Connections spring 2016

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Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul

Connections S pr i n g 2 01 6/AViV 57 76




table of contents



Dear friends, If you read the Jewish and Israeli press, you are bound to see a story about Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), the movement to delegitimize Israel by isolating it politically, economically and culturally. The stories have become familiar – BDS is organized, it’s strategic and it’s coming to, or is already at, a college campus near you. BDS initiatives, and in some cases an increasingly hostile atmosphere toward Jewish students, have become a reality on some campuses. We just experienced BDS first-hand at the University of Minnesota. In February, a student group brought a resolution to the Minnesota Student Association to divest from four companies doing business in Israel. The pro-Israel campus community mobilized. Students Supporting Israel at the University of Minnesota organized under the banner of UMNunited and worked tirelessly with the support of Minnesota Hillel and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Through these efforts, the divestment resolution was defeated. See page 4 for the full story. We don’t always see the direct impact our collective Federation dollars make in the community on a daily basis, but in this situation it’s clear. Your gift to Federation makes the vital work of these beneficiary agencies possible. You help students foster their Jewish identity, work for social justice and embrace Israel. You provide role models and resources to empower youth to be creative thinkers and leaders. You ensure that we have an advocate on the ground supporting Israel, aiding students, and building bridges between the Jewish and larger community. Yasher koach to U of M students, Minnesota Hillel and JCRC, and todah rabah to our community members for your support.

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By the numbers: Doing good everywhere How to defeat divestment New endowment initiative Passover recipe: Russell Klein’s Kavalierspitz Taste of Life program New JFS volunteer program Update: Jewish St. Paul. Many Voices. One Community. Summer camp and PJ Library Ukraine update

FEDERATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS *Denotes Executive Committee

OFFICERS * Susan Minsberg (President) * Steve Brand (President-Elect) * Charlie Nauen (Vice President) * Mary Ann Barrows Wark (Vice President) * Randi Roth (Secretary) * Deb Weiss (Treasurer) * Alissa Abelson Mark Adelman Jay Baldinger * Wendy Baldinger Rabbi Zalman Bendet Sharon Benmaman Alan Bernick * Lisa Bernick Jon Brod Farber Charles Fodor Barry Glaser Bruce Goldfarb Karen Gordon

Mitzi Gramling Andrew Greenseid Jerry Helfand Beth Johnson * Harold Katz Linda Ketover Peggy Kipp David Krco Lisa Lane * Nancy Lane Elyse Levine Less Charlie Levine Sarah Levine Michael Levitt Rick Linsk Sally Lorberbaum * Alan Milavetz Neil MosesZirkes Linda Nides Jeff Oberman * Jon Parritz Bob Perry Bonnie Resnick Lynne Sanders Michael Saxon Polly Saxon Marsha Schoenkin

Yoav Segal Michelle Shaller Steve Shaller Susan Shapiro Sally Silk Loren Taple Marni Tselos Mark Usem Royee Vlodaver

EX-OFFICIO Rabbi Morris Allen (Beth Jacob Congregation) Rabbi Jeremy Fine (Temple of Aaron) Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker (Mount Zion Temple) Rabbi Asher Zeilingold (Adath Israel)

BENEFICIARY AGENCIES Local Agencies Hillel at the University of Minnesota Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas Jewish Family Service of St. Paul Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest Lubavitch Cheder Day School Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company Nechama, Jewish Response to Disaster Rochester Chaplaincy Sholom: Adult Day Center and Kosher Meals-on-Wheels Talmud Torah of St. Paul

OVERSEAS AGENCIES American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Jewish Agency for Israel World ORT

Connections is a publication of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul


Julie Swiler, editor Contributors: Nancy Crotti, Susan Minsberg Marilyn Ruby, copy editor

At any hour of the day, you can be virtually anywhere on the globe making a vital difference. Through Federation, you touch more Jewish lives than any other organization on the planet – in St. Paul, Israel and 70 countries worldwide.

