1 IYAR 5774 • MAY 1, 2014 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 20 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY
Ellen Weinstein to receive the 2014 Roth Award practice in 2009 to become the A native of Brooklyn, NY, chief clerk of the Onondaga Weinstein graduated from County Surrogate’s Court. Brooklyn College of the City Her professional volunteer University of New York with involvement includes her cura B.A. (1969) and M.S. (1971) rent positions as vice president in early childhood and elemenof both the Onondaga County tary education. She taught Bar Foundation and the New at New York City’s P.S. 173 York State Association of in the Bay Ridge section of Chief Clerks of the Surrogate’s Brooklyn from 1969-76,when Courts. She has held various she moved from Brooklyn with positions of leadership within her husband, Howard, and her Ellen S. Weinstein the Onondaga County Bar Asthen two children to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY, where Howard sociation, including serving as its president served as a base physician. In 1978, she in 2006. She is a past member of the New moved with her family to DeWitt. After York State Bar Association’s House of the birth of her fourth child, she returned to Delegates and served as a member of its teaching as a substitute teacher in the James- Nominating Committee. She is a life member of Na’amat, a ville-DeWitt Central School district. She achieved her dream of becoming a lawyer member of the Board of Directors of the by earning her juris doctor from Syracuse Jewish Federation of Central New York, University College of Law in December has served as co-chair of its Allocation 1990, graduating magna cum laude and as Committee since 2012 and has been a Lion of Judah since 2009. a member of the Order of the Coif. A member of the board of Menorah Weinstein is admitted to practice law in New York state and federal courts, the Park Group Residences Inc. since 2010, District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Weinstein is also a member of the board of before the United States Supreme Court. Syracuse Jewish Family Service and a memAfter graduating from law school, she joined ber of the Board of Directors of Advocates the law firm of Pinsky and Skandalis, and Inc. She is a past member of Temple Adath was a partner in the firm until leaving private Yeshurun’s Board of Directors, as well as
Temple Concord to honor four who have “done so much” for Central New York community
Our goal is 2014 donors in 2014! To date, we have 1,679 donors. Federation's 2014 Campaign now stands at $811,111.
Federation of Central New York since 2011. She has also served since 2001 as executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York, an organization she founded. In the 10 years since its creation, the Foundation has twice received the Community Endowment Excellence Award for intermediate-size communities from the National Jewish Federation organization. A graduate of Queens College, Alexander is past president of Congregation Beth-Sholom Chevra Shas. Among her community honors
world. the nd ou
Reverend Bill Redfield
io n of C e ntra
The 2014 Campaign is underway! To make your pledge, contact Marianne at 445-2040 ext. 102 or mbazydlo@jewishfederationCNY.org.
See “Honor” on page 10
C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A May 2........................7:48 pm.................................................................. Parasha-Emor May 9........................7:56 pm................................................................. Parasha-Behar May 16......................8:03 pm........................................................ Parasha-Bechukotai
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Yom Ha’atzmaut
The JCC will host the community’s Local synagogues announce their Holocaust restitution efforts Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration; a look upcoming programs, holiday continue to move slowly in Eastern at the celebration in Israel. celebrations and more. European countries. Stories on pages 3 and 7 Stories on page 4 Story on page 11
lives in CNY an da le’s p r eo
By Mark Frank A former star Syracuse University quarterback, the CEO of the leading Central New York philanthropic Jewish organization, an Episcopal priest and the benefactor of a cultural series at Temple Concord have something in common: Don McPherson, Linda Alexander, Reverend Bill Redfield and Marvin Goldenberg are all considered “menschen,” the plural of “mensch,” a good person – someone who is sensitive to other people’s needs and seeks out ways to help them. In the Jewish culture of Eastern Don McPherson Linda Alexander Europe, where the term originated, to call someone a mensch was a high compliment. Longtime Syracuse radio personality Temple Concord will hold its first “Mensch “Big Mike” Fiss, who can be heard daily of the Year” award dinner on Sunday, June on SUNNY 102 radio, will emcee the event 1, at 5:30 pm, at the Sheraton Syracuse and comedian Joe Chasnoff will provide University Hotel. The event will be open the entertainment. to the public and will be the synagogue’s McPherson, one of the most decorated major fund-raiser of the year. student-athletes in Syracuse football history, Temple Concord will honor Heisman quarterbacked the Orange to an 11-0-1 record Trophy runner-up-turned-social-activist in 1987, was named most valuable player McPherson; Alexander, the president and of the 1987 Sugar Bowl and finished secCEO of the Jewish Federation of Central ond in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was New York; community and spiritual leader inducted into the NCAA College Football Redfield; and Goldenberg, benefactor of Hall of Fame in 2008. After a seven-year Temple Concord’s Regina Goldenberg professional career in the NFL and CFL, Cultural Series at the dinner. McPherson, who graduated SU with a psyCommittee chair Vicki Feldman said, chology degree, has become a social activist, “We’re really excited about this event. It educator and advocate for the prevention of should be great fun and, at the same, honor men’s violence against women. four people who have done so much in and Brooklyn, NY, native Alexander has for our community.” served as president and CEO of the Jewish
a past president of the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Middle School Parent-Teachers’ Group. Linda Alexander, president/CEO of Federation, said, “Ellen is a most dedicated community volunteer for our Jewish community and has been for many, many years. She always looks at the big picture, what’s best for the entire Jewish community, and takes on her leadership role with a professionalism that is second to none.” Weinstein said, “I am also most fortunate to have parents who instilled in my brother and me from an early age, both by teaching and example, the importance of our Jewish heritage, of community, of commitment and of continuity and of tikkun olam.” She added, “I have the most wonderfully supportive, enabling husband, Howard, who is truly the ‘wind beneath my wings.’Together, our most valued and treasured accomplishments in life are our four children: Jessica, Josh, Danielle and Lisa. We adore and are extremely proud of them, of Jessica’s husband, Gregg; of Josh’s wife, Caroline; and of our seven grandchildren, Jamie, Carly, Sydney, Max, Ava, Tessa and Evan. My greatest prayer and wish for each of them is that they continue to have a strong sense of Jewish identity and commitment to our people and to their respective communities-at-large, and that they, in turn, will pass these values on to their children and their children’s children – l’dor v’dor!” For more information on Federation’s meeting, contact Kathie Piirak at 445-2040, ext. 106, or kpiirak@jewishfederationcny. org.
Touc hin gp
By Bette Siegel The Jewish Federation of Central New York has announced that the 2014 Esther and Joseph Roth Award in Recognition of Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership will be presented to Ellen Weinstein at the Federation’s 96th annual meeting on Monday, June 16, at 6:30 pm. The award was established in May 1979 by the friends and family of Esther and Joseph Roth. It is a permanent award, and is housed and displayed in Federation’s office. It is awarded in honor and recognition of individuals who have demonstrated “outstanding Jewish community leadership” and is considered to be the major community service award presented by the Syracuse Jewish community. The Roths’ son, Paul, said, “Not only has Ellen Weinstein been a significant member of this community throughout the years, but she’s taken upon herself countless volunteer roles and selfless responsibilities in order that things be accomplished for not just the greater good of the Jewish community, but for the whole Syracuse community as well. For the kind of person who neither seeks acknowledgment nor accolades for tireless work done to enhance the lives of so many others, this seems to be the perfect recognition of her exceptional and most positive abilities.”
PLUS Wedding, Prom & Moms........6-9 Calendar Highlights................10 D’var Torah................................10 Obituaries.................................. 11
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774
Menorah Park of Central New York CEO receives prestigious national award
By Stewart Koenig Mary Ellen Bloodgood, LNHA, CASP, Menorah Park CEO, recently received the Association of Jewish Aging Services Dr. Herbert Shore Award of Honor, which is considered the highest single honor within the not-for-profit senior care industry in North America. Bloodgood was honored during the 54th annual AJAS conference in Jacksonville, FL. She was presented with the award for her work developing Menorah Park from a stand-alone skilled nursing home into a full-continuum care campus.
She said, “It is a great honor for me to be recognized by friends and colleagues in AJAS, and I am very thankful for the award. I have a wonderful staff that helps me take Menorah Park to the next level of care, and I wouldn’t have gotten this far without their loyalty and hard work.” As Menorah Park’s CEO, Bloodgood oversees all of its eldercare facilities and affiliated programs. Throughout the last 27 years, she has led the expansion of senior care services and successfully implemented many initiatives. For more information on Menorah Park, visit www.menorahparkcny.com.
Menorah Park said its mission is “to assure maximum independence and dignity, offering a broad range of the highest quality of health, residential and community services.” Menorah Park is committed to maintaining Jewish values and traditions, and is a member of AJAS.
