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Jewish Federation of CNY hits halfway mark in 2018 Campaign BY COLLEEN BAKER The 2018 Campaign for the Jewish Federation of Central New York is more than half way to its goal of raising $1.3 million. The Federation implements its mission by: ‹‹ Maintaining links with and supporting the national Jewish community, Israel and every part of the world ‹‹ Building a thriving Jewish community and enriching its educational, cultural and social life ‹‹ Raising funds for the support of overseas, national and local Jewish philanthropic agencies ‹‹ Providing for central planning, coordination, administration and leadership development for local Jewish communal services

‹‹ Safeguarding and defending the civic, economic and religious rights of the Jewish people ‹‹ Representing the Jewish community in inter-religious and inter-group activities ‹‹ Ascertaining the will of the Jewish community on matters affecting the total community and acting as its spokesperson in such matters. In addition, the Federation sponsors events that bring the community together, including presentations by CNN political correspondent David Gregory and former U.S. Ambassador Dennis Ross, as well as entertainment by comedian Judy Gold. Federation President/CEO Michael Balanoff said, “As of March 7, gifts and pledges to the Campaign from more than 640 donors passed $754,899.”

“This is a significant milestone on a journey to realize our vision of what our community can be and what it can do,” said Ellen Weinstein, president of the Federation board. “We are grateful that so many benefactors share that vision.” To be part of this year’s Campaign, visit or call Colleen Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102.

At right, l-r: Syracuse Hebrew Day School students Remy Sinclair and Penny Smith put money in the “Tzedakameter,” which is used for small coins for the Jewish Federation of Central New York’s annual Campaign.

Yom Hashoah community observance on April 8 BY JUDITH STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York 2018 Yom Hashoah Planning Committee has announced that the annual Yom Hashoah memorial observance will take place on Sunday, April 8, at 2 pm, at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, on Patsy Lane off Jamesville Road in DeWitt. The theme of this year’s event will focus on “Reflections on the Shoah.” The Syracuse Rabbinical Council has developed a Yom Hashoah service and will be leading this part of the program, along with local cantors. This portion of the observance will include recognition of living survivors and liberators from the Central New York area. The service will include the chanting of the El Malei Rachamim (remembrance prayer for the soul of the departed) and the communal recitation of the Mourners’ Kaddish for Yom Hashoah. Organizers feel that the

importance of this memorial observance allows multiple generations who are physically removed from that period in history to stop and remember those family and friends who were lost. The opening portion of the event will include the lighting of memorial candles by survivors and liberators living in the community. Short personal stories outlining their experiences at the hands of the Nazis will be read aloud as these individuals step forward to light their candle, either alone or accompanied by family members and close friends. In addition, the service will include the reading of the hundreds of names inscribed in the Federation’s Book of Remembrance. These names of people lost during the Holocaust are read aloud each year to ensure that they will always be remembered. Anyone who has lost members of their family in the Shoah

and want them to be remembered by the community should contact Judith Stander at 315-445-0161, ext. 114, or jstander@ The overall theme of this year’s observance will include reflections on the impact of the Holocaust from immediate and extended family members, friends of those lost and people who visited many of the sites where so many perished throughout the years of the Shoah. Federation wants to particularly recognize the generosity of the Jerome and Phyllis Charney Foundation for underwriting some of the expenses of this year’s Yom Hashoah Memorial Observance. For additional information, contact Stander at 315-445-0161, ext. 114, or

2018 Federation Annual Campaign For more information, contact Colleen Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or

Goal: $1,300,000



as of March 8, 2018

Federation and Soviet Jewry: 1978-88 BY BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS Editor’s note: To mark this milestone, we are printing a series of 10 articles highlighting each decade of the Federation’s work with and for the community. We hope you enjoy this look backward as we continue to work to ensure a thriving future. In 1980, the Federation’s executive director stated: “The single most significant fact about Jewish Federations is that they are voluntary bodies, created and perpet-

uated by volunteers who determine their philosophy, objectives and programs. It is a trusteeship which acts on behalf of a group of contributors and is accountable to its supporting public. Our concerns encompass the total Jewish community and our responsibility is to the welfare and security of every Jew in Syracuse.” The Federation defined itself as “the central, representative planning body of the Jewish community in the Syracuse See “Federation” on page 12


March 16......................... 6:54 pm.................................................... Parasha-Vayikra March 23......................... 7:02 pm......................................................... Parasha-Tsav March 30......................... 7:11 pm.................................................. Parasha-Passover March 31................ after 8:12 pm.................................................................Passover

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Family history

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Congregational notes

The recently formed Syracuse The community Yom Ha’atzmaut Local synagogues announce preJewish Genealogy group now celebration will be held on April Passover events for toddlers, 19 at TAY and feature a concert. blood drives and more. has a home at the JCC . Story on page 3 Story on page 2 Stories on page 4

PLUS Summer Camps....................8-9 Classifieds.............................. 10 Calendar Highlights............. 10 Obituaries................................11



A MATTER OF OPINION The 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising BY RICHARD D. WILKINS “Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelbaum, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Oyneg Shabes Archive” by Samuel D. Kassow, is at once both biography and elegy. It recounts the herculean, clandestine efforts of Emanuel Ringelbaum and his “band of comrades” to preserve primary source material on the life and death of the Warsaw Ghetto (1940-43). Their Oyneg Shabes Archive, much of which remains to be researched, “attaches flesh and blood” to the dry postwar statistics of a heretofore unimaginable crime. It stands as a searing indictment of its Nazi perpetrators. Over time, three separate caches, packed in tin boxes and milk cans, were buried, the last just before the ghetto’s fiery destruction in the heroic April 1943 uprising. After a painstaking search, only two were eventually recovered, the first and largest in particularly poor physical condition. Nonetheless, those have provided a wealth of information on conditions in the ghetto; the daily struggle for survival from starvation; “selection” and sudden savagery; the mood-swinging rumors that swirled through the population-swollen streets; what was known, and when, of the horrific fate that still awaited. The surviving material tells of misery and melioration, selfishness and selflessness, submission and resistance – a tale, in short, of the very worst and the very best of humanity. Kassow weaves such disparate material, provided with essential historical context, into a riveting account of khurbm varshe (the destruction of Warsaw Jewry). The New Republic has effusively praised the book as perhaps “the most important book about history that anyone will ever read,” as well as “a very important book of history.” In one sense, this history begins, not with the September 1, 1939, German invasion of Poland, but a half-century earlier. It was then that the great Jewish historian, Simon Dubnow, urged Jews to zamling, the collecting of all sorts of everyday written materials, however seemingly inconsequential. As a strong sense of religious identification was fast receding among the Jewish masses, this would provide a framework for a comprehensive picture of everyman’s everyday existence and serve as a basis, as well, for a shared sense of nationhood among Eastern European Jews. During World War I, the Yiddish writer, Y.L. Peretz, implored those Jews to record their intense wartime suffering and not leave the writing of history to their enemies. Those were exhortations that Ringelbaum very much took to heart. He was born in Galicia, then part of the Hapsburg Empire. Jews there had greater political freedom and access to education than in nearby Czarist Russia. The country of Poland did not then exist, re-emerging only after World War I. Hoping to study medicine, he applied to Warsaw University, only to be rejected due to the numerus clausus (Jewish quota), something that would not have happened under the Hapsburgs. He reapplied and was accepted in the History Department. As for future job prospects, however, an academic appointment at a Polish university was, for a Jew, out of the question. For a time, Ringelbaum taught in a Jewish high school, while avidly pursuing archival research on Polish Jewish history and publishing prolifically. He was active in the Young Historians Circle in Warsaw and with the newly-established Yiddish Scientific Institute. Political activism in the Left Poalei Tzion Party, whose ideology combined Socialism, Zionism and Yiddishism, was a lifelong passion. Work with the Joint Distribution Com-

mittee, in fund-raising and relief operations, honed his considerable organizational skills and well prepared him for a high post with the Aleynhilf (self-help) organization within the ghetto. Independent of, and often in conflict with, the Nazi-imposed Judenrat (Jewish Governing Council), it provided, under the most difficult of circumstances, a multitude of humanitarian services, including soup kitchens, financial aid and jobs for unemployed intellectuals. Its mission was a heart-rending, ultimately futile, one, able to delay, but not deny, the inevitable. However, that position provided Ringelbaum with contacts and unique access throughout the ghetto. And thus, the Oyneg Shabes project was born. The name derived from its weekly Saturday afternoon Executive Committee meetings. Over time, some 50-60 persons were involved in various capacities. Only three survived, including the only one able to lead searchers to the hidden caches. Truly an eclectic group, they spanned the spectrum of political parties, with a wide variety of work backgrounds, writing mostly in Yiddish but also Polish. This was history as a collective enterprise. Most contributors died anonymously, but a few left sufficient traces for the brief biographies that appear here. The Oyneg Shabes collections were all-encompassing: texts, documents, artifacts, ration cards, tickets to cultural events, underground press newspapers and pamphlets, post cards from provincial Jews about to be deported to an “unknown destination,” even frantic last-minute appeals from those trapped at the Umschlagplatz transit point to Treblinka. There were poems, essays and extended studies of various aspects of ghetto life. Especially important were individual testimonies and documentation of Nazi crimes. Final entries in the second cache included posters calling for armed resistance. Oyneg Shabes operated very much like a graduate seminar. Ringelbaum developed individual study guidelines and dispatched notebook-laden interviewers, instructing them to “work badly.” What was essential was to get the facts, staying safe, while ignoring prewar standards for scholarly writing. What was Ringelbaum’s own fate? Before the final conflagration, he, his wife and son escaped to the Aryan side. They found refuge with some 35 others in a bunker that a Pole had built under his greenhouse. Though very cramped, and their movements highly restricted, it seemed secure. Unfortunately, a lovers’ spat, involving the Pole, led to their betrayal in March 1944. All were shot, including the Pole sheltering them. His family members were subsequently shunned by neighbors for his act of compassion. Ironically, while in the bunker, Ringelbaum had been absorbed in writing a history of Polish-Jewish relations during the war, trying, as ever, to put them in the most favorable light. Hero he was, but not only he. The Oyneg Shabes archivists were not mere detached chroniclers, but were themselves caught up in the immense catastrophe engulfing Polish Jewry. They, too, walked daily through the valley of the shadow of death, with naught but this holy task to comfort them. Even as they themselves lost wives, children and closest colleagues, they persevered. Ringelbaum called them the chevra kadisha (burial society). Polish Jewry was dying and it fell to them to document its death throes. But, in truth, what they were really engaged in was mechayei hamaysim (restoring to life). Due to their endeavors, the dead have not remained nameless ciphers, neither with grave nor remembrance. If only on the printed page, they here have been brought back to life.

