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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania MAY 8, 2014


Celebrate Israel Parade marks 50 years

The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania will join thousands of marchers at the annual Celebrate Israel parade on Sunday, June 1, in New York City. This year’s theme will be “50 Years of the Parade” and organizers have asked each marching group to acknowledge the number 50 in

their banners and T-shirts. The Federation has chosen to focus on the biblical verse announcing the “fiftieth year to proclaim liberty in the land.” (Leviticus 25:10) The banner will include the verse in both Hebrew and English, and the shirts will feature the Liberty Bell and its

“proclaim liberty” quote. The Federation also intends to carry photos of many of Israel’s contributions in the areas of art, science, technology and spirituality. Participants will march under the banner of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania. After the parade, they will

spend time in Teaneck, NJ, where they can shop, as well as dine in one of the many kosher restaurants available. The cost of the day will be $15 per person. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Dassy Ganz at 570-961-2300, ext. 2, or

After “apartheid” stir, experts question perceived demographic threat to Israel By Alex Traiman U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent controversial remark that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state” in the absence of a two-state solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict shined a spotlight on the perceived demographic threat to Israel – a threat that some experts say is not based on current reality. The term “apartheid” refers to the former policy of segregation and discrimination in South Africa, in which a minority white elite held a monopoly on leadership over the black majority. Using the term with reference to Israel implies that Israeli Arabs do not have equal rights with Jews, and that Jewish Israelis are on the verge of becoming a ruling Jewish minority. “It is outrageous that U.S. policymakers would find it opportune to irresponsibly and recklessly accuse Israel of apartheid while Arabs in Israel are the only Arab community in the Middle East that benefits from Western democracy, civil liberties, and freedom of speech,” former Israeli ambassador Yoram Ettinger, a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group, told JNS. org. “The root of [Kerry’s] unfortunate and erroneous statement has to do with a devastating ignorance of the demographic balance of Jews and Arabs west of the Jordan River,” he said. While Jews currently make up a solid majority of Israeli residents, many have argued that once-high Arab birthrates combined with modest Jewish birthrates could mean the end of the Jewish population edge, and thereby create a situation in which Jews would be forced to rule over a majority of Palestinians or cede power. Yet a relatively recent two-way shift in birthrates is altering this paradigm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Maybe the demographic threat was real 10-20 years ago, but not anymore,” said Dr. Guy Bechor, an Israeli historian, lawyer, and professor who currently runs the blog “There is a rise of Jewish fertility rate in Israel, and a decline of Arab fertility rate in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority,” Bechor told Bechor noted that in the 1970s and ‘80s, the fertility rate per Muslim mother in Israel was more than 8 children, and today the rate is 3.2. “In the Jewish community, 20 or 15

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked on as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed reporters before a series of meetings at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem on January 2, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the State Department) years ago, fertility rates were 2.5, and now it is more than 3 children per mother,” he said. “The numbers today are virtually the same between Arab and Jewish families.” A dramatic decline in Arab fertility rates can also be seen in virtually every Middle East country, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, Bechor observes. Israel, meanwhile, is the only first-world nation in the world currently experiencing an increase in fertility – more than a full child above the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family. “Four is the new three,” Bechor said. “There is a renaissance of the Jewish fertility rate in Israel. Today, there is a clear Jewish majority in Israel, and this majority will continue to grow in the next few years.” There are two other major factors affecting Israel’s population balance: immigration and the misrepresentation of census statistics by the Palestinian Authority. Since before its creation, Israel has had an aggressive Jewish immigration program, with millions of Jews arriving from Europe, Arab countries and the former Soviet Union. Today, Jews from around the world continue to immigrate to Israel, most noticeably from France and Ukraine. “Jews have benefitted since 1882 from an annual net Jewish immigration, and the next few years are very promising for a potential wave of aliyah [the Hebrew term for Jewish immigration, meaning ascending],” Ettinger said. “Therefore, not only don’t we have anArab demographic time bomb in Israel, but there is major demographic Jewish momentum.” The “demographic time bomb” has been

the prevailing theory asserted by historians and demographers for a small Jewish nation in a predominantly Muslim region since before the foundation of the state. Yet, according to Ettinger, these theories have been repeatedly proven false. “In 1898, Jewish historian Shimon Dubnow chastised [Theodor] Herzl’s ideology about Zionism, and published a projection that under the best-case Jewish scenario, no more than 500,000 Jews would live west of the Jordan River by 2000. He was off by five and a half million Jews,” Ettinger said. Later, Professor Roberto Backi similarly attempted to dissuade Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion from declaring independence in 1948, claiming that Jews could not sustain a majority. “He projected there would be 2.3 million Jews in Israel by 2001, a 33percent minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean,” Ettinger said. “He was wrong by roughly four million Jews.” Today’s demographers, according to Ettinger, are making the same mistakes – and worse – by adhering to intentionally inaccurate and misleading data provided by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics on the number of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Ettinger cites numerous statistical inconsistencies and double counting relating to birthrates and net emigration by Palestinians to Europe and other countries, as well as claims that some 300,000 Palestinians live in Jerusalem as Palestinian citizens, even though they are Israeli citizens who are counted in Israel’s census. “All in all there is a one million person gap, or one million artificial inflation of the number of Palestinian residents in Judea and Samaria, which is 1.7 million and not 2.7 million, as widely reported,” Ettinger said. “And there is a gap of roughly 250,000 Palestinians in Gaza.” Bechor, who has taught at both Harvard University and Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, said the increases in Jewish birthrates not only change the paradigm of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also change the overall balance of world Jewry. He notes that Jews in the Diaspora have declining fertility rates that have dropped below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family. Yet despite the decline of global Jewish populations, “because of the increase of the Jewish fertility rate in Israel, the numbers of Jews around the world are increasing for the first time



News from Israel

since the Holocaust,” Bechor said. “Today, there are more than one million more Jews living in Israel than in America,” he said. “For more than 100 years, many believed that America was the solution for the Jewish people. But today, Israel is the center of the Jewish people, and all the other countries are satellites.” “Contrary to what Secretary Kerry and President Obama assume, Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is not only secure, but it is about to grow,” said Ettinger. “In fact, we are now at the beginning of major Jewish demographic momentum.”

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Candle lighting May 9................................................. 7:51 pm May 16...............................................7:58 pm May 23...............................................8:04 pm

Celebrated this year on May 17-18, As Poland touts the work of A private plane for PM and PLUS Lag B’Omer inspires memories and its recuers, filmakers address president;“Price Tag” attacks; and Opinion...........................................................2 mayhem in Israel. Holocaust-era treachery. Memorial Day commemorations. D’var Torah...................................................8 Story on page 5 Story on page 7 Story on page 12 News in Brief..............................................15



a matter of opinion


The West Bank is under military occupation, and that’s a fact By Jessica Montell (JTA) – According to press reports, the crowd at a recent Republican Jewish Coalition conference “noticeably gasped” when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie referred to the West Bank as “occupied territories.” Christie promptly apologized to the event’s host, mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, clarifying that his remarks “were not meant to be a statement of policy,” according to a source. This incident illustrates the many semantic land mines involved in talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The terms employed to talk about the separation barrier or the Israeli settlements or some of Jerusalem’s holy sites often belie a political agenda intended not only to describe reality but also to affect it. Yet this incident also illustrates the way in which an inherently legal term has been branded as somehow part of a radical political agenda. Acknowledging that the West Bank is presently subject to military occupation is not at all a statement of policy. It is a statement of fact. Many Jews, both in Israel and in the United States, use the biblical names Judea and Samaria, highlighting the belief that this territory forms the foundation of the Jewish people. This territory is indeed the biblical heartland of the Jewish tradition, where according to our Bible the Patriarch Abraham purchased a plot of land for his family, where Joshua brought the people

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

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

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

after 40 years of wandering in the desert and built the tabernacle to house the Ark of the Covenant. But calling this area Judea and Samaria tells us nothing about the applicable legal framework: Who is the legislator in Judea and Samaria? Who is the executive branch of government in the West Bank? What is the judiciary there? The answer to all three questions is the Israeli military. The military passes laws, in the form of military orders that supersede the local laws that otherwise remain in force. Even the fact that Israeli law applies in the settlements, and personally to settlers, is not due to legislation from the Knesset, but because the military commander signed an order giving force to that particular piece of Knesset legislation. The military is also the executive, administering all aspects of the governance of this territory. Many of the Israeli civil authorities operate in the settlements, and the Palestinian Authority has responsibility for civil affairs within Palestinian cities. See “Military” on page 6

