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2 SHEVAT 5778 • JANUARY 18, 2018 • VOLUME XXXIX, NUMBER 2 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY

Gary Lavine elected to Foundation board BY JUDITH L. STANDER At the November 28 meeting of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Board of Directors, Gary J. Lavine was elected to serve a two-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Foundation of Central New York. He is associate of counsel with Bousquet Holstein PLLC. “The Community Foundation of CNY is honored to have Gary serve on our board,” said Foundation Executive Director Michael Balanoff. “He is brilliant, incisive, hard-working and committed to Jewish values. He

will bring a new and valuable perspective to our work.” He brings a “wealth of local, national and global experience” to this position. He and his wife, Mady Kudisch, are longtime members of Temple Concord and have served on the TC Board of Trustees and as committee chairs. Lavine has served four terms as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation

Gary J. Lavine

of America’s Heritage Abroad and was involved with Jewish communities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He is a member of the board of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City and the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics. He is also a former member of the boards of the OnCenter, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency and the Metropolitan Water Board.

He has held staff positions with the New York State Legislature, including legislative counsel to the minority leader of the Assembly; counsel to the Senate Committee on Insurance; assistant to Assemblyman Hy Miller; and chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Reapportionment. He served in the U.S. Department of Energy as deputy general counsel for environmental and nuclear programs. He was also senior vice president and chief legal officer of Niagara Mohawk Holdings and Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.

Federation and WWII: 1938-1948 BY BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF CENTRAL NEW YORK IS CELEBRATING ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2018 Editor’s note: To mark this milestone, we are printing a series of 10 articles highlighting each decade of the Federation’s work with and for the community. We hope you enjoy this look backward as we continue to work to ensure a thriving future. In 1941, the Jewish community was still unaware of the magnitude of the Holocaust, the systematic German extermination of the Jews of Europe. In 1942, the Jewish Welfare Federation launched “one of the most important campaigns in the history of Syracuse.” The campaign stressed that “five million Jews living in Nazi-conquered nations are without food, clothing, shelter and medical care.” It declared “The Jews of America are still free to live and free to give” and that their financial support was desperately needed.

“Their fate is in your hands,” said a poster in 1942 advertising the Jewish Welfare Fund of Syracuse’s War Emergency Campaign. “Alone, bereft, starving, helpless, the victims of a bitter fanatical hate, these refugees can hope for little. Their fate if left in Nazi hands…slow starvation, disease, death.” And yet, it told the community, “there is still a way out. Your help with contributions for the Jewish Welfare Fund will be efficiently administered to bring new life to many thousands of these suffering people. Tens of thousands of Jews can be rescued in 1942 through emigration…hundreds of thousands can be fed and sheltered without enriching our Nazi enemies by one penny.” As further details of the horrors of the Shoah began to emerge, the Federation stepped up its efforts to help those who survived. At the 1946 Federation Annual Meeting, an oil painting by Syracuse artist David Perlmutter was displayed. Titled “A Survivor’s Nightmare of the Warsaw Ghetto,” it portrayed a group of Jews

A message from Federation’s Campaign Chair Jewish Community Center, the BY MARK WLADIS Syracuse Hebrew Day School, When I decided to chair the the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School Jewish Federation Campaign, of Jewish Studies, Hillel at I placed a large emphasis on Syracuse University, and the relationships. We decided to Syracuse Community Hebrew make the Federation an orgaSchool – received a 10 percent nization that brings the Jewish increase, plus an additional community together – give $50,000 supplemental allocapeople more than just an annual tion that was divided among the request for money and get the five agencies. He also noted that Jewish community to come Mark Wladis the Federation provided new back together. Has it worked allocations this year to the JCC over the past few years? In 2017, the Jewish Federation of Central Senior Kosher Meal program and $15,000 New York raised a record $1,263,462, for community security. Among the many community-building compared to $957,842 in 2013. Local beneficiary agencies received a total of events we have held, there are other as$543,647 – $220,180 more than what pects of the community that is bringing was given away just five years ago. The Syracuse Jews together. The rabbis are cooperating in a way not five agencies that receive the most money See “Chair” on page 5 from the Federation – the Sam Pomeranz

huddled near the shattered remnants of a synagogue, looking piteously at a row of eerie Wehrmacht skulls. The painting was to become part of the national campaign to raise funds for survivors, refugees and displaced persons. The artist told Federation supporters that these figures represented “survivors of the most diabolical and calculated inhuman assault on civilization” and that he meant the painting “to live as a reminder of what despotism, bigotry and totalitarianism stands for.” At another meeting, Federation solicitors were told that “Americans alone have the resources with which to do this work of mercy and necessity.” The year 1946, it was emphasized, was for the majority of the surviving European Jews “the year of decision… the year in which you will decide whether they shall live or die.” For the starving Jews of Europe, it

This flyer was sent by the Jewish Welfare Fund (not the Jewish Federation of Central New York) to members of the Syracuse Jewish community on April 26, 1942. It exhorted community members to increase giving to the War Emergency Campaign, which served 30 organizations and whose goal was $90,000 that year, See “WWII” on page 7 to help Jewish war victims survive.

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A

January 19........................ 4:42 pm............................................................ Parasha-Bo January 26........................ 4:51 pm................................................Parasha-Beshalach February 2............................ 5 pm........................................................ Parasha-Yitro

INSIDE THIS ISSUE SHDS BUDS

Congregational notes

New programming

The Syracuse Hebrew Day School Local synagogues announce Jewish Family Service has created has announced two BUDS events dinners, talks, teen events and programming for Menorah Park’s more. for preschoolers. new Center for Healthy Living. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 5

PLUS Classifieds................................ 5 Calendar Highlights............... 6 Health Care.............................. 8 Federation Campaign Centerfold


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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778

