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Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania MAY 10, 2012


Pocono Alliance Chapter Inaugural Breakfast scheduled for May 31

NEPA Jewish Federation Business and Trade Alliance, Wilkes-Barre Chapter, inaugurated on May 1 The Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Jewish Federation Business and Trade Alliance was formally inaugurated on May 1 at a breakfast hosted at The Woodlands restaurant. The event was sponsored by Riggs Asset Management, several of whose corporate executives were in attendance. More than 20 businessmen and women from Greater Wilkes-Barre were joined by an equal number of members from the Scranton Alliance Chapter – which was organized at a similar inaugural breakfast event, held at the Radisson Hotel in Scranton on November 29 – and the soon-to-be-organized Pocono Alliance Chapter, whose Inaugural Breakfast has been scheduled for Thursday, May 31, at Temple Israel of the Poconos, Stroudsburg. Although the latter event is still several weeks away, already 21 Jewish-owned business persons from Pike, Wayne and Monroe counties have registered their attendance. The Pocono Inaugural Breakfast will be sponsored by Bruce Stein, president of JMC Restaurant Group. Introductions were made by Jeff Roth, of Wilkes-Barre, who thanked the staff and members of the Wilkes-Barre Federation for their efforts in promoting the Alliance, as well as those who attended the breakfast. Following Roth, Mark Silverberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, reviewed the goals and purposes that led to the establishment of the Alliance in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He said he was grateful to Becky Schastey, of BLS Web Strategies, who designed the Alliance website.

Silverberg explained that “the one common thread” that binds the Jewish communities together in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties is the concept of “family.” He noted that, as “family,” today’s communi- Becky Schastey, ties owe a debt to those webmaster of who created them more the Alliance than a century ago, to the site, attended community’s children the program. and businesses, to Israel and to the future communities “to assist each other, to work in developing joint regional business enterprises through the Alliance, to frequent Jewish-owned businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania and to participate in the daily life of our Jewish communities, whether in Honesdale, Hemlock Farms, Stroudsburg, Pocono Pines, Wilkes-Barre or Scranton.” He also stressed the importance of corporate sponsorships as a means of furthering the planned programs of the Alliance in the coming months. Schastey, the Alliance’s webmaster, presented to the audience the new website,, and explained the services it offers to Alliance members through Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo Groups, Google+, Twitter and other social media outlets, and detailed how the site was designed to assist the business interests of Alliance members through the Business and Trade Directory, the posting of resumes for those seeking employment and any Northeastern Pennsylvania business job openings

L-r: Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania President Margaret Sheldon; Riggs Asset Management representatives Robert H. Graham Jr. and Alan J. Glassman; and Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania Executive Director Mark Silverberg attended the breakfast. for which such qualified professionals inside or outside Pennsylvania could apply. All attendees were provided with specially-designed Alliance name tags and were encouraged to register on the Alliance website to take advantage of its promotional tools. All were encouraged to attend the Pocono Inaugural Breakfast on May 31 to network with other Jewish-owned businesses in the region, but also “as a sign of solidarity with the goals and mission of the Alliance.” Business and Trade Alliance mission and goals According to documentation distributed See “Alliance” on page 5

Above, left and right: Business Alliance participants attended the Inaugural Breakfast.

SHDS 64 anniversary dinner to be held on May 13 th

Final plans have been made for the Scranton Hebrew Day School’s 64th Anniversary Dinner, which will be held on Sunday, May 13, at the JCC. The event will begin with cocktails at 4:30 pm, followed by Mincha at 5 pm and dinner at 5:30 pm. Tributes will be paid to several honorees, including:

‹‹ Parents of the Year – Rabbi Chaim and Chana Weg ‹‹ Grandparents of the Year – Rabbi Yisroel and Reyna Hisiger ‹‹ Yovel Jubilee Alumna of the Year – Nancy Harris Friedberg ‹ ‹ Alumni of the Year – Rachael Plotkin Gudema, Michelle Plotkin Gudema and

Moshe Plotkin Avideo presentation byAbish Seiff Productions will be shown, incorporating the honorees’ relationship with the day school, as well as highlights from the school’s past 64 years. To inquire whether dinner reservations are still available, call the school office at 346-1576, ext. 2.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Point/counterpoint

Battle lines drawn...

From cantor to opera

Federation on Facebook

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

Candle lighting May 11...............................................7:53 pm May 18.....................................................8 pm May 25...............................................8:07 pm May 26...............................................9:08 pm May 27...............................................9:09 pm

Two views on the appropriate use Five buildings in the West Bank’s A look at Sharon Azrieli-Perez and PLUS of the Title VI legal protections for Ulpana are slated for demolition, her career in opera and singing as Opinion...........................................................2 Jewish students. but legal wrangling is ongoing. a cantor. Jewish Community Center News............6 Stories on page 2 Stories on pages 4 and 15 Story on page 9 D’var Torah.................................................10



a matter of opinion


Jewish groups should embrace new legal protection for Jewish students By Morton A. Klein and Susan B. Tuchman (JTA) – Imagine if the NAACP responded with skepticism to the passage of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and urged African Americans to exercise their civil rights cautiously under this law. Title VI was landmark legislation when it was passed in 1964 to remedy racial and ethnic discrimination in programs receiving federal funding. In fact, the NAACP fought for Title VI’s passage and has vigorously sought to enforce it to uphold the right of African Americans to be free from discrimination. Jewish students are facing their own serious problems of harassment and discrimination at schools receiving federal funding. After a six-year campaign by the Zionist Organization of America, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, finally clarified in October 2010 that Jewish students finally would be afforded the same protection from harassment and discrimination under Title VI that other minorities have enjoyed for close to 50 years. Yet instead of embracing the new legal protection, some in the Jewish community have been strangely critical of it. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs describes itself as “the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community” in the Jewish community relations field. Its national member agencies include the

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

President: Margaret Sheldon Executive Director: Mark Silverberg Advisory Board Chair: Margaret Sheldon Executive Editor: Rabbi Rachel Esserman Layout Editor: Diana Sochor Assistant Editor: Michael Nassberg Production Coordinator: Jenn DePersis Graphic Artist: Danielle Esquivel Advertising Representative: Bonnie Rozen Circulation: Maria Kutz

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

Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and more than 100 Jewish community relations councils throughout the country. A year after the Office for Civil Rights’ policy clarification, the JCPA proposed a resolution regarding Title VI. Instead of praising the new policy and committing to a nationwide campaign to educate Jewish students and university officials about students’ right to be protected from antisemitic harassment and discrimination under Title VI, the JCPA resolution tried to impose unreasonably harsh standards on when Jewish students should use the law to rectify a hostile antisemitic school environment – stricter even than the standards that the Office for Civil Rights applies. Critics of the new Title VI policy have paid little attention to the fact that the policy has already shown its value. University of California President Mark Yudof recently issued a public statement in which he condemned antisemitic harassment on the UC campuses. In April, Rutgers University President Richard McCormick issued a statement publicly condemning a student paper, The Medium, for falsely claiming that an article mocking the Holocaust had been written by a vocal Jewish, pro-Israel student. McCormick said that “no individual student should be subject to such a vicious, provocative and hurtful piece, regardless of whether First Amendment protections apply to such expression.” Significantly, McCormick had failed to condemn previous antisemitic incidents on campus. It is likely that OCR’s Title VI policy, which recommends that university leaders label certain incidents as antisemitic, played a role in the decisions of both McCormick and Yudof to speak out. Surely also at play was the fact that there are Title VI investigations pending against their schools. The David Project recently issued a report about rethinking Israel advocacy on campus. Curiously, the report cautions that “legitimate efforts to combat campus antisemitism could be complicated by overly aggressive complaints” under Title VI. But what are “legitimate efforts”? And what does the David Project mean by “overly aggressive”? Only weeks after the Office for Civil Rights issued its new Title VI policy, the ZOA was able to use it effectively without even filing a complaint with the OCR. We contacted officials at a Maine high school where there was longstanding antisemitic harassment and informed them of their Title VI obligations. The school acted on nearly all our recommendations and rectified the situation. Would the David Project consider our actions legitimate or overly aggressive? What if school officials had refused to fix the problems? Would a Title VI complaint then have been legitimate? It is difficult to understand why members of the Jewish community are skeptical of a critical new legal tool under Title VI or why they are sending a cautious message about using it. We should be fully supportive of Jewish students and holding schools accountable when they don’t respond to campus antisemitism. It’s time for us to stop being “shahstill” frightened Jews of the previous generation and start strongly speaking out on behalf of our Jewish brethren when necessary. Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Susan B. Tuchman is the director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice.

