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Safe Haven plans 75th anniversary events BY BETTE SIEGEL An event commemorating the August 5, 1944, arrival of 982 Holocaust refugees at the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter is planned by the 75th Anniversary Planning Committee. Paul Lear, historic site manager, said, “In the spring of 1944, a crisis developed as refugees making their way through German lines began interfering with Allied military operations in Italy, and Allied refugee camps were pushed to overflowing.

When America’s European allies balked at opening new refugee camps in their own countries and territories, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his intention to open the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, NY. Roosevelt’s goal in opening a camp in the continental United States was to convince our allies that America was serious about rescuing the Jews of Europe, and to accept refugees themselves. Fort Ontario subsequently became the only camp or shelter for Holocaust

refugees in the United States during World War II. It is where everyday Americans and reporters first encountered the victims and their personal stories of persecution at the hands of the Nazis, and it resulted in Holocaust stories moving from the back to the front pages of American newspapers. Fort Ontario is where the Holocaust came to America.” He suggested that people read “Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe” by Rebecca Erbelding, who will

participate in the August 5 events. The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum and Friends of Fort Ontario will host a program of events to commemorate the August 5, 1944, arrival of the 982 European Holocaust refugees to Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY. The Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter was the only shelter for victims of the Holocaust located in the United States during World War II. The Jewish Federation of Central New See “America” on page 7

The Jewish Observer Appeal Campaign The Jewish Federation of Central New York’s newspaper, the Jewish Observer of CNY, is asking its communities to support its JO Appeal Campaign, which seeks to raise $35,000 to assist the newspaper. The JO is the only Jewish newspaper in Syracuse and its surrounding communities. It supplements synagogue newsletters, bulletins and e-mails, and is delivered to all the known Jewish households in the region. As with all newspapers, its publishing costs have increased “dramatically” over the years – although the newspaper

continues to be provided free to members of the Jewish community. The Federation supplements the cost of the JO by $35,000 per year, and asks only that its readers assist in raising additional funds to offset a small percentage of these expenses to continue bringing the JO to every identified Jewish household in the area. The newspaper is delivered bi-weekly (except for the single-issue months of July and December). It contains a variety of material – opinions and columns on issues that affect the local communities,

Israel and world Jewry; publicity for events and programs held by Federation’s and the Jewish community’s affiliated agencies and organizations; life-cycle events; letters to the editor; holiday recipes; the Jewish community calendar; and other columns. It can also be read online on Federation’s website, The Federation is asking each member of the community to join the effort to keep the JO coming to the Jewish community. Send your check to the Jewish Federation of CNY,

Tzofim Friendship Caravan coming to CNY BY MELINDA GREENMAN The Tzofim Friendship Caravan will once again stop in Central New York for shows this summer to celebrate 100 years of Scouting with its theme of “100 Years of Connection.” Three caravans crisscross America and are all named after Israeli musicians. The Northeast Caravan is named Shemer after the Israeli musician and songwriter, Naomi Shemer, who has been hailed as the “first lady of Israeli song and poetry.” The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will showcase the Tzofim Friendship Caravan in a free communitywide concert on Wednesday, July 31, at 7 pm. The caravan members will spend their entire day at the JCC. They will teach the day campers about Israel through activities, games and educational programming. Caravan members will perform a private hour-long show for the campers. Caravan members will also interact with the seniors during the senior lunch program, where they will sing songs and dance. Two other performances are scheduled. The caravan will perform at the Utica Jewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley on Tuesday, July 30, at 7 pm. The last caravan show will take place at the Binghamton Jewish Community Center on Thursday, August 1, at 7 pm. All shows are open to the public and are free. After the show, caravan members will mingle with the audience to provide further opportunities for face-to-face interaction,

The Tzofim Friendship Caravan will once again stop in Central New York. Their performances will be July 30 and 31 and August 1. and an exchange of ideas and friendship. Organizers say they are delighted to share this “special experience “within the Central New York region. The caravan “aims high” and wants to work toward a better society so that there is a “strong connection” between the people of Israel and America. Through song and dance, conversations and activities, organizers say that the caravan “will warm your hearts and bring a piece of Israel right to you.” Each teen brings his or her life experiences to this show. Their stage show is

filled with “enthusiasm that is palpable and contagious.” The show will take the audience on a voyage of sounds and images that represent Israel’s people, cultures, heritage and landmarks. This year’s performances are made possible with funds provided by the State and Local Partnership Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, through its decentralization initiative administrated locally by CNY Arts. Organizers would like to thank the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation., Inc. for making the programming possible. For more information, contact coordinators Melinda and Bud Greenman at 315-457-7201.

