The Observer Vol.89 No. 5 – May 2023

Page 1


New Year, New Calendar

Hello, Jewish Nashville! I’m just finishing up my second month at Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville (JFed Nashville), and I wanted to report in on some of what I have been doing in that time, and my strategy on where I am going to be taking my part of the organization.

I’ve spent several weeks now meeting with former team members of the Federation and asking a lot of questions. And a few things have struck me in that time. One, is that we are truly blessed to have so many amazing, passionate, talented people that have been affiliated with this organization over the years. The second, is that all of them, to a person, haven’t hesitated to make the time to meet with me and share their stories and knowledge. I have to say, I’m very grateful and it is truly humbling.

Another great resource I’ve been accessing is the network of peers throughout Jewish Federation North America (JFNA). Turns out, there’s a lot of helpful folks around the country who are all too happy to share best practices and are really invested in seeing Nashville succeed as they have. And, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel; most of the time I am discovering someone has already solved for my questions and are only too happy to share how they did it.

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time popping in all over the city to events and organizations that JFed Nashville supports – I’ve been trying to immerse myself in everything our organization touches to get a better feel for not only what it is we do, but also what the needs of the community are. And I have been getting to better know my team in Financial Resource Development (FRD) and throughout JFed Nashville. And again, I am honored daily to work with an amazing team of professionals who are so committed to this community.

I have a bit of a different philosophy regarding fundraising and where

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Promise Sessions Project Aims to Bring Healing Through Music to Israeli Soldiers

“Born from personal loss, unwavering hope, and a love for music, The Promise Sessions is a Nashville-based global music platform where artists join hands to create a symphony of unity. Local and international talents raise their voices together, celebrating the rich tapestry of the Promised Land. Through music, we bridge divides, mend hearts, and foster a brighter tomorrow.” From the Promise Sessions website.


n the nearly seven months since the October 7 attacks by Hamas in Israel, many people have felt drawn to help. For Israeli born Yossi Amit and his wife Natasha, both musicians living in Nashville, the desire was very personal. “October 7th changed everything,” says Yossi, “My sister in Ashkelon was evacuated, and we lost some members of our extended family.”

In the aftermath, a plan began to take shape that naturally included the use of music. “We had just had people over for Sukkot and it was a very musical

celebration,” says Yossi, “It was such a special day with everyone playing different instruments.” And then suddenly, everything changed. Yossi says, “I was thinking about how divisive everything had been in Israel, and four days later, everything became even more horrific.”

The pair began to formulate an idea for using music to help Israeli soldiers and victims of terror heal. Coincidentally, Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Congregation Sherith Israel, was thinking along the same lines. “I was thinking about what Nashville’s unique contribution could be to what’s going on in Israel,” he says. He had just returned from a visit to Boca Raton where he’d learned that the Jewish community there was bringing Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to town for counseling in the aftermath of October 7. Strosberg says an idea came to him. “I thought that we’re Music City. We should bring soldiers here to record some songs and give them some PTSD care.”

Strosberg and the Amits all participated in the Israel rally in Washington,

Continued on page 11

Nova Festival Survivors’ Visit to Vanderbilt Helps Heal Amidst Student Protests

“I remember we saw something in the skies and thinking this was no ordinary attack, however I couldn’t imagine what would unfold.” Hadar Or Elmakias, 27, survivor of the Nova music festival

“I went outside and saw a lot of chaos, and I again looked at the sky and said to myself, ‘Father, I don’t know how, I don’t know why, and I don’t know when, I have to come back home.’” Dor Kapah, 31, survivor of the Nova music festival.

“Last year in 2023 I went to Israel on a vacation, and I didn’t come home. I decided to stay and make Aliyah.” Shye Weinstein 27, survivor of the Nova music festival

Students, faculty, and visitors huddled inside a large tent on a chilly spring evening at Vanderbilt University to listen to three survivors of the Nova music

festival tell their stories and answer questions. One by one, Hadar Or Elmakias, 27, Dor Kapah, 31, and Shye Weinstein,

27, stood before the crowd describing scenes of horror, pain, and death, and Continued on page 11

Israeli country
artist Omer Netzer will participate in the Promise Sessions and will appear at the community-wide Yom Ha’atzmaut festival on May 19th. Vol. 89 No. 5 23 Nisan - 23 Iyyar 5784 WWW.JEWISHNASHVILLE.ORG A Publication of the
Women in Business Section, page 17 Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Visits Nashville’s Jewish Community, page 4 Scenes from the Social Justice Seder, page 3
MAY 2024
Nova music festival survivors, pictured l. to r.: Shye Weinstein, Hadar Or Elmakias, and Dor Kapah visited Vanderbilt University to tell their stories.

Community Relations Committee

Volunteer Mission to Israel Provides New Experiences and Insights

During the first week of April, I had the opportunity to participate in a volunteer mission in Israel organized by our P2G (Partnership Together) Southeast Consortium, a group of eight southeast US communities, Prague, Czech Republic, and the Hadera-Eiron region of Israel. The group of 24 volunteers included three from Prague, two from Chattanooga (who now live in Nashville), Rabbi Lindsey Danziger and I from Nashville.

Over the years I have been blessed to visit Israel well over 25 times. This trip was significantly different than any of my past visits. First, the plane was not packed. In my experience, there are no empty seats on direct flights from NYC to Israel. On this flight, the plane was barely full. I had an entire row to myself. Upon arriving at Ben Gurion airport, we were met with photos of hostages lining the corridors of the arrival hall, and there was no line at passport control.

We stayed as a small hotel in Zichron Yaakov which is adjacent to our region. Most of the larger hotels are being used to house families who have been relocated from the northern part of the country. Most media and world attention are directed at those relocated from the south, but many, roughly 60,000, in northern communities near Lebanon have been similarly evacuated. Our partners in the Eiron Region have not been evacuated but have been assisting these displaced families. These friends have been advised to keep all emergency supplies, water, batteries, transistor radios, nonperishable food, updated and ready in case the situation in the north deteriorates, which could affect these more central communities. Everyone is on constant high alert, and under unimaginable stress and uncertainty.

Our trip was designed for true volunteer work, and we hit the ground running, working with students as a school, which included children at risk who need to live at school because their parents are not able to care for them, and bringing food and supplies and gifts to soldiers in training at a base in the north. During the

week, we assisted in several other locations, including helping a second-generation farmer work his cucumber and cherry tomato fields. He is doing everything he can to maintain his crops and livelihood without many of his workers who returned to their home countries after the October 7 attack. With so many adults called back for military reserve duty, it is difficult to find enough labor for his needs and he is doing his best by allowing untrained volunteers to assist him for a few days at a time. He is exhausted and it is clear this ad hoc solution is not sustainable long term.

We visited Ofakim, a settlement town near Beersheva, ranking three on a scale of 10 for Israeli economic security, that was brutally attacked on October 7. Ofakim is a diverse community with many immigrants and both Jewish and Arab residents, who valiantly defended themselves against the barbarism. We were guided on our tour of the area by Yahaloma, a friend and colleague of our volunteer coordinator, and she shared with us the terrifying text exchanges between them on the day of the attack. There are now memorials set up to those killed that day throughout the community with names, photos, and personal stories about their lives. These images are everywhere, and you cannot walk far without seeing another memorial site. At one point we were walking by a school with children on the playground directly across from one of the memorials. There are constant reminders of the losses that day, and everyone remains traumatized. Yahaloma is an expert in resiliency, and she is sharing her generosity and skills with her entire community, working to care for each other in the very best spirit of community, klal Yisrael, we are all responsible for each other.

Everywhere we went, people thanked

us not only for our volunteer effort, but even more for simply being there. Restaurants and shops are mostly empty. We stopped for lunch one day at a well-known restaurant and we were the only ones there. After eating, I spoke with the owner’s wife to thank her for the wonderful meal, and I asked her how she is doing. She paused and looked and me, weighing how she was going to respond. She hesitated and then decided to share the bitter truth. She is not doing well, her children are not doing well, everyone is suffering. She feels uncertain, worried and feels a sense of dread. She then expressed her gratitude for our visit and asked me to tell others to come visit soon. We both wiped away tears as our group left the restaurant for our next activity. I promised to return as soon as possible.

The psychological damage inflicted on Israeli society on October 7 and the resulting war against Hamas, is palpable. Israelis are still in shock and traumatized by the horror of the barbaric attack and continue to suffer from feeling isolated in the world. They are exhausted, with many being called for longer and longer reserve duty. Many are still not able to return to their homes, both in the south and the north. They are doing the best they can to return to some level of normal life, but nothing is normal.

The entire trip felt somewhat surreal. Both a time of pain and trauma, while also being together with friends and family with laughter and joy. Our past Shlicha, Noam Harari, met me near where she lives in Tel Aviv before my return flight. I gave her a wedding gift I brought for her sister who was due to be married not long after my visit. Despite much uncertainty about whether the wedding would go as planned, thankfully it took place on schedule and we wish the family a hearty Mazel Tov!

In another moment of joy, I was able to meet our incoming Shlicha, Ziv Shemer. She met me at hostage square –an area devoted to maintaining focus on the remaining hostages which spans the entire plaza area in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In some ways it reminded me of the informal temporary memorial set up near the site of 9/11 shortly after the

attack, in the way it feels both intentional and temporary, organic, and organized, a spontaneous and moving response to shock, trauma, grief and mourning.

Ziv will arrive in Nashville in August, and she is aware of the challenge ahead. In her current work she does in Israel she creates educational materials to inform and address the conversation about Israel on college campuses. She is aware of the challenge of supporting Israel in some circles. She is up to the challenge. We will host a welcoming reception for Ziv when she arrives here in August. Stay tuned for details.

For those of you not able to travel to Israel right now, we are planning a community trip to Israel for early December 2024. We held the first informational session about the trip in early April and will have another in June. In the meantime, please let me know directly if you are interested in learning more about this trip:

Another upcoming opportunity will come July 11-21 when we will host a group of seven Israeli high school students, and two adult chaperones, from our P2G region. Hosting these students is an incredible experience and the best way possible to build a personal connection with the people of Israel. To learn more about how you can host or assist, contact P2G Coordinator, Eitan Snyder, eitan@

And please mark your calendar for two important upcoming events to support our local Israeli community in mourning and celebration. These events will have special significance and meaning this year and will be particularly poignant. Thank you to Liat Zilberman and her committee for their dedication and commitment to the planning and implementation of these programs:

May 12: Community Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) 6pm at the Gordon Jewish Community Center

May 19: Community Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) Noon-4pm at the Gordon Jewish Community Center For details:

Am Yisroel Chai! The People of Israel Live! •

Since October 7 Metro Council Members Face Name Calling and Bullying

The public comment process at Nashville’s Metro Council is coming under scrutiny in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. At issue is the rules regarding public comment, something Council Member Sheri Weiner (District 22) says is clear. “It’s my opinion that the state law clearly says, when you read it, ‘issues germane to the legislative agenda.’ That doesn’t mean issues related to the legislative agenda address things that are happening thousands of miles away.”

Recent meetings have seen community members using the allotted time to weave in calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, call for a boycott, divest, and sanction resolution, and name call council members who support Israel. Council Member Jacob Kupin (District

19) says this type of use is not helpful for creating useful dialogue. “I welcome the discourse, but let’s have productive conversations and work toward solutions, toward building bridges,” he says.

Kupin was also on the receiving end of some name calling during a recent council meeting’s public comment period. Someone opposed to a piece of zoning legislation used the opportunity to refer to “Kupin and his Zionist cohort.”

Kupin says, “Where the line shifts from public discourse to personal attacks, it’s unacceptable.” He reports an incident in the lobby of the chamber building where a member of the public moved close to his face and made threatening comments.

