The Observer Vol. 89 No. 3 – March 2024

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March Mitzvah Madness is Coming, Join the Team

Ever since I started at the Federation, I have heard wonderful things about the spirit of volunteerism of Jewish Nashville (as befits the capital city of the Volunteer State). I have been told about these remarkably executed events called “Tzedakah Tzunday,” where community members would come together to reach out and lock in support for another year for our Annual Campaign. Due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing staff leadership at the Federation, major volunteer opportunities like this haven’t been possible in recent years.

To help sustain our community into the future, we are bringing back the Tzedakah Tzunday model in a renewed form. On March 17th from 9am to 4pm at the Gordon JCC, we will be hosting March Mitzvah Madness, a volunteer driven phone-a-thon to get a jump start on the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s 2024 Annual Campaign. We hope those who have volunteered in the past will join us again to reach out to our community and ensure their support for the upcoming year. We also hope to attract a new generation of volunteers who are passionate about calling on their community to show up and be counted. As Maimonides says, those who collect charity on behalf of the community shine bright like the stars in the sky!

And yes, there will be a basketball theme to this event. Taking

Continued on page 4

Metro Council Passes Resolution Denouncing Nazi March

Last month, Nazis took to the streets of downtown Nashville, waving swastikas and chanting anti-immigrant, antisemitic, and racist speech. It was the latest in a rising tide of antisemitic and hate incidents sweeping Nashville and the country. Tennessee lawmakers denounced the incident, with one, Rep. Justin Jones (TN 52), holding a press conference in the immediate aftermath.

Speaking at the press conference were metro council members Jacob Kupin of District 19, and Sheri Weiner of District 22. Kupin said, “When youcome for one of us, you come for all of us. We’re here again, and again, and again, and we’ll keep coming here again,

Continued on page 16

Jewish Community Members Meet and Welcome Israeli Hostage Families

It all started with a tweet. Last month Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tweeted a message denouncing antisemitism and Nazism. The response from Israeli Moshe Lavi was seen by Leslie Kirby, president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville. Lavi, whose family members were captured by Hamas, and family members of other hostages, planned to come to town to raise awareness about the plight of those still being held captive.

Kirby quickly arranged a meeting, and two days later, the Israelis met in Nashville with representatives from The Jewish Federation and the local Jewish community. In attendance were Federation board members, congregants from local synagogues and religious schools, and Metro council members.

The families described the horrors of October 7, and talked about their fears for their loved ones. They also asked for support in calling for the release of all the remaining hostages.

Below are reflections from some of those who attended the meeting.

er-in-law of hostage Omri Moran. The other’s name was Effie, the sister of one of the hostages. Effie did not want to be filmed. They both spoke of vibrant,

Continued on page 16

Vol. 89 No. 3 21 Adar I - 21 Adar II 5784 WWW.JEWISHNASHVILLE.ORG A Publication of the
THE MARCH 2024 D.I.Y. & Home Improvement Section, page 21 Federation Major Donors Share Laughs at Appreciation Event, page 7 Just Jewish: Federation CEO Rabbi Dan Horwitz to Discuss His New Book, page 3
Metro Council member Jacob Kupin introduces the resolution denouncing and condemning the nazis who marched through downtown Nashville. Leslie Kirby, president of Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville: We met with two members of hostage member families. The primary one was Moshe Emilio Lavi, who is the broth- Members of Israeli hostage families met with representatives of Nashville’s Jewish community, elected officials and the press.

Community Relations Committee

We Are All in This Together

Jewish thought leaders have theorized that Jewish laws and traditions, specifically the commandment to honor Shabbat, are among the first time in human history that social justice constructs were created to provide equal access to leisure for all people, not only for the wealthy and powerful. Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, a leader in the Reform Movement, teaches,

“Just as Shabbat calls us to provide rest for the earth, it reminds us that rest for human beings is an imperative of social justice.

Shabbat reminds us that we are children of God (created in God’s image), not instruments of Pharaoh or any other oppressor. The connection between Shabbat and freedom from the slavery of Egypt is first made in the Torah, Deuteronomy 5:13–15”

The Jewish commitment to social

justice is an ongoing effort, beginning from the time of the exodus from Egypt and continuing to modern times. To understand our historic and continued passion for the work of justice, it is critical to comprehend the concept of justice, or tzedek, in Jewish tradition. Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof; Justice, justice shall you pursue. The Jewish concept of justice stresses equality, the idea that every human life has equal value. In Jewish life the attainment of justice is critical to the attainment of holiness.

The JCRC Social Justice Seder celebrates these values and ideals and supports the work of seeking justice, as our tradition demands. The event this year

will be Thursday, April 11 at the Gordon JCC with special guest, Rabbi Tamar Manasseh. Rabbi Manasseh is a Jewish author and advocate, and subject of the film based on her book, “They Ain’t Ready for Me,” which documents her advocacy work to create safe and resilient community on the streets of Chicago, her hometown. Raised as both authentically Jewish and authentically African American, Rabbi Manasseh bridges these cultures in meaning and impact. She brings her Jewish tradition to the streets through public outdoor Sukkot and Passover celebrations, in which all are invited, included, respected, and welcomed. We seek to do the same with the JCRC Seder.

Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Sherith Israel Congregation invited Rabbi Manasseh to Nashville last year, and I was fortunate to be at Sherith Israel the Shabbat morning in which she addressed the congregation. Her charisma was palpable, and her presence as a Black woman rabbi addressing the congregation was mesmerizing. She is

a force of nature. In addition to Sherith Israel, Rabbi Manasseh spoke at several other local congregations during her visit, and she was immediately our choice of leader for the 2024 JCRC Seder, and we are blessed and honored that she will lead our Seder meal.

After the events in Nashville on Shabbat morning, February 17, when a group of masked men paraded through the streets of downtown Nashville carrying swastika flags and chanting hateful anti-immigrant and antisemitic propaganda, joining with our community allies to demand safety, and build resilience, is more critical than ever. We cannot stand idly by and let those who seek to hurt, harass, and intimidate us. We must stand ever more proudly in our tradition and open our hearts to others seeking the same.

Register for the JCRC Social Justice Seder. •

Music Industry Dinner Sparks ‘Challenging Conversation’

Glasses clinked and chatter filled the room over plates of hummus, pita, rice dishes and salad. More than 20 Jewish music professionals met for dinner at Lyra, a Middle Eastern restaurant in East Nashville, on Jan. 25. The dinner was part of a nationwide Shabbat of Love spearheaded by the Jewish Federations of North America.

Guests were seated across two tables, and each table had a “leader” to guide the conversation.

One of the table leaders was Michal Eskenazi Becker, director of planning for the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville. She led a conversation about attendees’ emotional challenges as Jewish people in the aftermath of Oct. 7 — the day that Hamas attacked Israel, killing over 1,200 people.

“A lot of it was sharing experiences,” Becker said in a phone interview. “I think in the end, it was more feelings and emotional parts for us. It was shared values, challenges and experiences.”

She added that the purpose of the industry dinner was to hold a space to listen to others and talk about Jewish identity.

Ayelet Berger, a Madison resident, was the other table leader who helped organize the event. She said the conversation began with an introduction of attendees’ roles in the music industry, then how they experienced Judaism earlier in their lives and if the Israel-Hamas war changed that experience.

Berger said she felt the need to volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville in light of the Israel-Hamas war.

“I contacted [Becker] wanting to do something to feel like I could help somewhere when the war broke out,” Berger said in a phone interview. “And Michal had said that she had talked with a mutual friend of ours, Scot Sax, in the music business, and he was saying there are some musicians who are feeling like they don’t have a place basically to explore what’s happening, how it’s affect-

ing them, their Judaism, because [of] the nature of their work.”

She added that musicians participate in writing sessions with people they may not know well, which could lead to a lack of comfortability discussing heavy topics.

“There wasn’t a cohesive group really [to] just come together and process everything,” Berger said of the music industry.

A country artist who attended the dinner said the groups talked for “probably two hours about things related to Judaism.” He asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons.

Myles Hoffman, an artist manager based in Nashville, was invited to the dinner, but did not attend due to a mixup about the postponed date. He said he initially participated in a dialogue about how Jewish community members were feeling after Oct. 7 at the Edgehill Music Publishing office, but that the Jan. 25 dinner seemed more informal.

“From my understanding, [the] dinner was more in line of still having these conversations, but kind of doing it in a more social way so that people could actually get to know each other’s stories and stuff,” Hoffman said in a Zoom interview.

Neal Spielberg, an artist manager in the Nashville music scene, was also invited to the industry dinner but did not attend.

“It just feels like now, more than ever because of Oct. 7, we needed to come together to talk about what happened,

try to help one another understand how to deal with it with our employees, with our coworkers, with our friends in the [music] industry,” Spielberg said in a Zoom interview. “So we just thought it was important to come together as a Jewish community within the industry and try to find ways to help each other answer the questions that sometimes you don’t even have the answer to.”

Becker, the main organizer of the event, said the purpose of the industry dinner was to hear one another out and create a space to openly share emotions and experiences, rather than analyze current affairs.

‘Cultural melting pot’

The music and entertainment industry is made up of “a lot of Jewish people,” according to Hoffman, but Judaism is hardly talked about, which he said explains why Jewish music professionals should band together in solidarity.

He added that the nonprofit organization JewBelong displayed a banner near his house that reads, “You just listened to Bob Dylan in the car? Well, he was Jewish. If you don’t like Jews, then you don’t like Bob Dylan.”

“I don’t think … the general public, when they perceive all these artists, they’re not really looking at the music they consume as a cultural melting pot of people that have made this happen,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman pointed to the Motown era of jazz as an example: Black artists including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and The Temptations were supported and

funded by predominantly Jewish business managers and “back-end players.” Jewish employees comprised a “significant percentage” of Motown’s in-house staff, according to The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

“A lot of the time, music is not meant to be fragmented or put into a certain box of one specific culture or grouping of people,” Hoffman said. “It’s really always meant to be a melting pot and I find it interesting, especially in Nashville specifically. It’s been very much like country and Christian music together have always kind of been in parallel lines going on the same trajectory.”

‘A fraction of a fraction’

When Spielberg first moved to Nashville in 1983, he found himself in the religious minority.

“There were very, very, very few Jewish people, particularly [in] the country music business or Nashville music business, and I was made aware several years later that there was a small group — and I’m talking real small, like a handful four to six people — [that] used to get together during the annual Country Radio Seminar because people came in from all over the country.”

This group was known as “Jews in Country Music.”

Hoffman spoke to the importance of having Jewish-centered conversations within the music industry, since he said Jewish music professionals are vastly underrepresented in the South.

“It feels like being a Jew feels more and more marginalized,” Hoffman said. “It’s been this way for a long time, but especially over the past, however many months since October [2023], it’s very concerning to think that we’re in a very Christian town, like most of the music that is written by country artists or performed by country artists is Christian-focused.”

According to digital media company Ranker, “many” country singers are devoutly religious; a handful are practicing Catholic. Christianity is a large

Continued on page 9

2 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Nashville’s Jewish music industry professionals meet over Shabbat dinner to share challenges and experiences.

When it comes to knowing something about engaging millennials in Jewish life, Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville CEO Rabbi Dan Horwitz knows a thing or two. After all, he is both a member of the millennial generation and for five years he was the creator and driving force behind The Well, a community-focused organization in his native Detroit aimed at meeting millennials where they are. His years with The Well proved to be transformative for Horwitz, both personally and professionally.

Eventually, Horwitz felt it was time to move on and so armed with his experiences from The Well, he headed to Miami to become the CEO of the Alper Jewish Community Center. He says, “It was the definition of a legacy organization, and I really wanted to see what would happen if we actually implemented some of the things and models we had built at The Well in the context of a legacy organization.”

Jewish organizations.” That “aha” moment led Horwitz to write his first book, Just Jewish: How to engage millennials and build a vibrant Jewish future.

The book is lively and conversational, filled with both footnotes and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. It is fast becoming a must read for Jewish organizations and professionals because it touches on some key concerns, namely how to maintain continuity in the generation famous for eschewing labels and paying hefty synagogue memberships. “I wanted the read to be something that is smooth, enjoyable, narrative in form, that had balcony, that had ground and then had potential for how you can potentially apply this in your community.”

No matter that it was in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Horwitz says he was still able to apply many of the lessons learned. “In my mind that was the moment when it was ‘aha, this isn’t just unique to the Detroit ecosystem, unique to me, unique to the startup world.’ There’s value here from what we’ve learned from being research informed practitioners on the ground that is applicable to many

It is through the book, and his work that Horwitz hopes to make his mark on the Jewish future. “The purpose behind the book was not just to document the work we had done, but specifically to try to have broader impact and ripples from that work and to structure the book in a way that would be most useful for folks across the Jewish world to make that happen.”

Just Jewish: Federation CEO Rabbi Dan Horwitz to Discuss His New Book

engagement at Vanderbilt Hillel and will follow it up by interviewing Horwitz in person at a book launch at the Gordon Jewish Community Center this month.

Like Horwitz, Hurwitz speaks intergenerationally but has a uniquely mil-

lennial approach. “I’ll be speaking with students about my Jewish journey – how I reconnected to Jewish tradition as an adult and fell so deeply in love with it that I decided to write a book sharing the

Continued on page 6



Hashoah is on April 7, and will be commemorated with a public ceremony. If you are new to the community and have ties to the Holocaust, we would like to include you in this event. Please email Deborah Oleshansky,, to add your name to our list, and for additional information.