5655 Thompson Rd., Syracuse, NY 13214, and mark it “JO,” or visit the Federation website ( and click on the “Donate Now” button.“Your gift to fund the JO matters a great deal, and please know that we gratefully accept your financial support,” said Federation President/CEO Michael Balanoff.

2019 Federation Campaign Annual

Pay it forward and donate to the 2019 Jewish Federation of CNY Annual Campaign

$1,233,809 as of June 17, 2019

Thank you for your support! Goal: $1,300,000

For more information, please contact Colleen Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or

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June 21............................. 8:29 pm..........................................Parashat BeHa’alotcha June 28............................. 8:30 pm........................................Parashat Shelach Lecha July 5................................ 8:29 pm.................................................... Parashat Korach July 12.............................. 8:26 pm..................................................Parashat Chukkat July 19.............................. 8:21 pm....................................................... Parashat Balak

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Book talk at The Oaks Congregational notes

Security funding

The Menorah Park Auxiliary will Local congregations announce The Federation and a local present “The Word Mavens” at themed Shabbats, a film series foundation will provide security and more. The Oaks on July 28. funding to local Jewish agencies. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 5

PLUS Calendar Highlights............... 6 Classifieds................................ 6 Obituaries................................. 7 Home and Real Estate........... 8



JCC’s deli-themed gala a hit again

BY WILLIAM WALLAK On June 2, more than 220 supporters celebrated the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s 156th annual meeting and gala, presented by naming sponsor, the Wladis family, at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia. There were plenty of accolades, stories and smiles shared during the event’s awards ceremony, which recognized outstanding service in support of the JCC and the community. Back by popular demand from last year, the theme was a “New York Kosher Deli Experience,” catered once again by Essen New York Deli of Brooklyn. JCC of Syracuse Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said, “We are thrilled with the wonderful support this year for our honorees. Their dedication to the community and commitment to the JCC are truly remarkable. It was so moving to hear their stories of how the JCC has been there for them throughout their lives. It’s a joy to put on such a celebration each year, and we couldn’t have done it without the terrific support from our sponsors and guests.” Following a brief business meeting where the JCC Board of Directors installed its new and returning board members, as well as its officers, it was on to the awards portion, where five awards were presented. The first award, the Kovod Award, which signifies honor and importance, was presented to Phillip Rubenstein, JCC board member and vice president. Rubenstein is president of East Syracuse-based United Radio. He has served on the boards of Jewish Family Service and Menorah Park, and is currently on the boards of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central

Rabbi Evan Shore addressed the crowd upon receiving this year’s Kovod Gadol Award. New York and the Longhouse Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Next up was the Kovod Gadol Award presented to Rabbi Evan Shore. This is the JCC’s highest honor, which in Hebrew translates as “great honor.” The rabbi has served as spiritual leader of Sha’arei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse for the past 30 years. He is also the religious advisor to the JCC and its board’s Executive Committee, and serves many JCC programs in various official capacities. The rabbi founded the STOCS chevra kadisha and the eruv in the Syracuse area. He is also a former board member of Menorah Park and Jewish Family Service. This year, Barbara Sheklin Davis and Neil and Robin Goldberg were inducted into the JCC Hall of Fame. This award recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made their mark through service to the entire Jewish community. Davis is professor emerita of modern languages at Onondaga Community College. She served as head of school at the

At right, l-r: Jewish Community Center Executive Director Marci Erlebacher, Hall of Fame Award recipient Barbara Sheklin Davis and JCC Board President Steven Sisskind.

