17 NISAN 5774 • APRIL 17, 2014 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 8 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY
JCC Annual Meeting and awards ceremony to be held at new venue
Robert J. Daino
To date, we have 1,607 donors. Federation's 2014 Campaign now stands at $749,779. lives in CNY an da le’s p r eo
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her car, driving from community centers to homeless shelters in the inner city, helping students who never thought college was a possibility. Since its start, On Point for College has enrolled more than 4,700 students in 216 colleges and universities, and serves as a back-up family for more than 6,000 young adults. In 2012, On Point for College replicated its program in Utica and New York City. Donohue has received many awards, including Syracuse University’s Martin Luther King “Unsung Hero Award,” the 2008 National College Access Network Excellence in Leadership Award and the Ben and Jerry’s “Citizen Cool” Award. Lazarus anchors NewsChannel 9 at noon, 5 pm, 5:30 pm and 6 pm daily, and contributes regularly to http://localsyr. com. Her “Family Healthcast” was one of the first daily health and fitness reports in the nation, bringing viewers the latest in health, fitness and family news since 1986. She was honored in 2004 with the
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operating officer of WCNY-TV/FM for nine years, first joining the company as a member of the board of trustees in 2002. Through his vision, the new WCNY Broadcast and Education Center, a state-of-the-art facility, opened this spring in the Near West Side neighborhood of Syracuse. The center offers programs for learners of all ages. He is said to be “particularly proud” of WCNY’s Enterprise America program, a hands-on curriculum for middle school students that provides them with an opportunity to gain skills in financial and civic literacy, problem solving and collaboration. Another program, Centralcast, serves as a cost-saving strategy and is a model for the entire PBS system. The management system controls the content for all public broadcasting stations in states of New York and New Jersey, reaching nearly 20 percent of the nation’s PBS viewers. Daino’s “entrepreneurial spirit, dedication and determination to build a connected community and the ability to foster relationships and partnerships” are said to be recognized throughout Central New York. Donohue is the founder and executive director of On Point for College. She began the organization in April 1999 after eight years of volunteering to help students from a local homeless shelter enroll in college. She launched the program from the trunk of
Mary Ellen Bloodgood
by Barbara S. Simon Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold its Citizen of the Year dinner on Thursday, May 8, beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30 pm. This year’s local recipients will be Mary Ellen Bloodgood, CEO of Menorah Park; Robert J. Daino, president and CEO, WCNY-TV/FM; Virginia Donohue, executive director of On Point for College; and Carrie Lazarus, award-winning anchor and reporter for NewsChannel 9, WSYR. Citizen of the Year Committee Chair Andrea Knoller said, “The four local honorees will be recognized for their professional achievements and their leadership roles in the Central New York community. Each of the honorees has made a qualitative difference in the lives of Central New Yorkers, enriching our lives educationally, culturally and through health education.” Bloodgood joined Menorah Park in 1987. As CEO, she leads all the eldercare facilities and affiliated programs on the Menorah Park campus. She has been involved in the expansion of senior care services throughout the last 27 years, developing the Jewish Home of Central New York, which was a standalone skilled nursing home, into a full continuum care campus. Under her leadership, Menorah Park has created the Institute for Applied Research and begun work on a museum that will preserve and display art and artifacts of the Central New York Jewish community. She has recently been awarded the Association of Jewish Aging Services’ Dr. Herbert Shore Award of Honor for demonstrating” dedication, integrity, commitment, innovation, proven professional leadership and community involvement.” The award winner is nominated by their peers, and the Dr. Herbert Shore Award is considered to be the highest single honor within the not-for-profit senior care industry in North America. Daino has served as president and chief
TAY announces local honorees
Members of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Board of Directors worked on the 2014 Annual Meeting and awards ceremony to be held at Owera Vineyards on Tuesday, June 10. Sitting (l-r): Linda Drimer, Co-Chairs Michelle Baum and Amy Sumida, Ann Goldstein and ad book Chair Andrea Knoller. Standing (l-r): JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher, JCC President Steven Sisskind, Phillip Rubenstein, Tara Booher, Joel Friedman, Melissa Fellman, Mary Ann Gillson, Debbie Goldwein, Michael Klein, Bud Greenman and Andrew Koldin. Not pictured: Jo David, Nancy Kasow, Neil Rosenbaum and Howard Weinstein.
Erlebacher said, “We wanted to hold more of a celebration than a typical work event.” During the program, various individuals from the community will be honored. The KovodAward will be given to Michelle Baum. “Kovod,” Hebrew for “honor” or “importance,” is given to JCC members who have either chaired multiple events and/or were especially active in events and programs. “Hall of Fame” award recipients this year will be Phyllis Charney and Alex and Chuckie Holstein. The award was created to recognize “those who have given a lot to the community.” The JCC honors individuals for the award based on a quote attributed to Sir Marvin Barry and found on the lobby wall at the JCC, “To be a Jew is to belong to the past, be a part of the present and assume responsibility for the future.” The Kovod Gadol Award, called the JCC’s highest honor, translates to “great honor,” and will be presented to Barry Shulman, in recognition of “his commitment, energy and loyalty” to the JCC and the general community. The JCC has served the Jewish community for 151 years. The amount of financial support received at the event is considered to be “a crucial factor” in the amount of scholarship money the JCC is able to offer. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor, purchasing a table or learning more about the event should contact Nancy Kasow at 445-2360, ext. 112, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Nick Finlayson The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will hold its 151st annual meeting and awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 10, at 6:30 pm, at a new venue, Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia. Organizers anticipate that there will be many special guests in attendance. The event is the JCC’s largest fund-raising event of the year, with funds allocated toward several scholarships for individuals in JCC programs, including the afterschool, camp and senior programs. Last year’s annual meeting was combined with the JCC’s 150th anniversary celebration. The feedback from last year’s event led board members to decide to keep a similar format by holding a short business meeting, followed by a program honoring those who have given to the community. JCC Executive Director Marci
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See “Honorees” on page 5
C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A
April 18.....................7:32 pm............................................................ Parasha-Passover April 20.....................7:34 pm...........................................................................Passover April 21.....................after 8:38 pm..................................................................Passover April 25.....................7:40 pm..........................................................Parasha-Kedoshim May 2........................7:48 pm.................................................................. Parasha-Emor
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Shave for the Brave
Reform rabbis and congregants Local Passover events; France’s Israeli doctors treating wounded nationwide took part in the Shave oldest matzah maker; China’s Syrians are faced with complex for the Brave fund-raiser. Jewish community; and more. inuries and cultural gaps. Stories on pages 2 and 4 Stories on pages 4, 6, 9-10 Story on page 12
PLUS Women in Business................7-9 Calendar Highlights................10 Student Spotlight.....................10 Obituaries.................................. 11
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
Rabbis’ mass head-shaving inspired by “Superman Sam” raises nearly $600K
By By Julie Wiener Ed. note: See related Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Temple Concord articles on page 4. NEW YORK (JTA) – At the beginning of April, 73 North American rabbis were missing something when they went to Shabbat services: their hair. As part of a campaign that raised more than $570,000 for pediatric cancer research, approximately 60 male and female rabbis voluntarily shaved their heads on April 1 at the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis convention in Chicago. (Several rabbis who were unable to make it to the mass hair-shedding event shaved their heads elsewhere at different times.) Many of the shaved were inspired by the death last December of Samuel Sommers, the 8-year-old son of Rabbi Phyllis and Michael Sommers, to refractory acute myeloid leukemia. Phyllis Sommers, an associate rabbi at Am Shalom in suburban Chicago who had documented her son’s struggle on a blog called “Superman Sam,” came up with the idea for the shaving campaign along with a fellow rabbi shortly before Samuel’s death. While Samuel inspired the shaving
Volunteers at Mayyim Hayyim, a nondenominational mikvah in suburban Boston, developed a series of blessings for individuals wishing to immerse in a mikvah, or ritual bath, before shaving their head or cutting their hair for a charitable purpose. Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr, one of the volunteer coordinators of the rabbinic head-shaving campaign, reached out to Mayyim Hayyim soon after Samuel’s death
asking if the nonprofit, which has developed numerous ceremonies involving mikvah immersion, had a ceremony for people shaving their heads for cancer research. “We jumped on it,” Carrie Bornstein, Mayyim Hayyim’s executive director, told JTA. “What’s exciting is it’s a whole new way of thinking about what mikvah can do in our secular lives. There’s a whole religious See “Rabbis” on page 8
Two newly shorn braids adorned a photo of Samuel Sommer, whose struggle with refractory acute myeloid leukemia inspired the Reform rabbis’ Shave for the Brave campaign. (Photo by Julie Pelc Adler) campaign – done in partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a group that funds pediatric cancer research – it inspired a new Jewish ceremony.