Horwitz’ profile as a young Jewish leader has led him to build relationships with many other similarly focused leaders. Among those is Sarah Hurwitz, former Obama speechwriter, and author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life — in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There) which details her own spiritual journey.

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Hurwitz will be in Nashville for a speaking

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Letter to the Editor

Community Relations Council Needs Reworking

The Community Relations Committee (CRC) needs a new and sharply narrowed focus. Its sole purpose should be to respond to antisemitic and anti-Zionist attacks and threats. It needs to serve as the primary organization charged with defending our Jewish community from hostile acts, articles, and attacks, whether from the media or from individuals or from institutions that misrepresent us in the wider community. The need for this renewed focus is especially critical and urgent at times like these, when the rise of antisemitic incidents and hate speech against Israel have increased dramatically over the past several years.

The more nuanced and controversial moral issues of the day — abortion, gun control, immigration, and the like — as important as they may be, should not be a part of the CRC’s focus, time, or energy. Let our Rabbis speak and teach on these issues, as we have always looked towards them to do. In recent years, too much attention has been directed towards these issues, which is a questionable use of the Jewish community’s limited resources.

This narrowed vision of a restructured CRC is not motivated by either a conservative or liberal agenda. It comes from an urgent need for an effective and dedicated response to the challenges directly in front of us that threaten our community’s sense of safety and security in the broadest sense imaginable.

One final note: This committee and its scope and purpose should be a vital part of the Federation Director’s portfolio. He or she should be the primary link between the Jewish community and the community-at-large. Even more, he or she must consistently represent the truest priorities of the members of the Jewish community.

The times demand that we use our CRC as the defender of Jewish life and Jewish lives in our Nashville community.

It is time to regain and revive that primary purpose once again.

Frank Boehm

Joanne Bregman

Michael Dobrin

James Fishel

Andy May

Bernie Pargh

Franklin Pargh

Arthur Perlen

Rabbi Mark Schiftan

Jimmy Schulman

David Steine

Editor’s Note:

Below is an excerpt from The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s by-laws, describing the mandate of the CRC:

The Community Relations Committee (CRC) shall be composed of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and other members representing each of the local congregations, local beneficiary agencies of the Federation, other local Jewish organizations or local chapters of national Jewish organizations and at-large members. The mission of the CRC, in partnership with its affiliate the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), is to advocate for Jewish interests and values, dedicate itself to the safety and security of the State of Israel, and to foster constructive relationships within the Jewish community and among people of all faiths and cultures in order to promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. The chairperson and vice-chairperson shall be appointed annually by the President of the Federation. CRC members shall serve two-year renewable terms. The CRC shall carry out a unified program of community relations. It shall represent, and act on behalf of the community, in matters of Jewish interest concerning local, state, national and international affairs.” •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 3

Building a Bright Future: Jewish Community Members Learn About the Legacy of the Rosenwald Schools

The Rosenwald Schools began as a partnership between Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Roebuck & Co., and Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, and Black communities throughout the South. Beginning in 1912 approximately 5,000 schools were built, including 354 in Tennessee. The schools helped foster Black academic achievement and many graduates became leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

The legacy of the Rosenwald Schools

was featured in a temporary exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, in partnership with the Urban League, hosted community members last month at a tour of the exhibit. In addition to the tour, participants listened to several speakers. Among them were Clifton Harris, president and CEO of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Bari Beasley of the Heritage Foundation, Harold Benus, chair of the Jewish Community Relations Committee, and Georgia Harris, a Rosenwald School alumna. •

Mitzvah Madness

Continued from page 1

place on the NCAA College Basketball tournament’s Selection Sunday, March Mitzvah Madness will be a fun day featuring kosher snacks, custom Jewish Nashville jerseys (!), and friendly competitions to see which “teams” of volunteers can bring in the most donations. To volunteer, please visit

We look forward to assembling the team and scoring big for Jewish Nashville. If you are unable to volunteer, look out for our call on March 17th.

If you’d prefer to not get a call, you can donate in advance at•

Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville at

4 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

Preparing Your Home for Spring

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your home or make a move, here are some tips to prepare for the spring.

Spring Cleaning

1. Clean window treatments, baseboards, vents, light

2. Organize your closets and pantry

3. Rent a carpet cleaner to clean rugs and carpets. detectors, and other alarm and safety systems.

Minor Home Projects

1. Make any needed repairs.

2. Repaint walls or ceilings.

4. Add a new rug to a room or hang new art on the walls.

The spring is always a great time to sell your home. If you’re interested in selling, contact us so we can help prepare your home for sale! This may include staging, home improvements, repairs, and photography.

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 5
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Rabbi Mark Schiftan to Assume Role as Belmont

University’s First Jewish Student Advisor

Rabbi Mark Schiftan is no stranger to bridge building. For close to two decades in Nashville he has been cultivating relationships well beyond the doors of his former congregation, The Temple Ohabai Shalom, and beyond the greater Jewish community. In an historic move, Schiftan is assuming a new role as the first Jewish student advisor at Belmont University, which identifies itself as a Christ-centered school. “I feel incredibly proud,” says Schiftan, “We could be disparaging of the times we are in. But in the midst of rising antisemitism here and in Israel, in Nashville, we’re working to build bridges.”

Belmont currently has just under 100 Jewish students, but with the creation of a new medical school, that number is expected to grow. The move to install Schiftan is a natural outgrowth of his longstanding friendship with Dr. Jon Roebuck, executive director of The Reverend Charlie Curb Center for Faith Leadership. He says it is Belmont’s Christian values that are the driving force behind the move. “The goal is to display Christian love, not to strongarm anyone into a different belief system.”

Roebuck and Schiftan have collaborated on building out a new Jewish studies initiative at Belmont, which is also focused on learning more about how the two faiths are similar and understanding the differences. But overall, says Roebuck, the goal is greater understand-

Horwitz Book

Continued from page 3 radical, transformational, life-changing wisdom I’ve found in it.”

Hurwitz’ story resonates deeply with an even younger generation known today as GenZ. In fact, it is thanks to Hillel assistant director, Veronica Grady that she will be speaking to Vanderbilt students. After hearing Hurwitz speak at Hillel’s Global Assembly in Atlanta, Grady was

ing. “This is all part of creating dialogue between the faith traditions at Belmont.”

The need for that dialogue is also felt at the top of the administrative ladder. Provost Dr. David Gregory says, “I love the initiative Jon and Mark started and how our faiths complement one another. We are trying to set an example from the top down. We saw a need on campus and Mark was willing to help.”

Roebuck says Schiftan’s appointment started with the creation of a Jewish student organization, headed by junior Izzy Marino who arrived on campus from Sugarland, Texas and found herself alone for the holidays. “I got to college and when Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur came along, I was doing it alone,” she says. Marino ended up meeting and joining with Vanderbilt Hillel students and enjoyed the community. She found her-

inspired. “I heard her speak about how she came into her religious identity as an adult. I thought about how we can work as educators to help students reclaim that part of their identity,” she says, “There is so much about our faith tradition that is so vibrant. How can we give that to learners and young adults to take into adulthood?”

And there are even bigger challenges facing college students since October 7. Ari Dubin, Executive Director of Hillel, says, “We’re seeing a lot of students strug-

self on the board of Hillel, where the student advisor suggested she start an organization at Belmont. “I was so happy to see so much support. I thought it would have been harder,” she says.

Marino was able to incorporate her experience with the Jewish student organization into a key element of Belmont’s Wellcore program which seeks to help students balance the demands of their academic life with their spiritual wellbeing. “It has enhanced my experience with Judaism. Learning what Jewish students need at Belmont has been super enlightening,” she says. She cites examples like the need for kosher food options, and approved time off for Jewish holidays. “I’m really excited for Rabbi Schiftan to be on board. We already have so many activities on campus, and it will be great to have him there.”

In addition to the ongoing support,

gling, growing, changing, and finding their identity in adulthood.” Hurwitz plans to address those hard questions, too. “I’ll also speak about the rising antisemitism we’re seeing in our country, particularly on college campuses, to help students understand and respond to it.”

Hurwitz’ spiritual journey is rooted in some of the exploration Horwitz describes as being specifically millennial, and yet as she describes it, wholly traditional. “Jewish tradition has 4,000 years of wisdom about

Schiftan’s presence is a reassuring one in the wake of October 7. Freshman Marley Boehm says she chose Belmont because of its creative community, and because she has family nearby. And she is comforted by the support from the administration. “I’m so glad I came this year to be part the grassroots effort to start a Jewish Student Association. I feel blessed that Belmont is taking initiative because other campuses are pretty hostile toward Jews right now.”

Schiftan says his presence on campus sends a message to both Jewish parents and students that there is appropriate support. “After October 7, the need is even greater for a rabbinic figure to help process what’s happened,” he says. He adds that Belmont has not seen a rise in antisemitism, despite the religious orientation of the university. Nevertheless, Jewish students are excited to have a rabbi on campus. Boehm says, “It’s very exciting. I feel very taken care of and supported.”

In addition to supporting Jewish students, Schiftan believes his new role will bring benefit to the larger Belmont community. “What I love doing most is building relationships. When you know someone of a different religion, it goes a long way toward building understanding.” His current plan is to schedule regular bi-weekly gatherings with students, similar to his lunches with the rabbi at The Temple. He will also do some counseling, and lead holiday services. When asked how this position fits in with his retirement plans, he says, “Does a rabbi ever really retire?” •

the human condition and however you choose to engage with and practice it, it’s critical to learn – to connect with Jewish wisdom, spirituality, history, culture.” It is where tradition and choice intersect that both authors find relevance to pretty much any audience. Hurwitz says, “I think strong Jewish institutions are critical to Jewish life in America and I actually think they’re doing a lot of important work to support programs that millennials are taking advantage of.”

According to Horwitz, there is much work to be done to engage young people in organized Jewish life both inside and outside synagogue walls. “It’s like the joke in the book. There’s the person who goes to shul to talk to God and the person who goes to talk to the person who talks to God.” He adds that while synagogues, for example, have spent time addressing the needs of those who are seeking traditional worship, that experience is clearly not for everyone. He says it is there that exists opportunity to engage those who are looking for spirituality and meaning but who do not find it in the main sanctuary.

Building strong Jewish institutions is precisely one of Horwitz’ goals as he settles into his role as CEO of The Jewish Federation, and he plans to practice what he preaches in his book. “I’m excited to start implementing some of these things in our Nashville Jewish community. I’m always here to be a partner to all of our local Jewish organizations. I’m incredibly grateful for my friend Sarah Hurwitz for coming in order to be part of the event.”

A conversation discussing recently published book Millennials and

The book event is scheduled for March 28 at 7:30pm at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. To register to attend and hear more of the conversation between Rabbi Dan Horwitz and Sarah Hurwitz, click the QR code now. •

White House speechwriter A conversation discussing Rabbi Dan Horwitz’s recently published book Just Jewish: How to Engage Millennials and Build a Vibrant Jewish Future SCAN QR CODE TO RSVP OR VISIT JEWISHNASHVILLE.ORG/JUSTJEWISH
THURSDAY, 7:30 PM - GORDON JUST BY RABBI SARAH HURWITZ MODERATED BY Author of 'Here All Along' and former White House speechwriter
Rabbi Mark Schiftan, pictured center, with Belmont University Jewish students. Pictured l. to r.: Marly, Daniella C, Madison Fries, Isabella Marino.

Federation Major Donors Share Laughs at Appreciation Event

Last month The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville honored major donors with a night of laughter, food, and drink. Federation CEO Dan Horwitz welcomed everyone at the annual event. Local comedian Marcus Lustig opened the night with and warmed up the crowd before introducing headliner Joel Chasnoff. Chasnoff, who is also an award-winning author and former IDF soldier, entertained with his unique combination of stories and jokes, ending with a brief Q&A with the audience.

To become a donor or learn more, contact Ethan Levin at •

Art on the West Side Returns April 6-7 at the Gordon JCC

Local and regional artists will exhibit and sell their work at Art on the West Side, a juried art show at the Gordon Jewish Community Center co-chaired by Betsy Hoffman and Missi Friedenberg.

In continuing with last year, we are delighted to feature a diverse array of new artists at this year’s Art on the West Side, including Andy Adams from South Carolina. His paintings uniquely blend words and imagery, creating a captivating and beautiful illustrative fusion. Another noteworthy artist is Amy Voss, from Dallas, TX. She will be showcasing her exceptional glass sculptures, each one-ofa-kind piece incorporating the body of an acoustic guitar as a canvas.

These are just two among the more than 40 artists participating in this year’s show. Painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, ceramicists, watercolorists, and printmakers will be on hand to chat with guests about their process and artwork.

Join us to experience the incredible work of all the talented artists on display!

The two-day event begins on Saturday, April 6 from 6-9pm with a cocktail reception. The suggested price is $20. Entry on Sunday, April 7 is free, and the show is open to the public from 10am - 4pm. A percentage of all sales from Art on the West Side benefit art programming at the Gordon JCC. •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 7

The Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award to Honor Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity

The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish

Life recently announced The Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award, named in memory of Sergeant Rose Lubin, granddaughter of Nashville resident Eva Marx. Sergeant Lubin, originally from Atlanta, displayed remarkable courage by rescuing victims of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and later lost her life while protecting Jerusalem’s Old City in another attack.

This cash award aims to commend individuals who demonstrate leadership, innovation, and creativity through initiatives aligning with the Pillars of Jewish

Pride outlined in Michael Steinhardt’s 2022 book, “Jewish Pride.”

