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THE JEWISH VOICE AND OPINION Promoting Classical Judaism

July 2008

Vol. 21 • No. 11

Tammuz 5768

Israel Swaps Live Child-Killer for Dead IDF Soldiers: Appeasement or Mercy?

If the government of Ehud Olmert actually follows its plan to release the Lebanese-Druze terrorist and child-murderer Samir Kuntar, there will be good reason for supporters of Hezbollah in Lebanon and around the world to cheer. Not only will his discharge from prison be seen as the fulfillment of a vow made by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to free him, but Mr. Kuntar, now 46, has sworn to make himself available to the terrorists in any capacity they see fit. After the international terrorist and Hezbollah second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a car-bomb at-

tack by unknown forces in Syria three months ago, Mr. Kuntar wrote to Mr. Nasrallah, swearing that his “place will be at the battlefront, which is soaked in the sweat of your giving, and the blood of the most beloved among men.” “I shall continue down the path until complete victory. I give to you and all the Jihad fighters, my congratulations and renewed loyalty,” he wrote, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which translated the letter. Although Israel denied any knowledge of the attack on Mr. Mughniyeh,

Samir Kuntar, Unrepentant Terrorist

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Expelled by the RCA, Fired by His Shul, Slaughtered on the Blogs, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler Is Cleaning Their Clocks in Court Three years after the Rabbinical Council of America expelled Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, with strong innuendos that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual activity, the Rockland Countybased spiritual leader, scion of one of the most respected rabbinic families in the Orthodox world, has won several cases in secular court, all dealing in some way with issues pertaining to the expulsion. Thus far, every attempt he has made in secular court to redeem his tarnished reputation and regain his livelihood has met with success. In addition, he has also filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Licensing Services and the New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo,

Defending Identity......................... 3 Kol Ami: Iran?............................... 4 The Current Crisis.......................... 5 Our Sages and the Bodies............ 11 Cirque Dreamsl............................ 12 Growing Up at the G.................... 13 EMUNAH under Siege................ 17

Rabbi Mordecai and Michelle Tendler

Inside the Voice

Chabad at the Shore..................... 19 Jerusalem Day in Haifa................ 20 R Mordecai Weiss’s Birthright..... 22 Would Orthodoxy Survive?—..... 26 Kosher Wine Tasting S’s.............. 31 The Log........................................ 32 New Classes This Month............. 36

against the Texas-based company, Praesidium, which was hired by the RCA in the spring of 2004 to investigate the claims of sexual impropriety. According to the complaint, neither Praesidium nor its officer, Dr. Jane Hickerson, who actually conducted the inquiry into Rabbi Tendler’s behavior, is licensed to conduct private investigations in New York or Texas, and, thus, was in violation of New York General Business Law. “Illegitimate and Illicit” According to Rabbi Tendler’s attorney, Ronald Coleman of Manhattan, who is handling the complaint, the Praesidium’s investigation was “illegitimate and illicit.” The complaint filed against

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Mazal Tov..................................... 36 Chesed Ops.................................. 38 Ess Gezint: Jeryl Lapp z”l.......... 54 Index of Advertisers..................... 57 Honor the Professional................ 59 Letters to the Editor..................... 60 Walk to Shul................................. 62


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Why

I feel fortunate that Holy Name Hospital is here for me.” —Trudy Rosenthal, Teaneck resident, and her daughter Deborah Ross

When she moved here several years ago, Trudy Rosenthal was just happy to be close to her daughter. After a few scares that involved her heart, she realizes how critical it is to have quality healthcare nearby as well. Deborah already had a connection with Holy Name. First as a clinical informatics nurse and now in community outreach, she knows the Holy Name Hospital experience firsthand as an employee. Both mother and daughter appreciate, on a personal level as well as from a community perspective, the value the hospital brings to everyone.

To learn more, visit www.holyname.org or call 877-HOLY-NAME (465-9626).

Imagine the Possibilities. • 877-H OLY -N AME (465-9626)

• www.holyname.org


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Natan Sharansky in Teaneck: “Identity” Can Help Democracies Rediscover the Will to Win and Keep Their Freedom By Betty Schwartz

I

n his new book, Defending Identity: Its Indispensible Role in Protecting Democracy, former Russian-Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky takes the position that groups with strong national, religious, or ethnic identities who, nevertheless, accept democracy and freedom, are intrinsically superior to so-called “democrats” who espouse universality and denounce identity as little more than a divisive prejudice. The book is essentially Mr. Sharansky’s appeal to the West not to relinquish its ideals and values as it struggles with leftwing political correctness and Islamist religious coercion.

Natan Sharansky It is not a politically corof its spiritual children still rect position. The view of the teaching on college campuses former Soviet Union and many throughout the world, is that

because religious and cultural identities often lead to conflicts that result in decreased freedom and democracy for all parties, the ideal world would do away with separate identities. While the Soviets’ ideal was atheism, Islamist extremists, Mr. Sharansky points out, also envision a world without separate identities. For them, the ideal is for all mankind to adopt—willingly or by the sword—acceptance of Islam as the dominant identity. Mr. Sharansky, who spent eight years confined in a Soviet prison for insisting on his right to identify as a free Jew with the human right to emigrate, argues

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THE JEWISH VOICE AND OPINION, Inc. © 2007; Publisher and Editor-in-Chief: Susan L. Rosenbluth Phone (201)569-2845 Managing Editor: Sharon Hes, Advertising: Rivkie Lichstein The Jewish Voice & Opinion (ISSN # 1527-3814), POB 8097, Englewood, NJ 07631, is published monthly in coordination with The Central Fund of Israel. A one-year subscription is $15. Periodicals postage is paid at Englewood, NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Jewish Voice and Opinion, POB 8097, Englewood, NJ 07631. All advertising in the Jewish Voice and Opinion must conform to the standards of the Orthodox Rabbinic kashruth. Editorial content reflects the views of the writer and not necessarily any other group. The Jewish Voice is not responsible for typographical errors.


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Kol Ami: Iran?

by Sharon Beck No one—except the Iranians and the mullahs’ proxies in Hezbollah and Hamas—expressed surprise (or chagrin) last month when the Israeli Air Force engaged in a major exercise that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had just announced, again, that “the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime which has 60 years of plundering, aggression, and crimes in its file has reached the end of its work and will soon disappear off the geographical scene.” Referring to the US, he said, “The bell on the countdown of the destruction of the empire of power and wealth has begun to ring.” It has been suggested that, especially if Democratic candidate Barack Obama wins in November, US President George Bush will give Israel the green light to attack Iran. Participants on the Hebron Fund’s “Cruise ‘n’ Shmooze” last month were asked: What should Israel do about Iran?

Israel must be prepared militarily for attack and defense. Sharon Fuchs Brooklyn, NY

I believe in taking the bull by the horns. If the Iranians can be stopped only by taking military action, then Israel should do it. Alan Skorski West Hempstead, NY

Israel should try to persuade the US and the UN to exert as much pressure as possible. Israel should attack only if attacked first, unless, as in the 1967 Six Day War, there is very solid evidence that an Iranian attack is imminent. Daniel Lieberman Midwood, NY

Israel should follow a policy of employing diplomacy not attacks. To the best of their ability, they should always be willing to give diplomacy every chance of success. Debbie Herman Lawrence, NY


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

The Current Crisis: “Even in Laughter, the Heart Can Ache”

Your Tzedaka Dollars at Work: According to reports, former Israeli-Arab MK Azmi Bishara is still enjoying a salary of 8,000 NIS (almost $2500) per month. Not a bad amount considering he was suspected of aiding the enemy and other criminal offenses during the 2006 Lebanon War. When word about his activities on behalf of the terrorists became public, Mr. Bishara fled. It is, after all, unclear if, in Israel, former terrorist-assisting MKs continue to be paid while in prison. In April 2007, Mr. Bishara resigned from the Knesset using the good offices of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. He has had the good taste not to return to the Jewish state since. But he still continues to cash his monthly check. Only last month, Likud MK Danny Danon petitioned the Supreme Court to stop payment of salary pension and other benefits Mr. Bishara continues to enjoy. Oh, yes, Mr. Danon understands that, in Israel, it might not be clear why he feels this way, so he thought it necessary to make an Internet video in which he explains his petition. Aren’t you glad you fund activities supported by the Israeli government, thus freeing up badly needed shekels that can go to worthwhile philanthropic endeavors, such as Mr. Bishara’s travel expenses? *** Perhaps Bishara should hire Jerry Della Femina, a man who knows a thing or two about marketing. Last month, Della Femina penned an open letter to Barack Obama, in which he sympathized with the Democratic Presidential candidate’s “spiritual-advisor problem.” A Republican Catholic, Della Femina said he well understands how a person could sit for 20 years in a house of worship

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and never hear a thing the spiritual leader said from the pulpit. Now that Obama is essentially a candidate without a church, Della Femina has a great idea: Obama should convert to…Judaism. Why? First, of all, it’s a sure bet his new rabbi “will never open his mouth about politics.” And the bar mitzvah could be held, for national television, the night before the convention, hosted by Larry King. Della Femina said he choked up just thinking about Obama announcing: “Today I am a man.” And Obama’s new symbol? Obviously an eye-patch. In one fell swoop, he becomes the living symbol of Sammy Davis, Jr and Moshe Dayan. Only in America. *** But we suggest Obama do everything legally—not like Ted Riley Floyd who has lived for years as Nathan James Levi with his wife and children in the Orthodox community of Lakewood. Last month, Mr. Floyd, 28, was sentenced to a year in prison for using a stolen identity. Chabad, call your office. *** News Flash: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life just did a poll in which they found (drum roll) that while Jews (along with Buddhists and Hindus) are most likely to describe their political ideology as “liberal,” those Jews who say their religion is very important to them or pray every day are more likely than others to be politically conservative. And for this they actually pay the Pew Forum good money.


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Defending Identity

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that, taken separately, freedom and identity are flawed. Freedom without values leaves nations vulnerable to enemies with strong passions. Identity without tolerance is the hallmark of dictatorship. Mr. Sharansky spoke about his ideas last month at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck as part of a US tour to promote his new book. Only with Democracy He argued that, contrary to the currently politically correct view, not all cultural and religious identities and values are equally legitimate. The only ones that are, he said, are those that also promote democracy and freedom—even for peo-

ple with whom the majority disagrees. “Identity and democracy can coexist, but only if both are strong. Identity must be framed within a democracy,” he said. In societies without a strong commitment to democracy, identity can be used destructively, he said, but where there is dedication to freedom, strong identities “are as valuable to a well-functioning society as they are to secure and committed well-functioning individuals.” “A world without differences is a world that denies people their deepest attachments to history and to the future, to memory and to inheritance,” he said. Born in the Gulag

His appreciation for freedom and identity was born in the Soviet prison, where he was deprived of both. The KGB, he said, tried to break him with torture and flattery, telling him how important he was and promising him a life filled with all the benefits the Soviet Union could offer if only he would cooperate. The alternative was to face the death penalty. Mr. Sharansky said his growing identity as a champion of Soviet Jewry and human rights gave him the strength to fight. The dream of freedom, he said, sustained him in his struggle. “Identity gave me the strength to become free,” he said, stressing his connection to the Jewish people, the land of Israel, the tenets of Judaism, and a fear of G-d. No Contradiction Only after his release, he said, he realized that most of the world—certainly the politically correct, liberal-intellectual contingent—saw freedom and identity as contradictory. To Mr. Sharansky, they were natural—and necessary—allies. In Russia, he said, he saw no contradiction between his desire to gain his rights as a freely, publicly identifying Jew and his demand for freedom for all Soviet citizens. To his jailors, eradicating Jewish identity was part and parcel of the overall communist goal to destroy all individual freedom and cultural and religious identification in favor of the atheistic collective. In Teaneck, Mr. Sharansky made the case for harnessing the power of identity—the desire to belong and to believe— with freedom—the right to live openly according to one’s beliefs and the willingness to extend that right to others who hold different views. Willingness to Sacrifice He maintained that Islamists use their unbridled sense of identity as a weapon against the West, especially in countries where identity and traditional values are waning. The Islamists’ recognition of the West’s increasing lack of values for which they are willing to sacrifice, lies behind the public boast made by Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, that Islam will “win” because Islamists “love death” while Jews (and Westerners in general) love life. Declining Jewish-religious identity in Israel has accelerated the problem. Mr. Sharansky related the story of a terrorist


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com in an Israeli prison who was surprised to see his Jewish guard eating bread on Passover. When the prisoner asked about this, the guard replied that the holiday was based on “old stories” that had nothing to do with him. The terrorist concluded that the Arabs should, therefore, make no concessions to Israel because “a people who do not treasure their past will disappear.” Some far-left wing Israelis have tried actively to eradicate Jewish national and religious identity, recognizing that the two often, but not always, go together. In his book, Mr. Sharansky quotes Shulamith Aloni, a former far left-wing Israeli politician who, while serving as education minister, opposed trips by Israeli schoolchildren to Auschwitz on the grounds that “they stirred up nationalist sentiment among the youth.” European Post-Identity In general, Ms. Aloni’s sentiments have not been popular in Israel, where the rejection of traditional Jewish religious practices was generally not a conscientious attempt to dismiss national identity. The same, however, cannot be said for the Europeans, where an ideology of “post-identity” has run rampant. Mr. Sharansky maintained that Europe is currently paying the price for two generations that engaged in active attempts to erase their national identities. In the latter half of the 20th century, many Europeans, who viewed Germany’s aggressive nationalism as the cause of two world wars, saw national identity as a villainous flaw that should be overcome. Unfortunately for them, many of the Muslims who were welcomed as immigrant workers, came with a strong commitment to their own identity, but with no willingness to accept Western-European democracy. The result, Mr. Sharansky said, is the current so-called “clash of civilizations,” which he believes Europe is in danger of losing. Healthier America America, on the other hand, he said, is healthier than Europe because the US enjoys a long-held dual commitment to identity and freedom. This, he pointed out, can be seem in the founding narratives. The American Revolution was fought, in part, to protect religious beliefs. The French Revolution was seen as an effort to overthrow religion, and, ever since, France has been

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engaged in initiatives aimed at erasing individual identity in favor of a unified French character. According to Mr. Sharansky, this lies behind the current French attempts to keep all religious symbols, including Muslim head scarves, Jewish kippot, and Christian crosses, out of public schools. In the US, the courts—and, for the most part, public opinion—defends individual rights and demands that public space be shared. Tradition of Respect Mr. Sharansky recalled his visit, made soon after his release from the Soviet Union, to the late Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who had been instrumental in helping Soviet Jews emigrate. Mr. Jackson discussed his Jewish aide who once came to work on a Jewish holiday. The Senator promptly chastised his aide, telling him, “To be a good American, be a good Jew.” Mr. Sharansky had a similar experience when he met President Ronald Reagan in 1988, towards the end of his term. According to Mr. Sharansky, Mr. Reagan greeted him like “a proud grandfather,” telling the former dissident to continue expending all his effort to help other

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Jews trying to leave the Soviet Union. “His memory was already fading, but he had perfect moral clarity,” said Mr. Sharansky. In contrast, Mr. Sharansky recalled meeting an eminent Jewish professor of philosophy at Oxford who decried the efforts of local Chabad leaders to strengthen Jewish life on campus. “We should never forget that we are guests here. Our Judaism is for families, not the public,” the philosopher complained. Israeli Struggle Mr. Sharansky pointed out that, in Israel, there is a struggle between Jewish religious and Israeli national identity. He believes the country must learn to merge the two. This, he said, is in contradiction to the goals of the architects of the Oslo plan, who argued that Israel must end its devotion to nationalism and that being a “universalist” precluded a strong Jewish identity. It is a position greatly favored by many left-wing Jews, especially in academia, who attempt to depict Zionism as evil nationalism. The goal of the so-called post-Zionists is to convince Jews that they do not have a moral, historical, religious,

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Defending Identity or political right to the land of Israel. Greatest Risk These efforts to weaken Israelis’ Jewish identity constitute the greatest risk to Israel’s survival, he said. “When Jews abandon identity in the pursuit of universal freedom, they end up with neither. Yet when they embrace identity in the name of freedom, as Soviet Jews did in the 1970s, they end up securing both,” he said. Europe, he pointed out, is losing its culture and identity to Islamism because the Europeans have relinquished their belief that their culture and democratic ideals are values worth fighting for. Similarly, he said, Israel will not survive if it gives up its Jewish identity. “The path to peace lies in strengthening Israel’s Jewish identity and maintaining Israeli democracy, while encouraging our non-democratic neighbors to build free societies,” he said.

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Elections Are Not Freedom As he pointed out in his previous book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, Mr. Sharansky does not equate holding an election with enjoying freedom. The Palestinians, who overwhelmingly voted for the terrorist group, Hamas, are not living in a democracy simply because they held elections. Elections, he said, are often the end-point in achieving a democracy with its concomitant freedoms. The Palestinians may have elected Hamas, but, under Hamas, they are not free. Useful Tension In Teaneck, Mr. Sharansky was pummeled with questions that underscored his predominantly Orthodox audience’s anxiety over reconciling Torah and democratic values. Mr. Sharansky maintained that both must be respected, despite the tension that can cause. “But it is a useful ten-

sion,” he said. He did not deny that there have been moral lapses in the way Israel has treated Palestinians, but, on the whole, he said, Israel’s record is better than that of any other country. Human Rights Failures He criticized so-called human rights groups that censure Israel, saying these groups make no distinction between those who support terrorism and those who fight against it. “The human rights organizations have it backwards,” he said, stressing that they demonize the one democracy in the Middle East while saying nothing about Israel’s neighbors whose records on human rights are disasters. In his book, he points out that the current situation in Europe, where Western democracies are relinquishing their values because they are unwilling to resist aggressive and self-confident Islamist cultural and political forces, has led to the virtual collapse of all human rights efforts throughout the world. The human rights organizations that Mr. Sharansky headed in the Soviet Union, such as the Helsinki Watch Group, have devolved into organizations that protest against Israel’s right and efforts to exist, but are silent on the lack of liberty in areas under the rule of the Islamists and rarely speak out against human rights disasters elsewhere in the world. Mr. Sharansky himself is often excoriated by activists with groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch because he simultaneously speaks out against human rights atrocities throughout the world and defends Israel’s right to protect itself against terrorists, who seek to deny Jews the

right to live freely in a sovereign Jewish state. No Appeasement He is an active opponent of appeasement, not only because it is intrinsically wrong, but because “it never works.” He pointed to Israeli negotiations in 2000 with then-PA leader Yasir Arafat, which resulted in then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer to relinquish virtually all of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and to divide Jerusalem. Believing the offer indicated Israel’s lack of conviction in the Jews’ own argument, Mr. Arafat rejected the offer; denied, once again, any Jewish historical connections or rights to the land of Israel; and initiated the bloody intifada. Mr. Sharansky resigned from the Barak government, just as he did in 2005 from the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, when the decision was made to attempt to appease the Arabs by retreating from Gaza and expelling 10,000 Jewish residents. For the same reason, he is opposed to exchanging Jewish captives for Arab terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons for murder. The problem, he said, is that “dangerous precedents have been made by previous governments and now we have to struggle with them.” “Appeasement is not a solution,” said Mr. Sharansky. Jewish Education When asked about the issue of corruption in Israeli politics, Mr. Sharansky’s suggestion was to start with better Jewish education. Inculcating Israel’s young people in schools and youth movements with Jewish values would result in an electorate that would not tolerate the behavior that has become all-too-common in the Knesset, he said. In Teaneck, Mr. Sharansky


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com pointed out that the problem of a lack of Jewish education is not unique to Israel. In Australia, 70 percent of Jewish children attend Jewish schools. In the US, the figure is closer to 10 percent. “Channel your donations to Jewish education,” he told his audience. 30-Year Friendship Mr. Sharansky’s appearance in Teaneck was sponsored by Congregation Rinat Yisrael. When the number of community members requesting seats climbed to over 500, the event was moved to the larger Congregation Keter Torah. The evening was organized by Kenneth and Janet Hoffman, who first met Mr. Sharansky in 1978 on a trip to the Soviet Union to aid refuseniks who were fighting for permission to emigrate. At Keter Torah, Mrs. Hoffman said she would not have believed that, 30 years later, she would be hosting Mr. Sharansky at such an event. Shortly after meeting with the Hoffmans in 1978, Mr. Sharansky, then 30, was convicted on charges of treason and spying for the US. He was sentenced to 13 years of forced labor. Largely through the efforts of his wife, Avital, a tireless campaigner on his behalf from Israel, he became the face of all political, and especially Jewish, Soviet prisoners. Success in Israel In 1988, when the Soviets decided he had become too great an embarrassment, he was flown to East Germany and led across the Glienicke Bridge to West Berlin, where he was exchanged for a pair of Soviet spies. Renowned by that time for his resistance in the Gulag, he disregarded his guards’ orders to walk straight towards his freedom. Instead, in a final act of defiance, he zigzagged across the bridge. In 1988, he was elected president of the Zionist Forum, an umbrella organization of former Soviet dissidents, and, in 1995, he founded and chaired Yisrael Ba’Aliyah, a political party which promoted the absorption of Soviet Jews into Israeli society. Although after resigning from Mr. Sharon’s government, he was re-elected to the Knesset in March 2006 as a member of the Likud, he subsequently announced in October of that year that he was retiring from politics. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Shalem

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Center, a Jerusalem-based think tank. He and his wife, Avital, have two daughters. Ida Milgrom, z”l The event in Teaneck was a fundraiser to benefit the Ida Milgrom Memorial Fund to aid former refuseniks in Israel. Named for Mr. Sharansky’s mother, who worked tirelessly on behalf of her son and the entire refusenik community, the fund helps former refuseniks many of whom arrived in the Jewish state when they were already too old to work for the ten years necessary to earn a pension. Many refuseniks, despite years of training and experience, were able to find jobs only as menial laborers. The fund also helps former refuseniks

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with medical problems due not only to their age but also to the insufficient care they received as dissidents in the Soviet Union. Ms. Milgrom, who died in 2002 at the age of 94, spent the last 16 years of her life in Jerusalem, surrounded by her children (Mr. Sharansky and his brother, Leonid) and her four grandchildren. Donations, earmarked for the Ida Milgrom Memorial Fund, can be sent to Congregation Rinat Yisrael, 389 West Englewood Ave., Teaneck, NJ 07666. Defending Identity, published by Perseus, was co-written by Hebrew University Professor Shira Wolosky and edited by Ron Dermer, Mr. Sharansky’s coauthor on The Case for Democracy. Y


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Prisoner Swap

July 2008

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Hezbollah blamed the Jewish state. Bitter Pill The release of Mr. Kuntar will be an especially bitter pill for anyone who opposes terrorism or, for that matter, the brutal slaying of children. He is currently serving four lifesentences for the murders of Dani Haran, 28, and his two daughters, Einat, 4, and Yael,2, in addition to two Israeli policemen. In 1979, Mr. Kuntar led a party of four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) terrorist group. They came by sea to Nahariya in northern Is-

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rael from Lebanon with the intention of carrying out an attack. Landing at midnight, they murdered a policeman who discovered them. Killing Children Mr. Kuntar and one of his colleagues then broke into the Haran family’s apartment and took Mr. Haran and his fouryear-old daughter hostage. On the Nahariya beachfront, he shot Mr. Haran in front of his child and then, to ensure that he was dead, drowned him in the sea, He then smashed the little girl’s head on beach rocks and crushed her skull with his rifle butt.