Photos: Sue Lund Pho


In Western and Eastern Europe 150,000 Jews receive home health care, winter

relief and social services

in France

medicine and shelter

Security assistance for victims of anti-Semitism 42,000 Ukranian Jews receive lifesaving food,

In St. Paul 15,000 Kosher Meals on Wheels served 200 older adults received services such as medical interpretation and transportation More than 180 job seekers counseled 43 families received emergency financial assistance 610 individuals & families received counseling 360 children receive PJ Library books monthly 54 scholarships for Jewish overnight camp and trips to Israel 813 senior households received services 3,500 Shabbat meals served at Minnesota Hillel 200 young adults participated in Young Adult Division activities Thousands experience Israel in St. Paul through our shlicha

Wherever disaster strikes • Disaster relief for Syrian refugees • Earthquake relief in Nepal • Nechama provides clean up assistance to natural disaster victims in Minnesota and wherever there is a need in the U.S.

In Israel 14,000 Jews from France and Ukraine made aliyah in 2015. 75,000 chronically unemployed Israelis receive training and job

seeking skills 12,000 at-risk teens mentored 2,200 Holocaust survivors participate in social engagement program


DEFEATING DIVESTMENT AT THE U OF M anti-Semitism. Now, the discussion at the MSA would not be one-sided.

When a resolution to divest from companies doing business in Israel was brought to the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) in February, Sami Rahamim was not entirely surprised. Some form of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) was likely when officers of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) ran for positions in student government last year at the University of Minnesota (U of M). Rahamim is president of Students Students Gabe Levy, Sami Rahamim and Supporting Israel (SSI UMN) at Leeore Levenstein led the charge to defeat divestment at the University. the university, acting president of Minnesota Hillel and a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC). He also SSI UMN and serves on the leadership team in student government. Minnesota Hillel reached out to SJP, Because of his student government role, he was notified shortly hoping for dialogue before SJP’s campaign for BDS went live on social media on and the possibility February 15. SSI UMN and its campus and community partners, of working together including Minnesota Hillel and JCRC, quickly assembled a to be supportive of coalition and got to work. Palestinians and Israelis without being UNITING a zero sum game. The STUDENTS proposal was rejected. Within 24 hours, they

had their own social media and campus presence with the hashtag UMNunited. “The name UMNunited Events like the Rally for Peace held last fall, stems from knowing how bring a positive, pro-Israel message divisive BDS measures to campus. can be, pitting certain students against others,” said Rahamim. “We think that is the wrong way to have this conversation. We want to stand united together against bigotry, anti-Semitism and divestment.” Support grew rapidly. Within hours, UMNunited had 350 “likes” on its Facebook page, and the number stands at 911 today. Rather than defend against a resolution meant to demonize Israel under the pretense of support for human rights, UMNunited chose a unique strategy. They countered the divestment resolution with their own condemning


Rahamim added that UMNunited wanted to raise awareness. There is a difference between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, and criticism that applies a double standard, delegitimizes and demonizes Israel. The U.S. State Department makes this distinction in its definition of anti-Semitism – a definition that SJP rejects. “They don’t get to decide what hurts other people,” Rahamim said. “We, as a community, should be allowed the right to define when we are being targeted.”

It was a full house for the divestment vote at the MSA.

Benjie Kaplan, executive director of Minnesota Hillel, said that one of SJP’s tactics is to appear as though it wants to do what’s best for everyone. “If you look at the national SJP movement, there are clear goals of what they are trying to get to,” he said. “They want a different end goal. Theirs is a one-state solution only for them. Ours is two states for two people. They don’t want anything to do with that.”

Efforts to defeat divestment in the weeks leading up to the MSA vote included a letter circulated and signed by more than 120 U of M faculty. Additionally, the JCRC and its Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program worked with leadership in both political parties We, as a to support a legislative letter to U of M community President Eric Kaler urging him to speak , should be a out against divestment before the student ll the right to owed government voted. Eighty of 201 legislators d e fi n e on both sides of the aisle signed the when we a re letter. President Kaler issued a statement being targe opposing divestment just hours before the ted. student vote.

DOING GOOD IN ST. PAUL Discussion and voting on the two resolutions took place on March 8 in a standing-room only lecture hall. Immediately, a student senator made a motion to strike both resolutions from the agenda, reasoning that the MSA is not the appropriate forum for these issues. After about 30 minutes of discussion, the motion passed 34 to 31, with 11 abstentions. Divestment was defeated.

American campuses are more often a proxy for conflicts in the Middle Eas t.