Eva Marx, grandmother of Rose Lubin z”l and a Nashvillian, has generously shared her granddaughter’s story and service in the Israel Defense Forces. By celebrating individuals, organizations, and programs embodying the pillars of Jewish Pride, the award strives to encourage their adoption as central goals within the global Jewish community, fostering new initiatives rooted in these principles.

Read more and nominate anyone 18 years or older who is involved in the work of Jewish engagement and identity-building in North America at •

Gourmet Hamantashen Available Now in Nashville

Leave it to the Jews to have a cookie inspired by cultural annihilation!

Hamantashen are the triangle-shaped filled cookies most associated with Purim, the most joyous of all Jewish holidays. Hamantashen, the classic Purim cookies, are eagerly awaited by everyone young and old. They are versatile and can be made from a good, sweet yeast dough, flaky dough or from a traditional cookie dough. The fillings can be mixed and matched.

The Hamantash cookie is eaten on Purim, when we read from the Book of Esther, the Megillah, and celebrate the Megillah, and celebrate the triumph of good (Esther) over evil (Haman, who planned to destroy the Jewish people.)

To our Jewish Friends and Neighbors


—Today, a group of Christian pastors, leaders, influencers, and neighbors throughout the Nashville area have signed the following letter in a coordinated action with one another to support the Jewish community since the atrocities of October 7th and the resulting rising antisemitism.

To our Jewish Friends and Neighbors:

The events of October 7th were barbaric, and the growing antisemitism that has arisen in an insane turn of news events is stunning. Jewish people are being demonized at levels we have not seen since the 1930s.

As leaders and members in the church, we feel the heart of Daniel when he confessed the sins of his forefathers. Daniel took upon himself the sins of his people, even though he was not personally guilty of those sins. He read from Jeremiah about what God was doing in his day, then prayed, “We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned away from your commands,” (Daniel 9:5).

In like manner, we want to acknowledge the sins of our Christian forefathers and take them upon ourselves. The church has sinned against you. The church exiled you, confiscated your wealth and even killed you during the Inquisition in Spain in 1492. Many in the church turned away as you were killed in the gas chambers of Germany, Austria, and Poland in the last century. Even now, you are being reviled and persecuted, often feeling unsafe in our schools and universities in the United States of America. We are appalled at all of this and are determined to stand with you and to do everything within our power to protect you from such horrific acts in the future.

If the church, through the centuries, had simply obeyed our own scripture, there would have been no Inquisition in 1492 and there would have been many more Dietrich Bonhoeffers and Corrie Ten Booms during the Holocaust.

We grieve over this, wanting you to know there are a growing number of us who are committed to stand with you during this moment in time. In heart and soul, we love you rooted in the common faith of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac

and Jacob/Israel. We commit to standing with you and walking beside you through these uncertain and difficult days.

Don Finto, Pastor Emeritus, Belmont Church

Patricia Heaton, Actress, Producer

Barbara Ann Jeter, King’s Hill House of Prayer

R. T. Kendall, Author & Former Pastor of Westminster Chapel, London

Kristi McLelland, Teaching Pastor, Church of the City & Williamson College

Fady al Hagal, Executive Director International Leadership Coalition

James Goll, Founder, God Encounters Ministries

Tod McDowell, Executive Director, Caleb Global

Ricky & Sharon Skaggs, Musician, Singers

Michael W. & Debbie Smith, Recording Artists

Steve Allen, Lead Teaching Pastor, Belmont Church

Mick Antanaitis, Elder, Belmont Church

Jerry Bryant, Worship City Alliance

Darren Tyler, Lead Pastor, Conduit Church, Franklin

Saado Family, Bible Israel Tours, Jerusalem & Nashville

Michael McNally, Christians United for Israel

David & Sydney Clayton, Ethos Church

Scott & Heidi Cunningham, Ark of Israel

Rob Rogers, Pastor, Grace Chapel

Jeff Dollar, Pastor, Grace Center

Dave Buehring, Lionshare Founder & President

Pastors Carl & Leann Albrecht, The Well, Nashville

Russ Corley, Minister, Madison Church of Christ

Dr. Charles Parker, Elder, Mt. View Baptist, Antioch

Mark & LeeAnn Rampulla, Pastors, Southview Church, Spring Hill

Ronnie Meeks, Pastor Emeritus, Spring House Church, Smyrna

Pastor Karen Johnson

Pastors David & Casey Long

Bob Perry, Founder, Workplace Prayer

Keith Roberson, Pastor, New River


Reverend Sam Clarke

Dr. Marianne Clarke

Steve Fry, Senior Pastor, The Gate Church

Gregg & Shelvi Gilmore, Welcome Home International

Pastors Mark & Patricia Douglas

Pastor Daniel Morris

Pastor Bryce Harper

Marlene Tidwell, Director TN Governmental Prayer Alliance

Joyce Breazeale, TN Governmental Prayer Alliance

Tommy Waller, Founder, HaYovel

Sean Steckbeck, Shaliah Global

John Slayden, Elder, Harpeth Hills Church

Janet Slayden, Community Ministry Leader

Pastor Garrett Waltz

Elder Barry Towles

John Diffendorfer, Lead Pastor, Mercy Collective

Pastor Phil Dillingham

Connie Dillingham

Marion Farrar, TN Prayer Network, Founder Nashville Women Conf.

Jeff Richfield, A City on Its Knees

L. Barrington Allen, Founder & President, Total Life Victory

Mark Janbakhsh, Business Owner

Diane Janbakhsh, Executive Director Non-profit

Myron & Carol Goodwin, Grace Chapel

Ben & Emily DuBose, Local Business owners

Henry Headden, Business Owner, Franklin

Betsy Headden, Acts 13 Ministry

Mike Fulsom, Elder, Belmont Church

Paul Heil, Elder, Belmont Church

Mark Brower, Elder, Belmont Church

Bill Cox, Elder, Belmont Church

Jim Davis, Elder, Belmont Church

Phil Kendrick, Elder, Belmont Church

Kelly Napier, Elder, Belmont Church

Dan Wothke, Elder, Belmont Church

Mark Arnold, Founding Partner, Charter Resource Group

Tricia Arnold, Former Academic Director, New Hope Academy

Tiffany Atkinson, Freedom’s Promise

Lucy Karen Clay, Sanctity of Life

Nise Davies, Eternal Heiress Ministries

Pastor Jason Ford

Chabad of Nashville is offering delicious Hamantashen to share with family and friends, while celebrating the joyous holiday of Purim!

These gourmet Hamantaschen will be baked by an authentic Hamantash bakery in Brookly n, New York, and will be offered in three different flavors, Raspberry, Poppy Seed, Apricot and chocolate chip, and will all be dipped in chocolate, to give a rich smooth taste.

Orders can be placed at, and need to be placed by March 4th, for on-time shipping before Purim.

For more information, feel free to call 615-646-5750 •

Michelle Foreman, Kline Preston Law Group

Gary Glover, CEO & President Glover Group Entertainment

David Hooper, Nashville Attorney

Chris Hooper, Grace Chapel

Mandy Justice, Eternal Heiress

Blaine Kimball, Caleb Global

Doug Mann, Retired Staff Pastor

Dabney Mann

Munday & Jennifer Martin, Contagious Love International

Michael McClanahan, Youth With A Mission

Jane McDonald, VP Silverpointe Properties

Kristine Stroupe, Grace Center

Candice Douglas Taylor, Executive Coordinator

Andy Zimmerman, Toward Jerusalem Council II

Donna Finto-Burks, Belmont Church

Beth Baltuth, Grace Community Church

Bram Maas, Olive Tree Church

Larry Tomczak, Christian Journalist

Michael & Paula Blanton

Beverly Joan Boulware

Sheryl Cook

Matt & Deanna Dolan, Grace Chapel

Elizabeth Forster

Becki Fortner

Mark & Pat Gaw

James & Patricia Gee

Bonnie Gloth

Kendal Hewitt

Kay Hudgins

Joe & Margie Hudson

John Huie

Joan & Tom Hutchinson

Mau & Alberta Ly

Carlotta McKee

John & Katie Moessner

Karen Moore

Chris & Connie Moore

Charlie Moore

Farrar Moore

Amber Northrop

Edna Salyer

Mary Shelton

Paul & Mary van Hoesen

Darci Wantiez

Brett, Rebecca & Josiah Whitley

N. Stephens, Lover of Israel

John & Susan DeLuca

Mandy & Marshall Arledge •

8 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville at

A Rabbi and a Doctor Discuss the Importance of Friendship

Mark: It has been noted that America is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. Ever since Robert Putnam authored the book entitled “Bowling Alone,” numerous researchers and demographers have released studies highlighting the erosion of communal institutions — religious communities, fraternal organizations, social clubs, and, yes, even bowling leagues — all of which created a myriad of opportunities for human interaction and sustained contact. A recent Wall Street Journal article relates similar findings regarding the building of friendships. The results suggest that four in 10 Americans claim to be without a single true friend! The article details the critical component of establishing a meaningful friendship was 200 hours of sustained encounters, experiences, interactions, and communication.

Frank, as someone who has had the good fortune of retaining several lifelong friendships, while also creating multiple new ones along the way, what do you make of this epidemic of loneliness and the similar difficulties so many are facing, living a life without many, or even any, friendships?

Frank: Mark, the absence of friends in one’s life is a serious problem and yes, I have been blessed with good friends some of whom I met in kindergarten and have maintained a close and nurturing relationship for an exceptionally long time. A lack of good friends has led many to a lonely existence which has often led to serious depression.

The question is why our society is so filled with lonely people and what can be done about it.

The why is not an easy question to answer but I believe, to a large degree, it is social media that keeps people from a oneon-one interaction leading to an isolated life filled with communication that only allows for a mobile phone relationship. Whatever the cause, there is a need to encourage people to put the making of good friends high on their list of priorities.

In 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle listed three types of friendships:

The first he labeled as the “friendship of utility,” which was the kind of friend you find convenient to have in your life. These are the people you work and play with without getting to know each other deeply.

The second type of friendship he calls the “friendship of pleasure,” and this is the friend in your life whom you spend most time with at lunches, dinners, sporting events and social outings, to name a few. This type of friend is one with whom you may spend casual time, and even share many of your feelings, but the relationship never evolves into something more serious.

The last type, which Aristotle calls the “friendship of the good” is one that is quite rare in life. This type of friendship is one in which you become soulmates, understanding each other at a fundamental core, and this is the friend with whom you express some of your innermost thoughts and feelings. There is nothing that you would not discuss with the friend of the good. There is true respect, trust, and acceptance of this type of friend with an element of love intertwined. We are

lucky if we have just a few of these types of friends.

Mark: Frank, what is so sad is that so many people today have none of these kinds of friends. The Surgeon General refers to this as an epidemic of loneliness.

I think you are onto something when you reference the impact of social media on such a large swath of society. We are all guilty of participating in this to some degree or another. We text in lieu of having an actual person-to-person conversation. We highlight only the most happy and exciting images of our lives, which can make others feel as though they can neither relate nor respond in equal measure or share equivalent lives of pleasure. And most importantly, we substitute the importance of engaging with a community of meaning with online presence that creates and sustains a strong and increasing sense of isolation.

It is no surprise that so many of our communal institutions are no longer strong nor even sustainable in some cases. Friendship involves human interaction, a shared sense of belonging or purpose, and an ability to be at once vulnerable and empathetic to others.

What do you think?

Frank: I totally agree. It is troubling to learn how so many have stopped becoming affiliated with their religious houses. Becoming a member of a church or synagogue is a wonderful way to meet others and to feel a part of a community. That is certainly what I feel every time I attend a function at The Temple or in any other gathering of the Jewish community. I feel as if I am with friends and family.

A large and reputable study has shown that families who have someone with a disability (and loneliness can be disabling), have higher quality life scores if they are affiliated with a church or synagogue when compared with similar families that are not affiliated with a religious house of worship. Living an affiliated Jewish life is one effective way to make friends that start with friends of utility, often leading to friends of pleasure, and with luck, finding a few who can be called friends of the good.

Mark: Frank, what you are talking about is the strength offered by communities of faith, although they can really be any organization that allows for sustained interaction between the participants. Such communities of meaning require some significant investments of time, focus and active participation.

They require one to show up, not just to meet one’s own needs, but even more, for the needs of others within that community or congregation. Friendship emerges from these encounters because of a shared level of caring and commitment to the value of each individual and every relationship.

The old adage remains true today: The best way to make a friend is to be one. It does not have to be that hard: Show some interest in another human being and share some vulnerability in the sharing of yourself. You will not only enrich your life with friendships; you will enrich someone else’s life as well. •

Rabbi Mark Schiftan can be reached at

Dr. Frank Boehm can be reached at

Heart of the Matter

Hthe mask down.

I see people who wear a mask to hide feelings that are too difficult to look at or the person does not have the skills to address.

iding behind a mask is a socially acceptable thing we do at Purim or Halloween for fun but many of us are hiding behind a different mask every day.

As Purim approaches, I am thinking about the everyday masks some of us wear. The woman in the grocery store with a smile on her face that helps you reach a high shelf who hides domestic violence behind her mask. The neighbor or co-worker who has a hidden addiction behind their mask. The friend who greets you with a smile but feels depressed and suicidal behind their mask. Your sister celebrates your pregnancy with you but is devastated at her own infertility behind her mask.

