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Super Sunday is January 15 – answer the call BY BETTE SIEGEL The Jewish Federation of Central New York will begin the 2017 Annual Campaign with Super Sunday on January 15, from 9 am-3 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Volunteers will call about 2,000 members of the Jewish community to ask for their pledge throughout the day. This year’s Super Sunday leadership team includes Orit Antosh, Joel Friedman, Danielle Masursky and Karen Beckman. This year’s Super Sunday teen leaders are

Eric Antosh; Elise, Rachel and Ian Beckman; Jake Charlamb; Caleb and Alana Jacowitz; and Rachel and Sophie Scheer. Mark Wladis, the 2017 Campaign chair, 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 15 and have breakfast 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... and stay for lunch. 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. There have been many positive changes in the community because of your support and your pledge helps Federation make those changes.” On Super Sunday, the Federation will collect items for the food pantry at Temple Concord and the Super Sunday teenagers will accept items for students in the Syracuse school district alternative education program, as they have in the past. Federation President/CEO Linda Al-

exander added, “Please answer the phone when a volunteer calls to ask for your pledge. If we don’t reach you by phone that day, we will mail your pledge card.” To make a secure online donation to the 2017 Annual Campaign before Super Sunday, visit www.jewishfederationcny. org and click on the tzedakah box on the home page. To volunteer, contact Jessica Lawrence at 445-2040, ext. 102, or at jlawrence@, or visit www. Training will be provided.

U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon, in departing speech, admits anti-Israel bias at world body BY JNS STAFF ( – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is stepping down at the end of the year, acknowledged in a departing speech that

there is “disproportionate” bias against Israel at the world body. “We must never accept bias against Israel within U.N. bodies,” Ban said on December 16. Ban went on to admit that

the U.N. has a “disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel,” and that “in many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the

First person

No room for hatred on campus BY ERIC FINGERHUT This article was originally published in the New York Jewish Week and is reprinted with the permission of Hillel International. In recent weeks, students have reported a rise in hate speech and bigotry on campus – ethnic and racial minorities mocked, swastikas painted on buildings, speakers shouted down and other hateful incidents. While Jews are not the only group that has been targeted, many of these incidents have in fact been directed at Jewish students. Hillel has always stood against these kinds of attacks – and we are leading the effort to confront them today. Across North America, at public, private or rural colleges and universities, Hillel’s leaders who live and work on campus lead the movement to protect Jewish students from bigotry. Today, old hatreds are taking new forms. One is the increasingly violent and abusive tactics of the anti-Israel movement. In particular, we’ve been aggressively calling attention to a new form of bigotry, where some in the anti-Israel movement want to bar Jewish students from social justice coalitions unless they condemn the Jewish state’s mere existence. Another is the presence of white nationalists disseminating racist and bigoted rhetoric on college campuses. Whether the hatred is coming from the hard-left or the alt-right, Hillel stands against it. When intolerance rears its ugly head, it doesn’t matter what’s behind it. There is no room for hatred on campus,

no matter where it comes from, and no matter the cause. For nearly a century, Hillel’s core mission has been building and sustaining strong Jewish communities on campus. This work remains central, and is in fact critical to our battle against antisemitism. No single individual can combat hatred, but together we can ensure our campuses are safe and welcoming places for Jewish life. University administrators and local law enforcement have come to value campus Jewish communities as essential allies in combating antisemitism. What’s more, the work we do to broaden coalitions and communities on campus creates the kind of environment that is resistant to antisemitism. Hillel forms engaging and inclusive communities; educates students about Jewish life, learning and Israel; builds relationships across the campus; and teaches constructive ways to engage in dialogue with those from different backgrounds and experiences. We must always remember that building a strong Jewish community on campus is the first step, and that strong communities always respond to challenges more effectively than those that are just coming together for the first time. We know that when we do this work we are in fact doing it on behalf of everyone on campus – not just Jewish students – because intolerance against one group on campus is related to a broader problem of respect for any group. And we know that we must speak up and stand up for tolerance and inclusivity for all students. This

is a Jewish value, one we carry in our very DNA as disciples of Hillel the Elder, who reminded us of this responsibility in his famous teaching, “If I am not for myself who will be for me; but if I am only for myself, what am I?” As we move forward, Hillel will continue to lead the effort to ensure campus administrations respond swiftly and strongly to all acts of antisemitism and other bigotry. And we will work to make sure these incidents don’t occur in the first place by helping put in place critical policies and programs to keep the campus open to all, welcoming to all and safe for all. For Hillel, the responsibility of ensuring a safe and welcoming Jewish community on college campuses around the world is a sacred responsibility. To parents, grandparents, and to the entire Jewish community, your students – our students – will be embraced, loved and supported, regardless of where they come from and the extent of their connection to Jewish life. And we will face and defeat this recent scourge of antisemitism, no matter where it comes from, just as we always have in the past. Eric Fingerhut is president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

U.N. to fulfill its role effectively.” Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon commended Ban’s statement and noted the disproportionate number of anti-Israel resolutions passed at the U.N. in recent years. “The secretary-general admitted the clear truth – the U.N.’s hypocrisy toward Israel has broken records over the past decade. During this time, the U.N. passed 223 resolutions condemning Israel, while only eight resolutions condemning the Syrian regime as it has massacred its citizens over the past six years. This is absurd,” said Danon. See “Bias” on page 3

2017 Federation u Annual Campaign Goal: $1,200,000



as of Jan. 3, 2017

To make a pledge, contact Jessica Lawrence at 445-2040 ext. 102 or

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A January 6..................4:27 pm......................................................Parasha-Vayigash January 13................4:35 pm........................................................Parasha-Vayechi January 20................4:44 pm........................................................ Parasha-Shemot


M-Power U

Healthy Living center

An analysis of what could happen Syracuse JFS has launched Menorah Park is expanding with if the U.S. Embassy is moved to M-Power U, a learning community its intergenerational Center for Healthy Living. for early memory loss. Jerusalem. Story on page 7 Story on page 5 Story on page 2

PLUS Calendar Highlights............. 10 D’var Torah............................. 10 Obituaries................................11 Campaign Report............Insert



Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – the good, the bad and the unpredictable

ANALYSIS BY RON KAMPEAS WASHINGTON (JTA) – President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign he wants to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. His nominee for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has said he hopes he will work from an embassy in the city. Trump’s transition team has affirmed the intention to move the embassy, albeit without a timeline. And now, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, in a speech at a December 20 Chanukah party at the embassy, encouraged Trump to make good on the pledge, saying it was long past due. Dermer enumerated some of the arguments for the move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and they are also outlined in a Wall Street Journal editorial. Here’s what the “for” argument looks like:

‹‹ The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is ancient. ‹‹ No other country is denied representation in its capital. ‹‹ Done correctly (i.e., with lots of pre-move assuaging of nerves in Arab and Muslim lands allied with the West, and with a site in western Jerusalem), it should go smoothly, especially because relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors are closer than ever due to shared interests in crushing the Islamic State and stopping Iran. Eli Lake at Bloomberg gets at some of the “against” arguments, particularly regarding tentatively improving relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Here’s a summary of the “against” case: ‹ ‹ The Palestinians have a claim to the city and moving the embassy before a final-status agreement pre-empts their claim. ‹‹ The city is a tinderbox and any disturbance of its status quo will lead to violence. ‹‹ Israel’s allies in the Arab and Muslim world (both unofficial and official) may

Seven questions about the U.N. resolution

BY AMI EDEN NEW YORK (JTA) – Emotions are running high following the Obama administration’s decision to allow the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Here are seven questions aimed at making sense of what went down and what it could mean moving forward. 1. Did Obama just double down on failed “settlements first” strategy? Listening to President Barack Obama’s aides, the decision to allow the December 23 U.N. Security Council resolution to pass was a last-gasp move borne out of frustration and distrust. But, in many

respects, it resembles the Obama administration’s failed opening maneuver. Obama took a hot-and-cold approach to Israel, simultaneously strengthening military and intelligence cooperation while stepping up criticism of the settlements. The plan reportedly was to pressure Netanyahu into accepting a settlement freeze, which in turn would potentially lead to meaningful diplomatic gestures from multiple Arab states (including Saudi Arabia) and get the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Netanyahu eventually accepted a modified 10-month freeze, but the Obama folks See “Questions” on page 8

A MATTER OF OPINION JFNA statement on anti-Israel U.N. resolution This is a statement from the Jewish Federations of North America, the national Jewish Federation system. NEW YORK, NY – Jewish Federations across North America are deeply disappointed that the United States abstained from today’s vote on the one-sided, anti-Israel resolution that was passed by the U.N. Security Council today [December 23]. The administration’s decision undermined a core principle of American foreign policy that has been embraced by Democratic and Republican administrations for decades: that the only route to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between the parties. It also upended its own principled stance against U.N. resolutions that isolate Israel. Just two years ago, when the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power stated, “We voted


against it because we know what everyone here knows, as well; peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table.” And the Obama administration ignored the advice of 88 members of the U.S. Senate who urged the president in September to reject such resolutions. President Obama has consistently supported Israel’s right to self-defense and affirmed that America has an “ironclad commitment to make sure Israel is secure.” Several weeks ago, the U.S. and Israel signed an unprecedented $38 billion military aid package. It is tragic that the administration chose to mar its legacy of support for the Jewish state and set back the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Jerry Silverman President and CEO, the Jewish Federations of North America

In the December 8 issue, there was a photo of Joan Burstyn who spoke about “Growing up in London during World War II” on November 13 at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The caption was wrong. It should have read, “Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Hazak presented the program ‘Growing up in London During World War II’ by CBS-CS member Joan Burstyn on November 13. She spoke about the Battle of Britain and showed a map of Germany’s thwarted plans to invade Britain at that time, as well as her memories as a teenager at that time of the whole war. More than 75 people attended.”