Seniors celebrate the New Year at the JCC

BY ANKUR DANG December 29 was the last Friday of the year at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. A few JCC staffers were gearing up for a celebration, “Noon Year’s Eve” kosher lunch at the Bobbi Epstein Lewis Senior Adult Dining Program. JCC Director of Adult and Senior Programming Cindy Stein was readying a pile of party hats for the meal. “We love our holiday parties with the seniors,” said Stein. “It gives them an opportunity to be with friends, revisit old memories and celebrate life a little more.” In the spirit of the occasion, Jeff “the Magic Man” D’Ambrosio, entertained the seniors while they ate. Considered one of the most sought-after family entertainers in Central New York, D’Ambrosio’s work has been featured on numerous television programs and live shows across the state. At the JCC’s New Year’s senior lunch, the best-loved acts were those of balloon

sculptures. Based on the requests from the seniors, he created camels, sheep and even a rabbi for an hour, using only multicolored balloons. “It is such a fun thing to do,” said D’Ambrosio, smiling as he fixed the final peyot on the balloon rabbi. “It makes me happy to make them happy. That’s what I do.” For many of the seniors, however, his act was only one part of the celebration. Dinah Losurdo, 70, has attended the seniors lunch program for a number of years and for her, the best part of the holidays is the chance to see everyone. She said, “A lot of the people don’t come every day, but on the special days, the dining hall is packed with people, some of whom we don’t see very often. It’s like a big family of friends.” Ultimately, the JCC’s staff said, these are the things that matter and they look forward to these celebrations as much as the seniors.

The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse staffers who helped put on the “Noon Year’s Eve” senior kosher lunch. L-r: Cindy Stein, Joni Paul, Sherri Lamanna, Erin Hart, Ankur Dang and Donna Carullo.

Lee Potter showed off her balloon animal courtesy of Jeff “The Magic Man” D’Ambrosio.

L-r: Dinah Losurdo and Bob Lavine attended the “Noon Year’s Eve” senior kosher lunch.

At right: Jeff “The Magic Man” D’Ambrosio talked with Joseph Bova during the JCC’s “Noon Year’s Eve” senior kosher lunch celebration on December 29.

First person

A Rust Belt synagogue “runs out of people” and gathers to bury its past BY ALANNA E. COOPER NEW CASTLE, PA (JTA) — It was a frigid 10 degrees on December 31, the last day of 2017, but some 20 people gathered at Congregation Tifereth Israel’s cemetery in this city of 22,000 on the Ohio border. A blue tent and folding chairs had been set up for attendees, and a pit in the ground had been opened. No hearse would be arriving at this unusual burial, which was not for a person. Still, a few attendees choked up when they greeted each other with hugs and wiped tears from their cheeks. This was a subdued sort of mourning because no friend or relative had been taken from their midst. Nor was the “death” a sudden one. Indeed, the congregation had been preparing for this day for years. Deep below, the hole was lined with cardboard boxes containing yahrzeit plaques, tallit prayer shawls and other ritual items that cemetery caretakers had carefully lowered in a few days before. The mourners had come to bury, in a sense, their synagogue. Congregation Tifereth Israel was founded nearly 125 years ago. In 1894, synagogue members lived in a busy town with a suddenly booming economy. Linked first to the canal system and later to

A hole at the cemetery was lined with cardboard boxes containing yahrzeit plaques, tallit prayer shawls and other ritual items from Hadar Israel. (Photo by Alanna E. Cooper)

the railroad, the population of New Castle swelled at the turn of the 20th century as the town’s manufacturing base grew. Tin plate and paper mills and steel and ceramic factories brought great prosperity to the region. Ancillary businesses cropped up to support the growing population. Many of these – drug stores, department stores, furniture stores, groceries – were owned by New Castle’s Jewish residents. Bright-eyed and lively, Bruce Waldman told me that he was born in New Castle in 1942, and that one day he will be buried here. His plot in the Tifereth Israel cemetery is already designated. Waldman’s father also was a New Castle native and is buried here. His grandfather, who was among the New Castle Jewish community founders, had emigrated from Eastern Europe via Pittsburgh, 50 miles south. When Waldman was a boy in the 1950s, the town’s population reached its peak of 48,834. At the time, the Jewish community boasted two synagogues, the Reform Temple Israel joining Tifereth Israel, with 300 to 400 active families in total. As the economy changed in the 1960s, New Castle’s population dwindled, along with so many other Rust Belt cities. By 1990, the numbers had dipped to 28,334 residents; today the number stands at about 23,000. Those looking for a more robust Jewish community for their children went elsewhere. Others simply moved away for better economic opportunities. Waldman’s two sons left for college and never returned. One now lives in Sydney, Australia, and the other in New York. Faced with shrinking numbers, the town’s two Jewish congregations merged in 1997. The newly named Temple Hadar Israel operated out of the Tifereth Israel building and remained affiliated with the Conservative movement. The consolidation helped retain some vibrancy. Still, as the population continued to age and

young people became scarce, it became difficult to gather a minyan, or quorum, for Shabbat services. Members began to consider the possibility of winding down synagogue operations. “We never ran out of money,” Sam

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Bernstine, the congregation’s president said, “but we ran out of people.” About five years ago, Temple Hadar Israel members reached out to the Jewish Community Legacy Project, or JCLP, See “Synagogue” on page 7 All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to JewishObserverCNY@gmail.com. The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK The next Syracuse Hebrew Day School BUDS events BY MELISSA KLEMPERER The Syracuse Hebrew Day School “Bringing Up Day Schoolers” program held its second event last month for preschool-aged children and their families. The Chanukah celebration gave children the opportunity to meet and play with other preschool students within the community.

Organizers agreed that it was a “successful” event. Anyone who was unable to attend the last event should know that there are many more opportunities to attend these events. The next one, “Super Sledding Sunday,” will be held at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School on Sunday, February 4, from 12:30-2 pm. The afternoon will

include sledding, crafts, stories and snacks. Reservations are requested and can be made by contacting the school at shds@twcny.rr.com or 315-446-1900. BUDS will hold a “Dr. Seuss Birthday Party” on Sunday, March 11, from 12:30-1:30 pm. There will be snacks, stories, crafts and a “special Seuss guest reader.”