ATMOSPHERE ON CAMPUS Kaplan says that while Jewish students don’t feel intimidated on a daily basis, there are things happening regularly. “It’s an interesting time to be a Jewish student at the University of Minnesota,” he said. A swastika was drawn on the Washington Avenue Bridge last year, and there are regular events like Israel Apartheid Week where SJP puts up a big wall meant to demonize Israel. Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director, says that relations between Christians and Jews in the U.S. are strong and growing, and a recent Gallop Poll shows that support for Israel among Americans is at an all-time high at 62 percent. However, he said, “As the world becomes more sophisticated, and opponents of Israel become more sophisticated, American campuses are more often a proxy for conflicts in the Middle East.” Hunegs points to the disruption of a lecture by Prof. Moshe Halbertal last November. The Israeli ethicist, invited to the U of M Law School to deliver a lecture on protecting civilians in warfare, was shouted down for 40 minutes by anti-Israel protestors. “This demonstrated that individuals will go to great lengths to interfere with academic freedom and freedom of expression, because the speaker and the audience were connected to Israel.”

POSITIVE JEWISH AND PRO-ISRAEL VOICE The antidote to anti-Israel rhetoric, said Kaplan, is to be a positive voice for Jewish students. Hillel sponsors Israel-related programming nearly every week, never demonizing the other side. Rahamim agrees, saying SJP lightly couched its BDS message as “social responsibility,” because of the strong pro-Israel community on campus. Hunegs and Kaplan both emphasized that it was the students’ tireless efforts that defeated BDS. Kaplan cited three students in particular who led the way: Sami Rahamim; Israeli-American Leeore Levenstein; and Gabe Levy, the Minnesota Hillel MSA representative and Students Supporting Israel officer. “These three students really made the difference,” Kaplan said. “They put in endless hours to support the Jewish and pro-Israel community on campus, and they demonstrated strength and willingness to stand up in front of the campus community even in a hostile room to speak for what’s right and what’s just.” Federation is proud to support the important work of Minnesota Hillel, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, the Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program and the Minnesota Israel Leadership Collaborative.

UMNunited Campus Coalition: Students Supporting Israel Students Supporting Israel at the University of Minnesota Minnesota Hillel Chabad U of M Alpha Epsilon Pi Sigma Alpha Mu Russian Speaking Student Association Azerbaijani Student Association College Republicans Students for a Conservative Voice Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow Turning Point

Community Partners: Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas Twin Cities Jewish Community Government Affairs Program Minnesota Israel Leadership Collaborative Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul Minneapolis Jewish Federation

In the last year, the Minnesota Israel Leadership Collaborative was formed to bring together individuals working with college students on the topics of Israel and Israel advocacy. An initiative of Minnesota Hillel, the Israel Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, Students Supporting Israel and the JCRC, it provides high-quality programming to meet student’s needs.


Federations launch Life & Legacy initiative There is the midrash about the old man who plants a fig tree, knowing he will not live to see it bear fruit. When someone points this out to him, he replies, “When I was a small child, I could eat fruit because those who came before me had planted trees. Am I not obliged to do the same for the next generation?” We tell this story to remind us of the importance of planning now for future generations. In today’s world, a community endowment is like planting a tree – carrying on a legacy through our children and grandchildren to sustain our traditions into the future. To help our community build a strong financial base for our vital Jewish programs and organizations, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), have joined together to launch a Life & Legacy Program in the Twin Cities. The newest initiative of the HGF, Life & Legacy is part of a plan to provide up to $20 million over the next several years to engage up to 50 communities in North America in legacy building. A unique collaborative program, Life & Legacy works by providing training and support to agencies, synagogues and other community organizations in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Jewish communities

to secure legacy gifts, steward donors and integrate legacy giving into our philanthropic culture. The Federations are creating a bi-cities committee of local leaders to oversee the multi-year collaboration. Barry Glaser of St. Jennifer Herman Spiller Paul and Minneapolis’ Lori Fritz have agreed to serve as co-chairs. Barry and Lori bring years of experience to the project, both having served the Jewish community in countless ways. Jennifer Herman Spiller has agreed to help launch the program. Jennifer has over 20 years of fundraising experience, most recently as director of the Adath Jeshurun Foundation. A local kick-off event is set for Monday, May 2, 4 p.m. at the Sabes JCC. For information, contact Jennifer Herman Spiller at 952-417-2335 or

PROJECT BUS PASS MAKES A DIFFERENCE Thank you to those of you who gave a little extra this year to Project Bus Pass when you made your pledge to the Annual Campaign. As you can read in Jody’s letter, this program to provide bus passes to Jewish Family Service of St. Paul clients who rely on public transportation made all the difference! Contact Sharyn Effress Pesses at 651-695-3186 to learn more.