JCC Gymnastics to hold pasta dinner fund-raiser BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center will hold its seventh annual pasta dinner fund- raiser on Sunday, March 18, from 3:30-5:30 pm, in the JCC Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center’s Schayes Family Gymnasium. The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome. Advance sale tickets are available at the JCC’s front desk and from gymnastics team members. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit the JCC gymnastics program. Sherri Lamanna, JCC director of gymnastics, dance and preschool physi-

cal education, said, “We’re so fortunate to have a great turnout each year for our pasta dinner. It’s a great time for families to come together for a delicious meal and to get a glimpse of our program in action. As in past years, the money raised will go toward equipment needs, supplies and gymnastics meets throughout the year.” There will be regular, as well as gluten-free, pasta available. JCC gymnastics students will perform various demonstrations during the event. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Lamanna at 315-445-2040, ext. 126, or

Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group to settle in at the JCC BY ANKUR DANG For most people, genealogy is simply a collection of family trees and facts. For Mike Fixler, 66, these facts are a passion – or rather, the starting point of his passion for Jewish genealogy. Fixler said, “Genealogy and a DNA test helped reunite a daughter with her father, whom she had never met. She contacted me as a result of this interest. We compared our family trees and, initially, we didn’t see any connections, but she was adopted. When we started researching that aspect of her life, we realized that she was the daughter of my father’s first cousin. She is 65. He is 88. They had never thought they would meet each other, but, incredibly, they did. And they were completely overwhelmed when they finally met each other. It was very emotional. It was also very positive.” Fixler, who has been researching his own family’s story for the last 20 years, says that the idea of starting a genealogy group in Syracuse came when he and a group of fellow genealogy enthusiasts were approached by Nolan Altman, a board member with the InternationalAssociation of Jewish Genealogy Societies. Altman gave a lecture at Temple Concord last October, which was attended by more than 40 people. That’s how Fixler knew

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that there were locals who would be interested in a formal Jewish genealogy group. Thus, the Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group was born. The group’s planners also include Ken Brynien, Yonat Klein and Barbara Walzer. While Brynien and Walzer are American, Klein is of Israeli descent. Fixler believes that her presence in the group brings another perspective to their discussions because many Jewish families in the area have family ties in Israel. “The history of the Jewish people is very complicated,” said Fixler. “In some ways, it is easy to trace because we’ve always been a close-knit group, but it is also tough because the Diaspora was so scattered all over the world.” The resources that the Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group will be working with include family photographs, birth and death records, local libraries, DNA testing companies, military archives, the Yad Vashem museum, documents such as high school yearbooks and much more. The Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group held its initial meeting in January at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville. The group’s first meeting at its new “home” will be on Sunday, March 18, at 2 pm, at the See “Genealogy” on page 5 All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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MARCH 15, 2018/28 ADAR 5778 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s independence, 70th anniversary simcha BY ROBERT DAVIS On Thursday, April 19, at 5:45 pm, members of the Syracuse community will gather at Temple Adath Yeshurun to commemorate the statehood of Israel with a Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration that will feature live music by Symphoria, Syracuse Pops Chorus, community cantors and adult and children’s choirs; a free Israeli kosher dinner; a tots’ Attendees sang and danced during the 2017 Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. program; children’s activities; an

Become a sponsor of Israel at 70 concert BY JUDITH L. STANDER Yom Ha’atzmaut is Thursday, April 19, when the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel will be celebrated in Jewish communities around the world. The local celebration will be held at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 5:45 pm, beginning with youth activities. There will be a concert performance including Symphoria, the Syracuse Pops Chorus, community cantors and members of the local Jewish adult and children’s choirs. There will also be a variety of Israeli-focused events, including tots’ and children’s programs, starting

at 5:15 pm. In addition, there will be a caricaturist, photo booth and an Israeli-style market (shuk) that will feature Judaica, jewelry, olive oils, wine tasting (for those 21 and older), baked goods and a kosher dinner. Organizers are seeking sponsors of the Symphoria and Syracuse Pops Chorus portion of the event. Checks in any amount may be dropped off at the Jewish Federation offices (5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt) or go to the Federation website and click on the tzedakah box to use PayPal or charge by credit card. Contributions can also be made by contacting Judith Stander at 315-445-0161, ext. 114, or

Yom Hashoah essay entries invited BY JUDITH STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York is accepting entries for the 2018 Yom Hashoah Essay Contest at the middle school, high school and adult levels. The deadline for submitting essays is noon on Monday, March 26. Anything submitted after this date cannot be considered. The theme for this year’s Yom Hashoah essay contest is “Why Should We Continue to Study the Holocaust?” The Holocaust, or Shoah, was a genocide (an intentional action to destroy a specific group identified by ethnicity, nationality, race or religion) that occurred from 1939 to 1945 and was led by Nazi Germany, along with the collaborators of the Axis powers. In all, more than six million European Jews (about two-thirds of the European Jewish population) were exterminated. This was part of

Israeli market; and a Judaica and jewelry show by Israeli designer Bar Kochva. As with past Yom Ha’atzmaut events, it is free and open to the public. Symphoria’s guest conductor for the evening will be Cantor Joseph Ness. He was the composer and arranger for the 1998 Rhode Island Philharmonic for Israel’s 50th anniversary. Cantor Robert Liberman of Syracuse, Ness’ longtime friend and colleague, said, “Joseph Ness is an incredibly gifted musician, composer and arranger whose music spotlights Israel as a land flowing with melody and harmony.” Lou Lemos will direct the Syracuse Pops Chorus, which will be joined by the 55-piece Symphoria, along with the community cantors and adult and children’s choirs of the Central New York Jewish community. They will perform and highlight Israeli music and songs from the establishment of the state of Israel 70 years ago. Musical selections will feature songs from the See “Simcha” on page 4

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an even larger event that involved the murder and persecution of other groups, including the Roma (gypsies), the “incurably sick,” political opponents, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, ethnic Poles and Soviet prisoners of war. This period in world history placed a cloud over the memories of anyone who was affected by the mass murders and tortures that took place. It is now 73 years since the official end of World War II. The Holocaust spanned the globe, from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, and involved the world in this tragedy. Submitted essays should support why school curricula should continue to include the study of the Holocaust and should be as specific as possible about the writer’s personal, as well as general, reasons for his or her position. See “Essay” on page 4

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu MARCH 19-23 Monday – baked ziti Tuesday – baked herb chicken Wednesday – tuna salad on rye Thursday – beef stew over egg noodles Friday – roasted turkey MARCH 26-30 Monday – stuffed cabbage Tuesday – hot corned beef on rye Wednesday – Passover celebration with music – Moroccan chicken stew with rice Thursday – chicken fried rice Friday – sweet and sour meatballs over egg noodles The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served HUNT Real Estate ERA 6849 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas A LUNCH AND LEARN EVENT – RACE IN THE U.S.: A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE BY MELISSA HARKAVY Following the March 24 Shabbat morning services at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone and Ona Cohn Bregman will lead a lunch and learn discussion that will be partially informed by two books, “America’s Original Sin” by Jim Wallace and “Waking up White” by Debbie Irving. Many members of the various Syracuse faith communities have read these books and used them as a basis for self-examination. The books are written from a Christian perspective and will be discussed from a Jewish perspective. Other books on similar topics will be suggested as well. The session will try to explore questions around race and privilege, including how people think about race, racism and white privilege, and through what lens; how a Jewish lens differs from a Christian lens; how skin color and shade contribute to assumptions, just as certain physical attributes of some Jews contribute to stereotyping; and how the Jewish history of oppression over many generations contributes to Jews’ understanding of the legacy of slavery. Organizers agree that such questions have no simple answers. Irving quotes James Baldwin at the beginning of her book, saying, “If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” As Bob Tornberg of CBS-CS stated in his February 2 d’var Torah, “Let us hope that, as we challenge some of our assumptions, it will lead to being in a


early pioneer days, Sephardic and Ladino tunes, hora (dance) music, a song about “Ha-Kotel,” “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” and “Bashanah Haba’ah,” an Israeli medley intended to evoke a “sense of connection and longing to go to Israel.” “Hatikvah,” with a full orchestra, will be sung at the end of the program. The Israel Independence Day celebration is presented by the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center and funded by a Yom Ha’atzmaut grant from the Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Central New York; Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable

different way. Or perhaps, if we act in a different way, it will lead to a change in our assumptions.” For more information, contact Pepperstone at or call the CBS-CS office at 315-446-9570. OYS AND JOYS SHABBAT AND CHOCOLATE SEDER Every month at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, families with children through age 5 join together to play and explore Judaism. Past activities include celebrating Sukkot, exploring the MOST, creating chanukiot, enjoying Havdalah in PJs and participating in the “Scooper Sunday” Tu B’Shevat seder. The program is an opportunity to create community and meet other young families. It also gives children the opportunity to explore Jewish customs and values in a kid-friendly environment. On Friday, March 23, the Oys and Joys Shabbat at 5:30 pm will include a “Model Shabbat Table.” Together, participants will light the candles, say Kiddush and sing Shabbat songs. At 6 pm, Oys and Joys families can join the congregation for a potluck dinner. The Kabbalat Shabbat service will start at 7:15 pm. Then, on Sunday, March 25, Oys and Joys participants may join the CBS-CS Religious School students for a chocolate seder led by the school’s madrichim (teen assistants). Oys and Joys families should arrive at the synagogue by 10:15 am, so that all participants can start the seder together. For more information, or to make a reservation, contact Program Director Melissa Harkavy at or 315-446-9570. Continued from page 3

