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Going for the Gold
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in memoriam: Toby Fellman
JU L Y 1 4 , 2 0 1 7 | 1 3 T AMMU Z 5 7 7 7 | V O L . 9 7 | NO . 3 9 | 2 SECT IO NS | c a nd LeLi g h Ti ng | FRID AY , JU L Y 1 4 , 8 : 3 8 P. M.
anneTTe van de kaMp-WrighT Editor of the Jewish Press Oftentimes, when we lose someone dear to us, we come together and share favorite memories. We tell stories about how and when the person we say goodbye to has impacted our lives and, just as often, we wish he or she could hear us.
Kaplan Book Group page a3
Our Shaliach is coming, and he needs our help page a4
Here’s why Israel and India’s leaders couldn’t get enough of each other page B1
inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life Cycles
B4 B6 B7
eMMa hochFeLder Intern, Jewish Press he most highly anticipated week of the summer. The week when friends become enemies and rivals become teammates. All bets are off. It is a battle for the ages. It’s Color Wars week at J Camp: Red Team vs. Blue Team.
This year the teams were composed of 53 Blue Team players and 53 Red Team players with the most-beloved camp counselors as coaches. The fiercest competitors were ready to take part in Gaga, warball, and all other Ruach related festivities. The JCC’s campus became divided June 26-30. The Youth Lounge was masked in See going for the gold page a2
Friday Learning Series: Focusing on Jerusalem
Mark kirchhoFF Community Engagement and Education On Friday, July 14 from 11:15 a.m. until noon in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library, Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich continues with his popular Friday Learning Series by presenting a three-part study of the city of Jerusalem – the second and third sessions being on July 21 and 28. When Rabbi Shlomo was asked why he chose this subject at this time, he responded, “It is the time of the year in the Hebrew calendar when we mourn the destruction of the Temple – the 17th of Tammuz and 9th of Av (July 11 and Aug. 1). This is a time of sorrowful reflection for the Jewish people
Credit: Wayne McLean via Wikimedia commons around the world, and a time that will always be a part of our history. I think it is a good opportunity to focus on why Jerusalem is so important to Jews.” The 17th of Tammuz (Shiv’ah Asar b’Tammuz) commemorates the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple. It marks the beginning of the three-week mourning period leading up to Tisha B’Av (9th of Av). Tisha B’Av commemorates the an-
niversary of a number of disasters in Jewish history, primarily the destruction of both the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the Romans in Jerusalem. Tisha B’Av is regarded as perhaps the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and it is thus believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy. During these three sessions, Rabbi Shlomo will present the history of Jerusalem – focusing especially on See Friday Learning Series page a3
Toby (Edith) Fellman, who passed away June 20, heard us. Not only that, she remembered: our names, our faces, who our children were and what they were up to. She made knowing others, really knowing others, into an art form. In a world forever shifting and moving, she was a solid pillar of Temple Israel. She was simply always there, wherever she was needed. “Toby was tough as nails and as gentle and nourishing as a light spring rain,” Temple Israel Religious School Director Sharon Comisar-Langdon said at the memorial service. “We learned the most important lessons from Toby: the lessons of life, and she led by example. She was a woman of valor. Toby was our best friend, our mother, our aunt, our sister, our grandmother. It was fitting, at the cemetery this morning, that there was a teacher with his class of students, who we needed to shush. Toby chuckled.” Close friend Sandy Passer delivered a heartfelt tribute to Toby at Temple Israel. “As I stand here, I look out into this amazing sea of faces,” she said. “I have no doubt that Toby would be able to greet each of you by name. During the past six months, I drove her to many appointments. No matter the neighborhood, she would point out homes, telling who had lived there, their life stories and even remember invasions of bats. Again, demonstrating her amazing memory for names and details. I would often tell her, “Toby, you should write a book!” She was a true historian of people and places in Omaha.” Toby Fellman graduated from Central High School with the class of 1954. She attended Omaha University for two years and the St. Joseph Hospital School of X-Ray Technicians, where in June 1961 she received her certificate as an x-ray technician. She worked in this capacity at the Prairie Clinic for 5 years. Toby was especially proud of her accomplishments as an x-ray technician and would often relay this fact to those in the hospital when she had a radiographic test performed, Sandy Passer said. In addition, she was an active member of The Nebraska Medical Assistants Association. She attended the National Convention in See Toby Fellman page B7
A2 | The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017
Going for the Gold
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Continued from page A1 red decor, signifying the allegiance to the red team. The Pavilion was cloaked in all blue, displaying the dedication to Team Blue. The lines had clearly been drawn campus wide.
also a generous soul. The week concluded with a dash for some final points. The finale giant relay was on Friday. The race had various components so everyone could compete. There were swim-
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JCC Campers participating in the Color Wars Tug of War competition. Throughout the entire week the campers were competing in various battles to earn points for their teams. Each task completed successfully by a camper earned points for either Red or Blue Team. Likewise, if the camper was on the losing side, they lost points for their team. Colors wars is designed to mimic overnight camps color wars and the Maccabi Games. It originally was only one day; but because of the positive feedback from participants, it is now a full week of J Camp every year. It is one of the most beloved and enjoyed times of camp. The teams competed through the week in some of the fiercest battles of Gaga, warball, basketball, cheer offs, and banner competitions this side of the Missouri River has ever seen. The camp games are always intense; however, adding the allegiance of team colors creates more excitement for the players and fans. Not only are the campers partaking in Color Wars Games for points, the Color Wars encourage mensch-like behavior. The teams can earn points for their respective teams by completing “mitzvot” around campus. Campers clean up trash around the JCC, pick up some litter, bake cookies for others and do any other generous act they can think of. All the mitzvot are camper-initiated. Color wars teaches not only how to nurture a competitive spirit but
ming races, foot races, water chugging, donut eating, singing, and so much more. Each one of the campers competed in this final race, because the winner of the Color Wars received a wonderful prize. The winners of the Color Wars not only took pictures with a huge trophy and got bragging rights, but they also punished the losing teams’ camp counselor captains. The winners received the rewarding opportunity of pushing the other teams’ captains into the outside pool! Either way, winning or losing the Color Wars, the campers always have a blast. It teaches everyone involved how to “win graciously and lose graciously” and have plenty of fun along the way. Despite the hard-fought battle filled with blood, sweat and tears, ultimately one team had to be crowned the champion. With final scores in the thousands, it was clear who was taking home the 2017 J Camp Color Wars crown. In a photo finish, the Red team rang victorious. Until next year, the Red team has received all bragging rights around the J. They are the true victors of this year’s Color War events. Yet, what happens in 2018 when the Blue team is back for Round two? Will the reigning champions keep their title or will the Blue team steal their legacy and take the first place? Only time will tell...
Friday Learning Series
continued from page A1 the last years of the second temple. “We will examine the nature and the importance of the city for the Jewish people from religious, social and political aspects. “We will also have a brief review of the nature of the city in the Middle Ages,” he explains. As is characteristic of Rabbi Shlomo’s Friday Learning Series topics, he will relate history to the present day and discuss the city of Jerusalem as it exists today. He will explore what the city represents in the Israeli society and culture, and why some Israelis admire this city while others dislike or even hate it. The city will be seen from its social, economic, and political aspects. Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich’s regular attendees will appreciate that these sessions will maintain the high quality of educational material presented in a systematic and interesting manner that is characteristic of his classes. This is a great opportunity for those who have not yet taken the opportunity to attend to do so with a topic of such importance to Jews. July 14, 21, and 28 are the days to mark on your calendar. The Kripke Jewish Federation Library is the location and 11:15 a.m. is the time. As with all Friday Learning Series classes, you need not attend all in order to derive the benefits of one – but the more you attend, the more you learn. They are always open to the community free of charge. Rabbi Abramovich is the Scholar in Residence at Beth Israel Synagogue and presents the series in conjunction with the Community Engagement and Education arm of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. For questions, contact Mark Kirchhoff, mkirchhoff @jewishomaha.org or 402.334.6463.