At one recent meeting, the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s Chief Impact Officer, Deborah Oleshansky, signed up to make a public comment. She says the process as written is designed

to create meaningful interaction between the council and community members. “On the evening that I addressed the council, there was an agenda item to increase funding for resources to assist victims of crimes, so my comments related to that item,” she says, “I was able to share Jewish community concerns regarding antisemitism and hate crimes directly at Jewish community members.”

Weiner says she has witnessed outbursts in the past, but since October 7 the tone has changed significantly. “I’ve never seen the rancor and level of disregard for professionalism that I’m seeing now.” She adds that while she does not typically worry about her safety, she now sits toward the back during public comment and after the most recent meeting, she felt nervous walking to her car.

Kupin believes there is value in city government debating global issues

as they affect the local community, but believes it is important to be focused and adhere to basic rules of conduct. “We should look at what we can do locally and think about how things impact our community. We can protest Israel’s handling of the conflict, but to attack the local Jewish community doesn’t help.”

In the coming months, the public comment process will be scrutinized, and potential changes could be considered. In the meantime, Oleshansky says it is important for community members to adhere to the current rules as a means for making respectful, thoughtful comments.

“Overall, it is a respectful and effective process which requires the leadership of the vice mayor to shut down comments that veer off, or that are threatening or harassing for individual council members. Berating and intimidating individual members should not be tolerated.” •

2 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

Scenes from the Social Justice Seder

This year’s Social Justice Seder, presented by The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s Jewish Community Relations Committee, brought together a diverse group of people from throughout the city. Rabbi Tamar Manasseh, the featured guest, spoke about her experiences helping to raise awareness of and combatting gun violence in her native Chicago. The crowd of nearly 350 people enjoyed traditional Passover foods, sang along with Cantors Josh Goldberg of Congregation Micah and Tracy Fishbein of The Temple, and shared stories around each table.•


Letter to the editor


The need to save life is a fundamental human concern. In almost every country, including enemy nations, protecting the lives of its citizens is a major goal. It dates back at least to the Hebrew Bible: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life if you and your offspring would live…” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

According to the Centers for Disease Control, death by gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the USA.

Explaining a potential mass shooting at a school, one elementary school teacher identified the best places for her students to hide, then instructed, “…But if a shooter gets into our classroom I will be waiting to hit him with a chair. I will do all I can to protect you. If I am shot, you must do what you can to survive.”

Is this how the richest country in the world protects its children? The answer is YES. The striking recent increase in the rate of firearm-related childhood mortality shows that this country has failed miserably to protect our youth from a preventable cause of death. In protection of its children, the United States of America is a failed state.

Many gun owners cite personal freedom in ownership of guns. But unlimited personal freedom is anarchy. Safety laws

can be enacted and enforced in a democracy if a government has the courage and wisdom to produce them. Two years ago, I was considered a dangerous driver because of my decreased vision. If I continued to drive, I could harm or kill someone, perhaps a child. An independent driving evaluator considered me as an accident waiting to happen.

After surrendering my driver’s license, I felt a huge loss of my personal freedom. But my family and I agreed that this Tennessee law was justified because it protected innocent citizens from potential danger.

If I had owned an assault rifle and had to give it up because of such a law, I might have felt a loss of freedom. But the government would have fulfilled its duty to protect and save the lives of innocent people.

I believe that fatal gun violence can be reduced by government in a similar manner. We need common sense gun safety laws, and civilian ownership of assault weapons should be illegal. Gunowners may resent their lack of unlimited personal freedom, but they will get over it as I did.

After each mass shooting, public response to gun violence flares for a while, but is the public response actionable or just lamenting? The republic’s biggest power is voting. Which, if any, lawmakers have been voted out because

Continued on page 7

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 3 Editorial Submissions Policy and Deadlines The Jewish Observer welcomes the submission of information, news items, feature stories and photos about events relevant to the Jewish community of Greater Nashville. We prefer e-mailed submissions, which should be sent as Word documents to Editor Barbara Dab at Photos must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and should be attached as jpegs to the e-mail with the related news item or story. For material that cannot be e-mailed, submissions should be sent to Barbara Dab, The Jewish Observer, 801 Percy Warner Blvd., Suite 102, Nashville TN 37205. Photos and copy sent by regular mail will not be returned unless prior arrangement is made. Publication is at the discretion of The Observer, which reserves the right to edit submissions. To ensure publication, submissions must arrive by the 15th of the month prior to the intended month of publication. For advertising deadlines, contact Carrie Mills, advertising manager, at 615-354-1699, or by email at Corrections Policy The Jewish Observer is committed to making corrections and clarifications promptly. To request a correction or clarification, call Editor Barbara Dab at (615) 354-1653 or email her at Founded in 1934 by JACQUES BACK Publisher Jewish Federation Editor Barbara Dab Advertising Manager Carrie Mills Layout and Production Tim Gregory Editorial Board Frank Boehm (chair), Teena Cohen, Laura Thompson, Scott Rosenberg, Liz Feinberg Telephone 615/356-3242 Fax 615/352-0056 E-mail The Jewish OBSERVER (ISSN 23315334) is published monthly for $36 per year by the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, 801 Percy Warner Blvd., Nashville, TN 37205-4009. Periodicals postage paid at Nashville, TN. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE JEWISH OBSERVER, 801 Percy Warner Blvd., Nashville, TN 37205 This newspaper is made possible by funds raised in the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. The Jewish OBSERVER is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. While The Jewish OBSERVER makes
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Photo credit: Emily Allen By DR. ALAN GRABER

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Visits Nashville’s Jewish Community

Last month, His Excellency Michael Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, paid a visit to the Jewish community. The event was presented by The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, with support from Congregation Micah. After a light nosh and an opportunity to meet the ambassador, participants adjourned

to the sanctuary. Israel’s Consulate General for the Southeastern United States, Anat Sultan-Dadon, made remarks and introduced the ambassador. Herzog gave an overview of the situation on the ground in Israel since October 7th, and then engaged in a conversation with Federation CEO Rabbi Dan Horwitz. He finished the program by answering questions from the audience. •

Heart of the Matter

The work we do at Jewish Family Service is unique and impactful, but one thing that I find especially rewarding is our adoption program. Before working at JFS, I had very limited exposure to the process and experience of adoption, as I only knew a few people who had children through adoption. It is amazing to be a small part of the different journeys people take to becoming parents. From the very first meeting with someone who is interested in adoption, and getting to know them, to witnessing the full circle moments of becoming parents and bringing home a baby, adoption is an amazing experience to observe.

My first experience working with a couple beginning the adoption process

New Year

Continued from page 1

I want to take our Annual Campaign. Our Annual Campaign is the main source that funds our efforts throughout Nashville, Israel, and around the world. In previous years, it ran around 18 months,

was such a joy. I was able to know them as partners and hear how they met and how their relationship developed; it was such a personal and vulnerable story for them to share. We also discussed how to prepare for a child; there are so many emotional and relational considerations that will affect every part of their lives before and after the adoption is complete. After meeting together, I was able to talk to them separately and hear about their childhood and family life, as well as experiences that brought them to meet their partner. I was also able to visit their home and see the environment that would be the baby’s home. And after the excitement of bringing their child home, it’s an amazing experience to visit again and see how they are adjusting to parenthood.

Adoption is such an amazing process to witness, and an extremely rewarding thing to experience through our work at JFS. •

and our fiscal year ran from July until June. As an organization, we made the move to shift our fiscal year to January to December. And that is how we have shifted our annual campaign to match the calendar year.

And, eventually, I am going to shift our campaign from 12-18 months to a 6-9month campaign. We should be making our asks strategically, not constantly. We will be spending our time engaging the community, listening to needs, and building a plan for the next year, not sending out pledge cards non-stop. So, if you haven’t heard from us yet this year, it isn’t an accident – it is by design.

But there’s a lot more work to be done before we get there. As I mentioned, a large part of the work we are doing is connecting with the community, re-introducing ourselves, and working hard to not just “hear” our community, but to actually “listen.”

And, our lines are always open, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out – feedback is a gift and when we receive it, we get the opportunity to become better at serving the needs of our vibrant community. •


4 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
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Akiva School Unveils Mural

To Captivate Hearts And Minds


n an inspiring blend of colors and symbolism, Akiva School recently unveiled a stunning mural in its front foyer. Created by renowned artist Todd Goodman, this artistic piece stands as a vibrant testament to the school’s core ethos and aspirations.

The mural portrays a child engrossed in the joy of reading, set against a backdrop of a serene sunset palette, surrounded by a profound message, drawn from the wisdom of Chassidic Rabbi, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov:


day you were born is the day God decided that the world could not exist without you.”

The genesis of this project was born from the Akiva’s Parent Teacher and Friends Association chairs, Vivian Fischer and Pam Abromowitz and Akiva parent and volunteer, Miriam Horwitz. Their aim was to transform the school’s entryway into a modern space that not only welcomes but inspires all who pass through. “We wanted to infuse the area with vitality and warmth, to create an environment where every child feels valued and cherished,” Fischer explains. Horwitz adds that, “We were looking to create something that reflected the Akiva community values and would speak to the children while bringing them joy as they entered the school.”

The task of bringing their vision to life was entrusted to California-based

artist Todd Goodman. Boasting a repertoire rich in Jewish-inspired art and mural experience, Goodman’s passion for infusing spaces with meaning made him the perfect fit for the project.

For Goodman, the mural’s significance extends beyond mere aesthetics. “It’s about setting the tone,” he asserts. “As students enter the school each day, they’re greeted by a visual reminder of their worth and potential. It’s a symbol of encouragement, urging them to approach each day with fresh eyes and eager hearts.”

Central to the mural’s design is the celebration of learning—a value deeply ingrained in Akiva’s ethos. “Books and reading are the cornerstone of Jewish tradition,” Goodman explains. “By prominently featuring them in the mural, we pay homage to our rich heritage, while inspiring a love for learning in the next generation.” Head of School, Rabba Daniella Pressner, adds that, “It is so vital to our mission that we work to help our children recognize the power of their ultimate place in this world and learn to see this power as a profound responsibility to give back and lead.”

As the vibrant new mural now adorns Akiva’s entryway, the school pulses with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Students, parents, and faculty alike find themselves uplifted by its presence, and infused with a little more sunshine and excitement each day. In this artistic piece, Akiva School has crafted not just a mural, but a lasting symbol of hope and possibility. •

From Brazil to Nashville: Kehilla High School sole upperclassman, international student graduates

Sixteen-year-old Ana Cohen did not have a Jewish community in her hometown of Espírito Santo, Brazil, so she took to the internet in hopes of finding that community while broadening her horizons.

Her sister’s husband worked in Clarksville, Tennessee, which prompted Cohen to search for high schools in the area.

“I’m Jewish and I was looking for a Jewish community that was close to my sister, [where] I could come and learn English,” Cohen said in an interview with The Jewish Observer Nashville.

She found that community at Kehilla High School, the only Jewish high school in Middle Tennessee. For the past year, Cohen has attended online school while simultaneously studying at Kehilla in Nashville. Having now completed her senior year, Cohen is the school’s first graduate.

‘A huge gamble’

Founded in 2022, Kehilla enrolls nine students. Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Sherith Israel, the founder and head of school at Kehilla, said Cohen’s 2022 message to him expressing interest in the school came “out of the blue.”

“People two blocks away haven’t heard about our school; I was surprised that someone a few countries away had found the school,” Strosberg said, adding that others from Germany, Israel and

Iran have expressed interest in attending Kehilla since then.

Cohen said she found the Nashville Jewish community through Jewish Family Service, where the staff there put her into contact with Strosberg.

“I talked with Rabbi Saul and he said that I was welcome and that I could come,” Cohen said. “It was actually super fast.”