An assembly line of rabbis had their heads shaved at the Central Conference of American Rabbis convention in Chicago on April 1. (Photo by Julie Pelc Adler)
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid says settlement freeze preferable to prisoner release By Ben Sales TELAVIV (JTA) — Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said he supports freezing settlement growth to help jump-start peace negotiations and vowed that his centrist Yesh Atid party would leave Israel’s governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were responsible for the collapse of the peace process. In a recent interview with JTA, his first with an American Jewish news organization since entering the Knesset last year, Lapid continued his recent shift toward placing the peace process at the top of his party’s agenda. A year ago, he told The New York Times that Israel should not change its settlement policy to advance negotiations, nor should it curb its “natural expansion” or limit financial inducements to Israelis who move there. But on April 7, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process. A fourth round of prisoner releases was due to take place March 29, but Israel reneged. “I would choose, every day of the week, freezing the settlements over freeing prisoners,” he said. “But in this coalition, in this particular moment, this was the favorable option.” A former television news anchor, Lapid entered politics for the first time in advance of the January 2013 elections with the aim of re-energizing Israel’s political center. He stayed relatively quiet on security issues during the campaign, running on a largely domestic platform of lowering the cost of living and expanding the mandatory military draft to include the haredi Orthodox. Over the past year, though, Lapid has become increasingly vocal about the need for Israel to reach a two-state solution to
its conflict with the Palestinians. And while he laid the blame for the current impasse in peace talks squarely at the feet of the Palestinian leadership, Lapid said he could not stay in the government if it did not aggressively pursue a deal. “If I would think this coalition did not exhaust all options and it is our fault that the negotiation is not in progress or process, then I can’t stay in this government,” Lapid said. “We decided we’ll do everything in our power to back up the negotiations.” Lapid said that overall, he is happy with how the past year has gone for his party. He dismissed criticism that Yesh Atid’s signature achievement, a bill mandating that the haredi Orthodox perform military service, is too weak. The bill defers criminal sanctions for haredi draft dodgers for three years, but Lapid said a stricter law would have been unrealistic. “If we would just send draft bills to any young 18-year-old haredim, we’ll be the winners of some game, but nothing would have happened,” Lapid said. “The way we’ve been doing this, it will actually happen.” Lapid also campaigned on establishing civil unions in Israel, a measure that would have broken the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate’s control of Jewish marriage. Yesh Atid introduced a bill to create civil unions in October, but it is opposed by Jewish Home, a religious Zionist party that entered the coalition in alliance with Yesh Atid. Lapid sounded confident that he could get a civil unions bill past Jewish Home, possibly with support from left-wing parties. Though he vowed to continue to push the issue, he would not say if Yesh Atid would leave the coalition of the bill fails. “I don’t think this is good partnership,” Lapid said, “to keep a coalition under threat.” Lapid said all Jewish denominations
correction In the March 20, Jewish Observer, there was an article about Lipman’s Kosher Market in Rochester beginning meat deliveries to the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. Food can be picked up at the JCC front office monthly on Wednesdays from 1-6 pm. For more information on the JCC deliveries, call Tiffany’s Catering at 475-7630. The meat market will continue delivering to Temple Adath Yeshurun as it has in the past. The Jewish Observer regrets the omission of the synagogue deliveries and any confusion it may have caused. Orders may be placed by calling 585-271-7886.
should have equal standing in Israel, which he said would strengthen Israel’s relationship with American Jews. He also called for ending the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over Jewish marriage and conversion, and for an end to all forms of religious coercion. But he stopped short of calling for the abolition of the Chief Rabbinate or for a complete separation of religion and state, which he said would hurt the country’s Jewish character. “I don’t think the American model of total separation of religion and state is feasible in Israel because it was established as a Jewish state,”Lapid said. “I don’t want to give up this identity. I would favor having parallel institutions to the rabbinate. If someone wants to get married in the
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rabbinate, he can. If someone wants to get married at City Hall, he should be able to do so as well.” Yesh Atid surprised pundits when it captured 19 seats in Knesset elections last year, becoming Israel’s second largest political party. Soon after, Lapid said that he expected to be prime minister after the next ballot. On April 7, Lapid said his party was in the Knesset to stay, but he declined to make similar boasts about his own political future. “I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned in this last year: There’s no problem in politics being an idiot – there’s a big problem being an idiot twice,” he said. “I’ve learned my lesson and I’m not going to declare such declarations anymore because this is stupid.” All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to JewishObserverCNY@gmail.com. The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, Dewitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: local $20/yr.; out-of-town $30/yr.; student $10/yr. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.
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APRIL 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774 ■
AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Foundation receives Kletsky gift to the community By Linda Alexander Earl and Trudy Kletsky have chosen the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York as the repository for their charitable remainder annuity trust to benefit the local Jewish community in perpetuity. Their gift of more than a half million dollars is a generous tribute to the values they learned from their parents, and in honor of Earl and Trudy’s marriage of more than 56 years. The future Kletsky Endowment Fund will benefit Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas, Jewish Family Service and Menorah Park. The Kletsky family has lived in the local community for 57 years, raising their son, Jeffrey, here and enjoying their membership in Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. When asked why they decided to set up this fund, Trudy explained, “I grew up during the most difficult years of the Great Depression of the 1930s. My parents had very little money and both worked long and strenuous hours in their small, used furniture business in order to make ends meet. In spite of their difficulties and, as a result of being extremely frugal, they were still able to save a few dollars
Syracuse Film Festival
The Syracuse Film Festival will hold a new arts festival from Friday-Saturday, April 25-26, at the Palace Theater, 2384 James St., Eastwood. A documentary feature by Marc Halberstadt, “CowJews and Indians,” will be shown on April 26 at 8 pm. The screening is made possible by a grant from the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, which also houses the office of the film festival. The documentary, about property theft and land reparations in Eastern Europe and social justice for the Native Americans in the U.S.A., will be followed by a discussion with the film’s director and guest Chief Oren Lyons, faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation. The full title of the film is “CowJews and Indians: How Hitler Scared My Relatives – and I Woke Up in an Iroquois Longhouse with a Picture of Jesus, Reminding Me – for the Wrong Reason – That I Owe the Mohawks Rent.” Director Halberstadt said, “With assistance from scholars, my team has developed – and will present – a new Haudenosaunee Territory map to the audience following the screening. It is the only modern Haudenosaunee map that exists, as far as I know.” Spring Fest 2014 is produced in collaboration with the Syracuse New Times and CNY Artists. The event will also include local musicians on Saturday night, as well as exhibitions by Central New York artists each day, with local wineries providing tastings. For more information, contact the Syracuse Film office at 671-2188 or visit www.filminsyracuse.com.
family commitments made a lasting for the future education of their two impression and inspired me to pursue children and for their own retirement. a career in higher education.” He When they finally retired in the 1980s, earned degrees in electrical engineerthey asked me to manage their moding at the Massachusetts Institute est fund for them. Over the next 30 of Technology and then a Ph.D. at years, the fund grew substantially. Syracuse University in 1961. He Both in memory of my parents, and was a professor and associate dean as a measure of my commitment to of engineering at SU for 36 years Judaism, I am contributing that fund to before retiring in 1993. the Foundation to assist local Jewish A charitable remainder annuity family support groups and programs. trust can be established by irrevocaI am fully aware of the burdens faced bly transferring assets to a trustee, by needy local families, as well as who then makes fixed annual payimmigrant families in the Syracuse ments to the donor and/or other benarea, and hope that our fund will aseficiaries during the donor’s lifetime. sist them.” Upon the donor’s death, the assets Earl grew up in Springfield, MA, can establish an endowed fund at where his family had a lifelong atthe Jewish Community Foundation tachment to the Jewish community of Central New York for a designated and its institutions. He explained, purpose. The Foundation serves as “My family was always active in synagogue affairs. They placed a Earl and Trudy Kletsky have created the trustee of the donor’s charitable very strong focus on education. My a charitable remainder annuity trust remainder annuity trusts. The Foundation said it is “very father was one of the founders of the to benefit the local Jewish community Hebrew Day School in Springfield, in perpetuity at the Jewish Community grateful for this generous gift from the Kletsky family, which will help ensure now known as the Heritage Academy Foundation of Central New York. the future of religious, educational and Jewish Community Day School. My mother worked tirelessly on projects for Hadassah. These social programs of our local Jewish community.”
Grant applications requested by teen funders
By Nancy Belkowitz and Linda Alexander The Teen Funders Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York B’nai Mitzvah Program is requesting grant applications from local charitable organizations. Grant recipients will be announced by the teen funders following their Sunday, May 4, meeting. All applicants must be legally recognized charitable organizations. Grant applications must be received no later than Thursday, May 1, by the Foundation B’nai Mitzvah Program at 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt NY 13214. Grant requests may be for funding up to $1,000 and applicants must provide details of the proposed project and explain how it forwards the organization’s mission. The B’nai Mitzvah Program at the Foundation teaches the core Jewish value of tzedakah through hands-on participation. More than 100 b’nai mitzvah funds have been established throughout the past nine years. A b’nai mitzvah fund requires a minimum $250 donation from the teenager at the time of bar or bat mitzvah. The donations
Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu April 21-25 Monday – closed for Passover Tuesday – closed for Passover Wednesday – shwarma sandwich Thursday –tangy sole over pasta with vegetables Friday – chicken casserole with apples and raisins April 28 – May 2 Monday – egg salad in a pita pocket
Cantor Francine Berg’s latest venture will be a chorus for adults with dementia and their caregivers, which she has named the Forget Me Nots. She will hold weekly rehearsals at Menorah Park on Sundays, from May 4-June 30. There will be a social time at 3 pm, with the rehearsal from 3:30-4:30 pm. Berg is a retired music teacher with 35 years of choral experience and 33 years as the cantor at Temple Concord. She has also brought musical programing to dementia facilities for the past six years. The chorus will be free and the only requirement will be that participants enjoy singing and can sing through a one-hour rehearsal. The chorus will be made possible by a grant from the Community Fund at the Jewish Federation of Central New York. For more information, contact Berg at 345-9122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday – chicken tenders in mock lobster sauce Wednesday – manicotti Thursday – TBA Friday – TBA The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program, catered by Tiffany’s Catering Company at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, offers kosher lunches served Monday-Friday at noon. Reservations are required by noon on the previous business day and there is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC and United Way of Central New York. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Leesa Paul or Larry Crinnin at 445-2360, ext. 104, or email@example.com.