The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | A3
Kaplan Book Group to discuss The Mask Carver’s Son
MARk kiRchhoff Program and Communications Assistant n Thursday, July 20, at 1 p.m. in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library, the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group will meet to discuss Alyson Richman’s The Mask Carver’s Son (January 15, 2000, Bloomsbury USA). Set in turn of the century Japan in the world of the Noh Theater, and in Paris during the days when French Impressionism was the avant-garde, this novel tells of a young Japanese artist who sacrifices everything: family, love and wealth for his art. [Noh performers are storytellers who use their visual appearances and their movements to suggest the essence of their tale rather than to enact it.] A Master Noh mask carver dedicates his life to his art, turning his back on love after a series of tragic events leaves him devastated. Kiyoki, his only son, defies his father and the demands of cultural tradition to follow his dream of becoming a painter in the western style. Kiyoki journeys to Paris, where he lives the life of an exile, unable to break the bonds of tradition, until he finds his heart leads him back to Japan, where he
at last discovers himself as an artist. Author Alyson Richman will be participating with the group through teleconferencing during the July
Alyson Richman meeting. Her internationally bestselling works include The Garden of Letters, The Lost Wife, The Last Van Gogh, The Rhythm of Memory (formerly published as Swedish Tango), and The Mask Carver’s Son. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages. The Lost Wife was nominated as one of the best books of 2012 by the Jewish Journal of Books and
was the 2012 Long Island Reads Selection. The novel is now a national bestseller with over 200,000 combined print/ebook copies sold and is in development to be a major motion film. Her novel, The Painted Dove, centers around the French courtesan Marthe de Florian and the mystery of her Paris apartment that remained locked for 70 years. It was published by Berkley/Penguin in September 2016. A graduate of Wellesley College and a former Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she currently lives with her husband and children on Long Island, New York. The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group meets every third Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. New members are always welcome. The Community Engagement and Education arm of the Jewish Federation of Omaha is proud to provide support to this group. To have your questions answered contact Shirly Banner at 402.334.6462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Talmudic Tales - The Wisdom of the Talmud maRY Sue gRoSSmaN Beth Israel Synagogue chools may be out for the summer but for “The People of the Book”, learning is a year-round happening. At Beth Israel Synagogue, there are numerous learning opportunities throughout the week, including a new offering taught by Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich, which begins July 17. The Talmud is the basis of the all the rabbinic literature. It is the heart of the Oral Torah and the basis for Jewish philosophy. Its wisdom is known and admired even in surprising places like China and Korea. (Do an internet search for How the Talmud Became a Best Seller in South Korea found in The New Yorker). For most people however, the Talmud is very hard to open and learn and most are not sure how to begin.
Rabbi Shlomo abramovich Talmudic Tales - The Wisdom of the Talmud is a great way to get started and begin a new learning process. “Our class will focus on Talmudic tales, which are a great way to start to get to know the Talmud. The sessions
will teach about its main characters and to reveal the wisdom and the values hidden in it” reports Rabbi Shlomo. “Each class will stand on its own. Each week we will learn a new tale, and we will go deeper and discuss its meaning and the philosophical lessons we can take from it.” Classes will be held at Beth Israel on Mondays from noon-1 p.m. beginning July 17. The classes are open to the community and no prior knowledge is required. There is no cost for the class, however prior registration is appreciated by emailing sabramovich@ortho doxomaha.org or calling 402.556.6288. A light lunch from the Bagel Bin will be available for a cost of $5. For additional information or questions on this or any other learning opportunities, please call 402.556.6288 or visit www.orthodoxomaha.org. All classes are open to the community.
Our Shaliach is coming, and he needs our help Nate ShapIRo Director of Development, JFO The Jewish Federation of Omaha is pleased to announce that our new community Shaliach (Israeli Emissary) Yoni Doron, will be arriving on Aug. 15! We are reaching out to the community because we need some help getting Yoni established here in Omaha. Most importantly, we are looking for a couple of Host Families. While JFO will be renting an apartment for Yoni, we would like to have a few families that would be willing to help Yoni have an ongoing sense of home, especially on Shabbat and holidays. The Host family will remain part of Yoni’s main support. According to the Jewish
Yoni Doron Agency, the best families to fulfill this roll are young couples or leaders in the
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community. We are also looking for help with furnishing Yoni’s apartment. We are looking for the following household and kitchen items: table, chairs, couch, bed items (including: mattress, box spring, sheets, blankets), television, broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner, and cleaning supplies. For the kitchen we need: a set of dishes and silverware, pots and pans, toaster oven, mugs and glasses, and a can opener Join us at the airport for Yoni’s arrival! If you have any interest at all at being a host family, or donating some of the requested items, or joining us at the airport to welcome Yoni, please get in touch with Nate Shapiro at nshapir firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.334.6440.
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True Unity Parshat Pinchas
Pinchas, the ultimate zealot, is given the covenant of peace. Peace is the goal, but not the means. Peace, for the sake of everyone getting along, does not push the world forward. In Omaha, the Jewish community is beautifully united. However, unity is only valuable if each person knows his/her value. True unity is when all parts fulfill their roles in revealing more godliness in the world. Hence, when something is RabbI aRI against G-d’s will, it is our responsibility DembItzeR to protest the impurity, even if at times Beth Israel Synagogue this will sacrifice interim peace. If we try and battle for truth, ultimately the world will recognize it and then there will be true peace. Our “Amida,” the last blessing, is the one for peace. The way to get there is to internalize and eternalize our responsibilities to make this world godly. Let us all be the best we can be, to fulfill this great dream of true peace. Shabbat Shalom!
In the news
Dr. Robert Newman received his DVM from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine May 12. He is continuing his education as an intern with Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will follow this with a three year residency program in surgery. Dr. Newman’s plans are to obtain board certification as a veterinary surgeon. Robert is the son of Dr. Patricia Newman and the brother of Emily Newman.
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The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | A5
Fran and Rich Juro donate Woman
Fran and Rich Juro made a generous donation to the Methodist Hospital Foundation. The statue, titled Woman, was created by artist Lameck Bonjisi. This piece of art was donated from the Juro’s private collection and now graces the outdoor dining space at Methodist Women’s Hospital. Methodist Women’s Hospital cares for patients in mind, body and spirit and knows art has a healing effect. The combination of a beautiful statue, fresh air and the warmth of the sun all make a tremendous difference to patients and their families who spend time outside, as well as to our medical team. The Methodist Hospital Foundation is honored to accept this gift.
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Scott Littky Program Director, Temple Israel nce again, Temple Israel will hold its Annual Golf Outing! A day of fun and golf is planned for Monday, Aug. 14 at Shadow Ridge Country Club on 188th Street and Pacific Street. Harry Gates and Jeff Smedlund will chair the annual benefit for Temple Israel this year. The Golf Outing will begin with lunch at noon followed by a Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner with a cash bar at 6 p.m. Player options for the afternoon include: 18 holes of golf with a cart, lunch, driving
range and dinner. Participant cost is $135, and if you sign up as a single, we will assign you to a Foursome. The cost for a Foursome is $540. If you would like to come to the dinner only, the cost is $30. Hole sponsorships are available and include signage on a Tee/Green and your name on all printed materials the day of the event. Cost for members is $350 or $850 with a Foursome. For non-members, the cost is $500 or $1000 with a Foursome. If you would like more information or if you would like to donate a raffle prize, please call Temple Israel at 402.556.6536 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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B’nai Israel is on summer break until September B’nai Israel is taking a two-month summer break. We will resume Friday, Sept 1, at which time we are honored to welcome soon to wed Shayna Kurland and Ben Cohen. They will be conducting our entire service. So mark your calendars now and join us for this very happy occasion.
