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Super Sunday is January 28 – answer the call BY COLLEEN BAKER The Jewish Federation of Central New York will kick off the 2018 Annual Campaign with Super Sunday on January 28, from 9 am-3 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Volunteers will call about 2,000 members of the Jewish community to ask for their pledge throughout the day.

Campaign Chair Mark Wladis said, “The Campaign is off to a great start. To help keep that enthusiasm going, we need volunteers to help on Super Sunday. I hope you will stop by the JCC on January 28 and have breakfast or lunch with us. Make your pledge, make a few phone calls, stuff a few envelopes, spread the word about the great things we can accomplish with the Campaign. Bring your cell phone to

make calls, or if you don’t have one, we’ll provide a phone for you to use. I really look forward to seeing you and sharing the spirit of the Campaign.” Federation President/CEO Michael Balanoff added, “Please answer the phone when a volunteer calls to ask for your support. If we don’t reach you by phone that day, we will mail your pledge card.”

To make a secure online donation to the 2018 Annual Campaign before Super Sunday, visit www.jewishfederationcny. org and click on the tzedakah box on the home page. To volunteer, contact Colleen Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or cbaker@, or visit www. Training will be provided.

Federation at 100 – 1928-38 BY BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF CENTRAL NEW YORK WILL CELEBRATE ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2018 Editor’s note: To mark this milestone, the Jewish Observer will print a series of 10 articles highlighting each decade of the Federation’s work with and for the community. We hope you will enjoy this look backward as we continue to work to ensure a thriving future. THE NEXT CHAPTER: 1928-38 In the first half of the 20th century, Jewish community Federations around America were focused almost exclusively on meeting local Jewish needs and concerns – health care, child welfare, assistance for the handicapped and homes for the aged. Federations also helped establish Jewish Community Centers and educational and vocational training programs. Their primary goal was the assimilation and Americanization of the immigrant Jewish population into the larger community. Syracuse was no exception. But raising money is time-consuming, leaving less time for actually serving those in need. To resolve this dilemma, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of Syracuse made the decision to partner with the Syracuse Community Chest. In so doing, the Federation was relieved of the need to fund-raise independently. An article in America’s only Jewish daily published in English, The Jewish Daily Bulletin, reported that “The Syracuse Jewish Welfare Federation was reorganized Tuesday night (March 26, 1935) on a democratic and efficient basis permitting closer cooperation with the Community Chest, which makes allotments to a number of local welfare agencies, and also providing for support from the Jewish Community for national and overseas causes. In addition to distribution of funds, the new Federation will also deal with local and national Jewish problems and public relationship.” A review of the Community Chest’s first budget in 1922 shows the range of social welfare activities supported by the Jewish community at the time. In addition to the 13 agencies of the Federation itself, there were other Jewish organizations that received direct support from the Chest.

The Syracuse Jewish Welfare Federation was reorganized in 1935, with the new board representing a cross-section of the Jewish community. At the annual meeting, 27 representatives were elected from all the Syracuse Jewish groups. Under the category of “Character Building and Recreation” were the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Associations; other “Unclassified” support was provided to the Council of Jewish Women, the Free Bath Association, the Friendly Inn, the Hebrew Free Loan Association, the Hebrew Fresh Air Fund, the Jewish Communal Home, the Jewish Home for the Aged, the Syracuse Hebrew School and United Jewish Charities. But with the benefits of Chest affiliation came complications. As the national economy headed toward the Depression, the Community Chest asked its beneficiaries to cut their budget proposals and decided to cease supporting certain organizations – among them the Hebrew Free Bath (the mikvah), the Hebrew Free Loan Association and the Friendly Inn, which helped itinerant Jews. As a result of these cuts, which mainly affected Russian and Polish Jews, many Jewish donors cut their support. The Community Chest complained that it was giving more funding to the Jewish organizations than it was receiving in donations. Clearly, some reorganization was in order.

External forces in Europe, meanwhile, were jeopardizing Jewish lives. Nationally, Federations joined with overseas agencies such as the United Palestine Appeal and the Joint Distribution Committee to rescue and rehabilitate Jews

living in distress. The National Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, an umbrella organization for Federations, was formed in 1932. In response to Kristallnacht in 1939, the United Jewish Appeal was formed, combining the national fund-raising efforts of the UPA and JDC. In Syracuse, the cumbersome early name of the Federation was shortened to “The Syracuse Jewish Welfare Federation” in 1935. While the early work of the Federation had been to help Jews living in America, it soon became clear that emergent needs abroad needed to be addressed. H. Hiram Weisberg, a self-made industrialist and civic leader, who had headed the very first Federation fund-raising campaign, was once again called into service to raise funds for overseas relief. The Joint Distribution Committee German Relief appeal, the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the Hebrew University and other non-local Jewish activities were the beneficiaries of a mass drive in 1933. The campaign goal was $15,000. The sense of urgency could hardly have been greater. Speakers stressed that “at this time, when Jews in Germany are objects of persecution and boycotts, there is need more than ever for the wholehearted cooperation of the entire community to administer financial aid to those unfortunate brothers across the See “Federation” on page 5


January 5.......................... 4:26 pm.................................................... Parasha-Shemot January 12........................ 4:34 pm....................................................... Parasha-Vaera January 19........................ 4:42 pm............................................................ Parasha-Bo

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Battle of the Bands

Congregational notes

SJFS memory program

The JCC will host its 16th annual Local synagogues announce Syracuse Jewish Family Service Battle of the Bands for high upcoming children’s programs, will offer “An Arts and Minds concerts, talks and more. schoolers on January 13. Community,” as part of M-Power U. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 5

PLUS Classifieds................................ 5 B’nai Mitzvah........................... 9 Calendar Highlights............. 10 Obituaries.......................... 10-11



JCC enhances structure of its children’s programs

BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is making some program changes to better serve its members and the community. Effective Tuesday, January 2, the JCC’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program and the after-school program began operating under the newly-created children’s programming department. This enhanced structure will change very little in the way these programs operate. Only the overall management structure has changed to better serve the JCC’s members and families. “Our new structure for children’s programs means that we’re able to be more flexible and responsive in the way

we do things,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC executive director. “Thus, we’ll be able to do more family programming with all ages. We’ll also be able to create a more cohesive transition for children and families going from the Early Childhood Program to our after school program.” This change for the JCC was prompted by the departure of Mick Hagan, director of children and teen services, who left the JCC at the end of 2017 for a local teaching position. “We thank Mick for his outstanding service over the past 10 years and wish him well on his exciting new position,” said Erlebacher. The JCC’s new children’s program-

ming department is led by Pamela Ranieri, director of children’s programming, and Amy Bisnett, associate director of children’s programming. Ranieri has been the ECDP director for the past year and has been with the JCC for nine years. Bisnett has been the assistant ECDP for the past year and was the JCC’s director of children and teen services several years ago. “Both Pamela and Amy bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles,” said Erlebacher. “We’re delighted about the possibilities for this new structure going forward.” Also, as part of the JCC’s restructuring, two individuals have been promoted to fill key roles. Christine “Chrissy” Flynn

is now the ECDP assistant director and Josh Van Alstyne has been promoted to assistant director of school-age programs. Flynn has been with the JCC for seven years and has worked in early childhood for more than 20 years. She started with the JCC as an early childhood teacher before moving into her most recent position as daytime receptionist. Van Alstyne has been with the JCC for two years and is a seasoned after-school and summer camp counselor. He will be assisting Ranieri and Bisnett in overseeing the after-school program. For questions or more information about the JCC’s new children’s programming department, contact Ranieri or Bisnett at 315-445-2040, ext. 120.

