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Left vs. Right debate: the battle for Israel’s soul BY JUDITH STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York will hold a debate on the future of Israel on Monday, March 27, from 7-8:30 pm, at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse. Major funding for the event comes from the David Yaffee Israel Education and Advocacy Memorial Fund of the Federation. Admission to the debate will be free and seating will be on a firstcome, first-seated basis. The building is accessible via the main entrance and there will be no charge for parking. Debating the issue will be Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor and chief political blogger of Commentary magazine, and J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large of The Forward for seven years and former U.S. bureau chief of the Israeli news magazine the Jerusalem Report. The focus of the debate is whether

Israel is locked in a “tragic dispute” between two peoples claiming the same land, or a global conflict between Western democracy and Islamist terrorism. One of the questions is whether partitioning into two states is “the only way J.J. Goldberg to ensure Israel’s survival,” or if it is “the surest path to ever-increasing bloodshed” and possibly even endangering Israel’s survival. Federation President/CEO Linda Alexander said, “Too often, we live in our own bubble, only reading media that we

agree with, tuning in to television stations that follow our opinion. At this debate, we will learn what the other side is thinking and what their fears are. There is no question that the health and strength of Israel is paramount to us all. Hopefully, at Jonathan S. Tobin this debate we will not just hear each other, but truly listen to each other!” Tobin was executive editor of The Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia from 19982008. He is a frequent commentator on domestic politics, Israel and Jewish affairs. Goldberg served as managing editor

of The New York Jewish Week and as a nationally syndicated columnist in Jewish weeklies. He previously served as an education specialist with the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem and was a member and secretary of Kibbutz Gezer, near Tel Aviv. He is the author of “Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment,” published in 1996. Moderating the debate will be Alan Goldberg, a member of Federation’s Board of Directors. He also sits on the Federation’s Community Relations Committee and is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University. He will present the debate topics and open up the program for questions from the audience. There will be no broadcasting or taping of the program. For more information, contact Judith Stander at 315-445-2040, ext.114, or at

Jewish Federation CRC to show the movie “Hate Spaces” this Sunday The Jewish Federation of Central New York Community Relations Committee will show the film “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” on

Sunday, March 5, at 3 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. This is a free showing and reservations are

unnecessary. It is open to college-bound students and their families throughout Central New York. The film illustrates how antisemitism

JCC of Syracuse to hold annual Purim Carnival March 12 BY WILLIAM WALLAK Games, activities, food and more will once again be featured at this year’s Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Purim Carnival. The annual family-oriented event will be held on Sunday, March 12, from noon-4 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. There will be interactive activities for preschool and school-age children and their families. Admission will be free and open to the public. “It’s a wonderful thing to open our doors to the community for an afternoon that’s

all about families having fun,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC executive director. “Purim is one of the most lively, joy-filled holidays, and what better way to celebrate than with a carnival for our members and neighbors?” The JCC’s Purim Carnival is the Center’s largest indoor community event held each year. It has become a tradition for the JCC to hold the celebration as a way of “giving back to the community,” allowing families to come together “for an afternoon of good quality time.” Children have been encouraged to dress in costumes, which is a Purim custom, and those dressed in costume will

receive a prize ticket at the door. A food drive to benefit the Temple Concord food pantry will also be held. Anyone bringing in non-perishable food items will receive a prize ticket for each item donated. One of the carnival’s attractions will be Esther’s Café, which will open for lunch at 11:30 am in the 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. The JCC Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center’s Schayes Family Gymnasium will feature activities such as children’s carnival games, large inflatable bounce toys and slides, and caricature drawings. Other attractions will include entertainment; a 50/50 raffle; a toddler and preschool bounce house; child safe ID fingerprinting; car seat safety checks; PJ Library activities; a used book sale; and the release of the JCC’s 2017 Camp Rishon summer camp guide.

affects Jewish students on college campuses. Maxwell School at Syracuse University associate professor and Federation CRC member Miriam Elman will introduce the program and moderate a question-and-answer session following the film. For more information, contact Judith Stander at Federation, 315-445-2040, ext. 114.

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



as of Feb. 27, 2017

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

See “Carnival” on page 2

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A Attendees of the 2016 Purim Carnival made their way through the attractions in the JCC’s Schayes Family Gymnasium. This year’s carnival will be held on Sunday, March 12, from noon-4 pm.

March 3....................5:39 pm......................................................Parasha-Terumah March 10..................5:47 pm...................................................... Parasha-Tetzaveh March 17..................6:56 pm......................................................... Parasha-Ki Tisa


Bomb probe urged

Save the date

Local synagogues announce Members of Congress, including The Jewish Community Center t h e i r P u r i m d i n n e r s a nd Rep. John Katko, want a federal announces its annual meeting probe into the JCC bomb threats. and award recipients. celebrations. Story on page 7 Story on page 2 Story on page 3

PLUS Senior Living............................ 6 Mazel Tov.................................. 6 Calendar Highlights............... 7 Obituaries................................. 7