In the shootout on the beach after police arrived, another policeman and two of the terrorists were killed. Mr. Kuntar and one of his colleagues, Ahmed Al-Abras, were captured. In a scene reminiscent of episodes during the Holocaust, two-year-old Yael died when her terrified mother, Smadar, the only member of the family to survive the terror attack, accidently smothered the baby, while crouching with her in a closet and holding her mouth so she would not cry out and give their hiding place away. Achille Lauro In 1985, Mr. Al-Abras was freed by Israel in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner exchange in which 1,150 Arab terrorists were swapped for three Israeli prisoners of war held in Lebanon. A few months later, other members of the PLF hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship, demanding that Israel release Mr. Kuntar along with 50 other Palestinian terrorists. When Israel refused, the hijackers killed Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchairbound American-Jewish passenger and threw his body and his wheelchair overboard. Mr. Kuntar has never expressed any remorse for the murder of the Haran family, and, as his letter to Mr. Nasrallah shows, if given the chance, he will join Hezbollah and continue his quest to bring about the destruction of Israel. Bargaining Chips The PLF attempt to free Mr. Kuntar was just the first of many such efforts. Mr. Nasrallah made it clear that IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped in 2006 as bargaining chips to gain Mr. Kuntar’s release. On July 12, 2006, their IDF military patrol was attacked in a cross-border strike conducted by Hezbollah. The terrorists then abducted Messrs Goldwasser and Regev and took them into Lebanon. Mr. Goldwasser was almost 31 and Mr. Regev was 27. For the past several months, Israel has worked with German mediators, endeavoring to win the return of the soldiers, whose kidnapping by Hezbollah triggered the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

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What Would Our Sages Say about the Agreement to Trade Live Terrorists for Dead Jewish Bodies?

By Matthew Wagner, reprinted from The Jerusalem Post Cabinet members could have tapped into a rich Jewish tradition when they deliberated whether or not to swap Palestinian terrorists for captive IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Throughout nearly 2,000 years of exile the Jewish people’s high regard for life has been repeatedly exploited by ransom-seekers. As a result, the Jews have developed an extensive rabbinic literature dealing with the redeeming of hostages. Over the centuries, prominent (and not so prominent) Jews have been kidnapped, imprisoned, and ransomed by criminals armed with the knowledge that Jewish sensibilities would not permit a Jewish hostage to remain in captivity. There were times in history when kidnappings were so common that extreme measures had to be taken. An example was the case of Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg (1215-1293). Rabbi Meir, a major rabbinic figure, was taken hostage by a German vassal named Rudolph who demanded an exorbitant ransom. The imprisoned rabbi, in an act astounding in its selflessness, issued a ruling from his cell ordering his students and followers not to pay. True normative Jewish law obligated the Jewish community to free a major rabbinic figure like Rabbi Meir at any cost. But the rabbi knew that if the ransom were paid this time, there would be no end to extortion attempts against the Jewish community. Rabbi Meir died in captivity seven years after he was kidnapped. He was buried on the prison grounds, and, thus, taught us how to avoid the exploitation of the Jewish emotional attachment to life. From other Jewish sources, we learn that it is impermissible to endanger Jewish lives to retrieve the body of a Jew. Only for the sake of saving a life is a Jew obligated to go to extreme lengths. Assuming Regev and Goldwasser are dead, there would be no Jewish legal precedent for freeing terrorists in exchange for their bodies. Nevertheless, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ordered Shas’s ministers to vote in favor of the deal.

Rabbi Yosef, who, in 1976, served at the time as Chief Sephardi Rabbi, ruled that during the Entebbe hostage crisis Jewish law permitted the release of Palestinian terrorists, including those guilty of murder, to secure the release of the kidnapped Israelis and Jews. Only the successful IDF commando operation ended up preempting the hostage swap. David Yosef, the Shas mentor’s son, said that his father also supported the May 1985 Jibril deal in which Israel released 1,150 Palestinian terrorists, including Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad

Yassin, in exchange for three Israeli POWs. Critics of the deal said it sparked the first Intifada, which began two years later, and encouraged Palestinians to perpetrate additional kidnappings. Rabbi Yosef argued that the immediate danger to the Jewish hostages overruled the potential danger of future terrorist attacks. But last month, in the case of Goldwasser and Regev, marked the first time Rabbi Yosef condoned freeing terrorists for dead bodies. Perhaps Rabbi Yosef’s decision was

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July 200

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Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy Is an Acrobatic Three-Ring Extravaganza

F

or a limited time, families looking for a different sort of Broadway experience for children can consider “Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy,” a theatrical, acrobatic, musical adventure, playing at the Broadway Theatre until the end of August. Created as a fantasy, the show purports to be an excursion into the jungle by an eager young adventurer (Marcello Balestracci) who wonders at— and participates in—astounding feats performed by balancing “giraffes,” aerialist butterflies, athletic trees and flowers, and spine-bending exotic animals portrayed by graceful contortionists. It is nature as seen through the eyes of creator and director Neil Goldberg, a displaced New Yorker currently living in Florida, who, in this production, presents a “cirque-style” extravaganza. Unlike a traditional circus which depends

on a blending of humans and animals, “cirque” relies on acrobatic wonders of the human body accompanied by ethereal music and brilliantly elaborate sets and costumes. Into this world, Mother Nature (Jill Diane) escorts the adventurous young man and the audience. The story is no more engaging as a narrative than any circus would be. The draw is the performers, one more breathtaking than the next. On a Sunday afternoon last month, five youngsters, ranging in age from 2 to 10, and all surnamed Rosenbluth, were enthralled by the visual spectacle. From the minute Mr. Goldberg’s turtles crept across the stage and the birds (widebodied creatures with heads created by human hands) strutted out with baby carriages, only to be upstaged by the sudden triple backward flips of creatures bedecked with sparkles, they were hooked.

Some of the cast of Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, including Marcello Balestracci, far right, posed with Miriam, Chana Lieba, Judy, and Avigayil “The costumes were amazing, and what they did was so cool,” said Miriam, age 10, who thought her friends at the Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison would agree that the acts were “unbelievable.” Her cousin, Chana Lieba, 8, was impressed that the show became interesting right away. “They took people from the audience, and I wanted to be picked, but then those people suddenly were able to do acrobatics, so you know they were part of the show,” she said, adding that she especially liked the strong men who were supposed to be lions. Judy, 7, thought her friends at Yeshivat Netivot Montessori in Edison would appreciate the way the performers’ bodies “moved like rubber” and “made everything look easy,

even though you know those tricks are hard to do.” “But it was also funny, and that’s why grownups would like it, too,” she said. And Avigayil, 6, who, like her sister Chana Lieba, attends the Yeshiva of North Jersey in River Edge, just thought it was a great circus “with awesome tricks,” and she loved the violinist. Her little brother, Yitzi, 2, who sat spellbound during the performance, was delighted that the cookies served in the lobby had a hechsher. Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is performed Mondays and Thursdays at 8, Tuesdays at 7, and on Sundays at 2 and 7pm. Tickets are on sale in the box office, 1681 Broadway, or by phone at 212-239-6200. S.L.R.


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Tammuz 5768

The Jewish Voice and Opinion

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“Growing Up at Grossinger’s”: A Tale of Food, Love, Jewish Americana—and Did We Mention Food?

By Paul Rose Tania Grossinger, whose memoir, Growing Up at Grossinger’s, was recently published by Skyhorse, was able to look at an intriguing slice of Jewish Americana as a sort of outsider with an insider’s name. Born in 1937, she was a distant cousin of the Grossinger family headed by the renowned Jennie, the “face” of Grossinger’s and Jennie’s husband (also a cousin), Harry. When Harry Grossinger and his seven brothers immigrated to the US in the early 1900s, half of them, including Harry, settled in New York. The other half went to Chicago. Tania Grossinger’s father, Max, a Grossinger cousin, met his wife, Karla, in Vienna, where she was studying at the university. After they married in 1924, they came to the US and settled with the Chicago branch of the family. Six months after Tania Grossinger’s birth, her father died, leaving the child and her mother on their own. Ever resourceful, Karla Grossinger settled in California and made a living for herself and her daughter, but in 1945, all that changed. Jennie Grossinger offered Karla the position of social hostess at the G,

as the famed kosher resort was affectionately known. Tania Grossinger’s book depicts life at the G over the period of the next 12 years, certainly the hotel’s heyday, as seen through the eyes of a growing child. Tania was eight when she moved to the Catskills, and called Grossinger’s home even after she left for Brandeis. The book portrays a link in the social development of American Jewry between Ellis Island and the present day. As a British citizen, I was particularly impressed with Ms. Grossinger’s description of the lavish cuisine served at the hotel in 1947. Just in case a reader might miss her point, she includes a copy of a typical menu. I was aghast. Rationing in the United Kingdom was more severe in 1947 than it had been during the war. While Americans were able to purchase three pounds of meat per week, we Brits were restricted to 12 ounces. One particular scene in the book seems to typify the experience of Jews on vacation at Grossinger’s at the time. Ms. Grossinger describes a Yom Kippur just after the fast terminated. Almost immediately, a buffet laden with delicacies was laid out for guests to break their fast. One hour later, a full five-course meal was served in the dining room, followed, shortly afterwards, by a regular evening meal at 8:30pm.

Tania Grossinger recalls asking a guest how she could possibly have room for another meal. The guest had a quick reply: “If I can’t find the room, I’ll make room. After all, I’ve paid for three meals, and even though I can’t make up for breakfast, I’m going to get my money’s worth.” Weekly food orders at Grossinger’s included 1,000 pounds of poultry, 300 ribs of beef, 75 cases of eggs, 1,000 pounds of potatoes, and 700 pounds of coffee. Grossinger’s popularity grew because it lavishly serviced the Jewish community at a time when Jews met discrimination at other resorts and hotels. But by the 1960s, discrimination against Jews was largely a relic of the past. Jews could—and did—go anywhere, and their destinations were often much more exotic that the Borscht Belt. When the hotel closed in 1986, it drew the curtain on the mores of a past era. The author of four other books and now a public relations agent, Tania Grossinger depicts all facets of life in Grossinger’s, warts and all. While she says she learned never to envy money, because she saw the way some of the wealthy Jewish guests conducted themselves, she also admits that, for her, “home” will always be Grossinger’s. Y


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

Prisoner Swap One of Israel’s major unrealized goals of the war was to retrieve the kidnapped soldiers. Presumed Dead No proof that they are still alive was ever provided by Hezbollah. In direct violation of the Geneva Convention, representatives of the International Red Cross were given no information and were barred from making any visits to the kidnapped soldiers. The general consensus in Israel, which was admitted by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last month, is that they were either executed by Hezbollah or died of wounds suffered in the attack which resulted in their kidnapping. Although the Israeli government has acknowledged that Messrs Goldwasser and Regev are dead, Israel, nevertheless, has agreed to release Mr. Kuntar and at least four other Hezbollah terrorists captured during the Lebanon war, plus the bodies of eight dead terrorists. In exchange, Israel will receive the bodies—or body parts— of the two Israeli soldiers. Towards the end of June, when it seemed clear that the swap was going to take place, Hezbollah increased it demands to include the release of hundreds of Palestinian

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continued from page 10 Authority terrorists as well as Jordanians and Syrians in Israeli prisons. Israel resisted—sort of. While no Palestinian prisoners are scheduled to be released along with Mr. Kuntar, there are reports that, after the exchange, Israel will, “at a time of its own choosing,” free a number of Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons. Hero According to reports, the prisoner swap between Hezbollah and Israel is slated to take place in Germany, in part because a transfer through the border crossing between Israel and Lebanon would allow Hezbollah to hold its celebrations within earshot of Israel. According to the Nazareth-based newspaper alSinara, a hero’s welcome has already been planned for Mr. Kuntar in his home village of Aabey. Village chairman Nezia Hamza said, “The main celebrations will first be held in Dahiya, the Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, which Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah will also attend. Afterwards, Kuntar will come to his hometown, where the masses will be awaiting him.” Reports from Lebanon

say families of the soon-tobe-released terrorists have begun festooning their homes with Lebanese and Hezbollah flags. Receptions have been planned in many major towns. PA Hero According to PMW, Mr. Kuntar is also being hailed as a hero by the Palestinian Authority. On PA TV, which is under the direct control of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, pictures honoring Mr. Kuntar were broadcast showing him beside a map of Israel completely covered by the Palestinian flag. According to PMW, PA leaders have described Mr. Kuntar as “the warrior from Lebanon,” and a man whose “patience and strength are a lesson for us.” PA leaders have declared that “the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership are standing behind” Mr. Kuntar, and that he is an “inseparable part of the action to free our homeland.” “On one hand, Kuntar embodies what the PA considers the ‘heroism’ of terrorists fighting Israel. On the other hand, he’s the ultimate symbol of all terrorist prisoners who have murdered Israelis and will eventually be freed as a result of future kidnap-

pings or through some other means,” said Itamar Marcus, director of PMW. Dead or Alive Some observers say that the relatively few number of Lebanese prisoners Israel will release is because it is clear that Messrs Goldwasser and Regev are dead. But until the state officially declares them “killed in action,” they are still listed as “missing.” Throughout the negotiations, Israel threatened to pronounce Messrs Goldwasser and Regev “fallen IDF soldiers whose gravesites are unknown,” a re-categorization that would have meant that the Jewish state would have agreed to trade only dead Hezbollah fighters for the IDF soldiers’ bodies. The fact that no one is 100 percent certain whether they are alive or dead seems to have given the government its motivation to act. No One Knows The families of Messrs Goldwasser and Regev have opposed any move to declare their loved ones dead, a point they have made clear to the Olmert government. Earlier last month, Mr. Olmert was reportedly considering declaring the two soldiers “killed in action,” a status that would have sent

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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

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

              

              

 ���             

              

      

    

    

     

     

    

                         

  

!

 

While Atlantic City is a well-known

 

destination for many vacationers, Jewish


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

Prisoner Swap

July 2008

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continued from page 14

a signal to Hezbollah that negotiations would no longer be an urgent priority. Eldad Regev’s father, Tzvi, told Voice of Israel government radio that “no one really knows” if his son and Mr. Goldwasser are still alive. “If they received treatment [after the attack in which they were kidnapped], they survived. If they didn’t—then we just hope they did. We are aware of the worst, but we hope for good tidings in any event,” he said. The two families have spend a great deal of time visiting the offices of one politician after another in a desperate attempt to convince them to vote in favor of the proposal trade. Aguna Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox Shas party, noted that Mr. Goldwasser’s wife, Karnit, is currently considered an aguna under Jewish law, meaning that unless her husband returns or is proven dead, she will never be permitted to remarry. This, Mr. Yishai said, merits serious consideration in any agreement that is negotiated concerning Messrs Goldwasser and Regev.

“If it should be concluded that the soldiers are dead, this is not a deal of live Lebanese prisoners in exchange for dead Israeli soldiers, but rather Lebanese prisoners in exchange for the life of Karnit Goldwasser,” he said. Rabbinic Determination Jewish religious and legal issues surrounding life and death prompted the Olmert government to assign to IDF Chief Rabbi Brig-Gen Rabbi Avichai Ronsky the task of determining if Messrs Goldwasser and Regev should retain the status of “missing in action,” or be declared “killed in action.” To make this determination, Rabbi Ronsky was given all available information on their condition, including classified intelligence collected by the IDF and the state’s intelligence services as well as medical and forensic evidence. The families reacted with outrage. Mr. Goldwasser’s mother, Miki, said she believed the government was considering having her son declared dead so that it would not have to make a deal to relinquish Mr. Kuntar. The Regev family was equally distressed. Benny Regev, a brother of the

kidnapped soldier, called the government’s action “humiliating.” He insisted that, if the rabbi were unable to declare his brother dead, Hezbollah would feel justified in raising its demands and the swap would be quashed. The Goldwassers said they were prepared to petition the Supreme Court to prevent the army from declaring Ehud Goldwasser dead. Delayed Announcement A few days later, Rabbi Ronsky told the media that, based on the extensive information given to him, he would declare the two soldiers “killed in action.” For reasons that are not clear, Mr. Olmert persuaded the rabbi not to make his decision public until after the vote was taken on the swap. Dr. Aaron Lerner of the IMRA news agency said he found it “shocking” that Mr. Olmert did not wait for Rabbi Ronsky to make his determination before holding the vote in the Cabinet. “One would think that the Olmert Cabinet would want to know Rabbi Ronsky’s finding in this very painful and crucial matter before approving the trade,”

continued on page 47


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EMUNAH’s Children in Western Negev under Siege from Rocket Fire, and the Organization Mourns Rabbanit Tzfia Goren, z”l

The EMUNAH Day Care Center in Kfar Maimon, located just three and half miles from the Gaza border, is a modern facility, designed to allow young children to play, explore, and learn. Unfortunately, for the past eight months, on orders from the Ministry of Defense, none of EMUNAH’s young charges can enter the building, because it is being reinforced to withstand rocket attacks. While they wait for the renovations to be completed, the children and the EMUNAH staff spend their days housed in a local yeshiva. It is ill-equipped for little children, but there is no choice. For the past two years, all the residents of Kfar Maimon have lived in fear of the constant Qassam rocket attacks. The EMUNAH day care center is popular in this economically depressed town. Most of the residents with young children rely on EMUNAH to provide their youngsters with a safe and secure environment while their parents work, trying to survive the difficult emotional and economic challenges they face. Pessimism Despite the so-called “truce” between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas leaders who rule Gaza, most Israelis pessimistically believe the problems throughout the Western Negev will only get worse. Two days after the “truce” was signed, there were already four rocket attacks against Israel, and Hamas had declared it would not be responsible for “policing” the terrorist groups, such as the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which could decide at any time to resume the attacks. Shortly before the “truce,” Hamas had upgraded its arsenal to include Grad missiles, larger, longer-range rockets that were able to hit Ashkelon. Several of the attacks came threateningly close to one of the two EMUNAH Day Care Centers in Ashkelon. In the recently opened EMUNAH Crisis and Intervention Center in Sderot, Tami Beck, the center’s director, explained that while she was leading a support group for victims of terror, a Qassam rocket fell nearby, cutting off the center’s power. “The group sat in the dark. Some were hysterical, but all took strength

from one another,” said Ms. Beck. “It is eerie to be treating trauma victims while the cause of the trauma is literally at your door.” Necessary Upgrades EMUNAH currently has ten facilities in the Western Negev that are in the line of fire from Gaza. In addition to the center in Sderot and the day care facility in Kfar Maimon, there are two EMUNAH Day Care Centers and a counseling center in Ashkelon; an EMUNAH Day Care Center, Family Counseling Center, and community center in Netivot; and the EMU-

NAH Day Care Center in Sdot Negev. In constant contact with the Home Front authorities, EMUNAH’s staff acts on official orders to add personnel, safeguards, and emergency equipment and supplies. The staff has expressed the urgent need for an additional eight social workers, a full-time child psychologist for the day care children, and more psychological counseling for their families. Meeting Standards According to Liora Minka, chairman

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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

EMUNAH under Siege

July 200

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of EMUNAH Israel, the staff wants help in refurbishing the shelters so that they will meet Israel’s new safety standards. Previously, there was a threeminute warning period before a rocket hit. This has been reduced to 15 seconds. The staff has also requested additional games and toys for the children to use when they are cooped up in the shelters. “In light of the terrible situation in the Western Negev, EMUNAH Israel is asking for help to assist the children and families in the southern part of the country,” said Ms. Minka. Rabbanit Goren, z”l The determination to rise to the situation is part of EMUNAH’s historical mission in Israel. On May 30th, the organization mourned the loss of one of its founding leaders, Rabbanit Tzfia Goren. The widow of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, a leader in the national-religious movement

and a former Israeli Chief Rabbi, Mrs. Goren was 82. In the eulogy published by EMUNAH, Mrs. Goren was remembered as a leader in education whose character was outstanding. “Rabbanit Goren was an exemplary woman, in both her community activism and her special personality, who made a major contribution to the Jewish people and to the state,” said Ms. Minka. Defining Moment Born in Jerusalem in 1925 to Rabbi David Hacohen the Nazir and Rabbanit Sarah Hacohen, Ms. Goren studied to become a teacher at the Hebrew University. There, she met her future husband, and they were married in 1945. When Rav Goren was appointed Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Mrs. Goren relocated with him to Tel Aviv, where they resided for the next 23 years. In June 1967, Rav Goren was serving as Chief Rabbi

based on the fact that, with the creation of a state, the Jews of Israel face new considerations. For instance, how does implementation of a hostage exchange or refraining from one, even if all we get in exchange are bodies, affect soldiers’ morale? Will soldiers

be less likely to endanger themselves if not everything possible is done to redeem them from captivity? Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who served as chief IDF rabbi for two decades, ruled that it was permissible to desecrate Shabbat not just to save live soldiers, but also to retrieve a

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of the IDF when the Jewish state’s soldiers restored eastern Jerusalem to Jewish sovereignty. In a defining moment of the Six Day War, he blew a shofar and carried a Torah scroll during the first Jewish prayer service at the Western Wall since 1948. “Throughout his years of service, as he moved from his position with the IDF to Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbanit Goren stood by his side. Her home was always open to all who sought guidance and advice,” said Ms. Minka. Family Involvement Because her parents had been among the founders of OMEN, women’s Mizrachi in Jerusalem, Mrs. Goren, from a very young age was also involved in this organization, which later evolved into EMUNAH. “She was instrumental in EMUNAH’s foundation and leadership,” said Ms. Minka. Eventually, Rabbanit Goren was asked to accept