At right: Mary Ellen Bloodgood (center) received the Dr. Herbert Shore Award from Marty Goetz, CEO of Rivergarden, Jacksonville, FL (left), and Carol SilverElliot, CEO of Cedar Village, Cincinnati, OH (right).
Empower play: Ghada Zoabi’s news site aims to uplift Israel’s Arabs The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s senior meal program hosted a pre-Passover seder lunch, which was sponsored by Birnbaum Funeral Service, on April 10. More than 50 people attended. To open the lunch, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Rabbi Evan Shore spoke to participants about the meaning of the seder. The event was catered by Tiffany’s Catering Company, which served a traditional Passover meal. The Syracuse Hebrew Day School first grade students sang before the meal began. For more information about the JCC’s senior meal program, contact Leesa Paul at 445-2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hillel at SU goes on alternate spring break to Moore, OK By Eric Gordon Eric Gordon is graduating from Syracuse University in 2014 with a double major in public relations and economics. He is from Riverwoods, IL. He participated in an alternate spring break by helping victims of a tornado in Moore, OK. This past spring break, 14 of Hillel at Syracuse University’s “best and brightest,” along with groups of students from Penn State University and Ohio State University, teamed up with the Jewish Disaster Response Corps in Moore, OK, the site of a recent tornado. Staying at the University of Oklahoma, the group drove out to their worksite early each morning, not returning until late in the afternoon. In the evenings, the group met to discuss the impact of what they were doing and reflect on the idea of tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of “repairing the world.” I found these sessions to be particularly interesting for a number of reasons. The concepts we discussed during these reflective sessions always seemed to come back to one central question: What is the religious, or, more specifically, Jewish significance of being a part of this trip? I found this concept troubling because it was not something I had considered at all before signing up for the trip. Alternate Spring Break had appealed to me because it was a chance to travel to a place I didn’t know. It was a chance to work outside with power tools. It was a chance to spend a week with my friends from Hillel. These reasons all seemed fairly self-centered in the face
of the deeper motivations we were being asked to come up with. Most of all, I found this concept to be difficult because I do not identify myself as a religious person. I choose to associate with the students at Hillel because, like me, they are bright, motivated, friendly and active on campus. These are the aspects of the Jewish community – at school and at home – that I identify with. We were living tikkun olam, that much I understood. But there were deeper religious implications to what I was doing. The discussion reached a peak the night that our group met with another Alternate Spring Break group of Ismaili Muslim students doing similar work. From a religious perspective, we compared our reasons for participating in ASB with this other group. This began with the impossible task of defining Judaism for our new Ismaili friends in two sentences. We attempted to do this by listing important aspects of Judaism, and then combining them into one all-encompassing sentence. Tikkun olam was one of the first ideas mentioned. However, volunteer work, or more specifically, disaster relief, did not come up at all. Before this trip, I realize that I had assumed there was a distinct line between religion and community. Religion was faith-based. Community – my Jewish link to the trip – was action-based. I now see that the two are not so different. Judaism is all about a strong and active community. This was the key message that the JDRC aimed to project.
correction In the April 17 issue of the Jewish Observer, the write-up for Bakergirl Dessert Company Inc., owned by Rosanne David, listed the wrong e-mail address. The correct e-mail address is email@example.com. The JO apologizes for the error and any confusion it may have caused.
By Ben Sales NAZARETH, Israel (JTA) – After Israel’s 2006 war with the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah devastated the country’s northern region, most Israelis focused on rebuilding their towns and creating better defense infrastructure. Arab-Israeli journalist Ghada Zoabi turned her focus to the media. Though Israel has well-established protocols for civil defense that instruct civilians to head for reinforced shelters in advance of rocket attacks, 18 Israeli-Arabs died in the conflict, most of them while still in their homes. Zoabi believed the deaths could have been prevented if Israel’s Arabic media had done a better job of informing the citizenry about what to do during wartime. “The 18 Arabs were sacrifices of not knowing how to act in times of war,” the 37year-old Nazareth resident told JTA. “Arabs who live in Israel need to be connected to what’s happening around them.” Within months, Zoabi launched Bokra, an Israeli Arabic news site that has grown to employ a staff of 32. The site draws 850,000 unique visitors daily – 60 percent of them Arabs in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, according to Bokra. The site covers
of Central New York
Bette Siegel Syracuse Editor Publisher Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc. Cantor Francine Berg Chair of the Board Linda Alexander Federation President/CEO Ruth Stein Vice President for Communications Editorial 5655 Thompson Rd. DeWitt, NY 13214
Rabbi Rachel Esserman Executive Editor Diana Sochor Layout Editor Michael Nassberg Assistant Editor Jenn DePersis Production Coordinator Alaina Cardarelli Graphic Artist Bonnie Rozen Advertising Representative Gregory Senger Bookkeeper Production and Management The Reporter 500 Clubhouse Rd. Vestal, NY 13850
Billing Office 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal, NY 13850 1-800-779-7896
Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc. Web site: www.jewishfederationcny.org
Call for... Address Changes............. 315-445-2040, ext. 116 Local Articles and Announcements...315-445-2040, ext. 116 or e-mail JewishObserverCNY@gmail.com Advertising:.......Bonnie 1-800-779-7896, ext. 244 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Billing only..............1-800-779-7896
everything from Israeli-Arab local government to discrimination against Arabs in the workplace. The site, which has its offices in this Galilee city, also catalogs proposed laws that it says target the Arab community. Unlike other major Israeli Arabic publications, Bokra (“tomorrow,” in Arabic) is not connected to a political party nor to a print weekly. And unlike a range of smaller sites, Bokra aims to cover Israeli-Arab affairs nationally. But the site’s mandate goes beyond merely chronicling events and providing analysis. Zoabi calls Bokra a “social initiative” that aims to advance the interests of Israeli-Arabs and increase their awareness of the injustices she says they suffer at the hands of Israel’s government and society. Zoabi is eager to take stands on issues she sees as critical to Israeli-Arabs. If the traditional mandate of journalists is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, Zoabi has a slightly different take: She wants to afflict the afflicted as well. Though she has no problem admonishing Jewish Israeli leaders for neglecting or insulting Israel’s Arabs – a recent article accused Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman of advocating See “Site” on page 9
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.
The Jewish Observer is a member of the American Jewish Press Association.
MAY 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774 ■
AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK May 6 – come celebrate the idea and reality of Israel By Douglas Hornbacker The annual Syracuse Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration will be held on Tuesday, May 6, from 6-8 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. The JCC, in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Foundation, will present the 2014 Syracuse Yom Ha’atzmaut community event, marking the 66th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This event is being organized by Co-chairs Orit Antosh and Nurit Nussbaum, along with a committee of representatives from local synagogues, organizations and agencies that have come together to create the Israeli Independence Day celebration for the community. There will be activities for all ages, as well as a display of Israeli innovations. Younger attendees will be able to make chamsas, also
known as “the hand of Miriam,” after the biblical Miriam. It depicts the open right hand, and is a sign of protection used in many societies throughout history. Norman Poltenson has organized a wine tasting for the adults, featuring wines from the Psagot Winery, located in the hills surrounding Jerusalem. There will also be an Israeli art show featuring pieces from internationally-known Israeli artists. A community choir of adult and children’s voices from congregations and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School led by Cantor Paula Pepperstone will perform special choral music. A free Israeli dinner will be served. Those planning to attend should make reservations so adequate food and seating can be arranged. This can be done through local congregations or by e-mailing Israel66cny@yahoo.com.
L-r: Yom Ha’atzmaut Co-chairs Orit Antosh and Nurit Nussbaum posed with the poster for the celebration, to be held on Tuesday, May 6.
Shining Stars celebration By Stewart Koenig The ninth Shining Stars celebration will be held on Thursday, May 22, from 5:30-8 pm, “under the tent” at Menorah Park, 4101 E. Genesee St., DeWitt. The celebration coincides with Older Americans’ Month. There will be a fee to attend and reservations are required no later than Wednesday, May 14. Event Co-Chair Steven Sisskind said, “This celebration recognizes those employees, volunteers and
residents that are known to ‘shine brightly’ on the Menorah Park campus. My wife, Robin, and I are honored to announce nine very special individuals who bring their vitality, their generosity and their compassion to all of us affiliated with Menorah Park.” The 2014 honorees are Shamil Fazliyev, a dining service employee at The Oaks at Menorah Park; Sarah Feldman, a resident of The Inn at Menorah Park; Sylvia and Morris See “Stars” on page 10
Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu May 5-9 Monday – cheese lasagna Tuesday – Jewish Ethnic day – lox on bagels Wednesday – cranberry-glazed chicken Thursday – ground beef goulash Friday – baked stuffed fish May 12-16 Monday – beef Stroganoff over noodles Tuesday – salad bar and sandwich day Wednesday – chicken wings with hoisin sauce and celery Thursday – barbecue beef on roll Friday – chicken à la king over rice 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
S E N I L D A E D Deadlines for all articles and photos for the Jewish Observer are as follows. No exceptions will be made.