Title VI should be used only on true hatemongers, not political opponents By David A.M. Wilensky (JTA) – In the eyes of the Zionist Organization of America, the most depraved enemies of the Jewish people are obnoxious college campus loudmouths. As the editor of New Voices, a national magazine by and for Jewish college students, I have a different perspective. The ZOA led the campaign to have discrimination against Jewish students recognized as a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, originally passed in 1964 to remedy racial discrimination in programs that receive federal funding. But in its charge to circle the Jewish communal wagons, the ZOA has overreached. ZOA President Morton Klein and Susan Tuchman, director of the group’s Center for Law and Justice, wrote in a JTA op-ed that Jewish college students today face “harassment and discrimination at schools receiving federal funding.” The ZOA pitched a six-year fit about it, which the group credits with this triumph: “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, finally clarified in October 2010 that Jewish students finally would be afforded the same protection” that other minorities have under Title VI. The ZOA campaign capitalizes on and needlessly exacerbates the Jewish community’s already unwarranted paranoia about what’s happening to our young men and women on campus. As a member of the class of 2011 and as the editor of New Voices, I can say with confidence that there’s never been a better time to walk the halls and lawns of American academia as a Jew. Thankfully, the response from leading groups like the Anti-Defamation League to the ZOA’s call to steamroll colleges into submission with Title VI has been tepid at best. It’s good that Jews are covered by Title VI, but let’s make sure we use the coverage to protect ourselves from true hatemongers, not mere political opponents. That the ZOA is at the vanguard on this issue – instead of, say, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which has been unfairly pilloried by Title VI’s Jewish cheering section for cautioning restraint – should be the first clue that this push to sue universities under civil rights legislation is not just about protecting Jews. In the race to ferret out Israel’s on-campus detractors, ZOA leaders have conflated two unlike things: They wrongly act as though opposition to Zionism is always antisemitism. It’s not so simple. As much as our rightmost flank would like for Zionism to be codified into the Jewish faith – perhaps a 14 th for Maimonides’ 13 principles? – it is neither universal nor central. Rather, it is a political movement, one that gives expression to an ancient Jewish hope, but a political movement nonetheless. Zionism itself is no more at the essence of Jewish belief than is membership in large suburban synagogues.

Klein and Tuchman tsk-tsk their critics, saying their detractors ignore “that the policy has already shown its value.” They are right that there have been Jewish Title VI victories, but in their rush to stoke our anxiety about Jewish life on campus they skip over the real wins, which have involved high schools, not colleges. Instead, they cite statements issued by University of California President Mark Yudof and Rutgers University President Richard McCormick condemning behavior on campus that was downright nasty and might be seen as antisemitic as well. But Title VI is a federal law. Shouldn’t the real wins come in court or official rulings by the OCR? In fact, such outcomes have been mixed, at best. A case against the University of California, Berkeley was dismissed by a federal court. One complaint at the University of California, Irvine was tossed out before Title VI covered Jews, but is now being reconsidered. At Barnard College in New York, one was tossed out this year when it became clear that there was nothing more than dubious he said/she said evidence. The real successes have come at the high school level. A case regarding a bullied Virginia high school student was ruled in the complainant’s favor. The Forward recently reported that this is the only case so far to result in such a ruling. Most important, the incident did not involve Israel, but classic swastika-laden antisemitic tropes. When less confrontational means fail, true antisemitism like this should certainly be fought under Title VI – wherever this filth rears its head, be it on a college campus, in a high school or, God forbid, in younger grades. Meanwhile, the ZOA-backed college cases – attempts to use Title VI as a bludgeon to advance the ZOA’s far-right political viewpoints – aren’t going anywhere. In at least one example, it has even led to the despicable targeting of fellow Jews. As Shani Chabansky, a Jewish student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, wrote in February in New Voices and the Forward, a Title VI complaint at UCSC has sparked a witch hunt within the Jewish community, hurting more than helping many Jewish students. Jewish students who subscribe to left-wing forms of Zionism shamefully have been accused of being anti-Israel. The ZOA’s intent is now clear: Its use of Title VI is a political tactic that targets valid, albeit distasteful and wrongheaded, political debate. Even as a transparent attempt to stifle legitimate discourse, the ZOA’s Title VI campaign is hardly the success that Klein and Tuchman make it out to be. David A.M. Wilensky is the editor of New Voices magazine and executive director of the Jewish Student Press Service.

MAY 10, 2012 ■



community news Annual Shavuot special order bake sale at SHDS The Scranton Hebrew Day School will once again offer a selection of special order baked goods and yom tov specialties for Shavuot. Among the products sold will be sweet dairy or

pareve noodle kugel; cheese blintzes; no dough potato knishes; blueberry apple kugel; cinnamon or chocolate bobka; spinach, broccoli or onion mushroom quiches; chocolate toffee torte; vegetable or zucchini potato

soup; and dairy or pareve cheesecake. Quantities will be very limited. For more information, call the school office at 346-1576, ext. 2. The order deadline is Monday, May 14.

Oppenheim Institute held at Temple Hesed By Emily Trunzo The Oppenheim Institute was held at Temple Hesed on April 13. The guest speakers were Rabbis Erin Glazer and Joseph Skloot. They were invited by Jane Oppenheim, founder of the Oppenheim Institute, which is held each spring at Temple Hesed in a joint effort with the

Social Action Committee from Temple Hesed. Skloot is the grandson of a former rabbi of Temple Hesed, Rabbi Samuel Volkman. Additionally on April 13, Dr. Judith Golden, head of the Social Action Committee, presented a special declaration from Temple Hesed to Emily Trunzo for her work in Social

Action and for her 12 years of leading the Back to School project. Golden then introduced Oppenheim. She spoke about her friendship with Volkman and his family, which continues today. Oppenheim invited the rabbis to speak to the congregation and guests on the topic of religion and politics. Their topic was “Religion and Politics: Religion’s Mandate and American Democracy.” At the oneg, prepared by the Social Action Committee, there was an opportunity for refreshments and questions and discussion with Glazer and Skloot. The community was invited to the Friday night service and a large congregation was on hand to welcome the rabbis, according to organizers of the program.

S E N I L D A E D Dr. Judith Golden, head of the Social Action Committee, addressed the audience.

Jane Oppenheim, founder of the Oppenheim Institute at Temple Hesed, spoke at the program.

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

Michael Hanley, director of United Neighborhoods, and Natalie Solfanelli attended the oneg Shabbat.

At left: Dr. Judith Golden, head of the Temple Hesed Social Action Committee; Emily Trunzo, recipient of the Declaration of Honor; Jane Oppenheim, founder of the Oppenheim Institute; and Rabbi Daniel Swartz posed together at the event.



Thursday, May 10.................................. May 24 Thursday, May 24.................................... June 7 Thursday, June 7.................................... June 21 Thursday, June 21.....................................July 5

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

Michael Friedman and Rabbi Marjorie Swartz enjoyed the oneg.

Rabbi Erin Glazer and Rabbi Joseph Skloot were the event’s guest speakers.

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Battle lines drawn in the West Bank’s Ulpana neighborhood, with far-reaching implications

By Eetta Prince-Gibson BEIT EL, West Bank (JTA) – Alex Traiman stands under a tarp in his spacious backyard as his 10-year-old, Tmima, turns cartwheels on the lawn. “This is our home,” Traiman says, pointing to his single-floor apartment filled with books and children’s toys. “We did not come here to trample on anyone’s rights – we came here to raise our children with values and ethics and to settle the land of Israel.” Through the haze on an unusually cold day in late April, the barren Judean Hills and, farther to the west, the modern office towers of the Palestinian city of Ramallah provide the background for his emotionfilled statements. Traiman, a documentary filmmaker, came to Israel from New York with his family eight years ago, moving to the settlement of Beit El. His apartment is in the Ulpana neighborhood among a block of terraced rows of 14 identical three-story buildings, each with six apartments. Last year, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that five of the buildings, including the Traimans’, were to be demolished by May 1 because a Palestinian resident of a nearby village owns the land. The state had specifically told the court that it would obey that ruling. But on April 27, the State Attorney’s Office notified the court that the government is reneging on the decision pending a review of its policies regarding West Bank structures built on contested and privately owned land. All sides acknowledge that the resolution in Ulpana, however it turns out, will have significant implications for the entire settlement enterprise. “With all that is happening – nuclear threats from Iran, instability in Egypt, war in Syria, unrest throughout the world – how have these five buildings, housing 30 dedicated, law-abiding families, become such a flashpoint?” Traiman wants to know. The Ulpana neighborhood grew from a promise that Benjamin Netanyahu made in December 1996, during his first term as prime minister. Attending the funeral of Eta Tzur and her son, Ephraim, murdered in an ambush shooting not far from their Beit El home, Netanyahu stood by the fresh graves in the small communal cemetery and promised the thousands of mourners that in the Tzurs’ memory, a new neighborhood would be built that “would never, ever be evacuated.” Eta Tzur’s widower, Yoel, a real estate developer working with Amana, the settle-

The fate of the Ulpana neighborhood is pending a review of Israeli policies on West Bank structures built on contested and privately owned land. (Photo by Noam Moskowitz/ Flash90/JTA) ment movement’s construction and housing company, told JTA that he developed the plans for the area and personally investigated the legality of the land purchase. “As a developer and investor, of course I wouldn’t build here if the land hadn’t been legally purchased,” he said. “Even though this land was promised to us by God, we purchased the land at its full-market value.” Tzur said he cannot reveal the name or other details of the seller because, according to Palestinian law, any Arab who sells land to a Jew will be put to death. Construction began in the late 1990s with the establishment of two religious high schools for girls. (In Hebrew, a religious high school for girls is known as an ulpana, thus providing the neighborhood with its name.) Construction on the apartment houses began in 2003-04, and the first residents moved into their apartments in early 2009. Palestinian residents of the nearby village of Dura al-Kara have claimed from the beginning, however, that the land had never been legally sold and Israeli courts issued their first stop-work order in September 1999. Since then, numerous stop-work and subsequent demolition orders have been issued. Despite the rulings, a 2005 report prepared by attorney Talia Sasson for thenPrime Minister Ariel Sharon reveals that the Construction and Housing Ministry provided more than $1 million in funding for the neighborhood’s construction. Moreover, settlers who bought apartments in the buildings each received government