Nannen & Harte Physical Therapy expands scheduling at Jewish Community Center
Nannen & Harte Physical Therapy has been serving patients for over 25 years in Blair, Omaha and Tekamah. We are pleased to announce that we are offering expanded scheduling at our clinic in the Jewish Community Center near 132nd and Dodge St. We have added Matthew Thomas, PT, DPT to our staff in Omaha after spending 10 years with us in Blair. This will allow us to double the available appointment times, making scheduling much more convenient. The facility at the JCC allows us to treat both members and nonmembers of the fitness center while utilizing a clean, state-of-the-art training facility. We have access to aquatic care through both the indoor and outdoor pools as needed and all of the equipment that comes with access to the fitness center, including treadmills, upper body ergometer, free weights, free motion cable machines and more. This is a great opportunity to work with an experienced staff in a wonderful facility. For non-members it is also a great way to experience all that the JCC fitness center has to offer. As an outpatient physical therapy clinic we help patients with several different diagnoses and deficits ranging from arthritis, posture, balance, low back pain, total joint replacements, shoulder dysfunction, knee pain and dysfunction, neck pain, headaches, work related injuries and more. As an established clinic we are also fortunate to accept all insurance. Please call us at 402.426.3488 or email nhpt.matthewthomas @gmail.com with any questions or to set up an appointment. PAID ADVERTISEMENT
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dr. Byers shaw, a founder of UNMC’s liver transplant program will discuss his book, Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey on Wednesday, July 12, noon. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or bnaibrith@jew ishomaha.org.
The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | A7
community Come be part of the Jewish omaha portrait The first parts of our community study are complete – the phone calls have been made, the data compiled, the graphs and reports written. Now for the exciting parts! We are poised at the starting line of a tremendous AlAN PoTAsH Chief Executive Officer, journey for our commuJFO nity. We have not done a study to this degree before, so these next steps are unprecedented for our community. There will be many opportunities to get involved, to help digest the information and to plan the next steps. Working closely with our Federation Planning & Community Engagement Committee, we will begin with an initial release of the study to the community on Aug. 24 here at the JFO campus. Monthly discussions will follow around specific findings and connections to various aspects of Jewish Omaha. Here are a few highlights from the study to pique your interest: • As we shared at the annual meeting, we are a larger Jewish community than we have thought. For most of my life, we have thought we were roughly 6,500 people. The study indicates we are 8,800 Jews in 5,150 households. • 65% of the Jewish community lives west of 72nd Street,
22% live east of 72nd Street, and 14% are scattered around the edges of Omaha. • 78% of households own their own home. • 25% are aged 65 yrs. and over.
• 2015 median income is $75,000. • 1% of the Jewish community lives below the federal poverty level. See the graph showing our Jewish community by age. Please plan to join us on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. to learn more about the study results and to help plan our course of action. You can direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The billionaire who founded Birthright has a private zoo Ben SaleS MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. | JTA hen Michael Steinhardt strolls around his 55-acre backyard, one of his favorite animals to see is the scimitar-horned oryx, whose antlers sweep back from its head like the swords for which they are named. But Steinhardt didn’t much like finding out that a (literally) horny oryx had stabbed a zebra to death during a testosterone-fueled mating season three years ago. The zebra incident is, thankfully, an outlier on his sprawling estate about an hour north of Manhattan, home to at least 30 species of animals as well as more than 100 birds. It’s been called a “private zoo,” but that’s true only in the sense that St. Peter’s Basilica is Pope Francis’ local church. I expected animals in cages, a few serene ponds with exotic fish, maybe some petting opportunities. I didn’t expect to pass a spiral bamboo climbing structure (for humans), to take a walk across a rickety rope bridge in the middle of a forest, or to find owls squawking at me, Harry Potter-style, in the middle of the day, causing me to re-evaluate whether the expression “night owl” is really even accurate. Steinhardt tells me I can ride a tortoise, bareback, a few feet away. Usually I try to remove myself from the stories I cover. But I mount the reptile. “Tortoise equestrian” is generally not the first phrase that comes to mind when discussing Steinhardt, the hedge fund billionaire who helped create Birthright, the free 10-day trips to Israel for young Jews. But Steinhardt’s zoo, at around 15 years old, is only slightly younger than Birthright – and it reveals a totally different side of the man’s personality.
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Steinhardt fashions himself as the disruptive Jew- keets and fish he had as a child, and as an adult he ish innovator – outspoken about the shortcomings of has built an ecosystem of flora and fauna from across American Judaism, discussing it in full, extemporane- the globe. If Steinhardt is a kind of Moses with ous paragraphs and ready to put his money where his Birthright, on a mission to bring the Jews (briefly) to mouth is. He has embarked on venture after venture Israel, here he is Noah – animals from all over the – first the free Israel trips, then a network of Hebrew-language charter schools, now a museum of natural history at Tel Aviv University that will open this summer. The museum is a way for Steinhardt to merge his love of fauna with his love of Israel -- especially because he says he's not allowed to import Israeli animals across the ocean. He is eager to de- Michael Steinhardt, who takes regular 90-minute strolls around his 55-acre priCredit: Ben Sales fend all of these pro- vate zoo, enjoys interacting with his tortoises. grams with statistics proving their worth. And despite world now surround him two by two. his very high profile, Steinhardt says his Jewish iniHe feels a tranquility on the grounds because they tiatives are really about other people – the half-million are blissfully free of the kinds of problems his philanJewish young adults who have gone on Birthright, thropy is trying to solve. In Israel, the Jews fight with say, or the students who attend the charter schools. the Palestinians. At his zoo, the swan lies with the But the zoo is all about Steinhardt himself; he made capybara. it solely so he and his family could live among beauty. Many of the animals on the estate roam on rolling Steinhardt likes to meander from field to field, intro- hills enclosed with wooden fences. The swans and ducing visitors to red kangaroos, marmosets or wal- capybaras -- the world's largest rodent -- lounge on labies, an Australian marsupial. the bank of a pond among scattered landscaped trees Steinhardt's love of animals began with the para- and stones. Some of the more carnivorous animals do
Photo by Hooton Images
live in cages – like a group of serval cats – though the enclosures lead out to small, separate fields. The marmosets, a New World monkey species, live in tall, rectangular cages with a complex branch infrastructure tailored for climbing. Birds flit and perch inside an aviary. He is vague about his zoo’s specs – how much it costs to run (Steinhardt ignores the question), how he stays within regulations governing private zoos (it’s all legal, he assures: "The local police are perfectly nice.") and how many people he employs to tend to the animals (his answer: “1.2 percent of the male population of Nicaragua,” which comes out to roughly 34,000 people. He is kidding.). At the end of the walk through the zoo, plus a visit to his private strawberry garden, we hop on a golf cart that takes us through much of the rest of the estate – sloping paths through unmanicured forests, water trickling down a rock sculpture, a large, boxy house in a clearing that Steinhardt is building for his daughter’s family. And then, at the finish of the odyssey, we see the zedonks. Half-zebra, half-donkey – Steinhardt prefers the word “zonkey” – they stand in a trio, brown pack animals covered in black stripes, a puffy black mane and pointy ears sprouting from their necks and heads. Not far away are camels, which we all but ignore. The zedonks approach us warily, intruders in their habitat, and let us observe them. But by then, Steinhardt is transforming back into the billionaire philanthropist – taking business calls, coordinating logistics for how we would leave. We have been with the animals for more than an hour. Now it is time to return to America, its Jews and their problems.