We all wear masks at different times, which are neither good nor bad.

In my work at JFS, I see people whose mask helps them survive. Sometimes one’s world is not emotionally safe to let

I see people who have hidden behind a mask of social norms because they felt obligated to act in a certain way.

I see people hide behind a mask of grief because some days their grief is so strong that it’s too painful to take off.

Masks can be a positive coping skill but only when they are utilized strategically and temporarily. It is good to have a support system of trusted individuals where you can share who you are in an authentic way without a mask. Although this can be a scary, difficult experience at times, it can also be a positive, bonding experience. There is no greater gift than that of sharing yourself with someone or having someone share their true self with you. As we celebrate Purim with costumes and masks, let’s keep in mind that behind every mask is a person with feelings and we never truly know what they are experiencing so be gentle and forgiving whenever possible. •

Archives Corner

Mrs. Mohtaram Yazdian, identified as “Mrs. Shushan” by her sash, gathers her family in appropriate attire to attend “The Big Megillah”, a 2006 celebration of Purim sponsored by West End Synagogue. This priceless image housed in our community archives reflects one of the

Music Industry

Continued from page 3 aspect of Southern culture, and country music is mostly based on Southern traditions and culture, so the genre’s lyrics and artists are heavily influenced by Christianity, per the Collegium Institute.

Hoffman, 23, said he recently graduated from Belmont University with hopes of becoming a music industry professional. Within the industry, he noticed that many band members and artists would publicly thank Jesus or God for their successes and accomplishments, largely leaving Judaism out of the spotlight.

“That has always been a discomfort for me ever since [the] days of first arriving in Nashville, by coming to college and being involved in such a Christianassociated community and being one of

ways we preserve our Jewish legacy. The Annette Levy Ratkin Jewish Community Archive supported by the Jewish Federation annual campaign is a precious asset that is maintained to transfer our history and memories of life in Middle Tennessee to future generations. •

the only people that wanted to vocalize I’m Jewish,” Hoffman said.

He added that being in the vast minority compelled him to connect “as much as [he] can” with other Jewish community members and get involved in Jewish festivities and events.

Hoffman discussed what being a young Jewish industry professional means to him.

“That means keep being yourself, but just be open to the fact that there are other people like you, who grew up doing a little bit of Jewish stuff and kindle and develop a community around the fact that we are Jewish,” Hoffman said. “We all share something in the same industry, which is pretty niche. …Jewish music industry professionals is like a fraction of a fraction.” •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 9
10 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

Nashville Rabbis Report on Their Mission to Israel

In mid-January, nine of Nashville’s rabbis, representing each of the five local congregations, traveled to Israel on a mission to bear witness to the atrocities of the October 7 terrorist attack. The group toured one of the kibbutzes that was destroyed, met with families of hostages, and volunteered to package food for families and soldiers. The attendees also witnessed the donation by Bernie and Maria Pargh of two ambulances for United Hatzalah.

Upon their return, The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville hosted a community-wide program for the rabbis to share their stories and reflections. The panel was moderated by Rabbi Mark Schiftan, with introductory remarks by Federation CEO Rabbi Dan Horwitz.

The rabbis who participated in the mis-

sion were: Dan Horwitz, Shana Mackler, Joshua Kullock, Laurie Rice, Philip (Flip) Rice, Mark Schiftan, Michael Shulman, Saul Strosberg, Yitzchok Tiechtel. Also participating in the mission were Bernie Pargh, Pam Kelner, CEO of Jewish Family Service, and Shai Rice.

To see a recording of the rabbi’s report, visit this link: •

Chabad of Nashville is going to Shabbat in the Heights

Imagine that the Shtetl of Europe has been frozen in time, transported to New York, and then unfrozen. Imagine walking down the main street and seeing the Judaica shops, hearing the sounds of yeshiva students studying the Talmud, smelling the aromas of the freshly baked Challah wafting from the local kosher bakeries, while seeing signs in Hebrew and Yiddish and shuls at every corner, while the skyscrapers of Manhattan rise in the distance.

Chabad of Nashville invites the Nashville community to experience this at Shabbat in the Heights. Last year, 120 people from Jewish communities across the United States participated in Shabbat in the Heights Shabbaton in the neighborhood of the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters. The Shabbaton experience is taking place this year, May 17-19, 2024, and enables one to experience Hasidic life in a personal way.

Throughout Shabbat, guest lecturers and study groups provide opportunities to study the Rebbe’s teachings and illuminating perspective on life and its purpose. A guided tour of the Rebbe’s

synagogue, office and home allows a glimpse into life with the Rebbe and insight into how he inspired his thousands of emissaries, leaders in their own right, in Jewish communities in every corner of the globe.

Nashville, Tennessee will be well-represented this year with a group led by Rabbi & Yitzchok and Esther Tiechtel, with Chabad of Nashville. “Living in Nashville and working in the community for the past 27 years makes Nashville home, but a big piece of my heart is always in Crown Heights where I grew up” says, Rabbi Tiechtel. “I can’t wait to share it with my friends from the Nashville community.”

The all-inclusive weekend feels like a retreat, complete with authentic Jewish cuisine, and eclectic Hasidic entertainment, providing a much-needed boost of spiritual energy, which she will carry over into her work, living of a more meaningful life.

To learn more about Shabbat in the Heights, please go to www. or call Chabad at 615-646-5750. •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 11 When Words Fail, Art Speaks Opening Minds Through Art is a program that uses the creative art process to target independence and skill maintenance for older adults with dementia and/or Alzheimer ’s. No art experience is necessar y to participate. All clients will create a completed work of abstract art in every session. There is no cost to participate. For more information, contact Jamie Maresca at or 615.354.1686 Navigating Life’s Transitions. Together.

At Our Congregations…

Nashville’s congregations

Here are the websites for all five Nashville Jewish congregations, with information on services, upcoming events and more:

Congregation Beit Tefilah Chabad,

Congregation Micah,

Congregation Sherith Israel,

The Temple – Congregation Ohabai Sholom, West End Synagogue,

The Observer provides congregational listings of events and services as a complimentary service to the community. If your congregation is not listed, it is because we did not receive the information in time to meet our publication deadline. Please give your rabbi, executive director, or synagogue volunteer a gentle nudge.

@ Chabad /Congregation Beit Tefilah

A lesson on Self Improvement to attain Spiritual Heights

The Advice for Life series will be hosting its sixth and final lesson of this series of self-improvement, on Wednesday, March 6, at 7:00 PM at Chabad of Nashville.

Participants will discover a unique approach to realizing their most profound potential, and achieving real spiritual growth, that combines lofty goals with remarkably practical guidance.

This lesson will focus on the most effective path to self-improvement, and to living a life filled with meaning and purpose, joy and happiness by taking the “leap first” approach in their journey in life.

RSVP via email at

BLT – Bagles, Lox and Tanya

Join friends for a morning of bagels, lox and Tanya (Jewish mysticism) on Sunday, March 17, at 9:30 AM. Partake in a delicious spread of bagels, lox, cream cheese, and freshly brewed coffee as you learn from the Holy Book of the Tanya, and the Gates of Trust. The lesson is taught by lay leadership, starting with Doug Revere who has been a longtime student of these teachings. Nourish your Mind, Body and Soul with BLT at Chabad of Nashville.

Chabad to host two TGIS celebration in March

Start your Shabbat off right with good friends, great conversation, and excellent kosher cuisine, all seasoned with the perfect amount of spirit and joy. TGIS is a Club Med Shabbat: An all inclusive Shabbat experience. Enjoy a Friday night Shabbat dinner replete with traditional dishes. Blended with spirited singing, a Chasidic tale, and a chance to meet some wonderful new people. TGIS will be held on Friday evening, March 8, and on March 22, at 6:30 PM at Chabad of Nashville.

There is no cost to attend the TGIS Shabbat experience, however we kindly request that you RSVP by letting s know you will be attending at chabadnashville@

PURIM 2024 with Chabad of Nashville

Join friends for a morning of bagels, lox and Tanya (Jewish mysticism) on Sunday, February 25, at 10:00 AM. Partake in a delicious spread of bagels, lox, cream cheese, and freshly brewed coffee as you learn from the Holy Book of the Tanya, and the Gates of Trust. Nourish your Mind, Body and Soul with BLT at Chabad of Nashville.

Purim Gift Distribution

Chabad of Nashville will be distributing several hundred Purim gift packages to Jewish families across Middle Tennessee. If you know of someone that would enjoy receiving a Purim gift please contact the Chabad of Nashville office.

The Big Megillah

Saturday, March 23, 8:00 PM - Purim Eve

Chabad of Nashville will be celebrating Purim 2024 on Saturday, March 23, 8:00 PM with the BIG MEGILLAH Reading. Festivities will begin with the Haman Booing, Megillah Reading, and Hamantashen Eating contest. All participants will receive a special Purim gift.

Purim In Candy Land - Feast and Celebration

Sunday, March 24, 5:00 PM

On Sunday, March 24, 5:00 PM, the annual Purim Around the World celebration will take place at Chabad of Nashville with Purim in Candy Land.

The event will include a Purim in Candyland theme, as it will be the sweetest Purim you’ve ever had. Children will have the opportunity to enter a life sized Candyland set, and dress up as either as King Candy or Queen Frostine, as Gumdrop or Lolly, this will be a children’s fantasy come alive at Purim in Candy Land.

A multimedia presentation will be shown during the Megillah reading and the Purim Characters will come alive, followed by a delectable Dinner Buffet, with dishes from the Royal Palace of Candy Land will be served.

Jazzical Musical Entertainment will be played while children and adults will enjoy the Palace photo booth, Frostine’s face painting, Buzzy’s bounce house and other whimsical Purim in Candy Land surprises, topped off with the Candy Land costume contest and a Purim gift for each participant.

All are invited to attend. There is a nominal fee to cover the cost of the dinner.

RSVP is required by March 18, at

@ Micah

Congregation Micah - an inclusive, innovative synagogue exploring and celebrating Jewish life - is committed to building community and repairing the world! We offer creative and diverse ways to live a Jewish life in Tennessee and beyond, using the rich beliefs and practices of Progressive Judaism as our foundation. Visit our 30+ acre campus or access our virtual programs from our website, Like us on socials: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @MicahNashville; sign up for our e-blasts; learn and pray with us in-person, or livestream our service on our website, YouTube, or Facebook. In our tent, there is room for everyone!

Weekly Events

Sanctuary Shabbat Services: Fridays at 6 PM

At Micah, we approach God in many ways: the inspiration of words, the beauty of sacred space, the authenticity of our intentions, and through the power of music and song. Join us in-person or virtually for services this month that will be as diverse as they are engaging, as moving as they are participatory. Come early and schmooze with us starting at 5:30 PM! Light refreshments are served.

Saturday Morning Torah Study: 9 AM on Zoom

Deep conversations about the text with thoughtful and caring people led by the clergy.

Mah Jongg: Tuesdays from 12:30 PM- 3:30 PM

Join our players for an afternoon of fun in the social hall! For more information, contact Paula:

Schmooze & Views: Thursdays from 10:30 AM- 11:30 AM

At Micah, we keep politics off the pulpit but not out of the building. Share your views in a round-table discussion on current events facilitated by Rabbi Flip and Dr. Bob Smith.

March Events

Micah Reads: Monday, March 4, at 7 PM on Zoom

Education Director Julie Greenberg leads the discussion on “I Kept Walking” by Minou Soumekh Michlin on March 4 and “Artifice” by Sharon Cameron on April 1.

Kabbalist-in-Residence: Friday & Saturday, March 8-9

Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism is a beautiful, rich, and ancient system describing the deep-rooted connection between Divinity and the created world. Learn. Chant. Sing. Meditate with Rabbi Franzel as all weekend we explore how to transform the “world of separation” into a “world of unity.”

Friday, March 8 at 6 PM: Shabbat Services and Meditative Shabbaton

Saturday, March 9 at 9:00 AM: Text Study in person and online!

Saturday, March 9 at 4:00 PM: Spiritual Practice - Chanting and Meditation. Registration Required.

Klezmer Shabbat: Friday, March 15, Services at 6:00

Immerse yourself in the sounds of Klezmer’s past and present, and future with Mostly Kosher, award-winning Klezmer Ensemble from Southern California. This acclaimed klezmer-rock band, radically reconstructs Judaic and American cultural music through ravenous klezmer beats and arresting Yiddish refrains.

Grief Group: Thursday, March 21, at 12 PM

We all have stories of loss. Maybe a loved one died, a marriage ended, a relationship went sideways, or a job slipped through our fingertips. Loss is often accompanied by grief, and grief is best explored and moved through by the sharing of stories in community. Rabbi Laurie will convene a grief circle monthly beginning in August. All are welcome to attend. This offering is in-person only.

Continued on page 13

12 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

Micah-Nections Late Night Shabbat: Friday, March 22 at 7:30 PM

Unwind from your week, unlock the magic of Shabbat, and experience the power of community with our social group for 20 and 30-year-olds. Moving music, delicious dinner, delightful drinks, and deep discussions await at this late-night Shabbat service.

Barbie Purim Carnival: Sunday, March 24 at 10 AM – 12 PM

“Hi, Barbie!”

“Hi, Esther!”

In celebration of strong Jewish women, and the men who are #Kenough to support them, you are officially invited to bring your best and brightest pink to Shushan’s Dream Palace on Sunday, March 24th. Come see the spirited spiel, savor the delicious hamantaschen, and enjoy our annual youth group-run carnival. Register on our website.

