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South Street Temple bids Rabbi Lewis L’hitraot
Eden Lewis and Jennifer Lewis, left, light the Shabbat Candles at the Shabbat service thanking Rabbi Craig Lewis, right, for his service to the South Street Temple and wishing the Lewis family well on their move to Tennessee. Credit: Stuart Lewis
Women’s philanthropic event Page 8
SaRaH KELEN n Friday evening, June 2, the sanctuary of Lincoln’s South Street Temple was full of people ready to welcome Shabbat but also to bid Rabbi Craig Lewis and his family a fond farewell as his
time as the rabbi of the Congregation B’nai Jeshurun comes to an end. In July, Rabbi Lewis will begin a new position as the Rabbi at Mizpah Congregation in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a community of 210 families. See Rabbi Lewis page 3
Visiting scholars discuss Luther and the Jews
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near the end of his life, OzzIE NOgg Luther wrote a vitriolic In commemoration of and influential pamphlet the 500th anniversary of against the Jews that, the Protestant Reformaamong other things, rection, the Kripke Center ommended burning synafor the Study of Religion gogues. There is surely and Society at Creighton some connection between University will sponsor a this 16th century docudialogue and discussion ment and the German that explores Martin Protestant - that is, Luther’s anti-Semitism within historical and conLutheran - support for Hitler’s anti-Jewish politemporary contexts. Professor Dean Bell Professor Peter Pettit cies. In recent years, alLuther and the Jews: ReSpertus Institute for Jewish Muhlenberg College most all Lutheran sponsibility and ReconciliLearning and Leadership churches have repudiated ation, is scheduled for Bell, PhD., Provost and Vice PresiLuther’s statement. Professors Bell Sunday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. and Pettit will address Martin at Beth El Synagogue, co-sponsor of dent Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Luther’s relationship to the Jews, its the afternoon. Presenters are Dean Chicago; and The Rev. Peter A. Petimplications, and recent responses tit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Re- from Lutheran communities. Their ligion Studies at Muhlenberg remarks will be followed by diaCollege in Allentown PA. Leonard logue and discussion with, and Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in among, the audience.” Jewish Civilization at Creighton, According to Professor Bell, will moderate the session. “Martin Luther was a revolutionary “In general, people will know figure who helped to usher in resomething about the Reformation markable transformations in Euroand Martin Luther,” Greenspoon pean and global history. His said. “But they might wonder what writings about Jews and Judaism it has to do with the Jews. In short, See Visiting scholars page 4
EMMa HOCHfELDER Intern, Jewish Press My name is Emma Hochfelder. I grew up in a little bit of a combination of Kearney, Harlan, and Omaha. I lived in Kearney, Nebraska for the first nine years of my life with my mother, Joanna Hochfelder, and my brother, Benjamin, nine years my predecessor. When I was entering the fourth grade, my mother and I moved to Harlan, Iowa.
Harlan is a rural community in southwest Iowa whose population just reaches 5,000, and it became my home for the next nine years of my life. I graduated in May of 2016 from Harlan Community High School, where I participated in student council, mock trial and a slew of other extracurricular activities. After graduation, Omaha became the next chapter in my life. Luckily, we weren’t complete outsiders to the area. We have been members of Beth El Synagogue for years prior so we had a connection to Omaha already. I had my Bat Mitzvah at Beth El in 2012, even though I lived an hour away in Iowa at the time. Despite the division of the Missouri River, I was able to connect with the Omaha Jewish community growing up. A bit after the transition to Omaha it was time for me to begin my next academic move. In August of 2016, I began my first year of study at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Omaha and the entire midwest was no longer on my radar. I had all of New York City to discover. Once there, I immediately became heavily involved in the various opportunities I had at my fingertips. I served on the Undergraduate Student Senate, interned at a local daycare, participated in a Jewish Learning Fellowship, volunteered at a prison, worked too many jobs, enjoyed my classes, and explored the city. I was living the dream: a small town to the Big Apple in a New York minute. The unique learning structure of my college allowed further exploration while on campus. Sarah Lawrence has no majors and no general education requirements. I am able to take any classes I choose at any point in my academic career, researching and writing on any topic I desire. I plan to eventually study public policy and go to law school, but this year I focused on psychology, history, economics and writing. Growing up, I loved writing but it took a backseat in highschool so I could focus See Emma Hochfelder page 4
2 | The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017
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Beth El Annual Meeting recognizes Board and volunteers
ttendees of the May 21 Annual Meeting of Beth El Synagogue were welcomed by President Jim Zipursky who reported on the congregation’s activities over the past year. Highlights included last August’s End of Summer Festive Block Party; the 5777 Rosh Hashanah Birthday Party for the World; the Welcome the Stranger initiative that saw Beth El adopt a Syrian refugee family; the congregational Second Seder, complete with live camel rides; and the 2017 Cantor’s Concert which benefited the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund and raised a record number of dollars to help send Beth El kids to Jewish summer camp. “In addition to these new and exciting events,” Zipursky said, “Beth El offered adult education opportunities open to the entire community, continued our daily Minyan, weekly and festival services, and BESTT and Hebrew High classes. The past year was, indeed, filled with new and traditional programs. We constantly embrace change at Beth El, as we continue to be rooted to our traditions.” The current Beth El Board includes President, Jim Zipursky; Vice-Presidents Adam Kutler, Caryn Scheer and Bob Yaffe; Treasurer, Jay Gordman; Secretary, Ari Riekes; Ari Kohen, Religious Life Chair; Lisa Marcus, BESTT Chair; Past President Joel Rich; along with Bob Belgrade, Danny Cohn, David Finkelstein, Miriam Gottlieb, Bruce Kutler, Allan Murow, Amy Nachman, David Weill, Susan Witkowski, and Barry Zoob plus newly-elected Board members Gary D. Epstein, Hollie Fineman, Cheryl Lerner and Melissa Shapiro. President Jim Zipursky awarded a plaque of appreciation to outgoing Board members Karla Cohen, Leonard Greenspoon, David Kotok, Kevin Saltzman and Sisterhood President Linda Fischer, and recognized Larry DeBruin, Judy Tully and Margie Gutnik — longtime Beth El staff members — who retired during the past year. Zipursky also introduced new staff personnel, Allison Newfeld, Executive Director; Amy Dworin, Youth Engagement Director; and Ariella Rohr, Engagement Coordinator. Underscoring the importance of volunteer commitment to Beth El’s success, the following members received awards for their service to the Synagogue. Phil Wayne, President’s Award for Outstanding non-Board Member; Danny Cohn, Emerging Leader Award; Allan Murow, Earl Siegel Memorial Award for Outstanding Board; Bob Yaffe, Larry DeBruin Award for Service to the Synagogue; The Chesed Committee, under the leadership of Eadie Tsabari, received the Selwyn Roffman Memorial Award for Religious Growth. Youth awards went to David Kay, Jack Molad Ruach Award; Hannah Stein, Joe Ginsburg Mensch Award; Emily Kutler and Lauren Kirk, the Seth Rich “Woodie” Emerging Leader Award; and Zach Krausman, Sisterhood Volunteer
Award. Jake Spivak was honored with both the Gendler Award and the Helen and Joe Fishel Memorial Award. “Beth El is so very fortunate to have an amazing clergy and professional staff who are supported by a fantastic group
these fabulous people, their hard work can be seen every day in our synagogue and in the community.” For Beth El’s Rabbi Steven Abraham, “It is always an honor to be present at our Annual Meeting to acknowledge
Clockwise from top: Beth el President Jim Zipursky, left, and eadie tsabari; Jim Zipursky and allan Murow; Jim Zipursky and Bob yaffe; and Jim Zipursky and danny Cohn. Not pictured: Phil Wayne, President’s award for Outstanding non-Board Member. of volunteers willing to give of their time to make ours a wonderful and welcoming congregation,” Jim Zipursky said. “While our Annual Meeting is the time for us to recognize the efforts of
our award winners, thank our outgoing Board members and welcome new members to the Board. 2016-2017 was an amazing year, and I know that 2017-2018 will be even better.”