The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | B1
C O M M U N I T Y
Here’s why Israel and India’s leaders couldn’t get enough of each other RoN KAMPeAs WASHINGTON | JTA arefoot walks on the beach, warm hugs, lots of mutual admiration, hesitant attempts to speak each other’s language. And giggles. e bromance between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel -- culminating this week in Modi’s historic Israel visit -- played out like a young adult summer novel. But "India and Israel" was never written in the stars: One of the world’s largest democracies kept its distance from one of its loneliest for years. India recognized Israel in 1950, and Israel soon opened a consulate in Mumbai, home to a substantial Jewish community. But it took until 1992 for India to establish full ties, and until the middle of the last decade it was slow going. What has happened? Here’s a rundown: The non-issue of nonalignment India was one of the five co-founders in 1956 of the Nonaligned Movement, an attempt by emerging nations to establish a vanguard against American and Soviet influence. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was intrigued by the movement, but ultimately believed it was in Israel’s best interests to throw in with the West. Meanwhile, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, bought into the Arab narrative that Israel was instead a leover of colonialism. at was compounded by the influence on the Nonaligned Movement of another one of its five founders: Gamal Abdel Nasser, then the president of Egypt. “Part of the reason the distance has always been there stems from India taking leadership of the non-aligned, and concerns about colonialism and Israel” that circulated in the movement, said Richard Rossow, the Wadhwani chair in U.S.-India policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. e justification for the existence of a nonaligned move-
ment has ebbed since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, said Cliﬀord May, the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. America is now the only major power. “It’s 2017,” he said. “With whom are you not aligned?” Friends in high places, and high-tech Fresh from the U.S. success in leading the ouster from Kuwait of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces, President George H. W. Bush had a message for allies and would-be allies
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arriving at Ben Gurion Airport. Credit: Edgar Asher hoping to join the post-Soviet New World Order: “In order to have a relationship with the United States in the early 1990s, you have to have a relationship with Israel,” said Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee’s associate executive director for policy, who was in Israel helping to coordinate events surrounding the Modi visit. India was one of the first to sign up, establishing full relations in 1992. At first, trade was limited more or less to diamonds, Isaacson said – Israel is a major diamond-cutting center. But as successive Indian governments encouraged market-driven economies, it expanded to the technical, agricultural and security sectors -- and also Israeli arms
sales to India. e trade relationship is now worth more than $4 billion annually. Indians crave Israeli technology and Israelis crave Indian markets. e signature photo op of the Modi visit was the Indian leader and his Israeli counterpart wading into the ocean near Haifa and talking Israeli desalination techniques. ere were important markers in the emerging relationship under governments led by both of India’s major parties, the Congress Party founded by Nehru, and the more Hindu nationalist BJP, now led by Modi. In 2003, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India, and since the beginning of the 21st century there have been multiple visits by top ministers to both countries. BJP governments, which led the country from 1998 to 2004 and since 2014, have been prone to accelerate the relationship. David Makovsky, the Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said this was in part because the pro-Hindu BJP – and Modi in particular – were less sensitive to the sensibilities of the country’s huge Muslim minority. “You have in the case of Modi someone who is identified with a kind of an India-first orientation that is not inhibited in a way previous Indian leaders may have been because of the domestic makeup of their country,” he said. e Sunni Arab world, another force that once drove Israel’s isolation, is itself more open to dealing with Israel, primarily because of shared threats posed by Iran and radical Islamist terrorist groups. “Some of it plays into the regional changes in the Middle East,” said Ken Jacobson, the Anti-Defamation League’s deputy national director. “e fact that the Saudis can be more open in relations with Israel” opens the way for other countries. Band of (transactional) brothers ere’s a third party to this bromance: President Donald see Israel and India’s leaders on page B2
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B2 | The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017
Israel and India’s leaders Continued from page B1 Trump. Netanyahu, Modi and Trump share an outlook that abjures “globalism," or permanent international alliances advancing loy universal goals. Instead they favor more flexible relationships based on self-interest – currently, countering the perceived threat posed by Islamists. “All three of them seem very simpatico in their meetings with one another,” Jacobson said. “ere’s a feeling of ‘I’m talking to someone who understands me.’” It’s terrorism, stupid May of the Foundation of Defense of Democracies recalled a meeting that Modi had a year ago with representatives of think tanks during a U.S. visit. e Indian leader asked all the representatives to say what was on their minds about the India-U.S. relationship, and an array of topics came up -educational exchanges, trade, employment. Only May mentioned Islamist terrorism, and recalled that when Modi launched into his response, the terrorist threat constituted at least three quarters of his time. “He was clearly concerned about threats from Islamists and jihadists in Pakistan,” May said. “at is part of the reason he would see Israel surrounded by jihadists who want to destroy it” and seek its expertise in preventing such attacks. One of the Indian cities most afflicted by terrorist attacks in recent years has been Mumbai, and another signature moment in the Israel trip was Modi’s meeting with Moshe Holtzberg, 11, the son of Chabad emissaries who were killed in a 2008 terror attack in the city. Speaking at the airport, Modi also cited – to a visibly moved Netanyahu –
the heroism of the Israeli prime minister’s martyred brother, Yonatan, who died leading the 1976 on hijackers in Uganda. But it’s also the Indian diaspora... Isaacson said one of the drivers of the renewed relationship was an Indian-American community eager to forge ties with its Jewish counterpart – and a Jewish community, led by the American Jewish Committee in this particular case, eager to engage. “It’s a sister minority faith community, with immigrant roots, dedicated to education, dedicated to the same basic values that have mobilized our community,” he said. “ey’re natural partners and friends.” Modi, perhaps more than any of his predecessors, believes in engagement with the Indian diaspora. He made a point of meeting with Indian Israelis, believed to number about 100,000, during his visit. Some 10,000 turned up. ...and its traveling Israelis. India for decades has been a favored destination for Israelis taking a year’s break aer completing army service. Bumping into Hebrew speakers in Modi’s home state of Gujarat has become commonplace. Correspondingly, tangents of Indian culture have spread throughout Israel. An Israeli Foreign Ministry video features scenes from a mass yoga experience at an Israeli park captioned, “Indian culture continues to impact and enhance Israeli society.” Netanyahu, clapping his hands, greeted Modi with a hearty Sanskrit “Namaste.” (Modi responded by saying in fractured Hebrew that he was honored to be in Israel, to Netanyahu’s giggling delight.) But don’t get too excited. Makovsky said one of the factors driving Israeli enthusiasm for India is
growing tensions with Europe, Israel’s traditional trading partner, over the Palestinian issue, with European countries increasingly willing to impose economic sanctions on Israel’s settlement enterprise. “ere is a jitteriness that as they put all their eggs in the European basket, that if the environment in Europe turns hostile relating to BDS and other issues, they remain vulnerable,” he said, referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Jacobson of the ADL cautioned against any Israeli outlook that veered too sharply from its Western alliances. “ere’s a long discussion and debate among Israelis about how Israel conducts its foreign policy, its dependency on the United States,” he said. “ere have always been people who say we need to diversify our support. For those of us who care deeply about Israel, there’s no substitute for America.” India is unlikely to give up purchasing oil from Iran, or its other development projects and investments in that country, although the Islamic Republic is Israel’s enemy No. 1. “ere’s a comfort level” in the United States and Israel “with India maintaining its relationship with Iran -- because they will,” said Rossow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, citing the trade relationship and India’s vested interest in maintaining regional relationships. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan separate India from Iran, and all three countries are deeply invested in Afghanistan’s development. “ere’s no good reason for Modi to be picking a fight or getting on Iran’s bad side,” said May, whose Foundation of Defense of Democracies is one of the leading think tanks that otherwise advocates Iran’s isolation.