Wednesday, April 30..............................May 15 Wednesday, May 14...............................May 29 Wednesday, May 28...............................June 12 Wednesday, June 11...............................June 26
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.
“Furniture is more than a moment in time. We can restore, refinish & repair family memories.” -- Ron Cosser
-- for 35 years --
Furniture restoration and repair Custom Furniture Design/Build Refinish Kitchens 110 Walter Drive (Eastwood), Syracuse, NY 113206 (315) 463-0262 www.TheCraftsman.com 0000475893-01
Visit the JO online at jewishfederationcny.org and click on Jewish Observer
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774
congregational notes Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas CBS-CS The Women’s Connection By Nancy Belkowitz The Women’s Connection (Sisterhood) of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevras Shas will hold a paid-up membership event on Tuesday, May 13, at 7 pm, at the synagogue. The event will include sweets, with entertainment by Carrie Berse, a member of the congregation. The group will elect board members and officers for the upcoming year and listen to a preview of next year’s programming. This past year, The Women’s Connection held activities for women of various ages and interests, including a trip to the
Kevin Metzger provided the entertainment at the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevras Shas The Women’s Connection (formerly Sisterhood) Torah Fund dinner on April 3. The dinner raised funds for the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Everson Museum; the annual potluck dinner; the fourth Sisterhood Symposium, held in partnership with the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center; a weekend yoga retreat; Havdalah and movie nights; an estate-planning program; self-defense classes; a winter ski day; The Women’s Connection Shabbat; and the annual Torah Fund dinner. The Women’s Connection sponsors ongoing activities, such as study programs with Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone, first Friday of the month brunches and twicemonthly walks at Green Lakes State Park. The Women’s Connection provides summer camp scholarships to CBS-CS youth, and contributes funds to the synagogues general budget. Celebrating CBS-CS youth Each of the four Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Religious School elective groups will give a presentation on Sunday, May 11, of what they have learned and accomplished during the second half of the school year. Electives this semester have included “Fiddler on the Roof,” Jewish music with instruments, Judaic art and tallit making. Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will celebrate various milestones of its youth from Friday-Sunday, May 1618. During Shabbat Hadorot services on May 16 at 6 pm, all second grade students will receive a siddur, which signifies the beginning of their more formal Jewish studies. This year, the children’s parents will come together beforehand to write a message to their child on a bookplate
Temple Adath Yeshurun TAY Sisterhood book discussion The Temple Adath Yeshurun Sisterhood will host a book discussion on “The Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline on Sunday, May 4, at 9:30 am, in the Muriel and Avron Spector Library. The book describes the experience of a young orphan girl of Irish descent whose family was lost in a 1929 New York City tenement fire. She was sent with other orphans and homeless children on a train to the Midwest, as part of a large-scale movement throughout approximately 75 years. The intention was for each child to be chosen and taken in by a family who might provide a good life, but the reality proved different. The novel portrays the unlikely friendship of a troubled young adolescent Penobscot Indian girl involved in the present-day foster-care system with the now-aged orphan-train rider, presenting the experiences of both. Book discussions will be open to the community, including men and women, whether or not participants have read the book. Sculpture installation Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a
service celebrating the re-installation of the sculpture “The Last March,” by Nathan Rapoport, on Friday, May 9, at 5:30 pm. An internationally-renowned sculptor, Rapoport is best known for his Holocaustrelated monuments. He was born in Warsaw and fled to Russia when the Nazis invaded Poland. After the war, he returned to Poland and studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He immigrated to the United States in 1950. His sculptures appear in public places such as “The Last March” at Yad Vashem, “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” in Warsaw and the Holocaust memorial in Philadelphia. “The Last March” was donated to the synagogue by Henry S. and Erna F. Rubinstein in March 1971, in honor of their 25th anniversary. The original dedication service was held on April 15, 1977, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah. Participating in the service was Rabbi Eugene J. Lipman, of Temple Sinai, of Washington, DC, who had served as a chaplain with the American forces that liberated the Rubinsteins. He later officiated at their wedding. Rapoport was also in attendance. The Rubinsteins were survivors of the See “TAY” on page 8
See “CBS-CS” on page 6
Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a service celebrating the reinstallation of the sculpture “The Last March” by Nathan Rapoport on May 9.
Temple Concord Heifitz biography “God’s Fiddler” By Lasse Loeber Jepsen Temple Concord will present “God’s Fiddler,” the film biography of Jascha Heifetz, who is considered to be one of the world’s most renowned violinists, on Saturday, May 10, at 7 pm, as part of the Cinemagogue series. Throughout the film, former aides, accompanists and students shared their memories of the 20th century musician. Heifetz was born in Russia in 1901 and experienced the beginning of the revolution. He left while still young to tour in the U.S., where he spent his adult life. Heifitz was often characterized by other musicians as “a genius far above every other violinist.” Admission will be free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more details, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Education Shabbat Temple Concord Religious School’s “Education Shabbat” will be held this year on Friday, May 16, at 6 pm. The program is held by the congregation each May, as school comes to a close. The services will be followed by an Israeli dinner. During Shabbat services, each religious school student is recognized for the year’s accomplishments and receives a certificate with a background of one of the stained glass windows in the chapel. All of the teachers are honored and recognized as well. The madrichim (teen helpers) are also honored during the evening. Additionally, all congregants graduating from high school are called up to the bima for a blessing and recognition.
The service, which honors education, will be open to the community. There will be a fee for the dinner and reservations will be required. For more information, or to make a reservation, call the TC office at 475-9952. Lag B’Omer HAVDALAH Temple Concord will hold is third annual Lag B’Omer Havdalah program on Saturday, May 17, from 5-8 pm, at Highland Forest. Participants will be able to play with frisbees, balls and hula hoops. There will also be a game of kickball with adults and children, which has become a tradition. Dinner will be grilled over the campfire. As the sun begins to set, the event will end with a Havdalah service. There will be a fee to cover meal costs at the event. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or e-mail Stephanie Marshall at email@example.com. Silverwood Clarinet Choir By Lasse Loeber Jepsen Temple Concord’s Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series will present the Silverwood Clarinet Choir on Tuesday, May 20, at 7 pm. Comprised primarily of teaching professionals, the group plays a variety of clarinets, including E flat sopranino, B flat clarinets, alto clarinet, basset horn, bass clarinets and a contrabass clarinet. Its repertoire includes arrangements of a variety of well-known pieces from around the world, as well as original compositions. Founded in 2006, the name of the group combines the silver of the key work See “TC” on page 10
MAY 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774 ■
Federation thank you event with Rabbi Bob Alper
At left: Comedian Rabbi Bob Alper provided the entertainment at the Jewish Federation of Central New York’s thank you event for contributors to Campaign 2014 on April 9. More than 140 people attended the function, which was held at Temple Concord. The event was sponsored by Berkshire Bank.
Students from the Rabbi Jacob Epstein High School of Jewish Studies sold refreshments at Federation’s thank you event featuring Rabbi Bob Alper on April 9. L-r: Avery Pearl-Frank, Avi Young, Zach Cooper, Rachel Rochelson, Noah Kotzin, Molly Kotzin and Ian Beckman. In the background is Temple Concord Director of Facilities Chet Hoisington. Not pictured: Caleb Jacowitz.
Rabbi Bob Alper performed a comedy routine at Federation’s thank you event on April 9.
JCC and Otto the Orange
Your ad could be here! For information on advertising, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext. 244, ext. 244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jcc and CONg. Beth SholoM Graciously accept Donated Vehicles. “MAKE IT YOUR NEXT MITZVAH”
“mike the car guy”
Mike Lessen-256-6167 email@example.com
Syracuse’s Newest Optical Boutique! Unique & Distinctive Frames Frames designed and manufactured in Denmark, Belgium, France and Japan Syracuse University’s “Otto the Orange” mascot visited the Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse on April 8. Many of the children and staff wore their orange and blue apparel to show their pride and loyalty toward the local university. “Otto” socialized with the children by leading interactive high five cheers.