Micah Minis: Saturday, March 30, at 9:30 AM

Sing and Dance with our clergy! This family-friendly Shabbat experience is aimed at ages 7 and younger.

@ Sherith Israel

March 3

Annual Sheirth Israel Fundraiser

March 6

Beit Midrash with Nechemya Rosenfeld

March 9

All Ages Open Mic Night 7:15 pm Liff Auditorium

March 11

Guest Lecture: Ken Spiro - The World’s Longest Hatred 7:00 pm Shul Library

March 13

Beit Midrash with Nechemya Rosenfeld

March 20

Beit Midrash with Nechemya Rosenfeld

March 23

Purim Celebration

8:00 pm Megillah Reading (with screen, readers etc…) Blow ups, Pizza, Music, Face Pain Free and Open to the Community

March 24 Purim Day

Women’s Megillah Reading 1:30 pm

The reading will be taking place in the main sanctuary of Congregation Sherith Israel. Please come in costume if you can!

Seudat Purim 5:00 pm (by reservation)

March 27

Beit Midrash with Nechemya Rosenfeld

@ The Temple

Pirkei Avot: Jewish Wisdom for Today’s World

Every Friday from 5:00-5:40 PM

Get ready for Shabbat with a little text study! Each week we will study a piece of wisdom from Pirkei Avot, The Ethics of our Ancestors, an ancient Jewish text still relevant in our own times.

Available in person at The Temple and via zoom. Zoom Room:

At Our Congregations…

Shabbat Schedule for March at The Temple

You can also watch via zoom from

Friday, March 1st ~ 6:00 PM

Friday, March 8th~ 6:00 PM

Friday, March 15th ~ 6:00 PM – FAMILY SERVICE

Friday, March 22nd ~ 6:00 PM – PURIM SERVICE AND FESTIVE ONEG

Friday, March 29th ~ 6:00 PM – BLUE JEAN SHABBAT

Chevrah Torah Study

9:30AM on Saturdays

Join us for our weekly Torah study on the portion of the week, led by the clergy. You can join us in person at The Temple or via zoom from

Shabbat Morning Service

March 9th at 11:00a.m

Join with our clergy as we gather for a Shabbat Morning Service

Together we will pray, sing and hear words of Torah. Challah and wine/grape juice will be served upon the conclusion of services.

Tot Shabbat- Purim

March 16th @ 10:00am

For families with children up to age 5

These opportunities offer families the chance to celebrate Shabbat with their young children in a creative way. Join us for music, art and fun!

Temple Purim Service

Let’s celebrate Purim at our Friday night service on Friday, March 22nd at 6:00pm with a festive Purim Oneg to follow. Come in your costume and enjoy all the fun!

You can join us in person or via zoom from

Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 24th at 10:30am-12:30pm

The Temple-Games, Treats, Costume Contest and so much more…!

Golden Lunch Bunch

Will meet at Temple from 11:30-1:00pm on

March 5th: Bill Sleeter

March 19th: Purim Party featuring Janet McMahan and the Meadowlarks

RSVP to Jamie Maresca at 615-354-1686 or via email at helpinghands@

“The Masks we Wear” Purim Program for the LGBTQIA+ community

Wednesday, March 20th at 7:00pm at East Nashville Beer Works

*First Drink and Snacks on Temple*

All are welcome!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sheri Rosenberg at The Temple.

Women’s Torah Study

March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

10:30 AM

Ongoing weekly women’s Torah study led by Patty Marks.

Available in person at The Temple and via zoom through

Lunch with the Rabbi

March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

Lunch at 11:30AM

Program12:00-1:00 PM

$15 per person for lunch

Engage with Rabbi Danziger and guests in a discussion of current and important issues from a Jewish perspective.

RSVP on or by calling the Temple at 615-352-7620

Available in person and via zoom.

Zoom Room:

Monday Mah Jongg with Canasta

Join Us for MAH JONGG Mondays at The Temple!

March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th


Drop in for Mah Jongg. We’ll have coffee and water. Bring your friends, a card, and a set and have some fun. Mah Jongg cards and sets are available for purchase in The Temple Gift Shop.

The Temple’s Adult Education Series

Hello My Name Is….

Learn Jewish History, Innovation, Culture, and Values through Famous Jews with Familiar Names.

Hello My Name is Deborah: March 6th, 13th and 20th at noon at The Temple. Our clergy will be leading these sessions. For more information, go to

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The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 13

At Our Congregations…

Continued from page 13

Next Dor and NowGen proudly present: Network & Nosh: Women’s Edition

March 28th at 6:00-8:00pm

Women 21+ are invited for an evening of networking and mentorship

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sheri Rosenberg at The Temple.

Discovering Jewish Genealogy: What’s my story?

Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

The Temple Professional genealogist and member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Nashville will share the basics of gathering and organizing your family information, creating a family tree, and finding family records. He’ll offer guidance on researching both domestic and international sources for birth, marriage, and death records; immigration records, and censuses.

@ West End

For links to the following online services or programs, please email office@westendsyn. org or visit our website calendar for more information https://westendsyn.shulcloud. com/calendar

Purim 2024

All are invited to our annual fundraiser, tribute dinner, and mystery show celebrating 10 years of leadership and service by Rabbi Joshua and Jessica Kullock. Tickets are now available at

3/23 - Saturday 6:30 p.m. Dinner. RSVPs Required. Go to to register. 7:45 p.m. Megillah Reading in the Main Sanctuary. Costume Parade after 1st/ 2nd chapter.

3/24 - Sunday

9:00 a.m. Services. Megillah Reading approximately 9:30 a.m.

9:00-10:00 a.m. Beit Miriam regular classes

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Purim Carnival, Megillah reading & Costumes & Purim Se’udah (lunch) sponsored by Sisterhood.

3/1-3/3 - Men’s Club Retreat at Ramah


Rabbi Joshua leads our Women’s study of the book of Deuteronomy.

3/2 – Oliver Stahl Bar Mitzvah

3/3 - Music and Me – 10:30


Join Bel Glezer for a Musical Program plus Schmooze time for Families with Young Children under 3. Sunday morning, March 3rd from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

3/3 – Sisterhood Sunday Schmooze –12:00 p.m.

Join us for a belly dancing class. Babysitting (provided by USY) will be offered.

3/6 - The Sandi Goldstein Learn & Lunch Program for ages 60+ - 11:00 a.m.

Reservations required, catered lunch following the presentation.

Speaker: Rabbi Saul Strosberg

Lunch catered by Goldie Shepard at 12:00 p.m. Cost: $3.00 RSVP 615-269-4592 ext. 11 or

3/6 Hamantaschen Baking – 4:15 p.m.

Want to help bake Hamantaschen? Come to WES during Beit Miriam hours (4:156:30 p.m.)! No RSVP necessary but let us know by emailing if you plan to attend so we can plan.

3/8 - Tot Shabbat/Oneg – 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Friday night Shabbat services for Families with Young Children led by Nili Friedman & Sharon Paz.

3/9 - Kid’ish Club, aka Jr. Congregation –10:30-11:30 a.m.

Inviting all 2nd – 7th graders for Kid’ish Club Shabbat morning, Saturday March 9th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Kiddush lunch to follow.

3/9 - A.J. Levine Speaking on “How Biblical Interpretation Fosters Antisemitism”

12:15 p.m. following Kiddush lunch.

3/9 – Beer Tasting with Trent Rosenbloom – 7:00 p.m.

Expect to taste sour and funky beers made locally by one of the leading experts in wild fermentation. RSVP at

3/10-3/17 – Beit Miriam Spring Break


Hamantaschen Baking – 9:30 a.m.

Want to help bake Hamantaschen? Come to WES and join the fun! No RSVP necessary but let us know by emailing if you plan to attend so we can plan.

3/16 – River Epstein Bar Mitzvah

3/20 - The Sandi Goldstein Learn & Lunch Program for ages 60+ - 11:00 a.m.

Reservations required, catered lunch following the presentation.

Speaker: Rav Natan Freller

Lunch catered by Goldie Shepard at 12:00 p.m. Cost: $3.00 RSVP 615-269-4592 ext. 11 or

3/20 - Women’s Torah Group (on Zoom) –11:00 a.m.

Rabbi Joshua leads our Women’s study of the book of Deuteronomy.

3/21 - Men’s Torah Group (in person) –12:00 p.m.

Join us for our Torah class for men. We are currently studying the Second Book of Kings and will be eating pizza.

3/30 - Kid’ish Club, aka Jr. Congregation –10:30-11:30 a.m.

Inviting all 2nd – 7th graders for Kid’ish Club Shabbat morning, Saturday March 30th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Kiddush lunch to follow.

Ongoing Programs

Sisterhood Challah Sales made by Melissa Sostrin

Sign up on the Google form linked below or text Jessica Kullock at 615-881-4455 by WEDNESDAY AT 9:00 p.m. each week to pre-order for pickup Friday during synagogue office hours.

Flavors: Plain, chocolate, cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, zaatar, poppy seeds, sesame, bag of 6 challah rolls. Plain is $8/each, all challah with seeds toppings are $8.50, and the rest are $9/each.

Learning Opportunities

Talmud on Tuesdays

Rabbi Joshua leads a lively Talmudic discussion at 7:30 a.m. in person and on Zoom every Tuesday, immediately after morning minyan. Come and join us!

Thursday Torah Study & Breakfast

With Nechemya Rosenfeld every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. following morning minyan at 7:00 a.m.

Torah Reading Class with Rav Natan Freller Thursdays from 6:15-7:15 p.m. at WES. Come learn how to read and chant Torah with Rav Natan! Prerequisite: You must know how to read Hebrew.

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14 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

At Our Congregations…

Religious Services

Shacharit (in person)

Our minyanaires are always looking for more people to strengthen the only egalitarian minyan in town! Sunday services are at 9:00 a.m. and Monday-Friday at 7:00 a.m. Thursday minyan is followed by breakfast.

Ma’ariv (on Zoom)

Join us for daily Ma’ariv at 6:00 p.m., Sunday-Thursday.

Kabbalat Shabbat

You are invited to join us every Friday for Kabbalat Shabbat in person at 6:00 p.m. As part of our Friday night services, we are currently studying Jewish ethics through an in-depth reading of Pirkei Avot.

Shabbat Morning services

You are invited to join us every Saturday morning in person or by Zoom at 9:30 a.m. Great davening, insightful learning of the Torah portion and a yummy (and nutritious!) kiddush lunch following services! •

Community Listings

East Side Tribe

East Side Tribe is a grassroots social and spiritual community fueled by Jewish values and rooted in East Nashville. For more information or to RSVP, please visit

Rosh Chodesh Adar II — Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m.

In ancient times, in honor of nature and their natural body cycles, women of our tribe gathered to rest, rejuvenate, and to solidify their friendships. Today, we honor this tradition every month by gathering to celebrate Rosh Chodesh, the Jewish new moon holiday. In our Rosh Chodesh circle, we’ll explore energy, embodiment, and the soul.

Monthly Potluck Shabbat — Friday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.

Our regular community Shabbat dinner, open to all! The dinners are now totally potluck, so please bring a dinner dish to share. (We’ll provide challah and wine.) Feed your belly and your soul.

50s+ Potluck Shabbat — Friday, March 22, 6:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet other folks in a similar life stage (age 50+) during a small group Shabbat dinner. We’ll provide challah and wine.

Interested in Jewish kids programming on the east side? Our “East Side Tribelings” gather every month for music and activities. Email for more info.

Rutherford Havurah

Join us for an informal social gathering at the Dapper Owl for coffee or tea and hang out with and meet other Jews in the community. For details please go to https:// and click the registration link. •

Gordon JCC Adult Program Happenings:

TGIT – March 2024

March 7th

Nermin Begovic – Back by popular demand with his winning musicality and personality! Nermin was born in former Yugoslavia At the age of 9, he began learning how to play accordion in the local school of music. After moving to the USA in 2005 as a music therapist, Nermin continued to play accordion and has been actively playing the instrument ever since.

Lunch: Baked potatoes, toppings, sides, birthday cake and ice cream.

March 14th

Kem Hinton - For centuries, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been one of the most, if not the most sacred place on Earth. It has contained several religious structures, architectural wonders documented in holy books and by noted

historians. Architect Kem Hinton, LEED accredited professional, urban designer, author, historian, and visual artist is here to tell us the fascinating history and importance of this historic site.

Lunch: Chicken, salad, sides, dessert

March 21st

Marilynn Derwensksus – Former painting Professor at Ball State University, engaging speaker and artist, Marilynn Derwenskus is here to discuss her art and work now gracing the walls of the gallery in the Senior Lounge.

Lunch: Quiche, salad, sides, dessert.

March 28th

Terry Coats - President at Nashville Chattanooga St Louis Ry. Preservation Society is hear to tell us the fascinating and untold story of Jesse James and his connection to Nashville.

Lunch: Sal.mon, salad, sides, dessert •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 15
C Chu hu huck ck k & H &HHeideide e C Crra a awwffoorord id eiid i eC w or Crawford Funeral Home 2714 Grandview Avenue Nashville, Tennessee 37211 (615) 254-8200 www.craw fordserv


Continued from page 1

and again, and again because hate has no place in our city, it has no place in our capitol, it has no place in our state, it has no place in our country.”

Weiner shared a story from her childhood. As an eight-year-old she had been stoned by her neighbors while walking home from her Memphis public elementary school. “When I saw Justin’s tweet it sent a visceral chill down my spine because I have a sevenyear-old grandson, and a five year old grandson and I thought, ‘Not again, not now.’”

