thejewishpress AN AGENCY OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF OMAHA
Yeh for Fed: 2nd annual event sure to satisfy
D ECEMBER 1 , 2 0 1 7 | 1 3 K ISL EV 5 7 7 8 | V O L . 9 8 | NO . 8 | C a nd leli g h ti ng | FRID AY , D ECEMBER 1 , 4 : 3 8 P. M.
Marty Ricks: Distinguished service for charitable planning Page 2
Beth El Hanukkah Maker Workshop Page 5
After Nazis killed her family, this woman fought back Page 6
inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles
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plan delightful December doings
Maggie Conti Director of Activities and Volunteer Services, RBJH Pull on your galoshes and join the Mainstreeters December activities. The days may be cold, but the atmosphere is always warm when you’re with friends.
Credit: Clay Enos
danny Cohn and Kari tauber gabbY blair out soiree left hungry for more! The FED Staff Writer, Jewish Press kick-off, co-chaired by happy couple he first FED event was a huge Danny Cohn and Andrew Miller, featured success. The innovative pop-up delectable cuisine and engaging company. dinner took place in David “We hosted pop-up dinners while living in Radler’s photo studio, and Chicago,” explains Cohn, “and felt it would See Fed 2018 page 3 those with a ticket to this sold
Ready, set, go! 2017 Hanukkah Extravaganza is coming up fast
gabbY blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press Excitement is building for the Hanukkah Extravaganza Sunday, Dec. 10 from noon-2 p.m. in the JCC Auditorium. This year’s celebration, free and open to the community, is chock-full of family friendly games, crafts and activities sure to delight kids and adults alike! Remember to bring your tzedakah for our electronic pushka and help boost the total as we raise ‘Hanukkah for Houston’ funds! All money raised for this benefit will be matched by a generous donor and
will go towards throwing a Hanukkah celebration at the Houston JCC, which suffered terrible damage due to Hurricane Harvey. Some of the facility was under as much as 10 feet of flood waters and almost 30% of JCC preschool families were displaced from their
homes. Let’s help shine a little light and share a little love with our Houston friends this Hanukkah! Several other communities have decided to also send their tzedakah to Hanukkah for Houston after hearing about the Omaha effort. Atlanta See hanukkah extravaganz page 2
A Free Afternoon at the Movies: Wonder Woman: Friday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m. in the JCC Theater. Complimentary popcorn, warm and delicious, will be served. No reservations necessary. Bring a pal. Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised in a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny. Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of violence and some suggestive content). The Running time: 2 hours and 21 minutes. If you would like to enjoy a Star Deli lunch in the Blumkin Home Auditorium before the movie, call Maggie Conti at 402.334.6521 to reserve a table. Lunch is on your own. The Star Deli opens for business at 11:30 a.m. Hanukkah Concert: Thursday, Dec. 14, 1:30 p.m. in the Silverman Auditorium at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. No charge. As the song says, “Oh Hanukkah, oh, Hanukkah, come light the menorah. Let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora.” Anna Mosenkis, at the piano, will provide musical inspiration for this joyous Hanukkah sing-along. There will be sizzling latkes, too. Everyone is invited, so invite a friend. If you have questions, call Maggie Conti at 402.334.6521. Sunday, Dec. 17, 2 p.m. in the Jewish Community Center Theater. The JCC Musical: Annie. Cost: $5 per person, a saving of 50% to Mainstreeters only. Note: we have only a limited number of tickets. First, come, first served. Pick up your tickets the day of the show at Will Call. Make check payable to Jewish Social Services and send reservation with full payment to: Jewish Social Services, c/o Maggie Conti, 323 S. 132nd Street, Omaha, NE 68154. For questions call See Mainstreeters page 3
Marty Ricks: Distinguished service for charitable planning
2 | The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017
Continued from page 1 and Broward County, Florida, are two such communities that have enlisted their JCC, Jewish Student Union, Chabad, synagogues, Jewish Day Schools, preschools and the list is growing. New this year is a hands-on mitzvah project: Wish for Wheels (www.wish forwheels.org). Take a break from the inflatable house and carnival games and join your friends in building a bike for a child of Mercy Housing in Omaha! The Wish for Wheels program, through the generosity of the Staenberg Family Foundation, will be on hand with 30 bikes that need assembly! Plan to join in the mitzvah, going on in the social hall during the Extravaganza, and know that you are bringing light and joy to children everywhere! Donâ€™t forget! Star catering will have latke and grilled cheese lunches available for purchase ($5) and Friedel Jewish Academy has all your bottled water and sufganyot needs covered, for just a
buck-a-piece! Cash only please! Come join chairs Dina and Jason Cisler family, Laurie and Jason Epstein Family, Sara and Ari Kohen family, Emily and Nick Ray Family, Lauren and Tommy Tam Family to celebrate and kick off your Hanukkah with good deeds! Those interested in making a pre-event donation to â€˜Hanukkah for Houston,â€™ volunteering for the
Hanukkah Extravaganza, or being a â€˜Wish for Wheelsâ€™ bike build mitzvah project leader, should contact Louri Sullivan as soon as possible at 402.334.6485 or lsullivan@jewishoma ha.org. Special thanks to The Esther K. Newman Memorial Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation for supporting the Hanukkah Extravaganza!
Gabby blaiR Staff Writer, Jewish Press his yearâ€™s recipient of the Robert Sandberg Distinguished Service Award is none other than our very own, Marty Ricks. This award, presented by The Nebraska Chapter of Charitable Gift Planners, recognizes honorable, notable and distinctive service in the planned giving profession, commemorating Mr. Robert Sandberg and his legacy in this field. In order to qualify for nomination, Ricks, an active member of The Charitable Gift Planners of Nebraska, had to demonstrate his commitment to the mission of the Marty Ricks organization, serving as a mentor and making a difference in the lives of others. Ricks, whose career in non-profit charitable work in Omaha began in 1998, first with The Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation, and then at The Jewish Federation of Omaha, was nominated by longtime friend and colleague, Howard Epstein. â€œMarty Ricks is a man devoted to the ongoing success and continuity of Omahaâ€™s Jewish community. He successfully steered The Foundation though turbulent economic times and raised the profile of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation, not only in our own community, but throughout the broader secular community of greater Nebraska. Thanks to Martyâ€™s efforts, philanthropically-minded citizens of Omaha have come to recognize the importance of gift planning and endowments. He encouraged me to succeed him at the Foundation and served as my mentor. His advice and guidance have been invaluable and I continue to call upon him for advice.â€? Iris Ricks couldnâ€™t be more proud of her husband. â€œMarty is not the type of man who seeks out recognition. He is humble and his best reward is feeling that he has been helpful. He accomplished great work with this organization before he retired; and now, as a volunteer, he still finds great fulfillment working with them. He was so very pleased to find out about his nomination and I am just so proud of Marty: the person he is and the work he does.â€? Marty himself is very flattered to be this yearâ€™s Sandberg Award recipient. â€œI have been part of this organization for quite some time and know many of the past award winners. These are some very caring, talented folks who work hard to ensure the best opportunities are available for the future. I am honored to be in their company.â€? The award ceremony will take place at 11a.m. on Dec. 1 at the Quarry Oaks Clubhouse near Ashland, NE.
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Getting creative: Arts education in the 21st century SaRa KohEN Experts agree: educating children in the arts is important. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explained that the arts (1) “significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds students will go on to graduate from college”; (2) “stimulat[e] the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in the global economy”; and (3) “are valuable for their own sake, ... empower[ing] students to create and appreciate aesthetic works.” On Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at Friedel Jewish Academy, a panel of experts will discuss the importance of arts education in children’s development, the current state of arts education in the schools, and best practices in arts education. The panel includes four experts, each of whom will speak for approximately ten minutes, before taking questions from the audience.