756 South Crouse Ave. Syracuse, NY 13210 315-314-6681
Calling Women Entrepreneurs! You are invited to a luncheon & educational program:
The Women TIES
“Lessons from a Stalled Business and a National Television Appearance” Featuring Bonni Stacconi Phelps, Founder, Baked Euphoria Cakes & Pastries Recently Featured on The Bakery Boss Sponsored by Cooperative Federal and The Jewish Observer of Central New York, published for the Jewish Federation of Central NY by The Reporter Group
Tuesday, May 6 • 11:30 am – 2 pm The Maplewood Inn, 7 North Street, Liverpool, NY $29 includes sales, promotion, lunch, education, inspiration and display tables RSVP by 5/4 to www.womenties.com For more information call: 315-708-4288
Sun-Mon: Closed Tues-Fri: 10-5:30 Sat: 9-1
Visit the JO online at jewishfederationcny.org and click on Jewish Observer
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774
Continued from page 4
to be placed in their child’s siddur and to learn more about how they can support their children as they progress in their Jewish learning. Services will be led by the CBS-CS youth. Also that evening, the CBS-CS Religious School teachers will be recognized for their efforts throughout the past year. The program will conclude with an oneg Shabbat in honor of the faculty and the second grade students. All students who have completed a secular and Judaic level of studies will be recognized on May 17, including those graduating high school in the congregation’s annual high school send-off. Alice Pearlman will present the annual Gus Pearlman awards to graduating seniors who have maintained involvement in Jewish life, read Torah and exemplified the values of her late husband, Gus, who was the congregation’s Torah reader for 25 years. There will be a Tot Shabbat for families with children younger than kindergarten at 10:30 am, as well as a Shabbat Spot, which provides a light lunch so that congregants can remain longer after the services to socialize, sing, play games and study. May 18, Lag B’Omer, will be the last day of religious school until the fall. In honor of both, there will be Maccabee games and a barbecue. All CBS-CS
L-r: Myah Pettiford, Lillie Sorbello, Shir Juran, Charlie Hoffman and Corinne Dushay discussed yachatz, hiding the afikomen, at their family seders at the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Matzah University on April 6, when each child visited 15 stations representing the 15 steps of the seder. Each participant put together an “Order of the Seder” bag to take home and use at their own seder.
families with children in pre-school-seventh grade have been invited to participate. The CBS-CS Men’s Club members will once again contribute their barbecuing skills to the program. Hazak The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevras Shas Hazak group will present a free documentary, “Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust,” on Monday, May 19. Light refreshments will be served at 7 pm, with the screening at 7:30 pm. The film focuses on a father whose parents were Holocaust survivors. He is a Modern Orthodox Jew educated at a New York City college and is knowledgeable about the secular world in which he lives. He is concerned about the intolerant ideas his sons are developing while being taught by a narrow-minded rabbi. To broaden their sons’ horizons, the parents take them on a trip to Poland, where they trace their family’s roots. The trip evokes strong memories for the parents and opens the eyes of the sons, who learn to regard the Christians they meet with respect. The community has been invited to attend the showing. The program will be held at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. For more information, call the CBS-CS office at 446-9570.
Wedding, Prom & Mother’s Day Jewish wedding gift do’s and don’ts By Jacob Kamaras JNS.org Not another challah board! That’s the collective cry heard ‘round the Jewish world when newlyweds receive a Judaica gift they already possess. Don’t be that friend – follow my simple do’s and don’ts for Jewish wedding gifts. Do: Be creative: There are inventive spins on Judaica items that are sure to leave a more lasting impression than their traditional counterparts. Kiddush cup? How about a Kiddush cup fountain instead? It includes a center cup as well as 8-12 matching small cups, and when the reciter of Kiddush pours the wine from the center cup into the base of the fountain,
PAOLA KAY Find us on
105 B ROOKLEA D R. F AYETTEVILLE | 632-2192
Vietri • Simon Pearce • M. Aram
come and see
the wine trickles down into the small cups. This avoids the clumsiness of pouring Kiddush wine for each person at a large Shabbat meal and, perhaps more importantly, the streamlined process routinely elicits “oohs” and “aahs” from guests. Challah board? How about a challah board breadbasket? This challah board transforms itself into a basket for distributing challah to guests after it is cut, keeping the Shabbat table uncluttered. Think practically: Mull over this question: What Judaica does the couple really need around the house? More specifically, what does the couple need more than one of? A mezuzah (with a decorative case) immediately comes to mind, given the multiple doorposts in Jewish homes calling for one. Even more practical – and more memorable – is providing the glass cup that the groom will break with his foot under the chuppah, along with a broken wedding glass mezuzah, whose case includes room for those sentimental shards. Give cash: Are you thinking that cash isn’t sentimental enough and that the couple won’t “remember you” if you don’t give a unique gift? Don’t talk yourself into that myth. You’ll be remembered quite fondly for your cash gift, with which the newlyweds can buy anything they desire. Don’t: Be a copycat: The couple will likely get multiple challah
WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT
The Lodge, where rustic elegance meets Adirondack charm. We’ll take care of every detail!
Spectacular dining and banquet gallery seats up to 325 guests Customized menu from our CIA Executive Chef Complimentary on-site planning services Stunning views from secluded Skaneateles setting
boards, challah covers, menorahs, seder plates and the like. Don’t join the fray. Be original. Now, I admit, it would be quite unfortunate if everyone followed my advice and the couple ended up with none of these hallowed Judaica fixtures. Compete with close relatives: The couple’s parents or other close relatives may purchase them silver Shabbat candlesticks or a Kiddush cup, or the bride and groom may have had these items passed down in their family over time. Don’t even think for a second that you can compete with bubbe and zaidy! Duplicate the registry: This goes for non-Judaica items and was a major pet peeve for me when I got married in 2013. “Duplicating” the couple’s registry – for instance, getting dishes or silverware not listed on the registry – ensures three infuriating outcomes: 1) You’re getting the couple something they don’t need, because someone more compliant than you will (wisely) buy the dishes requested on the registry. 2) The couple won’t be able to exchange your redundant gift for something they do need because it came from a store unbeknownst to them. 3) Your gift will enter the notorious “re-gift closet.” This creates a vicious cycle. By re-gifting your gift, the couple repeats your error of gifting an unregistered standard household item. The gift proceeds to be re-gifted for perpetuity. Here’s a dirty little secret: For couples, the point of making a registry is not just to get all the household items they need, but also to create the potential to exchange a string of registry items for more expensive items that you wouldn’t have the gall to put on the registry… like a couch. Why should your unwanted gift that cannot be returned spoil the couple’s efforts to implement this wonderful strategy? Honestly, these are all just pointers. Any gift is deeply appreciated and it’s the thought that counts. At the end of the day, it isn’t the presents, but your presence – at the wedding, if you can be there, or through your continued friendship – that matters. With reporting by my wife.
MAY 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774 ■
Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Hazikaron: Remembrance meets celebration in Israel By Judy Lash Balint Reprinted from JNS.org Hundreds of Israeli flags are in place; the Air Force has been rehearsing its formation fly-by routine for days; platforms and sound systems stand ready in the main squares in town; groups of tourists mill about; and there’s a discernible festive air. But before Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations of the nation’s 66th birthday are held on May 6, Israel will to pay tribute to those who fell in battles and terror attacks that continue to claim lives until today. Officially known as Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day, Yom Hazikaron takes place the day before Yom Ha’atzmaut, and the piercing siren brings the country to a complete standstill at 8 pm, then again at 11 am the next morning for two minutes of silent remembrance. The abrupt change in atmosphere between the two days is stunning and uniquely Israeli. On Yom Hazikaron, all Israeli places of entertainment, cafes and restaurants are closed. Authorities estimate that more than one million
Israelis visit Israel’s military cemeteries during the day. Coming one week after Yom Hashoah, commemorations marking the systematic murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, on Yom Hazikaron the state of Israel pauses to remember not the mass victims of yesteryear’s death camps, but those Israelis who have died and continue to die defending the state and its citizens. Bereavement itself makes up a complete social class in Israel – 23,006 soldiers and civilians died in the first 65 years of statehood, leaving 10,550 families to join the ranks of the bereaved. The central memorial ceremony is held in Jerusalem as evening falls, and hundreds of bereaved families gather in the Western Wall plaza. The flag at half-mast flutters in the brisk wind, and the memorial flame flickers boldly in front of the subdued crowd. The Kotel is bereft of the usual worshippers, replaced by rows and rows of men and women with profound sadness in their eyes and pain etched into their faces. Apart from the ultra-Orthodox, who do not serve in the
army in significant numbers, the full spectrum of Israeli society is represented at the service – national religious and secular; Ashkenazi and Sephardi; rich and poor; old and young. As the siren sounds marking the beginning of the ceremony, a young child drops her head along with the formal honor guard standing at attention across the plaza. The culture of grieving and remembering is ingrained at an early age in Israel. Lighting the memorial flame together with President Shimon Peres a few years ago was Tziona Netanel, the young widow of Yehonatan Netanel, 27, the last soldier killed in the line of duty in Operation Cast Lead. Radiating strength and dignity, the young mother struggled to retain her composure as the light of the flame illuminated her pain. At the end of the formal program, Peres and the IDF chief of staff passed among the families, offering brief words of comfort. The gesture reinforced a remark made by Peres during his address to the gathering – that each loss is a national See “Celebration” on page 12
Wedding, Prom & Mother’s Day Your Wedding Checklist 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 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 hairst yle complements your headpiece ❑ Final instruct ions 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!