At left, l-r: Jewish Community Center Executive Director Marci Erlebacher; “The Leslie” Aw a rd , n a m e d a f t e r Leslie London Neulander, recipient, Jessica Malzman; and JCC Board President Steven Sisskind holding this year’s glass “Leslie” Award.

Hall of Fame Award recipients Neil and Robin Goldberg addressed gala guests after being introduced by their daughterin-law, Amira. Syracuse Hebrew Day School for 27 years and headed the Rabbi Jacob Epstein High School of Jewish Studies (now the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies) and the Combined School of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Temple Beth El. A “passionate advocate” for Jewish education, she has written “Syracuse African Americans; the Jewish Community of Syracuse” (with Susan Rabin), “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die; a Parallel Universe: Haredi Women Leading Haredi Schools for Girls” and “Two Jews, Three Opinions: Klal Yisrael, Pluralism and the Jewish Community Day School Network.” She is currently working on three other books, including “I Hate Retirement” (which she says she does). For Neil and Robin Goldberg, family has always come first. Neil, president and CEO of Raymour and Flanigan Furniture, and Robin, a retired dentist, have also dedicated their professional and personal lives to their hometown of Syracuse. Neil is currently serving on the national boards of the National Home Furnishings Association, Home Furnishings Council, American Furniture Hall of Fame, National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League and Say Yes to Education. He has been awarded the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s American Heritage Award and shared the Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership with Robin. He has received the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award, the American Heritage Award

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L-r: Jewish Community Center Executive Director Marci Erlebacher with Kovod Award recipient Phillip Rubenstein; Rubenstein’s father, Arnie; and JCC Board President Steven Sisskind.

Hebrew Interest-Free Loan

The Jewish Federation of Central New York has instituted the Hebrew Interest-Free Loan program to help Jewish people get past a temporary financial need. To learn more about the program or to see if you qualify, visit the Federation’s website,

Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc. Web site:

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of ADL, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Syracuse Business Journal’s “Business of the Year.” Robin has served as president of both the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and Make-A-Wish Foundation, chair of Jewish Federation of Central New York Lion of Judah division, annual chair of National Council of Jewish Women’s “Mitzvah Project” and as a board member of the JCC of Syracuse, Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Syracuse Jewish Federation (now the Jewish Federation of Central New York). She has been awarded the JCRC-NY’s American Heritage Award, NCJW Hannah G. Solomon Award and shared the Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership with Neil. She has also received the Presidential Leadership Award from Syracuse Jewish Federation, and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School Woman of Valor Award. Finally, this year’s Leslie Award, the fourth to be given since being introduced in 2016, was presented to JCC board member Jessica Malzman. “The Leslie” recognizes outstanding commitment and service to the JCC and the local community – the qualities which the award’s namesake, Leslie London Neulander, personified through her many volunteer pursuits. Malzman is the chief operating officer at Whitney Partners, a New York-based executive search firm. She has been a JCC board member for the past two years, served on the Gala Committee for three years and has sat on the Parent Committee for the JCC’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program for the past two years, most recently becoming the committee co-chair. Malzman was also a member of the Jewish Federation of CNY’s Young Leadership Committee from 2017-19. The JCC of Syracuse’s annual meeting and gala is considered the Center’s largest and most important annual fund-raiser. As in the past, this year’s event proceeds will provide funding for scholarships to individuals in the JCC’s early childhood, after school, summer camp and senior programs. For more information about the JCC of Syracuse, call 315-445-2360 or visit All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Menorah Park Auxiliary presents “The Word Mavens” On Sunday, July 28, at 7 pm, the Auxiliary of Menorah Park will present Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, “The Word Mavens,” at The Oaks at Menorah

Park, 18 Arbor Lane. Eisenberg and Scolnic are the award-winning authors of the best-selling “Dictionary of Jewish Words” (Jewish

