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Ruth Federman Stein to receive 2017 Roth Award BY JUDITH STANDER The Jewish Federation of Central New York has announced that Ruth Federman Stein will receive the 2017 Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership. She will be presented with the award at Federation’s 99th annual meeting on Wednesday, June 7. The program will begin with refreshments 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 displayed at Federation’s offices. It is awarded in honor and recognition of those individuals who have demonstrated “outstanding Jewish community leadership” and is always presented at Federation’s annual meeting. It is considered by many to be the major community service award presented by the Syracuse Jewish community. Stein’s résumé has been called a “who’s who in human intelligence, professional achievements and family accomplishments.” She has been credited with using the question, “What can I do for you?,” as her lifelong guideline. She holds a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in education from Ohio State University. She earned a master of arts in English literature, with an emphasis on American literature, from the University of Florida. Those who have worked with Stein in preparing announcements or reports have praised her ability to improve a document with her English skills. She also holds a doctorate from Syracuse University in the areas of instructional design, development and evaluation. Her teaching career began in Syracuse with 12 years at Corcoran High School as

Teams in the College Classroom: an English teacher, as well as a A Faculty Guide.” Project Advance instructor and Stein has been responsible department chair for three years. for the preparation and delivShe is said to have played “a key role” in the revision of the ery of multiple workshops and English curriculum, as well as presentations that focused on a the development and teaching of variety of educational issues, a variety of English and writing including “Responding to courses for grades 10-12. She Student Writing” at the Center also worked at West Genesee for Support of Teaching and High School and then Syracuse Ruth Federman Learning; the book “Building University, where she taught and Sustaining Learning ComStein and worked with SU’s writing munities: Turning a Vision into and curriculum development in its writing Reality” at the Professional and Organizaprograms. She worked for more than a dozen tional Network in Higher Education Conyears at Syracuse University as a Project ference; “Using Student Ratings to Improve Advance consultant for English throughout Teaching Effectiveness” at the Professional local school districts, where these courses and Organizational Network in Higher were offered for college credits. She worked Education Conference; and “Using Teams directly with students, teachers, administra- Effectively” at the Syracuse University tors and guidance counselors to help assure Project Advance Conference on Teaching and Learning for Critical Citizenship. quality and success in the program. Her Jewish community volunteer efIn between her teaching career, she was elected as one of seven commissioners of forts have included the positions of vice education for the City of Syracuse School president of youth education, Kadima District, a position she held for eight years, co-advisor, Sisterhood president and presiincluding serving as board president. The dent at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra board’s responsibilities included working Shas, as well as a teacher of prayer book closely with the superintendent of schools Hebrew at the congregation. to establish policies in the areas of finance, In addition, she sits on the Syracuse Hecurriculum, transportation, personnel and brew Day School board; is a “book buddy” capital improvements. at the Seymour Dual Language Academy, She has written and co-written several tutoring 6- and 7-year-old students in readarticles in her field, including “Superinten- ing and comprehending English; and is a dent Evaluation – More Than a Technical member of the auxiliary of Menorah Park. Process,” “Building and Sustaining Learning She was recognized by the National Communities: The Syracuse University Ex- Council of Jewish Women for her efforts perience” and “Designing and Pilot-testing in starting the annual women’s seder in a Church-based Community Program to Syracuse. She has been inducted into the Reduce ObesityAmongAfricanAmericans.” Zanesville City Schools Hall of Fame She has also written a book, “Using Student and was a recent recipient of the Na’amat

Jewish Music and Cultural Festival chai year fund-raiser to feature Bonnie Abrams and Allen Hopkins BY VICKI FELDMAN The Jewish Music and Cultural Festival will host a fund-raising party on Sunday, June 25, at 4 pm, at the Syracuse home of Richard and Neva Pilgrim. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be available. Bonnie Abrams and Allen Hopkins will perform a mixture of traditional, contemporary and original songs in Yiddish and English, as well as klezmer. Singer-songwriter Abrams has won awards in national songwriting competitions and was a “New Folk” finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. She has recorded three albums of original songs, and her fourth CD, “A Sudenyu of Yiddish Song,” has been featured at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Hopkins’ expertise is folk music, including American traditional, Celtic instrumental, some Yiddish, blues, blue-

grass, “old timey” and contemporary. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, English concertina, harmonica, bass (acoustic and electric), dobro, Appalachian dulcimer, ukulele and other unusual instruments, from tiple to kalimba. Sunday, September 10, will marks JMAC’s 18th (chai) year. The festival will be held at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. Support from the fund-raiser is intended to help keep JMAC free for all who attend. For JMAC updates, visit There will be a charge to attend, and reservations have been requested by Thursday, June 15. For more information, to make a reservation or for festival sponsorships or vendor opportunities, call Judith Stander at Jewish Federation of Central New York, 315-445-2040, ext. 114.

Bonnie Abrams (right) and Allen Hopkins will be the featured musicians at the Jewish Music and Cultural fundraiser on Sunday, June 25.

Woman of Achievement Award. She is completing her third term of office as Federation’s chair of the board and was a board member prior to this position. Linda Alexander, Federation’s president/CEO, said, “It has been a delight working with Ruth for the past three years in her position as chair of the Federation board. I have learned patience and perseverance from her. In her own quiet way, she takes on all tasks with energy and goodwill to solve any problem by looking at all sides. She is truly a community builder and I am proud to have been her partner in leading our Federation community!” Stein’s parents were both Holocaust survivors, who married in January 1938 in Germany. In November of that year, during Kristallnacht, her father was arrested and sent to Buchenwald. At that time, people were still able to secure visas to leave the country and he was able to escape to England. Her mother then hired smugglers who helped her leave Germany and escape to Holland. Her mother’s brother and sister were living in the United States and sent money to let her purchase passage from Holland to America. While she was on the ship, the Nazis invaded Holland. Her father, who was a cantor and later a rabbi, was reunited with Ruth’s mother in 1942. In her spare time, Stein and her husband, Joel, have raised a blended family of five children, ranging in age from 33-40 years of age. They also have six grandchildren, with another on the way.

2017 Federation Annual Campaign Goal: $ $1,200,000 1,185,370 as of May 22, 2017

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


May 26............................. 8:14 pm.................................................Parasha-Bamidbar May 30............................. 8:18 pm.........................................................Erev Shavuot May 31.................... after 9:29 pm..................................................................Shavuot June 2............................... 8:20 pm........................................................Parasha-Naso June 9............................... 8:25 pm...........................................Parasha-BeHa’alotcha

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Annual meeting

Congregational notes

SJFS at 125

The Jewish Federation, SHDS and Local synagogues announce a Syracuse Jewish Family Service the Epstein School will hold a mock trial, concerts, a scholar-in- has launched Campaign 125² to residence and more. combined annual meeting. celebrate its 125th anniversary. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 7

PLUS Classifieds................................ 6 Calendar Highlights............... 7 Obituaries................................. 7 Summer Fun....................1A-4A