Jewish genealogy group initial meeting on January 21 The Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group will hold its initial meeting on Sunday, January 21, at 2 pm, at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Rd., DeWitt. Anyone interested in exploring their own Jewish genealogy is invited to attend. Among the topics to be discussed will be potential meeting topics,

times, places and refreshments. The group originated from an October visit by international Jewish genealogy board member Nolan Altman. He is a board member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and coordinator of JewishGen’s Worldwide Burial Registry project. At the

Jewish community collects winter items for the Samaritan Center

BY KATHY SCOTT Once again, the members of Temple Adath Yeshurun, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Temple Concord helped the clients of the Samaritan Center. The Samaritan Center, located at 215 N. State St. in Syracuse, provides daily hot meals to the local community. In addition to food, the center strives to provide a sense of community to residents of Syracuse’s north side and beyond. The center’s winter wish list included socks, hand warmers and gloves. In December, the Jewish community answered that call. Thanks to the help of Temple Adath Yeshurun Executive Director Barbara Simon and Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Manager of Congregational Services Joan Bordett, both of whom were called instrumental in organizing their congregational members, four boxes of supplies were delivered to the Samaritan Center on December 23. Samaritan Center Assistant Operation Manager Brenda Mims accepted the donations, saying “thanks to the Jewish community of Syracuse, many will be able to receive the gift of warmth this month.”

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L-r: On behalf of the Jewish community, Temple Concord member Kathy Scott delivered socks, hand warmers and gloves to Samaritan Center Assistant Operation Manager Brenda Mims. A donation from the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Trust permitted the purchase of more socks, which were delivered to the center on Christmas Day.

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu JANUARY 22-26 Monday – baked ziti Tuesday – baked herb chicken Wednesday – tuna salad on rye Thursday – tomato basil soup and grilled cheese Friday – roasted turkey JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 2 Monday – stuffed cabbage Tuesday – crispy Teriyaki chicken Wednesday – hot corned beef on rye Thursday – mac ‘n cheese Friday – orange-glazed chicken The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining

fall presentation, many local people expressed an interest in starting a group. For more information, contact Mike Fixler at fixler44@gmail.com or 315-246-3369. Anyone attending should send Fixler a contact number in case of a cancellation due to weather.

Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday through Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the 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 further information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or cstein@jccsyr.org.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778

CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Adath Yeshurun TOT SHABBAT AND DINNER Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a Tot Shabbat and dinner for young children and their families on Friday, January 26, at 5:30 pm, in the Muriel and Avron Spector Library at TAY. There will be a family Shabbat dinner and an interactive, musical Kabbalat Shabbat service for young children. The program is free, and is funded by the Edward and Marilyn Steinberg Family Fund for Tiny Tots and Preschool Children’s Programming. Reservations are required. For more information, or to make a reservation, contact Alicia Gross at alicia@adath.org or 315-445-0002. CONSECRATION The Temple Adath Yeshurun Religious School third grade children will participate in their consecration program on Saturday, January 27, during Shabbat morning services. Consecration means dedication and the TAY third-graders will celebrate this milestone in their religious education by dedicating themselves to further Jewish study and to being active participants in the Jewish community. The third grade class members include Dean Bratslavksy, Ari Gnacik, Rose Scheer, Maximus Tecler and Isabella Weinberg. These third-graders, led by their teacher Jody Cooper, will lead prayers, teach the community about Tu B’Shevat and receive an aliyah during Shabbat services. At the conclusion of the program, the children will receive

siddurim, a gift from the TAY Sisterhood. The service will be followed by a Kiddush in honor of the third grade class. SHABBAT IN THE ROUND BY SONALI MCINTYRE On Friday, February 9, Temple Adath Yeshurun will usher in Shabbat with a Shabbat in the Round service beginning at 5:30 pm, led by Rabbi Paul Drazen, with music led by Baalat Tefillah Esa Jaffe. Following the service, there will be a Shabbat dinner hosted by the TAY Sisterhood. Sisterhood President Alison Bronstein said, “We invite the community to join us for the celebration of Shabbat. Shabbat dinners have become something we look forward to at TAY. It’s a wonderful feeling to be together as a congregation – eating, talking, and watching the younger generations running around and having fun.” The service and dinner are open to the community. There will also be a Tot Shabbat at 5:30 pm in the Muriel and Avron Spector Library for children birth to 5-years-old and their families. Dinner will begin at 6:30 pm. Attendees may bring their own kosher wine for dinner. There is a fee for the dinner. Reservations are required and appreciated by Friday, February 9. For more information or to make a dinner reservation, visit www. adath.org or e-mail Alison Bronstein at sisterhoodoftay@gmail.com. For more information about Tot Shabbat, contact Alicia Gross at alicia@adath.org.

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas USY Calling all teens: chill out with ACHLA USY. On Saturday, January 27, from 7-9:30 pm, the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas ACHLA chapter of United Synagogue Youth will host an opportunity to relax with snacks, games and movies. The event is open to all Jewish teens in grades nine-12 in Central New York. Contact Melissa Harkavy at director@cbscs.org for more information. CBS-CS SISTERHOOD BOWLING The CBS-CS Sisterhood will “bowl their winter blues away” on Saturday, February 3, at 7 pm, at a location to be announced This CBS-CS Sisterhood sponsored event is open to all women, men and teens. For more information, contact Daryl Weiss at manager@cbscs.org.

CBS-CS WORLD WIDE WRAP On Sunday, February 4, at 9 am, people may come and learn more about tefillin – what is inside them; how they are made, put on and worn; and how they convey meaning and purpose. The CBS-CS’ World Wide Wrap will begin with a multi-media presentation, followed by a tefillin-centered service beginning at 9:30 am. There will be many sets of tefillin (“righty” and “lefty”) for everyone to try on, along with tefillin tour guides to personally assist the novice. Following the daily morning service, CBS-CS b’nai mitzvah families will have the opportunity to “Build-A-Pair” of model tefillin. For more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at director@ cbscs.org.