Continued from page 1 be a fun and unique way to engage Jewish Omaha’s next generation of members, leaders and philanthropists, giving them a ‘taste’ of what the Federation is and what it does, in an appealing and fresh new way.” This year’s event is being cochaired by Danny Cohn and Kari Tauber, another native Omahan who has recently returned home with her family after living in Chicago. “Kari and I both have backgrounds in PR and she is amazingly creative, making her an excellent candidate to partner with for this event. Next year, Kari will take the lead and choose a second co-chair for the 2019 FED; we want to keep it rolling so that at least one person overlaps each year.” Planning for the 2018 FED event began in early June, as co-chairs Cohn and Tauber wanted to put together a perfect evening for their guests. With help from JFO Senior Director of Community Impact and Special Projects, Louri Sullivan, celebrity chef and cookbook author Molly Yeh has been recruited to curate the evening’s experience. Yeh, an Asian Jew hailing from Chicago, studied percussion at New York City’s esteemed Julliard, performing with orchestras around the world before finding her passion in the culinary arts. Now content living on a 5th generation farm in North Dakota with her husband and their little flock of chickens, Yeh has earned high praise by the New York Times for her debut cookbook Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm; one of the Fall’s top releases for 2016 and winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals “Judge Award.” Yeh also hosts the award-
Panelist Jeremy Johnson, Ph.D., is the Director for the Center for Innovation in Arts Education and the head of the Art Education department at
UNO. Dr. Johnson will discuss the importance of arts education from a child development perspective. Next, Michelle Johnson will talk about the current state of arts education in schools. Ms. Johnson is the General Manager of Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (“OAYO”) and formerly worked in music education for over 30 years, most recently as the Instrumen-
winning food blog of the year My name is Yeh, and has been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, New York Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair and The Jewish Forward. “The previous FED theme was modern Jewish comfort foods. This year, with Molly’s expertise and vision, we are having an entire dining experience inspired by summer camp. While I cannot give away details of our exciting menu, I can say that there is going to be an epic take on “bug juice” as our signature cocktail!” says Cohn excitedly. In addition to Co-chair ‘Camp Directors,’ Cohn and Tauber, this year’s FED host ‘Counselors’ include: Shira and Ranni Steven Abraham, Jessica and Shane Cohn, Lindsay and Alex Epstein, Laurie and Jason Epstein, Jessica and Jamie Feinstein, Carrie and Stephen Fingold, Amy and Andy Isaacson, Jaime and Brian Nogg, Maggie and Jed Ortmeyer, Shiri and David Phillips, and Melissa and Matt Shapiro. The 2018 FED event will take place at Pella in the Blackstone Building 303 S. 41st Street on Jan. 27, from 710 p.m. Ben-Gurion level donors to this year’s Annual Campaign are invited to a pre-reception and book signing with Molly Yeh at 6:30 p.m. Cost to attend is $50 per person; adults only please. RSVP deadline is Jan. 12 and the event is limited to the first 100 RSVPs. “Color war” attire requested: Red, white or blue. Free parking available at the Med Center Garage on the SW corner of 41st and Farnam Street. Special thanks to the Staenberg Family Foundation Anything Grant and Special Donor-Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation for helping fund FED 2018!
tal Music Supervisor for Omaha Public Schools. Two experienced teachers will then discuss best practices and practical information about arts education. Anne Twedt, the art teacher at Friedel Jewish Academy, will discuss her philosophy of arts education. In working with students, Ms. Twedt focuses on the process, rather than the finished product, and seeks to make connections between art and other subjects, like science and math. The final panelist, Julie Sandene, has taught elementary vocal music for over 30 years and is currently the vocal music teacher at Friedel Jewish Academy. She will talk about the social aspects of music education. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please contact Mercedes Obora to let us know you are coming or with any questions at friedelacademy@ fjaomaha.com or 402.334.0517.
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The Road Scholar Continued from page 1 Maggie at 402.334.6521 It’s Communications Fee Time: 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for movies, trips, great speakers, classes and more. This year’s Communication Fee -- $5 per person or $10 per couple (from January 2018 to December 2018). Please make your check payable to Jewish Social Services and mail to Mainstreeters c/o Dr. Jim Wax, 1103 No. 93rd Street, #350, Omaha, NE 68114. Mainstreeters welcomes all Jewish residents of the Omaha area age 60 plus. The group offers a mixed-bag of learning opportunities plus social and cultural events. There are no membership dues but we very much appreciate everyone who helps us offset Mainstreeters’ communication costs for printing, postage, and mailing. Thanks in advance for your support.
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4 | The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017
ADL Plains States Region to adopt a school in Puerto Rico
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paM MOnsky filled with school supplies will be sent to the Community Development Liaison, ADL/CRC Plains contact in Puerto Rico and then transported States Region by four-wheel drive vehicle to the village. Anti-Defamation League Plains States Region to Adopt a School in Puerto Rico recently, The Civil Rights Committee of the ADL/CRC Plains States Region in Omaha responded to a request for help by adopting a K-6 grade school in Puerto Rico that lost everything in Hurricane Maria recently. The school is the Ruben Rodriguez Figuero School in Naranjito Municipality in Puerto Rico. There are 100 students attending the school. Members of the adL-CrC Civil rights Committee work in an asOn Nov. 20, members of sembly line to pack over 100 backpacks with school supplies. the Civil Rights Committee met to pack up the backpacks and get them ready for shipping to Puerto Rico. The success of this project is due to the generosity of Missy Adams, Carol Bloch, the Bookworm, Susan Cohn, Tom and Darlynn Fellman, Carol Goldstrom, Dan Douglas, Margaret Kirkeby, Jen Koom, Joanie Lehr, Glenn Miller, Rita Murphy, National Council of Jewish Women, Omaha Section, Corrie Oberdin, Judy Rhodes, Susan Rothholz, Fran Sillau, Debbi Zweiback and Rosie Zweiback. Mary-Beth Muskin, adL-CrC regional director, left, Ayanna The village currently has no Boykins, education director and scott kurz, administrative asmail service, so backpacks sistant with the boxes ready for shipment.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Jewish Way to Death and Mourning
AArON KurtzMAN for Beth Israel Synagogue eath and mourning are subjects that everyone must face during their lives. For many, it is a confusing and tiring process made more challenging by not fully understanding how to handle such a difficult time. For others who have a deeper knowledge of the process, it can be a period that brings one closer to Hashem and Torah. There are a great many misconceptions about what Jewish mourning is and why it is done. As such, it is imperative that one learns the varying laws and traditions ahead of time to be able to take care of one’s Neshama (soul) properly. On Dec. 10 and 17, Rabbi Ari Dembitzer will give the community the opportunity to learn during a class entitled The Jewish Way of Death and Mourning. Classes will meet from 10-11:15 a.m. at Beth Israel Synagogue. “The soul is the part of us that is not limited to our bodies. We have to know how to treat it,” says Rabbi Ari. “These laws will not only guide you along the correct path, but bring you closer to a sense of understanding and love for Hashem.” Rabbi Ari will cover everything from the moment of death to the funeral, including specific cases. Topics like the death of infants, suicide, sitting shiva, and the afterlife will all be discussed in depth. In addition to the laws and rituals, the spiritual aspect of death and mourning will be heavily focused during these classes. The book The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning by Maurice Lamm, will be given to attendees free of charge and it will be referenced throughout the class. Attending is also the opportunity to honor Rabbi Ari. Anyone who knows Rabbi Ari understands teaching and having people learn is a passion. So deep is this passion, he will be teaching the first session on his English birthday, Dec. 10. As a community, what better gift could he receive than that of a room full of enthusiastic students, ready to learn. Sharing that passion will go a long way in creating an environment where everyone can learn and grow under the tutelage of someone who has so much wisdom to offer. The Jewish Way of Death and Mourning class is open to the community, free of charge. Reservations are requested to assure sufficient books are available for attendees. Register on the Beth Israel website at orthodoxom aha.org or call 402.556.6288.