JEWISH OBSERVER ■ MAY 25, 20176/29 IYAR 5777

A MATTER OF OPINION Where did all the Jewish people go? This article originally appeared in the February 26, 2017 issue of The Forward and is reprinted with their permission. BY BARBARA DAVIS “Everywhere around the world They’re coming to America Every time that flag’s unfurled They’re coming to America Got a dream to take them there They’re coming to America Got a dream they’ve come to share They’re coming to America.” — Neil Diamond, America The words of the song express the hopes and dreams of all immigrants –- or at least we think they do. Some of us. Some of us don’t. Some of us have a different idea of what the dream is, of what America is, and of what we ought to do about it. We are facing that conflict square in the face right now. The disestablishment clause of the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” And yet there are those today who would assert that America is an English-speaking, God-fearing, fully assimilated, homogenized, unified, white Christian country and that those who believe otherwise are wrong, or worse. Is that the America immigrants hope to come to, the dream they’ve come to share? Or is America a multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, pluralistic, heterogeneous, disparate and divided country with nothing in common except diversity? Are we “One Nation, Under God” or are we even “One Nation”? What happened to the unum in E Pluribus Unum? What does the unum represent today? What’s in the melting pot? Is it beef stew, jambalaya, cholent, goulash, gumbo, bamia or pot-au-feu? And is it good for the Jews? Which Jews? Where are the Jews? Or, in the unforgettable words of right-wing polemicist Ann Coulter, “Oh God, not the Jews again.” It’s a funny time to be Jewish. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not very Jewish, ran

for president and nobody made a big deal about his religion (or lack thereof). Jared Kushner is an Orthodox Jew and some people (mostly Jews) make an issue about his religion, but not in a really bad way. Antisemitism is on the rise, but seems to be limited to bomb scares at JCCs and swastikas on signs or subways, not the kinds of attacks or rampant hatred seen in the past. Muslims have replaced Jews as the religious minority white nationalists hate the most, and even as the Israeli-Palestinian situation makes no progress toward resolution, Jews in the U.S. are in the forefront of those standing up for Muslims, even vowing to register as Muslims if a registry is established. The staunchest supporters of Israel today are not Jews, certainly not liberal Jews – they are Evangelical Christians. So is America a Christian country or not? Did the Jewish immigrants who came here in the 20th century accept the antidisestablishmentarian argument that America is a Christian nation? Are Jews today distinguishable from other Americans or have they been swallowed up by the fulfillment of the dreams that brought them to this country in the first place? The statistics would indicate that such is the case. With a 50 percent intermarriage rate, by the middle of the 21st century most Jews will either be haredim or indistinguishable from the majority Christian population. It’s interesting to contrast the experience of Muslim immigrants in the 21st century with that of the 20th century Jewish immigrants. Immigrant Muslims have contributed tremendously to the cultural fabric of the United States and have been successful professionally and economically, despite facing significant hostility, harassment, threats and acts of violence. What is unique about Muslim Americans, however, is that, by and large, they have not tried to eradicate their religious and cultural heritage in order to fit in to the American model. This is quite different from the Jewish immigrant experience. Jews came to America and immediately threw off the trappings of their former lives. They

changed their names, had plastic surgery to “fix” their noses, deliberately ate trayf and married out. They did their utmost to become “real” (i.e, white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian) Americans. And by and large, they succeeded. As they climbed the ladders of success and gained entry into the professions, the arts and the business world, they increasingly turned away from their religion and their ancestry with nary a backwards glance and with little regret. They sent their children to public schools, which, despite efforts to deny it, really taught that America is a Christian country; in which Halloween, Christmas and Easter are American holidays; and in which being different – in color, religion, language, heritage, ethnicity or gender – was not really acceptable and was best altered or at least hidden. It took a long time – maybe too long – for Jews to realize that being different, being Jewish, was not something to be ashamed of, but something to be proud of. It took a long time – maybe too long – for Jews to wake up to the fact that being American did not have to mean being Keene instead of Cohen or Lawrence instead of Lebowitz. Just as bagels became mainstream and chicken soup became the penicillin for everyone’s soul, Jews became not only acceptable, but desirable. A nice Jewish boy was suddenly good marital material (viz., Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka Trump) and Ralph Lauren (formerly Lipschitz) became the epitome of classic WASP taste. But what happened to the Jews in the meantime? Regrettably, they disappeared. The Pew Report tells us that “the percentage of U.S. adults who say they are Jewish when asked about their religion has declined by about half since the late 1950s and currently is a little less than 2 percent.” Most American Jews today

identify as such by virtue of their sense of humor. They have opted for the myth of the melting pot, which really means Christian, Eurocentric, white America. Soon the majority of American Jews will be replaced by those ultra-Orthodox who reject not only Christianity but all things modern and secular, who will be poor, who will be insular, but who will be Jewish. Is this the inevitable fate of immigrants to America? In three or four generations will they lose their connections to their heritage, their peoplehood, their faith? Will this be good for America or bad? The framers of the Constitution wrote the disestablishment clause because they did not want America to be a Christian country, God-fearing Christians though they were. The Jews who came to America wanted to assimilate. Now – without some significant committed educational effort – they have assimilated themselves out of existence. Let us hope that Muslim Americans hold fast to their faith, that they do not change their names, their noses, or their beliefs. Let us hope that they teach their children Arabic and the Koran and their heritage and their values. America should not be a melting pot in which everything becomes homogenized and individual faiths and heritages are lost. It should be a quilt made of lots of different, colorful and amazingly diverse colors, affiliations, patterns, stories, histories/herstories, foods, languages and faiths. There is a profound, idealistic unum that unites us – a belief in democracy, fairness, equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – that derives from the very pluribus that makes us unique as a nation. As Muslims outstrip Jews as America’s largest religious minority, perhaps they will find a lesson in the Jewish experience. And perhaps we Jews can learn something from them as well.

CORRECTION In the May 11 issue of the Jewish Observer, the “Women in Business” write-up for Laurie Kushner, licensed real estate salesperson, on page 8 listed the wrong street address for her office. The correct address is 7650 Highbridge Rd., Suite 210, Manlius NY 13104.

of Central New York

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MAY 25, 2017/29 IYAR 5777 ■

AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Combined Federation-Day SchoolEpstein School annual meeting BY KATHIE PIIRAK The Jewish Federation of Central New York will hold a combined 2017 annual meeting with the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and the Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies on Wednesday, June 7, in the Anne and Hy Miller Auditorium at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The program will begin with refreshments at 6:30 pm, with the meeting to follow at 7 pm. The combined annual meeting will be free and open to the community. Presiding over the 99th annual meeting will be Federation Board Chair Ruth Stein. A dessert reception will be catered by JCC chef Donna Carullo, under the supervision of the Va’ad Ha’ir. The Federation will elect its Board of Directors at the meeting. Returning for a two-year term ending in 2019 are trustees Adam Alweis, Sidney Cominsky, Miriam Elman, Joel Friedman, Elliott Meltzer, Todd Pinsky, Neil Rosenbaum, Carl Rosenzweig, Cheryl Schotz, Rabbi Evan Shore and David Temes. New trustees for a two-year term ending in 2019 include Jeffrey Maloff and Mark Wladis. Returning trustees to complete their

term ending in 2018 include Michael Balanoff, Marc Beckman, Mara Charlamb, Rabbi Daniel Fellman, Mark Field, Adam Fumarola, Alan Goldberg, Mickey Lebowitz, Stein, Steve Volinsky and Ellen Weinstein. The 2016 Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership will be presented to Stein. In addition, a special President’s Award will be presented to Goldberg. The Roth Award was established in May 1979 by the friends and family of Esther and Joseph Roth. It is a permanent award that is housed and displayed at the offices of the Federation. It is awarded in honor and recognition of those individuals who have demonstrated “outstanding Jewish community leadership.” The award is considered by many to be the “premier” community service award presented by the Syracuse Jewish community. The Syracuse Hebrew Day School Chorus will perform. The combined annual meeting will be open to the community. Reservations have been requested and can be made by contacting Kathie Piirak at 315-445-2040, ext. 106, or


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.



Monday, May 22, early.........................June 8 Wedneday, June 7................................June 22 Wednesday, July 5............................... July 20 Wednesday, July 19.......................... August 3

The Oaks at Menorah Park free summer entertainment series The Oaks at Menorah Park, located at 18 Arbor Ln., Syracuse, will once again host three free summer entertainment events in its courtyard. The concerts will start at 7 pm and will be free and open to the public.