SS PROJECT BUS PA t will Your additional gif for provide bus passes vice Jewish Family Ser no other clients who have ation. means of transport


le goes a long wa

Please give…a litt


I am a 37-year-old mother of four children under the age of 18. I heard about JFS”s Employment Services Program from the Ronald Hubbs Cente r where I was taking classes to improve my English language skills and obtain my GED. I had really been struggling to provide for my family because I was not eligible for many government resources and I had no reliable transportation. One of the JFS”s employment specialists began working with me to update my resume and improve my interviewing skills. Last month I contac ted JFS because I was very upset. I had been offered a job in a suburb of St. Paul but had no way to get from my apartment in St. Paul to work. JFS provid ed me with a monthly, unlimited ride bus pass that allowed me to travel throughout the Twin Cities, whenever I needed. I am extremely grateful for the f lexibility of being able to take the bus or the light rail, and I have not been late to work, not even once! Because things are still tight f inancially, JFS is provid ing me a second unlimited pass, and they will work with me until I am able to provide for my own transportation needs which I hope will be soon. Thank you for helping me get back on my feet. Jody P.

PASSOVER: FAMILY, FRIENDS, FREEDOM AND FOOD Chef Russell Klein and his wife, Desta, are proprietors of Meritage, a classic French brasserie, in St. Paul — named Best French Restaurant by City Pages, Mpls St. Paul magazine and Minnesota Monthly nearly every year. A native New Yorker, Klein attended the French Culinary Institute, where he studied under Jacques Pepin. He has received numerous awards including four James Beard

Award nominations. His Brasserie Zentral, a Central European brasserie, opened in Minneapolis in April 2014. Along with the opening came a skyway cafe and a wine bar. Unfortunately, in 2016, Brasserie Zentral closed.

Try something new: Kavalierspitz from Chef Russell Klein Be rspitz (Austrian Boiled Russell Klein’s Kavalie 1 2 1/2 lb. 1/2 lb. 1/2 lb.

Top Blade Roast Large Onions, bruleed Celery Carrots Celery Root

1 T 1 T 1 T 1 T 2-2/3 Qts


Chef Klein

Apple Horseradish Sauce

Juniper Black Pepper All Spice Salt Water

sible on the stove. er heavy pan as hot as pos attached, 1) Get a cast iron or oth eeled and the root and stem ends of onions unp ons oni the g vin 2) Lea grain. really cut in half across the ectly in the pan until completely black. You n dir 3) Place cut sides dow pot can’t over-burn them. all of the remaining ingredients into a stock and heat and m diu me r ove 4) Place all the onions r me sim water. Bring to a rs). and cover with cold the meat is tender (3 hou simmer gently until pan and keep covered. a to card. 5) Remove the meat s out of the broth and dis of your choice, such as 6) Strain the vegetable s ble eta veg and th bro the 7) Ser ve the meat with the apple-horseradish sauce. carrots and leeks, and

6 1 1 4 T

Granny Smith Apples, peeled (reserve peelings) Cinnamon Stick Clove Sugar

1 pt 4 T 1

Water Prepared Horseradish Lemon

1. Peel apples. Reserve the peel s. (acidulated with the juice of Hold fruit in enough water to cover one lemon). 2. Combine peelings, cinnamo n, saucepan. Bring to a gentle clove, sugar, and 1 pint water in simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes . Tak heat and allow to steep for an additional 20 minutes. Strain, and e off the liquid. cool 3. Once the liquid has cooled, begin preparing the fruit. Wor king quickly, grate the apples into a prepared horseradish and 1/2 mixing bowl. Combine with the cup of the apple syrup. Mix to even distribute ingredients. ly 4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Looking for a Seder? St. Paul shuls invite you to join them: BETH JACOB CONGREGATION Beth Jacob is committed to seeing that everyone is able to share Pesach with others in their shul community. They are looking for “shidduchim” (matches) for those with space at their seder table and those eager to share that space. Sign up at, or call 651-452-2226.