She said her parents had allowed her to search for educational opportunities outside of Brazil, but they did not initially realize that she had been talking to a rabbi online. Strosberg spoke to Cohen’s parents over the phone to discuss an education at Kehilla.

“So we decided — myself and her family — that we would be able to admit her as a guinea pig as an upperclassman coming to a brand new school,” Strosberg said. “And it really was a learning experience for everyone. It was a huge gamble and it worked fabulously.”

School life

In April 2023, Cohen moved to Nashville to stay with hosts Pam Kelner, executive director of JFS, and Shaul Kelner, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University. She took three classes at Kehilla: Hebrew and English four times a week and a Talmud course taught by Strosberg twice a week. On Fridays, Cohen and her peers spend time outside of the classroom, visiting a local museum or exer-

cising at the Gordon Jewish Community Center gym.

Cohen said she enjoys the “freedom to walk around” since the school day takes place inside the Sherith Israel Nashville synagogue. The desks in the classrooms are set up in a horseshoe shape that allows for discussion rather than lecture-style learning, Strosberg said.

One of the biggest adjustments for Cohen was the fact that she was the only twelfth grade student at Kehilla; currently, there are four students in each grade, with tenth grade being the highest level.

“I miss … my friends from Brazil because my school [doesn’t have] people my age,” Cohen said. “I don’t really have my friends that I go out with.”

Instead, she has gotten to know the ninth and tenth graders at Kehilla. Cohen also said she talks to the teachers when she’s not interacting with her peers.

“I really like the relationships that we can have with the teachers,” Cohen said. “The two teachers who are always with us are amazing. They really understand us, and they are really here for us and I love it.”

Cohen said being an exchange student and attending Kehilla has helped her grow as a person and as an English speaker.

“When she first came to Kehilla, she used so few words,” Strosberg said.

Cohen now describes herself as some-

one who “likes to talk a lot.” Shira Sackett, Kehilla’s lead math and science teacher, helps teach Cohen “proper English” versus everyday life English outside of classes.

“I definitely feel more confident with my English and with myself,” Cohen said. “[When] I came there, I would sometimes feel uncomfortable being alone, even on shabbat when I go to shul, I would feel uncomfortable being alone in some situations. I would never know what shul [is]. I’m from a Persian family, I’m Brazilian … I don’t speak Yiddish. I don’t know anything.”

Strosberg said Cohen is an attentive student who is enthusiastic about learning.

“She’s always engaged; she is extremely happy to learn,” Strosberg said. “She is so inspired to be in a Jewish environment and she feels so fortunate.”

Finding Jewish community

Cohen didn’t always have this Jewish environment. She attended non-Jewish schools for her entire life in Espírito Santo, the southeastern Brazilian state where she grew up, where she was in the religious minority. She said she sometimes heard mean comments about Jewish people.

“In my city, there’s not really Jewish people, and it was hard,” Cohen said, adding that she traveled to her father’s hometown of Minas Gerais to prepare for her bat mitzvah. “With time, I was getting more religious. It started to be almost impossible to live where I grew up.”

In March 2023, Cohen and her fam-

Continued on page 9

6 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Akiva students celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new mural Todd Goodman’s finished mural in the entrance of Akiva School Artist Todd Goodman puts the finishing touch on the mural Ana Cohen is the first graduate of Kehilla High School ה”בקה טילחה וב םויה אוה תדלונ וב םויה ךידעלב םייקתהל לוכי וניא םלועהש “

The Man who Survived 12 Concentration Camps comes to Nashville

A101-year-old Holocaust survivor, who was in 12 Nazi concentration camps during World War II, will visit Nashville and share his story, hosted by Chabad of Nashville, on June 18, at the Gordon Jewish Community Center.

He has survived the unimaginable; a genocide that claimed six million lives of people just like him and he’s hoping his words will prevent anything like that from ever happening again.

His name is Joseph Alexander and he has a century of life under his belt. Some of those years were spent deprived of freedom, dignity, and nearly his very life.

Alexander wants to tell what he went through to honor those who were killed in the Holocaust — his mother, father and five brothers and sisters — and 6 million Jewish people.

“God has kept me here so I can tell people what happened,” Alexander said. He is the only member of his immediate family to live through the Holocaust.

“This is a very special opportunity for us all to hear this story, to personally hear the story of survival,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel of the Chabad Jewish Center of Nashville. “Somebody who

survived the worst time in our history, the worst time in our memory.”

Rabbi Tiechtel invited Alexander to come to Nashville and speak about his six years of living in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including the death camps, Dachau and AuschwitzBirkenau. All told Alexander found himself in 12 different camps, including Dachau and Auschwitz, infamous places of evil and suffering.

After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, Alexander, then 16 years old, his mother, father and five brothers and sisters were forced to go to the Warsaw Ghetto, where he saw people dying in

the streets. Later he was forced to go to Auschwitz and other concentration camps where he barely escaped death and had to do hard labor with hardly any food.

Alexander said the worst moment was when he encountered Josef Mengele, known for conducting inhumane, and often deadly, medical experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz.

One night, Alexander and others were selected by Mengele to form two lines. Alexander was forced to go in the left line with children and the weak and sick, who were going to be taken by truck to Auschwitz. He ran back to the other line and walked to the camp.

“If I hadn’t run to the other line, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “The people in the other line went to the gas chamber.”

Near the end of World War II in 1945, Alexander was among thousands who were forced to march from the camp in Dachau to the German town of Tegernsee, where they were to be executed. But he was among those liberated by American and Allied troops in the midst of the death march.

Alexander became separated from his family and never saw them again.

But he survived and for the last eight decades has made it his mission to speak to whomever will listen. He describes what happened during the darkest times of the second world war, and how he was somehow able to survive, giving a voice to genocide for the millions who died.

Alexander’s presentation is a remarkable story of resilience, courage and hope. His message is one of triumph over adversity, and it will inspire all who hear it.

“The best way for us to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again and the best way for us to honor the memory of those six million who were killed is to know what happened and to resolve to live more ethical and moral lives.

“We need to remember there’s not many opportunities left where we can meet somebody who survived the concentration camps, somebody who survived Auschwitz, there’s not many opportunities left for us,” Rabbi Tiechtel expressed.

The event with Joe Alexander will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 7:00 PM, at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling Chabad at 615-646-5750. •

A Rabbi and Doctor Discuss Why Things Happen

Frank: Mark, an age-old question of why things happen is one that you and I have discussed several times. Is what happens in life predetermined and for a reason, or is what happens merely a random phenomenon? In his extremely popular book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner believed that things happen randomly and that his young boy did not die for any reason or that his death was predetermined. People all over the globe read his book and many believed he was correct. I am one of those people. A good example of this philosophy is found in the movie, Sliding Doors.

In the movie, actor Gwyneth Paltrow wakes up one morning and leaves her sleeping boyfriend to take a train to work in downtown London. Upon arriving at work, she is notified that she is fired. Clearly upset, she rushes down the subway stairs to board the train back home. As she approaches the train’s closing sliding door, the doors shut closed, and she is unable to enter the train. The next scene shows her rushing down the stairs as she had in the previous scene but this time, she gets her elbow into the closing doors and is able to enter the train and begin her trip home.

From that moment, the scenes are split depicting how life unfolds when she does not make the train and when she does. In the latter situation, she arrives


Continued from page 3 of their stance on gun violence?

The excuses for gun violence are controversial. Some insist that mass shooting—in schools, in shopping malls, in houses of worship, wherever—is due to emotional disturbance, not guns. Others argue that ease of gun ownership, especially of military weapons, is responsible. This debate is unwinnable and nonsense. Both guns AND people are involved. An emotionally disturbed individual can’t shoot

home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman and in the former situation, the boyfriend’s lover has left, and she misses the encounter. The movie depicts how each of these two scenarios unfolds and drastically changes her life.

In so many ways each time we choose one path over another, we are invoking the foundational principle of this movie. Turn left at a traffic light and arrive safely at your destination. Turn right and you are involved in a traffic accident that destroys your life. Decide at the last moment to attend a party and wind up meeting the person who becomes the love of your life. Most of the time we are unaware of how every choice we make in our daily activities plays a role in our lives, some small and insignificant but others quite large. Brian Klaas states in his new book, Fluke, “We control nothing, but influence everything.” He also writes, “If every detail of the past created our present, then every moment of our present is creating our future too.”

Mark, where do you stand on this question of why things happen?

Mark: Frank, I have a quite different take on this than you do. Perhaps it is a more religious one as well.

While I do believe some things are of our own making, or an extension of the choices we make or the decisions we take, I am open to the belief that there is a greater hand in at least some of where the roads in our lives may lead or take us.

There are at least two distinctly dif-

anyone without a gun, and a gun can’t kill without someone pulling the trigger. Holistically, we must attend to both.

Some school safety measures have been harmful to students. Arming teachers puts the whole school at greater risk and complicates the response of law enforcement in already complex, fast-moving situations.

Despite extensive knowledge and success in control of gun violence in other states and countries, an atmosphere of futility and surrender has become pervasive in Tennessee and much of this country.

ferent ways of considering the random occurrences that we may face in life.

The first is to simply describe it as coincidence, the random sequence of cause and effect, the result of the choices we make or the situations we create and in which we therefore find ourselves.

But there is a second way to look at those same occurrences or circumstances, and that is to include the possibility — however remote, perhaps — that there may be a Divine hand at play in this, perhaps either gently or firmly guiding us in a certain way, steering us along a specific path, tipping the scales one way or the other in our thoughts and decisions and actions we make and take.

For me, even that possibility of an occasional Divine intervention is enough to both sustain and even strengthen my faith. I think that outlook creates greater opportunities for spiritual growth and meaning in life.

Frank, how would you react to what I have just suggested?

Frank: Actually, I like it very much as it fits my conception of a Divine presence in our lives. Since the God I believe in is embedded in my DNA, and speaks to me through a still small voice within me, I can envision that Divine presence playing a role in how I act and what I do, thereby still being consistent with my view of the randomness of why things happen. We will never know for sure which of these theories are at work in our

The senseless killing of children cannot be blamed only on politicians. It is the failure of all of us. Politicians reflect the interests of their constituents, and the politicians do what their voters demand. We must enlist our politicians in an open, honest, and unambiguous manner, by direct personal contact, that our votes, and our contributions to their campaigns, will depend on their actual support and votes for reducing gun violence. A large proportion of the voting public support thoughtful and practical measures to reduce gun violence. All cit-

lives, but it is fun to contemplate on the nuances of both.

Mark: Within each of us, the past influences the present, and our present influences the future, ours and our community and our world.

And somewhere within that chain of our inherited past and our investments in the future, perhaps God also plays a role in giving shape and form to each of the pathways we forge in each of our lives and the lives of our people.

The Hebrew word for such interventions is Besheret, or that which is “meant to be,” or as God would wish for it to be. Life can be viewed as rational, predictable, and sensible, or as a series of coincidences and chance occurrences, or both.



Perhaps, for all that can be explained or predicted, there are still moments guided by a greater Presence, beyond any of our abilities to fully comprehend or understand.

Those are the true moments of holiness we can experience in life, when God touches our days with sacred worth and meaning, His hand in ours, guiding us along life’s path, towards a more meaningful journey and a more meaning-filled life. •

Rabbi Mark Schiftan can be reached at

Dr. Frank Boehm can be reached at

izens, both gun-owners and non-owners, share the responsibility for the safety and health of our citizens and children.

If legislation fails, gun violence will continue to worsen. But we can stop this senseless slaughter of our children. We must insist that our government not tolerate it. Choose life. •

Dr. Alan Graber is a retired endocrinologist who practiced in Nashville for forty years. From 1997 to 2008 he served as clinical director of the diabetes and endocrine clinics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 7
Holocaust survivor Joe Alexander, 101, pictured with Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel, will speak on June 18 at the Gordon JCC.
8 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

B’nai Tzedek Senior Send-Off

As the school year winds down, B’nai Tzedek wants to recognize a few important members of the program that will be heading off on their newest journey this Fall – COLLEGE!

