Page 1


Federation friend-making event: Meet at Benjamin’s on April 1 BY JESSICA LAWRENCE The Jewish Federation of Central New York will host “Meet at Benjamin’s,” a “friend-making” cocktail party. It will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 8:30 pm, at Benjamin’s on Franklin, 314 S. Franklin St. in Armory

Square in Downtown Syracuse. The event is adults only, and no reservations are required. The event is sponsored by Mr. Shop, also located in Armory Square. Mark Wladis, 2017 Campaign chair, noted that this is not a fund-raising event

and said, “Meet at the MOST brought together our entire Jewish community in Syracuse and was multigenerational. This will be yet another ‘friend-making’ event. No solicitations will be made and this is no April Fool’s joke. Come have a drink on us and mingle with friends,

both old and new.” Organizers feel that this is the perfect time to have an early dinner downtown, and head over to Benjamin’s. For more information, contact Jessica Lawrence at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or jlawrence@

Teen Taste of Israel 2017 – “amazing” defined BY DAN EISENSON Last month, I had the honor and pleasure of accompanying Cantor Paula Pepperstone, the Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies’ director, and the greatest group of 13 teenagers on a 10-day trip to Israel. This bi-annual trip was sponsored by a fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York, thanks to the generosity of Elaine Rubenstein, Jack Lyon, the Wells Family

Fund and the family of Dr. William Serog. Linda Alexander, executive director of the Foundation said, “We are very grateful to the local donors, for their foresight in establishing this fund for teen trips to Israel. We hope that others will contribute to this fund so that this will be just the second of many upcoming trips to Israel for our community teens over the years.” In preparation for the trip, the stuSee “Teen” on page 6

Stand in solidarity with the JCC Participants in the Epstein School Teen Taste of Israel trip saw the Mediterranean and the Tel Aviv coast in Old Jaffa.

a u o y g n i l h u s f i e c W a e p d n a y happ ! r e v o Pass

BY WILLIAM WALLAK In the Syracuse area, the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse has been targeted three times by threats. JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said, “The last few months have been scary and unnerving due to the waves of threats made against Jewish organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Whoever is making these threats is out to cause fear and panic. Unfortunately, it’s working.” Despite an “outpouring of support” locally and from outside Central New York, the JCC’s bottom line is suffering. Several families have left the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Program and After-School Program. This equates to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue since January. Erlebacher said, “This in itself is frightening and frustrating, despite the fact that the JCC has a plan to help it weather this storm.” She added, “Now, more than ever, we need the support of our local Jewish community. If you are not already a JCC member, please stand with us and join today! Show your solidarity and become part of the Jewish Community Center family.” To “show its appreciation,” the JCC

is offering new members 20 percent off any JCC membership for a limited time. See “JCC” on page 5

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



as of March 27, 2017

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

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A March 31........................ 7:12 pm.................................................... Parasha-Vayikra April 7.............................. 7:20 pm........................Parasha-Tsav (Shabbat HaGadol) April 10............................ 7:24 pm........................................................ Erev Passover April 11................... after 8:27 pm.................................................................Passover April 14............................ 7:28 pm.................................................. Parasha-Passover ........................................................


Did you know?


Israel Independence Day will be Federation has given the Safe Local synagogues announce their celebrated locally on May 2 at Haven Museum a grant to develop Passover services and events; new a new organizational website. Temple Adath. books for children; and more. Story on page 5 Story on page 3 Stories on pages 7, 9-14

PLUS Personal Greetings.......... 10-11 Health Care Greetings....12-13 Calendar Highlights............. 14 Obituaries............................... 15



Jewish groups urge Congress to preserve antisemitism monitor

BY JTA STAFF WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jewish defense groups urged Congress to preserve the State Department’s antisemitism monitor. Representatives of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Secure Community Network testified on March 22 before the human rights subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), the subcommittee chairman, convened the hearing to examine connections between increases in antisemitism in Europe and in the United States. The witnesses spoke to the topic,

but also made the case for preserving the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism. A report in February said that President Donald Trump’s administration was planning to scrap the position. No successor has been named for the most recent antisemitism monitor, Ira Forman, who was on hand for the hearing. The position is mandated by a 2004 law that Smith helped write, and the New Jersey lawmaker has joined Democrats in opposing any bid to scrap it. An array of Jewish groups and lawmakers have also urged the Trump administration to keep the post in place. Naming a replacement for Forman “will ensure that the U.S. maintains a

specialized focus on antisemitism,” said Stacy Burdett, the director of ADL’s Washington office. Mark Weitzman, the director of government affairs for the Wiesenthal Center, said the position should be elevated to the ambassador level. Speakers suggested – sometimes “gently,” sometimes “less so” – that Trump’s team needed to exhibit more sensitivity to the issue of antisemitism. Weitzman cited the White House’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which omitted any mention of Jews. He noted that antisemites seized on the statement as a means of denying Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. “Even a mistake in the context of this background

can be used by people with bad intentions,” he said. Burdett said that “political leaders have the most immediate and significant opportunity to set the tone of a national response to an antisemitic incident, an antisemitic party or an antisemitic parliamentarian.” Rabbi Andrew Baker, the director of international Jewish affairs for the AJC, focused on manifestations of antisemitism on the left and right in Europe. Paul Goldenberg, the director of SCN, the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America, said that extremist groups in the United States and Europe are “increasingly the context for each other” by echoing one another in the themes they embrace.

AIPAC 2017 preview: Seeking a bipartisan spirit in an extremely polarized capital ANALYSIS BY RON KAMPEAS WASHINGTON (JTA) – Maintaining Iran sanctions, crushing BDS and ensuring aid to Israel are high on the agenda, of course. But the overarching message at this year’s conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is, if you want a break from polarization, come join us. “This is an unprecedented time of political polarization, and we will have a rare bipartisan gathering in Washington,” an official of the lobby told JTA about the March 26-28 confab. “One of the impressive aspects of our speaker program is that we will have the entire bipartisan leadership of Congress.”

That might seem a stretch following two tense years in which AIPAC faced off against the Obama administration – and by extension much of the Democratic congressional delegation – over the Iran nuclear deal. But check out the roster of conference speakers and you can see the lobby is trying hard. Among Congress members, for instance, there are the usual suspects, including stalwarts of the U.S.-Israel relationship like Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the minority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Vice President Mike Pence is speaking and so are the leaders of each party in both chambers. But also featured is Representative

A MATTER OF OPINION LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Yasher koach to Chabad for Purim visits to hospitals To the Editor: Purim celebrates Jewish survival in spite of those who seek our destruction. At this time, when we see an increase in antisemitism, the spirit of Haman, the Jew-hater, is very much alive; but so are Mordechai and Esther, whose courage saved us from destruction. Hearing the megillah read on Purim can give hope to us when we face Haman’s spiritual descendants. For those who face darkness in their lives, the story of Purim reminds us that light can triumph over darkness.

I am very grateful to Rabbi Yaakov Rapoport, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Central New York, for arranging to have Mendel Chanowitz available to read the megillah for patients at Crouse and Upstate. May the evil of antisemitism come to an end. May the joy of Purim be with us always. Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel Crouse Hospital Jewish chaplain; Upstate University associate chaplain; Loretto Jewish chaplain

An open letter to the Jewish community To the Community: Throughout the last two months, our community has been targeted three times with threats of violence. In each instance, the students, faculty and staff of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School have been among those targeted. With Head of School Lori Tenenbaum’s leadership, the faculty and staff have maintained their composure, displayed a fearless calm for our students, and continued to nurture and teach our children, even in the face of cowardly terrorist threats. Parents have been regularly informed of the safety and security of their children, and our students have continued to learn the Jewish values of hope and peace.

As both a parent and the president of the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, I am grateful for, and strengthened by, the resilience and compassion shown by the day school’s faculty and staff. When this chapter of our school’s history is written, I am sure that our teachers and students will be regarded as heroes because they refused to give in to the disruption and fear of terror. Thank you for your continued support and love for our school. The Syracuse Hebrew Day School is strong and will continue to be a strong part of our Jewish community with your help. Melissa Fellman

Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a freshman who had the backing of Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who had his request for a satellite feed at last year’s conference turned down. Also present this year and absent last year, for the most part: Democrats who backed the Iran deal. Among the other speakers are Obama administration architects and defenders of the nuclear deal, which traded sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program. One example is Rob Malley, a National Security Council official who didn’t join President Barack Obama’s team until his second term in part because pro-Israel objections kept him out in the first four years. Malley, a peace negotiator under President Bill Clinton, had committed the heresy of insisting that both Israelis and Palestinians were to blame for the collapse of talks in 2000. If there’s a let-bygones-be-bygones flavor to all this, it results in part from anxieties pervading the Jewish organizational world about polarization in the era of Trump. Jewish groups get their most consequential policy work done lining up

of Central New York

Syracuse Office

Bette Siegel Syracuse Editor Publisher Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc. Ruth Stein Chair of the Board Linda Alexander Federation President/CEO Mark Field Vice President for Communications Editorial 5655 Thompson Rd. DeWitt, NY 13214

Binghamton Office

Rabbi Rachel Esserman Executive Editor Diana Sochor Layout Editor Michael Nassberg Assistant Editor Jenn DePersis Production Coordinator Bonnie Rozen Advertising Representative Kathy Brown Bookkeeper Production and Management The Reporter 500 Clubhouse Rd. Vestal, NY 13850

Billing Office 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY 13850 1-800-779-7896

Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc. Web site:

Call for... Address Changes........... 315-445-2040, ext. 116 Local Articles and Announcements ......................................315-445-2040, ext. 116 ..... or e-mail Advertising:.....Bonnie 1-800-779-7896, ext. 244 ...........or e-mail Advertising Billing only............1-800-779-7896

backers from both parties. “We continue to very much believe in the bipartisan model because it is the only way to get things done,” said the official who, like AIPAC officials are wont to do, requested anonymity. “This is the one gathering where Ds and Rs come together for high purpose.” J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group, demonstrated at its own policy conference in February that it was “only too happy” to lead the resistance to President Donald Trump, who has appalled the liberal Jewish majority with his broadsides against minorities and his isolationism. Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s president, explicitly said he was ready to step in now where AIPAC would not. AIPAC is also under fire from the right. Republican Jews who consider the lobby’s bipartisanship a bane rather than a boon were behind the party platform’s retreat last year from explicit endorsement of the two-state solution. More recently, Trump has also marked such a retreat, at least rhetorically. See “AIPAC” on page 12

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.

The Jewish Observer is a member of the American Jewish Press Association.