Entertainment will be provided on Sunday, June 4, at 7 pm, by the Caribbean Hurtado Dancers, who will perform traditional Cuban dances from classical danzon, See “Oaks” on page 6

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu MAY 29-JUNE 2 Monday – Memorial Day – JCC closed Tuesday – egg salad on rye Wednesday – JCC closed for Shavuot Thursday –JCC closed for Shavuot Friday – salmon with dill JUNE 5-9 Monday – crispy teriyaki chicken wings Tuesday – chef salad Wednesday – beef stew over noodles Thursday – hot corned beef on rye Friday – roast turkey 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 DONATE YOUR CAR TO BETH SHOLOM, CONCORD, OR THE JCC, THRU C*A*R*S (a locally owned Manlius company) $50 GIFT CARD (APR/MAY)


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

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

Annual meeting notice for plot owners for Frumah Packard Cemetery Jamesville Ave., Syracuse, NY 13210 June 12, 2017 at 5pm at the Engel Chapel at Frumah Packard Cemetery

JEWISH FEDERATION SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT/CEO POSITION An executive search has begun for a full-time, on-site President/CEO for the Jewish Federation of Central New York. This position has overall strategic and operational responsibilities for Fundraising, Community Programming and Staffing. The President/CEO also functions as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York. The ideal candidate must be a visionary leader and a passionate advocate for the Jewish community. Salary and Benefit package negotiable. The Jewish Federation of CNY is an Equal Opportunity Employer. A complete job description may be found online at Resumés may be mailed to: Jewish Federation of CNY: 5655 Thompson Road; DeWitt, NY 13214 Attention: K. Piirak or submitted electronically to Deadline for submission is June 30, 2017.



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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ MAY 25, 20176/29 IYAR 5777

CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas SIBLING RIVALRY Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will hold a mock trial on Sunday, June 4, at 7 pm, at the synagogue, 18 Patsy Ln., off Jamesville Road in Jamesville. Local attorneys will litigate “The People vs. Jacob.” Presiding will be Rosemary Pooler. Participants will receive a ballot, which they will use to vote after listening to arguments on both sides of the issue. Isaac was 40-years-old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethul of Paddan-aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Rebekah conceived and gave birth to twin boys, Esau and Jacob. When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter, but Jacob was a mild man who stayed in camp. Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah favored Jacob. The “trial” will be free and open to the community. Reservations have been requested, since seating will be limited. To make a reservation or for more information, contact Dotty Pearl at 315-445-0119 or dmpearl4@gmail. com. Light refreshments will be available. CBS-CS SECOND GRADE SIDDUR CEREMONY AND FACULTY APPRECIATION All Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas second grade students, whether they attend the religious school or the Syracuse Hebrew Day School, will receive a siddur signifying the beginning of their more formal Jewish studies on Friday, June 9. The event will begin with a potluck Shabbat dinner at 6 pm. Reservations will be required for the dinner and can be made by contacting

L-r: Lilah Temes and Ariella Shever examined a mezuzah they made during their CBS-CS religious school class before it was attached to a classroom door. 315-446-9570 or Each child’s parent will have an opportunity to write a message to their child on a bookplate to be placed in their child’s siddur. During services, which will begin at 7:15 pm, the CBS-CS religious school teachers will be recognized and thanked for their efforts this year.

The program will conclude with an oneg Shabbat at 8:15 pm in honor of the faculty and the second grade students. CBS-CS HAZAK PRESENTS SENECA STRING QUARTET CONCERT “SUMMER SERENADE” The Seneca String Quartet, featuring Sue Jacobs, Fred Klemperer, Heather Fais and Walden Bass, will return to CBS-CS to perform a “Summer Serenade” concert on Sunday, June 11, at 11 am. The program will be free and open to the community. Refreshments will be available at 10:30 am. “PORGY AND BESS” GLIMMERGLASS TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE Tickets are still available for the congregation and community members to attend a matinee performance of the American opera “Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin on Tuesday, July 18, at 1:30 pm. Included in the price is a “Behind the Scenes” tour and a preview performance at a private indoor lunch, with food provided by The Oaks, as well as snacks and transportation on a chartered Onondaga Coach. The trip will be hosted by the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. For more details or to make a reservation, contact Norma S. Feldman at or 315474-3208.

Temple Adath Yeshurun SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE: RABBI REUVEN HAMMER BY SONALI MCINTYRE Temple Adath Yeshurun will host Rabbi Reuven Hammer as scholar-in-residence from Friday-Sunday, June 9-11, with each day offering a different program. A Shabbat dinner will be held on Friday, June 9, at 6:15 pm, after the 5:30 pm services. There will be a charge for the dinner and reservations are required. At 7:45 pm, Rabbi Hammer will present a program called “From Temple Adath Yeshurun to Temple Mount,” in which he will recount growing up in Syracuse and the influences that led to him becoming an observant Jew and making aliyah to Israel to promote the growth of the Conservative movement, Masorti, of which he is one of the founders. After the talk, there will be an oneg. Shabbat services on Saturday, June 10, will begin at 9:15 am. At 10:45 am, there will be a brunch and learn with Rabbi Hammer on “The Status of Non-Jews in Jewish Law and Lore Today.” Rabbi Hammer will address the status of Gentiles in Jewish law today and how Jews should deal with statements in traditional Jewish literature that are negative or discriminatory regarding non-Jews. Reservations for the free brunch and learn have been requested. The scholar-in-residence weekend will conclude on Sunday, June 11, at 10:15 am, with coffee, followed by Rabbi Hammer’s discussion of “Akiva: The Man and the Myth.” The program will examine the life of Akiva

Three-year-old Nora Dittman used different types of plants to paint a nature mural at the Temple Adath Yeshurun Rothschild Early Childhood Center. ben Yosef and how he came to be considered one of the “fathers of the world.” Rabbi Hammer will have his most recent book, “Akiva: Life, Legend, Legacy,” available for purchase. The scholar-in-residence weekend will be open to the community. For more information or to make reservations for the Shabbat dinner on June 9 or the brunch and learn on June 10, contact the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or, or visit

Temple Concord GOLDENBERG CULTURAL SERIES PRESENTS CLARINETIST ALLAN KOLSKY BY CHANA MEIR The final offering in this year’s Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series at Temple Concord will be a concert by the clarinetist Allan Kolsky on Monday, June 5, at 7 pm. Kolsky is the principal clarinet at Symphoria. He held positions with the Louisiana Philharmonic and the Utah Symphony before joining the Syracuse Symphony in 2002. He has performance degrees Allan Kolsky from Temple and DePaul universities, and is an adjunct lecturer in clarinet in Hamilton College’s Department of Music. As a student, he was awarded a Tanglewood fellowship. In addition to music, Kolsky’s other passions include literature and acting. In 2001, his “humorous parody” of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” won the international Faux Faulkner Contest. He has also acted in several productions with the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival. The event will be free and open to the public. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or

CINEMAGOGUE SCREENS “APPLES FROM THE DESERT” BY CHANA MEIR The Cinemagogue series will present “Apples from the Desert” on Saturday, June 10, at 7 pm. Based on an Israeli play, “Apples from the Desert” is a story about “the conflict between tradition and modernity,” as told by See “TC” on page 6

Local author, columnist and “community treasure” Sean Kirst spoke to Temple Concord’s Brotherhood on May 7, retelling stories from his book, “The Soul of Central New York.” L-r: Eric Rogers, Todd Engel, Brotherhood President Larry Brown and Kirst.

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May 2017

Cortland Repertory Theatre announces 46th annual season Cortland Repertory Theatre announces its 46th season at The Little York Pavilion in Dwyer Park, Preble, under Producing Artistic Director Kerby Thompson. From June 7-17, CRT will present “The 39 Steps,” from John Buchan’s novel, adapted by Patrick Barlow and based on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece, a spy novel and some comedy, and you have this tale about a man who meets a woman who says she’s a spy. An organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail when she’s murdered. From June 21-July 8 is the musical “La Cage Aux Folles,” with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein based on Jean Poiret’s play. Georges and Albin are surprised when Georges’ son announces his engagement to the daughter of a closed-minded politician. When the families plan a “normal” get-together dinner, it doesn’t go as planned. From July 12-29, CRT will present the musical “Footloose,” with music by Tom Snow, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and a book by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. City boy Ren is forced to move to rural Bomont, where dancing of any kind is banned, and he can’t resist breaking the rules.

Snake Creek Marine Snake Creek Marine is a third generation, family-run business located in Montrose, PA. It has been a Mercury dealer since 1972 and Starcraft dealer since 1974. Stop in and check out the inventory of Starcraft fiberglass runabouts, Arima fishing boats, aluminum fishing boats and pontoons. Snake Creek Marine also sells boat lifts and boating accessories. Accessories help to make your boat unique to your needs. Items such as global positioning systems (or GPS), extra seating, rod storage, draw plugs and bikini tops, just to name a few accessories, are among the many products displayed in the vast showroom. Snake Creek Marine’s helpful staff can get you on the water and keep you there. For further information, visit Snake Creek Marine’s Web site at or call 570-967-2109 or 1-800-453-3820.