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incentive grants of some $20,000 and Israeli banks issued them mortgages underwritten by the state. By August 2008, residents of Dura alKara, assisted by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, petitioned the Supreme Court asking that the construction be stopped and the buildings not be populated. During the hearings, the state specifically told the court that the Amana company had known that the ostensible Palestinian “seller” did not have the legal right to sell the land. The state offered to demolish the buildings and, in the last hearing in October 2011, the court issued its final ruling stating that the buildings must be demolished by May 1, 2012. A day before that October hearing, Amana filed suit in the Jerusalem District Court demanding that the property ownership issues be clarified. However, in issuing its ruling, the Supreme Court stated that based on the state’s evidence, the buildings should be demolished regardless of the decisions in the District Court. Beit El Mayor Moshe Rosenbaum insists that the Supreme Court ruling is unjust. “This is merely a land dispute and it should be settled just like any land dispute,” he said. “And since we have acted in good faith, the buildings should never be demolished. At most, maybe we should compensate the real owners, if it turns out that a fraud was committed.” But Shlomy Zacharia, one of a team of lawyers representing the Palestinians, insists that the settlers’ claims that the issue “is merely a land dispute” are disingenuous. “They have known all along – even the state has told them – that the land is not theirs,” he said. “They are acting out of ideological motivations and ideological motivations must never serve as a justification for acts that are clearly illegal.” As May 1 approached, the impending demolitions threatened to topple Netanyahu’s coalition. With the scent of elections already wafting in the air, Cabinet ministers and rank-and-file Knesset members from Netanyahu’s Likud Party began staking out increasingly right-wing positions. The

Cabinet held a series of sessions regarding the removal of buildings in the West Bank built on private Palestinian land and set up a committee, headed by retired Justice Edmund Levy, to investigate the matter in depth. In late April, the government decided to authorize three outposts in the West Bank retroactively, drawing harsh criticism from the international community as well as the opposition in Israel. In his April 27 letter to the court, the state attorney wrote that “the government is pursuing a new policy, by which decisions regarding structures built on land whose ownership is contested will be made on case-by-case merit... after giving due consideration to the broad social implications the implementation of these policies may have on future construction.” Zacharia says the government “is undoing the rule of law.” “It is reneging on its own promises and defying the ruling of the Supreme Court,” he told JTA. “Furthermore, it is ignoring the rights of private ownership, which are not only a cornerstone of democracy but are especially necessary in a situation like this because the Palestinians do not have the political clout to influence the government’s decisions.” Not surprisingly, settlers welcomed the government’s move. “We are Jewish patriots and we have come here to live in the spirit of God’s promise to Jacob, that this will be our land,” Rosenbaum said. “We are also lawabiding citizens and we are convinced that the government will find a way to prevent the demolitions, to prevent such a terrible moral and legal injustice.” The situation remains unclear. As of May 1, the Supreme Court had not yet responded to the state’s letter of April 27. In a separate case involving two other illegal buildings in Beit El, the state asked for a 90-day extension to reconsider its options; the court granted a 60-day extension. A military source, speaking with JTA on condition of anonymity, said the military is concerned that extremists among the settlers may “interpret the government’s actions and rejection of court-ordered demolitions as a green light for violent resistance. They may also step up the ‘price tag’ attacks,” the source said, referring to attacks by settlers against Palestinian property. Thousands of structures that the government has promised the courts it will demolish are scattered throughout the West Bank, including the settlements of Givat Assaf, slated for demolition by July 1, and Amona, which is to be demolished by the end of the year. In February 2006, the attempt by security forces to take over nine homes in Amona led to clashes in which more than 200 were hurt, including 80 members of the security forces. “This is not merely a matter of legalities, or justice or private property or even rule of law,” said Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council of Settlements. “Above all, it’s a matter of whether we should or should not have Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.”

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With Sacks retiring, British Jews mixed on relevancy of chief rabbi affiliated Jews to just over half. By Dianna Cahn In a time of deepening polarization among the (JTA) – The search to replace Britain’s powerJewish denominations, Sacks has been criticized ful longtime chief rabbi has gone international, for alienating progressive and secular Jews, parbut even as resumes are gathered and interviews ticularly over Jewish status issues such as converconducted, some are questioning whether the sion and marriage. He is seen as leaning right, position is still relevant and what it means today toward the haredi Orthodox community, while for the Anglo Jewish community. the Reform, Liberal and Masorti (Conservative) As chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks brought international attention to the post as an eloquent After 21 years, movements don’t recognize his authority and each writer and speaker on modern Jewish and social Rabbi Jonathan has its own senior rabbi. “The current chief rabbi of the United Synaissues, gaining recognition as an ambassador for Sacks is retiring gogue is a very wise counsel who has done an the whole of the Jewish community. Sacks’ writas Britain's chief enormous amount for interfaith relations and is a ings on strengthening education, creating social mechanisms to counter crime and violence, and rabbi. (Photo really valuable addition to the British Jewish comU n i t e d munity,” said Ben Rich, the Reform movement’s instilling moral values in society are often taken b y Synagogue) chief executive. “He’s very good at interfaith, but into the public policy sphere for discussion. “With Jonathan Sacks you have somebody who has the not very good at intrafaith.” With the fragmentation of Britain’s Jews, there is gravitas and respect of the wider population of this country as a leading spiritual figure,” said Alexander Goldberg, a debate over what the office of chief rabbi means today: who should it represent, what should its focus be and, for Jewish chaplain and interfaith expert. But Sacks’ tenure as head of the centrist Orthodox some, whether the institution has become bigger than the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth position it represents. “I argue that the chief rabbinate has all but passed its coincided with an era of sweeping decline in Jewish affiliation, particularly among the mainstream Orthodox he sell-by date,” said Meir Persoff, the longtime former Juleads. In the 21 years since he became chief rabbi, Modern daism editor at the London-based Jewish Chronicle and Orthodox Jewry dropped from two-thirds of Britain’s author of “Another Way, Another Time.”


at the breakfast, and as noted on the Alliance website, the Alliance is designed to: ‹‹ Develop a culture of directing business to Alliance members by fostering a welcoming environment conducive to Jewish-owned businesses and professionals. ‹‹ Develop business contacts through networking that will facilitate growth in each member’s business. ‹‹ Serve as a sounding board for new ideas and possible investment opportunities with one another. ‹‹ Develop joint business opportunities by exporting to other countries. ‹‹ Host card exchange social events. ‹‹ Provide member contact information through an online catalogue of goods and services offered by Alliance members.

‹‹ Link the Alliance website with each member’s website through the new Business and Trade List Directory. ‹‹ Post resumes or job openings on the Alliance website. ‹‹ Join LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Yahoo Groups. ‹‹ Undertake regularly-scheduled breakfasts and luncheons featuring prominent business people and community leaders who have achieved “exceptional success” in their professional careers. ‹‹ Host discussion forums, workshops and seminars on a variety of professional development subjects. ‹ ‹ Hold up-to-the-minute briefings on issues that affect the economy, the business world, Israel and the Jewish people. ‹‹ Organize business-oriented missions to Israel and work

“The chief rabbinate has caused more controversy than peace,” Persoff said in an interview. “For the sake of peace, the non-Orthodox movements have let him have his say as spokesman for Anglo Jewry. But they argue with him over conversion, marriage and divorce to such an extent that the chief rabbinate is bound to create more problems than drawing the community together.” Modeled after the archbishop of Canterbury, the chief rabbinate was created in Victorian times to give the monarchy a single address for British Jewry. He is selected by the United Synagogue, the governing body of the Orthodox synagogues, which decides on the method and chooses the committee that will make the appointment. At the time the post was created, 85 percent of British Jews were Orthodox. But modern-day Judaism, much like the Anglican Church, is losing ground as a uniform community. Jewish synagogue membership dropped from 99,763 in 1990 to 82,963 by 2010, according to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Centrist, or Modern, Orthodoxy lost 20,000 of its 66,000 members, countered by a doubling of the haredi community and sharp growth in the tiny Conservative community, which went from 1,226 members to 2,269 in the same period. Within the Modern Orthodox fold, there is discussion over how to breathe new life into the movement and See “British” on page 10

Continued from page 1 with the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce to capitalize on the latest technologies emanating from that country. ‹‹ Provide interaction with and support for and with local Chambers of Commerce. ‹‹ Become active in Jewish communal organizations, thereby ensuring “a more enriched” Jewish life in the region for future generations. ‹‹ Encourage the business community’s financial support for the Jewish Federations of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Greater Wilkes-Barre. Business leaders interested in playing an active role in the development of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Jewish Federation Business and Trade Alliance should contact Silverberg at 961-2300, ext. 1, or Schastey at bschastey@ or

Sign up today! The Jewish Federation is proud to give a helping hand to the businesses, business professionals, and non-profit organizations of NEPA during these difficult economic times by creating the NEPA Jewish Federation Business & Trade Alliance.

It will allow people from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne and Pike counties 24/7 access to: . Exchange Business Leads

. Post Job Opportunities and Receive Resumes

. Promote your Business

. Increase Search Engine Optimization

. Develop Critical Business Skills and Solutions

. Socialize and Network with Other Successful Business people

Sign up for membership at If you have not yet registered your business on our new Alliance web site, please contact Mark Silverberg at 570-961-2300 (ext. 1) or with your contact person, business name, business phone number, business e-mail address, and regular business postal address to ensure further Business and Trade Alliance communications and event invitations.