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Yom Ha’atzmaut 2017 community celebration BY WILLIAM WALLAK Syracuse will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, on Tuesday, May 2, from 5:15-8 pm, with a free event to be held at Temple Adath Yeshurun. Syracuse’s Yom Ha’atzmaut planning committee has organized a “spectacular” celebration this year to honor Israel’s 69th birthday. The program will start with a commemoration to Yom Ha’zikaron, followed by a community celebration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Syracuse’s community cantors, along with Joe Eglash and his band, will then lead the community in singing and dancing to songs with a Jerusalem theme. A program for families with young children, ages 2-5-years-old, is planned for 5:15 pm, with activities being provided by the religious schools, Syracuse Hebrew Day School and PJ Library®. There will also be children’s activities throughout the event. An Israeli-style shuk will be open with a variety of products for purchase. Participants have been encouraged to shop and enjoy pita, za’atar, Israeli wines and olive oils. The shuk will be open from 5:15-8 pm. A free Israeli dinner will also be served. In a break with previous years’ traditional pita and falafel, this year the menu will consist of Israeli and Middle Eastern eggplant salads, stuffed grape leaves and bourekas (feta cheese, spinach and potato). In addition, the menu will include a Yemenite dish, mujadara, yellow rice with lentils, topped with caramelized onions. There will be

The community children’s choir and local cantors performed at the 2016 Yom Ha’atzmaut community celebration. This year’s celebration will be held on Tuesday, May 2, from 5:15-8 pm, at Temple Adath Yeshurun. cakes, ice cream and halvah for dessert. Brad Ozinsky and Syd Tenenbaum will perform during dinner. This year’s event is being underwritten by a Yom Ha’atzmaut grant from the Jewish Federation of Central

Yom Hashoah essay entries BY JUDITH STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York is accepting entries for the 2017 Yom Hashoah essay contest at three levels: middle school, high school and adults. The deadline for submission is noon on Monday, April 10. Anything submitted after this date cannot be considered. The Yom Hashoah memorial observance will be held at Temple Adath Yeshurun on Sunday, April 23, at 2 pm. The theme for this year’s Yom Hashoah essay contest is “What is our obligation to rescue others?” Essays should be no longer than 500 words. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed to accept up to 1,000 refugees from Europe during World War II. Fort Ontario in Oswego was the site where 982 refugees ultimately came in 1944. This is now the Save Haven Museum and Education Center. Some of these refugees were children. Questions to consider for the essay include: ‹‹ If you were one of these child refugees, what could your story have been? ‹‹ What would you have brought with you and why?

‹‹ How does this relate to refugee issues that are currently unfolding around the world? Participants should write an essay or a short story about the factual or fictional experience of an individual or family affected by the Holocaust, with a lesson learned by the characters or the reader. While fiction can be the medium chosen, authors have been asked to be as factually accurate as possible. Prizes of $50 will be awarded to each of the first place winners for middle school, high school and adults. Second-place awards of $25 in each of these three essay contests will also be awarded. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Yom Hashoah memorial observance. Essays can be sent electronically to Judith Stander at They can also be mailed or hand delivered to Stander, c/o Jewish Federation of Central New York, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214. To receive a copy of the guidelines for the essay contest, or to become an essay competition sponsor, call 315-445-0161, ext. 114, or e-mail Stander at

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu APRIL 3-7 Monday – teriyaki crispy baked chicken wings Tuesday – spinach cheese quiche Wednesday – hamburger with sautéed onion Thursday – spaghetti and meatballs Friday – Passover seder – apricot glazed chicken APRIL 10-14 Closed for Passover The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday-Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State

To advertise, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext. 244 or bonnie@

Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or HUNT Real Estate ERA 6849 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066 Always There For You


New York and the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation. It is being presented by the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse with the support of local area synagogues.

S E N I L D A E D Deadlines for all articles and photos for the Jewish Observer are as follows. No exceptions will be made.


Wednesday, March 15.................... March 30 Wednesday, March 29...................... April 13 Thursday, April 6, early................... April 27 Wednesday, April 26......................... May 11



MIKE LESSEN 315-256-6167 Charitable Auto Resource Service in our 17th year of enriching the religious sector

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas is seeking a full-time Program Director to create and implement high-quality programs for members of all ages. For details, email For detailed job description:

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Call or Text: 315-744-0831 Ofice: 315-449-6715 Fax: 315-446-5366 HUNTREALESTATE.COM

Passover menu at

MAC’S LOCAL YOLK (315)446-0915 • Corner of E. Genesee & Erie Blvd. E. DeWitt, NY (former IHOP location)

• Matzo brie skillet • Matzo meal pancakes • Matzo ball soup • Gefilte fish • Brisket w/veg. & potato • Passover cobbler • Passover popovers Open Sunday thru Thursday 7 am - 4 pm • Friday & Saturday 7 am - 8 pm



Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer



CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas APRIL 8 SHABBAT SERVICES On Saturday, April 8, meditation instruction will begin at 8:45 am, with meditation at 9 am, at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The United Synagogue Youth teenage members will lead a service called “It’s Cool to Daven in Shul” starting at 9:30 am. The Torah reading that morning will be interactive, with Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone leading the congregation in an in-depth discussion. At 10 am, shorashim (roots) activities for the younger members and their families will begin with a snack, participation in the Torah service and their own thematic activities before they rejoin the rest of the congregation in the sanctuary. Following services, Hanita Blair will lead a lunch and learn on “The Ten Plagues: Battle of the Gods.” The discussion will explore how the Egyptians and the Hebrews saw the Ten Plagues when they occurred. On the surface, the plagues were attacks on life and health, but it’s been said that “they were so much more.” Each plague can be seen as “a direct attack on the Egyptian cosmogony” or “a battle of the gods.” Participants can look inside the ancient world as they explore the direct links between the plagues and the Egyptian gods they defeated. In addition, Rabbi Pepperstone will facilitate playing the game “Code Names: Passover Edition” during the kiddush. For more information, contact the CBSCS office at 315-446-9560 or office@

THURSDAY MORNING SISTERHOOD SERIES Throughout the year, approximately twice a month, Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone leads a study session on Thursdays at 10:30 am at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The fourth and final series of the 2016-17 program year will be held on Thursdays, April 6 and 27, and May 11 and 25. The series of four classes will focus on “A Four Worlds Approach to Jewish Prayer” and will explore a variety of questions: what the point is of the early part of the Shabbat morning service; and whether people need to be at synagogue for the entire

See “CBS-CS” on page 8

Tour Eastern Europe with Temple Concord BY CHANA MEIR Temple Concord Rabbi Daniel Fellman will host a trip to Eastern Europe from October 16-26. Travelers will explore the history of Jewish life in Warsaw, Krakow and Budapest, visiting a shtetl and some of the small villages that were home to many community members’ ancestors, as well as Treblinka and Auschwitz. Rabbi Fellman said, “This trip will provide a fascinating journey into the Jewish past, present and future. We will explore the history of European Jewry, struggle with the Shoah and celebrate the resurgence of Jewish life in modern times.”

The trip will include visits to the Warsaw Jewish Museum and the Jewish Community Center in Warsaw (which Rabbi Fellman describes as “booming”), a dinner cruise on the Danube in Budapest and a Shabbat celebration in Krakow. The trip will be hosted by Arza World, specialists in crafting trips exploring Jewish heritage. It will be open to the public. Packages include nine nights’ accommodation at select hotels; eight days of touring in a luxury, air-conditioned bus; a half-day walking tour for Shabbat in Krakow with licensed, English-speaking local tour

See “Tour” on page 5

Temple Adath Yeshurun At left: Reuben Sieradski paraded across the stage in costume with the help of his mother, Morrisa Golden-Sieradski, during the Temple Adath Yeshurun family Purim celebration on March 11.

Jarrod and Sue Bagatell were chairs of the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Superhero Purim celebration on March 11.

L-r: Ben Greenblatt read the megillah as his daughter, Emily, looked on, and Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone operated the slide show during the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Purim celebration on March 11.

gs Passover Gmreetin fro

Fayetteville, New York • 637-7696 Open 7 days a week

Luxury is having the right color for right space the first time. Save time and money by using our professional decorating service. Whether it is color selection or other design ideas, Gloria can provide a value that will enable you to go from mediocre to marvelous, effortlessly. Call or email Gloria at (315) 278-7329 or

Below: Approximately 85 people attended “Love: In Many Languages,” a musical event on March 4 hosted by Temple Adath Yeshurun and featuring Ba’alat Tefillah Esa Jaffe, with Frederick Willard on piano and Kevin Dorsey on bass. Also featured in the concert was the TAY adult choir. L-r: Esa Jaffe, Eric Finkelstein, Harley Finkelstein, Jeff Joseph, JoAnn Grower, CeCe Silverbush, Iris Evans, Betty Lamb and Hannah Groskin.

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■



DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum in Oswego BY JACKIE MIRON The Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Central New York awards Community Program Fund Grants each year in addition to the annual allocations made in the spring. Based on the success of the 2016 annual campaign, community program grants are available to Jackie Miron all Jewish organizations, agencies and synagogues in the Central New York community. The Allocations Committee reviews the grant requests

and makes recommendations to the board, which votes on the recommendations. The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is dedicated to a Jewish story in history and the committee felt it was deserving of a community program grant. The Safe Haven Museum has been granted $5,000 to hire a professional design firm to develop a new organizational website. The redesign of the existing website will do more than provide the basic information currently existing, including telling the Safe Haven story in an effective, multi-sensory fashion; providing resources to educators; and giving public access to relevant news and events. In addition, it will allow for donations,

U.N. group takes down report accusing Israel of apartheid BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – A United Nations affiliate removed a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the Internet following a request from the secretary-general of the international body. Antonio Guterres asked the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, or EWCWA, to remove the report, which was published on March 15 and says it “establishes, on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid,” Reuters reported on March 17. Rima Khalaf, the commission’s chief, resigned because of Gutteres’ pressure to remove the report, according to Reuters. As of shortly after noon on March 17, a previous link to the report yielded an error message and the report was not listed among the publications on the website for the ESCWA, an agency based in Beirut, Lebanon, that is comprised of 18 Arab member states, including what is identified as the state of Palestine. A U.N. spokesman had said earlier that the report was published without consulting the international body’s secretariat and “does not reflect the views of the secretary-general.” The United States and Israel sharply criticized the report. “The United States is outraged by the report,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the U.N., said on March 15 in


a statement. “The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.” Danny Danon, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, said in a statement, “The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”


memberships, gift shop purchases and links to the capital campaign site, as well as to partner organizations. It will also provide for all the appropriate administrative needs for security, maintenance and search engine optimization. A more significant and informative online presence is necessary to reach a wider audience and interest and engage users to encourage further research, a visit or donation. The website will be an attractive window to the museum, and will also open to the public information about the Holocaust, World War II history, refugee stories and Jewish causes. Organizers hope that the site will increase interest in and provide information to, people even outside New York state. The improved website will help recent efforts of a capital and operational fund-raising campaign to expand and improve the museum. It will be a more aesthetically pleasing website that is user-friendly, searchable, compatible with browsing technology and easily upgradeable by staff. It is hoped that the improved website will have the capability of tracking the hits. Tracking visitor information will help achieve the larger goal of how to further reach the general public. The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the need to support our neighbor to the north, and has given the Safe Haven Museum further means to provide a meaningful experience.