Visit us at jewishomaha.org
The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017 | 5
community Beth el Hanukkah Maker Workshop: The Festival of lights meets science and technology Ozzie NOgg On Sunday, Dec. 3, Beth El Synagogue will offer a Pop Up Hanukkah Maker Workshop at Westroads Shopping Mall. The event, under the leadership of Shira Abraham, runs from 2 to 6 p.m. in the lounge across from Flagship Commons, and is geared for kids aged three to ten. “The overall goal of the program is twofold,” Shira said. “First, to get Jewish youngsters excited about science and technology, and also to present Hanukkah in a fun, engaging way for all of Omaha.” Participants in the Pop Up Workshop will be able to roll their own beeswax candles and make spice and herb-infused olive oil to take home, along with a tiny tin travel menorah. “The kids will also get a kick out of seeing the Potato Clock,” Shira said. “The Potato Clock uses a pair of ordinary spuds to create and power a digital clock. The project is ideal for young science enthusiasts and offers a valuable lesson on the transformative power of green science.” A Jewish Book Fair, hosted by the Friedel Jewish Academy, is part of the afternoon, as is a 3D printed dreidel demo. “I think its important that while Hanukkah
has an ancient story, we can find ways to connect with the holiday in modern ways,” Shira Abraham said. “Today we witness many miracles in science and technology, especially with applications in medicine, engineering and beyond. Beth El’s Pop Up Hanukkah Workshop is
about looking forward — looking forward to what comes next in technology, looking forward to the next generation of makers, and looking forward to the upcoming holiday.” The Dec. 3 Pop Up Hanukkah Workshop is free and open to the public.
JTA A group of German artist-activists have built a replica of the country’s Holocaust memorial outside the home of a leader of a right-wing populist party who has called on Germany to stop apologizing for its Nazi past. Bjoern Hoecke, a leader of the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, criticized the memorial in Berlin in January. “Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,” he said.
He also suggested that more attention be paid to German victims of World War II. The activists from the Center for Political Beauty on Nov. 22 unveiled their replica of the national Holocaust memorial, setting 24 concrete slabs in a garden next to Hoecke’s home in the village of Bornhagen. The group will be renting the property for at least the next two years with money raised in a crowdfunding campaign, AFP reported.
“We are doing our neighborly duty,” the group’s leader, Philipp Ruch, told the German-language Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, according to AFP. “We hope he enjoys the view every day when he looks out the window.” The group reportedly has offered to remove the installation if Hoecke “fall(s) to his knees” in front of it and sincerely asks for forgiveness, in a gesture reminiscent of then-chancellor Willy Brant in 1970 at a memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
A Holocaust memorial replica near far-right leader’s home
Friedel Jewish Academy PTO
Annual Latke Lunch Thursday, Dec. 14 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | JCC Auditorium
Kids’ Meal | $5
Changing your address? Please give us the following information: Your name, old address and new address and when you want the address change to go into effect.
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2 latkes with apple sauce & sour cream, donut holes & a juice box
Adult Meal | $10 3 latkes with applesauce & sour cream, a donut & a bottle of water
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Pre-Orders Appreciated! Contact email@example.com by Dec. 11, 2017 Cash, Checks (Payable to Friedel) and Credit/Debit Cards accepted Questions? Contact the school office, 402-334-0517
After Nazis killed her family, this woman fought back
6 | The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017
community temple israel Caring Committee entering Phase 2
sanDRa MaRtin he Caring Committee of Temple Israel, formed just over a year ago, has now become an established and vital part of our congregation. Our first task was to create and distribute a detailed survey to all our members. We had a great response, and were able to identify not only the needs of our congregants, but also those who were willing to meet those needs, specifically in the areas of meal deliveries and rides to services and medical appointments. Building on our strong foundation, we are gearing up for Phase 2, and inviting more of our congregants to get involved. We are opening up the volunteer options to include those who may be able to provide a specific, one-time service to a member in need, such as giving someone a ride to Temple on a specific date. To facilitate this, sign-up sheets will be provided at many Temple events, such as Ted Talks, book club meetings and other groups. We encourage our congregants to ask each other to volunteer, particularly if they know of someone who is perhaps retired and has extra time to spare. This would be a winwin for everyone! According to Dan Gilbert, one of Temple’s most dedicated volunteers, “Volunteering not only helps the person in need, but it helps me, as well. It makes me feel more centered, more whole. And under the umbrella of Temple, it makes me feel a stronger connection to Judaism.” “I would like our members to think of Temple Israel as their extended family, there to celebrate with them in joyous times, and to lend support to them in difficult times,” said Rabbi Stoller. “Our caring committee is a vehicle to help people in any area of their lives. Whenever we ask people to volunteer, we’re giving them an opportunity to serve others, and that’s a very meaningful way to live.”
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JOsefin DOlsten grenades,” she recounted. “e hand grenades were very NEW YORK | JTA scary because if you pulled the ring [incorrectly], it could Nazis came for Rose Holm’s family in the aernoon. By kill you.” the evening, the 16-year-old was lying among corpses in Partisans would sleep in the forest with little to no prothe underground bunker where she and her family had tection from the elements. been hiding. “e first winter was a very, very bad winter. We used to “I was between those dead ones, and I didn’t know if I’m sleep in the woods under the snow,” Holm said. alive or I’m dead,” Holm, now 92, recalled. ey would make do with whatever food they got from Among those shot and killed non-Jewish Poles, who had been were Holm’s parents, brother threatened that they would be and one of her sisters, as well as killed if they did not aid the some 85 other Jews hiding in fighters. the bunker outside Parczew, a “For survival you do everytown in the eastern part of thing, you don’t think you’re a Poland. Only one family memhuman being,” she said. ber other than Holm survived: Sometimes the partisans would a sister who had le the bunker get a pig to grill in the forest. with her husband and young “e first time was very hard, daughter before the Nazis came. but when you’re hungry you at unimaginable incident don’t ask questions,” Holm said would go on to motivate Holm of eating pork. to fight back against the Nazis. Rose Holm at her apartment holding a photo of her late In one incident, Holm entered Credit: Josefin Dolsten the house of a non-Jewish Pole A few months later, she met a husband, Joe, Oct. 31, 2017. childhood friend who recruited her to join a group of Jewto get food and supplies. A German soldier discovered her ish partisans. Members of the fighting unit, which was and she ran, holding on to a sweater the Pole had given her. under the command of Chiel Grynszpan, lived in the forest Later she found bullet holes dotting the side of the sweater. by day and fought the Nazis at night. During her time as a partisan, Holm didn’t think about “I was thinking ‘I have to take revenge, whatever’s going life aer the war. to be, I don’t care,'” Holm said. “I never [used to] think I’m “I didn’t think I was going to be alive,” she said. going to be alive, and that’s the way I survived with the parShe became close with the friend who recruited her, and tisans.” the two went on to marry shortly aer the war. In 1945, the Today, Holm is elegantly dressed and so-spoken. She couple moved to a displaced persons camp in Germany bewears a pearl necklace and oﬀers home-baked cookies. fore leaving for New York in 1949, where she found a job in As a partisan, it was a whole diﬀerent story, she said. a dressmaking factory and he in a cardboard box factory. “I was like a wild one,” she said. “I didn’t know what I Joe Holm later opened his own butcher shop before the was doing. Whatever I’d been told, that’s what I was doing.” couple founded a factory producing women’s sweaters Holm is among a shrinking group of living partisans. about 10 years aer moving to the United States. ey had “Each year there are fewer Jewish partisans who are able two children. to share their experiences,” Sheri Pearl Rosenblum, director Joe died in 2009. Today, Holm lives in their home surof development and outreach for the Jewish Partisan Edurounded by photos of her husband, children, four grandcational Foundation, said. On its website, the group feachildren and three great-grandchildren. tures the testimonies of Jewish partisans, including Holm Holm once would not speak about their wartime experiand her late husband, Joe. It collected testimonies from 51 ences; talking about them makes her sad. In 2013, however, Jewish partisans from 2002 to 2015; only 16 are still alive. she told her story in a video for the Jewish Partisan EducaHolm was one of just five women in her unit, which tional Foundation. e group also honored Holm and her started with 25 people but grew to around 250 by the end husband at galas in 2010 and 2011. Earlier this year her of World War II. Partisan fighter units were reluctant to son, Steven, emceed an event by the foundation honoring have women and children as members, but the friend who surviving partisans and their descendants. recruited her — her future husband — told the other fightere’s also another emotion that comes with telling her ers that the two were a package deal. story: incredulousness that she went through what she did As part of the unit, Holm and the other women carried and survived. supplies and helped detonate hand grenades. e group fo“My whole life, I’m just laying sometimes in bed and cused on destroying bridges and roads that Nazis were using. thinking ‘Is this true?'” she said. “I was thinking that I was “A train used to come, so we used to throw the hand reading [the story in] a book, that it’s not from my life.”