Teen funders allocate their funds BY EDWIN HIRSH The Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York is “very proud” of its B’nai Mitzvah Program. As part of the program, all the teens are invited to two Teen Funders sessions during the year, where they deliberate as a group and choose which charities they want to support from a pooled fund. Just under 10 philanthropic teens recently met at the annual spring Teen Funders meeting held on May 19 at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. The collective contributions of the attending members and graduating seniors, as well as the donations from members who could not attend the meeting, totaled $2,870. Of the six charitable organizations that submitted applications, donations were allocated to Chadwick Residence ($600), Toomey Residential

and Community Services ($725), Orr Shalom for Children and Youth at Risk ($545) and American Friends of Leket Israel ($1,000). With the monetary grants that the teen funders have allocated, Chadwick Residence, a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing supportive housing for homeless women and their children, will be able to purchase new cribs and toddler beds. The other locally based not-for-profit organization, Toomey Residential and Community Services, will use the grant money to subsidize activities and experiences for at-risk foster care youth. Similarly, Orr Shalom seeks to care for the at-risk youth in Israel by providing start-up clothing packs to youth who come to live at Orr Shalom’s therapeutic See “Funds” on page 6

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu JUNE 24-28 Monday – dinner – sweet and sour brisket Tuesday – beef stew over egg noodles Wednesday – veggie burger with cheese on bun Thursday – crispy baked teriyaki chicken wings Friday – birthday celebration – apricot glazed chicken JULY 1-5 Monday – dinner – stuffed flounder Tuesday – grilled cheese on wheat Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – Independence Day – closed Friday – July 4th celebration – teriyaki salmon JULY 8-12 Monday – dinner – oven roasted turkey Tuesday – turkey sandwich on wheat Wednesday – spinach cheese quiche Thursday – meatloaf Friday – chicken with baharat JULY 15-19 Monday – dinner – trout Saratoga Tuesday – baked ziti dinner


Publication Society 2001, 2006), a compendium of words associated with Jews, their culture and food, modern Israel and the Jewish religion, and “The Whole Spiel” (Incompra Press, 2016), a collection of humorous essays about “digital nudniks, seder selfies,” and “Stuff Every Grandma Should Know” (2019). They call themselves “The Word Mavens” and for more than 15 years, they have shlepped around the country to schmooze with Sisterhoods, men’s clubs, JCCs, seniors and communal groups. They

have shared their insights on Jewish life and language. Their book talk is all about those words people grew up with when their elders didn’t want them to understand what was being said. The talk will be a celebration of Jewish traditions, holidays and foods, and the Yiddish and Hebrew words that describe them. There will be light refreshments and there is a charge of $25 per person. As seating is limited, reservations are suggested. For reservations and payments, contact Krissie Oja at 315-446-9111, ext. 255.



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Wednesday – egg salad on wheat Thursday – grilled chicken sandwich Friday – sweet and sour brisket The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Tuesday through Friday at noon. Dinners are served on Mondays at 5 pm throughout the summer through August 28, thanks in part, to the Dr. Morton and Mrs. Libby Maloff Summer Senior Dinner program. Reservations for dinner are required by the Wednesday before each dinner. 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 further information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 315-445-2360, ext. 104, or

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Adath Yeshurun CANTOR ESA JAFFE BY SONALI MCINTYRE Temple Adath Yeshurun recently announced that Esa Jaffe has completed all of the examinations and requirements to gain acceptance and membership into the Cantors Assembly, a 72-year-old organization of cantors affiliated with Esa Jaffe has gained the Conservative/ acceptance and Masorti movement. membership into the The Cantors As- Cantors Assembly sembly’s mission and is now officially states, “We seek to Cantor Esa Jaffe. ensure that members are fully prepared to lead synagogues and the whole Jewish community through an ever-evolving musical and spiritual landscape.” It also offers assembly members opportunities for mentorship, professional development, and personal growth, in addition to providing services such as placement, insurance and retirement planning. The announcement was made at An Evening of Music concert on Mother’s Day at Temple Adath Yeshurun, where Jaffe and Cantor Emanuel Perlman performed for a crowd of more than 250 people. The evening was a celebration of Jaffe’s 25 years of service and dedication to Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Greater Syracuse Jewish community. The concert featured Israeli, opera, pop, Broadway and liturgical selections. TAY Co-President and Concert Committee Chair Andrea Knoller said, “The concert was an incredibly emotional experience for all in attendance. We were not