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dead soldier’s body. He once explained that it was permissible to endanger lives to retrieve soldiers’ bodies, because our enemies use soldiers’ bodies as bargaining chips to free terrorists. Finally, there is one more thought: Rabbi Shaul Israeli, who headed the Mercaz Har-

the presidency of the organization. It was just one of the many leadership roles she assumed with EMUNAH over the course of many decades. Rabbanit Goren is survived by three children, nine grandchildren, and 10 greatgrandchildren. Calling Mrs. Goren “a noble and virtuous educator,” Ms. Minka, in her eulogy, said the rebbetzin “radiated tranquility and good spirit.” “She expressed par excellence the combination of loyalty to Torah and mitzvoth with a deep commitment to society and the State. EMUNAH will greatly miss one of its most outstanding leaders who paved a way and set standards of justice and integrity in our public life,” she said. To contribute to EMUNAH’s Western Negev Emergency Campaign, EMUNAH can be reached at 212-5649045, ext 303. S.L.R.

av Yeshiva, ruled that the relationship between the state and IDF soldiers was like the relationship between a husband and wife. In Jewish law, the husband can pay any sum of money to free his wife. No one can restrict him, even if a danger exists that enemies will exploit this. Y


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Chabad at the Shore Makes Atlantic City Jewish Family-Friendly

While Atlantic City is a well-known destination for many vacationers, Jewish families with children often stay away. The gambling floors and lavish resorts don’t offer much to keep children busy. But this summer, in Ventnor, just one town downbeach from Atlantic City and a fiveminute drive (or a little longer by foot on the boardwalk) to the casinos, a home-grown Chabad family has opened a shul and a children’s crafts center. Activities this summer for the whole family at Chabad at the Shore include classes, a day camp available by the week, a kosher cruise on the Atlantic City back bay, and a Jewish “Summer Fest.” The Chabad Ventnor Shul is located in a mixed residential-commercial area of Ventnor (population 5,000) two short blocks from the beach and within easy access to a variety of motels. Unlike

Atlantic City, the boardwalk in Ventnor has no commercial establishments. During the summer, bicycle riding is permitted in the mornings, when the ocean sparkles and the white sand gleams; and in the late afternoons, from 5-7 pm, when cool ocean breezes encourage exercise. Kosher Food There is one kosher restaurant in Ventnor, located just next door to the Chabad Ventnor Shul. Jerusalem is a meat establishment, and its fare tends to be pricey. But kosher food is readily available in nearby supermarkets, and most of the motels have refrigerators. In addition, Chabad at the Shore offers “Shabbat-in-Box.” For a $75 donation, a family will receive candles, challah, wine or grape juice, a fish appetizer, a main course, two salads, two side dishes, and dessert. According to the spiritual director of the Chabad

Ventnor Shul, Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, those who come to his Shabbat services on Saturday morning will not have to worry about lunch. “Our kiddushes are sit-down meals,” he says. Absecon Island Atlantic City and Ventnor are the two largest towns on Absecon Island. Further downbeach lie Margate, which has a Young Israel and a very active Jewish Community Center, and Longport, whose yearround population is so small, it does not even have its own public elementary school. While the beaches in Atlantic City are free, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport require the purchase of badges to enjoy the sand and surf. These can be obtaineded at Ventnor City Hall, reached by calling 609-823-7900. Ventnor and Margate honor each other’s badges. For years, observant-

Jewish residents and visitors to Ventnor had to walk about one mile north to Atlantic City, which has two Orthodox shuls, Chelsea Hebrew Congregation and Rodef Shalom, or one mile south to the Young Israel of Margate. Music and Joy Rabbi Rapoport says his Shabbat services “focus on prayer through singing and joy.” On Friday evenings in the summer, services are held at 7:30pm. On Shabbat morning, the davening begins at 9:30 (a compromise— Rabbi Rapoport wanted to start, Chabad-style, at 10am, the congregants wanted to start at 9), and the children’s program, featuring stories, songs, games, and refreshments, starts at 11am. Absecon Island’s other synagogues hold regular services on Shabbat and during

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July 200

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Chabad at the Shore the week. The oldest son of Rabbi Shmuel and Tova Rapoport, co-directors of Chabad Lubavitch of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, now 27, was born and raised in Ventnor. He and his wife, Mashie, reside a few blocks from the new shul. Chabad Projects The Ventnor shul is the latest of a series of Chabad projects. His parents operate the Pinchus Kiedjan Chabad House, which is located near the bay in Margate and used for classes and Chabad at the Shore’s Gan Israel Day Camp. On Saturdays, the Zichron Jack Trocki m’vilna Shabbat Minyan meets there, too. Closer to the ocean, in a Ventnor Avenue storefront, located also in Margate, Chabad at the Shore runs its “Krafts for Kids” program, which Rabbi Rapoport describes as “a place for children to learn about their heritage in a hands-on and fun way.” Run by Tova Rapoport, the Jewish-themed crafts program is open Sundays through Fridays from 10am1pm. Children are encouraged to try their hands at painting, woodworking, decoupage, and ceramics. Every Friday, “Krafts for Kids” features a hands-on challah-baking workshop.

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Kiruv through Crafts “It’s a place for children’s creativity to shine,” says Rabbi Rapoport. “You can even hold your child’s birthday party at the shop.” Like all Chabad endeavors, outreach is the name of the game for Chabad at the Shore. Rabbi Rapoport recalls a woman who learned about making kiddush after her son fashioned a kiddush cup at Krafts for Kids. “On her next visit to the store, she spotted some candlesticks and decided to start lighting Shabbat candles as well,” he says. The Rapoports’ Gan Israel Day Camp, which began on June 30, allows parents to enroll children ages 3-12 for one-week stints until the camp closes on August 8th. The camp offers a full schedule of activities including trips, sports, and swimming. Adult Ed On Wednesdays, at 11am, at the Margate Chabad House, the Rapoports offer a Women’s Torah Study Group, and on Sundays, at the Ventnor shul, there is BLT (Bagels, Lox, and Torah) at 10:30am. For the first three Sundays in July, the subject will be “Exploring the Book of Ruth,” taught by Chaya Lerman, and on August 3, 17th, and 24th, Rabbi Berel Lerman will speak on “The

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Nature of the Jewish Soul.” On Shabbat, July 18-19, the Chabad Ventnor Shul will offer “A Musical Shabbat Experience,” with Cantor Berel Zucker, the 2005 winner of the Cantors World competition. Participants will enjoy services, entertainment, and sumptuous meals. On Shabbat, August 8-9, the shul will offer a Shabbaton featuring Kabbalist Rabbi Asher Crispe. His topics will include “The Kabbalah of Globalization—The End of Work: Economics of the Future,” and “Going Green in Jewish Thought and Culture: Alternative Energy and the Environment.” Kosher Cruise For Rabbi Rapoport, one of the highlights of the summer is Chabad at the Shore’s Kosher Cruise, a floating kosher barbeque. On Sunday, July 13, participants will board the Crystal Queen at the Trump Marina Dock at 12:30 pm and set sail at 1pm for a two-andhalf hour scenic excursion of the back-bays of Atlantic City. A few weeks later, on Sunday, August 24, Chabad at the Shore will sponsor a “Jewish Summer Fest,” a late-afternoon barbeque with entertainment, games, artsand-crafts, rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and more. It will be held at the JCC in Margate from 4-7pm. For information on all Chabad at the Shore activi-

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ties, Rabbi Rapoport can be reached at 609-822-8500. Easy Access The Chabad Ventnor Shul is located at 6412 Ventnor Ave, in Ventnor. “Krafts for Kids” is located at 7832 Ventnor Ave, in Margate. Reservations, which are required for the Friday morning Challah Baking, can be made by 609-992-4900. The same number can be used to order the Shabbat-ina-Box package. Call by Wed. The Margate Chabad House, where the day camp is held, is located at 8223 Fulton Ave. and can be reached by calling 609-822-8500. All Chabad at the Shore programs can be viewed online at www.chabadac.com. Future Plans While he readily acknowledges his family’s many accomplishments on Absecon Island, Rabbi Rapoport has ambitious plans for the future. As soon as possible, he wants to construct an eruv that will encompass all of Ventnor, allowing Jews to wheel baby carriages to shul and to the city’s lovely parks and playgrounds by the sea. He also wants to establish the one sure sign that there is an Orthodox presence in town: a kosher pizza shop. “Once we have that, you’ll know we’re on the map,” he laughs. S.L.R.


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July 2008

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Now a Licensed Israeli Tour Guide, Rabbi Mordecai Weiss Revels in Showing Birthright Participants Their Jewish Homeland

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ix years ago, Rabbi Mordecai Weiss headed the Chabad House in Teaneck and directed Friends of Lubavitch of Bergen County. Then, in 2002, he, his wife, Ellie, and their 10 children made aliyah. Today, there are 14 Weisses (they have had two more children, both sabras) residing in Mitzpeh Yericho, and Rabbi Weiss is a licensed Israeli tour guide. While he loves showing individual tourists and families the nooks and crannies of his adopted homeland, he has found guiding young adult participants in the Taglit-Birthright Israel program a perfect way to put his new profession in the service of his first priority: Impacting individuals who, more often than not, have absolutely no connection to Israel or Judaism. “It’s an opportunity I treasure to experience,” he says. His first experience with TaglitBirthright Israel came in the summer of 2006, just before the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War. Rabbi Weiss, in the middle of his tour-guide course, was hired by Oranim College, a school of education in Tivon near Haifa, to put together itineraries for Birthright groups. To accomplish this, it was necessary to spend some time traveling with the

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groups coming to Israel. Joint Effort Founded in 2000 by philanthropists Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, in cooperation with the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency, and Jewish communities throughout the world, Taglit-Birthright Israel was created to send young Jewish adults, ages 18-26, from throughout the Diaspora on a free 10-day trip to Israel in recognition of their birthright to the land. There are some stipulations. Participants must be post-high school and may not have been on any earlier organized trip to Israel. Vacations with family do not disqualify, but participants may not have lived in Israel after the age of 12. To be eligible for this free gift, a young person must be recognized as Jewish by the Jewish community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism. The young person is eligible if either parent is Jewish and the applicant does not actively practice another religion. An Introduction While the Birthright trips include visits to historical, religious, and cultural heritage sites around the country, including in Jerusalem, the Negev, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, and the Galilee, the tour is not meant to offer an exhaustive education of Israel and the land. Rather, the founders saw it as an introduction, hoping participants would be encouraged to extend their stay in Israel or return again on their own. To give this overview of Israel, the founders brought together top educators, historians, and tourism professionals to devise logistical, educational, and security standards so that Birthright Israel could accomplish its three major goals: to diminish the growing division between Israeli and Diaspora Jewish communities; to enhance the sense of Jewish solidarity; and to strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people. By any standard, the Birthright project has been a success. In many communities, the experience of participating in a Birthright trip to Israel has become a normative part of Jewish coming-ofage, and there is often an overwhelming

demand for spots on the trips in all the countries in which the program operates. Spots are often filled within two days of the beginning of registration and waitlists are the norm. In 2007, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson pledged $60 million to Birthright Israel to take applicants off waiting lists and to increase annual capacity from 25,000 to 37,000 in 2007 and 2008. 160,000 By this summer, Birthright will have spent more than $200 million on trips to Israel taken by more than 160,000 young Jews from more than 52 countries, but 70 percent of trip participants are from the United States. Rabbi Weiss agrees that the free trip is the key to the success of Birthright’s recruiting efforts. “Still, more than 160,000 participants is an impressive number,” he says, pointing out that many of the young people who take advantage of the gift and actually make the trip must “overcome personal safety concerns and, quite often, pressure from friends and family not to take the chance.” Sounds of War When the Second Lebanon War broke out, he and the Hillel Birthright group from California he was accompanying were touring Israel’s northern border. On the first day of the war, the group was enjoying “a fun-filled water hike in the Jordan River.” “Most of us were still unaware of what was transpiring only a few miles away,” he says. Not that they didn’t hear the sounds of war. But, as Rabbi Weiss recalls, “the sound of distant tank-fire is not necessarily uncommon background noise in this part of Israel.” Nearby army bases are often involved in different training drills, he says. Not a Drill But this time, the continuous booming was no drill, and as news of what was happening reached Birthright officials and the world at large, plans had to be changed quickly. Instead of traveling to Safed, which had already been hit by Katyusha missiles, the group decided it would be safer to spend Shabbat in Tiberius.


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com “As you can imagine, security is always a very serious concern on any Birthright trip, with many precautions taken, such as providing a 24-hour armed guard. Try to imagine what happens if a war breaks out. Security is increased in direct proportion to the concerns of parents back in the states, worrying about their children traveling around Israel, often for their very first time. We decided to go to Tiberius because what ever happens in Tiberius?” says Rabbi Weiss. But this time, on Shabbat, Tiberius, too, was hit by a Katyusha missile, which fell in the general area of the hotel being used by the Birthright tour. “After a real Israeli experience of spending a few hours in the hotel’s bomb shelter, the group was evacuated to Tel Aviv,” says Rabbi Weiss. From there, the trip, despite the ongoing war, proceeded as scheduled. Not as Dramatic Last month, Rabbi Weiss took another group of Birthright participants on a tour which he says was “thankfully not as dramatic.” It was his first opportunity to serve as an official Birthright tour guide. “Thank G-d, we are celebrating Israel’s 60th birthday and the tourists are coming,” he says. His says his experience with the Birthright group—youngsters from the University of Colorado Chabad House— was “indescribable, one which I will never forget.” Official Organizers Birthright trips are often geared for individual groups, such as graduate or undergraduate students, especially those affiliated with the school’s Hillel, and, more frequently, the campus Chabad. Jewish organizations which are approved by Taglit-Birthright Israel are authorized to operate the trips. Their responsibilities include recruitment, determining eligibility, conducting interviews, establishing the itinerary, and hiring the staff. Hillel and NCSY are among the many organizers, which generally have representatives in the Diaspora country and Israel. Just recently, the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, a school which attracts young Jews from around the world who wish to explore Jewish learning while experiencing Israel, teamed up with many Diaspora campus

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Chabad Houses to serve as an official Taglit-Birthright Israel organizer. Perfect Match According to Rabbi Weiss, it is a perfect match. “For the campus Chabad House rabbis who accompany groups to Israel, this is a wonderful opportunity to further their own outreach activities. The idea of Birthright is that the 10-day trip should also serve as the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with Israel and Judaism, specifically for those who might otherwise not have one. In this area, Mayanot has enjoyed great success,” he says. Best of all, he says, the MayanotChabad trips are “loads of fun.

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“I should know. I just led one,” he says. Two Busloads For this trip, Rabbi Weiss was officially employed by Israel Experience Educational Tourism Services, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency for Israel that specializes in providing organized trips to Israel for teens, university students, and adults from all over the world. On this trip, Rabbi Weiss’s team included Nadia, a recent immigrant from New Zealand who served as the group’s “hands-on logistics person;” Benney, the bus driver “who could sing as well;” and Tal, their armed guard.

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July 200

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Birthright Tour Guide The group consisted of two busloads of University of Colorado students and their Chabad Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm, originally from England, who celebrated his 30th birthday during the trip. Rabbi Weiss’s bus was “Number 16.” Beach and Wine-Tasting After the group’s morning arrival, they headed to Caesarea to enjoy breakfast and a welcoming ceremony on the beach. From there, they did some wine tasting in Zikhron Yaakov, a town 22 miles south of Haifa. Founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild and named in honor of his father, Yaakov, it was one of the first Jewish settlements in the country. According to Rabbi Weiss, the 10 days flew by, consumed with activities that included kayaking, hiking, mini-jeeping, camel-riding, biking in the Negev, climbing up to Masada, and down to the Dead Sea. Like virtually all Birthright trips, this one included Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Yad Vashem. “Most important though were the relationships that were forged. After 10 days, the students even became accustomed to all our countdowns, my ‘Joisey’ accent, and my constant refrain of:

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‘Mayanot 16, follow me,’” says Rabbi Weiss. Mifgash While he doesn’t diminish the emotional impact of sites such as the Kotel, Yad Vashem, and Masada, an even greater impression was made by the part of the Birthright tour known as the mifgash, or encounter, experience. Mifgash allows the young participants to meet their Israeli peers, usually soldiers not in uniform, who then join the group as they tour. The purpose of the mifgash is for the participants and the soldiers to get to know each other on a personal level in order to better understand their worldviews and identities. There is usually a formal discussion session in which topics such as “what is terrorism?” and “what does it mean to be Jewish in the modern world” are explored. For five days, eight IDF soldiers, who were the same age as the Colorado students, joined and became very much part of the group. They roomed with the American students, spread out throughout the bus, and ate together. Soldiers’ Graves “For the American students, it was an opportunity to have a real ‘in-your-face’ experience with an Israeli. It was

very different from the impression they had from watching CNN,” says Rabbi Weiss. Particularly emotional, he says, was the visit to Mount Herzl and its military cemetery, which is normally very moving just by itself. “But it takes on a whole different perspective when the person your age, with whom you just became good friends, suddenly stands at the gravesite of a friend of his or hers who died recently in a battle,” says Rabbi Weiss. Exhausting When the trip was concluded, the moving good-byes said, and the promises made to stay in touch through Facebook, Rabbi Weiss had a chance to think about the experience. It had not been easy. He was away from home for 10 days, did not get much sleep, and had left his wife to “hold down the fort” at home. For Shabbos, she was able to join him with a few of their children for the overnight stay in the hotel. “That was nice,” he says, but, in general, the trip made for “a very, very, very exhausting ten days.” Teaching But there were real benefits, he says. “The impact on the participants, myself included, was quite tangible.

When I told the students that, from now on, I would feel that I have more than just 12 children, I meant it,” he says. A veteran teacher who spent most of his years in Bergen County teaching individuals and groups, he says he used as his motto the dictum that “a good teacher gains more from his students than the students from him.” “And I mean it,” he says. Eager to Do It Again Asked if he would do it again, he leaps to his feet. “I gotta go pack,” he says. His next Mayanot Birthright group would be arriving in two days at 2 am, Israel time. He plans to take them to the Golan Heights for “some fun,” and then they will go kayaking on the Jordan River. Later in the trip, they will be in Jerusalem for Yom Yerushalayim. He encourages all those thinking about a Taglit-Birthright Israel experience to contact Mayanot online for more details. The website is mayanotisrael.com. Rabbi Weiss can be contacted at rabbiguide@gmail.com “I can’t wait,” he says, as he prepares for the next group of Americans coming to experience his—and Birthright’s—Israel. S.L.R.


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July 200

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Catriel’s Notebook

When Orthodoxy Was On the Ropes: The Clash between Tradition and the New World

By Catriel Sugarman, Researcher on Jewish Issues, Social Critic, Lecturer, acatriel@netvision.net.il Secondly, the German European Jews arrived in the ontrary to popular myJews’ staid and dignified US, more than 90 percent of thology, the vast ma“Classical Reform” JudaAmerican synagogues were jority of Eastern-European ism, then at its peak, was the Reform temples. There were, Jewish immigrants to the US antithesis of the excitement, however, some Orthodox in the late 19th and early 20th bustle, noise, and passion hold-outs, the most prominent centuries, were not Orthodox which characterized the Yidof which were the Spanishin their practice. dishkeit of the oustyuden, the Portuguese Synagogues in “Despite the idealized Eastern Jews. New York and Philadelphia. recollections of ‘Fiddler on And the Reform instituFor a variety reasons— the Roof’ and other sentitions had very little interest most of them having nothing mental remembrances of in reaching out to the new to do with religion per se— East-European Jewry, most arrivals. The Reform Jews the almost two million Jewhad not been Orthodox even were engaged in maintainish arrivals from Eastern Euback in Europe,” says histoing and enjoying their status. rope did not feel at home in rian Dr. Edward Shapiro of They were neither missionarthe Reform temples. To begin West Orange. ies nor kiruv agents, and had with, there was a virtually In fact, he says, the decilittle interest in encouraging unbridgeable social chasm sion to immigrate to the US the new arrivals to establish between the very Americanshould be seen as another new Reform temples. ized, wealthy German-Jewish indication of their estrangeLandsmenshaften upper-class Jews and their ment from “the religious “primitive” (i.e. un-AmeriOn their own, the Eastworld of their fathers.” ern-European Jews in Americanized) impoverished EastNo Reform Kiruv ca established Orthodox synern-European co-religionists. When these Easternagogues, not because these shuls reflected the Judaism they practiced, but because it was the Judaism they knew. In these new synagogues, Orthodox congregational life was, at best, chaotic, and it lacked real leadership. New congregations constantly sprung up, only to be blown to pieces by incessant infighting. Many of the shuls were landsmenshaften, congregations whose members all hailed from the same—or neighboring—communities in Eastern Europe. Services were usually conducted by the more “scholarly” members of the congregation, but, unfortunately, the “learning” these “scholars” could boast was quite minimal. In his popular history of the society formed by these new immigrants, “World of Our Fathers,” the late Irving

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Howe recognized the problem. “Plagued by a lack of qualified rabbis, ignorant of the problems posed by life in a secular environment, Orthodox leadership was slow to grasp the fact that Old World religious authoritarianism could not easily be transferred wholesale to the New World. In the new environment, with its congregational polity and voluntaristic character, the automatic leadership of the rabbinate was not accepted without question,” he wrote. Charlatans And there was good reason for this, as documented by HaRav Ya’akov David Willowsky, the chief rabbi of the prominent Jewish community of Slutzk in Belarus who is renowned for his monumental commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud. Rabbi Willowsky, also known as the “Ridvaz,” an acronym for Rabbi Yaakov David ben Ze’ev, was an eyewitness to the evolving American-Jewish scene when he came to the US for an extended stay in 1903. In August 1903, at their first meeting, the United Orthodox Rabbis of America elected him as their zekan haRabbanim, or “elder rabbi,” and, one month later, he was chosen to be the chief rabbi of the Russian-American congregations in Chicago. But he was not pleased with what he saw. “Many individuals of questionable repute take advantage of our state of transition,” he said, accusing these men of posing as rabbis, preaching sermons, and “presenting certificates


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com of ordination which cannot be traced.” “These charlatans have become the purveyors of America’s Yiddishkeit,” he said. He equally excoriated “so-called kosher butchers,” whom he saw as “befriended” by “so-called rabbis who agree to certify the kashrus of their meats.” “Together, they have fattened their purses by selling non-kosher meat to fellow Jews,” he said. Trying for Order His efforts to introduce order into the religious services of the congregations in Chicago met with obstruction and opposition, which he found objectionable and offensive. After ten months, he left Chicago and embarked on a lecture tour throughout the US. When he returned to New York, he tried to establish a yeshiva based on the European model, but, with little encouragement, the project floundered. In 1905, he left the US and settled in Safed, where established a yeshiva, Toras Eretz Yisrael. In the US, the rabbinate—such as it was—simply did not have the prestige enjoyed by their European counterparts. Although nominally Orthodox, most of the early Eastern European congregations founded by the immigrants and their children were more akin to social clubs in the guise of synagogues than they were genuine houses of worship. The late Prof Charles S. Liebman of Bar-Ilan University described these shuls as “social forums and benevolent societies adapted to the requirements of poor, umacculturated people.”