Continued from page 4

guides; and an Arza World tour educator accompanying the group from arrival to departure. Also included will be a first class train ticket from Warsaw to Krakow, with separate luggage transfer; one group transfer and assistance to and from the airport; all site entrance fees and program fees per itinerary; porterage at the hotels; and daily breakfast, one lunch, and five dinners. Airfare is not included, but optional group flights are available. For more information, join Rabbi Fellman for an information session at Temple Concord on Wednesday, April 5, at 7 pm, or visit Temple-concord-tour-to-eastern-europe-program.aspx. For any questions, contact Continued from page 1

“If you’re already a JCC member, we thank you very much for your current level of support,” said Erlebacher. “If you’d like to further our cause, please consider making a contribution to benefit our building security fund. We’re in the process of renovating and reconfiguring our main lobby to enhance overall building safety and security. Your tax-deductible donation will go a long way in helping with this important upgrade.” The JCC’s main lobby renovations will entail building a new interior wall and entrance to add another layer of security for the JCC campus and its tenants, including the JCC’s ECDP and the offices of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. This new, secured entrance will be constructed of “the highest quality protective materials.” It is intended


to provide an extra level of control to complement the JCC’s security measures already in place. However, it is not expected to be “obtrusive or distracting.” Entry through the new doors is planned to be “quick and easy” for JCC members during business hours with a swipe of their membership card. “Please stand strong and proud with the JCC of Syracuse,” said Erlebacher. “With your help, we can overcome this temporary setback and create a more cohesive community that stands against antisemitism and hate. Please join the JCC or make a contribution today. We truly appreciate any and all support.” For more information about joining the JCC or to make a tax-deductible contribution, call 315-445-2360 or visit

Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer



U.S. boycotts U.N. Human Rights Council session on Israel

BY JTA STAFF WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Trump administration boycotted a U.N. Human Rights Council session the week of March 20 and “other occupied Arab territories,”


U.N. chief reaffirms Jewish ties to Temple Mount, vows to curb Israel bias

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reaffirmed his recognition of Judaism’s historic ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount the week of March 24 during a meeting with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder in New York. The meeting took place just hours after the U.N. Human Rights Council debated its Agenda Item 7, which makes alleged Israeli “human rights abuses” a permanent discussion item. The WJC released a statement affirming the secretary-general reiterated comments similar to those he had previously made on Israeli radio, in which he said, “It is completely clear the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.” During the meeting, Lauder expressed frustration regarding the UNHRC’s “obscene” bias against Israel. “The U.N. was built on the broken bones of the Jewish people after World War II. …It is an institution dedicated to making sure that what happened in the Holocaust never happens again,” he said. The WJC also noted that Guterres is committed to curtailing biased anti-Israel pronouncements at the UNHRC, but stopped short of making a vow to prevent anti-Israel resolutions from passing in the council.

Israelis warned of increased terror threat before Passover holiday travel

Ahead of the Passover holiday, Israel has issued travel advisories cautioning Israelis to avoid vacationing in the Egyptian Sinai, Turkey and Jordan. The Egyptian Sinai received the highest-level travel warning, level one, out of four, described as “a very high concrete threat.” Turkey received a level-two warning, “a high concrete threat,” and Jordan a level three “basic-level concrete threat.”

PAOLA KAY Find us on


Vietri • Simon Pearce • M. Aram

citing the body’s bias against Israel. A State Department statement said the United States “unequivocally” opposes the council’s agenda item called “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” “As an expression of our deeply-held conviction that this bias must be addressed in order for the Council to realize its legitimate purpose, the United States decided not to attend the Council’s Item Seven General Debate session,” the statement said. “It does not serve the interests of the Council to single out one country in an unbalanced matter. Later this week [of March 20], the United States will


vote against every resolution put forth under this agenda item and is encouraging other countries to do the same.” The statement concluded by calling on U.N. member states “to pursue much-needed reforms in the U.N. Human Rights Council.” The Trump administration has told nonprofit groups that work with the Human Rights Council that it is considering pulling out of the body. Some of those groups – including the American Jewish Committee – oppose a pullout, saying that U.S. participation mitigates anti-Israel bias.

Continued from page 1

dents took a year-long course on Israel, learning its history and about its different populations; studying the Arab-Israeli conflict; brushing up on Hebrew; and exploring Israeli culture. Just as important, the ninth and 10th grade students who went on this trip committed to studying at the Epstein School through 12th grade. This year’s participants included Jody Cooper, Noah Cooper, Natalie Eisenson, Nicole Engel, Anthony Fischer, Sarah Garrow, Ben Oppedisano, Caleb Porter, Colby Porter, Alethea Shirilan-Howlett, Emma Silverstein, Nathan Sonnenfeld, Arielle Warren and Ella Wilson. Merriam-Webster defines “amazing” as “astonishment, great wonder or surprise.” However, we soon learned that Israel tended to be far more expressive. The word “amazing” would soon become a hallmark for our trip; it was something our teenagers learned via means never imagined and through full-immersion “from touchdown to departure.” Most would agree that if we’d had a shekel for every time we heard “amazing” – particularly from our “amazing” tour leader, Orion Calderon, the same guide as on Epstein’s previous trip Israel – we would have been indeed rich. Participant Emma Silverstein’s “favorite part of the trip was visiting the Old City,” calling it “incredible,” and many other students agreed. Other students marveled over our visits to the Western Wall tunnels and the Kotel; eating and shopping on Ben Yehuda Street; learning and remembering at Yad Vashem; climbing Masada; swimming in the Dead Sea; enjoying Bedouin dinner/hospitality and camel rides; picking and eating fresh fruits and vegetables at Shvil Hasalat/the Salad Trail; viewing rocket casings in Sderot; seeing Tel Aviv and shopping at the Azrieli Mall; touring the Rabin Center and Old Jaffa; attending a coexistence seminar at Neve Shalom; honoring Israel’s founders and military at Mt. Hertzl; and squeezing through Machane Yehuda, the shuk, or open air market, on a Friday afternoon. Each of our stops was expertly detailed, with history lessons and wisdom in response to our every question. And yes, the teenagers remember the great bus rides, knowing each stop would be detailed as “amazing” by our guide, with 2,000 years of rich history. Participant Ben Oppedisano enthusiastically said, “I had an amazing time and will remember those 10 days forever.” Everyone enjoyed resting at our “wonderful” hostel (agron) and, of course, sharing Shabbat dinner and Havdalah. Participant Sarah Garrow said that, now, she and her family “have a Shabbat dinner every Friday night because I loved doing it in Israel.” On Shabbat afternoons, group exercises focused on sharing a variety of connections to faith, Israel and how the trip will impact their future. Participant Nicole Engel said all the experiences “helped

our class get closer,” and Arielle Warren echoed, “It... made us feel more comfortable together,” all of which was music to Cantor Pepperstone’s ears. While this group represented four diverse congregations, Shabbat services in Jerusalem were especially welcomed with keen interest. More notably, many mused over how sacred Shabbat was to virtually everyone and everything around us, as evidenced by a business’ billboard that read “24/6!” There were contests of how many “Shabbat Shalom” greetings were garnered on walks to and from services. We worshiped at Kehillat Har-el (Reform-Progressive), Moreshet Yisrael (Masorti/Conservative), the Great Synagogue (Orthodox featuring Cantor ChaimAdler and choir) and Shira Hadasha (an Orthodox congregation seeking to include women’s participation). We were warmly welcomed as “Israel’s own” and given honors in the congregations. Several people rediscovered a family member’s memory or connected in person with family and friends. Ella Wilson had the opportunity to visit the congregation (Moreshet Yisrael) her great-grandfather had helped found and was honored with a plaque. Nathan Sonnenfeld toured Mea Sha’arim and walked the street named in honor of his rabbinic great-great-grandfather. Alethea Shirilan-Howlett enjoyed her visit to Tel Aviv and spent time with family she has never met before. Natalie Eisenson and I reunited with her Tzofim Caravan Israeli Scout, now a “grown up” working at the Knesset. Sarah Garrow spent precious time with her brother, Jacob, who’s spending his year in Israel on Young Judea’s year-long course. Finally, Cantor Pepperstone shared in the joy of a visit with Orion and Shani Calderon’s first child, baby Matan. Cantor Pepperstone had introduced Orion and Shani after the Teen Taste of Israel Trip in 2015. While plans are in motion to gather as a group here at home and share our stories with the families, the teenagers have relished this experience in many common, meaningful ways. Top responses to the experience led by far with a genuine sense of gratitude to our Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York and its donors. Students feel a stronger sense of connection to our Jewish faith and accompanying history. As Emma Silverstein said, “This trip made me realize how lucky I am to have a connection with such an incredible, unique and amazing culture.” Students talked about amplified pledges to Israel and support for many of its causes, focused on ensuring a stronger, lasting state. As Colby Porter said, “Going to Israel made it become more than just a place on the other side of the world. It made Israel an idea that will forever be a part of my Jewish identity.” Ninth grade student Natalie Eisenson said, “If, and (315) in 474-3326 TELEPHONE hopefully when, I go back to my second home Israel, I FAX Other (315) 476-8058 hope to feel even more of a connection.” students EMAIL: echoed her commitment to return and lead loved ones around memorable landmarks; others said they gained an understanding of the Holocaust with a new perspective. And how could they not enthuse about Israeli food?INC. The PLACEMENT SERVICE, shwarma, kosher McDonald’s and kosher candyAgency were all exciting. Andperson yes, offor course, “amazing” was the adjective “the right the job” most used to describe their wonderful Israel experience! 120 E.thank WASHINGTON On behalf of Cantor Pepperstone, you toST. the SUITEmany 201 MILDRED SIMINOFF many generous and supportive people who spend SYRACUSE, NY 13202 hours and resources making this bi-annual trip a reality. Here’s to next year – or 2019, to be exact – in Jerusalem. Dan Eisenson is a chaperone and father.



Too busy, physically unable, have better things to do, or just don't like the chore of cleaning up after your dog? Call us! We clean up your yard of dog waste so you don't have to! We offer weekly, bi-weekly, or one time clean ups

Call us at 315-656-9096

Happy Passover!

TELEPHONE (315) 474-3326 FAX (315) 476-8058 EMAIL:

CareerGuide PLACEMENT SERVICE, INC. “the right person for the job”




TELEPHONE (315) 474-3326

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■


Passover around the community Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (USCJ affiliated), 18 Patsy La. off Jamesville Rd., DeWitt, 315-446-9570. For youth programs, call 315-701-2685. 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., 315-424-0363. Hillel – Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life at Syracuse University campus, 102 Walnut Pl., Syracuse, 315-422-5082. For information, go to or call 315-422-5082.