are matched by the Pomeranz Trust for an opening balance of at least $500. The teenagers may advise which charities may receive the funds. The Teen Funders Committee meeting is open to all b’nai mitzvah fund holders, when the teenagers will be asked to contribute some of their fund money to a pooled fund to be distributed by the group. In the past, the teenagers funded projects of American Friends of Leket Israel, the National Food Bank of Israel, On Point for College, ORR Shalom, Operation Soap Dish and Exceptional Family Resources. For more information, contact Teen Funder Coordinator Nancy Belkowitz or Linda Alexander, executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation, at 445-2040, ext.130.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
congregational notes Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas
Kosher-for-PESACH lunch at Hillel at Syracuse University Members of Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas will meet On Friday, April 18, at 11:30 am, at Hillel at Syracuse University for a kosher-for-Pesach lunch. Last year’s lunch was considered to be successful. There will be a charge for the meal. For more information, contact Julie Tornberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-2685. Learn to bake challah at CBSCS Play Day At vacation play day on Thursday, April 24, from 10 am-noon, Bette Siegel, New York State Fair blue ribbon challah baker, will teach challah baking in a hands-on workshop. There will also be additional
Temple Adath Yeshurun
activities and crafts. The spring break play day will be open to all. Reservations have been requested, as kitchen space is limited. To make a reservation or for more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 446-9570 or email@example.com. Workshop on refreshing one’s bucket list A three-part workshop, “Refreshing One’s ‘Bucket List,’” for those 55 and older, will be held on three consecutive Mondays, starting on April 28, from 7:30-9 pm. The workshop will be led by Joan Burstyn. A small amount of writing will be done during each session of the workshop. Participants will work at times as a group, at See “CBS-CS” on page 6
Samuel Gruber and Allan Kanter, co-chair of the Temple Adath Yeshurun Adult Education chavurah, continue a discussion after Gruber’s lecture on “Recent Trends in Jewish Art.” Gruber presented three lectures on Jewish art that were attended by members of the Syracuse Jewish community.
Eighteen CBS-CS members participated in the St. Baldrick’s hair shaving fund-raiser at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant on March 31. The team, composed of many returning individuals, raised more than $26,000.
The TAY Religious School first grade students began learning about Passover by starting a craft project about the Ten Plagues. Clockwise, from bottom left: Dylan Friedman, Alex Kruth, Andrew Wladis, Annabel Wells, Samantha Shapiro, Danielle Alpert, Judah Solomon, Matthew Packard and Iris Horowitz.
The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas chapter of Hazak presented the concert “Spring Fever with an Israeli Twist,” showcasing “springtime classics” and love songs, as well as Yiddish and Israeli music, on March 30. The program, which was open to the community, drew more than 100 people. Clockwise from the left: Seneca String Quartet musicians Heather Fais, Fred Klemperer, Sue Jacobs and Walden Bass.
Syracuse University Percussion Ensemble By Lasse Loeber Jepsen Temple Concord’s Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series will present Syracuse University’s percussion ensemble on Tuesday, April 29, at 7 pm. Admission will be free and open to the public. The group specializes in 20 th and 21 st century percussion ensemble works. Directed by Setnor School of Music faculty member and head of the percussion department Michael Bull, the
ensemble includes Patrick Shrieves, Ernest Muzquiz, Jennifer Vacanti and Larry Luttinger. Goldenberg Series Chair Vicki Feldman said, “This is a great opportunity to experience one of Setnor School of Music’s most unique chamber ensembles. Don’t miss out on this night full of entertainment, it’s going to be awesome!” Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact the synagogue at 4759952 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See “TC” on page 6
Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation Menachem Begin talk Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congreation of Syracuse will present a pre-Yom Ha’atzmaut breakfast program on Sunday, May 4, at 9 am, to mark the centenary of the birth of Menachem Begin, which will be celebrated around the world. The program following the breakfast will be presented by Richard Wilkins. Born in Poland, Menachem Begin (191392) was a follower of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionist Movement. Begin became a leader of the Irgun underground fight against the British, and was a supporter of
Jewish unity, demonstrated by the Altalena Affair, which involved a shipment of arms and a political rivalry between Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion and Begin in 1948. During Begin’s premiership, from 1977-83, he signed a peace treaty with Egypt, bombed the Iraq nuclear reactor and had Ethiopian Jews flown to Israel in Operation Moses. His legacy is said to be “grounded in Judaism and ethics.” The breakfast program will be open to the community. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the synagogue at 446-6194 or stocsyracuse.org.
The Temple Concord Religious School fifth grade had a mock wedding. Samson Myshrall and Alana Jacowitz were the “groom” and “bride.”
APRIL 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774 ■
Joan Burstyn chosen as Na’amat USA’s “Woman of Achievement”
By Karen Morton Members of Na’amat Avodah chapter and their guests will honor Joan Burstyn, Ph.D., at the organization’s annual donor luncheon on Sunday, April 27, at 10:30 am, at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The chapter has named Burstyn as the recipient of its 2014 “Woman of Achievement” award. The former dean of Syracuse University’s School of
Education, Burstyn is a scholar, author and poet. She shares her expertise with the local Jewish community and the community-at-large. Her involvement at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, the Jewish Federation of Central New York and Syracuse University is said to have had a direct or indirect impact on those who know her. Anyone who wants to honor Burstyn for her contributions
to Jewish life and education can join Na’amat members in celebrating her at a luncheon in her honor, a presentation of a Na’amat educational scholarship in her name and musical entertainment by Jonathan and Aveeya Dinkin. Reservations are requested by Monday, April 21. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Karen Roberts, chapter co-president and treasurer, at 446-2306 or email@example.com.
Cooking and Judaism with Chef Danny By Daniel Silverman Chef Danny Corsun, founder of Culinary Kidz Academy, visited Syracuse University, from February 27-28, for the first time since he had graduated 15 years ago. Much has changed since he was on campus, and the greatest one according to him was Hillel. He said could not believe his eyes when he saw the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life on Walnut Place, noting, “This didn’t exist when I went to school here. If it had, I’m sure I would’ve been here as well.” The student board of Hillel at Syracuse University had arranged for Corsun to visit from Los Angeles to lead three programs that combined food and Judaism. Culinary Kidz Academy is an education and cooking program for Los Angeles-area students and is geared mostly toward younger children. Corsun feels that cooking and food can play “a vital role” in secular and Jewish education. After he incorporated cooking into his education curriculum to teach students with special needs, he found the approach to be “very useful.” When the Los Angeles public and private school community learned of his efforts, Corsun’s popularity is said to have “soared,” allowing him
Background (l-r): Ellie Winkelman, Aly Forman and Jeremy Philipson watched Chef Danny Corsun assemble a falafel sandwich. Corsun spent February 27-28 in Syracuse, at Hillel at Syracuse University and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, teaching about Jewish and Israeli foods and Judaism.
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Syracuse Press Club’s Career Achievement Award. She and Rod Wood form one of the most enduring news teams in the nation, having recently marked their 25th year as co-anchors. In 2011, they were inducted into the newscasters’ New York State Broadcaster Hall of Fame. Lazarus profiles the people and places that make Central New York a “unique and diverse place” on her new show, “Extraordinary: People and Places of Central New York.” She supports many community activities and has recently started the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent, to help young performers afford lessons, instruments and other opportunities. The national honoree is Joshua Malina, American film, stage and television actor and producer. He co-stars in the ABC drama “Scandal.” For more information about the dinner, contact the TAY office at 445-0002 or visit www. adath.org.
to create his own company, for which he said that business is “booming.” He even started to teach in Los Angeles-area Jewish schools. Corsun said, “Cooking plays a big role in my Judaism. Food, in general, is a great way to get people talking. If you look at Judaism, it revolves around food. I grew up eating dinner around the table with my parents. It’s the best time to communicate.” When Hillel intern Danielle Hay met him at a program at her summer camp, she knew “he would be good for college students” as well. At that point, Hillel President Zach Goldberg, class of 2015, realized it was “a great opportunity” for Corsun to visit and said, “Everyone loves food; everyone wants to learn how to cook their own food and, after seeing videos, it was an offer we couldn’t pass up.” During the two days Corsun was in Syracuse, he led
three programs. The first was at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, where students cooked apple Johnnycakes and experimented with elephant toothpaste, to go along with lessons on Purim and the history of vanilla. This was followed by two educational events at Hillel, with approximately 40 students attending each. The first, “Purim and Society,” encompassed making hamantashen and talking about the story of Purim and social justice. The following afternoon, Corsun taught with a lesson on Israeli food and culture, making homemade falafel, tahini, hummus and Israeli salad, all while discuss Israel and the history of capers, comparing the caper bush to the Jewish people. “The food was amazing,” said Jamie Weiss, class of 2017. Goldberg agreed, adding, “The falafel was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Also, it was fun to make hummus with my Hillel family!”