“Occupied territories” is a flawed and biased term By Alan Baker (JTA) – When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Republican donor Sheldon Adelson for using the term “occupied territories” to refer to the West Bank, critics pounced. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” ridiculed the apology, insisting that the phrase is “widely accepted” and accurate. While the term is indeed widely used to describe Israel’s relationship to the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria, that doesn’t make it accurate. Indeed, the use of the term “occupied territories” in this context is flawed legally, historically and factually. The phrase does not accurately reflect the status of the areas that it purports to describe. Yet it has regrettably become lingua franca in contemporary international and U.N. parlance, including for senior members of the U.S. administration and European leaders. The expressions “occupied territory” and “occupied Palestinian territory” are political terms frequently used in nonbinding political resolutions, principally in

the U.N. General Assembly, representing nothing more than the political viewpoint of the majority of states voting in favor of such resolutions. These political pronouncements have never constituted, nor should they constitute, an authority for any determination that the territories are Palestinian or that they are occupied. Such determinations would appear to be based on incorrect and partisan readings of the factual situation and of the relevant international legal documentation. In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel took control of Samaria, Judea, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. These areas had previously been seized by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Egypt and held by them since the 1948 war, initiated by them against Israel. International law relates to occupation of foreign territory from a “prior legitimate sovereign,” and these areas never constituted the legitimate sovereign territory of Jordan or Egypt. Hence, the accepted international law definition of See “Flawed” on page 6

letters to the editor Remembering Sam Rosen and his legacy Dear Editor, I was in Israel when Sam Rosen passed away and wanted to wait until I got back and could get my thoughts together to write. It hit me hard because I felt so close to him. Sam was a warm, loving, giving and selfless man – to his family, his community and to the hundreds and hundreds of young people he came in contact with. His dedication to keeping the history of the Shoah alive translated into deep involvement in Holocaust education, particularly as a founding and longtime member of the Holocaust Education Resource Center Advisory Board. But well before the HERC was established, and even before the Symposium was put in place, Sam took part in the community Yom Hashoah programs that began in the 1970s, not just by lighting a candle, but in helping to plan the program. I was truly privileged to work with him and other local survivors from those early years on. From 1994, Sam attended almost every program the HERC mounted, was involved directly in many, supported them financially and brought other supporters on board. He attended meetings regularly (and always with bags of pretzels for committee members

to enjoy) and often traveled with me – as well as alone – to speak at schools throughout the greater Northeastern Pennsylvania region. He allowed students to interview him in his home and he spoke at many community venues, including men’s clubs, Jewish youth evenings, churches, university classes and more. He was involved with the Teen Symposium on the Holocaust from its inception in 1988 and became a symbol of resilience and the incredible “return to life” of survivors such as himself to thousands of young people. In that, he was the ultimate role model. Never did I witness Sam speak at any program without students lining up afterwards to speak with him, to hug him, to shake his hand. He spoke from the heart, he gave of himself and, in return, he touched hearts and received great warmth. It was not uncommon to read students’ remarks on the evaluation form such as one young lady’s who wrote, “I will always remember Sam Rosen and will never forget the stories I heard from him. Someday when I have children, I will tell them the story of his life.” None of us can imagine what it takes to go through the experiences Sam did and come out of them not just a nice person,

but an extremely kind and compassionate person. He would offer others a smile, a joke, a comforting word. He sought out the needy and found ways to provide for them. He openly ached for those killed on 9/11 and for the families they left behind. He felt for others who went through tragedies and hard times. He remained a total “mensch,” and he had an unshakeable faith in God, who he referred to as “the Man upstairs”. He credited God with his survival and was not embarrassed to say it aloud. He was able to recognize and be grateful for any good done for him even from within terrible loss, and he continued to love. That is what Sam was all about. And now, the loss is ours. Sam’s greatest legacy may be the beautiful life he built for his family, but he left our community, and indeed, entire region, inspired and richer by his giving of himself so graciously and unstintingly. Thank God he was granted long years in which to see his family rebuilt and to give so much to all of us. May his memory be for a blessing. Tova Weiss Founding director, Holocaust Education Resource Center

The future of Clarks Summit State Hospital Dear Editor, I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the recent Fairchild hearing regarding Clarks Summit State Hospital. The Fairchild hearings are to set up for the reduction or elimination of a department within the state. I’m writing to strongly object to any proposal involving possible reduction of patients of this facility. The challenge facing our local community is coming together to determine the future of Clarks Summit State Hospital. Through my experience as a corrections officer and having a family member that suffered from a mental illness, it’s my belief that we need our state hospital to continue at least at its current capacity or an increase, not a decrease. The mental health needs of today’s patients vary by the individual. Some patients require 24-hour care and others are able to receive outpatient care

on a daily basis. My fear with the reduction in beds at Clarks Summit State Hospital is the resulting harm to those patients. As history shows us, some of those patients will end up in a correctional institution. As a former correction officer, I can attest to the unspeakable abuse mental health inmates have encountered in a correctional facility. In addition, many of the mental health patients will end up homeless. The proposal to cut beds does not save money, it shifts the costs to the criminal justice systems, first responders and emergency departments and personnel. The other impact of cut backs at the Clarks Summit State Hospital could be the loss of 26 current positions at the hospital, or at the worst, upon closure, the loss of more than 400 jobs. This would have a major economic impact on Lackawanna County and the surrounding counties.

Our community deserves to have a hospital such as Clarks Summit State Hospital to take care of the needs of these individuals who cannot take care of themselves. Inadequate alternative care will cause financial hardships to our community, the families and patients. Also, any kind of change to the patient can be catastrophic, as their needs are based on a consistent daily regimen. This can and will cause any kind of treatment to spiral backward. Clarks Summit State Hospital is a vital part of the community and the threat of any type of reduction should be withdrawn. I would like to thank the administration and staff at Clarks Summit State Hospital for their constant caring, providing excellent service and care, and a job well done. Sincerely, Patrick M. O’Malley Lackawanna County commissioner

MAY 8, 2014 ■



community news Amos Lodge of B’nai B’rith Americanism Award selection process The principal feature that is said to make the Americanism Award unique from all other community awards is the communitywide process by which the recipient is selected. The honoree is chosen by a committee comprised of the past recipients and representatives of the community’s service organizations: the Chamber of Commerce, Amos Lodge of B’nai B’rith, the United Way, the Scranton Area Foundation, the Jewish Community Center, the Lions Club, Unico, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and the Scranton Jaycees. This helps assure that the recipient “meets the high standards of community excellence for which the award has become known.” according to Amos Lodge. Amos Lodge expressed its gratitude to the organizations and past recipients for their participation in this year’s selection process.

The members of the entire Selection Committee posed for a group photo. Seated (l-r): David Rudis, Dr. James Burne, Mary Lou Burne, Austin J. Burke, Morey M. Myers, Joyce Tressler and Mary Beth D’Andrea. Standing: Jay Schectman, David I. Fallk, George Lynett, Dr. Harmar Brereton, Jane Oppenheim, Joseph Corcoran, Dan Cardonick, Richard S. Bishop, Edward A. Monsky, Daniel Santaniello and David Bieri.

JFHF Sisterhood plans spring and summer activities

Past recipients who are members of the Selections Committee posed for a group photo. Seated (l-r): Dr. James Burne, Mary Lou Burne, Austin J. Burke, Morey M. Myers and Joyce Tressler. Standing: George Lynett, Dr. Harmar Brereton, Jane Oppenheim, Richard S. Bishop and Joseph Corcoran.

Service club representatives on the Selection Committee included (l-r) David Bieri, of Unico; David Rudis, of Lions Club; Mary Beth D’Andrea, of Rotary Club; David I. Fallk, of Amos Lodge; Dan Cardonick, of the Jewish Community Center; and Daniel Santaniello, of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

At the Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley, the Sisterhood recently began spring and summer activities with a women’s seder on April 20. Jointly sponsored with Jewish Women International, Sisterhood’s Passover celebration welcomed 22 women and three men. The program included new aspects of the holiday celebration with women’s “voices” interwoven into the traditional telling of the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt. Along with the traditional symbolic foods, wine, songs and prayers, participants learned about the significance of and honored Jewish women, from Miriam, Moses’ sister; Biblical midwives Puah and Shifra; and others in modern American history, such as Gertrude Weill, Debbie Friedman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Throughout the summer and into fall, Sisterhood will sponsor several other events to which all have been invited. The second annual Bluegrass Concert and Family Ice Cream Social will be held on Sunday, June 1, at 1 pm, in partnership with the JFHF Mens’ Club. Featured performers will be The Mail Pouch Express band, including JFHF and Federation’s Dan Marcus. Tickets may be purchased from the Fellowship office for adults for $12 in advance or $15 at the door; children 12 and younger will cost $5. To help the Jewish community celebrate Shavuot, Sisterhood will coordinate a dairy potluck supper on Friday, June

6 at 6 pm, to be followed by services with Rabbi Steven Nathan. Non-member guests will be welcome with a small cover charge. RSVPs are required by Friday, May 30.

See “JFHF” on page 5

S E N I L D A E D The following are deadlines for all articles and photos for upcoming Reporter issues.



Thursday, May 8.................................... May 22 Thursday, May 22.................................... June 5 Tuesday, June 3, early............................ June 19 Thursday, June 19.....................................July 3

Spring - Summer Series

Grow Yourself...

Growing Herbs, Growing Your Health Learn about herbs and their health benefits! Participate in a demonstration on how to plant and arrange them in a container so they will grow and give you pleasure and health throughout the summer!

