20 SHEVAT 5777 • FEBRUARY 16, 2017 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 4 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY
Philip L. Holstein Community Program Awards BY JUDITH L. STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York announced that 14 of the 21 grant applications to the Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund were approved at the January 2017 meeting of the Board of Directors. This annual grant program was renamed the Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Central New York last fall in honor of Holstein, who died in September. His “insight and effort” are said to have served as the genesis for the fund, which aims to foster collaboration and cooperation among local Jewish institutions. It is
intended to continue honoring Holstein’s lifelong dedication to Central New York. He was the Annual Campaign chair for two years, and received the Esther and Joseph Roth Award in Recognition of Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership in 2013. The Federation Allocations Committee, working with an available fund amount of just more than $40,000, reviewed 21 applications and established a final list of 14 applications totaling $40,700 to recommend to the Federation board for final approval. These Community Program Funds are made available to Jewish community organizations so “new and innovative” programs and services can be introduced to
the community. They are identified during the annual budget-planning process and do not affect planned allocations to any of the Federation’s beneficiary agencies or programs. Members of this year’s Allocations Committee included Co-Chairs Ellen Weinstein and Cheryl Schotz, along with committee members Linda Alexander, Marc Beckman, Adam Fumarola, Mickey Lebowitz, Todd Pinsky, Jef Sneider, Ruth Stein, David Temes and Steve Volinsky. The programs are expected to “add a new or expanded component to the Jewish life, heritage and culture” of the community.
Women’s seder to be held March 22
After a hiatus of several years, plans are underway to once again hold a communitywide women’s seder on Wednesday, March 22, at 6:15 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The event will feature a light Passover meal with symbolic foods, singing, dancing and the opportunity to “bond spiritually.” The seder will be open to all women, including “interfaith sisters,” and participants have been encouraged to bring
daughters and granddaughters. The story of Exodus will be celebrated in story, song, dancing and symbolism from a woman’s perspective, and will memorialize Jewish women who overcame “significant obstacles to make major contributions to the country and the world.” The seder will be led by Cantors Paula Pepperstone, Kari Siegel-Eglash and Francine Berg, and Ba’alat Tefillah Esa Jaffe, using a women’s haggadah, which has been updated and compiled
by Cantor Eglash. The women’s seder is sponsored by the Sisterhoods of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord, and the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Syracuse Section. The committee is chaired by CBS-CS member Sally Ullman. Other committee members include Marcia Cohen and Nancy Barnett, from CBS-CS; Alison Bronstein, from TAY; Ellyn Roloff, See “Seder” on page 5
Federation’s CRC to show “Hate Spaces” movie BY JUDITH L. STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York Community Relations Committee has arranged for a showing of the film “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” to be held on Sunday, March 5, at 3 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. There will be no charge to view the movie and no reservations will be necessary. The film illustrates how antisemitism affects Jewish students on college campuses through the ongoing efforts of “academic delegitimization of Israel and the normalization of hatred of Israel and Jews in the name of social justice.” Executive producer and director Ralph Avi Goldwasser is a child of Holocaust survivors and grew up in Israel and New York City. He is a co-founder and former executive director of the David Project,
a pro-Israel advocacy campus group, and he has been executive producer of several other films. Goldwasser has said that this film is about what is happening on campuses now, who is doing it and why it is happening. He added, “Jew hatred on campus is based on lies. Moving beyond hatred requires a more complete understanding of how these lies are propagated on campus, and how our humanistic values are distorted and exploited against us by an organized political movement and ideology. We need to educate the Greater Syracuse area about how demonization of Israel and Jews on campus is normalized in the name of social justice.” In Central New York, this topic is said to be “of particular importance” as there are several local colleges and universities with Jewish students and faculty who are potentially facing a
Printer error in February 2 issue
Some subscribers in Syracuse received two copies of the February 2 issue of the Jewish Observer, as a printer error resulted in some subscribers not initially receiving a copy.
variety of overt and covert antisemitic and anti-Israel accusations. The showing will be open to college-bound students and their families throughout Central New York. Maxwell School at Syracuse University Associate Professor Miriam Elman will introduce the program and, following the film, moderate a question-and-answer session. She is a member of the Federation’s Community Relations Committee. Elman has viewed the film and said, “All parents of college-bound Jewish students need to see this film. Fortunately, most U.S. universities and colleges aren’t awash in antisemitism or anti-Israel animus. However, on campus ‘hot spots’ where antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism are prevalent, this film explains why this bigotry has taken root; who is responsible for funding and promoting it; and how we can better equip Jewish and Zionist students to confront it.” For more information, contact Judith Stander at the Federation, 315-445-2040, ext. 114.
Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas – $1,600 This funding will partially help support publicity materials and programs for the planned program “Voices of the Shoah: Music and Composers of the Holocaust.” The schedule for the performance will be announced. Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies/Temple Adath Yeshurun – $5,000 This jointly-funded program between the Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies and Temple Adath Yeshurun will provide a madrichim training course for teenagers from all area religious schools to provide them with the skills to properly work with children and teachers in classrooms and social activities. Teenagers will have an opportunity to develop self-confidence and the skills needed to become leaders and role models for younger children. A shalshelet program will be put in place to provide a monetary incentive for teenagers to participate in providing service to the Epstein School, in community religious schools and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies – $800 There will be a research project to learn why Jewish teenagers residing in the Greater Syracuse area do or do not enroll in and attend the Epstein School. See “Awards” on page 6
2017 Federation Annual Campaign Goal: $1,200,000
as of Feb. 13, 2017
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C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A February 17..............5:21 pm.............................................................Parasha-Yitro February 24..............5:30 pm.................................................. Parasha-Mishpatim March 3....................5:39 pm......................................................Parasha-Terumah
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Point/counterpoint
JCC Purim Carnival
Singing the blues
Two views of the recent ban on The annual JCC Purim Carnival will Jewish musicians are combining Muslim immigrants from seven be held on March 12; volunteers Jewish spiritual or religious lyrics are needed. countries. with Americana music. Stories on page 3 Stories on page 2 Story on page 8
PLUS Small Business Profiles.....7-9 Calendar Highlights............. 10 B’nai Mitzvah......................... 10 Obituaries................................11
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ FEBRUARY 16, 20176/20 SHEVAT 5777
A MATTER OF OPINION Open letter to the community from the JCC executive director If you wanted to be Jewish and BY MARCI ERLEBACHER raise Jewish children then, for It was almost 25 years ago the community’s survival, you that I attended one of my first belonged to and supported national conventions for Jewish the Jewish entities so your Community Centers. At the community could thrive. You opening banquet, our Syracuse supported community so your group was seated with a like children could come home size community from the deep once they received their educaSouth. This was done so we tion to raise their families and could talk about our communion and on so your community ties and our JCCs, and learn how Marci Erlebacher would survive. others did business. It was at On January 9, 17 JCCs received bomb this banquet that I learned one of my most invaluable lessons. As the small talk of the threats, but they were elsewhere in the evening evolved, I asked the leader of a country, mostly in the South; but, still, I southern community how many Jews lived shuddered. And then they came for us. On in their community. Nine thousand, they January 18, we received our first bomb explained. “So, how many Jews belong to threat. We were one of 30. We evacuated your JCC,” I continued. “Nine thousand!” successfully, but knew we should do better they incredulously proclaimed as if there in case it happened again. On January 31, we received our second bomb threat. This must be something wrong with me. At that time, we had about 9,000 Jews time, we were one of 15, and we evacuated in Syracuse, but we only had about 330 virtually flawlessly – with slight tweaks “units of membership” at our JCC. And needed. My personal motto is to always here was the invaluable lesson. In the strive to be better – even when you are pretSouth, where being Jewish was challeng- ty damn good. Law enforcement praised ing, you belonged to and supported your our preparedness, and, as a campus, our Jewish institutions as a matter of survival. ability to work together and coordinate
our evacuation was incredible considering the situation. Funny, but it is not the actual bomb threat that is traumatic; it is the days after – the debriefing with staff and law enforcement, making sure staff is OK. The hardest thing is reassuring the parents that all is OK – constantly thinking and at times saying, “Please stay with us. We are a safe facility. Keep your children here. We can – and will – protect them. We are a strong and vibrant facility, stay with us. Please stay.” The hardest thing I have had to do as executive director is lead an evacuation and deal with the aftermath. A new normal and continued preparedness is now in the air of the JCC. When I dress for work in the morning, I check the weather report, wear boots in case we receive a threat and ask myself if I dressed warm enough to stand outside at my facility while my staff and our children are taken to safety. The letters of support we are receiving from literally all across the country are heartwarming and indicative of why we must continue in the face of these events. So, now I come back to my opening: our survival must be linked to strong com-
munity support. We no longer can boast of having 9,000 Jews in Syracuse. We may be around 7,000 – but how many of you can say they belong to and/or support the JCC? We need you now more than ever. We need your support as a confirmation of why we must stand strong. We came into being around the time that the first battles of the Civil War were fought. We have existed and survived through several wars that were waged in different parts of the world, and we survived and grew. We have bragging rights of being the second oldest JCC in North America. And we are now faced with rising antisemitism, with an evil element that goes after our very core – our love of education, our love of family, our love of community. Now, more than ever, we must stand together strong and proud of who and what we are. Please, stand with me. Let’s protect our right to exist as a Jewish community now and forever. Marci Erlebacher is the executive director of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, a position she has held for 15 years. She has been involved in the JCC for 31 years.