Foundation and Selma Radin. It is supported by Chabad-Lubavitch of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Syracuse Community Hebrew School, Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord. It is sponsored by Rabbi Vicki and Cantor Robert Lieberman, Joan and Norman Poltenson, Elaine Rubenstein, Judith Stander, the Arnold and Mimi Weiner Fund, Rachel Chait, and Linda and Robert Davis. For more information, contact Orit Antosh at

Temple Adath Yeshurun BLOOD DRIVE On Sunday, March 18, between 9 am and 2 pm, the Temple Adath Yeshurun Men’s Club and Sisterhood will co-sponsor a blood drive through the American Red Cross. The event will be held in the foyer at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse. Donors are asked to enter through the synagogue’s main entrance, under the canopy. To make an appointment, call Jeff Joseph at 315-885-0384 or visit and use sponsor code templeadath. Appointments are encouraged and preferred, however, walk-ins are welcome and may have to wait for an available donor slot. TAY SISTERHOOD RUMMAGE SALE The TAY Sisterhood will hold its semi-annual rummage sale on Sunday, March 18, through Tuesday, March 20.

Tuesday will be bag day. The sale allows TAY Sisterhood to support the synagogue by, among other things, providing b’nai mitzvah gifts, weekly kiddushim and provide funds for unforeseen expenses. The sale will see the return of the “boutique,” where shoppers can find finer clothing and items for sale. The sale is open to the community and there is no fee for admission during the regular hours of the sale: 10 am-3 pm on Sunday; 10 am-2 pm on Monday; and 10 am-1 pm on Tuesday. However, for those who wish to have a “first look,” the Sisterhood will have an “early bird” option. For a modest fee, those who wish will be able to enter the sale one hour prior to the official opening, from 9-10 am, on Sunday, March 18. For more information or to volunteer, contact Joan Lowenstein at jmglowe@

L-r (in front): Sandra Roth, Shirley Small, Nancy Holstein and Dolores Bluman were among the more than 20 TAY Hazak members who attended the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center lunch and entertainment program on February 23.

Temple Concord GAN PROGRAM ABOUT PASSOVER ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18 A program about Passover will be held for toddlers, aged 2-5, at Temple Concord on Sunday, March 18, at 10:30 am. The program will include art and movement activities, as well as stories. Call the TC office at 315-475-9952 for more information. TC SPRING BLOOD DRIVE ON SUNDAY, APRIL 8 Temple Concord will continue its life-saving social action initiative with its spring blood drive on Sunday, April 8, from 9 am-2 pm. Appointments are available every 15 minutes and the entire donation process takes about one hour. Donors 16 years and older are eligible to donate. Schedule an appointment by calling the TC blood donor hotline at 315288-0773, e-mailing Mark Kotzin at, or going online to using the sponsor code “templeconcord.” Donors may also sign up using the Red Cross app on their smartphone. Donors can speed up the donation process by using the Red Cross’ “rapid pass” system to pre-register, read the educational materials and answer the


Organizers feel that remembrance obligates people to not only memorialize those who were killed, but also to reflect on what could have been done to save them. Those who survived say that, as many faced their deaths, their last words were, “Remember us. Tell our story.” Survivors promised that they would remember and that “never again” would the world stand silent or look the other way. First place awards of $50 and second place awards of $25 will be awarded to the winners in each of the three categories. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Yom

donor questionnaire from the privacy of their home computer or mobile device the day of the drive. Visit http:// the morning of the drive to take advantage of this new tool. LIBRARY SHABBAT, APRIL 6-7 The TC Lois Arnold Gale Memorial Library Concord will host the annual Library Shabbat on April 6 and 7. This year’s theme is “The Stories We Tell.” At the Friday “pre-oneg” at 5:30 pm, library volunteers will be on hand to informally share their recommendations for recently published books of Jewish interest. Passover snacks will be served and Shabbat services follow at 6 pm. On Saturday, April 7, from 12:30-1:30 pm, a discussion about Jewish stories will be held, with a focus on folktales, literary short stories and graphic fiction. Among the questions to be explored are: “Why do story forms attract so many Jewish writers?,” “What themes recur and why?” and “What accounts for Jewish writers’ affinity for graphic fiction?” A light dairy lunch will be provided. The program will follow the 11 am Passover Shabbat and Yizkor service. Both the Friday and Saturday programs are free and open to the public. Continued from page 3

Hashoah Memorial observance, which will be held at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas on Sunday, April 8, at 2 pm. Essays should be no longer than 500 words and may be sent electronically to Judith Stander at They can also be mailed or hand-delivered to Judith Stander, Jewish Federation of CNY, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214. Contact Stander at 315-445-0161, ext. 114, at the above e-mail to receive a copy of the essay contest guidelines or to become a sponsor of the essay competition.

MARCH 15, 2018/28 ADAR 5778 ■


Neil and Robin Goldberg honored by NJOP NJOP (formerly known as National Jewish Outreach Program) celebrated its 30 years of “engaging, inspiring and educating Jews.” NJOP (http://www.njop. org) held its annual dinner in New York City on February 6. A primary goal of the organization is to “help ignite the hearts of those searching for more meaning in their Jewish heritage.” Highlights of the dinner included a retrospective of 30 years of NJOP programming and several honors presented to community leaders for their “outstanding contributions to the organization and their unwavering commitment to enhancing Jewish life.” Guests of honor were NJOP supporters Robin and Neil Goldberg. Neil is the CEO of Raymour and Flanigan, one of the largest furniture retailers in the country, with 122 stores and 6,000 employees. The Goldbergs, who reside in Syracuse and Manhattan, are active members of both Jewish communities and have been involved in NJOP programs. They are also dedicated to communal service organizations, including the Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Anti-Defamation League. A dentist by training, Robin is dedicated to communal work, serving as president of the Syracuse Hebrew

At right, l-r: Neil and Robin Goldberg with Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, founder of NJOP (formerly known as National Jewish Outreach Program). The Goldbergs were guests of honor at the organization’s dinner on February 6. Day School and chapter president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, while also working with the Lion of Judah Division of the Jewish Federation of Central New York, the United Way, and the National Council of Jewish Women, among others. Neil said, “We support the good work done by NJOP and Rabbi Buchwald. He is really special.” In 2003, Neil and Robin were honored by the Jewish Federation of Central New York with the Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership, which is given in honor and recognition of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding Jewish community leadership and is considered by many

to be the major community service award presented by the Syracuse Jewish community. Robin has been a Federation Lion of Judah since at least 2008. It is comprised of 16,000 women from around the world who are dedicated to changing the world through philanthropy and advocacy. In 2006, she received the National Council of Jewish Women Syracuse Section AtLarge Hannah G. Solomon award. NJOP, an independent, non-denominational, non-profit organization, was established in 1987 by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald in response to the “spiraling losses” of Jews from Jewish life due to assimilation and lack of Jewish knowledge. Through its educational programming


and social media platforms, NJOP seeks to convey the relevance and vibrancy of Judaism to contemporary Jews by providing a greater understanding and knowledge of the basics of Judaism and Jewish life. Over the last 30 years, more than 1,621,193 North American Jews have been engaged Jewishly through NJOP’s Jewish programs and experiences. NJOP’s programs, such Read Hebrew America and Canada, Shabbat Across America and Canada, Passover, Sukkot and Chanukah Across America, Shabbat and High Holiday Beginners Services, and Crash Courses in Basic Judaism and Jewish History, have been offered at 5,032 synagogues and Jewish organizations across North America and in 41 additional countries around the globe. It’s said that NJOP’s ever-expanding efforts, and its ability to recognize the most current cultural trends, have allowed it to become a leader in Jewish social media. Every day, tens of thousands of fans and followers are presented with a means to participate in Jewish life through @JewishTweets on Twitter, NJOP’s “Jewish Treats” daily e-mail and Facebook fan page. NJOP’s “Jewish Treats” YouTube channel has more than 1.97 million views.


