leader Ion Antonescu. About half a million Romanian Jews perished in the Holocaust, but Bucharest’s 100,000 Jews were never deported or harmed. “Throughout the Holocaust era, Jewish theater professionals continued to work at the Jewish theater, turning the theater into a pillar of civil society for Jews,” according to Liviu Rotman, a Jewish historian at the National University for Political Science. The theater was originally established in the city of Iasi and is among Europe’s earliest Yiddish-language institu-

Bucharest’s Jewish State Theater served as a cultural refuge for Romanian Jews during the Holocaust. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons) tions, according to Rotman. The theater’s current building in Bucharest served as a Jewish community center until 1941, when it became the home of the Jewish theater, later renamed the Jewish State Theater. For the moment, rehearsals for planned shows continue


pork alternative, and Bac-Os Bits, certified kosher in the 1990s. He also cited the J&D product line of bacon-flavored mayonnaise and salt that bear the O.U. symbol. “There seems to be a whole industry of kosher-certified bacon flavors,” Yoskowitz said. But Yoskowitz says he won’t be sampling the new crackers. “This is a particular type of American item I don’t want to be a part of, specifically because of the artificial flavoring,” he said. “I’d rather have beef bacon or lamb bacon on a cracker.” He also has a specifically Jewish objection. “To see a Jew eating kosher bacon-flavored crackers is just as confusing as a Jew walking into a non-kosher restaurant,” Yoskowitz said. See “Ritz” on page 16

Continued from page 9 in rooms unaffected by the roof collapse. The result is a soundtrack that combines rejuvenation with decay as the sounds of wind and water gushing in through the roof mix with the young voices of actors trying to wrap their tongues around Yiddish songs they barely understand and may never get to perform. Theater leaders hope the shows might still be staged at temporary venues. “Like the Jewish people, the theater must remain practicing – even in exile,” says Andrei Munteanu, the theater’s Moldova-born director. Under Ceausescu, the building was condemned as part of his plan to modernize Bucharest. Shortly before his ouster, he sent bulldozers to destroy other monumental buildings around the theater, including a synagogue and an Orthodox church. Rotman believes Ceuasescu planned to demolish the theater, but didn’t get to it in time. But to Morgenstern, the theater’s survival 25 years ago means it can cheat death once more. “During the revolution, we came here amid heaps of earth and craters all around,” she recalled. “The theater towered above the ruins like a sole survivor of a bombardment. It’s got one more narrow escape in it yet.”

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

If Your Goal is to:

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Make a quick & easy gift Simply write a check now

An income tax deduction and immediate charitable impact

Avoid tax on capital gains securities Contribute long-term appreciated stock or other 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 Receive guaranteed fixed income that is partially Create a charitable gift annuity tax-free

A charitable deduction plus no capital gains tax

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 Give your personal residence or farm, but retain life use

Name a charity as the beneficiary of the remainder of the retirement assets after your lifetime

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Create a charitable gift of future interest, called a retained life estate

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Exemption from federal estate tax on donations Current & future savings on income taxes, plus fixed, stable payments

Make a large gift with little cost to you Contribute a life insurance policy you no longer need or Current & possible future income tax deductions purchase a new one & designate a charity as the owner Receive secure, fixed income for life while avoiding Purchase a charitable gift annuity or create a charitable Tax advantages & possible increased rate of return market risks remainder annuity trust Give income from an asset for a period of years Create a charitable lead trust Federal estate tax savings on asset & income tax but retain the asset for yourself or your heirs deductions for 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 Full control of the trust terms during your lifetime living trust

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

NEWS IN bRIEF from the U.S. From JTA

Obama administration not appeased by Yaalon clarification

A statement from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon clarifying his attack on U.S. foreign policy did not appease the Obama administration. “We are disappointed with the lack of an apology from Defense Minister Yaalon’s comments,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said on March 21. “His comments, as we’ve stated a couple times, don’t reflect the true nature of our relationship with Israel.” Psaki’s remarks to reporters came a day after Yaalon in a statement said that his earlier comments “had no defiance or criticism or intention to hurt the United States or its relations with Israel.” Yaalon earlier that week had charged the Obama administration with conveying “weakness” overall in its foreign policies and said he did not have confidence in U.S.-led nuclear talks with Iran. “At some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better,” Yaalon was quoted as telling a Tel Aviv University symposium that was closed to the media. Psaki made it clear on March 21 that the matter was still open. Speaking of John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, and Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense, she said, “They very clearly expressed their displeasure with the comments and an apology would be a natural next step in response to that.”