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas SUNDAY, APRIL 9 Bedikat chametz (search for chametz) after 7:20 am MONDAY, APRIL 10 – EREV PESACH Conservative daily service (CBS-CS and TAY) Siyyum B’chorim Shacharit service, study session and breakfast at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 7:30 am as a kick-off to Pesach. Mechirat chametz (sale of chametz) until 10:30 am Until noon biur chametz (burning chametz): The home is totally kosher for Pesach. First seder candle lighting at 7:23 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 11 – FIRST DAY Shacharit services at 9:30 am Second seder candle lighting after 8:24 pm WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 – SECOND DAY Shacharit services at 9:30 am – Cantor Paula Pepperstone will lead services Havdalah at 8:26 pm SATURDAY, APRIL 15 Chol Hamoed Pesach services at 9:30 am. Cantor Paul Pepperstone will lead services. The Song of Songs will be chanted by members of her festival trope class. SUNDAY, APRIL 16 Candle lighting at 7:30 pm MONDAY, APRIL 17 Shacharit services at 9:30 am Seventh day candle lighting at 8:31 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 18 – EIGHTH DAY Shacharit services at 9:30 am. Cantor Paula Pepperstone will recite Yizkor. Pesach ends at 8:26 pm

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse SUNDAY, APRIL 9 Bedikat chametz (search for chametz) after 8:20 pm MONDAY, APRIL 10 – EREV PESACH Can eat chametz until 10:50 am Burn chametz until 11:51 am Candle lighting at 7:24 pm Mincha at 7:25 pm Start seder after 8:30 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 11 – FIRST DAY Morning services at 9 am Mincha at 7:25 pm Candle lighting at 8:30 pm Start seder after 8:30 pm WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 – SECOND DAY Morning services at 9 am Mincha at 7:25 pm Havdalah at 8:31 pm SUNDAY, APRIL 16 – EREV SEVENTH DAY Morning services at 8 am Candle lighting at 7:31 pm Mincha at 7:35 pm

Temple Concord

MONDAY, APRIL 17 – SEVENTH DAY Chumash class at 8 am Morning services at 9 am Mincha at 7:35 pm Light candles at 8:37 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 18 – EIGHTH DAY Chumash class at 8 am Morning services at 9 am Yizkor at 10:30 am Mincha at 7:35 pm Havdalah at 8:38 pm Chametz reverts to your possession after 9:10 pm

Temple Adath Yeshurun MONDAY, APRIL 10 – EREV PESACH Services with Siyyum B’chorim (Fast of First Born) at 7:30 am Conservative daily service (CBS-CS and TAY) Siyyum B’chorim Shacharit service, study session and breakfast at TAY at 7:30 am as a kick-off to Pesach. Complete biur chametz by 11 am Candle lighting at 7:23 pm Evening services at 5:30 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 11 – FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER Morning services at 9:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv at 6:45 pm Second seder following services at approximately 7:20 pm Candle lighting at 8:06 pm SECOND SEDER AT TEMPLE ADATH YESHURUN BY SONALI MCINTYRE Temple Adath Yeshurun will host a complete seder on the second night of Passover, beginning at 7:20 pm on Tuesday, April 11. Rabbi Paul S. Drazen will lead the seder. He said, “Our seder is traditional, with opportunities to sing and celebrate as we consider the gift and responsibilities of freedom.” The second seder will be catered by The Oaks at Menorah Park. There will be a cost for dinner, with reduction for children ages 5-12, and free for children ages 4 and younger. Reservations will be required. To make a reservation, visit, e-mail info@ or call the TAY office at 315-445-0002. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 – SECOND DAY Morning services at 9:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv at 7:45 pm THURSDAY-FRIDAY, APRIL 13-14 – CHOL HAMOED Morning services at 7:30 am Mincha/Ma’ariv at 5:30 pm Candle lighting on April 14 at 7:28 pm SATURDAY, APRIL 15 – CHOL HAMOED Morning services at 9:15 am SUNDAY, APRIL 16 – CHOL HAMOED Morning services at CBS-CS at 9 am Evening services at 5:30 pm Candle lighting at 7:30 pm MONDAY, APRIL 17 – SEVENTH DAY Morning services at 9:15 am Mincha/Ma’ariv at 5:30 pm Candle lighting at 8:13 pm TUESDAY, APRIL 18 – EIGHTH DAY Morning services at 9:15 am – Yizkor is said during services Mincha/Ma’ariv at 7:50 pm Passover ends/chametz permitted at 8:20 pm

MONDAY, APRIL 10 – EREV PESACH Services at 6 pm Congregational seder dinner catered by Traditions at the Links 6 pm. Reservations will be required and can 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. The deadline to register is Friday, March 31, at 10 am. TUESDAY, APRIL 11 Pesach services at 11 am SATURDAY, APRIL 15 Passover Shabbat services at 11 am TUESDAY, APRIL 18 Yizkor at 11 am

Hillel at Syracuse University MONDAY, APRIL 10 First seder in the Carrier Dome. Doors will open at 5 pm at Gate C. Seder begins promptly at 5:30 pm. Tickets must be purchased at the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life, 102 Walnut Place, Syracuse, during business hours, weekdays from 10 am-6 pm. Priority for tickets will be given to SU and SUNY-ESF students. Ticketing will be open to the wider Syracuse community should space become available. Tickets will be required. There will be a charge and reservations will be required. For more information, contact Hillel at 315-422-5082 or TUESDAY, APRIL 11 Second seder at the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life. Doors will open at 5 pm. The seder will begin promptly at 5:30 pm. Tickets must be purchased at the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life during business hours, weekdays from 10 am-6 pm. Priority for tickets will be given to SU and SUNY-ESF students. Ticketing will be open to the wider Syracuse community should space become available. Kosher for Passover lunches and dinners are open to everyone, and will be offered throughout the holiday at the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life. Buffet lunches will be provided from 11:30 am-2 pm and there will be a per person cost. Meals are cash only. Buffet dinners will be from 5-7 pm. No tickets or reservations will be required. For questions about meals and pricing, call 315-423-3608.

Chabad House

For information on services and meals, contact Rabbi Yaakov Rapoport at 315-424-0363.




Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer



Great turnout for JCC’s Purim Carnival BY WILLIAM WALLAK Hundreds of families came to the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s annual Purim Carnival on March 12, which featured a variety of games, food and activities. “We held another successful Purim Carnival this year,” said Mick Hagan, the JCC’s director of children and teen services, and one of the carnival’s primary organizers. “The turnout was excellent, the food was great as usual and the children had an awesome time with all of the fun games and activities. We’re so pleased to pull off such a wonderful

event and give back to the community like this each year.” The JCC’s Purim Carnival is said to be the Center’s largest indoor community event held each year. The carnival is credited with attracting a following and running “smoothly” due to the JCC’s staff and many volunteers. “We’re so thankful for everyone’s help and support in pulling this off this year,” said Hagan. “We appreciate all of our wonderful volunteers and the local temples that helped us make this year’s carnival a great success. It couldn’t have happened without everyone’s teamwork.”

At left, l-r: Jeff the Magic Man performed “street magic” for Naiya Bhattacharjee, Annalise Gentile and Norah Bhattacharjee in the JCC gym.

At right: Violet Comerford (on right) played the 7-11 game as her brother, Ben Comerford (left), looked on.

At left: Mike Carter drew a caricature of Caitlyn Coryell.

Happy Passover! A place where everyone belongs.

5655 Thompson Road DeWitt, New York 315.445.2360

The Purim Carnival was held on March 12 in the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center’s Schayes Family gymnasium.


service to learn from or enjoy something. Rabbi Pepperstone contends that there is a point for each element of the service, and that anyone can understand any portion of a service that one experiences. However, he says he has learned that there is a way to experience Jewish prayer that puts every piece of each service into context, bringing meaning to each piece, “A Four Worlds Approach to Jewish Prayer.” In this four-week series, Rabbi Pepperstone will introduce the Four Worlds approach, which sees every Jewish prayer service as a journey through four distinct modes, attitudes and ways of being in and seeing the world around us. It will begin with an overview of the Four Worlds, then spend each week looking at one of the Four Worlds in theory, and then see how each world can be seen in the siddur. USY AND KADIMA United Synagogue Youth members from ninth-12th grade will visit the Museum of Science and Technology, 500 S. Franklin St., Syracuse, on Sunday, April 2, at 3 pm. The schedule includes exploring the exhibits and seeing an IMAX film. For more information or to make a reservation, contact advisor Sara Goldfarb at Seven Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas USY members spent

Continued from page 4

a weekend with their peers from March 17-19 at the USY Regional Convention in Schenectady. CBS-CS helps families send their teenagers to what many consider to be “life-changing experiences” by providing subsidies to all families whose teenagers participate. In honor of April Fools’ Day, CBS-CS Kadimaniks (fifth-eighth grade students) will participate in “an evening of riddle and jokes” on Saturday, April 1, at 8:30 pm, at the synagogue. Participants have been encouraged to come prepared to celebrate the ending of Shabbat and share their “funniest, silliest jokes, riddles and prank stories.” There will be no charge for the event and snacks will be provided. The CBS-CS “Rosh Chodesh: It’s A Girl Thing” group of sixth-eighth grade girls will meet with facilitator Sara Goldfarb on Sunday, April 9, at 12:15 pm. The program uses Jewish teachings and practices in a five-year cycle of curricular materials to give girls a place to feel safe, articulate their deepest concerns, consider the impact of gender on their daily lives, have fun and “be real” with their peers. Kadima will spend the day at Morgan Hill State Forest Day Camp on Sunday, April 16, from 10 am-5 pm. For more information, contact advisor Brianna Smith at

L-r: Rebecca Teitelbaum joined CBS-CS members Elise Beckman, Hadar Pepperstone, Michale Schueler, Abe Stanton, Ben MacCrindle, Avery Pearl-Frank, CBS-CS USY advisor Sara Goldfarb and Ellen Wilson at the USY Sprinter Regional Convention from March 17-19.

To all our readers,

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Kosher Passover!

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■


Seven new kids’ books for Passover, from seder guides to stories

version of the popular seder BY PENNY SCHWARTZ song “Had Gadya” (“One (JTA) – From the wizardSmall Goat”). ry of Harry Potter that echoes “The Family (and with Passover’s themes to Frog!) Haggadah” by a cartoon frog who wiseRabbi Ron Isaacs and cracks his way through the Karen Rostoker-Gruber; seder, this year’s new crop illustrations by Jackie of Passover books for kids Urbanovic, Behrman offers something for all ages House; all ages; $7.95 and interests. The selection A wisecracking frog of fresh reads, including two takes center stage in this family-friendly haggadahs, kid-friendly haggadah that also includes an unusual is a complete guide to a Jewish immigrant tale set fun-filled, informative, in rural Argentina and a heartwarming, intergenera- “ T h e ( u n o f f i c i a l ) abbreviated seder that’s tional story about an aging Hogwarts Haggadah” designed to be 30 minutes grandfather and his devoted ( P h o t o b y M o s h e to an hour. The lively haggadah, filled with photographs granddaughter. Choose one Rosenberg) and illustrations, begins – or several – to educate and with a seder checklist and engage the young readers in candle-lighting prayers and your family for this Passguides families through the over, the eight-day festival mainstays of the seder, from of freedom that begins with the Passover story, to the the first seder on the evening Ten Plagues to welcoming of April 10. Elijah the Prophet. Songs “The (unofficial) go from the traditional faHogwarts Haggadah” vorite “Dayenu” to “Take by Moshe Rosenberg; Me Out to the Seder.” An designed by Aviva Shur, entertaining cartoon frog All ages; $27.95 appears throughout with Fans of Harry Potter will jokes and funny comments be in Hogwarts heaven this “The Family and Frog (“Hold on! I brought my Passover. Moshe RosenHaggadah” (Photo by hopmonica!”) that are sure berg’s haggadah draws on to bring giggles and keep the parallels between the Behrman House) kids engaged. wizardry of the best-selling “Passover Scavenger “Harry Potter” books and Hunt” by Shanna Silva, the seder guide. “From the illustrated by Miki Sakaconcepts of slavery and moto, Kar-Ben; ages 4-9; freedom, to the focus on ed$17.99 hardcover, $7.99 ucation, to the number four, paperback Harry Potter and Passover Every year at the seder, share almost everything,” Rachel’s Uncle Harry hides Rosenberg writes in the the afikomen. The kids have introduction. This is the second Jewish “Passover Scavenger fun hunting for the special Harry Potter-themed book Hunt” (Photo by Kar- piece of matzah and get a prize for finding it. But by Rosenberg, a rabbi and Ben) there’s one problem: Uncle Judaic studies educator in Harry always makes it too New York. (The first was easy! In Shanna Silva’s “Morality for Muggles: lively story, Rachel takes Ethics in the Bible and the over the job. She grabs World of Harry Potter.”) her markers, scissors and a Traditionalists, take note: big piece of cardboard and Rosenberg assures readers creates a clever scavenger that every word of traditionhunt with six rhyming clues al haggadah text, in Hebrew and in English translation, “A Different Kind of to stump her cousins. Each is included. Interspersed Passover” (Photo by clue reveals something related to the seder, from the throughout is commentary, Kar-Ben) charoset to the shank bone. via the lens of J.K. Rowling’s characters, that takes on questions In the end, the kids are left with a puzzle of freedom, evil and the Four Children. to solve that will lead them to Rachel’s There’s even a Harry Potter-themed perfect afikomen hiding place. Miki