reluctantly go along, but its enemies – particularly Iran, which annually commemorates the “loss” of Jerusalem, and the Islamic State – will seize the opportunity and stoke violence. ‹‹ And those Arab allies? Even the dictators have to answer to their constituencies, who would likely be violently against. This could endanger whatever nascent comprehensive peace is in the works. Beyond the “good” and the “bad,” there is also the unpredictable. Here are some things we can’t know about the move until it actually happens: GOING NATIVE In the early 1980s, Prime Minister Menachem Begin used incentives to get journalists to move from Tel Aviv to the press center in Jerusalem, Beit Agron, because he wanted them to recognize the city as Israel’s capital. Plenty of agencies bit, with an unexpected result: Whereas the journalists occasionally visited with Palestinians while based in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem they got to know Palestinian leaders well and media understanding of the Palestinian story deepened – and not necessarily to Israel’s benefit. The Americans maintain a consulate in eastern Jerusalem, and Israeli officials – and pro-Israel groups – complain that its staff has “gone native,” reflecting the interests of the Arab population. The Tel Aviv staff, by contrast, is ensconced in the most western corner of Israel and has a positive outlook on Israel and the diversions it has to offer. What happens to that attitude once they move 40 miles up the hill to Jerusalem? WHO DROPS BY? AND WHAT ABOUT THE CONSULATE? The Israeli government frowns on diplomats taking meetings with Palestinian officials in Jerusalem – it signals recognition of Palestinian claims to the city. Does that policy stick if the embassy moves there? Would Palestinian officials agree to enter its precincts? If they did, would Israel welcome the visits as an acknowledgment of Israeli sovereignty or see them as a threat to that sovereignty?

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And what happens to the consulate in eastern Jerusalem that deals with Arab issues? Its continued presence would undercut Israeli claims to the entire city. Does Israel’s government agitate for its removal, and to where? JERUSALEM IS PROTESTS CENTRAL City residents with grievances – the poor, the haredim, the Arabs, the nearby settlers and their supporters – can organize a demonstration on a moment’s notice. The American embassy would be a fat, juicy locus for those protests, even if the causes they represent have little to do with the United States. And what will that look like on TV broadcasts? DIG THIS Try building anything new in Jerusalem and you’re bound to hit some pottery shards, possibly even bones. Depending on the significance of the find, a construction site could attract a stop order from the Israel Antiquities Authority. LET’S MEET FOR LUNCH? Dining in Jerusalem means making a political choice. Kosher? Glatt kosher? Treif? Deciding on where you can get the best hummus in the city is a political statement. Abu Shukri by the Damascus Gate? Pinati on the Midrehov? What are you trying to say, ambassador? THE RESIDENCE AND THE SCHOOLS The American ambassador currently enjoys spacious digs in Herzliya, a place amenable to July 4 festivities and other bashes, and near some of the best schools in the country. Big spaces are hard to come by in Jerusalem. Harder still if Americans decide – as a means of assuaging Arab anger – to stick to the city’s west in locating both an embassy and a residence. And the schools! For ambassadors with school-age kids, what a hornet’s nest. Go for the “international” choices in Jerusalem and risk accusations you’re exposing the kids to anti-Israel views. Go for Israel’s system and take your pick of whom to offend – the religious, the haredim, the national religious. See “Embassy” on page 3

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BY SEAN SAVAGE Many colleges and universities “don’t govern in a consistent way when it comes to Israel” and apply a “double standard” to how they treat Jewish victims of prejudice, Harvard University President Emeritus Lawrence Summers said at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America’s national conference on December 4. Academics and campus professionals gathered for the media watchdog’s conference – held at Harvard in Cambridge, MA – to discuss the complexion of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, as well as rising campus antisemitism. “The goal of the conference was to learn from professors, students and others on the ground who know campus realities firsthand,” CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin told “And we learned a lot. It was powerful to hear how politically correct attitudes often work against Jewish students at a time of rising antisemitism. It was also impressive to learn about the positive impact of outspoken faculty and students.” Summers said in his speech that campus officials are “respectful of the feelings and rights of every minority on campus but Jews.” Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director of AMCHA – a non-profit that monitors and combats antisemitism on campus – said at the conference that “many Jewish students feel not only that the campus is against Israel, but against them. ... Students are threatened because of their Jewish identity.” Earlier this year, a study conducted by the AMCHA Initiative found an “alarming spike in campus antisemitism” during the first half of 2016. “Nearly 100 more

Syracuse University Associate Professor Miriam F. Elman was among the featured speakers at the national conference “War By Other Means: Israel, BDS and the Campus” hosted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America at Harvard Law School’s Milstein Conference Center on December 4. Elman’s address, “Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and BDS: Advancing Viewpoint Diversity on Campus,” was said to have focused on the ways in which the antiIsrael movement “stifles campus freedom of expression and how it can be combated via a commitment to open inquiry and pedagogic excellence.” More than 150 university leaders, faculty, students and members of the greater Boston community attended the event. The conference proceedings, which were filmed, will soon be released publicly and a monograph is also planned. (Photo courtesy of CAMERA)

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu JANUARY 9-13 Monday – Hawaiian chicken Tuesday – vegetable soup, turkey sandwich Wednesday – hamburger with sautéed onion Thursday – fettuccine Alfredo Friday – apricot glazed Cornish hen


Continued from page 2

MODESTY The American embassy currently employs 800 staff, including 250 Americans, in Tel Aviv – a city where you can dress however you like. In Jerusalem, dress is (once again) a political statement. Do women on staff have to cover up? How does that play among the diplomatic corps? THE UNPREDICTABLE In my years living in Jerusalem in the 1980s – and again in the 1990s and 2000s – international incidents were sparked or almost sparked by religious Jews in the Old City dumping laundry water on Christian Boy Scouts; a nurse’s aide at the Notre Dame hospital across from the Old City taking a stroll in the nude on its roof; and Ariel Sharon taking a stroll on the Temple Mount. It’s a city where anything can happen – and often does. There’s a name for the way it makes people crazy: The Jerusalem Syndrome. One more thing: The city is susceptible to earthquakes. Considering everything else, that’s almost an afterthought.

JANUARY 16-20 Monday – tomato basil soup, grilled cheese Tuesday – meatloaf Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – Marsala meatballs Friday – birthday celebration – 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-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 Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or


Continued from page 1

At the same time, Ban urged Israeli lawmakers to reconsider the controversial outpost bill, which would legalize Israeli settlements on private Palestinian land. “I strongly urge legislators to reconsider advancing this bill, which will have negative legal consequences for Israel and substantially diminish the chances for Arab-Israeli peace,” Ban said.

incidents of antisemitism occurred on campus during the first six months of 2016 compared with the first six months of 2015,” AMCHA’s study said. On the issue of intimidation of Jewish students, retired Harvard Law School professor and pro-Israel activist Alan Dershowitz recounted incidents of “outrageous” conduct by anti-Israel student organizations, who often routinely violate Jewish students’ rights to free speech and assembly so that Israel’s narrative cannot be heard. According to Dershowitz, this silencing of pro-Israel voices affects not only students, but also pro-Israel faculty members. “There are so many pro-Israel faculty,” he said. “But they won’t speak up. They’re afraid.” Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson, who detailed in his remarks the history of Arab anti-Jewish boycotts during the last century, said the intimidation on campus is part of a long and dark history of prejudice against Jews. He said today’s BDS is “the continuation of an almost century-old boycott against Jews,” dishonestly repackaged in a language that appeals to some Western audiences. Syracuse University Political Science Professor Miriam F. Elman, similarly, said BDS “is an academic fraud” and that the movement “will fail.” She said, “BDS debases the academic enterprise. It’s not teaching. It’s indoctrination.” The CAMERA conference came amidst the advancement of legislation in the U.S. Congress that would expand how the U.S. Department of Education defines antisemitism and how it advises universities on the identification of discrimination. The legislation seeks to “ensure the Education Department has the necessary statutory tools at their disposal to investigate anti-Jewish incidents.” The bill, which passed in the Senate at the end of November and beginning of December, is now being debated in the House of Representatives. It seeks to address when criticism of Israel, anti-Zionist beliefs, and antisemitic sentiments cross the line from protected First Amendment free expression to discrimination. The measure’s Senate sponsors were Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA), and its House sponsors are Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL). A number of students also spoke at the CAMERA conference, including Rezwan Haq, a Muslim Zionist who used to be a leader in the anti-Israel organization Students for Justice in Palestine. “SJP has normalized hatred among college students,” Haq said, recalling the days when he spearheaded anti-Israel events at the University of Central Florida. “Idealism mixed with false information and hate speech is a dangerous thing.” CAMERA’s Levin told that the students who spoke at the conference “were especially moving. Everyone in the audience was touched by the accounts of their experiences.”