Beginners running program at the JCC starts January 10 BY ANKUR DANG The Syracuse Chargers Track Club’s Everyone Can Run Beginners Running Program will start on Wednesday, January 10, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Neulander Family Sports and

Fitness Center. Greg Tuttle of the Syracuse Chargers, a U.S.A. Track and Field-certified coach, will lead the sessions, which will be held every week on Wednesdays from 5-6:30 pm through February 28. The free eight-week program will be held at

PJ Library Family Mitzvah Day BY CAROLYN WEINBERG On Monday, January 15, PJ Library® in CNY and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s vacation camp participants will partner for a PJ planting party in celebration of Tu B’Shevat. The planting craft, story and other activities will take place from 10-11 am in the JCC’s children’s room. On December 10, PJ families met at Build-a-Bear Workshop in Destiny USA for a family mitzvah day. Children decorated “for you” cards and then helped make bears to donate to children at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The group was able to make and donate 20 stuffed bears. The PJ children who participated in the event also learned that Chanukah is not just about receiving presents. It’s also about giving. Participants discussed not only how much they all loved stuffed animals, but how special it was to give a stuffed animal to a child who might not be able to celebrate the holidays at home this year. They also spoke about the miracles of Chanukah and helped teach the staff at Build-a-Bear about some of Judaism’s traditions. For questions and details about any of the upcoming PJ Library in CNY events, contact Carolyn Weinberg at pjcny@ PJ Library® (PJ for pajamas) is a nationally acclaimed literacy program started by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that gives free Jewish bedtime stories, CDs and DVDs to families

the Fitness Center’s indoor track. Patrick Scott, the JCC’s sports and fitness director, said that this program is for everyone and that people of all fitness levels are welcome. “The idea is to learn how to run properly,” he says. “The strength of your leg muscles, your bones, your body posture, your gait – all of these play a huge role in building your stamina. By the end of the program, you will be able to run five kilometers with relative ease.”

The class will start with walking and the number of running intervals will increase every week on a set schedule. Each participant will also be given a Syracuse Chargers pedometer and a two-week trial pass to the JCC’s Fitness Center. Registration forms are available at the JCC Fitness desk, on the Syracuse Chargers website,, and the JCC’s website, For more information, contact Scott at 315445-2040, ext. 144, or

Syracuse Rabbinical Council update

Mark and Alexa Levy participated in PJ Library’s family mitzvah day at Builda-Bear. raising Jewish children. The PJ Library CNY chapter is a program of the JCC of Syracuse and supported by the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation, Jewish Federation of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord. The PJ Library in CNY serves children from 6 months to 8 years old in Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties. For more information and to sign up, visit or e-mail

The Syracuse Rabbinical Council has been an active part of the local Jewish community for years. It brings together the mainstream rabbis of the area and serves as the rabbis’ voice to Central New York. In addition to dealing with rather typical issues “which cross a rabbi’s eyes,” members of the council have worked on a number of projects, including producing a booklet outlining traditional Jewish customs for funerals and mourning; support of the Yom

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L-r: Maggie Zick, child life specialist at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Carolyn Weinberg, PJ Library coordinator in Central New York, with the bears PJ families made to donate to the children in the hospital.

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Hashoah commemoration; and joining together for the Syracuse community trip to Israel in the fall of 2018. The chair of the group serves a twoyear term. Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas has just completed his term; Rabbi Paul Drazen of Temple Adath Yeshurun became chair of the council at the conclusion of the December meeting. Questions for or about the council should be addressed to All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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JANUARY 4, 2018/17 TEVET 5778 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Annual JCC Battle of the Bands to be held January 13 The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will hold its 16th annual high school Battle of the Bands concert on Saturday, January 13, at 7 pm, in the JCC’s Schayes Family Gymnasium, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. There is a modest charge for tickets and the event is open to the public. For every high school student admission, the JCC will donate $1 to his or her

school district’s music department. The JCC of Syracuse is again “expecting a good crowd” for this yearly winter teen event. Each band will have 30 minutes to play and “wow the crowd.” The winner will receive a $200 cash prize and eight hours of studio time with More Sound Recording Studio in Syracuse. Last year’s winner was classic rock band, Posted, from

Syracuse Jewish community celebrates SHDS BY ESA JAFFE On December 10, almost 200 members of the Syracuse Jewish community celebrated the Syracuse Hebrew Day School at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Guests included students and their families, current and former faculty, alumni and families and supporters from all facets of the community. The title of the event was “Arts and Honors.” The “arts” portion of the afternoon was the opening of an art show of the SHDS students’ work hanging in the Marriot Syracuse Downtown as one of the exhibits of the Museum of the Young Artist housed in the hotel. The chorus and drama club members gave a musical and drama performance that highlighted every grade. The “honors” portion of the event was a tribute to past SHDS teachers, who were recognized for their years of dedication and commitment to the school and its students. The Jeremy Blumenthal Volunteer Award was given to Joan Poltenson for her years of dedication to SHDS, as well as a more recent valued board member. The award is named

for Jeremy Blumenthal, an SHDS parent and dedicated volunteer who worked hard to make the school a success. In describing the early days of the SHDS, Poltenson said, “This was a period when the Jewish Federations of the United States and Canada were talking about and were very concerned about… the potential loss of future community leaders. It struck a chord with all of us, since at the time, we were involved with the Federation’s Young Leadership and often heard the depth of these concerns at the annual Federations’ General Assemblies. “The Kanters, Roths, Zacharys, Chottiners, Goldscheiders and other families sat on school boards and committees, lent their professional expertise and generally advocated for the need for the SHDS. In addition to sending their children, they helped fund-raise, literally opened their wallets, paying not only the tuition but the fair share or actual cost of educating their children, and we all talked to whomever would listen. These families are truly the ones deserving an award for commitment.

Marcellus Senior High School. This year’s Battle of the Bands judges will be Jose Varona, More Sound Recording Studio; Scott Dixon (dXn), 95X radio personality; Bob Staffa (B.O.B), 95X radio personality; and two members from last year’s winning band, Posted. For more information about the 2018 Battle of the Bands, contact the JCC at 315-4452360, or visit

Save the date!

The 2018 Jewish Music and Cultural Festival will be held on Sunday, August 5, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. For updates, visit

S E N I L D A E D Deadlines for all articles and photos for the Jewish Observer are as follows. No exceptions will be made.



Wednesday, January 3................... January 18 Wednesday, January 17................. February 1 Friday, January 26, early............. February 15 Monday, February 12, early.............. March 1

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Joan Poltenson, an early advocate of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, was honored at a reception on December 10 and spoke about the history of the school.

Syracuse Hebrew Day School students gave a musical and drama performance that highlighted every grade.

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu JANUARY 8-12 Monday – Hawaiian chicken Tuesday – vegetable soup, turkey sandwich Wednesday – chicken rollatini Thursday – sweet and sour meatballs Friday – birthday celebration – apricot-glazed chicken JANUARY 15-19 Monday – beef stew over egg noodles Tuesday – meatloaf Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – stuffed flounder Friday – brisket The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday through Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the HUNT Real Estate ERA 6849 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066 Always There For You

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Concord TOT SHABBAT On Saturday, January 6, at 9 am, Temple Concord will hold a bi-monthly Tot Shabbat led by Cantor Kari Eglash. It is a short celebration of Shabbat with singing, dancing, musical instruments and stories, which is intended for small children. The service is followed by a kiddie-kiddush. For more information, call the TC office at 315-475-9952. GOLDENBERG SERIES FEATURES JAZZ ON JANUARY 9 AT 7 PM BY CHANA MEIR Darryl Pugh and his quintet will offer an evening of Mayuba Latin/Afro-Cuban jazz as part of Temple Concord’s Regina F. Goldenberg Series on Tuesday, January 9, at 7 pm. The quintet’s repertoire ranges from “Midnight Mambo” by Oscar Hernandez to “Caravan” by Juan Tizol. The program will also include selections from jazz legends Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. Musicians play conga drums/timbales, bongos/conga drums, piano, sax/flute, drums and bass. A well-known performer throughout upstate New York, Pugh teaches bass at Onondaga Community College and Colgate University. He earned a bachelor of music degree from Berklee College of Music and a master of music in jazz performance from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