Baltimore Jews turn out to protest murderer’s bid for new trial

Some 200 Baltimore Jews attended a hearing to protest the possible release of a man who was convicted of murdering an 11-year-old Jewish girl in 1969. Attorneys for Wayne Stephen Young, 68, are requesting a new trial based on a 2012 ruling by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the state’s highest court, which found that many convictions before 1980 are invalid because jurors were given unconstitutional instructions, the Baltimore Sun reported. Dozens of people convicted prior to 1980 have been set free due to the ruling. Young was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Esther Lebowitz and has been denied parole 12 times. He claimed during his trial that he was temporarily insane. Esther was missing for two days before her body was found about a half a mile from her home. She died from 17 blows to the head. “It would be a travesty of justice to allow a murderer that confessed to doing such horrible things to be freed,” Frank Storch, a cofounder of the Northwest Citizens Patrol, told the Sun. Storch organized buses to shuttle the Baltimore Jewish community members to the courthouse for the March 20 hearing. He said he was 12 when Esther was killed and recalls well the search for her, the Sun reported. Her family, which has since moved to Israel, did not attend the hearing, though they reportedly were aware of it. Baltimore Circuit Judge Edward Hargadon said he would issue a written opinion in the coming weeks. Young did not speak at the hearing.

USC Shoah Foundation to honor Obama

The USC Shoah Foundation will recognize President Barack Obama with its highest honor. Film producer Steven Spielberg, the institute’s founder and a trustee at the University of Southern California, will present Obama with the Ambassador for Humanity Award “for his global efforts to protect human rights, his commitment to education and expanding educational technology, and his work advancing opportunities for all people,” the foundation announced on March 21 in a statement. Obama will serve as the featured speaker at the foundation’s 20th anniversary gala on May 7. In the statement, Spielberg noted the president’s recent appointment of the first special envoy for Holocaust survivor services in the United States and said it “demonstrates his staunch commitment to honoring the past while building a better future.” Spielberg established the Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education after completing the Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List” to collect and preserve the video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies in 34 languages and from 58 countries make the foundation’s archive one of the largest digital collections of its kind in the world.

Madoff says his scheme was not betrayal of the Jews

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff said in a prison interview that he does not feel he “betrayed the Jews.” Madoff, 70, is serving a 150-year sentence at the medium-security federal prison

in Butner, NC, for a scheme believed to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history – one that affected a disproportionate number of Jewish individuals and organizations. “Religion had nothing to do with it,” Madoff told Politico in an interview published on March 20. “I don’t feel that I betrayed the Jews, I betrayed people. I betrayed people that put trust in me – certainly the Jewish community. I’ve made more money for Jewish people and charities than I’ve lost.” Madoff told Politico that he attempted to recover money for his victims and it has largely gone unacknowledged. He said the information he shared with Irving Picard, the trustee charged with overseeing the recovery and distribution of money lost in the Ponzi scheme, has been critical to Picard’s ability to collect the money. “Everybody thinks the worst of me,” Madoff said. “The only thing I’m happy about is I was able to help people recover.” The investment advice he offers is not to invest in the stock market. Madoff, who sees a prison psychiatrist once a week, said he has “nothing to repent for. I already knew what I did was wrong.” He also said, “I don’t believe I’m a bad person.” Madoff said the loss of his family, who have had nearly nothing to do with him since the scheme became public, is “more punishment than being incarcerated.” His son, Mark, committed suicide in December 2010 at 46. He said he suffers from kidney disease and not cancer, as has been reported, and takes about 14 medications, which he did not do before entering prison. Madoff had a heart attack over the winter; a stent was inserted to open a blocked artery.

WWII re-enactment group apologizes for Nazi restaurant party

A Minneapolis man who organized a World War II party with actors dressed in SS uniforms at a restaurant draped in Nazi flags issued a public apology. Scott Steben issued the apology on March 19 on behalf of a World War II re-enactment group. Photos of the Jan. 20 event at a German restaurant in northeast Minneapolis went viral the week of March 18, causing a backlash against the restaurant, Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit, and its owner. “On behalf of everyone who participated in a World War II re-enactment dinner last January, I apologize,” read a statement issued by Steben and published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We understand that some of the items we displayed at the dinner have made people feel uncomfortable. That was not our intent.” Steben said his group is “a historical re-enactment and professional actor society” that is “dedicated to promoting understanding of World War II. ...In no way are we or any of our members affiliated with groups that promote the subjugation of anyone. All our members value education, equal rights and the complex relationship between good versus evil,” the statement said. Steben, who has played a German soldier in two films, said the group is reviewing its practices, “so that in the future our members will be more mindful of the unintended effects of the materials we display.” The photos of the event that made the rounds on the Internet were taken and distributed by a restaurant staff member who was recently fired, according to the Star Tribune. The party has been held annually at the restaurant for the last six years.