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jewish community center news Social Adult Club volunteers honored

By Emily Trunzo Volunteer members of the Social Adult Club were honored for many areas of volunteering by the club’s members on April 23. The volunteers included club members, officers of the board, table setters, those who clean up and many who served the senior lunch. Additionally, there were ticket sellers and greeters, committee chairmen and activity leaders. The seniors helped at lunches, brunches, dinners and Bingo. There were always volunteers that just stepped up when help was needed. The SAC director, Tim Lauffenburger, put together decorations for the lunch room and prepared a red rose for each volunteer, the names of whom were read by Leah Gans. Each volunteer, which included almost every senior in the group, stepped forward to be recognized and to receive a certificate and rose from Lauffenburger. The entertainment was provided by the Barbara Cohen and Joe Cole musical group. They performed popular songs and some soft jazz music. Organizers of the program and luncheon said it was enjoyed by those in attendance.

Tim Lauffenburger posed with Lee Pachter of the welcoming committee.

Millie Weinberg (front), who cleans after lunch, was seen with Leah Gans (back, left) and Tim Lauffenburger (right).

Tim Lauffenburger met with Esther Rosenfeld, the club’s past president.

Tim Lauffenburger gave a rose to Marlene Leiber, who sets tables.

Tim Lauffenburger posed with Eileen Baine, past president and trip chairwoman, while musician Joe Cole looked on.

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

Tim Lauffenburger met with Charlotte Gurevitz, table setter and lunch server.

MAY 10, 2012 ■



Israel under the radar

Lawmaker can’t dance, a Facebook friends’ wedding by MARCY OSTER JERUSALEM (JTA) – Here are some recent stories from Israel that you may have missed: She should be dancing, yeah A member of Israel’s parliament who wanted to get closer to the people by participating in Israel’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” will have to find another way, the Knesset’s legal adviser suggested. Kadima lawmaker Nino Abesadze cannot join the reality show on Israel’s Channel 2, Eyal Yinon ruled, because it could cloud her judgment on media issues. He drew a distinction in his decision between appearing on a reality show, which promotes the commercial interests of the broadcaster, and on interview and roundtable discussion shows. Abesadze had agreed to donate to charity any winnings from the popular show and to remove herself from votes on media issues. The mayor of Bat Yam, Shlomo Lahiani, is reported to be a dancer on the program’s new season. Meanwhile, Abesadze says she’ll continue to seek a shot on the show. Barak looking for new apartment at $8,000 a month Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his wife are looking to rent a new apartment in a luxury Tel Aviv apartment complex for about $8,000 a month after selling their apartment in the city for about $7 million. They have already purchased a new apartment in Tel Aviv, which has not yet been built. Barak and wife Nili Priel are looking now to rent a flat in a tony Tel Aviv neighborhood until the new apartment is ready, Ha’aretz reported. They sold their space in the Akirov Towers last month. “My wife, Nili, and I decided we should sell the apart-

ment, since we recognized that it distanced us from large portions of the population,” Barak wrote on his Facebook page. He added that it was “hard not to notice the public criticism of where I lived.” Facebook friends put on a special wedding An Israeli couple has hundreds of new friends thanks to a Facebook campaign that helped them raise money and receive free services in order to have a real wedding. The couple, from Bat Yam, reportedly told friends that they would go to the rabbinate and get married without all the frills and fancy clothes. But one of the couple’s friends decided that the couple should have a special wedding day and opened a Facebook page called “organizing a wedding together” in order to help them out. Strangers volunteered such services as putting on the bride’s makeup and driving them to the wedding, Ynet reported. Bands and photographers also volunteered their talents. Volunteers also purchased electrical appliances, furniture and other necessities for the couple, and donated money to a bank account opened for them. Everything comes up “Rose” for Dukakis American actress Olympia Dukakis does not feel the need to boycott Israel like some of her fellow professionals. The Academy Award winner performed a one-woman show in Israel as part of an annual international theater festival. In “Rose,” Dukakis plays an elderly Holocaust survivor who sits shiva for a Palestinian girl shot by her grandson. Her character’s daughter had been killed during World War II. Dukakis performed the play on Broadway in 2000. In Israel,

Bono's Hope-ful note left at the Jerusalem King David Hotel on April 17. (Photo via BuzzFeed) it was performed in English with Hebrew subtitles. Dukakis won an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category in 1987 for her role in “Moonstruck.” Bono leaves Hope-full note at Jerusalem hotel U2 lead singer Bono’s left a Hope-full note at Jerusalem’s King David hotel following a surprise visit to Israel. The note, which offered the hotel “great thanks for great room in great hotel in great city,” centered on a poem which said that “Hope is like a faithful dog.” “In Jerusalem, Hope springs eternal,” the poem read. “Hope is like a faithful dog, sometimes she runs ahead of me to check the future, to sniff it out and then I call to her: Hope, Hope,

come here, and she comes to me. I pet her, she eats out of my hand and sometimes she stays behind, near some other hope maybe to sniff out whatever was. Then I call her my Despair. I call out to her. Here, my little Despair, come here and she comes and snuggles up, and again I call her Hope.” The note also included Bono’s sketch of A Dog called Hope. Bono was on a personal visit to Israel. Supreme Court goes bananas over export of monkeys Israel’s Supreme Court was not monkeying around when it issued an injunction to prevent a shipment of primates from an Israeli breeding farm to a research lab in the United States. The court ruled earlier this month that the Mazor Farm monkey breeding farm near Petach Tikvah could not export 90 female macaque monkeys to the U.S. to be used in scientific experiments. The Let The Animals Live animal rights group had requested the injunction. The farm said the monkeys would be used for “biomedical research aimed at life-saving or preventing suffering in humans,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Let The Animals Live countered that only monkeys raised in captivity could be sent for scientific experiment and many of the monkeys to be exported had been captured in the wild. A panel of judges is scheduled to hear a petition on a permanent injunction now that Passover has passed. Environmental Protection minister Gideon Erdan joined the rights groups’ petition and is working on a new policy that would prevent the export of animals from commercial farms in Israel except under extraordinary circumstances, according to Ha’aretz.

2012 Annual Meeting “Celebrating our Partner Agencies” Scranton Jewish Community Center Koppelman Auditorium Thursday, June 14th, 2012 7:00 PM Program Welcome & Introductions Seth/Sheryl Gross, Chairpersons Anthems Dr. Charles Osborne Invocation Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Temple Hesed Perspectives/Memoriam Margaret Sheldon, President Presidential Award Presentation Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Presentation - UJA Campaign Chairman Award Margaret Sheldon, President Presentation - UJA Women’s Campaign Award Margaret Sheldon, President Recognition - UJA Campaign Leadership Douglas Fink, General Campaign Presentation of Holocaust Education Award Bill & Carol Burke Presentation of Award to Mary Lil Walsh Mark Silverberg, Executive Director Nominating Committee Report Michael Greenstein, Chair Installation of Officers and Trustees Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Temple Hesed

Concluding Remarks Jeff Rubel, Incoming President


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From planting to blessings, Boulder gets into Jewish food movement

By Dvora Meyers BOULDER, CO (JTA) – The new Jewish food movement arose here organically, so to speak. No large federation or organization swooped in to make sustainable farming and eating within a Jewish framework a priority. Yet in this city of 100,000 – some 13,000 residents are Jewish – “green” has long been a way of life. So it’s not surprising that interest in sustainability has led to a variety of Jewish grass-roots projects such as the establishment of greenhouses in food deserts, a chicken and egg co-op, community farms and an organic chicken schechting (kosher butchering) project, along with – thanks to a $335,000 grant from three foundations – the arrival of Hazon, a national Jewish environmental group. The grant, which brought Hazon to the region in December 2010, came from the Rose Foundation and the locally based Oreg Foundation and 18 Pomegranates. On April 29, the partnership among the local funders, activists and environmental organizations will culminate with the Rocky Mountain Food Summit, which will be held at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The event will feature presentations from restaurateurs who use farm-to-table practices in their establishments, ways to adapt your bubbe’s recipes to meet your dietary and health needs, and information about GMOs, genetically modified organisms.

A series of self-improvement and personal growth workshops and seminars which provide tools, strategies and experiences for living a more empowered and fulfilling life.

Registration Fee:

Participants gathered in December 2010 for a Hazon food conference in Sonoma County, CA. (Photo courtesy of Hazon) The goal is to shine a light on local Jews and the food movement, and to provide resources available to groups and individuals who want to change their lives for the more sustainable. Participants will choose three sessions among 22 offerings throughout the day. Middle schoolers can attend classes geared toward their age group, including one in part based on the beloved childhood book “The Little Red Hen.” That session will examine the seed-to-table approach to farming and eating, from planting to blessings. Rabbi Elisheva Brenner, founder and CEO of Eco Glatt; Yadidia Greenberg, who founded the Boulder Kosher meat co-op; and Bob Goldman, whose company LoKo Chicken specializes in both kosher and locally sourced birds for

Spring/Summer Series (4 sessions): Each session: JFS Members - $36 + supplies JFS Members - $10 + supplies Non-Member - $50 + supplies Non-Member - $15 + supplies

consumption, will lead a panel discussion on eco-ethical kosher. The day will conclude with a DIY (do-it-yourself) extravaganza where participants will get their hands dirty – literally in the case of the microgreens workshop – and leave with a new skill in addition to the information gleaned over the course of the three sessions they attended. “We have some of Denver and Boulder’s top chefs, some amazing, successful food entrepreneurs, leaders in the field of food justice, and experts on everything from gardening and baking, beekeeping, canning and beer brewing,” said Josh Dinar, the Hazon steering committee chairman who is working on the conference. See “Food” on page 14

Quick Reference Guide to Planned Giving

Use this planned giving quick reference guide to help determine the best strategy for achieving your philanthropic and financial goals. For more information or to discuss these planned giving options, please contact: Mark Silverberg, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of NEPA, 570-961-2300 (x1) or at

If Your Goal is to:

Come meet nationally known Brew master, Jaime Jurado, get a tour of the newly reopened Susquehanna Brewing Company and sample some beer!