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Why did this Muslim majority country put a Jewish congressman on a stamp?
ROn KampEas intervene on behalf of the Jews during the WASHINGTON | JTA Holocaust and driven not to repeat history. Rep. Eliot Engel has become the first U.S. â€œWhat do you see in terms of on the congressman to be featured on a postage ground, the people there, do you see destamp in Kosovo. spair?â€? Engel asked an American fact-findEngel, a New York Democrat, may be the ing team at a 1998 hearing. â€œIs there a first Jewish member of Congress on a stamp, feeling that the United States has abanperiod. Bella Abzug helped inspire a 1999 doned them?â€? stamp celebrating the womenâ€™s rights movement, but the late New York Democratâ€™s face isnâ€™t on it. î ˘ereâ€™s a Jewish story behind why a Muslim majority nation honored Engel this week with a two-euro stamp. Engel was among a cadre of U.S. lawmakers and public figures who urged the Clinton administration to intervene during the Kosovo war in 1999, heading oďŹ€ what many feared would be a genocide of Kosovoâ€™s ethnic Albanians at the hands of Serbian strongman Rep. Eliot Engel is featured on a Kosovo postage stamp in Slobodan Milosevic. what may be a first. Credit: Office of Eliot Engel Many of the same figures were part of the push to recognize the Balkan Engelâ€™s stamp was presented to him this state when it declared independence in 2008. week when he was in the country to help Among those out front in the push to open an oďŹƒce of the Millennium Challenge protect Kosovo were Engel and Rep. Jerry Corp., a U.S. government assistance agency. Nadler, a fellow New York Democrat, along Engelâ€™s oďŹƒce helped secure a $49 million with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and two late MCC grant for the country. congressmen, Reps. Tom Lantos and Ben â€œIâ€™m deeply honored and surprised that Gilman, as well as the late Holocaust memthis was being done. I had no idea,â€? Engel oirist Elie Wiesel. told JTA in an email message. â€œMy work to Ask Kosovar Albanians why, and more promote the U.S.-Kosovo relationship has oî‚?en than not theyâ€™ll explain that itâ€™s because been among the most meaningful endeavthe men are Jewish. Albanians saved Jews ors of my years in Congress. Iâ€™m happy to during the Holocaust, and Jews subsequently have helped peopleâ€™s lives and promote returned the favor is how it usually goes. prosperity in the region.â€? Engel is aware of the valor of Albanians Itâ€™s not Engelâ€™s first honor in the country: during World War II. But he and others say In 2008, the town of Pec named a street for they were haunted by Americaâ€™s reticence to him.
Doctor pleads guilty to molesting gymnasts JTA The team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, accused of molestation, pleaded guilty to sexual assault against seven girls. Larry Nassar entered his guilty plea on Nov. 22 in Ingham County Circuit Court in Michigan. Nassar also has been accused of various levels of inappropriate or abusive sexual behavior by more than 130 women and girls, nearly all at Michigan State University. His accusers include Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman,
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McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas. Raisman, 23, was 15 when she was first treated by Nassar. In a CBS interview, Raisman said she spoke to FBI investigators about Nassar following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, after an investigation by the Indianapolis Star revealed that USA Gymnastics had a policy of not disclosing sexual abuse reports unless they were filed by the victims or a parent. Raisman is pushing for change at USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for the sport.
Holiday arts & Crafts show at mid-america Center in Council Bluffs Make plans now to attend the annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show that will be held saturday and sunday, Dec 2-3 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The show is billed as one of Iowaâ€™s largest shows, with over 150 exhibitors presenting and selling thousands of unique, handmade products. Among the various products being sold at the show are oak and pine furniture, paintings and prints, ceramics, kids teepees, wall hangings, blankets, jewelry, pet products, etched and stained glass, yard and garden art, pottery, candles, clothing, quilts, aprons, pillows, doll clothes, rugs, place mats, table runners, purses, floral arrangements and wreaths, wood and metal signs, soap and lotions, and many more original products.
Exhibitors will also be selling coffee cakes, dips, salsa, soups, jams, jellies, cheese and sausage, wines, fudge, honey, food mixes and roasted nuts. All items offered for sale to the public are handmade by the exhibitor. Hours of the show are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on sunday. Admission is $5 and children 10 and younger are free. Parking is free throughout the show. All patrons who attend the show on Saturday will receive a two-day re-entry stamp. For a chance to win one of four $50 gift certificates to the show, like us on facebook under Callahan promotions, Inc. and for exhibitor information on the show, please call us at 563.652.4529.
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ANNETTE vAN DE KAmP Editor, Jewish Press ou may have missed the story: four students at Penn State University were charged with theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief after stealing a 9-foot menorah from the home of the campus Chabad rabbi. They left the menorah, damaged beyond repair, in front of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house. (JTA.com) It’s an interesting phrase: “criminal mischief.” It makes it sound less like a hate crime and more like a college prank. Something that isn’t all that serious, something we should not worry about too much. After all, boys will be boys, etcetera; we’ve all done a few things in college we’re not proud of. Plus, no one got hurt. Let’s all move on; nothing to see here. Penn’s leadership took it more seriously than that: “We condemn these actions and will hold students and others involved accountable where we can, including restitution for damage. We do not support nor condone racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, homophobic or other discriminatory messages or actions. Nor will we allow our University community to become a place where offensive words and behaviors take root.” It’s a question we forever ask when these types of things occur: is this an outlier or evidence of a deeper problem? I don’t know if Penn State has an underlying problem with anti-Semitism. I haven’t gone to school there; I can’t say. A university campus is too complex a life form to make generalizations about what its students believe or stand for. Maybe this really was just a stupid prank, its perpetrators not sensitive enough to realize the impact it would have. In that case, education and maybe a short suspension would probably be the answer.