Purim around the community

CONGREGATION BETH SHOLOM-CHEVRA SHAS Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will celebrate Purim on Saturday, March 11, starting at 7 pm with the megillah reading in the sanctuary. The event will continue with a party in the social hall from 8-10 pm. There will be a suggested donation per person for the party, and reservations have been requested to 446-9570 or by Monday, March 6. Children of all ages will be welcome. Participants have been encouraged to come dressed as a superhero. There will be music by a DJ, dancing, snacks and drinks. Another complete megillah reading will be held on Sunday, March 12, starting at 9 am, as part of the Syracuse Conservative daily service. At 10:30 am, there will be another reading of the megillah, this time in English with trope. Students in the CBS-CS Religious School will hold their Purim shpiel, after which there will be hamantashen and juice. For more information, contact the CBSCS office at 315-446-9570 or office@ SHAAREI TORAH ORTHODOX CONGREGATION OF SYRACUSE The annual Purim seudah at Shaarei

Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will be held on Sunday, March 12, at 6:30 pm. There will entertainment for both children and adults. There will be a charge for dinner, with a reduction for children 12 and younger, and no charge for children 2-years-old and younger. There will be a maximum family charge. TEMPLE ADATH YESHURUN Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a family Purim celebration on Saturday, March 11, at 7 pm, called the “Animation Celebration,” which will include the megillah reading, costume parades and music. Participants have been encouraged to come dressed up, especially as an animated character from television, film or books. Those attending have also been asked to bring a box of pasta to use as a grogger, which will then be donated to the food collection basket following the program. Immediately following the megillah reading, there will be coffee and hamantashen for dessert. During the event, there will be a kosher wine tasting of a red and a white wine from Barkan Vineyards in Israel. The wine tasting will be a preview of the wines that will be available during TAY’s upcoming wine sale, which will be sourced through

Cork Monkey in Manlius. Order forms will be available during the event. Before the family Purim celebration, there will be a Torah Tots Purim program led by Alicia Gross beginning at 6:30 pm. Children from 2-5-years-old and their caregiver will prepare grogger decorations. Torah Tots is underwritten by the Edward and Marilyn Steinberg Fund for Tiny Tots and Preschool Programming. Following the animation celebration, the Kadima youth group will have a Purim party for children in sixth-eighth grade to enjoy snacks, games and activities. The megillah reading and family Purim celebration will be open to the community. There will be no charge for the program, however, reservations have been requested. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or TEMPLE CONCORD Temple Concord will hold a Purim dinner and megillah reading on Saturday, March 11, at 6 pm. For more information, contact the synagogue at 315-475-9952. CHABAD BY RABBI YAACOV RAPOPORT Chabad-Lubavitch of Central New York will hold its 33rd annual communitywide

Purim seudah/dinner on Sunday, March 12, at the Sheraton University Hotel, 801 University Ave., at 5:30 pm. “Purim in Peking” will once again offer participants a chance to enjoy kosher Chinese dishes and drink wine “according to the king’s bounty” (Esther 1:7). Asian attire will be optional. The Purim seudah/dinner is said to have been well-attended in the past and draws from “a wide cross-section of the community.” People of all ages are said to attend for the food, music, celebration and “festive atmosphere.” Hanita Blair, who has attended the dinners for many years, said, “For the past 18 years, my husband and I have enjoyed Purim with Chabad. It is a funfilled evening from start to finish. We can always count on an evening of good food, good friends and good times, with plenty of Purim fun thrown in.” There will be a megillah (scroll of the Book of Esther) reading, accompanied by a slide show of the Purim story at 4:30 pm. There will be an admission fee, with no cost to children under 3-years-old. Parking will be available in the Sheraton University Hotel parking lot. For reservations and more information, contact Chabad at 315-424-0363 or

Members of Congress urge feds to probe JCC bomb threats with “urgency” BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – More than 150 members of Congress signed on to a letter urging federal law enforcement officials to investigate recent bomb threats leveled at Jewish Community Centers across the country. The February 22 bipartisan letter, which was initiated by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), urged the Department of Homeland Security, the attorney general and the FBI to “approach this issue with a sense of urgency, and to work in partnership with state and territory governments, local law enforcement officials, JCC Association of North America, individual JCCs and Jewish community institutions and leaders to address the threat in a holistic manner.”

Since January 9, there have been at least 69 bomb threat incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province. All were hoaxes, but forced the evacuation of many of the buildings. In the latest wave, threats were called in to 11 JCCs on February 20. “We urge the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to swiftly assess the situation and to advise Congress on what specific steps are being taken, or will be taken, to deter such threats from being made, to identify and prosecute the perpetrators for violations of federal criminal laws and to enable JCCs to enhance security measures, such as physical barriers and guards, in the event that an individual seeks to act upon these threats,” the letter read.

Egypt and Jordan: Don’t give up on two-state solution BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – The heads of Egypt and Jordan said a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be based on having two states. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan met on February 21 in Cairo. “The two sides discussed future movements to break the gridlock within the Middle East peace process, especially with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration taking power,” read a statement issued after the meeting. “They also discussed mutual coordination to reach a two-state solution and establish a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders with East Jerusalem as a capital, which is a national constant that cannot be given up.” The leaders also reportedly discussed


The JCC is said to take pride in putting on the carnival each year, and has thanked its volunteers for their support. Some of the tasks volunteers will perform include running games, serving food and helping out in the prize room. For students seeking to fulfill community service requirements, volunteering is one way to earn credit

Jerusalem and the maintenance of the status quo on the Temple Mount. The meeting came days after the Israeli daily Haaretz first published a report revealing that one year ago, then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented a plan for a regional peace initiative to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a secret meeting in Aqaba that included Abdullah and al-Sisi. The deal would have included recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a renewal of talks with the Palestinians with the support of the Arab countries. The meeting also comes after the February 15meeting in Washington, DC, between Netanyahu and Trump, in which Trump did not commit to a two-state solution in a break from U.S. policy from the early 2000s.