We will miss Celia Wiston, Sydney Johnson and Max Lapidus and hope they take the lessons they learned as members of the B’nai Tzedek program to their new university communities, continuing to give back to those in need as young philanthropists.

I have had the privilege of working closely with all three of our seniors, all of whom also led the B’nai Tzedek Teen Board this year. I will miss Celia’s positive attitude and willingness to help, Max’s drive and enthusiasm and Sydney’s leadership qualities and maturity. I have

no doubt that the current B’nai Tzedek Fundholders and incoming teen board members will take on the challenge as leaders of the B’nai Tzedek Program and help support B’nai Tzedek’s philanthropic mission.

other Jewish teens. Although I’m sad my time is almost over, I will continue to use what I have gained throughout my life.”

I asked Celia, Sydney and Max to reflect back on their B’nai Tzedek experience and this is what they had to say: Celia, who will be attending Indiana University: “I’m so thankful for my time on B’nai Tzedek. It has taught me how to be a leader and given me so many opportunities to help out others in my community as well as connect with

Max, who will be attending Tulane University: “B’nai Tzedek has opened my eyes to how much difference we can make individually. By opening a simple fund and attending different BT events, I feel I have made an impact in the Jewish community.”

Sydney, who will be attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville: “I am so thankful for my time with B’nai Tzedek because it has taught me how to lead my community as well as learning

how to be a part of so many amazing opportunities with Jewish teens around Nashville.

I am sad for my time on the board to be coming to an end but so ready to use the skills I have learned to teach other people as I move through college and the rest of my life.”

Along with the staff at the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville and all our B’nai Tzedek Fundholders, I wish Celia, Sydney and Max nothing but success on their college journeys. I am confident that they will succeed in everything they do in the future and not forget to help others along the way. •

Chabad of Nashville to Host Israel’s Top Fighter on Media Battlefield

Irael’s war in Gaza is being fought on multiple fronts.

Since Hamas’ October 7 massacre, Israel has been fighting on the military, geopolitical and media battlefields.

On May 24-25, Nashville Chabad will host Gil Hoffman, who has experience fighting on all three.

Hoffman covered politics for The Jerusalem Post newspaper for a quarter century and remains close to Israel’s movers and shakers, while remaining objective on both Israeli and US politics.

the Gaza Strip. He recently returned to Gaza, embedded with the IDF combat unit that controls Khan Yunes.

But it is the media battlefield, where Hoffman is leading the fight for Israel as the executive director of HonestReporting, which fights for Israel in the international mainstream and social media.

named him one of the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life, alongside presidents Biden and Zelensky and prime ministers Sunak and Netanyahu.

He was raised in Chicago, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University’s School of Journalism and now teaches political strategy at Israel’s College of Management.

He served as a military spokesman, including during Israel’s withdrawal from

From Brazil

Continued from page 6

ily moved to São Paulo, which is home to about half of Brazil’s Jewish population, before Cohen made the move to Nashville. Over time, Cohen learned more about being Jewish in America and credits the Kelners in helping her connect to her religious and cultural roots.

“I learned a lot about Ashkenazi life and differences,” Cohen said. “It’s important also because sometimes we just get in our own life and we don’t see other options of life… I feel much more confident … I know the differences between different people from different countries because here, there’s no Brazilians.”

Moving away from her immediate family to Nashville at the age of 16 took some adjustment for Cohen, who is family-oriented. Cohen said that while her Jewish identity had always been strong, she was able to learn even more from being integrated into a Jewish community, such as attending shabbat with Strosberg and others from Jewish Nashville.

“I am a person that spent most of my life just with my family. My cousins were my friends, and so I was comfortable,” Cohen said of growing up in Brazil. “Here, I got used to different people, different customs and it’s definitely something that is really important for everybody; you need to go somewhere and see how people live.”

Kehilla’s first graduate

Though she will technically graduate from Kehilla with the inaugural class of 2026, Cohen graduated from her online school in May, making her

Hoffman has led the media watchdog as it has brought about the firing, suspension, or reassignment of 10 Hitler and Hamas praising journalists, including 2 from CNN and three from the New York Times.

The Algemeiner website recently

Kehilla’s first and only graduate.

“I never think about it,” Cohen said of her upcoming graduation. “I don’t really have time to think about [the fact that] I’m the only person graduating.”

She said she had always envisioned her high school graduation back home with her Brazilian friends, which would be “way different.”

Cohen added that while she is not the kind of person who cares about big celebrations, she said she appreciates her host family for taking her graduation photos and putting together a photo album. She joked about being able to dominate all the senior superlatives, as she can be both the “smartest” in her class and “least smart,” if there were a yearbook.

After May, Cohen said she plans to take a gap year in Israel: “I want to grow with Judaism. I’m going to be living in Israel and using Hebrew.”

Cohen said she is looking forward to the next chapter of her life.

“I’m happy. School is not something that I love; I’m happy that it’s ending,” Cohen said. “I’m applying to seminaries next year and I’m super excited for that.”

Her advice to other Jewish students is to make the most of their education whether they are attending a large or small, public or private, Jewish or non-secular school.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Cohen said. “Be sure you are a good student. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’re going to grow, so try to enjoy as much as you can and learn as much as you can.” •

He’s lectured in all major Englishspeaking countries in the world, more than half the Canadian provinces, and thanks to Chabad, recently made history in Hawaii by becoming the first Israel speaker to have lectured in all 50 states. He lives with his family in Jerusalem.

Hoffman will be speaking on Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon about developments in the Gaza war,

Israel’s political rifts, his experience on the Ukrainian border, and the weekly Torah portion, Behar in the Book of Numbers, which describes Israel’s need for rest.

Saturday morning services will start at 10:00 AM, with the sermon delivered by Gil Hoffman at 11:00 AM. A gourmet Shabbat lunch will follow the service, and will include Gefilte fish, Salmon, Heimishe Herring, a spread of salads and cholent and will be featured at the kiddush where Gil will speak.

On Saturday night May 25, at 9:15pm, he will show videos that illustrate the challenges in Israel’s fight for its international image. Much needed schnapps will be served at the event.

To RSVP for the event, please go to •

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 9
Political reporter Gil Hoffman will speak in Nashville May 24-25 at Chabad of Nashville Rabbi Yitchok Tiechtel of Chabat of Nashville, and Rabbi Dan Horwitz from The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville joined Governor Bill Lee and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton at a recent breakfast hosted at the Governor’s Mansion in honor of the Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog who visited Nashville. Rabbi Tiechtel was invited to open the breakfast by sharing a prayer on behalf of the Israeli Defense Forces and for peace in the Holy Land. Celia Wiston Max Lapidus Sydney Johnson

Belmont Jewish Student Association Wins Award

The Belmont University chapter of Jewish Student Association won New Student Organization of the Year at this year’s student organization awards banquet held by the Division of Student Formation. Awards go to Best Org, Best Advisor, New Student Org, and a few individual awards. They held the cere-

mony in the Maddox Grand Atrium of the Curb Event Center on the evening of April 10.

JSA won among eight new organizations that were nominated.

Accepting the award were third-year student Isabella Marino and second-year student Madison Fries (President and Service Captain, respectively). •

Mazal Tov to the 72nd Consecration Class of West End Synagogue Beit

Miriam Kitah Alef 5784

The Consecration Class of 5784 presented the play, “Which Torah Should Receive the Torah,” on Sunday, April 7, 2024. The ceremony was followed by a lunch reception.

The Consecration Class of 5784:

Levi Eugene Coleman

Son of Jason and Claire Coleman

Liana Simone Kay

Daughter of Brad and Jennifer Kay Shiloh Lebovitz

Daughter of Michael and Dani Lebovitz

Minha Lubovich

Daughter of Ron and Netta Lubovich

Dylan Sacks

Son of Daniel and Jennifer Sacks

Andrew Stahl

Son of Mike and Rochelle Stahl

Ariella Stinson

Daughter of Thomas and Cassiah Stinson

Teddy Vanhooser

Son of Kenneth Vanhooser and Andrea Fishkin •

10 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Pictured from Left to right: Levi Coleman, Andrew (Andy) Stahl, Dylan Sacks, Liana Kay, Teddy Vanhooser, Ariela (Ari) Stinson, Shiloh Lebovitz, Minah Lubovich
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
… because your memories matter 479 Myatt Drive, Madison, TN 37115-3024 615-712-9521 •


Continued from page 1

their journeys to escape the attack.

Elmakias, a marathon runner, attempted to flee on foot along with several of her friends. “We ran almost four kilometers, but not in one direction or a straight line because we heard gunshots and screaming. There were terrorists all around.” Elmakias saw someone running next to her fall to the ground, “I saw that he died,” she said. Soon after, she felt a hot sting in her right knee. Realizing she, too, had been shot, her friend hastily wrapped a shirt around her leg, and they continued running.

Eventually, Elmakias was alone, running for cover in the desert, amidst bodies. After several hours, she was able to find someone with a car and made her way to a nearby kibbutz where she was able to receive some medical attention before being moved to a city hospital. “I believe that hashem played a role in my survival,” she said.

Kapah also describes the scene of hundreds of missiles overhead, and the creeping feeling that it was time to leave. He encouraged his friends, his brother, and others to quickly pack their things and leave while he went to get their car. After nearly two hours of trying to leave the jammed parking lot and hoping for help from local police, the group saw terrorists break into the festival entrance. “We saw people just falling on the ground, so we jumped in the car, I started the engine, and we started to drive between people inside the party area,” he says.

As the car made its way toward the exit, Kapah eventually found a small opening in the fence. He gathered up another friend into the car. “I saw a group, between 50 and 100 terrorists so I made a huge u-turn in the parking lot again.” Still more people crammed into the jeep, and the group continued its escape.

During one brief stop, Kapah says Hamas terrorists approached the group on motorcycles, aiming their guns and yelling, “Kill the Jewish, kill the Jewish.” Kapah continued to evade the terrorists on motorcycles. Eventually one of the terrorists caught up with Kapah’s car and shot into the car. “I drove fast and the first motorcycle came from the right side of the car and the bullet found the head of my friend, Gilad.”

In a hail of bullets and missiles Kapah drove wildly until he made his way to safety in a small bathroom by the side of the road. Israeli soldiers, on their way to the Nova grounds, found them a short time later and Kapah stepped outside calling, “I’m Jewish, I’m Jewish.” The soldiers

Promise Sessions

Continued from page 1

DC on Nov. 14, where they began to formulate a plan. “At the DC rally I told Rabbi Saul my idea, and he took it to the next level,” says Yossi. The next level included participation by Patricia Heaton and Elizabeth Dorros, founders of O7C, a grassroots Christian group formed in the aftermath of October 7, to provide support for Israel and the Jewish community in Nashville. Heaton says, “Rabbi Saul was the first person in the Jewish community that I reached out to, and we immediately hit it off. He told me what he wanted to do and I thought it was absolutely perfect because music is what Nashville is known for.” Heaton says she learned Sherith has a vibrant musical community and that the congregation is building a recording studio in one of its unused rooms.

added another wounded person to their group, and they drove to a police checkpoint to deliver them to safety.