CRT will present Agatha Christie’s “Appointment with Death” from August 2-12. While touring Jerusalem, an international group of travelers are joined by Mrs. Boynton and her four stepchildren, only to see one of the travelers murdered on a sightseeing desert tour. From August 16-26 is the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” by Katherine DiSavino. When Bridget goes to stay with Nana in New York City for the summer, she discovers her grandmother runs an illegal boutique selling handmade naughty knickers to every senior citizen in the five borough area. With a landlord looking for the rent and a handsome cop on the beat, will Bridget be able to handle the excitement, and will Nana get arrested – or evicted? “Life Could Be a Dream” from August 30-September 9 in a new musical written and created by Roger Bean, with musical arrangements by Bean and Jon Newton, and featuring “doo-wop” hits of the ‘60s. Audiences are invited to revisit Springfield (home of last year’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes”) to meet Denny and the Dreamers, a fledgling singing group preparing to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest. For the annual children’s show, CRT will present “The Velveteen Rabbit,” adapted from the children’s story by Margery Williams and adapted by Mark Reynolds, which

Cortland Repertory Theatre is celebrating its 46th anniversary season in 2017. Previous productions included “West Side Story” in summer 2016. tells the “tail” of the unconditional love between a child and his toy bunny. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed toy to the show. Performance dates are July 15 at 10 am and noon, and July 21 at 10 am. For information on CRT’s summer shows, children’s programs, downtown events, ticket prices and box office hours, visit or call 800-427-6160. Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. Gift certificates are available. Tickets for CRT’s summer shows will go on sale on May 22.

Syracuse JCC’s summer camp is for friendship and fun The Sam Pomeranz Jewish ComSchool-age campers can take in the munity Center in Syracuse offers chiltraditional summer camp experience dren and teens many opportunities to with Nitzanim or attend a specialty enjoy friendship and fun under the camp focused on a specific interest summer sun. The JCC’s Camp Rishon area, such as art, sports, rocketry, summer day camp will run weekdays gymnastics, fishing and more. Opfor eight weeks from June 26- August tional overnight events and after-camp 18. There will be plenty of non-stop clinics are also available. excitement, fun and adventure for SyraCruisin’ offers teens the opporeveryone to experience. L-r: David Peters, Yliyah Campbell, Isayah tunity to embark on a new adventure Throughout each week, campers Campbell and Evan Powers were all smiles each day. The weekly camp’s local and will have a blast as they interact with while taking a brief break from fishing during regional field trips encourage social peers, make new friends and broaden the JCC’s 2016 Camp Rishon fishing camp. and cultural awareness, community their horizons. There’s no time for service, team building and fun – of boredom at the JCC as campers go swimming and are kept course! Each session will feature different field trips so each active every day. day is completely different from the next. Optional overnight Summer camp at the Syracuse JCC caters to three distinct trips are also available. age groups. The early childhood camp is for children 6-weeks Other JCC summer camp weekly options for teens and old through entering kindergarten, school-age camp is open pre-teens include the junior camp aide, camp aide and to children entering grades one-six and the SyraCruisin’ teen counselor in training (or CIT) programs. Both the camp travel camp is for young teens entering grades seven-10. Each aide and CIT programs require current Syracuse JCC family camp day begins and ends at the JCC at 5655 Thompson membership to enroll. Rd., DeWitt. Depending on the camp, some campers may Camp Rishon registration is currently in full swing and go off-site for scheduled field trips and activities. Early and will continue right up until the start of camp on June 26 and late care options are available for all campers. throughout the summer – but don’t delay. Spots go quickly The early childhood camp offers developmentally appro- and some camp sessions close out early. Except for the camp priate, interactive, indoor/outdoor activities geared toward aide and CIT teen programs, current JCC membership is fun-filled days with friends. Toddlers 18 months and older not necessary for Camp Rishon registration. However, JCC participate in daily Red Cross swim lessons. Enrollment for members receive discounted camp rates. A discount for the infant camp, ages 6-18 months, is on a monthly basis, siblings is also available. while toddlers and preschoolers can enroll in camps on a For more information about the JCC of Syracuse’s 2017 weekly basis with options for flexible days and times. summer camp, and to request a camp program guide, call 315-445-2360 or visit

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Taste of tropics at Popp Butterfly Conservatory The Joseph L. Popp Jr. Butterfly Conservatory is a 3,000 sq. ft. indoor tropical garden located in historic Oneonta, NY. It is home to more than 150 species of animals that are on exhibit year-round, and butterflies* during the warmer months of spring, summer and fall. The conservatory’s aim is to introduce visitors both to the wonderment and the spectacular biodiversity of the natural world. Its indoor exhibit includes tropical plants and maintains near tropical conditions for more than 150 species of invertebrates, fish, tortoises, reptiles and various species of beautiful tropical birds, among others. The best time to see It is a fantastic family activity and butterflies is during the learning experience for all ages! summer at the Joseph The building is equipped with L. Popp Jr. Butterfly ramps and is fully handicap ac- Conservatory. cessible. There are staff members throughout the exhibit to answer any questions and point out well-camouflaged critters in the vegetation. The grounds also include a butterfly field, where summer festivals and concerts are held. The conservatory also has a seasonal café offering a variety of hot and cold drinks, light snacks, sandwiches and smoothies for those visiting on a day trip. For further information, including directions, upcoming events, hours and admission costs, visit *Butterflies are not exhibited year-round. The best time to see butterflies is during the summer on warm sunny days.

May 2017

Page 3A - Summer Fun

Celebrate the arts at Cortland’s Arts and Wine Festival Join the Cultural Council of Cortland County at its 11th annual Arts and Wine Festival on August 5, from 10 am-5 pm, in Courthouse Park in downtown Cortland, NY. The event is open to the public and will offer fun activities for the whole family. The festival will feature local artists, crafters, musicians, food vendors and wineries. The day’s schedule will include musical guests like Molly and the Badly Bent Bluegrass Boys; Johnny and Lonnie; Small Town Shade; The Spencer Sisters; Austin and Casey; the Basin Street Jazz Band; a performance by the women’s Morris dance team from Binghamton, the BFHarridans; and other live entertainment. Local artists will display and sell their work at booths in the park, with prizes to be awarded to vendor artists in a variety of categories. A children’s tent for artistic kids’

Join the Cultural Council of Cortland County at its 11th annual Arts and Wine Festival on August 5. activities will feature a sidewalk art contest, with prizes awarded to young artists. Food for sale will include Yakisoba’s, local farm produce and goods, last year’s People’s Choice award winner, the Chicken Bandit Food Truck, and other options from area vendors.

Festival admission is free, but admission to the Wine Tent is $16 online in advance, or $20 at the door. Only those 21 and older will be allowed entry to the wine tent, and a legal ID is required. The first 1,000 to purchase tickets will receive a free commemorative wine glass with their purchase. This year’s wineries will include Three Brothers Winery, Lakeland Winery, Lakewood Vineyards, Raymore Estate Cellars, Pazdar Winery, Fulkerson Winery, Heron Hill Winery, Owera Vineyards, last year’s People’s Choice award winner Americana Vineyards Winery and more. This year’s festival sponsors include CNYarts, The Wilkins Foundation, Cortland Eye Center, the Cortland Dental Arts Group, the Local Food Market, CFCU, the Cayuga Radio Group and more to be announced. To become involved with the festival as an artist, vendor, sponsor, volunteer, or to

have your business featured or advertised in the Festival Program Guide, visit the Cultural Council’s website at All proceeds of the festival benefit the Cultural Council of Cortland County, a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage, promote and sustain arts and culture in Cortland County in order to enhance and enrich the quality of life. The Cultural Council could not continue to offer events like the Arts and Wine Festival without the support of the Cortland community, so it would like to thank community members for their support. For more information about the festival, visit www.culturalcouncilofcortlandcounty. org or contact Executive Director Thena LeVan at, or leave a message at 607-753-1188.