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas CBS-CS HAZAK PRESENTS “JEWISH MUSIC TO LAUGHTER” Cantor Marvin Moskowitz will present “From Jewish Music to Laughter” on Sunday, January 15, at 2 pm, at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, 18 Patsy Ln., Jamesville. He will combine the “emotions of yesteryear” with the “upbeat sounds of today’s ruach (spirit).” His repertoire includes a variety of Hebrew, Israeli, Yiddish, cantorial and English songs. He is said to have “a potpourri of fun songs,” where he takes an English song and transposes it into a humorous Jewish theme, such as “Duvid Crocket: King of Delancey Street” from the “Borscht Belt.” As a cantor, Cantor Moskowitz’s goal is to “arouse the soul of the worshipper by adding feeling and deep meaning to the prayers.” He hopes to inspire his fellow Jews to “feel the beauty of Judaism” through his chanting and music. Cantor Moskowitz hopes that his music will address these needs, and the humor adds the Jews’ ability” to be able to laugh at any situation.” Cantor Moskowitz received his diploma from the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music: Yeshiva University. His first position was at Ahavath Achim in Brooklyn. He followed previous cantors, such as Joseph Shlisky and Louis “Leibele” Waldman. After six years there and six years at Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue in Charleston, SC, he and his family moved to Syracuse in 1983, when he took the position of cantor at Temple Beth El. He is currently the religious director of Menorah Park. He conducts the High Holiday services at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse. He also works for the Va’ad Ha’ir as the mashgiach (supervisor) at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. Cantor Moskowitz has provided entertainment with his musical programs in many places. The program will be free and open to the community. Refreshments will be available. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 446-9570. CBS-CS HOLDS BOOK PARTY FOR NEW AMERICAN CHILDREN Each year, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas holds a Mitzvah Day. For the second consecutive year, Mitzvah day will be held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 16. On that day, CBS-CS will again go to InterFaith Works Center for New Americans from 9:30 am-noon, where there will be a brief orientation. Participants will read books to children of resettled “New Americans,” then help each child decorate and fill a book bag. The synagogue is collecting “gently-used” children’s books. There are bins in the CBS-CS lobby for the donations. For more information, contact Julie Tornberg at

CBS-CS SISTERHOOD DECLUTTERING PROGRAM The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Sisterhood has two programs to help participants “declutter their life.” Participants have been asked to read the book “Saying No and Letting Go” by Rabbi Edwin Goldberg before going to CBS-CS on Saturday, January 21, for a Sisterhood-sponsored kiddush lunch after services. This will be followed by a book discussion with CBSCS member Jeanette Powell. Services will begin at 9:30 am, with the kiddush beginning at approximately noon. There will also be a program on Monday, January 30, at 7 pm, with Deb Cabral, who is known as the “Declutter Coach.” She is a certified professional organizer and productivity and efficiency coach who will discuss how to declutter a home, office or other space. Reservations are preferred and can be made by contacting Pam Morris at A small donation will be requested to offset the cost of the program. CBS-CS SISTERHOOD TO GO TO GLIMMERGLASS OPERA The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Sisterhood will visit Glimmerglass Opera on Tuesday, July 18, to watch the opera “Porgy and Bess.” There will be a cost for the event and reservations are required with a deposit. The trip price will include transportation in a luxury coach, a lunch and snack, a ticket for the performance, a private preview and a behind-the-scenes tour. For more details, contact Aileen Kenneson-Adams at 3966913 or JULIE TORNBERG, DIRECTOR OF YOUTH AND EDUCATION, ATTENDS JEWISH EDUCATORS ASSEMBLY Julie Tornberg, the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas director of youth and education, attended the Jewish Educators Assembly, the professional organization of educators in the Conservative movement held in Woodland Hills, CA, from November 13-16. See “CBS-CS” on page 6

Temple Adath Yeshurun PAUSE BUTTON WITH RABBI DRAZEN BY SONALI WIJESURIYA Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold its monthly Pause Button, a Shabbat program when services pause for a few minutes between Shacharit and the Torah service, on Saturday, January 7. Participants are able to take a break to have some coffee and snacks, and then participate in an informal study session led by Rabbi Paul Drazen. Pause Button concludes with the opportunity to learn a new melody taught by Ba’alat Tefillah Esa Jaffe. Rabbi Drazen said, “On a day dedicated to rest and relaxation, it’s most appropriate to have the opportunity for informal discussion about issues of importance. This year, we are focusing on the theme ‘Conservative Judaism’ during our discussions.” January’s topic will be “Core Beliefs of Conservative Judaism.” Shabbat services will begin at 9:15 am and Pause Button will be held at approximately 9:45 am. Services will resume at approximately 10:30 am. To send a question for Rabbi Drazen to address at the Pause Button, contact him at rabbidrazen@ The program will be open to the community.

RECC FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT BY SONALI WIJESURIYA Twice a year, during the winter season, the TAY Rothschild Early Childhood Center hosts Family Movie Night. Participants have said that the program has a “drive-in movie feel,” but within “the comfort and warmth” of the TAY ballroom. The RECC will show Disney Pixar’s movie “Finding Dory” on Saturday, January 14, from 6-7:30 pm. Families have been encouraged to bring blankets, pillows and lawn chairs. Children and adults can wear pajamas. Friends and family have been encouraged to attend as well. There will be a modest fee per family for the movie and snacks. 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 program is sponsored by the RECC Parent Advisory Council. For more information, contact the RECC office at 445-0049 or MEET THE TEXT WITH RABBI DRAZEN BY SONALI WIJESURIYA Temple Adath Yeshurun is offering See “TAY” on page 6

Third grade students at the TAY Religious School held up their purchases during the annual Hazak Chanukah bazaar. L-r: Noah Mowers and Eric Kozlowski, with Hazak members Marcia Mizruchi and Dolores Bluman in the back.

Temple Concord

CBS-CS Director of Youth and Education Julie Tornberg recently attended the Jewish Educators Assembly conference in mid-November. She is seen here holding a miniature “Oscar” given to the participants.

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TC CINEMAGOGUE PRESENTS “ON THE BANKS OF THE TIGRIS” AT TC BY CHANA MEIR Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue series will present “On the Banks of the Tigris” on Saturday, January 21, at 7 pm. The movie documents Iraqi refugee Majid Shokor on his journey from Australia to Israel, Europe and Iraq to track down the songs he loved as a child in Baghdad. As he seeks out the exiled musicians who sing and play these songs, he discovers the music’s Jewish roots, which the Ba’ath Party had tried to obscure. His travels end in a concert that crosses the boundaries of religious and politics at London’s Barbican Centre. “On the Banks of the Tigris” won the Best Documentary Award at the Baghdad International Film Festival and the “Audience Choice Award” at the Arab Film Festival. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or office@

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GOLDENBERG SERIES PRESENTS THE SILVERWOOD CLARINET CHOIR BY CHANA MEIR Temple Concord’s Regina P. Goldenberg Cultural Series will present “Music – Uniting the World,” a concert by the Silverwood Clarinet Choir, with guest conductor Travis Newton, on Monday, January 23, at 7 pm. The range of works to be performed is said to reflect the choir’s mission to “bring musical communication to diverse audiences.” The program will include original musical compositions by composers from Finland, Italy, South America, Canada, Belgium, Australia and the United States, some of which are regional premieres. Included will be “The Klezmer Suite” by Martijn Rondel, of Holland. Guest conductor Travis Newton is an assistant professor at LeMoyne College, where he directs the college’s Chamber Orchestra. The choir’s previous performance at Temple Concord was chosen as a weekend “Best Bet” by the Syracuse Post-Standard. The event will be free and open to the public. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 475-9952 or

JANUARY 5, 2017/7 TEVET 5777 ■



First in the region: Syracuse Jewish Family Service launches M-Power U – a learning community for early memory loss BY ELLEN SOMERS Syracuse Jewish Family Service at Menorah Park is launching a new program unique to the Central New York region: M-Power U – A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss. MPU will seek to empower people to “take charge” of their emotional, cognitive and physical health to achieve overall wellness. Designed as a social program to incorporate peer support, MPU is said to be geared “expressly and exclusively” toward individuals who are first experiencing cognitive changes, such as mild memory loss, mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia. Experts have said that earlier intervention means a better quality of life through adoption of a “brain-healthy lifestyle,” increased knowledge of coping skills and stress management techniques, creation of a stronger support network, improved mood and self-confidence, and “meaningful involvement” in the community. The program’s goal is to provide “a stimulating, comfortable and enjoyable environment” that supports participants’ ability to adopt a brain-healthy lifestyle; acquire techniques to help deal with memory loss or

other cognitive changes; develop a supportive network with others who are dealing with similar issues; and obtain information and resources to help manage and cope with current and anticipated needs. SJFS identified the need for services for individuals with early memory loss in the Central New York community and was able to secure seed funding from the Brookdale Foundation in New York City to initiate MPU. SJFS Director Judith Huober said, “There were no programs in Central New York providing this targeted type of approach to early memory loss; and yet, a growing body of research indicates there are many steps people can take to preserve confidence and a sense of well-being, especially if they start early. No, there is no magic ingredient to ensure protection of the mind, but we know that a combination of physical activity and mental exercise in a social group setting do promote brain health, sustain cognitive abilities, help people adapt and cope, and remain independent. “This program offers a fun and appealing way for individuals who are starting to experience some changes in their cognitive abilities to counteract the common

The positive effects of the Jewish Federation’s support BY JULIE TORNBERG The Syracuse Area Jewish Educators received a community program fund grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York for its annual All Schools Program in March. For this program, SAJE invited the Bible Players, a two-man theater group focused on educating Jewish students in kindergarten-seventh grade through comedic storytelling, to put on “Mordy and Esther to the Rescue.” The show taught about “kavod” (respect) through the story of Purim. When students were not involved in the main shows, they completed hands-on activities related to the performances. The program also included the PJ Library®, which provided similar activities related to Purim for younger

children. Students who participated in the performance and classroom activities were able to attend the program with students in their respective synagogues, as well as students from other synagogues and other parts of the community. Some of the activities required group work and participation with the goal of providing “a meaningful way to develop and deepen friendships.” By all the schools working together and with the support of Federation’s community program fund grant, SAJE was able to bring in the Bible Players and “strengthen the bonds throughout the Jewish community.” The organizers have thanked the Jewish Federation of Central New York for helping them “to enrich their children’s education.”

DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – The Diaper Bank of Central New York BY JACKIE MIRON The National Council of Jewish Women and the Pomeranz, Shankman, Martin Foundation have partnered to donate $1,000 worth of diapers to the recently established CNY Diaper Bank. There has been some recent news coverage on the problem faced by many families Jackie Miron to access an adequate supply of diapers for babies and toddlers. Diapers are a basic unmet need for children given the large number of homes in poverty in the immediate area. The CNY Diaper Bank aims to centralize fund-raising and distribution of diapers to families in need through existing providers, including food pantries, childcare centers, social service agencies and shelters. The challenges facing families are not only financial, but include limited access to transportation to purchase diapers, membership at discount big box stores or even the lack of washers and dryers for laundering cloth diapers. Desperation has led to families reusing diapers, using female sanitary products, and changing diapers infrequently, which can result in not only babies’ discomfort and crying, but also in some cases, severe diaper rash. Think of the parent with child care options limited by the inability to leave an adequate supply of diapers. Being unable to sufficiently meet this basic need can cause a parent to feel inadequate, stressed and at increased risk to abuse due to anxiety. Families are able to receive diapers through a large network of partner agencies in Central New York. National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots organization of volunteers who “strive for social justice by improving quality of life for women, children, and families by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.” NCJW partners with PSM Foundation in an annual


mitzvah project to benefit a program at McCarthy @ Beard, part of Syracuse City School District, to enhance social, emotional, behavior and academic concerns. Items are brought to the annual NCJW Hannah G. Solomon award luncheon by members, guests and patrons, and distributed to the school. To learn more about the CNY Diaper Bank, visit To find out more about the local section of the NCJW, contact Cantor Fran Berg at This is just one more instance of local Jewish agencies fulfilling the mitzvah of tzedakah by helping children with such a basic need.

tendency to retreat. Sometimes fear and anxiety or depression lead people to socialize less, to avoid learning how to cope and feel better, and to stop doing some of the activities they had previously enjoyed. Unfortunately, this response can exacerbate the symptoms of memory loss and prevent people from seeking help that could be truly beneficial for them. MPU’s goal is to help people replace a sense of fear and shame with a proactive approach, implementing strategies and lifestyle modifications and be empowered to live well.” MPU’s holistic approach will employ a variety of media, including educational presentations, cognitively challenging exercises, creative writing, painting, music, physical activity and movement therapies. Periodic community excursions to art museums/galleries and other cultural venues will also be offered. State-of-the-art programming will address a variety of topics through education and practice: ‹‹ Memory and cognitive training: various cognitive exercises that help individuals use and strengthen their cognitive skills, as well as strategies that can help them compensate for affected skills. Practical in-session and take-home exercises aimed at improving everyday remembering, such as memory for names, appointments, location of items and things to do. ‹‹ Lifestyle choices: Education that explains how diet, physical exercise and stress reduction impact memory ability and how to make simple lifestyle changes to create a more brain healthy lifestyle. ‹‹ Mind and body exercise: engage in creative and expressive arts (such as creative writing, music and movement therapy), participate in brain-healthy physical activities (such as Tai Chi and Chi Kung), develop healthy habits and join in adult education discussions. Periodic community excursions to art museums and galleries, and other cultural venues, will also be offered. ‹‹ Coping strategies: Relaxation, stress reduction and resilience training. ‹‹ Family support: Discovering approaches for effectively living with a relative experiencing MCI. To ensure maximum benefit, enrollment will be capped at 15 participants. Although the program activities are specifically for persons with early memory loss, supportive services such as information and referral, case management and counseling can also be provided to family members and care partners through SJFS services. Led by a team of professional staff and trained interns and volunteers, MPU will be offered every Monday from 9:30 am-1:30 pm beginning on Monday, January 23, in the Veranda Room at Menorah Park, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. Enrollment is now open. To learn more about becoming a participant or to volunteer, contact Ellen Somers, SJFS assistant director, at 446-9111, ext. 225, or at If there is sufficient demand, a second weekly session will be added. There will be a daily fee, which will include lunch and a snack. For those demonstrating financial need, a reduced rate is possible. The cost of most excursions will be included, but special excursions might incur additional fees.

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SHDS participates in Otto’s Fall Reading Kickoff

BY STACY SEIDMAN During November, the Syracuse Hebrew Day School participated in Otto’s Fall Reading Kickoff, which was sponsored by the Syracuse University School of Education and Drivers’ Village. Otto, Syracuse University’s mascot, “requested” that the students, their families and teachers read at least 20 minutes every day from November 1-19. Participants also had to fill out a football-themed reading log to keep track of all the reading they completed. The SHDS staff decided to make a football-themed bulletin board to display the Otto football logs. Students filled out so many reading logs that the school had to hang them from the floor up to the ceiling, and in some parts, they even had to be hung across the ceiling. As a result of this reading program, all the SHDS readers were able to attend the Syracuse Orange versus Florida State football game on November 19 at no charge. Teachers, families and other guests were able to purchase discounted tickets. Many SHDS families attended. Aside from

Syracuse Hebrew Day School students participated in Otto’s Fall Reading Kickoff, which was sponsored by the Syracuse University School of Education and Drivers’ Village. Front row (l-r): Dory Sinclair, “Otto” the mascot, Kaitlyn Cohen and Hazel Baltzersen. Back row: Leora Zames, Matthew Blumenthal, Arielle Eglash, Shimi Cooper, Zachary Fellman, Jonah Sahm and teacher Stacy Seidman.

cheering on the Syracuse Orange, families saw many local marching bands, received free bobbleheads and watched the football game. The SHDS students were invited to go on the field after the game to “meet” Otto and take pictures. Since the school had participated in the reading challenge and game, representatives from the Syracuse University School of Education and Drivers’ Village visited the school with Otto, who “personally thanked” the school for participating in the reading kickoff. He was able to spend time with the students during lunch on December 2. Everyone was also able to have a picture taken with the mascot. Overall, participants and teachers were said to have judged this “a great program” to entice groups in the Syracuse community to share their love of reading and education – as well as “a good way to show love” for the Syracuse Orange. Since the program was considered “such a success” this year at SHDS, the school is already scheduled to participate in next year’s reading kickoff.

Beginners running program coming to the JCC January 11 BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Syracuse Chargers Track Club will once again hold its “Everyone Can Run Beginners Program” at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s Neulander Sports and Fitness Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt,


She said, “It is always wonderful to gather with my colleagues and see what dedicated and caring people we all are. Tolerance is a topic of each of our everyday lives. We should all learn to be more tolerant and understanding of ourselves and those we do not know.” The gathering brought together congregational school principals and directors of congregational learning, early childhood directors, bureau and agency personnel and family and informal educators from across North America and Israel. This year’s theme was “Tolerance – The Stone that the Builders Rejected Later Became the Cornerstone.” The conference addressed a wide range of issues relating to tolerance, including gender identity, bullying, substance abuse and compulsive behaviors, use of language, special needs and inclusion, and political and cultural

beginning on Wednesday, January 11. The free, eight-week program will run on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm through March 1 at the Fitness Center’s indoor track. The mantra of the Chargers is, “If you can walk, you can run!” The program,

which will be open to individuals age 14 and older, is designed to teach beginners the proper way to run. Participants will start out slowly by mostly walking, and then increase running intervals each week on a set schedule. Information on running and related topics will also

be presented during each session. All participants will receive a Syracuse Chargers pedometer. For more information and to register, call the JCC Sports and Fitness Center at 234-4522 or visit www.

Continued from page 4

tolerance, as well as issues relating to Israel. The opening session emphasized the JEA mission for Jewish educators to “grow Jewish souls.” Conference participants watched “Freedom Song,” a performance by the residents and former residents of Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish rehabilitation center. In the play, the performers tell the parallel stories of a family Passover seder and an AA meeting, weaving themes together as they confront their personal and family issues. Musician Craig Taubman sang and spoke of his work with the Pico Union Project, an undertaking that has restored the original Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and turned it into a multi-cultural worship, faith, study and performance center. In her concert, Julie Silver had many in the audience up on their feet, singing and dancing.

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Conference participants visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance and then went on to American Jewish University, home of the Ziegler School of Education and the Fingerhut School of Education, where they studied text on a pluralistic society with Rabbi Elliott Dorff, AJU’s rector. They listened


“Meet the Text,” a monthly opportunity to engage with Rabbi Paul Drazen in a group setting and study selections of the Mishnah. Rabbi Drazen said, “So much of Jewish life can be traced back to the Mishnah, the first Jewish law code. This discussion group looks at the Mishnah text to review the origins of traditional observance, and Hebrew is not required.” The event has been called “an opportunity to get back to the source and meet the text.” The group will meet for the topic “Happy New Year: For the Trees” on

out of planning their big day! Issue Date: February 2 • Ad Deadline: January 25

To advertise in our upcoming Simcha & Party Planning Guide special ad section, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext 244 or Tommy Blum practiced his gross motor skills while waving a ribbon in an up and down motion during Toddlers in Motion at the Temple Adath Yeshurun Rothschild Early Childhood Center.

to Rabbi Brad Artson, dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. Tornberg said that the conference provided “a rich opportunity for professional growth, exploration of new trends and ideas, and acquisition of concrete programs and materials to bring back to CBS-CS and its religious school.”

Continued from page 4

Sunday, January 22. Upcoming topics will look at Purim on Sunday, February 12, and Passover on Sunday, March 26. The final discussion group in the series will be held on Sunday, April 23. Members from high school and older have been invited to join in the review of rabbinic teaching in Rabbi Drazen’s office at 11 am. Members of the community have been invited to attend. For more information, contact Rabbi Drazen at CREATIVE MOVEMENT PROGRAM AT RECC BY SONALI WIJESURIYA The Temple Adath Yeshurun Rothschild Early Childhood Center is offering an extra-curricular program, “Toddlers in Motion,” which will be appropriate for both boys and girls ages 1-5. It’s designed to stimulate young children’s minds and bodies through creative movement, sensory play, language acquisition activities, gross and fine motor skills, and imagination. Creative movement is said to help with coordination, balance, endurance and body awareness RECC Director Alicia Gross said, “We are thrilled to offer this program to enhance our curriculum, giving children the opportunity to build healthy habits by expressing themselves through creative movement.” To see photos of Toddlers in Motion at RECC or other programs and events, visit the RECC Facebook page at www. For more information about this program or the Rothschild Early Childhood Center, contact Gross at 4450049 or