Your Federation dollars at work – Hillel to offer a community meal during Passover Passover meal. Four Syracuse BY JACKIE MIRON synagogues, the Syracuse HeThe Allocations Committee brew Day School and Hillel of the Jewish Federation of at Syracuse University will Central New York awards the celebrate by sharing a meal. Philip L. Holstein Community Organizers hope that the project Program Fund grants each will bring together community year in addition to the annual members to participate in the allocations made in the spring. vibrant Jewish life at Syracuse Based on the success of the 2017 University; integrate the comannual campaign, community Jackie Miron munity with Hillel by connectprogram grants are available to all Jewish organizations, agencies, ing SU students with community members and synagogues in the Central New York and SHDS students; and demonstrate community. The Allocations Committee Jewish life in college to younger students. During Passover, Hillel’s dining hall reviews the grant requests and makes serves kosher for Passover meals. As many recommendations to the board, which students eat only here during the holiday, votes on the recommendations. Hillel at Syracuse University has re- it creates a “unique” atmosphere, and the ceived a grant of $1,500 for a community Hillel staff would like to share one meal


Jewish life, learning and Israel. Similar missions exist for the synagogues and schools in the greater Jewish community. The grant will cover the cost of the meals and parking to make the event more accessible. The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the importance of unifying and strengthening the relationships between community and Hillel students. The hope is that new relationships and connections will be formed, which will benefit everyone involved. For further information, contact

Continued from page 2

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The meeting will include a presentation by Brynien, who has researched his own family tree and traced nearly 1,000 family members, dating back to 1797. In addition to Brynien’s talk, the group will discuss the use of local and online


with the greater Jewish community on Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 pm. The dinner will be at Hillel at SU, 102 Walnut Place in Syracuse. Connection with the greater community is one of Hillel’s “highest priority” goals, as Federation, Hillel and the larger Jewish community feel there is a need for more integration and appreciation for the sharing of Jewish values in Syracuse. The mission of Hillel at Syracuse University is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so they, in turn, may enrich the Jewish community at large, hopefully inspiring them to make a commitment to

genealogy resources, as well as possible presentation topics for upcoming meetings. The Syracuse Jewish Genealogy group is free and open to anyone interested in local Jewish genealogy. For more details, e-mail Fixler at fixler44@

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Passover around the community

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (USCJ affiliated), 18 Patsy La. off Jamesville Rd., DeWitt, 315-4469570. For youth programs, call 315701-2685. Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse (Orthodox, affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), 4313 E. Genesee St., DeWitt, 315-446-6194. Temple Adath Yeshurun (USCJ affiliated), 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, 315-445-0002. Temple Concord (Reform, affiliated with Union for Reform Judaism), 910 Madison St., Syracuse, 315-475-9952. Chabad House at SU. All services at Chabad House, 825 Ostrom Ave., 315424-0363. Hillel – Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life at Syracuse University Campus, 102 Walnut Pl., Syracuse, 315422-5082. For information, go to www. or call 315-422-5082.

Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas THURSDAY, MARCH 29 B’dikat chametz (search for chametz) after 7:20 am

FRIDAY, MARCH 30 Conservative daily service (CBS-CS and TAY) with Siyyum Bichorim (Fast of First Born) 7:15 am FRIDAY, MARCH 30, EREV PESACH Mechirat chametz (sale of chametz) until 10:30 am Until 1 pm biur chametz (burning chametz): The home is totally kosher for Pesach. First seder Candle lighting at 7:10 pm SATURDAY, MARCH 31, FIRST DAY Shacharit services at 9:30 am Second seder candle lighting after 8:24 pm SUNDAY, APRIL 1, SECOND DAY Shacharit services at 9:30 am – Cantor Paula Pepperstone will lead services Havdalah 8:20 pm THURSDAY, APRIL 5 Candle lighting 7:18 pm SATURDAY, APRIL 7, EIGHTH DAY Chol Hamoed Pesach services 9:30 am. Cantor Paul Pepperstone will lead services. Selections from “Song of Songs” will be chanted. Shacharit services 9:30 am Cantor Paula Pepperstone will recite Yizkor Pesach ends 8:28 pm

PJ Library® to offer Passover story time The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s PJ Library will offer a Passover story time on Thursday, March 22, at 10:30 am, at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Rd., DeWitt. Participants will do Passover crafts,

read stories and have a snack. The program is geared toward preschoolers from 3-5 years of age, but all ages are welcome. For questions and details about any of the upcoming PJ Library in Central New York events, contact Carolyn Weinberg at

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse THURSDAY, MARCH 29 B’dikat chametz (search for chametz) after 8:17 am FRIDAY, MARCH 30, EREV PESACH Morning services 6:45 am, followed by siyyum Eat chametz until 10:58 am Burn chametz until 11:57 am Candle lighting 7:11 pm Mincha 7:15 pm Begin seder after 8:17 pm, can eat chametz until 10:50 am Burn chametz until 11:51 am Candle lighting 7:24 pm Mincha 7:25 pm Start seder after 8:30 pm SATURDAY MARCH 31, FIRST DAY Morning services 9 am Mincha 7:05 pm Candle lighting 8:17 pm Start seder after 8:17 pm SUNDAY, APRIL 1, SECOND DAY Morning services 9 am Mincha 7:15 pm Havdalah 8:18 pm MONDAY-THURSDAY, APRIL 2-5 Chol Hamoed services 6:30 am THURSDAY, APRIL 5, EREV SEVENTH DAY Morning services 8 am Candle lighting 7:18 pm Mincha 7:20 pm FRIDAY, APRIL 6, SEVENTH DAY Chumash class 8 am Morning services 9 am Mincha 7:20 pm Candle lighting 7:19 pm SATURDAY, APRIL 7, EIGHTH DAY Chumash class 8 am Morning services 9 am Yizkor 11 am Mincha 7:10 pm Havdalah 8:25 pm Chametz reverts to your possession after 9 pm

Temple Adath Yeshurun FRIDAY, MARCH 30, EREV PESACH Conservative daily service (CBS-CS

and TAY) with Siyyum Bichorim (Fast of First Born) 7:15 am Complete biyur chametz by 11 am Candle lighting 7:11 pm Evening services 5:30 pm First seder, following services promptly at 6:30 pm SATURDAY, MARCH 31, FIRST DAY Morning services 9:15 am Mincha following morning services Candle lighting 7:53 pm SUNDAY, APRIL 1, SECOND DAY Morning services 9:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv 7:35 pm MONDAY-THURSDAY, APRIL 2-5 – CHOL HAMOED Morning services 7:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv 5:30 pm Candle lighting 7:18 pm FRIDAY, APRIL 6, SEVENTH DAY Morning services 9:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv 5:30 pm Candle lighting no later than 7:19 pm SATURDAY, APRIL 7, EIGHTH DAY Morning services 9:15 am, Yizkor is said during services Mincha/Ma’ariv 7:30 pm Passover ends/chametz permitted 8:05 pm

Temple Concord FRIDAY, MARCH 30, EREV PESACH Kabbalat Shabbat service 5:15 pm at Traditions at the Links Congregational seder dinner catered by Traditions at the Links (reservations required) at 6 pm. Reservations may be made using the reservation form found in the TC e-bulletin, through the TC online calendar or by calling the TC office at 315-475-9952. Deadline to register is Friday, March 16, at noon. SATURDAY, MARCH 31 Pesach service 11 am SATURDAY, APRIL 7 Passover Shabbat service and Yizkor at 11 am

Chabad House

For information on services and meals, contact Rabbi Yaakov Rapoport at 315424-0363.

An “Annie Hall” remake, starring two senior citizens

Your Name(s)

March 21 Deadline

BY BEN SALES (JTA) – Harry Miller and Shula Chernick are two real people, but they could have just as easily been characters in one of Woody Allen’s early rom-coms. “I used to love walking, and I can’t stand walking anymore,” Miller told The New York Times after spending his morning walking around the Met. “Wait a second, you walked all the way down to meet me,” Shula Chernick said. “Yeah, but I wasn’t carrying my shoulder bag.” “Well, who tells you to carry the shoulder bag?” Chernick said. “I always tell you not to.” It’s convenient then that they both act in a remake of “Annie Hall,” considered Allen’s most famous film. The 40-minute movie, called “My Annie Hall,” isn’t available to watch anywhere, but it is described in two longform write-ups in The Daily Beast and now the Times. Miller and Chernick fit the movie’s bill perfectly: They live on the Upper East Side. They like to eat at diners, watch movies and go to the Met. At least one of them (Chernick) is Jewish. The one catch: They’re senior citizens, a couple generations older than the characters Alvy Singer and Annie Hall were in the original 1977 film. Miller is 94 and Chernick is 73. They’ve been going out together, as

friends, for nine years, and both attend programs at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House senior center. They came to star in the movie after attending a class at Lenox Hill taught by two young film-makers, Ellie Sachs, 25, and Matt Starr, 29. Starr realized how empowering film could be for seniors when his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, became much more animated and talkative after watching “Casablanca.” Starr and Sachs, who are a couple and are both Jewish, taught their seminar on movies ranging from “Singing in the Rain” to “Rosemary’s Baby” for 10 weeks at Lenox Hill, then decided to re-shoot one of the movies with the attendees. After voting, they settled on “Annie Hall.” “We encouraged the class to do ‘Annie Hall’ just because Lenox Hill Neighborhood House is so close by to a lot of the original locations,” Sachs told the Times. “And it’s a memory movie. It’s about looking back and thinking about what you choose to remember, why you choose to remember certain things, what are the most salient and important memories. And also, it’s a love story. It’s accessible and seemed very ageless.” The couple was going to shoot the movie on their iPhones with leftover money from their bar and bat mitzvahs, they told See “Senior” on page 12