Public Affairs – with its 16 national member organizations, including all four of the religious movements, and 125 Jewish Community Relations Councils, which work with non-Jewish coalition partners on a range of international and domestic concerns – was the JFNA’s obvious partner. One principle that guides this work is that we should understand our audiences. And when we speak with others, we should do so with a respect for the sensitivities of that constituency so that our important messages are authentically heard. Whether on a campus, in a church or speaking with an LGBT group, we should always be clear that we stand as partners, sharing the goal of a future with peace and security – not one of conflict and BDS. Experience and research demonstrate that what works best with these audiences – mostly made up of political and religious progressives – is not an all-good-vs.-all-bad characterization of Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, a more nuanced narrative is the one that is likely to defeat the one-sided and hostile stance of those seeking to delegitimize Israel. This means honestly conveying the situation’s complexity, expressing empathy for suffering on both sides (without implying moral equivalency) and offering a constructive pathway to helping the parties move toward peace and reconciliation based on two states for two peoples. Whether we are dealing with a boycott of Israeli academic institutions adopted by the American Studies Association or an attempt to remove Israeli products from a Brooklyn food co-op, the most effective opponents of these initiatives are the people who travel in those circles. While we in the organized Jewish community should not remain silent in the face

Continued from page 2 of Israel’s delegitimization, we should strongly support and accentuate the efforts of these third-party validators who share our values and viewpoints. The 247 (and counting) universities and colleges that have denounced academic boycotts generally – and academic boycotts of Israel specifically – are just such validators. It is not enough to only expose the true goals of the boycotters and their allies. Israel’s supporters must also go on the offensive and drain the swamps of ignorance that allow the poisonous ideas of the Jewish state’s opponents to incubate. Thus, we are taking the initiative to inoculate vulnerable politically progressive sectors, presenting a more factual perspective on Israel and taking prominent leaders to the region to see the real situation firsthand. The Israel Action Network, of course, does not work alone in this arena. On a daily basis, numerous organizations stand up for Israel. Through the IAN, JFNAand JCPAare working together to convene around a common strategic planning table not only our affiliates, but also a range of other North American, Israeli and European groups in order to share best practices and coordinate our collective resources in confronting this global danger. There is no imminent threat to the critical and broad North American support for Israel. But American support for Israel is not something to be taken for granted in light of the organized campaign we now face. While should not be panicked, we cannot be complacent either. We pledge to continue to work hard to prevent any erosion of that support. Rabbi Steve Gutow is president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Jerry Silverman is president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America.

MArch 27, 2014 ■



NEWS IN bRIEF from the arts From JTA

German panel: Jewish heirs won’t get back art treasures

A collection of medieval religious art worth an estimated $275 million will not be returned to the heirs of four German-Jewish art dealers. The descendants of another heir said, however, that they will not give up the fight for the Guelph Collection now held by the Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. In its ruling the week of March 21, the Limbach Commission – a German advisory board for Holocaust-related claims – said the collection sold in 1935 was not bought from the German-Jewish art dealers under duress and thus did not have to be returned to the heirs. The collectors – Zacharias Max Hackenbroch, Isaac Rosenbaum, Saemy Rosenberg and Julius Falk Goldschmidt – had purchased the treasures in the 1920s. The claimants and their attorneys, as well as other advocates, have argued since 2008 that virtually all purchases of valuable property from Jews under the Nazis were made under duress. They noted that the sale was orchestrated by Hitler’s chief deputy, Hermann Goering. In its argument, the foundation, which oversees the museums of Berlin, pointed out that the collection was not even in Germany at the time of its sale, the Times of Israel reported. Meanwhile, an additional claimant – the heirs of the Jewish jeweler Hermann Netter, who reportedly owned 25 percent of the treasure at the time of its sale – said they would continue their fight for restitution of the treasure. Dresden-based attorney Sabine Rudolph told the German news agency dpa that since the Netter heirs had been excluded from the previous deliberation, they would not recognize the commission’s decision. A spokesman for the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation told the online Sudkurier newspaper that Netter’s descendants had declined to make a claim together with the other heirs, and noted that the Limbach Commission’s rejection of the claim expressly included the descendants of other previous owners. But Rudolph said her clients had only just learned about the case in December. Speaking to the Times of Israel, Markus Stoetzel and Mel Urbach, attorneys for the original claimants, said they were analyzing the recommendations and would discuss them with their clients. They said they were shocked and disappointed by the findings.

