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EU adopts anti-boycott stance in official commercial policy BY JTA STAFF (JTA) — In a reaction to attempts in Europe to boycott Israel, the European Union’s report on commercial competition for the first time included a rejection of such initiatives. The reference to boycotts, which does not name Israel specifically, was introduced earlier this year into the draft of the Report on Competition Policy for 2016 by a Fulvio Martusciello, pro-Israel European Parliament lawmaker from Italy, JTA learned on April 12. The clause on boycotts states that the European Commission “Underlines the need to fight against unfair collective boycotts, defined as a situation in which a

group of competitors agree to exclude an actual or potential competitor, as restrictions of competition by object.” A spokesman for Martusciello, who is the chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Israel, confirmed that the clause was introduced by him to “translate for the first time into EU commercial policy the stated objections of EU leaders to BDS,” an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Martusciello introduced the clause not in his capacity at the delegation – a body responsible for maintaining and developing parliamentarian ties between Jerusalem and Brussels – but as rapporteur

for the Competition Policy Report in the Economic Committee. The clause was introduced with the support of Martusciello’s political group – the EPP center-right bloc, which is the Parliament’s largest. Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, has in the past said the European Union will not support attempts to boycott Israel. Several EU politicians expressed their objections to such initiatives in speeches. However, this attitude has not been carried over to official European Parliament documents, reflecting a consensus within its increasingly-influential legislature. Separately, Martusciello is also fighting against a plan in 2017 to remove Israel

from a list of countries eligible for credit benefits from the European Investment Bank. The Budget Committee of the European Parliament is considering removing from the list also Brunei, Iceland, Singapore, Chile and South Korea in addition to Israel, to exclude high-income countries with high credit rating. It is also considering adding Iran to the list, a member of the committee told JTA. However, Martusciello is arguing for keeping Israel on the list, “as this will benefit to Palestine, Jordan and other counterparts in such an unstable region,” he wrote in the justification for the amendment he is seeking to the draft of the list for 2018.

New York state to establish hate crimes task force BY JTA STAFF (JTA) — New York state reportedly will establish a hate crimes task force. The task force, which will identify and investigate hate crimes and discriminatory practices, will be established using $1 million set aside in the

new state budget passed earlier this month, the Associated Press reported on April 18. It will be made up of members of the New York State Police, who will work with the state Division of Human Rights, prosecutors and local school

and law enforcement officials, the AP reported, citing the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Following the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, Cuomo said in a statement, “New York has zero tolerance for bias or discrimination of any kind, and

Antisemitism envoy post to be filled, State Dept. says BY BEN SALES (JTA) — The Trump administration will appoint a special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, according to State Department spokesman Mark Toner. The envoy post has been vacant since Trump took office in January. JTA reported on April 13 that the envoy’s office staff could be eliminated soon due to new State Department employment rules. The envoy is responsible for keeping tabs on global antisemitism and advising other countries in fighting it. In a statement to JTA on April 14, Toner did not address whether the staff would remain intact, but he said the department will continue its work to protect religious freedoms globally, and that it has selected candidates for the envoy post. Toner did not say when the envoy would be appointed. Several senior positions at the State Department remain vacant. “The Department remains committed to advancing the protection of basic human freedoms and values including the unimpeded practice of religion and protection of communities of faith from persecution in every form,” the statement said. “There have been no actions

taken to limit or close the offices in the Department dedicated to this pursuit. Candidates have been identified for this role.” In his April 13 press briefing, Toner said a hiring freeze remains in place at the State Department, even though a wider hiring freeze across the federal government ended that week. He said the freeze may continue until the department begins implementing a planned reorganization later this year. A former State Department official, who spoke to JTA on the condition of anonymity, said on April 13 that a personnel directive would remove the three or four staff members working in the antisemitism envoy’s office. The directive is due to take effect later this month. Toner’s statement to JTA comes after several politicians and Jewish leaders called on Trump to fill the post. Two Democratic congressmen, Nita Lowey of New York and Ted Deutch of Florida, said the envoy is necessary in light of rising antisemitism. Samantha Power, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, also demanded Trump appoint an envoy. Jewish organizations also called on Trump to fill the position, which

was created by congressional legislation in 2004 and was last held by Ira Forman. The World Jewish Congress said that increasing antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere proves the need for a U.S. envoy. The Anti-Defamation League called the position’s creation “a watershed moment in the fight against anti-Jewish hatred,” and demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clarify how the department will fight antisemitism while the post remains empty. “Eliminating the staff that advance these efforts would gut the U.S. capacity to fight antisemitism at a time when it is flaring,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement, adding that the envoy post “was the strongest possible signal to our allies and to the world that fighting antisemitism is a fixture of American foreign policy.” Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center, the Reform movement’s legislative advocacy wing, called eliminating the office staff a “tremendous mistake.”

we will always stand united in the face of antisemitism and divisiveness.” In mid-February, a report said that hate crimes against Jews more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year from the same period in 2016. The city’s Police Department said 56 hate crimes were reported from January 1-February 12, with 28 of the incidents targeting Jews. In the same period last year, the total number of hate crimes was 31, with 13 targeting Jews. Jews were the top targets in both years.

2017 Federation Annual Campaign Goal: $964,500 $1,200,000 as of April 24, 2017

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


April 28............................ 7:44 pm....................................... Parasha-Tazria-Metzora May 5............................... 7:52 pm...................... Parasha-Acharai Mot-Kedoshisim May 12.................................. 8 pm........................................................ Parasha-Emor

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Congregational notes

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Inclusive creativity

Upcoming reggae and j azz PJ Library will participate in two The Bezalel Academy of Art and concerts, speakers and more are upcoming events, including the Design fosters design talent announced by local synagogues. Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. among students with disabilities. Story on page 5 Stories on page 4 Story on page 8

PLUS Wedding & Prom Guide.......6-7 Calendar Highlights............. 10 Mazel Tov................................ 10 Obituaries................................11



U.N.: Allies knew of Jewish Holocaust years earlier than previously known

BY JNS STAFF ( – Newly released United Nations’ documents reveal that the Allied powers knew about the Jewish Holocaust carried out by Hitler’s Nazi regime at least two-and-a-half years earlier than previously thought. As early as December 1942, the United States, the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union were aware that at least two million Jews were massacred by the Nazi re-

gime, and that an additional five million Jews were at risk of being murdered, according to the British media outlet The Independent. Despite knowing about the ongoing Jewish Holocaust, the Allied powers did little to intervene. “The major powers commented [on the mass murder of Jews] two-and-a-half years before it is generally assumed. It was assumed they learned this when they discovered the concentration camps, but

they made this public comment in December 1942,” said Dan Plesch, author of the book “Human Rights After Hitler.” The documents also show that the Allied powers had prepared to indict Hitler and high-ranking Nazi officials for war crimes. In response to the new Holocaust revelation, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center published a statement on its website saying, “Information regarding mass murders of Jews began

to reach the free world soon after these actions began in the Soviet Union in late June 1941, and the volume of such reports increased with time. “Notwithstanding this, it remains unclear to what extent Allied and neutral leaders understood the full import of their information. The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was not complete.”

Columbia U. student council overwhelmingly rejects BDS resolution BY JNS STAFF ( – Columbia University’s student council the week of April 3 overwhelmingly voted down a resolution that would have given the school’s entire student body an opportunity to express support for the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The council voted 26-5, with one abstention, to reject the addition of a question on BDS to a campuswide referendum. The BDS resolution was initiated by anti-Israel student group Columbia University Apartheid Divest and was

debated by the student council for almost four hours. The school’s public safety officers stood guard outside the contentious meeting. More than 120 people attended the student council meeting, which included presentations by representatives from

CUAD, Students Supporting Israel, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, among others. Opponents of the BDS resolution said it “gratuitously” divided the student body, and that its use of the word “apartheid” to describe Israel misled students.