Music for hot summer nights at the Anderson Center A summer of fun not to missed is on tap at Binghamton Universit y’s Anderson Center. On Wednesday, July 26, at 8 pm, Diana Ross will bring her “In The Name of Love” tour to the stage showcasing five decades of music – including favorites like “Stop! In the Name L-r: Stephen Stills and Judy of Love,” Where Did Our Collins (Photo by Anna Webber)

Love Go,” “You Can’t Hurr y Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and many, many more. Inside reserved tickets are sold out, but $35 lawn seats are available. “Prairie Home Companion” host Chris Thile and friends are collaborating on a tour that will stop at the Anderson Center on

Sunday, August 6, at 8 pm. “The American Acoustic” tour consists of The Punch Brothers and I’m With Her, with guitarist Julian Lage joining them as a special guest. Inside reserved tickets cost $46, $39 or $32, and lawn seats are $20. Icons Stephen Stills and Judy Collins join forces in a first time tour together. They’ll be at the Anderson Center on Monday, August 28, at 8 pm, pulling songs from their own songbooks and their new album together. Stills is ranked #28 in Rolling

Stone Magazine’s “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” and is the first artist to be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame twice in one night. Collins’ eclectic palette of melding folk, rock, classical and jazz into a singular aesthetic has earned her five Grammy nominations and one Grammy win. Inside reserved tickets cost $65, $55 and $45, and lawn seats are $25. To purchase tickets for any or all of the concerts, call 607-777-ARTS or visit anderson.

Syracuse Jewish Music and Cultural Festival set for Sept. 10 The 18 Syracuse Jewish Music and Cultural Festival has been set for Sunday, September 10, from noon-6 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY. This event is the largest of its kind outside of New York City. “As always, the music is the main draw,” said Vicki Feldman, The 2016 Syracuse Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. co-chairwoman of the event. “But we have terrific kosher foods that reflect favorites, beer and wine to keep you cool, both Middle Eastern and Eastern European and artisans with jewelry and apparel. There’s th

Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park – go wild! The Binghamton Zoo munity and globally, through at Ross Park is tucked education, conservation and into the south side of communit y engagement. Binghamton, a short disWith this as the zoo’s mistance from any location sion, staff work 365 days a in Broome County and year to provide top-notch Northeastern Pennsylvaanimal care, educational nia. Home to more than experiences for adults and 200 animals, zoo staff children, and participate in educate visitors on the Zoey is one of the prehensile- conservation efforts lead by importance of wildlife tailed porcupines who call the scientists, conservationists conservation for species Binghamton Zoo home. and other professionals in all over the world. the zoo world. The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is To accomplish the Binghamton Zoo’s dedicated to promoting awareness and stew- mission at, staff facilitate special events ardship of the natural world, in the local com- See “Zoo” on page 4A

plenty for kids, too – and there’s free parking on and around the JCC campus.” Children’s activities this year will include the Robert Rogers Puppet Theater; Open Hand Theater, the Price Chopper Hopper and face painting. The Jewish Community Center will host the kids’ tent. � The music schedule is as follows: � noon-12:45 pm – Keyna Hora Klezmer band

� 1:15-2:30 pm – Cante-Judeo Flamenco � 3-4:15 pm – Adrianne Greenbaum and “Fleytmuzik” � 4:30-5:30 pm – Joe Eglash Ensemble � 5:45-6 pm – Community open music jam Catering by The Oaks at Menorah Park will provide a selection of kosher foods, under Va’ad supervision, including corned See “Music” on page 4A

Page 4A - Summer Fun

May 2017

Comedy, music and more at Auburn Public Theater Auburn Public Theater’s mission is to enrich the social, cultural and economic growth of the region by bringing people together through affordable access to live performance, cinema, arts education and community events. Known for dynamic and engaging live programming, Auburn Public Theater (or APT) offers vibrant performance series including comedy, music, and theater. On the first Saturday of every month, a comedian along with local openers grace the theater’s stage. From Steve Hytner to Cocoa Brown, APT is committed to bringing high quality talent and diversity to Auburn. September through August there is a folksy line-up of local, regional, national, and even international music acts on the main stage. From local Syracuse groups to national recording artists like Livingston Taylor, APT is committed to providing affordable and accessible musical experiences for Central New York. Last but not least, APT offers theatrical

performances nity and encouryear-round, age collaboration highlighted by and creativity. In t he Summer January, the cinTheater Season. ema also began T his summer offering free clashas a particularsic films and free ly entertaining toddler cartoons. and hilarious Ever y Tuesday line-up, includ- The ticket line at a Auburn Public Theater performance. at 1 pm, patrons ing the return of can come enjoy The Calamari Sisters with a brand new show, a classic film such as “Casablanca” or “Citizen the vaudevillian Durante!, and the quick-wit- Kane” on the big screen and partake in delicious ted Gilbert and Sullivan inspired “Precious and affordable concessions. On Fridays, families Nonsense.” Make sure you come on out to can enjoy an after-dinner cartoon and dessert. Auburn for one of these great shows! Auburn Public Cinema aims to provide a safe Auburn Public Cinema strives to bring space for families to appreciate the arts. Auburn to the world and the world to AuAs the educational arm of Auburn Public burn. Through independent films, Academy Theater, Auburn Public Studio is an accesAward-winning features and local projects, Au- sible and affordable studio space, offering burn Public Cinema hopes to inspire the commu- ongoing, dynamic programs in dance, the-

ater, rock and voice performance for young people ages 3-18 and adults. Auburn Public Studio also offers rewarding after-school programming for local school districts, while challenging and educating the community’s children. The studio fosters creative growth for all through its scholarship program and shared performance experiences. No student is turned away due to an inability to pay. In addition to Auburn Public Studio, lecture programming is offered throughout the year for community members on topics ranging from wellness to recovery and addiction. Finally, Auburn Public Theater’s prime focus is community. From renting its spaces for local events to holding an Open Mic Night every Tuesday at 7:30 pm, APT is committed to creating a vibrant atmosphere in downtown Auburn. Next time you are in town, come down and check out the Auburn Public Theater – it has something for everyone.

Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival to produce “Parade” this July The Finger Lakes Musical fueled by hungry reporters, Theatre Festival / Merry-Gowild accusations and small Round Playhouse Inc. will protown prejudices and politics duce the Tony Award-winning follows. Stuck in jail, removed musical “Parade” as part of its from the world, Leo’s marriage dynamic 2017 season. The to Lucille begins to blossom powerful music centers around and grow as she becomes his the real-life 1913 trial of Jewish most ardent advocate and a symbol of female empowerfactor y manager Leo Frank. ment and independence for the “Parade” will run from July time. Based on actual events 5-26 at the Merry-Go-Round and set to soaring music, “PaPlayhouse, located at Emerson Park in Auburn, NY. “Parade” will run from rade” is a riveting, emotional “Parade” begins with Leo July 5-26 at the Merry- theatrical experience about the Frank – a quiet, reserved Jewish Go-Round Playhouse in pursuit of innocence, heartfelt devotion and compassionate man living in Marietta, GA, Auburn, NY. forgiveness. with his wife, Lucille. When Historically, the Leo Frank case created a dead body is discovered at the National Pencil Factory that Leo is superintendent of, overwhelming media interest and hunger and the stakes begin to rise as the small town’s in turn, palpable sentiments of antisemitism community joins to accuse Leo of the heinous within Georgia resulting in more than 3,000 Jews leaving the state. Today, the consensus amongst crime, landing him in jail for two years. An investigation and nail biting court case researchers is that the trial and court case were

flawed and that Frank was wrongly convicted. The case and its story have been realized in several iterations – in museum exhibitions, as a television series, as a movie and as a novel. The musical features a score by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years,” “The Bridges of Madison County” musical) and won the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Musical and the coveted Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. FLMTF’s production will be led by Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Leo Frank. Galligan-Steirle’s Broadway credits include “The Phantom of the Opera” (Monsieur Andre), “Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Papa Who) and “Ragtime” (Henry Ford). Taking on the role of Lucille Frank will be Kristin Wetherington. Her select regional credits