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hours and help the JCC. Volunteer shifts are available from 11:45 am-2 pm and 1:45 pm-4 pm. For more information about the Purim Carnival, including volunteer opportunities and donating gently used books for the sale, contact the JCC at 315-445-2360 or visit

The JCC Association of North America welcomed the letter. “JCC Association of North America applauds this bipartisan effort toward an issue impacting communities across the country, and we are grateful for Representative Murphy and Representative Crowley’s

leadership,” Stephen Seiden, chairman of the JCCA’s Board of Directors, said in a statement. “We urge the administration and federal agencies to continue joining us in prioritizing our communities’ safety, and we look forward to seeing the perpetrators brought to justice quickly.”

Katko signs on to letter calling for probe into JCC bomb threats

Representatives of the Jewish community expressed their appreciation that Congressman John Katko, New York’s 24th district representative in the United States House of Representatives since 2015, signed on to a letter to the U.S. attorney general in support of a probe into bomb threats made to Jewish Community Centers.

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AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Save the date: JCC of Syracuse announces 2017 annual meeting and award recipients BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse 154th annual meeting and gala, which has been called “a celebration of selfless giving and community,” will be held on Sunday, June 4, from 11 am-2 pm, at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia. Five awards will be presented in recognition of service given to the JCC and the local community. This year’s gala theme will be “flavors of the Mediterranean.” This is considered to be the JCC’s “biggest and most important” annual fund-raiser. The celebration brings together many members of the Central New York Jewish community to benefit the JCC and “pay tribute to those who have acted so selflessly.” The event will begin with a cocktail hour and brunch. A brief business meeting will follow, which will then lead to the community service awards ceremony. As in the past, the gala’s proceeds will provide funding for scholarships to individuals in the JCC’s early childhood, after school, summer camp and senior programs, as well as funding for increased security needs.

The JCC’s 2017 honorees are said to represent “a wide range of dedication and support.” The Kovod Award, which signifies “honor and importance,” will be presented to JCC board member Amy Sumida for her “hard work and commitment” as the gala chair for the past two years. The JCC’s highest honor, the Kovod Gadol Award, which in Hebrew translates to “great honor,” will be presented to the husband and wife team of Howard and Ellen Weinstein. Both have been longtime and active supporters of the community. Howard is a JCC board member and vice president, and Ellen is a former JCC board member. Two Hall of Fame awards will be presented this year for “advancing outstanding generosity throughout the community.” Philip Holstein, who died last fall, was called an “incredibly selfless” individual who “always put everyone else first.” A former Jewish Federation of Central New York president, he was a philanthropist, community and business leader, and outdoorsman. Holstein

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu

“giving to your own” (it’s what you do best)

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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

For more information, please contact Bonnie Rozen at or 800-779-7896, ext. 244

MARCH 6-10 Monday - Hawaiian chicken over rice Tuesday – vegetable soup and turkey sandwich Wednesday – hamburger with sautéed onion Thursday – pasta primavera Friday – apricot-glazed chicken MARCH 13-17 Monday – tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwich Tuesday – meatloaf Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – Marsala meatballs Friday – Birthday celebration – brisket The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches

had an “incredible gift” for being able to bring together diverse parts of the community and approach sensitive issues “with kindness and fairness.” This year’s second Hall of Fame award will be given to philanthropists Robert and Diane Miron. Both are longtime community supporters, and Robert is a past JCC president. The Mirons are longtime supporters of the local Jewish community. This year’s Leslie Award, the second to be given since being introduced last year, will be presented to attorney Todd Pinsky, a partner with the local law firm Pinsky and Skandalis. Pinsky, considered “a young upand-coming” professional, is a board member with the Jewish Federation of Central New York and an active member of the Transportation Lawyers Association. He has given his time to benefit the JCC and other local community organizations. “The Leslie” recognizes “outstanding commitment and service to the JCC and the local community,” the qualities which were said to be personified by the award’s namesake, Leslie London See “JCC” on page 5



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Wednesday, March 1...................... March 16 Wednesday, March 15.................... March 30 Wednesday, March 29...................... April 13 Thursday, April 6, early................... April 27




The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” SPECIAL SCREENING OF THIS FILM SUNDAY - MARCH 5 - 3:00 PM Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center 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