A MATTER OF OPINION Point/counterpoint Syrian refugee ban has same flawed rationale as refusal of Holocaust refugees BY ALBERT L. KRAMER JNS.org There are all kinds of sayings reminding us that if we fail to learn from the tragedies of the past, we are doomed to relive them in the future. We appear to have failed to heed that warning. On May 31, 1939, the German ship St. Louis left Hamburg for Cuba with more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing for their lives from Nazi Germany. They were offered respite in Cuba temporarily until their visa applications would be approved to enter the U.S. But antisemitic rallies of thousands of people were instigated throughout Cuba, demanding that these Jewish refugees be kept out. These money-hungry immigrants, exhorted the protesters, were not to be let in to take away their jobs. The Jewish refugees were turned away. The St. Louis then attempted to dock in Miami. The country that welcomes the homeless and the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” also denied entry to the Jewish refugees seeking asylum, although the president and the State Department knew that they would be sending them back on a perilous and hopeless journey by refusing to let them land. With nowhere to go, the St. Louis was compelled to return to Europe. The Jewish refugees were disbursed to fend for themselves, with 254 of them served up to be killed in the Holocaust. Thousands of other Jewish refugees were to be martyred, having been denied entry into the U.S. by immigration laws deliberately kept strict to keep them out. The reason given for refusing to rescue Jewish refugees from Hitler was to protect the country. The expressed fear was that the Germans could turn Jewish refugees into spies, by holding their families hostage back in Germany. Yet, not one case of such espionage was ever documented
to give credence to that fear. The noted Holocaust historian Professor Deborah Lipstadt concluded that the Jews were denied entry due to the State Department’s wartime paranoia and outright bigotry. Sound familiar? The State Department stated that the Jewish immigrants presented a national security risk. Sound familiar? These are the exact reasons why the U.S. has now decided to refuse entry of any of the one million Syrian refugees who have fled their country seeking safety from the devastating ravages of a civil war, and in effect, like the Jews, are now told to seek asylum elsewhere. As a result of the largest humanitarian crisis and displacement of human beings since World War II, 12 million Syrians have fled their homes. More than six million of them remain trapped and displaced within Syria. Five million of them have been taken in by caring neighboring countries. The U.S. had made a very limited commitment, but at least a commitment, to allow 100,000 of the remaining one million Syrian refugees – mostly single mothers and children – to immigrate to America, on top of the 16,000 who were already admitted. However, a presidential executive order has just been issued barring all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely, and severely restricting immigration and travel from six other Muslim-majority countries. “National security” once again was being used as a rationale for barring entry to certain types of refugees – this time to deal with the threat of terrorism. This is the fear, or more appropriately stated, the scare, for demanding an extreme scrutiny of Muslims trying to seek asylum in our country, though there is already a successful vetting program in place. The vetting process is already extreme in nature, with See “Flawed” on page 11
Trump’s travel ban: clumsy launch, perfectly legal BY ABRAHAM H. MILLER JNS.org To say the implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban was clumsy would be an understatement. To say, however, that the principles involved were totally without constitutional justification would be unwarranted. Since Trump’s inauguration, nothing
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has dominated the political conversation as much as hatred punctuated by hysteria. The aspiration toward civility that once served as a norm for political discourse in this country has been consumed in conflagration, riots, mass demonstrations and physical attacks. In no other policy area, perhaps, has See “Legal” on page 11
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FEBRUARY 16, 2017/20 SHEVAT 5777 ■
AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Save the date: JCC Purim Carnival March 12
Children played games at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s 2016 Purim Carnival.
BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s 2017 Purim Carnival will be held on Sunday, March 12, from noon-4 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Admission to the annual event will be free and open to the public. Many community members gather each year to celebrate the Purim holiday with a carnival. The JCC’s Purim Carnival, which features children in costumes, games, food and activities, has become a tradition in the community. The carnival will feature preschool and school-age games, large inflatable toys, a bounce house, prizes, a used book sale, food and more. Event proceeds will benefit the JCC. Esther’s Café, which is said to be one of the carnival’s main attractions, will open for lunch at 11:30 am in the
JCC seeks volunteers for Purim Carnival BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s annual Purim Carnival, which will be held on Sunday, March 12, from noon-4 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, is seeking volunteers for shifts from 11:45 am-2 pm and from 1:45-4 pm. The JCC is said to “take pride in putting on its Purim Carnival primarily with the help of volunteers.” Among the many tasks in which volunteers will assist are overseeing games, serving food and helping out in the prize room. For students seeking to fulfill community service requirements, volunteering is a way to earn credit hours and help out the JCC. The Purim Carnival has become a tradition for many local families. Admission to the March 12 event will be free and open to the public.
Brianna Smith, a volunteer at the 2016 JCC Purim Carnival, worked on a face painting design for Iris Horowitz. For more information about volunteering at the JCC’s Purim Carnival, contact Cindy Stein at 315-445-2040, ext. 104, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
residents of any of the Menorah Park facilities can be submitted by Friday, March 17, by contacting Director of Development Susie Drazen at 315-446-9111, ext. 141, or email@example.com.
Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu FEBRUARY 20-24 Monday – tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwich Tuesday – Hawaiian chicken Wednesday – hot corned beef sandwich Thursday – stuffed cabbage Friday – brisket FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 3 Monday – teriyaki crispy baked chicken wings Tuesday – Marsala meatballs Wednesday – cheese quiche Thursday – chicken rollatini Friday – fresh salmon with dill sauce
On January 27, Tim McLaughlin, of the Key Bank Foundation, presented a check for $10,000 to Menorah Park of Central New York. The gift will be used toward the construction of the Memory Care Center at the Center for Healthy Living at Menorah Park. Accepting the donation were (l-r) nursing home Administrator Mike Svendsen, Director of Development Susie Drazen, CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood and McLaughlin.
S E N I L D A E D
Call for 2017 Shining Stars at Menorah Park
May is Older Americans Month, and Menorah Park will commemorate the event by holding its 12th Shining Stars event. The celebration is scheduled for Thursday, May 25. Nominations of employees, volunteers and
JCC’s Anne and Hy Miller Family Auditorium. A variety of home-cooked, Va’ad-supervised kosher food by the JCC’s chef, Donna Carullo, will be available. For more information about the Purim Carnival, including volunteer opportunities, contact Cindy Stein at 315-445-2040, ext. 104, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse 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 email@example.com.
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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas CBS-CS HOSTS “BREAKING THE SILENCE” SPEAKER In keeping with Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas’ effort to provide education from different Israeli perspectives, Avner Gvaryahu, of the non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence, will speak to the congregation on Tuesday, February 21, at 7:30 pm, on “Israel’s Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shetika): Challenges for both them and for us.” “Breaking the Silence” is an “organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and “have taken it upon themselves to expose the public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. [The group] endeavors to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life.” Gvaryahu, born in the Israeli city of Rehovot and raised in the religious nationalist community, served in the special forces of the paratroopers’ brigade, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant. A year after he was discharged, he joined BTS as a researcher and tour guide with a focus on working with world Jewry. In his last position, he served as the director of the Public Outreach Department and has been with BTS for more than five years. He holds a bachelor’s in social work from Tel Aviv University and in 2016 completed an master’s at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. ENVIRONMENTAL JUDAISM LUNCH AND LEARN Peter Saulson will lead a discussion on “Environmental Judaism: the Writings of
Hans Jonas” on Saturday, February 25, at approximately 12:15 pm following Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, 18 Patsy Ln., Jamesville. This year’s CBS-CS scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Lawrence Troster, has described the late Hans Jonas as “one of his most important influences.” The session will examine Jonas’ environmental philosophy and how it connects with his theology. Troster is considered to be one of the country’s leading Jewish eco-theologians and religious environmental leaders. He will be the congregation’s scholar-in-residence the weekend of March 31-April 2. Services, which begin at 9:30 am, and the lunch and learn, are open to the community. For more information, contact 315-445-9570 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See “CBS-CS” on page 10
Temple Adath Yeshurun ESA JAFFE CONCERT, LOVE: IN 2008. She is a trained singer with a masMANY LANGUAGES, ON MARCH 4 ter’s in voice performance from Syracuse University. She holds a master’s in Jewish BY SONALI MCINTYRE communal service from the Temple Adath Yeshurun will Hornstein Program at Brandeis host the concert “Love: In Many University, with a concentration Languages,” featuring Ba’alat in Jewish education. Prior to Tefillah Esa Jaffe, with Frederserving as the ba’alat tefillah, ick Willard, accompanist, and she was the director of the TAY the Temple Adath Yeshurun Religious School. adult choir, on Saturday, March Willard is a composer, con4 at 7:30 pm. The performance will ductor and multi-instrumentalshowcase love songs, from ist. In his musical theater career, traditional Hebrew melodies he has worked on more than Temple Adath to smooth jazz tunes. Songs 100 shows, including five on will be performed in Hebrew, Yeshurun Ba’alat Broadway as musical director, English, Ladino, Yiddish and Tefillah Esa Jaffe orchestrator and keyboardist. French. A dessert reception He holds three degrees from will follow the concert. There will be no Syracuse University and has pursued cost to attend the program, which will be advanced study at the Manhattan School open to the community. of Music and the Goldovsky Opera WorkJaffe said, “I am looking forward to shop. He is said to be “a familiar face” at performing a variety of music in both TAY, playing the organ and keyboard for style and language and delighted to services and musical events. share this concert with our congregation Reservations have been requested for and community.” the event. To make a reservation or for Jaffe grew up in the congregation and more information, contact the TAY office has served as TAY’s ba’alat tefillah since at 315-445-0002 or email@example.com.