A MATTER OF OPINION U.S. action against genocide: a brief guide BY RAFAEL MEDOFF President Donald Trump’s missile strike against Syria inaugurates a new chapter in the long and controversial history of American responses – and sometimes non-responses – to mass murder around the world. Although the killing of Syrian civilians by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime does not technically constitute genocide – which the United Nations defined in 1948 as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such” – there is no doubt Assad has committed heinous and large-scale war crimes. Trump’s decision to order missile strikes on Syria was primarily motivated by humanitarian concerns over Assad’s latest chemical attack on Syrian civilians, although Trump also cited the danger to U.S. interests posed by chemical weapons proliferation. How does Trump’s action compare to past U.S. responses to genocide? Here is a sampling: Islamic State Under congressional pressure in 2015, the Obama administration belatedly declared that the atrocities committed by the Islamic State terror group against Yazidis, Christians and other non-Muslim minorities in Syria and Iraq constitute genocide. The administration’s decision did not, however, result in any change in the U.S. policy of limited air strikes against Islamic State. Libya In response to attacks on Libyan civilians by Muammar Gaddafi in early 2011, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. participation with its allies in air and naval strikes against the Libyan leader. Citing the weak international response to Bosnia, Obama said intervention in Libya was necessary to prevent “a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.” Gaddafi was killed and his regime was overthrown. Darfur President George W. Bush saw no compelling reason to intervene in the Sudanese government’s mass murder of an estimated 500,000 non-Arab civilians in the Darfur region, which began in 2003. The Bush administration also initially resisted congressional calls to categorize the killing as genocide. President Obama continued the policy of non-intervention in Darfur. The International Criminal Court in 2009 indicted Sudanese leader Omar

al-Bashir on genocide charges, but the Obama administration declined to seek his arrest or to establish a no-fly zone over Sudan, despite ongoing atrocities. Rwanda The Clinton administration was aware, in real time, of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis by Hutu death squads in Rwanda in early 1994. Susan Rice, then director of African Affairs for the National Security Council, opposed U.S. intervention because of its possible “effect on the November [congressional] elections.” At the urging of then-U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, the U.S. supported withdrawal of international peacekeepers in Rwanda who were thought to be in danger. Ironically, Albright later co-chaired the Genocide Prevention Task Force for the Obama administration. Bosnia Legal scholars adopted the term “ethnic cleansing” to characterize the widespread atrocities in the Balkans war of 1992-95, which were carried out primarily by Serbs against Muslims. President Bill Clinton initially resisted U.S. intervention, but in response to a July 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, Clinton authorized U.S. participation in NATO airstrikes. The bombing campaign resulted in the warring parties negotiating an end to the conflict. Cambodia In the wake of the unpopular Vietnam War, Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter declined to intervene when the newly victorious communist regime in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge, carried out the mass murder of an estimated two million civilians, many of whom were targeted as ethnic and religious minorities, from 1975-79. The Holocaust The Franklin D. Roosevelt administration rejected requests to bomb the Auschwitz death camp or the railway lines leading to it, claiming such action would require diverting American planes from battle zones. In reality, U.S. planes in 1944 repeatedly bombed German synthetic oil fields adjacent to Auschwitz, some of them less than five miles from the gas chambers. The real reason the administration declined to take such military action was its fear – as one senior State Department official put it – of “the danger that the German government might agree to turn over to the United States and to Great Britain a large number of Jewish refugees.” The U.S. bombing of Budapest in the summer of 1944, although unrelated to the mass killing of the Jews, did unin-

tentionally affect the murder process. Hungarian officials intercepted messages from local Jews pleading for U.S. military intervention, and mistakenly concluded that the U.S. strikes on Budapest were in response to the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. As a result, Hungary belatedly halted its cooperation with the deportations, bringing them to a halt. Armenia The idea of U.S. intervention against atrocities abroad first arose during Turkey’s World War I-era slaughter of more than one million Armenians. Then-former President Theodore Roosevelt urged declaring war on Turkey. “The failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense,” he warned in 1918. Roosevelt’s plea attracted few supporters. To this day, successive presidents have declined to publicly acknowledge that

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the killings constituted genocide, over fear of upsetting U.S.-Turkey relations. The sensitivity of the issue was further illustrated by the Obama administration’s refusal, for more than a year, to display a handwoven rug sent by Armenian orphans to the White House in 1925 in appreciation for America’s postwar aid. Looking ahead This month’s commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Hashoah, will be the occasion for much discussion concerning the contrast between America’s traditionally meager response to genocide, and the dramatic U.S. action in Syria. Was the missile attack a one-time gesture, or does it represent a substantive change in American policy? Time will tell. Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 16 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history. All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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APRIL 27, 2017/1 IYAR 5777 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Barbara Davis spoke at Lion of Judah event BY JESSICA LAWRENCE Nearly 30 “Lions of Judah” gathered on April 3 at Sondra Goldberg’s home for a dessert reception honoring Barbara Davis’ new book, “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die.” The Lions of Judah was established in Miami, FL, in 1972 and is a symbol of “a woman’s power to make change through giving.” Together, the Lions are said to have “turned a piece of jewelry into an emblem of generosity and commitment.” Lions of Judah recognize a minimum family gift of $5,000 to the Jewish Federation annually. Attendees were treated to baked goods from local kosher baker Rosanne David, of Bakergirl Dessert Company, and were welcomed to the event by Robin Goldberg, chair of the Lions of Judah. Davis was introduced by her two daughters, Pamela Wells and Phyllis Zames. Davis was able to sign her books for all attendees, her first signing in Syracuse. Guests included Jewish Federation of Central New York President/CEO Linda Alexander, Mara Charlamb, Marci Erlebacher, Winnie Greenberg, Lynn Greenky, Alyse Holstein, Lynn Horowitch, Wendy Meyerson, Marla Nash, Selma Radin, Lois Ross, Georgina Roth, Elaine Rubenstein, Libby Rubenstein, Cheryl Schotz and Ellen Weinstein. Also in attendance were three of Federation’s Young Leadership members, Shira Boschan,

Barbara Davis spoke to a gathering of the Lions of Judah on April 3 at the home of The poster for Barbara Sondra Goldberg on her latest book, “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die.” Davis’ new book. (Photo courtesy of Pamela Wells) Leah Goldberg and Jessica Malzman. Alexander honored Susan Case DeMari, security liaison for the Federation, for her efforts regarding the recent threats made against the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. For more information on becoming a Lion of Judah, contact Jessica Lawrence at jlawrence@ or 315-445-2040, ext. 102.