But, what if? What if there is a spark of something in will never learn.” A recently published FBI report states that hate crimes these kids that has nothing to do with ignorance, and everything with hate? To target the Chabad menorah and the in general went up by 5% in 2016; a total of 684 anti-SeSAM house, one would have to have a little bit of an anti- mitic hate crimes conflicts with the ADL’s number: 1,266. And according to the Anti Defamation League, “nearly 90 Semitic streak. The reason I’m slightly obsessing over this particular story has nothing to do with Penn State or college campuses in general. It’s the fact that stories like these are both everywhere and nowhere. Everywhere, because I see them every day. Nowhere, because they have become the new normal. These events are so common, the country A Nittany Lion on the Penn State campus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons hardly notices them. Only when things really get out of hand (Charlottesville, for cities with more than 100,000 residents either reported no instance) do we pay attention. The stories drip, drip, hate crimes or did not respond to the FBI’s request for drip...but is it more of the same, or is it a newly invigorated data.” “There’s a dangerous disconnect between the rising probstreak of hate? Last week, a couple broke in to a synagogue in Norfolk, lem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reVirginia; they spent two hours wandering around, smoking ported,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said. and drinking. Facebook continues to allow housing advertis- “Police departments that do not report credible data to the ers to filter out Jews and other minorities. A Florida FBI risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue teenager who was adopted by a Jewish family was accused for them, which may threaten community trust in their abilof trashing a Jewish preschool and scrawling a statement ity and readiness to address hate violence.” That’s a depressing point, but it needs to be made. mentioning Hitler. “Heil Hitler,” he wrote, and: “You Jews
Jews make news, but when is it Jewish news? ANDREW SILoW-CARRoLL NEW YORK | JTA “Is So-and-So Jewish? How Jewish is she? Find out if she’s Jewish.” I often joke that JTA reporters and anti-Semitic bloggers write the same stories, only with different headlines. We proudly search down Jewish celebrities to show the diverse ways that Jews are contributing to the wider culture. The Daily Stormer uses the same names to prove that Jews are taking over. The problem for us, of course, is when the Jews we report on do bad things. Very bad things. The last few months have seen a deluge of stories about Jews in trouble, starting with the ugly revelations of sexual abuse by the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Next came the director and writer James Toback, the former New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier and the journalist Mark Halperin. And Brett Ratner. And Jeffrey Tambor. And now Sen. Al Franken and New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush. As the news broke about each of these men, we asked the same question in the JTA office: Do we? It’s not a question about “protecting” Jews, or trying to hide bad Jewish news from society at large. This isn’t 1963, when a critic told Philip Roth that his portrayals of deeply flawed Jewish characters “have done as much harm as all the organized anti-Semitic organizations have done to make people believe that all Jews are cheats, liars, connivers.” For me it’s a deeper question about identity, belonging and meaning. JTA’s corner of the ethnic media market is Jews who make news. Deciding what’s “Jewish news” is easy when the subject is religion, or the ways Jewish groups are promoting policy, or when a Jewish artist, chef or filmmaker explores a distinctly Jewish subject. I like how one of my predecessors described the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 1933: “a roll call, as it were, not only of the capitals of the world’s busy life, but also of the smaller centers where Jewish life is pulsating, where the struggle for existence is hardest and where Jewish contributions to the economic, cultural and political
life of the world are being made.” But what do you do when someone who is “just Jewish” commits a crime or is enmeshed in scandal -- or, for that matter, wins a secular award or goes missing in the Himalayas? What criteria do you use to “claim” someone for an outlet like JTA? The sex harassment controversy is a useful test case. It is no surprise that Jewish names keep popping up in the aftermath of the Weinstein scandal, since Jews are overrepresented in Holly-
A screenshot from Google Images shows several prominent Jews accused of sexual harassment in the past month. Credit: Google Images wood back offices and journalism. But is it a “Jewish” story that a guy named Weinstein is in trouble? Or by noting his ethnicity, are we making the same mistake as the Tablet columnist who managed to implicate all Jewish males in the misdeeds of a single person? Over the years I’ve developed a loose set of guidelines to determine who “gets in” and who doesn’t. It’s a three-part test. Newsmakers must score one or more: A. Is the subject significantly identified with a Jewish community, specific Jewish topics or a distinctly Jewish way of being in the world? This category includes Jewish clergy and “Jewish professionals,” prominent givers to Jewish communal organizations and the Jewish leaders whose salaries they pay. It also includes politicians who take a strong interest in Israel and other Jewish causes, artists who write or have written about distinct Jewish themes, and just folks who are
strongly identified with or by a Jewish community. Weinstein, for example, has given to Jewish causes and intended to make a film about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. We didn’t rush to report on Mark Halperin because he isn’t highly identified with Jewish activities, causes or communities. You could say the same about Thrush -- but he’s an exception that proves the rule: I okayed an item on Thrush precisely because I and even some of his closest colleagues didn’t realize he was Jewish. Sometimes, and I am not saying this is the proudest thing we do, we feel it is our job to answer the question Is So-and So Jewish? One problem with category A is that it both privileges and burdens Orthodox Jews, rabbis of all stripes and Israelis. Because their Jewish identity is so obvious -- because they “represent” -the things they do tend to be overreported in the Jewish media. For example, a secular Jewish landlord in Ohio who defrauds her customers is less likely to make the “Jewish news” than the Orthodox rabbi who is photographed in his yarmulke at his arraignment. B. Are Jewishness or Jewish issues referenced in the way the subject makes news or is written about? Jewish victims of anti-Semitism make news no matter how they personally identify. The same goes for celebrities who bring up their Jewishness in a distinct way or have it brought up for them. Not everything Lena Dunham does or says qualifies as Jewish news, but when a few years back she got in hot water for an essay comparing a dog to her “Jewish boyfriend,” we wrote about it. C. Is the subject just so well known and so identifiably Jewish, even if they fail tests A and B? I sometimes call this the Woody Allen rule (although you could argue that he also fits in A and B). Or maybe the Bernie Sanders rule. Throughout much of his career, the senator from Vermont wasn’t all that involved in a Jewish community or Jewish issues. Until he ran for president, he’d mostly show up in our archive in tallies of how Jewish members of Congress voted. But c’mon! He’s Bernie Sanders! From Brooklyn! See Jews make news page 9
The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017 | 9
The Trump administration says it wants to shut down the PLO mission. Now what? RON KamPeas WASHINGTON | JTA In 1987, Congress passed legislation that declared there would never be an oﬃce of the Palestine Liberation Organization on U.S. soil. President Ronald Reagan agreed and signed the law. Seven years later the law was still on the books. But that year the PLO opened an oﬃce in Washington -- with the blessing of Congress and President Bill Clinton. Since then, a PLO oﬃce has remained in the U.S. capital, navigating a persistent anomaly: e 1987 law oﬃcially bans the existence of a PLO oﬃce, but it remains open as long as the Palestinians abide by certain conditions. Now, however, the PLO may have violated some of those conditions — consequently, its D.C. oﬃce may close. On Nov. 17, the Trump administration announced that the PLO cannot operate a Washington oﬃce because it tried to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. Confused? You’re not alone. Here’s an explanation of the law and what’s happening. The law is clear, but Congress has been lenient. e Foundation for Middle East Peace has helpfully posted a timeline of the relevant laws. Most saliently, the ‘87 legislation renders it “unlawful” to establish an oﬃce with funds provided by the PLO or any of its constituent groups. Reagan, like many presidents before and since, did not love the infringement on his executive privilege of making foreign policy. But in his signing statement, he said the PLO was not a suitable negotiating partner. “I have no intention of establishing diplomatic relations with the PLO,” Reagan said, so he signed the law. Within a year or so, however, Reagan recognized the PLO as a suitable negotiating partner -- conveniently in the lame duck period following the election of his vice president, George H. W. Bush, as president. at recognition, although rescinded by Bush within months, was one of the predicates for the Madrid peace process launched by Bush in 1991. ose talks led to the 1993 Oslo accords between the PLO and Israel, which led to the opening in 1994 of the oﬃce. Congress, in a series of laws starting in 1993, granted exemptions to its ban on a PLO oﬃce. It gave two reasons: sustaining the peace process and, later, reserving a matter of U.S. national security. Congress cracked down after the PLO sought unilateral statehood. Congress retaliated following eﬀorts by the PLO to obtain statehood recognition outside the parameters of an agreement with Israel. ose applications followed the collapse of the Oslo process and then the 2007-08 Annapolis talks. ere’s a tit-for-tat dynamic to the events: Palestine obtained UNESCO recognition in 2011; Congress passed a law the same year saying that any subsequent entry into a U.N. body would mean shuttering the oﬃce. Palestine obtained recognition in the International Criminal Court in 2015 -- the ICC is not a U.N. body, PLO oﬃcials noted. So, the same year, Congress passed a measure saying the oﬃce can stay open if the Palestinians did not advance actions against Israel at the court. The office seems to be open -- for now. According to the letter of the 2015 law, the oﬃce should not stay open if the law has indeed been violated (more on that in a moment). e oﬃce must immediately shut down and not reopen for at least 90 days -- and then only if the president certifies to Congress that “the Palestinians have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” e oﬃce’s top oﬃcials are not answering emails or returning calls, but it’s not closed -- a receptionist took a request for an interview on Tuesday morning. So let’s call the State Department, which initiated the process. “We are working through the modalities of the closure process,” a State Department spokeswoman told JTA on Nov. 20 in an email aer a reporter tried to speak with a human. What modalities? What are modalities? What process? Does the process start with the closure of the oﬃce or end with it? Welcome to Washington-speak. Are government oﬃcials meeting with the PLO representative, Husam Zomlot? “We have nothing to announce regarding meetings at this time,” the spokeswoman said.
Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian negotiator who is in the Washington area recovering from a lung transplant, said in a video that the ICC was the trigger for the closure announcement. Except the most critical Palestinian actions regarding the court -- joining and requesting an inquiry into alleged Israeli crimes -- took place before the relevant law was passed. Much blame or credit is going around, depending on your perspective.
The flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization seen above its offices in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2017. Credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
It’s mahmoud abbas’ doing. is is what the Palestinian Authority president and PLO chairman said in September at the U.N. General Assembly: “We have called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli oﬃcials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people, and we will continue to pursue our accessions to international conventions, protocols and organizations.” e 2015 law says “any action with respect to the ICC that is intended to influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians” would trigger closing the oﬃce. Was the Abbas speech an “action” that was “intended to influence” the court? Or was he describing actions the Palestinians had already taken before the law was passed? It’s Ron Dermer’s doing. Palestinian oﬃcials told the Al-Monitor news site that Israel’s ambassador to the United States, who has close relations with the Trump administration, has been behind the eﬀort. “is is the pressure being exerted on this administration by the Netanyahu government at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ‘ultimate deal,’” Erekat said, using the term President Donald Trump has used to describe a Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Israelis are not taking credit, although they seem pleased. “is is about an American law,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s oﬃce told Ynet. “We appreciate the decision and expect to continue our work with the United States advancing peace and security in the region.” It’s the White House’s doing. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser on the Middle East, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s top envoy to the talks, want to jump-start the peace process, according to this theory. e Palestinians will have to commit to peace talks with Israel, so goes this theory, if they want to get back their Washington oﬃce. “It sure looks like this is being used as a tactic to force [the Palestinians] to the negotiating table on terms determined by the United States, Saudis and Israelis,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. e problems with this theory: e action was initiated by the State Department and it’s not clear whether Greenblatt and Kushner were in the loop. Plus, the two -- especially Greenblatt -- have gone out of their way to cultivate the Palestinian Authority leadership, hoping to reinstall it in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terrorist group currently runs things. Kushner and Greenblatt made a well-publicized visit to Erekat’s bedside just weeks ago. Why undercut the Palestinians now? It’s Rex Tillerson’s doing. He is the secretary of state, aer all, albeit one accruing a reputation for ineﬀectualness. But he’s as invested as Kushner in cultivating good will in the region. What would Tillerson’s game be here? It’s Obama’s doing. President Barack Obama could have shut down the PLO
oﬃce when Erekat repeatedly urged an ICC investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes during the 2014 Gaza War. Instead, Obama punted to the next administration. “is is the first time the Palestinians have made such a move with the Trump administration in charge,” said Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “And it looks like they’re applying the law instead of punting on it.” What happens to the peace process? What peace process? Schanzer said any process was all but moribund anyway. “What I question right now is whether the PLO is engaging in any serious negotiations thereby necessitating a presence in Washington,” he said. “e PLO embassy has served to engage in a public relations eﬀort that primarily demonizes the Israelis and shirks diplomatic eﬀorts.” Trump administration oﬃcials in recent days have been leaking like sieves about plans to relaunch the peace process as soon as next year. e Palestinians until now have been game -- Zomlot, the PLO envoy to Washington, has been eﬀusive in his outreach to Jewish groups, the media and American politicians about Trump’s “ultimate deal.” ey have put on hold bids to join international agencies. Nuh-uh, the Palestinians now say. Closing the oﬃce “is unprecedented in the history of U.S.-Palestinian relations, which could have serious consequences on the peace process and U.S.-Arab relations, as well as serves as a blow to peacemaking eﬀorts,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas’ spokesman, said over the weekend. When will we know for sure? e PLO oﬃce is hosting a Christmas party early next month. Does anyone show up? Stay tuned.
Jews make news
Continued from page 8 But when do you stop, exactly? Mark Zuckerberg and Jared Kushner make news every day; does the fact that they are Jewish make it Jewish news? We argue about this all the time. So applying the test above, we wrote about Mayim Bialik after she wrote an oped about the sexual assault scandals. It was Jewish news because of A (the television star writes frequently about her observant Jewish lifestyle); B (her essay made reference to observant Jewish codes of modesty) and C (her name is Mayim Bialik, for Pete’s sake). Toback’s sex scandal got a write-up because of A (he wrote the Jewish gangster biopic “Bugsy” and appeared in it as Gus Greenbaum). We didn’t report on allegations of abuse leveled at screenwriter Scott Rosenberg because he didn’t score as A, B or C. I am aware that this is an inexact science and we run the risk of leaving out people. I also worry that reporting on certain people or incidents implies Jewish significance where there is none. Consider former White House aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick. Sure, he’s Jewish. But were we to mention that fact in a report about his ouster by H.R. McMaster (“National security adviser cans Jewish aide!”), it may have implied cause and effect where there was none. Ultimately, any ethnic outlet has to act as a “roll call” of its people without suggesting that any of its subjects are representatives of the whole. For an example of what not to do, consider a recent New York Times blog about allegations of sex abuse against a prominent Swiss Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan. “Could this be the Harvey Weinstein of Islam?” blared its tone-deaf headline before it was changed. Tariq Ramadan is no more representative of Muslims than Harvey Weinstein is of Jews. Still, when Jews do something bad, it is not our role to ignore it or justify it. Roth, after being urged to stop writing about “bad Jews,” invoked Jewish tradition itself: “[T]o indicate that moral crisis is something to be hushed up is not, of course, to take the prophetic line,” he wrote, “nor is it a rabbinical point of view that Jewish life is of no significance to the rest of mankind.” We’re not prophets or rabbis. At most we’re scribes. I go back to that 1933 mission statement, which said JTA “brings the reader into contact with the various climes, political, social and economic conditions where Jewish life unfolds itself on the varying backgrounds of the different countries, all ringing out their messages in such varied tones.”