Free Admission

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

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Adath Yeshurun TAY SISTERHOOD BOOK DISCUSSION The Temple Adath Yeshurun Sisterhood will hold its monthly book group on Sunday, March 12, at 10:45 am. Members will discuss the novel “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly, a New York Times bestseller. The novel, based on a true story of a World War II heroine, follows the lives of three women: a New York socialite, a Polish teenager and a young German doctor. The New Yorker Caroline is a former Broadway actress, serving as a liaison to the French consulate when Poland is invaded by Hitler’s army in September 1939. Kasia is part of the underground resistance movement in Poland and sinks further into her role as

a courier. Young doctor Herta responds to an ad for a government medical position and finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi Germany, filled with secrets and power. Their stories are “set on a collision course” when Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, a Nazi concentration camp for women. Though their stories are intercontinental – New York to Paris, Germany and Poland – they seek justice for those forgotten by history. The novel is said to “give light to the power of unsung female heroes who changed history in their mission for love, freedom and second chances.” TAY Sisterhood book discussions are open to the community. For more information, e-mail

Temple Concord TEMPLE CONCORD SISTERHOOD HELPS HOMELESS WITH MITZVAH BAGS BY CHANA MEIR At its January 8 meeting, the Temple Concord Sisterhood assembled 50 mitzvah bags designed to make life easier for homeless women in Syracuse. The zippered plastic bags contained personal care items such as tissue packets, small shampoo bottles and hand warmers, as well as a few small luxuries such as perfume samples. Most of the items were donated by TC members, as well as local dentists and, in one case, a Muslim neighbor of a synagogue member. One Sisterhood member provided hand-written notes to place in the individual bags, which were delivered to the Rescue Mission’s new women’s shelter on February 3. The Rescue Mission of Central New York opened its 40-bed women’s shelter about one year ago, according to Carolyn Hendrickson, director of development for the Rescue Mission in Central New York. She spoke to the Sisterhood at its January

meeting, speaking about the services the Mission provides and giving examples of people who have benefitted from its work. The Mission covers a campus of more than eight acres on the Near West side of Syracuse, and it provides a hot meal, three times a day, seven days a week, year-round, to anyone who comes to the facility hungry. “This was the second year of our mitzvah bag project,” said Temple Concord Sisterhood Co-President Ellyn Roloff, “and we hope to continue the yearly tradition of providing just a little comfort to this group of women who require the services of the Rescue Mission.” DIASPORA DINNER A “Diaspora dinner” with Rabbi Daniel Fellman will be held on Monday, March 13, at 6:30 pm, at Otro Cinco, 206 S. Warren St., Syracuse. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Jewish history of Mexico, with a “side trip” to the Jews of Spain. For more information, contact the synagogue at 315-475-9952 or office@

Actress Dori Levit presented “Acting In: Inclusion of Special Needs in the Theater” to adults and the TAY Religious School on February 5 as part of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. At left: Several sixth-eighth grade students f r o m TAY ’s Kadima youth group visited S k y Z o n e Tr a m p o l i n e Park on Erie Boulevard on February 12.

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will present the first in a new annual series of lectures in honor of former member Bernhard Kramarsky. The Bernhard Kramarsky Memorial Lecture Series will premiere with a visiting scholar for Shabbat on Saturday, April 1. There is no charge for the event, which will be open to the public. Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider, who was born in Syracuse and resided in DeWitt

as a young child, will discuss his new book, “The Night That Unites.” The book is about the haggadah based on the teachings of Rav Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and Rav Isaac Kook. Rabbi Goldscheider will speak at kiddush following morning services and again at seudah shlishit. For more information, contact Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Israel at, or 315-446-6194.

Temple Concord Sisterhood members assembled “mitzvah bags” for homeless women in the Rescue Mission’s women’s shelter.

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas FAITH, MORALITY AND POLITICS Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will present an evening of informal reflection on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:30 pm, on “Faith, Morality and Politics: National Politics and Faithbased Response(s).” CBS-CS will host Christopher Faricy and Shana Kushner Gadarian, professors of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. The issues to be discussed include, after six weeks into the new administration, how people might understand what is happening in the polity and traditional, party-based politics of the United States; what the risks are; where faith and morality come into the equation; and what range of affirmative responses might be appropriate and effective for each individual, as well as for diverse, non-partisan, faith-based organizations collectively. The program will be open to the com-

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munity. It will be moderated by David Sonnenfeld, a CBS-CS member and professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. For more information, contact the CBSCS office at 315-446-9570 or office@ CBS-CS HAZAK TO PRESENT “THE HOLOCAUST: MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS” Syracuse University Professor Emeritus Alan Goldberg will present “The Holocaust: Myths and Misconceptions,” to the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Hazak group on Sunday, March 19, at 2 pm. Despite all of the scholarly books and novels, films and museums produced about the Holocaust, there still exists several myths and misconceptions. Some consider this the result of efforts to find simplistic and easily understood answers

See “CBS-CS” on page 8


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MARCH 2, 2017/4 ADAR 5777 ■


WCNY to air Dudu Fisher in Jerusalem in March

WCNY, Central New York’s multimedia organization, will present “Dudu Fisher in Jerusalem.” Shot on location in Israel, “Dudu Fisher in Jerusalem” is said to be “a musical tour of Jerusalem’s most iconic songs and sites.” Starring singer David “Dudu” Fisher, the program features a blend of Broadway showtunes, traditional Jewish folk songs and renditions of classic songs his

fans are said to expect. The program will air on Sunday, March 5, at noon; on Tuesday, March 7, at 1 pm; and on Sunday, March 12, at 8 pm, on WCNY. For viewing information, visit Accompanied by an 18-piece orchestra and, on select songs, by the Israeli boys’ choir The Kinderlach, Fisher “connects his talent” as a Broadway performer, cantor


and contemporary artist with “the beauty of Israel’s landscape, culture and people.” Throughout the pledge special, Fisher will present historic sites in Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, Jerusalem market, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Fisher’s namesake, King David’s tomb, sharing stories of his childhood in Israel and his career.

DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – Menorah Park’s programs for people with development disabilities have grown BY JACKIE MIRON The Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Central New York awards Community Program Fund Grants each year in addition to the annual allocations made in the spring. Based on the success of the 2016 Annual Campaign, community program grants are available to Jackie Miron all Jewish organizations, agencies and synagogues in the Central New York community. The Allocations Committee reviews the grant requests and makes recommendations to the board, which votes on the recommendations. Menorah Park’s programs and services to people with developmental disabilities and their families have grown significantly in recent years. Among the daily services for this special needs group that the continuum of care campus provides are Beit Tikvah House, Rothschild Medical Adult Day program, Ahavath Achim Apartments, the Inn and the Jewish Home of Central New York. Syracuse Jewish Family Service has been instrumental in creating specialized programs and services specifically designed for people with developmental disabilities. Menorah Park has received a grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York’s Community Program Fund Grants, renamed the Philip L. Holstein Community


Program Fund, to expand and enhance three programs catering to the populations described above. The three most important programs for people with disabilities are the Havurah, a program for young Jewish adults in the community; Chaverim L’Avodah, a vocational volunteer program predicated on the belief that work is a core, meaningful aspect of the lives of the workers; and Tachlis of Inclusion program, which is designed to meet the spiritual needs of Jewish people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. The goals of the programs are to: ‹‹ Provide projects that foster inclusion of people with disabilities within the Jewish community ‹‹ Encourage the creation of a culture of welcoming and acceptance of people within the Jewish community ‹‹ Energize and strengthen organization in the field of inclusion, and create new programs Funds will be used to add materials and training relating to these programs; provide more transportation and communication; and help increase the response to the many requests they receive, and provide access to individuals with disabilities. Programs are designed to serve Jewish adults with disabilities and their caregivers. For example, Havurah members and their caregivers will be invited, and given transportation to, a special Passover program and seder, a mid-June celebration of Menorah Park of Central New York and a community Chanukah party at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of

Science and Technology. The publishing of events will create new opportunities for Menorah Park to reach other Jewish adults with special needs not yet involved, and increasing the strength of partner activity and commitments. The Jewish Federation of CNY is helping to raise awareness and advocacy, and educate the community on resources for more social support to people with disabilities.


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Neulander, through her many volunteer pursuits. Marci Erlebacher, JCC executive director, said, “I am thrilled that we’ll be recognizing another outstanding lineup of honorees this year. All have exhibited such dedicated service to the JCC and to the local Jewish community through their selfless acts and generosity. This year’s gala is shaping up to be another heartfelt event.” The JCC’s 2017 annual meeting and gala committee members include Lynne Pascale, chair; and Marci Erlebacher, Steven Sisskind, Shira Boschan, Linda Drimer, Adam DuChene, Debbie Goldwein, Paula King, Jessica Malzman, Susan Sloane and Diane Wladis. For more information about the JCC’s upcoming gala, including event tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call 315-445-2360.

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D’VAR TORAH The four mitzvot of Purim – and a requirement to be part of a group BY RABBI PAUL DRAZEN The celebration of Purim is a sight to behold. Rather than the mode we usually experience at services, the services are much less sedate – much less. People we usually see as restrained and dapper appear at the synagogue, often in costume, and are anything but restrained. The mode is joyous and carefree. Ask anyone who’s attended all Purim services, and they will tell you that the evening and day services are substantively different from other days of the Jewish year. Of course, there’s more to Purim than services. At the core of the Purim celebration are four mitzvot, though in the best of Jewish tradition, some customs count them as three, while others say there are five. We are commanded to hear Megillat Esther, have a festive meal, give money to the poor and give gifts of food. We can follow the lead of people who divide the world into groups of two: two of the mitzvot can be done by a single person. A person is allowed to read the megillah aloud to oneself. It would change the atmosphere, but it is permissible to have a solitary festive meal – even to come in costume; so two of the mitzvot can be fully accomplished by an individual. That notwithstanding, a single person alone is not able

MAZEL TOV Joe Brown’s 100th birthday

to fulfill the other two mitzvot. Money to a poor person needs a second person – even if someone is poor. The obligation is to give tzedakah money to another poor person. In addition, no matter how a marvelous gourmet treats someone else and buys food for personal consumption, the mitzvah of Purim is to give gifts of food to another person. Needed, therefore, is at least one other person. There are many aspects to the celebration of Purim. It forces us to consider the nefarious nature of antisemitism; it reminds us to be aware of how such sentiments can become part of the general population. Sadly, history since Haman only reinforces that concern. Observing Purim

allows us an opportunity to commemorate our continuing existence with a spirit – some say spirits – unparalleled in the Jewish year. History has shown us that when we have the chance to celebrate, we should do so. But the joyous holiday of Purim reminds us, more importantly, that we are not allowed to become hermits, to go off on our own. Judaism has never seen leaving society as an ideal to strive for. Judaism requires us to be part of a group to have full prayers, full celebrations and full commemorations. Certainly, we might prefer being by ourselves, but two of the four mitzvot of Purim remind us that doing so means we’re only going half-way.