Thou Shalt Ride At right: Members of Thou Shalt Ride drove a loop around Seneca Lake and ate a final pastry before Passover. L-r: Peter and Beth Caplan, Dave Channin and Joel Stein. Thou Shalt Ride is a Central New York motorcycle club affiliated with the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance. The club’s goals include fellowship, scenic rides and support for Holocaust education. For more club information, contact Stein at


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

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu MAY 1-5 Monday – baked ziti Tuesday – chicken salad on rye Wednesday – beef stew over egg noodles Thursday – spaghetti and meatballs Friday – fresh salmon with dill MAY 8-12 Monday – stuffed cabbage Tuesday – turkey on rye Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – meatloaf Friday – Mother’s Day Celebration – Moroccan chicken stew



Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas seeks a Principal (Part-time) to lead our wonderful School, supervise DeadlinesReligious for all articles and photos for theour Jewish Observer as oversee follows. No exceptionsand will teaching teamare and curricula be made. curricular integration into the ISSUE DEADLINE Syracuse April Community Hebrew School. Wednesday, 26......................... May 11 For detailed job description:May 25 Wednesday, May 10.......................... Monday, May 22, early....................... June 8 Wednesday, June 7............................ June 22 CBS-CS-principal.pdf. Queries & applications to Heather Engelman at

The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday-Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas seeks a Principal (Part-time) to lead our wonderful Religious School, supervise our teaching team and oversee curricula and curricular integration into the Syracuse Community Hebrew School. For detailed job description: CBS-CS-principal.pdf. Queries & applications to Heather Engelman at

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Concord RUACH AND REGGAE AT TEMPLE CONCORD BY CHANA MEIR The Seneca String Quartet will present “Ruach and Reggae” on Monday, May 15, at 7 pm, as the next offering in Temple Concord’s Goldenberg Cultural Series. The four members of the quartet – Walden Bass on cello, Heather Fais on viola, Susan Jacobs on violin and Fred Klemperer on violin – are all former members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra

and current members of Symphoria. They are known for their “extensive” repertoire, including classical pieces, popular songs and jazz-inflected selections. For this performance, they have promised a program featuring “hot swing, cool blues and Yiddish and klezmer tunes.” The event will be free and open to the public. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or office@

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Bowen taught at Stanford, GeorgeCBS-CS CELEBRATES 55 YEARS WITH AN EVENING OF JAZZ AND town and Southern Methodist University, where he was dean of the Meadows JEWISH MUSIC School of the Arts. He has Congregation Beth Showritten more than 100 schollom-Chevra Shas will begin th arly articles and has appeared the celebration of its 55 anas a musician with Stan Getz, niversary with a performance Bobby McFerrin and others. of jazz and Jewish music on He wrote a symphony that was Monday, May 22, at 7 pm, at nominated for the Pulitzer the synagogue, 18 Patsy Ln., Prize; music for Hubert Laws Jamesville. and Jerry Garcia; and is an Bernie and Ona Cohn Bregeditor for “Jazz: the Smithman are spearheading the sonian Anthology.” His latest event, a salute to the 12 families book, “Teaching Naked: How who founded Congregation José Antonio Moving Technology Out of Beth Sholom in 1962. The Bowen Your College Classroom event will be free and open to the public. There will be an opportunity Will Improve Student Learning,” was to make a contribution at the door. All the winner of the Ness Award for Best proceeds will benefit the future of the Book on Higher Education from the congregation. Reservations have been American Association of Colleges requested by Wednesday, May 10, and and Universities. Stanford honored can be made by contacting Bernie at him as a distinguished alumni scholar 315-430-5249 or, in 2010. To see his blog, visit http:// or Ona at 315-430-1350 or bregman@ or follow him on Twitter @josebowen. A reception with light refreshments The Bregmans said, “As the 13th family to join when CBS-CS was still will follow the concert. meeting in community rooms, we are CBS-CS SISTERHOOD SPONSORS convinced it changed the level of our WINE TASTING The CBS-CS Sisterhood will sponsor commitment to Jewish life. We had finally found a more intimate and inclu- its annual Torah Fund fund-raiser on sive synagogue. We want to celebrate Sunday, May 7, at 4 pm, at the synagogue, this community and chose to sponsor 18 Patsy Ln., Jamesville. Barry and Fran Berg will curate a selection of gourmet this event.” Ona added, “Another major contribu- kosher wines for tasting, along with hors tion to how I lived my life was Goucher d’oeuvres and chocolate. Dottie Goldberg College, and so I am thrilled to have is coordinating the event. The annual event is an opportunity Dr. José Antonio Bowen, president of Goucher College, here as our artistic to help preserve Conservative/Masorti guest.” Bowen is a musician in jazz and Judaism by providing the funding for in education. He will be accompanied scholarships to the Jewish Theological by four local musicians: CBS-CS’s Seminary in New York City, the Ziegler Cantor Paula Pepperstone, vocals; and School of Rabbinic Studies in Los AngeCNY Jazz’s Mike Dubaniewicz, saxo- les, the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studphone; Tom Brigandi, bass; and Larry ies in Jerusalem, the Seminario Rabinico See “CBS-CS” on page 9 Luttinger, drums.

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Temple Adath Yeshurun THE BIG THINK AT TAY BY SONALI MCINTYRE In May, Temple Adath Yeshurun will turn to congregants during The Big Think to brainstorm ideas on how to shape the synagogue’s future for the coming years. Congregants will have the opportunity to participate in sessions concerning the facility; programming for all age groups and demographics; education from birth-adulthood; and how to finance these ideas. Rabbi Paul Drazen said, “To succeed, organizations, like people, need to review their status and revise their goals. Now, as we near TAY’s 150th year, is a

time to do both a serious review of who we are, and where we want to be 10, 20, 50 years in the future. The Big Think gives TAY’s members a chance to help consider our future.” The Big Think is open to all members of TAY. Sessions will be held on Sunday, May 7, from 10 am-2:30 pm; and on Mondays, May 8 and 15, from 7:309:30 pm. Those interested have been encouraged to register online at www. Paper registration forms are available through the TAY office. For more information, call 315-445-0002, visit, or e-mail info@

At right, l-r: Nathanael Finkelstein and Bella Gross made matzah while learning the story of Passover at the Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Rothschild Early Childhood Center ’s Jewish enrichment class, Storah Time.

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation STOCS TO HOST KARI CAMERON Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will present Kari Cameron, associate director of the Center for New Americans, an InterFaith Works agency, on Sunday, May 7, at a breakfast at STOCS, 4313 E. Genesee St., DeWitt. The event will start at 9 am, with the talk scheduled to begin at 9:30 am. She will address the Center’s work and its impact on the Greater Syracuse community. There is no charge to attend, but attendees have been encouraged to make a reservation by contacting the synagogue at 315-446-6194 or SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE RABBI AARON GOLDSCHEIDER SPOKE ON HIS NEW BOOK Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse hosted Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider on April 1 as scholar-in-residence for the inaugural Bernhard Kramarsky Memorial Lecture Series. Rabbi Goldscheider is the son of Judy Goldscheider the late Rabbi Harvey Goldscheider, the first full-time rabbi of Congregation

Beth Sholom (now Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas). Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider lives in Jerusalem, where he is actively involved in education and counseling. His morning talk discussed his commentary on Rabbi Aaron “Haggadah: The Goldscheider Night that Unites: Teachings from Rav Soloveichik, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and Rav Kook” (Urim Publications). Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook HaCohen was the first chief rabbi of the yishuv, the early 20th century emergent Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael. Reb Shlomo Carlebach is said to continue to “greatly influence American Jewry across all ideological bounds” through song and stories. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik, scion of a rabbinic dynasty, has long been considered the philosophical mentor of modern orthodoxy.

APRIL 27, 2017/1 IYAR 5777 ■

PJ Library events Children attending the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Purim Carnival had a chance to visit the PJ Library® table to make Purim character groggers and crowns. The group began April with the third annual Science of Passover at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. Participants visited eight different interactive science stations, which had a Passover theme. They blew up balloons by creating a chemical reaction resembling what happens when dough rises and learned that not everyone can taste bitterness. Participants also had a close look at different insects. There was also a place where children could recline with a PJ Library or PJ Our Way book.