He is a longtime member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Symphoria. He has been praised for his proficiency in classical and jazz idioms. Goldenberg events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or office@templeconcord. org; or consult the online event calendar at CINEMAGOGUE PRESENTS THE FILM “NORMAN” Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue Series will showcase the film “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” on Saturday, January 27, at 7:30 pm. Richard Gere portrays a “schlubby” Jewish fixer in the film, which was released in 2017. Israeli writer and director Joseph Cedar led Gere through what has been called “his most profound role yet” as Norman Oppenheimer, a New York Jewish businessman who makes his fortune connecting parties together for profit. Also starring are Michael Sheen as Philip Cohen and Lior Ashkenazi as Micha Eshel. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or office@ See “TC” on page 8

Temple Adath Yeshurun RECC FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT BY SONALI MCINTYRE Twice a year, during the winter season, the TAY Rothschild Early Childhood Center hosts family movie night. The event has a “drive-in movie feel,” within the “comfort and warmth” of the Temple Adath Yeshurun ballroom. On Saturday, January 13, from 6-8 pm, the RECC will show Disney’s film “Moana.” Families are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows and lawn chairs. Children and adults are more than welcome to come in their pajamas. Friends and family are welcome to join, as well. There is a modest fee per family for the movie and treats. RECC Assistant Director Alisandra Bertram said, “We project the film on a big screen and everyone gets cozy. It’s an opportunity for our families to get together on a cold winter night, and enjoy a kid-friendly movie.” The evening is sponsored by the RECC Parent Advisory Council. For more information, contact the RECC office at 315-445-0049 or TAY MISHPACHA HAVDALAH Temple Adath Yeshurun will celebrate the end of Shabbat with Mishpacha (family) Havdalah on Saturday, January 20, starting at 5:45 pm at the synagogue. Participants will do Havdalah, sing songs, do a craft and eat a dairy dinner together.

BEING JEWISH IN FRANCE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT RISING ANTISEMITISM Laurence Thomas, who resides for part of the year in Paris, will speak at a Shabbat luncheon at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse on Saturday, January 20, at 12:45 pm, about the antisemitic attacks in France that are increasing at what has been called “an alarming rate.” He will share the latest developments about the rise of antisemitism in France and the responses to it based on what he has learned during his recent trips to Paris. Thomas is a professor of philosophy at Syracuse University, and the author and editor of numerous books. He has lectured around the world, including before Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and at the medical school of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In addition to the murders of a rabbi and three young children that look place in Toulouse in 2012, antisemitic attacks in France are increasing. Late one Friday night in November, someone came to the door of a Jewish family in the Paris suburb of Créteil, soaked the door in a flammable liquid and ignited it. The family dog’s insistent barking awakened the occupants and likely saved their lives. The previous week, the family’s car had been set ablaze. Earlier in the fall, in another Paris suburb, three assailants cut the electricity to a house, broke in, and threatened to kill the occupants because they were Jewish. The family was robbed and 78-year-old

Roger Pinto was kicked in the head and throat. This assault was similar to the one three years ago when armed attackers announced they were targeting a home in Créteil because the couple living there was Jewish. The invaders brutally raped the young woman before they made off with what they had stolen. In the past few years, there have been hundreds of attacks against Jews in France – from assaults in the streets, accompanied by shouts of “dirty Jew,” to the killing of Sarah Halimi who was bludgeoned and thrown out of a window in her apartment. What the community has called as upsetting as these is another component they consider that makes the situation even worse: the evasiveness of French authorities and the media in addressing some of these crimes. There is a modest cost for the luncheon, with a family cap. Babysitting will be available. Reservations are due by Monday, January 15, and may be made by contacting the synagogue at info@ or 315-446-6194. SIMPLY TZVAT COMING TO SYRACUSE ON TU B’SHEVAT What happens when a seder, a new year and a kumzits are combined? Organizers hope that it will be an evening of fellowship, spirituality, food and entertainment to be enjoyed by the entire Syracuse community. On Tuesday, January 30, Tu B’Shevat, the “New Year of Trees,” a festival that dates back to the First Temple, and was revived See “STOCS” on page 8

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas

Nathanael Finkelstein celebrated Chanukah by building a Lego chanukiah during Rothschild Early Childhood Center’s Storah Time, the Jewish enrichment program on Tuesdays, from 10-10:45 am, at Temple Adath Yeshurun. There will also be a discussion for adults and older children. Children of all ages are invited to attend with their families and tots are welcome to wear pajamas. Mincha and Ma’ariv will start at 4:55 pm for anyone who wants to attend these services before the program. The program See “TAY” on page 8

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Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation

SHABBAT SPOT BETA IS BACK On Saturday, January 13, at 9:30 am, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will hold a Shabbat Spot. At approximately 10:30 am, participants will take a short break for a “nosh” and kiddush, some learning and games, as well as music and stories for the children. This Shabbat Spot Beta is part of a plan to test different formats for the CBS-CS Shabbat Spot program. For more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at SISTERHOOD SHABBAT ON JANUARY 20 On Saturday, January 20, the CBS-CS Sisterhood will celebrate the congregation’s women with a Sisterhood Shabbat. Sisterhood services will be followed by a luncheon. CBS-CS PJ HAVDALAH/PARENTS NIGHT OUT ON JANUARY 20 On Saturday, January 20, at 5:30 pm, CBS-CS will hold a PJ Havdalah/ parents’ night out. Children will be able to participate in Havdalah in their PJs, have dinner, do crafts and watch a movie. ACHLA United Synagogue Youth will coordinate the activities. Reservations may be made by contacting Melissa Harkavy at HAZAK PRESENTS SANDRA CHAI SPEAKING ABOUT MARC CHAGALL ON JANUARY 21 CBS-CS Hazak will present Sandra Chai speaking on “Mark Chagall Part II” on Sunday, January 21, at 2 pm, in the CBS-CS social hall. Many people consider Russian-born Marc Chagall as one of the most recognizable and popular artists of the early modern period. He is often regarded as the “quintessential” Jewish artist. Because

Chagall lived a “long and prolific” life, it was not possible for Chai to speak about more than a small portion of his life and art in her first presentation on Chagall in May 2017. The January date will allow her to discuss additional examples of the themes and symbols (or recurring motifs), that may only have been touched upon last year – such as lovers, brides, flowers, the circus, music and the wandering Jew. She will present a few examples of Chagall’s later work, including his stained glass commissions and his evolving style. Chai taught for more than 25 years in the Department of Fine Arts (now the Department of Art and Music Histories) at Syracuse University, including three semesters at the Syracuse University London Centre. She taught the honors survey courses every semester, as well as upper-level and some graduate-level courses. Her areas of expertise are Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Dada and Surrealism, Modern British Art and Modern American Art. Her published papers include topics on Surrealism and Post- Impressionism, in particular on Vincent van Gogh. The free event is open to the community and refreshments will be available. INTERMEDIATE ADULT PRAYER BOOK HEBREW CLASS STARTS ON JANUARY 23 On Tuesdays, from 7-8 pm, Sarah Saulson will teach intermediate Hebrew at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The goals of the class are for participants to develop vocabulary, study basic grammar and work on siddur reading proficiency. The class is open to anyone with some knowledge of the Hebrew consonants and vowels. Although it continues the Hebrew I class, the class is open to anyone interested See “CBS-CS” on page 5

JANUARY 4, 2018/17 TEVET 5778 ■



“An Arts and Minds Community”