Learn about the latest in mobile technology at the area’s premier Apple authorized store. Checks can be made payable to: Jewish Family Service of Lackawanna Count y Registration & Pre-Payment required For future programming check out our website at www.jfsof Jewish Family Service |615 Jefferson Ave. Scranton | 344-1186

Then You Can:

Your Benefits May Include:

Make a quick & easy gift

Simply write a check now

An income tax deduction and immediate charitable impact

Avoid tax on capital gains

Contribute long-term appreciated stock or other securities

A charitable deduction plus no capital gains tax

Defer a gift until after your lifetime

Put a bequest in your will (gifts of cash, specific property, or a share or the residue of your estate

Exemption from federal estate tax on donations

Receive guaranteed fixed income that is partially tax-free

Create a charitable gift annuity

Current & future savings on income taxes, plus fixed, stable payments

Avoid capital gains tax on the sale of a home or other real estate

Donate the real estate or sell it to a charity at a bargain price

An income tax reduction plus reduction or elimination of capital gains tax

Avoid the two-fold taxation on IRA or other employee benefit plans

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

Tax relief to your family on inherited assets

Give your personal residence or farm, but retain life use

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

Tax advantages plus use of the property

Make a large gift with little cost to you

Contribute a life insurance policy you no longer need or purchase a new one & designate a charity as the owner

Current & possible future income tax deductions

Receive secure, fixed income for life while avoiding market risks

Purchase a charitable gift annuity or create a charitable remainder annuity trust

Tax advantages & possible increased rate of return

Give income from an asset for a period of years but retain the asset for yourself or your heirs

Create a charitable lead trust

Federal estate tax savings on asset & income tax deductions for donated income

Create a hedge against inflation over the long term

Create a charitable remainder unitrust

Variable payments for life plus tax advantages

Make a revocable gift during your lifetime

Name a charity as the beneficiary of assets in a living trust

Full control of the trust terms during your lifetime

Scion of Azrieli family goes from opera to cantor, and back By Alexandra Halpern NEW YORK (JTA) – When Sharon Azrieli-Perez told her father – David Azrieli, one of Israel’s biggest real estate moguls – that she wanted to be an opera singer, he told her he’d pay for voice lessons only if she got into Juilliard. That was all the motivation she needed. “There was a fire in my belly,” Azrieli-Perez told JTA. After gaining admittance to the prestigious Juilliard School in Manhattan and years of hard work, Azrieli-Perez would go on to a career as a noted soprano, performing with orchestras in Tokyo, Montreal, Haifa and Jerusalem. She was described in The New Yorker magazine as “a mistress of merry inflections, piquant phrasing and pointed words.” But in her native Montreal, Azrieli-Perez may be best known for her work in another venue: the synagogue. For a time she was the full-time cantor at Temple Emanuel in Montreal. Now Azrieli-Perez is involved with trying to get a new Reform/Renewal synagogue, the Shir Chadash Community Synagogue, off the ground in the city. Azrieli-Perez says she always has had a passion for things Jewish. It started with her father, a Holocaust survivor who became one of Israel’s leading architects, real estate tycoons and philanthropists. Azrieli, 89, designed Tel Aviv’s iconic Azrieli Center, the largest real estate project in Israel, and

established a charitable foundation on whose Board of Directors Azrieli-Perez serves. Azrieli sent his daughter and her siblings to Jewish day schools. But the young Azrieli-Perez focused on opera after graduating from Vassar College, making jewelry and working at a clothing manufacturer and art galleries to pay for voice lessons until she eventually made it to Juilliard. She went on to earn a doctorate in music at the University of Montreal, where she wrote her thesis on Jewish prayer modes hidden in Verdi’s music. “I’m not saying Verdi was Jewish, though he might have been,” Azrieli-Perez says. “He often dealt with Jewish themes in his opera. He wrote ‘Nabucco,’ and he worked with Jewish librettists.” “Nabucco,” which established Verdi’s reputation as a composer, follows the historical plight of the Jews as they are conquered and exiled by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Its best-known work is “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves.” Azrieli-Perez launched her career in 1992 in a production of the Canadian Opera Company’s “Romeo and Juliet,” then quickly went on to bigger stages in North America, Europe and Asia, working with world-renowned conductors. But after an “unfortunate divorce,” as Azrieli-Perez puts it, her career took a Jewish See “Opera” on page 13

Sharon Azrieli Perez, a Canadian-born opera singer, performed "Turandot" with the New Israel Opera in 2008. (

MAY 10, 2012 ■





Regular Scheduleof


ABINGTON TOR AH CENTER_______________________ 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. BETH SHALOM CONGREGATION___________________ Rabbi Yisroel Brotsky 1025 Vine St., Scranton, PA 18510, (corner of Vine & Clay Ave.) 570-346-0502 • fax: 570-346-8800 Weekday – Shacharit: Sun 8 am; Mon, Thurs. & Rosh Chodesh, 6:30 am; Tue, Wed & Fri, 6:45 am; Sat & Holidays, 8:45 am. Mincha during the week is approx. 10 minutes before sunset, followed by Maariv. BICHOR CHOLEM CONGREGATION/ CHABAD OF THE ABINGTONS_____________________ Rabbi Benny Rapoport President: Richard I. Schwartz 749 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit, PA 18411 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. CONGREGATION BETH ISR AEL____________________ Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Allan L. Smith President: Henry M. Skier Contact Person: Len London (570) 698-9651 615 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431 570-253-2222 • fax: 570-226-1105 CONGREGATION B’NAI HARIM____________________ Affiliation: Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum President: Phyllis Miller P.O. Box 757 Sullivan Rd., Pocono Pines, PA 18350 (located at RT 940 and Pocono Crest Rd at Sullivan Trail 570-646-0100 • Website: Shabbat Morning Services, 10 am – noon; every other Saturday Potluck Shabbat Dinner with blessings and program of varying topics, one Friday every month – call for schedule. JEWISH FELLOWSHIP OF HEMLOCK FARMS__________ Cantor Charles Osborne President: Steve Natt Forest Drive 1516 Hemlock Farms, Lords Valley, PA 18428 570-775-7497 • E-Mail: jf Friday evening Shabbat service 7:30 pm, Saturday morning Shabbat Service 9:30 am. MACHZIKEH HADAS SYNAGOGUE__________________ Rabbi Mordechai Fine President: Dr. Shaya Barax 600 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510 570-342-6271 OHEV ZEDEK CONGREGATION_____________________ Rabbi Mordechai Fine 1432 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA 18510 Contact person: Michael Mellner - 570-343-3183 TEMPLE HESED__________________________________ Union of Reform Judaism Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz Presidents: Eric Weinberg 1 Knox Street, Scranton, PA 18505, (off Lake Scranton Rd.) 570-344-7201 Friday evening Shabbat, 8 pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 11:15 am TEMPLE ISR AEL OF DUNMORE_____________________ President: Isadore Steckel 515 East Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512 570-344-3011 Saturday morning Shabbat 7:30 am; also services for Yizkor TEMPLE ISR AEL OF THE POCONOS_________________ Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Baruch Melman President: Chuck Feinstein Contact person: Art Glantz 570-424-7876 660 Wallace St., Stroudsburg, PA, 18360 (one block off Rte. 191 (5th Street) at Avenue A) 570-421-8781 • Website: E-Mail: Friday evening Shabbat, 8pm; Saturday morning Shabbat, 9 am TEMPLE ISR AEL OF SCR ANTON____________________ Affiliation: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Joseph Mendelsohn President: Michael Mardo 918 East Gibson St., Scranton, PA, 18510 (located at the corner of Gibson & Monroe Sts.) 570-342-0350 Fax: 570-342-7250 • E-Mail: 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.

d’var torah

When priests were priests BY “RABBI JOE” MENDELSOHN, TEMPLE ISRAEL, SCRANTON Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 The largest part of this Torah portion is dedicated to the special status and accompanying restrictions of the Kohanim – the descendants of Aaron – the physically blemish-free men who were priests. These men represented God to the Israelites, performing all the ritual functions necessary for the well-being of the community. They had rules that made their lives much more complicated than that of the average Jew. And the Kohen with the most responsibilities, of course, was called the Kohen Gadol, the Great High Priest. He wore clothes that constantly reminded him of the duties of his job. He wore, for instance, a headband of gold that had inscribed on it “Kodesh la-Shem – Holy unto God.” This band reminded him that people did look at him differently. Because of his position and with this message on his forehead, he had to make certain that his thoughts and actions were pure when it came to his fellow Jews. People looked up to him and his fellow Kohanim. The Torah knew Kohanim would be seen as different by the other Jews around them. They were seen as the spiritual leaders of the community. They were the ones who were supposed to, by their very example, inspire others to feel God’s closeness and to walk in God’s ways.