Setting safety precedent By Nick Finlayson The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center recently began an initiative to create a custom Comprehensive Emergency Plan. A CEMP is designed to address the protocol to deal with all possible emergencies at the JCC. The plan’s purpose is to keep everyone safe in the event of any category of emergency, such as a “shelter in place,” evacuations, fire drills and lock-outs. CEMP Coordinator and Director of the Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program Jo David On March 20 and 25, the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse began an said, “Safety and security at initiative to create a custom Comprehensive Emergency Plan to address the actions staff the JCC for all of the people we would take in the case of any emergency. Standing, l-r: DeWitt Fire Department Captain serve and for all of the people Randy Griffin and DeWitt Police Captain L.E. Randy Andrews led the discussion. who work in the building are of the utmost priority. It is be in each type of emergency. This started a conversation widely known that the people in the building during a time that allowed presenters to visualize how the JCC’s dayof crisis and/or emergency are the first responders and are to-day activities are conducted. JCC Executive Director responsible for what happens in the first two-10 minutes Marci Erlebacher said, “At the JCC, safety and security in the event of an emergency crisis.” have always been a priority. All of our families and emTwo separate CEMP sessions were held, on March 20 ployees need to be cared for in the best way possible. Our and 25, at the JCC. Attendance at one of the two meetings campus runs licensed programs through the New York was mandatory for all JCC employees and tenants. This State Office of Family Services and the County Health is part of a continued effort to keep the entire JCC safe. Department. We didn’t just want to practice these drills, Captain L.E. Randy Andrews, of the DeWitt Police De- we wanted to go above and beyond, so we paired up with partment, and Captain Randy Griffin, of the DeWitt Fire experts. I think that it is extremely important that we not Department, presented an interactive session on putting only keep all JCC employees safe, but also keep all tenants together the best plan of action. and members of the community safe as well. The next step The JCC began working with Andrews and Griffin in of this process will be to create our plan and train everyone June, when the JCC needed to update its emergency plan. so they are prepared for any kind of emergency. This plan The research revealed that the JCC also needed to draw will be reviewed annually to ensure that everyone here on up a CEMP. Individuals needed a well-understood plan for our campus is safe.” what to do when danger arises. Andrews said, “I commend the JCC for taking the steps to make staff and visitors safe at the JCC. I appreciate the relationship that Randy and I “Furniture is more than a moment in time. have with the Jewish Community Center, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.” We can restore, refinish & repair family memories.” The session addressed a series of scenarios to find out -- Ron Cosser what JCC workers thought the proper plan of action would
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
Chabad model Matzah Factory
In a program funded by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York, Chabad Rabbi Yaakov Rapoport brought his annual model matzah bakery to the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. Students of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Program participated.
Yisroel Hahn, a rabbinical student from the yeshiva in Wilkes-Barre, PA, helped third grade students from the Syracuse Hebrew Day School make matzah at the Chabad model matzah factory held at the Jewish Community Center and funded by the Jewish Federation of Central New York.
From Alsatian town, France’s oldest matzah-maker sells to the world By Toni L. Kamins (JTA) – For most Jews, matzah season comes once a year. But for Jean-Claude Neymann, matzah, or “pain azyme” in French, is a defining family tradition. Neymann runs the oldest matzah bakery in France, located in the town of Wasselonne near the German border. The family company, Etablissements Rene Neymann, traces its matzah-making tradition to 1850. “I’m the fifth generation of my family The Etablissements Rene Neymann matzah factory is to bake matzah here in Was- located in the Alsatian city of Wasselonne. (Photo courtesy of Etablissements Rene Neymann) selonne,” Neymann said. Walking along the steep, cobblestoned streets of Wasselonne, a city son, Rene, had bigger ideas for the company. of nearly 6,000 people at the foot of the In 1919, he industrialized production, changed Vosges Mountains in northeastern France, the company name to Etablissements Rene is like stepping into a Grimm’s fairy tale. Neymann and in 1930, began to market the Timbered facades look more German than wonders of unleavened bread to the non-Jewish French, a reminder that Alsace and Lorraine public. It was a hit and sales grew. have been shunted back and forth between After France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the two countries that regularly warred with bakery was shuttered and the Neymann fameach other in the not-so- distant past. ily was forced into exile in southern France. Salomon Neymann, a peddler and the Liberation came in November 1944 with the father of this unleavened-bread dynasty, set army of Gen. Phillipe Leclerc, and in 1948, up his first bakery in nearby Odratzheim, Rene Neymann restarted the business. where he began to bake Passover matzah for The decades following World War II his family and the local Jewish community. saw many changes in how people ate and His matzah became popular, and by 1870, shopped all over the world. “Supermarkets he and his son Benoit moved the factory to started to replace traditional food markets larger quarters in Wasselonne, a market city and eating a low-fat diet became fashionwith an industrial district that also had the able,” Jean-Claude Neymann noted. advantage of being the site of a flour mill. Robert Neymann, Rene’s son, seized Between 1870 and 1919, the Neymann fam- the opportunities – he modernized and auily manufactured regular and shmurah matzah tomated production, expanded the product in their factory, but Benoit Neymann’s youngest lines and secured new distribution outlets.
times with a partner, and at times alone. Materials provided during the workshop will be drawn from several sources, including, with permission, workshop materials by Rabbi Shaya Eisenberg and Bahira Sugarman, based on Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi’s “From Age-ing to Sage-ing”; short excerpts from Gene D. Cohen’s “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain”; Alan Lakein’s “How to Get Control of Your Life and Your Time”; “Pirke Avot” and other biblical and talmudic sources on wisdom learned through life experiences. At the first session, participants will reflect on their lives so far. The second session will examine Jewish and secular sources on life experience, and the third will include drafting a new bucket list. For more information or to sign up for the workshops, contact the CBS-CS office
With Robert at the helm, Etablissements Rene Neymann continued to extend its products and brands by manufacturing
TC Fifth grade wedding The TC Religious School fifth grade has been learning about Jewish life cycles. The class participated in a mock wedding on March 30 with the entire school and many parents attending. The “bride” and “groom” were “married in friendship” for the rest of the day. Following the wedding, participants moved into the sanctuary for a reception with wedding cake and music. A fourth grade student caught the bouquet, which became the deciding factor of who the “bride” will be next year. Rabbi Fellman shaves his head After a two-year battle, two Chicago area rabbis, Michael and Phyllis Sommer, lost their son, Sam, to acute myelogenous leukemia in December. One of Sam’s last wishes was “to make a difference.” The 36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave website says, “Rabbis Phyllis Sommer and Rebecca Schorr had a crazy idea: what if 36 Reform rabbis would shave their heads to bring attention to the fact that only 4 percent of United States federal funding for cancer research is earmarked for all childhood cancers, as well as raise $180,000 for this essential research?” Working with St. Baldricks Foundation, more than 70 Reform rabbis from North America signed up to shave their heads. Rabbi Daniel Fellman is among those who made this commitment. On April 1, during the Central Conference of Reform Rabbis annual conference, many of the rabbis in attendance had their heads
other types of matzah for different tastes and appetites: matzah made from rye and See “Matzah” on page 7
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shaved. Those who could not attend the conference shaved in their own communities. After surpassing the goal of raising $180,000 and then passing the $360,000 mark, a new goal was set at $613,000. At the time of this writing, $572,843, or 94 percent, had been donated. To make a donation, visit www. stbaldricks.org/donate/event/10921/2014 or call 888-899-2253. A donation can be made to the general fund or a donation can be made specifically for Fellman’s participation.
Rabbi Daniel Fellman had his head shaved by a volunteer barber for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, along with 54 other rabbis at the Central Conference of Reform Rabbis annual conference. St. Baldrick’s raises money for childhood cancer. Rabbi Fellman raised more than $4,000.
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at 446-9570 or email@example.com. St. Baldrick’s fund-raiser This year, the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas team for St. Baldrick’s consisted of 18 people, with many returning veteran “shavees” and several new members of the team. The team included several generations, with members as young as 6-years-old. Altogether, the CBS-CS team raised more than $26,000 for St. Baldrick’s, which donates the vast majority of its income to research for treatment and cures for cancers that specifically occur in children, a field that is considered to be under-funded. There has a been a CBS-CS St. Baldricks team for six years, but this is the first year that the team has been officially sponsored by the congregation as one of its social action initiatives.
Temple Concord Religious School fifth grade mock wedding “bridesmaids” were Evelyn Fay, Alana Jacowitz (the “bride”), Zoe Costanza and Sayde Gitner.
APRIL 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774 ■
Driving instructor Pete Vanderveen taught two AARP drivers classes at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse from March 26-27. More courses are being planned for May. For more information, contact Leesa Paul at 445-2040, ext. 104.
The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will host a SyraCrusin’ info night on Wednesday, April 30, from 6:15-7 pm, at The SPOT, “Syracuse Project 4 Our Teens,” located in the Sears wing of ShoppingTown Mall. Parents and teenagers can to attend the session to learn more about the JCC’s teen travel camp. They will also be able to view photos and videos from past summers, and learn more about the trips planned for this coming summer. At the event, camp organizers will be available to answer questions about the program, which will be open to seventh10th grade students through the age of 15. The camp program runs for eight weeks and campers can sign up by the week. Each
session will include three field trips every week around New York state. Activities will include one volunteer day at local non-profits, and a “hangout” day that will be split between The SPOT and the JCC, as well as numerous overnight options during the second, fourth, sixth and eighth weeks to destinations that will include Old Forge, Buffalo and Rochester. Also available during the camp will be several field trips to locations that include state or amusement parks, laser tag, bowling and putt-putt. The camp will be available for those looking “to stay active and social” through the summer. For more information, contact Katie Sutliff at the JCC at 445-2360 or ksutliff@ jccsyr.org.
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whole-wheat flours; bran matzah; spelt matzah; certified organic matzah. Even Neymann’s kosher for Passover matzah, under the supervision of the chief rabbi of Strasbourg, is made from an array of flours. Jean-Claude, Robert’s son, took over the company in 1983. “Regular matzah is still our biggest Passover item, but about 62 percent of our total manufacturing output is sold outside France,” he said. “We sell throughout Europe, to Morocco, South Africa, Japan and China. There’s a big market for crackers in those countries.” Asked about the state of French Jewry
and mounting concerns about antisemitism in the country, the proprietor of this storied French Jewish company was circumspect. “I’m not afraid at this moment, but we can never know what people will do. Nobody imagined the Shoah could happen, but it did,” Neymann said. “We and our company are very well integrated into the life of Wasselonne and of France, but in people’s minds we are always the Jew.” Toni L. Kamins, a freelance writer in New York, is the author of “The Complete Jewish Guide to France” and the forthcoming ebook “The Complete Jewish Guide to Paris.”