JANUARY 5, 2017/7 TEVET 5777 ■


Menorah Park’s Center for Healthy Living to serve all the seniors of CNY BY STEWART KOENIG Menorah Park of Central New York is said to have taken “a major step” toward “realizing a dream of serving the aging Central New York population in a holistic way” with the late-fall groundbreaking for its “Center for Healthy Living.” According to CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood, the Center for Healthy Living at Menorah Park places “a high value on the integration of mind, body and spirit” to achieve health and wellness. She said, “These new approaches to wellness look beyond medical concerns to integrate seven dimensions of well-being: physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, vocational and environmental.” To this end, the Center for Healthy Living will be intergenerational, engaging Menorah Park residents, families, children, staff and the community. Bloodgood said participation in the center’s programs will be open to all seniors in Central New York and transportation will be provided to bring people to Menorah Park. Renovations to existing spaces at Menorah Park’s Jewish Health and Rehabilitation Center for phase one of the center have begun, with an anticipated opening of mid-March. This includes a new bistro using an open architectural style with glass walls, and outdoor spaces encompassing new gardens, walking paths, fountains and more. Bloodgood said the bistro will employ five additional employees and will have

an emphasis on “mindful eating.” The Center for Healthy Living will have numerous programs involving nutrition, physical and occupational therapy, medical day care, workforce training for caregivers, health clinics, social activities and special events. In addition, the center will provide home-based services, including meal delivery, mental and physical health assessments, home health aides, social services and case management, home safety assessments and transportation. Bloodgood said the cost of phase one is approximately $1 million and is totally funded. She gave credit to supporters of Menorah Park for making this happen, specifically the principle donors: the Pomeranz, Shankman, and Martin Charitable Foundation; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; the Legacy Heritage Fund; Wendy Meyerson and Andrew Fox; the J. Jeffrey Solomon Community Fund (by sons, Neal and Phillip, in honor of J. Jeffrey Solomon); Paul and Kathleen Solomon; the Jerome L. and Arlene Gerber Family Foundation; Health Direct; the Leonard and Irwin Kamp Foundation; and the Auxiliary of Menorah Park. Menorah Park Board President Mark Schulman said, “I want to thank those who have already contributed toward the Center for Healthy Living and ask for the support of our entire community. Menorah Park serves the whole community and needs everyone’s support to continue providing our important services.”


L-r: Seen at the groundbreaking for phase one of the Menorah Park Center for Healthy Living were Mike Svendsen, nursing home administrator; Victoria Kohl, consulting grant writer; Mary Ellen Bloodgood, Menorah Park CEO; Gary Zausmer, president of Zausmer-Frisch Scruton and Aggarwal Design and Builders; Russ Martin, director of buildings and grounds; Jarrod Charsky, director of dining services; and Mark Nish, construction project manager, Zausmer-Frisch Scruton, and Aggarwal Design and Builders.

JCC’s “New Year, New You” class begins January 9 BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syarcuse’s Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center in DeWitt will offer a “New Year, New You” group training class starting on Monday, January 9. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 pm for eight weeks through March 1. “Whatever your goals – from weight loss and muscle

gain to toning and balance – the JCC’s ‘New Year, New You’ program can help,” said JCC Sports and Fitness Director Patrick Scott, M.S., CSCS. “The class is limited to eight people and will take a personal approach to working with the individual participants.” The training program will focus on nutrition, weights, cardio training, stretching, core strength and more.Activities will be tailored to all fitness levels, so participants can vary

their workout intensity based on their abilities and goals. Scott added, “Don’t let your New Year’s fitness resolution fall by the wayside. This program will teach you how to get the results you want – and keep them all year long.” Pre-registration is required for the “New Year, New You” class. Registration is discounted for JCC fitness members. For more information or to register for the program, call the JCC Fitness Center at 234-4522 or visit

Super Sunday


9 am to 3 pm Sunday, January 15, 2017 at the JCC Give us one hour of your time to volunteer.

Join us for breakfast and/or lunch… Jo and make some phone calls! Bring your own cell phone or we’ll provide one. We also need envelope stuffers! Training provided.

5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214 Tel: 315-445-0161 • Fax: 315-445-1559 •


To volunteer, please call Jessica at 445-2040 ext.102,

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Josh Radnor, beyond “How I Met Your Mother”

BY CURT SCHLEIER (JTA) – Josh Radnor is starring these days in Richard Greenberg’s off-Broadway play “The Babylon Line.” For the 42-year-old actor, it is the latest in a long and impressive list of credits. However, the odds are that no matter what else he

accomplishes in life, for most people he will always be Ted Mosby, the man who spent nearly a decade telling his TV children – along with millions of viewers across the country – how he met their mother. The beloved sitcom “How I Met Your

Thou Shalt Ride

Members of Thou Shalt Ride of Central New York celebrated Chanukah at the home of Joel and Ruth Stein in Syracuse. Thou Shalt Ride is a relatively new Central New York motorcycle club affiliated with the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance. The club’s goals include fellowship, scenic rides and support for Holocaust education. For more club information, contact Joel Stein at L-r: Dave Channin, Dan and Pat Gordon, Peter and Beth Caplan, and Rivka and Arielle Channin.


either over-promised or were rolled by Arab interlocutors and the Palestinians. In one instance, in September 2009, Obama officials said a number of Arab states – not including Saudi Arabia – were ready to announce overtures to Israel, when an announcement of building in eastern Jerusalem scuttled the deal. No meaningful gestures ever emerged from the wider Arab world, and Abbas didn’t show up for talks until the freeze was about to expire – and then promptly insisted on an extension of the freeze in exchange for their continuation. Instead of providing a boost to peace talks, the Obama strategy produced paralysis. The Palestinians now expect to be rewarded with Israeli concessions simply for showing up at the negotiating table. And if they don’t get any, they apparently are content to sit on their hands and wait for the international community to impose a solution. By letting the resolution pass, the Obama administration has essentially validated that strategy while boosting right-wing politicians in Israel now pressing Netanyahu to abandon the two-state approach entirely. 2. Did Netanyahu blow diplomatic gains by Sharon and Olmert? Depending on which sources you want to believe, former Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert translated warm relations with President George W.

Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Reaser in “The Babylon Line” (Photo by Jeremy Daniel) twice, worked with great playwrights. But writing and directing [provides] a sense of newness. I think the truth is I love them all, but for different reasons. I like that my career has branched out, which means I don’t have to choose.” At least for the near future, Radnor will be concentrating on acting. “The Babylon Line” has received mixed to positive reviews – none of which he has read. “I find as an actor it doesn’t help me,” he said. “Even a positive review can get in my head.” Radnor plays Aaron Port, a less than successful writer who commutes on the Long Island Rail Road from his Greenwich Village home to teach an evening adult ed. writing class. His six students are a mixed See “Radnor” on page 12

Continued from page 2

Bush into unprecedented U.S. acceptance of continued, albeit limited, settlement construction prior to a final status agreement. Compare that to where things stand today and it makes sense to take a look at Netanyahu’s approach to the Obama administration. Two caveats before jumping in: Just what the Bush administration agreed to regarding settlement construction and how formal those agreements were are a matter of debate. And let’s acknowledge there is little to suggest that Obama and his aides had any interest in running with the Bush-Sharon/Olmert framework. That said, if Netanyahu was serious about securing the Obama administration’s support for the maximal Israeli view of the Bush-Sharon understandings – in particular the green light on building in certain settlements – he had a funny way of showing it. By all accounts, the Israeli quid in the deal was the unambiguous endorsement of a Palestinian state plus the Gaza disengagement and dismantling of the four West Bank settlements. Netanyahu campaigned against all of the above and spent his first few months in office refusing to reaffirm Israel’s support for Palestinian statehood. Yes, after a few months in office, Netanyahu embraced the two-state goal, but by then suspicions about his true intentions had increased – doubts that were reinforced by Netanyahu’s assertion during the

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Mother” aired for nine seasons and won nine Emmy Awards. Radnor’s Mosby transformed him from episodic actor to star. But given the Jewish actor’s impressive range of projects since “Mother” ended in 2103 – starring in a Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway production; writing a book; appearing in another TV series, PBS’s “Mercy Street,” as well as writing, directing and starring in two films – it makes one wonder: Is Mosby ever a burden? “When something becomes very popular and people identify you with that, they sometimes have a narrow view of you,” Radnor told JTA in a telephone interview. “[‘How I Met Your Mother’] is a loved series and a lot of people want you to be that person and get slightly offended when you’re not. It’s a strange thing.” He added: “The blessings far outweigh the burden – that’s not the right word. But it does cast a long shadow. So I try to move in a different direction while at the same time honoring the thing.” Among those “different directions” are his film projects, “Happythankyoumoreplease,” which won the audience award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and “Liberal Arts,” which premiered in 2012. Radnor expects to start production on a third film this spring. “If you told me I had to stop acting for some reason, I could really say I’ve had a nice run,” he said. “I’ve worked on a couple of TV shows, been on Broadway