It’s a Summer BBQ at Beth Israel Mary sue GrOssMan Beth Israel Synagogue In what has become an annual tradition, Beth Israel will celebrate summer with a casual, fun barbecue on sunday, July 2 from 5-8 p.m. Chairs for the event are Helene and Jack Shrago and Michael and Melissa Shrago. The summer-themed menu will include hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings, plus coleslaw, potato salad, chips, watermelon, dessert and beverages. And, of course, everything is strictly kosher! “It is such fun to have a casual event for socializing with friends from the congregation and family,” reports Helene Shrago. “While we see each other frequently on Shabbat and holidays, this provides a great chance to just sit, relax, chat and enjoy a delicious dinner.” She adds “The BBQ event is open to the entire community and we hope to see a big crowd. The more the merrier!” The cost for the event is $9 for adults, $5
for children ages 3-12, and is free of charge for those 3 and under. Reservations are needed by June 27 and can be made by calling the Beth Israel office at 402.556.6288,
Credit: Pundit via Wikimedia Commons
emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the synagogue website at www.orthodoxomaha.org. All events are open to the community. For additional information, please call 402.556.6288.
B’nai B’rith BreadBreakers
B’nai B’rith Breadbreakers meets weekly on Wednesdays at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. For specific speaker information, please email Gary.Javitch@gmail.com, Breadbreakers chairman. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or email@example.com.
What about the Kibbutzim?
The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017 | 3
Mark kirchhoff Community Engagement and Education It is very likely that people who know “just a little bit” about Israel are familiar with the term “kibbutz.” They may know something about the theory of the kibbutzim and have some thoughts about how they function. It is most likely that they are intrigued by them and wonder about their existence in the 21st Century. Are they still there and, if so, “what’s going on with them?” The kibbutzim in Israel will be the topic for discussion of the next sessions of the Friday Learning Series. Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich, Visiting Scholar at Beth Israel, will discuss the kibbutzim on June 23 and June 30 in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library from 11:15 a.m. until noon. In the first session he will present the history of the kibbutzim
Credit: libcom.org beginning with their inception shortly after the turn of the 19th Century. The history and ideology of these unique social arrangements will be the focus of the discussion. “At one time over 8% of the population of Israel lived on a kibbutz,” observed Rabbi Abramovich. “We will look at why they were popular and lay the foundation for exploring the state of kibbutzim today.” On June 30 – same time and place – Rabbi Shlomo will present the current status of kibbutzim with a view towards their existence into the future. You are encouraged to attend both sessions; but if you are unable to do so, there is much to be learned from each session as independent units. The Friday Learning Series is open to the community free of charge. We will even provide you with note paper and a pen if you forget yours.
continued from page 1 Rabbi Lewis has served as the rabbi of the South Street Temple since 2012. During his term as the Temple’s rabbi, he initiated several new opportunities for member engagement. He encouraged members of the congregation to form a “bimah band,” the Star City Kochavim, whose music supports the congregation’s worship once a month at a “Friday Night Live” service; he fostered a monthly “Shabbababat” family dinner and service that makes Shabbat with the kids sababa (awesome); he fostered the growth of the Lincoln Temple Youth Group and encouraged local teens to attend national and regional NFTY events and he expanded the Temple’s connection to Lincoln’s interfaith community. These new Temple traditions were all in evidence at the farewell service. The Star City Kochavim led the worship music and featured several original settings of the prayers by Kochavim pianist and musical director Steve Kaup; a number of the elementary school Shababat regulars stayed up past bedtime to attend the service; and among those offering their words of appreciation to Rabbi Lewis during the service were Shoshanna Schreiber, President of the
Lincoln Temple Youth Group and a recent confirmand, and Reverend Stephen Griffith of the Faith Coalition of Lancaster County. Rabbi Lewis himself spoke of the formative impact that his time serving the South Street Temple has had on his development as a rabbi still in the first decade of his career. In true Rabbi Lewis fashion, he also managed to bring together the teachings of two enduring traditions: chasidism and Disney, recalling two teachings about departures. Rabbi Lewis cited a story about the Baal Shem Tov always having at the ready his backpack and a walking stick, the backpack to recall to remind himself that he had gifts to share in every place and the walking stick because nothing in life is permanent and we are always called to move forward. Rabbi Lewis also recalled the bittersweet ending of Mary Poppins, in which Mary Poppins recognizes that her work with the Banks family is complete and it is time for her to move on. Rabbi Lewis closed by thanking the South Street Temple membership for making the Lewis famiy part of the extended South Street Temple family, saying, “No matter how far apart we are, we will always be just that — family.”