The day after the press conference, Metro Council met and Weiner and Kupin presented a resolution calling on all council members to denounce and condemn the nazi marchers and calling for unity against impacted citizens. The resolution passed unanimously. The resolution reads in part:

Hostage Families

Continued from page 1

brave, resilient men nabbed in the prime of their lives, both with young children still at home.

In each case, they were living on a kibbutz, their homes were breached in the early morning of October 7th. Moshe’s family members were tortured for hours, along with another family, before they took the husband and threatened the wife and kids not to leave the house or they would be killed. Effie’s brother’s family was all taken hostage,


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council goes on record unequivocally and, in the strongest terms, condemning and repudiating the vile actions and sentiments expressed by the neo-nazi marchers.

Section 2. That extremist groups, hiding behind masks, marching the streets of Nashville chanting destructive and hostile hate speech telling immigrants they are not welcome here while waving nazi flags have no place in our community.

Section 3. That the Metropolitan County Council reaffirms that Nashville is and will remain a welcoming place for love and peace. Hate has no place in our city, state, nation, or world and Nashville rejects those who wish to spread hate.

Section 4. That the Metropolitan County Council stands together with those who are impacted by these horrific messages

including a 10 month old and a 2 ½ year old child. Her brother and his older son were taken together, the son was one of the hostages who was released in the temporary ceasefire deal. The wife and two younger children were taken on a motorbike; the motorbike was wrecked right before they got to Gaza and she was able to escape with the children. It took her hours to get back to the kibbutz.

Words can’t really convey the depth of pain they’re all feeling, not knowing where their family members are, or what is being done to them. Everyone in the room was deeply moved by hearing their



Fourth Circuit Court

Davidson County

Fairness Integrity Experience

and commits to confronting agendas of hate and hostility.

Section 5. That while these actions were meant to instill fear, they have had the opposite effect, bringing communities together to unite against hate. •

stories. It felt like kismet, it all happened because of one social media post - and that’s their message. We should all be sharing about it. You never know who is going to see and how they’re going to be impacted.

David Bockian, Board member, Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville:

Jewish people. We must bear witness but also continue to share these stories with everyone in our communities. We must not forget why this war is happening. We must not forget the barbarity of what happened that day. We will continue to share these stories.

Ori Hart, Board member, Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville:

Election Day | March 5t h

Judge Stan Kweller is running to keep his seat as the Fourth Circuit Court Judge. He has a background in public service and private practice. He attended Emory University, where he earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. He attended law school at the University of Tennessee.

Early in his career, Judge Kweller served as an Assistant District Attorney General for the Second Judicial District in Blountville, Tennessee before moving to Nashville and transitioning to private practice.

Judge Kweller's legal acumen has earned him recognition as a Top Lawyer by Nashville Lifestyles in 2018. He is an esteemed member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association.

Judge Kweller recently celebrated his thirty-second anniversary with his beloved wife, Virginia Kweller. He has served on the board of trustees and security committee for Congregation Ohabai Sholom. Together, they have nurtured a loving family, raising two adult children alongside their lively household companions – three dogs and two cats. As

I had a million thoughts racing through my head. I wish that I understood the “end game” of it all. The horrors that so many families lived through, and for what? What did Hamas gain? How can anyone hate someone else so emphatically that murdering innocent civilians including children is in any way justifiable? The history of this land is covered in blood, and I am not even sure anyone has a plan besides hatred. Listening to two families’ stories exposed fatigue, fear, hope and more than anything the love for their family. I could never put myself in their place, but when Moshe said, “Everyday since has been October 7th,” I realized how fortunate we are and how proud I am to be able to support Israel and their cause. I pray for everyone that this will end soon.

Austin Center, chair Community Relations Committee, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga:

Sitting with two incredibly strong and resilient individuals like Moshe and Effie is our “call to action” to bear witness. This is the bond we share as Jews. Hearing their families’ heartache as two of their loved ones, Omir Miran and Ohad Yahalami, two of 132 other hostages whose families as Moshe said “live Oct. 7th day after day” reminds me of a saying from our prayer book I read every Shabbat. “Pray as if everything depends on G-d, act as if everything depends on you.” We can pray all we want but it is our voice that is needed, and I will not sit silent. We must stand up, we must speak out, we must act to bring Omir and Ohad home, to bring all the hostages home.

Michael Dzik, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga:

I was in Israel just last month. I met with a hostage family member at that time. Last night was a reminder that there are thousands of stories. The heartbreak is real; it affects all of us. I cannot imagine the pain of having a family member as a hostage for 139 days – and counting. It was also touching to see several Nashville families brought their teens to hear the stories. I’m sure they are stunned, but October 7 has become part of our history; it’s who we are as a

Meeting family members of the Israeli hostages currently captive in Israel was very moving. Although I have kept close to the news coming out of Israel and the stories of the hostages, we sometimes start to feel numb from ongoing updates of war. Hearing about Omri and Ohad, learning their story, their passions, their livelihood from people who truly know them and love them was a new perspective on the pain of the hostage crisis. I think of the hostages daily and pray for them to be released, and want to make sure they remain at the forefront of people’s minds.

Simon Newman:

I sincerely appreciated having the opportunity to hear the stories from the hostage family members. It was so different getting the story of the horror directly and to grasp the gravity of what happened on October 7. It truly is surreal and is something that you think would only happen in a movie, but unfortunately it is the reality that too many people went through. Hearing Effie’s story of her brother and 15 year old nephew being taken hostage especially hit home. While it is amazing that her nephew is now back home, it is so important that we continue to support and fight for the 134 Israelis that are still held hostage by Hamas. It was so important to us to hear the stories directly and to show our support for those who live through the unimaginable every day.

Sophie Newman:

Only being in 6th grade, I feel like at first, I didn’t understand the brutality of October 7. As I started to realize the depth of it, I realized how awful Hamas’ actions were. It is terrible to think kids my age, and even younger, were killed, shot, and taken hostage for absolutely no reason. Hearing the speakers was almost like an awakening for me. At first, I mainly focused on the fact of the deaths and hostages, and not how Hamas’ actions affected others. Hearing from family members, I found it neat to hear about their loved one’s hobbies, personality, and so much more. It was something I will truly never forget. •

16 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Paid for by Kweller for Judge. Virginia Kweller, Treasurer.
a nonprofit organization, The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville does not endorse political candidates for office. Any candidate is welcome to purchase advertising space in the Observer.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Akiva School Council Visits the Tennessee Council

The Tennessee Capitol was bustling with activity when a group of fifth and sixth grade officers from the Akiva Knesset (student government) visited last week. Knesset members had the unique opportunity to participate in the state governing process firsthand. During their time at the Capitol, the students observed a legislative session in progress and had the chance to interact with state representatives and senators.

Kelly Love, a Knesset faculty advisor accompanying the group, said that Knesset members were interested in understanding our local government better. To help facilitate this, Ms. Love brought in local lobbyist, Theo Morrison, to talk with students, and arranged a meeting with Senator Heidi Campbell and Representative Caleb Hemmer. “By learning about their roles as citizens, students can develop a sense of responsibility,” remarked Love, adding that “understanding local government is crucial for students to fulfill their civic duties and actively participate in local politics.”

While touring the Capitol, students also had the opportunity to actively participate in the democratic process by serving as pages on the floor. Meital Kullock, a middle school student at Akiva, and the sixth grade class representative in the Akiva Knesset, was thrilled by the experience. Kullock excitedly shared that, “It was eye-opening to see our government work in real time. Meeting Senator Campbell and acting as

a page was thrilling. It’s a field trip I will never forget.”

The trip not only provided a glimpse into the workings of government but also fostered a sense of civic responsibility among the students. By actively participating in the democratic process, they gained a deeper appreciation for the principles upon which our nation was founded. As Love noted, the students’ time at the Tennessee Capitol was not just a field trip, “but hopefully a stepping stone towards becoming active participants in shaping the future of their communities.” •

Monday, April 22 - 6 PM

Join us for A unique Passover Seder led by our Engagement Rabbi, Rav Natan!

Be prepared for a journey into our tradition, filled with music and creative innovations to captures everyone's hearts and minds throughout the night!


The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 17 … because your memories matter 479 Myatt Drive, Madison, TN 37115-3024 615-712-9521 •

West End Wraps Tefillin and Raps with Dan

West End Synagogue was abuzz with activity on February 11 as its Men’s Club and Sisterhood co-hosted the “World Wide Wrap.” Created by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs to encourage people to put on tefillin (phylacteries) as part of morning services, the event is held annually on Superbowl Sunday. In addition to visual aids showing the proper placement of the tefillin boxes on one’s forehead and arm, Rav Natan Freller provided hands-on assistance. Experienced “minyanaires” (those who attend daily prayer services) helped people new to the tradition. Middle- and high-school students from the shul’s Beit Miriam Religious School filled out the congregation of about 70 for the Shachareit (morning) service led by Rabbi Joshua Kullock.

Following the service and a great brunch prepared by Sweets Melissa & Sons, Rabbi Dan Horwitz, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, spoke about his new book, Just Jewish: How to Engage Millenials and Build a Vibrant Jewish Future (Ben Yehuda Press, November 2023). •

Late Night Shabbat Striking a Chord with Jewish Young Adults in Nashville

“Late Night Shabbat” has quickly become the signature event by Micah-Nections, Congregation Micah’s social hub for Nashville-area Jews (and those who are Jewishly curious) in their 20s and 30s. January was the second installment of this new event, which included a shabbat service led by Cantor Josh Goldberg, as well as local Jewish musicians Camden West on electric guitar, Dan Ainspan on drums, Russel Somer on bass, as well as Amber Ikeman and Ellie Flier joining on vocals. The music-focused service got the crowd of 75 young Jews singing, moving, and participating, and a mixer activity during the service encouraged everyone in attendance to get to know each other on a deeper level.

Following the service, a delicious meal was curated, catered, and served by renowned chef Wes Scoggins. Better known as the “Jewish Cowboy,” Scoggins combines traditional Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and Mizrahi Jewish recipes with Southern cooking flair.

While the crowd was enjoying a shabbat meal, they also got treated to an outrageously funny comedy set by up-and-coming comedian, Marcus Lustig, a regular at Zanies comedy club, and soon to headline at the “Netflix is a Joke” comedy festival in Los Angeles. Once Lustig finished his own set to great applause, he transitioned into emcee, and brought up a series of other performers from the community who wowed the crowd with their talents including original songs, standup comedy, and a monologue.

The idea for late night started with Cantor Goldberg hearing some feedback from other Jewish folks his age. “While we have been getting some attendance at our regular shabbat services from millennials and Gen Z-ers, a few folks in that age range told me it was hard for them to get to Brentwood by 6pm, especially those who work in East Nashville and beyond. I wanted to try to create a special Shabbat experience just for this

age group, which is notoriously hard to convince to attend synagogue.”

The first late night was in November, which took place in Congregation Micah’s Chapel, with about 30 in attendance. By January, the RSVPs doubled.

Cantor Goldberg says, “I loved the intimate feel we had for the service in the chapel, but for our second installment, we already outgrew the space and had to move to the social hall. I am absolutely thrilled with the turnout we saw at LateNight Shabbat in January. There is such a wonderful community of young adults in Nashville, including many artists and creatives, who are hungry for community, and I am so pleased that they chose to spend their Shabbat at Micah.”

Micah-Nections recently received an Emerging Needs grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville which

will help support future events put on by Micah-Nections such as this.

Rabbi Dan Horwitz, Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville CEO, comments, “In this era of hyper digital connection and rampant loneliness, there is a real need for substantively Jewish, musical and joyful opportunities for young adults to gather and be in community together in person, and I’m thrilled to see Late-Night Shabbat resonating with so many.” Horwitz will be a guest speaker at the next Late-Night Shabbat, which is Scheduled for March 22nd, starting at 7:30pm and more are planned subsequently every other month.


18 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Rav Natan Freller of West End Synagogue helps Ellis Prichard put on his t’fillin West End Synagogue participated in the World Wide Wrap with people of all ages. Chef Wes Scoggins, a.k.a. the Jewish Cowboy, prepares Texas Tagine, his own spin on a Sephardic lamb stew Attendees eagerly sample the eclectic menu which included Texas Tagine, Cowboy Caviar Salad, Pistachio Cornbread, Sweet Potato Batata Hara and Almond-Orange Texas Sheet Cake with Candied Oranges Comedian, Marcus Lustig, warms up the crowd Cantor Josh Goldberg and the Micah-Nections band lead shabbat worship, filling Congregation Micah’s large social hall.
found at micahnections •
are required and can be


B’rit Mitzvah

Jacob Ganus

Jacob Ganus will become a bar mitzvah on Saturday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Micah. He is the child of Laura and Eric Ganus, the brother of Aaron Ganus, and grandchild of Steve and Judy Alex of Buffalo, Grove, Ill., and Janice Ganus of Adamsville, Tenn.

A seventh grader at Oliver Middle School, Jacob enjoys playing soccer and competing in the Williamson County soccer league, hanging out with friends and playing video games. He also loves playing card games, building projects and kicking the ball with his brother. He’s excited that his extended family will be coming for his Bar Mitzvah and spend the weekend enjoying Nashville.