Ranieri promoted to JCC early childhood director BY WILLIAM WALLAK am thrilled that Pam has taken the reins of The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community our early childhood program. She is highly Center of Syracuse recently announced that respected by the teachers and staff, and does Pamela Ranieri has been promoted to early a phenomenal job working with the children. childhood director in the JCC’s Jerome and Pam’s familiarity with the program’s families Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Developbrings a renewed sense of enthusiasm and ment Program. She has been with the JCC for wonderful continuity to the program. She has eight years, serving as the program’s assistant hit the ground running and has been doing a director the entire time. great job in the short time since her promotion. Ranieri is said to bring “a wealth of knowlI’m excited to have Pam leading the program’s edge and experience” to her new role. She Pamela Ranieri continued growth and success.” has worked in the early childhood field for 17 The JCC’s Early Childhood Development years, starting her career at another local early childhood Program is a comprehensive childcare facility and program as a “floater” right out of college and working preschool rooted in Judaic teachings and traditions, up to program director. Ranieri earned her bachelor’s in serving infants 6-weeks-old-pre-kindergarten children psychology, with a concentration in education and busi- 5-years-old. For more information about the JCC’s Early ness, from the State University of New York at Albany. Childhood Development Program, call 315-445-2040, JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said, “I ext. 120, or visit

Special Shabbat visitors welcomed at the JCC

Joe Brown celebrated his 100th birthday with more than 70 family members and friends on February 4 at the Jewish Health and Rehabilitation Center at Menorah Park. A lifelong Syracuse resident, he has been a resident of Menorah Park for seven years. He is a past commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 131 and retired as a pharmacist at the age of 84. He enjoyed many years playing golf and continues to play bridge weekly. Pictured: Brown and his three grandsons, Andrew, Jeffrey and Scott Feingold.

BY WILLIAM WALLAK Guests have been paying students visits at school recently at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program. On most Fridays, a visitor from one of the local synagogues comes to share in the Shabbat celebration with preschool and pre-kindergarten students. So far, the school’s Shabbat celebrants have been Cantor Kari Eglash from Temple Concord; Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone from Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra See “Visitors” on page 7

At right: Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Temple Concord led a Shabbat celebration by reading the children’s book “Kayla and Kugel” to preschool students on February 10 at the JCC’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program.

Did you know?

(NAPSA) – A new brochure, “Home Improvement Scams Tools for Reducing Your Risk,” from the Eldercare Locator, a service of the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helps seniors safeguard their finances. Learn more at and 800-677-1116.

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A Jewish youth convention’s delicate OBITUARIES balancing act on the refugee debate SHIRLEY ZELDA HODISH RIFKIN BY JACOB KAMARAS DALLAS – In an ever-polarizing age in America, nonprofits often need to decide how to make their organization’s voice or constituency’s voice heard on policy issues without making overtly political statements. Such was the balancing act navigated by the BBYO Jewish pluralistic teen movement and the thousands of attendees

Calendar Highlights

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

Sunday March 5 Jewish Federation of Central New York presents the film “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus” at 3 pm at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Temple Adath Yeshurun USY game night from 7-8 pm Monday March 6 TC Board of Trustees meeting at 7 pm Tuesday, March 7 Epstein School meets at Congregation Beth Sholom Chevra Shas at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series Davar Acher (adult class taught by community rabbis) presents Rabbi Leah Fein at CBS-CS at 6:45 pm Syracuse Community Hebrew School board meeting at TAY at 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 8 SCHS at TAY from 4-6 pm “Faith, Morality, and Politics: National Politics and Faith-based Response(s)” at CBS-CS at 7:30 pm Thursday, March 9 Temple Concord Regina Goldenberg Series presents the Singing Men of Ohio at 7 pm Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Friday, March 10 TC Sisterhood Shabbat dinner at 6 pm Saturday, March 11 TC Purim reading and dinner at 6 pm TAY Pause Button at 9:45 am TAY Mishpacha Shabbat at 10:30 am TAY Torah Tots Purim at 6:30 pm, followed by a Megillah reading and family Purim celebration at 7 pm TAY Kadima Purim party at 8 pm Sunday, March 12 CBS-CS Religious School Purim Shpiel and Megillah reading at 10:30 am JCC holds community Purim Carnival from 11:30 am-4 pm TAY Sisterhood book discussion of “The Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly at 10:45 am Monday, March 13 Federation meeting at 6:15 pm Diaspora dinner at 6:30 pm Tuesday, March 14 Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series Davar Acher (adult class taught by community rabbis) presents Rabbi Evan Shore at CBS-CS at 6:45 pm Wednesday, March 15 Deadline for March 31 issue of the Jewish Observer SCHS at TAY from 4-6 pm TAY Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm CBS-CS board meeting at 7:30 pm Thursday March 16 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Saturday, March 18 TC Cinemagogue presents “Baba Joon” at 7:30 pm Sunday, March 19 Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse board meeting at 9 am TC Brotherhood meeting at 9:30 am TAY presents Sam Gruber at 10 am TC GAN program from 10:30 am-noon Syracuse Jewish Family Service family program “Time to Plant” at Watson’s Greenhouse in Lafayette from 12:30-4 pm TC Sisterhood program at 12:30 pm CBS-CS Hazak presents “The Holocaust: Myths and Misconceptions” with Alan Goldberg at 2 pm Monday, March 20 TC Goldenberg Series presents Big Galute with Robbie Saletsky at TC at 7 pm