Congregational Passover Seder: Friday, April 22, 6 p.m. Join Mount Zion for a communal celebration of Passover led by Past President Betsy Rest. A sumptuous Passover feast will be served. Menu includes popovers, matzo ball soup, apricot chicken, potato kugel, roasted vegetables and flourless chocolate torte. Price: $21 by Friday, April 15 ($25 after April 15) Register: Online at mzion.

Congregational seder for members and non-members: Saturday, April 23, 6 p.m. Enjoy an art display, deviled egg bar, charoset bar, adult learning and more. Led by: Rabbi Jeremy Fine, Rabbi Avi Strausberg and Cantor/Educator Joshua Fineblum. Reserve a full table for your family, or they will assign a table for your smaller group. Enjoy a delicious meal of brisket, chicken, soup, vegetable and dessert. Vegetarian option available by reserving early. All are welcome! Price: $34/adult, $18/child. RSVP necessary: 651-698-8874 x106 or


S U N DAY, M AY 1 5 @ T H E S A B E S J C C


Family activities including arts & crafts, Bible petting zoo, games, Israeli LEGO activities, bounce house, face painting, ultimate frisbee and more! Plus, live music and great food! 6:30 PM • HALEHAKA Sure to inspire and delight, join us for a live performance by popular Israeli band, Halehaka, formerly a part of the Israel Defense Forces Military Band. For more information, contact Shay Elam at Sponsored in part by IAC Beyachad, Genesis Philanthropy Group, RAJMN, and Jewish National Fund.

Happy 68th Birthday, Israel!

2 0 1 6




YOM HASHOAH Wednesday, May 4 • 26 Nisan 7:00 p.m. Beth Jacob Congregation 1179 Victoria Curve Mendota Heights, MN 55118

Speaker: Donald Burris, co-counsel on the Nazi looted-art case that inspired the recent film, Woman in Gold. Featuring family stories about Holocaust artifacts by Holocaust survivor Eva Gross and 3rd Generation Judi Shink. The 2016 Yom HaShoah Commemoration is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, please email The Yom HaShoah Commemoration is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota (CHAIM), Beth Jacob Congregation, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, and Generations After MN.

Yom HaZikaron Tuesday, May 10, 7 p.m., St. Paul JCC Our Taste of Life program will connect St. Paul’s Jewish community to Yom HaZikaron in Israel in a special way. Taste of Life contributor Reena Robinson and her husband Mark will be our special guests. They’ll participate in the ceremony at 7 p.m. and join us for a private reception for cooking session participants at 7:45 p.m. For more information, contact Eden Kohali, at 651-353-2670 or


TASTE OF LIFE Meet. Cook. Enjoy a meal with a story behind it. Taste of Life is a collection of 124 recipes from the kitchens of Israeli parents whose children will never come home again to enjoy their favorite dish. Learn the stories behind the recipes of families who carry on without their loved ones. Eden Kohali, St. Paul shlicha, will lead cooking sessions at St. Paul synagogues and organizations, where participants will prepare and enjoy dishes featured in the book. Reena Robinson, contributor to Taste of Life.

Choose a cooking session: • Federation & Chabad - April 15, 10 a.m. • St. Paul JCC - May 1, 4 p.m., $5 fee (pay at the door) • Talmud Torah - May 9, 7 p.m. • Temple of Aaron - May 5, 6:30 p.m. • Temple of Aaron USY - April 6, 6 p.m. • Beth Jacob - April 14, 6 p.m., $5 fee (pay at the door) • Beth Jacob USY - May 3, 6 p.m. • Mount Zion - April 18, 6 p.m. Register online at or contact Eden Kohali at or 651-353-2670

Please join us on this journey of memories, tastes and love for Israel.

The Robinson Family Reena and Mark Robinson made aliyah in 1979, settling in Kibbutz Tirat Zvi. They have five children: Matanya, Dagan, Itai, Daniel and Yerdena; and six grandchildren. Their eldest son, Matanya, was killed in battle in 2002 during Operation Defensive Shield.


The Robinson Family

Matanya pursued a communications track in high school, excelling in photography and film editing. After graduation, he joined the pre-army Mechina Program at Beit Yisrael in Jerusalem. At the end of the year, Matanya was inducted into the Israel Defense Force’s Golani Unit. He served as a squad commander and then as a battalion sergeant. He loved his unit and was proud to serve his country. After attending a Passover Seder with his family in 2002, Matanya returned to his unit to participate in Operation Defensive Shield. Matanya was conducting house-to-house searches in the Jenin refugee camp when he was shot and killed by terrorist sniper fire. His funeral was held the following day on Holocaust Remembrance Day. He was eulogized as a person who had a good word for all he met. “His actions were all done in a loving manner, and his ways were always ways of peace.”