PJ Library will participate in Explora Torah with bibliodramatist Elizabeth Yaari on Sunday, April 30, from 9 am-noon, at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse. Participants will be able to experience Torah through “imagination, play, nature and art.” There will be drumming, crafts and other activities related to the Torah portion. The program is made possible by a Community Program Fund Grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York. A PJ Library table will be present at the Yom Ha’atzmaut festival on Tuesday, May 2, at Temple Adath Yeshurun. This year there will be time for families with young children starting at 5:15 pm.

Henry Sykes with the Ahasuerus grogger he made at the PJ Library table at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Purim Carnival.

Gabe Howard read a PJ Library book to her son, Aylin Howard, at the PJ Library Science of Passover at the MOST.

Daniella Shenberger held a balloon she blew up with a chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar at the PJ Library Science of Passover at the MOST.

DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – Sofer to come and inspect Torahs at Hillel at SU and Shaarei Torah BY JACKIE MIRON The Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Central New York awards community Program Fund Grants each year in addition to the annual allocations made in the spring. Based on the success of the 2016 annual Campaign, community program grants are available to Jackie Miron all Jewish organizations, agencies and synagogues in the Central New York community. The Allocations Committee reviews the grant requests and makes recommendations to the board, which votes on the recommendations. Jewish law requires individuals to hear the Torah read several times per year. To observe the mitzvah of hearing the Torah, one must be listening to the reading of a “kosher” Torah. Over time, through use or exposure to light, Hebrew letters on a scroll can tear, fade or crack. The parchment itself can tear as well. Under any of those circumstances, a Torah becomes “unkosher” and thus not eligible to meet the mitzvah of hearing Torah. A sofer, by simple definition, is a copyist, but in Judaism, a sofer is a Jewish scribe who can transcribe Torah, tefillin and mezuzot, in addition to other religious

writings. Many scribes function as calligraphers, and use special tools (including kosher feathers, ink, scalpels and a razor blade) to identify flaws, repair smudges and repair or replace a Torah’s mantle (Torah cover). Hillel at Syracuse University and Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse have received a grant of $2,300 for 10 community Torahs to be evaluated by a sofer, his travel expenses and an adult education program during the visit. The sofer will visit each of the four synagogues and Hillel to inspect, repair and clean the Torahs as funds allow. The act of repairing and cleaning a Torah provides an educational opportunity for all ages and members of the Syracuse Jewish community. Religious communities may build programming and education around the sofer’s visit. Bringing a sofer to Syracuse to clean and repair multiple Torahs would be significantly faster and more secure than shipping them all separately for repair. The sofer can provide estimates and assistance with larger repair work that may not be completed during the sofer’s visit. The importance of the Torah to our Jewish communities is considered invaluable as the symbol of communal Jewish identity. The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the seriousness of the task, and has provided some of the needed funding.






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From cruise ships to resorts, Jewish destination weddings mix intrigue with tradition BY DEBORAH FINEBLUM The groom was 60-years-old and the wedding was seven years ago, yet the magic and romance of the moment continues to inspire not only the couple themselves, but the 800 witnesses to that momentous occasion – many of them complete strangers. Yaakov and Marsha Motzen were joined in holy matrimony in a ceremony that adhered strictly to the Jewish wedding traditions and kosher laws that they both hold dear. Unlike most religiously observant couples, however, they chose to get married on the open seas. “Our ketubah (marriage contract) may be the only one in the world to list under location of the wedding, ‘Between Fort Lauderdale and St. Thomas,’” Marsha says of her cruise ship wedding.

Kosher hors d’oeuvres at a Jewish wedding. The Bahamas-based Atlantis Paradise Island resort and Kosherica, a kosher cruise and travel company, are now offering wedding packages that include kosher catering. (Photo by Maloman Studios)

Since the groom is one of the most famous current cantors and performers of Jewish music, the wedding was destined to melodically fill the ship. In fact, more than a dozen big-name cantors and other musical luminaries were on board to add their voices to this event, including Avraham Fried, Naftali and Natenel Herstik, Binyamin Helfgot and Dudu Fisher, plus Amiran Dvir and his band. Jewish destination weddings constitute a growing trend, according to those involved in such celebrations. More Jewish couples are opting to exchange vows in gorgeous places around the world – without sacrificing Jewish tradition in the process. Taking this trend to the next level, a leading kosher cruise and travel company, Kosherica, is now partnering with the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas to create a program for picturesque Jewish destination weddings and other celebrations (such as bar/bat mitzvahs). Atlantis, a 20-year-old resort, is now providing ever ything from a decorated chuppah (wedding canopy) overlooking the vivid blue Bahamian waters, to a local rabbi, to cuisine prepared under the direction of worldclass chefs, to a mashgiach (kosher supervisor). Some packages also include photography and dolphin swimming for the guests. “Atlantis has the advantage of having a facility where you can make it into an entire wedding weekend, which is what most families want to do,” says Kosherica spokeswoman Aliza Seidman. “Some families prefer to keep the weekend casual with buffet meals and maybe a Saturday night barbecue, and then the wedding on Sunday is more formal,” she adds. In the fall of 2015, Avi and Nicole Yurman of

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A Jewish wedding chuppah on a beach. (Photo by Maloman Studios) Toronto were the first couple to be married under this partnership. “Having our chuppah overlook ing the ocean was so beautiful,” says Nicole. “We were able to have a smaller wedding, just 115 family and close friends, in an unforgettable location. It was perfect for us.” Kosherica, which was founded more than t wo decades ago, offers cruise travelers kosher food prepared by five-star chefs. “We’ve had winter weddings in tropical Caribbean, bar mitzvahs with Alaska glaciers in the backdrop and renewal vows in the gorgeous Mediterranean,” says Kosherica Chief Financial Officer Helit Edelstein. How much will such a kosher destination wedding cost? Ceremony site fees for events for Kosherica start at $3,500, and costs are calculated based on how many guests and meals are included. The wedding packages with Atlantis run about $400 per person for the festive weekend. Atlantis representatives anticipate that the partnership will be a fruitful one for everyone involved. “In our efforts to continue to expand our offerings and market reach, we knew there was a need for kosher catering in the destination segment,” says Jessi Hill, Atlantis’s executive director of weddings and special events. “Groups wishing to hold true to their traditions don’t want to be limited in their geographic location.” At least one rabbi is happy to welcome Jewish groups to the region. “I applaud Atlantis for going out of their way to accommodate kosher weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs,” says Rabbi Sholom Bluming of Chabad of the Bahamas. “This program is a very exciting development for the island.” But it’s probably even more exciting for the Jewish couples who embark on their lives together in these exotic locales. “I like to say that aboard ship, we had an intimate honeymoon with 800 people, our kids and grandkids,” says Marsha Motzen, who recalls a memorable moment under the chuppah during which she wondered if the ship’s movements were strong enough to knock her off her three-inch heels. Seven years have passed, but the memories live on for the Motzens and their incidental guests. “I can’t tell you how many people come up to me after a concert, wherever I am in the world,” says Yaakov Motzen, “and they say, ‘You may not know this, but I was at your wedding!’”