Marilyn Braunstein

Condolences to the family of Marilyn Braunstein, 93, who died on February 10 in her hone in Allentown, Penn. She was the wife of Nathan M. Braunstein (deceased 2019) for 68 years. She was the daughter of the late Victor and Anna Kobrovsky, and sister of the late Norman Kobrovsky. Marilyn’s life was a testimony of dedication to her family, her friends, her community, and her people. Service to these was marked by her presidency of the Allentown Chapter of Hadassah, vice presidency of Hadassah’s Eastern Region, presidency and campaign chairperson of the Allentown Jewish Federation.

She is survived by daughters, Cherie Zettlemoyer (Rick), Laurie Horton, and Amy McCoy (Greg); grandchildren, Evan, Jesse, Dan, Amber, Brett, Eve, Caleb, Dylan and Jake; great grandchildren, Aria, Josephine, Elijah, Anna, Ava and Madelyn; caregivers Debra Ann Brown, Yolanda Shackford, Ronia Makdessi, Leigh Deese, Nadine Monteverde, and Laura Garcia.

Tributes may be made in Marilyn’s memory to West End Synagogue or Jewish Family Service.

Robert Louis “Bob” Mode

Condolences to the family of Robert Louis “Bob” Mode, 83, who died on January 23. Bob was an art historian by profession and passion. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 26, 1940, to Arthur and Ruth (Rosenthaler) Mode. His father modernized the family business, Mode Furniture, while his mother was a female pioneer in the field of public relations and marketing. Bob attended Walnut Hills High School, where he and his brother, Arthur (Art), excelled in their academic pursuits. Art grew up to become a psychiatrist, while Bob pursued a career in the humanities. His first introduction to the arts came through his parents, who took their sons to performances of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, plays at the Albee Theater and exhibitions at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Rochester, and a master’s degree and a doctorate in the history of art at the University of Michigan. In 1967, while working on

his dissertation and teaching a summer course at Washington University in St. Louis, Bob met the love of his life, artist Carol Ann Levin, who was studying painting there. After marrying and completing their degrees, they relocated to Venice, Italy, where Bob worked under terms of a Fulbright Fellowship and Carol painted and learned to cook Italian food. Italy became a cherished destination for the couple throughout their lives. Bob was recruited to the faculty at Vanderbilt University by F. Hamilton Hazlehurst, the head of the Department of History of Art and Architecture, who later became Bob’s mentor and friend.

Bob began teaching at Vanderbilt in the fall of 1968 and, over an illustrious career that spanned 45 years, mentored and educated thousands of students before retiring in 2013. He served as department chair, director of graduate studies, and director of undergraduate studies for the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt. In addition, he was active in public art issues with the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, and avidly supported the artists and arts institutions of the Nashville community. A rigorous researcher and scholar of Italian Renaissance art, Bob wrote foundational articles that helped to define the field. His work was published in art history journals. Later in his career, he expanded his research to include 18th-century British art, particularly as it pertained to the artist William Hogarth. He was beloved by students and colleagues alike and known for his intellect, approachability, and good humor.

In Europe, he frequently researched art, guided Vanderbilt Study Abroad trips, and led alumni historical tours. With his family he shared his love of culture through vacations to historic locales and museums. The expression “When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life” never carried such weight.

Bob’s wife and children were the light of his life

In addition to his wife, Carol, of 59 years, he is survived by his daughter, Emily R. Mode (wife Sally J. Berger), son, Daniel P. Mode (wife Laura A. Schulthies), brother, Arthur S. Mode,

cousin P.J. Mode, extended family, close family friends, and the Nashville arts community.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery or to Nashville Classical Radio WPLN or toward scholarships for the Vanderbilt Department of History of Art and Architecture.

Cindy Scherr

Condolences to the family of Cindy Scherr, who died on January 31.

Survivors include Cindy’s brother-in-law, Stanley Scherr, and other members of her family. Cindy lived in Gaithersburg, Md., and was predeceased by her husband, David Scherr, and brother-in-law, Robert Scherr. •

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 19
Trusts & Estate Planning Wealth Management Investment Management Retirement Plan Consulting Oil & Gas Management Philanthropic Services We are a leading, independent, (615) 385-2718 3102 West End Avenue Ste. 775, Nashville, TN 37203 Vice Chairman, Argent Trust Company Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor YO UR GUID E TO F INE BU SIN ESS ES AN D SER VICES ARO UND MU SI C CITY P LEAS E SU PPO RT OU R ADVE RTI SER S, TH EY’R E TH E BE ST! 615.35 6.3242 EXT. 29 9 Business C ard Direct or y GREEN HILLS Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville at

March in the Galleries: Featured Works by Michael Black, Rita Maggart, and Mike Quinones

The Janet Levine March Gallery will feature the work of Michael Black. Black is recognized as one of the top session background vocalists in Nashville. He has recorded with such artists as Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams, Donovan, The Four Tops, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle, B.J. Thomas and many others. He also sang with the legendary vocal quartet, “The Jordanaires,” who performed background vocals for Elvis Presley for the first 15 years of Elvis’ tremendous career.

At age seven, Michael found his first passion, music. His second passion, however, was the visual art world. In recent years, Michael has been exploring his visual arts side, the fruit of which is displayed at the Gordon JCC. Michael is especially drawn to the Abstract Expressionism and Impressionism movements.

The JLMG2 Gallery will feature the work of Rita Maggart. Maggart finds faces fascinating. Through the medium of charcoal on paper, she has found the ability to communicate to the viewer what she has to say as an artist. The elimination of color has allowed her to get back to basics in drawing and to communicate what she would like the viewer to see and think about.

The Sig Held Gallery will feature Mike Quinones. Quinones is a multi-hyphenate artist whose creative journey has encompassed painting, filmmaking, illustration, photography, and cartooning. Born in the vibrant city of Cartagena, Colombia, his artistic odyssey brought him to the culturally-diverse Miami as a child. Throughout his life, his unwavering passion for art has driven him to explore various media and develop a unique artistic voice.

At the tender age of 16, Quinones embarked on his artistic voyage as a cartoonist. This early start allowed him to refine his skills as a rapid visual storytell-

er. His early experiences as a cartoonist laid the foundation for his future artistic endeavors. Driven by his desire to further hone his creative talents, Quinones pursued a formal education in film produc-

tion at Miami Dade Community College. This educational experience provided him with the tools and knowledge to bring his artistic vision to life on the silver screen. His works are a captivating blend of influences drawn from both cubism and surrealism with an explosive use of color and intricate, imaginative figures. Through his work, he invites audiences to transcend the ordinary and embark on a journey through the rich tapestry of his imagination.

The Senior Lounge continues to feature the work of Marilynn Derwenskus.

The House gallery will feature the Under One Roof collaborative exhibit.

The Exhibition Dates are March 1 – 30th.

The exhibitions are free and open to the public. Attendees will need to sign in at the front desk. For more information, contact the GJCC at 615.354-1699, Curator Carrie Mills at, or go to •

Kvetch in the City

It was the night before leaving on another jaunt to my playground, NYC, when I woke up at like 3 in the morning with a

feeling of uh oh…I may be getting sick. Come hell or high water, I was determined to get on that plane. Better to be sick in NYC than in Nashville. Well, unless of course I have Covid. Then it wouldn’t be very nice to go anywhere, let alone get on a plane.

So, when I woke in the morning, not feeling well, yet all packed to leave, I texted my very kind friend/neighbor Cindi to see if she had a Covid test handy. She didn’t. However, being that she was driving me to the airport she suggested we stop at Walgreens and test along the way. This way she could turn the car around if I tested positive.

Up she pulled, and off we went. Coat, hat, mask on, I ran into Walgreens purchased a test kit and ran back to the car. There we sat bundled up doing our little science experiment, balancing the chemicals and little Covid stick on the dashboard waiting for the lines to appear. Cindi starts cracking up. “Remember when we were younger, back then we were nervously taking pregnancy tests, not Covid tests,“ she said laughing. If someone hadn’t worn their “mask” in those days, a very pink line could appear to determine your fate. And who would have ever thought that would once again be an issue nationwide.

Back to the present moment, and it turned out, no Covid or babies on the way. Just me, on my way to NYC to watch the Super Bowl at a friend’s,

Continued on page 24

Figure in Brown, by Michael Black Young Woman, by Rita Maggart Couple, by Mike Quinones
The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 21 ADVERTORIALS MARCH 2024 D.I.Y. & Home Improvement ISSUE!

Remember...It’s Always the Right Move’s always the right mo ve !

• Aging in Place Design and Planning Ser vices

• Move Management and Relocation Assistance

• Downsizing, Packing and Sor ting Ser vices

• Estate Sale and Donation Coordination

• After the Move Suppor t


Angie Dur r angie@aginginplaceser

Ever wonder where the people with all the answers ge t all the answer s?

Our Aging in Place (AIPS) Team works with clients and their families to assist with the next steps along the journey. That journey can be right where you are, relocating to a new home, ready to experience the ultimate in retirement or just a little organizing to enjoy the space you already have. We deliver an individually tailored and personalized plan designed to meet your needs. No two journeys are the same.

Aging is part of life, and we love partnering during those transitions. Our focus has been on the 50+ age group, but our teams enjoy assisting anyone of any age. Embracing the dynamic is totally key! Our teams are filled with kindness, compassion and care. We look for areas to partner and give back. We are about the whole transition.

We’re just a phone call away @ 629.999.2477. Teaming up with a little help and support can make the process feel like it was totally worth it and asking yourself, “why did I wait so long”. Stop by our website to learn more about who we are, our projects and our client stories.

Druid Tree Service

Springtime ushers in a time of rejuvenation; a new beginning. A wake up to the certainty that it’s time to again enjoy nature’s bountiful beauty of flowering trees, shrubs and flowers. Breathe in the scent of lilac and viburnum, allow the vibrant, pink cherry blossoms to transport you to, and take solace in the fact that spring, without fail, has sprung again.

At Druid Tree Service, we are specialists in preserving the natural beauty of your trees and shrubs. We believe your yard should be an oasis, deserving of the utmost care and attention. From specialty hand pruning of boxwoods, yews and ornamentals, to shade tree maintenance, our arborists offer professional care for landscapes of any size.

As you spend more time at home, you may observe that your landscape could use an expert eye on the beautiful space you envision. We can help you through our consulting arborist’s stewardship plans. Alleviate the worry of hazards in your trees, by having our consulting arborist conduct a hazard tree assessment. Spring is an important time to identify pests and nutritional deficiencies in your plants. At Druid, our consulting arborist conducts a plant pathology assessment to identify concerns and make recommendations for pest and fertility issues. Druid has proven experience controlling specific pests and diseases, including the devastating Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), to insure the health and wellbeing of your trees and shrubs. Druid is family owned and has been caring for trees and shrubs in the Nashville area since 1977.

We look forward to caring for your trees. Give us a call at 615-373-4342 or email us at

Continued on page 23


Are You Too Busy, Overwhelmed, or Just Need Some Help?

If you are planning a milestone event, a local or long-distance move, or just trying to organize the clutter in your home, office, or attic? Do you live alone and need some help managing your household each month? Are you facing surgery and a long period of necessary rehabilitation? Jane R. Snyder might be a resource worth considering. With years of professional experience and an extensive skill set, this independent consultant works closely with individuals, families, and business owners.

Whether you need advocacy, administration, or complex project management, Ms. Snyder can make your life easier by saving you time, money, or energy when your attention needs to be elsewhere. She can even help you plan large events. For one family, Jane helped to organize milestone birthday celebrations at three separate venues over a single weekend! Each party proved to be memorable for hundreds of invited guests.

Jane also works confidentially with numerous practitioners on private medical, legal, or financial matters. Details and troubleshooting are second nature to her. If you have a problem to discuss, or you would just like more information, please call her at 615-5576277. And don’t forget to ask about her NEW CLIENT DISCOUNT! For everyone’s protection, she respects COVID protocols for vaccination, booster shots, and masking.

It’s no surprise that her established clients will all tell you, “I don’t know what I would do without Jane!”

Carrie Mills

It is undeniable that art adds immeasurable dynamics to a home. Whether its purpose is purely décor or immensely personal, art helps a home feel like a home. With that in mind, why not consider a custom, one of a kind, piece of art to add to not only your home, but to the life of your family. A piece of art that tells a story that you want to tell that can be passed on for generations! Contact Carrie Mills to create a piece of art made just for you. Visit her website at

Creekside Garden Center

Creekside Garden Center was established in 1992 by two lifelong friends and Nashville natives. Todd Estepp and Phillip Gentry decided to take their experience in landscaping and create a local nursery that would be a familiar and friendly spot for Nashvillians to buy the highest quality products at affordable prices.

The name comes from the garden center’s unique location, nestled between a fork of Richland Creek in the heart of Belle Meade. Even though Creekside carries top of the line plants, trees, shrubs and herbs, Phillip and Todd take great pains in maintaining a casual and relaxed atmosphere, where very often they are on a first name basis with most of their customers. If they don’t know you, they really want to! So be sure to introduce yourself and ask as many questions as you need.

Jackie Roth Karr

With a stellar reputation grounded in her faith, Jackie Roth Karr along with her teammates at Partners in Grimes of Corcoran Reverie, are your trusted Real Estate advisors in the greater Nashville area. Her emphasis on the local community has rewarded her with a proven sales record while maintaining an unmatched level of service. Collectively, Partners in Grimes has over 47-years of combined service and has successfully closed over $123M in closed real estate sales for their clients. Jackie’s brokerage, Corcoran Reverie is a thoroughly modern real estate company built on traditional values of service, integrity, market expertise, and neighborhood fluency.