Where: The Greenhouse Project, Nay Aug Park - 200 Arthur Ave., Scranton, PA When: Tuesday, May 27 - 6:30-8pm Registration & Pre-Payment required - Fee: JFS Members $10/Non members $15 • Supplies are additional To register - please call 570-344-1186, or e-mail Checks can be made payable to: Jewish Family Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania For future programming, check out our website at

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From “Star Trek”to one-man show, William Shatner stays in the limelight

By Robert Gluck On April 24, audiences around the country had the chance to feel what it is like to be William Shatner, the Jewish actor best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” For one night only, Shatner’s one-man show “Shatner’s World” – which was on Broadway and toured Canada, Australia, and the United States – was presented in nearly 700 movie theaters nationwide. Sponsored by Fathom Events and (for whom Shatner has famously served as a pitchman), the critically acclaimed show gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at Shatner’s career and life. Born to Conservative Jewish parents in the Cote Saint-Luc neighborhood of Montreal, Canada, Shatner’s path to stardom – traced in the film – took him from trained Shakespearean actor to cultural icon. The son of Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer, and Anne (née Garmaise), William’s grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. “Being Jewish is a part of what I am,” Shatner said in an interview with “What I am is what I bring to the world as an artist... As in many cases of people I know, where their religion is everything to them and is very imperative, for me being Jewish is not, but being spiritual is.” Shatner has taken an eclectic journey as an actor, musician, singer, author, film director, spokesman and comedian. He gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of Captain Kirk, commander of the Federation starship USS Enterprise, in the science fiction tele-

vision series “Star Trek” from visual effects as well as 1966 to 1969, “Star Trek: The me speaking. I talk about Animated Series” from 1973 gorillas and motorcycles to 1974, and in seven of the and comedy and music subsequent “Star Trek” feaand discuss ‘Star Trek’ and ture films from 1979 to 1994. horses. The multiplicity of Shatner wrote a series of books subject matters is there. It’s chronicling his experiences a very funny show.” playing Captain Kirk and beFrequently involved in ing a part of “Star Trek” and charitable causes, Shatner’s has co-written several novels excitement for horses led set in the “Star Trek” universe. him to the Central Kentucky He also authored a series of Riding for Hope organizascience fiction novels called tion and the Hollywood “TekWar” that were adapted Charity Horse Show. The for television. Hollywood Besides his “Star Trek” William Shatner (Photo by Charity Horse Show, sponrole, Shatner played the Manfred Baumann) sored by Wells Fargo. “It’s eponymous veteran police sera big party with a five-day geant in the television show “T. J. Hooker” horse show and we raise a lot of money for from 1982 to 1986. Afterwards, he hosted children’s charities,” Shatner said. “Some the reality-based television series “Rescue of those charities are riding therapeutic 911” from 1989 to 1996, which won a programs.” People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Shatner noted how research shows the TV Dramatic Series. He has since worked therapeutic effect of putting people with ceras a musician, author, director and celebrity tain disabilities or impairments on a horse. pitchman. From 2004 to 2008, he starred as “Frequently they’re aided beyond anything attorney Denny Crane in the television dra- you can guess,” he said. “I’ve seen children mas “The Practice” and its spin-off “Boston who couldn’t walk, walk. And children who Legal,” for which he won two Emmy Awards couldn’t talk, talk. What we’ve also found is and a Golden Globe Award. that applying this to returning veterans who “The theme of ‘Shatner’s World’ is the have problems not dissimilar to the children joy of life, saying yes to life,” Shatner – physically, emotionally, socially – riding said. “What I’m able to do by the end of therapy really helps them.” the evening is involve you the audience in In 2008, the Jewish Music Group released this joyful experience about life. Life has “Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts,” a many facets, including grief, sorrow and dramatic biblical reading by Shatner accomdeath. I go through all that. But it is a joy- panied by theArkansas Symphony Orchestra. ful experience in the end, with multi-media He is also still at work on “The Shiva Club,” a

movie about crashing a shiva – the seven-day mourning period in Judaism that follows the loss of an immediate family member. “It’s about two comics who go to a shiva to try to find an agent,” Shatner said.á Despite his various roles, it will be “Star Trek” that Shatner is remembered for. In his role as Kirk, he famously kissed actress Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) in the November 22, 1968 episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren.” The episode is cited as the first example of an interracial kiss between a white man and a black woman on a scripted television show in the U.S. “I’m told that that is the case, that my kissing Nichelle Nichols, who happens to be black, did all that,” Shatner said. “I’m not sure if it’s as dramatic as that. If that’s what people say, I’m going along for the ride. If it wasn’t for ‘Star Trek’ I wouldn’t be speaking to you today, so I’m eternally grateful to be given the opportunity to do all the things that I’ve done since ‘Star Trek.’” Dan Diamond, senior vice-president of Fathom Events, said Shatner “takes fans on a unique and exciting journey through his ‘Shatner’s World’ show.” “This remarkable performance by the legendary William Shatner is a perfect fit for the big screen,” said Diamond. While the show charts the path of the joys and sorrows commonly part of anyone’s life story, it is a positive experience overall, Shatner told “Everything can be termed positively and that’s what I attempt to do in this one-man show,” he said. “This one-man show is very important to me. It’s the culmination of a long career.”

At Wrigley Field, Orthodox vendors going the way of Cubs wins

By Uriel Heilman (JTA) – Longtime fans of the Chicago Cubs know there are a few mainstays they can expect when they visit Wrigley Field: ivy on the outfield walls, a strict no-wave policy rigorously enforced by fans and, most days, disappointing play by the hometown team. But there’s one little-known quirk at Wrigley that appears to be fading away as the ballpark, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last week, enters its second century: the numerous Orthodox Jewish vendors who sell food and drinks in the stands. A few subtle signs could give them away: a stray tzitzit strand flapping out of a jersey,

a name tag reading Simcha, the Mincha prayer minyan that used to take place in the outfield stands before or after games. No one seems to know quite how it began, but for decades Wrigley Field vending was a redoubt of Orthodox Jews, most of them teenagers or early 20-somethings, and almost all of them men. “I went to high school at Ida Crown Jewish Academy, and it was just like a rite of passage there,” said Jon Blumberg, 41, an investment fund manager who vended for five or six summers beginning in 1989. “Once you were at the age where you no longer were going to camp or didn’t want to

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A cotton candy vendor roamed the Wrigley Field stands in 1994. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) be a counselor, it was just what guys did.” The tradition long predates Blumberg. The late Rabbi Moshe Kushner, the Chicago Rabbinical Council leader and Camp Moshava-Wisconsin director who died last October at age 68, vended in his youth. Twenty years ago, it wasn’t unusual to have upward of 25 Orthodox Jewish vendors working the stands at Wrigley, selling everything from beer to peanuts. It was seen as an ideal summer job for observant teenagers. The ballpark is a short ride from Chicago’s Orthodox neighborhoods, it wasn’t too onerous to join the union required to vend, you could make a decent amount of money in just four hours’ work, and vendors could choose when they wanted

to work and when they didn’t – perfect both for Sabbath observers and teens uninterested in committing to a regular job. Plus, there was the baseball. “This was a dream come true,” said David Porush, 40, a lawyer who vended for a couple of years starting at age 16. “I’m a huge Cubs fan. I love baseball. I love Wrigley Field. If you were a very big fan like me, I’d make $30 or $40 and then sit down to watch the game. But if you were a very aggressive vendor, you could make a lot of money.” Danny Altschul, now a partner at the accounting firm McGladrey, credits his five years of vending with helping pay for his wedding and the down payment on his house in the Chicago neighborhood of West Rogers Park. “For those few hours you were out there, it wasn’t the time to be lazy,” said Altschul, who could make up to $300 on a good day. “You work hard, try to work swiftly and take advantage of an opportunity when you’re in a commission-based business. It helped me pay for college.” Like many of the vendors, Altschul also hawked wares at Chicago’s other sports arenas. He remembers fondly the day he managed to sell 31 loads of pop (Midwest parlance for soda) at a Cubs-Astros day game and then headed downtown to Comiskey See “Cubs” on page 8

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MAY 8, 2014 ■



In Israel, Lag B’Omer inspires memories and mayhem By Deborah Fineblum One of Pnina Newirth’s earliest childhood memories is of a trip to Mount Meron on Lag B’Omer. But this was no ordinary family vacation. “I was very small, yet I vividly recall the huge fires and the immense crowds,” she says. Despite the cacophony and the roaring bonfires, the Ra’anana resident insists she felt no fear that day. “I knew my parents were there and would protect me. And we stood far enough back so give us a bit of distance,” Newirth recalls. That moment was more than three decades ago, long before the tradition of spending Lag B’Omer in Meron took a greater hold on Israel’s populace. Though it was once the exclusive purview of the Hassidic sects, the celebration has now grown to attract Israelis of every stripe. Think Times Square on New Year’s Eveùonly without the snow or Dick Clark, and with bonfires and sharp scissors. These days tens of thousands of Israelis (estimates have


Continued from page 3 Sisterhood also noted that the Fall Bus Trip is almost fully subscribed, but a few seats remain. The “Ultimate Washington D.C. and Virginia Bus Tour” is scheduled for Sunday-Thursday, September 14-18. Featuring sightseeing and private tours, the trip will have an five-day-four-night itinerary, including transportation, two meals a day, hotels, admissions and all gratuities. There will be guided visits to the Kennedy Center; the Holocaust Museum; the Smithsonian; the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial; the Martin Luther King and F.D.R monuments; the nighttime illuminations; Mount Vernon and its new presidential library; and a tram tour of Arlington Cemetery. Detailed brochures, rates and optional trip insurance information may be obtained from the JFHF office. As a courtesy, the reservation deadline has been extended to Thursday, May 15. Reservations cost $100 per person. All final payments to Sisterhood JFHF are due to the JFHF office at 1516 Hemlock Farms, Lord Valley, by Saturday, May 31. For information and reservations on all events, contact JFHF’S Carole Weiss on Tuesday-Friday between 8 am-3 pm at 570-775-7497.