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Three ways couples today are personalizing their weddings (StatePoint) – The face of marriage is changing and so are the ways couples are choosing to celebrate the occasion. For example, more couples who already have children are celebrating not just their union to each other, but their official union as a family, and the number of same sex married couples has doubled since 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “The way people think about weddings has changed dramatically in the last decade and we have to evolve with those changes,” says Nelson Tejeda, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer of Things Remembered. With 50 years of experience providing personalized wedding gifts and accessories, the experts at have witnessed a lot of transformations through the years. They are

sharing a few insights into today’s top contemporar y wedding trends. RETHINKING SETTING Many brides are thinking outside the box when it comes to wedding decor. While formal venues with regal place settings once ruled the day, a great portion of weddings now have a chic rustic feel. Receptions are taking place in barns with exposed rafters, on ranches and in lodges. Elements like placards on simple beige cardstock, burlap table runners and place mats, and rustic drinkware – like personalized craft beer glasses and mason jars – give receptions a warm, cozy feel. Additionally, many couples are choosing to celebrate with a tighter knit group of friends and family in far-flung locations. “Destination weddings give couples an opportunity to

Your wedding checklist 6-12 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Determine budget ❑ Visit rabbi (ceremony variations) ❑ Set day, time and location of ceremony, rehearsal and reception ❑ Select a caterer ❑ Choose wedding photographer and/or videographer ❑ Draw up guest list ❑ Obtain floral/rental/music estimates ❑ Invite attendants ❑ Discuss honeymoon and new home ❑ Select gown and headpiece ❑ Select music for ceremony and reception ❑ Register with bridal gift registry 4 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Order invitations and personal stationery ❑ Plan reception ❑ Plan ceremony and reception music ❑ Choose florist ❑ Mothers choose gowns ❑ Men choose attire ❑ Make honeymoon reservations ❑ Begin trousseau shopping ❑ Arrange motel accommodations for out-of-town guests 3 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make an appointment with gynecologist to discuss birth control, etc.

1 MONTH BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make up reception seating charts ❑ Check wedding party apparel ❑ Final gown fitting ❑ Get blood tests for marriage license 2 WEEKS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make final check on bridal-party clothes and catering ❑ Arrange name changes/get marriage license ❑ Arrange transportation from reception to airport or wherever you are leaving from for the honeymoon 1 WEEK BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Wrap attendants’ gifts ❑ Give final count to caterer ❑ Confirm music arrangements and check selections ❑ Arrange to move belongings to new home ❑ Check that your hairstyle complements your headpiece ❑ Final instructions to photographer and videographer ❑ Final instructions to ushers for special seating ❑ Give clergy fee to best man in sealed envelope (He will deliver it.) ❑ Begin packing for honeymoon 1 DAY BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Give ushers guest list ❑ Do something relaxing and pamper yourself!

spend more on each guest,” says Tejeda. “Rather than a typical wedding favor, guests may expect to receive hotel care packages with high-end toiletries and personalized gifts, like waffle weave robes or monogrammed cosmetic cases.” BUILDING A HOME With so many people living together before marriage, most couples already have the basics they need when it comes to entertaining and keeping the house in order. Registries today are an opportunity for couples to upgrade their current assortment of household goods. “Couples are crafting their own monograms. They incorporate them throughout their wedding, from their invitations to their websites and place settings. Then, after the wedding, they use them to personalize their home decor,” says Tejeda. “Monogrammed cutting boards, towels and wall art have become increasingly popular in recent years.” CRAFT COCKTAILS Beyond the standard bar offerings, signature drinks set a tone for the reception and add a bit of personalized cheer. “Engraved glasses that include the cocktail recipe are becoming a popular wedding keepsake that can be used on anniversaries and future parties, completing the couple’s home bar,” says Tejeda. Similarly, personalized wedding flutes are lending toasts extra meaning while helping couples build their drinkware collection. Whether you’re engaged and planning your big day, or you have some weddings on your calendar this year and want to know what to expect, being familiar with contemporary trends can be helpful on everything from picking a gift to choosing decor.

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2 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Order wedding cake ❑ Select attendants’ gifts ❑ Plan to keep gift record ❑ Acknowledge gifts as they arrive ❑ Finish invitations -- Mail them 6 weeks before wedding ❑ Plan rehearsal dinner ❑ Check on marriage license ❑ Get rings engraved ❑ Plan luncheon for bridesmaids ❑ Select gift for groom ❑ Go over wedding ceremony details ❑ Gown fitting ❑ Bridal portrait sitting ❑ Arrange for limousine service ❑ Make hairdresser appointment


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Jerusalem art school fosters design talent among students with disabilities

BY ANDREW TOBIN JERUSALEM (JTA) – The shrapnel that exploded into Asaf Ventura took a lot away from him: His body and brain were shredded, his right hand was mangled. He was unable to fire his gun, swing his tennis racquet or maintain focus. But over time, Ventura realized the injuries he endured during a mission with his army unit in the West Bank gave him a new perspective, which as it turned out made him a great industrial designer. “I remember in the hospital thinking, ‘I’m only 22 and I’ve lost my body and my looks. I can’t do any of the things I used to do,’” he told JTA. “Eventually I realized that because I don’t think like a normal person [anymore], I can actually do some new things with design technology.” Ventura, now 35, discovered his talent for design years later – attributing it to the effect of the metal fragments that tore through his brain – when he became a student at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Asaf Ventura posedwith his floating gym at an Israeli army rehabilitation center in Haifa in June 2015. (Photo courtesy of Ventura)

He credits his experience at the school with helping him come “back to real life.” “Bezalel Academy demands 100 percent from you, and I have 72 percent disability,” he said, referring to a state scale for physical disability that goes from 0 to 100 percent. “But they gave me a chance to succeed. I learned from amazing teachers and got to work with really talented classmates.” Bezalel, a 111-year-old mainstay of the Israeli art world, is known for producing top-notch talent in a variety of fields. The school also prides itself on promoting an inclusive creative process for people with disabilities. About a decade ago, Bezalel started a class in industrial design for people with special needs. Over the years, students have created dozens of products: costumes that encourage children to move during physical therapy; air-cushioned prosthetic legs with superhero designs; fashionable clothes that people with limited range of movement can easily get on and off. Due to this kind of work, Bezalel in December won the $50,000 Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, which recognizes organizations that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities. The Ruderman Family Foundation has been awarding the prize for the past five years; this year the $250,000 was split among five organizations around the world involved in art, technology and media. “We loved the fact that Bezalel is a very well known art and design school, and not a disability organization, yet they still choose to include people with disabilities in

Asaf Ventura posedwith his floating gym at an Israeli army rehabilitation center in Haifa in June 2015. (Photo courtesy of Ventura) what they do,” said Shira Ruderman, the Israel director of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We think they are an example of how Israel can use innovation to change the Israeli mindset on disability.” With the prize money, Bezalel will launch two undergraduate courses next fall in “inclusive design.” The school has begun awarding scholarships – worth more than $1,000 each – to students whose final projects are in inclusive design.

See “Art” on page 10

Jessica Chastain on playing a Holocaust heroine in “The Zookeeper’s Wife” BY CURT SCHLEIER (JTA) – Strong women are right in actor Jessica Chastain’s wheelhouse. There’s Maya, the fictional CIA agent in “Zero Dark Thirty,” whose work led Seal Team Six to Osama bin Laden; Melissa Lewis, the heroic mission commander who refuses to abandon a teammate in “The Martian”; and Elizabeth Sloan, the accept-no-prisoners Washington lobbyist who takes on the gun industry in “Miss Sloan.” “I look for characters that challenge the status quo,” Chastain, who snagged a Golden Globe for her work in “Zero Dark Thirty,” told JTA in a telephone interview. “I know not every woman is a strong woman. But I am definitely inspired by those characters who push against the box society has put them in.” It’s no surprise, then, that she jumped at the opportunity to portray Antonina Zabinski in “The Zookeepers Wife.” It’s an emotionally moving film about World War II that tells the true story of a heroine and her husband, Jan, who put themselves – and their children – at great risk in order to save 300 Jews by hiding them at the Warsaw Zoo, which they ran. Before the war, the zoo was considered one of the finest in Europe. People came from all over to walk its grounds, view the animals and perhaps catch a glimpse of the quirky Antonina on one of her daily bicycle rides around the facility, often with a menagerie of ostriches trailing behind. But as the film chronicles, bombs leveled much of the zoo during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, killing a substantial number of its animal residents. The Zabinskis were spared, and might have lived a relatively comfortable life during the occupation: A prewar colleague from Berlin, Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), was appointed the Reich’s chief zoologist. He protected the couple, in part because of his respect for their accomplishments in building a world-renowned zoo, and in part because of