Weinstein told of his first music festival experience. The excitement, the energy, the fun. “I’m meeting people the whole night.” Towards sunrise, like everyone else, he heard the missiles in the sky. His group began to gather their things and get ready to leave by car. His cousin, high on acid, took the wheel of the car and drove his group away from the festival. “We’re navigating and we’re telling him, ‘there’s checkpoints here, bodies here, turn here, turn there, slow down.’” They passed cars on the shoulder of the road, one filled with Hamas terrorists. “One of the men, his back is to us, I see his palms are red with blood. The other man looks at us, we see the whites of his eyes, I look right at him, he raises his gun to us and as we’re parallel to their car, one car length away, the car next to them we see in the passenger seat one man and one woman, shot dead.”

They drove among bodies during their escape, eventually returning home hours later. “Getting back home at 9:45 in the morning. Or and Dor are still dealing with this, running for their lives, while Hamas is hunting them.”

These accounts were met with tears, whispers, and eventually questions by those in attendance. Ryan Bauman, a graduating senior at Vanderbilt, was also one of the student organizers of this event. He says he’d heard some of the stories but listening in person was different. “I was completely taken aback. It hit differently to see them, to hug them. Dov’s story [Kapah] was one of the hardest things I’ve heard.”

In recent weeks, Vanderbilt has been the scene of student protests focused on a student government resolution to adopt a boycott, divest, and sanction policy for student organizations. The resolution denies funding to groups who refuse to adopt a BDS policy, effectively isolating Jewish groups like Hillel and Chabad. Bauman says the campus climate has been complicated since spring break. A sit-in by students in March resulted in several student suspensions and an arrest of a journalist.

A group of student leaders from Hillel, Chabad, and Students Supporting Israel have focused on protecting students on campus and dealing with BDS. Bauman says hearing from the Nova survivors highlighted the importance of issues like BDS. “It reinforced our commitment to stand up for Israel. Let’s use it as momentum.”

In the wake of the sit-in, Vanderbilt faculty members wrote a letter in support of Jewish students on campus, saying that

The program, which Yossi named The Promise Sessions, has evolved to include three primary elements. The first, called Nashvoices, plans to partner Israeli musicians with local artists to create and perform original songs.

One of the first to participate is local artist Omer Netzer, who says he is the first, and only, Israeli country artist. He moved to the United States to pursue his music career, and when the October 7 terrorist attack happened, he returned to fight in the reserves to help defend Israel. He is looking forward to the Promise Sessions being a means to heal. “I know what it’s like to sacrifice everything for Israel. And I know what it’s like to share my story as a musician,” he says. Netzer also believes his work as an artist can serve as a connector. “This is bigger than me,” he says, “I can be a bridge between people who grew up on country music, but don’t know

although there is disagreement around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, no student should be forced to take a particular stance. The letter reads in part:

We are concerned by efforts to utilize institutions of governance as a lever of power to compel student groups to participate in boycotts against their will or suffer consequences. Those who wish to boycott other countries should be free to follow their conscience. We are troubled, however, at the notion of a student body that is 80-85% non-Jewish voting to force Jewish student organizations to participate in a boycott of Israel in order to be allowed to utilize student activity fee funding. No one should be forced to forswear their own identity just to belong. It is offensive that people would make an exception for Jews. We appreciate why so many Jewish students feel that, referendum or no, the petition alone is degrading. When it feels like your classmates are making your identities the subject of a vote, we can understand how the protesters’ slogan, “let us vote,” might ring hollow, as if democratic language is being used to advance illiberal ends. We are sorry that you are being made to endure this. You deserve to be treated with the same dignity as everyone else.

The administration at Vanderbilt believes adopting a policy of institutional neutrality provides a level playing field for all students. Darren Reisberg is senior counselor in the Office of the Chancellor. He says, “The chancellor’s position on institutional neutrality really does encourage the faculty and students who have a whole range of perspectives to voice them and to feel comfortable in doing so. The university is not putting its thumb on the scale. As long as they follow the rules of time, manner, and place. That was something he came in with.”

Overall Reisberg, who arrived at Vanderbilt in January, says the campus climate has been more supportive of Jewish students than others around the country. “I have been struck by the strength and resilience of the Jewish community on campus. It is markedly distinct from anything I’ve experienced at any prior institution I’ve attended or worked,” he says.

As for the BDS resolution at Vanderbilt, Reisberg says there have been concerns. “The actions are painful

anything about Israel.” He is slated to perform at The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s Yom Ha’atzmaut festival to be held later this month.

The second element of The Promise Sessions, called Nasheal, is a plan that includes respite, therapy, and other healing services to soldiers and other victims of terror. And the third element is called Nashama, focused on honoring fallen soldiers who have left behind unfinished music. The idea is for local artists to complete those songs. Heaton says just thinking about this aspect of the project makes her emotional, “We can’t imagine what those families are going through and to be able to have that gift is just beyond.”

The project is becoming a collaboration between what appear to be unlikely partners. But Natasha says that is precisely the point. “Regardless of religious affiliation, or no affiliation, music is the only

for many Jewish students and are looked at as aimed at them, it hasn’t seemed to negatively impact their experience here.”

A recent letter to the editor of the Vanderbilt Hustler, written by alumnus Jordan Esrig, ’23, blasted the student protesters for what he called “mob-like activism.” It reads in part:

Some of the students participating in this demonstration appear to treat Israel as yet another progressive cause against which to demonstrate, as with fossil fuels and Greek Life in years prior. Others seem to hold an even stronger stance, such as believing Israel is diametrically opposed to their worldview.

But, alas, all of these protestors seem to share a common understanding that activism, not learning, is the best approach to advance their grievances against the Jewish state. Their 21-hour struggle session is but the latest evidence of this belief. I appeal to the Divest Coalition’s live broadcastings, which include videos featuring them mocking the race of Vanderbilt police officers, accosting seemingly random staff in the Chancellor’s office for “upholding genocide” and tokenizing a small cadre of Jewish students as a means of validating their extreme positions.

If Vanderbilt is to remain an institution of serious intellectual inquiry, I believe administrators should do everything in their power to discourage these activities and guide students away from activism.

The letter echoes Bauman’s opinion that blind activism, lacking in information, runs counter to Vanderbilt’s standing as a top center of learning. Bauman says, “Kids will graduate with a Vanderbilt degree and go out into the world, but they’re not intelligent at all.”

For the survivors of the Nova festival killings, they continue to tell their stories on college campuses to help themselves heal, and to be living witnesses to what happened. Elmakias says, “On October 7, at least 364 people from the party were brutally murdered, and at least 44 people from the party kidnapped. So many good people and happy, joyful people who wanted to sing and dance and they were brutally murdered simply for being Jewish. I am also Jewish, and I am proud to be Jewish. Never forget the horrible massacre that occurred on October 7. Am Yisrael Chai.” •

thing that can bridge gaps that can’t be bridged any other way.” And despite the tragedy of October 7, Heaton says “O7C was born out of a really troubled time. But it’s so nice to be able to have opportunities to celebrate and be creative and create something beautiful out of tragedy.”

In addition to being a bridge between people, Natasha says she wants The Promise Sessions to serve as a way of educating about Israel and the Jewish people. “I want to combat the disinformation and gather understanding and solidarity for the people of Israel,” she says. Both Yossi and Natasha plan to build The Promise Sessions into something sustainable for the long term. In addition to the recording sessions, there are plans for a documentary and a mini-series. “We want something with longevity,” says Yossi.

To learn more about The Promise Sessions, email

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 11

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.

Meet in Person for Prayer and Cholent

Chabad of Nashville is in full swing with Shabbat morning services, replete with joyful prayer, kavanah, simcha and great energy. Join us on Shabbat morning at 10:00 AM for prayer and Torah reading followed by a hot BBQ cholent, freshly baked Challah and some friendly L’Chaim.

Chabad to host two TGIS celebration in May

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, May 10 and 24, 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 us know you will be attending at chabadnashville@

@ Chabad /Congregation Beit Tefilah @ Micah

Jewish Montessori preschool to offer three scholarships to new students

The Revere Jewish Montessori preschool will be presenting a one-time offer of providing three scholarships of forty percent off the annual tuition, for new students between the ages of 36 months and five years old, for the fall of 2023.

This scholarship funding is made possible thanks to the support of an anonymous donor.

To apply for this scholarship, please call the Jewish Montessori preschool office at 615-646-5750 as soon as possible

Chabad to host a Southern Style Lag B’Omer BBQ

Join the Nashville community for a delightful evening of a Lag B’Omer Southern Style Kosher BBQ and an Israeli Bonfire on Sunday, May 26 at 5:00 PM on the outdoor patio of Chabad of Nashville.

Participants will also be celebrating the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer, specifically by gathering around a bonfire together for a kumzitz of Israeli music, in Chabad Park, which is on the nine-acre property of the Genesis Campus for Jewish Life. Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in the planting of an organic herb garden which will be used in preparing Shabbat dinners throughout the summer months for the Nashville community.

There is no charge to attend this event, but reservations are appreciated. The cost for the BBQ dinner is $15 per person. For further information or to make reservations got to

Who Is My G-d: Defining the Divine

Chabad will offer a four-week course on a word many seek to understand “G OD”

Nothing is off-limits as this refreshingly open course asks piercing questions about G-d and delivers profound, insightful answers. An enlightening study into G-d’s nature, G-d’s goal for creation, human experiences of G-d, the role of religion, and the function of miracles and prayer, this course promises to satisfy your questions, including those you didn’t know you had.

This course will take place on four Wednesdays in May.

To register go to

Torah and Tea - for Women by Women

Join an all woman’s Torah and Tea leadership study group every Shabbat, following the sit down lunch, at congregation Beit Tefilah Chabad, at 1:00 PM. The study group is led by Rebetzen Esther Tiechtel, who teaches with wisdom and wit, and embraces each participant with warmth and friendship.

Torah and Tea will bring you this tradition of classical Jewish learning in a series of clear and engaging weekly classes. Probing the ideas and issues related to the modern Jewish woman, these classes will offer timely lessons -from the most timeless of all texts.

Join together with fellow women from the Nashville community, for inspiring Torah study, warm camaraderie, Tea Time and delicious refreshments!

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.

May Events

Micah Reads: Monday, May 6, at 7 PM In-Person

Education Director Julie Greenberg leads the discussion on “One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World” by Michael Frank on May 6 and “Ways to Disappear” by Idra Novey on June 3.

Women’s Circle: Friday, May 17, at Noon

Rabbi Laurie engages your intellect and inspires conversation on a variety of Jewish topics. All are welcome. Bring a friend. RSVP on Micah’s event page.

Micah Minis: Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 AM

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

Crucial Conversations - Israel: Monday, May 13 at 6:30 PM

“Our spiritual community is a vehicle through which share our joys and express our grief; a place we are allowed, encouraged to be vulnerable…”

-Rabbi Flip’s Rosh HaShanah Sermon

May brings three Jewish holy day observances that are late to the canon of Jewish history. In addition to the opportunities to join in communal programing, Micah’s clergy will be hosting another on-line Critical Conversation about Israel. Required registration link found on the Micah website.

Continued on page 13

12 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER

@ Sherith Israel

Fri. May 10

Scholar in Residence Shabbat with Rabbi Dan Horwitz Millennial Engagement with Jewish Life

Davening and festive meal followed by talk 6:30 pm. See to make reservations

Mon. May 13

Yom HaZikaron Ceremony for Israel’s fallen followed by Tefillah Chagigit and Celebration for Yom HaAtzmaut

Live Music and Food.

6 pm. See for more details

@ The Temple

All programming can be accessed via unless noted to be in person only

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:

Shabbat Schedule for May

Our Shabbat Services will be held in person at The Temple. You can also watch via zoom from

Friday, May 3rd ~ 6:00 PM- Annual Meeting Shabbat

Friday, May 10th~ 6:00 PM- Shabbat Service with Nashville In Harmony

Friday, May 17th ~6:00 PM Family Service with Mazel Tones and Birthday Blessings

Friday, May 24th ~ 6:00 PM Blue Jean Shabbat-Ask the Rabbi

Friday, May 31st ~ 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

Yom Haatzmaut-Israel Independence Day Program

Join us as we commemorate Israel’s 76th birthday

May 14th at 6:00pm at The Temple.