Few Worshippers Bereft of spirituality, these shuls attracted few worshippers. According to Dr. Jenna Weissman Joselit, a professor of American and Modern Judaic studies at Princeton, by the early 1920s, only 20 percent of American Jews attended Sabbath services of any kind. A generation later, she says, that percentage “dipped precipitously” to two percent. “Of that tiny percentage, virtually all were women,” she emphasizes, pointing to a 1935 study showing that only one in ten Jewish young adult males in New York City had attended services during the previous week. The same phenomenon was described by a sociologist identified solely as “Langer,” who is cited by YU Prof of Jewish History Jeffrey S. Gurock in “Twentieth-Century American Orthodoxy’s Era of Non-Observance, 1900-1960,” published by The Torah u-Madda Journal in Sept 2000. In 1932, in an unpublished abstract of a thesis written at the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work, Langer discusses “Easttown,” a pseudonymous city situated some 60 miles from Manhattan, where, in 193132, two-thirds of the Jewish families were affiliated with synagogues (overwhelmingly Orthodox), but only one percent attended services on a regular basis. Ninety-three percent attended services on the High Holidays. Not Shomer Shabbos Five of the six synagogues in Staten Island were nominally Orthodox, but, like their counterparts in “Easttown,” they attracted crowds only on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. As might be expected,

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these nominally Orthodox Jewish immigrants were not Sabbath observers as the term would currently be understood. Dr. Gurock cited Boston’s Hebrew poet, Ephraim Lisitsky, for aptly describing the spiritual nonobservance: “In the Jewish Quarter through which [the Sabbath Queen] had just passed, they trampled with weekday shoes the train of her bridal gown.” According to Mr. Lisitsky, “very few Jews observed the Sabbath” in Boston. At the Theater In 1902, Hutchins Hapgood, a non-Jewish journalist, author, and self-described “individualist philosophical anarchist,” described the life of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants in a piece entitled “The Spirit of the Ghetto: Studies of the Immigrant Quarter in New York.” He noticed that many of his subjects enjoyed theatrical

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performances on Friday evenings and Saturday matinees. “The Orthodox Jews who go to the theater on Friday, the beginning of the Sabbath, are commonly somewhat ashamed of themselves and try to quiet their consciences by a vociferous condemnation of the actors on stage. The actor, who through the exigencies of his role is compelled to appear on Friday night with a cigar in his mouth, is frequently greeted with hisses and strenuous cries of ‘Shame, shame, smoke on the Sabbath’ from the proletarian hypocrites in the gallery,” he wrote. According to Prof Gurock, some Orthodox theater-goers purchased their tickets before Shabbat “to assuage their consciences.” Others went to the theater after first attending services, coming to daven with their tickets in their hands.

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July 200

Would Orthodoxy Survive? Shopping on Shabbos These Jews not only went to the theater on Shabbat; they shopped. In his article, Prof Gurock cites Rabbi Simon Greenberg, who recalled that, as a boy growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in the early 20th century, he was aware that all stores in the neighborhood’s major mercantile street, Pitkin Avenue, were owned by Jews, “but only one was closed on the Sabbath.” In the Bronx, it was a similar story. Menachem Nussbaum, recalls that all the Jewish stores on Pelham Parkway were open on Shabbat. The exception, he says, was one grocery store that was closed, but to make up for the time lost, the owner opened furtively on Sunday, thereby violating New York’s municipal blue laws, which mandated store closings on

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the Christian Sabbath. According to Mr. Nussbaum, every Sunday, the Orthodox-Jewish grocer “had to bribe the local policeman with cash, fruit, and vegetables so he would not be closed down and forced to pay a huge fine.” According to Prof Gurock, shopkeepers on Hester Street in the very Jewish Lower East Side “shamelessly exhibited their wares on the Sabbath.” A 1912 study found that 25 percent of Jewish workers did not labor on Shabbat, but, even at the time, many observers argued that the figure was wildly exaggerated. Economic Obstacles There were, of course, reasons for the lack of observance. Prof Gurock notes that, by definition, the Orthodox Jews who worked on the Sabbath and did not pray in

synagogue were, nevertheless, certainly not opposed to traditional Jewish teachings and mores. “Rather, the problem was their inability and unwillingness to integrate ancient religious values with their new ambitions and lifestyle,” he says. The late historian, Conservative Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, argued that the immigrants “knew they had to learn American manners.” Jewish religious observances—especially of the Sabbath—he said, “were obstacles to success.” The late urban sociologist, Dr. Louis Wirth, whose research focused on how Jewish immigrants adjusted to city life in America, concluded that those who remained traditionally Orthodox in their dedication to Judaism were more often than not “economically less successful than those who had given up at least some of the religious regimen.” Kosher Expenses Then as now, keeping kosher was expensive. In 1910, the New York-based weekly, The American Hebrew, noted, “It is at the cost of no little sacrifice that a Jew can manage to live kosher under modern circumstances.” The paper pointed out “the extra cost of the meat itself, and of the extra kitchen utensils that are necessary.” For many Jews, it was simply easier to cease observing the dietary laws than to be embarrassed, inconvenienced, or impoverished by them. “Culinary Apostasy” Prof Weissman Joselit points to statistical evidence that shows “the culinary apostasy” of the time. “Between 1914 and 1924, the consumption of kosher meat in the

Greater New York area fell by 25 to 30 percent,” she says. On the other hand, socalled “kosher-style” delis and bakeries, which gave their customers the feeling of kashrus without the bother or expense, became quite popular in the thickly populated immigrant areas. Outside of New York— areas still called by those in the five boroughs “out of town”—the drop in consumers of kosher food was even greater. Reluctant Desecration Many spectacular kosher-meat scandals in the early 20th century prompted reform-minded secular government officials to recognize the need for order in the kosher chaos. In 1915 and 1920, New York State passed strict legislation criminalizing fraudulent representation of kosher. Nevertheless, the number of Jews who demanded kosher food continued to plummet. Some observers at the time noted the trend with sympathy for the hard-working immigrants. “Not all Jewish men work on Saturdays because they are no longer religious,” said the New York-based American Jewish Chronicle in 1916. “Thousands of our workingmen go to shops on Saturday very reluctantly. They would rather go to synagogue.” For these immigrants, reality trumped nostalgia. Saturday was the busiest day of the week for most retailers. Tradition of Non-Observance But the pursuit of affluence was only part of the immigrants’ perceived need to work on Shabbat. Many moved away from observance even after they had begun to


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com succeed economically. For them, Shabbat became a day for shopping and recreation. According to Prof Weissman Joselit, by the eve of World War I, “a tradition of nonobservance had set in.” “American Jews found lots of other reasons to avoid resting on the Sabbath, using it instead for errands, dancing lessons, sleeping late, and myriad activities that passed for leisure,” she said. Lone Voices To be sure, a few beleaguered Orthodox organizations tried to stem the tide. The Jewish Sabbath Alliance (JSA), then a division of the Orthodox Union, undertook the arduous task of trying to educate the Jewish masses about the Sabbath. In addition to coaxing Jewish shop owners and businesses to close on Shabbat, JSA succeeded in finding jobs for thousands of Sabbath observers, a feat that was no easy matter at the time. In 1907 alone, Rabbi Bernard Drachman, then president of the OU, was able to report that JSA had managed to find work for 1,500 applicants. In 1925, the Young Israel movement organized its Employment Bureau for Sabbath Observers, and managed to find jobs for hundreds of Shomrei Shabbat. By instituting vocational training programs, Young Israel was able to place many more of its people. In 1920, the JSA felt sufficiently confident to wage a public campaign against New York’s Sunday Blue Laws. The New York Times described the JSA as crossing swords with the Lord’s Day Alliance and vowing “to stop all attempts to bring about legislation which will in any way prevent the SabbathDay observant citizen from

observing, as his day of rest, the Seventh Day.” Blue Law Traditions New York’s Blue Laws dated back to 1695 when the colony outlawed “traveling, servile laboring and working, shooting, fishing, sporting, playing, horseracing, hunting, or frequenting of tippling houses, or the use of any other unlawful exercises or pastimes by any of the inhabitants or sojourners within this province, or by any of their slaves or servants, on the Lord’s day.” The punishment for violating the blue laws was a fine of six shillings or three hours in the stocks. And this was mild compared to other colonies. The punishment in Virginia for a third-time violator of Blue Laws was death. In 1789, President George Washington was on his way from Connecticut to attend church in New York when he was charged with a Blue Law violation for “unnecessarily walking or riding on Sunday.” Small wonder that, despite their best efforts, the JSA was unsuccessful in its attempts to defeat New York’s Blue Laws. Legislative success in that endeavor lay far in the future, and, even today, there are vestiges of the laws prohibiting commerce on Sundays, especially in Bergen County, NJ. Despite the Herculean efforts of these devoted Jews, their successes were demographically insignificant. The Sabbath Queen continued to suffer from benign neglect. Although some rabbis and their supporters in the Orthodox community continued to stress the importance of Sabbath observance, most of what passed for Orthodox leadership at the time was willing to make what they saw as necessary accommo-

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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

dations and avoid making “too many waves.” Great Depression This dismal situation was substantially exacerbated by the Great Depression in 1929. In a Wilkes-Barre, PA, synagogue in 1936, it was estimated that only six men in the congregation of 250 were able to keep the Sabbath. Everyone else had to work. The late Connecticutbased sociologist Dr. Samuel Koenig found that, in an Orthodox synagogue in Stamford, the members’ shops were, as a rule, open on the Sabbath and holidays, “and everyday activities are carried out as usual, although some of the more strict absent themselves.” But, according to Dr. Koenig, that meant leaving those jobs “in the hands of their children or hired help.” “Only three times a year did the synagogue fill all its

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pews,” he said. For many, kosher food became a luxury they could no longer enjoy. Chinuch In the midst of seeming catastrophe, some visionaries understood that chinuch, Jewish education, was the only possible life raft for floundering, fledgling American-Jewry. But it began on very shaky ground. At the turn of the 20th century, Jewish education was in the hands primarily of unqualified European-born melamdin, who did not have a clue as to how to deal with Americanborn children. The classes were usually disorganized makeshift Hebrew schools and cheders, conducted in the melamed’s overcrowded apartment or, at best, a rundown shul basement. There were a few intensive Talmud Torahs which

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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

July 200

Would Orthodoxy Survive? held classes four or five times a week after the boys were dismissed in the afternoon from public school. With a moderately more professional staff and somewhat better quarters, the Talmud Torahs taught Chumash with some Rashi, the siddur, Jewish history, and “customs and ceremonies.” A disproportionately large amount of time was spent preparing boys for their bar mitzvahs. This supplementary education, which was supplied after a full day of secular public school classes, was bitterly resented by most of the exhausted students. But it was more than most Jewish immigrant children received. Full Yeshiva Tradition A few hardy families managed to preserve fully the yeshiva traditions of Eastern Europe. The Herman family of the Lower East Side, lovingly described by Ruchama Shain in her 2001 biography of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Herman, All for the Boss, engaged private tutors for their sons. Some of these families, at immense sacrifice, sent their sons to the great yeshivot in Poland to continue their studies. A popular choice was the Mir Yeshiva. Religious education for girls was virtually nonexis-

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tent, and most young ladies, even from fervently Orthodox homes, were sent to public school. Even in the early days, there were a handful of struggling institutions in the US that would one day blossom into flourishing day schools and great yeshivot: Eitz Chaim Yeshiva (established in 1866) eventually evolved into Yeshiva University; the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva (1903); Mesivta Yeshiva Chaim Berlin (1904); Tifereth Yerushalayim (1907); and Mesivta Torah Vodaas (1917). The Yeshiva Beth Yehudah in Detroit (1914) and the Chofetz Chaim/Talmudic Academy of Baltimore (1917) were the first “out of town” Jewish “parochial schools,” as they were then called. Although these pioneering institutions of Torah learning would be followed by the establishment of hundreds of others, when they began, few students attended them. Branded as “un-American” (or worse) by the wider Jewish community, these schools, at the beginning, had negligible influence. They won their legitimacy only after a long and hard struggle. Areas of Settlement Orthodox synagogues

experienced their own erratic evolution. When the first wave of immigrants had accumulated sufficient funds to leave the so-called “area of first settlement” (neighborhoods populated by immigrants who were “just off the boat”) and relocate to the “second area of settlement” (more prosperous neighborhoods, but still “in town”—i.e. in New York), landsmenshaften loyalties had weakened, allowing the growth of larger Orthodox synagogues that did not depend on communities in Europe for their identity. While synagogue services and protocols remained constant, religious practice in shul—and the rabbi—had very little influence on the way members conducted their lives outside the sanctuary’s walls. The late Dr. Marshall Sklare, the founding father of American-Jewish sociology and, for many years, America’s premier sociologist of the Jews, defined the membership of these synagogues as consisting of “the non-observant Orthodox.” A typical member, he said was “someone heterodox in personal behavior but who, when occasionally joining in public worship, prefers to do so in accordance with traditional patterns.” “Stigma of the Ghetto” Dr. Sklare, of course, brought his own history and prejudices to the table. A third generation American, he was the grandson of immigrants from Kovno, Lithuania. He had attended Chicago’s College of Jewish Studies and Northwestern University, graduating from both in 1943, He earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Chi-

cago, and, in 1953, received his doctorate from Columbia. His dissertation dealt with Conservative Judaism and was published in 1955 under the title “Conservative Judaism: An American Religious Movement.” In that study, a summary of seemingly moribund American Orthodoxy and its displacement by the Conservative movement, Dr. Sklare pointed out that, for Jews eager to join the American mainstream, “Orthodoxy bears the stigma of the ‘ghetto.’” Upwardly mobile Jews, he said, feel that “Orthodox procedures are out of keeping with the type of behavior expected of the middle class, that Orthodoxy will not raise their status among fellow Jews of higher social position, and also that Orthodoxy will not help to improve Jewish-Gentile relations.” Orthodox “Institutional Decay” Dr. Sklare observed that when the Eastern-European immigrants or their children finally relocated to the “area of third settlement”—the leafy suburbs—Orthodoxy would “serve as an unwelcome reminder of the culture from which they would prefer to disassociate themselves.” From his perch at Brandeis University, where he taught, Dr. Sklare was not surprised that, as early as 1926, all ten of the Chicago synagogues affiliated with the Conservative movement were located in areas of “third settlement.” “Orthodox adherents have succeeded in achieving the goal of institutional perpetuation to only a limited extent; the history of their movement in this country can be written in terms of a case study of institutional decay,”


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The Five “S”s of Wine-Tasting

By Kevin Roche and David Schwartz ine-tasting events are and degrees of opacity within opportunities to evaluthe designation. These charate new wines and make eduacteristics can be discerned cated decisions about which by holding the glass up to the ones to buy to enjoy at home light. Generally, the darker or to give as gifts that will be and more opaque a red wine appreciated. But a wine-tastis, the more robust its taste. ing is also an enjoyable expeWhite wines are almost rience in and of itself. After anything but white and can range all, what can be bad about in color from a pale greenishspending some time tasting white to a golden-amber hue. A several good wines? white wine that is noticeably Nevertheless, because dark should be suspect. the process involves evaluaSwirl tions, it should be conducted The second “S” is “swirl.” objectively, even if, in the All wine glasses should have final analysis, the results are a stem. The taster should hold completely subjective. the stem and gently swirl the Ideally, the taster should wine for about ten seconds, apply the same process to evuntil the sides of the glass are ery wine that is tasted. coated. This aerates the wine Wines have six characand releases locked-in aroteristics: body, acidity, texmas and flavors. ture, nose (aroma), flavor, and Swirling also allows the finish. Although these may wine’s viscosity (or legs) to sound mysterious and combe displayed. “Legs” refers plex, in fact, it is quite simple. to the degree with which the Professional tasters refer to wine adheres to the sides of the “Five S’s” of tasting, all of the glass. According to some which allow the six characterexperts, more viscosity transistics to be compared. lates to better wine. Sight Sniffing The first is “sight.” As the The third “S” is “sniffword implies, it is important ing.” Some wine snobs call to see what the wine looks this “the nose.” Wine is like. Wines have different colsmelled in order to experiors and even shades of colors. ence the complex aromas that Red wines, strictly give fine wines their rich alspeaking, are not red, and luring flavor. there are many hues, shades, Human taste buds can

W

Would Orthodoxy Survive?

he wrote. Changing the Laws of Gravity In 1972—only 17 years later—Dr. Sklare published the second edition of “Conservative Judaism,” in which he admitted to puzzlement over some very unexpected developments in the Orthodox community. In the last chapter of the 1972 edition, “Recent Developments in Conservative

sense only sweet, salty, and sour. The rest of the rich spectrum that we call “taste” is actually olfactory. Sniffing the wine produces a pretty accurate forecast of the tastes that will be coming. To sniff a wine properly, the nose must be stuck into the glass while the sniffer enjoys long, slow inhalations. Yes, it’s disgusting, but very effective. The taster will be amazed at the broad spectrum of scents to be perceived. Savoring and Spitting The fourth “S” is “savor.” This is the fun part. Even for sipping, there is a preferred method. The glass is raised to the mouth and the taster should take a small— not a large—sip, which is not swallowed. Rather, the wine should be swirled around the mouth, allowing it to coat the entire inside cavity. While swirling the wine inside the mouth, the taster should gently suck some air into the mouth and exhale through the nose. Expert wine-tasters call this “retro breathing.” After this, comes the fifth “S,” which is “spitting.” The wine should be expectorated from the mouth into a bowl designated for that purpose. In wine-tasting circles, this is not only acceptable, it

is expected. Serious wine-tasters, at this point, will jot down notes of their impressions into a personal “wine-tasting journal.” It’s a good time to buy a bottle (or bottles) of your favorite wines to take home and enjoy with friends and family. Altitude 720 Our pick-of-the-month for May 2008 is the Barkan Altitude Series 720 Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, the highest of the wonderful altitude series of Cabernet Sauvignon wines by Barkan. This purple-and-black Cabernet Sauvignon is from grapes grown in a vineyard on Mt. Godrim on the Lebanese border, 720 meters above sea level. It displays a coolclimate aroma of eucalyptus, mint, and coffee. Secondary tastes of cherries, cassis, herbs, and a hint of tobacco are evident in the finish. Aged for 12 months in French oak casks, Altitude 720 pairs well with red meats, lamb, and even strong cheese. It can also be enjoyed by itself. Y Mr. Roche owns Teaneck’s Queen Anne Wine Emporium, where Mr. Schwartz conducts public informal kosher wine-tasting on Thursday evenings.

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Judaism,” he wrote: “Unaccountably, Orthodoxy has refused to assume the role of invalid. Rather, it has transformed itself into a growing force in American life. It has reasserted its claim of being the authentic interpretation of Judaism.” He saw each “Orthodox success” as an example of how “the laws of religious gravity had been repealed,” and was

amazed that “Orthodoxy did not satisfy itself with serving those Jews who continued to reside in decaying central city neighborhoods.” Pushing Outward Instead, he observed, the Orthodox movement “began to push outward” and “proceeded to establish congregations in the better residential areas.” Perhaps the most diffi-

cult admission for Dr. Sklare was that “even Hassidism” was being “transformed from an antediluvian curiosity into a movement which, it was said, had much to teach modern man.” Clearly, there had been important developments underway long before 1972, but they had been missed by many American-Jewish social observers. Y


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Thurs., July 3

Exhibit: “Weequahic Memoirs: Celebrating Newark’s Legendary Neighborhood,” JCC, West Orange, Mon-Thurs 9am8pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm, through Mon, Aug 25, 973-929-2994 “American Jews and World War II,” Ed Shapiro, Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 9am, 973-929-2917 Independence Day Rally, featuring Freedom Concert with Jewish rock band Yaakov Chesed and Reality Addiction, and a Grass Roots Drive for national legislation for School Choice, with comedian Reuven Russel; Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the Board of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education; and Congressional candidate Roland Straten, who supports school vouchers, JCC, West Orange, 7:30pm, 973-267-4213 Free Concert and Fireworks, spons by Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, Dwight Morrow High School lawn, Englewood, 7:30pm (rain date, Sun, July 6) “Israel and America: How Is a Jew to Celebrate the 4th of July?” Yishai Fleisher, Cong Ahavas Israel, Passaic, 8:30pm Halachic Issues Relevant to the Parshat Hashavua, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, live via satellite, Cong Ahavas Achim, Highland Park; Cong Tifereth Israel, Passaic; JEC, Elizabeth; Cong Khal Zichron Mordechai, (845-357-7188); Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck; Young Israel of Fair Lawn, 9pm

Fri., July 4

Teaneck Fourth of July Parade, Queen Anne Road from Queens Court to Votee Park, 9:30am “Law and Order in the Torah State,” Rabbi Reuven Unger, Cong Bnai Yeshurun,

July 2008

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The Log: Teaneck, 8am

Sat., July 5

Chassidic Farbrengen: “Thought and Experiences of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, z”tl,” Rabbi Moshe Merson, Lubavitch Center, West Orange, noon Teaneck Carlebach Minyan, private home in Teaneck, 8:30am, 201-708-6629 Women’s Shabbos Shiur, Susan Weissman, Cong Adas Israel, Passaic, 5:30pm

Sun., July 6

“The Relationship between Vayikra and Bamidbar,” Rav Yoel Bin Nun, Cong Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, 8am Trip the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens, NY, meet at Lubavitch Center, West Orange, 1pm, 973-486-2362, , to send a fax to the Rebbe’s ohel, 718-723-4444 or ohel@ ohelchabad.org “Changing the Way Israel Is Presented by Providing Services for Foreign Correspondents Who Are Based in or Visiting Israel, Developing Relationships with Them, and Affecting the Way These Journalists Report from the Field,” Aryeh Green, Cong Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, 8:15pm