L-r: Sammy Kuss, Jamie Kuss, Guy Juran and Owen Reckess went ice skating.
Sixty Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas members went ice skating at Sunnycrest Rink on January 29. L-r: Tom Sikora, Myah and Dina Pettiford, and Elana Shever.
THE SINGING MEN OF OHIO BY CHANA MEIR The Ohio University Men’s Choir, known as “The Singing Men of Ohio,” will perform as part of the Goldenberg Cultural Series on Thursday, March 9, at 7 pm. “The Singing Men of Ohio” is an ensemble of 80 undergraduate and graduate students drawn from all majors of the university, whose motto is “unitas per harmonium” (“unity through harmony”). The group was established as a performing ensemble and a student organization that sponsors service projects and social activities. The choir has performed throughout the United States, as well as in China, advancing its mission of bringing men’s choral singing and its “rich traditions” to a worldwide audience. The choir’s programming includes spirituals, motets, French chansons, German and American part songs, folk songs, musical theater, barbershop melodies and what they call their “own peculiar brand of hijinks.” The event will be free and open to the public. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org. ISRAELI AWARD-WINNER “BABA JOON” NEXT UP AT CINEMAGOGUE BY CHANA MEIR Set in a Persian-immigrant moshav in the Negev in the 1980s, “Baba Joon” is the next offering in Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue series. It will be shown on Saturday, March 18, at 7 pm, in the synagogue’s social hall. “Baba Joon” – the title refers to a Persian term of endearment, such as a son might address to a father – is a coming-of-age drama that explores the conflict between Yitzhak, a Persian immigrant upholding the old country’s traditions, and his 13-year-old son, Moti, a native-born Israeli. Yitzhak runs the turkey farm his father built after the family emigrated from Iran. He plans to eventually hand it over to Moti. When Moti resists, Yitzhak takes it as a personal affront and a battle of wills ensues. A visit from Yitzhak’s brother, Darius, who fled to America to escape the family business, becomes a flashpoint that deepens the rift between father and son. “Baba Joon” received five of Israel’s Ophir movie awards, including nods for
film, art direction, cinematography, and its score, which incorporates ancient Persian instruments such as the zarb, santur and kamancheh. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org. GOLDENBERG SERIES BRINGS BACK CLARINETIST ROBIN SELETSKY BY CHANA MEIR Robin Seletsky and Friends will return to perform a program combining classical and klezmer music as part of Temple Concord’s Goldenberg Cultural Series on Monday, March 20, at 7 pm. Seletsky, a clas- Clarinetist Robin sically-trained clarSeletsky inetist, is said to be “equally at home” with klezmer as with classical music. Her father, the late Harold Seletsky, a clarinetist, composer and bandleader of the West End Klezmorim, was known as “the Prez of Klez.” Robin’s newest venture is a series of programs for klezmer and symphony orchestra. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory, attended the Juilliard School and has been cited by The New York Times for her work as principal clarinetist with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. She has performed around the country and as far away as India, both as a klezmer soloist and as a member of the klezmer ensemble Big Galute. In addition to performing as a soloist with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic and Utica and Catskill Symphony Orchestras, Robin works as an instructor of clarinet at Hartwick College and has given lectures and master classes at many colleges and universities. She is the music director at Temple Beth El in Oneonta and a member of the International Clarinet Association, the Guild of Temple Musicians and the American Federation of Musicians. The event will be free and open to the public. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315475-9952 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 16, 2017/20 SHEVAT 5777 ■
Tap dance classes start February 28 at the JCC
Barry Shulman (far right) led a tap dance class at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse last fall.
Chabad brings movie “Farbrengen” to Syracuse Chabad Lubavitch will present the film, “Farbrengen: An Inside Look,” on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:30 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The black-and-white vintage film delves into the “world of the Rebbe,” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s farbrengen (joyous gatherings) were said to be “legendary.” Beginning at 9 pm and lasting
until the early hours of the morning, Rabbi Schneerson would touch upon any topic that affected Judaism and society in general. The attendance included people such as the chief rabbi of Israel; philanthropists; United States senators and congressmen; authors, such as Chaim Potok and Elie Wiesel; and scholars, such as Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (also known as Adin Even Yisrael). The film will be narrated by Rabbi Yaakov Rappaport, who participated in hundreds of these farbrengens.
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from TC; and Marlene Holstein and Vicki Feldman, from NCJW. Representing the JCC will be Cindy Stein, JCC director of adult and senior programming. The event was originated by NCJW, Greater Syracuse Section more than 10 years ago. A mitzvah project benefitting people in need has also been planned in conjunction with the women’s seder. The committee has asked everyone attending to bring
canned or boxed foods to be donated to the Temple Concord Food Pantry. There will be a charge to attend. For information or to make a reservation, contact Ullman at 315-656-8546 or Ullman5845@email@example.com. The communitywide women’s seder is supported by the JCC and a grant from the Pomeranz, Shankman, and Martin Charitable Foundation.
BY WILLIAM WALLAK Adult tap dance classes will start up again on Tuesdays beginning on February 28 at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Four class levels will be offered each evening: remedial, starting at 6:30 pm; beginner, at 7 pm; intermediate, at 8 pm; and advanced, at 9 pm. The weekly group sessions will run through May 23, with no classes on April 11 and 18. There will be a modest cost to participate. The JCC’s tap classes will be open to anyone age 12 and older. No prior dance experience will be necessary. The remedial and beginner classes are for newcomers and start from the beginning. A limited number of tap shoes will be available to borrow each night on a first-come, first-serve basis. Class registration is not necessary, although tappers are asked to arrive early to sign in. Local attorney and choreographer Barry Shulman will once again lead the
classes. Shulman, who has held the JCC tap classes the past several years, teaches “New York City” style. Students do not need to commit to every class and can attend as many as they choose. “We’re excited to have Barry back with us teaching tap again this spring,” said Patrick Scott, JCC sports and fitness director. “He’s an excellent teacher and makes the classes lively and entertaining. From beginners to more seasoned dancers, Barry does a great job of getting everyone moving and having fun each night.” Shulman, a partner in the law firm Mackenzie Hughes LLP, has taught many principal dancers on Broadway and with national tours. He keeps the cost of the tap classes to a minimum and donates the proceeds to the JCC. Shulman received the JCC’s Kovod Gadol Award in 2013 for his “commitment, energy and loyalty to the Center.” For more information about the adult tap dance classes, contact the JCC’s Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center at 315-234-4522 or visit www.jccsyr.org.
Gently-used books sought for fund-raiser BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is seeking donations of gently-used books for its upcoming book sale fund-raiser. Books suitable for all ages and in generally good condition may be dropped off during regular business hours through Friday, March 10, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The JCC’s used book sale will kick
off during the Center’s upcoming Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 12, from noon-4 pm. The sale will continue from Monday-Friday, March 13-31, during the JCC’s regular business hours. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the JCC’s children’s and senior’s programs. For more information, contact Mick Hagan at 315-445-2040, ext. 129, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• THE POLITICS OF INTOLERANCE ON CAMPUS•
The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” SPECIAL SCREENING OF THIS FILM SUNDAY - MARCH 5 - 3:00 PM Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center A communitywide women’s seder Planning Committee meeting on January 25 included (l-r) Cindy Stein, Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse director of adult and senior programing; Ellyn Roloff, from Temple Concord; Committee Chair Sally Ullman, from Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas; Alison Bronstein, from Temple Adath Yeshurun; Marlene Holstein, from National Council of Jewish Women; and Marcia Cohen, from CBS-CS.