beef, knishes, brisket, beer and Israeli wine. The event is sponsored by Price Chopper; Reisman Foundation; Pomeranz, Shankman, and Martin Trust; Jewish Federation of Central New York; Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center; a state grant secured


throughout the season and invite community members to the zoo to show them what it’s all about. There’s an event for everybody! Here’s a list of upcoming events that help the zoo’s mission and provide fun for the whole family: � Zoo Brew and Wine Too! – June 17: The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park invites you to raise your glass for conservation. “Zoo Brew and Wine Too!” will be held inside the zoo with breweries and wineries set up along the path. Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the zoo while sipping on local and regional beer and wines. � Ice Cream Safari – July 15: Cool off and venture to the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park for an “Ice Cream Safari.” Travel around the zoo on a sweet expedition for ice cream and your favorite zoo animals. � Feast with the Beasts – August 23: Tame

include Vivienne in “Legally Blonde” (Gateway Playhouse), Louise in “Gypsy” (Ocean State Theatre) and Lily St. Regis in “Annie” (Tuacahn Center for the Arts). Headquartered in Auburn, NY, the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival is one of the largest producing musical theatre organizations in New York state, outside of New York City. Its main stage, the Preston H. Thomas Theatre in the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, presents large-scale Broadway spectacles with high caliber talent from Broadway and across the country. The Festival is situated in the picturesque Finger Lakes wine region of Central New York between Syracuse, Rochester and Ithaca. Tickets are on sale now through the Box Office, which can be reached at 1-800-4578897, or online at Continued from page 3A by Senator John A. DeFrancisco; Paul B. and Georgina H. Roth Charitable Foundation; Jewish Observer; CNY Arts; M&T Bank; Syracuse New Times; and Key Bank. For more information, visit the festival’s website at Continued from page 3A your hunger and come to the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park for the 26th annual “Feast with the Beasts.” A wide variety of specialty cuisines, desserts and wines will be available from local restaurants and wineries. � Zoo School – Do your children love learning about animals? If so, sign them up for Zoo School this summer. Through games, crafts and hands-on animal encounters, children will learn about the natural world and the animals they share it with. The summer is filled with great opportunities to have fun and learn. Check out the exciting programs that are coming up this season at www. The Binghamton Zoo is open seven days a week from 10 am-4 pm. For general information and event details, visit www. or binghamtonzoo under the “Events” page.

MAY 25, 2017/29 IYAR 5777 ■


JCC pool opens this weekend, swim lessons start May 29

DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – SAJE gious education institutions in BY JACKIE MIRON Syracuse, as well as provide The Allocations Committee of quality teacher training to the Jewish Federation of Central the religious schoolteachers. New York awards Community SAJE currently provides Program Fund Grants each two programs annually. The year in addition to the annual first program is an all-school allocations made in the spring. program where the students Based on the success of the 2016 from all the religious schools, annual Campaign, community early childhood programs and program grants are available to Jackie Miron the Syracuse Hebrew Day all Jewish organizations, agencies and synagogues in the Central New York School participate in a joint program. The community. The Allocations Committee second program is an all-teacher training reviews the grant requests and makes day when all the religious school, early recommendations to the board, which childhood and day school teachers attend a half-day of training together. votes on the recommendations. In the all-teacher training this past fall, The Syracuse Area Jewish Educators includes the Syracuse Community He- “Special Education in the Jewish Classbrew School, Temple Adath Yeshurun, room,” teachers learned about inclusive Temple Concord, Congregation Beth classrooms, special needs and active enSholom-Chevra Shas, the Syracuse Hebrew gagement. As a follow-up to this training, Day School, the Sam Pomeranz Jewish the Jewish Federation of Central New York Community Center of Syracuse’s Early provided a $2,500 grant for special educaChildhood Development Program and the tion materials for use by the teachers. To Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish have an inclusive classroom, teachers must Studies. SAJE’s mission is to create collab- develop lesson plans that are differentiated See “SAJE” on page 6 oration and community among all the reli-

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The JCC pool is a members-only benefit, featuring open free-swim and lap-swim times. Guests are welcome to purchase a pool pass and swim when accompanied by a member. The JCC pool can also be booked by both members and non-members for pool parties celebrating birthdays and other occasions. For more information about the JCC pool, including swimming lessons and other schedules, call 315-445-2360 or visit

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Certified swimming instructor Emma Roberts (right) worked with Ariella Shever during a swimming lesson as part of the JCC’s Camp Rishon schoolage camp last summer. All JCC summer camp participants from 18 months-sixth grade participate in daily Red Cross swim lessons and free swim time in the JCC’s outdoor heated pool.


BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will open its outdoor heated pool on Saturday, May 27, at 10 am. The JCC’s swimming lessons program will begin on Monday, May 29, and continue throughout the summer. The pool will remain open through Labor Day. The JCC will offer group swimming lessons for children and semi-private and private lessons for children and adults seven days a week. Taught by Red Cross-certified instructors, swimmers of all skill levels will be welcome. Infants as young as 6-months-old, older children and adults can begin learning to swim. There are also lessons geared toward advanced swimmers. JCC membership is not required to take swimming lessons, however members receive a discount. “We’re looking forward to getting another pool season underway and making this popular form of summertime recreation available once again,” said Mick Hagan, director of children and teen services. “The pool offers something for just about everyone to enjoy. From children attending camp and families spending time together, to people taking swim lessons, we can hardly wait to see everyone get out in the sun and make a splash.”


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JCC’s summer camp Total Body Rewire class starts June 26


Do Jews count?

BY REBECCA GREENBLATT This May brings us to Bamidbar – Numbers. Bamidbar is a paradox for modern Jews, because it includes a census of the Israelites, lovingly preserved for millennia, viewed through the lens of authoritative rabbinic commentary and rulings stating that we are forbidden to count Jews. Even when counting the members of a minyan, the gabbai recites a 10-word psalm, rather than count to 10 and risk forgetting for one moment that every congregant has a name. On Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, Israelis consciously guard themselves against allowing a death to be reduced to a mere statistic by reciting the famous poem by Zelda: “Each of us has a name, given by God and given by our parents... each of us has a name, given by the sea, and given by our death.” So how, then, are we to approach this dubious enumeration of our hallowed ancestors? Should we shun this ancient census as something barbaric, predating our modern moral understanding? That would be the height of ingratitude; our ancestors preserved this document for us, sometimes at the peril of their lives. Should we skim over it lightly, as something once important, but no longer relevant? It’s certainly tempting; we’ve all done that from time to time. Or do we dare wrestle with this angel, and struggle with the uncomfortable relevance of the parasha? Our religious ban on judging people by their numbers stands on firm historical ground. We Jews have had some terrible experiences with censuses and being enumerated. And yet, we do still count people. We are blessed to be full citizens of most of our world’s greatest societies, full participants in our nations’ discussions of how best to allocate limited resources. In this role, we automatically turn to numbers as verifiable facts. More than that, we cling to them, hoping that they will save us from the squishy subjectivity of moral judgment calls. We develop whole new metrics as new situations arise – statistical tools with which to quantify benefit and harm. And yet, we are forbidden to count people. Most of my readers have been glued to the news this month, watching the unfolding debate in the United States Congress about the future of federal healthcare spending. The authors of the American Health Care Act, as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, state that their legal innovations would save taxpayers millions of dollars a year, and they are not wrong. Opponents of the AHCA state that if it became law, thousands of people per year could die for lack of healthcare, and they are not wrong, either. As the Senate sits down to rewrite and debate the bill, there are numbers everywhere – taxes, studies, actuarial tables, payroll deductions, signatures on petitions – the discussion is drowning in data. Will any of it actually help? I think that part of our Jewish skepticism about leaning too heavily upon the seductive objectivity of numbers is that we know from whom our help actually comes. The Israelites, after their careful census, did not attribute their victories to their overwhelming numbers. They often did not “have” overwhelming numbers. They counted themselves and then entreated their Creator, as we still do today: “Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country – for its government, for its leaders and advisors, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights of Your Torah,” because that is the only way that can succeed at this task. And let us all say Amen. Rebecca Greenblatt, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at SUNY Upstate Medical University and the faculty advisor of the Jewish medical students group there. She is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas.