would have allowed the museum to keep the portrait. The painting, which has been a centerpiece of the museum’s collection, was removed from display after the claim was made. Rosenberg fled the Nazis to New York with his family in 1940. The Nazis confiscated 162 pieces of artwork he owned on Sept. 5, 1941, according to the museum. Prior to including the painting in the museum’s collection, Onstad requested detailed provenance information, but did not discover the Rosenberg claim, according to the museum. It was the first case of Nazi-looted art discovered in Norway, the museum said in its statement, acknowledging that its decision will have an impact on other Norwegian institutions. The museum has called for the formation of a national committee to examine public collections for Nazi-looted art.

Germany to receive first new Torah for kids edition in 50 years

A publisher from Berlin is preparing to launch the first German-language children’s edition of the Torah since 1964. The first volume of “Tell your Children-The Torah in Five Volumes” is scheduled to be offered for sale in April by Ariella Books, a German Jewish children’s publisher. The previous edition was released half a century ago by Abrascha Stutschinsky. The new volume is edited and written by Bruno Landthaler and Hanna Liss and illustrated by Darius Gilmont. The celebrated Stutschinsky work is out of print – he died in 1978 – and there were not enough old volumes for all the children in Germany’s Jewish communities. The lack of books “had been felt more painfully in the last few years ever since the German Jewish communities have begun to flourish again

and Jewish life has experienced a strong renaissance here after the Shoah,” publisher Myriam Halberstam said in a statement from Berlin. According to the statement, the new book grew out of a Bible website called Parascha that Landthaler and Liss have been running for several years. The volume retells the Bible in what is described as child-appropriate language, and includes introductions and commentaries addressed toward parents and other adult readers. The remaining volumes are due to come out over the coming two years.

Jerusalem cinema complex must close on Shabbat

A new Jerusalem movie complex must remain closed on Shabbat, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled. In its ruling on March 16, the high court said the Jerusalem municipality should renegotiate the contract with Cinema City and allow the City Council to vote on it. The Cinema City complex, with 15 theaters and some 50 restaurants and shops, opened in February in central Jerusalem. The building permit issued in 2010 to the construction company included a stipulation from the Jerusalem municipality and the Finance Ministry that the complex remain closed on Shabbat. The complex was built on government property and the municipality has said it should remain closed on Shabbat like all government offices. Several private movie theaters in the city remain open during Shabbat, as are other attractions near Cinema City, including the Israel Museum and the Science Museum. The theater’s owners are concerned about competition from other entertainment venues that remain open on Saturday, including a cultural complex under construction.

Norway museum returning Nazi-looted Matisse painting to heirs

A Norway museum said it would return a Nazi-looted painting by Henri Matisse to the heirs of its former Jewish owner. The Henie Onstad Art Center near Oslo, or HOK, announced on March 21 that it would return the 1937 painting “Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace,” which has been part of the museum’s collection since the HOK was established in 1961 by shipping magnate Niels Onstad and his wife, Olympic figure-skating champion Sonja Henie. Onstad acquired the artwork from Galerie Henri Benezit in Paris around 1950. The painting is worth about $40 million, according to reports. “Although it is HOK’s unwavering position that both Niels Onstad, and subsequently HOK, acquired the painting in good faith, HOK has chosen to adhere to international conventions and return the painting to Rosenberg’s heirs,” the museum said in a statement. In June 2012, the heirs of the late art dealer Paul Rosenberg contacted the museum, which the statement said led to an “extensive investigation” to determine the artwork’s provenance. Norwegian law


Continued from page 11 a tale told in many cultures around the world. On the eve of Passover, a poor ragged stranger arrives in the village and asks if anyone will invite him in to share the holiday. He quotes from the haggadah, “All who are hungry come and eat.” He sparks their interest by telling them he can make a pot of matzah ball soup from only a stone. With clever prodding, he gets the villagers to create a huge pot of delicious soup, with light and fluffy matzah balls. Maryam Tabatabaei’s expressive illustrations are a perfect match for the humorous story, evoking the Old World village with a playful tone.

“Seder in the Desert” by rabbi Jamie Korngold, photos by Jeff Finkelstein (Kar-Ben $7.95); ages 3-8 This colorful photo essay narrated by a young person offers up something new and unexpected for the holiday. “Why is this seder different from all others?” the book asks on its opening page. “Because this year we are celebrating Passover in the desert.” Readers of all ages will be fascinated as they follow Rabbi Jamie and a large group of people on a hike through the sands and stone arches that fill Israel’s Moab desert landscape. The adventure invites readers to imagine what it might have been like for ancient Israelites to wander the desert in the Exodus story.