Orthodox Jewish men danced as they took part in celebrations of the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer at Mount Meron in northern Israel on May 22, 2013. (Photo by Yaakov Naumi/Flash90) ranged from 75,000 to 250,000 in recent years) turn out in Meron, just outside the northern city of Safed (Tsvat), each Lag B’Omer to mark the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the Talmudic sage who is traditionally credited for Judaism’s leading source of Kabbalah and mystical wisdom, the Zohar. But the day – marked by the bonfires of Newirth’s childhood, along with singing and dancing – is more celebration than mourning. In fact, the holiday also marks the end of the deaths of Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students who, tradition has it, had been dying due to a lack of mutual respect. It is in this mood of joy that observant Jews take haircuts,

listen to music and hold weddings after more than a month of restrictions following Passover. Beginning on Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of counting the Omer and the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, joy continues to mount, culminating two weeks later when Jews around the world celebrate the receiving of the Torah on Shavuot. Many Sephardi Jews continue mourning practices through the 33rd day of the Omer and celebrate on the 34th day of the Omer, or “LaD BaOmer.” Around Israel, there are parades, picnics, and bonfires. But tiny Meron is the undisputed capital of all this happy Lag B’Omer mayhem. With this massive crowd gathered in a normally pastoral setting far from the nearest hospitals, along with the equally massive bonfires and the sharp scissors (more on those later), more than 1,200 police officers are on hand. So too are countless paramedics, firefighter, and ambulance crews for the inevitable incidents of smoke inhalation, burns from the bonfires and the usual warm-weather crowding threats such as dehydration and fainting. Three years ago, Richard Schabb of Kfar Adumim was among the throng making the Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to Meron, an adventure that proved not for the faint-of-heart – or the claustrophobic. He and his stepson left at 1 am to leave plenty of time to make it there in time for the festivities, bearing in mind the expected traffic jams. Arriving by bus at the crack of dawn, they found an “astonishing carnival atmosphere that can only be attained by people who have been partying all night.” The sun was barely up, but the crowds were already there, Schabb recalls. “People were everywhere, taking up every square foot of space talking, eating, davening or See “Lag B’Omer” on page 10

Shavuot bake sale at Scranton Hebrew Day School The Scranton Hebrew Day School is conducting its annual Special Order Shavuot Bake Sale for the holiday. The selection of homemade items will include blintzes, quiches, soups, desserts and more. Since quantities will be limited, all orders will be filled on

a first come, first serve basis. The order deadline is Tuesday, May 20. To obtain an order form, call the school office at 570346-1576, ext. 2. All proceeds will benefit the school’s Scholarship Fund.

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New dedication to Israeli artists part of iconic Tel Aviv square’s makeover

By Jeffrey F. Barken One of Tel Aviv’s most iconic squares is in the midst of a significant makeover. The Norman Tel Aviv, a luxurious boutique establishment, has restored two buildings on Nachmani Street, at the heart of the Tel Aviv UNESCO heritage site for historic Bauhaus architecture. The newly renovated hotel’s management is also a dedicated patron of the arts, seeking to support contemporary artistic expression in Israel. When complete, the complex will be a travel destination that houses and showcases many avant-garde cultural treasures. “Tremendous care has been taken to restore these buildings to their original grandeur, preserving the eclectic style, Renaissance and oriental influences that characterize the edifice at #23 Nachmani, as well as the striking modernist architecture of the adjacent building at #25,” Olivier Heuchenne, managing director of The Norman, tells The hotel – whose grand opening is planned for this summer – will sport an interior design echoing the luxury


“occupation” of territory cannot be attributed to Israel’s status in these areas. The unique historic and legal nature of these territories, in which there has existed a basic indigenous Jewish presence since at least 1500 B.C.E., long before the arrival of Islam in the seventh-century C.E., with concomitant Jewish historic rights, inevitably renders these territories as sui generis, or having a unique legal status. This status runs counter to any attempt to use standard definitions such as “occupied territories” in order to designate or describe these areas. Furthermore, the historic and legal rights of the Jewish people to this territory, rendering it unique and not “occupied,” have been acknowledged and encapsulated legally and historically in official, binding and still valid international documents: the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Declaration, the 1922 League of Nations Mandate Instrument and the 1945 U.N. Charter. By any objective criteria, the status of the territory could

and style of the grand hotels of the early 20th century, featuring top restaurants, an extraordinary collection of Israeli artwork, an elegant library bar and The Norman’s signature world-class amenities. The art collection, comprised of more than 100 works, stands at the center of this accomplishment, uniting design themes and creating an interactive experience for guests. Featured are works by Ilit Azoulay, Sigalit Landau, Klone, Dana Levy, Assaf Shaham and Tsibi Geva, among others, celebrating a class of leading contemporary Israeli artists whose work already is exhibited worldwide. For Tamar Dresdner, the in-house art curator and consultant tasked with selecting works for display, the opportunity to partake in the restoration was a dream come true. “I’ve been living in Tel Aviv for years,” Dresdner tells JNS. org. “I remember walking past these buildings when they were residential properties and then entering them when they housed offices for businesses and lawyers. I always fantasized about what could be done with the space.” Continued from page 2 therefore only be considered to be at the most “disputed territory,” subject to an agreed-upon negotiation process between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at determining its ultimate status by agreement. This negotiating process includes the requirement to agree on secure and recognized permanent boundaries. Demands that Israel withdraw to the “1967 lines,” which are in effect the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, are equally flawed and misleading. Such demands attempt to prejudge an open negotiating issue. Efforts by leading elements in the international community to assign the territory to the Palestinians, prior to a successful conclusion of the negotiating process, or to deny the rights and status of Israel, demonstrate nothing more than political ignorance and bias. Alan Baker is director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, as well as of the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel. He has served as the legal counsel to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.

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

Outside the Norman Tel Aviv hotel. (Photo courtesy of The Norman Tel Aviv) Mindful of the layered history that defines the new hotel’s premises, Dresdner sought works she felt were in dialogue with the buildings. “Since we have an eclectic style building, I wanted eclectic art,” she explains. This meant acquiring works of assorted media, including video, sculpture, photography and paintings. In contrast to other hotels that typically hang commercially reproduced prints and stock décor, Dresdner has taken significant risks in her selection, making the collection reflective of Israel’s fractious interior social dialogue, as well as an open-ended commentary on the country’s precarious economic and political situation. “A work, even in a hotel, should challenge the viewer,” Dresdner says. “[In Israel], we are sitting on a powder keg. Art should ask questions, not offer answers, directing the viewer to places that are not clear, that are edgy and explosive.” A small sampling of the collection reveals a wide breadth of styles and themes. Paintings by Geva offer penetrating glimpses into Israel’s communities. “Tsibi is very influenced See “Makeover” on page 14


Continued from page 2

However, all of these authorities operate within the overall control of the Israeli military. And the military is the judiciary. The military legal advisors decide what is lawful and what is not. The Israeli military maintains a military court system in which Palestinians are tried for everything from security offenses to traffic violations. All Palestinians – including those living in Area A under the nominal control of the Palestinian Authority – are subject to the jurisdiction of the Israeli military. Some 300,000 Israelis live in this territory as well (not counting the 200,000 Israelis in the territory annexed to the city of Jerusalem). Though they also live in territory governed by military law, settlers enjoy all the rights of the Israeli democracy, as well as additional financial benefits intended to encourage Israelis to live there. The result is that two different and discriminatory legal systems operate in the same territory, with a person’s rights and benefits determined by his or her national origin. The words “military occupation” might sound harsh to the American ear. Many Israelis don’t like the sound of it either. Yet the reality is indeed harsh. Millions of Palestinians have lived for almost half a century under military rule, denied basic rights and subject to the whims of a government they did not elect and have no ability to influence. Adelson and his ilk may be able to dictate a form of censorship of the political conversation in the United States. This ostrich-like behavior, however, does not alter the reality on the ground. This is a rotten system. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently devoting massive efforts to address this problem. If his efforts are to have any hope of success, we must first of all call it like it is. Jessica Montell is executive director of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