Mon., July 7

Film: “Brighten Beach Memoirs,” Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 10:30am, 973929-2917 Non-Profit Administration: FaithBased Benchmarking, Volunteer Center of Bergen County, Hackensack, 7pm, 201-4899454, ext 114 “60+: A Unique Club for Widows and Widowers,” JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7pm, 845-362-4400 Support Group for Orthodox Divorced Mothers, Jewish Family Service,

Teaneck, 7:30pm, 201-837-9090

Tues., July 8

Training Session for Prospective Literacy Volunteers: Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language, Englewood Library, 9:30am-4:30pm, 201-567-4932 Job Search Network—Communicate Your Career Brand Effectively Workshop and Support Group: “Practicing Your ‘Pitch,’” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10am, 201-837-9090 Dance Class for Women, Helene Lockspeiser, Cong Ohav Emeth, Highland Park, 2:30pm Teleconference Class: “Parsha Insights: A Closer Look at the Weekly Torah Portion,” Sarah Frazer, Spons by Dorot, 3pm, 212-769-2850 or 877-819-9147 Special Tribute to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, z”tl, featuring Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, spons by Chabad Houses of Rockland County, at the JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7pm, 845-634-0951 Taharat Hamishpacha, Yoetzet Halacha Shayna Goldberg, Cong Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, 8:30pm “Rata-Torah-Touille,” a multimedia shiur experience, Rabbis Benjamin Yudin and Reuven Brand, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 8:30pm

Wed., July 9

Trip to NJ Y Kislak Adult Center, featuring Arthur Kurzweil on Kabbalah, Magic, and Geneology, and tenors, leaves from the Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, returns, Wed. July 16, 973-929-2928 “Tensions in Tefila,” for women, Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger, spons by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 10am, 917-843-4327 Parenting Skills for Divorced and Separated Families: “Children in the Middle,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10:30am, 201-488-8680 ext 149 “Medicare and Long Term Care: Understanding Your Coverage,” Robert Zenn and Robert Berger, Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 11am, 973-929-2917 Teleconference Class: “An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism, Tanya,” Dr. Lee Slavutin, spons by Dorot, 1pm, 212-7692850 or 877-819-9147 “Feeding Your Child’s Brain: How Simple Changes in Diet Impact Learning and Behavior,” Rebecca Holt, Family Vision and Learning Center, Monsey, 7pm, 845-369-3235 Film: “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” discussion with Prof Jonathan


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

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“Separate Yourself Not from the Community” Golden, JCC, Tenafly, 7:30pm

Thurs., July 10

Fascinating Kosher Food Demonstrations, featuring famous chefs, lavish Chinese auction, kitchen boutique and bakery, Susan Menashe artist and Bonnie Mansour, to benefit Lottie’s Kitchen in Israel, supporting the sick, elderly, and homebound, private home in Elberon, 10am, 732-483-1110 Jewish Heritage Night: Blue Fringe in Concert, spons by The Trenton Thunder, concert 6pm, game 7pm, followed by fireworks, section of the ball park reserved for the Middlesex County Jewish Community, 732-432-7711 Halachic Issues Relevant to the Parshat Hashavua, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, live via satellite, Cong Ahavas Achim, Highland Park; Cong Tifereth Israel, Passaic; JEC, Elizabeth; Cong Khal Zichron Mordechai, (845-357-7188); Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck; Young Israel of Fair Lawn, 9pm

Fri., July 11

“Exploring Our Haftarot,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 10am, 877-819-9147 Orthodox Union Marriage Retreat: “How to Make a Good Marriage Great,” Drs. Alex Bailey, Norman Blumenthal, Mor-

dechai Glick, Evan Kroll, and Marcy and Sylvan Schaffer, and Nina Glick and Rochelle Harary, Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, through Sun., July 13, 212-613-8188 Scholar-in-Residence, Yaakov Parisi, “An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey to Judaism,” Lubavitch Center of West Orange, through Sat., July 12

Sat., July 12

Women’s Shabbos Shiur, Suzy Litman, Cong Adas Israel, Passaic, 5:30pm

Sun., July 13

“The Conversion Crisis in Israel: Theory and Practice,” Rav Yehuda Gilad, Cong Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, 8:30am Summer Fun for Children 2-6, Cong Netivot Shalom, Teaneck, 10am, julie.kossoy@gmail.com Klezmer Violinist Alicia Svigals in Concert, Riverdale YMHA, 2pm, 718-5488200 Jewish Singles BBQ, JCC, Tenafly, 4pm Kosher Cruise, BBQ on the back bay of Atlantic City, spons by Chabad Ventnor, Trump Marina Dock E, Atlantic City, 12:30pm, 609-822-8500 Barbecue and Game Night, Cong Darchei Noam, private location in Fair

Lawn, 5pm, 201-254-0301

Mon., July 14

Film: “Biloxi Blues,” Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 10:30am, 973-929-2917

Tues., July 15

Training Session for Prospective Literacy Volunteers: Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language, Englewood Library, 9:30am-4:30pm, 201-567-4932 Job Search Network—Communicate Your Career Brand Effectively Workshop and Support Group: “The Perfect Resumé and Cover Letter,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10am, 201-837-9090 Child Seat Fitting Station to Make Sure Car Seats Are Installed Properly and Securely, Englewood Hospital, 10am-2pm, 201-894-3585 or 201-894-3727 “Deborah: Prophetess and Judge— Arise and Sing the Song,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 11am, 877-819-9147 Dance Class for Women, Helene Lockspeiser, Cong Ohav Emeth, Highland Park, 2:30pm Soul Searching: Psalm 16, Rabbi Steve Golden, JCC, Tenafly, 8pm “The Basics of a Kosher Kitchen,”

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The Log

July 200

Tell Our Advertisers “I Saw It in The Jewish Voice & Opinion”

continued from page 33

Rabbi Chaim Lobel, Young Israel of Aberdeen, 8pm, 732-5836262

Wed., July 16

“Tensions in Tefila,” for women, Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger, spons by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 10am, 917-843-4327 Cong Adas Israel Dinner, honoring Howard and Jane Mandelbaum, Adas Israel, Passaic, 5:30pm, 973-773-7272 West Hills Trio Jazz Concert, Jerusalem of Gold kosher restaurant, Teaneck, 7-9pm, 201-530-1111 Jewish Young Adults of Hudson County Movie: “Atonement,” Pier A Park, Hoboken, 7:45pm, hobokenjyah@yahoo.com

Thurs., July 17

“Jews of New Jersey,” Sid Frank, Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 9am, 973-929-2917 Halachic Issues Relevant to the Parshat Hashavua, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, live via sat-

ellite, Cong Ahavas Achim, Highland Park; Cong Tifereth Israel, Passaic; JEC, Elizabeth; Cong Khal Zichron Mordechai, (845-357-7188); Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck; Young Israel of Fair Lawn, 9pm

Fri., July 18

“Exploring Our Haftarot,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 10am, 877-819-9147 Cheryl Wigod, z”l, Scholar-in-Residence, Rav Binny Friedman, dinner 7pm, lecture “Rediscovering the Fire: Making Judaism Meaningful,” 9:15pm, Cong Ahavat Achim, Fair Lawn

Sat., July 19

Teaneck Carlebach Minyan, private home in Teaneck, 8:30am, 201-708-6629 Cheryl Wigod, z”l, Scholar-in-Residence, Rav Binny Friedman, “Israel: Why Are We Here? Thoughts on Israel at 60,” 11am; “Letting Shabbat Go: Songs and Stories,” 7pm, Cong Ahavat Achim, Fair Lawn Cong Netivot Shalom

Women’s Tea, private home in Teaneck, 4pm, simonekatz@ gmail.com Gemara Near the Green: Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, Rabbi Lawrence Zierler, outside the Teaneck Jewish Center, 7pm

Sun., July 20, Fast of Tammuz “Magnificent Movie Musical Songs,” children in grades K-8 perform, JCC, West Orange, 2pm and 4pm, 973-530-3410

Mon., July 21

Film: “Broadway Bound,” Lautenberg JCC, Whippany, 10:30am, 973-929-2917 JCC Summer Jam, high school and college-aged bands, JCC, Bridgewater, 5-8pm, 908725-6994 Support Group for Orthodox Divorced Mothers, Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7:30pm, 201-837-9090 Cong Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob and David Sisterhood Book Club: “Triangle” by Katharine Weber, private home in West Orange, 8pm, 973-736-1407 “The Basics of a Kosher Kitchen,” Rabbi Chaim Lobel, Young Israel of Aberdeen, 8pm, 732-583-6262 Support Group for Parents of Children with Special Needs, private home in Clifton, 8:30pm, 973-591-1711 Taharat Hamishpacha, Yoetzet Halacha Shayna Goldberg, Cong Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck, 8:30pm

Tues., July 22

Job Search Network— Communicate Your Career Brand Effectively Workshop and Support Group: “Ace the Telephone Interview,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10am, 201-837-9090 “Deborah: Prophetess and Judge—Arise and Sing the Song,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 11am, 877-819-9147 Yaffa Sheitel Sale, private home in Passaic, 11am-5pm, 973-777-0339 “Practical Strategies to Facilitate Effective Learning

and Self-Control for ADHD Children, and How to Collaborate with Their Parents,” for men, Rabbi Doniel Frank and Dr. Michael Steinhardt, ECHO Center, Spring Valley, 1pm, 845425-9750

Thurs., July 24

“Practical Strategies to Facilitate Effective Learning and Self-Control for ADHD Children, and How to Collaborate with Their Parents,” for women, Miriam Horowitz and Dr. Michael Steinhardt, ECHO Center, Spring Valley, 10am, 845-425-9750 Support Group for Caregivers, for those involved in the care of an older adult who is physically frail or suffering from memory loss, Vivian Green Korner, JCC, Tenafly, 11am Teleconference Class: “Israel Today: Headlines and Background Pertaining to Israel,” Yale Roe, Spons by Dorot, 2pm, 212-769-2850 or 877819-9147 Second Generation: Discussion Group for Children of Holocaust Survivors, Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7pm, 201-837-9090

Fri., July 25

“Exploring Our Haftarot,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 10am, 877-819-9147

Sat., July 26

Meet the New Members Luncheon, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, noon

Sun., July 27

Hi-Tor Adventure Hike, with naturalist Skip Storch, includes kosher box lunch, spons by the JCC Rockland, leave HiTor Mountain, New City, 9am, 845-362-4400 Jewish Singles Shmooze, ages 40-59, JCC, Tenafly, 6:30pm Mark Levy in Concert, Music of the Jewish State, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7:30pm, 845-362-4400

Mon., July 28

Parenting Skills for Divorced and Separated Families: “Children in the Middle,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7pm, 201-488-8680 ext 149


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com “Does Your Child Have AD[H]D and the Conditions That Mimic AD[H]D,” Dr. Michal Luchins, Family Vision and Learning Center, Suffern, 7:30pm, 845-369-3235 “Seeds and Roots: Music of Israel at the Time of the First Aliyah,” Mark Levy, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7:30pm, 845-362-4400

Tues., July 29

Job Search Network— Communicate Your Career Brand Effectively Workshop and Support Group: “Master the Interview,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10am, 201-837-9090 “Deborah: Prophetess and Judge—Arise and Sing the Song,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 11am, 877819-9147 Tribute to Israel at 60, featuring Cantor Ilan Mamber, Gale Bindelglass, and Jane Koch, buffet dinner in the Tel Aviv Café, YMHA, Wayne, 7pm, 973-615-8431 “The Early Songs of the

First Four Aliyot to Palestine,” Mark Levy, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7:30pm, 845-362-4400

Wed., July 30

“Tensions in Tefila,” for women, Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger, spons by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 10am, 917-843-4327 “The Early Composers of Israeli Folk Songs,” Mark Levy, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 2:30pm, 845-362-4400 Parenting Skills for Divorced and Separated Families: “Children in the Middle,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7pm, 201-488-8680 ext 149

Thurs., July 31

Cong Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob and David Golf Outing, at Meadows Golf Course, Lincoln Park, 8am, 973-736-4498 Cong Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob and David Blood Drive, West Orange, 9am, 973-736-1407 Teleconference Class: “Israel Today: Headlines and Background Pertaining to Israel,” Yale Roe, Spons by Dor-

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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

ot, 2pm, 212-769-2850 or 877819-9147 “Songs of Israel’s Military Struggles and Celebration of Statehood,” Mark Levy, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 2:30pm, 845-362-4400 Single-Parent Support Group, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 7pm, 845-362-4400

Fri., Aug 1

“Exploring Our Haftarot,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 10am, 877-819-9147

Sat., Aug 2

Teaneck Carlebach Minyan, private home in Teaneck, 8:30am, 201-708-6629 Chai Society Shabbat Luncheon, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, noon Shabbat of Learning and Tribute, honoring Rabbi Dani and Dr. Ayala Rockoff, Cong Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob and David, West Orange, 7pm, 973-736-1407

Mon., Aug 4

Non-Profit Administration: Finding Funding for Your Cause, Volunteer Center

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of Bergen County, Hackensack, 7pm, 201-489-9454, ext 114 Support Group for Orthodox Divorced Mothers, Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7:30pm, 201-837-9090

Tues., Aug 5

Job Search Network— Communicate Your Career Brand Effectively Workshop and Support Group: “Salary Negotiations,” Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 10am, 201-837-9090 “Deborah: Prophetess and Judge—Arise and Sing the Song,” Dr. Devorah Smith, interactive telephone class, spons by DOROT, 11am, 877819-9147 “Make Your Own Sushi,” Joey Warren, Young Israel of Aberdeen, 7:30pm, 732-583-6262 Soul-Searching: Psalm 91, Rabbi Laurence Rothwachs, JCC, Tenafly, 8pm

Wed., Aug 6

Reading Group: The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado, facilitated by Lucille Schroeder, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 1pm, 845-362-4400 Y


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion Sundays

July 200

Tell Our Advertisers “I Saw It in The Jewish Voice & Opinion”

New Classes This Month

Iyun Gemara Shiur on Perek Kohen Gadol (Sanhedrin Perek 2): “Dina De Malchusa Dina, Jewish Monarchies and Structured Governments, Monarchy vs Democracy, Dovid, Shlomo, and the Halachos of Kings,” Rabbi Yosef Viener, Kehillas Sha’ar HaShomayim, Wesley Hills, 7:45am Shacharis, 8:30 breakfast, 8:45 shiur,

mikes@ou.org

“Weddings in Halacha,” Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Cong Beth Abraham, Bergenfield, 7:45am Gemara Shiur, Rabbi Benyomin Walters, Lubavitch Center of Essex County, West Orange, 8:45am, 973-731-0770 “Navi: Megillas Eichah,” for women, Rebbetzin Eichenstein, Cong Agudath Israel, Highland Park, 10am, 732-828-6939 Israeli Dance Combo Levels I and II, Sara Burnbaum, JCC Rockland, W Nyack, 10:45am, 845-362-4400, starts July 13 Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Chaim Brovender, WebYeshiva, 1pm, http:// www.webyeshiva.org/student/free.php

Mondays

Tehillim Group, Rochi Lerner, private home in Teaneck 9am, 201-287-1527 “Enhancing Motherhood: The Early Years,” for mothers of

Mazal Tov

Mazal Tov to the Bar Mitzvah Boys: Ari Abramowitz, Jonah Alt, Michoel Apfel, David Baum, Doni Cohen, Yehuda Cohen, Jonathan Dubin, Michael Elbogen, Meyer Engel, Avraham Farkas, Ben-Zion Feld, Sammy Goldsmith, Adam Haimowitz, Zvi Chananel Harris, Chayim Josefovitz, Robbie Knopf, Joseph Levy, Aaron Lichtman, Elliot Linder, Daniel Metzman, Shimon Asher Niren, Binyamin Pfeiffer, Yisroel Schatz, Benjy Shulman, Shimon Slepian, and Yonah Stromer; and the Bat Mitzvvah Girls: Shani Berg, Pneena Feldman, Tamar Kuritzky, Ally Margulies, Rivki Nissel, Hadassah Rosenstein, Michelle Schechter, Orah Schlanger, Dafna Secemski, Rivka Shafrira, Elianna Strauss, and Rivka Zimmerman Mazal Tov to Dr. Edward Berliner on being honored at the Yeshiva University High Schools Dinner of Tribute Mazal Tov to Yardena Friedman on being promoted to Brown Belt in the Tora Dojo marital arts system at Cong Ohr Torah, West Orange Mazal Tov to Cong Beth Aaron’s Brachot Bee Winners: Izzy Klavan, Meira Sheffey, Chana Fisch, Andrew Gellerstein, and Batsheva Plotsker Mazal Tov to Dr Monique and Morty Katz on being honored by NJ State of Israel Bonds Mazal Tov to the Manalapan Jewish community on completing its eruv, which surrounds approximately four square miles, including thousands of homes. Manalapan boasts a mikva, Jewish schools, kosher restaurants, and an easy commute to NY via public transportation. For more information, contact Rabbi Chaim Veshnefsky and the Jewish Learning Center Community Synagogue, 732-792-2276 Mazal Tov to JCC MetroWest on being named Business of the Year for dedication to the community and the Township of West Orange, by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce Mazal Tov to Barry Wien on his new home in Fort Lee. Y

children ages 2-6, Adina Lederer, private home in Teaneck, 10am, 201-244-9068, begins July 14 “Issues in Arvei Pesachim,” Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 11am Yeshiva University’s Keter Torah Summer Kollel, learning one-on-one, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm, 347-463-7247 “You Are Not Alone,” bereavement group for those recently widowed, Judy Brauner, JCC, Tenafly, 6:30pm Rambam, Rabbi David Waxman, Community Synagogue of Monsey, 7:15pm Big Book and 12-Step Study Meeting: Discussion based on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, open to individuals struggling with any compulsive or addictive issues, Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7:30pm, 201-837-9090, 201-281-0498 Ladies Tehillim, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 7:30pm Parsha, for women, Rebbetzin Eichenstein, Cong Ohr Torah, Edison, 8pm, 732-828-6939 “Issues in Arvei Pesachim,” Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 8pm “Basics in Judaism,” Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 8:15pm Intermediate/Advanced Belly Dancing for Women, private home in Monsey, 8:30pm, alizasp@yahoo.com TEC Bet Midrash, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 9:15pm

Tuesdays

“Halacha Shiur,” Rabbi Shalom Baum, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 7:30am Torah Tuesday, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, Breakfast, 8:30am; Dvar Torah on the Parsha, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, 9am; Halacha Shiur, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, 9:15am; Gemara Shiur, Rabbi Weinberger, 10:15am; Chumash Shiur, Rabbi Weinberger, 11:50am Intermediate/Advanced Gemara: Sixth Perek of Baba Metziah, Rabbi Menahem Meier, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 9am “The Yosef Narrative,” for women, Shuli Taubes, Cong Zichron Mordechai, Teaneck, 10am, 201-787-1812 “Everyone’s Got a Story: Writing Workshop,” Ruchama King Feuerman, private home in Passaic, 10am, 973-594-1119 Talmud Study, Yossi Goldin, Cong Ahavath Torah, Englewood, 10:15am Weekly Parshat, Yossi Goldin, Cong Ahavath Torah, Englewood, 11am Navi Shiur: Sefer Melachim and Tehillim that Reflect on Dovid’s Life, Rabbi Shalom Baum, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 11am “Issues in Arvei Pesachim,” Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 11am Parsha for Women, Rebbetzin Esther Baila Schwartz, private home in Passaic, 1:15pm, 973-458-0331 or 973-685-2505 Yeshiva University’s Keter Torah Summer Kollel, learning one-on-one, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm, 347-463-7247 M&M Mishnah Madness, for boys in grades 1-8, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 5:30pm, 347-463-7247 Pizza and Parsha, for grades 2-5, Rabbi Noah Baron, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 5:45pm Mitzva of the Week, for girls in grades 6-8, at Ma’ayanot Girls Yeshiva, Teaneck, 6pm Tora Dojo Marital Arts, Howard Sragow, Cong Ohr Torah, West Orange, Basic Classes/children, 6pm; Advanced/adults, 7pm,

hsragow@yahoo.com


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com Tehillim, Rabbi Emanuel Schwartz, Community Synagogue of Monsey, 7:45pm “Theological Challenges in Sefer Bereishit,” for women, Elana Stein Hain, spons by the YU Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 8pm, 917-8434327, begins July 8 Tanya, private home in Spring Valley, 8pm, 845 538 7364 Tehillim Shiur, Rochi Lerner, private home in Teaneck, 8:15pm, 201-287-1527 “The Yosef Narrative,” for women, Shuli Taubes, Cong Zichron Mordechai, Teaneck, 8:30pm, 201-787-1812 Igros Moshe, Rabbi Dr. Mel Zelefsky, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 9pm Masechet Brachot-Perek Kaytzad Mevarchin, Rabbi Tuly Polak, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 9:30pm Tehillim Chavurah, for women and girls 10 and up, private home in Teaneck, 9pm, 201-928-1611 Gemara, Rabbi Yacov Tendler, Community Synagogue of Monsey, 9pm Sugiah Shiur: Masechet Shabbos, for men, Rabbi Reuven Brand, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 9:15pm Beginners Mishna, Rabbi Jay Miller, WebYeshiva, 10pm, http:// www.webyeshiva.org/student/free.php

Wednesdays

“Halacha Shiur,” Rabbi Shalom Baum, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 7:30am

Women’s Class, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 9am Mishlei Shiur, in memory of the Seidenfeld children, Rochi Lerner, private home in Teaneck, 10:15am, 201-287-1527 “Heading Somewhere? Journey into the Soul,” Jewish Women’s University, Lubavitch Center of West Orange, 11am, 973-731-0770 “Issues in Arvei Pesachim,” Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 11am Women’s Hat Sale, to benefit Mesilos Bnos Chen-Kollel Metsuyanim, outreach for Jewish women and helping them marry, private home in Monsey, 3-6pm, 845-352-3735 Yeshiva University’s Keter Torah Summer Kollel, learning one-on-one, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm, 347-463-7247 A Jewish Take on the Twelve Steps/JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others), Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7:30pm, 201-8379090, 212-920-2806, 201-244-1244, 201-281-0498 “Kabbalah Class: Gate of Unity,” Rabbi Benyomin Walters, Lubavitch Center of West Orange, 7:30pm, 973-731-0770 Navi Chaburah: Sefer Yehoshua, Rabbi Chaim Poupko, Cong Ahavath Torah, Englewood, 7:30pm Senior NCSY Latte and Learning, Starbucks, Ridgewood, 7:30pm “Issues in Arvei Pesachim,” Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 8pm Gemara Shiur: Masechet Shabbat, Rabbi Duvie Weiss, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 8pm Chumash Methodology, Rabbi Marc Spivak, Cong Ohr Torah, West Orange, 8pm, 973-669-7320 “Read Hebrew America,” Rabbi Chaim Lobel, Young Israel of Aberdeen, 8pm, begins July 23, 732-583-6262 Beginners Belly Dancing, for women, private home in

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Monsey, 8pm, alizasp@yahoo.com Halachic Issues in Medicine, Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 9:15pm Thursdays Torah Thursday, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin, Cong Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, 7:30am Intermediate/Advanced Gemara: Sixth Perek of Baba Metziah, Rabbi Menahem Meier, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 9am “A Precipice in the Desert: A Journey through Sefer Shmot and Bamidbar,” for women, Yael Leibowitz, spons by the YU Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 9:30am, 917-843-4327, begins July 10 “Enhancing Motherhood: Grade School Age,” for mothers of children ages 6-12, Adina Lederer, private home in Teaneck, 9:30am, 201-244-9068, begins July 14 “The Controversy over Maimonides,” for women, Daphna Fishman Secunda, spons by the YU Center for the Jewish Future, at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Teaneck, 10:30am, 917-843-4327, begins July 10 Yeshiva University’s Keter Torah Summer Kollel, learning one-on-one, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm, 347-463-7247 Pizza and Parsha, for girls in grades 1-5, at Ma’ayanot Girls Yeshiva, Teaneck, 5:30pm Pizza and Parsha, for boys in grades 1-8, Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Cong Keter Torah, Teaneck, 5:30pm, 347-463-7247 Parsha and Pizza, for children going into grades 4-5, Chaim Sussman, Cong Beth Aaron, Teaneck, 6:30pm, 201-655-3262 Alcoholics Anonymous, Jewish Family Service, Teaneck, 7pm, 201-837-9090, 201-704-7785 “Tanya,” Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Smith, Cong Tiferes Beis Medrash, Passaic, 8pm, 973-472-8189 Gemara, Rabbi Yacov Tendler, Community Synagogue of Monsey, 9pm Beginners Mishna, Rabbi Jay Miller, WebYeshiva, 10pm, http://www.webyeshiva.org/student/free.php “Halacha in Parsha,” Rabbi Michael Taubes, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, 10:10pm Fridays Teaneck Carlebach Minyan, private home in Teaneck, 7pm, 201-708-6629 Cong Bais Menachem of North Monsey, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kagan, first mincha minyan 7pm; second minyan 10 minutes after candle-lighting, shiur in Chassidus, 917-345-1912 Saturdays Cong Bais Menachem of North Monsey, Rabbi Chaim

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The Log is a free service provided to the Jewish community in northern and central New Jersey, Rockland County and Riverdale. Events that we list include special and guest lectures, concerts, boutiques, dinners, open houses, club meetings, and new classes. Announcements are requested by the 25th of the month prior to the month of the event. Due to space and editorial constraints, we cannot guarantee publication of any announcement. Please email them to : log@jewishvoiceandopinion.com.