whether the new chief rabbi should focus internally on strengthening the United Synagogue. That would be a departure from Sacks, whose external focus made him one of the most recognized religious figures in Britain. A key question is whether the chief rabbi can – or should – continue to try to unite British Jewry under a single umbrella. Goldberg, who is chaplain at the University of Surrey, believes the chief rabbi should be a bridge not just to other denominations but also to the unaffiliated, who “need to become conversant with the Jewish world if they are going to continue with the Jewish community.” Goldberg said the Orthodox rabbinate’s rigidity on issues of conversion and same-sex marriage is alienating many young Jews by forcing them to choose between their partners, who are not viewed as legitimate under Orthodoxy, and their affiliation. “I think the main issue the community wants to discuss is [Jewish] recognition, so people can marry each other,” Goldberg said. If the new chief rabbi “turns inward, particularly to the Orthodox community... you are not going to have that discussion at all.” Whoever takes the post will face a challenge, particularly with the growth and influence of the haredim, who support the chief rabbi as an external voice for Orthodoxy, though only in a limited capacity. “He’s broadly representing the view of the community and he’s representing it to the outside world,” said Avrohom Pinter, a haredi leader and principal of the haredi Yesodai Hatorah schools. “It’s very valuable that

As anyone who has spent any time in shul knows, we ritually honor our Kohanim, 100 generations after the last sacrifice was offered. To this day, the first aliyah goes to one of the Kohanim in the congregation. Only they can redeem the children that are first-born males. And, in some shuls, they get to stand up and bless the congregation with their shoes off and their fingers spread in the priestly blessing known as Duchenen. After the destruction of the Temple, the sacrificial system could not function, priests were essentially out of a job and rabbinic Judaism began. Prayer replaced sacrificial offerings and the concept of a divine middleman was obsolete. While we ritually honor our Kohanim, we are happy to say that the divine power they once held has been given to each and every one of us. The Tabernacle and the Temple are gone, and there are very few Kohanim today, just as there were very few back then. This message, first given to this small, distinct segment of the Jewish community, has a universal message – one relevant to us all. Each of us who is involved in Jewish life, each of us who is proud to say, “Yes, I am a Jew” – each of us is a role model as well. According to our tradition, each of us is a living representative of the holy influence of God in the world. We have the divine power; all that remains to ask is, “What will you do with that power today?” Continued from page 5 the Orthodox Jewish perspective is heard in the halls of government when ruling on issues of shechitah [kosher slaughter] or circumcision.” Other affiliated movements stress the need for a plurality of voices and argue that striving for a united Jewish front is counterproductive. Masorti and Reform leaders say they now have their own rabbis in the public arena to express their specific values. “I don’t believe that the Jewish community represented only by an Orthodox rabbi would get these points across,” said Rich, whose Reform movement appointed its first official movement rabbi in January, a position it sees as equal to chief rabbi. “So may a thousand voices bloom.” The Conservative movement’s director, Matt Plen, said the face of Judaism is changing. “There’s almost a renegotiation going on among certain parts of Anglo Jewry with the idea of what it means to be Jewish,” Plen said. “Younger people, especially ... are more willing to take Judaism on their own terms and figure out for themselves what sort of Judaism they want to have in their lives.” Geoffrey Alderman, a Jewish Chronicle commentator, belongs to the rival centrist Orthodox Federation of Synagogues, which does not follow the chief rabbi. He says the chief rabbinate has become “silly and expensive” because no one person can represent Anglo Jewry any longer. “There is no such thing as Anglo Jewry,” Alderman said. “There are Anglo Jewries, with an ‘s.’ The Anglican Jewish community has polarized and pluralized.” Orthodox leaders point out that Sacks is resigning, but not retiring, and thus he will maintain his charismatic presence as a Jewish leader in the House of Lords and on the public stage. “This gives us the luxury of being able to look for somebody who can devote a bit more time to matters within the [Modern Orthodox] congregations,” said Stephen Pack, president of the United Synagogue, which is conducting the search and hopes to find a replacement well before Sacks leaves office in September 2013. “Do we have an appetite just to maintain the status quo and push it along for, say, another 20 years, or do we recognize that demographics change and there are different forces and pressures, that there is scope to do things differently?” Pack asked. “I think that when we are looking at candidates, we will be looking at people who will have come up with a vision on how they’d like to do the job which is refreshing and new.”

MAY 10, 2012 ■



Reach into your giving heart as if your life depended on it... some people’s do.

Every donation you make changes a life in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the better. Our Annual Campaign Tzedakah box needs your pledge. I you haven’t already made your personally meaningful pledge or would like to increase your 2012 pledge, please do so. Call us at 570-961-2300, email us at, mail your pledge to the address below or stop in our office at the JCC today!

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We are at 91% of our 2012 campaign goal. Help us fill the Tzedakah box now!

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THE REPORTER â– MAY 10, 2012


The Jewish Federation of NEPA invites you to join us as we march in the

Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC on Sunday June 3, 2012 There is no cost to you for bus or parade. This is a gift from the Federation to bring the excitement and inspiration of the parade to anyone who wishes to participate. The bus will stop in Scranton and the Poconos. After the parade we will stop in Teaneck, NJ for participants to have dinner in the kosher restaurant of their choice.

Reservations are on a first-come first-serve basis. So call or email early to reserve a seat! Please contact Dassy Ganz at 570-961-2300 ext 2 or by email at to reserve your seat today. To find out more about the Celebrate Israel Parade visit

MAY 10, 2012 ■



Book review

Becoming American By RABBI RACHEL ESSERMAN Is the United States a Christian nation? Should Christianity dictate the laws and politics of our country? These questions, which factor in the current presidential election, are not new. Two recent historical works – “When General Grant Expelled the Jews” by Jonathan D. Sarna (Nextbook/ Schocken) and “Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition” by Marni Davis (New York University Press) – explore how Jews sought to become Americans – from the Civil War through Prohibition – by focusing on political issues. Sarna seeks to rehabilitate Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation in his fascinating exploration of Grant’s relationship to the Jewish community. During the Civil War, Grant issued the infamous “General Orders No. 11,” which expelled the Jews “as a class” from the war zone under his command. The impetus for the order was to remove Jewish smugglers whom Grant felt were hindering the war effort. Although very few Jews were actually affected by the order (President Abraham Lincoln quickly rescinded it), Grant was branded as anti-Jewish and his run for presidential office caused much debate among the Jewish population. Yet, Sarna shows how Grant not only came to regret issuing the order, but to appoint more Jews to political office than any president before him, and to defend the rights of oppressed Jews in Russia and Romania. Sarna’s greatest success is his portrayal of the Jewish community’s reactions to the general order and the political climate after the war. For example, he places in context why some Jews worried about their status vis-a-vis the newly freed Black Christian population. Although Sarna notes how painful it can be to read of this prejudice today, he doesn’t discount legitimate Jewish fears of persecution, even in the United States. He also discusses the formation of the National Reform Movement in 1864, which specifically sought to make the U.S. a Christian nation, and how, once Grant left office, social discrimination against Jews increased. Like “When General Grant Expelled the Jews,” “Jews and Booze” focuses on the discussion of the Jewish place in America, in this case by concentrating on the Protestantbased anti-alcohol movement and the anti-immigration

forces that together spearheaded Prohibition. Showing how alcohol commerce helped Jews become upwardly mobile in the period after the Civil War, Davis explores not only Jewish entrepreneurship, but how Jews came to view themselves as legitimate Americans. The Jewish preference for a free market economy was not only based on economic self-interest. The economic restrictions and the political discrimination still occurring in Europe played an important role. The community also did not see alcohol as a threat, depicting its members as model citizens able to use alcohol wisely. Unlike the Temperance Movement, which actively featured women in the public sphere, few Jewish women sought the same activist spotlight. The majority of Jewish communal organizations also sought to keep alcohol production legal since 1) many wealthy members made their living from alcohol related activities and 2) Jewish ritual requires wine (although Jews who supported the temperance movement claimed that other beverages could be used). While the Temperance Movement claimed that Prohibition would reduce the amount of crime in the United States, the result was the exact opposite: Crime activity related to bootlegging flourished. While most bootlegging occurred in


turn. With two sons to raise on her own, Azrieli-Perez sought a career that would keep her close to home. So she enrolled at the Academy of Jewish Religion (she never finished) and started to work as a synagogue cantor. The synagogue work “was a way of singing and supporting a family,” Azrieli-Perez says. “I was fluent in Hebrew, had been brought up with all the prayers, and I loved being a cantor.” Azrieli-Perez says performing opera and singing as a cantor are not so different. She cites two stars from New York’s Metropolitan Opera in the 1950s and ‘60s, Richard Tucker and Jan Peerce – both also did stints as cantors. “There is the great cantorial tradition of singing for the congregation, not just with them,” Azrieli-Perez says. Azrieli-Perez also has found ways to make her performances Jewish. Azrieli-Perez sang the world premiere per-

rural areas that contained few Jews, wine scandals dogged the Jewish community. Sacramental wine for Jewish and Catholic rituals was allowed to be sold, but some in the Jewish community took advantage, for example, synagogues selling far more wine than their members could legally purchase or congregations forming solely so members could obtain alcohol. Newspapers and antisemitic organizations then declared the Jewish population responsible for the moral decline of the country, leaving Jewish individuals and organizations struggling to portray themselves as respectable citizens. “When General Grant Expelled the Jews” and “Jews and Booze” show how Jewish citizenship and participation in the United States could not be taken for granted. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, forces within the nation sought to restrict Jewish contributions by labeling America a Christian nation and declaring Jews parasites who cared only for themselves and not the good of the country as a whole. Both books successfully explore their subjects: Sarna does a wonderful job making history come alive in a work aimed at a general audience while Davis makes a more scholarly contribution. Both works will be enjoyed by anyone interested in Jewish American history. Continued from page 9 formances of Israeli composers Ofer Ben-Amots and Tzvi Avni, and she is recording works for the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. Last year she sang with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Festivale Sepharade in Montreal. Next season she plans to perform a concert of Ladino music. “Ladino is having a big upswing in world music, but I’m a classical singer,” she says. “So this will be the world premiere of classical Ladino music.” Azrieli-Perez also is working with Nico Castel, an operatic tenor who wrote the “Nico Castel Ladino Songbook” on Judeo-Sephardic music. Still, her first love remains opera. “Being an opera singer is like skipping rope, but you have 400 ropes,” Azrieli-Perez says. “It’s being an athlete; no other art form is so involved. You have to memorize words and music, you have an orchestra of 150 people down there in the pit. It’s a team sport.”