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community The sin of the spies and do we really need a Rabbi? - Parshat Shelach
In this week’s Parsha, the spies reject our beloved holy land, which causes much pain and suffering. Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk explains their mistake in a novel way. He explains that Rabbi aRi the spies were nervous to attempt to con- DembitzeR quer and live in Israel Beth Israel Synagogue without their incredible leader, Moshe. They heard rumors about the imminent death of Moses, and were concerned for their welfare. This was a people who didn’t have the independence and strength needed to build a homeland. They were afraid of the challenge. The difference between the Jews in the
desert and the Jews in Israel, is that in Israel, they didn’t need a rabbi; they became the rabbis. Outside of Israel they remained dependent and needed a leader to guide them every step of the way. The Land of Israel necessitated them to step up and create the relationship with G-d for themselves. A rabbi is meant to teach Torah to students who will then become rabbis themselves. Rabbis are not masters of ceremonies; they are spiritual leaders. They don’t exclusively visit the sick. They inspire others to do the same. A rabbi isn’t supposed to be something that I cannot be. Rabbis should inspire me to be the best me. Let us all gather the inspiration to become Jews not of Diaspora but rather of the Holy Land, creating a spiritual connection for ourselves. Good Shabbos!
Continued from page 1 on tests and other academic ventures. This year, I was able to get back into writing, specifically when I went on my once-a-week excursions to Westchester Department of Corrections. Beginning in the fall of 2016, I participated in a program called “Right to Write” through my school. I facilitated writing workshops with incarcerated women once a week for the entire academic year. I was able to foster relationships with each of these women and realize again the power of the written word. Visiting jail every Tuesday night became the highlight of my week. As the school year continued, in the midst of the busyness, it was time to start considering my summer plans. Internships, jobs, Birthright, heading home: so many options, what was I to do? It was around this same time the shininess of New York wore off a bit.
I had the option to stay in the city for the summer, but I didn’t know if that was what I wanted. After the year I had and the year the entire world had, something about the midwest beckoned me home. I began to reflect on the unique structure of the Omaha Jewish community. When I discovered the opportunity to be involved as an intern at the Jewish Press, I jumped. It was a chance to combine my favorite things: writing, learning, news, politics and home. So as my first year of college came to a close, I came back to Omaha to work at the Jewish Press. For the first time, I was actually thrilled about heading home to Nebraska and partaking in the new adventure that this summer of 2017 had to offer. The Jewish Press Summer Internship is made possible through the generosity of the Murray H. and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation.
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On June 6, 2017, ten members of Young Jewish Omaha (YJO) volunteered at the Food Bank for the Heartland. They built, packed, and sealed boxes of food to ship to hungry folks around the Omaha community. YJO is a lay-led initiative of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, seeking to get young Jews to “do Jewish” with other young Jews (and their friends and loved ones). YJO is free, inclusive, and looking for you to get involved. Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ YoungJewishOmaha/ or contact Nate Shapiro email@example.com to get on our e-mail list.
Continued from page 1 have garnered attention because they were central to a good deal of Luther’s own thought, and because they were co-opted at various times throughout history - especially during the Holocaust - for their antiJewish content and recommendations. In our presentation, Professor Pettit and I will explore the nature and scope of Luther’s writings about Jews and Judaism, their historical context, and the transmission and use of these writings to better understand Luther, his theology, and his legacy.” In 1994, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America publicly rejected Luther’s antisemitic writings, acknowledging in their Declaration to the Jewish Community both the ‘shame’ and ‘tragic truth’ of Luther’s anti-Jewish invective and the ‘special burden’ that Lutherans feel regarding the Shoa/Holocaust because of Luther’s legacy. “Few exceeded the 16thcentury theologian Martin Luther in using graphic, vicious words to depict the Jews as enemies of God,” Professor Pettit said. “Luther’s deplorable legacy has shaped Jewish and Christian communities, as well
as European and world history, in tragic ways. Today, however, it has also come to serve as a starting point for dialogue and community-building. The awakening of the Lutheran Church to its own responsibility and complicity in the Shoa developed slowly, with some in Germany who were already keenly aware and resisting during the war and eventually many who realized - or finally admitted it - following the war. The dynamics are complicated and the issues of guilt and responsibility continue to be fraught, particularly in Germany. Dark eras will surely come again to our societies,” Professor Pettit continued, “and the church will again be asked to lend its name and its influence to dehumanizing, genocidal projects. We must be ready, when that question comes the next time, to stand firm in our faith. We must be prepared to say with the Jewish people, for them and for any people, ‘Never again.’” Luther and the Jews: Responsibility and Reconciliation, is free and open to the community. A dessert and coffee reception follows the presentation.
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JCC Summer Camp Journal ast week was the first oﬃcial week of the JCC Summer Camp of 2017. It came complete with the classic J Day Camp experience of arts and cras, outdoor activities, science, sports, and various chugim. Additionally, the Premiere Camps oﬀered June 5th-9th included Icky Sticky, College Emma HocHfEldEr All-Stars Basketball and, for the first Intern, Jewish Press year, “Baking Bliss.” “Baking Bliss” is a half-day camp for 3rd-6th graders that teaches confidence in the kitchen, safety while cooking, and the science behind baking. e Premiere Camp was created at the suggestion of campers last year who wanted a hands-on session focusing on cook-
ing at a comprehensive level with an education behind the process. Basically, the future cooks wanted to learn not only how to make bread but also understand why yeast is a critical ingredient. is year ten kids ranging from 8 to 11 years old participated in the cooking-filled fun. e session was led by camp counselor Kayla Bahle under the direction of Youth Director Megan Webb. Webb created this session to help ensure “anything kids want to make they can”. Bahle explained how it is important for children to learn how to cook because it teaches vital “life skills and independence”. She reflected upon her love for being in the kitchen stemming from always cooking with her mom growing up. Staﬀ chose simple, short, and kid-friendly recipes. Recipes were “Kosher style,” meaning that no dairy and meat were together in the same recipe. Beginning Monday June 5, the chefs-to-be created their own aprons that they wore proudly in the kitchen for the remainder of the week.
e campers also learned important cooking and safety rules such as “Wash your hands” and “Don’t lick your hands especially when sharing your food.” First on the menu was pancakes sculpted into exciting shapes. is recipe was almost a unanimous favorite among the campers. e little chefs prepared the batter themselves, and their instructor assisted them with using the griddle. Following the delicious pancakes, the campers prepared peanut butter energy bites, apple dippers, parfaits, bread-ina-bag, pizza bites, and “dirt” pudding cups throughout the week. Each of these recipes taught the kids to use measuring and cooking tools commonly found in a kitchen. With these recipes, campers were able to create food together, honing in on their teamwork and compromising skills. In the concluding days of Baking Bliss, the chefs-to-be competed in the J’s very own cooking competition. ey craed houses made of graham crackers that were under scrutiny by astute seasoned food judges. e winner’s graham cracker house came complete with a design that relied on classic architecture and a front lawn made of sprinkles. It was a scrumptious piece of art. In addition to the competition, the campers continued combining art and food. ey prepared mini-aquariums made out of Jello. Food became not only something yummy to eat, but a new medium to create. Even though the food art was fun to make, the most beloved part of Baking Bliss, unsurprisingly, was the noshing. Campers ranked their favorite foods due to how good the treats tasted, not how enjoyable preparation was. When asked to share her homemade snack, one of the chefs declined, explaining “I’m just gonna eat it myself.” Overall, the campers who baked, created, and snacked in last week’s Baking Bliss le Friday with smiles on their faces, plenty of food in their stomachs and a newfound love of baking.