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BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center will offer a new Summer Camp Total Body Rewire class starting on

B’NAI MITZVAH Noah Coelho Noah Coelho, son of Erin and Rick Coelho, of Fayetteville, became bar mitzvah on May 20 at Temple Adath Yeshurun. He is the grandson of Stephen and Sheila Coelho, of East Syracuse, and Michael and Suzie Short, of Liverpool, and Bonnie Kennedy, of Syracuse. He is a student in the TAY Religious School and attends Wellwood Middle School. He enjoys playing soccer.

Noah Coelho

Monday, June 26. The eight-week class will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 am and will be open to both JCC members and non-members. Patrick Scott, sports and fitness director, said, “Summer time can be tough to maintain your motivation to work out because people’s schedules tend to get busier during the summer. Our new Summer Camp Total Body Rewire class is designed to rewire your fitness routine so you can stay motivated and start achieving results quickly. Because the class start time coincides with the start of JCC summer camp each weekday, we’re hoping parents will find it convenient to get their workouts in after dropping their children off at camp.” The Summer Camp Total Body Rewire class will be meant for all fitness levels. No prior workout experience will be necessary. The exercises will be geared toward “reducing stress, boosting energy and improving overall mood.” Participants will be told to expect to “rewire” their bodies so that they stay motivated to continue working out even after their children are done with summer camp. For more information, including pricing, contact the JCC Fitness Center at 315-234-4522 or visit www.

College campus antisemitism increased 40 percent in 2016, watchdog group says BY JNS STAFF ( ) – The AMCHA Initiative, a Jewish nonprofit focused on tracking and combating antisemitism, said in a new report that campus antisemitism increased by 40 percent in 2016, while genocidal expression doubled last year. According to the report – which investigated activity at 113 schools with the largest Jewish populations – antisemitic incidents on campuses rose 40 percent from 2015 to 2016,


Continued from page 4

Rebecca, an only child living with her strictly religious Sephardic parents in Jerusalem. Longing to experience the wider world, she secretly breaks taboos, attending dance classes and befriending a secular kibbutznik. When her strict father learns of her rebellion, and arranges for Rebecca to marry an aging widower, she runs away, forcing the family to confront their beliefs and each other. The movie was nominated for three Israeli Academy Awards and was the Narrative Award Winner at the 2015 Atlanta Jewish Festival. It is in Hebrew, with subtitles. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or e-mail office@

with “classic antisemitism” being the motive in 57 percent of incidents and anti-Zionism being the motive 43 percent of the time. While the total number of schools affected by campus antisemitism did not increase in 2016, a select number of schools experienced a surge in antisemitic activity. Additionally, the report found that “classic antisemitism rose sharply,” with anti-Jewish genocidal expression doubling from 2015 to 2016. This increase also involved targeting students from other campus groups, such as students of color, LGBTQ students and students with differing political opinions or ideologies, the report said. “On college campuses, Jewish students have often been subjected to severely intolerant behavior: actions that target them for harm and deprive them of their freedom of expression, as well as hateful speech and imagery that threaten violence against them or portray them as worthy of harm,” wrote Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith, the study’s lead researchers. See “College” on page 8


Continued from page 5

salsa, rumba and Cuban-African Caribbean dances. The City of Syracuse Parks and Recreations Department will present the Stan Colella All-Star Band on Sunday, July 16, at 7 pm. The concert will be free to attend. There will also be a barbecue at 4:30 pm. Reservations will be required and there will be a charge. For more information or to make a reservation, contact The Oaks at 315-449-3309. The Robert Rogers Puppet Company and its Klezmer Cabaret will present a concert geared toward all ages on Sunday, August 20, at 7 pm. They are advertised as “a cornucopia of musicians, acrobats, dancers and clowns who bring their Old World charm to the present day.” There will be complimentary dessert and beverage available at all three programs. For more information, contact The Oaks at 315-449-3309.

to address the needs of all learners. Differentiated instruction is “a flexible approach to teaching in which the teacher plans and carries out varied approaches to process content and product, in anticipation of, and response to, student differences in readiness, interests and learning needs.” SAJE members will utilize the new special education materials from the recent training to practice what they learned. Some special education materials include technology, games, posters, manipulatives and fidgets. Technology for this purpose includes computer software or an iPad. There are many apps and games to actively engage students in the learning process. For example, an app called “Prayer Tech” helps students learn prayers. SAJE estimates 70 teachers and 150 students will benefit from technology resources. An end-of-year survey will determine whether teachers found the materials useful, and enhanced their ability to plan for future training and materials. The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the need and the value of successfully integrating the different learning needs of the students, and creating the best possible Jewish educational options for a broader range of Jewish children.


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Continued from page 3

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Celebrating and renewing through stories – Campaign 125²: SJFS brings StoryCorps to Central New York BY DEBORAH ELLIS Syracuse Jewish Family Service launched Campaign 125² in April, an initiative celebrating SJFS’s 125 years of “building well-being in Central New York.” Founded as United Jewish Charities in 1891 and incorporated as Jewish Family Service Bureau in 1939, the agency, now called Syracuse Jewish Family Service, is known as “a multi-faceted social service agency dedicated to promoting, strengthening and preserving individual, family and community well-being in a manner consistent with Jewish values and beliefs.” The campaign will celebrate the first 125 years of SJFS and the next 125 years; hence its name 1252 (125 squared).

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, June 7 Deadline for June 22 JO Tuesday, May 30 Erev Shavuot CBS-CS Evening of Learning, “Life Changing Torah,” starts at 7:30 am Wednesday, May 31 Shavuot, day 1 – JCC and Federation offices closed for Shavuot Thursday, June 1 Shavuot, day 2 - JCC and Federation offices closed for Shavuot Sunday, June 4 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse annual meeting and gala at Owera Vineyard in Cazenovia at 11 am Temple Adath Yeshurun Hazak presents author Patricia Friedberg at 1 pm Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas holds a “trial,” The People vs Jacob at 7 pm Monday, June 5 Temple Concord Goldenberg Series presents clarinetist Allan Kolsky at 7 pm Tuesday, June 6 CBS-CS Sisterhood annual meeting at the JCC at 7:30 pm Syracuse Community Hebrew School board meeting at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 7:30 pm Wednesday, June 7 JCC after school program holds a car wash at 3 pm Jewish Federation of CNY, Syracuse Hebrew Day School and Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School hold joint annual meeting at the JCC, with refreshments at 6:30 pm and the meeting at 7 pm Thursday, June 8 JCC health, physical education and recreation department dance recital at 6:30 pm Friday, June 9 TAY scholar-in-residence Rabbi Reuven Hammer CBS-CS Shabbat Dinner, 2nd Grade Siddur Ceremony and Faculty Appreciation at 6 pm Saturday, June 10 TAY scholar-in-residence Rabbi Reuven Hammer TC Cinemagogue series presents “Apples from the Desert” at 7:30 pm Sunday, June 11 TAY scholar-in-residence Rabbi Reuven Hammer Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse holds annual meeting at 9 am CBS-CS Hazak presents “The Seneca Strings Quartet” at 10 am Tuesday, June 13 Menorah Park will host a Tree of Honor Dedication tea at The Oaks at 4:15 pm Wednesday, June 14 Syracuse Jewish Family Service 125th anniversary program Thursday, June 15 Menorah Park annual meeting at 6 pm Friday, June 16 TC annual meeting at 5:30 pm, with service and meal to follow at 6 pm Tuesday, June 20 Syracuse Hebrew Day School sixth grade graduation in the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse auditorium at 7 pm