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The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | B3
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United Way of the Midlands awards $23,000 to the Jewish Federation of Omaha
he Jewish Federation of Omaha is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a grant of $23,000 from United Way of the Midlands to fund a variety of programmatic initiatives through agencies on the Jewish Federation of Omaha campus, Jewish Senior Outreach and Jewish Family Service. The generosity of United Way donors will greatly impact the members of the Jewish community of Omaha. The demographics directly impacted by this grant are youth, seniors and those most vulnerable or in need of direct assistance. United Way’s investment in the Jewish Federation of Omaha include the following: $8,000 for Jewish Senior Outreach geriatric counseling, $15,000 for mental health care and counseling through Jewish Family Service. Jewish Family Service received funding for mental health care and counseling services. This funding provides counseling services to individuals (they need not be Jewish clients) who require a Sliding Fee rate, either because they do not have insurance or income qualify. Jewish Family Service accommodated 188 clients who attended 1820 therapy sessions this past year. Members of the Omaha community received help when access to comparable services were unavailable elsewhere. When Jewish Family Service has the resources available to provide these services, they are fulfilling one of the most important tenets of the Jewish faith: Tikkun Olam, to help repair the world. Jewish Senior Outreach helps seniors improve their quality of life in order for them to increase their overall level of functioning (i.e. remain living in an independent situation with proper nutrition, safety precautions in place, home care referrals and financial assistance if needed), all the while maintaining a connection to the Jewish community for spiritual and cultural support. Jewish Senior Outreach is an important piece in connecting seniors in the community to a professional that is familiar with and qualified to meet physical, psychological, cultural and spiritual needs. Twenty Five year old Asian female and current student at UNO initially entered therapy in order to help her individuate from her family of origin, where individuation is not seen as positive. This client grew up in a verbally abusive home and was now seeking to live independently and to make decisions about her family relationships. During the course of this client's treatment, she ended up taking temporary custody of her nieces who were attending school in the U.S., from
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another country, and living with this client's parents until they could no longer take the verbal abuse now provided to them. This turn of events initially caused a bit of deterioration, having to relive what was done to her; however, in the long run, she was able to be an advocate for the girls, helping to facilitate their return to their country of origin. Prior to this intervention with her nieces, her family outside of the U.S. were being told that she was the family problem. She says about her treatment at JFS: "Being free from both judgment and feelings of shame while I talked about my abuse helped me realize that denial of my abuse never affected me positively, and that it was okay to be hurt by the things my parents told me. The feeling of validation from a complete stranger about my situation helped keep me from blaming myself for the abuse. And as I am on the road of recovery, being able to be less reliant on my counseling sessions and more on myself to deal with my depression and anxiety, gives me the confidence in not only myself, but with how much the counseling/therapy sessions have been helping me become healthier mentally." Alan Potash, CEO of the Jewish Federation Omaha expressed his gratitude to United Way of the Midlands saying this, “Jewish Senior Outreach and Jewish Family Service strive, each and every day, to provide the highest level of service to improve the quality of lives of every individual in our community. We are thankful to United Way for their generous support of our programs and we thank all who contribute to the United Way of the Midlands.” United Way of the Midlands helps the most vulnerable in our community, and works on human service solutions that will benefit our metro area for generations to come. We connect people and organizations with a secure way to donate their financial support and their time, and connect them to a strong network of health and human service programs that help our neighbors build a better life for themselves. Thanks to all who come together at United Way’s table, we are COMMUNITY STRONG. www.UnitedWay Midlands.org The Jewish Federation of Omaha works each day to fulfill its mission to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world. We strive to achieve our goals through the basic core values of Judaism: collective responsibility, community, education, health and well-being, integrity, leadership and stewardship.
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b4 | The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017
(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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About that Conversion Law… AnneTTe vAn De KAmP-WRiGhT Editor of the Jewish Press efore any of us can even begin to form an opinion about the latest kerfuffle surrounding Israeli Conversion Law, we have to first understand what exactly is on the table. That is not as easy as it sounds. We have to go back to 2010, when the Yisrael Beiteinu Party proposed the initial Conversion Bill to ‘jump-start the stalled conversion process.’ According to Yair Ettinger (Haaretz, July 2010) some 320,000 people in Israel were at that point not considered Halachically Jewish. That means they cannot get married or have Jewish funerals. They are Israeli citizens who are living between a rock and a hard place, many from the former Soviet Union. So, conversions were needed; they were arranged under the Prime Minister’s office, which recruited rabbinical judges for that purpose. Problem solved, right? Not so fast. The ultra-orthodox rabbis, no longer a part of the conversion process, nonetheless impacted converts’ lives by simply not acknowledging (and in some cases even annulling) the conversions. The 2010 Bill proposed to give the Chief Rabbinate more ownership in the conversion process. However, that changed the requirements for the converts considerably. The short, simplified question is: who has the ultimate authority when it comes to conversions? Is it the Chief Rabbinate, or is it the State? And what about the 2002 High Court of Justice ruling, which required the Interior Ministry to recognize converts of all denominations, both those performed in Israel and in the Diaspora? Rather than clearing things up, the matter of conversion ended up in Limbo. Now, the question once again is at the forefront: who counts as a Jew? Who gets to decide? (JTA, June 2017) The new Conversion Bill would give the Chief Rabbinate authority over all conversions in Israel. It will prevent Israel from recognizing non-Orthodox conversions, as well as pri-
vate Orthodox conversions. Technically, none of this applies to conversions that are performed in the Diaspora. So, a Jew who undergoes a Reform or Conservative conversion in, for instance, Omaha, would still be granted Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. But, leaders outside of Israel are worried that the level of au-
Besides, what about descendants of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who have Jewish ancestry but are not necessarily Halachically Jewish? What about Ethiopian Jews? The Jewish Federation of North America protested, as did the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Conservative and Reform movements. Not surprisingly, Prime Minister Netanyahu shelved the Bill for six months. In addition, he asked the Supreme Court in Israel to stay its hand during that time (a suit seeking government recognition of non-Orthodox conversions performed in Israel is pending). The temporary reprieve comes in the middle of the Kotel controversy regarding the egalitarian prayer space, which was voted to move forward and subsequently frozen; Netanyahu will have to figure out how to keep pluralism alive and remember we are One People. Credit: xiquinsilva via Wikimedia commons It’s complicated: as Jews, thority this bill allows the Chief Rabbinate in Israel will have we are many and we are diverse; the notion that we should a domino affect. They see it as the first step towards ulti- all be identical, pray the same, live the same, is unrealistic. mately attempting control over diaspora conversions. Why would we act as if there is only one correct way of “This would set back the current reality and make all mat- doing things? It’s fine to believe that, but it’s not attainable. ters of conversion subject to the furthest right of the ultra- Having strong convictions about what it means to be a Jew orthodox world,” Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union in our private life is a good thing. We all have to answer that for Reform Judaism, told JTA. “It would begin the slow ero- question for ourselves. Thinking any of us can answer it for sion of the Law of Return and affect the validity of conver- everyone else will ultimately tear us down. sion throughout the Jewish world.” (JTA, June 2017)
Fed-up Reform leaders are re-thinking their donations to Israel ben SALeS NEW YORK | JTA Daryl Messinger knows she’s going to visit Israel again. But the next time she flies there, it won’t be on El Al. Messinger, the chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, will be boycotting Israel’s national airline as part of her protest of the Israeli government’s two votes last week that empowered its Orthodox sector at the expense of more liberal groups. She’s also going to make a point of buying non-kosher wines produced in Israel -- a show of support for Jews who don’t observe traditional kosher laws. “I want to make sure my dollars are working for my needs and for a pluralistic Israel,” Messinger, of Palo Alto, California, told JTA on Wednesday. “The Israeli economy is the place where our American dollars are really impactful, so we need to be really clear about what goods and services we want to support and see thrive in Israel.” Like many liberal Jewish leaders, Messinger is angry about the recent Israeli Cabinet votes to suspend the expansion of a non-Orthodox prayer area at the Western Wall and to give Israel’s Chief Rabbinate sole authority over official Jewish conversions performed in the country. The votes have outraged American Jewry’s organizational elite, which sees them as a betrayal of Jewish pluralism and of Israel’s symbolic obligations to non-Orthodox Jews around the world. With limited leverage, Jewish leaders and pundits are now suggesting that they use the power of the purse to get their point across. Pundits have dared American Jews to stop giving money to Israeli causes -- from tourist attractions to hospitals -- and its national carrier. And Reform officials have called on their members to redirect their money to groups that advance their ideals. American Jews may not vote in Israel, but they do give money there. According to a 2014 analysis by the Forward, American Jewish groups give nearly $1.8 billion to Israel each year.