5655 Thompson Road in DeWitt
The Jewish Federation of Central New York invites college-bound students, families and friends to view this film. Syracuse University Maxwell School Associate Professor Miriam Elman will introduce the program and moderate a Q & A session following the screening. Learn about growing concerns of Jewish identity on campus and how the BDS movement wants to delegitimize the State of Israel. Free Parking
5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214 Tel: 315-445-0161 • Fax: 315-445-1559 • www.jewishfederationcny.org
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ FEBRUARY 16, 20176/20 SHEVAT 5777
State of Israel to mark many milestone anniversaries in 2017
BY RICHARD D. WILKINS Many Israel-related decade milestone anniversaries will be marked in 2017. The First Zionist Congress met in Basel, Switzerland, 120 years ago, on August 29, 1897. It was organized by Theodor Herzl and followed the response from the Jewish masses to his publication, the previous year, of “The Jewish State.” That gathering set in place a plan and organization for achieving statehood, which Herzl prophetically expected to take some 50 years. The early years were difficult, compounded by Herzl’s own untimely death in 1902. However, there was a major breakthrough, 100 years ago, on November 2, 1917, in the midst of World War I, with Great Britain’s Balfour Declaration. It was actually a short letter from Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour to Baron Walter Rothschild, expressing support for “a Jewish homeland in Palestine.” The area was then part of the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary. Barely a month later, on December 9, 1917, British forces took Jerusalem from the Turks. That paved the way for the newly-formed League of Nations to empower a British Mandate in Palestine to enact the declaration’s promises. British appointment of Haj Amin al-Husseini as grand mufti of Jerusalem, how-
ever, fatally foiled any prospects for Arab-Jewish amity. Murdering moderate Arabs, and inciting pogroms against Jews, he fomented the Arab revolt of 1936-39. Throughout the Mandate’s early period, various commissions sought a solution to the ongoing unrest. The Peel Commission on July 7, 1937, finally proposed partition. Having repeatedly backtracked on its promises to the Jews, Britain, in 1939, issued the infamous White Paper, which greatly limited Jewish immigration. It proved a literal death warrant for millions of Jews caught up in the Holocaust. Post-World War II, with Jews desperate to go to Palestine and scattered in displaced persons camps throughout Europe, the British remained recalcitrant. Yishuv (emerging Jewish polity) resistance made the British position increasingly untenable. Intent on surrendering its mandate, it punted the issue to the U.N. General Assembly. It voted, 70 years ago, on November 29, 1947, to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. As with Peel, the Jews accepted that; the Arab states did not. Six armies immediately attacked Israel upon its declaring independence. Israel survived that onslaught, though at great cost, but Arab enmity continued unabated. In the Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967), in another failed attempt by the Arabs to “drive the Jews into the sea,” Israel conquered
the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan from Syria and the Sinai from Egypt. Most dramatic was the liberation, on June 7, of the Old City of Jerusalem, from which Jews had since been barred, in contravention of the 1948-49 war armistice agreement. That day, Iyar 28, has since been celebrated as Jerusalem Day. Complete catastrophe for Israel was narrowly averted in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, launched jointly by Egypt and Syria. In its bitter wake, four years later, came two remarkable events, six months apart. On May 17, 1977, the Labour Party’s long electoral lock was broken. Menachem Begin of Likud became prime minister. In an electrifying move, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat flew to Israel on November 20. Subsequent negotiations would result in Egypt’s signing a peace treaty with Israel. Peace with the Palestinians, however, remains elusive. The First Intifada began on December 9, 1987. Some two decades ago, Oslo briefly offered hope. Following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from Fatah on June 14, 2007. Both Palestinian factions maintain a refusal to accept the legitimacy of a sovereign Mideast Jewish state or to declare an end to conflict. They differ only on tactics toward the destruction of Israel. How many more decades must be wasted before peace finally can be achieved?
Jewish immigration group HIAS files suit against Trump refugee ban BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – The Jewish resettlement agency HIAS has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees. The complaint, filed on February 7 by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Maryland alleges that the order violates the Constitution by discriminating against one religion and favoring others. Trump’s order specifically gives preference to persecuted religious minorities once the
Hillel at Syracuse University – $2,500 Hillel at Syracuse University will be able to register and send two students to attend the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly, to be held in Los Angeles, CA, in 2017. Following their participation, these students will participate in at least 20 hours of community outreach related to their G.A. experiences to teenagers and adults. Hillel at SU and Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse – $2,300 This partnership will allow the community to bring a sofer (Torah scribe) to campus and to the Greater Syracuse area to do Torah inspections, cleanings and educational programs. Funding will allow for 10 individual Torah evaluations, travel, lodging, food and youth and adult education programming for the benefit of all area synagogues. Jewish Community Center and Temple Adath Yeshurun – $5,000 Funds will allow a Judaic-themed program to be brought to Syracuse and Central New York. This will be accomplished through collaboration with other local organizations. The goals are to provide a cultural Judaic experience that will inform, educate and bring together members of the local Jewish community with a concert by the Colorado-based
refugee resettlement program is resumed. “As an organization that has long partnered with the U.S. government, litigation is unprecedented for HIAS, but we feel we have no other choice,” HIAS President Mark Hetfield said in a statement. “We cannot remain silent as Muslim refugees are turned away just for being Muslim, just as we could not stand idly by when the U.S. turned away Jewish refugees fleeing Germany during the 1930s and ‘40s. Our history and our values, as Jews and as Americans, require us to fight this illegal and immoral new policy with every
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Rocky Mountain Jewgrass Group. Menorah Park – $4,500 Funds will help strengthen the inclusive community at Menorah Park and allow residents, and the adult volunteers who travel off-campus with them, to attend events and holiday celebrations throughout the year. The Tachlis of Inclusion, Chaverim L’Avodah Vocational Volunteers and thematic materials are included. A training manual will be one of the outcomes of the program. Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum – $5,000 Funds will be used to engage a firm to design and develop a new organizational website. The upgraded site will be designed to attract a wider public, educators and those interested in the history and ongoing education of the Holocaust, American and New York history, including, among others, refugee issues. Syracuse Area Jewish Educators – $2,500 Funds will provide necessary technology and materials to foster inclusion in classrooms for students who have special learning needs. Materials include posters, manipulatives and technology to enhance how teachers teach, to enhance what they teach and learn how students are able to demonstrate what they learn. Syracuse Hebrew Day School – $3,000 Funds will provide new computers, along with
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tool at our disposal – including litigation.” The order, signed by Trump on January 27, temporarily halts the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and suspends refugee resettlement for Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order is already the subject of federal litigation after a judge in Washington state issued a temporary stay. That ruling is currently under appeal. HIAS, the former Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is a 135-year-old Jewish agency that assists refugees and asylum seekers based in Maryland.
increased connectivity and processing speeds so students will be able to explore the potential of electronic devices as a routine part of their ongoing education. SHDS/TAY/JCC/Epstein/SCHS – $6,000 This multi-organizational collaboration will provide the Central New York community with an opportunity to experience Six13, a nationally recognized vocal group that brings a diverse style of Jewish music to the stage. Syracuse Jewish Family Service – $1,500 This grant is intended to help create a better quality of life for seniors and the aging population. Access to a project, “M-Power U: A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss,” will be provided through scholarships for older adults in the Jewish community. It is designed to remove barriers of fear and denial, and offers encouragement throughout this proactive educational and social support program. Temple Concord – $1,000 Funds will help develop easy access to area Jewish libraries housed in Temple Concord and other Central New York congregations. The grant includes Open Libraries Project materials and supplies for workshop and equipment hardware. The Jewish Book Council will be a resource source for this project.
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FEBRUARY 16, 2017/20 SHEVAT 5777 ■
This new kosher deli may be Miami’s hippest restaurant BY LUCY COHEN BLATTER MIAMI (JTA) – The first few weeks in January were meant to be a soft opening for Zak Stern’s new traditional deli. But given the massive following that Stern – better known as Zak the Baker – has garnered for his bakery, things didn’t really turn out as planned. “We call it a ‘rough opening’ because there’s nothing soft about it,” Stern said recently as “the deli,” as it is
known to differentiate from the bakery, began filling with customers eager to try the house specialties, like a vegetable omelette, served with corned beef and aioli, potato kugel and more. Of course, the instant success of Stern’s deli isn’t too surprising given that Zak the Baker – both his bakery and the man himself – have garnered numerous accolades since setting up shop four years ago. A line of customers, often dozens deep, regularly snakes around the block outside the bakery. The customers wait – sometimes for an hour or more – for his olive-studded loaves of bread, authentic French-style baguettes, croissants and
deep-dish quiches. Stern has achieved the seemingly impossible: His eateries are decidedly cool and are popular with Miami’s hipsters and foodie sets. At the same time, however, because they are kosher, they are a destination for observant Jewish Miami residents and visitors, many of whom travel about 20 minutes from the city’s more touristy areas to the Wynwood neighborhood north of downtown. “Wynwood is one of Miami’s only counterculture areas,” Stern said of the artsy, industrial neighborhood, where many buildings are covered with bright graffiti. See “Deli” on page 12
Israel intercepts rockets aimed at Eilat
The staff at Zak the Baker’s new kosher deli in Miami (l-r): chef Melissa Sosa, Zak Stern, general manager Ashley Dugdale and server Ricardo Araujo. (Photo courtesy of Zak the Baker)
(JTA) – Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome system intercepted at least three missiles fired from the Sinai at its southernmost resort town, Eilat. The Israeli media quoted the army as saying the missiles were fired the evening of February 8. There were varying counts on the total number of missiles fired, between four and seven. There were no injuries. Eilat has not suffered an attack since
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Specialty: Licensed associate real estate broker Location: 7650 Highbridge Rd. Suite 210 Manlius, NY 13104 Name: Judy M. Winslow, ABR, CRS, SRES Phone: 315-682-1950 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.judywinslowrealtor.com Hours: Always open “I have been in the real estate business for more than 30 years,” says Judy Winslow. “My real estate career started in New York City in the 1980s selling commercial real estate. Today, I work with HUNT Real Estate ERA helping people buy and sell homes in Central New York.” Judy serves both as a representative for home buyers and a marketing agent for home sellers. Every client gets her undivided attention and all benefit from her professionalism: integrity is essential to all her relationships; communication begins with listening; and negotiation is about setting priorities. Negotiation skills, creative marketing and conflict resolutions abilities are what get deals sold. “My husband John and I love living in Manlius. We chose to move here and raise our family. I sincerely believe Central New York is a great place to live!” says Judy.