SJFS launches new section of M-Power U – A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss on Feb. 2 BY NANCY AURELI Syracuse Jewish Family Service at Menorah Park is starting 2018 by launching “An Arts and Minds Community,” a new section of M-Power U – A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss. Making use of the transformative power inherent in the arts, the Arts and Minds Community is designed to offer people with early memory loss and their care partners a means to transcend the isolation, limitations and fears of early memory loss. Through expressive activities such as music, poetry, drama, dance and movement, and the visual arts, the program aims to facilitate creativity, meaningful interpersonal connection, expression of feelings, and the learning of innovative skills to improve brain health and overall well-being. A weekly program incorporating peer support, Arts and Minds Community is for individuals who are experiencing early memory loss, mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia, along with their care partners or family members. “In later life, the arts become a lifeline to self-expression and social engagement,” said Judith Huober, SJFS director. “This new section of M-Power U offers a fun and appealing way for individuals who are starting to experience some changes in their cognitive abilities to continue to grow, enjoy themselves with others and retain a sense of self-esteem, and nourish a sense of control and empowerment.” Led by a team of professional staff and trained interns/ volunteers, an Arts and Minds Community will be offered at Menorah Park every Friday from 11:30 am-3:30 pm beginning on February 2. The program will initially accept 8-10 participants and their care partners or family members. In the final hour of each session, the Arts and Minds Café, a facilitated social and expressive arts experience modeled after the Memory Café, will be open in Menorah Park’s new bistro to all MPU participants and family members, including both sessions of A Brain Power Community. An activity of Menorah Park’s new Center for Healthy Living and located in the Abraham Shankman Wellness Pavilion, an Art and Minds Community will address the following topics through creative and expressive arts and discussion: ‹‹ Art therapy: creative and expressive exercises to maintain, improve, or compensate for affected functional domains: music, painting, expressive movement, poetry and storytelling, drama and more. ‹‹ Coping strategies: relaxation, stress reduction and resilience training. ‹‹ Physical exercise: dance and expressive movement, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and other exercises that have potential to impact brain health. ‹‹ Community: meaningful socialization with other people experiencing cognitive changes and their care partners. Supportive services such as information and referral, case management and counseling can also be provided


to individuals and/or family members through the full array of SJFS services. An Arts and Minds Community fees are similar to the first section of MPU, A Brain Power Community. The fee includes lunch, art supplies and the Arts and Minds Café. Reduced fees for prepayment and some scholarships are available. The cost of most excursions will be included, but special excursions might incur additional fees. M-Power U is a program of Syracuse Jewish Family

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America awards grant to SJFS The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has awarded a grant to Syracuse Jewish Family Service to help expand services for local families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The $5,000 grant will help fund SJFS’s programs, including its newest program, M-Power U, to help people with early memory loss. The foundation, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 2,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia, and to their caregivers and families. “Our agency seeks to develop and integrate best practices that empower and sustain quality of life for older adults and catalyze the varied networks of those who support them – family care partners and professional providers, as well as groups such as aging services providers, faith communities, educational and training institutions, and more,” said SJFS Director Judith Huober. “We are so grateful to AFA for validating our approach, and enabling us to both continue to innovate and increase access to our services.” Syracuse Jewish Family Service provides holistic, preventive, wellness-oriented programming to all residents of Central New York. It offers care management, education

CBS-CS in building comprehension of prayer book Hebrew. There will be 10 sessions, beginning on January 23 and ending in mid-April. For more information, contact Saulson at 315-449-9423 or Anyone who already owns a copy of “L’shon Hakodesh” should bring it to the first class. Pre-registration through the CBS-CS office is required and may be made by e-mailing Daryl Weiss, the CBS-CS manager of congregational services, at 18cbscs@gmail. com or calling 315-446-9570. The class is free for CBSCS members. There is, however, a fee for non-members. The class has a minimum required enrollment, so interested parties should pre-register. TU B’SHEVAT SEDER ON JANUARY 27 On Saturday, January 27, following Shabbat morning services, Rabbi Daniel and Rhea Jezer will lead the annual CBS-CS Tu B’Shevat seder. Tu B’Shevat is the official birthday of the trees and one of the four New Years enumerated

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seas.” Aware of the Depression in this country, they nonetheless declared it “insignificant when compared with the sufferings which our fellow Jews have been forced to undergo under Nazi persecution in Germany. There, thousands of men, women and children are starving and without clothes or shelter.” Even T. Aaron Levy, president of the Americanization League, joined in urging support of the Federation campaign, saying


Service and is offered through Menorah Park’s Center for Healthy Living. Seed funding for MPU comes from the Brookdale Foundation, an organization that supports program development to improve the lives of persons with early memory loss. The program was also funded by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. To learn more about becoming a participant or to volunteer, contact Ellen Somers, SJFS assistant director, at 315-446-9111, ext. 225, or

“the Jews of Germany, with clenched lips, with sublime courage and with patient step, face their destiny. They are doing this in the faith that for 20 centuries, Jewry has faced every test without flinching.” Barbara Sheklin Davis is co-author, with Susan B. Rabin, of “A History of the Jewish Community of Syracuse,” published by Arcadia Press.” This series of articles is being sponsored by Helen Marcum.

and training, as well as counseling, mental health services, brain health programming, advocacy and outreach. Its newest program, M-Power U, a learning community for people with early memory loss, seeks to provide fun, stimulating activities where participants can develop a supportive network, learn strategies to compensate for memory loss, learn how to be more proactive about improving brain health and get educated about community resources. AFA is able to provide services, like this grant, as a result of the generosity of individual contributions, sponsorships and fund-raising activities. To help support these initiatives, visit donate/. For more information about AFA membership and grant opportunities, visit AFAServices/aboutAFAgrants.html. The foundation’s services include a national, tollfree helpline (866-232-8484) staffed by licensed social workers, educational conferences and materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals. For more information about AFA, call 866-232-8484 or visit

Continued from page 4 in the Mishnah. The seder will include songs and readings, as well as four courses of nuts, fruits and wine (or juice). This has been called a feast for all the senses and is intended for all ages. Participants will explore the natural world. For planning purposes, reservations are encouraged by Friday, January 19, to the manager of congregational services, Daryl Weiss, at or 315-446-9570.


“Over the years, many people have made tremendous efforts to recruit and fund-raise. The leadership of Barbara Davis stands out even today as she continues to raise funds for the school – although she is supposed to be retired. So many of our faculty, parents and alumni parents, [the local] Federation board, community leaders, and community members current and past, have committed and continue to commit themselves to this school so that its future is assured, and the children who attend, as our children did, are assured of a strong foundation for building a Jewish life. It is truly a tribute to Jeremy and an honor we all share.”


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JANUARY 4, 2018/17 TEVET 5778 ■





These b’nai mitzvah kids already are Jewish philanthropists

BY BEN SALES Editor’s note: The Jewish Foundation of Central New York has been promoting a program such as the one outlined below since its inception. The Jewish Community Foundation B’nai Mitzvah Program teaches the core Jewish value of tzedakah through “hands-on” participation. More than 100 b’nai mitzvah funds have been established over the past 10 years. A b’nai mitzvah fund requires a minimum $250 donation from the teen at the time of bar or bat mitzvah. These donations are matched by the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation for an opening balance of at least $500. The teens may advise to which charities their funds may be distributed. The Teen Funders Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation B’nai Mitzvah Program, led by Teen Funder Coordinator Jeffrey Scheer, meets in the late summer/fall to accept grant applications from local charitable organizations to advise which applications they will accept. SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Lyla Maymon and Jane Shvartzman went to interview officials last year at the Larkin Street Youth, a local organization fighting homelessness among young people, to see if their programs were worthy of a philanthropic grant. Maymon and Shvartzman asked all the right questions, like what percentage of the group’s budget was used for overhead and how it planned to spend the money. They had looked up its financials on GuideStar, a database of nonprofit files.

Synagogue services Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas,

USCJ Rabbi: Andrew Pepperstone Location: 18 Patsy Lane, Jamesville, NY 13078 Phone: 315-446-9570 Rabbi’s office: 315-446-5125 Office hours: Mon. - Fri. - 9 am - 4:30 pm Website: Shabbat services: Friday: 6 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat service Saturday: 9:30 am Syracuse Conservative daily services located at Temple Adath Yeshurun (450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse): Monday – Friday: 7:30 am; Monday – Thursday, and Sunday: 5:30 pm Saturday evening times vary with sunset. Check TAY website or with TAY office. Sunday: 9 am at CBS-CS. Members of the congregation are asked to attend on a rotating basis to ensure there is a minyan, or required quorum, for anyone saying kaddish, the memorial prayer.