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Jessica Chastain as Antonina Zabinski in “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” (Photo by Anne Marie Fox/Focus Features) his not-so-hidden crush on Antonina. Still, Heck had many of their best (and rarest) remaining species transferred to Berlin for breeding purposes, leaving the zoo relatively empty. It was a decision the Zabinskis took full advantage of – Jan (played by Johan Heldenbergh) used the empty cages to store arms for the resistance and eventually went off to fight with the partisans himself. They also hid a close personal friend, sculptress Magdalena Gross (Efrat Dor, an Israeli actress). And then they decided to do more. They convinced Heck to let them raise pigs on the grounds, ostensibly to feed the troops. Also, they promised to gather the slop accumulating in the nearby Warsaw ghetto to feed the animals. To Heck, it seemed like a win-win – but, in fact, the Zabinskis and other members of the resistance smuggled families into the zoo by putting them in barrels and covering them with the garbage intended for the pigs. Then they were hidden in empty cages and in a network of tunnels.

Nazi troops were a constant presence – a sneeze or a child’s cry at the wrong moment could lead to tragedy. In fact, there were several occasions when it seemed the jig was up, all of which heightens the tension in a taut, well-constructed film that follows the Zabinskis from prewar good times through the conflict and its ever-present danger and, ultimately, to the couple’s poignant reunion at the war’s end. Thanks to the Zabinskis’ heroism, some 300 were hidden and ultimately transferred by the resistance to safety. Over the course of the film, Chastain cascades through a range of emotions reflecting the many characters she subsumes – zoologist, wife, mother, spy and temptress to Heck – in a bravura performance that exudes confidence and strength. I ask Chastain if she is strong in real life. “I’m OK pushing against the constraints society expects me to be in,” she said. Was she always that way, or did success embolden her? “I think I’ve always been that way. I’d speak up when something wasn’t right or honorable.” But Chastain quickly notes standing up to authority is often easier said than done. “I could immediately say, ‘yes, I would have done [what the Zabinskis] did,’ but such an easy answer would diminish the strength they showed and sacrifice they made,” she said. “It doesn’t acknowledge that her kids could have been killed. I hope I’m never challenged the way she was. She put the welfare of the many over the welfare of the few and was willing to sacrifice everything to do the right thing.” When offered the role, Chastain said she met with the director, Niki Caro, and immediately was impressed by the script. “The story – it’s world history,” she said. “In American schools you don’t learn about women in history. It was an honor for me to portray this incredible female.” “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is adapted from the book of

See “Heroine” on page 9


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Haley to U.N.: focus on “destructive nature” of Iran and Hezbollah, not on Israel


Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires and Zacharias Frankel College in Germany. The event will be free and open to the public with a donation more than a desAt right: Rabbi L a w re n c e Tro s t e r facilitated a workshop on April 1 with parents a n d t h i rd - s e v e n t h grade students on “Do I really need what I think I want.” Groups of families explored consumerism and sustainability in the light of Jewish teachings during the CBS-CS Religious School as part of its scholar-in-residence weekend, “Nurturing the Tree of Life.”

footsteps, are we going to create another atrocity, or are we going to create a world where we protect everyone regardless of their ethnicity?’” Chastain’s compassion for the underdog is well rooted. Though she doesn’t talk about it much, she was born to a single mom who at times had to shoplift food to feed a young Jessica and her sister. I gingerly broach the topic and ask how it impacted her career and life. “I think growing up in a situation where money wasn’t necessary for happiness actually helped me,” she said. “I realized when pursuing an acting career, it’s not something you pursue for money. I pursued it realizing I could live without. I grew up without. “I grew up without many things and because of that, I have compassion for those who have less. I’m very happy paying taxes so people can go to school and have health care because I know what it’s like to have little.” “The Zookeeper’s Wife” opened nationally on March 31. Continued from page 4

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the same name by Diane Ackerman that had relied upon Antonina’s diaries. It’s a tale of bravery and selflessness, especially since once Jan went off to war, Antonina was left to handle all the duties by herself. The Zabinskis are enshrined in Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations. While Chastain did not visit the Holocaust center in Jerusalem, she still managed extensive research for the role. “I read the book, of course, and visited the Warsaw Zoo,” she said. “I met with her daughter [Teresa], who was a baby in the film, and learned about the family from a personal point of view. I also went to Auschwitz. I’d read about it, of course, but had never been to a concentration camp.” Chastain said the Auschwitz visit was profoundly moving. Her experiences made her realize how contemporary the film’s message is. “We learn by looking at history, and when we look we see Hitler, Mussolini – one of the first things they did was manage the press,” she said. “That led to the atrocities. And when we look where we are now, we have to ask, ‘Are we going to follow in those

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At a United Nations Security Council meeting on April 20, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the world body should focus more attention on the “incredibly destructive nature” of Iran and Hezbollah, and less on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The Israel-Palestinian issue is an important one, deserving of attention. But that is one issue that surely has no lack of attention around here,” said Haley, who is serving in the Security Council’s rotating presidency in April. “The incredibly destructive nature of Iranian and Hezbollah activities throughout the Middle East demands much more of our attention,” she said. “It should become this council’s priority in the region.” The U.S. envoy’s comments were seemingly ignored by the Security Council’s other permanent members. In their remarks, France, Russia and China made no mention of Iran and instead emphasized the importance of an Israeli-Palestinian deal to bringing regional peace. Iranian ambassador to the U.N. Gholamali Khoshroo, meanwhile, accused the U.S. of waging a “misleading propaganda campaign” against the Islamic Republic.

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Rabbi Lawrence Troster (far left) facilitated a panel discussion on “Love and Care for the Land: A Multi-Faith Panel.” L-r: Troster; Freida Jacques, clan mother of the Turtle Clan of the Onondagas; Mohamed Khater, president of the Islamic Society of Central New York; Sister Caryn Crook of the Sisters of St. Francis; Catherine Landis, student at the Zen Center; and Cher Holt-Fortin, a Baha’i. Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas presented the program as part of its scholar-in-residence weekend, “Nurturing the Tree of Life.”

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The miracle of the state of Israel BY RABBI DANIEL FELLMAN Imagine the scene: 9 pm, after dark and a public park filled with regular people enjoying a summer night. No fights, no fear. Just barbecues, couples taking walks, kids playing Frisbee with glow-in-the-dark Frisbees, single women jogging, single men riding bicycles – and all of it in a public park after dark. Seems crazy, no? What city in America could have such a scene? Would any of us feel safe in a public park after dark?