MARCH 15, 2018/28 ADAR 5778 ■



Community happenings – an embarrassment of riches BY JUDITH L. STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York is “overwhelmed” with good news from a variety of organizations in the area. What started out as an “in-between reminder” e-bulletin appearing in between the scheduled issues of the Jewish Observer has become what Federation hopes is an informative and easy-to-use electronic tool to keep people up-to-date on many of the activities taking place in Central New York. Information is prepared by individual organizations and sent to Federation, where it is compiled in usually chronological order and sent out via e-mail to anyone who has signed up for the free service. Local organizations that might appear in these e-bulletins include:

‹‹ Chabad House of Central New York ‹‹ Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas ‹‹ Hillel at Syracuse University ‹‹ Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York ‹‹ Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center ‹‹ Jewish Federation of Central New York ‹‹ Menorah Park ‹‹ Oaks of DeWitt ‹‹ Rabbi Epstein High School of Jewish Studies ‹‹ Safe Haven ‹‹ Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse ‹‹ Syracuse Community Hebrew School ‹‹ Syracuse Hebrew Day School ‹‹ Temple Adath Yeshurun ‹‹ Temple Concord

The Community Happenings e-bulletin is not a com-

plete newspaper. It was created to offer an additional opportunity for members of the community to learn about events. It does not list every event, but it does give members of the Jewish community an opportunity to see what is going on and choose to attend some of the events that they might otherwise not have known about. In addition to events, Federation, in coordination with area funeral services, sends out copies of recent obituary notices when they affect the Central New York Jewish community. Anyone who has signed up to receive the Community Happenings e-bulletin will also receive the obituary announcements before they appear in print elsewhere. To sign up to receive the bi-weekly Community Happenings e-bulletin and obituary notices, contact Judith Stander at or 315-445-0161, ext. 114.

Purim around the community CHABAD ROCKS SYRACUSE THIS PURIM Chabad Lubavitch of Central New York and Chabad house at Syracuse University held Purim at the Bar on February 28 for Syracuse University graduate students and YJP (Young Jewish Professionals) at the Syracuse University Sheraton for the annual Purim in Peking dinner/seudah. The joint Hillel/Chabad for undergrads Purim in Space Celebration, organized by Rabbi Zalman and Sorah Ives, new associate directors of Chabad at SU undergraduate programming, distributed hundreds of mishloach manot packages to students on the SU and State University

of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry campuses. On March 1, Chabad held its annual Purim lunch and megillah reading in downtown Syracuse at the new Chabad Business Center, 499 South Warren St., where business professionals and others listened to the megillah and have a Purim mini-seudah. For the first time, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord celebrated Purim together at Temple Concord. Highlights of the evening included a Purim dinner, a three-congregation full megillah reading, and a joke and pun contest.

At right: More than 20 graduate and medical students and YJP (Young Jewish Professionals) enjoyed Chabad’s Kabbalah and Beer, Purim at the Bar celebration, with a megillah reading, refreshments and drinks. The event was sponsored by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York.

In keeping with the theme of puns, Peri Lowenstein and Cara Meltzer came as “pigs in blankets.” Anick and Jay Sinclair tried to pass on a bit of Ashkenazic culinary heritage to their sons, Milo, Dory and Remy, by teaching them that preparing gefilte fish originally involved stuffing a whole fish. The boys “had nothing to do with this fishy project” and “broke into a song titled ‘Gefilte-the-fish Alone,’” sung in their native London accents to the tune of “Consider Yourself at Home” from the musical “Oliver.” The skit was at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Israel. (Playing the part of the pike was a 24-inch fresh striped bass.)

L-r: Bruce Gentry and Chanah Meir dressed as Chasidim.

Above: Also in keeping with the theme of puns, Rabbi Daniel Fellman came in a beret and sheet (for the parasha Bereshit) and Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash came as fantasy football. At left: Ben Greenblatt, wearing signs that espouse how wonderful ceilings are (because he’s a “ceiling fan”) read the megillah while his family looked on.


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Ithaca College Jewish Studies Program presents Prof. Ted Merwin on the role of the Jewish deli in American Jewish life

deli to cult status as they seek to reclaim their BY PETER SILBERMAN cultural identities. On Wednesday, March 21, at 7:30 pm in Merwin is a professor, blogger, journalist, Textor 102 on the Ithaca College campus, humorist, collector and public intellectual. He author Dr. Ted Merwin will present a talk is considered “one of the foremost authorities on the rise, fall and rise again of the Jewish on Judaism in America” and is the author of two deli and its role in American Jewish life, books, “In Their Own Image: New York Jews “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History in Jazz Age Popular Culture” and “Pastrami of the Jewish Deli.” on Rye: an Overstuffed History of the Jewish For much of the 20th century, the New Deli,” winner of the 2015 National Jewish York Jewish deli was considered an iconic Book Award in the category of Education and Ted Merwin institution in both Jewish and American life. Jewish Identity. Newspapers where “Pastrami As a social space, it “rivaled and in some ways surpassed” the synagogue as the primary gathering on Rye” has been featured include USA Today, The New place for the Jewish community. Ultimately, upwardly York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, New mobile American Jews discarded the deli as they tran- York Observer, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, sitioned from outsider to insider status in the middle of The Economist, London Jewish Chronicle, Haaretz, The the century. Now contemporary Jews are returning the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and many others, as well

as various media outlets. He has given more than 100 multimedia lectures over the last several years, including at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in L.A., the Spertus Institute in Chicago, the Department of Homeland Security at JFK, the FDIC in Washington, DC, and many universities, synagogues, JCCs, libraries, book festivals and museums from coast to coast. For more information visit The lecture is sponsored by Ithaca College’s Jewish Studies Program and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rebecca Lesses, coordinator of Jewish Studies, at or 607-274-3556. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact her by e-mail or phone as soon as possible. Peter Silberman, an associate professor in music theory, history and composition, wrote this article on behalf of the Ithaca College Jewish Studies Program.

U.S. Holocaust Museum rescinds prize given to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum has rescinded a human rights award it gave to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the former political prisoner and democracy activist and now the civilian leader of Myanmar. The museum said it is taking back the Elie Wiesel Award given in 2012 because of what it calls Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to oppose the ethnic cleansing and possible genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. “We had hoped that you – as someone we and many others have celebrated for your commitment to human dignity and universal human rights – would have done

something to condemn and stop the military’s brutal campaign and to express solidarity with the targeted Rohingya population,” read the museum’s letter to Aung San Suu Kyi sent on March 7 and first reported by The New York Times. The letter charges that her party “has instead refused to cooperate with United Nations investigators, promulgated hateful rhetoric against the Rohingya community, and denied access to and cracked down on journalists trying to uncover the scope of the crimes in Rakhine State.” Aung San Suu Kyi was the second person to receive the Elie Wiesel Award, after only Wiesel himself. Named

after the late Holocaust survivor and author who won the Nobel Peace Prize, the award recognizes public figures who have combated hate and genocide and advanced human dignity. Its most recent recipient is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for 15 years for opposing the country’s military dictatorship. She was internationally celebrated during that time as a pro-democratic icon. In 2015, as part of Myanmar’s transition to democracy, she was elected state counselor, a position akin to prime minister. See “Prize” on page 10

Summer camps offer kids an immersion in Israel’s tech prowess BY ELLEN BRAUNSTEIN CHICAGO (JTA) – Sam Rosen, a 10-year-old Minecraft player, builds virtual castles at his computer and protects himself from monsters. His mother, Carrie, a high school math teacher, knows the game teaches tech skills and engineering – valuable skills he can build on in school. So when JCC Chicago announced plans to roll out a tech day camp for the first time this summer, Carrie signed up Sam, understanding that he would learn programming or, as she calls it, “the back end of games.” The new specialty camp, offering different tech workshops for second- to ninth-graders, is one of the first North American partnerships for BIG IDEA in Israel. BIG IDEA, a 10-year-old tech sleepaway camp located on the outskirts of Zichron Yaakov, is where 1,000 elementary to high school-aged children from around the world get

Campers at BIG IDEA/JCC Day Camp in Tenafly, NJ, incorporated robotics into Lego projects. (Photo courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades)

a taste of Israel’s culture of innovation every summer. It also runs travel trips and a gap year program. “This is pretty new and exciting for us,” said Dotan Tamir, the 34-year-old founder and CEO of BIG IDEA Educational Projects, of the Chicago spinoff. “It’s part of our mission to help kids in the Jewish world dream of a better world through innovation and creativity – things Israel is known for.” A second BIG IDEA day camp is starting this summer at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville, MD. And this summer will mark the third year for a BIG IDEA program at the Kaplan JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ. In its first two years in New Jersey, an all-Hebrew track drew day campers from an Israeli-American community already familiar with the BIG IDEA brand. This year, an English track will open up the program to more families who don’t necessarily want Hebrew immersion, said Aaron Atlas, the camp director at the Kaplan JCC on the Palisades. The U.S. camps offer two-week workshops in 3-D modeling, coding and computer programming, web design, DJ mixing, digital photography, robotics, jewelry design, graphic design, video production, animation and virtual reality. Campers can enroll in one or more for multiple sessions. No experience with the technology is necessary. At the end of the two weeks, campers present a final project. All the software links are sent home for campers to keep working on projects. See “Camps” on page 9