10 | The Jewish Press | December 1, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email: email@example.com
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: Join us for our monthly Shabbat Speakers Series on dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker Howard Kutler. He will talk about his grandparents, Harry and Sarah, who left Russia in the early 1900s and immigrated to Council Bluffs. He will address their journey and the wonderful new life they built in America. (Please note special date.) Our service leader is Larry Blass, and as always, an oneg to follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! 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: ShabBroadway, Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. led by USY/Kadima. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Services, 9:30 a.m.; Junior Congregation, 10 a.m.; Mini-Minyannaires, 10:45 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:45 p.m.;BILU Mystery Night Out, 6-9:30 p.m. weekday serVICes: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunday: BESTT Classes, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; Celebrate Hanukkah Torah Tots Part I, 10:30 a.m.noon.; Prophets and the Cities: Biblical City Gates wtih Rami Arav, 11 a.m.-noon; B’nai B’rith Bible Quiz, 1:30-3 p.m.; PopUp Hanukkah Maker Workshop, 2-6 p.m. at Westroads Mall. monday: Women’s Book Club, 7-9 p.m. at Parkwood Terrace Apartments Clubhouse. wednesday: BESTT Classes, 4:15 p.m.; The Secret of the Shaliach Tzibour — a look at the Shabbat service from the Hazzan’s point of view, taught by Hazzan Michael Krausman, 6 p.m. For more information email hazzankrausman@beth el-omaha.org; Hebrew High, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday: Chesed Committee visits Blumkin Home, 2 p.m.; Miriam Initiative — Latkes and Libations, 7 p.m. The Miriam Initiative is cooking up a storm! Five teams make and taste five different latke recipes, from classic to comtemporary. Book Club with Rabbi Abraham, My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin, Tuesday, dec. 12, noon at Whole Foods. Family Hanukkah Dinner, wednesday, dec. 13, 6 p.m. 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.; Candle Lighting and Mincha, 4:38 p.m. saTurday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Insights into the Weekly Torah, 3:35 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 4:20 p.m.; Havdalah, 5:42 p.m. sunday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels and Beit Medrash, 9:45 a.m.; JYE BI — PJ Library, 9:45 a.m. monday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Talmudic Tales with Rabbi Shlomo, noon. Tuesday-wednesday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. Thursday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Women’s Class with Rabbi Ari, 9:30 a.m.
Office hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Services conducted by Rabbi Mendel Katzman. frIday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing; A Winter Shabbaton, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact the Chabad office for additional information at 402.330.1800 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; A Winter Shabbaton, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. sunday: A Winter Shabbaton, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. monday: Personal Parsha class, 9:30 a.m. with Shani. wednesday: Mystical Thinking with Rabbi, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Mendel Katzman. Thursday: Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Mendel Katzman; Caring Hands: 10 Reasons to Celebrate the Chabad Food Pantry Volunteers, 5:30-7 p.m. This is a FREE and Open community-wide event. All programs are open to the entire community.
CongregaTIon B’naI Jeshurun
Services conducted by Rabbi Teri Appleby. frIday: Candlelighting, 4:41 p.m.; Shabbat Evening Service, 6:30 p.m.; Oneg, 7:30 p.m. hosted by the Kelen-Bloom Family. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study on Parashat Vayishlach, 10:30 a.m.; Havdalah (72 Minutes), 6:11 p.m. sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m.; LJCS Board Meeting, 5 p.m. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Thursday: Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m. 2017 Hanukkah Celebration, friday, dec. 15, 6 p.m. There is no charge, but registration is required so that enough food and goodies can be prepared. You can sign up here, call the Temple office at 402.435.8004, or e-mail office@south streettemple.org. rsVp by Tuesday, dec. 12. at 5 p.m.
offuTT aIr forCe Base
frIday: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.
rose BlumkIn JewIsh home
saTurday: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Jim Polack. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.
frIday: First Friday Shabbat Service with Grades 3 and 4, 6 p.m. Come for an energetic, participatory Shabbat Service featuring the First Friday Band and our monthly celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. saTurday: Temple Tots Shabbat, 9:15 a.m.; Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Service, 10:30 a.m. Bar mitzvah of max spizman, son of Beth spizman; OTYG Lock In, 5 p.m. sunday: Grades PreK-6, 10 a.m.; Social Justice Committee Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; Tri-Faith Committee Meeting, noon. wednesday: Grades 3-6, 4 p.m.; T’filah for School, 4:30 p.m.; School Dinner, 6 p.m.; Grades 7-12, 6 p.m.; Family School, 6 p.m.; Guiding Principles for the Synagogue Community: S’lichah: Ask Forgiveness and Be Forgiving, 6:30 p.m. with Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin. Thursday: Adult Education Symposium: Jewish Heroes, Heroines, and Personalities: Jesus: The Jew, the Christian, 1011:30 a.m. taught by Rev. Dr. Chris Alexander, Associate Minister, Countryside Community Church and Will Howell, Director of Youth Ministries, Countryside Community Church. All classes meet at Temple Israel. Latkes and Vodkas – A Hanukkah Party for Young Couples and Parents, saturday, dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. Come prepared to cook for our latke making (and tasting) competition, indulge in Hanukkah cocktails, and play for a surprise Hanukkah gift in our Dreidel Tournament! The Werners, Beckmans and Feinsteins are the evening’s co-hosts. This event is free, and reservations are required, 402.556.6536 or rsVp@templeisraelomaha.com. Cantor’s Hanukkah Gift, wednesday, dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. The Omaha Chamber will play holiday music from around the world in celebration of the festival of lights: Hanukkah. All ages are welcome. Jewish Heroes, Heroines, and Personalities: Theodor Herzl,
Thursday, dec. 14, 10 a.m. The Symposium will be taught by Temple Israel clergy, with guest sessions led by our Tri-Faith clergy partners and other outstanding teachers in the Omaha Jewish community.*All classes will meet at Temple Israel. Celebrate Hanukkah with Latkes, Dreidels, & Song: Hanukkah Service & Dinner, friday, dec. 15 — Candle lighting and Kiddush, 5:30 p.m. and Services, 6 p.m. followed by dinner and games for all ages. Bring your dreidels! Bring your favorite family menorah to decorate your holiday table! The cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children in 2nd-6th grade; and no charge for children under 2nd grade. Please RSVP to Temple Israel, 402.556.6536 or email@example.com, by Tuesday, dec. 12.
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 service, 10 a.m.-noon at the Landing (the home of Elaine and Everett Evnen) in Williamsburg Village (3500 Faulkner Drive). We will meet in the Williamsburg Room. Park in the front lot. The service begins at followed by a cold dairy lunch being prepared for us there. There will be no Jr. Cong. that morning but children are welcome. We would like to arrange carpools if possible. Please RSVP. sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. monday: Second Half of the DVD Course Beginnings of Judaism, 7:30-9 p.m. If you are interested in participating in this course, please contact Nava. If you have any questions about this course, please contact Al Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Thursday: Hebrew classes for adults, 6:30-7:30 p.m., with Esti Sheinberg. Our new 2nd Friday celebration of Shabbat, friday, dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Home of Jaine and Andy Merliss (2845 William Street). Bring a dairy or pareve salad, vegetable dish, or dessert. The main dish, challah, and grape juice will be provided. RSVP to the synagogue office or email ncoren@tiferet hisraellincoln.org by dec. 3rd. Create For a Cure! Join the Women of Tifereth Israel on dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the synagogue. As part of the Gary Rosenthal Glass Ribbon Twinning Project. Participants will create two glass mosaics to adorn two Shabbat candlesticks. Supplies are free (donated by the Lay-Leader Discretionary Fund) but we must know you are coming. You may purchase both twin items for a 50% discount; purchase one twin item for a 25% discount; or purchase no item. Retail cost of one twin item we're creating: $80. Finished products will arrive to the synagogue two weeks after being fused in the Rosenthal workshop. RSVP to office@tiferethisrael lincoln.org or call the office at 402.423.8569. Ugly Sweater Havdallah service and get-together, saturday evening, dec.16, 5:30p.m. at Lucy and Kirk Bowers home. Havdallah candles and spice boxes will be provided! Come in an ugly sweater....and if you don't have one...create one out of a sweater you do have! This havdallah service is for all ages! A prize will be given for the ugliest sweater worn! (based on a vote to be taken by all attending) TI Has Talent 5 & Our Annual Hannukkah Latke Party, sunday, dec. 17, 12:15 p.m. at Tifereth Israel. Acts should be 35 minutes in length (maximum). Performers can be ages 3- 100! Solo or group acts, you choose! Just e-mail Nancy Coren email@example.com or call 402.770.4167 to let her know you're going to participate and what you plan to do!