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

MAY 8, 2014 ■

As Poland touts rescuers, filmmakers address Holocaust-era treachery

non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews – a campaign that critics charge has glossed over the sort of frank reckoning with the past in which Polish filmmakers have been engaged. “The multitude of commemorations does not contribute to serious reflection on the attitudes of Poles during Nazi occupation,” the Polish historian Jan Grabowski wrote in a recent article on the website of Krytyka Polityczna, a left-leaning journal. “That complacency has replaced substantive national debate over one of the most painful aspects of Polish history.” Among the commemorations of the righteous in Poland was the establishment of 2014 as the Year of Jan Karski, the man who alerted the allies to the Holocaust, as well as the planned erection of no fewer than three monuments honoring non-Jewish Poles. One of the monuments, opposite the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, spurred a protest in March from Jewish historian Bozena Uminska-Keff and Helena Datner, a former president of the Jewish community of the Polish city. The monument would “chase away the ghost of the Jewish narrative, which is inconvenient for the majority, in favor of a narrative consistent with historical policy and ideas of the majority,” they wrote in an open letter published in Krytyka Polityczna. Some critics connect the emphasis on vicSee “Poland” on page 12


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By Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) – After reburying the bones of her parents in a neglected Jewish cemetery, a soon-to-be Polish nun quietly crosses herself with earth-covered fingers. A devout and introverted young woman, Ida Lebenstein had learned only days earlier that her parents were Jews who were murdered by Polish Christians. As she knelt in her nun’s habit among headstones inscribed with Hebrew lettering, the gesture of Catholic devotion is the character’s reflexive way of responding to the recent revelation of her true origins. This surreal scene appears in “Ida,” a new Polish feature film that recently premiered in the United States. One of several recent films that have forced Poles to confront their complicity in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, “Ida” has helped counter the myth long perpetuated by communist leaders that all Poles were victims who suffered equally under the Nazis. Other films on the subject include “In Hiding,” “Pawel” and “Aftermath,” which examines the murder of hundreds of Jews in the village of Jedwabne in 1941. “In recent years, Polish cinema has taken a leading role in getting Poland to focus some attention on the complexities of the World War II era, and complicity,” said Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Poland’s chief rabbi. The process has not been free of controversy. “Ida” premiered in Poland amid an ongoing government campaign to venerate


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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.


by RABBI MENDEL BENDET, CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF THE POCONOS Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2 This week’s Torah portion, Behar, begins with the words “God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai... and the land shall keep a Sabbath – shemittah – to God.” The commentator Rashi asks, what does the subject of shemittah have to do with Mount Sinai. Were not all of the commandments given at Sinai? He answers his own question. Just as all the details and minutiae of the laws of shemittah were given at Sinai, so were all the details and specifications of the other commandments given at Sinai. The commandment of shemittah teaches something about all the other mitzvot of the Torah. We must recognize that just as all the details of shemittah were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, so were all the other mitzvot and their details given in the same manner. If the Torah has chosen the particular commandment of shemittah to illustrate this fact, it must be that this mitzvah expresses the general Jewish approach to life. On the one hand, a Jew is enjoined, “six years shall you sow your field and six years shall you prune your vineyard.” A Jew must conduct himself and his affairs according to the laws of nature. One must plant and toil in order to eat. A Jew is not required to retreat from the world and sequester himself only in learning Torah and praying; on the contrary, he must fully participate in a normal lifestyle. At the same time, the Torah commands that every seven years the Jew must abandon the land and allow it to have a Sabbath, and devote himself to learning, praying and worshipping God. He then asks, what will we eat during the seventh year, if we don’t sow and reap our grain? The


Park to work a White Sox night game. Porush says he wanted to vend ever since he was a little kid, when he’d watch Orthodox vendors at Wrigley slip free beer, ice cream and peanuts to his father, a teacher at the Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School. The vendors were former students. David Landsman, an accountant who now lives in New Jersey, used to cut school to vend on Opening Day and used a similar tactic to avoid trouble. “In Chicago, everyone would play hooky on Opening Day,” Landsman recalled. “As long as I gave the assistant principal something from what I was selling, it was fine.” In recent years, the stream of young Orthodox Jewish vendors has slowed to a trickle. Seniors at the two Orthodox high schools that served as the main feeders – Ida Crown and Skokie Yeshiva – told JTA through an administrator that students aren’t becoming vendors anymore. Vending isn’t as lucrative as it once was, the rising number of night games makes the job less suitable for teens and the setting isn’t that compelling to young people. “My kids, they don’t get it,” Blumberg said. “They don’t understand why you’d ever go to a Cubs game because they’re so pathetic. The ones who want to go say they want to go to the Sox.” The number of young Orthodox Jewish vendors at Wrigley has shrunk to just four or five, plus about an equal number of older full-timers, according to Joe Bulgatz, an Orthodox Jew in his 50s who has been vending at Wrigley and other sports venues in Chicago since 2004. “Between the Cubs’ performance and the economy, a lot of people are just saying, ‘Hey, it’s not worth it,’” he said. Bulgatz juggles his hours working in the credit department of a cable provider so he can supplement his income by vending at Wrigley and venues such as U.S. Cellular Field, the United Center and Soldier Field. His modus operandi, he says, is to “provide the best quality service possible and make a connection with the fans, and make a Kiddush Hashem at the same time.” If he sees fellow Orthodox Jews, Bulgatz often drops a hint to let them know he’s a member of the tribe – informing them,

Torah answers, “And I will command My blessing to be on you during the sixth year, and the land will produce enough grain to last for three years.” Here the Jew is being asked to rely solely on God and not on natural law for his sustenance. At first glance, the two approaches appear contradictory. How can we be required to live according to the laws of nature and simultaneously be asked to rely on the supernatural? But this is exactly what the Torah wants from us. We must synthesize both approaches to life. We must do everything possible according to natural law, at the same time believing in God’s supernatural powers to sustain us. Six years of active work, followed by one of rest highlights this approach in a Jew’s daily life. The six years of work are the obligation we have to elevate the world by imbuing it with holiness through our actions. The shemittah year allows us to recognize that despite all of our accomplishments, we are ultimately dependent on God for our well-being, and that trust in man and nature is misplaced. Once every seven years we sever ourselves from the natural world and rely solely on God. A Jew draws spiritual strength from the shemittah year, rededicating himself to the knowledge that our task is not to be subservient to nature, but rather to rule over the natural world and imbue it with holiness. Similar cycles are to be found within a Jew’s daily life as well. All day a Jew works in business or commerce, earning a living for his family, providing food, clothes and the like. But he must also dedicate certain times of the day for study and praying, thereby elevating himself from the mundane and connecting to God. Jews live their lives with a special combination of the natural and the supernatural. Continued from page 4 for example, that the hot chocolate is kosher-certified. Orthodox Jews have a few unique restrictions when it comes to vending. They can’t work on Shabbat or Jewish holy days, which cuts out about a quarter of the games. On Passover, they may not handle beer – often the most lucrative product – because it’s hametz, or leavened. And many won’t sell hot dogs for fear of unwittingly selling non-kosher meat to a Jew. Years back, when the hot dog buns apparently carried dairy ingredients, Orthodox vendors often debated whether selling franks violated the Jewish law prohibiting profiting from the sale of food that mixes meat and dairy, even if the meat isn’t kosher. Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, kashrut administrator at the Chicago Rabbinical Council, says he fielded this question from a vendor’s mother not long ago. The prohibition, he says, applies only to foods in which the dairy and meat have been cooked together, so ballpark franks are OK (as long as you’re not selling them to a Jew). As the kosher certification agency for the kosher food stands at the United Center, the rabbinical council maintains an onsite mashgiach, or kosher supervisor, at Bulls (NBA) and Black Hawks (NHL) home games. Wrigley has no exclusively kosher concessions – a subject of some consternation among Orthodox fans. A call to United Center’s kosher concessionaire, Kosher Sports Inc., was not returned. With so many God-fearing Jews vending – and sometimes praying – at Wrigley, the Cubs’ dismal performance might seem like a challenge of faith. Porush says he doesn’t see it that way. “I’d like to think we’re getting our reward in the next world,” he said. “I’ve seen lots of heartache as a Cubs fan, and I think it is parallel to being a God-fearing Jew. We live through difficult times and all we can say is, ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’ A Cubs fan is always saying, ‘ait till next year.’ That’s who we are.” So what will happen first – the coming of the Messiah or a Cubs World Series title (the last was in 1908)? “I really hope Moshiach comes first,” Porush said, “because the Cubs aren’t going to be a contender for at least another two years.”