2012, according to Haaretz. Israel and Egypt have beefed up efforts to roust militant Islamist terrorists in the Sinai peninsula, territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and returned to Egypt as part of the 1978 Camp David peace accords. Earlier the week of February 8, there was a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
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Quality interior/exterior residential and commercial painting with a personal touch Name: Larry Metzger Location: 6340 Danbury Dr. Jamesville, NY 13078-9729 Phone: 315-446-0966 Fax: 315-446-1555 E-mail: LMPainting@aol.com Serving Central New York for nearly 35 years, L-M Painting prides itself on professional, quality and personalized service to its many satisfied customers. Larry Metzger takes the time to discuss every project’s details, assisting customers in color selection with a wide variety of samples. Larry often works alongside his crews – when the job is complete, your home or workplace will be left immaculate. The company repairs water-damaged ceilings and walls, and can do other minor repairs. Wall covering removal and wall preparation, as well as all types of interior and exterior painting, are some of the services offered. Larry is a longtime member of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, serving on the Executive Board as treasurer of the local chapter. L-M Painting is fully insured and offers free estimates. Call today for special winter rates for interior projects.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ FEBRUARY 16, 20176/20 SHEVAT 5777
“Jewish Americana” music gets its moment in the spotlight was playing a few years ago, but that’s BY GABE FRIEDMAN because Kaye is now a father of two. NEW YORK (JTA) – Saul Kaye Kaye is part of a growing trend of never wanted to be a “Jewish blues” Jewish musicians who combine Jewplayer. In his opinion, the Jewish music ish spiritual or religious lyrics with he had heard growing up in Northern Americana music – an umbrella term California’s Bay Area ranged from that encompasses genres such as blues, “really bad to horrible.” bluegrass, folk and country, as well as In 2009, he was touring as a rock a distinctly homegrown, old-fashioned musician, playing hundreds of shows American sensibility. a year with various bands at bars and Since Jews were viewed as immiclubs. And though he had never been Many of Joe Buchanan’s songs very religious, he experienced a bad are inspired by his conversion to grants in the United States for a large breakup and felt the need to do some- Judaism. (Photo by Zach Dalin/ part of the 20th century – and are still widely seen as an ethnic “other” in thing spiritually “radical.” Jewish Rock Radio) American society – Jewish music and So Kaye decided to take a Talmud Americana, at first glance, seem an course at the Mayanot Institute of Jewunlikely mixture. But in addition to ish Studies in Israel. One morning, a Kaye, artists such as Nefesh Mountain, fellow student approached him and left a husband-and-wife bluegrass duo him with an intriguing prophecy. “He from New Jersey, and Joe Buchanan, a says, ‘Saul, there’s a reason you’re at a convert to Judaism from Houston who yeshiva and you know who Muddy Waplays James Taylor-esque country, are ters is – you have to figure it out,’” Kaye gaining in popularity on the national said. “I let that marinate for a while Jewish music circuit. Joey Weisenberg, and I thought: Why is there no Jewish a Brooklyn-based prayer leader and blues music? It doesn’t make sense. Our Serving CNY for your Real Estate needs... music teacher, has garnered praise for people have suffered forever, and blues his modern bluesy, indie rock-inspired Saul Kaye has released four is about suffering, blues comes out of finding you the home takes on “niggunim,” or traditional albums of Jewish blues. (Photo the slavery experience. Howthat comeisno the Jewish melodies. courtesy of Kaye) one has put this together yet?” perfect fit! These musicians are building upon Eight years later, Kaye is now seen by many as the “king” of Jewish blues, having released the foundation laid by other artists such as Andy Statman four albums in the genre that range from twangy fin- (an Orthodox, Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist gerpicking to more uptempo electric rock in the vein who plays bluegrass with his eponymous trio), Jeremiah Laurie Kushner of B.B. King.Real He Estate plays Salesperson more than 100 shows a year at Lockwood (leader of the band The Sway Machinery who Licensed HUNTconferences Realestate ERA synagogues, Jewish and festivals across the is also known for his virtuosic blues guitar playing) and 7650 Highbridge Rd., Suite 210 country – that’s down from the more than 200 shows he Klezmatics co-founder Margot Leverett (whose group,
Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg combine Jewish lyrical themes with a pure bluegrass sound as the group Nefesh Mountain. (Photo courtesy of BAM Photography) Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, combines klezmer and bluegrass). Of course, American Jews have long incorporated spiritual music with the popular: In the 1960s and ‘70s, for example, Jewish music icons Shlomo Carlebach and Debbie Friedman turned prayers and Jewish melodies into folk songs that are still sung today. But the signs are indicating that Americana could be having its biggest moment in the Jewish community right now. The trend follows a train of greater experimentation throughout the Jewish music world. “For a long time, it felt like the only artists that we were representing or were out there in congregations were a guy or girl with an acoustic guitar, singing acoustic music, singing Debbie Friedman kind of music,” said Mark Pelavin, the chief programming officer for the Union for Reform Judaism, which invites groups at the top of the Jewish music scene to play for the 5,000 attendees at its biennial. See “Music” on page 12
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FEBRUARY 16, 2017/20 SHEVAT 5777 ■
Deciphering the past Large Roman theater unearthed at dig in northern Israel “First we found a mask of Pan, then the BY ISRAEL HAYOM STAFF/EXCLUmonumental gate leading to what we began SIVE TO JNS.ORG A large Roman theater has been discov- to assume was a large public compound – a ered at an archaeological excavation run by sanctuary,” he said. “And now, this year, the University of Haifa at Sussita (Hippos) we find a public bathhouse and theater in in Israel’s northern Golan Heights region. the same location, both facilities that in the The theater is located outside the walls Roman period could be associated with the of the ancient city, leading researchers to god of medicine Asclepius or with gods of believe it was mainly used for religious nature such as Dionysus and Pan.” Eisenberg explained how these findings rites rather than as an entertainment venue. “The excavations outside the city over suggest that a large sanctuary lay outside the past few years are falling into place the city walls, which changes everything like in a detective story,” said Dr. Michael researchers previously knew about SussiEisenberg of the University of Haifa, who ta. “If our hypothesis is correct, it is quite is in charge of the team working at Sus- possible that thousands of visitors to the sita. Eisenberg presented the findings on theater came not to see the latest show in January 9 during the annual conference town, but to take part in rituals honoring of researchers at the university’s Zinman one of the gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon,” he said. Institute of Archaeology. At right: The newly excavated theater at Sussita in northern Israel. (Photo by Dr. Michael Eisenberg/Zinman Institute of Archaeology)
Wall from King David era excavated at Israel’s Timna mines BY ISRAEL HAYOM STAFF/EXCLUSIVE TO JNS.ORG A copper smelting site and an ancient wall dating back to the 10th century B.C.E. have been excavated at the Timna copper mines antiquities site in southern Israel’s Arava desert region, lending credence to the biblical story of the capture of Edom in the time of King David. The well-fortified wall once ran for hundreds of meters and stood at least five meters (16.5 feet) tall. Many sling stones were discovered next to the edifice, which may be evidence of the battle mentioned in Samuel 8:13. “We have plenty of archaeological proof to determine that the miners who worked the Timna mines weren’t
humble slaves, as had been assumed, but rather expert miners who oversaw the complex, demanding work by apprentices,” said Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, who headed the biblical archaeology team that uncovered the wall. “Today, we are discovering more and more evidence of a concentrated, hierarchical society that interacted extensively with its neighbors, which matches up with texts from the Bible and other sources.”