2015 campaign that no Palestinian state would be created on his watch. Another, perhaps more important, shift was Netanyahu’s abandonment of Sharon and Olmert’s strategy of bending over backwards to downplay disagreements with the White House. If anything, Team Netanyahu took the opposite approach, from airing public disagreements to disparaging Obama administration officials to playing footsie with Republicans. However wrong you think Obama was, it’s still worth asking whether a more cordial and collaborative approach from Netanyahu would have produced a different outcome. 3. Why did Egypt back this resolution? A major Israeli talking point in recent years has been that regional chaos in the Middle East and Arab fears of Iran have created a new era of behind-the-scenes Israeli-Arab cooperation. One consequence of this new reality, we’ve been told, is that Arab governments are much more worried about ISIS and Iran than they are about the Palestinians. Yet it was Egypt that first introduced this resolution. And though Egypt eventually withdrew the resolution under pressure from Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump, it ended up voting for the measure anyway after four other countries put it up for a vote. Was Egypt’s introduction of the resolution and subsequent “yes” vote about coordinating with the Obama administration or addressing domestic audiences? If the latter, it suggests that Arab leaders are still feeling internal pressure to make progress on the Palestinian front. 4. What does Putin want? Trump has made clear his eagerness to come to an understanding with Russian President Vladimir Putin on how to calm the region and defeat ISIS. Obama is on his way out, but Putin isn’t going anywhere, so it’s worth noting that Russia voted for the resolution (and is a seemingly satisfied partner to the Iran nuclear deal). What emphasis, if any, will Putin put on Israeli-Palestinian issues when he and Trump put their heads together about the Middle East? 5. Does Trump want a peace process? In recent months, Trump has consis-

tently stressed a no daylight-style line regarding his future dealings with Israel — a message that some left-wingers and right-wingers alike have interpreted as a willingness to let the two-state solution die and give a green light to Netanyahu to proceed as he sees fit. But Trump also continues to talk about what a great accomplishment it would be if he could help broker an Israeli-Palestinian deal. And in criticizing the U.N. resolution, Trump sounded very much like someone thinking about the next round of talks, complaining that the move “puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position.” Another sign that the incoming president could be serious about future talks: His naming of a trusted, longtime aide, Jason Greenblatt, the chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, as his administration’s special representative for international negotiations. 6. If this resolution is good for the two-state solution, why are Hamas and Islamic Jihad so happy? Among those cheering the resolution are Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two terrorist groups opposed to a two-state solution (not to mention Israel’s existence). 7. How strong is Jewish opposition to the resolution? The criticism isn’t just coming from the right. Centrists groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee issued sharp condemnations. The Israel Policy Forum – a staunch advocate of U.S. efforts to secure a two-state solution – came out against the resolution, citing the U.N.’s abysmal record on Israel, the lack of balance in the resolution itself and the effect of galvanizing Israeli opponents of a two-state solution. Yes, several left-wing groups (including New Israel Fund, J Street, Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu) voiced varying levels of support for the resolution. But prior to the vote, the Union for Reform Judaism – the largest liberal group, and a frequent critic of the Netanyahu government and settlements – declared that it stood “firmly against any U.N. resolution that would dictate the way forward on this complicated issue.” Ami Eden is the CEO and executive editor of JTA and its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

JANUARY 5, 2017/7 TEVET 5777 ■


Neo-Nazi website calls for armed march in Whitefish, MT, to harass Jewish community BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – The man who runs the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer has announced an armed march by white supremacists in an effort to harass a Montana Jewish community. The web graphic published on December 23 announcing the march in Whitefish, MT, was published over a picture of the entrance to Auschwitz and included a yellow Star of David with the word “Jude” printed in it. Whitefish is home to white supremacist leader Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist think tank. In November, he spoke at a white supremacist event in Washington, DC, celebrating President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. At the event, Spencer said “Hail Trump!” and was greeted by Nazi salutes. The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist publication,

published a blog post earlier in December calling for followers to “take action” against Jews in Whitefish by writing and calling them with antisemitic messages. The post claimed that Jewish residents were “threatening” Spencer’s mother’s business in the town. The post included the names, phone numbers and addresses of Jewish Whitefish residents – in addition to the Twitter handle and photo of a child. The post also included photos of Jewish residents of Whitefish emblazoned with yellow stars. Along with using a number of antisemitic slurs, the post warned readers against using “violence or threats of violence or anything close to that.” A local rabbi recently encouraged people to send notes of sympathy to the Jewish harassment victims in Whitefish and asked people to put a menorah in their window to show solidarity with the Jews of Whitefish,


the ADL said in a statement issued on December 23. In response, Anglin told his followers to put Nazi flags in their windows and to put Nazi swastikas on their cars, homes and businesses; he also called on his followers to send hateful messages to two anti-hate organizations targeted by Anglin’s campaign, according to the ADL. The local government of Whitefish, which has 6,000 full-time residents, has rejected Spencer’s ideas. “Not only is Anglin harassing the Jewish community of Whitefish, he is at the same time exploiting the situation there to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish power and control. He alleges that Jews have targeted white supremacists and antisemites, but now he is somehow turning the tables on them,” the ADL said. The ADL said it has been in regular contact with the Whitefish Jews singled out by Anglin, as well as law enforcement.

“City” of military training bases is the latest gamechanger in southern Israel BY JUDY LASH BALINT A not-so-quiet demographic and geographic revolution is taking place in Israel these days. After years of planning, concrete efforts are underway to shift populations – particularly educated and younger sectors of Israeli society – away from the overcrowded and overpriced center of the country. The new destination is the southern Negev region and its wide-open spaces, ushering in the 21st century version of pioneering Zionism. At the expansive new Israel Defense Forces City of Training Bases that rises up out of the Negev sands on Route 40, base commander Col. Avi Motola, 46, explains how the region will be affected as the IDF closes old training bases scattered throughout Israel and centralizes the most advanced training for defense forces in the world at the ultra-modern facility under his command. With 10,000 soldiers from every part of Israel’s armed forces, the base – known in Hebrew as Ir HaBahadim and named for late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – functions like a small town. “They call me Mayor Motola,” quips the commander as he encourages visitors to view the six dining halls, two synagogues, a convention center, sports facilities, extensive housing, schools of military medicine and military logistics, and a range of state-of-the-art simulator facilities that train combat medics and military drivers. Training commander Major Kobi Assulin is responsible for what he calls “the most advanced training in the world to produce professional soldiers in the shortest time.” The base uses an array of the latest high-tech educational techniques, taught by proficient soldier-teachers in their mid-20s. The transient young inductees who complete their ultra-sophisticated training at the base will move on to regular service in combat units on all of Israel’s battlefronts. It’s the more mature career officers and training staffers – set to be permanently stationed at the base and to reside in the surrounding towns – who will have a role in changing the face of Israel’s southern sector. Motola points out that 65 percent of Israel’s population currently lives in the center of the country, between Tel Aviv and Hadera. The city of Be’er Sheva and the Negev region comprise around 60 percent of Israel’s total land area and contain only 9 percent of the country’s population. Traditionally, many Negev towns were perceived as

The Israel Defense Forces City of Training Bases in the Negev created hundreds of jobs for residents of nearby towns like Yeruham, which is pictured here. (Photo by Judy Lash Balint)


downtrodden “peripheral” areas. “Encouraging high-level career personnel to come and populate the Negev is a great contribution to the country,” Motola asserts. Over the next five years, two additional massive bases are expected to be completed in the Negev – one dedicated to intelligence, the other to communications – and “the IDF ultimately sees itself relocating the majority of soldiers to the Negev,” Motola says. The need for support staff for the 10,000 soldiers – mainly consisting of food and maintenance services workers – provides jobs for hundreds living in nearby towns like Yeruham. Building supplies and construction labor for the bases are also based in the Negev. The ambitious initiative is based on the vision of Israeli founding father Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who stated in 1955, “Israel’s capacity for science and research will be tested in the Negev… and this effort will determine the fate of the state of Israel.” There are two main anchors of the current Negev plan, which was adopted into law by several Israeli government resolutions – including Resolution 546, passed in 2013, which called for the transfer of IDF bases to the Negev, and Resolution 5154, adopted a year earlier, which designated Be’er Sheva as a “priority area in order to establish it as the Negev Regional Metropolis.”

The new Israel Defense Forces City of Training Bases in the Negev. (Photo by Judy Lash Balint)

L-r: Training commander Major Kobi Assulin and base commander Col. Avi Motola spoke at the Israel Defense Forces City of Training Bases in the Negev. (Photo by Judy Lash Balint) With the implementation of the plan and the leadership of 45-year-old Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, Be’er Sheva has undergone a swift transformation from a “dry, hot and neglected backwater” – as Ishay Avital, the city’s foreign press liaison, describes it – to “the rising star of Israel.” The rise in Be’er Sheva’s fortunes is obvious to anyone visiting the city, with its hundreds of new high-rise apartment blocks, brand new River Park and amphitheater, new stadium, revitalized and restored Old City, new performance halls and 15 shopping malls. But it’s the Advanced Technologies Park that’s the centerpiece of its economic revitalization. After the IDF moved its Computer Services Directorate to the Be’er Sheva-based Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 2013, the foundation was set for a joint initiative between the Be’er Sheva municipality and the university. According to BGU spokesman Ehud Zion Waldoks, the three elements of academia, industry and the government/army led to a “unique opportunity” for a “collaborative research ecosystem.” BGU’s student

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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.

Saturday, January 7

Temple Concord Tot Shabbat at 9 am Sunday, January 8 TC Brotherhood meeting at 9:30 am TC Sisterhood event at 9:30 am TC Scholar Series at 11 am Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas intergenerational ice skating at 1 pm Council of Jewish Organizations leadership training from 1-5 pm Tuesday, January 10 Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series presents Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 6:45 pm Wednesday, January 11 Syracuse Community Hebrew School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 4-6 pm TC adult education on death and dying with Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 7 pm Thursday, January 12 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Saturday, January 14 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse High School Battle of the Bands at 7 pm at the JCC Sunday, January 15 Jewish Federation of Central New York Super Sunday from 9 am-3 pm at the JCC CBS-CS Hazak presents Cantor Marvin Moskowitz at 2 pm Tuesday, January 17 JCC Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by a Board of Directors meeting at 7 pm Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series presents Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 6:45 pm Wednesday, January 18 Deadline for February 2 issue of the Jewish Observer Syracuse Community Hebrew School at TAY from 4-6 pm TAY Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by Board of Trustees meeting at 7 pm Federation Board of Trustees meeting at 6:15 pm CBS-CS Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 pm Thursday, January 19 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Saturday, January 21 Temple Concord Cinemagogue screening of “On the Banks of the Tigris” at 7:30 pm Monday, January 23 TC Regina P. Goldenberg Cultural Series presents “Music - Uniting the World,” a concert by the Silverwood Clarinet Choir with guest conductor Travis Newton at 7 pm