ONE FAMILY AND THE TASTE OF LIFE BOOK One Family was founded in 2001 after a terror attack in Jerusalem. Michal Belzberg chose not to hold a party for her Bat Mitzvah and asked her parents to donate that money to victims of the attack. They also began a campaign fundraiser and collected $100,000 more. Today, One Family raises funds to help families of Israeli soldiers killed in terror attacks by providing a place where they can meet and draw strength from others in similar situations.


NEW VOLUNTEER PROGRAM Jewish Family Service offers opportunities to help others Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) is looking for (more than) a few energetic, compassionate people to spend time with socially isolated seniors. The agency recently launched a program to attract and train these volunteers, and eventually others, to serve in different capacities. The first group of volunteers would help people aged 55 and older who have long-lasting sadness or depression to resume doing the things they used to enjoy, according to Margie Solomon, JFS’ new volunteer engagement specialist. Solomon described her new job as a “third act.” A leadership and career development coach, she worked in corporate human resources for 30 years. Solomon began her professional career doing community education and staff development for nonprofit health agencies in the Twin Cities, Atlanta and New Jersey.


Margie Solomon Sue Lund Photography

LEAP volunteer commitment could be short- or long-term, according to Solomon. A short-term volunteer might be someone who has a specific skill to offer and can do so periodically. Longer-term volunteers might have had experience with an aging family member and want to help others who are similarly situated.

JFS’ long -term goal is to create an agenc y-wide volunteer system.

JFS’ long-term goal is to create an agency-wide volunteer system to support their other programs, and they’ve begun to build a program-wide volunteer base. They also seek individuals to visit home-bound seniors, help unemployed persons with job-seeking skills, or share unique skills or passions to bring enrichment to others. Community service experiences for families and teen groups can be arranged as well. — Nancy Crotti

“My job right now is to really build the infrastructure for the agency to create and maintain a successful volunteer program,” Solomon said. The volunteers’ work would supplement that of trained mental health practitioners who work through the Life Enrichment Action Program (LEAP).

HELP FOR SENIORS, FREE OF CHARGE A variety of community organizations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area refers clients to LEAP, which JFS offers free of charge to seniors. Trained practitioners meet with each participant in the senior’s home. They screen for long-lasting sadness and depression and encourage clients to engage in meaningful activity. They also teach seniors how to use a simple problem-solving technique to address problems that make them feel “down,” decrease symptoms of depression and improve their overall sense of well-being. JFS has offered LEAP to isolated seniors since 2011, in partnership with Keystone Community Services / West Seventh Community Center and NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Grants from the Stevens Square Foundation and the UCare Foundation provide partial funding for the program. JFS will provide LEAP volunteers with eight hours of training, including an overview of normal aging, depression and social isolation, and an explanation of how the program works. The agency is looking particularly for LEAP volunteers who speak languages in addition to English, such as Russian, Somali and Hmong.


YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Do you think you’d like to volunteer with Jewish Family Service, or would you like some information? Socially isolated seniors might need what you have to offer. Call JFS Volunteer Engagement Specialist Margie Solomon at 651-690-8907, or email her at Be sure to check out the volunteer page on the JFS website for a variety of ways to get involved. Go to


INSPIRING JEWISH LIFE WITH LOADS OF FUN Summer camp and Israel experiences Each year, Federation provides scholarships for summer camp and Israel experiences. The research shows that young people who attend Jewish camp are significantly more likely to embrace Jewish life. But the best reason to provide scholarships just may be the numerous letters we get from young campers like this one:

Dear Jewish Federation of St. Paul, Thank you for the scholarship to Herzl Camp. Over the years your generosity has filled memories I will never ever forget. I dream of being at camp forever, and maybe I will as a staff, but for now, the scholarship-powered month long infinity will be the closest I can get. Thanks again, Netanya Sadoff


Camp Butwin: Up north in Eagan Turn off the highway, take the unpaved road leading to Camp Butwin, and you’d swear you’re on a lake up north. That is just one of the things that makes camp life at the St. Paul JCC summer camp so memorable. The real magic happens every day at Camp Butwin. It’s a place that feels like family, centering each child’s experience on friendship, community, collaboration, exploration and team building. Camp Butwin is a day camp for kindergarteners through 9th graders who can participate in their Counselor-In-Training program. The camp season begins on June 20 and runs through August 12. Camp programs include everything from exploring 88 acres of beautiful wooded landscapes to activities such as horseback riding, sports, boating, challenge courses, arts and crafts, and swimming. To register or for more information, go to or call Sarah, camp director, at 651-255-5768.