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


THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

NEWS IN bRIEF from europe From JTA

Assailants break Jewish teacher’s nose in Paris

A Jewish teacher from Paris told police that three men assaulted and cursed him in Arabic before drawing a swastika on his chest. The attack in northern Paris occurred on the night of March 20, according to a report by the Drancy-based Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, a watchdog group known as BNVCA. “They pressed him to the wall and hit his face, around the eyes and on his chest,” the report said, noting that the blows broke the victim’s nose. “One of the perpetrators opened the victim’s shirt and with a black marker drew a swastika on the man’s bare chest,” BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan wrote in the BNVCA report. The victim, who was wearing a kippah, was identified as K. Richard. He was treated for a broken nose and lacerations on his face. He told police that the three men who attacked him appeared to be of North African descent and were in their 20s. They cornered him as he was exiting a kosher restaurant on Manin Street, near the Gare du Nord train station, he said. They shouted “death to the Jews” and called him “dirty Jew” in French, and also shouted insults in Arabic that Richard did not understand, the BNVCA report said. Richard’s cries for help drew the attention of a passer-by. The perpetrators fled as he approached, the report read. BNVCA has recorded a spate of antisemitic incidents in France in recent weeks.

Urged sanctions on Russia would send Israel to World Cup

Israel would participate in the 2014 World Cup if the head of international soccer’s governing body heeds the suggestion of two U.S. senators to sanction Russia over its Crimea actions. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dan Coates (R-IN) in their letter the week of March 21 urged FIFA Chairman Sepp Blatter to suspend Russia from the World Cup in Brazil as punishment for its takeover of Crimea. If Russia is banned from participation, its place would be assigned to Israel, which finished third in Group F at the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, trailing Russia and Portugal. “In light of Russia’s military occupation of a sovereign Ukraine, we respectfully ask that you urgently convene an emergency session of FIFA to consider suspending Russia’s membership in FIFA, stripping Russia of the right to host the 2018 World Cup, and denying the Russian National Team the right to participate in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” the senators’ letter said. Russia, the letter said, “does not deserve the honor of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one.” According to Article 3 of the FIFA statutes, the letter said, “discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.” On March 21, Blatter reiterated that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup, but did not comment on participation in the


Elefant acknowledged that some Jews will feel uncomfortable with the product. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat it,” he said, “but I could understand someone not eating it.” Still, the rabbi sees no problem with is-

Continued from page 13 suing certification in this instance. “Kosher law is kosher law,” he said. “If proper law, supervision and certification are followed, the law is the law; [there’s] no law that says you can’t have artificial-flavored bacon.”

upcoming World Cup. During the Balkan crisis, Yugoslavia was banned from playing in both the 1992 European Championship and the 1994 World Cup. The United States and the European Union already have imposed economic sanctions against Russia following its occupation of Ukrainian military bases and other facilities.

British shechitah group complains to ethics council about “misleading” article

A British group that lobbies for kosher slaughter has filed a complaint against a newspaper with the country’s Press Complaints Commission. The complaint was filed by the group Shechita UK over a March 16 article published by The Mail, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle reported on March 20. The article opened with the words, “Beef and lamb from animals killed in ‘cruel’ ritual ceremonies are being sold in mainstream butchers, restaurants and supermarkets across Britain.” Shechita UK called the report “aggressive and sensationalized,” and “deeply unpleasant not only for the pejorative and mischievous editorial line but also for the way in which it deliberately misled its readers.” Meat produced through Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter, shechitah and dabihah respectively, does not require any special labeling. Some animal rights advocates object to ritual slaughter because they believe they say killing animals without first stunning them is cruel. On his March 12 visit to Israel, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to keep shechitah legal in Britain. Shechita UK said The Mail had chosen “intentionally aggressive and partisan language” to sensationalize concerns. The newspaper defended its story, the Chronicle reported. “It is an undisputed fact that some people regard the shechitah slaughter method as cruel,” a Mail spokesman said. “The newspaper did not express an opinion itself.” The spokesman added, “We refute any suggestion that the article was pejorative or misleading.”