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The Jewish Voice and Opinion

New Classes

July 200

Tell Our Advertisers “I Saw It in The Jewish Voice & Opinion”

continued from page 37

Dovid Kagan, Shachris 9:30am, 917-345-1912 Learning on the Lawn, private homes in Englewood, 5:30pm, 201-568-1315 “Yishuv Eretz Yisrael: Option or Obligation?” Rabbi Yosef Viener, Kehillas Sha’ar HaShomayim, Wesley Hills, 7pm, mikes@ou.org Book of Joshua, for men, women, and teens, Fair Lawn Commons Minyan, private home in Fair Lawn, 7pm, skobrin@ stevenkobrin.com Special Nightly Tehillim and Halacha on Shemira Halashon, for women and girls, 8:45-8:55pm, 401-694-1602, followed by PIN #18, and press the mute button on your phone Bnai Yeshurun Beis Medrash Summer Kollel Program, Cong Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck, musmachim and smicha students from Yeshiva University, Mon-Friday 9am-5pm, through Thurs, July 31, aaronzev@gmail.com Daily Mincha/Maariv Minyan, Care One Kosher Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Teaneck, 8:15pm, 201-862-3300 Y

Chessed Opportunities

The Fair Lawn Gemach has gowns for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, some maternity gowns, flower girl gowns, and a few toddler tuxedos; welcomes all donations of gowns and simcha clothing, 201-797-1770 Ladies Suit/Girls Simcha Dress Gemach, 732-597-8418, 732-367-8454 Kanarke Gown Gemach, 732-730-9521

Zichron Batsheva Poleyeff Dress Gemach, 732-370-8994 Ladies Clothing Gemach, 732-942-8870, 732-364-2095, 732-364-3284 Bridesmaids Gemach, Sunday mornings, Passaic, 973778-2401 Englewood Gown Gemach, 201-567-0134 West Orange Gown Gemach, 973-325-2214 Monsey Gown Gemach, 845-352-3031, 845-426-7496 Bridal Direct Gemach, 845-304-5175 Studio 92, Monsey, 845-362-1432 Lakewood Gown Gemachs: Zichron Gitel, Monday 8-9pm, 732-277-0964; Tuesday 8-9:30pm, 732-370-8994; Tuesday 9-10pm, 732-730-9521; rental 732-363-7100 The Wedding Shtick Gemach of Highland Park has assorted “shtick” to enhance any simcha, 732-514-9154 Bikur Cholim of Passaic hosts a gemach that stocks hospital-grade pumps to lend to nursing mothers, free of charge. New attachment kits are available at cost. The Bikur Cholim also runs a medical supplies Gemach that stocks wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes, commodes, and other items for shortterm use, free of charge. To drop off or pick up, 973-778-9320 Give-a-Wig Gemach, distributes sheitels free of charge to women and brides who cannot afford to purchase their own. Spring Valley, trtg5@hotmail.com A group is trying to organize a Passaic Toy Gemach, perfect for parents, teachers, therapists, and “children’s toy lovers.” Call 973-473-4406 Y


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com

Winning in Court the company could result in administrative sanctions or even misdemeanor charges against Praesidium and/or Dr. Hickerson, he said. “Rabbi Tendler was the subject and the victim of Praesidium’s malicious, incompetent, and illegal private investigation. He was severely injured by the unlicensed and incompetent activities of Praesidium and Dr. Hickerson, and naturally expects New York State to enforce laws enacted for the protection of its citizens,” said Mr. Coleman. It is unclear what, if any, impact these developments will have on the RCA, but several of Rabbi Tendler’s supporters expressed hope that the cumulative effect of his legal successes will result in the RCA’s acknowledgement that his treatment at their hands in March 2005, was unjust and anti-halachic. No Beit Din From the moment he was accused of sexual improprieties, Rabbi Tendler and his wife, Michelle, have maintained his complete innocence. The parents of eight children, they deny that he has ever had sexual relations with anyone except his wife and have accused the RCA of acting against halacha by expelling him without a rabbinic court, a beit din. Further, they say, the RCA, which based its actions primarily on the Praesidium’s report, ignored the ruling of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s Jerusalem Regional Beit Din that the expulsion without the imprimatur of a rabbinic court was a violation of halacha. The Tendlers and their supporters say the RCA used the expulsion to prompt other

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Jewish institutions to fire him, thus depriving him of the ability to earn a living. Winning Law Suits Last month, the top appeals court in New York dismissed a civil lawsuit against him in which a former congregant, Adina Marmelstein, 45, claimed he had seduced her into a sexual relationship that lasted for more than three years. Noting that Rabbi Tendler has denied the charges, the seven-judge panel ruled unanimously that Ms. Marmelstein lacked grounds on which to sue him. In addition, the New York Appellate Division ruled that Kehillat New Hempstead, the synagogue founded and nurtured by Rabbi Tendler, had breached his lifetime contract by firing their rabbi without benefit of a beit din. Rabbi Tendler’s contract with KNH stipulated that he could be dismissed only after a ruling by a rabbinic court. Many observers say the synagogue acted to fire him based on his expulsion by the RCA and pressure exerted by Ms. Marmelstein’s supporters. According to Rabbi Tendler’s attorney, Glenn Feinberg of Manhattan, who handled both cases, the court’s decision on the issue of Rabbi Tendler’s contract paves the way for him to seek damages that, Mr. Feinberg said, will run into millions of dollars. “It’s no longer a question of whether they will pay, but how much. Rabbi Tendler will pursue all his rights to be compensated for the money he has lost,” said Mr. Feinberg. No Damages Other lawsuits in which Rabbi Tendler has been in-

volved since his expulsion from the RCA have been equally successful. In California, the Appellate Court ruled that Rabbi Tendler owes no monetary compensation to his anonymous detractors who have posted what he and his supporters consider to be “false, libelous, and defamatory” statements on Internet blogs. Most of these blogs, some of which claim to be run by Orthodox Jews, used the RCA’s decision to expel Rabbi Tendler as their launching point to excoriate him in blatantly vulgar terms, and accuse him of crimes that might make a sailor blush. Outing the Bloggers In an attempt to discover the identities of the anonymous bloggers whom he considered the most egregious (“jewishwhistleblower. com, rabbinicintegrity.com,

newhempsteadnews.com, canonist.com, and jewishsurvivors.com), Rabbi Tendler, in 2006, initiated court proceedings in Ohio, where he had reason to believe at least one of the bloggers resided. The court provided Rabbi Tendler’s Ohio-based attorney with subpoena power to obtain the IP addresses and other owner/creator information about the blogs from their host, Internet giant, Google, which is based in California. When Google declined to respond to the Ohio subpoena, Rabbi Tendler’s California attorney filed a request for subpoenas against the company in Santa Clara County, California, Superior Court. Pro-Bono Lawyer Alerted to that action by

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Google, the anonymous bloggers, now referred to as “the Does,” obtained the services of Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, a Washington-based public interest organization. The bloggers filed a motion in California to quash Rabbi Tendler’s suit and have it stricken from the record. When it became obvious that the procedure would be very costly, Rabbi Tendler withdrew his request for subpoenas and dropped the case. Mr. Levy boasted that the rabbi’s decision to withdraw reflected his “inability to prove that the bloggers had defamed him.”

“If he had evidence of falsity and malice, he could have gone forward against these folks,” said Mr. Levy. Seeking Money Through their attorney, the Does proceeded with their motion to strike the entire case from the record. Claiming that Rabbi Tendler had attempted to deny them their right to free speech, the Does, still maintaining their anonymity, filed suits against Rabbi Tendler demanding that he pay all their legal expenses and court costs, which amounted, they said, to almost $42,000. The superior court, which was the

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first to hear the Does’ argument, awarded them $20,330. Rabbi Tendler promptly appealed, and the California Appellate Court reversed the earlier ruling, deciding that each party was responsible for its own costs. Rabbi Tendler owed the anonymous bloggers nothing. Another lawsuit, in which former congregants of Rabbi Tendler’s accused him of slandering them by participating in news reports about the issue, was dropped by the plaintiffs before it went to court. Persistence Although Rabbi Tendler has been successful in court, most of the rulings in his favor, like the one in California, came only after lower courts originally found against him. Supporters said the couple’s strength and courage to continue was based on the Jewish concept of bitachon. “They knew they were right and trusted in G-d,” said a supporter. Ms. Marmelstein, for example, began her lawsuit against Rabbi Tendler in December 2005 with four complaints. She alleged that Rabbi Tendler had counseled her to indulge in sexual activities with him as way of overcoming her problems in finding a husband. Ms. Marmelstein, who resided in Monsey with her boyfriend, Levi (Lawrence) Boslow, was well-known to members of the Orthodox community, several of whom still describe her as “scary.” “She wanted to monopolize the rabbi’s time and seemed to resent it when he had no time for her. She is not a weak, vulnerable woman whom people could take advantage of, but she is scary,” said a woman who used to belong to KNH but has since relocated to New Jersey for work-related reasons. In December 2003, when Rabbi Tendler’s predominantly female opponents in Monsey were mobilizing to bring their complaints against him to the RCA, Ms. Marmelstein gave Mrs. Tendler a handwritten note, saying, “I can’t tell you the pressure I’ve had in social situations lately from people suddenly being my friend who have an agenda against the rabbi. I’ve protected and always uphold you both highly.”


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com Special Relationship? At the trial level, Manhattan Justice Jane S. Solomon dismissed two of Ms. Marmelstein’s complaints, but permitted her two remaining causes of action— breach of fiduciary duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress—to go forward. Ms. Marmelstein’s attorney, Lenore Kramer of Manhattan, argued that a special fiduciary, or trust, relationship exists in all cases of clergy counseling. On appeal, the New York Appellate Division Court, in a split 3-2 decision, overruled Judge Solomon, deciding that Ms. Marmelstein had no claims against Rabbi Tendler. The majority ruled that, even if Ms. Marmelstein were telling the truth, there was no basis for a trial. Ms. Marmelstein, they said, was, in effect, trying to sue Rabbi Tendler for seducing her, a Victorian-era charge that was banned by a 1935 New York State law. Ms. Kramer maintained that because Rabbi Tendler was also Ms. Marmelstein’s spiritual leader, he had enjoyed “a position of power” over her, making their alleged relationship more insidious than a common affair. Rabbi Tendler’s legal team pointed out that, uncharacteristically, the judges went out of their way to state that Rabbi Tendler had denied all of Ms. Marmelstein’s allegations. Second Appeal Because it was a split decision, Ms. Kramer automatically appealed to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, where the seven-judge panel ruled unanimously that Ms. Marmelstein had no grounds for a suit. Noting in their decision that Rabbi Tendler had denied all of Ms. Marmelstein’s charges, the judges ruled that “no cause of action can be maintained for an extended voluntary affair between consenting adults.” Admitting disappointment with the ruling, Ms. Kramer accused the court of being “conservative.” “They are reticent to expand avenues of tort law. This was an opportunity to hold clergy who prey upon their congregants responsible,” she said. Harassment Mr. Feinberg said that in vindicating Rabbi Tendler, the judges had put an

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end to the case which had dragged on for more than two years. While Ms. Kramer told reporters Ms. Marmelstein’s legal fight with Rabbi Tendler had not necessarily ended, Mr. Feinberg said there were no other avenues for them to pursue. “The highest court in the state dismissed the charges. It’s over. No court in America would entertain this lawsuit now, and any efforts on Ms. Marmelstein’s part to sue Rabbi Tendler on this claim would be pure and simple harassment,” he said. Still No Beit Din While in the Marmelstein case, Rabbi Tendler was the defendant, in his is-

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sues concerning KNH, he was the plaintiff, a peculiar role for an Orthodox rabbi who had always taught that Jews should rely on batei dinim, rabbinic courts, rather than secular legal venues. His supporters point out that he became the plaintiff in this case chiefly because he was endeavoring to bring the case to a beit din. Considering his long and close history with KNH, many observers expressed surprise that relations between the rabbi the and shul became strained. In the days following his expulsion from the RCA, the one bright spot for the Tendlers was the support they enjoyed in

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Winning in Court their own community. New Pressures But several months after the RCA dismissed him and shortly after Ms. Marmelstein instituted her suit, new pressures were brought to bear on the shul. According to sources close to KNH, about a week after Ms. Marmelstein’s suit was filed, an attorney for a group of seven Rockland County-based hareidi rabbis arranged for a meeting between his clients and some of KNH’s officers. According to the sources, the attorney suggested the hareidi rabbis, most of whom had had halachic differences with many members of the Tendler family on a variety of issues, could persuade Ms. Marmelstein to drop her case against the synagogue (whom she was also suing), if the officers immediately fired Rabbi Tendler.

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According to the sources, the board at that time refused out of moral conviction, but there was also a question as to whether anyone on the board even had the right to fire their spiritual leader. Members of KNH explained that the board was only a practicing body because its members had never been elected by a quorum as required by the synagogue’s by-laws. In addition, there was the issue of Rabbi Tendler’s lifetime contract that could only be abrogated if a recognized beit din so ruled. Nevertheless, the pressure against the acting board increased. Some of Rabbi Tendler’s opponents insisted that the board, by not striking out against the rabbi, was failing to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility in light of Ms. Marmelstein’s suit. A New Board

In early January 2006, four members of the KNH board, including the president and vice-president, resigned. They stressed that their resignations had nothing to do with their support for Rabbi Tendler, but, rather, because that very support was prompting notions of “conflict of interest.” One of the officers said they felt they could be “more supportive of Rabbi Tendler from outside the board.” According to all reports, these former KNH board members have remained supportive of Rabbi Tendler and still continue to daven with him on a weekly basis. When the four members of the practicing board resigned, the highest remaining officer assumed the presidency and immediately appointed fellow congregants to fill the spots on the board that had been vacated. Sources said he chose people who, like himself, were known to be hostile to Rabbi Tendler. Beit Din Ruling Barely a month after assuming office, the new board fired Rabbi Tendler, who then took the issue to the venerable beit din of Agudas HaRabbonim on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The beit din, which was founded by Rabbi Tendler’s late grandfather, the esteemed Rav Moshe Feinstein, z”tl, issued a cease-and-desist order to the KNH board, telling them they were forbidden to act before first bringing the matter to a rabbinic court. The Agudas HaRabbonim did not name a beit din to adjudicate the case, but did rule that Rabbi Tendler was to keep his position with KNH until the synagogue brought the issue to

any rabbinic court that was acceptable to both parties, as dictated by halacha. Zabla The KNH board, however, refused to reinstate Rabbi Tendler, saying it disregarded any ruling made by the Agudas HaRabbanim based on the organization’s close relationship with the Tendler family. KNH demanded that the case be settled by a zabla, a halachically recognized court consisting of a rabbinic representative selected by the plaintiff, one by the defendant, and a third rabbi chosen by the first two. The problem was the representative chosen by the KNH board was an individual with whom the Tendler family had had many legal dealings, making him, in their—and the Agudas HaRabbonim’s—opinion, inappropriate to serve as a judge in this case. Secular Court When KNH failed to select another representative, Rabbi Tendler took the issue to civil court with the initial goal of forcing the synagogue to reinstate him until the matter could be adjudicated by a beit din, terms that were written into his contract. Asked if he was halachically permitted to do this, Rabbi Hirsh Ginsberg, director of the Agudas HaRabbonim, said yes. “He is going to court to enforce the ruling of the beit din. For that, he doesn’t need a heter,” said Rabbi Ginsberg, referring to rabbinic permission that would ordinarily be required before taking a matter to secular court rather than a rabbinic one. Church-State Issue? The first court to hear the


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com case, the New York Supreme Court in Rockland County, accepted KNH’s argument that the details of Rabbi Tendler’s contract, especially the issue of bringing the dispute to a beit din, was a matter of church-state separation, unsuitable for a ruling in secular court. Rabbi Tendler appealed, and, last month, the four judges on the Appellate Division unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision. The judges ruled that KNH had indeed breached its contract with Rabbi Tendler when it fired him without adhering to the terms of the contract that he had enjoyed with the synagogue since 1992. This time, the synagogue argued that it had obtained a rabbinical ruling authorizing their action against Rabbi Tendler. The synagogue produced a document purporting to be a rabbinical court decision by Rabbi Benzion Wosner, a highly controversial Israeli rabbi now based in Monsey who has said publicly that, in his opinion, rabbis can be fired based simply on unproven rumors. KNH’s problem was that it had fired Rabbi Tendler in Feb 2006, but the document from Rabbi Wosner was dated March 21 of that year. Further, Rabbi Tendler argued that he had never been involved in any proceeding conducted by Rabbi Wosner, and, in fact, had not been advised that Rabbi Wosner even had a rabbinical court until the document surfaced in the litigation as an apparent pretext for his termination. Simply Contract Law In their unanimous decision, the judges clearly were unmoved by the synagogue’s attempt. The appeals court claimed the lower court had erred in its ruling that this

was a church-state separation issue. In their ruling, the judges said that “neutral principles of contract law are applicable in resolving the issues presented in this action, without reference to any religious interpretation or doctrine.” The court ruled that, on the merits of the case, Rabbi Tendler had “established his prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.” Millions of Dollars According to Mr. Feinberg, KNH may seek to appeal the matter further, but, because it was a unanimous decision (unlike the split decision in favor of Rabbi Tendler in the Marmelstein case), there is no guarantee that a higher court will be willing to hear their argument. Barring an appeal, Rabbi Tendler’s next step will be to take the matter back to the lower court which will ultimately decide the damages he is entitled to collect. Mr. Feinberg said the rabbi will seek to recover two years lost salary and the money he will lose in the future as a result of KNH’s breach of contract. One of Rabbi Tendler’s supporters said his annual salary had been about $100,000. “And we assume he will be able to work at least another 25-30 years. Anyone can do the math,” he said. Asked how KNH might come up with the money to pay Rabbi Tendler, the supporter said, “Well, there’s always the building.” KNH-in-Exile In assessing the damages, the court will ask Rabbi Tendler what steps he has taken to mitigate his losses. According to Mr. Feinbeg, Rabbi Tendler has made ef-

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forts to find work, but, given that his reputation as a scholar and spiritual leader was shattered by the RCA and the synagogue’s action, it has not been easy. Since leaving KNH, he has conducted private services for a congregation that is estimated to attract some 50 worshippers every week. Through this congregation, which calls itself KNH-inExile, Rabbi Tendler offers a few weekly classes. “He’s trying to rebuild his following, but it hasn’t been easy. KNH robbed him of his livelihood and his ability to support his family,” said Mr. Feinberg. One Objective The court’s ruling also obviates the need for a beit din, although directing KNH in that direction had been Rabbi Tendler’s initial goal. In fact, having his case heard by a beit din has been his objective ever since 2004

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when he was first notified by the RCA’s executive director, Rabbi Basil Herring, that a complaint had been filed against him. Rabbi Tendler agreed to cooperate with the organization’s investigation with two provisos: First, that the case would be adjudicated by a beit din (which meant he would actually hear the charges against him and have the opportunity to face his accusers and respond), and, second, that those charging him would commit to accepting the decision of the beit din as “final and binding,” meaning they would desist from further harassment. Investigation? To investigate the charges against Rabbi Tendler, the RCA, which boasts a membership of approximately 1,000 Modern Orthodox rabbis, hired the Praesidium, a “risk-management” company

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based in Arlington, Texas, that had also worked for the Catholic Church when it faced issues of clerical sexual misconduct. Dr. Jane Hickerson, Praesidium’s vice-president of social services, was selected to handle the investigation, which consisted of primarily telephone interviews with nine women, most of whom did not accuse Rabbi Tendler of anything more sexual than delivering a drasha discussing the evils of non-Jewish meditation or touching a woman’s hand in the course of learning a section of mussar that the woman’s husband had hoped would help heal their marriage. The women, who were mostly current or former congregants, seemed to have other axes to grind against the rabbi for issues ranging from his position during bitter divorces and custody suits to the 41-year-old woman who accused Rabbi Tendler of ruining her shidduch—to the 19-year-old son of members of the shul. Based on her telephone interviews with the women and a face-to-face session with Rabbi Tendler in the Brooklyn office of an attorney, Dr. Hickerson wrote her report, which the RCA used as the basis for its decision to