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Holding onto your roots BY RABBI DANIEL FELLMAN We American Jews are hardly the first Jews to live in a welcoming society. German Jews, Spanish Jews and even Greek Jews knew the challenges, both beneficial and disadvantageous, of living within another culture. Our American experience stands out for the heights we have achieved – more institutions of higher Jewish learning; more achievements in science, literature and politics; more opportunity and more acceptance than at any other time in history. We Jews have not always been so lucky. Too often in our history, host cultures have been cruel and unwelcoming. This Shabbat, as we read Vayichi, the final parasha of Genesis, we encounter our people’s first experiences with assimilation. Joseph had been sold into slavery and, through good fortune, re-emerged as the “number two” to Pharaoh in Egypt. After reconnecting with his brothers, and sending for the entire extended family, Joseph and all of Jacob’s family become welcome guests in Egypt. Jacob, already ripe of age, calls his favorite son and demands of him a promise. When Jacob dies, he wants to be buried in the cave of Machpelah with his parents and grandparents. No matter how good things are in Egypt, Jacob still remembers his roots, his traditions and

his people. And he wants to return to those roots, to be returned to the family plot. In making this request, Jacob’s motives might be manifold. On the one hand, he may well have just preferred to be interred with his ancestors. Another option – Jacob wanted to make sure that his sons and their families had one more tutorial in their own tradition in the hopes that it would help them hold on to that legacy even with the pressures of assimilation in Egypt. Joseph follows his father’s wishes and accompanies Jacob’s remains, along with his family, back to the land of Israel for the burial at Machpelah. And in time, when Joseph himself faced his end, he, too, made the same request of his sons. Jacob wrestled his whole life – with God, with his family and with his future. The consummate parent, Jacob never stopped trying to parent, trying to guide his offspring. And Joseph not only learned the lesson, he passed it on to his children. Parenting never ends, and every parent recognizes the desire to help their children navigate an often confusing world. Jacob and Joseph offer an intriguing model. Do what you need to do to survive, ingratiate yourself as much as you can, but never ever forget your roots! Rabbi Daniel Fellman is the rabbi at Temple Concord.

A 2,100-year-old wine press unearthed at Israeli school construction site (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to – An archaeological survey by the Israel Antiquities Authority in preparation for the construction of a new elementary school in the city of Ashkelon has revealed a 2,100-year-old wine press dating back to the Hellenistic Period. Alongside the wine press, which is the oldest one ever found in the area, excavations uncovered the remains of a large building. The findings appear to indicate that a large farm existed and operated there during the late Hellenistic Period. The square wine press consists of a flat surface where people trampled wine grapes with their bare feet to extract the juice, a pit used to separate the grape skins from the grape juice, and a collecting vat into which the filtered grape juice was piped. All sections of the press were covered with a thick layer of white plaster mixed with seashells to prevent the liquid from leaking out. Ilan Peretz, the excavation’s director, explained that the building discovered next to the wine press appears to have been used for storing wine jugs and for housing workers. “Although we knew that there had been extensive agricultural activity, especially wine production, in the area during Roman and Byzantine

The 2,100-year-old wine press unearthed at an Ashkelon construction site. (Photo by Assaf Peretz/ Israel Antiquities Authority) times, we are now seeing evidence that the farming activity began much earlier than that,” Peretz said. The IAA and Ashkelon authorities intend to preserve the wine press in the yard of the school and to have children take part in the preservation efforts.

Coin dating to Maccabean revolt unearthed in Jerusalem (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to – A bronze coin that was in circulation in the time of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who decreed that the Jews must be annihilated and during whose reign the Maccabean revolt recalled in the Chanukah story took place, has been discovered at the Tower of David archaeological site in Jerusalem. The discovery, made during routine maintenance work, was a surprise to archaeologists working at the Tower of David citadel. The archaeologists believed they had thoroughly excavated the site during the last few decades. Nevertheless, chief conservator Orna Cohen noticed a metal object among the stones of the Hasmonean Wall inside the citadel. A careful examination revealed that it was a bronze prutah, a coin that was used more than 2,000 years ago. The front of the coin features Antiochus

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At right: The newly discovered b ro n z e c o i n dating to the era of the Chanukah story. (Photo by Israel Antiquities Authority) wearing a crown. The other side features the image of a goddess wrapped in a scarf. Officials from the Tower of David noted that while there is no date on the coin, “we know that these coins were minted in Acre, which in that time was called Ptolemais, apparently between 172 and 168 B.C.E.” Antiochus’ death sentence on the Jewish people sparked the Maccabean revolt, in which a small minority defeated much greater forces, leading to the re-sanctification the Holy Temple and the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days, an event commemorated by the recent Chanukah holiday. Director and Chief Curator of the Tower of David Museum Eilat Lieber said the coin “offers additional evidence that backs up historical accounts and upholds what took place here.”

JANUARY 5, 2017/7 TEVET 5777 ■



Stanley L. Becker died on December 18. A Syracuse native, he went to school, built a business, married and raised his children in Syracuse. He was a graduate of Central High School, and though education was always important to him, he had to do a few things before he was able to return to his love of learning. He served in the Korean War and was discharged from the military as a master sergeant. He took over the tailoring shop his father had bought in the 1950s and, throughout 30 years, grew it into the Genesee Cleaners that his son, Steven, owns today. After 13 years of classes, he earned his bachelor of arts in English literature from Syracuse University at the age of 56. He was also an avid stamp collector and was eventually made an honorary member of the Syracuse Stamp Club. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Helen; his children, Steven (Amy), David and Jeannie (Todd); six grandchildren; and his sister, Gloria (Charlie Hoffman). He was a passionate supporter of Disabled War Veterans. The family would very much appreciate donations to Disabled Veterans National Foundation, 1020 19th St. NW, Suite 475, Washington, DC 20036 or 


Google slammed for directing “Holocaust” search to neo-Nazi website

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to – Google announced it is adjusting its algorithms after users who entered the question “Did the Holocaust happen?” in online searches were directed to a neo-Nazi website. Until recently, the top result the search engine provided to that question was a link to Stormfront, a white supremacist online forum, and an article titled “Top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen.” In an interview with NBC News on Dec. 27, a spokesman for Google did not directly address the controversy, but said, “We strive to give users a breadth of diverse content from a variety of sources, and we’re committed to the principle of a free and open web. Judging which pages on the web best answer a query is a challenging problem and we don’t always get it right.” Google announced it had removed the article from the top of its search results in the U.S. and the U.K. in December, and was working to provide “authoritative results.” In a statement, the search engine giant said it had “made improvements” to its algorithms to provide “more high-quality, credible content on the web.” The search result was first reported by The Guardian and received “overwhelming condemnation” from professionals in the field and Holocaust memorial organizations.

Israeli economy up by 3.5 percent in ‘16

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to – The Israeli economy grew by 3.5 percent in 2016, exceeding the Bank of Israel’s original prediction of 2.8 percent growth, the central bank’s research department said. The bank’s data indicates that Israelis’standard of living grew by 2.9 percent this year, that private consumption rose by 5.9 percent, and that per capita growth increased by 1.5 percent.


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body of 20,000 includes 8,000 engineering students, ultimately producing one-third of all engineers in Israel. As a result, several international companies – including Dell, T-Mobile, IBM and Oracle – have opened operations in Be’er Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park, which is connected by a walkway to the university and Soroka Hospital. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2013 designation of Be’er Sheva as “the cyber capital of the Eastern Hemisphere,” the plan to implement that vision is forging ahead. The National Cyber Center, which will integrate the cyber industry with cutting-edge research and development as well as a strong academic base, is expected to be operational in Be’er Sheva within the next few years. Foreign press liaison Avital notes the substantial foreign interest in Be’er Sheva from countries like Taiwan and China, in addition to the “significant outside investment” pouring into the city. “There are Israeli and foreign investors, and it’s not just out of Zionism – it’s very good business,” says Avital. Both Avital and Waldoks believe that forward-thinking development will encourage college graduates to remain in Be’er Sheva. In fact, the city’s population is already one of the youngest in Israel, with more than 50 percent of residents under age 40. “Bibi mentions Be’er Sheva all the time,” Avital says, using the prime minister’s nickname. “Like him, we believe the future of Israel is here.”



Victor Cohen, 77, of Fayetteville, died on December 14 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Born in Sayre, PA, he served in Vietnam from 1959-61, and was in the reserves until 1965. He received his high school teaching degree from Mansfield State Teachers College in Pennsylvania. He taught social studies at Abington Heights High School in the Scranton area for three years and also coached the debate team. He did his graduate work in history, political science and sociology at Cornell and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He rehabilitated and owned rental properties in the Syracuse University area, and became a real estate broker in the late ‘70s to mid-‘80s. He then developed and owned Aldine Assoc. LLC, a group of rental properties on E. Genesee Street. He retired in 2011. He was deeply engaged in civic life. In particular, he focused on issues of constitutional ruling, racial injustice, taxation and a persistent belief in the need to fight for fairness and long-term solutions to complex problems. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marcia Chernosky Cohen; and his daughters, Sarah Cohen, of Austin, TX, and Rachel Forshee, of Brooklyn. Burial will be in the Beth Sholom section of Oakwood Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Box 271, DeWitt, NY 13214-0271. 


Murray Gilman, 87, died on December 26 at Menorah Park. Born in Boston, he had been a resident of Syracuse since 1954. He was the founder and owner of M. Gilman Real Estate, which he operated for more than 50 years. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served from 1951-53 with headquarters, and headquarters detachment 369 quartermaster battalion. He was a member and past commander of Onondaga Post 131 Jewish War Veterans; a master Mason; and a longstanding member of Temple Adath Yeshurun, where he was a dedicated member of the daily minyan. Murray was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. He was predeceased by his brother, Al, and his sister, Ruth. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sylvia; their children, Robert, Michael, Lori (Terry) Croad and Randi (Matt) Gilman-Snell; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brothers Jason and Harvey (Susan); and sistersin-law Ros Bodow and Jeanette Gilman. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Minyan Fund, Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, NY 13224; or the Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204. 

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Nellie Margaret Lerner (née Susko), 95, died at Menorah Park on December 22. She was born in Auburn. She was predeceased by her husband, Morris, in 1972. She is survived by her sons, Dennis and David, both longtime residents of the Syracuse area; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Burial was in the Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St, Syracuse, NY 13204, or Menorah Park Foundation, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13214. 