In celebration of SJFS’s 125th anniversary, SJFS chose to bring StoryCorps to Syracuse. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit project with a mission of “preserving and sharing humanity’s stories” in order to “build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” SJFS Director Judith Huober said, “The sharing of stories weaves relationships, and the fabric of individual, family and community relationships are at the heart of Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s mission. We use stories and narrative. Our goals for our anniversary campaign are to create (or restore) community awareness of our agency’s historic mission and to renew our capacity to use stories and shared narrative in healing and building well-being in Central New York’s Jewish and general communities.” Partnering with media sponsor WRVO Public Media, which broadcasts StoryCorps on Fridays during its “Morning Edition” segment, SJFS will host StoryCorps’ mobile recording team from Sunday-Tuesday, July 16July 18. StoryCorps will conduct 15 interviews across the three days. According to Huober, the SJFS Events Committee plans to line up 15 primary interviewees (individuals and groups of two to three family members or otherwise related people) and 15 alternates, seeking to draw a “diverse representation of community members and story subjects” from across the population of Onondaga County. WRVO will record interviews with the alternates. All members of the community have been encouraged to apply for an interview slot. Applications will be made available by calling Deborah Ellis at 315446-9111, ext. 256, or online at, beginning around May 22. Those chosen will be notified by the end of June, and their specific days and time slots will be scheduled. WRVO will record the alternates after the StoryCorps staff has departed, and will professionally edit all 30 interviews down to the target three-to four-minute finished product; they will broadcast the interviews locally, as well as place them on the WRVO website. In addition, the 15 primary interviews will be archived with the StoryCorps recordings at the Library of Congress. After the professionally recorded and edited interviews are finished, SJFS plans to use what it has learned to help members of the community continue the story-gathering initiative by using the StoryCorps app. The app is free and available to everyone, and according to Huober, SJFS hopes to build a service to encourage and help guide its use, especially in the Jewish community. This fall, SJFS will continue its year-long anniversary celebration with a celebratory event featuring a panel moderated by Mickey Lebowitz, a community member and physician, who will discuss some of the ways stories

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

are used to bring “healing and well-being,” as well as how narrative supports relationships. The date will be announced in the future, in place of the originally scheduled date of June 14, which had to be postponed to accommodate delays in Menorah Park’s renovations schedule. For more information about donating to SJFS, or becoming involved with Campaign 125², readers have been invited to contact the agency at 315-446-9111, ext. 234.

A short history of Syracuse Jewish Family Service ‹‹ 1839 – New Jewish arrivals hold minyan services in the back room of Berheimer and Block’s notion store on Canal Street. This is the beginning of an organized Jewish community in Syracuse. ‹‹ 1830s-50s – A growing number of immigrant Jews, mostly from Germany and coming by way of New York City, settle in Syracuse and become involved in a variety of businesses and occupations. Several Jewish charitable societies and benevolent associations are organized to provide assistance to newcomers and the needy.

See “History” on page 8

OBITUARIES MARIAN JACHLES RIFKIN Marian Jachles Rifkin, 95, died on May 10. Born in Cortland, she had been a resident of Syracuse for most of her life. Marian was a well-known entertainer throughout her life; playing her accordion to the delight of her audiences. For many years, she was the retail manager for Karch Beauty Supply. She was a lifetime member of Temple Adath Yeshurun, and the seniors at the Jewish Community Center. She was predeceased by her husband, Irving, who died on May 10, 2001; her brother, Louis Jachles; her sister, Harriet Gardner; and her brothers-in-law, Sol Lynne and Morton Gardner. She is survived by her children, Cantor Hal (Marti) Rifkin and Gail (Richard) Leess; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; her sister, Elinor Lynne; and sister-in-law, Harriet Jachles. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the music fund at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, NY 13224. 

We are still family-owned and operated. “After 83 years” Providing unparalleled service to the Jewish community throughout Central New York.

1909 East Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13210 • 315.472.5291 • 1.800.472.5182 Martin J. Birnbaum* Elaine R. Birnbaum Joel M. Friedman * Also Licensed in Florida

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ MAY 25, 20176/29 IYAR 5777

Ban on ritual slaughter passes without opposition in Belgium’s largest region

BY JTA STAFF (JTA ) – The Walloon Parliament in southern Belgium voted unanimously to ban the slaughter of unstunned animals, a requirement for both kosher and halal ritual slaughter. Only the two Labor Party lawmakers in the 75-member plenum in Belgium’s largest region abstained in the vote on May 17, La Libre Belgique reported. Earlier in May, the environment committee of the Walloon Parliament voted unanimously for the ban, which takes effect on September 1, 2019. Similar legislation has been proposed by the parliament in northern Belgium’s Flanders, or Flemish, region. The federal kingdom of Belgium com-


prises those two regions and the capital, Brussels. Shechitah, the ritual method of slaughtering animals, requires they be conscious when their throats are slit – a practice that critics say is cruel, but which advocates insist is more humane than mechanized methods used in non-kosher abattoirs. Muslims slaughter animals in a similar method, albeit with fewer restrictions, to produce halal meat. The move in the Walloon region, which has only a few hundred Jews, follows an agreement in March that imposes limitations on ritual slaughter in the Flemish region, where half of Belgium’s Jewish population of 40,000 people live. The remaining 20,000 live in the Brussels region.


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“In the current climate of increasing polarization and acts of extreme intolerance, we believe that Jewish students, and all students, will be best served when university administrators treat antisemitism and other acts of bigotry as forms of intolerant behavior that must be addressed with a single behavioral standard applied equitably to all forms of intolerance,” they wrote. The report listed several recommendations for university administrators to reduce intolerance and promote free expression, including reviewing campus policies, ensuring prompt and appropriate disciplinary measures, developing protocols for student groups, condemning intolerance, and developing educational and training programs for staffers and campus communities. Continued from page 7

‹‹ 1870s-90s – The second wave of Jewish immigration brings newcomers from Russia and Poland to the Syracuse area. Because of growing social welfare needs, United Jewish Charities is formed in 1891. This organization, combined the activities of several smaller Jewish benevolent associations, is the forerunner of the present Jewish Family Service. The agency focused service efforts on immigrant resettlements and the provision of material assistance. ‹‹ 1936 – United Jewish Charities changes its name to Jewish Social Service Bureau. During the Great Depression, services continue to focus on immigrant resettlement and material assistance. The agency is heavily involved in resettling European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. After World War II, the agency works to resettle Holocaust survivors and other displaced Jews settling in Syracuse. ‹‹ 1939 – The agency files a certificate of incorporation on February 4, 1939, and changes its name to Jewish Family Service Bureau, which separates its staff from that of the Syracuse Jewish Federation, and hires its first full-time director. The agency begins changing its focus away from providing financial assistance and toward counseling for individual and family problem solving.

‹‹ 1950s-1970s – Efforts of the agency continue to shift toward providing for the counseling needs of individuals and families, as well as developing services for older persons. Kosher Meals-On-Wheels begins service in 1959. Russian resettlement program begins in the late 1970s. ‹‹ 1980s-2009 – Agency name changes to Syracuse Jewish Family Service Inc. in 1986 and increases focus on expanding services to the elderly, as well as meeting the needs of special populations across their life cycle. ‹‹ 2009-present – Agency comes under the umbrella of the continuum-of-care campus of Menorah Park. From 2011, agency establishes a focus on issues of later life: services to care for individuals, families, current and future professionals, and the community-at-large. The agency adds geriatric care management, pilot programs and develops an evidence-based geriatric depression program, and brain health programming and resources. It expands psychoeducational and therapeutic services, and enriches education and training opportunities and consultation opportunities for public and professionals. It develops services in exceptional needs, such as the award-winning Tachlis

of Inclusion and Jewish enrichment at a kosher group home. It increases emphasis on integration into the Menorah Park campus and community-based services within the Jewish community, as well as to the general community. It re-establishes services to, and partnerships with, schools, the Jewish Community Center, congregations and more. It organizes and spearheads Jewish community crisis response and prevention regarding social and humanitarian needs. ‹‹ 2017 – In January, SJFS launches its newest program, E-Power U: A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss, assisted by funding from the national Brookdale Foundation and the Community Grant Program of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The program is now accepting applications for a second weekly session to be added to the existing Monday time slot. To be held on Thursday afternoons, it is planned to begin sometime this summer, depending on demand. As the human services arm of the Jewish community, SJFS is dedicated to holistic, preventive, wellness-oriented integration of social and human services offered without regard to race or creed to all residents of Central New York.

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May 25, 2017 Issue of Jewish Observer