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International Women’s Day: Real-life “Wonder Women” of Israel’s volunteer medic team BY ELIANA RUDEE (JNS) – They respond to emergency calls from the public, often putting themselves in danger in order to save lives. They perform CPR, deliver babies and comfort victims of traumatic events. They work behind the scenes in an often thankless job. And they are all volunteers, with their own busy lives, children and challenges. Yes, super-heroes exist. Or rather, super-heroines do – and they exemplify what it means to be a woman giving back to her community in spite of “incredible” odds. These are two of the real-life “Wonder Women” of United Hatzalah, Israel’s team of emergency volunteers: DANA ATIAS, 32 (TEL AVIV) Dana Atias is a divorced mother of three, living on her own with full custody of the kids. Since her service in the Israel Defense Forces, it was always her dream to be a medic, but during that service, she got pregnant and had to drop the training course. So she waited until her oldest child was old enough to watch over the younger ones in case Atias needed to run out at a moment’s notice. Now, 13 years later, she has finally achieved her dream. During the day, Atias works as a cosmetician. In fact, she often works until 11 pm, so the day job is actually a

night one, too. Despite such a schedule, she finds time at least once or twice a week to volunteer on ambulance calls or at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center. In addition, she has made it a policy for herself to respond to emergency calls 300 meters or less from her home, even when she is in a meeting with a client. “My clients know me, and they know that responding to calls is the first thing that comes before my day job,” said Atias. “They know how much I need it.” As the only breadwinner for her household, the 32-year-old tries to limit the number of times she goes out on calls. If it were up to her, she said, she would volunteer all day and wouldn’t earn any money at all. “I love it so much,” she said. “I love seeing how I can help someone, even if it’s just hugging a family member who is seeing their loved one getting CPR. It’s a privilege to be there for the patients and their families.” Atias says she loves responding to emergency calls; it reinvigorates her, allowing her to better feel the cycle and magic of life. “It gives me a high,” she said. “My kids call it the ‘woo-woo’ application [because of the sound that the ambulance and app makes when I receive a call]. I ask them if I can turn it on when I get bored

or tired. Sometimes, they come to me and say, ‘maybe you should turn on the ‘woo-woo’ application!’ because they know when I return, I come back wanting to teach them, cook for them and play with them. Going out on calls gives me more value for life and makes me take nothing for granted,” she explained. “It’s also good to set a personal example for my kids when they see me giving to others,” she told JNS. “They started loving everything in the medical field.” Atias recalled a particularly emotional day, which happened to fall on February 14, Valentine’s Day. She got two very contrasting calls – one, a story of love gone wrong, a call about domestic abuse of a 20-year-old young Eritrean woman in south Tel Aviv; and later, love gone right, a call from another Eritrean woman giving birth. “I knew exactly what to do and I delivered the baby,” said Atias. “It was a perfect day! After the tragic first call, I felt like God gave me a present, saying, ‘It’s OK, everything will be OK.’ And when I held the baby, I felt like I had won the lottery. It gives me fulfillment to help others.” SOPHIE DONIO, 52 (EILAT) Sophie Donio is a single mom and United Hatzalah’s See “Women” on page 11


Continued from page 8

Guy Goren, 8, is continuing to explore programming since he attended a coding workshop at the Tenafly JCC. He took a break from his computer to tick off all the fun activities during his day at camp, including lunch. “I did like DJ,” Goren told JTA. “You choose a song and add a few things to it to make your own song.” Omer Kariv, 19, is typical of the Israeli shlichim, or emissaries, who teach the workshops. He spent one summer in Tenafly after being released from the Israeli army’s Intelligence Corps. A counselor at BIG IDEA in Israel, Kariv came to New Jersey knowing the latest technologies it offered back home. He is studying mechanical engineering and competes in robotics competitions. He hopes to attend MIT and then the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. “I love the way we make the kids interested in high tech,” Kariv said of the BIG IDEA program. “We show them the high-tech world through their own games. Instead of the hard robotic stuff I learn in college, we add programmable robotics to Lego projects, making it fun and functional.” The specialized workshops of no more than eight kids are combined with unplugged time for swimming, arts and sports. “It’s a good mixture with being outside enjoying summer, but it’s technology that my son is really into,” Carrie Rosen said. “They really bring the Israeli technology spirit to kids,” said Sharon Goren, Guy’s


mother, “teaching them how to be more creative and expand their knowledge in a laid back environment.” Jewish summer camps have been adding specialty camps at a fast clip in recent years, in everything from tech to targeted sports training, the arts, sciences and filmmaking. The Foundation for Jewish Camp, which runs an incubator for specialty camps, said the options are necessary for attracting youth who are bombarded with competing programs and responsibilities. “To make camp appealing,” the foundation wrote in a report last year, specialty camps “need to continue marketing their newness, to new campers coming for their first experience and returning campers who want to do something different from last summer.” BIG IDEA’s satellite camps in North America provide campers with an introduction and feeder track to its programs in Israel. Ariel Oren, 17, of Toronto, attended the camp in Israel for two summers – one as a camper for two weeks, the other as a counselor in training for four weeks. He remembers surfing in the morning, learning 3-D modeling and taking a course in entrepreneurship. He and his team members created a survey and did market research for an app that connects young adults beset by mental illness with a therapist. Business moguls judged the entry and gave feedback on

the product and presentation. The session included a visit to a university where the campers were lectured on how to launch a startup. Oren most remembers the new and lasting friends he made at BIG IDEA. “What’s really unique was the fact that this is really an international camp and I really connected with a lot of people who are

now friends,” he said. The Chicago JCC is committed “to bringing Israel to life for kids who have probably never been there,” said Jamie Lake, its day camp marketing manager. “It’s interwoven within the fabric of the camp, helping kids connect to modern Israel, giving them a sense of pride in Israel’s success in technology.”

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Calendar Highlights

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

Wednesday, March 14 Deadline for March 29 Jewish Observer Wednesday, March 28 Deadline for April 12 JO Saturday, March 17 Temple Concord Cinemagogue presents the film, “When do We Eat?” at 7:30 pm Sunday, March 18 Temple Adath Yeshurun Sisterhood rummage sale from 9 am – 3 pm TC Brotherhood at 9:30 am TC Sisterhood breakfast and book discussion at 9:30 am TC GAN program at 10:30 am Monday, March 19 TAY Sisterhood rummage sale from 10 am – 2 pm Syracuse Hebrew Day School Board of Directors at 7 pm Tuesday, March 20 TAY Sisterhood rummage sale from 10 am – 1 pm TAY Sisterhood rummage sale - bag day Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Executive Committee at 6 pm, followed by Board of Directors at 7 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, March 21 Syracuse Jewish Family Service presents a seminar on brain health at 2 pm TAY Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by Board of Directors at 7 pm Thursday, March 22 PJ Library® Passover story time at the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville at 10:30 am Friday, March 23 Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s M-POWER-U Arts and Minds Café at 11:30 am Saturday, March 24 TC Out-of-Egypt potluck lunch and chocolate seder from 11 am – 2 pm Sunday, March 25 Jewish genealogy group meets at JCC at 2 pm SJFS presents film, “Mrs. Palfry at the Claremont,” at Menorah Park at 3 pm Chabad matzah demonstration at Wegmans in DeWitt from 10 am – 2 pm Tuesday, March 27 Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, March 28 SHDS model seder at 10 am SJFS presents a seminar on brain health at 2 pm Friday, March 30 Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s M-POWER-U Arts and Minds Café at 11:30 am Erev Passover - First seder TAY first night seder at 6:30 pm TC at Traditions: Kabbalat Shabbat at 5:15 and first seder family style at 6 pm Saturday, March 31 Passover day 1 Sunday, April 1 Passover day 2 Monday, April 2 Passover day 3 Tuesday, April 3 Passover day 4 Hillel community Passover meal at 5:30 pm



Pursuing the Promised Land BY RABBI DANIEL FELLMAN Contrary to popular belief, our gatherings at sedarim in just a few days are about more than sinkers and floaters, matzah and compote. In a very real way, we gather at the seder table and will arrive enslaved, looking to improve our lives and gain at least a modicum of new freedom. When we sit down together with family and friends, we will be reliving two separate, but now combined, biblical holidays. We will remember the Paschal holiday, recalling the final night of slavery in Egypt, gathering with neighbors, consuming a sacrifice completely and painting the lintels of our doors. And we will also recall the seven-day festival of unleavened bread, reminding us of the earliest moments of our journey from slavery to freedom. Our ancestors knew not what was to come. They had no idea of what was about to happen, that their haste would change their food and the digestive tracts of generations of Jews. They knew only that their current lives were difficult and painful. They knew that a greater promise existed, that a whole new world could be created. We, living in times of fear and distrust, need to go back to the feelings and behavior of our ancestors. They may have harbored great fears, yet they chose to be people

Profiles of SHDS alumni – Mara Semel Kenger


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nurse.” What she loves about being an anesthesiologist is that “I get to take care of patients and families at a time when they are most vulnerable; I use my brain every day to problem solve; I think about physiology and pharmacology; I perform procedures; and I get to wear pajamas and slippers (really scrubs and clogs) to work every day!” The day school was formative for Semel Kenger, who said, “I had a lot of confidence in myself and my learning capabilities coming out of SHDS. I also knew that I could learn an amazing amount of material if I worked at it, since our secular curriculum and Jewish/Hebrew curriculum together made up one normal school day – meaning we learned twice as much as a public school kid. It was normal and rote to learn a lot and work hard. I also always felt supported and loved by the adults around me, which was very important to me as I moved through the years there.” She stays in touch with most of her fellow classmates “even if only on social media.” She even keeps in touch with her fifth grade teacher “and she came to my wedding 20 years after being my teacher!” If she were ever to move back to Syracuse, she said, “I would not question sending my children to SHDS. It’s almost more of a family than a school, but it is a place where academic excellence is expected and encouraged. It is a testament to the idea that children are sponges who can learn as much as we throw at them if the environment is loving, supportive and nurturing. I was fluent in Hebrew at the age of 10 and when I moved on to middle school, I was way ahead of my classmates in secular subjects as well. It’s a beautiful and amazing place to be a kid.”