“Not only did the brand and mission speak to me on so many levels but joining Partners in Grimes was adding the special sauce on top. We knew we would make the perfect combination of strengths for this team to serve the needs of buyers and sellers, both in Nashville and around the world,” Karr continues. “Working to accomplish our shared vision of being matchmakers for our clients with the property they envision, with integrity, knowledge, and probably fun and a few laughs, alongside Chris, John, and Joey & Larissa is something that I’m very excited about.”

For the past 22 years, Jackie has enjoyed being co-director for the Nashville Jewish Film Festival. As a Nashville original and a huge lover and patron of the arts, Jackie enjoys supporting the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Frist Museum, and the Nashville Zoo. Of all of her successes, she is most proud to be a mom to two incredible sons.

Whether you’re buying or selling, Jackie is poised to turn your reverie into a reality.

Continued on page 24

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 23 INFO@THEKUPINGROUP.COM CHAG PURIM SAMEACH! 615.281.9035 844.591.7325 WE’R EH ERE TO H ELP YO UW IT HH OME IMPROVEMENT WHEN YOU PURCHAS EO RS EL LY OUR HOME! Jacob Kupin& Hayley Levy-Kupin Carrie Mills Customized Artwork Home or Office 615-210-5044 Instagram: @carrie.mills www carriemills com “My job is to make your life easier!” JANE R. S NY DER ersonal Assistant, Concierge & Family Advocate • 615-557-6277 OMER SPECIAL: 20% o your rst 10 hours [4 hour minimum] Advocacy • Administration • Project Management ADVERTORIALS
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Partners in Grimes is honored to be the recipient of the Diamond Award from Greater Nashville Realtors. We are licensed in TN and FL but can help you anywhere in the world through our Corcoran affiliates across the globe!


Whether you are busy renovating your home, or just want a fine dining experience to relax with friends and family. For half a century, Sperry’s has been Nashville’s go-to destination for unforgettable dining experiences. From quality steaks to fresh seafood, every dish tells a story of our dedication to excellence. But Sperry’s is more than just a restaurant – it’s a beloved gathering place where memories are made and friendships are forged. As we approach this significant milestone, we want to express our deepest gratitude to our cherished patrons. Your support and loyalty have been the driving force behind our success.So, to our valued guests, old and new, we extend a heartfelt thank you. Your continued patronage inspires us to keep pushing the boundaries in everything we do. We can’t wait to celebrate this incredible journey with you and create even more memories together in the years to come.

From all of us at Sperry’s, thank you for being a part of our story. Here’s to 50 years – and many more to come!

Age-in-Place With LiveWell By Blakeford

LiveWell members (healthy, independent adults, 60 and older) enjoy exceptional benefits that allow them to maintain the independence they’ve earned. LiveWell offers a range of plans at different cost and coverage levels to best meet a senior’s future and budget. All plans include an essential package of services to make it possible for someone to be as healthy and independent as possible, at home, for a lifetime. Most plans include services at home and if necessary, in an assisted living or nursing care facility. Contact Livewell by Blakeford for more information. Here are some tips from Blakeford for creating a senior friendly kitchen without a major renovation. Optimizing your kitchen for safety and function is an essential to-do for aging in place. Here are 5 low and no-cost ways to make a kitchen a more senior-friendly place. 1. FLOORING: Choose wood, laminate, linoleum, or vinyl. They are easy to clean and allow mobility for wheelchairs and walkers. Apply a slip-resistant coating to tile. 2. LIGHTING: Increase the wattage in your light fixtures, and change to LED for energy savings. Consider under-cabinet or recessed lighting to supplement. 3. CABINET ACCESSIBILITY: Reorganize so items most used are easiest to reach. Keep heavy or breakable items on lower shelves. Pull-out shelving, drawer organizers, turntables, lazy susans, and utensil holders are also very effective. 4. SINK: Faucets need to be reachable, and sprayer attachments make many tasks easier. Turning down the temperature on the water heater can prevent scalds. 5. ACCESSORIES: A reaching stick and jar opener are inexpensive essentials. Cut-resistant gloves and manual food choppers can also make cutting vegetables and fruits safer. •

LET’S TALK RETIREMENT! (…because it’s not just about the money!)


This crossword will help you find the path to a successful transition!


2. What you will need to get you up every morning.

4. It’s not just about the money.

5. Seeing the glass half full shows you are full of this.

6. Make new ones and keep the old.


1. When you have this, you have everything.

2. This puts you on your path to success.

3. Asking what? who? why? – describes this important trait.

The reason I’m offering you a small crossword puzzle this month is that the tag line for my website at is Life’s a puzzle and sometimes you just need a little help putting the pieces together.

So, grab a pen and get to work! If you have been paying attention to my columns, you will find the puzzle easy and full of the secrets to a successful transition. If you haven’t, you can just make some good guesses for the seven hints. Good luck! (Don’t worry – the answers are at the bottom.)

Meanwhile, as long as you have your pens handy, let’s talk about journaling Journaling simply means keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings and insights. It is different from a diary in that a diary is used to record daily activities.

Kvetch in the City

Continued from page 20 and, drum roll please, have date number two with a match from Hinge. Yes. I put my toes back in the dating pool and fell right in. This time, with a man who, get this, has the same first name as me! How cute, I thought, when we matched up online. Now, it was just a matter of determining if he will be a Carey Grant or a Harry Carey. Jury’s out, of course, since this whole charade I play with long distance dating leaves a lot to be desired. However, it seems I may have cracked part of the older person dating code. If I date someone with the same first name as me, it’s way less likely I’ll forget their name or my name for that matter.

At this point quite honestly, I don’t know if I’m actually dating for myself or food for this column. I somehow feel propelled by my readers to keep on going. l seem to consistently get stopped at the Center by someone or another asking about my love life. I feel indebted now somehow to keep the story going, even if not for myself anymore. It feels like it’s gotten bigger than me at this point and I’m just along for the ride to find my

Don’t go into ‘but I’m not a good writer,” or “I just don’t enjoy writing.” Those are answers for a class or a test or an evaluation. This is a relationship between you and yourself.

Journaling has been shown to calm anxiety, reduce stress, enhance memory and help with prioritizing concerns. It is inexpensive - requiring no Lululemon outfit or Nike shoes - and it can be accomplished anywhere.

There is no right or wrong way to do it. There is no required length. You can jot down, draw pictures, create paragraphs, poems, or even lyrics reflecting your thoughts and feelings. (Think Taylor Swift!) The only strong suggestion is that research has shown writing daily (or almost every day) offers much greater results.

For the purpose of any life transition –and especially relating to retirement -journaling is extremely beneficial because it

• can help you set and accomplish goals.

• is a place to express gratitude.

• puts you in the present instead of the past.

• allows you to express your true thoughts and feelings.

Find a notebook, choose a quiet secluded place, and begin journaling. Many people like to write in the morning when they first wake up. But you do you.

Once you start, you will find the where and when that are just right.

By the way, no one else reads it. It’s yours to keep and reread if you like or to simply embrace the time as private minutes between you and your thoughts and feelings. Happy Journaling! •

Now, let’s check out the answers for that crossword. By the way, I may have given her the words and hints, but that beautiful crossword grid was created by my nine-year old granddaughter, Zoe Saff Sager. Thanks, Zoe!

Across Down

2. purpose 1. health

4. retirement 2. plan

5. positivity 3. curious

6. friends

happily every after. Either way, it seems good for a laugh. Isn’t it always though? Until they make you cry, that is.

Along those lines, another insight occurred after watching the Super Bowl. I had gone to my good friend Andy’s place to hang out and catch the half time show, however, Andy being way more into football than I ever realized, was hootin’ and hollerin’ at the tv, and before I knew it, I got sucked in too. And before you know it, I was riveted. The last half of that game was insane. Back and forth, up and down, it was impossible to tell if the 49ers were going to win until, literally the last 3 seconds of the game. And that’s when I realized, that’s exactly how my love life feels all the time. Am I going to win? Am I going to lose? Oh it looks close, oh no, a fumble, darn someone stole the ball, I need a coach, how is this going to end? And most of all, like the 2024 Super Bowl, going into overtime, will this game ever end? In a nutshell, here I am, when it comes to love, still in it to win it, going into overtime, and playing my hardest for a happily ever after.

And in a world gone mad, I’m holding on to a little bit of optimism. Stay tuned. •


For 4 generations, it’s been our family’s mission to protect yours. Thank you, Middle Tennessee, for allowing us to serve you since 1925. TERM

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 25
- Jeffrey J. Zander, CIC and the team at Zander Insurance
26 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER ADVERTORIALS




401 Commerce Street, Suite 1250 Nashville, TN 37219 (615) 245-4070 •


ELECTRONIC EXPRESS is a leader in top quality, brand-name electronics and appliances at exceptionally low prices. Stocking the latest items, Electronic Express takes pride in providing customers with products at prices to fit any budget. From televisions, appliances, smart devices and cameras to security systems, furniture and mattresses, Electronic Express has everything to take your home to the next level. Electronic Express offers special financing, delivery and installation options. We make it happen! Visit us at any of our 18 locations or online at www.


At Emergest, we enable your business with cost-efficient digital applications – web, mobile, automation, design, strategy workshops. We partner with you to solve all your technology needs. Find us at, email, or call 615-473-3700



Family Law / Personal Injury / Probate Fifth Third Center

424 Church Street, Ste. 2250 Nashville, Tennessee 37219 (615) 256-5661


In-Home Care & Engagement | Respite Dementia Day & Early-Stage Programs

Independent & Assisted Living Memory Support | Caregiver Resources 615.434.2160 |

Seniors and Post Hospital Care

Custom senior care for active, healthy lifestyles. Affordable/no minimums. Meals, meds, transp., outings, dementia care & assist with hospital discharge.

Professional trusted care partners. Locally owned. Call Moises for Free Assessment: 615-678-9223


(formerly Family Staffing Solutions, Inc.) Integrated Care Management and Home Care Provider

2000 Glen Echo Road, Suite 104 Nashville, TN 37215 615-595-8929

143 Uptown Square Murfreesboro, TN 37129 615-848-6774

768 N. Main Street Shelbyville, TN 37160 931-680-2771

Elite Caregiving Services

Compassionate Care In Your Home We offer aftercare from surgical procedures, part-time assistance, and 24 hour elderly care. 615-881-6528



Comprehensive College Planning Support 615-497-5198


Proudly serving your community in kitchen, bath, and turn-key remodeling. Find us at or call 615-988-5988




Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

5606 Brookwood Place 615-356-7500



Greg Zagnoev, Agent 615-746-RISK (7475)

Home, Auto, Business, and Life



James A. Rothberg & Associates

Office:  615-997-1833

Fax: 615-665-1300 2000 Glen Echo, Suite 208 Nashville, TN 37215



Jeffrey J. Zander, CIC Auto, Home, Life, Health, Business, Long Term Care, Identity Theft Protection 6213 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209 615-356-1700


Marsha Ross Jaffa, CIC, LUTCF 615-482-3860 Medicare, Health, Dental, and Life



Optique Eyecare & Eyewear 2817 West End Ave., Nashville 615-321-4EYE (4393)

DR. JAMES W. KIRKCONNELL Bellevue Eye Center 7640 Hwy 70 S, Ste 102 Nashville 615-662-7588



Specialists in Orthodontics

Dr. Joel Gluck DDS, MS

Dr. Jonathan Gluck DDS, MSD 2002 Richard Jones Road A-200 615.269.5903



Homeowner Association and Condominium Management Full Service and Financial Management Property Management since 1968 615-255-8531


IRA HELDERMAN, PhD, LPC Psychotherapy for Individuals, Adolescents, Couples and Families nashvillepsychotherapyandcounseling. com Please contact: 615-473-4815 or


FRANKLIN PARGH 615-351-7333

LANA PARGH 615-504-2685

Instagram: @theparghteam


Bruce Robins, CPCU, CIC, ARM; Van Robins, CIC Auto, Home, Life, Health, Business Insurance 11 Music Circle S

Ph. 615-665-9200 •

JACOB KUPIN, REALTOR HAYLEY LEVY KUPIN, REALTOR 615-281-9035 We’ve got your back!

Residential & Relocation Specialists


Broker/ Owner

Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty c: 615.294.9880 o: 615.383.0183


Broker, GRI, CRS, ABR 615-794-0833 (bus.) 615-351-5343 (cell)


Broker, GRI, ABR 615-383-0183 (bus.) 615-973-1117 (cell)


Affiliate Broker 615-383-0183 (bus.) 615-838-2048 (cell)

Jackie Roth Karr, REALTOR®

Mobile: 615.330.9779  Office:  615.250.7880



Your Running/Walking Swimming Headquarters 3205 West End Ave. Nashville, TN 37203 615-383-0098


Expredia Cruise Ship Centers

A Full Service Travel Agency

Alan Cooper: Office: 629-202-8945 7081 B Hwy 70 S / Kroger Shopping Ctr.


Preserving the Natural Beauty of Trees and Shrubs. Specializing in the care of shade and ornamental trees and shrubs for residential and commercial properties. Serving Nashville since 1978. 615-373-4342

The Jewish OBSERVER • March 2024 27



A time for the Jewish Community to prepare special foods and celebrate this meaningful time of year. Be sure to be a part of this annual issue.

Publication date April 1, 2024

Deadline for ads March 15, 2024

Contact Barbara Dab, e-mail

28 March 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

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