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Orthodox Union Rabbi: Evan Shore Address: 4313 East Genesee Street, Dewitt, NY 13214 Phone: 315-446-6194 Office hours: Mon.-Thurs. – 9 am - noon Website: Shabbat services at 9 am. Morning services at 6:45 am, except for Sunday, when services start at 8 am and Rosh Chodesh, when services start at 6:30 am. All afternoon and evening services based on sunset times.

Temple Adath Yeshurun

USCJ Rabbi: Paul Drazen Ba’alat Tefillah: Esa Jaffe Address: 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse 13224 Phone: 315-445-0002 Rabbi’s office: 315-445-0002 ext. 121 Office hours: 9 am - 4 pm Website: Shabbat services: Friday: 5:30 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat service Saturday: 9:15 am Syracuse Conservative daily services located at Temple Adath Yeshurun (450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse): Monday – Friday:, 7:30 am; Monday – Thursday, and Sunday: 5:30 pm Saturday evening times vary with sunset. Check TAY website or with TAY office. Sunday: 9 am at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (18 Patsy Lane).

Temple Concord

URJ Rabbi: Daniel Fellman Cantor: Kari Siegel Eglash Address: 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY 13210 Phone: 315-475-9952 Rabbi’s office: 315-475-9952 Office hours: Mon. - Weds. and Fri. 9 am - 4:30 pm; closed Thursday Website: Shabbat services: Friday: 6 pm, (except for the first Friday of the month, which is at 7:30 pm. Starting July 1, all Friday services will be at 6 pm year round). Saturday: text study at 9 am led by Rabbi Joe Murray. Torah study at 10 am led by Rabbi Daniel Fellman. Services at 11 am. Sunday morning minyan service with the religious school at 9 am during the school year

So, perhaps not surprisingly, the two 13-year-olds were irked when the official giggled and rolled her eyes at them. “She didn’t think of us as a serious thing,” Maymon said of the staffer. “She was giggling at some of the questions even though it was pretty serious.” It might have been because Maymon and Shvartzman were in seventh grade at the time and they were offering several hundred dollars from their bat mitzvah money. The two teens are students at the Brandeis School of San Francisco. At this community Jewish day school in an upscale residential neighborhood, the seventh-graders become a mini-charity of sorts: Rather than depositing their bar and bat mitzvah checks into the bank, the kids and their parents agree to take the money they would have spent on each other’s gifts and collectively donate it. Each year, the bar/bat mitzvah class takes its pool of money – generally around $30,000 – and allocates it to some 20 non-profits in the Bay Area, with causes ranging from medical research to Jewish LGBT advocacy. The kids vote on the top five groups. Those charities receive $5,000 each, with the rest divided among the remainder of the organizations. While remarkable, these young do-gooders are far from alone: Teen philanthropy is a growing trend in the Jewish community. According to the Jewish Funders’ Network, U.S. Jewish teens gave more than $1 million in total during the 2015-16 school year. “That’s a reflection that teens are continuing to develop their identities,” Briana Holtzman, the director of the Jewish Teen Funders’ Network, an umbrella for programs like the Brandeis School’s, told JTA in March. “They can give to the Jewish community and they can serve those outside of the Jewish community. There’s a real focus on the conversation, on challenging our teens to grapple with who they are.” At the Brandeis School, which has run this program for about 30 years, the goal is to teach the kids the value of charity and make giving part of their lives from an early age. Jody Bloom, the Judaic studies teacher who runs the program, said it’s an especially valuable lesson for 13-year-olds, who can be consumed by obsessions over appearances, school or their latest crushes. Learning about the work of aid organizations, she said, makes them realize those problems aren’t so bad. “It really helps the kids put things in perspective,” Bloom said. “They don’t see the need that’s out there when they’re in the school. When they go out in the world and see what’s needed, they feel so grateful for what they have.”


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GAN On Sunday, January 21, at 10:30 am, Gan – a toddler and preschool program of learning through art, movement, stories and music – will take place at Temple Concord. The program takes place one Sunday a month from 10:30 am-noon. This month, the focus will be on Tu B’Shevat. Participants will be able to learn about the new year for the trees. For more information, call the TC office at 315-475-9952. AMERICAN AUTHOR AND AVIATOR ROBERT GANDT TO SPEAK AT THE 2018 SCHOLAR SERIES SPEAKERS EVENT ON JANUARY 28 Temple Concord will present American author and aviator Robert Gandt on Sunday, January 28, at 11 am, as part of the 2018 Scholar Series Speakers Event. He will be speaking in the Berinstein Chapel. Gandt is an American author and aviator who has written and published more than a dozen books on military and aviation history, including military adventure fiction. He was the youngest aviator and Robert Gandt officer on active duty in the U.S. Navy with more than 300 carrier landings and almost 2,000 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk when he became an airline pilot in 1965 and, after 26 years with Pan Am, he transferred to Delta Air Lines. He then went on to found the Redhawk Formation Aerobatic Team. In addition to his military and civilian flying record, Gandt has authored multiple novels. Many of his books have won literary awards, and one was adapted for the CBS series “Pensacola: Wings of Gold” while another has a foreword by Senator John McCain. His most recent book is “Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel.” The Temple Concord Scholar Series was created to highlight professionals and experts from colleges, universities, cultural, health and educational arenas. Local, national and international speakers who share exceptional knowledge and experience with the community are invited to become a part of this Scholar Series. The monthly programs are free and open to the public.

The charity program, called Tzedek – Hebrew for “justice” – takes up the bulk of the seventh-graders’ Judaic studies classes, which meet three times a week for about an hour. In the first semester, the students hear a weekly lecture from a local aid organization about its work. This school year, the speakers ranged from Jewish Vocational Services, which helps the unemployed, to the Homeless Prenatal Project, which aids parents of poor children. Several current seventh-graders said they especially appreciated a lecture from Gene Goldstein-Plesser, an official at Keshet, the Jewish LGBT advocacy organization. The talk included a cartoon unicorn whose body was used to explain the ideas of gender and sexuality. The heart, for example, corresponded to physical and emotional attraction, while a thought bubble with a rainbow was meant to symbolize how one thinks of their own gender identity. “We’re in San Francisco, so we know a lot of gay and lesbian people,” Noa Marks said. The program kicks into high gear in the spring. The students pair off according to areas of interest – fighting racism, for example, or promoting animal welfare – and then choose one nonprofit they want to research. The organization doesn’t need to be Jewish, but must be local because Bloom wants the kids to visit the group and get to know its work. They go to the nonprofit and interview a senior employee before presenting the organization’s work to the rest of the class. Although the students come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, the kindergarten-eighth grade school exudes affluence. The campus consists of connected buildings for its 400 children, with open-air walkways and courtyards featuring bright basketball courts and playgrounds. Kids sprawl in the hallways typing on MacBooks and sitting on couches with coffee tables. A bowl of fresh apples for the taking sits on a table in a first-floor hallway. Tuition this year is about $31,000 – slightly more for eighth-graders – with about 30 percent of families receiving financial aid. The kids say the philanthropy program helps them see beyond their own material comforts. “I went to a public school [previously], and this wasn’t a thought,” said Avital Daly, regarding charity work. “It was like, keep yourself safe and do what you need to do. Helping other people wasn’t as important as helping yourself. It’s a good feeling to help people.” The students also do a range of charitable activities, from volunteering at a home for the elderly to reading to underprivileged second-graders. In class, they look at Jewish texts on giving – like Maimonides’ eight levels of charity, which instructs Jews on how best to help the poor, with teaching See “Kids” on page 9


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in the 16 century by kabbalists from the city of Tzvat, Sha’arei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will hold a Tu B’Shevat and Simply Tzvat celebration: a seder at STOCS complete with traditional Israeli foods that will be guided with music and narration by the “merry musicians” of Simply Tzvat. The three Breslav performers, who are said to bring joy and inspiration to every audience, will serenade participants with music, song and stories while integrating the seder into the concert. There is no charge to participate in the event. For reservations or more information, contact the STOCS office at or 315-446-9194 by Friday, January 26.