For more information, please see

Hike and Havdallah

May 18th

Starting at the Edwin Warner Park Nature Center on HWY. 100. Plenty of parking! See the spring bloom! Bring friends! Meet at 3:45 PM for a family friendly walk on a paved trail followed by Havdalah at 5:30 PM. All ages! Bring friends and family.

For more information or questions, please contact Anne Davenport at adavlaw@

Golden Lunch Bunch

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

May 7th: Russ Davis

May 21st: Dennis Scott

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

Women’s Torah Study

May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

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

May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

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:

Temple Together Potluck & Game Night

May 18th

Join Temple Together, the group for people ages 35-50, for a potluck BBQ and game night. Address on the west side and will be provided upon RSVP.


Tot Shabbat

May 18th @ 10:00am at The Temple

Tot Shabbat offers families the chance to celebrate Shabbat with their young children in a creative way with our wonderful clergy.

Journey to Parenthood or Not

Thursday, May 2nd

6:00pm at The Temple with dinner to Follow

Join us for this important panel discussion on the variety of ways people become parents (or not)

For more information and to RSVP, contact Sheri Rosenberg at

Monday Morning Mah Jongg

Join Us for MAH JONGG Mondays at The Temple!

May 6th, 13th, 20th from 10:00 AM - Noon+

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.

@ 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

5/1 – Women’s Torah Group (on Zoom) –11:00 a.m.

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

5/2 - Sisterhood Day Trippers- Post Passover Lunch at Thistle Farms

Meet at noon at Thistle Farms Café. Email sisterhoodwestendsynagogue@gmail. com with any questions. RSVP at

5/3 – Beit Miriam 11th Grade Graduation and Kabbalat Shabbat Services

Join us as we honor the graduating class of Beit Miriam.

5/5 – Honor the Teachers/Last Day of Beit Miriam

5/8 – The Sandi Goldstein Learn & Lunch Program for ages 60+ - 11:00 a.m.

Reservations required, catered lunch following the presentation.

Speaker: Rabbi Joshua Kullock

Lunch catered by Goldie Shepard at 12:00 p.m. Cost: $3.00

RSVP 615-269-4592 ext. 11 or

5/9 – 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.

5/10 – Tot Shabbat – 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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

Continued on page 14

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 13
At Our

At Our Congregations…

Continued from page 13

5/10 – WES Annual Meeting

Friday, May 10th, at 6:00 p.m. Annual Meeting and election of officers, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat, Maariv, and an Oneg reception.

5/11 – High School Senior Graduation Shabbat

Saturday, May 11th, at 9:30 a.m. Join us as we celebrate our graduating seniors and send them off on the next phase of their educational journeys.

5/11 – Kid’ish Club, aka Jr. Congregation –10:30-11:30 a.m.

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

5/18 – Yael Cohen Bat Mitzvah

5/19 – Live Concert featuring Meg Okura, Yotam Ishay, Sam Newsome - Youngchae Jeong - And Guilhem Fourty!

Beginning at 5:00 p.m. Further information to come.

5/22 – The Sandi Goldstein Learn & Lunch Program for ages 60+ - 11:00 a.m.

Reservations required, catered lunch following the presentation.

Speaker: Cantor George Lieberman

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

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.

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.

Mincha/Ma’ariv (on Zoom)

Join us for daily Mincha/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! •

Kvetch in the City

Just when the world seems like it is approaching the end times and things could not possibly get any worse, the cicadas, like the plagues of Passover, are on their way, making their once in a 17-year ascent. And this time to make the matter all that more nightmarish, not one breed, but two arrive simultaneously.

If anyone has ever lived through this somewhat apocalyptic bug event, you will know what I mean by wishing that there was something akin to the Iron Dome on the ready to protect us all from this onslaught.

I seriously am trying to make believe this is not going to happen. Of all the times I could have planned a vacation to leave the country, this should have been one of them.

It is seared in my memory, the sight when they first silently came crawling out of the ground and up the sides of the house. I didn’t realize then how absolutely horrific it was about to get. However, all signs were telling it was not going to be good.

I’ll never forget the horror of my first encounter with this reoccuring bug phenomenon. We were living in our first house, a house I basically hated from day one (however that’s a whole other story and a half) and my son was an infant at the time. I was still carrying him in those little fancified baby-like grocery baskets you could lock into a stroller or car seat. I

remember that distinctly because I had to run from my back door and outside into the car with him in one of those contraptions and click him and it into the car seat as fast as humanly possible, screaming the whole way from the onslaught of swirling clouds of roach-like bugs flying through the air.

It’s amazing I did not get into a car accident the time one managed to get in the car while I was driving. Actually, it was truly a miracle it was only one time.

For weeks on end, it was like living and driving through a zombie onslaught coming at me except with giant winged roach-like bug-eyed insects flying into the windshield and God forbid, my hair and face at any given moment once I had to leave said vehicle.

And just when I would make it safely back to the house without one crawling up my back, exhausted from the anxiety of having to be out in this hellish atmosphere all day, the operatic symphony of mating bugs at night was like a loudspeaker turned up to ten outside the bedroom window.

And then…to sum it all up…once they are done doing what they came to do (besides scaring the heck out of anyone who does not happen to be an entomologist), they die and cover the entire ground with their stinky carcasses.

And while I know there is a helluvalot more to be bugged about for real in the world these days, I’m not gonna lie, this upcoming bugabalooza event does not bode well for this big sissy.

Here’s to seeing you on the other side… •

14 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
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


B’rit Mitzvah

Michael Landa

Mitzvah on Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. at West End Synagogue.

Michael Landa will become a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Micah. He is the child of Diana and Jeremy Landa, the brother of Noah and Dylan Landa, and grandchild of Arthur Landa of Montreal, Quebec, Rosalyn and Steve McMahon of Nashville, and Susan and Carlos DaCunha of Nolensville, Tenn.

. A seventh grader at Brentwood Middle School, Michael enjoys playing baseball and basketball. He also loves hanging out with friends, playing Xbox and watching YouTube videos.

Michael is supporting ShowerUp for his Mitzvah project. ShowerUp serves those experiencing homelessness and anyone in need by providing mobile showers and hygiene supplies.

Zachary Johnson

Yael is a native Texan and moved to Nashville two years ago with her parents, Daniel and Dalia, and her brother, Alon

A seventh grader at Harding Academy, Yale is looking forward to a summer of tennis camps, travel, and spending time with friends and family.

For Yael’s Mitzvah project, she is fundraising for Magen David Adom, a volunteer-based NGO that is Israel’s Emergency Medical Services System, assuring emergency care for all Israelis regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or race.

Dexter Robins

into volunteering for the Nashville Tree Foundation (NTF)for more than 13 years, where she became the youngest Green Shirt volunteer and has personally planted and helped distribute more than 600 trees. In addition to her years of work with NTF, she also volunteers with Room in the Inn, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, the Frist Art Museum, and Sherith Israel Orthodox Synagogue. She has helped transport 250 homeless men and women to shelters, assisted with 12 Shakespeare performances, completed 25 hours of manned art engagement, and can routinely be seen greeting, directing, and engaging the community in religious education and exposure.

Becky Dab and Shira Rosenbluth

ty of friends. She was an art collector and a regular at the Met for the opera and ballet. After retiring from sales, Elaine found a passion for early childhood education and worked at the JCC in Nashville and at Beth Shalom Synagogue in Baton Rouge caring for infants. She embodied compassion and generosity of spirit. While in her 60’s she made two trips to Eastern Europe to volunteer in orphanages.

Elaine never knew a stranger, and her greatest talent was her ability to make everybody in her midst feel special.

Donations in Elaine’s memory may be made to Denver Jewish Day School (

Esther “Dede” Denbo Lipman

Zachary Johnson will become a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Micah. He is the child of Elana and Aaron Johnson, the brother of Nathan Johnson, and grandchild of Lili (z”l) and Ken Joseph, and Sue and Russ Johnson.

A seventh grader at Woodland Middle School, Zachary enjoys martial arts, soccer, skiing and playing percussion in school band.

Zachary is working on a Mitzvah project to make winter hats for people who are homeless.

Sylvie Ruth Mackler

Dexter Robins will become a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Micah. He is the child of Jennifer Ghanem and Van Robins, the brother of Millie Robins, and grandchild of Kay and Bruce Robins of Nashville.

A seventh grader at JT Moore Middle School, Dexter enjoys music (guitar, piano), football, wrestling, video games and hanging with friends.

Dexter is working with the ASPCA for his Mitzvah project. The ASPCA works to keep more animals in loving homes by protecting animals from harmful situations through community engagement, preventative action and providing resources and care when needed.

Lyla Renee Banish

Barbara and John Dab are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter

Becky to Shira Rosenbluth, daughter of Deena Rosenbluth and Yitchok Rosenbluth, both of Brooklyn, New York.

Dab graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and received her master’s degree in sports administration from Fresno State University. She is currently assistant director of equipment operations at UCLA. (Go Bruins!)

Condolences to the family of Esther “Dede” Denbo Lipman who died on April 8. She is survived by her daughter, Marianne Lipman Levinson (Terry); son, Larry Lipman (Betty) and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Cheryl Rae Orloff

Condolences to the family of Cheryl Rae Orloff who died at her home in Jupiter, Fla., on the 9th day of Adar II/ March 19.

Born in Baltimore in 1954, she became a Nashvillian at the age of 4. She spent seventh through eleventh grade at Hillwood High School before being… “Forced against her wishes” as she would always say, graduating from Bellevue High in 1972. She was a proud Hilltopper. After high school, she earned her bachelor degree in education from the University of Tennessee and spent 31 years teaching middle school students.

Sylvie Ruth Mackler will become a Bat mitzvah on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at The Temple. She was born on June 6, 2011, in Nashville. Her parents are Rabbi Shana and James Mackler. Her grandparents are Sammy Goldstein and Bill Yahner of Orlando, Fla.; Carol and Neil Lisnow of Boynton Beach, Fla.; Don and Judy Mackler of Chattanooga, and the late Sandra Goldstein (z”l) of Boca Raton, Fla.

A graduate of Akiva Day School, Sylvie now is a seventh grader at University School of Nashville. She loves playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee and cheerleading at school, and enjoys baking and spending time with friends and family.

For Sylvie’s Mitzvah project, she raised money and collected donations for United Hatzalah, a voluntary emergency service in Israel, and the Hostage Family Forum. She sold bracelets with the names and ages of hostages to raise awareness. Sylvie also collected and donated to Book ‘Em, Second Harvest Food Bank and Unicycle, a school uniform recycling program supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools’ students and the HERO (Homeless Education Resource Office) program.

Yael Cohen

Yael Cohen will become a Bat

Lyla Renee Banish will become a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. at The Temple. She was born on May 11, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla. Her parents are Jessica and Jeff Banish. Her grandparents are Susan Cohen of Nashville and Robert Cohen, Patricia Banish and Cyril Banish, all of blessed memory.

A graduate of Akiva Day School, Lyla is a seventh grader at Jewish Middle School. She is an avid reader and piano player. Her favorite school subjects are Judaic Studies, ELA and History. In her free time, she enjoys attending live concerts, making bracelets, collecting books and spending time with friends and family.

Lyla is supporting Lev LaLev, which provides critical support to orphaned, neglected, and abandoned children throughout Israel.

Mazel Tov

Sadie Begtrup

Sadie Begtrup, USN c/o ‘24 senior, is a 2024 Mary Strobel Volunteer Award Finalist, selected and presented by Hands On Nashville and United Way of Greater Nashville!