Calendar Highlights

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

Wednesday, May 10

Deadline for May 25 Jewish Observer Saturday, April 29

Temple Concord Cinemagogue presents “No Home Movie” at 7:30 pm Sunday, April 30 Temple Adath Yeshurun Sisterhood Torah Fund brunch at 10 am Syracuse Area Jewish Educators-sponsored all-schools program, Explora-Torah with Elizabeth Yaari at TAY at 9 am Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas rummage sale 10 am-4 pm Monday, May 1 CBS-CS rummage bag sale 10 am- 4pm Yom HaZikaron Tuesday, May 2 Community Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 5:15 – 8 pm Wednesday, May 3 Syracuse Community Hebrew School at TAY from 4 - 6 pm Thursday, May 4 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Friday, May 5 Temple Adath Yeshurun Kadima Shabbat and dinner at 5:30 pm Saturday, May 6 Tot Shabbat at Temple Concord at 9 am Sunday, May 7 TC Brotherhood meeting at 9:30 am TC Sisterhood tea at 9:30 am TAY BIG THINK from 10 am – 2:30 pm Monday, May 8 TAY BIG THINK from 7:30 – 9:30 pm Tuesday, May 9 Epstein School meets at CBS-CS at 6:30 pm Syracuse Community Hebrew School board meeting at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 7:30 pm Wednesday, May 10 Syracuse Community Hebrew School at TAY from 4 - 6 pm Thursday, May 11 Epstein School at Wegmans Café at 7 pm Saturday, May 13 TC Lag B’Omer barbeque at Highland Forest at 6 pm Sunday, May 14 Lag B’Omer Mother’s Day TC GAN program from 10:30 am – noon Monday, May 15 TC Goldenberg Series - Seneca String Quartet at 7 pm TAY BIG THINK from 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Unbelievably, I experienced this scene with my family last summer. We spent two months of sabbatical time living in Jerusalem. We marveled at so many of the miracles of the modern state, often overwhelmed by what we experienced. One night in late August, we were walking back to our apartment after a long day learning at the Israel Museum. We walked through one of Jerusalem’s major parks, and we were stunned by the scene we saw. Families, children, individuals and couples, all out enjoying the night. We were first amazed – how could so many feel so safe in a park after dark? And as we talked more, our minds moved from amazement to awe. Israel has experienced a rocky 69 years of statehood. The nation has achieved much, more still remains. Equality is elusive, peace even more challenging. And yet, even with its bumps and bruises and mistakes, Israeli life has achieved beyond the wildest dreams of even the most optimistic of Zionists. We walked and we wondered: How is it that a country that worries daily about existential threats from its neighbors can also be filled with quiet and calm and safety night after night? We realized that, as Americans, we had few – if any – of the major threats from outside; but internally, we had none of the joyful scenes we witnessed in the park. Israel has endured the wars, the terror and the fighting

MAZEL TOV Joseph A. Goldberg receives teacher of honor award from Kappa Delta Pi

Manlius resident Joseph A. Goldberg, a classroom teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, received the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Since 2005, Goldberg has taught classes at J-DHS in English, mythology, academic intervention services, drama and reading films. He has been a board member of Syracuse Stage’s Educational Joseph Goldberg Outreach program, director of the J-DHS Drama Department, head coach of the boys’ and the girls’ junior varsity tennis teams, National Honor Society selection committee member and curriculum designer. For 2016-17, he was selected to the Teacher Leaders Program of the American Federation of Teachers for the North Syracuse Education Association. As part of this program, he meets regularly with state senators, state assembly representatives and other community leaders to advocate for educational policies. Goldberg also received a National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards in 2013. Developing curriculum is one of the skills he reportedly brought to J-DHS. Along with creating and designing curriculum for three levels of English film courses, as well as a culture media texts and psychology course, he has procured classroom grants for curriculum design from the International Honor Society of Education. He has written, produced and directed original productions in the school and as part of a theater festival, for which his work was awarded. Goldberg received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in secondary English education, both from Le Moyne College. He is in his final year as a doctoral student in Syracuse University’s School of Education Teaching and Curriculum Department. He also works as a driver’s education teacher and private tennis instructor.

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by embracing the beauty of those scenes in the park. On this Yom Ha’atzmaut, I give thanks for the miracle of the state of Israel. It is not perfect, but it is pursuing perfection. Rights for all are not yet reality, yet daily life is so right in so many ways. As the 70th year of Israeli statehood begins, I hope you will join me in being thankful for all that has been achieved, and join me in praying and working for a future of equality and peace for all who call that land home. Rabbi Daniel Fellman is the rabbi at Temple Concord.


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“We are committed to increasing awareness of people with disabilities and the difficulties they face,” said Liv Sperber, the vice president for international affairs at Bezalel, who applied for the Ruderman Prize. “This allows us to get more students involved in creating beautiful and inclusive designs.” Luca Dalcera, 28, learned recently that he is eligible for a scholarship for his project. In his fourth and final year of school, he is designing an inflatable pillow to help lift a person with mobility issues out of a seat. The idea came from helping manage the care of his wife’s grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s disease and is relegated to a chair. “To pick him up takes two people because he’s a big guy, so that means a family member has to be around 24/7 in addition to an aid worker,” Dalcera said. “The situation is very difficult for the whole family. So I wanted to create something that doesn’t solve the problem, but at least eases it.” Like other fourth-year students, he is in the conceptualizing stage of his project. Starting next semester, Dalcera plans to begin developing and testing designs. Money is tight, he said, and the grant will help him “create a better project” than he could afford otherwise. Dalcera is already working on a patent for the design. There were no grants when Ventura graduated from Bezalel in 2015, but he said there were other forms of support. The school challenged him like any other student, he said, but also accommodated his cognitive and physical disabilities with services like mentors and options for test taking. For his final project, Ventura built a floating gym for people rehabilitating from injuries. Over the six month-plus process, he was helped by some of the people who were part of his own rehabilitation. Madatech – the national science museum, where he interned for two years before Bezalel – let him use its tools and space. And wounded soldiers at Beit Halochem Haifa, the army center where he did more than four years of intensive rehabilitation, helped him test his designs in the training pool. “In the pool, people can do all kinds of things they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” Ventura said. “They are lighter, of course. But also, they don’t have to feel ashamed of their bodies. Underwater, nobody can see your scars.” In the summer before he graduated, Bezalel displayed the gym, which Ventura dubbed the Venduza (a portmanteau of his last name and “meduza,” Hebrew for jellyfish), along with hundreds of other students’ art and design projects. Bezalel’s annual exhibition draws some 25,000 people. Ventura appeared on Israeli TV and had visits with several government ministers. He went on to found a company called Left Hand Design, aiming to bring the Venduza to market. Ventura now lives with his father in Haifa and has taken out loans to produce an upgraded prototype of the gym. He is looking for investors. In the meantime, Ventura also works part-time at Madatech, where he designs exhibitions. Avital Sandler-Leoff, the director of JDC-Israel Unlimited – a partnership between the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Israeli government – said not all people with disabilities are able to find the support Ventura did. The country is 30 years behind the United States when it comes to services for people with disabilities, she said, and the lag is reflected in social attitudes. According to a JDC study, more than half of Israelis are not willing to be neighbors with or rent an apartment to someone with a mental disability. But Israel’s embrace of high tech has been driving progress lately, and institutes of higher education have the potential to take the lead, Sandler-Leoff said. Her group planned to launch a program for autistic students at three universities in February, as well as a curriculum on disability studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in March. “There are more and more places like Bezalel, where a new generation of young people are saying, ‘We want to be part of society. Let us contribute,’” she said.

APRIL 27, 2017/1 IYAR 5777 ■




Daniel Feldman, 85, died on April 10 at Crouse Hospital. Born in the Bronx, he entered Oswego State at the age of 17. His first teaching assignment was in West Leyden. He trained in counter-intelligence and, after his year in West Leyden, he was sent to Korea. Upon his return home to Central New York, he began graduate studies at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He taught fifth grade at Moses DeWitt School in DeWitt and was on the original middle school faculty. Following that, he taught at Jamesville-DeWitt High School until his retirement. He was a devoted SU fan and ushered at Archibald Stadium and the Carrier Dome. He was a volunteer at Manley Field House after his retirement from J-D High School. He was predeceased by his devoted caregiver, Hurley Smith. He is survived by his wife, Laura; daughters, Amy (Jon) Bernon and Abby Feldman; and his caregiver, Lori Davis. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the DeWitt Community Library, ShoppingTown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse, NY 13214. 