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Jewish Federation of NEPA

Jewish Film Library

The Jewish Film Library Update - Check out new titles in both feature & non-feature films. Contact Dassy Ganz for information.

Feature Films Currently Available- SEptember 2011 A Stranger Among Us - A New York policewoman enters the Hasidic community to investigate a diamond robbery/murder. Cast a Giant Shadow - U.S. Colonel David “Mickey” Marcus goes to 1940’s Israel to help re organize its army. Defiance - The extraordinary true story of the Bielski brothers who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters against the Nazi regime Frisco Kid - It’s 1850 and new rabbi Avram Belinski sets out from Philadelphia toward San Francisco. Cowpoke bandit Tom Lillard hasn’t seen a rabbi before. But he knows when one needs a heap of help. And getting this tenderfoot to Frisco in one piece will cause a heap of trouble - with the law, Native Americans and a bunch of killers. Gentleman’s Agreement - A magazine writer (played by Gregory Peck) posed as a Jew to expose anti-Semitism in 1940’s America. Good - Featured at the 2009 Jewish Film Festival of NEPA In an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies, and they trip across Johnnie Halder’s (Viggo Mortensen) sensitively written 1920s novel of a husband who aids his terminally ill wife in an assisted suicide. Although Johnnie despises Naziism he is flattered by the attention paid to his novel, and accepts (with misgivings) an honorary commission in the SS. This opens the door to promotions at the University. He becomes Dean of Literature after the former Dean, Herr Mandelbaum “leaves in such a hurry.” He is tapped to inspect facilities for the care of the mentally ill, based on his “humanitarian” writings. Throughout “Good”, Johnnie is “good,” but he becomes increasingly blind to what is happening around him as he travels down the slippery slope that eventually takes him to Auschwitz on an inspecton tour. Never evil, Johnnie Halder is an Everyman who goes along, accepts what he told without question, and is increasingly co-opted by flattery and comfort. In the end, he comes to realize that he is stumbling through a waking nightmare of which he in part created. Not judgmental of its protagonist, GOOD invites us to question just what a “good” man is and does and where the bounds of responsibility lie. Kazablan*- Israel’s all-time Great Musical, nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. This 1970’s mega-hit is Israel’s answer to the musical West Side Story, with its story of star-crossed lovers, street gangs and cultural differences. With its exhilarating music and choreography, Kazablan is sure to entertain. Lies My Father Told Me - The heart-warming story of the Jewish immigrant community of 1920’s Montreal. David, the grandson, lives with his parents, his grandfather Zaida and Zaida’s aging horse Ferdeleh. Noodle - (PAL version- can only be played on computer NOT regular DVD players)At thirty-seven, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well-regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings -- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing -- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life. Schindler’s List*-The Academy Award winning film by Steven Spielberg tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, the man responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust. School Ties - A young man from the wrong side of the tracks gets a football scholarship to a private school, which will lead to his entrance to Harvard. He is well accepted at the blue blood school until it is revealed that he is Jewish. The Angel Levine - Things couldn’t get worse for Jewish tailor Morris Mishkin (Zero Mostel). His shop has gone up in flames, his daughter has married outside the faith and, worse yet, his wife is slowly dying. But just when he decides to give up on God, a mysterious man (Harry Belafonte) appears, claiming to be his Jewish guardian angel! Doubtful that the stranger is Jewish, never mind an angel. Mishkin must overcome his skepticism if he want ones last chance at redemption. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz -*A Jewish teenager is determined to “make it” no matter what it takes. On his path to success he faces anti-Semitism, betrays family and friends, and faces the responsibilities of being an adult. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas -* Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent, and naïve eight-year –old boy who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops. The Impossible Spy*- Elie Cohen was a family man leading a quiet, normal life, when at the age of 35, he was recruited by Israel’s secret service (Mossad) and assigned a mission that would forever change his life, and the history of Israel. Today he is regarded as a legend and a national hero. The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob -*In this French comedy, Louis de Funes stars as Victor Pivert, a hopelessly bigoted man. Victor loves people, as long as they’re Caucasian, French, and Catholic. But when it comes to foreigners, Victor draws the line. His ultimate nightmare becomes a reality the day of his daughter’s wedding, when he stumbles across a group of Arab revolutionaries and is forced into hiding as a rabbi. Gerard Oury’s film features an onslaught of hilarious chase sequences. Ushpizin- A fable set in the orthodox Jewish world in Jerusalem, Ushpizin tells the story of a poor childless couple, Moshe and Malli (played to perfection by award winning actor Shuli Rand and his real-life wife, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand) whose belief in the goodness of the Almighty follows a roller coaster of situations and emotions but leads to the ultimate happiness, the birth of their son.

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. Told through Hannah’s letters, diaries and poems, her mother’s memoirs and the recollections of those who knew and loved her, the film traces her life from her childhood in Budapest to her time in British-controlled Palestine, to her daring mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Budapest to Gettysburg*- The past and present collide as a world-renowned historian confronts a history he has refused to study- his own. Gabor Boritt is an expert on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. But it took his son’s urging to get him to return to his native Hungary and learn about the Jewish experience there from the time of his childhood until, together with his family, he escaped to the United States. Constantine’s Sword - Constantine’s Sword is an astonishing exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed author and former priest James Carrol on a journey of remembrance and reckoning. Warning of what happens when military power and religious fervor are joined, this new film from Oscar-nominated director Oren Jacoby asks: Is the fanaticism that threatens the world today fueled by our own deeply held beliefs? I Have Never Forgotten You - The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal*- Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who lost 89 family members, helped track down over 1,00 Nazi war criminals and spent six decades fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people. Into the Arms of Strangers - A superb documentary that chronicles the Kindertransport, an extraordinary rescue operation to save the youngest victims of Nazi terror. Making Trouble - A just released documentary telling the story of six of the greatest female Jewish comics entertainers of the last century- Molly Picon, Fanny Brice Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner and Wendy Wasserstein. Night and Fog - One of first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night and Fog, filmmaker Alain Renais investigates the cyclical nature of man’s violence toward man and presents the unsettling suggestion that such horror could come again. Steal a Pencil for Me*- 1943: Holland is under Total Nazi occupation. After deportation Jack his wife and his new love find themselves living in the same barracks in a concentration camp. This documentary chronicles the secret love letters written by Jack and Ina which gives them the strength to survive the war. 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. Featured commentators include: Ehud Barak, Caroline Glick, Dore Gold, Tzipi Livni and Natan Sharansky. The Jewish Americans - A Series by David Grubin*- This series traces 350 years of Jewish American history from the arrival of the first Jews in 1654 up to the present day. 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. An extraordinary ball player notorious for his hours of daily practice, Greenberg’s career was an inspiration to all and captured the headlines and the admiration of sportswriters and fans alike. This is the story of how he became an American hero. With All Your Heart- (Hebrew with English subtitles)The poignant true story of the life of Leut. Roi Klein, who gave up his life to save his battalion during the Lebanon War of 2002.

*Films marked with an * are newly acquired by the Film Library.

National Memorial Service in Washington, DC

The National Museum of American Jewish Military History, under the auspices of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, lists at present more than 45 Jewish service people who have given their lives in defense of our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. To honor these Fallen Heroes, NMAJMH is sponsoring the Second Annual National Shabbat Service Honoring the Jewish Fallen Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Second Annual National Shabbat Service Honoring the Jewish Fallen Heroes will be held in Washington, DC, at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue at 6:45 pm on Friday, May 25. For more information about the project, contact Nikki Salzman at or 202-265-6280.

Gourmet Kosher Cooking

The website Gourmet Kosher Cooking,, offers weekday and Shabbat recipes, and information about wine and travel. Interested in a particular recipe? Visitors can use the search engine or check out the recipes index. One section looks at “books for cooks” and a blog offers a variety of information.