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The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017 | 7
annualmeeting L’dor v’dor
he 2017 Annual Meeting brought many members of our community together. An anonymous author once wrote: “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” The Jewish Federation of Omaha’s Annual Meeting allows us all the opportunity to honor those who give tirelessly of their time and energy, making Jewish Omaha better day by day. From top, left: Marty Ricks, Julee Katzman and Rabbi Steven Abraham; Troy, Jamie, Audrey, Aiden and Ainsley Meyerson; Humanitarian of the Year Dr. Howard Gendelman, Dr. Bonnie Bloch and Joel Alperson (top); Bruce and Pam Friedlander with Gloria and Howard Kaslow; Jody and Buzz Malashock with Julee Katzman; Sharon Kirshenbaum with Denise and Jon Meyers. Second row, from left: Andrew Miller and Danny Cohn; Shani Katzman with Anna Mosenkis; Rabbi Darryl Crystal, Jon Meyers and Dennis DePorte; Jennie Gates Beckman and Silvia Roffman; Albertha Schmidt; Darlynn and Tom Fellman; Steve and Carol Bloch. Third row, from left: (name) and her daughter Shira Steinberg-Abraham; Renee and Louie Kazor; Jim Pollack. Bottom: Howard Gendelman and guest; Alan Potash, Bruce Goldberg and Joel Alperson.
JuLee KATzMAn Thank you, Jody and Buzz. I want to thank you both for all you have done over the years, not only here, but in Israel and for Jews around the world. On a personal note, I thank you both for your special and unwavering friendship. I am honored to receive the Malashock Award, but I feel that this award for professional excellence goes well beyond me. I’d like to accept it on behalf of all of us who work throughout Jewish Omaha. We appreciate your recognition of those who have made our life’s work about nurturing, sustainging and growing Jewish life. I would also like to thank my family who is here to support me tonight as they always are! A few weeks ago a community member stopped by our offices. He was particularly excited and wanted to talk to us about giving more campus tours. I replied that we frequently give tours to newcomers or people visiting our community from out of town. He said, “That’s not what I mean, I think people should have the tour I just experienced.” He went on to say he had started a few hours before at the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, stopping in to visit his baby granddaughter in the infant room. Following that he made his way through the fitness center, proceeding upstairs and walking down the halls filled with photographs chronicling our community’s rich history, passing the Kripke Library, walking past the Jewish Press, ADL/CRC, IHE and Jewish Family Service. He continued past the dance studios, arriving at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home to visit with his father-in-law. He went on to say that he wanted everyone to have that opportunity to see the work of our Federation and the lives we touch, from our youngest children to our most vulnerable seniors. I was struck by his simple yet meaningful journey through our campus. Tonight we celebrate this wonderful community and the lay volunteers and professionals who work every day to keep us moving forward. We celebrate our partnership with Israel, our heritage and our Homeland. Collectively we all share the traditional and beautiful goals of repairing the world, being a light unto the nations and teaching our traditions from one generation to the next, l’dor v’dor. But I think we also embody, with our work, the simple act of just trying to take care of each other one day at a time.
8 | The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017
Womenâ€™s philanthropic event
Wednesday, June 7, the Jewish Federation of Omaha hosted a womenâ€™s philanthropic event at One Pacific Place Clubhouse featuring speaker Janice Kaplan. The event was chaired by Lisa Lucoff, Jamie Meyerson and Melissa Shapiro. Janice Kaplan, author of The Gratitude Diaries spoke about the impact gratitude has on relationships, health and happiness.
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The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017 | 9
(Founded in 1920) eric Dunning President Annette van de Kamp-Wright Editor Richard Busse Creative Director Susan Bernard Advertising Executive lori Kooper-Schwarz Assistant Editor Thierry ndjike Accounting Jewish Press Board Eric Dunning, President; Andy Ruback, Past-President; Sandy Friedman, Treasurer; Andrew Boehm; Paul Gerber; Alex Grossman; Jill Idelman; Mike Kaufman; David Kotok; Debbie Kricsfeld; Abby Kutler; Pam Monsky; Paul Rabinovitz and Barry Zoob. The mission of the Jewish Federation of Omaha is to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish Community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world. Agencies of the Federation are: Community Relations Committee, Jewish Community Center, Center for Jewish LIfe, Jewish Social Services, and the Jewish Press. Guidelines and highlights of the Jewish Press, including front page stories and announcements, can be found online at: wwwjewishomaha.org; click on ‘Jewish Press.’ Editorials express the view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the views of the Jewish Press Board of Directors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a whole. The Jewish Press reserves the right to edit signed letters and articles for space and content. The Jewish Press is not responsible for the Kashrut of any product or establishment. editorial The Jewish Press is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Deadline for copy, ads and photos is: Thursday, 9 a.m., eight days prior to publication. E-mail editorial material and photos to: avandekamp@jewish omaha.org; send ads (in TIF or PDF format) to: rbusse@jewishomaha. org.