writer Barbara Diamond Sakamoto’s illustrations Goldin (“The Best Hanukare bright and colorful and capture the fun as kids move kah Ever,” “Journeys With picture frames, race around Elijah”) comes an unlikely the house and crawl around Passover story set in the closets looking for clues. Argentine countryside in “A Different Kind of the late 1800s. Jacob is a Passover” by Linda Leoyoung Jewish boy whose Russian family immigrated pold-Strauss, illustrated to Argentina, but he doesn’t by Jeremy Tugeau, Karquite fit in. He makes a new Ben; ages 4-9; $17.99, friend, Benito, who helps hardcover, $7.99 paperhim learn to ride horseback. back On the way to her grand- “Passover Cowboy” Jacob works up the courage parents’ house for the seder, (Photo by Apples and to invite his non-Jewish pal to his family’s seder, but a young girl named Jessica Honey Press) Benito says he has farm is busy practicing the Four Questions, in Hebrew, over and over. chores to do. But Benito ends up coming Jessica loves spending Passover with after all, at just the right moment: when her grandparents, where everything is Jacob opens the door to welcome Elijah, the same year after year – running up the just as a flock of chickens arrive, too. stairs at their apartment, finding piles of Benito helps round up the chickens and blankets and pillows for the sleep over with joins the seder. As the family welcomes its new her cousins, and enjoying the good smells emanating from the kitchen. But this year friend, they learn from each other about will be different because her grandfather the meaning of freedom – and Jacob’s just got home from the hospital and is too mother and Benito also surprise him weak to come to the seder table. In this with a lasso and clothing he needs for an heartwarming intergenerational story, Jes- upcoming rodeo. Artist Gina Capaldi puts sica comes up with a plan for how Grandpa readers right in the action; kids will feel can still lead the seder, continuing the as if they are riding along on horseback family tradition. Jeremy Tugeau’s large, with Jacob and Benito, and they’ll feel expressive illustrations capture Jessica’s part of the family’s seder. An author’s emotions of joy, disappointment and love note explains that in the 1880s, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived she shares her with grandfather. “The Passover Cowboy” by Barbara in Argentina. Goldin also poses a timely discussion question that asks families to Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Gina Capaldi, Apples and Honey Press; ages imagine what it would be like to move to a new country. 4-8; $17.95 From acclaimed Jewish children’s book See “Books” on page 10

Friend-Raising Event

Have a drink on us! Saturday, April 1 at 8:30 pm at Benjamin’s on Franklin

314 S. Franklin St., in Armory Square in downtown Syracuse This adult-only cocktail party is a friend-making event. No reservations required and no solicitations made. The event is sponsored by Mr. Shop in Armory Square.

This is no April Fool’s joke!

For more information, contact Jessica Lawrence at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or



Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer



The five (or so) habits of successful seder leaders

BY EDMON J. RODMAN LOS ANGELES (JTA) – What kind of leadership style works best for a seder? During a period when we are experiencing a shake-up in national leadership, you may want to re-examine the relationship that exists between leader and participants at the Passover meal. Though seder leaders and participants are not elected, there is still a seder mandate that governs your relationship: Everyone present – the wise, the wicked, the simple and even the one who does not know how to ask a question – are all involved in the evening’s proceedings. Attending a Passover seder remains an “extremely common practice” of American Jews, according to Pew Research Center, with approximately 70 percent participating. Despite its broad mandate, however, meaningful seders rarely function as true democracies. The seder is a complicated undertaking with symbolic foods, actions and storytelling, and on this night that is different from all others, the call is for an assertive leader who can guide a tableful of guests through a sea of ritual needs. Since Passover is an eight-day holiday of freedom, and the seder a celebration of the going out from Egypt, you may think the people are clamoring for a democratic free-form kind of dinner – from chanting the Kiddush to singing “Chad Gadya.” But after leading a family seder for more than 30 years, my experience has been that if I

Wishing the Syracuse Jewish Community a Happy Passover! Bonnie Rozen, Advertising Executive

Passover Greetings to you and yours

Cantor Francine & Barry Berg

What’s the best way to lead a Passover seder? (Photo by Lior Zaltzman) give everyone a free hand to comment and question, and the seder runs long, revolution erupts, with the guests vigorously chanting “When do we eat?” And if I try to rule the table with an iron Kiddush cup, my poll numbers plummet, especially among the restless, 20-something contingent, who start texting madly under the table, presumably plotting a resistance. Defying typical political alignment, I have found that on the nights when the seder works – when most every question has been asked, and tradition and innovation

May your Passover seder be joyous! The Beckman Family

A Joyous Passover To all

Elihu & Iris Cohen

Wishing you

May the family lights and your of Chanukah peace, health shine in your and happiness hearts this Pesach forever Steve Stern & Fredda Sacharow

May you and your family have a joyous Pesach

Neil and Debbie Rosenbaum

have been shared – my style of leadership has fallen somewhere between being a benevolent dictator and a liberal talk show host. I say “benevolent dictator” because it is part of the leader’s job to find a way for everyone to retell the Passover story and ultimately exit the slavery of Egypt – even though they may not necessarily feel the need. Going around the table urging guests to share the reading is one way, and calling up guests beforehand to discuss and assign a specific section of the seder is another. Especially for whoever is going to lead the Four Questions – at our table, usually the youngest who can read Hebrew – it helps to ask them personally beforehand rather than springing the task on them on the night of the seder. Such quiet lobbying helps reorient one from being an audience member into one, as the haggadah says, who can see themselves as if they had left Egypt. As “liberal talk show host,” I get that the haggadah is filled with questions that must be questioned as well. I once opened a seder by asking, “What does it mean when the haggadah says: ‘Let all those who are hungry come and eat with us?’” Especially in a year such as this one, where even benign conversation is abuzz with politics, there are going to be varying responses, from the bitter, like maror, to the sweet, like charoset. At the time, you may not think that these opposing points of view are what binds a seder together, but recall that in the haggadah, when the five rabbis are sitting in Bnei Brak telling and interpreting the story of the Exodus, each has something different to add, and it is the whole of their interpretations taken together that heightens our understanding of the text. Those not leading, but participating in the seder, don’t think that you are off the hook in setting its tone. In his book “Keeping Passover,” Ira Steingroot points out that being a seder guest “doesn’t mean that you have to be the life of the party or a maven (authority), and you certainly do not want to monopolize the conversation, but you have a role to play in the drama of the seder.” In fact, it is your responses and feelings that determine whether everyone at the table makes it past the plague of ennui. To aid in that quest, be sure you are following along, asking questions and responding to the leader’s prompts. I have also learned that regardless of leadership style – some of us are like Moses pointing the way, others are more like Miriam, leading through interpretation and song – you will still need to do your homework. Whichever your style, Steingroot’s book is a great source, as well as “Passover: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration” See “Habits” on page 11


Continued from page 9

“How It’s Made: Matzah” by Allison Ofanansky, photographs by Aliyahu Alpern, Apples and Honey Press; ages 5-8; $15.95 Kids get an up-close look at how matzah is made in this fascinating new book overflowing with stunning color photographs that bring to life small-batch, handmade matzah-making to factories that bake 35,000 pieces of matzah “How It’s Made: Matzah” every day. Kids see the (Photo by Apples and Honey spiked rolling tool used Press) to make the tiny holes in the matzah and get a peek inside the very hot ovens required for baking. Captions and explanatory text are informative but simple, making the photographs the stars of a wonderful book that will appeal both to kids and grownups. There are several “Do It Yourself” recipes and craft projects, including baking matzah, making a matzah cover and growing the greens for karpas, the symbolic vegetable eaten during the seder. “Sammy Spider’s Passover Shapes” by Sylvia A. Rouss; illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn, KarBen; ages 1-4; $5.99 board book The ever-popular Sammy Spider – now in his 24th year – is back! “Passover Shapes” is the second Sammy Spider board book that is geared for toddlers. In this brightly illustrated tale, the young spider celebrates the holiday with his human friend, Josh Shapiro. Little ones will “ S a m m y S p i d e r ’s learn about Passover as Passover Shapes” (Photo well as basic shapes. by Kar-Ben)

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■


Ten easy tips to avoid a boring seder BY REBECCA ROSENTHAL (Kveller via JTA) – If your Passover seder is anything like mine, it can resemble the world’s most difficult classroom: different ages, ranging from 3 to 93, and varying levels of interest. Some want to read and discuss every word in the haggadah, some just want to get to the food – and everything in between. Designing a seder that can work for everyone can feel like a challenge for even the most seasoned educator, let alone a busy parent. But there is magic in the seder. Having loved ones around a table together can feel like a luxury in this day and age, so here are some tips for making the most of the festive meal. I hope these ideas will inspire you to be creative in a way that feels authentic to your seder. The seder’s purpose is to get people to ask questions, so the more you break the mold of the way you have always done it, the more likely you and your guests will be able to access the true meaning of the holiday. Here are 10 tips to perk up your seder this year. 1. Put out some food earlier. Food is always important in Jewish events and never more so than in the seder. It can feel like a long time until you get to dinner, but after karpas (the green vegetable that comes right at the beginning), you can serve appetizers. Veggies and dip or fruit are good healthy options, but my family also puts out candy, which keeps the kids busy for a little while. If you want to be thematic, there is fair-trade, slavery-free chocolate that is kosher for Passover. 2. Play with your food. Along the same theme, there are fun ways you can incorporate food into the heart of the seder. One friend of ours attaches the parsley to mini fishing rods and uses them to dip the parsley in the salt water. Another friend chops up lots of fruits and nuts (and even some chocolate) and allows the guests to make their own charoset, as long as it resembles the mortar. When it comes time to remember the plague of hail, I have heard of families throwing mini marshmallows at one another. Finally, there is a Persian custom of lightly (or not so lightly) slapping your neighbor with scallions during the song “Dayenu” as a reminder of slavery. 3. Use the table. Put something interesting on the table, either in the middle or at each individual plate. We have used different kinds of frogs, puppets and masks. Perhaps it will inspire a guest to ask a question about Passover, the story or the traditions of your family. At the very least it will entertain those at the table when they need a break. 4. Don’t be a slave to the haggadah. The haggadah is meant as a guide, and you don’t have to read every