Swiss group records 73 percent rise in antisemitic incidents, mostly online

The number of antisemitic incidents documented in Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons surged in 2013, mostly online, a local watchdog said. The Inter-Communitary Coordination Against Anti-Semitism and Defamation, or CICAD, documented 151 antisemitic incidents in 2013 compared to 87 in 2012, an increase of 73.5 percent, the group wrote in its annual report published March 20. The vast majority of incidents happened online. CICAD included antisemitic threats and incitement to hatred or violence only in comments posted to mainstream media sites with wide readerships, the report said. In one of the incidents reported, a Jewish family from Pully near Lausanne found a milk carton in front of their home on April 24, with a label that read: “Jews, get out” glued to it. On Sept. 6, a man approached an Orthodox Jewish family in Geneva and shouted “Heil Hitler” at them before walking away. On Dec. 13, an e-mail was sent to CICAD that read, “The People of thieves and murderers, soon we will fire up the ovens to save the planet from your degenerated breed.” With 33 recorded acts, December was the month with the most antisemitic incidents. CICAD attributed the increase to the banning in France of shows by the antisemitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala. CICAD said perpetrators could be categorized into four groups: Extreme rightists, Christian religious fanatics, casual online antisemitism and people who are moved to antisemitic acts by events connected to Israel.

Have you made your 2014 Pledge to the The mission of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania is: To rescue the imperiled, to care for the vulnerable, to support Israel and to revitalize and perpetuate the Jewish communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Yes! I/we want to support this urgent work by joining the Donor Recognition Circle. o I am enclosing a GIFT of $___________________ o I will PLEDGE $___________________ o Please send me information on wills, trusts and planned giving arrangements that pay income for life. o I have included the Jewish federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in my will or estate plans. o I would like to talk to a Federation representative about a gift. o My employer will match my gift. I will obtain a matching gift form, and forward it to the Federation. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. Name:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Email:________________________________________________________________________________________ Home Phone: (

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MArch 27, 2014 ■




THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

New Season of


Online art exhibition

March 2014

• Non-Feature Films •

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

• Feature Films •

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

The American Guild of Judaic Art announced the opening of its third annual online exhibition of members’ work that is open now through March 2015. The exhibit may be found by visiting and clicking on the image that says “welcome to our online exhibition celebrating Jewish art.” Among the 21 artists whose work is available for sale are Flora Rosefsky, Gabrielle Mizrachi Mallin, Michael Bogdanow, Jim Cohen, Nancy Current and Ellen Filreis.

Claire Fontaine exhibit

The Jewish Museum in New York City is holding the exhibit “Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings: Claire Fontaine” through April 20. Claire Fontaine’s art work seek to addresses the ethical crises affecting society. She uses found materials, borrowed text, images appropriated from other artists and commercial or industrial media to probe such issues and subvert their original contexts, offering a way to imagine change. Her practice is rooted in political activism, especially the collaborative protest movements of the late 1960s. The installation “Tears” comprises nine neon signs suspended from the lobby ceiling at the Jewish Museum. In each, the phrase “isle of tears” is written in a different language: French, Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Greek, Italian, German, Spanish and English. These were the languages most commonly spoken at the Ellis Island immigration station by the people who came to America through its doors – nearly 16 million between 1892 and 1914. For more information, visit www.thejewishmuseum. org/exhibitions or contact the museum at or 212-423-3200.

Screening for Jewish genetic diseases

JScreen is a multi-state public health initiative managed by Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics. It provides at-home genetic screening and private counseling for people with Jewish lineage to determine their risk for hereditary diseases that could be passed to their children. Today’s geneticists have identified genetic markers for 19 genetic diseases that are more common in the JewishAshkenazi community, including Tay-Sachs and Canavan disease. The carriers are healthy, but they can pass the diseases along to their children. Couples who are both carriers can risk unknowingly having children with one of these diseases. JScreen also offers an expanded panel, useful for couples of mixed descent and interfaith couples, which screens for a total of 80 diseases. JScreen provides an at-home saliva test that gives people who are planning to have children an understanding of their own genetic makeup and risks relating to their children’s health. If a person or couple’s risk is elevated, genetic counselors from Emory University School of Medicine will privately address their results, options and resources to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. People interested in requesting the kit can visit the program’s website at to learn more. JScreen will start in Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. For individuals with medical insurance, the cost of screening usually does not exceed $99, and can be lower, depending on insurance.

Yiddish literary journal

The Yiddish-language literary journal Yugntruf is being published after a five-year hiatus. The journal, which features poetry, short stories, editorials, and articles, is being published by Yugntruf – Youth for Yiddish, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading mame-loshn among young people worldwide. It is available in hard copy or may be downloaded from An international non-profit organization based in New York City, Yugntruf – Youth for Yiddish has been dedicated for more than 40 years to encouraging the spread of the Yiddish as a living language among young people here and abroad. For more about information about Yugntruf – Youth for Yiddish, visit www.