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AnneTTe vAn De KAMP-WRIGhT Editor of the Jewish Press here used to be a time when rock and roll artists made news because of sex, drugs and random acts of debauchery. It practically came with the job description. Right, Ozzy? Then, something changed and politics were thrown into the mix. I blame John Lennon. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating for musicians who can’t function without a side of heroin, Jack Daniels or groupies. I’m also not in favor of the idea that famous artists should only focus on their art. If you have a platform and you can reach out for the common good, do it. Freedom of speech applies to all of us. So if you are a famous musician and you have strong political convictions about, say, boycotting Israeli audiences, fine. That’s your right. Where it gets tricky: when speaking your mind is no longer enough and you decide you should speak for other artists as well. When you are so convinced you are on the right side of history, you end up publicly attacking and shaming other artists who might have a different opinion. Is free speech still free when you use it to disregard others’ opinions? When you use that free speech –and your large platform—to bully colleagues when they do choose to schedule a concert date in Tel Aviv? Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead thinks not. When The Who’s Roger Waters, a loud advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, began to publicly pressure Radiohead to cancel its scheduled concert in Tel Aviv, Thom Yorke wasn’t having it: “It’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years,” he said. According to Waters, “BDS exists to shine a light on the predicament of the occupied people of Palestine, both in Palestine and those displaced abroad, and to promote equal
derstand why going to play a rock show or going to a lecture at a university is a problem to them. The university thing is more of a head f*** for me. It’s like, really? You can’t go talk to other people who want to learn stuff in another country? Really? The one place where you need to be free to express everything you possibly can. You want to tell these people you can’t do that? And you think that’s gonna help?” Yorke said a few more things but I have a limit to how many curse words I’m willing to quote on this page. And yet, I have to say, reading about someone who not only stands up to the BDS pressure, but gets loud and angry, it’s pretty cathartic. Finally, I think, someone who doesn’t just ignore it (which is great when it happens) but speaks out forcefully. Cultural, academic, medical or any other boycotts of Israel make no sense to me. One can assume that BDS proponents disagree with cerThom Yorke of Radiohead performing at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Calif., tain decisions made by the Israeli April 18, 2017. Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images government (if, that is, they care to suicide attacks. And excuse me, but you can’t call for a boy- inform themselves), but the last time I checked, the Knesset cott of Israel and then claim nationality doesn’t matter. wasn’t a concert venue. Punishing regular Israelis doesn’t Yorke had more angry words for Waters (and I apologize actually make things better. for some of the stronger language): “Huh,” my fifteen-year-old said about BDS. “Does that “The kind of dialogue they want to engage in is one that’s mean if artists abroad don’t agree with Donald Trump, they black or white. I have a problem with that. It’s deeply dis- will boycott their American fans? Of course not.” tressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us She has a point: the whole thing is a little ridiculous. personally, throw shit at us in public. It’s deeply disrespectUnless you take into account that this movement doesn’t ful to assume we’re either being misinformed or that we quite pass the anti-Semitism smell test. Then, all of a sudcan’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was pa- den, Roger Waters’ zeal makes total sense. tronizing in the extreme. It’s offensive and I just can’t un-
JACK MOlIne JTA That small little law known as the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits electioneering by houses of worship and other charities and which President Trump has vowed to repeal, is exceptionally important to preserve. Even if it is not widely enforced, the permission it grants to the Internal Revenue Service to pursue violators is critical to the protection of religious communities and the integrity of government. A sixteenth-century rabbi told me so. There exists a teaching in the scholarly discussions of Jewish law that translates roughly as, “It may be the rule, but we do not teach about it publicly.” It is invoked sparingly, almost always when a person is technically allowed to do something that would nonetheless prove harmful to others. Think of the straw that used to be left on the roadside for people to use when cleaning up after their animals. The straw was technically ownerless and could be taken away by any passerby for private use, but the Talmud directs us to not encourage such behavior. Why? Rabbi Bezalel Ashkenazi, best known as the author of the Talmud commentary Shitah Mekubezet, offers this relatable explanation: Even when you can get away with something without penalty, we do not encourage it for the sake of a better world. I can think of many corners of our society that would benefit from this sort of restraint. The Johnson Amendment, which has been targeted by the religious right for elimination, is near the top of the list. The amendment is a part of the tax code governing tax-exempt charities. In exchange for the opportunity to offer tax deductions to donors, the non-profits – including, but not limited to houses of worship – agree that neither the organization nor anyone representing it will endorse or oppose a candidate for office. Issue advocacy is fully permitted, but electioneering is not. It
seems an eminently reasonable standard, espeI believe that people of integrity follow the law cially since no one, including clergy, is restricted even without the threat of punishment. We typifrom endorsing in a personal capacity. cally stop at red lights, correct a bank teller who It is no secret that this law is rarely enforced. gives us too much money, vote only once in an The process of investigating and prosecuting vio- election and settle our disagreements with words. lations is costly and complicated. No one has We do so because the rules of civil society are ever gone to jail for it and only one house of worship is known to have ever lost its taxexempt status for a violation. Given the many thousands of houses of worship in America, that does not exactly seem excessive. But of all the things right-wing preachers might get exercised about – poverty, inequality, war, bigotry, personal immorality – they seem to be sinking millions of dollars A view of the KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue in Chicago, Oct. 20, 2013. Credit: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images and almost as many words into claiming that their First Amendment important, enacted to promote the general welrights have been trampled by the Johnson fare, as the Constitution suggests. And for those Amendment, and they are demanding its repeal. people with less integrity, even a small threat of President Trump has promised to do just that. sanction makes them think twice about the conFortunately, as with other promises made by the sequences of getting caught. president, he does not have the unilateral authorI can think of times when the bully pulpit of ity to change the law. His recent executive order the presidency could rightfully be used to call for encouraged the IRS to look the other way when passive resistance against an immoral law. Plungpeople violate the Johnson Amendment, but this ing houses of worship into partisan politics does accomplishes little in practical terms. However, not strike me as one of those times. Congress could wipe out the law altogether. If you are clergy or congregant, you should opThat would be exactly the wrong move for pose the assault on the Johnson Amendment. American democracy and religious freedom. The Thankfully, polling shows that you already overJohnson Amendment may be rarely enforced, whelmingly do. but it is a critical guidepost. And just because Rabbi Jack Moline is president of Interfaith people could get away with violating it, that Alliance. doesn’t mean they do so.