Temple Concord CINEMAGOGUE PRESENTS “NORMAN” BY CHANA MEIR Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue series will present “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” on Saturday, January 27, at 7:30 pm. The movie, starring Richard Gere and directed by Oscar-nominated Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar, follows the story of how the life of the title character, a persistent hustler and wheeler-dealer, changes when an Israeli politician he has befriended ascends to the post of prime minister. Critics have praised Gere’s performance in a role unlike any he has done before, and the cast includes several other well-known actors, including Steve Buscemi in an unexpected turn as a rabbi, Michael Sheen and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Candy and snacks will be available, and donations will be welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org. AUTHOR/AVIATOR ROBERT GANDT TO SPEAK ON JANUARY 28 BY CHANA MEIR Robert Gandt, an American author and aviator who has published more than a dozen books on military and aviation history, will speak as part of Temple Concord’s Scholar Series on Sunday, January 28, at 11 am. At age 20, Gandt was the youngest aviator and officer then on active duty in the U.S. Navy, accumulating more than three hundred carrier landings and nearly two thousand hours in the A-4 Skyhawk.

At left, l-r: Getting ready to serve were Christopher Baltus, Julia Harris, Kelly Fumarola, Mike Fixler and Banna Rubinow. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kotzin)

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Temple Concord volunteers for the morning shift for the Christmas dinner at Syracuse’s Samaritan Center. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kotzin)

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Scholar Series events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org TEMPLE CONCORD VOLUNTEERS SERVED CHRISTMAS MEAL AT SAMARITAN CENTER BY AARON FRISHMAN, TC VICE PRESIDENT After several months of planning, nearly 200 people came for a Christmas dinner at Syracuse’s Samaritan Center, provided by more than 75 volunteers from Temple Concord. Thirty-five TC volunteers arrived early Christmas morning to prepare the home-cooked meal, which included food preparation and putting homemade cookies and candy into bags decorated by area Girl Scouts. Another 40 TC volunteers arrived for the afternoon shift to serve the holiday meal to the guests. Volunteers also handed out hand warmers, socks and gloves collected at area synagogues, as well as toys and socks collected by the Good Makers of Central New York. This was the synagogue’s 26th year of holiday involvement at the Samaritan Center. Committee Chair Mark Kotzin said that everyone who attended appreciated the meal and “The guests seemed grateful to see us and they all said they enjoyed the home-cooked meal we prepared. It was a great team effort to help out our community, and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing volunteers.” Kotzin said the synagogue provided the holiday meal with sustaining donations from the Pomeranz, Shankman

At right, l-r: Carving the turkey were Lenny Oppedisano, Max Charlamb, Abbey Charlamb and Jayne Charlamb. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kotzin)


JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

SJFS creates programming for Menorah Park’s new Center for Healthy Living BY NANCY AURELI Poetry writing, film discussion and viewing, a “wisdom circle” for people in mid-life, Zen for caregivers, lifelong brain health, arts experiences for early memory loss, and advance care planning for all. These are among the offerings Syracuse Jewish Family Service is presenting in its pilot “semester” from February through June for Menorah Park’s new Center for Healthy Living. Aimed at a variety of audiences, the CFHL programming centers on achieving well-being for older adults. The programs will be housed in the campus’ new Abraham Shankman Wellness Pavilion, the Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro and the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Arts and Minds Community Room. SJFS Director Judith Huober said, “SJFS’s Center for Healthy Living programming will harness the power of creativity to build social connectedness for older adults and improve people’s mood and cognitive health. Building on our unique, weekly M-Power U program for early memory loss, we are launching regular and special arts classes and experiences aimed at older adults of all cognitive abilities on and off the Menorah Park campus, as well as care partners, friends in the community and professionals.” She said that these classes, events and experiences will include one-time workshops, featuring national experts such as Gary Glazner of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project; semester-style offerings such as two to eight session series; monthly events such as an opera club and weekly ongoing programs such as the new section of MPU, an arts and minds community with the Arts and Minds Café. Art therapists and

community artists and SJFS professional staff will emphasize creativity through movement, music, art, drama, writing and poetry. A full schedule of classes will be listed in a future issue of the Jewish Observer, as well as on the agency’s website at www.sjfs.org and the Menorah Park website, www.menorahparkofcny.com. Some tentatively scheduled offerings include: ‹‹ On Thursday, February 15, from 5-6:15 pm, Rabbi Evan Shore will team up with SJFS Director Judith Huober to present the first of a two-part “Wisdom Circle” aimed at mid-life community residents. Jumping off from Rabbi Dayle Friedman’s “Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older,” participants can enjoy a joint exploration of readings, discussions and exercises aimed to help them “Find your Grit and Grace beyond Mid-Life.” The group will meet six times over four months on irregular Thursdays from 5-6:15 pm, with time out for Passover and other events. The schedule will be distributed upon enrollment and at the first session. Six additional sessions Part Two are planned for the summer. ‹‹ A four-session series, “Through the Movie Lens: Views on Aging,” facilitated by SJFS Director Judith Huober will kick off on Sunday, February 25, tentatively scheduled for the last Sunday of the month in February, March, May and June from 3-5:30 pm. The group will provide the opportunity to view and discuss four movies offering different outlooks and ideas on aging. ‹‹ Starting on Wednesday, March 7, “Lifelong Brain Health,” taught by SJFS Assistant Director Ellen Somers, M.S., LMHC, will take place on consecutive Wednesdays from 3-4:30 pm. The class will provide an overview of

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the most current research on lifestyle habits that impact brain health. With a focus on cognitive activities, physical exercise, nutrition, relaxation/stress reduction and social engagement, each week highlights a different lifestyle area and brings in special guests. ‹‹ Poetry writing for older adults with local poet and teacher Gloria Heffernan will take place over eight sessions in April, May and June. Experience poetry as a pathway of spirituality. Each session will include a discussion of a poem selected by a member of the group, followed by a reading of new poems created by the participants. We will discuss three new poems each week. All participants will share at least two poems they have written during the workshop. ‹‹ Peg Miller, LMSW, SJFS’s internship and community coordinator and resident Zen expert, is teaching Zen and the Art of Graceful Care giving, a four-part weekly class, in May and June. ‹‹ Nancy Aureli, RN, is presenting a two-session class, “Advance Care Planning,” for everyone, as well as a single session, “Gift of Grace,” a conversational game for having some fun while contemplating and possibly sharing thoughts about “what really matters in life.” Minimal fees are required for classes, and there is a separate fee schedule (and available scholarships) for MPU: An Arts and Minds Community and Arts and Minds Café attendees. To get information about and/ or to enroll in MPU, community members may contact Ellen Somers at 315-446-9111, ext. 225, or info@sjfs.org. For information about other Center for Healthy Living offerings, consult the agency website or contact Deborah Ellis at 315-446-9111, ext. 234, or info@sjfs.org.