Jewish fund-raising certificate program

Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work now offers a certificate program in Jewish philanthropy, which seeks to give Jewish communal professionals the tools needed in today’s fund-raising arena. Classes meet twice a week to discuss “The Art and Science of Fund Raising” and the “Jewish Philanthropic Tradition.” Students also participate in a 56-hour internship, which includes professional mentoring. To learn more about the certificate, contact Dr. Saul Andron at

MArch 27, 2014 ■



NEWS IN bRIEF from israel From JTA

Israel’s Foreign Ministry employees strike, closing embassies

Employees of the Foreign Ministry in Israel declared a general strike, shutting down the country’s 103 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions around the world. The strike, which is open ended, was called on March 23 following two weeks of labor sanctions and seven months of mediation. “Today, for the first time in Israel’s history, the Foreign Ministry will be closed and no work will be done in any sphere under the ministry’s authority,” said a statement issued on March 23 by the Foreign Ministry’s worker’s committee. Employees are protesting, among other things, salary cuts, low pensions and poor compensation packages offered to spouses of overseas diplomats. They have been trying for more than a year to improve their working conditions. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem also was closed, preventing Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman from entering his office. The strike could torpedo a planned visit by Pope Francis in May. Limited sanctions initiated two weeks ago caused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a trip to Latin America. The visit, scheduled for April, would have been the first to Latin America by a sitting prime minister, according to reports. Netanyahu had planned to travel to Colombia, Mexico and Panama, all countries that are friendly to Israel. Damage to Israel’s economy due to the work dispute has totaled millions of dollars.

Hamas texts threats to Israeli cellphones

Israeli cellphone owners received text messages from Hamas threatening rocket attacks and kidnapping. The four messages, sent on the 10th anniversary of Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, were delivered on the evening of March 22. “A warning to Zionists. Kassam rockets are waiting with you. If you want the life then leave our country,” said one message in Hebrew. “Al-qassam has chosen you to be The next Shalite ... Be Ready,” read another message, referring to former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped in 2006 by Hamas and freed five years later in a lopsided prisoner exchange. The messages also were sent to government ministers and their spokesmen, as well as some journalists, according to Ynet. It was not possible to call back the numbers from which the messages were sent.

Abbas: No pact without sovereign state, eastern Jerusalem capital

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian leadership will not agree to a peace deal unless it includes a completely sovereign state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem. Abbas made the statement on March 22 during a meeting of his Fatah party’s Central Committee, according to reports. In expressing its support for Abbas, the committee called for Israeli withdrawal – military and civilian – from the West Bank; rejected Israel’s conditioning a peace agreement on recognition as a Jewish state; and for a resolution of the Palestinian refugee crisis based on United Nations resolution 194. The committee also supported continuing peace negotiations through the April 29 deadline and called on Israel to free the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners with no conditions, including the extension of peace talks. Israel’s Channel 2 reported on the night of March 21 that during his talks in Washington with President Barack Obama, Abbas rejected recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, said he would continue to demand a Palestinian right of return to their former homes in Israel and would not commit to a peace agreement being an “end of conflict.”

said the disappearance had occupied the intelligence services for two decades. “First and foremost, this is a major intelligence achievement in that we succeeded in finding a credible source in a difficult region, who provided reliable information on the basis of which a picture was obtained regarding the fates of eight of the 11 missing persons,” he said. “Today we informed the families that the circle has been closed.” Former Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was present when the families were notified, the statement said.

Netanyahu reportedly planning landmark Australia visit

Benjamin Netanyahu is set to become the first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia while in office. Media reports in Australia and Israel on March 19 suggested that Netanyahu would spend one week in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne in mid-July following an invitation by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott when the pair met in Davos, Switzerland, in January. The Israeli Embassy in Canberra could not confirm the reports because its staff is part of a strike at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, cautioned that plans are still “tentative,” but expressed excitement at the prospective visit. “The fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu is prepared to take a significant period of time away from home traveling to Australia with all of the critical issues that he has to deal with speaks highly of the regard with which Australia is held as a staunch friend of the state of Israel,” he told JTA. Netanyahu last visited Australia in 2001, when he opened Chabad Rabbi Joseph Gutnick’s new synagogue, which Gutnick built as a replica of the Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Since its election last year, Abbott’s Liberal Party has realigned Australia with Canada as one of Israel’s allies in the international arena following six years of Labor rule, when bilateral ties were at times turbulent.