Fannie Seidberg, 106, of Jamesville, died on December 13 at the Iroquois Nursing Home. Born in Utica, she moved to Syracuse after her marriage. She was the credit manager and human resource manager at Flah’s of Syracuse until her retirement. She was a member of Temple Adath Yeshurun and its seniors group, B’nai Brith, Hadassah and the Order of the Eastern Star. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack Seidberg; two sisters and two brothers. She is survived by her son, Bruce (Judith) Seidberg; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, 1 Children’s Circle, Syracuse, NY 13210. 


IDF official confirms Hezbollah using American military equipment

A senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces has confirmed that the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is using American-made military equipment. “These APCs (armored personnel carriers) are of the Hezbollah [forces], while fighting in Syria, that they took from the Lebanese armed forces,” the anonymous IDF officer said on Dec. 21, The Jerusalem Post reported.


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British government slams Kerry’s “focus only” on settlements, Israeli politics

The British government in an unusual move criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for focusing on Israeli settlements and commenting on the makeup of the Israeli Cabinet in a speech critical of Israeli policies. A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Dec. 29 that it was inappropriate of Kerry to attack the makeup of the democratically elected Israeli government – a key ally of both the United States and Britain, the Daily Mail reported. “We do not ... believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex,” the unnamed spokesman was quoted as saying. “And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” The British government, the spokesman added, “believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties supported by the international community.” In a speech on Dec. 28 laying out his parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Kerry criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Cabinet for undermining the two-state solution with his settlement policy in the West Bank. Much of the speech was devoted to settlements, but Kerry also condemned the veneration of terrorists by Palestinians. Kerry’s hour-long address, which Netanyahu called a “major disappointment,” followed harsh criticism by Israel on the U.S. abstention of a United Nations Security Council resolution passed on Dec. 23 criticizing settlements. The United States could have quashed the resolution with a veto, as it has many times in the past. Britain backed the resolution calling for an end to Israel’s construction of settlements in the disputed territories of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Netanyahu has canceled a meeting with May over the vote as part of a series of steps designed to either punish the 14 out of 15 Security Council member states that voted in favor of the resolution or express Israel’s displeasure at their votes. Ahead of Britain’s June referendum on leaving the European Union, President Barack Obama urged Britons to vote to remain in the bloc in what many observers deemed inappropriate interference in internal issues. The voters backed leaving the EU. A month after the vote May, a Conservative politician and vocal supporter of the Brexit, replaced David Cameron, who initiated the referendum though he lobbied against a Brexit, and resigned after the results came in. Boris Johnson, a former mayor of London who is now foreign minister under May, lashed out in April against Obama’s intervention, calling it not only inappropriate but also hypocritical. “For the United States to tell us in the U.K. that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do as I say but not as I do,” he said. Johnson, who is an advocate of Israel, also wrote in an op-ed that month that Obama’s position reflects “the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire.” Kenya was a British colony before it was given independence amid a wave of terror against white settlers there and soldiers. The president’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was Kenyan. Obama was born in the United States.

Indians who claim Jewish heritage celebrate Chanukah

Thousands of Indian citizens who claim to be Jews descended from the biblical tribe of Menashe gathered to celebrate Chanukah, according to an organization that helps lost Jews reconnect to their religion. Women from the community gathered on Dec. 28 in the town of Churachandpur, in the northeastern state of Manipur, to make the holiday pastry sufganiyot, Shavei Israel said in a statement. The organization tries to find lost Jews throughout the world. “The story of the Maccabees’ heroic determination to preserve their Jewish identity resonates very strongly with the Bnei Menashe, who, with tremendous effort, have still managed to cling to their faith and that of their ancestors through the centuries,” said Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund. “Even in far-off India, the flame of Jewish survival continues to burn brightly.” Some 3,000 Bnei Menashe have immigrated to Israel in recent years, with another 7,000 remaining in India.

Radnor bag; they include three Jewish women who signed up for the course because the ones they wanted were booked. They are joined by a woman none of the locals know, an agoraphobe out of her house for seemingly the first time in years. Through their writing, the students make discoveries about themselves. “I think it’s about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves – and how we can be wrong about those stories,” Radnor said. “It’s about people who think they’re at the end of their story, who think they’re living some kind of tragedy, and it’s just a moment in their lives. It’s sad and not sad, and if you really unpack the structure and what [Greenberg] is doing, there’s a sweetness to it and things work out for these people in spite of their worst fears.” In that regard, Radnor finds the play very Jewish, a subject that led to his own Jewish influences. “I actually struck up a friendship with a rabbi in New York,” Radnor said. “We had a very long lunch a couple weeks ago and he told me something fascinating: There’s no Hebrew word for tragedy in drama. There’s a Hebrew word for comedy, but not tragedy. As a filmmaker, I like to leave my audiences with a future that’s better. My characters

Muslim teen in NYC chases down assailant of Orthodox Jewish woman

A Muslim teen from New York City helped police catch a homeless man who hit an Orthodox Jewish woman on the subway. Ahmed Khalifa, 17, told the New York Daily News about the incident aboard a Brooklyn-bound train on Dec. 27. “It was a very hard slap, I almost could feel the slap,” the high school student told the newspaper. The slap broke the woman’s glasses and caused her to lose consciousness. She was removed from the train and taken to a local hospital. The assailant jumped off at the next stop and the teen alerted the conductor to hold the train and call an ambulance. He then followed the assailant, according to the Daily News. Khalifa said he was given a ride by an Orthodox Jewish passer-by and they spent the drive talking about how it was a hate crime. When he saw the assailant at a bus stop, they called the Shomrim Jewish safety patrol. The teen, the passer-by and the Shomrim waited near the bus stop until the police arrived. The police removed the assailant, identified as Rayvon Jones, 31, from the bus. Jones was charged with assault in Brooklyn Criminal Court. The Daily News reported that one of the Shomrim members drove Khalifa home. “Some people are like ‘she’s Jewish, why did you help her,’ “ Khalifa told the newspaper. “I’m like everyone is equal. I treat everyone the same way.”

Israel’s president calls for 2017 as year of “mutual respect” for people and nations

President Reuven Rivlin of Israel called for the new year 2017 to be a year of “mutual respect, between people, and between nations.” Rivlin issued the nearly three-minute recorded message on Dec. 29 in advance of the secular new year. “There is no ignoring the fact that 2016 was a very difficult year. Bloodshed and terror, in the name of politics and religion, have led to much misery, and loss. We also have said goodbye to some great leaders,” Rivlin said, singling out his predecessor Shimon Peres, and Elie Wiesel. He expressed his pride in the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic teams, marveled at the Israeli innovation he saw on his trip to India, and reflected on the world leaders and others that he welcomed to the president’s residence during the year. “After a year of so many highs and lows, let’s make 2017 a year of mutual respect, between people, and between nations,” Rivlin said. “I wish all of you; to the Christian community in Israel and around the world, season’s greetings, and a very happy, healthy New Year; and to all our Jewish brothers and sisters, I wish you all, a very happy Chanukah. God bless, and Shalom from Jerusalem.”

Israeli technology saves lives in Chile earthquake

Officials in Chile relied on Israeli technology in ordering a mass evacuation following, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck the country on Dec. 25. No fatalities were reported immediately following the temblor. An Israeli company, eVigilo, developed the early warning system that delivers alerts to thousands of cellphones in threatened areas, The Jerusalem Post reported. The Netanya-based startup won a contract with Chile’s emergency authority ONEMI in 2010, and its technology was proven in 2014 when that year’s earthquake death count was just five people, according to the POST. After detecting the Dec. 25 earthquake, Chile’s National Emergency Office ordered more than 4,000 residents and tourists to evacuate coastal areas in case of a tsunami. eVigilo’s SMART Broadcast system, developed to warn Israelis about incoming missiles, delivered those orders in less than 20 seconds.

NJ synagogues seek help in welcoming Syrian refugees

Three synagogues in New Jersey are seeking help in resettling a Syrian refugee family. In a Facebook post to members of the South Orange and Maplewood communities, the congregations announced that they are partnering with Church World Services, the refugee assistance arm of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, the Village Green reported on Dec. 27. Among the signers of the post were principals from Congregation Beth El, Oheb Shalom Congregation and Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, all of South Orange. Continued from page 8

have somewhat Jewish last names, but whether they’re Jewish or not, they are always caught in certain ethical situations, forks in the road.” Radnor says his films “are about good people getting better at being themselves. I’m not interested in evil or how terrible we can be toward each other,” he said. It’s an attitude he likely developed attending the Columbus Torah Academy in Ohio, where he grew up. “I think [my parents] wanted me to have a strong Jewish upbringing and wanted me to know where I came from and what tradition I was inheriting,” he said. The training stuck. In conversation with this writer a couple of years ago, Radnor said, “I read somewhere that Tony Kushner was asked why so many Jews are attracted to the theater – he said reading the Talmud and reading a play are very similar. There’s a surface read and then digging underneath the text. I feel having this background, having this love of literature, looking at something on the surface and excavating and finding out what more can be gleaned from it, you get from a Jewish way of learning.” Radnor and his sisters attended day school until the eighth grade, then transferred to a public high

school in their freshman years – a move that may have been proved bashert. A friend asked him to accompany her to auditions for that year’s school production, “Oklahoma!” “I went and I was watching everyone audition and thought, ‘Man, I think maybe I can do this a little better than these people,’” Radnor recalled. “They pointed at me and asked if I wanted to audition. I said yes and ended up getting one of the leads.” He played Will Parker that year, the emcee in “Cabaret” the following season and was hooked. In 2005, following brief appearances on shows like “Law and Order” and “ER,” Radnor was cast as the lead in “How I Met Your Mother.” The series was a hit. But like two other revered long-running shows – “The Sopranos” and “Seinfeld” – the series ended with a finale that disappointed many fans. “I actually don’t talk about it,” Radnor said, clearly tired of the question. “I defended it quite a bit whenever I was asked about it. Either people got enraged by how it ended or loved it. It aroused so much emotion.” As with the rest of his career, Radnor has moved on.

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Jewish Observer Issue of 1/5/17