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is funded by the Edward and Marilyn Steinberg Fund for Tiny Tots and Preschool Children’s Programming. For more information, contact Alicia Gross, at alicia@ or 315-445-0002.

L-r: Joanne Greenhouse, Lynn Cohen, Cecile Cohen and Sue Gordon gathered following Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Hazak’s viewing of “People and Places of the Syracuse Jewish Community” produced by Jay Lurie and presented by the Judaic Heritage Center of Central New York.

JANUARY 4, 2018/17 TEVET 5778 ■


Profiles of SHDS alumni – Ross Greenky

BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – The Tzohar rabbinical organization has opened a marriage registration branch at in Tel Aviv in cooperation with the local rabbinate. Tzohar’s “alternative” marriage registration service, which currently has offices in Jerusalem, Lod and Haifa, helps couples navigate the bureaucracy of registering for marriage, independent of the direct involvement of the rabbinate. The new branch was opened at the Tel Aviv Port and is located in the office of EasyWed, an organization that provides a variety of event-planning and related services to help Israeli couples marry. The Tel Aviv office is the organization’s first collaboration with a local rabbinate. After Tzohar takes care of the registration bureaucracy, it will pass the couple’s file

Kids someone a trade the highest ideal. And they discuss the dilemmas inherent in philanthropy, like whether it’s better to give locally or globally, and whether Jews have a special responsibility to give to Jewish causes. As they approach their second semester, this year’s seventh-graders appear divided on that issue. “Non-Jewish help centers and Jewish help centers both do the same stuff,” Amelia Lifsitz said. “If you’re a Jew, you might feel more comfortable at a Jewish organization.” “Organizations that don’t label themselves with a religion or race are more likely to have everyone get help from them,” Natalie Heller countered. “If there was a Jewish organization, someone who’s


to the Tel Aviv rabbinate for registration. As part of the service, Tzohar provides a rabbi to conduct the wedding ceremony free of charge. Tzohar rabbis are known for creating a non-religiously threatening or coercive atmosphere for wedding ceremonies for secular Israeli couples. “Strengthening the connection between Tzohar and the local rabbinical councils is an important objective of our organization and we welcome this first initiative which allows us to partner with the Tel Aviv Rabbinate. ...We are confident this will allow us to positively contribute to helping these couples build healthy new relationships and families in accordance with halachah [rabbinic law] and the laws of the state of Israel,” Rabbi David Stav, Tzohar founder and chairman, said in a statement.

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Christian would feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not welcome here.’ But Christian people need that help and Muslim people need that help.” About a quarter of the groups that receive money end up being Jewish, according to Bloom. But, she points out, supporting Jewish (or non-Jewish) causes isn’t the point. She wants kids to understand that part of coming of age as a Jew means taking responsibility for the people around you. “What does it mean to be a member of the Jewish community?” she asked. “The obligation of everyone [is] to do justice. It’s not just giving money, it’s giving your time. It really impacts them in a way they haven’t felt before and they realize how much they can give.”

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questions, situations and cases BY BARBARA DAVIS as a labor and employment atRoss Greenky, a member torney. He deals with a variety of the Syracuse Hebrew Day of federal, state and local legal School Class of 2001, has a issues, sometimes in conflict bachelor of arts in history from with each other, whether George Washington University, dealing with discrimination, where he graduated Phi Beta harassment, wage and hour Kappa and magna cum laude. issues, or benefits. He holds a juris doctor from He believes that the intimate Duke University School of Law. and detailed academic setting He is an attorney with the Laat the day school prepared him bor and Employment Group at Ross Greenky how to study, learn and succeed Barclay Damon, LLP, and was recently named a “Rising Star” in Upstate for the rest of his life. His classmates were particularly close after they left New York by Super Lawyers. Greenky became interested in the SHDS, and all continue to stay in touch, legal field while in college and, by his usually through Facebook group chat. His junior year, decided to take the LSAT favorite activity at SHDS was the fourth and attend law school. He likes the grade “trip” assignment. He recalled that challenges of problem-solving difficult “each student in the class had to develop a travel itinerary for a ‘visit’ to another U.S. state. I picked Alaska and, to this day, I still want to visit (potentially using my fourth-grade itinerary).” He said, “I was lucky to have a lot of memorable stories Brandon Warren and experiences at SHDS, including the class trip to Boston, participating in the Brandon WarDrug Quiz Show and taking Rabbi Shore’s ren, son of Beth notorious Passover test.” He joined the Freeman-Warren Board of Directors of the day school this and Scott Warren of year. When not working or volunteering, Manlius, became he enjoys traveling to the Adirondacks, bar mitzvah at watching sports, snow skiing, grilling Temple Adath Yeand just relaxing with his wife, Jillian, shurun on Novemand their dog. ber 18. He is the Greenky believes that enrolling him grandson of Ellie at SHDS “was one of the best decisions and Cyril Freeman, that my parents ever made for me. I was of Fayetteville, and Brandon Warren able to learn the typical elementary school Caroline and Ed curriculum, while also learning about, Warren, of Fulton, NY. He is a student at Wellwood Middle and developing, my Jewish heritage. In School and attends the TAY Religious moving from SHDS to middle school, I felt like I was ahead of my peers at these School. He enjoys basketball, soccer, swim- schools in many social and academic areas due to my experience at SHDS.” ming and skiing, and plays the tuba.


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Calendar Highlights

To see a full calendar of community events, visit the Federation's community calendar online at Please notify of any calendar changes.

Wednesday, January 17 Deadline for the February 1 Jewish Observer Saturday, January 6 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas lunch and learn at 12 pm following services TC Tot Shabbat at 9 am Sunday, January 7 CBS-CS intergenerational ice skating at Shove Park Recreation Center at 2 pm TC Sisterhood and Brotherhood meet separately at 9:30 am Tuesday, January 9 Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm TC Goldenberg Series at 7 pm Friday, January 12 CBS-CS Shirat Shabbat with Lisa Levens and Mark Wolfe Saturday, January 13 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Battle of the Bands at 7 pm Monday, January 15 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Martin Luther King Jr. vacation camp for grades K-7 from 7 am – 6 pm PJ Library® planting party from 10-11am at the JCC children’s room with the JCC vacation camp children CBS-CS MLK Mitzvah Day at CBS-CS starting at 9:30 am Tuesday, January 16 Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, January 17 Jewish community lunch and learn at the Menorah Park Bistro at noon Temple Adath Yeshurun Executive Committee at 6 pm, followed by Board of Directors at 7 pm Thursday, January 18 Temple Concord Sisterhood dinner at 6 pm Saturday, January 20 CBS-CS Sisterhood Shabbat at 9:30 am CBS-CS PJ Havdalah/Parents’ night out at 5:30 pm Sunday, January 21 CBS-CS Haftarah class begins at 9:45 am TC GAN program at 10:30 am CBS-CS Hazak presents Sandra Chai speaking on Marc Chagall at 2 pm Monday, January 22 Syracuse Hebrew Day School Board of Directors at 7 pm Tuesday, January 23 CBS-CS - intermediate prayer book Hebrew class begins at 7 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm JCC Executive Committee at 6 pm, followed by Board of Directors at 7 pm

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D’VAR TORAH What is greatness? BY ALAN SUKERT Greatness – how does someone achieve “greatness” (or better, what makes someone great)? We all know people whom history has judged as being great persons. For example, people I consider great are Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, William H. Macy and Paul McCartney, among others – but what are some of the qualities that make someone a great person? In preparing this d’var the other day, I read an interesting article where 34 people considered “great” from different occupations defined what they considered “greatness” to be. Some of the answers I found interesting were “separate yourself. Whether that is taking a chance; whether that is working harder; whether that is never giving up. Ultimately, I think you separate yourself from the pack and, in turn, you can become ‘great’”; “just being yourself”; “just staying true to yourself” and “inspiring others to take risks, push their boundaries and become greater than they ever thought they could be.” However, more to the point of this d’var is what the Torah says about the qualities that make someone great.