Naomi Schayes, 86, died at home on April 11. In 1951, she met Dolph, the love of her life, and they were married soon after. They made Syracuse their home and raised their family here. She was an avid golfer, a talented pianist and a gifted singer. She was a dedicated volunteer for Hospice of Central New York and CONTACT for many years. She was a lifetime member of Temple Concord. She was a student of continuing education at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. She was predeceased by her husband, Dolph, in December 2015. She is survived by her children, Debbie (Lou) Ferri, Carrie (Marty) Goettsch, David (Melissa Arthur) and Danny (Wendy); nine grandchildren; her brother, Sam (Dory) Gross; and sisters Sally and Vicki Gross. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th N. St., Liverpool, NY 13088; or the Jewish Federation of Central New York, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214. 

Minnie “Mim” Schiffres, 85, died on April 7 at Menorah Park. Born in New York City, she graduated from City College of New York in 1953 and married Irwin Schiffres that year. They lived in the Boston area during his years at Harvard Law School, then returned to the New York City area before settling in Rochester in 1960. She was a Hebrew school teacher in White Plains and later did volunteer work for the Brighton Central School District in suburban Rochester, helping learning-disabled students. She moved to Syracuse in 2010, shortly after her husband’s death, and became a resident of Menorah Park in early 2016. She was predeceased by her brother, Harry Gelman, in 2012. She is survived by her daughter, Debbie (Neil) Rosenbaum, of Syracuse; her son, Jeremy (Rhona) Schiffres, of Kingston; five grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. Burial was in Mount Hope Cemetery, Temple BethEl section, in Rochester. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, 5655 Thompson Rd., Syracuse NY 13214. 

tutions in early 2017, Israel has also formally indicted the suspect. The indictment details more than 2,000 incidents that allegedly involve the 18-year-old suspect, and includes the charge of making bomb threats to Jewish schools and JCCs as well as airports and sporting events. It was also revealed on April 23 the suspect had attempted to extort a Republican U.S. senator prior to sending the politician drugs in the mail and threatening his family. The suspect stands accused of numerous additional charges, including causing panic via publication of false information, cyber crimes, money laundering, weapons possession, facilitating drug trafficking, disseminating pedophilic materials and assaulting a police officer. “As far as the state prosecutor is concerned, claims regarding the suspect’s personal and medical situation do not protect him from incarceration until the end of proceedings,” stated Yoni Hadad, an attorney in the cyber department of Israel’s State Attorney’s Office, Yediot Achronot reported. The U.S. Justice Department and the Israeli Ministry of Justice are in the midst of negotiations regarding the suspect’s extradition to America, which has been put on hold by Israel’s State Attorney Shai Nitzan because the majority of the teenager’s alleged crimes were perpetrated in the Jewish state.

el’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a new method for filtering viruses from treated municipal wastewater used for drinking. “This is an urgent matter of public safety,” the researchers said. “Insufficient removal of human adenovirus in municipal wastewater, for example, has been detected as a contaminant in U.S. drinking water sources, including the Great Lakes and worldwide.” Current viral pathogen filtration methods require intensive energy consumption in order to properly remove pathogens without resorting to the use of chemicals such as chlorine, which can contaminate drinking water. A team led by Prof. Moshe Herzberg of BGU’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research created a special hydrogel coating that repels waterborne viruses, such as human norovirus and adenovirus, when grafted to a commercial ultrafiltration membrane. “Utilizing a simple graft-polymerization of commercialized membranes to make virus removal more comprehensive is a promising development for controlling filtration of pathogens in potable water reuse,” said Prof. Thanh H. Nguyen of UIUC’s Department of Chemical Engineering. The research project was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the German-Israeli Water Technology Cooperation Program, which is funded by Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Studies: U.S. antisemitic incidents surge as global antisemitism declines

New statistics released by the Anti-Defamation League on April 24, in the organization’s annual audit of antisemitic incidents, show an 86-percent increase in U.S. anti-Semitic incidents during the first quarter of 2017. During 2016, antisemitic incidents increased 34 percent from the previous year, according to the study. The ADL said the “massive increase” in antisemitism began to rise during the month of the U.S. presidential election last November. The audit cites a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, with approximately 30 percent occurring in November and December. The incidents include 720 instances of threats and harassment, 510 acts of vandalism and 36 physical assaults. In the first three months of 2017, an additional 541 antisemitic incidents occurred, including 380 cases of harassment, 161 bomb threats and 155 instances of vandalism, the ADL said. Moreover, three Jewish cemetery desecrations and six antisemitic physical assaults took place during that time. If the trend continues for the remainder of the year, 2017 could see as many as 2,000 recorded antisemitic incidents in the U.S. “What’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months. Clearly, we have work to do and need to bring more urgency to the fight,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. A separate survey, conducted by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with the European Jewish Congress, recorded a 12-percent decrease in global anti-Semitism in 2016, but a 45-percent increase in antisemitic incidents on U.S. college campuses.

U.N. chief vows to combat anti-Israel bias and antisemitism

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reassured Jewish community leaders on April 23 that he would oppose any anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. “As secretary-general of the United Nations, I consider that the state of Israel needs to be treated as any other state,” Guterres said at the World Jewish Congress offices in New York. “I have already had the opportunity to show that I’m ready to abide by that principle even when that forces me to take some decisions that create some uncomfortable situations,” he added, referring to an incident in March in which the U.N. leader forced the retraction of a U.N. report that accused Israel of implementing “an apartheid regime.” In addition to clarifying that his opposition to anti-Israel bias does not entail always being “in agreement with all the decisions” made by the Israeli government, Guterres assured he would be “in the frontline” in the fight against global antisemitism and if possible, eradicate the phenomenon “from the face of the Earth.” The secretary-general’s statements are the latest affirmation of his vow to curb anti-Israel sentiments at the world body. In March, Guterres for the second time made public his recognition of Judaism’s historic ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Israeli, American researchers develop new hi-tech water filtration solution

A collaborative effort between researchers from Isra-

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Israel charges teenage suspect in bomb threats case following U.S. indictment

Following the April 21 U.S. Justice Department indictment of an Israeli-American teenager who is accused of making more than 150 bomb threats against Jewish insti-


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MAY 2, 2017 6-8 PM Hosted by

Temple Adath Yeshurun 5:15–6:00 Tots Program


Jewish Federation of CNY and the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation


Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center


Chabad-Lubavitch of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Temple Adath Yeshurun, Temple Concord, Syracuse Hebrew Day School

6:00 Israel Independence Day Celebration

5:15–8:00 Israeli Shuk Calling all “foodies” & friends of Israel...

Please join us for the culinary festivities! Also featuring: • Free Israeli kosher dinner • Children’s activities • Israeli sing along led by our community cantors with adult and children’s choruses • Photo booth — take a photo in Israel! • Israeli wine tasting • ...and more!

In honor of 50 years of a re-unified Jerusalem, we’ll be recreating the unique experience of some foods that you can find in the neighborhood streets and quaint alleys of the magnificent city of Jerusalem. Try the Stuffed Grape Leaves, Feta Cheese with Spinach and Potato Burekas, Mag’adare: Yemenite Yellow Rice with Lentils, Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad and Freshly Cut Israeli Salad. Your taste buds will thank you!


April 27, 2017 Issue of Jewish Observer