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At right: A section of the newly discovered wall at the Timna copper mines in southern Israel. (Photo by Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef)
Specialty: Residential real estate Location: 102 W. Seneca St. Suite 110 Manlius, NY 13104 Name: Philip G. and Joan Schuls Cell Phone: 315-727-2394 Office Phone: 315-682-9500, ext. 330 Fax: 315-682-5973 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.realtyusa.com/joanschuls Team Schuls of RealtyUSA is a husband and wife team consisting of Joan and Philip G. Schuls. “Yes, we work together and then go home together,” said Joan, a school teacher, and Philip, an electrical engineer. “Between us, we have vast experience serving buyers and/ or sellers in any and all areas of residential real estate. We are both licensed associate real estate brokers who know the Central New York market. We are expert negotiators with great people skills who listen carefully to your needs. It would be our honor to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 315-727-2394.”
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ FEBRUARY 16, 20176/20 SHEVAT 5777
Torah in the world – the world in Torah BY DR. ROBERT E. TORNBERG “On the third day, as morning dawned, there was thunder, and lightning, and a dense cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the horn... Moses led the people out of the camp toward God, and they took their places at the foot of the mountain.” (Exodus 19:16-17) According to tradition, you and I stood there at the foot of that mountain – we, together with every Jewish person who would ever stand on the earth. You remember it, don’t you? Can you describe what it was like to be there? Can you tell what happened on Sinai? I don’t know about you, but my memory is a bit fuzzy. No worries, though, because we have numerous visions of what happened on that day when all of history changed. If you ask many traditional or Orthodox rabbis, you will get a very clear answer. God gave the Torah to Moses on Mt. Sinai – complete; word-for-word, letter-for-letter – exactly as we have it today. A one-time revelation for all of history. That same rabbi might add that God also told Moses the entire Oral Law – Mishnah, Talmud,
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Tuesday, February 21 “Breaking The Silence” speaker at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas at 7:30 pm Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm Thursday, February 23 Menorah Park Operating Board meeting at 6 pm Saturday, February 25 CBS-CS Lunch and Learn with Peter Saulson at 12:15 pm Sunday, February 26 CBS-CS Hazak presents the Keyna Hora Klezmer Band at 1:30 pm Tuesday, February 28 Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series Davar Acher, adult class taught by community rabbis, to present Rabbi Leah Fein at CBS-CS at 6:45 pm Wednesday, March 1 Deadline for the March 16 issue of the Jewish Observer Syracuse Community Hebrew School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 4-6 pm Thursday, March 2 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Friday, March 3 Temple Concord Tot Shabbat at 6 pm Saturday, March 4 CBS-CS It’s Cool to Daven at shul and Volunteer Recognition Shabbat and Kiddush at 9:30 am TAY to present Esa Jaffe in a concert at 7:30 pm Sunday March 5 Jewish Federation of Central New York to present the film, “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse at 3 pm Monday March 6 TC Board of Trustees meeting at 7 pm
Shulchan Aruch, etc. at the same time. Some Orthodox rabbis believe that what happened at Sinai wasn’t quite so straightforward. Rabbi David Hartman, an American-Israeli scholar, philosopher and educator, argued that when Torah was given, it was not “a complete, finished system... the giving of the Torah at Sinai does not necessarily imply that the full truth has already been given and that our task is only to unfold what was already present in the fullness of the founding moment of revelation... What happened at Mount Sinai gave the community a direction, an arrow pointing toward a future filled with many surprises... The Sinai moment of revelation... invites one and all to... explore the terrain and extend the road. It does not require passive obedience and submission to the wisdom of the past.” (Hartman, D., 1985. A living covenant. New York: The Free Press) In the “Principles for Reform Judaism,” a document adopted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform) in 1999 read, “We affirm that Torah is the foundation of Jewish life. We cherish the truths revealed in Torah, God’s ongoing revelation to our people and the record of our people’s ongoing relationship with God... Torah gives meaning and purpose to our lives. (Ongoing record; ongoing revelation; ongoing relationship; meaning; purpose.)” “Emet V’emunah: Statement of Principles of Conservative Judaism,” accepted by the Conservative Movement in 1988, affirms, “its belief in revelation, the uncovering of an external source of truth emanating from God. This affirmation emphasizes that, although truths are transmitted by humans, they are not a human invention... The Torah’s truth is both theoretical and practical, that is, it teaches us about God and about our role in His world. As such, we reject relativism, which denies any objective source of authoritative truth. We also reject fundamentalism and literalism, which do not admit a human component in revelation, thus excluding an independent role for human experience and reason in the process... The single greatest event in the history of God’s revelation took place at Sinai, but was not limited to it. God’s communication continued... The process of revelation did not end there; it remains alive...” (https://masortiolami.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ Emet-VEmunah-Statement-of-Principles-of-Conservative-Judaism.pdf) In the article “What is Reconstructionist Judaism: A Crash Course on Reconstructionist Judaism,” Rabbi Lester Bronstein explains, “Reconstructionist Jews see the Torah as the Jewish people’s response to God’s presence in the world (and not God’s gift to us). That is to say, the Jews wrote the Torah. But that is not to say that the Torah is merely a human creation. It is a response to the sacred... God didn’t write that Torah, since God does not write per se. But God is everywhere in the details of it.” (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College website. Retrieved on January 13, 2017 from www.rrc. edu/sites/default/files/primary_navigation/resources/ Crash-Course-on-Reconstructionist-Judaism.pdf)
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HAZAK PRESENTS THE KEYNA HORA KLEZMER BAND Hazak will present the Keyna Hora Klezmer Band on Sunday, February 26, at 2 pm, with refreshments prior to the program at 1:30 pm. A sing-along will be part of the show, with the lyrics passed out to the audience. The band includes singers, dance leaders and instrumentalists, and the audience will be encouraged to dance and sing along with the music. The Keyna Hora Band has been in existence for 21 years. It was the brainstorm of Sid Lipton, who has been called “the inspirational leader and soul of the band,” and Mimi Weiner, who is the conductor and program manager. The group has 17 members, with most available at any given performance. The band members are: dancer and vocalist Chongchun Chen; dancer Linda Dimperio; clarinetist Janette Gilkey; mandolin player Paul Goldsman; drummer Allen Kosoff; Sid Lipton on the banjo; violinist Elaine Meltzer; vocalist and banjo player Neil Novelli; mandolin player Harvey Pearl; cellist Britta Serog; dancer and vocalist Harry Sommer; violinist Ernie Wass; keyboard player Sue Wass; violinist Mimi Weiner; vocalist and announcer Cheryl Wolfe; vocalist and accordion player Mark Wolfe; and poyk (a typical klezmer drum with a hi-hat attached and a strap so it can be carried by a musician) player Rosalie Young. Anyone willing to attend rehearsals and be part of the group has been invited to join the band. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 315-446-9570.
So, I hope that these strong views have jogged your memory of your experience at Sinai. My mind is certainly spinning as I consider them. I agree with all of them. And, I disagree with all of them. I remember Sinai “just like that” and I remember it differently. To clear my head, I am walking away from my computer and out of the room. My eye falls on a favorite lithograph hanging on the wall just outside the French doors that lead from my study to the living room. It is a picture titled “Genesis” by Leon Azoulay, an Israeli artist living in Tzfat. Azoulay’s art is based on Jewish sources and done in micro calligraphy. The particular piece we have uses the entire Hebrew text of the Book of Genesis (in microscopic letters) to create Azoulay’s depiction of the Book. With a magnifying glass, you can read the text that has formed the pictures. As I stare at the art and the way the words of Genesis have been used to form, among other shapes, representations of the globe, living creatures, the sun, moon, stars and the ocean, I have a “revelation.” Sinai happened at a particular moment more than 3,000 years ago, but it has also happened every moment since, including this moment. The whole of creation is in Torah, and Torah is in the whole of creation. So, we don’t need to decide what happened when Moses received the Torah at Sinai – we don’t need to remember what we experienced then. We simply need to encounter Torah – encounter Sinai – embedded in our world right now, and our world embedded in Torah right now. If we do, who knows what will be revealed? Dr. Robert E. Tornberg is currently an evaluation consultant, working from the Office of Professional Research and Development at the School of Education, Syracuse University. He previously had a 40-year career as a Jewish educator, heading synagogue education programs and Jewish day schools. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including “The Jewish Educational Leader’s Handbook” (A.R.E./ Behrman House). He is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas.
NEWS IN BRIEF From JNS.org
U.N. envoys Haley and Danon discuss strategies to change bias against Israel
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon met with his counterpart, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, for the first time the week of Feb. 3 to discuss strategies to combat the world body’s bias against Israel as well as the Iranian threat. In their meeting, Danon thanked Haley for her “unequivocal” support for Israel and proposed ways to mitigate the damage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s settlement policy. Additionally, Danon and Haley discussed reforms that Israel is interested in implementing to root out anti-Israel bias among bodies within the U.N. as well as to end disproportionate pressure on Israel at the world body. “Ambassador Haley is a true friend of Israel, and I am sure that the cooperation between our two missions will only deepen and grow under her leadership,” Danon said. “We are looking forward to leading toward a new era in which we will implement significant change at the U.N., put an end to the obsessive focus on Israel and instead work on portraying the true face of Israel to the international community,” he added.