3 Star Tailoring
Specialty: Alterations of any clothing Location: 511 E. Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066 Phone: 315-637-5505 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 am-6 pm, Sat. 8 am-noon The staff of 3 Star Tailoring offer same day, fast service on all alterations, whether it’s for a wedding dress, pants, shirts, or any other type of clothing. The shop has been in business for 20 years in Fayetteville. Call 315-637-5505 today for more information on the tailoring services 3 Star Tailoring can provide to you.
How women help each other succeed
(StatePoint) – Forget the old stereotypes that women need to be cutthroat and competitive to succeed. A new networking trend shows that cooperation is a great way to combat the challenges women face in business. “Formidable ladies across industries are collaborating with each other to achieve clout and success. They are forming salons, dinner groups and networking circles at unprecedented rates,” said Pamela Ryckman, author of the new book, “The Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business” (AMACOM), which examines the emerging culture of women’s networking groups. “Groups have the power to make us big, bold and brave,” she stresses. By mining a group’s collective intelligence, big dreams can be realized, said Ryckman, who is offering advice for women lookSee “Women” on page 8
Bakergirl Dessert Company Inc. Specialty:
Kosher baking and catering company specializing in delicious desserts Location: DeWitt, NY Name: Rosanne David Phone: 315-415-6328 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: By appointment The Bakergirl Dessert Company is a kosher baking business that has been going strong for seven years now. Rosanne David has called herself “The Travelling Baker” because, at this point, she has baked in all the local synagogues! Due to the tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement from the community, she now provides full kosher catering from A to Z for bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and shiva luncheons. Her favorite part of what she does is individually tailoring menus for her clients. The outcome is a very personalized catering experience, which becomes a reflection of the family’s individual style. All desserts continue to be homemade. “I am so grateful for the positive response I have received from the community, thank you so much!” says Rosanne. Please call Rosanne to discuss your catering needs at 315415-6328.
Work at home scams
(NAPSA) – Promises of a big income by working at home, especially when the “opportunity” involves divulging your credit card information, should make you suspicious. That’s the word from the Federal Trade Commission. To learn more, visit FTC.gov or call 877- FTC-HELP.
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Teenagers in seventh-10th grade in the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s teen travel camp, SyraCruisin’, toured Fort Ontario.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
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component, the fact that they are doing this as rabbis, to this very secular occurrence. The idea of marking something in that way and being conscious of the transitions going on in our lives was very exciting.” The new ceremony, which also can be used by people donating their hair to groups such as Locks of Love, consists of three immersions, each preceded by a blessing.
Originally called “36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave,” the campaign that culminated in the group head-shaving on April 1 ultimately recruited twice that many rabbis and raised more than triple its original fund-raising goal of $180,000. According to Rabbi Charles Briskin, one of the newly bald rabbis, the campaign brought in more money for St.
Rabbi Anna Persin sat with some of her recently shaved colleagues following the Shave for the Brave, an event to raise money for pediatric cancer research, on April 1. (Photo by Julie Pelc Adler)
Baldrick’s Foundation than any other single head-shaving event this year. Founded in 2000, St. Baldrick’s coordinates group shave-a-thons in which volunteers shave their heads to show solidarity with cancer patients who have lost their hair to chemotherapy, raise awareness and solicit donations. Although he did not opt to immerse in a mikvah beforehand, Briskin said in an e-mail interview that “from a participant’s point of
A group of newly bald rabbis hugged following the head-shaving fund-raiser at the CCAR convention on April 1. (Photo by Julie Pelc Adler)
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view, having my head shaved last night was truly a sacred experience. Of the 60 or so shavees, some who knew Sammy and the Sommers well, others just met them, yet we all feel we know them well,” he wrote. “Last night, however, we were all part of one extended family, sitting, shaving, crying and laughing in solidarity.” Afterward, Briskin said, “we just hugged one another, admired our new looks, and of course rubbed one another’s heads.”
Antiques, Pyrex, jewelry of all kinds, furniture, Fair-Trade items and gift ware Location: 107 Fairgrounds Dr. Manlius, NY 13104 Names: JoAnne Snook and Samantha Herron Phone: 315-682-1602 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Tues.-Fri. 10:30 am-5:30 pm, Sat. 10:30 am-5 pm The Heckled Hen is a fun mix of the old and new that strives to be different by catering to those who like to reduce, reuse, recycle and up-cycle. Owners JoAnne and Samantha work with brides who are looking for vintage/antique items for unique bridal showers and receptions. You can find locally made soaps, buttons, magnets and button jewelry. The Heckled Hen currently carries several lines of made in the USA products that include Thompson’s Super Scented Candles, Bright Ideas Candles, artisan made steel letters and steel artwork, as well as gourmet gift-able foods and popcorn. There is also a large selection of vintage items, from knickknacks to furniture, housewares to fine china, primitives to elegant, Pyrex to enamelware. Opening this spring is an outdoor section with everything from man-cave items to fun garden decor!
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ing to collaborate or form their own collectives for inspiration and action: Start now: When women unite early in their careers, they’re more likely to steer each other toward promotions and opportunities, counsel each other through difficulties and ultimately become powerful together. Think diversity: Expand your horizons. Don’t network exclusively with best buddies. The most effective groups draw women with diverse skills from a variety of industries, introducing women who might not otherwise meet. Filter for shared experience: To gel as a group and quickly build bonds of trust and loyalty, look for shared common touch points, be they age, level of expertise or values and ethics. Believe in the magic: You don’t need a specific goal or agenda at the onset. “If you get dynamic ladies talking or walking or drinking, exciting things will happen,” Ryckman noted. Strike a balance between personal and professional: Address the career-building needs of the members of your group, but remember to retain the fun. To achieve the right mix, consider appointing a different woman to lead each meeting or bring in guest speakers. Have courage, give courage: Push members to pursue their passions. Help each other script difficult conversations, encourage each other to take risks, and don’t be afraid to disagree. Be a mentor: Have you already achieved great things? Consider mentoring a promising younger woman. You may find that you can learn a thing or two from the partnership. Be a cheerleader: It’s OK to be critical. Everyone needs to hear the hard truths sometimes, but remember to always be lifting your friends and pushing them forward. Ensure each woman gets what she needs – be it information, an introduction or a partnership. To be successful, you don’t need to be a one woman band. By teaming with friends and business contacts, you can launch your career and be a part of a growing movement that is changing the face of business.
APRIL 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774 ■
China’s ancient Jewish community returning to roots By JNS.org (JNS.org) – China’s ancient Jewish community in Kaifeng is set to celebrate a traditional Passover seder for what may be the first time in centuries. The seder is being sponsored by Shavei Israel, an Israeli organization that helps “Lost Tribes” and other forgotten Jewish communities return to their roots. The seder will be conducted by Tzuri Shi, a Kaifeng Jew who formally converted and immigrated to Israel a few years ago. “We are proud and excited to organize this historic event,” Shavei Israel Chairman and Founder Michael Freund stated. “Kaifeng’s Jewish descendants are a living link
A model of a synagogue in Kaifeng, China. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
between China and the Jewish people, and it is very moving to see the remnants of this community returning to their Jewish roots as they prepare for Passover,” he added. Persian or Iraqi Jewish traders first arrived in Kaifeng, one of China’s imperial capitals, during the Middle Ages. At its height, the Jewish community there likely numbered around 5,000 people with rabbis, synagogues and other communal institutions. But assimilation and conversion took its toll on the community and by the mid-19th century, there was little left. Today, about 500-1,000 identifiable descendants of this community exist, with a number of them seeking to reconnect with their Jewish roots.
Latest salvo in circumcision war, study cuts against “intactivist” arguments By Anthony Weiss LOS ANGELES (JTA) – In the circumcision wars, circumcision has been winning some big battles. A new survey of medical data going back more than two decades has found that the health benefits of circumcision far outweigh the risks. The publication of the article on April 4 by the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings is the latest development to tip the scales in favor of circumcision in the long-running scientific, cultural and political struggles over the practice. Some say this series of blows has damaged the efforts of American anti-circumcision activists. “They’re in disarray. They used to be very organized, raising money and so forth,” said Edgar Schoen, a clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and a longtime champion of the medical benefits of circumcision.
An infant being carried before his circumcision at an Orthodox synagogue in Berlin in 2013. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Gift shop 105 Brooklea Dr. Fayetteville, NY 13066 Wendy Lee 315-632-2192 email@example.com Mon.- Wed., Fri. 10 am-5 pm; Thurs. 125 pm; Sat. 10 am-4 pm Welcome to Paola Kay, a little shop wedged in the heart of the historic district of Fayetteville, given the name Paola Kay after the owner’s great-grandmother, who she called Petie. In Paola Kay, you will find a balance of graceful and timeless pieces from Simon Pearce and Michael Aram mingled with items that will tease your need to nest and hunker down at home. There are sturdy articles for men and goods to please your hostesses and girlfriends with a flavor of vintage and local artisan work. The gift shop’s goal is to make gift giving creative and refreshing. Paola Kay prides itself on elegant simplicity and exceptional service, and strives to carry “Made in the USA” choices. Stop in today for all your gift-giving needs. A bridal registry is available.
Upscale women’s new and gently used clothing, accessories and jewelry Name: Carolyn Bertram Location: 6901 E. Genesee St. Lyndon Corners Fayetteville, NY 13066 Phone: 315-251-0414 Carolyn Bertram is now in her 17th year offering quality used or new women’s clothing and accessories at affordable prices for those women who have lost or gained weight, changed their minds on color or style, worn that special item only one time, or just can’t, or won’t, pay for upscale clothing. Honest, dependable, friendly and flexible to both the consignor and buyer. New items arrive daily. Carolyn often receives name brands such as Doncaster, Carlisle, Flax, Dooney and Bourke, Zelda, Blue Fish, Su:zen, Anne Klein, Coach, Chico’s, No Blu, CP Shades, Studio 90, Hot Knots, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Jones NY, Cache, Coldwater Creek, David Dart, Three Dot, Neesh, Crunch, Margaret O’Leary, Prada, Chanel, Liz, Talbots and Dana Buchman. Consignments are by appointment only. Carolyn receives local and mailed consignments from Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and New York City.