The Youth Volunteer Award recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help the community.

Sadie’s love of nature has transformed

Rosenbluth graduated from Touro University with a degree in psychology and social work, and received her master’s degree in social work from New York University. She is a therapist in private practice.

The couple resides in Los Angeles, California. A fall 2024 wedding is planned in LA.


Elaine Rose Kaplan

Condolences to the family of Elaine Rose Kaplan, 87, who died on April 17 in Denver, Colo. Elaine is survived by sister, Francine Kaplan Fisher (Nathan, z”l); brother, Julius Kaplan (Robin); niece and nephew, Ari Fisher and Shayna Fisher Friedman (Jordan); and great nephews, Isaiah, Avi and Lev Friedman as well as numerous cousins.

Elaine was born in Nashville on August 21, 1936, to Abe and Ada Kaplan, z”l. Her childhood years were spent in Tullahoma where she graduated from Tullahoma High School. She completed her bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. Elaine lived in Dallas, Tex., New York City, Nashville, and Baton Rouge, La., before moving to Denver with Francine in 2019.

Elaine was a beloved family member and friend and the favorite among all of her cousins. She lit up every room she entered with her gregarious nature. She was always at the ready with a compliment, a cocktail, or a joke. Elaine spent most of her career in the fashion industry working in sales. Clients adored her as much as everybody else who met her, and she enjoyed great success in her field. Fiercely independent, she spent 20 years living on Manhattan’s East Side where she was at the center of a tight knit communi-

She spent the first part of her career teaching in the Metro Nashville Schools at Head Middle School, John Early Middle School and H.G Hill Middle School. The second half of her career was in Jupiter Florida at Jupiter Middle School.

Outside of work, she loved to spend time with her dogs and cats, going to the beach, listening to country music—She was a proud G.R.I.T.S (Girl Raised in the South), and hanging out with family.

Cheryl Rae is survived by her sister, Karen; brother, Michael; nieces, Rachel, Kelly and Valerie; grandnephews, Jimmie and Rhett; and her Aunt Bernita.

Donations in Cheryl’s memory may be made to Akiva School or the Nashville Humane Association.

Joyce Vise

Condolences to the family of Joyce Vise, 69, who died on April 5. She is survived by her brother, David (Lori) Vise, and her sister, Judy (Mark) Schaengold.

Joyce was an active member of the Jewish community as well as the Nashville community. Institutions she served included The Temple, the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Nashville Family and Children’s Services, the Swan Ball benefiting Cheekwood, and Cumberland University where the library is named for her parents, long time supporters of the university, Doris and Harry Vise.

Harry Vise came to the United States after escaping from the Holocaust. Both her grandfathers were concentration camp survivors. Settling in Clarksville, Harry began a truly American business, The Texas Boot Company.

Joyce became a communication and community relations director for the Continued on page 16

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 15

May in the Galleries: Featuring Works by Hal Wright, Daniel Arite, Jake Wells and Jym Davis

This month, the Janet Levine March Gallery will feature the work of Hal Wright. People have called Wright’s work “eye-catching”, “engaging,” “whimsical”, “heartfelt”, bold”, “bright”, “unique”. Wright started painting in his 60s following a long career in business.

The JLMG2 Gallery will feature the work of Daniel Arite. Arite is a multidisciplinary artist whose creative practice encompasses drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and sculptural assemblages. He works with various recycled materials (including wood, plastic, leather, and metal) to create two-dimensional assemblages and mixed media collage. This practice grew out of his views on sustainability and a desire to create art in an Earth-friendly way. Daniel’s works are abstract and conceptual in nature and often reference metaphysical themes, a connection to nature and to each other. Over the past decade, he has worked with organizations throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee facilitating community-based visual art and music workshops. He enjoys participating in collaborative projects with other artists. Arite is also a composer and recording artist.

The Sig Held Gallery will feature the work of Jake Wells and Jym Davis. Over more than 20 years of making art, Wells’ work has evolved to incorporate a variety of media, often reusing materials. His

love of ecology and passion for education and the visual arts found their harmonious match at Turnip Green Creative Reuse in Nashville where he’s been able to give back to the community as a teaching artist and board member since 2011.

Wells grew up in Missouri, but moved to Tennessee in 2009, shortly after earning an MFA in Painting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Since 2010, he’s been an adjunct art professor at various institutions, including: Pellissippi,

Outdoor Pool Summer Memberships are back at the J!

After a several year hiatus, The Gordon JCC is excited to offer Outdoor Pool Summer memberships! Purchase our new Outdoor Pool Summer Membership and spend your summer at the J! This membership will be effective only for the Outdoor Pool while it is open (05/26 – 09/02) and will allow access to the Outdoor Pool and pool deck facilities, including locker rooms, deck lounge

chairs, and our snack bar with an exciting, updated menu.

Rates will be $600 for an individual, $1150 for a couple, $1250 for a single-parent family, and $1350 for a dual-parent family. This special membership will be available starting May 1, and can be purchased online at, or at the front desk. For more information or questions, please call the J at 615.356.7170. •

Gordon JCC Adult Program Happenings:

TGIT – May 2024

May 2nd

Songwriters in the Round - Eitan Snyder, Camden West and Carrie Mills. Bringing a very Nashville, Bluebird Café moment to the Gordon JCC! Three distinct songwriters in the round.

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

May 9th – Andrea Cziprusz

Back for another round in our ongoing Healthy Aging series, physical therapist Andrea Cziprusz. She will come packed with helpful information on staying safe while staying active in our later years.

Lunch: Salmon, salad, sides, dessert.

May 16th – Duette

Back by popular demand, the joyful sounds of Duette. Thy are an alternative

Volunteer & Nashville State Community Colleges, and O’More College of Design. He’s also been a community educator, leading art and reuse workshops at schools, public and private businesses, art co-ops, parks, community centers, and Nashville Public Library branches.

Jym Davis is the Endowed Chair of the Art Department at Reinhardt University. Since 2016, Jym has been a National Park Artist-in-Residence five times, at Big Cypress Preserve in Florida, Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, Lassen Volcanic National Park in California, Craters of the Moon Monument in Idaho, and Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. His art residency work was featured by the National Endowment for the Arts. Davis’ work reflects his

interest in conservation advocacy, and otherworldly landscapes, and eccentric folk customs. His recent exhibitions include shows at The California Nature Art Museum, The Swan Coach House in Atlanta, The Sage Art Center in Wyoming, and a 2021 solo show at Day & Night Projects in Atlanta (which at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution featured as one of the year’s ‘notable shows’). Davis’ alter-ego Instagram account False Face has 284,000 followers.

The Senior Lounge Art Gallery continues to feature the work of Robbie Lasky.

The House gallery features the 2023 Under One Roof community wide collaborative exhibit.

The Exhibition Dates are May 2 -30th.

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

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

L’chaim Time Happy Hour — Thursday, May 2, 5:30 p.m.

duo with tight irresistible harmonies. Their music is addictive, quirky and fun.

Lunch: Eggplant parmigiana, salad, bread, veggies, dessert

May 23rd – Steve Fox

Back by popular demand, Canadian singer/songwriter and all-around entertaining personality, Steve Fox returns with more of his incredible songwriting, wonderful singing and musicianship.

Lunch: Bagels, cream cheese, lox, salad, sides, dessert

May 30th – Kem Hinton

Architect and historian, Kem Hinton returns with more tales of interest regarding Nashville’s history. This time Kem will do a deep dive into Centennial Mall and it’s secrets!

Lunch: Chicken, salad, bread, sides, dessert •

A casual happy hour with East Side Tribe at Roy’s Tavern. Newcomers welcome! Rosh Chodesh Iyar — Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m.

Our monthly women’s circle will meet to discuss the new Hebrew months, plus a visioning session to figure out the next iteration of this group.

Wandering Scholars: Understanding the ‘Wandering Jew’ — Thursday, May 9, 6 p.m. In the latest iteration of Wandering Scholars, East Side Tribe’s forum for the time-honored Jewish tradition of critical text study, we will discuss one of the most important categories of Jewish life: exile.

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


Continued from page 15

Metropolitan Nashville School District following a career as an MNPS teacher. The family asks donations be made toThe Temple.

Dr. Lawrence (Larry) K. Wolfe

Condolences to the family of Dr. Lawrence (Larry) K. Wolfe who died on April 14. He is survived by his children, Kevin (Elizabeth) Wolfe and Lynne Wolfe (Dan Powers) and his grandchildren, Katie, Lily and Jake Wolfe.•

16 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER
Hide and Go Seek, by Hal Wright Mask, by Jym Davis Waverider, by Jake Wells The Energy You Are, by Daniel Arite

Women in Business ISSUE!

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 17 ADVERTORIALS
MAY 2024

Aging in Place Services, LLC

Serving the senior population is one of my favorite things to focus on. Partnering with the best peers in the industry and certainly the BEST clients a girl could wish for. What is that focus, you might ask? Move Management.

Move Management is a full-circle, service concept. Including: Downsize/Right size/Simplify, Sort/Organize, Pack/Unpack, Move/Relocate, Layout/Design Solutions, Setup/Staging, Cleanup/Cleanout, Estate Sale Assistance

Our systems are personalized to meet your needs. Our teams are kind & compassionate. Our service is about lifestyle!

We are also focused on life transitions and the continuing changes at any age. Creating memories in each new moment and experiencing JOY in the JOurneY!

Remember, it’s always the right move when it’s about YOU!

Marsha Jaffa

Marsha Ross Jaffa graduated with a B.A., Special and Elementary Education in 1975 and a Masters Degree in Special Education and Reading in 1979 from George Peabody College.

After teaching for five years, she joined her father, Irwin Ross, as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) and licensed agent. Irwin Ross Insurance Agency joined Robins Insurance Agency in 1983. Lucky for Marsha, Bruce Robins did not need a CSR. He needed insurance agents. In the 80’s, most women were CSRs, but Bruce had faith in her. As a new Insurance Agent, Marsha quickly

Need Health Insurance?

M Jaffa Health Insurance, LLC

Marsha Ross Jaffa, CIC, LUTCF


40 years experience


Medicare Supplemental and Advantage Plans

Market Place and Life Insurance

Licensed agent representing several companies’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

developed a large circle of clients by tapping into her life long friends and the community she grew up within.

While pursuing her Certified Insurance Counselor certificate and Life Underwriter Training Fellow she learned that most men pursuing these credentials are agents, while the women taking the same classes were CSRs. Marsha always felt selling insurance was an opportunity for her to explain how insurance worked and help her clients choose the best possible coverages for their needs.

After Covid ended in 2023, Marsha opened her own agency so that she could pursue her passion in selling high quality Insurance policies that match her client’s needs. Marsha continues to enjoy selling Medicare Supplemental and Advantage plans, as well as emerging medical and life insurance policies, such as short-term medical and ACA.

Livefit Wellness: A Proactive Approach to Healthy Aging

Prioritize your health with a physical therapist-led wellness program designed especially for seniors. Whether you are looking to sharpen your balance to protect against falls, improve your mobility, or jump start your fitness routine, Andrea will craft a personalized program based on your health status and goals. Sessions are thoughtfully provided in the comfort of your home, at your convenience so you don’t have to miss a beat.

Andrea is committed to empowering seniors through exercise, education, and health promotion. As a physical therapist, she will help you incorporate movement into your every day and make exercise achievable and fun. She regularly presents at the Gordon JCC’s TGIT lunch and learn program, leading workshops on healthy aging, and also volunteers with the Tennessee Senior Olympics.

Any age is the right age to exercise! As a physical therapist, educator, and motivator, Andrea will help you reach your fitness goals and live your best life. Make your

Personalized Senior Wellness. Your physical therapist for active aging.