Jewish wrestler calls out colleague for dressing as Hasid JTA news sTAff A Jewish profesional wrestler has called out a non-Jewish colleague who dresses as a Hasidic Jew for his matches. David Starr, whose given name is Max Barsky, in a post on Facebook complained about Mathias Glass, who calls himself “The Most Jewish Man Alive.” Glass dresses in a shtreiml and a black suit with the fringes of his tzitzit hanging out. He hasr payos, and often breaks into Hasidic dancing. “I want everyone to know that Mathias Glass is not Jewish,” Starr wrote on Facebook. “The stereotype driven character he portrays is offensive and distasteful. It is the equivalent of black face. Imagine me painting my face black and acting as a black character that was completely stereotypically driven. How would you react? How would the public react?” Starr, 26, said he has messaged Glass previously about his gimmick, and knows other Jews in wrestling who have
urged him to stop. “Prior to finding out that he wasn’t Jewish, I thought the schtick was entertaining,” Starr also wrote. “I don’t necessarily like stereotype driven gimmicks in general, but this was clearly a self deprecating (at least I thought it self deprecating) comedic style. I am not a no fun sensitive snowflake type. I can make fun of myself and my people, but someone from outside the community has no right.” Reaction to Starr’s post was mixed, with some agreeing that it is offensive and others calling on the wrestler to lighten up. Others pointed out that wrestling has always been about exaggerated and offensive stereotypes. On Friday, Starr posted: “I guess black face in wrestling would be ok. Good to know. Sad state of affairs we are in. My faith in humanity has been pretty much torn to bits.” Glass on Friday said in a tweet: “Wrestling is real and I’m Jewish. Oy.”
The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017 | 11
lifecycles Bar MitZVaH
Jack elliSon coHen
Jack Ellison Cohen, son of Karen and Michael Cohen, will become a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday Dec. 9, at Beth El. Jack is a seventh-grade student at Brownell Talbot and a graduate of Friedel Jewish Academy. He enjoys playing Jazz piano and trumpet and participates in Jazz band at school. He plays basketball for Bownell Talbot and loves to study history and geography. Jack has an older sister, Lillian and a younger sister, Eva. Grandparents are Jane and the late Jack E. Cohen, and Gail and Roger Williams of West Des Moines, IA.
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attending the Jewish Federations of north america Ga in Washington dc were Zoë riekes, left, nate Shapiro, danielle Gordman, louri Sullivan, Brian nogg, Sandi Fried and Steve levinger. front row: alan Potash.
JTA neWs sTAff A German broadcaster has pulled its sponsorship for a Cologne concert by Roger Waters following protests led by a Jewish resident of the city. Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who reportedly collected about 1,500 signatures on a petition, had accused WDR — a radio and TV broadcaster under the ARD Consortium of public broadcasters in Germany — of using public money in the form of a universal broadcasting tax to support “a hater of Jews.” Waters, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has expressed his virulent anti-Israel views in concerts by, for example, releasing balloons in the shape of pigs marked with the Star of David. e former Pink Floyd lead singer and the BDS movement have pressed others not to perform in Israel, with varying results. e director of WDR, Tom Buhrow, said in an email to Goldstein-Wolf that he was moved by her petition and sensed that “words and arguments” would not convince her, but that “a clear action” would. “Our cooperation for that concert is finished,” he told her. WDR was to televise the concert and air it on the radio. e announcement for the June concert was removed from the broadcaster’s website on Nov. 26, but it remains on the performer’s site. Waters has concerts in two other German cities planned for June. e SWR broadcaster also has ceased publicizing a Mannheim concert on its website, and according to the Bild newspaper, the Bavarian broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk plans to drop its support for a Waters concert in Munich. e move follows increased publicity and pressure on German politicians to take a stand against the BDS movement. Mayors in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich recently declared plans to stymie the boycott movement and other anti-Zionist activities in their cities. Goldstein-Wolf told Bild that she had “not been expecting this statement.” “Mr. Buhrow talked ‘tacheles,'” she added, using a Yiddish expression for straight talking. She said she had been motivated out of frustration over “rising hatred of Jews. I’ve had enough.” Waters had not responded to the WDR move on social media as of Nov. 27.
early deadline notice
The deadline for the Dec. 29 issue is Wednesday, dec. 20, 9 a.m. Questions? Call 402.334.6448.
the 2017 JWrP group has arrived safely in israel for their much anticipated journey. this year's MoMentum group includes Jennie Gates Beckman, danni christensen, amy tipp, aviva Segall, Melissa Shapiro, Jaime nogg, lisa lucoff, amy isaacson, erica Parks, rachel dysico, Jessica cohn and denise Blake.
Al Franken returns to Senate
JTA neWs sTAff Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota told the local media he would not resign from the Senate, despite being ashamed of sexual harassment allegations against him. Franken, a Democrat, said he would return to work in Washington on Monday, Nov. 27 aer the weeklong anksgiving recess and pledged to fight the proposed Republican tax bill. “I’m going to do my job and I’m going to go forward,” he told Minnesota Public Radio. “I’m going to take responsibility. I’m going to be held accountable and I’m going to try to be productive in the way I speak about this. “e Ethics Committee is looking into all of this and I Credit: Mark Wilson/ will cooperate fully with it. I Getty Images know I have a lot of work to do to regain the trust of people I’ve let down.” Franken has apologized to the women who have accused him. He told the local media that he wants to be a “better man.” Last week, a 33-year-old woman, Lindsay Menz, accused Franken of grabbing her buttocks while they took a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. In a statement to CNN, Franken said he did not remember taking the photo with Menz and that he felt “badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.” Earlier, a Los Angeles-based news anchor and former model, Leann Tweeden, said that Franken groped her during a 2006 tour to entertain U.S. troops in the Middle East and forcibly kissed her. Franken was a comedian and a writer at the time; he has served as a senator since 2009. Franken apologized to Tweeden. On Nov. 23, two other women accused Franken of touching their buttocks while taking photos during campaign events in Minneapolis in 2007 and 2008, the lawmaker’s first campaign for the Senate. Franken told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he has posed for tens of thousands of photos over the years and does not remember intentionally touching women inappropriately while taking the photos. He told the newspaper that he has spent the past week “thinking about how that could happen and I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations.”
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Afternoon Oﬃce Assistant at the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, located on the campus of the JCC of Omaha. Hours: 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday We are looking for an upbeat, friendly person to be the ‘Face of the CDC’ in the afternoons. Responsibilities include checking children out for the day, answering phone calls, monitoring CDC entrance access, and related clerical duties. Customer service and excellent communication skills are essential for this position. Must be able to multi-task and think on your feet. Please contact Jeanine Huntoon at 402-334-6415, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Cooper at 402-3346414, email@example.com for more information. Position is available immediately.
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12 | The Jewish Press | December 1, 2017
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