FEMA extends assistance to houses of worship BY RON KAMPEAS WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will now extend assistance to houses of worship, reversing years of policy that excluded such aid. “Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment within the ‘community centers’ subcategory of … nonprofit applicants,” FEMA said in guidance for 2018 issued on January 2. Orthodox Jewish groups, which have been lobbying for legislation that would codify the inclusion of houses of worship for assistance, welcomed the change. “We at the Orthodox Union have been working for more than 15 years to have this policy changed,” Nathan Diament, the O.U.’s Washington director, said in a state-

Chair

ment. “We thank the Trump administration for righting this longtime wrong and treating disaster-damaged churches, synagogues and other houses of worship fairly – on the same terms as other nonprofits such as museums, community centers and libraries stricken by natural disasters.” Agudath Israel of America said the change is consistent with White House backing for legislation advancing through Congress. “Unfortunately, unnecessary and unfair limitations placed specifically on houses of worship by FEMA have presented formidable challenges, precluding such relief,” it said in a statement. The U.S. House of Representatives in December approved a bill that allows federal disaster relief funds to go to houses of worship. The Senate is considering parallel legislation.

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seen in years. They are actually leading a joint mission to Israel in the fall. When was the last time that happened? The Federation was also able to add allocations to the following new programs: JCC Senior Kosher Meal Program and Community Security. It should also be mentioned that the allocation in 2013 was $320,000. Last year, the allocation to local agencies was more than $540,000, an increase of more than $220,000 in just four short years. Now a few last words of caution. I have chaired the Campaign for three years and this will be my last year. It has actually been a very pleasurable and soul-searching experience. The major donors and a few others made my job a lot easier. They have given a great amount of their financial resources to the Federation and because of them, this Jewish community is in much better shape financially than it was a few years ago.

CLEANING LADY Providing all residential housekeeping duties Anna Bas-Masio 315-396-5563 basmasio22@yahoo.com

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Beyond that, people have also given a great amount of themselves. They have devoted their time and efforts to the Jewish community and this community is a much more unified group because of them. However, they’re not the whole story. There are dozens and dozens of people who help the community with their hearts and their efforts – not just their pocketbooks. Our relationships are stronger than ever. That being said, we have to look at other ways to innovate, continue to adapt and allow our Jewish community to grow. Just because it was done one way 20 years ago doesn’t mean that we cannot change with the times and adapt to ensure that our community survives. That is the challenge that the Federation must face and continue to take on each year. I know we can continue on this wonderful path of unity and support.

Under rules in place until the end of 2017, relief funds from FEMAcould not go to churches, synagogues and other houses of worship due to concerns about separation of church and state. Other institutions, like community centers or zoos, received the funds. The money reimburses the institutions for aid they provide to victims of natural disasters. The new rule allowing houses of worship to receive FEMA assistance, like the one it replaced excluding such assistance, is a matter of executive branch policy and not a congressional mandate. A future president could reverse the allowance, which is why Orthodox groups will still continue to lobby for the bills in Congress, Diament told JTA. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has long pushed for the change. In September, amid a string of hurricanes ravaging the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, President Donald Trump tweeted his support for churches receiving FEMA funds. “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others),” Trump said on Twitter. Advancing the bill in the House were Reps. Peter King and Grace Meng, respectively a Republican and Democrat, both from New York, and Chris Smith (R-NJ). The regions they represent were hard hit by Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012. Leading the Senate’s legislation are Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, respectively a Republican and Democrat from Missouri, James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

LARRY METZGER Owner

L-M PAINTING Residential/Commercial 6340 Danbury Drive Jamesville, NY 13078-9729 (315) 446-0966 Fax (315) 446-1555 Email:LMPainting@aol.com

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778

Calendar Highlights

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

Friday, January 26 EARLY Deadline for the February 15 Jewish Observer Saturday, January 20 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Sisterhood Shabbat at 9:30 am CBS-CS PJ Havdalah/parents’ night out at 5:30 pm Sunday, January 21 CBS-CS Haftarah class begins at 9:45 am Temple concord GAN program at 10:30 am CBS-CS Hazak presents Sandra Chai speaking on Marc Chagall at 2 pm Syracuse Jewish Genealogy Group meeting at 2 pm at Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville Monday, January 22 Syracuse Hebrew Day School Board of Directors at 7 pm Tuesday, January 23 CBS-CS - intermediate prayer book Hebrew class begins at 7 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Executive Committee at 6 pm, followed by Board of Directors at 7 pm Wednesday, January 24 Temple Adath Yeshurun presents “Ethical Life – Jewish Values in an Age of Choice” at 7:30 pm Thursday, January 25 Menorah Park Board meeting at 6 pm Friday, January 26 TC presents Shabbat Shira service dedicated to the memory of Debbie Friedman and featuring Knesset Shalom Singers at 6 pm TAY Tot Shabbat and dinner at 5:30 pm Saturday, January 27 TAY Consecration at 9:15 am TC Cinemagogue presents the film, “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” at 7:30 pm Sunday, January 28 Jewish Federation of CNY Super Sunday at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse – 9 am-3 pm TC Scholar Series presents author and aviator Robert Gandt at 11 am in the Berinstein Chapel Tuesday, January 30 Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse presents Simply Tzfat and a Tu B’Shevat seder at 7 pm Saturday, February 3 TAY Pause Button and Mishpacha Shabbat at 9:15 am Sunday, February 4 TC Brotherhood at 9:30 am TC Sisterhood program on Jewish history in CNY at 9:30 am Syracuse Hebrew Day School BUDS Super Sledding Sunday at 12:30 pm