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expel the rabbi. A Foregone Conclusion According to Mr. Coleman, Rabbi Tendler’s attorney who is handling his complaint against the Praesidium and Dr. Hickerson, the report made “a complex psychological analyses based on speculation regarding the abuse of power by ‘clergy’ in general and extending them, without benefit of bona fide psychological evaluation of either the ‘witnesses’ or Rabbi Tendler, to reach a foregone conclusion.” “Hickerson accepted the repeated claims by interviewees of having heard damning audio tape recordings, although she had to acknowledge that the recordings were never produced for her to hear,” said Mr. Coleman. According to Mr. Coleman, Dr. Hickerson ultimately recommended that the RCA suspend Rabbi Tendler, place him in counseling and under supervision, and work with congregants to avoid “retaliation.” “In short, the report provided the RCA with cover to wash its hands of the ‘Tendler problem’ by giving the impression of thoroughness, objectivity, and professionalism, while being subject to none of the oversight New York law requires in such

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matters,” said Mr. Coleman, pointing out that the report was ultimately used “in irregular arbitral proceedings against Rabbi Tendler within the RCA, resulting in his expulsion from that body, the loss of his employment, and severe damage to his reputation.” Risk-Manager’s Job He did not deny that the Praesidium was doing its job as a “risk-manager.” The problem, he said, is that it was engaging in the business of private investigation without having first obtained a state license. On its website, the Praesidium tries to entice corporate clients by reminding them that “with all the issues you face, nothing can be more devastating to your organization that an incident or allegation of abuse by an employee, volunteer, member of the clergy, or by another program participant.” The Praesidium says its mission is to create a “safe environment” that will protect its client’s “organization from loss of reputation and financial ruin.” “In short the firm is in the business of protecting organizations from liability for alleged abuse. They are a damage-control outfit whose job is to stop the bleeding

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when an institution is accused of wrong-doing. They are the ones who decide who should take the fall, and, in this case, they fingered Rabbi Tendler,” said Mr. Coleman. Israeli Chief Rabbinate Despite Rabbi Herring’s initial agreement to comply with his request for a beit din, Rabbi Tendler was never given his day in rabbinic court, even after the RCA’s officers were ordered to do so by no less an authority than the Jerusalem Regional Beit Din of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The Jerusalem Beit Din ordered the RCA to reinstate Rabbi Tendler unless or until the rabbinic organization took its case against him to a beit din. When the RCA refused to comply, Rabbi Tendler filed his own complaint against the organization and several of its officers and leaders. He asked the Jerusalem Beit Din to nullify the expulsion and rule on the personal liability of each of the defendants. He claimed the defendants had expelled him without the “judicial process demanded by halacha.” And, he charged, the RCA had violated its own constitution, which specifies that a member cannot be expelled without

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benefit of a beit din. Jurisdiction? When the Jerusalem Beit Din informed the RCA that it had agreed to hear the case, the RCA replied that it had no need of a rabbinic court or the involvement of “uninformed Israeli rabbis.” Despite the RCA’s longstanding position that it sees itself as operating as a partner with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Herring said the Jerusalem Beit Din lacked jurisdiction over the RCA’s activities. Several weeks later, as Orthodox newspapers continued publishing articles on the issue, the RCA seemed to realize the case was becoming a public relations disaster. The RCA and its officers and leaders who had been named as defendants by Rabbi Tendler suddenly agreed to submit to a beit din in the US constituted through the process of zabla. “Playing Games” That decision satisfied the Jerusalem Beit Din, which asked both sides to present the names of the rabbinic representative they had selected. Rabbi Tendler chose Rabbi Gershon Spiegel of Lakewood. Many weeks later, the RCA, which had resisted publicly naming its representative told a reporter for Ha’aretz that it had selected Rabbi Menachem Zacharia Silber of Brooklyn, a member of the Satmar community for whom the State of Israel is anathema. The problem was, no one at the RCA

officially submitted Rabbi Silber’s name to the Jerusalem Beit Din. In January 2006, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Beit Din, said the Israeli rabbis “suspected the RCA is playing games with us.” Flip-Flops The RCA’s on-again, off-again position on whether to submit to a beit din was not its only flip-flop. Originally, the RCA had posted on its website a statement in which it claimed it had undertaken a “year long investigation” into the allegations against Rabbi Tendler and initiated proceeding through its “Vaad Hakovod” committee. This, the RCA said, was nothing more than “an administrative proceeding of a religious organization, entitled to determine in a manner it chooses, who is and who is not fit to be a member.” Despite the promises Rabbi Herring had made to Rabbi Tendler concerning a rabbinic court, the statement on the website said the “investigation was not, and never purported to be, in the nature of a beit din proceeding.” After it was clear that the Jerusalem Beit Din would not accept this explanation, the RCA reversed itself, claiming it did not have to go to a beit din, because it had already held one. Contradicting its earlier statements, the RCA now insisted the Vaad Hakovod was not merely a committee holding “administrative proceedings.” Rather, the RCA said, the Vaad

Hakovod was, in fact, a beit din. Consequences Neither Rabbi Tendler nor the Jerusalem Beit Din was amused. After several weeks, Rabbi Tendler petitioned the Jerusalem Beit Din for permission to take the recalcitrant RCA and the named defendants to civil court, where he intended to sue them for defamation of character among other charges. The beit din never responded to Rabbi Tendler’s request for a heter, but shortly afterwards, it issued a ruling that the RCA and the named defendants were in contempt of court, lo tsayis l’din. While all halachic authorities agree that lo tsayis l’din is a serious matter, the exact repercussions that might ensue were left, for the moment, at least, unclear. A few months later, however, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate revoked a former, long-standing policy which had recognized all conversions overseen by RCA-affiliated rabbis as valid. According to the new policy, only a few RCA rabbis are now recognized as qualified in Israel. Some observers say the Chief Rabbinate’s action was a direct response to the RCA’s disregard for the Jerusalem Beit Din’s ruling in Rabbi Tendler’s case . S.L.R.


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Prisoner Swap said Dr. Lerner. He suggested the Olmert government was “embarking on what might be a ‘diplomatic fire sale’ as it struggles to come up with some ‘achievement’ it can point to before it finds itself struggling for survival at the ballot box.” Ron Arad Mr. Nasrallah has made no secret of his determination to win the release of Mr. Kuntar. Israelis have long insisted that they would hold Mr. Kuntar until such time as he could be exchanged for Ron Arad, an Israeli Air Force navigator whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986, or at least information about his death. Until last month, Hezbollah has insisted it knew nothing about Mr. Arad. But on June 30, as part of the prisoner swap, the terrorist organization reported to the UN that the captured Israeli pilot is dead. The information was part of a document given by Hezbollah to the UN-appointed German negotiator Gerhard Konrad, who then passed it on to Israel. The document was part of the prisoner-exchange agreement. Inconclusive Some Israeli officials, including the prime minister, maintain that while the report gives them more information about Mr. Arad than they had before, it does not conclusively prove his death. Although three letters in Mr. Arad’s handwriting and two photos of the missing airman were received by his family in 1987, proving that he was still alive at that point, most reports now assume that Mr. Arad, like Messrs Goldwasser and Regev, is dead. Before Hezbollah gave

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continued from page 16 its report to the UN, the last information about Mr. Arad was provided by Hezbollah terrorist, Mustafa Dirani, who, in 1994, was captured by Israel. Mr. Dirani said that, in 1988, the Amal terrorists who captured Mr. Arad, led by Nabih Berri (today the Speaker of Lebanon’s parliament and head of the Shi’ite Amal party), handed the Israeli pilot to a Hezbollah terrorist unit. Hezbollah then turned him over to the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Mr. Dirani boasted that he had received $300,000 for handing Mr. Arad to the Iranians. In 2004, Mr. Dirani and another Hezbollah terrorist also captured by Israel, Abdul Karim Obeid, were released by the government of Ariel Sharon in a prisoner swap that secured the bodies of IDF soldiers Benny Avraham, Omar Suweid, and Avi Avitan, and the freedom of Elchanan Tennenbaum, an Israeli businessman who was in Lebanon illegally and was widely reported to have been dealing in drugs. Hoping for More Last month, the family of Mr. Arad reacted with bitterness to the news of the pending prisoner exchange. Because they had considered Mr. Kuntar their last bargaining chip with Hezbollah, they viewed his release as an indication that Israel was turning its back on Mr. Arad. In 2004, when Messrs Dirani and Obeid were released, Mr. Nasrallah had also demanded Mr. Kuntar. Mr. Sharon, however, refused, arguing that the information Hezbollah had provided about Mr. Arad was inconclusive.

According to Elad Shraga, head of Born Free, an organization which has been working to locate and free Mr. Arad, the captured airman’s family now feels betrayed. Stages Mr. Shraga explained that, when Messrs Dirani and Obeid were released without any word on Mr. Arad, the Sharon government promised “this would be the first stage of the deal” that would force Hezbollah to present the missing Israeli pilot. Mr. Shraga said the second stage, promised by Mr. Sharon, would be “in return for getting information about Ron Arad, we will release the terrorist Kuntar.” Mr. Shraga called the current deal, in which Mr. Kuntar will be released for the bodies of Messrs Goldwasser and Regev, “wrong.” “When the government promises something, it needs to keep its promises,” he said, stressing that Messrs Goldwasser and Regev should be returned “with other cards, not with the same card that belonged to Ron.” He noted that Mr. Arad’s family and supporters have been waiting four years for the second stage. “Kuntar is going home, and we still have no new information

about Ron,” he said. Moved by supporters of Mr. Arad, the Olmert government, through its negotiators, told Hezbollah Israel demanded clear information about the current condition of Messrs Goldwasser and Regev, as well as information about the fate of Mr. Arad, before a swap would be approved. The result was the document delivered by Hezbollah to the UN. Missing Iraniams Just as Israel wants information about Mr. Arad, Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, wants details about what happened to four Iranian diplomats who were abducted in Beirut in July 1982, during he first Lebanon War, by a Lebanese-Christian militia ally of Israel. The involvement of Iran in the negotiations prompted the families of 12 missing Iranian Jews to demand that the Israeli government not hand over information about the Iranian diplomats until details on the fate of their loved ones in Teheran are secured. Between 1994 and 1997, 12 Iranian Jews who attempted to flee Iran and emigrate to Israel disappeared without a trace. All these Jews were attempting to cross the Iran-

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Prisoner Swap Pakistan border. Their families believe these Jews were kidnapped by Iranian security services and are still being held captive in Teheran. Assisted by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the families are insisting that no prisoner exchange with Hezbollah go forward until they receive information on these Jewish captives. Their Bargaining Chip In a letter to Mr. Olmert, Ms. Darshan-Leitner argued that information on the four Iranian diplomats is “the last bargaining chip Israel has that could shed some light on the fate of the 12 missing Iranian Jews.” She stressed that if the Olmert government does not act on behalf of the Iranian families, the only reasonable conclusion would be that the 12 Iranian Jews “have been abandoned.” “It is simply unthinkable that the State of Israel would convey information about the four disappeared Iranian diplomats without receiving in exchange information about the 12 missing Jews in Iran,” she said. On June 30, when it became clear that Mr. Olmert intended to ignore their demand, the families of the missing Iranian Jews filed a petition in the Israeli High Court, seeking to block the government from releasing information on the fate of the missing four Iranian diplomats until the issue of the missing Iranian Jews is included as a quid pro quo. Approved by Hezbollah When Mr. Olmert’s government finally voted on whether to swap Mr. Kuntar and the others for the bodies

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continued from page 47 of Messrs Goldwasser and Regev, the prime minister urged his ministers to favor the deal. Despite defense officials’ warning that the prisoner exchange with Hezbollah will prompt further abductions, 22 ministers voted in favor. Only three voted no. Hezbollah television station, Al Manar, launched round-the-clock broadcasts on the Cabinet vote, informing viewers that the prisoner exchange was a major success for Hezbollah and its militant ideology. “Today the promise of the resistance was kept. In a few more days, Kuntar will put all his years in jail behind him,” said one of the anchors. “Our prisoners are freed not by words and not by diplomacy or tears and kisses. Only blood liberated the land and liberates man.” Divisive Issue Israel as a whole seemed much more divided on the issue than the Cabinet was. Virtually all Israeli commentators noted the understandable anguish of the families, but those opposed to the swap generally took the position that, in the end, such efforts at appeasement would make future kidnappings— and deaths—more likely. Writing in Ha’aretz, Amos Harel called the prisoner swap “capitulation to blackmail by terrorists.” In Yated Ne’eman, Jonathan Rosenblum said that by once again exchanging live prisoners for dead bodies, the Jewish state “would only endanger future Israeli captives by demonstrating to their captors that their value in subsequent prisoner exchanges does not decrease with their death.” “Nearly two decades af-

ter Oslo, our leaders still cannot get beyond their fixation with negotiations and written agreements and recognize that in our rough neck of the woods, the key to the game is the image one conveys: Are you projecting strength or desperation?” said Mr. Rosenblum. Dr. Boaz Ganor, executive director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, said that while he recognized the commitment Israel has to each of its soldiers, that same value should prompt the state “to exchange live hostages for live soldiers, or dead hostages for dead soldiers.” “If, G-d forbid, one of us is kidnapped by Hezbollah in the future, the kidnapper can now say he does not care whether we live or die,” he said. Too Heavy a Price The Goldwasser and Regev families did not take kindly to those who opposed the swap. When former IDF Chief of General Staff LtGen (res) Moshe Ya’alon argued that “in some situations the price to pay as part of the deal is much heavier that the price of losing the captive soldier,” Mr. Goldwasser’s father, Shlomo, said, “Such words can only be spoken by

a man whose son is not held captive by the enemy.” Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick pointed out that, on the issue of freeing the hostages, families such as the Goldwassers, Regevs and Shalits, whose son, Gilad, is still being held by Hamas in Gaza, should not be the ones making the decisions. “Through no fault of their own,” she said, the families “have become the mouthpieces of Hezbollah and Hamas.” “This is as natural as it is tragic,” she said, adding that the moment their sons were taken hostage, the families also became prisoners. “In constant agony over the fate of their sons, these families are incapable of acknowledging the cruel and devastating fact that the safety of three soldiers cannot be placed above Israel’s national security,” she said. Greater Than the Individual She recalled that when Mr. Sharon was about to release hundreds of terrorists in exchange for the bodies of three IDF soldiers and Mr. Tennenbaum, one of the few members of his Cabinet who voted against the deal was Natan Sharansky. Mr. Sharon told him that, as a former prisoner,

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Prisoner Swap he should “understand our moral responsibility to bring about their release.” Mr. Sharansky responded that, “as a prisoner, it is important to know that your country is doing everything it can to secure your release. But it is also true that you are not willing to be released at any price.” “There are things that are more important than your personal survival,” Mr. Sharansky said. Looking for Peace Those who favored the swap said that until the status of Messrs Goldwasser and Regev is known for sure, their families will have no peace. The most passionate voices in favor of the swap came from Israel’s left-wing media, which applied as much pressure as possible on the government to accept

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continued from page 49 Hezbollah’s demands. Shabak chief Yuval Diskin echoed the sentiments of many other security experts, politicians, and groups such as the Almagor TerrorismVictims Organization and the Bereaved Parents Forum, when he said that “a deal for dead bodies would encourage the terror organizations to kill their abductees in the future,” rather than expend the energy and effort to keep them alive. “After all, it is very difficult logistically for the terrorists to keep their prisoners alive. Why shouldn’t they just shoot them in the first place, knowing that Israel pays high prices for dead bodies as well?” said Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, head of the Bereaved Parents Forum. Col (res) Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, said that

in light of the Cabinet vote to carry out the swap, “the government must now explain to the 117 families of the soldiers who were killed in the Second Lebanon War and the dozens of families of civilians who were killed, why we went to war in the first place, seeing as we could have just given into the Hezbollah demands from the very beginning, without losing any lives, if we would have just released Kuntar right away.” “The bottom line is that the Second Lebanon War ended in a total fiasco,” he said. Looking to Appease These arguments did not move the families. Miki Goldwasser has been particularly outspoken in her insistence that the government release Mr. Kuntar in exchange for her son. Her argument, like Mr. Nasrallah’s,

was that Israel must appease Hezbollah or face the consequences. And, again like Mr. Nasrallah, she was not above drawing on all Israelis’ greatest fears. Mrs. Goldwasser dismissed the argument that if Mr. Kuntar is released, more IDF soldiers will be kidnapped, saying that if the arch-terrorist had been released in exchange for Mr. Tennenbaum, her son would not have been taken captive. She maintained that if Mr. Kuntar is not released now, “more kidnappings will follow, perhaps involving Israeli civilians touring abroad.” “Nasrallah is determined to bring Kuntar back to Lebanon come hell or high water. His next attempt may be much worse. He may kidnap an entire family, teenagers, pregnant woman, who


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com knows?� she said. She warned that if the deal with Hezbollah collapsed because Israel refused to relinquish Mr. Kuntar claiming it was waiting for information on Mr. Arad, “Hezbollah will earn all the praise from [Lebanon] and mainly from the world.� “Hezbollah will present itself as an organization that had made the gesture towards Israel, while Israel is the one who sabotaged the deal, demanding information Nasrallah himself could not supply—which Israel is well aware of,� she said. Peace with Lebanon While nobody assumed the negotiations between Israel and Hezbollah, which is still actively building its Iranian- and Syrian-supplied arsenal, meant tranquility might break out between the two parties, there were indications that Israel might be looking to bypass Hezbollah and open peace talks with the Lebanese government in Beirut. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev announced that Israel was interested in “direct, bilateral� talks with Lebanon and ready to put “every issue of contention� on the table, including a key border dispute over a tiny patch of land, called Sheba Farms, located on Mt. Dov. Israel claims it won this land from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. When the IDF withdrew from Southern Lebanon in May 2000 after an 18-year occupation conducted solely to prevent terrorists from attacking northern Israel, it did not relinquish Sheba, located on the border between the Golan Heights and Lebanon, because the UN had said the small patch was Syrian territory, not Lebanese. The Lebanese govern-

Tammuz 5768

ment and Hezbollah disagreed, insisting that Sheba Farms belonged to Lebanon, not Syria. Although Syria has not taken a definitive stand on the issue, it has seemed more often than not to concede that Sheba does belong to Lebanon. US Intervention The Lebanese government had conditioned any

The Jewish Voice and Opinion

possible peace talks with Israel on the Jewish state’s agreement to relinquish Sheba Farms, but, recently, Beirut has rejected any peace talks with Israel at all. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has said his country would be the last Arab state to make peace with Israel. Nevertheless, the Bush administration had indicated

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it would like to support Mr. Siniora’s government as a way to weaken Hezbollah. Washington seems to feel the best way to accomplish this is for Israel to cede Sheba Farms, thereby eliminating Hezbollah’s claim that only it and bloodshed can “liberate� the land. Mr. Olmert has told re-

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Prisoner Swap

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continued from page 51

porters that he is not opposed to giving up Sheba, but, he said, any agreement with Beirut must include Lebanon’s commitment to implement Resolution 1701, which would require Hezbollah to be disarmed. It would also require an end to arms-smuggling from Syria. The biggest problem, Mr. Olmert said, is that until the UN decides whether Sheba belongs to Lebanon or Syria, there is not much point in discussing it at all. Most observers say the outstanding issues between Israel and Lebanon are relatively uncomplicated and should be easier to resolve than the problems between the Jewish state and Syria. Strained Relations Relations in general between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government in Beirut have been strained. While the Shiite terrorist group’s military success over Israel in the Second Lebanon War earned it praise and the respect of many Lebanese, including a number of Christians as well as Sunnis, the political fights between Hezbollah and the government have often spilled over onto the streets of Beirut, making the capital city literally a battlefield. According to Israeli military intelligence, since the end of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has been building a massive underground military infrastructure south of the Litani River, an infraction of the UN-imposed truce between Israel and the terrorists that the international UNIFIL troops are supposed to monitor and report. It is Hezbollah, and not the Lebanese army, as directed by the UN resolution, that controls the country’s southern region. In another obvious UN failure, the border between Lebanon and Syria is virtually unsupervised. “The only thing that is different from the situation before the war in 2006 is that the Hezbollah flags aren’t being flown,” Israel Brig-Gen Yossi Baidatz, who heads the IDF Intelligence Research Division, told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last month. Although the UNIFIL troops seem to be preventing Hezbollah from acting openly, Mr. Baidatz said the Iraniansponsored terror group has smuggled tens

of thousands of rockets into Lebanon and imported thousands of Arab fighters. “Jewish Targets” And the danger from Hezbollah is not only to Israel. Last month, intelligence agencies in the US and Canada warned of growing signs that Hezbollah is poised to mount terror attacks against “Jewish targets” outside the Middle East. Intelligence officials say Hezbollah is convinced Israel was responsible for the assassination of Mr. Mughniyeh and, to seek revenge, the terrorist group has activated so-called “sleeper cells” in Canada. The intelligence officials said key Hezbollah operatives have been tracked in Canada, Europe, and Africa. They have been spotted conducting inspections on the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Canada, and on several synagogues in Toronto. Latin America Latin America is also considered a possible Hezbollah target. Argentinean authorities have charged Hezbollah with the 1994 attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people. In 1992, 29 people died in an attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that was also blamed on Hezbollah and Iran. According to former CIA intelligence officer Bob Baer, who said he recently met with Hezbollah leaders in Beirut, the terrorist group wants “to kill as many people as they can.” “They want it to be a big splash.

They cannot have an operation fail, and I don’t think they will. They’re the A-team of terrorism,” he said. “Sleeper Cells” According to intelligence officials, suspicions were first raised about the possibility of an attack in Canada after officials suspected that at least four “sleeper cells” there had been activated. More than 20 suspected Hezbollah members are currently under surveillance in Canada. The intelligence officials said the recent Hezbollah activities were being coordinated with assistance from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. US officials say they have no credible evidence that Hezbollah is planning an attack on American soil, and Mr. Baer said he did not think an attack on America was likely because “Iran would not want to give the Bush administration an excuse to strike back.” Being Aware Some critics say Canada’s lax immigration policies are to blame for its cities like Toronto becoming Hezbollah centers. Bernie Faber, chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, told reporters that, thus far, there is only “chatter.” “We don’t have anything to suggest there is any significant change in terms of imminence. There are some mixed messages, but the bottom line is: we’re aware, our security is aware, and we will keep an eye out,” he said. S.L.R.