A Jewish family re-enacted the oppression that Jewish slaves felt as part of a Passover seder in Encino, CA, on April 14, 2014. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) word to fulfill your obligation to tell the story. Get many different haggadahs and look for readings and retellings that speak to you and share those at the seder. Or get the kids to write a play about the Passover story and perform it. Or ask your guests to bring something that represents freedom and tell the story of why. As long as your guests are engaged in the story of slavery to freedom, you have done your job. 5. Move around. This is the story of a wandering people. If you have the space, then wander! Do one piece of the seder in the living room, one in the dining room, or even go outside if the weather is nice. Turn a few bed sheets into the sea and walk through it on your way to the Promised Land. Give your guests a chance to be in the story, not just talk about it. 6. Assign homework. People always do better if they are prepared, so ask your guests to participate in the seder. Send a question in advance, ask them to bring something or even make decorations for the seder table. Guests, bring a reading or an object that speaks to you. I guarantee your host will appreciate not having to carry the weight of the entire evening. 7. Give everyone a job. Before the seder, make a list of everything that has to be done during the evening, from pouring the wine to serving the soup to clearing the table. Then, assign away. You guests will be happy to help, and you will be happier if you come out of the seder not feeling enslaved. 8. Sing (or watch videos). There are tons of songs for kids and adults alike for Passover. Google around to find tunes or songs that you like and teach them at

your seder. Providing song sheets helps everyone sing along. And if singing is not your thing, a quick search on YouTube for Passover song parodies turns up videos that would be fun to watch before or during the seder. 9. Make something. When I was about 10 years old, I spent hours creating a chart that outlined the order of the seder. I made a small arrow that could be used to show where we were in the progression of the evening, and since then it has been used every year. My mother still brings out Elijah’s cups that my sisters and I made in Hebrew school, and my kids proudly show off their seder plates, Kiddush cups and matzah covers. If your kids don’t make them in school or Hebrew school, these are easy crafts to make at home. 10. Let loose. The point of the seder is to engage people in the questions, both ancient and contemporary, of slavery and freedom. The way you do that is up to you. Try to find a balance between preparing for the seder and obsessing about every detail. And if your kids run screaming circles around the table while everyone else is trying to talk, as mine have done on more than one occasion, those are memories, too. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal is the director of youth and family education at Central Synagogue in New York City. Rosenthal and her husband live in the city ith their three children.


May you and your family have a joyous Pesach

Georgina, Paul, Joshua, Aaron, Gabriel and Laima Roth


and family

Have a Joyous Passover

Continued from page 10

by Dr. Ron Wolfson with Joel Lurie Grishaver, and “A Different Night, The Family Participation Haggadah,” by David Dishon and Noam Zion. Taking my own advice, a few nights before our first encounter with all things matzah each year, I go through the haggadah and annotate, searching for my afikomen: a way to connect the story of traveling from slavery to freedom to the lives of my guests. One year, I held up a Passover chocolate bar and referred to it as “the bean of our affliction,” calling attention to the children who are sometimes exploited to harvest cacao beans and as a way to discuss if we, too, were participating in slavery. This year, to provoke discussion, before we open the door to Elijah, I plan on asking guests to imagine what would happen if the prophet, as we imagine him – a robed and perhaps turbaned man from the Middle East – was detained at airport customs. Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles. Contact him at edmojace@

Happy Passover!

Wishing you and your family peace, health and happiness this Pesach Ruth & Joel Stein


Ona & Bernie Bregman

Mildred Siminoff

Wishing peace, health and happiness to all this Passover

Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Mark & Susan Field

Sydney Tenenbaum & Deidre Zehner

Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer



Passover “showstopper”: Israeli library buys book collection with 1500s haggadah

BY ALINA DAIN SHARON On the right, a man sits and prays holding a liturgical book. On the left, a rabbi is seen explaining the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt to a child. These images were printed on the pages of a Passover haggadah in the city of Prague in 1556. This nearly 500-year-old haggadah, one of only two remaining copies, is part of the Valmadonna Trust Library collection that was recently sold to the National Library of Israel, with the help of philanthropy from the Haim and Hana Salomon Fund. “The haggadah is the most widely published book in Jewish history,” said Sharon Mintz, senior consultant for Judaica at the Sotheby’s auction house, which arranged the sale to the Israeli library. Mintz told that more than 3,000 editions of the haggadah have been printed during the last several centuries – more than the Bible. In particular, the Valmadonna collection’s 1556 haggadah is a rare, luxury edition with attributes that “constitute the earliest examples of such texts,” said Marc Michael Epstein, a professor of religion and visual culture, and the Mattie M. Paschall (1899) and Norman Davis Chair at Vassar College in New York.

Just a few decades after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1440, printing spread to the Jewish world, beginning in Rome and then moving throughout Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. Scholars tend to refer to the era of early printing, before 1501, as the Incunabula period. Jews were “tremendously excited” to be able to print multiple books, Mintz explained. “They viewed it as a gift of God,” she said. The earliest printed haggadah was printed in Spain in 1482. Another early haggadah dates back to roughly 1486, and was published by the Soncino family, named for the Italian town where the family ran its printing operation. These early haggadahs were not illustrated. The earliest known illustrated haggadah was printed in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) around 1515, but only a few pages of this haggadah remain. Jewish printing spread to other parts of Europe in the 1500s, which also led to a growth in competition among printers. “The cradle of Hebrew printing is, of course, Venice. But the printing of Jewish books north of the Alps began in Prague in 1512 in the circle of Gershom ben Solomon Kohen and his brother

The line to view the Valmadonna collection outside Sotheby’s in New York, before the collection was sold to Israel’s national library.(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

no matter how you look at it...

Your ad should be here!

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

Gronem,” said Epstein, who is the author of “Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts” and “The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination.” “Due to the humanistic patronage of the Holy Roman Emperor and a general climate of relative tolerance and free trade, Prague in the 16th century was a place of vibrant of Jewish communal and cultural life, and thus – along with Venice – a crucial center of the newly developed art and craft of Hebrew printing,” he said. “Jewish printing spread from Prague throughout Western as well as Eastern Europe, the next great centers being in the Polish communities such as Lublin.” By 1526, the family of Gershom ben Solomon Kohen, which also went by the name Katz and built what many considered

an important and influential Jewish printing house, produced a printed, illustrated haggadah that has become known as the Prague Haggadah, and is the earliest complete illustrated haggadah in existence. The 1526 haggadah is notable for the 60 woodcut illustrations accompanying its text, a number that Epstein called “extraordinary.” “That number means that illustrations as a means of commentary were deemed to be central to the enterprise of printing and disseminating the haggadah,” he said. In 1556, the Katz family printed the haggadah whose copy is in the Valmadonna collection. This haggadah utilizes some of the same illustrations from the 1526 haggadah, as well as several original illustrations. For example, one illustration features a depiction of Moses.

See “Library” on page 13

The Valmadonna collection on display at Sotheby’s in New York, before it was sold to Israel’s national library. (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)


The Israeli American Council, principally backed by Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who in 2007 fell out with AIPAC in part over its embrace of the twostate outcome, has attempted to position itself as the more conservative-friendly Israel lobby. The right-leaning Christians United for Israel is similarly assuming a higher profile on the Hill. And so, in forging its legislative agenda, AIPAC is doing its best to find items both parties can get behind. There are three areas: ‹‹ Iran: Democrats are still resisting legislation that would undo the nuclear deal, but are ready to countenance more narrowly targeted sanctions. AIPAC is helping to craft bills that would target Iran’s missile testing and its transfer of arms to other hostile actors in the region. ‹‹ Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: AIPAC will back a bill modeled on one introduced in the last congressional session by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) that would extend to the BDS movement 1970s laws that made it illegal to participate in the Arab League boycott of Israel. ‹‹ Foreign assistance: AIPAC activists

Continued from page 2

will lobby the Hill on the final day of the conference with a request to back assistance to Israel (currently at $3.1 billion a year, set to rise next year to $3.8 billion). Support for such aid is a given, despite deep cuts to diplomatic and foreign aid programs in Trump’s budget proposal. Also a given will be the activists’ insistence that aid to Israel should not exist in a vacuum and should be accompanied by a robust continuation of U.S. aid to other countries. With a Trump administration pledged to slashing foreign assistance by a third and wiping out whole programs, AIPAC is returning to a posture unfamiliar since the early 1990s, when it stood up to a central plank of a Republican president. Notably absent from the agenda is any item that declares support for a two-state outcome. AIPAC officials say the longtime U.S. policy remains very much on their agenda, but the lobby’s apparent soft pedaling of the issue is notable at a time when other mainstream groups, including the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, have been assertive in urging the U.S. and Israeli governments to preserve it.

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■


Why Passover is about a lot more than good food BY JOSHUA RATNER (My Jewish Learning via JTA) – What is the essence of Passover? On the one hand, it seems obvious: Passover is about gathering together with loved ones to recall, through sumptuous home rituals, the Exodus from Egypt. We gather round our seder tables and quickly become engulfed in the warmth of family and friends, the culinary delights of a delicious meal, and the comforting, vaguely familiar words and songs we recite year after year. Passover is, indeed, a beautiful oppor-


tunity for rejoicing and celebrating. But it also can be much, much more. Looking closely at the Passover haggadah, we can see that the rabbis who crafted the seder did not choose to make Passover a holiday solely focused on celebrating the past. Like the Fourth of July (or Chanukah), Passover could have been a day to recall passively our independence from an oppressive regime as a historical remembrance; to commemorate the past and salute our Founding Fathers (or Maccabees). Instead, Moses (as Founding Father