This week’s parasha of Shemot begins the narrative of Moses, certainly one of the greatest persons in all of history. There are a lot of events in this week’s sedrah that shaped Moses’ life – his being saved from death to be raised in Pharaoh’s house, the incident of the Burning Bush, Moses being charged by God to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt to freedom – but what I want to focus on here is the one event that on the surface seems about as “un-great” as any event in one’s life could be. “And it happened in those days that Moshe grew up and went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man, from his brothers. He turned this way and that and saw there was no man, so he struck down and hid him in the sand.” (Shemot 2:11-12) Here we have a case of Moses killing another man to protect one of his brothers – how did that one event signal the start of Moses’ path toward greatness? There is, of course, the ethical dilemma here in that Moses did kill someone even if it was in self-defense. See “Greatness” on page 11


Julius “Jules” Blank of DeWitt, NY, 102, died on December 26. Born in New York City, he grew up in Petersburg, VA, the son of the owners of a dry-goods store. He attended Petersburgh High until the Depression forced them to close the store and move back to New York City, where he worked 72 hours a week in the garment district and fought for the union to protect workers. He was drafted late in World War II into the Army Air Force (later to become the U.S. Air Force), trained in Kingman, AZ, as a B17 ball-turret gunner and served in England until the end of the war. In 1946, he moved to Baltimore, worked as an X-ray technician and instructor, and met his future wife, Sylvia, a Syracuse native. In 1949, they moved to Syracuse, where he began a successful 30-year career in the insurance industry, first for The Unity and then for Prudential Life Insurance. A “union man” through and through, he was always active in the Insurance Workers International Union. A lifelong member of Temple Beth El, he served as Men’s Club president, a member of the Board of Directors and chair of its Religious Committee. He was also an active member of the Syracuse Jewish War Veterans. After retirement, he and his wife spent winters in Florida, but the rest of the year in Syracuse to be with family and friends. They volunteered at Menorah Park, where he pushed patients to physical therapy well into his 90s. His last five years were spent living at The Oaks at Menorah Park, where he made friends with residents and staff. Although he earned his GED, he was proud to be presented with a state of Virginia World War II veterans’ honorary high school diploma as the guest of honor at the 2007 Petersburg High School graduation ceremonies. He also was able to join 80 other veterans on a recent Syracuse Honor Flight to Washington, DC, to tour war memorials and monuments and observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Sylvia (Frank); his brother, Ben; and his sister, Rhea Teitelbaum. He is survived by his sons, Ted (Tina Gleisner) Blank and Alan (Stacey Baron) Blank; three grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; and many nieces and nephews. Burial was in Beth El Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Syracuse Jewish Family Service, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13214. 


Bessie Spector Greenberg, 90, died on December 13 at Crouse Hospital. She had lived most of her life in Syracuse and was a 1947 graduate of Mt. Sinai School of Nursing with an R.N. degree. She was the first director of nursing at James Square Nursing Home when it opened. She continued her professional career until retiring at 79. She was a life-long member and volunteer at Temple Adath Yeshurun and the TAY Sisterhood, and a past president of the Evening Sisterhood. She was predeceased by her husband, Irving, in 1969, and her siblings, Rosalie Rossoff, Marilyn Kamp and Joseph Spector. She is survived by her daughter Joan (Lon) Lowenstein; one granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Drazen Family Educational Experience Fund at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, NY 13224.


Natalie Fisher Happek, 87, died suddenly on November 30. Born in Syracuse, she was a life resident of Syracuse. She was a graduate of Syracuse University with a master’s degree in social work. During her professional career, she was a supervisor with the Onondaga County Department of Mental Health. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed mysteries. She was a skilled bridge player, a patron of the theater and a lifelong dog lover. She is survived by her daughters, Wendy (Gregory Stauf) Happek and Susan (Laura Vansant) Happek. Burial was in Frumah Packard Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to WCNY, or Wanderers’ Rest, 7138 Sutherland Dr., Canastota, NY 13032. 


Bruce Herbert Isaacs, 90, died on December 21 in Florida. Born in Syracuse, he had been an active resident of Palm Beach County, FL, since 1974. A graduate of the University of Miami, where he studied business administration, he was vice president of City Electric Company, a supplier and wholesaler to the Central New York construction industry. He was also an artist and ceramicist. In his later years, he was very active in various Century Village Condominium Associations. He also volunteered for the Citizens’ Observation Patrol and the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Leonard S. Isaacs; and sister, Shirley B. Shulman. He is survived by several nephews and nieces, Barry (Debrah) Shulman, Stephen (Kim) Shulman, Rhonda (Lawrence) Jones, Richard (Wendy) Isaacs and Joy (John) Bodewes; and many grand-nephews and -nieces. Burial was in Royal Palm Cemetery, West Palm Beach, FL. Arrangements were by Quattlebaum Funeral, Cremation and Event Center, West Palm Beach, FL. Contributions may be made to the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409. 


NBA removes “occupied Palestine” from league website after Israel intervenes The National Basketball Association removed the term “Palestine – occupied territory” from the league’s website after Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev intervened. In a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Regev described “Palestine” as “an imaginary state” and added that the league’s listing was not in line with President Donald Trump’s recent policy change on Jerusalem. “I view the inclusion of ‘occupied Palestine’ in the list of countries appearing on your official website as legitimizing the division of the state of Israel and as gross and blatant interference, in contrast to the official position of the American administration and the declarations of President Donald Trump, who just recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” wrote Regev. Kathy Behrens, the NBA’s president of social responsibility, told Israel National News that the country list was provided by a third party. “We apologize for this oversight and have corrected it,” Behrens said.

JANUARY 4, 2018/17 TEVET 5778 ■




Natalie Barbara Klein Kalette died on December 4. She was a 1943 graduate of Newton High School, Newton, MA, and a 1947 graduate of Syracuse University, Maxwell School, majoring in sociology and psychology, with a minor in voice. She volunteered while in high school at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital and, while at SU, with the “Tiger Patrol” at Elmcrest Children’s Center. She was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and did social work following graduation. She was also a member of the NAACP. She was a longtime active member of Temple Concord, having served on the TC Board of Education and Sisterhood board, and was co-advisor with her husband, Henry “Hank,” for 13 years to the CNYFTY –TYCON youth group until 1982. They were known as “Mommy and Daddy Kalette” to hundreds of teenagers in the region. As TC historian for many years, she created 32 scrapbooks, 24 of which are on microfilm at Hebrew Union College Archives, Cincinnati, OH. She authored the TC 140th and 150th histories, and created yearly historical exhibits. She was historian for the youth group and seniors “Prime-Timers” group. She became an adult bat mitzvah in 1988. She was president of DeWitt Women of Rotary and, when women were invited to join Rotary International, she became one of the first female members, joining her husband on January 24, 1991, in the Rotary Club of DeWitt. They traveled often with Rotary, including overseas. She was club historian for 14 years, had more than 14 years perfect attendance and was a Paul Harris Fellow. She volunteered at the Samaritan Center and with Salvation Army Kettle. She was active on the board of Jewish Family Services and, with Hank, was honored in 1990 with the Humanitarian Award, the first couple so honored. She was a board and life member of Hadassah and National Council of Jewish Women in Syracuse, and was a board member of Beit Haverim. She and her husband were original subscribers to the Famous Artists Series and Syracuse Symphony. She was a two-term member of the Symphony Guild Board and created the “Say It with Music Fund.” She loved to sing, and often sang solo with the Harmonettes, played piano, loved Broadway and opera, and knew the lyrics to hundreds of songs. She was an active member and historian for the Meadowbrook Creek Association. Four of her scrapbooks are housed in the Onondaga Historical Society Archives. She was an antiques dealer and owner of Natalie’s Antiquarium located at the family business, Lyndon Lawns Casual Furniture Store, Fayetteville, where she also worked sales until it closed in 1993. She remained a long-term member of Onondaga County Antiques Dealers Association and never passed up an antiques sign. She also proctored exams for the state of New York. She was a frequent letter writer to the local newspapers. She was a member of Great Decisions group. She was always grateful she saved a 4-year-old girl and a friend’s son from drowning at the John Milton Pool. She was a life-long collector of famous quotations, the family historian and an avid gardener, especially with roses, lilacs and birch trees. She was also a great cook in the Gourmet Club. She was predeceased by her parents, Ethel and “Bud Myers, and Henry Klein; her husband of 61½ years, Henry “Hank” Kalette; and her sister Joy (Joe) Silverman. She is survived by her brother, Howard (Elaine) Myers; her children, Stephen (Debra) Kalette of Cleveland, OH, Linda (Howard) Schottenstein, of Columbus, OH, and Keith Kalette (partner, Carole) of Fayetteville, NY; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Rotary Club of DeWitt, P.O. Box 131, DeWitt, NY 13214, or TYCON, 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY 13210. 