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Jewish Family Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania


MAY 8, 2014 ■


You are cordially invited to the

ANNUAL MEETING of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania Please join us as we elect Officers and Trustees, celebrate the achievements of the past year and honor several individuals for their leadership contributions to our community and to Israel

Thursday, June 12th, 2014, 7:00 PM Linder Room, Scranton Jewish Community Center, 601 Jefferson Ave., Scranton Dessert reception will follow the meeting. Dietary laws observed - RSVP to 961-2300 (ext. 4)

Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania

2014 Annual Meeting Program

Welcome & introductions.......................................... Michael Greenstein, President Invocation................................................................. Rabbi Baruch Melman, Temple Israel of the Poconos State of the Federation Address.................................. Michael Greenstein, President Nominating Committee Report................................. Seth Gross, Chairman Installation of Officers and Trustees........................... Rabbi Baruch Melman, Temple Israel of the Poconos Presentation of Campaign Awards............................. Michael Greenstein, President 2014 UJA Campaign Report...................................... Donald Douglass, Esq., Barbara Nivert Closing Remarks Michael Greenstein, President Reception

Proposed Slate of Officers & Trustees 2014 - 2017 Officers*

President................................................................... Michael Greenstein* Administrative Vice-President................................... Douglas Fink* Vice-President........................................................... Dr. David Malinov* Vice-President........................................................... Elliot Schoenberg* Treasurer................................................................... Jerry Weinberger, Esq.* Assistant Treasurer.................................................... Barry Tremper* Assistant Secretary.................................................... Don Douglass, Esq.* *Officers to be elected at the Annual Meeting

Board of Trustees

Term Expiring in June 2017* (3-year term)

Term Expiring in June 2015* (1-year term)

Sandra Alfonsi, Phyllis Barax, Shlomo Fink, Susan Jacobson, Dan Marcus, Ann Monsky, Barbara Nivert, Ben Schnessel, Esq. and Eugene Schneider

*Trustees to be elected at the Annual Meeting

*Trustees to be elected at the Annual Meeting

Trustees with terms ending in June 2015

Lynne Fragin, Alex Gans, Larry Milliken, Gail Neldon, Karen Pollack and Irwin Wolfson

• Continuing Terms •

Herb Appel, Phyllis Brandes, Lainey Denis, Richard Fine Esq., Natalie Gelb, Laurel Glassman, Ed Monsky, Esq., Laney Ufberg and Jay Weiss

Trustees with terms ending in June 2016 Jim Ellenbogen, Joseph Fisch, Esq., Leah Laury, Phyllis Malinov, Mel Mogel, Dr. Geordee Pollock, Alma Shaffer, Suzanne Tremper and Eric Weinberg

The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania expresses its gratitude to those Trustees whose terms of office will expire in June, 2014. It is hoped that each of them will continue to serve the Mission of our Federation through its many important committees, programs and projects. Our sincerest appreciation is extended to Esther Adelman, Jeanne Atlas, Susan Diamond, Alan Goldstein, Jill Linder, Lynn Pearl, Molly Rutta, Paula Wasser and Steve Weinberger.




Book review

Juxtaposing text and drawings By Rabbi Rachel Esserman While the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words may be true, two new books prove a combination of pictures and words is even more effective. Aimed at tween and teenage audiences, both the graphic novel “Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust” (written by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, colored by Greg Salsedo and published by First Second Books) and “The War The cover of “Hidden.” Art Within These Walls,” a novel copyright Marc Lizano and with illustrations (written by Greg Salsedo. (Used with Aline Sax, illustrated by Caryl permission of First Second Strzelecki and published by Books) Eerdmans Books for Young Readers), pack an unexpectedly powerful punch due to the juxtaposition of text and drawings. Even adults, who may be jaded by the number of World War II/Holocaust-related material they’ve read, may be surprised at how these works will affect them. Perhaps the word “sweet” sounds out of place when used about a novel focusing on World War II, but it’s the one that comes to mind when viewing the drawings of the main character of “Hidden.” The young Dounia looks so sweet and charming in her portraits that they make you want to hug and protect her. However, the novel opens decades later when the now elderly Dounia decides to share with her granddaughter, Elsia, the truth about her early life in France. The very young Dounia is naive enough to be glad the war with Germany is over, even though France lost. As

Dounia says, “My daddy has come home alive and that was all the victory I needed.” At first, like any grade-schoolaged child, she doesn’t understand the changes that are occurring – from why her best friend will no longer talk to her to the reason she must leave Paris without her parents – and what all of this has to do with being Jewish. Unlike many graphic novels about World War II, “Hidden” uses dialogue, rather than background explanation, to carry the plot. Not only is the story extremely well done, but the artwork is masterful. The focus on Dounia – on knowing only The cover of “The War what she sees, hears and Within These Walls.” experiences – creates greater (Used with permission of emotional tension. For those Eerdmans Books for Young interested in learning more, Readers) a short afterward – written by Hellen Kaufman, the president of AJPN, a French organization “devoted to collecting stories of rescue and solidarity during World War II” – offers an overview of what occurred in France. “Hidden” is a wonderful, heartrending work for all ages. Just as “Hidden” begins when the war with Germany is ostensibly over, so, too, does “The War Within These Walls” begin after the fighting is done, in this case the German invasion of Poland. Yet, the teenage Misha, who narrates the novel, notes, “After the dust of the bombings had settled, a very different war began... a war against some

of us.” Restrictions and humiliations against the Jewish population become daily events. Then the Warsaw Ghetto wall is built, and Jews from the surrounding countryside are forced into the cramped, crowded section of the city. Food soon becomes scarce; in order to help feed his family, Misha looks to the black market. Unfortunately, the Nazis clamp down on smuggling, before finally ordering almost everyone in the ghetto to leave for resettlement in the East. Misha begins to despair: he sees no hope and no future other than death. Then he learns of a group of young Jews who are fighting against the Nazis. However, even those in the Jewish resistance acknowledge that it’s impossible to defeat the Germans; instead, their leader urges them to continue their struggle for another reason: “We are fighting for our honor. There are two ways to die – a worthy battle to the death or a helpless death in front of a firing squad or in the gas chambers.” Misha, though, will also come to question that meaning of honor. The prose in “The War Within These Walls” is blunt; the author uses short sentences that strike like bullets. The format of the novel – with some pages containing only one or two sentences, or a part of a sentence that continues on the next page – increases the impact of those particular words. The black-and-white illustrations reinforce and amplify the prose, creating tension even for those who are familiar with the ghetto’s history. An afterward gives a short explanation of what happened in Warsaw, including information about one character who not only really existed, but who was a leader in the resistance. While at times difficult to read due to the horrific events recorded, “The War Within These Walls” is a powerful, impressive work.

Lag B’Omer

Continued from page 5

just taking in the show,” says Schabb, adding, “There was also a band whose Jewish dance music was booming over loudspeakers. Maybe it was little like being at a Jews-only Woodstock.” Only, unlike that storied 1969 rock extravaganza in Bethel, NY, here there was a giant bonfire, in the middle of the roof between the men’s and women’s sections, stoked by a couple of Chasidic Jews in long black coats. Soon Schabb was swept along with the growing crowd, “feeling like what a sardine must feel like inside a can.” “I had had enough, except there was no way out,” he says. “It was wall-to-wall Jews all the way out to the doorway on the other side of the courtyard, probably a good half hour trip. Luckily, everybody was in a good mood, even, to a certain extent, me. And the music helped.” The ending of Schabb’s story is a happy one. After a few more minutes of struggling against the human tide, he was able to squeeze through the impasse into an open area filled with kiosks supplying all kinds of food, free for the taking. The coffee, pastry and scrambled eggs renewed him enough to try for Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s tomb. “Squeezed so tight it was hard to keep both feet on the floor,” Schabb describes, he made it to a larger room with a high ceiling, and was able to catch his breath and reach over the backs of the three people in front of him, and actually touch the velvet cover of the tomb. He says he worked his way back out again, only after “communing with the rebbe (Bar Yochai) and thanking God that He had gotten me this far without being crushed.” Sounds like the kind of environment where one would not wish to be carrying sharp scissors. But each year, hundreds of parents arrive with them in tow for the purpose of administering first haircuts to their 3-year-old sons, a custom known as the upsherin or chalaka. Given the ancient tradition not to cut a boy’s hair until he is 3, this first haircut marks the leap from babyhood into boyhood for the Orthodox, signaling a time when the boy begins to learn the Hebrew alphabet and wear a yarmulke and tzitzit. As family members and friends each take a snip of baby hair, the youngster is often distracted – and rewarded for standing still – with a parade of sweets. But with Meron on Lag B’Omer being such a balagan, would Schabb go again? “Yeah, I would go again,” he says good-naturedly. When asked if she would consider taking her children today, however, Newirth answers with a laugh and a “Mamash, Lo!” (Really, no!) “I hear it’s gotten much bigger and much crazier now,” she says. Nevertheless, Newirth doesn’t deny her kids the spirit of Lag B’Omer. Last year, for instance, the family went to Kiryat Sanz in Netanya, where there are also massive bonfires and thousands of Chasidim jumping and singing. “It was an amazing, amazing sight,” Newirth says. “I would absolutely do that again.”

MAY 8, 2014 ■


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NEWS IN bRIEF From Israel From JTA

Israeli prime minister, president to have private plane

Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan to purchase a private plane for the country’s prime minister and president. At its weekly meeting May 4, the Cabinet backed the recommendations of a public committee on the plane and the construction of a combined office and official residence for the prime minister in Jerusalem. The plane is expected to cost up to $20 million and the building about $188 million, according to Ynet. The prime minister currently must charter a plane for trips abroad. In December, Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa due to the high cost of travel, estimated at $2 million.