civil rights for all the people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, no matter what their nationality, race or religion.” Right; okay. Except, there is no mention of Hamas or Hezbollah, Syrian or Jordanian aggression or stabbings and
Ban on partisan pulpits is key to protecting religious freedom
10 | The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017
synagogues B’nai israel synagogue
618 Mynster Street Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0766 712.322.4705 email: CBsynagogue@hotmail.com
Beth el synagogue
Member of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism 14506 California Street Omaha, NE 68154-1980 402.492.8550 bethel-omaha.org
Beth israel synagogue
Member of Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America 12604 Pacific Street Omaha, NE. 68154 402.556.6288 BethIsrael@OrthodoxOmaha.org
An Affiliate of Chabad-Lubavitch 1866 South 120 Street Omaha, NE 68144-1646 402.330.1800 OChabad.com email: email@example.com
congregation B’nai jeshurun
South Street Temple Union for Reform Judaism 2061 South 20th Street Lincoln, NE 68502-2797 402.435.8004 www.southstreettemple.org
offutt air force Base
Capehart Chapel 2500 Capehart Road Offutt AFB, NE 68123 402.294.6244
rose Blumkin jewish home
323 South 132 Street Omaha, NE 68154
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive Omaha, NE 68144-1206 402.556.6536 templeisraelomaha.com
Member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism 3219 Sheridan Boulevard Lincoln, NE 68502-5236 402.423.8569 tiferethisraellincoln.org
B’nai israel synagogue
Join us for our next monthly Shabbat Speakers Series when it returns on sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker to be determined. Oneg to follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! Our services are led by lay leader Larry Blass. For information on our historic synagogue, please contact any of our board members: Scott Friedman, Rick Katelman, Carole Lainof, Marty Ricks, Sissy Silber, Nancy Wolf and Phil Wolf.
Beth el synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Steven Abraham and Hazzan Michael Krausman. friDay: Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. saturDay: 60th Anniversary Celebration of FellmanRips B’nai Mitzvah; Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. followed by Oneg Shabbat and Kiddush Lunch; Mini-Minyannaires, 10:45 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 8:45 p.m. weekDay serVices: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunDay: Morning Minyan, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study, 10 a.m. thursDay: Dough Movie Day, noon. Admission, popcorn, hot dog and drink. Just $5. Nebraska AIDS Coalition Lunch, friday, june 23, 11:30 a.m. Luther and the Jews, sunday, june 25, 2-5 p.m. (See full story on page 1.) All classes and programs are open to everyone in the Jewish community.
Beth israel synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer. friDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv & Kabbalat Shabbat, 7:30 p.m.; Candle Lighting, 8:41 p.m. saturDay: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; June Simcha Kiddush, 11:30 a.m.; Insights in the Weekly Torah Reading, 7:40 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 8:25 p.m.; Havdalah, 9:52 p.m. sunDay: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels & Beit Medrash, 9:45 a.m. monDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m. tuesDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m. weDnesDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m. thursDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Ethics with Rabbi Ari, 7:45 a.m.; Woman’s Class with Rabbi Ari, 9:30 a.m.
Office hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Services conducted by Rabbi Mendel Katzman. friDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. saturDay: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. followed by a festive kiddush luncheon. sunDay: Shacharit, 8:30 a.m. followed by Sunday Secrets: Jewish Fun Facts class at 9:15 a.m. weekDays: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. monDay: Personal Parsha class, 9:30 a.m. with Shani. tuesDay: Women’s Workshop: Riding Life’s Roller Coaster, noon. weDnesDay: New Tanya Series -- The Anatomy of Your Soul: Who Are You?, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Mendel Katzman. thursDay: Advanced Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Mendel Katzman; Women’s Workshop: Riding Life’s Roller Coaster, 7 p.m. Summer is here and there's no better way to spend it than with Chabad at Camp Gan Israel! Register today for camp! Summer Camp Registration is OPEN! Give your child an amazing experience this summer with Chabad! All programs are open to the entire community.
congregation B’nai jeshurun
Services conducted by Rabbi Craig Lewis. friDay: Pre-neg, 6 p.m. hosted by the Temple Gift Shop; Shabbat Evening Service, 6:30 p.m.; Candlelighting, 8:42 p.m. saturDay: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study, 10:30 a.m. on Parashat Shelach; Havdalah (72 Minutes), 10:12 p.m. sunDay: South Street Temple is partnering with "We Can Do This" to provide weekend meals to the children of the F Street Community Center. Join us as we provide lunch on the
third Sunday of every month. Food/monetary donations, meal preparation and assistance with setting up, serving, and cleanup are needed! We will serve our next mealat 2:30 p.m. For more information, email Sarah Beringer at sarah.m. firstname.lastname@example.org; Machshavah Tefillah, 8 p.m. led by Rabbi Lewis and David Manley. The service will conclude with a prayer for peace, and a short Havdalah service as we say goodbye to Shabbat. tuesDay: Ladies’ Lunch, noon at Carmela’s Bistro and Wine Bar, 4141 Pioneers Blvd (70th and Pioneers). Please contact Deborah Swearingen at 402.475.7528 with any questions; Kochavim Rehearsal, 6:45 p.m. thursDay: Trope Class, 6:15 p.m. with Michael Boekstal. Class participants will need The Art of Torah Cantillation by Marshall Portnoy and Josee Wolff; Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m. An invitation from the Malcoms… Kent and Lupe will renew their wedding vows in the Temple Sanctuary on saturday, june 24 at 5 p.m., with a dinner to follow at their home 1515 A Street, Lincoln. All are invited to attend! Help in our Temple Gardens! Help us get ready for a beautiful summer garden! How can you help? Tending the flower beds during the summer: We can also use help with routine weeding and trimming during the spring and summer. Help us keep a beautiful garden to enhance our Temple! Contact: Ellin Siegel at email@example.com or 402.525.4022 or the Temple Office and let us know you would like to help in the gardens. LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, july 10–july 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. LJCS enrolled students entering. Tuition for each week is $75 and if you are enrolling two or more children, the cost is $50 per child, per week. This program is open to children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Please send tuition checks payable to LJCS to Andrea at TI no later than July 1. Camp registration is required through LJCS. We are looking for any Lincoln (current or former residents) Jewish military veterans - both those who are deceased and those who are still alive. Names of any individuals they know who were murdered in the Holocaust - this is to make sure we have them listed at the Nebraska State Holocaust Memorial. Please e-mail or mail names to: firstname.lastname@example.org, P.O. Box 81826, Lincoln, NE 68501.
offutt air force Base
rose Blumkin jewish home
saturDay: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Alan Shulewitz. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.
friDay: Shabbat Service Honoring Rabbi Crystal, 6 p.m. Join us for Rabbi Crystal’s final service as we thank him for his service and wish him well. saturDay: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Morning Services, 10:30 a.m. Holla for Havdallah (21+), saturday, june 24, 6-9 p.m. Welcome the summer with TiYPE for a nice service, followed by dinner, beverages, games, and movies! RSVP to Aliyah Lasky by monday, june 19.
Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. friDay: Services, 6:30 p.m. saturDay: Shabbat Morning Services, 10 a.m. There will be no Kiddush lunch this week. sunDay: Please join with the extended Pitlor family at 10:30 a.m. at Mount Carmel Cemetery for the unveiling of the stone of Letha Pitlor. tuesDay: Ladies’ Lunch, noon at Carmela’s Bistro and Wine Bar, 4141 Pioneers Blvd. Please contact Deborah Swearingen with any questions. LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, july 10–july 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. LJCS enrolled students entering. Tuition for each week is $75 and if you are enrolling two or more children, the cost is $50 per child, per week. This program is open to children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Please send tuition checks payable to LJCS to Andrea at TI no later than July 1. Camp registration is required through LJCS.
jewish press notice
friDay: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.
The Jewish Press will be closed on tuesday, july 4 for Independence Day. There will be no Jewish Press on july 7, 2017. Questions? Call 402.334.6448.
NEW YORK|JTA A new study published by Yale University found that more than 80 percent of Reform rabbis, and about 70 percent of Conservative rabbis, aﬃliate as Democrats. Both were among the top five most Democratic clergy of the Jewish and Christian denominations in the United States, with Reform rabbis topping the list. Among Orthodox rabbis, nearly 40 percent identify as Democrats and a quarter as Republicans. By contrast, Evangelical pastors are almost all Republicans, as are most Baptists. e Black Protestant African Methodist Episcopal clergy, as well as Unitarians, are heavily Democratic. Catholic priests are evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. e study’s findings reflect existing data on the politics of American Jews. Solid majorities of American Jews consistently vote for Democrats — 70 percent voted for Hillary Clinton in the November presidential race — with polls showing that Orthodox Jews are more likely to vote Republican. Reform Jews have been on the front lines of protests against President Donald Trump. Orthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of the American Jewish population, various studies show. One-third, or 35 percent, of all U.S. Jews identify with the Reform movement, 18 percent identify with Conservative Judaism, 6 percent with other movements and 30 percent with no denomination, according to the Pew Research Center. e Yale study also shows that rabbis’ political views track with congregants’ views on policy. For example, 40 percent of Orthodox rabbis are De-
mocrats, and some 40 percent of Orthodox congregants are pro-choice, while about 30 percent of congregants believe gays and lesbians should be legally allowed to marry. Likewise, large majorities of Conservative and Reform rabbis are Democrats, and large majorities of their congregants are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told JTA earlier this year that Reform rabbis’ generally liberal politics are a reflection of their Jewish values. “e idea of Jewish spiritual community being about feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, caring for the stranger — these are fundamental core pieces,” Jacobs said in January. “If we don’t talk about those things in our religious communities, we’re irrelevant.” Orthodox Jews also cite Jewish values in explaining their support for Republicans, noting a preference for the GOP on Israel and conservative support for school choice programs and religious exemptions for various government mandates. In total, the data cover 186,000 clergy, including approximately 2,700 rabbis. Some denominations and religions — including Mormons and Muslims — are not included due to lack of reliable clergy lists. e data also show that the Reform rabbinate is the second-most female of any denominational clergy. Forty-five percent of Reform rabbis are women, as opposed to an average of 16 percent across the denominations surveyed. About a quarter of Conservative rabbis are women; nearly all the Orthodox clergy are men.
80% of reform rabbis are Democrats. that’s higher than any other clergy.
The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017 | 11
lifecycles b’nai miTzvah
nancy Fellman riPs anD Tom Fellman
Nancy Fellman Rips, daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Leon Fellman, mother of Amy (Scott) Levine (Highland Park, IL) and Wendy (Conrad) Mahaffey (Santa Fe, NM), and grandmother to Noah Levine will celebrate the 60th anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah with her twin brother Tom Fellman. It will take place Saturday, June 17 at Beth El Synagogue. Tom Fellman, son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Leon Fellman, husband to Darlynn, father of Louri Sullivan and Ted (Estee) Fellman (Missoula MT.), and grandfather to Rachel, Josh, Samantha, and Tommy Sullivan and Leo and Grayson Fellman will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah with his twin sister Nancy Rips. It will take place Saturday, June 17 at Beth El Synagogue. They have a sister, Jane Pickus, Highland Park, IL. and a brother, Richard Fellman. Their mitzvah projects have included Libraries, Synagogues, Temples, Nursing Homes, Fitness Centers, Schools, and Assisted Living Residences. The B’nai Mitzvah 60th Anniversary Celebration at Beth El will be followed by an Oneg Shabbat and Kiddush Lunch. No gifts, please.
Volunteer opportunities at the RBJH
scenes along Tel aviv beachfront during this year’s Tel aviv Gay Pride Parade. Credit: ASHERNET; bottom picture: People participating in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel aviv, June 9, 2017. Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90 Ahead of the parade, a poll found that support in the country for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high. Seventy nine percent of Israeli Jews said they support allowing samesex marriage or civil unions for gay couples, according to a poll released by the religious pluralism group Hiddush. Attendees took to social media to share photos of the festivities.
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sabine sTronG Volunteer Coordinator, RBJH e Rose Blumkin Jewish Home continues to have several opportunities for volunteers. Our volunteers enrich the lives of our residents and play a key role in delivering quality health care service. You can make a diﬀerence! Volunteers are people who give the gi of themselves as well as their time and are ready to help when and where needed. Becoming a volunteer at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home is easy: complete the volunteer application and come in for an interview and orientation. Once that has been done, volunteers are placed and trained. Volunteers are needed in many diﬀerent areas, such as giving residents manicures, conducting friendly visits, assisting residents with the computer and many more. If you are interested, please contact me at email@example.com or call 402.334.6519. You can also pick up an application at our front desk any time. Please consider volunteering with us!
Tel Aviv has one of largest Gay Pride Parades in the world. This Tunisian court bans is what it looks like. showing of Wonder Woman over Gal Gadot’s iDF service JoSEFiN DolSTEN JTA Around 200,000 people took to the streets to celebrate LGBTQ pride in Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride Parade, the biggest event of its kind in the Middle East. e Friday parade — considered one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world — drew some 30,000 international tourists and celebrated “bisexual visibility.”
Pulverente MONUMENT CO.