“My original gut reaction when I read about what happened was to say, ‘The heck with this,’” said Henry Levy IV, treasurer of the Union for Reform Judaism, or URJ. “Why should I give my money to Israel if they don’t want to recognize me as a Jew, much less believe in egalitarian
A view of the Western Wall in Jerusalem during Sukkot 2015. Credit: Gil Cohen/AFP/Getty Images prayer? My only vote is with my pocketbook. I don’t have a vote as an Israeli.” Levy will not be suspending his giving to Israel, but he and Messinger are two of several active Reform Jewish donors who will be reapportioning their Israel philanthropy. A handful of members of URJ’s Oversight Committee -- a 35-member body mostly elected from among the organization’s 253-member board -told JTA that they would be giving more to nonprofits that champion pluralism rather than large, general-interest Jewish fundraising bodies. Michael Price, a retired musical theater producer from Connecticut, gave frequently over the past six decades to his local Jewish federation, an umbrella for expansive Jewish giving. No more, he says. He’s going to donate more to Reform institutions in the U.S. and around the world, as well as to liberal Zionist organizations like the New Israel Fund and J Street, the dovish pro-Israel lobby. “I will be much more selective to make sure what I give will not be used against me, and by me I mean liberal Jews anywhere in the world,”
Price said. “I will not let Israel fail, but I believe that the right-wing government of Israel, Netanyahu and the rabbinate in Israel are absolutely blind or mean-spirited, blind to the contributions of liberal Jews.” URJ officials aren’t the only ones to publicly question their giving to Israel. This week, Isaac “Ike” Fisher, a board member of the Israel lobby AIPAC from Coral Gables, Florida, threatened to suspend his Israel philanthropy and wrote in an email to JTA that he hopes “Jews in the Diaspora will recognize the threat that a creeping theocracy can have on a democratic state.” Steven Nasatir, president of the Chicago Jewish Federation, told The Times of Israel that any lawmaker who votes for the conversion bill is not welcome in his community. (Bowing to such outrage, Israel’s Cabinet agreed to postpone the conversion law for six months. It has not taken further action on the Western Wall deal.) Nasatir later put out a statement with his federation’s chairman saying “we and our fellow Jewish community leaders will continue to actively engage with Israeli officials, lawmakers, civic and religious leaders, to raise our voices and our concerns.” Usually wary to wade into Israeli controversies and alienate any of their diverse donors, North American federations were nonetheless quick to criticize the Israeli government decisions last week. “We are outraged at two Israeli government actions today that would destroy the fundamental principle that Israel, our Jewish homeland, is a place where all Jews can and must feel at home,” the New York Jewish federation, the country’s largest, said in a statement. Like other federations, it warned Israel that the issue could rupture the relationship between Diaspora Jews and Israel, which is often measured in dollars and cents. “There’s been a remarkable change of stance by federations in North America backing away from See Reform leaders page b5
Israel is losing support among minorities and millennials Ben SaleS JTA What do you think of when you think of Italy? Maybe you picture beautiful works of art set against rolling Tuscan hills. Maybe a steaming plate of spaghetti topped with marinara sauce served with a deep red wine. Now what do you think of when you think of Israel? If you’re like most Americans, you picture walls of concrete enclosing an austere and strict country. e men wear black hats, the women long skirts. Everyone looks pretty serious. at’s what Brand Israel Group, a group of former advertising professionals who set out to sell Israel to Americans, found in a series of focus groups beginning in 2005. e group has since commissioned two surveys of the American public -- in 2010 and 2016 -- and didn’t like what it found. According to the surveys, Israel has pretty broad backing among American citizens, but is losing support among a range of growing demographics. As pro-Israel advocates tout “shared values” between the United States and Israel, fewer and fewer Americans actually think they believe the same things as Israelis. “Shared values are the bedrock of our relationship, and young Americans do not believe Israel shares our values,” said Fern Oppenheim, one of the group’s co-founders. “at’s a huge issue. We have to have a narrative about the heart and soul and humanity of the Israelis.” e survey was conducted online last September and October by the polling firm Global Strategy Group, and sampled 2,600 Americans among a range of demographic groups. Knowledge of Israel has gone up -- but favorability is down: It appears that the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they like it. In 2010, 76 percent of Americans viewed Israel favorably. In 2016, the number had fallen to 62 percent. Levels of support have dropped as well. In 2010, the study found that 22 percent of Americans were “core” supporters of Israel, which dropped to 15 percent by 2016. Israel is losing out among a range of growing demo-
graphics: e groups with relatively high levels of favorability toward Israel, according to the study, included men, Republicans and older Americans. e groups that like Israel less are the mirror image: women, Democrats and millennials, along with African-Americans and Latinos. And those population groups are all growing. A majority of all these groups still sees Israel favorably, but the numbers are falling. Favorability among Democrats dropped 13 points, from 73 percent to 60 percent. Among women, it dropped from 74 percent to 57 percent. Among African-Americans and Latinos, favorability toward Israel fell 20 points each, from about three-quarters each to just over half. Fewer than half of African-Americans and Latinos believe “Israel shares my values.” Most college students hardly hear about Israel at all: Colleges are hotbeds of anti-Israel fervor, right? Not so much. e study found declining results for Israel among college students, but a majority still view Israel favorably. Moreover, contrary to what some advocacy groups might shrei, most college students hardly encounter the Israel debate at all. Oppenheim noted a shiing picture among Jewish college kids. While 84 percent of Jewish college students leaned toward the Israeli side of the conflict in 2010, only 57 percent do now. Americans see Israel as ultra-religious and war-torn: Israel has spent years and millions of dollars trying to portray itself as the place where Gal Gadot invented the cherry tomato on the beach using Waze. Or something. Israel’s touting of its tech industry, warm climate and Mediterranean food may have worked a bit on Americans, who view Israel as innovative (78 percent) and cool (63 percent). But around three-quarters of Americans still see Israel as dominated by conflict. And though only 10 percent of Israeli Jews are haredi Orthodox, 73 percent of Americans view Israel as ultra-religious. So while American Jewish leaders have protested this week that a small haredi minority dominates Israel, that minority, for many Americans, is the image of the Jewish state. Ed. note: is article was editied for length. Read the entire story at www.jta.com.
The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | B5
Continued from page B4 what had previously been an unconditional support of the Israeli government,” said David Baskin, a URJ board member from Toronto. “Everyone is worried that liberal Jews in particular will stop giving to federations, to the extent that federations are supporting Israel, and that’s a well-founded fear.” Other Reform donors demurred from the idea of withholding money from mainstream Jewish groups as a pressure tactic. URJ Vice Chair Jennifer Kaufman said she would not ask anyone to stop giving to federations -- just to consider giving to other organizations as well. “I’m not about to suggest that someone shouldn’t be giving money to where they’ve been giving money,” she said. “I think that’s something everyone has to decide for themselves. I would not be comfortable telling people what they should do with their philanthropic donations.” Even as they spoke of pressuring Israel financially, Reform donors denied any parallel to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, against Israel, and in its official form is anti-Zionist. Instead of isolating Israel economically, these donors are considering increasing their giving -- but changing which Israelis get it. “This is about redirecting funds strategically,” Messinger said. “It’s not about spending less. It’s about investing in areas where it’s clearly promoting democratic, pluralistic Israel -- an Israel we’d like to all be part of.” fielding slates with greater in-house diversity.