“People don’t listen to them that much anymore.” The authors of the new survey reviewed some 3,000 studies on male circumcision published since 1988 and found evidence indicating that circumcision significantly reduced the chances of contracting a number of diseases, including urinary tract infections, human papillomavirus and HIV. “When considered together with ethical and human rights arguments, neonatal circumcision should logically be strongly supported and encouraged as an important evidence-based intervention akin to childhood vaccination,” wrote authors Brian Morris, Stefan Bailis and Thomas Wiswell. Morris, the study’s lead author and a professor emeritus of medical sciences at the University of Sydney, has long been an advocate for the health benefits of male circumcision, See “Study” on page 12
Now offering full kosher catering and still featuring homemade desserts made from scratch! Kosher desserts for special events & meetings Cakes and cookie trays, Viennese tables and holiday baking! Rosanne David, Owner/Baker firstname.lastname@example.org (315) 415-6328
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Syracuse’s Newest Optical Boutique! Unique & Distinctive Frames Frames designed and manufactured in Denmark, Belgium, France and Japan 756 South Crouse Ave. Syracuse, NY 13210 315-314-6681
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
Calendar Highlights To see a full calendar of community events, visit the Federation's community calendar online at www.jewishfederationcny.org. Please notify email@example.com of any calendar changes.
Saturday, April 19 TC Cinemagogue at 7 pm Sunday, April 20 PJ Library play date at the Jewish Community Center at 10:30 am Monday, April 21 Seventh day of Passover Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation offices closed Tuesday, April 22 Eighth day of Passover Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation offices closed Yizkor is recited Wednesday, April 23 Menorah Park board meeting at 6 pm CBS-CS board meeting at 7:30 pm Sunday, April 27 Na’amat donor brunch at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas at 10:30 am Jewish Federation of Central New York Community Yom Hashoah program at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 3 pm Monday, April 28 Yom Hashoah Syracuse Hebrew Day School board meeting at 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 29 Jewish Community Center Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm Syracuse University Percussion Ensemble at Temple Concord at 7 pm Wednesday, April 30 Deadline for the May 15 issue of the Jewish Observer Sunday, May 4 TC Women of Reform Judaism meeting at 10 am Forget-Me-Nots Chorus at Menorah Park from\ 3-4:30 pm Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York teen funders meeting at 3:30 pm Monday, May 5 Yom Hazikaron Tuesday, May 6 Yom Ha’atzmaut community celebration at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center from 6-8 pm
Signs to follow
By Rabbi Evan Shore After the Plague of the First Born, the Torah tells us, “Pharaoh arose at midnight, he and all of his servants and all Egypt, and there was a great outcry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not a person who was dead.” (Shemot 12:30) One has to picture the scenario. Prior to this, Pharaoh and Egypt have just endured nine horrific plagues. Every warning transmitted by Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh came to fruition. Yet Pharaoh, himself a firstborn, as well as a father to a firstborn, went to sleep without a worry in the world. Rashi explains this dilemma in one word: “memetaso,” from his bed! And Pharaoh arose from his bed. Of course he is arising from his bed. What is Rashi teaching us that we do not already know? Tallei Orot points out we can appreciate the level of insolence Pharaoh exhibited by not being concerned about the impending death sentence hanging over every firstborn in Egypt. Pharaoh received the warning loud and clear; however, it made no impact upon him whatsoever. In the book “Ta’am Vedaas Al Hatorah,” Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch writes that Pharaoh did not care at all whether the word of God would come to fruition or not, the proof being that Pharaoh went to sleep like he would any other night in his life. The hardening of his heart reached a point where he despised and rejected the word of God. As a result, he was able to sleep without a worry at all about what would or might occur to him, his own family or the entire land of Egypt. The Malbim gives us yet another possible explanation. One would think with the opulent lifestyle the Pharaohs of Egypt experienced, the king of Egypt would have servants awakening him. However, on this night Pharaoh awoke before all of his servants. In fact, it was Pharaoh himself who awoke his servants to tell them what transpired. According to the Malbim, Pharaoh was awakened by the screams and cries at midnight while his servants were not. The book “Nair L’Shabbot,” by Rabbi Nachum Lerner, emphasizes the idea of Pharaoh’s lack of character change in spite of the fact that his own son was punished as a firstborn, lying dead before him. He arose from his bed without any regret or guilt; there was no movement or desire to repent for the terrible things he did to the Jewish people. Rather, Pharaoh just got out of bed like any other morning in spite of the fact that every single house in Egypt contained at least one corpse. Rabbi Yissocher Frand, in his Commuter Chavrusah Tapes, quotes Rabbi Elya Meir Bloch. He maintains that Pharaoh had to go to sleep to prove a point. Pharaoh was on what we would call in today’s terms a “power trip.” The only way he would be able to claim victory was to show to Moses, as well as to the populace of Egypt, that he was in charge. Pharaoh proved this by going to sleep. If he had been afraid of going to sleep, it would have been a sign of weakness. By going to sleep, Pharaoh was in effect declaring, “I am in charge and nothing happens unless I say so.”
Student Spotlight on Sadie Tenenbaum Sadie Tenenbaum is in the eighth grade at Fabius-Pompey Middle School. An alumna of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, she notices some distinct differences in her present situation: “going from the day school where we all celebrated the same holidays and customs to a small town, where few people even en knew what a bat mitzvah was, was a big change. However, my family and I were able to keep our traditions and teach our new friends what it means to be Jewish.” Sadie’s bat mitzvah was also a unique experience, taking place atop Masada in Israel. ““It was amazing,” she says, “I felt more connected to Jewish history by being in such a holy place.” na Being in high places is somewhat normative for Sadie. She began cheerleading on onals l att competitive team in 2008. This year her team, the Toolon Tigers, made it to Nationals is the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. On the squad, Sadie is a “flyer.” This means, she says “that I am the one who gets put up in the high stunts. mmates It's exciting to be able to be up so high, and my teammates aced and I get to bond and work together.” The Tigers placed INC. K, YOR OF CENTRAL NEW fifth nationally in their division. “We were so proud to be for ne eo m so e at the first team in the history of the Toolon Tigers to make To nomin nt of it to Nationals,” said Sadie. “It was a bit overwhelming e d ing tu S h is w e J tition; because we had never been in such a huge competition; , th n the Mo but it was an amazing experience.” please e-mail l.com erCNY@gmai JewishObserv 16 x1 0 04 -2 45 or call (315)4
Sadie S di Tenenbaum T b ested During her time at SHDS, Sadie also became interested ontinued in, and gained experience on, the stage. She has continued her love of theater and was cast in the lead role of Ariel in the Fabius-Pompey Middle School's production of “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” She enjoys volunteering within her local community, as well as returning to SHDS to assist with special events. She plays the flute, and will participate in the NYSSMA Festival in the spring. She is enrolled at the Rabbi Jacob Epstein High School of Jewish Studies and loves seeing her friends from SHDS and the rest of the Syracuse Jewish community there. “I believe in caring for my family, doing my best in school and activities, and helping to preserve my Jewish culture,” said this high-flying teen, who wants to become an anesthesiologist “because I want to be able to comfort people when they are in pain.” Somehow, we think Sadie will always be at the top!
RAV Properties, locally-owned investment and management firm is proud to support the Jewish Observer by spotlighting Jewish youths who are making a difference in Central New York. For more information: www.ravproperties.com, 315-403-9000
This entire episode is a sad commentary about the mindset of Pharaoh, who proclaimed, “Who is God that I should listen to His voice.” (Shmot 5:2) God gave him an answer – many answers – on multiple occasions, but Pharaoh refused to process the information. Pharaoh is the symbol of those who refuse to see the reality of the situation or recognize signs sent by God to guide us onto the proper path. In many ways, we can use Pharaoh as the symbol of the wicked child we talk about at the seder. The hagaddah tells us that the wicked child “rejects the main principle of faith,” i.e. he denies God. Pharaoh’s entire problem was due to the fact that he denied God. His lack of belief led him down the road of death and destruction. On the holiday of Pesach, the lesson for us is very clear. God sends each and every one of us signs to follow. We can follow the signs or ignore them. We already have seen what happens when the signs are not followed. Pharaoh’s actions are teaching us the take to heart every sign God places before us. Please God, when the Jewish people, in unison, follow the signs of God, we will merit the ultimate redemption, speedily and in our days. Rabbi Evan Shore is the rav (rabbi) at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, a teacher at Syracuse Hebrew Day School and instructor at the Rabbi Jacob Epstein High School of Jewish Studies, and a chaplain at Menorah Park.
NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
State Dept. sees state bids to tie SNCF deals to reparations as “obstacle”
Bids by state legislatures to tie contracts with a French rail company to extracting Holocaust-era reparations “pose a serious obstacle” to achieving reparations, the State Department said. “The United States and France have entered into discussions of compensation for victims of deportations by rail from France to Nazi labor and death camps as well as for victims’ families,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on April 9. “It is our mutual aim to conclude these talks as quickly as possible,” she said. “Recent initiatives of certain state legislatures, such as New York and Maryland, have begun to pose a serious obstacle to achieving this goal. We strongly urge all concerned to avoid actions that undermine the ongoing compensation talks.” SNCF, which is owned by the French government, transported Jews to the death camps during the Holocaust. The Maryland, New York, Florida and California legislatures are considering laws that would bar SNCF from obtaining state contracts until it pays reparations to the survivors now living in the United States. Maryland’s state legislature ended its current session the week of April 10 without considering a bill that would have required SNCF to pay compensation to Holocaust survivors in order to work on a new line. The bill did not progress past committee hearings.