D’VAR TORAH

Forced to be free

BY RABBI IRVIN BEIGEL The contest between Pharaoh and the God of the Israelites reaches its dramatic climax in the portions of Bo and Beshalach. The Egyptians (and the reader) see that God’s power was not limited by geography. Pharoah, as powerful as he was in Egypt, was no match for the unseen God of the Hebrews whose sovereignty was over the entire world. Parasha Bo records the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and from the tyranny of the Egyptian ruler. Because the Exodus story is one of the core narratives from which some of our most important ethical values and religious practices flow, God commands that the Exodus be commemorated by all future generations. Toward the end of Bo, we are commanded to bind the holy words of our Torah to our arms and place them on our forehead. tefillin, traditionally worn by Jewish men at weekday morning prayer, are to be a daily reminder of the Exodus from Egypt. In this passage, we are also told to explain to our children that “It was with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out from Egypt” (Exodus 13:14-JPS translation). Since one of the story’s themes is the power and sovereignty of God over the entire world, it is not surprising that this idea is taught to our children. Oznaim Latorah, a commentary on the Torah, offers another more creative and less literal understanding of the verse. Instead of the common understanding that God’s strength here was directed only against the Egyptians, we are told that “the mighty hand” of God was also needed to force the Israelites to leave Egypt. Redemption was at hand, but they didn’t want to go! They were comfortable in their

enslavement and they were afraid to face an unknown and uncertain future outside of Egypt. Had God not forced them to leave, we would still be in Egypt. We would not have received the Torah at Mt. Sinai and we would have never entered the Land of Israel, which God promised to the Patriarchs. In fact, there would have been no Judaism as we know it. There are times in our lives when we are faced with the choice of remaining stuck where we are or actively participating in our own redemption. There are people (Jews among them) addicted to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and sex who face the choice of remaining enslaved to these destructive habits or moving toward a process of redemption and freedom. It is a tough choice to leave the comfort of what they know and to enter the challenging struggle to achieve freedom. There are victims of sexual and physical abuse who endure their pain rather than risk speaking out. Perhaps it has become easier in recent months for victims of abuse to call out for help, but the fear of doing so is still real. Most of us have faced a moment in our lives when we were paralyzed by fear and anxiety about the future. We may be stuck in that place right now. The Almighty forced our ancestors to leave Egypt. May His “mighty hand” force each of us to leave our personal Egypt, and may we see despair and hopelessness be replaced with freedom and hope. Shabbat shalom! Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel, a member of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, serves as Jewish chaplain at Crouse Hospital, Hutchings Psychiatric Center and Loretto, and is associate chaplain at Upstate University Hospital.

Profiles of SHDS alumni – Raechel Teitelbaum

and is a TEFL-certified English teacher. She BY BARBRA DAVIS enjoys traveling and living abroad “pursuing Raechel Teitelbaum graduated from the what I love and feel truly passionate about.” Syracuse Hebrew Day School in 2007 and is She likes being a student because “I am allowed studying at Metáfora International School of to make mistakes and do things all wrong so Fine Arts in Barcelona, Spain, after completthat I can hopefully learn to be great in these ing her bachelor’s degree in media, society safe settings and succeed in the world outside.” and the arts at State University of New York A young woman of multiple interests, she loves at Purchase College. She is working across to cook vegetarian recipes and invent things the disciplines of art and anthropology, docRaechel with food. She also likes reading about plant umenting people, feelings and culture, and Teitelbaum and herbal medicine. bringing her camera everywhere. Her friendships from the day school are lasting. “My She credits the day school for some of her accombest friend in the whole world is still Alison E. who was plishments, saying, “I have always loved language and culture since my time at the day school, when we in my day school class. Rachel D. and Sophia M., who learned Hebrew and Jewish cultural studies. This has [sic] I talk to regularly, will always be like sisters to me. become a fundamental part of who I am and there is no In fact, I would say that the entire day school class will way I would be living and studying arts in Barcelona, always be like family and to name drop seems kind of Spain, if it weren’t for the day school. It increased my silly because I love them all and I always will. We have interests and passions and absolutely helped me become all been through so much together and continue to grow the person that I am today: a person who speaks up for together physically, mentally and spiritually even as we others and myself and someone who is not afraid to be separate into different locations and jobs.” These friendships are one of the reasons Teitelbaum themselves. I am so proud to be Jewish and so proud would recommend the day school to families, noting that to know the language and culture. It has made such an “it provides children with an amazing little universe to impact and continues to do so.” See “Alumni” on page 7 Teitelbaum has also studied at the University of Seville

TC and Martin Charitable Foundation and Wegmans Food Markets. Additional donations came from community partners, including Syracuse Banana Co.; Price Chopper; Texas Roadhouse; PB&J’s Lunch Box; the National Council of Jewish Women; members of Temple Adath Yeshurun and Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas; the Girl Scouts; Jamesville-DeWitt

Continued from page 4

Service Club; the Good Makers of CNY and Zerrillo Gardens. Kotzin also thanked the members of the meal’s organizing committee, including Aaron Frishman, Lisa Fasolo Frishman, Barry Glickstein, Sue Gordon, Fran Greenman, Larry Jacowitz, Danielle Masursky, Kathy Scott and Kim Smolen.