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b6 | The Jewish Press | July 14, 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
Please join us for our upcoming events: Annual Membership Meeting, Sunday, aug. 27, 11 a.m. Shabbat Service, Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m. led by Shayna Kurland and Ben Cohen in honor of their wedding weekend. Erev Rosh Hashanah, wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. Curtis Hutt, UNO Schwalb Center. Rosh Hashanah, Thursday, Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m. Anna Mosenkis, New American. Kol Nidre, friday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. Leonard Greenspoon, Creighton University. Yom Kippur, Saturday, Sept. 30, 10:30 a.m. Karen Gustafson, Jewish Family Services. Our High Holiday services are led by Jeff Taxman. Shabbat Speakers Series resumes on friday, oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. led by 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: Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; 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. weDneSDay: Chesed Committe visits Sterling Ridge, 2 p.m. All classes and programs are open to everyone in the Jewish community. Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer. friDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv & Kabbalat
beTh iSrael Synagogue
Shabbat, 7:30 p.m.; Candle Lighting, 8:39 p.m. SaTurDay: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; July Simcha Kiddush, 11:30 a.m.; Insights in the Weekly Torah Reading, 7:35 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 8:20 p.m.; Havdalah, 9:46 p.m. SunDay: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels & Beit Medrash, 9:45 a.m. monDay: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Tamudic Tales with Rabbi Shlomo, noon. TueSDay-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.; Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Shlomo, noon. 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. 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. 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. friDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided; Friday Night Live! Shabbat Evening
CongregaTion b’nai JeShurun
Service, 6:30 p.m. led by the Star City Kochavim; Oneg, 7:30 p.m. hosted by Maureen and Dale Lobb; Candlelighting, 8:38 p.m. SaTurDay: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. led by Randee and David Manley; Torah Study, 10:30 a.m. on Parashat Pinchas; Game Night and Potluck Dinner, 6 p.m.; Havdalah (72 Minutes), 10:08 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 clean-up are needed! We will serve our next meal at 2:30 p.m. For more information, email Sarah Beringer at firstname.lastname@example.org. monDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. TueSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided; Ladies Lunch Group, noon at Grata Bar and Lounge, 68912 A St. (Clocktower). Please contact Deborah Swearingen at 402.475.7528 with any questions. weDneSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. ThurSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided; Trope Class, 6:15 p.m. with Michael Boekstal; High Holidays Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m. If you want to be involved and aren't on the current choir member list, contact Elaine Monnier (402-327-9212 or emonnier@all ophone.com), Holly Heffelbower (hheffel@inebraska. com), or ‘like’ South Street Temple High Holy Days Choir on Facebook. LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, friday, July 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. Jewish Book Club, Sunday, July 23, 2-4 p.m. at Scooters on 84th St. in Lincoln and will discuss A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell. Help in our Temple Gardens! How can you help? Tending the flower beds during the summer: We can also use help with routine weeding and trimming during the 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. 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. friDay: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.
offuTT air forCe baSe
SaTurDay: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Larry DeBruin. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the commu-
roSe blumkin JewiSh home
nity are invited to attend. friDay: Shabbat Comes to You at Remington Heights, 4 p.m.; Shabbat Service, 6 p.m.
SaTurDay: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Morning Services, 10:30 a.m. Torah Reader: Beth Slovut. SunDay: Bike Outing with Rabbi Stoller, 9 a.m. Join us for a 7 mile casual ride with some moderate climbs. The bike will last roughly 1.5 hours and we'll be led by special guide
Marty Shukert featuring Rabbi Stoller. Meet at Blue Line in Dundee at 9 a.m. to start and finish at the Dundee Dell for socializing. Please call Temple Israel, 402.556.6536 to register. TueSDay: Board of Trustees Meeting, 7 p.m.; Grief Support Group, 7 p.m. weDneSDay: Movie & Discussion Night at Temple Israel: I am. Shimon Peres, 7 p.m. Movie followed by a discussion. Young Families PJ Party with Havdallah, Saturday, July 22, 5 p.m. You’re invited to join Temple Israel and PJ Library! We will say goodbye to Shabbat with a Havdallah service, dinner together, create our own havdallah sets, and more! We welcome all families with young children, young couples, or anyone wanting to meet new people at Temple Israel. Cost: $5/person, $20 max/family. Please RSVP to Temple Israel, 402556-6536, by wednesday, July 19. after July 19, the cost is $10/person. Rosh Chodesh Kick-Off Event, Sunday, July 23, 4-6 p.m., home of Danielle Gordman. Please join Temple Israel’s multigenerational women’s group for our kick-off event! Join us poolside for wine, apps, and chats as we welcome Karen Flayhart, wife of Rabbi Brian Stoller, into our community! Please RSVP to Temple Israel, 402.556.6536, by July 14. Holy Smokes Cigar Smoker with Rabbi Brian Stoller, Tuesday, July 25, 7 p.m. This men’s only (21+) evening featurs cigars, spirits, beer and philosophical discussions of men’s issues and perspectives from Jewish texts. Maj Jongg Tournament, Sunday, aug. 6. Registration fee is $35 and includes breakfast, lunch and one raffle ticket. The registration deadline is friday, July 28. To register, please call the Temple Israel office, 402.556.6536. Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
friDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided; Services, 6:30 p.m. SaTurDay: Shabbat Morning Services, 10 a.m. There will be no Kiddush lunch this week. monDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. TueSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided; Ladies Lunch Group, noon at Grata Bar and Lounge, 68912 A St. (Clocktower). Please contact Deborah Swearingen at 402.475.7528 with any questions. weDneSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. ThurSDay: LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, friday, July 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at TI. Kosher lunch and snack provided. Jewish Book Club, Sunday, July 23, 2-4 p.m. at Scooters on 84th St. in Lincoln and will discuss A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.
To SubmiT obiTuarieS To The JewiSh PreSS:
Email the Press at email@example.com; mail to 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154; or online at the Jewish Federation of Omaha website: www.jewishomaha.org. Click on Jewish Press and go to Submit Announcements.
anti-Semitic graffiti spray painted near high school in Denver suburb JTA Anti-Semitic graﬃti was spray painted on a highway underpass near a high school in a Denver suburb. “Build that wall” and “Hitler was right” were painted next to a drawing of a swastika near a high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. e graﬃti discovered last week by a resident out jogging is the sixth incident in the MetroDenver area in recent months, e Denver Channel reported. e Douglas County Sheriﬀ ’s Oﬃce investigated the crime, but closed the case aer not finding any clues with which to identify a suspect, according to the report. e Anti-Defamation League in a statement condemned the graﬃti attack. “ere is no
place for such hateful, bigoted messages in our community,” said ADL Regional Director Scott L. Levin. e ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic incidents found 45 incidents in Colorado in 2016, compared to only 18 incidents in 2015. In a related story, JTA reported that a Jewish family in Phoenix decided to leave anti-Semitic graﬃti painted on their mailbox for all to see in an eﬀort to raise awareness about the issue. Shoshana and Ari Simones of Phoenix found the graﬃti, including a spray painted swastika and the word Jew, when they returned home from a July 4 trip last week. ey said they may paint over the swastika but leave the word Jews on the mailbox, or paint the word proud where the swastika was.
The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017 | b7
lifecycles in memoRiam
milton P. abRamSon
Milton P. Abramson passed away on July 2 at age 89. Services were held July 5 at Golden Hill Cemetery. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beatrice W. Abramson. Memorials may be made to the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.
toby (edith) Fellman
Continued from page a1 Oklahoma City as a Delegate and served as treasurer. Toby’s mother, Ida Fellman, opened The Automatic Car Wash in 1959 at 524 South 24th Street. Toby joined her mother in 1966 and soon became an integral part of the activities at the car wash. She not only performed the hard, physical labor of hand drying the cars, but managed the day-to-day task of record keeping, supervised the other workers, and learned the mechanical operation of the heavy equipment. Many of her customers, especially the weekly Sunday morning after-church-crowd and the officers of the Omaha Police Department, became life-long friends. Sandy continued: “With the closing of The Automatic Car Wash in 2007 after her heart surgery, her job title quickly changed to that of ‘professional volunteer’ at Temple Israel. Now she could not only attend Friday evening services, but Torah studies on Saturdays, followed by Saturday morning services. She assisted with different grade levels in religious school and the children were the love of her life.” Toby’s strength was twofold: assisting wherever she was needed, whether that meant having frank talks with the clergy or serving the vegetarian option at Wednesday’s Family dinner, and being the welcoming face one would see upon entering Temple’s lobby. No matter what, when or who: Toby was there with a smile. Numerous are the stories from congregants who, upon coming to Temple for the first time, were greeted by Toby. Making people who enter a new place feel welcome and wanted is a talent that Toby shared with all of us. But she didn’t stop there: she’d remember you the next time. And the time after that. To the clergy and congregation, Toby was much more than a friend: she was family. The Union Prayer Book states: “Teach us the opportunities for good that each day brings, that at its conclusion we may look back with joyful knowledge that we have truly sought to serve You. We have learned: “Say always, ‘The world was created for my sake,’ and never say, ‘Of what concern is all this to me?’ Live as if all life depended on you. Do your share to add some improvement, to supply even one thing that is missing, and to leave the world a little better for your stay in it.” Toby did more than her share. May her memory continue to serve as a shining example, and may it be for a blessing. Toby Fellman passed away June 20 at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by her parents, Morris and Ida Fellman. Toby is survived by her sister Rosemarie Fellman and many special grandchildren and friends. A funeral service was held at Temple Israel, June 23. Memorials may be sent to Temple Israel, the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society or the Omaha Symphony.