Cuddle up WITH a good book Each month The PJ Library® sends a free age-appropriate Jewish content book or CD to children ages six months to eight years. The books focus on Jewish holidays as well as values and customs for you to share with your kids. Currently, 360 St. Paul children receive free books every month! Created by The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), PJ Library is funded by Federation and local philanthropists in partnership with HGF. Along with the books, we plan fun PJ Library group activities like music, reading, playtime and even knish-making throughout the year. Contact Marni Tselos, PJ Library coordinator, at or 651-695-3195 to sign up.


y at Katherine and Johnn

Camp Butwin.


The crisis speaks to the most fundamental reason why our Annual Campaign is so critical. Together, Federations have raised millions for Jews caught in the conflict. We will not turn away.

CRISIS IN UKRAINE Aid from Federation’s partners means the difference between life and death

Photo: JFNA

The estimated 350,000 Jews living in Ukraine have been profoundly affected by the political and economic instability AND HUMANITARIAN CRISES that have wracked the country since January 2014. Thousands are

Deliver Emergency Aid to Homebound and Displaced People Jewish children, families and elderly remain trapped in conflict zones or are displaced by fighting. Amid blockades, a depressed economy and skyrocketing prices, our partners ensure that nearly 9,000 Jews receive food, fuel, medicine and water.

trapped in conflict zones in the east. Thousands more have fled

Address Special Emergency Needs

the fighting — the first time

Emergency home repairs due to damage sustained during the conflict, along with surgeries and special medications, are critical services our partners arrange for those in exceptional need. More than 1,000 people in the conflict zone receive medical support each month.

since world war II that Jews in ukraine are displaced.

Secure Housing for Displaced Families Nearly 2,500 Jews have been forced to flee embattled cities, leaving behind homes and jobs. Our partners provide safe havens for them while they regain their footing and integrate into new living circumstances.

Provide a Waystation to New Lives in Israel While waiting for their documents to be processed, our partners have developed a center that serves as a home base for those Ukrainian Jews on their way to Israel. They can access housing, Hebrew language courses, aliyah orientation, and psychological assistance.


St. Paul

Events in the Community Log on to for details about these events and many more. APRIL 15


Maroon and Gold Shabbat 5:30-9 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium, 420 SE 23rd Ave., Minneapolis

JCRC Annual Event: Road to the White House with Mara Liasson 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. program @ Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Minnesota Hillel will host Maroon and Gold Shabbat, bringing together over 500 students, parents, alumni and community members. Evening includes services with the Minnesota Chai Notes A Capella, pescatarian dinner from Kafe 421, awards presentation and program, and Oneg Shabbat overlooking the field.

For tickets and more information, contact

Mara Liasson can be heard regularly on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” where she provides extensive coverage of politics from Washington, D.C.

For details and tickets, contact Lisa Ferrier at or 612-338-7816.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9 APRIL 30-MAY 22 Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company presents “Bad Jews” by Joshua Harmon Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a verbal battle over a family heirloom in an edgy comedy that reveals millennials’ struggles with family, faith and legacy.

To order tickets, call 651-647-4315 or visit

SUNDAY, MAY 1 Building a Brighter Future for Our Children: The Benefits of Pre-School Education for Children, Families and the Community 1 to 4 p.m. @ Humphrey School Conference Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis The Twin Cities Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation presents a forum featuring Dr. Art Rolnick, Dr. Jeff Schiff and Dr. Megan Gunnar. They will discuss the effects of poverty and high stress on young children and what early childhood education can do to provide a better future for those at risk.

To RSVP, contact Marilyn Ruby at 651-695-3181 or mruby@

TUESDAY, MAY 3 Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul presents Staying Sharp with Dr. David Alter 5:30 -8:30 p.m., Shaller Family Sholom East Campus, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul Learn about the nine keys to a strong memory and a healthy brain from Twin Cities psychologist Dr. David Alter, co-author of the new book Staying Sharp. Dr. Alter will also discuss holistic healing approaches that integrate neuroscience and ancient wisdom. Cost: $15, includes dinner and book signing.