at its recent International Convention. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on the entry of non-citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations continues to dominate the national discourse, and BBYO’s February 16-20 convention in Dallas was no exception, with the travel ban as well as the issues of refugees and immigration more broadly finding their way into both plenary sessions and breakout discussions. With teenagers, educators, professionals and philanthropists from 48 states and 30 countries making up a 5,000-person crowd, what has been called “the hottest-button issue of the moment” was considered “simply too large to ignore.” “These teens have different opinions from each other,” Matt Grossman, BBYO’s CEO, told “They should talk and explore and listen and challenge, so that they can figure out how they differ from each other, and their own opinions as a result of that may strengthen or may move. The reality is, we create an environment that allows them to have those conversations in a very productive way. There’s respect here.” Among convention speakers and attendees, the common solution to avoiding overly polarizing discourse on refugees was to frame the issue from a human perspective, rather than as a political issue. “We’re very sensitive to this concept of everyone being at odds about how they feel we should be handling the global refugee situation,” said Grand Aleph Godol Aaron Cooper, the top youth leader in BBYO’s men’s order, AZA. “With that in consideration, we found success in not framing it as a conversation on whether we are we letting refugees into one country or another. Rather, it’s about, ‘What are we going to do so that we are helping them in some capacity?’ For those who wish to advocate for some sort of national entry, fine, but we’re also here trying to include the voices of the people who aren’t comfortable with that and still care about human beings. We have to really grapple with and exercise this whole principle of inclusivity.” Cooper’s BBYO leadership counterpart – International N’siah Ellie Bodker of the BBG women’s order – said that at a pre-convention summit in February, teenagers submitted two motions relating to refugees. One was a statement acknowledging the issue, connecting it to Jewish history and giving tangible next steps for communal dialogue. The other motion launched a programming resource on refugees for BBYO chapters, so that teenagers can “have a quality program that’s informative and appropriate and relevant to the topic,” Bodker told While the teenagers were said to be “highly diplomatic” in their approach to the issue, one convention See “Youth” on page 8

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Shirley Zelda Hodish Rifkin, 87, died on February 6 after a long illness at home in Great Neck. Born in Syracuse, she graduated from Central High School and from Syracuse University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education. She was an elementary school teacher at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School; a special education teacher in the Syracuse public schools; a coordinator of and teacher in the rehabilitation education department at Hutchings Psychiatric Center; a religious school teacher at Temple Concord; and the owner of the Milk and Honey Boutique. She was active in Temple Beth El, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse. She held chapter and regional positions in Hadassah. She was the founder and head of CNY Friends of Israeli Scouting for many years and was the Israel booth coordinator for the Festival of Nations. She was also active in the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. She was predeceased by her brothers, Meyer (Mike) and M. Hyman (Hy) Hodish. She is survived by her children, Michelle “Shelly” (Jeffrey) Allon, of Tekoa, Israel, Judith (Barton) Sobel, of Great Neck, and David (Gail) Rifkin, of Marlboro, NJ; 15 grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Burial was in the Temple Beth El Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the CNY Friends of Israeli Scouting, c/o Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214; Hadassah, Attn: Donor Services, P.O. Box 1100, New York, NY 10268-1100; or the Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601. 


Continued from page 6

Shas; Esa Jaffe, the Ba’alat Tefillah at Temple Adath Yeshurun; Rabbi Daniel Fellman from Temple Concord; and Rabbi Evan Shore from Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse. The visitors have led Shabbat prayers and their presentations have included songs and stories. For more information about the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Program, call 315-445-2040, ext. 120, or visit


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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

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speaker pushed the boundaries seemingly as far as he could without crossing the line into “politics.” During a plenary session, reacting to signs placed on attendees’ seats that stated “We Remember” in five languages, Michael Skolnik, CEO of the SOZE creative agency and former political director to hip hop music executive Russell Simmons, said of Trump’s travel ban, “I might get into some trouble, I might not get invited back, but I need to speak on it.” Skolnik didn’t actually mention Trump by name, but came as close as possible to it, saying, “I’m not gonna talk about politics, I’m gonna talk about people. So there’s a person in an office, and it happens to be oval, and I’m gonna talk about it. “There will be no Muslim ban in this country... As Jewish people, we will stand up for our Muslim brothers and sisters, and welcome them with open arms. As Jewish people we remember the Holocaust... we remember the devastation of being judged by the color of your skin in Nazi Germany. We will not let that happen in this country. I’m not talking about politics; I’m talking about people... If they create a Muslim ban, put me in the registry and ban me too,” he said.