Interfaith group sends matzah to needy FSU Jews
An interfaith group sent over 100 tons of matzah from Israel to Jews in the former Soviet Union. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews had the Jerusalem-baked matzah shipped to Jewish communities in the FSU, where some 100,000 Jews live. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the head of the fellowship, recently returned from a visit to Ukraine to view the current crises its Jews are encountering. “I saw first-hand the difficulties that community, which is a part of our people, is facing and so we decided to raise their spirits with a delivery of matzot, a symbol of the Jewish people,” Eckstein said in a statement. Meanwhile in Israel, Leket, a national food bank and food rescue network, distributed 386 tons of fresh produce to needy families in advance of Passover. Much of the food was picked by Leket volunteers and regular pickers. In addition, 11 tons of dry goods and dairy products donated from Israeli manufacturers were delivered to 180 nonprofit agencies dedicated to helping families. “There is an increased need around the holiday times, and we are seeing an even greater one this year with the number of working poor on the rise,” said Joseph Gitler, the founder and chairman of Leket Israel.
U.S. designates Sinai group that attacked Israel as terrorist
The Obama administration designated a Sinai-based group as terrorist in part because of its attacks on Israel. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis shares an ideology with al-Qaida but is not a formal affiliate, the State Department said in a statement on April 9. The group “was responsible for a July 2012 attack against a Sinai pipeline exporting gas to Israel,” the statement said. “In August 2012, ABM claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Eilat, and in September 2012, ABM militants attacked an Israeli border patrol, killing one soldier and injuring another.” The statement also noted the group’s deadly attacks on Egyptian officials and on tourists.
APRIL 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774 ■
Jeanette Osofsky Hegyi, 92, died on April 1 at Menorah Park, where she had been a resident for the past three years after moving there from The Oaks of DeWitt. Born in Brooklyn, she married in 1942. She and her husband moved to Roslyn Heights on Long Island in 1950. In 1988, she moved to Syracuse, where she was embraced by the community and made many friendships here. She will be remembered for her style and attention to every detail. She was predeceased by her husband, William S., in 1986; her sister, her brothers-in-law and her sisters-in-law. She is survived by her children, Robin (Steven) Sisskind, of Manlius, Lois (Ronald) Goldstein and Donna (Jay) Gillman; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions in her memory may be made to the employee fund at Menorah Park, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13214.
Stuart Kalman Krupkin, 82, formerly of Syracuse and most recently of Sarasota, FL, died on March 30. Born in Detroit, MI, his family moved to Watertown. He was the oldest of four children and graduated from Watertown High School and then St. Lawrence University in 1954. He served in the Army during the Korean War as a supply sergeant in Alaska. He later worked at Lewis Men’s Store Inc. with his father and brothers in Watertown. He started Lewis Uniform Company in 1957 as a department in his father’s haberdashery to provide uniforms to police and military officers in upstate New York. In 1964, he moved the business to Syracuse and added fire departments, customs immigration officials and postal workers to the list of customers served at the store. He owned the business until selling the store to Betty Wiese, former manager of the business. He will be remembered for his work with the Town of Clay Department of Recreation, as a past president and trustee of the Liverpool Public Library, as commander of the Syracuse Jewish War Veterans and as a founding member of Congregation Ner Tamid. In Florida, he was active with the Fruitville Library and was commander of the Sarasota Jewish War Veterans, past president of the area’s chapter of Lions Club International, Hadassah Associates and Jewish Professional Artists of Sarasota. He painted throughout his life and participated in group shows. He was predeceased by his wife, Beatrice Krupkin, a former administrative law judge for the state of New York and co-founder of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association. He is survived by his children, Michelle (Dennis Davison) Krupkin, of Los Angeles, CA, and Alex (Lorraine Sheppard) Krupkin, of Corvallis, OR; his siblings, Carole (Harvey) Koenig, of Jamesville, NY, Edwin (Pat) of Watertown, NY, and Sidney (Susan); and his partner, Amy Eliezer. Burial was in the Beth Sholom section of Oakwood Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements.
NJ teen charged with bias intimidation after trying to lure Orthodox women
A New Jersey teenager was charged with multiple counts of bias intimidation after he allegedly tried to lure Orthodox women as part of a gang initiation. Police said Rafael Laurano-Flores, 18, of Lakewood had planned to touch and knock down an Orthodox Jewish woman in the southern New Jersey township, according to the Asbury Park Press. Lakewood has a large haredi Orthodox population. Pinny Werner, coordinator of the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch, told the newspaper, “We have not seen gang-related targeting in a long time. People are like, ‘What is going on?’ It has always been gang against gang, but now we don’t know if this is some kind of ‘knockout game’ or what.” The AntiDefamation League’s New Jersey Regional Office issued a statement saying it was “incredibly disheartened to learn of this tragic instance where people were allegedly targeted because of their religion and gender. Hate crimes have an impact far beyond the individual victim of the crime. When a victim is chosen because of his or her religion and gender, other members of those groups feel unsafe and unwelcome,” it said. The ADL statement also “applauds the quick and responsive work of the Lakewood Police Department” in apprehending Laurano-Flores and charging him on April 8.
Israel launches new military satellite, welcomes Super Hercules aircraft
Israel successfully launched a new military reconnaissance satellite. The Ofek 10 satellite was sent into orbit late April 9 and began transmitting data and visual material, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, which worked with Israel Aerospace Industries on the launch. It features advanced high-resolution imagery and can operate day or night in all weather conditions, according to the Ministry of Defense. The Ofek series of advanced satellites was first launched in 1988. Ofek is Hebrew for horizon. Also on April 9, the new Samson C-130J Super Hercules military aircraft landed in Israel. The plane boosts the Israel Air Force’s long-range capabilities, which include airborne supply, transportation of troops and cargo, aerial refueling for helicopters and planes,
electronic warfare, maritime patrol and special operations, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, and senior members of Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, were among those on hand for a ceremony welcoming the aircraft. At least four more Samson aircraft are scheduled to arrive in July and during 2015.
Naftali Bennett: Annex settlement blocs in response to Palestinian actions
Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the large settlement blocs. Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party, sent a letter to Netanyahu late April 9 asking him to call a Cabinet meeting to discuss the possible annexation as a response to the Palestinians applying to international conventions. Bennett in his letter called annexation a “Plan B” following the near collapse of the current round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The areas Bennett said would be annexed are those “which enjoy a broad national consensus and have security, historical, and moral significance for the state of Israel,” his letter said. Chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni responded on her Facebook page, calling Bennett a “provocative child.” She wrote: “Why not, lets go for it, if we want to go mad lets do it all the way, so we can never reach an agreement and become a bi-national state and lose everything we love. Why not!”
Haredim demonstrate over arrest of draft-dodging yeshiva student
About 500 haredi Orthodox men demonstrated in Jerusalem against the arrest of a yeshiva student who ignored a call-up notice for army service. The protesters, who also took to the streets in the predominately haredi city of Bnei Brak, blocked intersections, set fire to trash bins, and threw rocks and bottles at police on April 10. The protest came less than a month after a similar demonstration over the arrest of another yeshiva student who failed to enlist, despite being called up, and about a month after hundreds of thousands of haredim protested in Jerusalem against a new conscription law that would require haredi Orthodox Jews to serve in the military. Under the law, haredi men would be criminally charged for evading the draft, but the penalties would not go into effect until 2017.
Pearl (Penny) Sneider-Mitchell
Pearl (Penny) Glaser Sneider-Mitchell, 89, died after a brief illness in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she grew up in Hewlett, on Long Island, and attended Woodmere High School. After the war, she married Arthur Sneider, of Chelsea, MA, and lived and raised her family in Woodmere, NY. She later lived in Fort Lee, NJ, and Delray Beach, FL, until moving to Fort Lauderdale last year. She was predeceased by her first husband, Arthur Sneider; her second husband, Dan Mitchell; and her brother, Joe Glaser, of Roslyn, NY, who died last year. She is survived by three sons, Alan (Barbara), of Coral Springs, FL, Jeffrey (Gwen Kay), of Syracuse, NY, and Barry (Julie), of Woodmere, NY, six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Boca Raton Funeral Home had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Jewish National Fund, 42 E. 69th St., New York, NY 10021; VITAS Hospice, East Fort Lauderdale,1800 SE 10 Ave., Suite 320, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33136; or Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th N St., Liverpool, NY 13088.