Continued from page 12

“[Moses] appears in the 1526 edition, but in the 1556 edition he has horns. Michelangelo’s ‘Moses’ in Rome was completed in 1516. The famous horns on that statue seem to be Michelangelo’s response to the challenge of attempting to represent in sculptural form the light that streamed from Moses’s face from the time he descended from Mount Sinai [in Exodus 34:30]. The word ‘streamed’ and the word ‘horn’ both have the Hebrew root K-R-N, and thus the sculptural challenge converged with a display of grammatical punning,” Epstein explained. “Michelangelo’s ‘Moses’ had conquered the aesthetic world of that time. Everyone who was anyone knew of it. So… the inclusion of horns in the 1556 image of Moses seems to indicate that fashionable Jews wanted to be in on the ‘new’ way of depicting him, however ‘un-Jewish’this seemed. The message here is that ‘Jews are modern and fashionable, and aware of currents in the art world,’” the scholar added. Dr. Yoel Finkelman, the Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection curator at the National Library of Israel, also told that the 1556 haggadah is “an amazing example of a number of phenomena.” First, the haggadah provides examples of two unique fonts. One is a Hebrew font unique and identifiable to Prague from that period. The other is known as the most common font for printing in Yiddish at the time. The other unique attribute of the 1556 haggadah is the fact that it is printed on parchment as opposed to paper. In that era, parchment-printed books were considered a luxury because parchment was more durable than paper, and was more expensive and harder to print on than paper. Sotheby’s consultant Mintz also pointed out that this haggadah doesn’t open with the standard haggadah text, but instead with the text that is recited the night before Passover when Jews are traditionally required to search for chametz (leavened products) by candlelight at night, followed by the burning of that chametz. “This printed haggadah begins with what one does on the eve of Passover,” Mintz said, adding

that several songs that Jews associate with Passover today, such as “Ehad Mi Yodea” or “Had Gadya,” are not present in this haggadah because they became part of the Passover tradition in later times. The Valmadonna collection as a whole was a “showstopper” when it was displayed at Sotheby’s before the sale to Israel, attracting more than 3,000 visitors a day, said Mintz. “People were lining up for hours outside the door” and “you could see all the spectrums of the Jewish people,” she said. The collection was founded by Jack Lunzer, whom Mintz described as a “passionate lover of Hebrew books and Jewish culture” who collected books for more than six decades and assembled the “largest private collection of Hebrew books in the world… one of the most significant collections.” Lunzer also assembled the largest collection of books printed on parchment, such as the 1556 haggadah. Notably, the collector possessed a copy of the Babylonian Talmud produced by the Christian printer Daniel Bomberg, which was sold in 2015 – before the sale of his entire collection to Israel’s library – for the reported price of $9.3 million. Finkelman said that aside from its acquisition of the Valmadonna collection, Israel’s national library is home to the world’s largest collection of haggadahs, including the haggadah from 1482, which was printed just 10 years before Jews were expelled from Spain. Additionally, the library houses a haggadah made by the communist movement in Ukraine during the 1930s – an alternative haggadah that was used to undermine Jewish religious practice, for example, by equating chametz with capitalism. Israel’s national library is currently waiting for the arrival of the Valmadonna collection, which it plans to catalogue and unveil to public in a special event. The collection will also be displayed in the library’s new building, which is set to open in 2020. The purchase of the Valmadonna collection, Finkelman said, is indicative of the library’s attempt to amass the world’s “most complete collection of Jewish printing.”

Pages from the 1500s Passover haggadah that was recently sold to the National Library of Israel. (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)


of the Israelites) is largely shut out of the haggadah – he appears but once. While remembrance of the Exodus – from the enslavement of the Israelites to the 10 plagues to the crossing of the Red Sea – forms a major portion of the content of the maggid (retelling) section of the haggadah, that remembrance is but a means to a larger end. The end of the maggid section reveals why. It says: “In each and every generation people must regard themselves as though they personally left Egypt, as it says, ‘Tell your child on that very day: “This is what God did for me when I left Egypt.’ The Holy One of Blessing did not redeem only our ancestors, but God even redeemed us with them, as it says, ‘God brought us out of there in order to bring us to and gave us the land that


God swore to our ancestors.’” The seder specifically, and Passover more broadly, is about remembering God’s deliverance of the Israelites not as a one-time, historical event, but as something that is perpetually happening in the present. Redemption from slavery to freedom is intended to be an experience that we, too, can and should have during our seders. Rabbi Joshua Ratner is the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New Haven, CT. Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2012, Ratner was a Joseph Neubauer Fellow and also earned a master’s degree in midrash and a certificate in pastoral care. He worked as an attorney for five years prior to entering rabbinical school.

Happy Passover from

ASTHMA & ALLERGY ASSOCIATES P.C. 4402 Medical Center Drive, Suite 402, Fayetteville

Elliot Rubinstein, M.D

Mariah M. Pieretti, M.D.

Rizwan Khan, M.D.

Joseph Flanagan, M.D.

Stella M. Castro, M.D.

Julie McNairn, M.D.

Shaan Waqar, M.D.

Pediatric & Adult Allergists • Hay Fever • Asthma • Sinus • Food • Coughing • Sneezing • Wheezing • Ears Popping • Red, Watery Eyes • Drippy, Stuffy Nose • Itching/Insects For more information and appointment 1-800-88-ASTHMA or

Happy Passover!

eyewear for self-expression Unique and Distinctive FRAMES designed & manufactured in France • Germany • Japan

frameology has relocated!

5781 Bridge St. E. Syracuse, NY 13057 315-314-6681

Located in Chimney’s Plaza

Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer

Please call for hours!




Calendar Highlights

Seeking freedom in Syracuse

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

Saturday, April 1 CBS-CS presents scholar-in- residence Rabbi Lawrence Troster during services at 9:30 am and following services at a lunch and learn at approximately 12:15 pm. CBS-CS presents “Love and Care of the Land: A Multi-Faith Panel” at 8:30 pm “Meet at Benjamin’s,” a “friend-making” cocktail party at 8:30 pm at Benjamin’s on Franklin Sunday, April 2 Temple Concord Sisterhood brunch at 9:45 am CBS-CS Oys and Joys meet at 10:30 am CBS-CS scholar-in-residence Rabbi Lawrence Troster presents “Who is Truly Happy: do I truly need what I think I want?” to third-seventh grade students and their parents PJ Library presents the Science of Passover at the Museum of Science and Technolog at 11 am and 1 pm (reservations required) Monday, April 3 TC Board of Trustees meeting at 6 pm TC Goldenberg Series presents Syracuse University Brass Ensemble at 7 pm Tuesday, April 4 Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Rabbinical Council Series Davar Acher, an adult class taught by community rabbis, presents Rabbi Evan Shore at CBS-CS at 6:45 pm Syracuse Community Hebrew School board meeting at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 7:30 pm Wednesday, April 5 SCHS at TAY from 4-6 pm Thursday, April 6 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm EARLY Deadline for April 27 issue Friday, April 7 CBS-CS holds chametz potluck dinner at 6 pm, with services following at 7 pm Saturday, April 8 CBS-CS presents Hanita Blair at a lunch and learn, “The Ten Plagues: Battle of the Gods,” at 12:15 pm, following services Sunday, April 9 TC blood drive starts at 9 am TC Brotherhood meets at 9:30 am TC GAN program meets from 10:30 am-noon Monday, April 10 Erev Passover - first seder TC seder at Traditions at 6 pm Tuesday, April 11 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse and Jewish Federation of Central New York offices closed First day of Passover - second seder TAY second seder at 7:20 pm Wednesday, April 12 Second day of Passover JCC and Federation offices closed Monday, April 17 JCC and Federation offices closed Tuesday, April 18 JCC and Federation offices closed

Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their ad here in The

Wilson’s Window Washing Window Washing, Gutter Cleaning, Roof Snow and Ice Removal 25 years Experience

Serving All of Central New York • Year-Round Service



Free Estimates

Jeff Wilson - Owner 227 Charles Ave Syracuse, NY 13209


Ph: 315-416-0497

BY RABBI DANIEL FELLMAN In just a few days, we will gather with our friends and loved ones and Jews all around the world to celebrate Passover. We will retell the story of our people’s journey from slavery to freedom. And while it may seem that we here in Syracuse are enjoying liberty as much as any Jewish community in history, our reality seems to be saying something different. In a very real way, we Jews of Syracuse are not as free as we once were. Today we are enslaved by fear – created from the outside and created from within our own community. Passover’s tale calls us to see us as we truly are, and so we must look hard at our community and recognize the fleeting freedom. In the past months, we have been subjected to multiple threats against our community. Make no mistake – these threats are acts of terror. Each threat has brought with it more fear, and each has in its own way eroded our freedom. In the elevation of our fear, we lose some of our freedom. No longer do we all feel safe as Jews in our community; no longer do we feel fully assimilated. Instead, the cowards who have perpetrated these acts of terror have succeeded in limiting our behavior, our outlook, our trust. The second limit on our freedom comes from within

our own community. In some ways, this second limit on our freedom is more insidious because it comes from our own community, our own leadership. As our demographics have declined, we have failed to address the changing needs of the community. Instead of looking ahead to bright futures, whether with 15,000 Jews or 5,000 Jews, we have battled with each other to save our own turf. Instead of recognizing that some contraction will help us survive and actually expand our horizons, we have stubbornly held on to the institutions and norms as they were. By holding onto the past, we are limiting our freedom. Instead of being open to new ideas, we have closed ourselves off, listening only to the voices of those same leaders who have been talking for years and years. The innovations happening in the Jewish world are slow to arrive here because we are too worried about maintaining our status quo. We are enslaved in the Syracuse Jewish community, and we need to reclaim our freedom! Passover calls us to pursue freedom and liberty. This year, let us loosen the shackles that hold us back. Instead of being afraid, let us be bold and determined; instead of being enslaved to past models, let’s explore new possibilities, with every option on the table. Rabbi Daniel J. Fellman is the rabbi at Temple Concord.


Iran sanctions 15 U.S. companies, threatens to seize assets

Iran has imposed sanctions against 15 U.S. companies for their cooperation with Israel and alleged human rights violations, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on March 26. Although the impact of the new Iranian-imposed sanctions has yet to be fully assessed, IRNA added the sanctions would include a ban on communication with the American companies in question as well as the seizure of assets. The Iranian sanctions were announced only two days after the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions of its own on 30 foreign firms and individuals for their roles in transferring sensitive technology to Tehran. The firms in question assisted the Iranian missile program and violated export regulations related to North Korea, Syria and Iran, the U.S. said. In a separate initiative put forth in the U.S. Senate the week of March 24, bipartisan leaders introduced a bill that heavily sanctions Iran for its missile program and sponsorship of terror proxies operating throughout the Middle East. The proposed sanctions cover Iranian bodies previously relieved of sanctions in the 2015 nuclear agreement that was brokered and implemented by the Obama administration.

Egyptian president meets with US Jewish leader before Washington trip

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder on March 26 to discuss U.S.-Egypt relations, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the Egyptian leader’s forthcoming trip to Washington, DC. El-Sisi is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at the beginning of April, and the Trump administration’s initiative to jumpstart regional peace talks is slated to be high on the leaders’ agenda. The meeting between El-Sisi and Lauder was held in Cairo at the Egyptian presidential palace and was also attended by Khaled Fawzi, the head of Egyptian national intelligence. According to a readout of the meeting published by the Turkish Anadolu news agency, El-Sisi told Lauder, “The next stage requires strengthening… of Egyptian-American relations at all levels.” El-Sisi also described current U.S.-Egypt relations as “close, extensive and of a strategic nature.” Regarding


L-M PAINTING Residential/Commercial

6340 Danbury Drive Jamesville, NY 13078-9729 (315) 446-0966 Fax (315) 446-1555

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, El-Sisi reiterated his call for a two-state solution and stated he wanted to “continue to contribute in a positive way to the creation of the atmosphere necessary for the resumption of peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.”

Israeli technology pulls water out of thin air during AIPAC conference

In a showcase of cutting-edge Israeli innovation, former Harvard Law School professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz took to the stage on March 26 at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference and literally pulled water out of thin air. Alongside AIPAC National Managing Director Elliot Brandt at the gathering in Washington, DC, Dershowitz unveiled a machine – developed by the Israeli company Water-Gen – that is capable of extracting and purifying water from the air. The company’s machine can produce between 15 and 20 liters of drinking water per day. Dershowitz noted the Israeli-developed machine could be sent to regions lacking potable drinking water, and touted the technology as a tool for combating the anti-Israel BDS movement. “There is no weapon more powerful in the fight against BDS than for Israel to develop technologies that the world cannot live without,” he said. “You cannot boycott products that you can’t live without.”