BY BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS Mara Semel Kenger graduated from the day school in 1992 and went on to get her bachelor of arts from Wellesley College and her M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She did her training at Harvard Medical School and is currently an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Semel Kenger always knew she wanted Mara Semel Kenger and to be a doctor, “because I admired my dad, her daughter, Madeleine. who is a surgeon, and my mom, who is a


Israel sends generators to Papua New Guinea after deadly earthquake

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Cooperation has delivered 40 electricity generators to affected communities there. The generators were delivered on March 8 by Yaron Sultan-Dadon, Pacific Islands adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Australia. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 26 left 100 people dead and cut off electricity to 150,000 residents. Israel was one of the first countries to send aid. On March 8, the country was rocked by a 6.8 magnitude aftershock. Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neall thanked Israel for its friendship and support. “Relations between Papua New Guinea and the state of Israel are strong, and our government and the people of PNG appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times,” he said. “We look forward to further cooperation and the enhancement of the close ties between our countries and our peoples.”



of faith and action. They chose to make a change, to move forward, to believe in a promised land. We, their descendants, would do well to retrace their steps. Our ancestors began by turning inward, connecting with each other. We can do the same thing. How much sweeter would our Pesach be if we found ways to sit down with more of our neighbors, sharing meals together – more than just the sedarim? Once we reconnect, we can begin to work together toward a bigger dream. Our ancestors sought a promised land. We seek the same thing, figuratively and literally. In a figurative sense, we can use the days of Passover as a time to reconnect, to create a stronger community, to build and nurture relationships that add to the sweetness and beauty of our lives. And in a very real way, our community will be going to the Promised Land in October, on a trip led by the pulpit rabbis of our community. Join us as we journey together, learning, exploring, connecting with each other and strengthening our community. Passover offers much beyond a long meal. Join together this year with friends and family and let us begin our new journey toward our own Promised Land. Rabbi Daniel Fellman is the rabbi at Temple Concord.

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However, she has increasingly been under fire for failing to speak out and oppose the country’s military campaign against the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar. The military has killed thousands of Rohingya and forced an approximate 700,000 to flee, according to the Times. The military has burned their villages and buried the dead in mass graves. The Holocaust museum encouraged Aung San Suu Kyi to cooperate with U.N. efforts to examine and prevent the campaign, and to grant the Rohingya citizenship and full rights, which they do not have. “The military’s orchestration of the crimes against Rohingya and the severity of the atrocities in recent months demand that you use your moral authority to address this situation,” the museum’s letter said. “While Myanmar has taken important first steps on the road to democracy, any transition that does not protect the country’s most vulnerable communities will be deeply flawed.” The American Jewish World Service, which funds and provides aid in the developing world, praised the museum’s move. The organization has been at the forefront of a Jewish campaign to bring attention to the Rohingya’s suffering.

MARCH 15, 2018/28 ADAR 5778 ■


Breaking down barriers: Bedouin women OBITUARIES WARREN L. SEBELOWITZ take reins of their future in Israel BY KARA KIMMEL (JNS) – For hundreds of years, Bedouin tribes have wandered the deserts of the Middle East and, to this day, many cultural traditions unique to the Bedouin have remained unchanged, almost appearing frozen in time. While many Bedouin, particularly in Israel, are no longer nomadic, they continue to live in tribes as the world around them has taken on gender equality and women’s rights. Bedouin society remains rooted in its patrilineal hierarchy, with one of the most marginalized female populations in the world. However, as Israeli Bedouin communities in the Negev Desert, where the majority reside, begin to move toward the future, women are leading a path towards change. Jewish National Fund (or JNF-USA) partnered several years ago with Project Wadi Attir to expand its reach in the Bedouin community with the hope of positively impacting the lives of all Bedouins, particularly women, by offering increased opportunities. Wadi Attir was founded


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first female ambucycle responder. Originally from Paris, she moved to Eilat 28 years ago, and works as a founder and diving instructor at Dolphin Reef Diving Club in Eilat. There, she founded the program as a “supportive experience with the aid of dolphins” for children 6-16 years old who face various challenges and mental difficulties, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, dyslexia, Down syndrome, depression, cancer, sexual abuse and behavioral problems. In addition to this work, last August she took blind people around India on tandem bikes, organized by the Adventures Beyond Borders Foundation. She continues to ride tandem with blind people in the center of Israel. She holds a master’s degree in psychotherapy, has published her own research and is a dolphin trainer. In addition to this work and taking care of her two sons, she also finds time to volunteer as a first responder. She spoke of one particularly challenging call, performing 40 minutes of CPR on a 14-year-old girl who was unresponsive because of a fever. They were able to resuscitate her, but later, she died in the hospital after her systems collapsed. Donio later found out that the girl had swine flu, and she had put her own life in danger by touching her. “It was an emotional event,” she told JNS. “First, I felt happy, but when young girl died, I was scared for my own health. Later, we found out she was in the same school as my son.” Even in the face of challenge, said Donio, “Helping children through dolphins has helped me to better understand my purpose in the world. It’s something I really like – to help people and save people. There must be some egoism in wanting to help because... it makes me feel good.” In addition to saving lives, the 52-year-old’s work with Hatzalah is breaking barriers. As the first woman to have a motorbike, Donio is trailblazing a path for other female first responders. She noted that because Hatzalah is a religious Jewish organization, rabbinic discussion ensued over whether or not it was modest for women to ride a motorbike. According to Eli Beer, the founder and president of United Hatzalah, “For many years I have been trying to get our women volunteers to drive ambucycles. Currently, all of our female volunteers are using their own private vehicles to respond to medical emergencies, except for one.” He told JNS that “once I heard that Sophie wanted to join the ambucycle unit, I said to all involved that we must make the regular process much smoother and expedite the process for her as she is our revolutionary in this field. She is the first female volunteer of the organization to ride an ambucycle of ours, and I want many others to follow her. “We are very proud of the work that she has been doing. She has saved many lives already and is an inspiration to her chapter, the organization as a whole and women who want to help save lives everywhere. We are doing everything we can to encourage Sophie and those like her who stand as a shining example of the selflessness and courage to other women everywhere,” Beer said. As for Donio, she said she hopes “I’m not the last woman to have a motorbike. Women are as good as men in saving lives,” she continued, “and it doesn’t matter if you are religious, nonreligious, a man or woman – anybody who can save lives should get the same conditions.” She also expressed her gratitude to Beer. “I’m very thankful for the ambucycle and I am very proud,” she said.


Bedouin women participating in the Wadi Attir program. (Photo by Jewish National Fund) 10 years ago in conjunction with the Bedouin town of Hura and the Sustainability Laboratories, a U.S.-based nonprofit that pairs traditional Bedouin values and skills with Israel’s cutting-edge renewable-energy productions, sustainability approaches, soil enhancement and resource recycling in arid lands. More importantly, the project is said to be breaking down social barriers and challenging the traditional status of women within Bedouin society, while preserving and respecting the essential values and traditions of their culture. Lina Alatawna grew up and lives in Hura. With a McDonald’s around the corner – and shepherds herding sheep and goats in the sandy hills – the clashes of worlds “couldn’t be more evident” in this town of nearly 20,000 residents. Breaking the traditional Bedouin role of women staying at home, Alatawna excelled in science and math growing up, earning her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in industrial engineering. It allowed her an opportunity to leave the community for a more professional environment. “When I heard about the work Wadi Attir was doing, I knew this was the way to give back to my community,” she said. Originally hired as manager of research and development, Alatawna is now the first female CEO of operations at Wadi Attir. “If I can be highly educated and become a CEO at 28, Bedouin women can be whatever we want,” she added. Wadi Attir now has 30 employees, 50 percent of whom are women – a statistic higher than in most workplaces in Israel. Alatawna hopes that not only will she set an example for Bedouin women, but that Wadi Attir can serve as an example for the greater Bedouin and Israeli society. “The world sees Bedouins as deprived and poor,” she said. “Wadi Attir is an example of the other face of Bedouins and Israelis working, living and growing together.” “Proof of a future together” The parents of Yasmeen Abu Fraiha made the decision See “Bedouin” on page 12

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Warren L. Sebelowitz, 66, died on February 27 from cancer. Born in Syracuse, he was a lifelong resident and a graduate of Nottingham High School, and a member of Temple Adath Yeshurun. During his professional career, he worked at Allied Chemical, Pass and Seymour, and then at Chestnut Hill Elementary School in Liverpool until his retirement. In retirement, he spent time with his family and played ping-pong in the town of DeWitt league. He loved music and enjoyed traveling to many festivals, and was a life-long Cleveland Browns fan. He is survived by his sons, Scott and David (Roberta); his brother, Irwin (Gail); his loving companion of more than 20 years, Roxanne Gettino, and her children, Kelly (Earl) McAlear, Adam (Sara) Gilkey and Shawna Gilkey; his uncle and aunt, Milton and Eileen Jachles; 10 grandchildren; many cousins and a large extended family. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Golisano Children’s Hospital, 1 Children’s Cir., Syracuse, NY 13210 or Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, NY 13224. 