Iranian official boasts of hitting Tel Aviv in just seven minutes
A senior Iranian official warned on Feb. 4 that if the U.S. launches an attack on Iran, his country could hit the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv in a matter of minutes. “If the enemy chooses to shoot a missile in Iran’s direction, Tel Aviv will go up in flames from an Iranian missile before the [enemy’s] missile hits its target. This is not just a slogan, as only seven minutes are needed for an Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv,” boasted Mojtaba Zonour, a member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. Zonour was also quoted by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency as saying that America’s 36 bases in the Middle East were all in range of Iranian missiles. “These points are all within the range of Iran’s missile systems and they will be razed to the ground if the enemy makes a mistake,” he said. Zonour’s statements came following fresh U.S. sanctions against Iran in response to the recent Iranian ballistic missile test that purportedly violated a United Nations resolution.
FEBRUARY 16, 2017/20 SHEVAT 5777 ■
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emotion dominated the intellect as much as it has in relation to the travel ban. This temporary ban is directed at the same countries that the Obama administration named when it prohibited them from having access to the Visa Waiver Program. In addition, President Barack Obama issued 19 executive orders banning travel and a six-month order banning travel from Iraq. There was pushback on the Iraqi ban, so it was never enforced. To be sure, removing a privilege, as in access to a visa waiver, and prohibiting entry are different things. Still, the security concerns were similar. And Iraqis would have been banned if Obama enforced his own executive order. With the stroke of a pen, Obama changed the “wet feet/dry feet” rule affecting Cuban immigration. We will no longer allow the entry of Cubans who take to the sea to flee tyranny. There were no mass demonstrations on the Cubans’ behalf, and the mainstream media showed no inclination to cover this story in any depth. We are bombarded incessantly on the news about how Trump’s executive order constitutes religious and nationality discrimination, and is unconstitutional. There is, however, abundant legal precedent for both religious and nationality discrimination, because immigration is about absorbing people from other nations about whom we make judgments. During the Iran hostage crisis, President Jimmy Carter not only refused entry to Iranians – he deported students who were already here. He did not just implement his policy toward Iranians, but eventually toward all Shi’a Muslims. The Iranians challenged Carter in court. In Narenji v. Civiletti, the Iranian plaintiffs argued that an immigration policy singling out non-immigrant students by their nationality violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. The Appellate Court did not see it that way. The court strongly rejected the plaintiff’s petition and concluded that the U.S. attorney general holds wide latitude to draw distinctions on the basis of nationality in matters of immigration. Decades later, the 9/11 Commission echoed those sentiments, noting that terrorists’ visas were part of their arsenal and that we had been derelict in having an immigration policy that was oblivious to the relationship between nationality, religion and terrorism. As a consequence, the government implemented the National Security Entrance-Exit Registration System, which applied only to 25 Muslim-majority countries and North Korea. The NSEERS program was challenged on the basis of discrimination against Muslims. The appellate courts uniformly upheld the constitutional validity of NSEERS. In Rajah v. Mukasey, the court explicitly noted how what seems to have escaped many in their reporting on the current imbroglio is that “classifications on the basis of nationality are frequently unavoidable in immigration matters... such classifications is (sic) commonplace and almost
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biometric and database screening, security screening and multiple interviews of prospective immigrants by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the National Counterterrorism Center. This vetting process takes up to two years to complete before allowing an entry. Importantly, with this scrupulous vetting system, not one American has been killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee from Syria or from any of the other six Muslim-majority countries targeted by the current travel ban. Lipstadt’s historical finding of the past is just as instructive today, and bears remembering by every Jewish-American citizen. Jews were denied entry solely due to wartime paranoia and outright bigotry. Any American Jew who is unwilling to stand up and oppose this similar wartime paranoia and bigotry denying innocent Syrian-Muslim refugees’ asylum from the ravages of their war-torn country, and oppose the executive order’s religious discrimination, must be concerned about forfeiting his or her right to criticize the U.S. for its past failure to give asylum to innocent Jewish refugees who faced the unspeakable Holocaust. Albert L. Kramer has served as the presiding justice of the Quincy District Court in Massachusetts, a chief policy adviser to the governor of Massachusetts and a Massachusetts state legislator. The Quincy District Court is distinguished for receiving many national awards for Kramer’s programs, two of which were featured segments on the CBS program “60 Minutes.”
inevitable.” Obama ended the program in 2011. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft launched a program to detain and investigate immigrants from Muslim-majority countries who had arrived in the U.S. during the previous two years. Among those swept up in this program was Javaid Iqbal, a Pakistani national who had long overstayed his visa and was illegally working as a cable television installer in Brooklyn. Iqbal sued the government for wrongful imprisonment because of the attorney general’s use of nationality and religion as criteria for his arrest. Iqbal’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which denied him a hearing. In very strong language, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The September 11 attacks were perpetrated by 19 Arab Muslim hijackers who counted themselves members in good standing of al-Qaeda, an Islamic fundamentalist group. Al-Qaeda was headed by another Arab Muslim – Osama bin Laden – and composed in large part of his Arab Muslim disciples. It should come as no surprise that a legitimate policy directing law enforcement to arrest and detain individuals because of their suspected link to the attacks would produce a disparate, incidental impact on Arab Muslims.” The verdict clearly sanctioned a disparate impact on Arab Muslims specifically and Muslims generally, as Iqbal was a Pakistani. Although the rounding up of Muslims for being Muslim drew outrage in the Islamic community and a few newspaper editorials blasting the program, it generated nothing remotely like the mass demonstrations and media attacks against Trump’s immigration ban. The constitutional issues raised by the Trump administration’s ban are complex, and the conflicting rulings by a federal judge in Seattle and one in Boston show there are no simple answers regarding the ban’s constitutionality. At the time of this writing, the Department of Justice is appealing the Seattle ruling to the Ninth Circuit. Clearly, the Trump administration could have circumvented the current crisis by taking a more cautious approach to the issue. It chose not to do that, and not to rewrite the ban once constitutional issues were raised. There is also the issue of whether a travel ban and an immigration ban fall under the same legal precedents. The argument, however, that the administration is in clear violation of the Constitution seems to be overly confident in view of previous court decisions. Ultimately, it will take the Supreme Court to resolve this issue. For no matter what the Ninth Circuit decides, the verdict will be appealed. Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter @salomoncenter.
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OBITUARIES LOIS MARKSON DWYER
Lois Markson Dwyer, 86, died on January 26 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Born in Brooklyn, she had been a resident of Syracuse for most of her life. Her knowledge of the history of her neighborhoods and who had lived where for the last 60 years was phenomenal. She was a registered nurse, a graduate of Crouse Hospital School of Nursing. She was predeceased by her sister, Audrey Markson Simon; and her son Jody Dwyer. She is survived by her children Kim and Jay; two grandchildren; two nephews, Bruce (Sharon) Simon and Wes Simon; and many cousins. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements.
Saul Morganstein, 78, of Boynton Beach, FL, and a former resident of Syracuse, died on January 20 at the JFK Medical Center. He had a master’s degree in Jewish education and was the former director of education and membership at Temple Adath Yeshurun. He retired to Florida in 2002 and taught in various congregations in the Boynton Beach area. He is survived by his wife, Estelle; their sons, Todd, Danny, Paul and Robert; two stepchildren, Jackie Portuguese and Richard Portuguese; six grandchildren; and a sister, Helen Cass. Services and burial were in Toronto, Canada. A memorial service will be held in Delray Beach, FL, at a later date. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to Congregation L’dor Va-dor, P.O. Box 540784, Lake Worth, FL 33454.