A PREMIUM OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR TASTING BOUTIQUE LARGE SELECTION OF KOSHER OILS
205 Brooklea Drive in Fayetteville (315)637-2070 www.oliveonbrooklea.com Mon - Fri 11-6, Sat 10-4, Sunday closed
Visit the JO online at jewishfederationcny.org and click on Jewish Observer
200 ml or larger
GREAT MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS AND WEDDING/SHOWER FAVORS
May not be combined with other coupons, discounts or promotions or used with prior purchases. Does not apply to custom orders. COUPON EXPIRES JUNE 15, 2014
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.
ALL REGULARLY PRICED OILS/VINEGARS
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
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774
Continued from page 4
Shoah, orphaned and homeless, when they found each other after the war, and were married in 1946. In 1949, after several attempts, they were able to immigrate to the United States, eventually settling in Syracuse, where they became active members of the community. The Rubinsteins were members of Temple Adath Yeshurun, with Erna becoming president of the Sisterhood. Henry, a physician, was active in the medical community. Erna was one of the first to educate the wider community about the Holocaust. She wrote two books about her past, gave lectures and taught classes at Syracuse University. She taught about the Holocaust throughout the country, speaking to college students as well as inner city youth. Erna and Henry’s children, Vivian Rubinstein Podrid and Jeffrey Rubinstein, along with their spouses and children, will attend the service, following which there will be an oneg sponsored by the family. The community has been invited to attend. For more information, contact the TAY office at 445-0002 or visit the TAY website at www.adath.org.
L-r: Stephanie Lynne and Kassidy Hirsch went rock climbing at The Ledge at Pacific Health Club with the TAY Shoresh youth group for third-fifth grade students.
Saturday school The TAY Religious School will hold its second Saturday School of the school year on Saturday, May 10, from 9 am-noon. There will be programming for both parents and students. Parents will begin by attending the program “Celebrating Shabbat in the Home,” where there will be information and a discussion about ways in which families can celebrate Shabbat at home. This will be an informal learning experience over coffee and pastries. Next, the parents will attend a learners’ minyan with Esa Jaffe, where they will have an opportunity to learn about the Saturday morning service. Finally, the parents will join the congregation in the Nancy R. Weisberg Chapel for the end of services, when the children will join them. All religious school students will begin the day with an hour of class time with Shabbat-friendly activities. The younger students will attend a Mishpacha Shabbat service geared for parents and children from infant-kindergarten led by Alicia Carfarchio-Gross. Students in second-seventh grade will participate in junior congregation services led by Shannon Small. After junior congregation, all students will join their parents in the chapel for the concluding parts of the service. Following services, there will be an extended kiddush for religious school students, parents and the congregation. For more information, contact Small at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carfarchio-Gross at Alicia@adath.org.
The TAY Religious School hosted a model seder for all of its students in observance of Pesach. Students read the haggadah, said the blessings and enjoyed foods traditionally served on a seder plate.
Olivia Azria practiced making homemade play dough “matzah” in 18 minutes at the TAY Rothschild Early Childhood Center’s Jewish enrichment program, which is held on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10-10:45 am.
Former TAY President Mark N. Schulman, from the Koldin Law Firm, spoke to nearly 25 Hazak members on April 6 about various issues involved in making health-care choices and decisions.
L-r: Sarah, Ellie and Rebecca Aber participated in a chocolate seder hosted by United Synagogue Youth at Temple Adath Yeshurun on April 6.
Wedding, Prom & Mother’s Day Prom night safety tips: advice for parents and teens Teachers’ Insurance Plan Prom night is probably the most anticipated night of the year for teens and the most dreaded for their parents. Most teens heading off to their prom will tell their parents that
Located in Fayetteville Square behind Friendly’s
511 East Genesee Street • Fayetteville
Men’s, Women’s, Children’s Hems & Repairs Done While You Wait Zippers • Formals • Coats • Suits, Linings Take-Ins & Takeouts • Dresses, Skirts • Drapes • Repairs Dry Cleaning • Leather
Drop Off On Way To Work, Pick Up On Way Home! Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm
Located in Fayetteville Square behind Friendly’s
511 East Genesee Street • Fayetteville
Men’s, Women’s, Children’s
Hems & Repairs Done While You Wait Zippers • Formals • Coats • Suits, Linings Take-Ins & Takeouts • Dresses, Skirts • Drapes • Repairs Dry Cleaning • Leather
h! a k u n a h C y p p a H
Drop Off On Way To Work, Pick Up On Way Home! Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm
• Wedding Receptions • Engagement Parties • Bridal Showers • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Special Events • Overnight Accommodations
Comfort Suites Cicero
5875 Carmenica Drive Cicero, NY 13039 315.752.0150 ext. 401 email@example.com www.facebook.com/ComfortSuitesSyrCicero www.syrcs.com
they know everything about drinking and driving – and their parents’ other concerns. However, according to safety experts, it will take more than talk to ensure a safe evening. “No matter how strong the family relationship, many parents are still unaware of the choices that teens face every day,” said Ray Palermo, director of public information for national car insurer Teachers’ Insurance Plan. “For parents to successfully reach their kids, they’ll have to approach safety issues in new, often more direct, ways.” Palermo offers several tips that go beyond “don’t drink and drive.” For parents: Get involved in planning your teen’s prom night. Talk to your teen in advance about how important it is not to ruin a great evening. Despite what they may say, teens want parents involved in their safet y. Talk about what they should say or do in certain high-risk situations. Consider having a “contract” for the night, laying out the rules ever yone agrees on. Set out rules regarding post-prom parties or other activities – with whom they will be, where, for how long and what they will be doing. Get a complete itinerary for the evening, including the names of other prom-goers they will be with and the phone numbers of their parents. Set a curfew based on past behavior, but be reasonable. This
s a special night. Have your teen call if there is a delay. Send your teen a text message during the night telling them to have fun, but reminding them not to ruin a great time. Limit the number of passengers – at most one other couple in the car. Be on call for a ride home or other emergency. Have a “no questions asked” (at least not that night) policy on getting home safely. Join with other parents and rent a limo for them. Be the chauffeur for the night, but don’t meddle. Rent a vintage car to make it more special. For teens: Make an agreement with parents to not drink and drive, and not to ride with anyone else who is drinking. Resist high-risk activities of all types. To avoid tampering, do not leave your beverage unattended. As a surprise, check in with your parents during the night. It will reassure them about how you are doing. Always buckle up. In short, follow your parent’s rules. Teachers’ Insurance Plan regularly provides to the public news and information regarding driver safety, car insurance and education issues. Teachers’ Insurance Plan is underwritten by members of the Response Insurance Group of Companies.
MAY 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774 ■
“ethnic cleansing” – she also challenges Israeli-Arabs to take more responsibility for improving their standing. When a wave of violence swept through Israeli-Arab communities two years ago, Bokra organized a petition and staged protests opposite local government offices urging police to crack down on crime in Arab towns. The site also cataloged incidents of violence based on police reports. “When I started the site, I set the goal of raising awareness in education, health, economics,” Zoabi said. “What’s important is that we’d be a bridge that connects between institutions and the Arab community in Israel. There was a disconnect.” Growing up in the port city of Haifa, Zoabi was a leader in a group called Jewish-Arab Youth Movement and later advised the mayor
on promoting women’s rights. She began her journalism career at Kol Israel, Israel’s public radio station, and for four years hosted a weekly program on Israel’s Arabic language Channel One encouraging road safety. Dressed sharply in a white blazer and black shirt, Zoabi looks like an Israeli business executive and acts like one, too, checking her phone continuously as she talks. Next door to her office is a television studio with a panoramic photo of Nazareth, the backdrop for news anchors who produce daily video news reports for the site. The site also aims to raise awareness of problems that Zoabi says are discussed too little in Israel’s Arab sector, such as encouraging women to screen for breast cancer and chronicling the difficulties facing disabled Arab-Israelis. She helped found Masira, an
organization that provides programming for Arab-Israelis with disabilities, and manages its public relations without pay. “The relationship between the Arab community and people with disabilities has improved greatly,” said Orly Shafir, a spokeswoman for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which co-founded Masira with Zoabi. “She’s one of the leaders and Bokra is a leader. She’s an opinion maker in the Arab community.” Shlomi Daskal, an Arabic media expert who has written for the Israel Democracy Institute and the Israeli media watchdog Seventh Eye, says Bokra is one of the most substantive Arabic publications in Israel and helps make up for the dearth of Arab-Israeli reporters in the mainstream Hebrew media. “When you hear about Arabs in the me-
Continued from page 2 dia, it’s connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or something criminal,” Daskal said. “The state of Arabic media in Israel is very bad. [Bokra] is trying very hard. It’s a tough fight. They try to be more professional.” IsraeliArabic media expert Mustafa Kabha says Bokra is part of a larger “digital revolution” in the Arab-Israeli media that aims to make the community better informed about Israeli government actions. Israeli-Arabs are a disadvantaged minority, he says, and he sees no problem with Bokra’s occasional deviation from journalistic standards of objectivity. “Bokra has investigations and a critical approach,” said Kabha, a professor at Israel’s Open University. “You can’t ask [objectivity] from a population that suffers exclusion and discrimination. These media need to aspire to get rid of exclusion.”