Volunteers for the afternoon shift. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kotzin)

L-r: Rebecca Oppedisano, Logan Oppedisano and Leo Charlamb set up silverware for the meal. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kotzin)


JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778 ■

Synagogue

JEWISH OBSERVER

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conduct the ceremony like a funeral. In his absence, an organization that works with small, dwindling the event was brief, ad hoc and raw. One man read congregations to help ensure their legacies. A parta passage about the Cairo geniza, a storehouse nership of the Jewish Federations, the Reform and of centuries of damaged Jewish texts and ritual Conservative movements, and two national Jewish objects. Another man spoke about honoring the historical societies, the JCLP helps congregations word of God in the same way that we honor a preserve historic documents, catalog and dispose deceased person. of ritual objects, create oral histories and divvy The ground was too cold to shovel dirt. Instead, up assets. JCLP says it has worked with 50 such congregants took hold of a few final items – includcommunities and identified 100 more that meet its criteria for assistance. ing the prayer books that had been used for Shabbat Bernstine says he cares deeply about the conservices the day before – and together tossed them into the hole. gregation, which helped raise him after he lost his To close the ceremony, Eric Lidji, director of mother to cancer when he was 9 years old. His loyalty, the Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives, though, never got in the way of his pragmatism. offered a few words of reflection on a verse from “Do you want a dignified end?” he asked his fellow congregants. “Or do you want the last person Congregants from Temple Hadar Israel in New Castle, PA, gathered Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for scattering stones left to have to shut off the lights?” at the local Tifereth Israel cemetery to bury ritual objects from their and a time for gathering stones.” Although Temple Bernstine said his goal was to have the congre- defunct synagogue on December 31. (Photo by Alanna E. Cooper) Hadar Israel has disbanded, Lidji explained, its stones have been gathered in the archives and here, gation face its own end in a “respectful manner,” to be “in control of our own destiny.” Step by step, “I am not going to throw them out, but I don’t want too, in the cemetery. “These are big things that say ‘we the synagogue divested of its material assets. The them hanging in my living room,” one woman told me, are here’ and ‘we belong here,’” he said. The markers congregants sold the building, with the agreement that speaking about her parents’ plaques. She placed them convey that “everything that happened here matters, and they could rent back space from the new owners and in a box and keeps them in her basement. Alan Samuels will continue to matter.” As Lidji concluded, someone in the huddled group continue to meet in the sanctuary. They donated their took his parents’ plaques to the cemetery and affixed spoke up. synagogue records, photographs and a few ritual items them into their headstones. “Shall we say Kaddish?” this person asked, referring to the Rauh Jewish History Archives at the Heinz History Temple Hadar’s nine Torah scrolls went to congregaCenter in Pittsburgh, the Klau Library of Hebrew Union tions across the world to help those struggling to get by to the Mourner’s Prayer. Their prayer books were in the pit, but everyone College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Lawrence and reinvigorate others. One went to the new Progressive County Historical Society. congregation Beit Centrum Ki Tov in Warsaw and another seemed to know the words by heart. They recited the The yahrzeit plaques posed a more delicate problem was sent to a tiny community in Indonesia that recently prayer together, memorializing their shared past, their because each of them has a connection to a particular revived its connection to the Jewish world. One went last act as a congregation. Final hugs were exchanged as person. Members who still live in New Castle claimed to a Houston congregation that suffered damage in the the group dispersed with lowered heads. They returned their family members’ and efforts were made to locate recent floods. Other recipients included a Reconstruc- to their cars, driving in a procession up the snowy hill relatives of those who grew up in New Castle, but were tionist congregation in Cleveland, a Reform temple in and out of the cemetery. Alanna E. Cooper is director of Jewish lifelong now scattered across the country. Whoever took control South Carolina and three summer camps. In February, had to face the question of what to do with the plaques. the last remaining scroll will be donated to the Hillel learning at Case Western Reserve University and Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh amid a weekend an adjunct assistant professor in its Department of Anthropology. of festivities. Even with the care to find a home for each ritual obContinued from page 1 ject, some remained orphaned. Among them were prayer was stressed, “America is more than a symbol of democ- books, prayer shawls, curtains for the Torah ark and Continued from page 6 racy – it is their last and only hope of life.” The speaker many unclaimed yahrzeit plaques. Rather than dispose grow up in that is much safer and greater than a public added, “Moreover, there is a special charge upon our of them, a burial was planned. consciences to rescue the Jews on whom Hitler ‘whet On December 30, the members of Temple Hadar Israel school could ever be. It allows kids to stay kids for the knife with which he intended later to cut the throats held prayer services in their sanctuary for the last time. longer, allows the imagination to run wild and helps of all of us.’” Every person was called to recite a blessing during the to develop an incredible moral compass that will last a Unable to do anything for those who had perished, Torah reading – an honor known as aliyah – and people lifetime. Not only that, but potentially lifelong friends, Federations across the country redoubled their efforts to offered reflections at the final kiddush lunch. The follow- a knowledge of the Hebrew language and Jewish culture aid survivors. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, unable ing day, congregants drove through the snowy cemetery and history that you could never ever learn or connect or unwilling to return to their former homes in Europe, grounds to the pit that held the last of their items. Their to in the same way once a week at Sunday school. To sought instead to go to Palestine or the United States. part-time rabbi, Howard Stein of Pittsburgh, was not be completely immersed in this history and this comIn Syracuse, the Federation galvanized the community in attendance, as his own father had passed away the munity is incredible. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I through well-organized fund-raising campaigns that sup- day before. I attended as part of my research into what am greatly impacted by this school and forever grateful ported refugee resettlement and support for Israel. “Don’t congregations do with their material objects when they for the family-like atmosphere it provided for me, and the network of support that continues to exist even as I let the light go out,” proclaimed a 1947 campaign poster. merge, downsize or shut down. “There are thousands of children who have survived HitA few weeks prior, Stein told me that his plan was to head further into adulthood.” ler’s plans for their extermination. Sad, hungry, terrified children who need your help. Can you refuse them?” Thank you for your trust and loyalty since 1934. Syracuse Rabbi Irwin Hyman, who served as chaplain and advisor on Jewish affairs to the European theater, When that difficult time arises, returned to Syracuse to tell people about the situation in Europe. “Europe today is fraught with fears – fear of you can rely upon our expertise. famine, fear of disunity and fear of another war,” he said, To advertise, adding that “the people in Europe feel that the war had please contact failed to settle many things, and they harbor suspicions Bonnie Rozen that another conflict is imminent.” The need to rescue at 800-779-7896, the Jews who survived Hitler was desperate. ext. 244 or At a 1948 Federation rally in Syracuse, a UJA speaker bonnie@ 1909 East Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13210 • 315.472.5291 • 1.800.472.5182 told the audience that “the survivors of the Holocaust have thereportergroup.org Martin J. Birnbaum* been ready for months to go to Palestine. They have been Elaine R. Birnbaum email: birnbaumfs@cnymail.com attending schools set up in the camp, have been learning Joel M. Friedman www.birnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com * Also Licensed in Florida trades and have prepared in every way possible so that they will be productive citizens of Palestine. These are the people who, a year ago today, were fed like infants with spoons – such was their physical condition.” In the years following the war, American Jews became the most important Jewish community in the world. Thank you for your trust and loyalty since 1934. Federation stood at the forefront of helping Holocaust When that difficult time arises, you can rely upon our expertise. survivors, aiding the nascent state of Israel and sustaining a meaningful Jewish way of life in America.