NEWS IN BRIEF From JTA
Swastikas remain on dozens of trees in upstate NY town months after first report
Swastikas and Nazi slogans remain on dozens of trees in an upstate New York town months after they were first reported to local police. Police in Clarkstown, in Rockland County, say they are continuing to investigate the vandalism, which was first brought to their attention on July 24, the Journal News reported. No arrests have been made. The graffiti includes several swastikas, a misspelling of the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil,” and other derogatory language about blacks and Jews. Clarkstown police told the Journal News that the swastikas have no known connection to an incident in August in which fireworks were set off outside the home of two local Chabad rabbis.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ FEBRUARY 16, 20176/20 SHEVAT 5777
NEWS IN BRIEF From JTA
White House leaves out attacks in Israel on list of 78 “underreported” terrorist acts
No attacks in Israel were included on a list of 78 “underreported” terrorist attacks released by the White House. The list, which includes attacks around the world from September 2014 to December 2016, was released on Feb. 6 after President Donald Trump spoke of the dangers of “radical Islamic terrorists” and said the media often did not want to report on terror attacks. “In many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that,” Trump said on Feb. 6, according to The Washington Post. White House spokesman Sean Spicer later clarified that the president believes terrorist attacks are “underreported” – not “unreported” – by the media. “He felt members of the media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered,” Spicer said on Feb. 6, according to The Washington Post. Some of the dozens of attacks on the White House list were widely covered in the media, such as a series of attacks in Paris in November 2015, and mass shootings in Orlando, FL, and San Bernardino, CA, in June 2016 and December 2015, respectively. Attacks in Israel were omitted from the list, though over 350 terrorist attacks – including stabbings, shootings, vehicular ramming attacks and a bus bombing – have taken place since Sept. 13, 2015, according to a report released in January by Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
“I think now there’s an interest in a greater diversity of musical styles across the board,” he said. “Some of it’s funkier – more drums, bass and loops – and some of it’s twangier. There’s a lot of experimentation going on right now.” Over the past decade, Americana has seen a comeback in the broader pop music world. The British band Mumford and Sons, which plays a combination of bluegrass, folk and indie rock, has sold millions of albums worldwide since 2009. In 2010, the Grammys instituted a Best Americana Album award. And last May, Billboard began devoting an album chart to Americana and folk records. “Jews have always taken popular music and brought it into shul because that brings people into shul,” said Kaye, who has also begun leading Shabbat services on his tours. “There’s been a resurgence in coming back to more organic music because it just resonates – wood and strings in a room is a physical feeling that you aren’t going to get from techno, dubstep, house, trance or whatever other million genres.” In the end, American Jewish music and Americana
And with the opening of the deli, he’s doubled down on it. “We’ve been able to bridge two worlds,” said Stern, who looks every bit the bearded hipster, but could also pass as a Chasid (which he is not). “It’s hard to find the religious world eating out of their shtetl, and it’s also hard for the nonreligious world, or non-Jewish world, to interact with the religious world. So this kind of gives them the opportunity to sit next to someone religious and fill in the blanks. It’s a beautiful thing. “We happen to be certified kosher, but that’s not our identity,” he said. “We’re traditional bakers and now [operate] a traditional Eastern European-style deli, and we happen to be kosher.” On that recent morning, a couple visiting from New Jersey – she wore a wig; he a baseball cap in place of a kippah – were enjoying an almond croissant and oatmeal cookie at the bar of the bakery, both nodding profusely between bites to communicate that it was worth the nearly 30-minute trip. Another woman, who didn’t outwardly appear to be religious, had just bought a loaf of cranberry walnut bread at the bakery, having traveled to Miami from her home about an hour away. In fact, she said she often drives 20 minutes to her nearest Whole Foods to procure some wholesale Zak the Baker bread. “Once you have this, how can you have any other one?” she asked, rhetorically. While chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi in London and Michael Solomonov in Philadelphia have helped make Israeli food “the sexy thing on the block,” Stern thinks it’s time for Ashkenazi food to get the attention it deserves. “Ashkenazi food has been relegated to bland and boring, and that’s so not true,” he said. “Deli is a soulful, soulful food. I think we can shed some light on it.”
Daniel Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, wrote on Twitter that the omission of attacks in Israel “is really hard to explain,” adding that several attacks “were genuinely underreported.” The White House did not respond to a request from JTA seeking comment.
Poll: Half of Israeli Jews unsure about continued settlement construction
A new poll found that 50 percent of Israelis are hesitant about expanding construction in the settlements. The Peace Index, a monthly survey of Israeli opinion conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, reported on Feb. 7 that half of Israeli Jews are sure that settlement expansion is unwise or think it might be. Another 45 percent of Israelis are sure or think the opposite is the case. The findings come as some right-wing Israeli politicians are feeling emboldened to expand settlements with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and his choice of a pro-settlement ambassador to Israel. On the evening of Feb. 6, the Knesset passed a controversial law paving the way to the legalization of some West Bank outposts built on Palestinian-owned land. A majority of Jewish Israelis, 53 percent, believe that the current political environment should not be exploited to press ahead with the annexation of large portions of the West Bank, the study found. A little more than one-third of respondents, 37 percent, took the opposite view. The survey was conducted Jan. 30-Feb. 1 by telephone and Internet by the Midgam Research Institute. It included 600 respondents – 100 Arabs and 500 Jews – and has a margin of error of 4.1 percent. Continued from page 8
music might actually be two sides of the same coin. While Jewish musicians brought their European influences with them when they immigrated to the U.S., they’ve been forging their own American musical style for nearly half a century, according to Mark Kligman, an ethnomusicologist at UCLA. “In the ‘50s and ‘60s, most of American Judaism was leaning toward trying to find its Americanness,” he said. “[Jews] took European elements – cantorial klezmer and other things – and started adapting those. By the time you have an American-born generation in the 1970s, around [the time of] Debbie Friedman – they wanted to have an American-born tradition.” Still, for many, the juxtaposition is a bit unusual. According to Nefesh Mountain’s Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff, even after two years of using the term “Jewish bluegrass,” some people still laugh at it at first. “But what were doing is not goofy at all, it’s very soulful and very honest,” Zasloff said. The group has found success, touring the country constantly. Nefesh Mountain is in the midst of recording
its second album with some of the world’s most respected bluegrass artists, such as mandolin player Sam Bush, guitarist David Grier and banjo player Tony Trishka. Joe Buchanan, a 40-year-old former human resources manager who grew up Christian in Houston, often recounts to his concert audiences how converting to Judaism resolved his self-esteem issues. Like Kaye, who produced Buchanan’s debut album a couple of years ago, he thinks that the country music he was raised on, along with other Americana genres, go well with Jewish culture. “Americana is strong in storytelling, which is something that we’ve always been really good at as a people,” he said. “It’s a huge part of it; we’re always telling stories from the Torah. “If someone asked me how to describe Americana music, I would tell them: Imagine country music and rock and roll had a child, and it was raised by their uncle bluegrass, and their other uncle blues music and cousin folk came over and spent a lot of time – that child is Americana music,” Buchanan said. “That and Jewish storytelling is a natural fit.” Continued from page 7
Stern, a 31-year-old Florida native, was a pharmacy student when he decided to switch gears to bread baking. “I was a 22-year-old in pharmacy school learning all these complicated things, but I was craving basic fundamental life skills; bread making is such a symbol of that,” he said. “You can bake bread everywhere and it’s accessible to everyone.” Stern quit school and went to Europe to apprentice on farms. He started with agriculture and then “zeroed in on farms with bread and cheese,” he said. When he returned to Miami, in 2012, Stern launched a bread business out of his friend’s North Miami garage, selling to farmer’s markets and the like. Word of mouth sent the business soaring. “The market quickly drew a line, until the point where I was selling out of bread in less than an hour,” he said. At one point, a woman Stern met while working at a goat cheese farm in northern Israel asked to come to Miami and apprentice for his burgeoning business. Fast forward three years and that woman, Batsheva, is now his wife and mother to his two children. He refers to her on social media as #myreligiouswife. As a suburban kid who grew up Reform, marrying a religious woman from a small village in Israel is practically intermarriage, Stern said, noting how differently the two were raised. She is the reason he started keeping Shabbat, “so she wouldn’t be alone,” he said. And it was Batsheva who introduced him to kashrut; because of her strict observance, he made his bakery kosher. And in the years since, Stern has learned all the intricacies of running a kosher business. Being kosher, he said, brings a real authenticity to the deli, in particular. “If we’re going to do it legit, it’s got to be kosher, that’s part of it,” he said.
European delis that catered to our great-grandparents would not have served melted cheese on their sandwiches – nor would they have sold expensive sandwiches as big as your head, he said. They also would have cured their meats in house, as Stern does. “The community here in Miami, I think, needed something that’s wholesome and soulful,” he said. “Delis aren’t fancy or expensive, as a lot of kosher restaurants are. Deli food is the working man’s food.” For now, the menu at the deli is limited, as the kitchen undergoes renovation. (The spot where the deli stands was once the bakery, which was forced to move to a larger location down the street when the wholesale business picked up.) But Stern said there were a couple of things he knew the deli needed to have as soon as they launched – “a really good pickled vegetable plate with a pickled green tomato, a non-mayonnaisey cole slaw and house-made corned beef,” he said. (Stern’s corned beef is made on the premises in a seven-day brine.) There’s also smoked fish – and, unlike New York delis, which mostly use whitefish, Stern’s deli uses the blue runner native to Florida. Stern is particularly excited for the upcoming deli case with traditional Eastern European foods like yapchik (a kugel with flanken), p’tcha (jellied calves’ feet) and kishke (stuffed intestine), which people can take to go. “Whatever obscure Ashkenazi food that you can’t find anywhere, we’ll have here,” he said. But for those outside the Miami area, you’re going to need to travel to try it out. “I’m totally uninterested in creating an empire,” he said. “Zak the Baker doesn’t need to be in New York, it doesn’t mean to be in L.A. There’s plenty of room for other bearded bakers.”
e in THE JEWISH er h ad r ei th w sa you ing To our readers... rtisers know that ne or buy someth ve do ad r r ai h ou r t u le yo to t u ge yo go to I want to remind H OBSERVER! ember when you IS m W re E J to E t H an T rt IN po D so im UR A OBSERVER! It is you say I SAW YO at th es ic rv se r ei se th at their store or u . Thank you, They want to know ertising Executive Bonnie Rozen, Adv
Published on Feb 20, 2017