“Price tag” attacks hit near Jerusalem, in West Bank

Suspected “price tag” attacks outside Jerusalem and in the West Bank included anti-Arab graffiti and chopped down olive trees. An Arab-owned construction site in the community of Kiryat Yearim, also known as Telz-Stone, located west of Jerusalem, was spray-painted on May 3 with anti-Arab graffiti, including “price tag” and “Kahane was right.” On the same day, a Star of David was spray-painted on the car of an Arab resident of Acre and its tires were slashed. Earlier that day, more than 30 olive trees were discovered chopped down in the West Bank village of Nahalin and the words “Arab thieves” and “price tag” were found spray-painted on rocks nearby, according to Ynet. Price tag refers to the strategy adopted by extremist settlers and their supporters generally to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.

Siren marks start of Israel’s Memorial Day

A siren wailed across Israel marking the start of the country’s Memorial Day. The May 4 siren at 8 pm was followed by the national memorial service at the Western Wall broadcast by Israeli television channels. A second siren on May 5 at 11 am marked the beginning of memorial services at Israel’s 52 military cemeteries. Memorial Day, or Yom Hazikaron, this year honors the 23,169 casualties of war and terrorism who have been killed since 1860. “The fallen of Israel’s wars are our national heroes,” Israeli Prime

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday afternoon at the opening ceremony for Memorial Day held in the Yad Labanim compound in Jerusalem. “We would not be here today if not for their willingness to lay down their lives so we could be here. Never, not even for a moment, do we forget we are here thanks to them.” Netanyahu visited the grave of his brother, Yoni, on May 3 with his wife, Sara. They went a day early to the military cemetery on Mount Herzl so as not to interfere with the crowds who will visit there on Memorial Day. Yoni Netanyahu was killed during a rescue operation to release hostages during Operation Entebbe in 1976. On May 5, the annual ceremony in memory of victims of antisemitic incidents and terror attacks around the world took place at the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem in a program sponsored by The Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund, Keren Hayesod-UIA, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA. According to Jewish Agency figures, some 200 Jews have been killed in antisemitic terror attacks around the world since Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Israel’s U.S. Embassy distances itself from Danon attack on Kerry

Israel’s envy to Washington rejected a charge by Israel’s deputy defense minister that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was attempting to “scare” Israelis into a peace deal. “Deputy Minister Danny Danon’s views of Secretary Kerry do not reflect the views of the government of Israel,”Ambassador Ron Dermer said in a statement May 1. “Israel deeply appreciates Secretary Kerry’s efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians,” the statement said. “We do not believe that Secretary Kerry has tried to threaten Israel, and we believe that his decades of support for Israel reflect an abiding commitment to Israel’s security and its future.” In a recent op-ed in Politico, Danon said Kerry’s recent claim that failure to reach a peace deal could lead Israel into becoming an apartheid state was part of a pattern in which Kerry tries “to scare the Israeli public into capitulation.” Kerry, who made the apartheid comment in a private meeting of Western leaders, spoke in the days after the collapse of peace talks he had launched nine months ago. He later said his use of the word “apartheid” was inappropriate.


Continued from page 7

timhood with Poland’s slowness in advancing restitution of privately owned Jewish property. Poland has drawn intense criticism as the only European country occupied by the Nazis to not enact substantial private property restitution laws. “Poland sees itself as a victim of war, which is true, but the same can be said of other countries, such as Belgium, which regulated the issue of restitution,” Baroness Ruth Deech, a British lawmaker, said last month during a debate in the House of Lords in which Poland was singled out for lagging on restitution. Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, notes the development of two competing narratives about the Holocaust in Poland today – one emphasizing collaboration with the Nazis and the other celebrating rescuers of Jews. To Kadlcik, films such as “Aftermath” reflect a willingness to portray the darker chapters of Polish history. But the multitude of commemorations are an effort “to push the image of the righteous as a way of countering the discussion about immoral actions,” he said. Unlike “Aftermath,” which focused entirely on the actions of non-Jews, “Ida” has a strong Jewish character: Ida’s aunt

and last living relative, Wanda Gruz, is an alcoholic judge who survived the war as a communist resistance fighter. The cynical Gruz, who is struggling not to drown in her own grief over the loss of her only child during the Holocaust and her regrets over her actions as a communist judge, takes Ida on a journey to find the bodies of their relatives. For both women, the trip profoundly shakes their belief systems. In one scene, Gruz grills a villager on what he knows about the Lebensteins’ fate. When he asks if they were Jews, she snorts and says, “No, they were Eskimos.” “She drives the whole movie forward and is the character the viewer is likeliest to identify with,” Pawel Pawlikowski, the film’s director, said of Gruz. Pawlikowski is frustrated by what he sees as attempts to hijack a character-driven film to score political points. Polish nationalists, he said, have criticized him for portraying the murder of a Jewish family by a Pole rather than by the Germans. “I hope the film goes beyond generalizations about Poles or Jews or nuns and just look at some stories that connect to our faith in utopias, religions, our tribes, the people around us – all the things we believe to make sense of the world,” Pawlikowski said.

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MAY 8, 2014 ■


Get ready for the 50th Annual Celebrate Israel Parade Bus Trip - Sunday June 1! This year’s theme is The Parade’s Golden (50th) Anniversary 50 years of the Parade! Join us on Sunday, June 1, 2014 - rain or shine $15/per person - ask about our family discount. Enjoy the parade and then dining in one of the many kosher restaurants in Teaneck, N.J. Pick-up at the Scranton JCC and at Budget Inn and Suites on Route 80.

Contact Dassy at or 570-961-2300 x2to make your reservations or for information!




New Season of


Yiddish Theatre

May 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.

Information about the National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene can be found at www. The site includes listings of upcoming performances and events, along with information about touring productions and how to book an Outreach performance, lecture, or workshop. Those interested can also become a member of the Folksbiene and/or sign up for its free e-mail newsletter.

Shabbat exhibit

The exhibit “The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat” will be at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York City until June 27. Fifty international artists use art to explore the the sanctity of Shabbat and seek to re-imagine its meaning. For more information, visit or contact the museum at 212-824-2298 or


Continued from page 6

by American abstract paintings, but he is also very local. His work addresses political issues and is very rooted in this place,” says Dresdner. Landau’s salt crystal sculptures and videos draw from the Dead Sea landscape and mythology. Works by the graffiti artist Klone, meanwhile, provide a fresh perspective of Israel’s melting pot immigrant heritage and the collision of disparate cultural populations in Israel’s cities. “An immigrant himself, Klones’ works mirror the alienation of urban life and explore the difficulty of assimilation,” Dresdner says. Azoulay’s photography in the collection captures a particular sensitivity for the artifacts of urban decay. “The artist goes into dilapidated buildings, discovers objects and then by shooting each one separately and digitally reassembling them, creates a new reality from the city’s demolished environments,” Dresdner explains. To mimic the series of modernist windows on the larger building at #25, Dresdner was attracted to sequential compositions that extend the prevailing color scheme composed of pleasant blues, browns, cream and pinks. Likewise, renowned British designer David d’Almada of Sagrada was conscious of the patterns found in the salvaged and refurbished antique tile floors. He cleverly designed curtains and bedspreads that duplicate geometric shapes and colors, blending textured elements in harmony with the elegant and conceptual artwork. The Norman’s management made a point of supporting Israeli artists through the collection. In a rare occurrence in the art world, 95 percent of the collection has been purchased directly from the artists. “When you ask an artist to loan their work, you are manipulating them,” Dresdner says, explaining the opportunity cost absorbed by artists when their work lingers on someone else’s walls without promise of remuneration. “We made a point of buying from artists,” she adds. The collection will have a permanent and prominent presence in the city, attracting collectors, critics, and art enthusiasts. By request, Dresdner will provide tailored art tours based on each guest’s specific interests, and the artists whose work is displayed frequently will be invited to participate in sponsored events. To establish a tradition in Israel that supports and appreciates the arts has proven challenging. External pressures and internal discord relentlessly stress the country’s people and resources, distracting from their enthusiasm for artistic and visionary talent. But the Norman Tel Aviv is hoping to create a promising mechanism for promoting emerging artists, and to arouse intrigue and acclaim by promoting discussion of themes pertinent to Israel’s existential crisis. Furthermore, the hotel management’s financial investment in artists will continue past this summer’s grand opening, according to Heuchenne, who notes The Norman’s plans to offer an annual prize to “celebrate an artist’s success and promote their continued development.”

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!

A painting by Sigalit Landau, among the collection of Israeli artwork to be displayed by The Norman Tel Aviv hotel. (Photo courtesy of The Norman Tel Aviv.)

MAY 8, 2014 ■




Police: Young Israeli woman likely murdered by terrorists

A young Jewish woman whose body was found in northern Israel may have been killed by terrorists, police said. Shelly Dadon, 20, who left her home in Afula on May 1 for a job interview in Migdal Ha’emek, was found dead in the city’s industrial zone later that day, Army Radio reported on May 2. A senior police officer told Radio Kol Rega, a regional station, that “detectives found evidence that led them to focus on nationalistic motives,” using police jargon for terrorist attacks. “This is a complex murder, and we certainly do not rule out other leads,” said the officer, Moshe Cohen, commander of the police’s northern regional division. Police are looking for the perpetrators, he said. Cohen said Dadon’s body showed “severe signs of violence.” According to Channel 10, police detectives believe Dadon was abducted en route to the industrial zone of Migdal Ha’emek. She was led to woods near Route 75, where she was stabbed to death. Channel 2 reported the injuries were to her upper body. Dadon’s parents, who filed a missing person’s report on May 1, arrived at the Migdal Ha’emek parking lot where Dadon’s body was found in order to identify her. Dadon’s cellphone was found at the scene of the crime, Channel 10 reported. She was buried in Afula on on May 3. Most of the details connected to the investigation are subject to a gag order issued at the police’s request, according to Israel’s Channel 2.