as to how the murder of a whole people could have happened, while separating people intellectually and emotionally from the root cause and consequences of the Holocaust. This is said to result from several fundamental simplifications of history, which range from questions such as whether Jews were patriotic Germans; whether antisemitism played a key role in Hitler’s rise to power; whether Jewish resistance could have muted the killings; whether the Allies could have stopped the Holocaust; or myths such as the Nazis manufacturing soap from human fat or King Christian X of Denmark wearing a Jewish star. Goldberg will discuss these and other myths and misconceptions. Goldberg has been a member of the Syracuse University School of Education first as faculty and then as chair of counseling and human services, and more recently as coordinator of both the Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators and the Holocaust and Genocide Initiative. Prior to coming to Syracuse, he taught high school history, served as a school counselor and assistant principal in Cromwell, CT, and as a Hebrew school principal in Lansing, MI. The program will be free and open to the community. Refreshments will be available. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 315-446-9570 or office@ ENVIRONMENTAL JUDAISM SCHOLAR-INRESIDENCE WEEKEND Rabbi Lawrence Troster will be the scholar-in-residence at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas from Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2. He is a nationally-recognized leader in Jewish environmentalism. All Friday and Saturday events will be open to the community. Rabbi Troster will lead a variety of programs appropriate for a range of ages. The weekend’s theme will be “Nurturing the Tree of Life: Environmental Judaism.” During Friday night services, Rabbi Troster will kick off the weekend with “Back to the Garden: an Introduction to Judaism and Environmentalism.” During Shabbat morning services on Saturday, April 1, at 9:30 am, he will deliver the d’var Torah on “The Land that God looks after: the theology of the Land of Israel.” Following

Continued from page 7

Other convention speakers focused more on the general importance of activism and personal convictions. “In reality you are already leaders, you have already stepped up to the plate, and no matter how much fun you have at this convention, you already know that even though it’s a game-change, this is not a game,” said Alan Gross, the former USAID subcontractor who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years for his efforts to help that country’s Jewish community access the Internet. “Whether you realize it or not, you already represent and are a meaningful part of the foundation upon which the survival of our Jewish people is dependent,” he said, noting that he “paid a very high price” for doing what he believed in. Alina Gerlovin Spaulding, a motivational speaker and development consultant who was a refugee herself before her family immigrated to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in the 1970s, urged the youths to never be afraid of hearing “no.” Instead, she said, they should actively seek out those who disagree with them, in order to understand their perspectives and to later be surprised when getting a “yes.” Social entrepreneur Adam Braun, founder of the

Pencils of Promise educational nonprofit, advised the teenagers to “make sure that you’re a teacher and a student in every single room that you enter... The most powerful element of youth is that you are too young to know what is impossible.” During a convention breakout session called “Stand Up: Immigration and Refugee Crisis,” Imam Abdullah Antepli, the chief representative of Muslim affairs at Duke University, was asked for practical steps that can be taken to address the issue. First, he responded that social media usage should be cut back because if “you keep staying in these small echo chambers... there is a cost to your health. I urge you, use social media wisely and develop some filters.” Antepli recommended that before next year’s BBYO convention, the youths each host a Muslim family at a Shabbat dinner to deepen interfaith bonds and understanding. He also said they should try convincing their synagogues or other local organizations to sponsor a refugee family, with $3,500 covering three months of rent and other basic expenses. “How many of you think you can’t raise $3,500?” he challenged the teenagers. Continued from page 4

services and kiddush, at approximately 12:15 pm, he will lead a lunch and learn on “All in the Same Boat: Climate Change and Environmental Justice.” Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone will facilitate “Love and Care for the Land” on April 1 at 8:30 pm. The program will be a communitywide multi-faith panel discussion on how faith communities can come together around environmental issues. Participating will be Rabbi Troster (Conservative Judaism), Sister Caryn Crook (Catholic), Mohammed Khater (Sunni Islam), Kendra Hatfield-Timajchy (Ba’hai), Freida Jacques (Onondaga Nation) and Catherine Landis (Zen Buddhism). April 2 will feature several activities for CBS-CS children in third-seventh grade and their parents during “Who is truly happy: Do I really need what I think I want?” Rabbi Troster is considered by many to be one of the country’s leading Jewish eco-theologians and religious environmental leaders. He is the rabbi of Kesher Israel Congregation in West Chester, PA. He contributes to the Huffington Press and has published books and numerous articles. He is a lecturer on eco-theology, bio-ethics, and Judaism and modern science. He was named an “Interfaith Visionary” by the Temple of Understanding, one of the oldest worldwide interfaith organizations. Rabbi Troster’s visit to CBS-CS is made possible

L-r: CBS-CS first and second grade students Ariella Shever, Lilah Temes, Ceara Brown and Olivia Pierce watched as Marc Beckman showed them how to put on tefillin during World Wide Wrap Day. with support from the Joseph and Leah Kalina Scholar-in-Residence Fund. For more information, contact Sarah Saulson at or 449-9423.

At right: Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas members participated in an evening of bowling on February 4.

At left: Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas members sang at the World Harmony Assembly at University United Methodist Church on February 13. The theme of the event was “Love is the Answer.” Members of a variety of faith groups gave presentations. The program was sponsored by InterFaith Works and Women Transcending Boundaries.

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March 2, 2017 issue of Jewish Observer