Wedding, Prom & Mother’s Day Mother’s Day guide: how to choose the best gift for her (NewsUSA) – Last year, flowers and jewelry topped the list of popular Mother’s Day gifts – naturally. Many women enjoy the warmth that fresh flowers add to a room, almost as much as supplementing a neverending jewelry collection. If you honored Mom with tried-and-true gifts last May, show your appreciation by exercising a few creative muscles this year. Do something different – seize the opportunity to show unflinching love and gratitude. Need a little help? The gift experts at RedEnvelope have compiled suggestions about how to find the best present for the moms in your life. For the traditional mom: Traditional moms rarely stop working for their families yet never ask much in return. Whether she relishes a
new book, long baths or champagne brunches, she deserves it all. Give her a reason to schedule some “me time” with a home spa treatment, like a spa set and a new spring robe. Or if she likes to share with friends, indulge in a basket filled with treats and champagne or sparkling grape juice. For the contemporary mom: Whether it’s your sister, daughter wife or mother, the contemporary mom maintains a stylish home and makes strollers look fashionable. While her glamour may appear effortless, reminders don’t hurt. Brighten up her office or desk with an orchid. If you’re brave, consider a pair of big, bold enamel earrings with a versatile feel that can be both retro and mod. For the gourmet mom: The gourmet mom
tends to throw the best dinners, perhaps a result of restaurant experience or just a deep-rooted love of good cooking. Either way, her taste buds deserve some treats she didn’t make. If she has a sweet tooth, get her chocolate-covered strawberries and cake pops. For the potluck regulars, customize a glazed stoneware casserole dish with a nickname or favorite phrase. For the entertaining mom: If it’s possible to have a monopoly on holiday parties, leave
it to the entertainers. Entertaining moms are the first to send out a Google group invite to Sunday “Fun-day” at their house. Even though we can’t attend every single one, they are admittedly some of the best parties. Surprise her with a lavish token of love, like a box of gourmet dipped berries one day, followed by two dozen rainbow roses the next. Or get her new picture frames that allow for collage cut-outs reading anything from “I Love Mom” to “Family.” Now open at our new location!
Antiques, Jewelry, Pyrex Cute and Curious Gifts
Joanne Snook Samantha Snook Herron Proprietors
Specializing in all your vintage wedding needs! firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Tuesday - Friday, 10:30am - 5:30pm • Saturday 10:30am - 5pm 107 Fairgrounds Drive, Village of Manlius, NY 13104 • 682-1602
Visit the JO online at jewishfederationcny.org and click on Jewish Observer
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 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.
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 Wednesday, May 7 Temple Adath Yeshurun Hazak meeting at 8:45 am Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Executive Committee meeting at 7:30 pm Thursday, May 8 Syracuse Hebrew Day School academic fair from 6-7:30 pm TAY Citizen of the Year dinner at 5:30 pm Jewish Community Center teacher appreciation event at 6:45 pm Saturday, May 10 TC Cinemagogue at 7 pm Sunday, May 11 Temple Concord Brotherhood Lox at 9:30 am Forget-Me-Nots chorus at Menorah Park from 3-4:30 pm Tuesday, May 13 TC scholars series at 6 pm Wednesday, May 14 Deadline for the May 29 issue of the Jewish Observer TAY Hazak Finger Lakes trip starting at 8:30 am Federation Board of Directors meeting at 5:30 pm Thursday, May 15 Jewish Home Foundation meeting at 5:30 pm TAY board meeting at 7 pm Saturday, May 17 TC Lag B’Omer Bonfire at Highland Forest Valley Camps from 5-8 pm Sunday, May 18 Lag B’Omer Forget-Me-Nots Chorus at Menorah Park from 3-4:30 pm Monday, May 19 CBS-CS Hazak will present a free documentary, “Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust” at 7 pm SHDS Kabbalat Hasiddur at 7 pm SHDS board meeting at 7:30 pm
Coming to our June 12 issue...
2014 Cmity Guide
the largest issue of the year, a keepsake edition with special advertising and community sections! Issue date: June 12 Ad Deadline: June 2 To advertise, contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext. 244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Proclaim liberty throughout the land By Richard D. Wilkins Inequality is an inexorable fact of life. People differ widely in appearance, intellect and ambition and circumstances; so differences in life outcomes are to be expected. What, if anything, can, or should, be done about that? How malleable might be the division between resultant “haves” and “have-nots”? Are life’s rewards inherently limited or readily expandable to ever-wider circles of beneficiaries? Broadly speaking, Marxism’s answer, “From each, according to his abilities; to each, according to his needs,” was to change human nature itself. Capitalism’s response was to harness human nature, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” to produce unplanned, if fortuitous, outcomes. The differences between these views are stark. One presupposes individual freedom, the other collective servitude; but does there need to be only a choice between unfettered competition and shackled sameness? What insights might the Torah contribute to this long-running debate? In his 1998 Hayek Lecture, U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks came down firmly, with some important caveats, on the side of a market economy. He cited biblical respect for private property, and the economic independence it permits, as critical to the preservation of personal freedoms. Jewish tradition, with its “well-ordered worldliness” perspective, also evinces high regard for the importance and worth of individual labor. Neither the productive economy, nor the creation of wealth, was to be denigrated. However, lurking here is a “fatal conceit,” that the accumulation of wealth is the “be-all” and “end-all” of life. As a consequence, the Torah repeatedly exhorts recognition of one’s responsibility to assist and uplift those less fortunate, even beyond a codified system of flat-tax tithes, and also incorporates many other safeguards against rampant materialism. Prime among them is the Sabbath, a day of rest and holiness, which, Sacks noted, is “the boundary Judaism draws around economic activity.” Though the Torah extols six days of work, the seventh day, the Sabbath, is a day on which, on an individual level, our limitations and equality are stressed, one day a week. In Behar (Sinai), the Torah introduces two vital institutions for moderating economic activity that, if unchecked, could imperil the ideal society envisaged for the land of Israel: shemittah (the seventh or sabbatical year) and jubilee (the 50th year). Both are expressly modeled on the Sabbath. During shemittah, all productive agricultural activity is prohibited. Whatever food grows in the field that year is to be freely available to man and beast. There is also a remission of debts. Successive sabbatical years proceed toward an even more all-encompassing climax: “You shall count for yourself seven cycles of sabbatical years, seven years seven times... you shall sanctify the fiftieth year and
Continued from page 1
are the Syracuse Post-Standard Achievement Award, the Temple Adath Yeshurun Citizen of the Year, the Esther and Joseph Roth Award in Recognition of Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership, the Greater Syracuse Section AtLarge of the National Council of Jewish Women Hannah G. Solomon Award and Onondaga County Medical Society Alliance’s Community Service Award. She has been married for more than 40 years to retired physician Steven Alexander, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Redfield, an ordained Episcopal priest and licensed social worker, spent the first half of his professional career as a group, family and individual therapist in Maine. He and his wife, Cathy Dutch, returned to their native Central New York in 1991. He served Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville for nearly 20 years, during which time he brought his passion for new forms of “wisdom,” spirituality and commitment to interfaith engagement. Redfield is involved in interfaith relations as a board member and board president of InterFaith Works. He has taken an active role in diocesan affairs, serving as a district dean for many years and leading a discernment group for the diocese. His family has enjoyed an active membership at Temple Concord, where two now-grown children, Ben and Molly, became b’nai mitzvah. New York City native Goldenberg served with the Merchant Marine during World War II and the U.S. Army during the Korean War. A graduate of Penn State University, he earned his juris doctor degree from George Washington University and was a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He practiced patent law with General Electric and was then in private practice. A competitive race walker, he set two national age group records and was awarded U.S.A. Track and Field Masters Race walker Athlete of the Year in 2007. With the assistance of Temple Concord, he founded the Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series in honor of his late wife. Goldenberg has three children and six grandchildren. For more information, to purchase tickets or to sponsor the Mensch of the Year award dinner, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or email@example.com.