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh loses U.S. citizenship

Rasmea Odeh, a 69-year-old convicted Palestinian terrorist, has accepted a plea bargain that revokes her American citizenship. Although Odeh will not serve any time in a U.S. prison, she will be forced to leave the country. Prior to accepting the plea deal, Odeh was sentenced in the U.S. to 18 months in prison for failing to disclose her criminal record to immigration authorities when she applied for American citizenship in 2004. Specifically, Odeh failed to disclose her conviction and imprisonment in Israel for her role in a 1969 Jerusalem bombing that killed two Hebrew University students. Odeh has previously confessed to planting the bomb in that Jerusalem terror attack, but later claimed her confession was made under duress. In 1970, she was sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli court and served 10 years of her sentence before being released early in a prisoner exchange deal in 1980.

Israel’s future tallest building approved for construction

Measuring 400 meters (1,312 feet) high, the 100-floor “Tower Between Cities” – which will be Israel’s tallest skyscraper when completed, stripping Tel Aviv’s Moshe Aviv Tower of that designation – has been approved for construction. The initiative, planned by Miloslavsky architects, began in June 2014 and has now been officially approved by the Israeli Finance Ministry’s district committee. The committee accepted both the construction plan and a recommendation by Tel Aviv’s city engineer, Oded Gvuli, to allow the tower to cover more than 166,500 square meters (546,000 square feet) at its base. Gvuli told Yediot Achronot that “a building such as this has yet to be built in Israel.” The skyscraper will not include any residential apartments due its distance from Tel Aviv’s residential areas, but will house offices, public spaces and hotel rooms. The tower is expected to be completed in 2023 and will be built on the edge of Israel’s diamond district and business center, Ramat Gan.

MARCH 30, 2017/3 NISAN 5777 ■




Matilda Izsak, 90, of DeWitt, died on March 20 at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital. She is survived by her daughter, Nadia Kovacks; one granddaughter; and three great-grandchildren. Burial was in Beth El Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Patients’ Fund at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital, 750 E. Adams St, Syracuse, NY 13210. 


Beatrice “Bea” Bronstein Jacobson, 96, died on March 9 at the Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Long Island. Formerly of Harwood Avenue, she was a life resident of Syracuse until moving to Long Island to be closer to her family. She was active in the Syracuse Jewish community as a former member and president of the Sisterhood of Congregation Ahavath Achim; a member of Temple Adath Yeshurun and its seniors group; the seniors group at the Jewish Community Center; and as a volunteer at Menorah Park. She was predeceased by her husband, Frank, in 1994. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Lev; her son, Murray Jacobson; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Ahavath Achim Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the senior meal program at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., Syracuse, NY 13214. 


Herbert N. Wallace, 79, died on March 7 at home in Poughkeepsie. Born in Syracuse, he was raised in Walton, where he graduated high school in 1955. He played and starred on the football, basketball and baseball teams at Walton High School. He was the starting point guard on the 1955 team that defeated Binghamton Central in the regional championship game. He chose to forego an opportunity to play professional basketball to attend Ithaca College. He then transferred to Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia, where he played on the varsity basketball team and excelled academically. After graduating Davis and Elkins, he attended law school at Syracuse University on a full academic scholarship. He was an associate editor of the law review. Upon graduating SU School of Law, he was hired by then-New York State Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz as assistant attorney general. He was always indebted to the attorney general for giving him an opportunity to start his law career, and he quickly developed a reputation as a fearless litigator and passionate trial lawyer trying cases in the New York State Court of Claims. In 1966, he started the Poughkeepsie regional office for the attorney general’s office and served as the assistant attorney general-in-charge until 1979. He oversaw all matters involving the attorney general’s office in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties, and tried more than 1,000 cases in his career there, with a majority involving condemnation matters. In 1979, he began a private practice as a solo practitioner. From 1987-94, he joined Patrick F. Moore to form the law office of Wallace and Moore in downtown Poughkeepsie. It was also during this period that he served as legislative counsel to his friend, Senator Jay P. Rolison. From

1979-85, he was counsel to the New York State Banking Committee, and from 1985-89, he was counsel to the assistant majority leader of the New York State Senate. In 1995, his son, Craig, joined his general law practice and they continued to practice together as Wallace and Wallace, LLP, in many different areas of law. He practiced for 55 years, with the last 22 years with his son. He gave back to the community as a business leader and neighbor, and served on the boards of several not-profits, including Hudson Valley Hospice and Poughkeepsie YMCA. He also served on the Town of Poughkeepsie Republican Committee for several years. He volunteered his services to assist a local widow of a New York City firefighter obtain a substantial award under the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, and his efforts were recognized by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which celebrates ethnic pride and accomplishments. He was a slow-pitch softball player and played in several competitive leagues. He was a member of a local team that won the Over-40 New York State Championship in 1982. He was named MVP of that tournament. He is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, Frances; his son, Craig (Leah) Wallace; his daughter, Julie (Kevin) Clancy; his son, John (Arcola) McHugh; six grandchildren; and his younger sister, Estelle Spevak, of Syracuse. Burial was in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to Hudson Valley Hospice Inc., 374 Violet Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, or at; or to the American Cancer Society, 2678 South Rd., Suite 103, Poughkeepsie, NY 10601. 

video from Germany. The honor was named for Wiesel, the Holocaust memoirist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped found the museum.

definition of antisemitism in determining what content to include in the report, the World Jewish Congress wrote in a statement about the report. “We knew that antisemitism online was on the rise, but the numbers revealed in this report give us concrete data as to how alarming the situation really is,” said the group’s CEO, Robert Singer. “We hope this serves as a wake-up call to all internet forums to maintain moral standards, rid themselves of offensive content, and make the digital world a safer place for all.” Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft in June signed a code of conduct with the European Commission that requires them to delete the majority of reported illegal hate speech within 24 hours. The signing of the accord was hailed as major progress toward reconciling U.S.-based social networks’ adherence to American legislation despite demands by European governments and judiciaries that the firms limit themselves in Europe to the stricter laws on hate speech applied in much of the continent.


JCC bomb threat suspect reportedly used Bitcoin, Google Voice

The Israeli-American teenager suspected of perpetrating more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions used technologies including Google Voice, a call forwarding service, and Bitcoin, a digital currency, to make the threats. His motives are unknown, according to reports. According to an article in the Daily Beast, the 19-year-old suspect’s name is Michael Kaydar. Israel’s anti-fraud squad arrested Kaydar at his home in southern Israel and searched the premises on March 23. During the cyber unit’s raid on the teen’s home, police found a computer lab with sophisticated equipment, encryption and transmission systems, and a powerful antenna, according to reports. The army refused to draft the teen after finding him unfit for service, Haaretz reported. His father also has been detained on suspicion that he knew about his son’s activities, according to The Jerusalem Post. He also is accused of a series of threats made in Europe, Australia and New Zealand in the past six months, according to reports in Israel, and is reported to have called in threats to the Israel Police two months ago regarding Israeli educational institutions. He also is accused of making a threatening call to Delta Airlines, leading to the emergency landing of at least one plane. To hide his identity, Kaydar used a technology called SpoofCard that masks a number’s caller ID, according to the Daily Beast. When police subpoenaed SpoofCard’s parent company to trace the call’s real number, they learned that he had called from a disposable Google Voice number. He paid for SpoofCard through Bitcoin, also untraceable, and routed his Internet through proxies, making his IP address untraceable, as well. In addition, he masked his voice in the calls to sound like a woman. Kaydar was caught after he forgot to trace his Internet connection through a proxy server, allowing police to trace his IP address, which led to his home.

Twitter has most antisemitic content among social networks, survey finds

Twitter emerged as the social network with the most antisemitic content in a comprehensive analysis. The study of the prevalence of hatred toward Jews on such platforms, commissioned by the World Jewish Congress and published the week of March 24, was conducted throughout 2016. Nearly two-thirds of the 382,000 posts deemed antisemitic in the study appeared on Twitter, followed by 11 percent posted on Facebook, 6 percent on Instagram and 2 percent on YouTube. The posts were in various languages, according to the survey performed by the Israeli monitoring firm Vigo. The study applied the International Holocaust RemembranceAlliance’s

Your ad should be here! To advertise, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext. 244 or bonnie@

over blessings from s s a P

We are still family-owned and operated. “After 83 years” Providing unparalleled service to the Jewish community throughout Central New York. 1909 East Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13210 • 315.472.5291 • 1.800.472.5182 Martin J. Birnbaum* Elaine R. Birnbaum Joel M. Friedman * Also Licensed in Florida

U.S. Holocaust Museum to award Angela Merkel with top honor

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will bestow its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work advancing Holocaust awareness. “Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making the preservation of Holocaust memory a priority for Germany,” said Tom Bernstein, who chairs the council governing the museum, in a release on March 23. Merkel was instrumental in 2011 in overcoming the reluctance among the 11 nations that run the International Tracing Service, the Germany-based documentation center of Nazi atrocities, to opening up its archives. She will receive the award on April 24 during the museum’s National Tribute Dinner, which takes place on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Washington, DC. Merkel will accept the honor by


Visit the JO online at and click on Jewish Observer




Happy Pesach! Save on all your traditional Passover foods 3/26 thru 4/22/2017 with your



$ 99

$ 99




Trans Ocean Salmon

Full of Vitamins & Minerals in Every Bunch

Fresh and Premium Quality


NY Style, Cracked Pepper & Sockeye Salmon. 3-4 oz. pkg.


$ 99

for $

Savion Fruit Slices

Juicy and Tart

for $


64 fl. oz. btl., Selected Varieties

64 fl. oz. btl., Select Varieties



$ 99


Kedem Apple Juice

6 oz. pkg., Select Varieties

Kedem Concord Grape Juice


$ 99



Fresh Lemons



Red Beets

Horseradish Root


$ 99




Kedem Sparkling Grape Juice

Lay’s Potato Chips Kosher for Passover

25.4 fl. oz. btl.

6 oz. Bag, Selected Varieties

Manufacturers Coupon Expires 4/18/17



Manischewitz or Yehuda Matzo

5 lb. pkg., Selected Varieties



25 for $

25 for $



Gold’s Horseradish 6 oz. Jar, Selected Varieties

23 for $

Kedem Cooking Wine 12.7 fl. oz. btl., Selected Varieties

23 for $


Save $1 on any 2 boxes of Matzo Ball Soup

Retailer: We will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8¢ holding provided you and the consumer have complied with the terms of this offer. Invoices providing purchases of sufficient stock to cover presented coupons must be shown on request. Any other application may constitute fraud. Coupon void where prohibited taxed or restricted. Consumer must pay any sales tax. Cash value 1/20¢ Reproduction of this coupon is expressly prohibited. Mail to: Aron Streit Inc. CMS Dept. 702627 One Fawcett Drive Del Rio, TX 78840 DO NOT DOUBLE


Medford Farms Honey Dr. Brown’s Soda Streit’s Matzo Bear 33.8 fl. oz. btl., Selected Varieties, Ball Soup 12 fl. oz. btl., Selected Varieties

Plus Deposit Where Applicable

4.5 oz. Box, Selected Varieties

Prices effective at 620 Nottingham Rd. Syracuse & 5351 N. Burdick St. Fayetteville TOPS Only.


March 30,, 2017 issue of Jewish Observer