Sylvia Lessinger, 90, died on December 1 at Menorah Park. A lifelong and proud Syracuse resident, she was the youngest of four children. She married Chuck Lessinger in 1948. He was completing his university work at Syracuse while serving in the Air Force reserves. Throughout her life, she was active in the Temple Beth Israel and Temple Beth El Sisterhoods, serving as president. After being a homemaker for 20 years, she returned to work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and later for New York State Family Court. She is survived by her son, Murray (Audrey) Lessinger; and three grandsons. Burial was in Beth El Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. 



Arnold “Arnie” Manheim, 87, died December 7 at Francis House. He was a life resident of Syracuse and graduated from Nottingham High School. During his professional career, he was a jeweler with Wilson Jewelers for more than 30 years, then Arnow Jewelers; and finally, he worked with his good friend, Ralph Monforte, at Cazenovia Jewelers in Fayetteville, for 12 years. He was a life-long member and past president of Temple Adath Yeshurun; and a former board member and vice president of Menorah Park. He loved his almost-daily tennis games with his regular partners in Syracuse and Florida. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn; their children, Margie Cowan (Robert Mayersohn) and Michael Manheim (Marc Russell); and two granddaughters. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse 13224 or Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208 or Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th North St., Liverpool, NY 13088. 


Continued from page 10

However, I think that line of thought misses a bigger point. Now do not get me wrong– I am not condoning the killing of anyone as a rule. However, the key point is that what Moses did, he did out of concern and empathy for his fellow Hebrews who were suffering at the hands of the Egyptians. He saw and, more importantly, felt the burdens of his fellow Hebrews. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Moses recognized their suffering and realized that he had to do something to help his brothers out because there was no one else around to help. Moses took immediate and concrete action to right what he considered a wrong and do the right thing regardless of the personal consequences – and there were certainly going to be consequences – which turned out to be fleeing into the desert and not knowing what would happen to him next. And in doing this act, Moses showed some of the future qualities that would make him the greatest of all prophets and, I believe, indicated some of the key qualities of greatness – empathy to the plight of others and their suffering; the ability to see a wrong and the willingness to right that wrong; and the willingness to take immediate action regardless of the consequences to one’s self, especially when others are afraid or unwilling to act – in short, to do what is right for the right reasons regardless of the personal consequences or sacrifices that might entail. There is a line at the end of the movie “Harry Potter

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Candace “Candy” Sue Wayne, 70, died on December 14 at home in Vernon, NY. Her father founded the mental health association of Onondaga County, originally as a parents’ support group. She had a life-long affinity for music and surprised everyone with her extensive knowledge of lyrics. She was loved by those who knew her for her sunny disposition and strong personality, as well as a playful and humorous streak. She lived in Vernon, NY, for many years, at the Bridge Street Day Habilitation Center and Hospice of New Hartford, NY. She was predeceased by her parents, Jerome and Eileen Wayne. She is survived by her sister, Nancy (Peter) Matlow; her nieces, Hilary Jones and Robyn Shiroff; and her nephew, Daniel Matlow. Burial was with her parents in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Hospice of New Hartford, 4277 Middle Settlement Rd., New Hartford, NY 13413. 

and the Order of the Phoenix” (I am a big Harry Potter fan) that really brings this point home: “We will soon be facing the choice between what is right and what is easy.” We all have had moments in our lives where we have had to face that choice of doing the right thing versus doing the “easy” thing. When Moses faced that choice, he instinctively chose to do the right thing – protect one of his brothers from harm – rather than choose the easy path of walking away and ignoring his brother’s suffering. That is one of the main actions that, for me, defined Moses’ greatness. In spite of all the difficulties and consequences to himself, he ultimately chose the path that was right and not the path that was easy. My hope to all of us is that when we are faced with the choice between what is right and what is easy, we will follow in the footsteps of Moses and choose the right path. Alan Sukert is an engineer with Xerox Corp. in Rochester and a member of Temple Adath Yeshurun.


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Chanukah celebrated around the JCC BY ANKUR DANG There were jelly doughnuts sitting on the table, but 5-yearold Zypora Lacirignola had other things on her mind. While all the other children in Classroom B of the Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center were getting ready to dig in, she was busy fiddling with a dreidel. It took her three unsuccessful tries, but she finally managed to spin the dreidel perfectly. With a smile that showed off her four missing front teeth, it was easy to see how pleased she was. Now, she could go and eat her doughnut in peace. The 2017 Chanukah party was on. Officially, it was held on December 15, a day like the past few days. All the classrooms and hallway walls testified to that fact with crayon drawings of menorahs, potato latkes, family dinners and, of course, dreidels. “That’s the best part of holidays,” said Kelly Coyne, Zypora’s class teacher. “The kids get to play and do all the grown-up stuff in a safe, fun environment.” As if to prove the teacher’s point, 4-year-old Elizabeth Florkowski straightened the candles in the wooden toy menorah for the sixth time that afternoon. Earlier in the week, the children of classroom 5 had prepared edible menorahs out of bread, peanut butter, pretzels, and raisins under the guidance of their teacher, Amanda Eckrich, who

JCC ECDP student Zypora Lacirignola, 4, tried to spin the dreidel for the second time during her class Chanukah party on December 15.

said, “But most kids didn’t complete the menorah. The ingredients were too tasty for them to wait all the way.” And while these childlike festivities were going in the ECDP, the rest of the JCC celebrated Chanukah as well, albeit in a more adult way. The JCC’s Bobbi Epstein Lewis Senior Adult Dining Program held its annual Chanukah holiday lunch for seniors on December 8, when Temple Adath Yeshurun Rabbi Paul Drazen spoke about the relevance of Chanukah in the present time. “It [Chanukah] is about faith, remembrance and conversations,” he said. “If we disagree, we can sit and talk and overcome our differences. If not, we can agree to disagree and still share a meal with each other. These are the teachings of tradition. And our country needs it more than ever today.” While the preschoolers and seniors overtly celebrated Chanukah, the PJ Library® in CNY, a JCC program, held a mitzvah project in the spirit of the holiday on December 10 at the Build-A-Bear Workshop store at Destiny USA. Participating families were asked to purchase gift cards to be used toward the bears, which were then donated to children at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Rounding out the celebrations at the JCC were the weekday Chanukah menorah lightings outside the building’s main entrance. The ceremonies were led by children in the JCC’s after school program and Shaarei

ECDP Classroom 2 students and their teachers stood next to the oversized menorah they built on the floor with building blocks.

Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Rabbi Evan Shore, along with the ECDP children and staff from the JCC and the Jewish Federation of Central New York. Chanukah at the JCC has been called a celebration of community life, children, adults, families and traditions. And while the jubilation of the season lasted for just about a week, it meant different things to different people. For Zypora, it was about her newfound skill in dreidel spinning. She can now spin it perfectly in one go.

Seniors enjoyed the JCC’s senior Chanukah lunch on December 8.

Children in the JCC’s After School Program, along with JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher and Jewish Federation of Central New York President/CEO Michael Balanoff (to the right of the menorah), stood around the menorah following the lighting ceremony on December 12, the first night of Chanukah.


Jewish Observer issue of 1/4/18