Brussels mayor bans “summit meeting for antisemites”

A mayor from Brussels banned an event that Jewish groups have called a “summit meeting for antisemites.” Eric Tomas, the mayor of Anderlecht – one of 19 municipalities that make up the Brussels autonomous region of the federal Belgian state – on may 4 said he would ban the “European Congress of resistance,” saying it was a serious risk to public safety due to planned protests, the BBC reported. The event, which was scheduled May 4, was organized by Laurent Louis, a Belgian lawmaker with a record of antisemitic and anti-Israel statements. One of the speakers invited was the French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has seven convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews. The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, filed a complaint on May 2 with the Brussels prosecutor against the event, saying that it would be “a day of hate that would serve as a platform for the worst gathering of antisemite authors, theorists and propagandists that our country has seen since the end of World War II.” Joel Rubinfeld, president of the LBCA, told JTA on May 4, “The Belgian authorities ultimately reacted positively and promptly to our requests.” His organization, he said, has been monitoring the planned gathering for the past two weeks. Organizers had kept the location of the congress secret until May 3, when it was announced on Facebook that it would to take place at the Akdeniz book store in Anderlecht. Louis on Sunday urged participants to show up at the planned venue. Rubinfeld said his group is continuing to monitor the situation. “In the past, we’ve seen organizers of banned events switch venues at the last minute or shortly after the scheduled time and date, and we are preparing for such a prospect,” he said.

Berkeley kosher slaughter workshop canceled amid outcry

(j. weekly)A workshop in Berkeley, CA, on kosher slaughter – during which 15 hens were to be killed – was canceled amid public outcry from animal rights groups and others. Urban Adamah initially stood firm that its long-planned event would continue as scheduled on May 4 despite activists who threatened to picket and protest outside the urban farm and education center. But on May 1, Adam Berman, founder and executive director of Urban Adamah, a nonprofit grounded in Jewish values, sent out an e-mail explaining the cancellation. “We regret to inform you that we are canceling our shechita (ritual slaughter) workshop planned for this

Sunday,” the e-mail began. “Our landlord has asked us to cancel the event. We do not have explicit permission in our lease for this activity. It has also become clear that there is a significant protest being organized outside the farm during the workshop. The noise and disruption expected from the protesters would very likely have caused undue stress to the chickens and the program participants, and prevent us from holding a safe, educational and compassionate workshop.” In a phone interview with j. on May 1, Berman would not comment on the fate of the chickens now that the workshop is canceled. “We don’t yet know what we are doing with the chickens. We are considering our options,” he said, declining to elaborate. Berman said the Urban Adamah staff wanted to go ahead with the event, even after opposition began mounting in the form of phone calls and e-mails to Urban Adamah, e-mail blasts from animal rights activists and several groups calling for protests. A Facebook page titled “Protest in Berkeley: Save 15 Young Hens from Slaughter” featured a stark image of a chicken having its throat slashed.

Ex-NY cop arrested for antisemitic graffiti

A former New York policeman was arrested for allegedly spray-painting antisemitic graffiti in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn. Michael Setiawan, 36, was arrested on May 4 for the vandalism spree the previous night throughout Borough Park, New York media reported. The antisemitic graffiti was spray-painted in red on a school building and on 20 private residences and cars. A surveillance camera at the school showed Setiawan spray-painting on the school’s door; hate graffiti was found there. Setiawan was charged with criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes, the local NBC television affiliate reported. “It is unconscionable that someone would spray such hateful graffiti across our community... the crime is only more appalling that it was done on the holiest day of our week,” said Councilman David Greenfield, who represents the area, according to the New York Post.

Report: Pakistan planned attacks on U.S., Israeli consulates in India

Pakistani security services planned to carry out terror attacks on a U.S. and an Israeli consulate in India, Indian security agencies said. Information about the attack was given to Indian security services by a Sri Lankan national – allegedly hired by Pakistani officials as part of the plan – during an interrogation, The Times Of India reported on May 4. The Sri Lankan, Sakir Hussain, said Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency planned to attack the U.S. consulate in Chennai and the Israeli consulate in Bangalore. Hussain reportedly said he was ordered to arrange identification papers for two bombers from Maldives. Indian investigators reportedly found photos of the U.S. and Israeli consulates in Hussain’s possession. A Pakistani government spokesman in Sri Lanka, Muhammad Daud Ehtisham, dismissed the report as a “malicious media campaign” and speculative, The Times Of India reported.

Cantor, Wasserman Schultz invite bombing victim’s family on prayer day

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the Republican majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, made reflections on the murder of a Jewish teenager in Israel a centerpiece of the Congressional National Day of Prayer. The two leaders, who are both Jewish, invited Tuly and Sheryl Wultz to address lawmakers and their staffs on May 1, the first Thursday in May, designated as the National Day of Prayer by a 1952 law. The parents of Daniel Cantor Wultz, one of 11 people murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Tel Aviv in 2006, were invited to speak “about how prayers from people around the world touched and sustained Daniel and their family during the time following the terror attack that wounded Daniel and Tuly, and, ultimately led to Daniel’s death,” according to

the invitation to the event. Sheryl Wultz is Cantor’s cousin. In remarks to the press after the session, which took place in the Capitol, the couple said the national day of prayer was an appropriate time to remember their son. “This was a great way to honor Daniel who was committed to prayer himself,” Sheryl Wultz said. “He had his kippah and his tzitzit on when the bombing took place.” The Wultzes are suing the Bank of China for funneling money to the terrorist groups behind the bombing.

Czech court says final “no” to Jewish restitution claim

The Czech Republic’s highest court rejected the restitution claim of descendants of a Jew whose button factory had been nationalized. The Constitutional Court published its ruling on the factory of Zikmund Waldes on May 2, The Associated Press reported. The ruling confirmed a 2010 verdict, which overturned a 2009 decision by the Supreme Court that found in favor of the claimants – three relatives of Waldes, who owned the Koh-i-noor factory in Prague when the Nazis seized it in 1939 during their occupation of what was then Czechoslovakia. In addition, the heirs will not get back a collection of some 20 paintings that were housed in the plant. The latest verdict, which is final, said the legal complaint by the heirs was “clearly baseless” because it didn’t contain any new arguments. The factory, which manufactured snap buttons, was nationalized after the war in 1945. After the fall of communism, the state sold the factory to a private owner in 1994. No compensation was ever paid to the family, according to AP. The Constitutional Court ruled in 2010 that the heirs have no right to claim the property because, according to Czech law, only what was seized after the communists took power in 1948 can be returned. The ruling came just months after the Czech Republic and more than 40 other nations agreed in Prague in 2010 on the firstever set of global guidelines for returning real estate stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners or heirs.

Rio de Janeiro gets new eruv

The Jewish community of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil concluded the launch of its first eruv – an area where Orthodox Jews may carry items outside their homes on Shabbat. The new eruv of Copacabana and Ipanema – two southern neighborhoods that are famous for their beach scenes – was certified last week by Kolel Rio, a Jewish religious seminary that was established 12 years ago. The new eruv extends four miles along the coast, from the Amirante Julia de Nornoha beach in northern Copacabana to Epitacio Pessoa Avenue, which is the southern limit of Ipanema. Work began on the new eruv last year, and rabbinical authorities soon recognized that it covered some of the area of Copacabana. But on April 25, the v was redefined and officially declared as encompassing both neighborhoods. “I confirm that I have inspected the entirety of the Ipanema and Copacabana v and have seen it was constructed according to the letter of the halacha,” Rabbi Shmuel A. Havlin, head of the Ohel Yossef kollel of Sao Paulo wrote in a statement that the Rio kollel posted online on April 25. It and its portals were “built in accordance with all halachic intricate details, and it is permissible to carry on Shabbat within the parameter,” Halvin wrote. The eruv has a breadth of approximately one mile inland from the beach, according to an interactive map that Kolel Rio prepared and published online. An eruv is a symbolic boundary that, according to Jewish law turns public space into an enclosed community area. Jews who observe halacha, or Jewish law, refrain from carrying anything on Shabbat in areas without v – an abstention that often means weekend confinement eruv families, especially those with small children. To have the eruv certified by rabbinical authorities, the kollel staff needed to demonstrate that the eruv territory can, in theory, be cordoned off from the surrounding environment. Photos released by Kolel Rio show its students and staff using cranes to extend ropes to demarcate the eruv boundaries from electricity posts. But they used existing topographic features such as mountains and the seafront, the website of Kolel Rio said. Rio de Janeiro has approximately 40,000 Jews.

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May 8, 2014 Edition of the Reporter  

May 8, 2014 Edition of the Reporter

May 8, 2014 Edition of the Reporter  

May 8, 2014 Edition of the Reporter