Palestinian youth riot at Temple Mount over Israeli lawmaker’s visit

Hundreds of Palestinian youth rioted on the Temple Mount in protest of a visit by Israeli lawmaker Moshe Feiglin and a group of supporters. Two Palestinians were arrested for throwing rocks, and police protecting Feiglin and his entourage ordered them to leave the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims. “If there is a reason for the Temple Mount to be a powder keg, it is because it has been proven that violence pays off,” Feiglin said in a statement that was posted on Facebook. “Weakness invites more violence. By cutting the visit short and extracting the Jewish visitors from the Temple Mount while leaving the Muslim rioters, the violent party prevailed, which invites the continuation of violence and its escalation.” Feiglin, of the Likud party, had made monthly visits to the Temple Mount before being prevented by police about a year ago due to fears of Muslim violence. Jews generally are not permitted by the Wakf, the Muslim religious administration charged with overseeing the Temple Mount site, to pray or bring any ritual objects there. Feiglin initiated a Knesset debate in February on applying Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount and allowing Jews to pray there. Palestinian youth rioted in protest of the session. Israel Police detained Feiglin in January 2013 for praying on the Temple Mount, as well as three months earlier. In December 2012, he led a minyan at the site that was caught on video and widely distributed.

Netanyahu lauds deadly West Bank raid to nab terrorist

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the security forces that took part in a deadly operation in the West Bank to arrest a Hamas terrorist. The suspect and at least two others were killed in the raid in the Jenin refugee camp on March 22. “Our policy is to attack those who attack us and who are planning to attack us. Both were applicable in this case,” Netanyahu said on March 23 at the beginning of the regular weekly Cabinet meeting. Netanyahu commended the units in the raid for “carrying out a very important operation in eliminating someone who endangered Israeli citizens.” The suspected terrorist was identified as Hamza Abu Alhija, who was wanted for involvement in shooting and bombing attacks, as well as planning future terror attacks against Israeli civilians and Israeli soldiers, the IDF said in a statement. Abu Alhija barricaded himself in his home with other Hamas operatives, according to the IDF, then opened fire on Israeli forces, wounding two, before attempting to escape while continuing to shoot. Israeli forces responded with live gunfire, killing him. In the ensuing riot at the scene, Palestinians from Jenin threw rocks, firebombs and explosives at the Israeli forces. The Israelis responded with live fire, killing at least two other Palestinians, who were identified as belonging to Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the ruling Fatah party. Three Palestinian terrorist groups – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades – issued a joint statement warning that they will take revenge on Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the deaths. “The resistance in the West Bank is alive and won’t die, and the Zionist enemy can’t guess from where the resistance will attack. The blood of Jenin Martyrs won’t go in vain,” the groups said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office condemned the incident, calling it an “escalation” by Israel. The statement also called on the United States to get involved before the teetering peace negotiations are completely “ruined.”

Mossad: Eight Iranian Jews who vanished in 1994 were murdered

Eight Iranian Jews who went missing in the 1990s were murdered while attempting to reach Israel, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The deceased left in three groups in 1994, the office said in a statement on March 20. The office is responsible for the Mossad intelligence agency. The Mossad was able to ascertain what happened to the eight through a reliable source who provided a picture proving they had died, the statement said. The fate of another three Jews who left in 1997 remains unknown, according to the statement. The statement did not say who killed the eight Jews, who were not identified, and under what circumstances. “The Mossad led to an intelligence breakthrough that enabled the issue to be brought to its conclusion,” the statement read. “Intelligence sources received information from a credible source that these same Jews were caught during the escape and murdered.” The statement also said that some of the deceased had wives who had remained agunot, or chained, a term signifying their inability to remarry in an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony for as long as the fates of their husbands remained unknown. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the families and expressed the “hope that they will find consolation in the information that they received,” the statement said. “We will continue to do all that is necessary in order to obtain all possible information about our missing.” In the same statement, David Meidan, a retired Mossad boss who handled the investigation,

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THE REPORTER ■ MArch 27, 2014

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Mission to Harrisburg! Monday April 28, 2014 • Meet our state officials to discuss issues that affect our communities at large and those that concern us as the Jewish community of NEPA • Be a part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Yom Hashoah commemoration in the capital building Cost for this trip (includes bus and boxed lunch)- $20/pp Meet the bus at the JCC, 601 Jefferson Ave. Scranton at 7:45 AM return about 5:30 PM

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March 27, 2014 edition of The Reporter  

March 27, 2014 edition of The Reporter

March 27, 2014 edition of The Reporter  

March 27, 2014 edition of The Reporter