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Anne Frank tree sapling to be planted in DC
A sapling taken from the tree that grew outside the attic where teen Holocaust diarist Anne Frank was hidden will be planted at the U.S. Capitol. The tree will be planted on the west front lawn on April 30. Saplings taken from the tree have been planted around the world. The tree, at more than 150 years old and weakened by a fungus, collapsed in Amsterdam in 2010.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ april 17, 2014/17 NISAN 5774
Israelis treating Syria’s wounded confront complex injuries, cultural gaps
By Ben Sales SAFED, Israel (JTA) – When an Israeli army ambulance brought an injured Syrian man to Ziv Medical Center in this northern Israeli city two months ago, the doctors didn’t know where exactly he was from. They saw that his leg had been amputated, and based on his own fragmented account and the physical evidence, the doctors surmised he had been hit by a shell. But they didn’t know exactly how he had gotten there. And when he leaves the hospital later this month, they don’t know where he’s going. “I’m not scared,” said the Syrian, whose name was withheld by the hospital because Israel and Syria are in a state of war. “Nothing worse will happen to me, so who cares if I’m in Israel?” Despite decades of hostility between Israel and Syria, hundreds of victims of Syria’s 3-year-old civil war have received life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. Israeli medical personnel say that while they’re happy to treat Syrians, the wounded pose a unique set of challenges. For one, their injuries are often complex, owing to the heavy artillery used in the conflict. They sometimes arrive at the hospital as much as days after suffering the injury, complicating treatment. And the wounded often are wary of Israelis they have been taught to despise, making it hard for Israel to address their emotional traumas in addition to their physical ones. “As nurses, it’s unique to deal with wounded like this,” said Refaat Sharf, a nurse at Ziv, which has treated 162 Syrian patients. “We hadn’t been used to these injuries, neither in terms of their character nor their frequency.” Since last year, more than 700 wounded Syrians have come to Israeli hospitals via the Syria-Israel border crossing on the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces has set up a field hospital there and transfers patients it cannot care for to nearby hospitals. In some cases, it brings a family member as well. Northern Israel’s hospitals have extensive experience dealing with patients wounded in battle – most recently during Israel’s 2006 war with the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. But in that conflict, the wounded typically re-
authoring the 1999 book “In Favour of Circumcision.” Circumcision opponents – known in some circles as “intactivists” – generally dismissed the new study. “It’s very easy for researchers to design their studies and the analysis of their studies to come out with conclusions that they want,” said Ronald Goldman, author of “Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma.” “So they’re finding what they’re seeking, in other words. There’s no objectivity here.” The so-called “circumcision wars,” as they have been dubbed by the media, spilled into the American political sphere in 2011 when anti-circumcision activists submitted more than 12,000 signatures to place a San Francisco city ballot measure to ban the practice. The measure spurred heated debate as pro- and anti-circumcision advocates traded accusations of antisemitism and child abuse. However, before the measure could go before voters, a state judge ordered it struck from the ballot as a violation of state law. The California State Legislature subsequently outlawed any local bans on circumcision. The medical landscape tilted against anti-circumcision activists in 2012 when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued revised guidelines on the practice, stating for the first time that “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks.” This marked a reversal of the academy’s neutral stance and undercut a key talking point of anti-circumcision activists, who had argued that the practice had no support from any major medical organization. Anti-circumcision advocates disputed the notion that their efforts have run aground, but some acknowledged that the legal and political terrain has become more challenging. “There was an enormous and immediate clampdown on any type of legislation gaining a foothold to protect male children in the United States,” said Lloyd Schofield, an anti-circumcision activist who served as a spokesman for the San Francisco ballot measure. However, Schofield and other anti-circumcision activists point to Europe as more receptive territory. Attempts to limit or ban non-medical circumcision of boys under 18 have intensified in Europe in recent years. The efforts gained steam after a German court ruled in 2012 that circumcision amounted to causing bodily harm – a ruling that triggered brief bans in various locales in three German-speaking countries. Last October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issued a non-binding resolution condemning the practice of circumcision for boys as a “violation of the physical integrity of children.” Several Scandinavian political
A medical worker at a field hospital on the Golan Heights treated an individual wounded in Syria’s civil war in February. (Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90) ceived medical attention rather quickly. Joseph Guilbard, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, recalled an especially severe case in which a 12-year-old Syrian boy arrived in a deep coma with a severe brain injury. Guilbard performed multiple surgeries, reducing excessive pressure on the brain, removing parts of his skull and replacing them with acrylic. When he was discharged, the boy was walking. “If you see yourself as a doctor, a surgeon and a trauma specialist, you give the same treatment to everyone,” said Hany Bathoth, the director of the trauma unit at Rambam. “In every trauma, that’s how it is. You feel like you helped the injured. That gives you strength.” Hospital personnel tasked with providing emotional support say Syrians are reticent to open up about their experiences. Besides the trauma of war, there is the additional fear of being in an enemy state. Israeli Arabs who share a language and certain cultural norms with the wounded are employed at all levels at Ziv and Rambam, and say they help Syrian patients navigate the cultural gaps they encounter. “If you want to talk about respect for men and women,
Continued from page 9 parties and medical associations are seeking a ban, as are the children’s welfare ombudsmen of Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Jewish groups have pushed back strongly against efforts to ban the practice. Part of the trans-Atlantic difference in attitudes may be rooted in cultural practices. The study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings cited an estimate that only 10 percent of European males are circumcised. In the United States, the authors calculated that neonatal circumcision rates had dropped from 83.2 percent in the 1960s to 77.1 percent in 2010 as a result of demographic and policy changes. One of the primary reasons cited by the authors for declining circumcision rates is the country’s rapidly growing proportion of Hispanics, who tend to circumcise their children at far lower rates than non-Hispanic blacks and whites. The report cited figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that only 44 percent of Mexican-American male infants were circumcised, compared with 76 percent of black males and 91 percent of white males. However, the report also noted that circumcision rates among all three groups appear to be increasing. Another major factor cited by the report for lower circumcision rates was the reduced number of states that provide Medicaid coverage for circumcision. Currently, 18 states do not cover the procedure through Medicaid, up from just six in 1999. Anti-circumcision groups have urged additional states to cease covering circumcisions. The new study calculates that hospital circumcision rates are 24 percent higher in states that cover the procedure through Medicaid compared to those that do not, after controlling for other factors. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2012 policy statement explicitly urged insurance providers, including Medicaid, to cover neonatal circumcisions. Though there have been reported efforts in several states to restore Medicaid coverage, to date none have made the switch. Douglas Diekema, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and a member of the pediatrics academy’s task force on circumcision, urged caution in interpreting the study’s findings, saying that circumcision rates are notoriously difficult to calculate due to the number that are performed outside of hospitals. However, he said the impact on decisions by parents would be driven not so much by the data as by media attention. “It’s not so much that this paper is so radically important as that it seems to be getting a great deal of press,” Diekema said. “Press coverage gets the attention of parents.”
[a male Syrian patient] can’t see a woman, say hi to a woman,” said Johnny Khbeis, an Israeli Arab who works as a medical clown at Ziv. “There are women who change their sheets, and that’s hard for them because that doesn’t happen there.” Adi Pachter-Alt, Rambam’s deputy director of social work, said the patients’ reluctance to speak openly about their feelings comes more from the trauma of being injured and less from ill will toward Israel. “It’s hard for us to give overall emotional support because they mistrust us,” Pachter-Alt said. “It’s not due to the state of war. It’s because you’re in a different state after trauma. You’re very alone, very suspicious.” Medical personnel said that when they do leave the hospital, Syrians are grateful for the care they received. The Syrian patient in Ziv said his opinion of Israel had flipped during his stay there. “Before the revolt, the authorities told us Israel was the enemy and we must fight them,” he said. “But after the recent events there, I saw that in Israel they take care of the patients. All of the Israelis I met, Arabs and Jews, seemed unified.”
NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
Report: Scientists authenticate papyrus fragment referencing Jesus’ wife
A papyrus fragment referring to the wife of Jesus is likely authentic, scientists believe. An article published on April 10 in the Harvard Theological Review said scientists at three universities who analyzed the fragment, called the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, reported that it resembles other ancient papyrus documents from the fourth century to the eighth century. The journal also published a peer-reviewed paper on April 10 by Harvard historian Karen L. King, who discovered the fragment, and a rebuttal by Leo Depuydt, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University, who believes it is a fake. The fragment, which was brought to light in 2012, says “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...,’” as well as the words “she will be able to be my disciple.” It opened a contentious debate in the Catholic Church on whether women can serve as priests.
Comatose victim of rock attack ordered out of rehab
The family of 4-year-old Adele Biton, who remains in a coma one year after a Palestinian rock attack, has been told the girl must leave her Raanana rehabilitation center. A lawyer’s letter on behalf of the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center delivered on April 8 gave the family 24 hours to leave with their daughter. Pleas from the girl’s mother, Adva Biton, to Israel’s health and economy ministers, Yael German and Naftali Bennett, requesting more time from the center were not successful. Adva Biton said the family, who lives in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yakir, has not spoken personally with hospital personnel and thus was unprepared for Adele’s release. “We are not here because she is sick, but rather because Adele was injured in a terror attack because she’s Jewish,” Biton said, according to the Times of Israel. “The state of Israel owes us the time and assistance she requires.” The hospital told the Times of Israel that it had given the family a month’s notice and that the girl’s treatment had concluded with no signs of improvement. Adele has remained unconscious since the March 14, 2013, attack, when a car driven by Adva Biton carrying her three young daughters near the West Bank settlement of Ariel swerved after being hit by rocks thrown by two Palestinian teens and struck a truck. “Ariel Sharon lay in Tel Hashomer [hospital] for eight years, in a coma and on a respirator, with no improvement in his condition, and I paid for it,” Adva Biton said. “[Here is] a 4-year-old girl who is showing signs of life – give her a five-month grace period.”
Manischewitz Co. sold to equity firm
The Manischewitz Company, known for its Passover foods, was sold a week before the holiday. Sankaty Advisors, an arm of the private equity firm Bain Capital, purchased the Newark, NJ-based purveyor of kosher foods for an undisclosed price, the Associated Press reported on April 8. The deal had been first disclosed late April 7 by The New York Times. Under its new owner, Manischewitz is expected to promote kosher as an indication of quality food rather than just a religious designation, according to the Times. “This investment reflects our confidence in the Manischewitz brands and team,” Sankaty Advisors said in a statement the week of April 3. “Manischewitz has earned a position as one of the most highly recognized brands in the world, and it has distinguished itself through a passionate commitment to producing the highest quality kosher products possible. We believe Manischewitz is well positioned to grow due to rising mainstream interest in kosher foods.”