WWII

Alumni

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1909 East Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13210 • 315.472.5291 • 1.800.472.5182 Martin J. Birnbaum* Elaine R. Birnbaum Joel M. Friedman * Also Licensed in Florida

email: birnbaumfs@cnymail.com www.birnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com

Everyone a Happy Rosh Hashanah ! g n i h s i WThank you for your trust and loyalty since 1934.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JANUARY 18, 2018/2 SHEVAT 5778

NEWS IN BRIEF From JNS.org JNS briefs Jan. 15, 2018

Palestinian leader Abbas slams Trump and calls Israel a “colonial project” During a two-hour speech to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council, Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Jan. 14 slammed President Donald Trump’s attempts to jumpstart peace negotiations as well as America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “I saw his tweet which said that ‘We will not give aid to the Palestinians because they refuse to relaunch negotiations,’” Abbas stated, then added, “May your house be destroyed. ...We won’t take orders from anyone,” the Palestinian leader said. “We told Trump we will never accept his [peace] plan. His deal of the century is the slap in the face of the century, and we will not accept it.” Abbas claimed that “Israel ended [the] Oslo [peace process].” He alleged that Jewish settlement in Israel is a European and Zionist conspiracy, stating that Israel is “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.” Responding to the speech, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told leaders visiting Israel from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “What we heard yesterday from Mahmoud Abbas was terrible. To say Israel is the result of a Western conspiracy to settle Jews in land belonging to Arab populations? To say that that the Jewish people has no connection with the land of Israel? He forgot many things, and said exactly the things that led him to be accused years ago of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.”

Groups petition Israeli High Court for expanded Western Wall egalitarian prayer section

The Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, and the Women of the Wall prayer rights group brought a petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice in an effort to force the expansion of the existing egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall. The petitioners are requesting that the court overrule last summer’s decision by Israel’s governing coalition to freeze the implementation of a plan that would change the access point to the existing egalitarian section, as well as transfer administration of the egalitarian section to a

council of Conservative and Reform rabbis. The petitioners are also requesting that Torah scrolls and prayer shawls typically used by men be allowed into the holy site’s women-only section. Currently, the entire Western Wall prayer complex, including the egalitarian section, is under Orthodox administration. The Western Wall prayer issue has become a major point of contention between the Israeli government and Diaspora Jewry, particularly North America’s large Reform and Conservative communities.

IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnel that infiltrated Israeli and Egyptian territory The IDF destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel that ran underneath Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing with the southern Gaza Strip as well as under the Egypt-Gaza border. In a statement the weekend of Jan. 14, the IDF said that Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck terrorist infrastructure in the Gazan city of Rafah the night of Jan. 13. This was the third Palestinian terror tunnel found infiltrating Israeli territory that Israel has destroyed during the past two months. “We know this was a terror tunnel because it ran underneath strategic facilities,” IDF spokesman Col. Jonathan Conricus said. “It could also have served to transfer terrorists from the Gaza Strip into Egypt in order to attack Israeli targets from Egypt.”

Netanyahu: Israel’s 2019 state budget “excellent” on economic growth, social issues

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS) – After an all-night meeting, the Israeli Cabinet on Jan. 12 approved the country’s state budget for 2019. The budget totals about $117 billion, including allocations of $18 billion for education, $11 billion for health care, $19 billion for defense and security, $3.8 billion for welfare spending (such as benefits for Holocaust survivors), and $600 million for stipends for people with disabilities. “The Cabinet has approved an excellent budget that expresses its consistent, responsible policy,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The budget preserves growth and economic strength, and also takes care of social needs. Our government will continue to work for the good of the state of Israel for a long time.”

Proactive steps to reduce your fall risk (NAPSI) – Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors. Fortunately, through a combination of technology solutions and lifestyle choices, seniors can be prepared for the event of a fall. For example, medical alert devices can provide access to a response center to contact emergency help should a fall occur. In the event of a fall, time between the fall and getting medical attention matters. Studies show that seniors using a medical alert device saw an emergency response

time more than 320 times faster than seniors having to call for help on their own. Beyond using these devices, seniors should stay physically and mentally active to help prevent falls. To begin and maintain this activity, here are three recommended steps from www.lifeline.philips.com seniors can take to support an independent and healthier life: ‹‹ Establish a regular fitness regimen. Sedentary lifestyles can gradually cause poor flexibility, loss of strength and decreased bone mass – all of which will increase the chances of falling. Establishing a consistent fitness routine will put your body in better shape and make exercise easier as you get older. ‹‹ Adhere to medication and physician orders. Eighty-seven percent of adults aged 65 or older take at least two medications and 42 percent take five or more. With long lists of medication, adherence can be difficult – but it’s vital to follow all directives and advice from your physician to avoid mistakes that can lead to falls. ‹‹ Stay social in your community. Although many older Americans value their independence, it’s important to be social and surrounded by others who care about you. This will help lower your chances of depression, make you happier as you age and increase the chances of someone being there for you if you fall and need help. If you or a loved one is concerned about fall risk, take this advice to heart and consider sharing with friends. By combining this advice with available technologies, such as medical alert devices, you can be properly prepared for all circumstances.

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Jewish Observer of January 18, 2018

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Jewish Observer of January 18, 2018

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