RSVP to Diane Ales at or 651-695-3190.


Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul Annual Meeting 7 p.m., Mount Zion Temple, 1350 Summit Ave., St. Paul Board members will be installed, including Steve Brand, who will be the Federation board president.

For details, contact Sharyn Effress Pesses at 651-690-3186 or

SAVE THE DATE – SUNDAY, SEPT. 25 Federation Annual Campaign Gala with David Broza We’re excited to welcome Israeli superstar David Broza to this year’s gala. Broza has delighted audiences worldwide, playing a range of music from flamenco-flavored rhythmic and percussive techniques, to whirlwind finger picking, to a signature rock’n’roll sound. Watch for details.

PURIM BASKETS DELIVERED TO HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS Thank you to the members of our community who generously donated to provide Purim baskets to Holocaust survivors in our Partnership Region. On March 22, Partnership held a party for 100 survivors. They received our baskets, enjoyed music and treats!

St. Paul

seen in st. paul [1] Women’s Philanthropy hosted Masha Shumatskaya who told her story of escape from her war-torn hometown and her relief work with other young Jews in Ukraine. See page 13 for an update on the situation there. (L-R) Wendy Baldinger; Nancy Lane, Women’s Philanthropy chair; Masha Shumatskaya and Deborah Frishberg.


[7] 500 people attended the Twin Cities Cardozo Society Dinner on Nov. 19. (L-R) Royee Vlodaver, Dinner Committee chair; Andrew Parker, Steering Committee chair; The Honorable Myron Greenberg and Alan Silver, recipients of the Sydney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award; Phyllis Karasov, Steering Committee chair; and Jesse Kibort, Dinner Committee chair.




[2] Last fall’s young adult and young families apple picking event was fun for all. (L-R) Jordan Pollack, Dana Shapiro, Jeffrey Perlman and Re’ema Absey.

[3] In December, a group of St. Paul teens visited Israel for a Teen Mifgash (encounter) trip with teens from the Sovev Kinneret, St. Paul’s Partnership Region. The group included Michael Stiefel Alperin, Annie Balto, Rachel Bloom, Sam Gantman, Rachel Brod Farber, Max Lerman and Sophia Weber. They spent a day at the Hemdatya Ecology Farm with their Israeli friends, along with Ben Savin from the St. Paul JCC who chaperoned the group, and our former shlicha Ris Arbel.

[6] [6] In January, Federation hosted three chefs from our Partnership Region. They dished up Israeli favorites and unique delicacies at events around St. Paul. (L-R) Eden Kohali; Maayan Leshem; Yoav Segal, U.S. Cluster Chair, Sovev Kinneret Partnership 2Gether ; Ron Matz, St. Paul Chair, Sovev Kinneret Partnership 2Gether; Shira Korenfien; and Roy Tavor.

[4] [5] The St. Paul Young Adult Division HanuKrawl was a great success once again! About 60 people met up on the evening of Dec. 12 for good food, drinks and fun at favorite Grand Ave. locations.

[4] During the Teen Mifgash trip, the St. Paul JCC’s Ben Savin visited the Savion Kindergarten in Tiberias. He brought a challah cover made by children in the St. Paul JCC preschool – the “Twin Schools” connect and learn about each other over Skype and in other ways. The children from Savion sent greeting cards and candles back to St. Paul.



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790 Cleveland Avenue South, Suite 227 St. Paul MN 55116

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our Mission To unite, sustain and enhance the St. Paul area Jewish community and strengthen bonds with Jewish communities in Israel and around the world. We fulfill this mission through financial resource development and planning, and by working in partnership with social service agencies, educational institutions and synagogues. 651-690-1707 Sign up for our monthly e-newsletters on our homepage!

PassoverMystery FACT: Every Passover, we open the door for Elijah, the Hebrew prophet whose unseen presence is felt helping people throughout the world. FACT: We invite Elijah in to drink from his cup on our Seder table.


FACT: He never drinks. What’s up with that? FACT: It’s entirely possible that the cup isn’t only for Elijah. It’s for us, too. To remind us of all the times we’ve been helped by his unseen hand, and to inspire us to return the favor.