Andrea Cziprusz PT, DPT Livefit Wellness


Bar Mitzvah and Wedding Planning Services

Making any event not just memorable but as stress free as possible

Finn & Olive Events


“A n event is not over until everyone is talking ab o ut it.”

18 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER ADVERTORIALS

health a priority and contact Andrea today.

Andrea Cziprusz PT, DPT

Livefit Wellness



Phone: 615-861-9838

Jessica Averbuch is Broker/Owner of Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty

Jessica Averbuch stands out as a significant figure in Tennessee’s real estate, serving as the Broker/Owner of the leading Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate in the state, Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty. The brokerage has two offices, 175+ agents, and consistently ranks as one of the top female-owned and family-owned businesses in Nashville, as noted by the Nashville Business Journal Book of Lists.

Jessica’s leadership has made a lasting impact on the Greater Nashville area, earning her multiple accolades including the Nashville Business Journal’s Nashville Emerging Leaders Award, Woman of Influence Award, and Most Admired CEO. She also received Habitat for Humanity’s Groundbreaker Award for her impactful contributions.

An active community volunteer, Jessica heads the Zeitlin Charitable Fund, supporting local organizations like Second Harvest, Our Kids, and Bridges of Williamson County. Her civic involvement includes roles with the Nashville Downtown Rotary, Nashville Downtown Partnership, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. Jessica is a proud advocate of many non-profits including Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee, Renewal House, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Federation of Nashville, West End Synagogue, and Gordon Jewish Community Center. As a graduate of Leadership Nashville, Jessica uses the experience and knowledge she gained through the program to further her commitment to community service and engagement.

Jessica is also a dedicated mother to two college-age children attending Belmont University and NYU, and a passionate marathon runner who raises funds for various non-profits while pursuing her passion and has participated in the Flying Monkey Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim.

Finn and Olive Events

Blakeford at Green Hills

At Blakeford at Green Hills, a unique and vibrant community thrives, distinguished by those who have trailblazed in their careers as businesswomen, nurses, teachers and entrepreneurs. These women who dedicated their careers to leading, educating, and nurturing, now find themselves in a phase of life where the pursuit of happiness blends seamlessly with wellness and security. Blakeford offers an enviable lifestyle of maintenance-free living, allowing residents to focus on what truly matters: living fully, staying active, and engaging in a community that values their rich experiences and contributions.

Exercise and physical well-being are cornerstones of life at Blakeford. Residents who spent years empowering others, now empower themselves through a wide range of fitness activities designed to enhance their health and vitality. From state-of-the-art weight machines to yoga and water aerobics, the opportunities to stay fit are plentiful and tailored to their needs. This healthy focus extends beyond physical activities, encompassing delicious meals and wellness programs that ensure residents live their best lives every day.

Perhaps the most reassuring aspect of life at Blakeford is the lifetime plan for healthcare. This safety net provides residents and their loved ones with the peace of mind that, should their health needs change, they will receive the highest quality of

Continued on page 20

Jess started Finn and Olive Events after years in the event industry and finding a passion for planning events. Her favorite events to plan happen to be Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Knowing how monumental the event is for families, she puts her all into every detail to make it one of the most memorable nights for you and your family.

Jess also strives to make any event she does not just memorable but as stress free as possible so everyone can be fully present and partake in the fun. She makes it a personal goal to also make your event as cost effective as she can, utilizing her relationships with many vendors, venues, and catering to get you the best deals possible.

From creative ideas to unique enhancements and design you can rest assured your event will not be a copy and paste replica of any other event you’ve been to!

To connect with Jess visit www. or connect with her on Instagram @finnandoliveevents! Mazeltov!

The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 19 ADVERTORIALS

Continued from page 19

care without the burden of unforeseen expenses. It’s a promise of security that Blakeford at Green Hills isn’t just a place to live—it’s a place to thrive, offering a blend of independence, community, and care that enriches the lives of its distinguished residents.

Meet Dr. Abby Diluzio, D.M.D. of Dr. Hecklin & Associates Family Dentistry (And New Mom of Two!)

Dr. Abby DiLuzio grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia where she graduated with a B.S. in Biology, Magna Cum Laude. She completed her Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) at the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Dentistry. Dr. DiLuzio practiced cosmetic and general dentistry for 6 years before moving to Nashville in 2022 with her husband Kyle, and two-year-old son Curtis.

Dr. DiLuzio recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Alice,

in January! As a working mom of two children, Dr. DiLuzio makes sure to prioritize time with her family, as well as time at the office. “Being a working mom has taught me that no one can do it all! You have to spend time with the people you love and do the things that make you happy and bring you peace. The rest can wait!” When she’s not taking care of patients, Dr. DiLuzio likes to travel, garden, explore new restaurants and spend time with her family, including her golden retriever Doug and cat Rosemary.

At Dr. Hecklin and Associates, Dr. DiLuzio is committed to providing the best experience and care for her patients. Her general approach to dentistry is to help create smiles that are healthy and beautiful. She is also certified to administer botox and enjoys the cosmetic aspect of helping patients achieve their goals. Dr. DiLuzio is accepting new patients now and would love to help you create a beautiful smile that gets noticed. Call today at (615) 356-7500 or visit us at to schedule a dental appointment.

Jackie Roth Karr

Women like Jackie Roth Karr are making notable strides within the real estate sector, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative strategies to the industry. But behind her are figures like Pam Liebman, Hilary Farnum-Fasth and the legendary Barbara Corcoran, among others, exemplify the positive influence of diversity and inclusion in real estate.

With diverse backgrounds in luxury real estate, these women bring valuable experience to their clients, contributing to the growth and success of their brokerage’s. Pam Liebman, as CEO of a leading real estate firm, and Barbara Corcoran, a prominent entrepreneur, founder and investor, have both made significant contributions to the industry through their leadership and vision. Through mentorship and advocacy, Liebman, Corcoran, and their colleagues pave the way for future generations of women seeking leadership roles in real estate. Jackie felt right at home when she was introduced to Corcoran Reverie over a year ago, inspired by such collaborative female leadership.

As a proud second-generation real estate professional deeply rooted in Nashville, Jackie brings her entrepreneurial spirit and marketing acumen to her thriving career. With a passion for problem-solving and a knack for negotiation, she’s earned recognition from Greater Nashville REALTORS and Nashville Real Producers, ranking in the top 5% for sales volume. Beyond her professional achievements, Jackie cherishes her role as a devoted mother of Price and Morgan and finds joy in giving back to her community through volunteering for 22 years with the Nashville Jewish Film Festival and supporting the CDC Foundation. Jackie is also a proud member of Impact100.

Jackie’s love for Nashville runs deep, and her commitment to her clients is unmatched, fueled by her love of her community and family. She would love to help you buy or sell your next home, in Nashville, the USA or even across the globe through the Corcoran collaborative! Give her a call!!!

Continued on page 22


20 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER ADVERTORIALS Julie Riven Dretler O ce: 615.327.4800 | Mobile: 917.929.2747 | 221 Evelyn Avenue 4 BD | 4/1 BA 5370 SF $3,350,000 108 Haverford Drive 4 BD | 4 BA 3733 SF $2,455,000 401 Sunnyside Dr 4 BD | 3/1 BA 3704 SF $2,610,000 309 Lynnwood Blvd 5 BD | 6/2 BA 11074 SF $7,200,000
For Sale sold undercontract sold Represented buyer*
The Jewish OBSERVER • May 2024 21


The Pargh Team

For nearly three decades, The Pargh Team has epitomized excellence in real estate, boasting a primarily female-led ensemble of experts with an unmatched passion for turning dreams into reality. Specializing in a diverse array of areas including equestrian properties, architectural masterpieces, new construction ventures, stunning renderings, and beyond, our team brings a wealth of knowledge and innovation to every project. With over $1 billion in lifetime sales, we have honed a deep understanding of design and renovation, offering a comprehensive approach to buying, selling, and transforming dream homes. Whether you’re envisioning a serene equestrian retreat, a cutting-edge architectural wonder, or a beautifully renovated space, trust The Pargh Team to guide you on an unparalleled journey to your perfect home. Contact us today to experience the pinnacle of real estate expertise and turn your dream into a breathtaking reality


Carrie Mills

Special Occasion

Customized Art

615-210-5044 instagram: @carriemills


(…because it’s not just about the money!)


As you think of a gift

For your Jewish Mother this year

Here is a thought

That you should hold dear: A JEWISH MOTHER NEVER RETIRES!

Yes, it all began In the usual way She shouted and groaned On her Labor Day.

Then she held you real close And inspected each part. You could tell by her face That you’d stolen her heart


Your pulkies filled out; You started to talk. She said, ‘You’re a genius!’ And watched you like a hawk.

Then you started school Ahead of the rest

She packed all your lunches (Brisket sandwich was best!)

Carrie Mills

Referred to as a “Renaissance Woman,” Brooklyn born Carrie Mills is an artist, stylist, fashion designer and illustrator, singer/ songwriter and columnist.

At 16, she was awarded a fashion design / art history scholarship to study fashion at the Parson’s School of Design and The New School.

She went on to design for Anne Klein Design Studios in Manhattan and eventually branched out designing handbags and business products.

Her many muses and forms of expressions include songwriting, singing, drawing, photography, collage, jewelry design, fashion stylist, writing, and pet portraiture.

Upon moving to Nashville, she designed a line of vests that were sought after and worn by numerous country and pop music stars, including Ringo Starr.

The Tennessean newspaper and Nashville Woman magazine have both written feature articles on her work.

Her fashion illustrations and fine artwork, which include animal portraiture, continues to be shown in several Nashville galleries and can be found in numerous private collections. Her jewelry designs can be found at Nashville ‘Darlin’ and the Gordon JCC gallery showcases.

Carrie created a successful recurring Fashion Camp for children at the Gordon JCC and continues to run Art labs for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to coincide with their Fashion Exhibits

For the past 21 years, she has been the curator for the art galleries at the Gordon JCC in Nashville.

Her work as a fashion stylist and art director with her photographer son, Garrett Mills can be found: Instagram:

VogueItalia Photovogue / Garrett Mills

VogueItalia Photovogue / Carrie Mills. •

You got older and said, “Even though I’m quite clever, I want to play sports!”



Soon it was college; You fit into the crowd.

Finally choosing a career

That would make her proud.

But her laser-like attention

Put you on the hook.

It wasn’t easy choosing friends

Because she’d give you that look

She’d say, “Really? This one?” (But you’d tried not to upset her)

“Honestly,” she’d comment, “I really think You could do better.”


There were Seders and Break Fasts; You made sure to attend.

But her wanting updates daily

Would just have to end.

The years they flew by Marriage, kids, and a house.

She’s an in-law and a grandparent, Loving you and your spouse.

Sometimes she is nudgyWith her support and her love. Other times it is like She was sent from above.

She may have stopped working In her choice career.

But she never stopped mothering Her children so dear.

Opinionated, outspoken, Determined to be a part, A Jewish mother loves her kids With all of her heart.

So, remember on Mother’s Day to tell her you love her, because


With motherly love, Loretta •

Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville at





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


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


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


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 Franklin 436 Main Street, Franklin 615-591-4191


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




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


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

Independent & Assisted Living Memory Support | Caregiver Resources 615.434.2160 |


TEAM NASHVILLE 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 • May 2024 23

Israel’s memorial Day ceremony for the fallen soldiers & victims of terror

Yom Ha’zikaron

May 12 6PM

May 19


Israel’s 76th independence Day celebration

Yom Ha’atzmaut

24 May 2024 • The Jewish OBSERVER 76 celebrating 76 years JOIN U S REGIS TER
unity * love * strength
YomHazikaron-v4.indd 1 4/19/24 1:47 PM
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