JTA NEWS STAFF A Tunisian court has banned the showing of Wonder Woman because star actress Gal Gadot served in the Israel Defense Forces. Tunisia joins Lebanon, which banned the screening of the film as part of its ban on all Israeli products. Jordan also is considering a ban on the film due to Gadot’s Israeli military service, and has temporarily banned screening until its culture review committee makes a final decision. The Tunisian court ruled last week that the screening of the film should be temporarily banned, pending a final decision. It was responding to a petition filed by the secular People’s Movement Party, which called Gadot was “a partner to the latest Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip.” The Tunisian Ministry of Culture had initially planned to allow the movie to be screened. Meanwhile, a Palestinian movie theater in Ramallah, Palestine Towers Cinema, has decided not to show the movie for “political reasons related to the Israeli occupation and the Israeli actress starring in the film,” the Times of Israel reported, citing local Ramallah newspaper al-Hadath. Gadot, 32, does not shy away from touting her Israeli heritage. She praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza War.
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PlanT oPs/Safety/Emergency Preparedness Director, southeast Nebraska Critical Access Hospital. Requires bachelor’s degree, excellent organizational, customer service and planning skills. Experience in safety management and OSHA, environmental safety, Homeland Security preferred. Competitive salary, benefits. Apply at JCHealthandLife.org. For information call HR Director Sandy Bauer at 402-729-6850.
smarT sales and Lease (est. 2001) seeks full-time Customer Service Manager. Work online from home. (12/$20hr). Management experience a plus. Some evenings/weekends. Resume, questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
aPPlicaTions are being accepted for a (1) full-time Emergency Manager and (2) fulltime Planning and Zoning Administrator skilled in the fields of planning, zoning & building inspection. Hourly salary range is negotiable based upon skill level and experience. Excellent benefits package including sick and vacation leave, and health insurance. Applications, position description and qualifications are available at Keith County Clerk’s Office, 308-2844726. Applications must be received by the Clerk by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2017. Keith County gives preference to veterans in employment decisions for this job, is an EOE, and reserves the right to refuse any or all applications.
iT suPPorT Technician, southeast Nebraska Critical Access Hospital. Requires excellent organizational, customer service and computer skills, Associates Degree or three years’ experience. Certification or experience in support of Windows NT networks and related software preferred. Competitive salary, benefits. Apply at JCHealthandLife.org. For information call HR Director Sandy Bauer at 402-729-6850. blair, nebraska is accepting applications for a Building Inspector until July 3, 2017. Visit www.blairnebraska.org/jobs for more information and to apply. EOE
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12 | The Jewish Press | June 16, 2017
This dating site connects Jews of Middle Eastern descent JosEfin DolsTEn NEW YORK | JTA ese days, there’s a dating site or app for just about any group you can imagine, from men with beards (and their admirers) to a farmers-only site. ere’s even an app that matches people based upon shared dislikes — as in “I saw you, too, hate paying extra for guacamole.” But one day, it dawned upon Cynthia Shamash, a New Yorkbased dentist, that it was still hard for Mizrahi Jews, or Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, to meet each other. Shamash, who published a book in 2015 about her Jewish family’s 1972 escape from Iraq, was traveling around the United States, giving talks about her background. Iraqi Jews who had come to hear her speak would frequently come up and introduce themselves. “We are so dispersed,” she told JTA. “ey felt a connection.” ese conversations got Shamash, 53, thinking about how the next generation of Jews of Iraqi descent would stay connected to their heritage. “I thought the way to perhaps make things approachable for their children,” she said. “I sensed that they would have liked the children to meet Mizrahi Jews, but geographical issues are a problem, [and] it wasn’t going to happen.” She thought that connections made online could be the answer. To that end, Shamash launched Eldelala — which means “the matchmaker” in Arabic — in April. So far, the site has only about 50 members from around the world, including from the U.S., Canada, England, the Netherlands, and Sweden — who range in age from 21 to 72. Shamash is hoping to introduce the site in Israel as well. Initially, she intended the website to be only for Jews of Iraqi descent; but shortly aer its launch, she decided to expand it to all Mizrahi Jews. Current members trace their family histories to countries including Iran, Iraq, Lebanon,
Syria and Morocco. e site works a little bit diﬀerently than dating apps such as Tinder, in which users swipe “yes” or “no” on profiles that provide scant information other than photos. On Eldelala, users answer a questionnaire about themselves regard-
Eldelala connects Jews of Middle Eastern descent who are looking for love. Credit: Lior Zaltzman ing topics such as religious observance, willingness to relocate and what they are looking for in a partner. Matches are made the old-fashioned way — by Shamash and two other matchmakers, who read the profiles and introduce members whom they think are compatible. Sharon Arazi, a 28-year-old retail manager from Great Neck, New York, has Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese ancestry. She signed up for Eldelala in May because she prefers to date someone who shares her Mizrahi background, she said, noting common food, music and mentalities. “We understand each other, so that would be important to me.,” Arazi said. She said she is drawn to how the site uses real-life matchmakers, as opposed to algorithms. “I really like the idea of matchmaking,” she said. “I find it
very diﬃcult to meet people out and about.” Arazi has already received two suggested matches from Shamash. She declined to meet the first match aer realizing that he was much more observant than she was, but she is hoping to meet a second possible suitor soon. (Out of the handful of matches Eldelala has initiated since April, one is still in touch, according to Shamash.) Arazi tried other dating platforms without success, she said. At the moment, she’s using only Eldelala and Sephardic Connection, a site run by Torah Ohr Hebrew Academy in Great Neck. Around half of Eldelala still-small user base indicates that they would be willing to relocate for love. “at’s pretty telling of how important it is to them” to find a partner with a shared background, Shamash said. Still, Shamash’s goal is not to discourage marriage between Jews of Middle Eastern descent and those from other backgrounds, she said, pointing out that she has been married to her husband, an Ashkenazi Jew, for 25 years. “I didn’t make it in any way so there should be no mixing [between Mizrahi and non-Mizrahi Jews],” she said. “I just believe that this availability should be there.” Members do not have to be 100 percent Mizrahi to join the site — in fact, Eldelala is open to Jews of other backgrounds who are interested in Mizrahi culture. e site will remain free until December, when it will cost $20 per month. But Shamash said that no one will be excluded from joining the site due to financial constraints. Ultimately Shamash — who has not returned to her native Iraq since leaving as a refugee — sees Eldelala as a way to connect Mizrahi Jews who are no longer living in their home countries. She explained: “If we don’t have the land under our feet and we’re floating — it’s a culture that is floating and dispersed — why not use [technology] as the ground under our feet, and find each other?”
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