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Ess Gezint: Remembering Jeryl Lapp, z”l By Aaron Lapp, Kozy Kitchens, Teaneck, NJ formulate the space so that it hen I describe the fits the family for which it is kitchen that my mother, designed. Jeryl Lapp, z”l, cooked in for When my mother’s ill25years, most people laugh in ness made it hard for her to disbelief. It had one sink, no stand by the sink to wash dishwasher, a small refrigeradishes, my father decided— tor, four small drawers, three even though my mother never cabinets on the wall for dishes, complained—that it was time and about three feet of counter to redo the kitchen. I was givspace. But in this kitchen, this en the honor of redesigning exceptional woman fed not and remodeling it. No quesonly her family of nine, but tion, it was a challenge. Shabbat and Yom Tov guests Loving Her Kitchen who were always welcome at In the end, we were able to her table. Somehow, in that give my mother two sinks, one small Brooklyn kitchen, she dishwasher, two ovens, a nice always managed to create big fridge, a pantry, and even many delicious dishes. a small table. We replaced the Since becoming a kitchcounter tops with granite. en designer, I have been For me, just knowing that exposed to culinary spaces of many different sizes and my mother would have a dishwasher made all the time and configurations. The trick is to

W

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

2 red peppers, quartered 1 onion, cut into ½-inch slices 2 yellow peppers, quartered 1 Tbs oil 4 whole garlic cloves, 1 tsp salt, divided unpeeled ¼ cup parsley chopped 1 lb (2 medium) zucchini, 8 eggs beaten cut into ½-inch slices ⅓ cup parmesan cheese Preheat oven to 425º. Brush bottom of a 10x15-inch pan with oil. Arrange peppers, garlic, zucchini, and onion on pan and brush vegetables with oil. Roast until lightly brown, about 20 minutes, stirring vegetables about halfway through the process. Cool vegetables for 5 minutes. Remove skins from garlic and coarsely chop with the vegetables. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in ½ tsp salt and parsley. Grease a 9-inch round pan. Whisk eggs with remaining salt and stir in vegetables and cheese. Pour all ingredients into the pan and bake about 50 minutes or until center is set. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Salmon with Sweet and Sour Sauce

½ cup white vinegar 1½ lbs salmon filets ½ cup sugar ½ cup mayonnaise 4 bay leaves ½ cup ketchup 1 onion thinly sliced ½ cup water Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fillets for 20 minutes until no longer raw. Remove the fish from the pot and arrange filets in a single layer on a flat pan. Combine ketchup and mayonnaise in one bowl, and, in another mix the water, vinegar, sugar, and bay leaves and stir well. Combine the ketchup and water mixtures and pour over the fish. Cover with onion slices. Cover the fish and keep refrigerated. Just before serving, remove bay leaves.

energy that went into gutting the space and redoing it worthwhile. I know she appreciated it, because she constantly reminded me that she did not want to leave her kitchen. Born Jeryl Lupatkin, my mother grew up in Englewood, just down the block from Congregation Ahavath Torah. She was nifteret on Purim Katan just this past year. Catering to the Market Like my mother, many women recall the days when “kosher kitchen” was not part of the kitchen-designer’s lexicon. Most kitchens, like my mother’s in Brooklyn, were small. Today, that has all changed. Jewish families tend to be larger than those of most other Americans, and when the lady of the house

wants a kosher kitchen, the larger the space to work with, the better. And people are interested. Many manufacturers who seek to attract the growing observant-Jewish market have managed to obtain rabbinic certifications attesting to the fact that their products can be used on Shabbat and holidays without risking halachic transgressions. It is not unusual for kitchen-design conventions to feature workshops and lectures specifically on how to design kosher kitchens. At a recent such conference, I found it amazing to watch non-Jewish designers and manufacturers from throughout the country spending time learning why Jews need two kitchen sinks.

Cheese and Vegetable Kugel

2 Tbs olive oil ½ cup black olives, chopped 1 medium onion chopped 3 Tbs basil, chopped 2 small zucchini chopped 2 eggs lightly beaten ½ cup red or combination 1 small (7.5 oz) pkg red, yellow, and orange mozzarella cheese peppers, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 3 cloves garlic chopped Preheat oven to 350º. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, zucchini, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olives and basil. Add the eggs and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well to combine. Pour into a greased pan and bake until firm, about 30 minutes.

Tiramisu

1½ cups very strong coffee poured into a bowl ½ cup sugar 3 egg whites

8 oz parve or real cream cheese 2 Tbs Frangelico or other liqueur 2 pkgs ladyfinger cookies Cocoa Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 2 Tbs sugar and set aside. Beat the cream cheese, the remaining sugar, liqueur, and 1 Tbs of the coffee. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Dip the ladyfingers quickly into the remaining coffee and line the pan, completely covering the bottom with cookies. Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Dust heavily with cocoa. Repeat the layers once more, ending with the cocoa. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. The tiramisu will get firmer as it sits in the refrigerator.


http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com Just recently, the teacher of a class on interior design offered by Ramapo High School asked me to address the students on kitchen design in general and on kosher kitchens specifically. This was not a Jewish school and yet these students were interested in learning about kosher kitchens. When a television cooking show contacted me because they wanted to use a kosher kitchen to film an episode devoted to “cooking the kosher way,� I realized how vast our influence and presence have become. Dividing the Space Clearly, every designer has his or her own style, especially when it comes to kitchens, but, over the years, I have learned some tips that are most useful when a homeowner is considering remodeling the culinary heart of the home. A good place to

start is figuring out what you want and where to place it. If the kitchen has sufficient space for two sinks, but only one range, consider installing a microwave/convection oven/hood. It will save space and create a second oven. In addition, if the range is placed somewhere between the two sinks, it can be accessed from both the dairy and meat sides. In general, it is a good idea to divide the workspace with an appliance or item that is used for both dairy and meat. Tall items such as the fridge, pantry, or wall oven should be placed together to avoid minimizing the counter space and impeding the flow. I always try to put a counter area next to the refrigerator, making it easier to unload groceries or pour a drink. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to place a desk area there, too.

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Tammuz 5768

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Tammuz 5768

Index of Advertisers

Ads with Coupons Chopstix..........................................46 Dunkin’ Donuts..................................25

Graphic Artists Make an Impact...................................55

Auto Repair Eli Auto..............................................29

Home Furnishings Starr Carpet.........................................59

Camps & Summer Programs Bogota Racquet Club.............................21

Home Construction & Repair American General Windows...............59 S&D Builders.....................................13 Shalom Plumbing...............................59 Yoshar Home Improvement...............26

Car Service Teaneck Taxi.......................................12 Caterers & Catering Halls Palisadium..........................................23 Prestige Caterers.................................27 Charities Chabad Mitzvah Society.....................49 Umbrella Tzedaka..............................45 Cleaners Handle With Care..................................5 Education Art Lessons.........................................21 Professional Performing Arts Workshop...9 SUNY Rockland.................................38 Torah Academy...................................15 Employment Gen. Studies Principal & Teachers......45 High School Teachers.........................18 Special Education Teacher..................30 YRSRH Teachers................................57 Entertainment & Events 7/1-13: NJ State Fair.............................6 Thurs. nights: Wine Tasting............... 34 Financial Services Shared Values Fund............................17

Jewish Communities Manalapan, NJ....................................16 Kosher Groceries Englewood Farmer’s Market..............35 Teaneck Farmer’s Market...................46 Kosher Restaurant, Take-Out Chopstix .............................................46 Dunkin’ Donuts...................................25 Levana.................................................50 Legal Services Asset Protection, David M. Schlachter..41 Elder Law, Benjamin Eckman, Esq.....59 Personal Injury, Jeffrey S. Kimmel.......59 Liquor and Wine Queen Anne Wine & Spirits................34 Medical Services Holy Name Hospital.............................2 Psychotherapy, Chana Simmonds.......59 Ohel Counselling................................42

Remembering Jeryl Lapp, z”l

Gaining Space If the sink will be in the corner, always place the dishwasher at least a foot away to the left or right. If the dishwasher is directly adjacent to the corner, you will

The Jewish Voice and Opinion

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not be able to stand by the sink and open the dishwasher door. Sometimes even decently sized kitchens can be tight on counter space, especially when you want to keep meat

Looking for teachers:

YRSRH in upper Manhattan: Pre-school assistant; Elementary: morah and assistant; General studies & computer teachers; Call 212-568-6200 ext 111 or 113; Fax 212-928-4422; Email rnadler@yrsrh.org.

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Miscellaneous Agriprocessors....................................51 Bunkline Camp Outfitter.....................39 Couture de Bride.................................11 Ceramics By Design...........................13 Commentaries.......20,24,44,48,52,56,58 Designs by Flora.................................10 Eden Memorial Chapals......................19 Go Kosher...........................................32 Kosher Diet Delivery............................8 JetMicro Computer Services..............59 OnTime Transportation - Moving.......14 Musicians Jeff Wilks............................................18 Shelly Lang.........................................47 Photography/Video Charlie Aptowitzer..............................59 iConverted™ Video and Audio............12 Real Estate. Al Dwek, Florida Realty.....................62 Boca Century Village Rental...............63 Summer on Cape Cod.........................63 Telecommunications Chaim Braum.......................................4 Travel & Vacations Celebrity Culinary Spa Tour...............55 Emunah Israel at 60............................40 Fly2Israel............................................53 Kosher B&B.......................................28 Kosherica Cruises.................................7 Kutsher’s “Flakey Jake”......................33 KMR Tours.........................................64 Quality Hotel, Montreal......................22 Touring Friends...................................43 and dairy totally separate. I suggest using two full-sized cook-tops. A fourburner cook-top with a microwave over it can be placed on one side, and a two-

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“Honor the Professional According to Your Need”

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BTs in the Yeshiva World

I take great exception to what I can only describe as the scurrilous attack on the hareidi community implicit in the article by Catriel Sugarman regarding the treatment of ba’alei teshuva in the frum community [“The Yeshiva World and the Children of Ba’alei Teshuva: The Ugly Secret.” June 2008]. I generally eschew labels and cookie-cutter categorizations, but for the purpose of this letter, I would identify myself as what your readers would regard as a card-carrying member of the hareidi or ultra-Orthodox (would that I lived up to that madreiga!) community of Monsey. Were Mr. Sugarman to take an in depth investigative look at our community, he would find a fully integrated community with ba’alei teshuva (many!) living side by side with ffb’s,” their children attending the same schools, the same camps, playing together, attending simchas together, going to seminaries together. All yeshivas are wonderful, and I don’t want to single out any by name, and again I eschew categorization and labels, but in the terminology so easily bandied about today, I can attest that the children of ba’alei teshuva attend the most “prestigious” (I hate using that term, but everyone does, and it best conveys what I want to say) yeshivas, bais yaakovs, and Israeli seminaries. There is no discrimination whatsoever. They are held in the greatest esteem. I do not know on the basis of what kind of anecdotal evidence Mr. Sugarman bases his assertions, but Monsey is just a stone’s throw from Teaneck and Englewood. Come take a look and we will prove him wrong. And I know that Monsey is not unique in this regard, merely the closest and easiest point of reference. Please take a closer look. Yehudis Levi Monsey, NY I want to wish Catriel Sugarman a yasher koach on his latest and excellent article. Are his articles online somewhere? They should be. Menachem Kovacs Silver Spring, MD Prof Kovacs is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Montgomery College, MD, where he serves as director of the Jewish Roots Center While I generally find Mr. Sugarman’s articles informed, analytical, and scathingly critical, the article in the June issue lacked the first two qualities and struck me as totally self-serving. Mr. Sugarman obviously has a bone to pick with the yeshiva/hareidi world, and this was his chance to vent. As an observer of both worlds for the last 25 years, I am acutely aware of the problems that ba’alei teshuva experience, both in raising their children in a frum world and in their own integration into the frum community. I am familiar with their shidduch concerns as well as issues getting their children into yeshivas. I have seen failures and I have seen tremendous successes. It is shameful to place the blame for failures on the “yeshiva world” as if the Torah itself, the credo by which the hareidi world defines itself, is at fault. Mr. Sugarman’s biases are clearly revealed in his paragraph titled “Escape to Modern Orthodox” where he leads us to believe that relocation to a Modern-Orthodox community, which he claims ostensibly solved one family’s issue, is the solution to this “crisis.”

Letters to the Editor

He claims the family met another family of what he calls “refugees from the hareidi world” who also found succor in the ModernOrthodox world. Wow, two families! This must be the solution! It was clearly the Ohr Somayach/Aish HaTorah/Devar Yerushalayim/Lubavitch hareidim who created the ba’al teshuva movement and who have produced the tens of thousands of ba’alei teshuva that exist today. Going through a list of the organizations, including the above, I think of Arachim, Torah UMesorah Seed programs, Gateways, Machon Shlomo, and dozens of other “hareidi” organizations and perhaps a handful of organizations that qualify as Modern Orthodox. The hareidi world created the ba’al teshuva movement, to its credit. Yes, there are problems, but the answer is not to smear the “yeshiva world” and to publicize it in publications with biting criticism and no suggested solutions. The rabbanim of the “yeshiva world” are the ainei hoeida and are the only sources for a solution. Libel, loshon hara, and rechilus are not. Aharon Subar Monsey, NY Catriel Sugarman’s article in the June issue does not reflect reality. Mr. Sugarman has taken on Reform, Conservative, certain segments of Modern Orthodox, and now has found a new target—hareidim (or “the yeshiva world”). Hey, that is almost everyone, isn’t it? The fact is that ba’alei teshuva are respected very much in the yeshiva world. They are not in any way treated as outcasts. Roshei yeshiva, menahalim, rabbonim and shadchanim are constantly effecting shidduchim between ba’alei teshuva and the most established FFB families, even when the ba’al teshuva does not have complete family backing for his decision. It is not the amount of time he/she has spent as a ba’al teshuva that impacts acceptance; it is the degree to which the ba’al teshuva has mastered Torah and has internalized this in his/her life. Mr. Sugarman’s use of the term “Harry,” a pejorative in the loshon hara lexicon of some hareidi youth, is used for anyone they feel is different from them, not just ba’alei teshuva, but “out-of-town” yeshiva families as well. Queens might be considered “out-of-town” to some Brooklyn-bred yeshiva children, even if the people called “Harrys” are their cousins. It’s simply an outgrowth of what one is used to. I wonder if yeshiva families living in New Jersey towns like Passaic, Teaneck, and Edison don’t view their yeshiva cousins in Brooklyn as a bit odd, whatever term they may use to describe the difference. Regarding the issue of yeshivos not accepting certain students: for better or worse, what is happening these days is that in towns like Lakewood, where no yeshiva is large enough to serve the entire community and where new yeshivos pop up each year, the families in a given yeshiva seek homogeneity. Some yeshivos may not accept students from families where the husband goes to work rather than learn in a kollel; they are not distinguishing between ba’alei teshuva and FFB. I think Mr. Sugarman is hunting for bogeymen in the wrong


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“Thought Is the World of Freedom” (R’ Dov Ber of Mazeritch) society. While weak-spirited individuals in any group may mistreat another Jew, my 40 years of experience living in Brooklyn leads me to a different conclusion about the inclusiveness of life here and the openness of most hereidim. Rabbi Yosef Wikler Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Wikler is editor of Kashrus Magazine

Catriel Sugarman Responds

I read with great interest Yehudis Levi’s articulate, passionate, and idyllic description of community life in Monsey, an ir ve’aim be’yisrael (a “mother” city in Israel). If ba’alei teshuva and their families are indeed integrated into the overall frum community there, no one would be happier than I. Unfortunately, these problems do exist and the point of an article like mine is to sensitize people to them. Mrs. Levi’s own attitude is commendable: yirbu komch be’yisrael (may your kind increase in Israel)! I thank Prof Kovacs for his kind words and am happy to say my articles can be found on line at jewishvoiceandopinion.com. I was so delighted to read the fervent letter of Rav Aharon Subar, recipient of a Machzikei Torah Award from the Kollel of the Beth Medrash of Monsey. I noted that Rav Subar does not deny that the problem exists. I confess I find it ironic that although outreach—initially pioneered by Chabad and later taken up by other elements of the hareidi community—with undoubted success, also created this quandary. The problem is, once “created,” the BT frequently finds himself (herself) in a bind. If he/she wants to remain observant, his/ her choice is to find that rarity, a BT “yeshivish” community, such as Passaic; or, yes, to “escape” to the Modern Orthodox world. It happens more than people think and more than one Modern Orthodox rabbi has noted the phenomenon! With all due respect, I beg to differ with Rav Yosef Wikler, the noted editor of Kashrus Magazine. I do not “hunt for bogeymen.” In a “politically incorrect” way, I analyze the history of American Jewry and problems facing Am Yisrael. The problem does exist, although Rav Wikler’s rationale as to why certain yeshivot do not accept certain students was interesting. If Mrs. Levi, Harav Aharon Subar, and Harav Yosef Wikler are as energetic in spreading ahavat Yisrael as they are in lambasting me, we will all be that much closer to what is written: “…ve’yei’asu chulam agudah echat la’asot retzoncha be’leivav shaleim…” (and all will form one union to do Your will with a full heart …”

The Rubashkins Understand the Mitzvah

First, we thank you for an honest and complete story on Agriprocessors and the Rubashkin family [“Until Proven Guilty, Agriprocessors and the Rubashkins Will Keep Their OU,” June 2008] As the media (including many Jewish outlets) continue to report as fact many baseless rumors and every negative allegation they can find regarding the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa, we feel compelled to bring to light some qualities of the Rubashkin family which most of the media fails to report. We serve as Jewish leaders in our respective communities and are firsthand witnesses of the kindness and selfless concern that the Rubashkin family, led by Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, shows for thousands of communities, families, and individuals around the world. We live in areas with a minuscule kosher clientele, where kosher meat and poultry is difficult to find. Knowing the importance of the mitzvah of kashrus, and appreciating its fundamental place in Jewish life, as emphasized by our mentor the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zechuso yagein aleinu, the Rubashkin family always goes out of its way to ensure that the Jewish families in our outlying and far-flung communities receive the quality service and fresh products that we so greatly need. They don’t do this for PR; our towns don’t give them much. They don’t to it for profits; in many instances there is actually a financial loss. They do it because they are caring Jews devoted to the welfare of their brethren. They live up to their family reputation, which goes back for generations, to help Jews anywhere, anytime, no questions asked, no strings attached. PETA and DHS notwithstanding, we have come to know the Rubashkins, and they are the exact opposite of the “monsters” the media portrays them to be. Rabbi Chaim Bruk (Bozeman, Montana); Rabbi Berl Goldman (Gainesville, Florida); Rabbi Ovadia Goldman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma); Rabbi Mendy Goldstein (Naperville, Illinois); Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz (Boise, Idaho); Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn (Jackson, Wyoming); Rabbi Mendy Weinberg (Overland Park, Kansas) The Jewish Voice and Opinion welcomes letters, especially if they are typed, double-spaced, and legible. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and style. Please send all correspondence to POB 8097, Englewood, NJ 07631. The phone number is (201) 569-2845. The FAX number is (201) 569-1739. The email address is susan@jewishvoiceandopinion.com


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Live Where You Can Walk To Shul

Remembering Jeryl Lapp, z”l

continued from page 57

burner cook-top with another microwave can be on the other. This gives the chef at least a foot-and-a-half more counter area and a total of six burners, while also allowing for an extra microwave and, of course, keeping meat and dairy apart. Everyone loves color, but don’t try to choose the cabinet, granite, tile, floor, and wall colors all at once. The possible selections are endless and can leave you dizzy. Start with one color which you love, and build from there. For example, supposed you love the idea of painting the cabinets white with a dark brown glaze. The next step might be to select granite that will contrast with the white and be in the brown family. The cabinet’s handles or knobs might be brown also. The backsplash tile should contrast the counter, so choose a lighter shade, but some dark highlights would also be sensational. Taking it step by step should keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Halachic Questions Often, in the midst of kitchen remodeling, there are halachic questions. The kosher cook wants to know which counters can be kashered—and how. Should you

use natural stone, such as granite or quartz, or manmade materials, such as Corian or Formica? How about warming trays on Shabbat? Are they too hot to handle? As in everything else regarding Jewish law, some rabbis are strict, while others are more lenient, and sometimes there is no way to tell how an individual rabbi will judge until he is asked. I have worked with yeshivish rabbis whose rulings on kitchen matters were much more lenient than the spiritual leaders of some Modern Orthodox shuls. What should you do: Ask your own rav and do as he tells you. Jewish men who know how hard it can be to build a sukkah just right or obtain exactly the lulav and esrog they want, should understand that kosher cooking for a family when there is only one sink or stove is also not easy. Remembering which utensil to use for which foods, when all of the utensils are so close together and you’re trying not to treif up the kitchen is stressful. I remember many an evening in my mother’s old kitchen when a dairy fork would fall into the sink while the meat strainer was still in the drain. The lack of separate areas for

meat and dairy caused us to discard many dishes and utensils. After we redid the kitchen in my parents’ home, my mother’s eyes shone brighter. Without having to worry about mistakes or accidents, she could breathe a little easier. Cooking became much more pleasurable for her. Cookbooks My mother is remembered by virtually everyone who knew her as an exceptional woman who not only raised seven children in a healthy, frum environment, filled with her many acts of chesed, but who was also an exceptional chef. She gave food-decorating classes in Brooklyn and published two cookbooks. In the first book, which was designed only for the family and close friends, she included a story about each recipe’s development before she gave the ingredients and

instructions. She sold copies of her second book, and the proceeds benefitted Chasdei Chashi L’Kallah, a charity which provides dinettes and bedroom furniture for newlyweds who otherwise would not be able to afford these items. Her second book is now on sale again. To order a copy, call me at 201-530-1600, or make out a check for $20, payable to Chasdei Chashi L’Kallah, and send it to me at Kozy Kitchens, 507 Cedar Lane, in Teaneck, NJ 07666. My mother entitled the book “The Main Ingredient Is Love,” which was always her response whenever someone asked her to reveal the secret of her recipes’ success. If the reason G-d put me in this business was so that I was able to see the joy in my mother’s eyes when she cooked in her new kitchen, it was worth it many times over. Y


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Jewish Voice and Opinion July 2008