JenniFeR beth kay
Jennifer Beth Kay passed away on June 25 at age 37. Services were held June 28 at Beth El Cemetery Chapel. She was preceded in death by grandparents Lily and Joseph Kay, and Dora and Ben Edelbaum. She is survived by sons, Benjamin Chamberlin and David Kay; parents, Helen and Les Kay; sister, Joanna Kay; fiancée, Mathew Briardy; and aunts, uncles: Rebecca and Howard Kay of Des Plaines, IL, Arla and Harold Edelbaum and Estelle Edelbaum of Kansas City; and cousins. Memorial may be made to Beth El Youth Scholarships, Beth Israel Youth Scholarships or the organization of your choice. Former Omahan Byron Raznick of Denver passed away on June 6. Services were held June 7 at AISH Denver. Interment was held at Rose Hill Cemetery. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Tillie Raznick; daughter, Carol Raznick, daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Curtis Goodman, and son and daughterin-law, Richard and Judy Raznick; grandchildren: Allyson and Anthony Naes, Aric, Renee, and Madison Goodman; sisters and brothers-in-law, Sandy and Dr. Terry Bryant, Toby and Marshall Forbes, and sister, Shirley Schwartz. Memorials may be made to AISH Denver, 9550 E Belleview Ave, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 or Cardiology Research Fund, in Memory of Byron Raznick, Univ. of Colo. Health Foundation, 303.752.8120, https://uch. thankyou4caring.org.
Ann Wolfson passed away on July 1 at Heritage Sterling Ridge, Omaha. Services were held July 3 at Golden Hill Cemetery, 42nd and Brand Streets. She was preceded in death by parents, Sam and Sarah Wiesman; husband, Bill Wolfson; sister, Bette Alloy. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Laverne Feingold and Allen Goodall of Denver, CO, Donna and Stephan Kort of Indianapolis, IN, son and daughter-in-law, Louis Wolfson and Renee Hirsch of Omaha; grandchildren: Renee Hilton of Denver, CO, Ron Feingold of Orlando, FL, Robert Kort of Indianapolis, IN, Debbie and Eric Hoffman of Chandler, AZ, Joshua Wolfson of Phoenix, AZ, Naomi Wolfson of Morton Grove, IL.; great grandchildren: Juliana, Vivian, Roxanne, Gabrielle, Josephine, Emily, Kate, Daniel, Sarah, Drew, and Jace; brother, Dan Wiesman of Mt. Joy, PA, and brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Anna Wiesman of Omaha. Ann was a long time, loyal employee of Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and a long-time member of Beth El Synagogue. Memorials may be made to the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home or the American Red Cross.
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Rachel Shukert and Ben Abramowitz announce the June 14 birth of their son, Theodore Basil Abramowitz. Grandparents are Aveva and Marty Shukert, and Kerry and Joe Abramowitz. Great grandparents are the late Doris and Nate Shukert and the late Pearl and Dave Hahn.
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The Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha was the setting for the May 28, 2017, wedding of amanda elizabeth bucher and Colin Joseph belmont. Officiants at the 5:30 p.m. ceremony were Beth El Synagogue’s Rabbi Steven Abraham, who conducted the religious portion of the service, and The Honorable Lawrence Gendler, who led the civil ceremony. Amanda is the daughter of Michelle and Ron Bucher, and the granddaughter of Joan Kaiman, the late Ben Kaiman, and Shirley and Gerald Bucher. Colin is the son of Jill and Mark Belmont, and the grandson of Barbara and Marshall Kushner, and the late Florence and Joseph Belmont. Following a honeymoon in Jamaica, the couple will reside in Kansas City, where Colin is a senior account manager at VML, and Amanda is a pharmacist for CVS.
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b8 | The Jewish Press | July 14, 2017
How a Chinese-Jewish chef finds inspiration on a North Dakota farm Gabe FrieDMaN JTA ot much could have prepared Molly Yeh for moving from New York City to Grand Forks, North Dakota — a city of a little over 50,000 residents near the state’s eastern border with Minnesota. At the time of her move in 2013, Yeh (pronounced “yay,” as her website explains with several exclamation points) was a Juilliard graduate and classically trained percussionist playing professional gigs around New York City. She oen hosted concerts in her Brooklyn apartment and enjoyed biking around the city with her then-boyfriend to see how many shows and events they could cram into one day. She was passionate about food — especially when it came to Jewish staples like the matzah ball soup and hummus she had loved since childhood in a Chicago suburb, where she grew up with an Ashkenazi mother and Chinese father. But her casually updated food blog, which she had started a few years before during a family vacation, was of secondary concern. When she chose to follow her boyfriend-turned-husband to his family beet farm in North Dakota, food gradually became more of a priority. Newly unemployed, Yeh took a job in a local bakery working a late-night shi. She began to put more energy into her food blog, which then started to gain some traction online. Betty Crocker soon contacted her to contribute recipes. Four years later, the 28-year-old Yeh is one of the internet’s most popular food bloggers, with 245,000 followers on Instagram. Her site, my name is yeh -- it uses only lowercase letters as an aesthetic choice -- oﬀers a cornucopia of impeccably photographed culinary treats (she also takes all the photos). Many of her creations incorporate foods and ingredients that are popular in Jewish and Israeli cuisine, such as challah, shakshuka, hummus, tahini and shawarma.
Some of the entries on her site, such as the scallion pancake challah and hummus dumplings, point to her dual heritage. Besides the recipes and photos, Yeh is known for her personal, funny and engaging blog voice. She oen mentions her husband, Nick Hagen, whom she calls “eggboy” in blog posts, because he used to eat several eggs each day. Sometimes she gives her recipes humorous names, such as the “exboyfriend latkes.” Yeh’s move to North Dakota kickstarted her eﬀorts to make her work stand out in the crowded food blogosphere, but it also gave her an unexpected narrative that only added to her unique appeal — and gave her a lot Molly Yeh has taken the food blogging to write about. Last world by storm with her bubbly personality and creative recipes. fall, she released a Credit: Chantell Quernemoen book on the whole story (with plenty of recipes) titled Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm. At first, she experienced some “culture shock” in her new North Dakota community, which she called “challah-less” and “babka-less.” “Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago and living in New York, it didn’t even strike me as a possibility that a place
could really exist without tons of Jews,” Yeh said. “If I wasn’t going to be maintaining Jewish identity and celebrating Jewish holidays and cooking Jewish food on the farm, nobody was going to be.” She made it her mission to inject some Jewish food and culture into the farm community. Perhaps none of her recipes captured the goal as well as her Hummus With Meat All Over It, which she wrote about in the Forward, a Jewish publication that she occasionally contributes to. “Question: How do you make a plate of hummus filling enough for a bunch of big burly farmers? Answer: Put meat all over it,” she wrote. e Hagen family quickly took to Yeh’s Jewish food-making ways. During her first year on the farm, for example, Passover coincided with Easter — so the family invited her to bake loaves of challah to include in their Easter meal. “My mother-in-law is a hummus-making machine now,” Yeh said. In turn, Yeh took to the Midwestern flavors she was surrounded by. She now oen includes ingredients grown on the farm, such as beets and rhubarb, in her recipes. She admitted that it can be hard to find ingredients she needs for some of her more unusual recipes — tahini and hibiscus flour were two that she had recently ordered online while speaking with JTA recently from her North Dakota home. She oen longs for the array of quirky ingredients that can be found in New York markets like Fairway or Zabar’s. e trade-oﬀ, she says, is that in summer she can walk outside and snatch fresh vegetables from the farm, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, to make an Israeli-style breakfast salad. Reproducing some of her other New York Jewish food staples has been a little more diﬃcult — even for an accomplished chef. Her first attempt at bagels was, in her words, a complete failure. “I have no choice, I have to keep going!” she said.
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