proclaim liberty throughout the land... return every man to his ancestral heritage...” (Leviticus 25:8-10) Prefacing these commands with reference to Sinai was quite deliberate, as they really do go against human nature, thus needing to be counteracted by Divine imperative. Collectively, by providing a periodic societal “reset,” they aim at eliminating perpetual debt, servitude or landlessness. Since “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalms 24:1), there is but its temporary custodianship. Since “the Children of Israel are servants to Me” (Leviticus 25:55), they must not be reduced to permanent servitude. They must also be able to escape ever-deepening debt, so as to start afresh. Just as the Sabbath is not just a day of rest, the sabbatical year was not to be one just of idleness. It presented an opportunity for more intense intellectual and spiritual growth. There was to be no peasant class in Israel. Notwithstanding the Torah’s warning (Deuteronomy 15:9) against letting the approach of the sabbatical year deter one from providing loans to the poor, it happened. Since the prohibition of debt collection was only on an individual level, Hillel devised the prozbul, which by assigning such debts to a court, effectively prevented those desperately-needed loans from disappearing. Although possibly now only rabbinic, shemittah continues to be observed, but with a modern leniency that is not universally accepted, but which introduced a transfer of ownership mechanism, heter mechira, conceptually similar to the sale of chametz before Passover. Jubilee, though, is now obsolete, due to the obliteration of the original land assignments. Its ancient inception must have been a socially riveting moment, with its impact felt most strongly by the most impecunious. On Rosh Hashanah, actual servitude ended. For the following week, the former indentured servants would celebrate their incipient freedom. Then, on Yom Kippur, the shofar would sound throughout the nation, signaling their formal release. While actual wealth was not equalized, the agricultural means for its creation were returned to their previous owners or their heirs. Since “the land shall not be sold in perpetuity (Leviticus 25:23),” it was only the years of harvest remaining between jubilees, not the land itself, that was actually sold. See “Land” on page 11
Continued from page 3
Continued from page 4
Gilman, volunteers and residents at The Oaks; William Hicks, a dining services employee at the Jewish Health and Rehabilitation Center; Shush Martin, a benefactor of and volunteer at Menorah Park; Hope Murphy, a dining Steven and Robin Sisskind services employee at The Oaks; and Terry Ritchie, CAN, a Jewish Health and Rehabilitation Center nursing employee. For more information, contact Kathleen Hallahan at 446-9111, ext. 118, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Menorah Park of Central New York is a non-profit organization that offers services meant to enhance residents’ potential for wellness and independence, and provides a variety of senior independent living and caring options in a community setting.
and the wood of the clarinet’s barrel and bell. More information on the ensemble can be found at www. silverwoodclarinet.com. Admission will be free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or email@example.com. Seasoned Citizens By Stephanie Marshall The TC Seasoned Citizens, a seniors group, took a “walk down memory lane” on April 8. Phil Markert, a senior, provided entertainment with “There is No Such Thing as Being Old.” He led a sing-along of songs from the past and shared his senior stories. One of the more than 20 participants mentioned that she remembers Markert as a young man. Janis Martin, the coordinator of Seasoned Citizens, said, “The program was quite a success.” The group will gather to hear Melanie Zimmer talk about “Curiosities of Central New York” on Tuesday, May 20, at 2 pm. She will speak about folklore in Central New York. The talk will be open to the community.
MAY 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774 ■
obituaries Rhoda Freedman
Rhoda Freedman, 75, died on April 11 at Crouse Hospital. Born in Oswego, she had been a resident of Syracuse for most of her life. She was a preschool teacher in the Syracuse city school district, then an administrator for the district, but most significant was her position as the director of the New York state pre-kindergarten program, from which she retired. She was predeceased by her husband, Albie, in 2011. She is survived by her daughter, Michele Podolak; her brother, David Bluman; and a large and extended family. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions in her memory may be made to Crouse Hospital, 4 North, 736 Irving Ave., Syracuse, NY 13210.
Miriam “Mimi” Levinson
Miriam “Mimi” Levinson, 79, died on April 13 at home. Born in Germany, she and her family escaped Germany for Cuba in 1938 and moved to Vineland, NJ, in 1940, where they started a poultry farm. When she was 18, she moved to New York City, where she was a dance instructor for Arthur Murray, modeled and attended the Students’ Art League. In 1963, she and her husband moved to Syracuse, where he established an optometry practice. They were members of Lake Shore Country Club and Lafayette Country Club, enjoyed golfing and had an active social life. She will be remembered for her artistic talents with a paintbrush and cuisine. She was predeceased by her husband, Jordan Levinson, in December 2010. She is survived by her children, Audrey (Tim) LevinsonWeigand and Dr. Bruce (Andrea Becker) Levinson; four grandchildren; and a nephew, Barry (Bonnie) Ivler. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the McMahon/Ryan House, 601 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13202.
Bernice Alpert Schultz
Bernice Alpert Schultz, 88, of Syracuse, died at home on April 17. Born in Syracuse, she was raised in Syracuse’s 15th Ward. She earned her B.A. in arts and sciences from Syracuse University and her master’s in public health administration from the SU New School for Social Research. During that time, she began a career that channeled her energies and commitment into the crusade for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. She received widespread recognition for her commitment to community service and civil and human rights, and served as executive director of the Central New York American Civil Liberties Union. From 1977-92, she worked at the SU Center on Human Policy, where she focused on developing residential services and community supports for people with developmental disabilities. She then worked as a program manager for developmental services at the Onondaga County Mental Health Department. From 1989 until her retirement in 2005, she was the ombudsman for the Central New York Developmental Services Office, working to promote greater community inclusion for people with disabilities. Among her many awards for her contributions to the welfare of citizens of Onondaga County were the Ralph E. Kharas Civil Liberties Award for her distinguished service in civil liberties for the Central New York chapter of ACLU in 1972; the Onondaga County Community Services Award for outstanding service on behalf of the mentally disabled in 1985; the United Cerebral Palsy of Syracuse Community Services Award in 1986 in acknowledgment of her contribution to the enhancement of the quality of life for persons with special needs; the Euclid Community Open House Community Services Award in 1987 for her “dedication, strength and spirit that have touched and improved the lives of many in the community”; and an award in appreciation for “providing distinguished service in support of Central New York Resources for T.B.I. Inc.” in 1997. The Central New York Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities awarded her the Exceptional Family Resources Inspiration Award “for her many years
as an advocate for people with disabilities in her role as Ombudsman” in 2003, and she received recognition in 2004 from the Central New York Developmental Services Office for her 15 years of service “characterized by dedication and commitment to the provision of opportunities for community inclusion, independence and personal choice for people with developmental disabilities.” In 1998, the Office of the County Executive of Onondaga County proclaimed April 22, 1998, as “Bernice Schultz Community Recognition Day” for her “tireless service on behalf of the rights of those with disabilities in her role as director of CNY ACLU, her work at the Onondaga County Department of Mental Health and the Central New York Developmental Services Office.” The proclamation concluded, “Bernice Schultz is a community treasure who has made Onondaga County a better place to live due to her single-minded dedication to humankind.” She was predeceased by her son, Louis, in 1971; and her sisters, Ruth Alpert and Evelyn Zaleon. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, David; a son, Richard (Mary Dunn); and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Burial was in the Temple Concord section in Woodlawn Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Louis J. Schultz Scholarship Fund, SU Office of Development, 820 Comstock Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244-5040.
Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their ad here in The
PEXTON MEMORIALS ( FORMALLY GROSKIN MEMORIALS) MONUMENTS, MARKERS, CEMETERY LETTERING, PLANTINGS ARRANGED
Call for appointment 697-9461
Holocaust restitution moves slowly in Eastern Europe NEW YORK (JTA) – When a 2009 Holocaust-era assets conference concluded with a landmark statement of principles on Holocaust restitution, many restitution advocates had high hopes that a corner had been turned in the struggle for survivor justice. The Terezin Declaration, which had the support of 46 countries participating in the conference in the Czech Republic, outlined a set of goals for property restitution. It recognized the advancing age of Holocaust survivors and the imperative of delivering them aid and justice in their final years. “Participating States urge that every effort be made to rectify the consequences of wrongful property seizures, such as confiscations, forced sales and sales under duress of property, which were part of the persecution of these innocent people and groups, the vast majority of whom died heirless,” the June 2009 declaration stated. But five years on, progress on securing restitution has been painstakingly slow. The lingering Euro Zone crisis has hampered efforts to get Eastern European countries to pass restitution legislation. The Terezin Declaration, while verbally bold, did not require any concrete commitments – or even the signatures of those countries present. Poland, the only European country occupied by the Nazis that has not enacted substantial private property restitution, did not even bother to show up for a follow-up conference in 2012. In fact, since 2009, Lithuania has been the only country to enact substantial restitution legislation: a $53 million package announced in 2011, to be paid out across 10 years for communal property seized during the Holocaust.