Amazing Journeys trip to West Coast

Amazing Journeys and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will host a West Coast Cruise from May 27-June 1 for Jewish singles in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. The five-night North American journey will take place on the Celebrity Millennium, which will travel from San Diego, California, to Vancouver, British Columbia. The cruise package includes all meals, snacks and room service on board ship, entertainment on board ship, private cocktail parties and group events onboard and customized shore excursions. The cruise is complimented with optional pre- and post-cruise extensions, both available in one- or two-night packages: San Diego Precruise, May 25-27, and Vancouver post-cruise, June 1-3. For more information, contact Bill Cartiff, JCC travel director, at 412-278-4184, ext. 242, or bcartiff@jccpgh. org. For general information about this and other Amazing Journeys trips, visit


Continued from page 8

For Dinar, the connection to food is more than personal – it’s professional. He is one of the founding editors of the Dining Out magazine franchise and co-owns HBurger, a gourmet hamburger joint in Denver. “An interesting thing about being kosher – it makes you be conscious of what you are eating,” Dinar observed. “And the rest of the country is catching up to the idea that you can’t just trust that because someone calls it food, you can put it in your mouth.” While Dinar does not observe the rules of kashrut – he urged a reporter to try the bacon-wrapped figs at a local eatery owned by another foodie Jew – he certainly is mindful of the food he eats and its origins. His family owns seven chickens that hatch eggs for the household. Dinar, a transplant like most others living in Boulder – he hails from New Jersey – first learned of Hazon from his father. “My dad had been on the first Israel [bike] ride with Nigel and just raved about him,” he said, referring to Hazon founder Nigel Savage. “And I thought this is something that would be awesome in Colorado.” Hazon in Boulder hasn’t held its fund-raising bike rides, which long have been emblematic of the organization’s activities. Rather it has hired staff locally and sought to discover the native priorities, which has led to an emphasis on food and farm. “When we first initially started, we went on a listening tour and we created a map of the local Jewish community,” said Becky O’Brien, the director of community engagement for Hazon in Boulder. “There really wasn’t a premeditated idea of what we were going to do. It was ‘you’re going to talk to two dozen organizations and figure out what they’re doing there.’ And of course we bring Hazon’s expertise to bear. You have people creating stuff because they’re just so passionate about it,” O’Brien said, referring to the communal environmental activity she inherited upon taking the job. “It’s neat to weave those together when I can.” O’Brien is a lifelong nonprofit professional, an environmentally engaged Boulder denizen and seemingly a perfect fit for the organization. “This in a lot of ways is my dream job,” she says. “I’ve been a foodie and an environmentalist in my personal life for a long time.” The idea to host the food summit, which will be a miniature version of the multiday event that Hazon holds annually on both coasts, came from the local steering committee. O’Brien is expecting 200 to 300 participants ranging in ages and environmental engagement levels, from chefs to educators to farmers to folks checking out this stuff for the first time. “The idea,” she said of the summit, “is that this is spurring the next thing.”

MAY 10, 2012 ■




Netanyahu calls for four-month election campaign

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud Party convention called for a fourmonth election campaign. Netanyahu said it was time for elections because the stability of the coalition had begun to erode. “It is preferable to have a short election campaign of four months that will swiftly return stability to the political ranks,” he said in a speech on May 6 to Likud members. A vote on dissolving the current government was scheduled for May 7. The party convention comes ahead of party primaries scheduled for the second week in June. Meanwhile, coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu called for a delay of the Knesset dissolution to allow the government to pass its bill ordering mandatory enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces for all Israeli citizens. The measure is an alternative to the Tal Law, which exempts full-time yeshiva students from mandatory army service. Party Chairman Avigdor Lieberman believes that 90 lawmakers would support the bill and that it would be worthwhile to wait to dissolve the Knesset in order to pass it. The opposition Kadima Party also called for a delay in dissolving the Knesset in order to vote on an alternative to the Tal Law. A week earlier, the Knesset’s legal adviser said in a legal opinion that dissolving the Knesset would automatically extend the Tal Law. In February, Israel’s Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional; it is set to expire in August. Dissolving the Knesset would automatically extend the Tal Law to at least three months into the new parliament.

Israeli Supreme Court panel raps request to delay Ulpana razing

A panel of Israel’s Supreme Court criticized the government’s request to delay the razing of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El. The three-judge panel during a hearing on May 6 called the request to review a closed case “unprecedented.” In September, the high court had ruled that the five apartment buildings found to be built on private Palestinian land be razed by May 1. The state told the court that it would obey the ruling. On April 27, however, the State Attorney’s Office notified the court that the government would wait on the demolition pending a review of its policies regarding West Bank structures built on contested and privately owned land. “You are in essence seeking to change your policy post-verdict. This is unheard of,” Justice Uzi Vogelman said during the hearing. “When the state says it intends to do something and the prime minister commits to it, we do not consider a scenario in which it doesn’t get done. There is mutual respect between the authorities.” Justice Salim Joubran accused the government of making “a habit” out of asking for exemptions, which he called “unhealthy judicially,” Ynet reported.

African migrants’ Tel Aviv residences bombed a second time

Two firebombs hit a residence in south Tel Aviv that is home to African asylum seekers. It is the second such incident in the past two weeks. No one was injured in the May 5 attack, which targeted a home in the Hatikvah neighborhood, Ha’aretz reported. On April 27, firebombs were thrown at four houses of migrants from Sudan and Eritrea in the Shapira neighborhood, as well as at a public park where some migrants sleep. No one was injured but structures were damaged. One of the apartments also was used as a day care center. A 20-year-old resident of south Tel Aviv was arrested in connection with the

April case. Some 40,000 African migrants looking for work and another 20,000 asylum seekers live in south Tel Aviv, according to Ha’aretz, citing city officials. Tensions between Israeli residents and the African migrants have been on the rise in recent months.

Oxfam names Syria, Iran as major arms embargo violators

A new report by Oxfam International names Iran and Syria as major violators of arms embargoes over the last decade. Overall, the report indicates that more than $2.2 billion in arms and ammunition has since 2000 been imported to countries under arms embargoes. According to the figures, Syria imported $167 million worth of air defense systems and missiles and $1 million worth of small arms in 2010 in violation of arms embargoes on the country. Some of these weapons have played a role in the Assad regime’s crackdown on Syrian protesters. In addition, the report found that Iran traded $574 million in arms from 2007-2010. The report, “The Devil is in the Detail,” was released on May 3 by the humanitarian agency.

Hollande beats Sarkozy to win French presidency

Francois Hollande became the first Socialist president of France in nearly two decades, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. With half the votes counted nationwide, Hollande was leading Sarkozy, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. Sarkozy, the center-left candidate, was considered the favored candidate among French Jews. Polls had showed Hollande finishing with about 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party. Sarkozy is the first French president to lose re-election in 30 years. Hollande is France’s first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand, who served from 1981-1995. Sarkozy is the ninth European leader to be ousted since the start of the continent’s debt crisis, Bloomberg reported.

Jewish Federation Acquires New Film Festival Picks Dassy Ganz, assistant to executive director of the Jewish Federation, announces that thanks to the generosity of the Glassman family of Scranton, the Federation film library has acquired a number of newly released films recently shown at film festivals around the country. Film Library Continues to Grow Thanks to Your Donations Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Lindsay Leventhal, the film library now owns 5 new films of Jewish interest: A Film Unfinished- Using footage completely unparalleled, A Film Unfinished provides new insight into the Nazi propaganda machine further exposing an agenda already known to be deceitful beyond our greatest beliefs. (non-feature) A Matter of Size- Winner of numerous international awards, this Israeli comedy is a hilarious and heart-warming tale about four overweight guys who learn to love themselves through the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. (not rated) Blessed is the Match- The life and death of Hannah Senesh (non-feature) Inglorious Basterds- This popular WWII revenge fantasy film follows a Nazi-scalping squad of American soldiers is on a daring mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich (rated R)


Komediant-(non-feature) The glory days of the Yiddish stage are brought to life in this funny saga of a legendary theatrical family, the Bursteins. Smoothly incorporating rare archival footage and interviews with Yiddish stage veterans, this tightly edited and briskly paced documentary is as richly bittersweet and the Yiddish theater itself. Nora’s Will- When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, Jose is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes that he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading Jose to reexamine their relationship. (not rated)

The theme of this year’s Celebrating Israel Parade is

“Israel is Branching Out”.

Our Federation is promoting this theme with

“NEPA branches have planted roots in Israel”.

Rashevski’s Tango- Just about every dilemma of modern Jewish identity gets an airing in this packed tale of a clan of more or less secularized Belgian Jews thrown into spiritual crisis by the death of the matriarch who has held all doubts and family warfare in check. (not rated) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- Based on the best-selling novel, this movie is set during WWII and tells the inspiring story of two boys and the power of the human spirit. (rated PG-13) The Hidden Child- A gripping tale of survival, The Hidden Child tells the story of a six-year-old girl and her sister, separated from their parents, dodging bullets, lying for survival, and relying on the compassion of strangers To Take a Wife- A powerful drama about a woman’s struggle for independence and emotional freedom in the face of family tradition. (not rated) The following are also now available for private and synagogue viewing:

If you know of anyone in our Federation family who is studying or has studied in Israel or anyone who has made aliyah, please send a photo to us to use on our banners.

Call Dassy at 570-961-2300 ext 2 or email at

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 2012 UJA Kick-Off in Scranton this past September. 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? Sarah’s Key- Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and 4-year-old Michel. Please contact Dassy Ganz at the Federation to borrow these or other films in our library.

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Profile for Becky Schastey

May 10, 2012 Issue of The Reporter  

May 10, 2012 Issue of The Reporter

May 10, 2012 Issue of The Reporter  

May 10, 2012 Issue of The Reporter