First Jewish university to open in Russia

The Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia is opening what it is calling Russia’s first Jewish university. Modeled after Yeshiva University in the United States, The Jewish University of Moscow is a private institution with a student body of 200 whose budget comes mostly from donors and the Federation, deanAlexander Lebedev told JTA the week of March 9. It will open in April. The university – whose faculties include economics, law, humanities and Jewish studies – comprises two existing Jewish community colleges: Institute XXI Century for men and Institute Machon CHaMeSH for women. Their reconstitution as campuses of a single, state-recognized university is a first in Russian history, according to Lebedev. In the new institution, “students will have the possibility to observe Torah, kosher food, Jewish holidays and Shabbat,” he said. The Jewish University of Moscow “will keep this format of education, like Yeshiva University, to become the one strong recognizable brand” in its field, he added. Most of the 200 students who will begin studying in the university when it opens are on a scholarship paid by the donors and the federation led Rabbi Alexander Boroda and Berel Lazar, a chief rabbi of Russia. Many of the students will also live in the dormitories of the new facility, which is located in northern Moscow. An additional 10,000 students will receive educational services by the university remotely, organizers asserted.

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Jordan to accept new ambassador from Israel, restore diplomatic ties

According to Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad, Jordan is expected to accept the appointment of Amir Weissbrod as Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, restoring diplomatic ties following an eight-month standoff. The announcement marks the conclusion of an impasse that escalated on July 23, 2017, with the shooting of two Jordanian attackers by Israeli embassy security guard Ziv Moyal. Israel’s diplomatic mission was forced to evacuate the country. In return for the normalization of diplomatic ties, Israel was forced to “express regret” over the incident and pay reparations to Jordan. Weissbrod previously served as first secretary in Israel’s Jordanian embassy between 2001 and 2004, and worked in Israel’s Liaison Bureau in Morocco. Most recently, he served as head of the Middle East Bureau at the Foreign Ministry’s Center for Political Research.

U.N. commissioner says Jews in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem a “war crime”

According to a report issued by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the growth of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem constitutes a war crime. “The establishment and expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory by Israel, including the legal and administrative measures that it has taken to provide socioeconomic incentives, security, infrastructure and social services to citizens of Israel residing in the West Bank, including East[ern] Jerusalem, amount to the


to leave their Bedouin town of Tel Sheba in the middle of the night to move to the Jewish town of Omer, an oasis in the Negev, in order to give their children new opportunities. Living most of her life separated from the Bedouin community, after becoming a doctor specializing in genetic diseases, Abu Fraiha decided to devote her work to give back to her roots. “My father always says that the difference between Tel Sheba and Be’er Sheba is a five-minute drive, but 100 years away,” quips the 27-year-old. Understanding and respecting the traditions of arranged marriage in the Bedouin community, Abu Fraiha saw an opportunity to converge her two worlds. Today, she provides free genetic testing to Bedouins prior to marriage to help partner couples safely and decrease the rate of genetic diseases in the Bedouin community. She is also a member of Wadi Attir’s Board of Directors. For Ghadir Hani, who grew up in northern Israel, a life of co-existence with her Christian and Jewish neighbors was the norm. As an Israeli Arab woman in the diversely populated coastal town of Akko, Hani grew up in a world not


the Times, but the project grew into something much larger. They ended up raising $11,000 – from benefactors including Jeff Garlin of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” – and hiring a crew. The movie covers most of the original film, minus the part set in California. Half of the scenes were shot at their original locations. But for the millennial directors, reaching their co-stars was sometimes a challenge. “Harry has a cellphone, but it’s only on 30 minutes a day,” Starr told the Times. “And Shula has one that she hasn’t turned on in five years. Getting in touch with them, it’s difficult.” Allen wasn’t involved in the remake, and Starr and Sachs told the Times that they weren’t worried about any link with the sexual abuse he allegedly committed, which recently has come under new scrutiny. The team behind the remake didn’t feel beholden to Allen’s original work,

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thinking about religion or even gender, and now seeks this lifestyle for all Arab women in Israel. The 22-year-old moved to the Negev and decided to devote her work to building bridges between Arabs and Jews by creating innovative ways for them to encounter each other. As one of the founding members of Wadi Attir, Hani works as the executive secretary and managing director, and in her spare time works with NISPED – an Arab-Jewish center for equality and cooperation in the Negev – as coordinator of Women’s Economic Empowerment Projects. She and other women say they recognize that the majority of change is taking place for those under 35. The older generation, like many other ethnicities and religions, is typically more at home doing the more traditional work of those who’ve come before them. Still, Hani believes that women are going to be the leaders who will bring peace to Israel; they mainly just need the confidence and the prospects to do so. “We are proof,” she stated, “that Arab, Jewish, secular and religious have a future together – for all of us and our children.”

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either. Miller, for example, refuses to see the original “Annie Hall,” thinking it might influence how he acts in Starr and Sachs’ version. For Miller, the movie is something of a return to his past career as a scene designer for TV and stage, for which he won two Emmys. Chernick had a more eclectic life, serving in the Israeli Army, living in Africa and running a senior center in Harlem. The movie premiered in December. Since then, the young directors have stayed in close touch with Miller and Chernick, neither of whom has children. Through the filming and afterward, the quartet has developed a grandparent-grandchild connection. “You two are part of my life,” Miller said to Starr and Sachs, according to the Times. “You’re the only people who ever call me. I don’t get calls from anyone else because they’re all dead. Now I have two grandchildren.”

transfer by Israel of its population into the occupied Palestinian Territory,” said Al-Hussein. “The transfer of the population by an occupying state into an occupied territory is a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore a war crime.” The report is one of five charging Israel of human-rights abuses that will be presented to the council on March 19. The Human Rights Council has been criticized for issuing a significantly disproportionate number of reports against Israel. By contrast, Syria and Iran only have single reports issued against them. Al-Hussein, a member of the Jordanian royal family, is the first Muslim to hold the position of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.


area.” It published “Federation News,” sponsored “Jewish Journal,” a weekly television program, and established commissions on the Jewish elderly, Jewish education and the Middle East. The Federation often brought Israeli statesmen, such as David Ben Gurion, to Syracuse to bolster support for the Jewish state. Super Sunday phone-a-thons, begun in 1981, became a hallmark of Federation fund-raising. So successful were the hundreds of callers at the phone banks, that follow-up sessions were called Magnificent Monday, Terrific Tuesday and Tremendous Thursday. Resettlement of Jews from the former Soviet Union became a Federation priority in the 1980s. Jews were not allowed meaningful Jewish communal life in the Soviet Union, although they were referred to and considered themselves Jewish. In the 1980s, hundreds of refugees began to settle in the Greater Syracuse area once the “gates to freedom” were opened by the former Soviet Union. These refugees were settled and absorbed into the Jewish community through the assistance of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and under the guidance of the community’s own Russian Resettlement and Acculturation Program. The Federation, Jewish Family Service, the day school and the area’s synagogues all took leading roles in integrating the newcomers into American Jewish life. On December 6, 1987, the Syracuse Jewish Federation and thousands of concerned citizens from across the nation traveled to Washington, DC, on the eve of a meeting between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan, to tell the Russian leader to “Let our people go!” “Freedom Sunday,” as it was called, drew 250,000 protestors, including the contingent organized by the Federation. The calls for a “Second Exodus” of Soviet Jewry were, one commentator noted, “one of the great peoplehood actions” of Jewish history. The 1987 appearance of the Moscow Ballet in Syracuse was the occasion for the publication of a letter by the Federation’s vice president for community relations in the local paper. He wrote, “The performances by this company remind us, all too painfully, that the cultural freedom allowed these artists is denied to Jews in the Soviet Union. The Soviet government deprives its Jewish population of cultural

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freedoms, which are granted to other groups in the Soviet Union – freedoms that we as Americans take for granted. By denying them their cultural freedom, the Soviets seem intent on obliterating Soviet Jewry as a cultural entity. They have suppressed Jewish theater and music, and have prohibited the establishment of Jewish libraries and cultural centers. “Soviet Jews are denied the right to practice their religion and study their culture and ancestral language. Jewish schools and synagogues have been shut down, and Hebrew teachers have been imprisoned. Rather than live under these intolerable conditions, about 400,000 Jews have expressed their desire to emigrate to Israel, where they can live freely as Jews. In recent years, however, the Soviet government cut emigration down to a trickle. All too often, those who express a desire to leave are deprived of their jobs, denied medical assistance and otherwise harassed and terrorized. In this age of glasnost, we find it hard to reconcile increased, and welcome, opportunities for cultural exchange with the continued repression of religious and cultural freedom for Jews in the Soviet Union.” The Federation took public stances on other international issues. Federation leaders published a letter in support of Reagan’s raid on Libya, saying, “The Syracuse Jewish Federation Inc. commends President Reagan for his decisive action in ordering the recent attack on terrorist targets in Libya. It is hoped that this action presages a sustained and purposeful American policy against international terrorism. The United States’ response to what is generally accepted as clear evidence of Libyan responsibility and complicity for recent terrorist attacks is an unambiguous, albeit measured, message that the purveyors of terror cannot act with impunity. This action will not eliminate international terrorism, but it is an important first step in bringing it under control.” Other issues, including talks with the PLO, received Federation responses that had received careful consideration, and kept the Jewish community’s positions in the public eye. Barbara Sheklin Davis is co-author, with Susan B. Rabin, of “A History of the Jewish Community of Syracuse,” published by Arcadia Press. This series of articles is sponsored by Helen Marcum.

Resettlement of Jews from the former Soviet Union became a Federation priority in Syracuse in the 1980s. Pictured is a rally to free Soviet Jews.


March 15, 2018 Issue of Jewish Observer