Thank you for your trust and loyalty, Since 1934
Harvey Birnbaum 1906-1986
Harold L. Birnbaum 1901-1967
Martin J. Birnbaum
Elaine R. Birnbaum
Joel M. Friedman
When that difficult time arises, you can rely upon our experience.
See “Restitution” on page 12
Continued from page 10 Such periodic economic resets were intended to mitigate inevitable inequalities in society. There were to be no permanent “landed” and “landless” classes. Neither servitude nor indebtedness was to be unending. Whereas inequality still reigned in the secular sphere, the religious realm always stressed the equal worth of all. Though absolute equality remained an unattainable ideal, such economic and ritual approaches undoubtedly markedly aided advances toward that worthy goal. Richard D. Wilkins is a member of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse.
1909 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13210 315.472.5291 • 1.800.472.5182
Martin J. Birnbaum* Elaine R. Birnbaum* Joel M. Friedman *Also Licensed in Florida
email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.birnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com
Visit the JO online at jewishfederationcny.org and click on Jewish Observer
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ may 1, 2014/1 IYAR 5774
Featuring the largest kosher selection of fresh meat, poultry, dairy, frozen & grocery in the Central New York area.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Grocery Including a large selection of Kosher Dairy & Frozen items.
–––––––– –––––––– ––––––––
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 2.29 oz.•Chicken, Vegetable Beef or Tomato Beef
Foulds Wacky Mac Dinner
In Our Kosher Dairy Dept. 7 oz.•Regular or No Salt
In Our Kosher Dairy Dept. 6 oz.•Sliced
Friendship Farmer Cheese
Haolam Muenster Cheese
88 1 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ¢
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– In Our Kosher Dairy Dept. In Our Kosher Frozen Dept. 12 oz.
Tofutti Parve Sour Cream
Where Available•36-40 oz.•All Varieties
Broadway J2 Pizza
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Meat Including a selection of Glatt Kosher Fresh and Frozen Beef, Chicken & Turkey.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Fresh Empire Kosher 8 Piece Cut-Up Chicken
16 oz.•Chicken or
Empire Kosher Turkey Franks
3 2 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 09
Fresh Teva 85% Angus Ground Beef
Meal Mart Beef Patties
Fish Including a selection of Salmon Fillets & Steaks. Sour Cream or
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 12 oz.•Snacks in 4 oz.•Swedish Cure Norwegian Gravad Lax or Nathan’s Herring Snacks In Wine Sauce
Admiral’s Norwegian Smoked Salmon
FREE BUY 1, GET 1
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Exclusively at the DeWitt Super Center 2515 Erie Boulevard • 449-2314
Prices effective Sunday, April 27 thru Saturday, May 31, 2014.
“Most countries resist having to engage in restitution or compensation for lost property,” said Douglas Davidson, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for Holocaust restitution issues. The week before Passover, Davidson was in Zagreb with Jewish restitution leaders negotiating with Croatian government officials. Croatia is one of the few countries that negotiators say is holding serious restitution talks and where a deal is conceivable in the foreseeable future. “They want to do it, they know they should do it, but their economy is in disastrous shape and by their reckoning it would cost them onr billion euros to compensate for property that was nationalized by the communist regime in Yugoslavia after the war,” Davidson said. In a bid to add some fuel to the campaign for restitution in countries that are dragging their feet, the World Jewish Restitution Organization is mounting a new effort to drum up public and political pressure within the European Union. In February, the group helped orchestrate a letter by 50 British parliamentarians to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk pressing him on restitution. “Unfortunately, Poland stands out in its failure to fulfill – or even recognize – its responsibility to victims,” said the letter, whose primary signatory was Baroness Ruth Deech. A Jewish member of the House of Lords, Deech had grandparents on both sides of her family who owned substantial property in Poland. “Poland has a responsibility to elderly Holocaust survivors, their heirs and other victims to return property which was seized by the Nazis or subsequently nationalized by the Communist regimes,” the letter said. “Democratic Poland continues unjustly to benefit from the victims’ private property. Many of these victims and their heirs – both Jews and non-Jews – are British citizens.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague recently lent his support to the campaign. “Europe is a partner that is as important and in some cases more important than the United States,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO’s chairman of operations and a former chief of the Claims Conference. “Making this a multilateral issue is going to be the way we need to go if we really want to use the last few years survivors are with us.” The Obama administration also is trying to strengthen restitution efforts, with Vice President Joe Biden reportedly raising the issue in
loss, felt keenly by the entire country. Toward the close of Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen, the heavy mood slowly begins to lift as Israelis emerge from the somber day to celebrate Israel’s birthday. As night falls, bringing relief from the pain of remembrance, hundreds of Jerusalemites dressed in blue and white stream into synagogues all around the city for special prayers of thanksgiving in honor of Independence Day. The close of the brief prayer service is the ancient call, “Next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem,” followed by a prayer of gratitude for living in the period of the beginning of the redemption and a joyful rendition of the “Shir Hama’alot” psalm sung to the tune of “Hatikvah,” the Israeli national anthem. As the congregations pour out onto the street, it’s as if a cork has been released from a bottle – all the pent-up feelings from the difficult day of remembrance give way to celebration of our continued existence in this land. Just an hour after dark, stages are activated in neighborhoods all across the city featuring a variety of music and entertainment. Streets downtown are closed off for the night, and are taken over by the pre-teens whose idea of fun is spraying every passerby and storefront with white sticky spray. Two main stages set up in Independence Park and in Zion Square feature Israel’s most popular groups. The plaza in Safra Square, home of the municipality, is set aside for traditional Israeli dancing. In the meantime, the official Independence Day opening ceremonies are getting
Continued from page 11
private meetings with European leaders. During the heyday of Holocaust restitution legislation in the 1990s, the newly independent countries of Central and Eastern Europe viewed restitution as a way to curry favor with the West and improve their chances of gaining admission to NATO. Holocaust restitution often came up in U.S. Senate hearings on NATO membership, and it was during that era that several major restitution agreements were reached. The opening of state archives after the fall of the Iron Curtain helped keep a spotlight on the issue. When Germany reunified in 1990, the restitution of East German properties once owned by Jews was a condition of the nation’s reunification agreement, and since then more than $3 billion in assets have been restituted. Today, the main leverage for negotiators is the demand for justice, as well as the urgency of getting deals done before the last generation of survivors dies out. “We had some leverage at a certain point in this process – the issue of countries coming into NATO or the EU – but that was accomplished in the 1990s or the early part of the 2000s,” said Daniel Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, which is a member of the WJRO. “What we really are dependent on now is the moral imperative of the case, or the goodwill or lack of it by the governments involved, and on WJRO’s persuasive abilities. That’s a pretty challenging task.” The task is made more difficult by the pace and duration of negotiations. Stretched out in many cases throughout a decade or more, negotiations wax and wane while governments come and go, recessions and austerity budgets take hold, and in some places, rising nationalist sentiment makes any kind of deal more difficult. Even for governments that recognize their responsibility to return property seized from Jews, the idea of transferring local assets to Jews overseas is seen as a political liability. For that reason, even some of the countries that have passed restitution or compensation legislation bar non-citizens or those living outside the country from benefitting. Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, which deals primarily with restitution related to Germany and Austria, says the European public needs to understand that it’s not an issue of giving something away, but of restoring assets to their rightful owners. Continued from page 7 under way at Mount Herzl, adjacent to the military cemetery that was the scene of the bereaved grieving over the graves of their loved ones only hours earlier. The Independence Day ceremony is the closest Israel gets to a military parade. Dozens of representatives of Israel’s armed forces participate in a meticulously choreographed march set to patriotic music. The formality of the ceremony is very un-Israeli. Buildings throughout the city are adorned with massive Israeli flags. Cars sport flags flapping from every conceivable opening. Around 10 pm, crowds start to congregate on King George Street in anticipation of the main fireworks display that is set off from the roof of the Leonardo Plaza Hotel. In two 10-minute sessions, the sky lights up with an awesome array of pyrotechnics. Many of the non-teen revelers head down to the Jerusalem Theater after the fireworks. The lobby is packed as hundreds join a free sing-along of Israeli classics. The next morning, most regular folks head out to the parks and beaches for the traditional “mangal,” or barbecue. Regular radio updates report on the traffic gridlock. By mid-day, several national parks are closed because there’s just nowhere to squeeze in another vehicle. When Israelis finally get to celebrate Independence Day after a somber Memorial Day, it will be with the usual mix of emotions that accompany every holiday in the state of Israel – joy and sadness, appreciation and remembrance, and, above all, incredulity that Israel has made it to 66.