only moved by the magnificent voices of Cantors Esa Jaffe and Emanuel Perlman, but were witness to the announcement that our magnificent ba’alat tefillah, Esa Jaffe, passed the necessary examinations and credential reviews that permitted her to be officially recognized by the Cantors Assembly as a hazzan. It was an experience that will never be diminished by time for all those fortunate enough to be there.” The requirements and process to become a cantor/hazzan are considered extensive. Most cantors train at an accredited school, such as the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. For Jaffe, the process was different because of her training and length of time serving as a cantorial soloist at Temple Adath Yeshurun. She needed to complete a personal interview with the membership chair, and then, over a two-day period, take formal written and oral examinations. Jaffe began her professional career at TAY in 1994 as a teacher in the religious school and United Synagogue Youth advisor. On July 1, 1999, she became the director of education of the religious school, serving in that position until July 1, 2008, when she became the ba’alat tefillah, also known as a cantorial soloist. In her role as musical leader and shaliach tzibut, she has been able to draw on her history at TAY to maintain its musical traditions while, at the same time, building new ones. She is a trained singer with a master’s degree in voice performance from Syracuse University. She also holds a master’s in Jewish communal service from the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University, with a concentration in Jewish education. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University. She grew up at Temple Adath Yeshurun and was active in USY. She is See “CBS-CS” on page 6

L-r: Alan and Bonnie Sukert, Florence Abrookin, Sandy Townsend and Sylvia Gilman were among TAY Hazak members who attended the Syracuse Stage production of “The Last 5 Years” on June 2.

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas CBS-CS SUMMER FILM SERIES: THE AMERICAN JEWISH EXPERIENCE Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will present a selection of films that examine the lives of Jewish Americans in the 20th century, including classics such as “Avalon” and “The Chosen,” as well as comedies including “Goodbye, Columbus,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Keeping the Faith.” Screenings will start at 7 pm on July 10, 24 and 31 and August 21 and 28. Screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at for more information. Reservations are appreciated. YOMAM VA-LAILAH/DAY AND NIGHT – TALMUD STUDY WITH RABBI PEPPERSTONE In the blessing right before the Shema, in every evening service, Jews around the world encounter the phrase, “We will meditate upon them day and night,” which refers to Talmud Torah, the engaged study of Torah, both written and oral. This phrase has inspired CBS-CS’ Rabbi Pepperstone

to offer a regular Talmud class during the day and at night this coming year, to accommodate a range of schedules. Participants will meet at noon and 7 pm on Mondays, beginning on July 1, at CBS-CS. In the CBS-CS newsletter, the rabbi underscored the relevance of the Talmud, saying, “The Talmud contains detailed discussions of the Mishnah, often leading to both related and unrelated discussions that range from matters of law and lore. Talmud may seem removed from our lives today, but I argue that Talmud study is very relevant to our lives as Jews in the 21st century.” For this Talmud class, participants will learn from the volume (a masekhet) called sanhedrin, which deals with the form and role of a government. This course is for people of all backgrounds and all levels of Hebrew knowledge. The tools used should make the learning open to everyone. It will be possible to enter the class in the beginning, middle and even the end. For more information, contact the rabbi at rabbi@

Temple Concord TEMPLE CONCORD’S PATRIOTIC SHABBAT SERVICE The first of the Temple Concord outdoor summer Shabbat services, led by Rabbi Daniel Fellman and Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash, will take place on Friday, July 5, at 6 pm, at Onondaga Lake Park, Saw Mill Creek Shelter. The service will feature traditional prayers and patriotic songs. In celebration of the 4th of July, a barbecue dinner will follow services. There is a modest fee for the dinner. Registration for dinners may be made by contacting the TC office at 315-475-9952, or RETRO SHABBAT On June 21, at 6 pm, Temple Concord will continue its year-long celebration of its 180th anniversary with a different Shabbat service with the “Union Prayer Book,” which was used at the synagogue from the 1920s through the 1970s. At the time, it was considered a new kind of prayer book meant to connect Jewish tradition with modern life. The music highlighted both the use of the organ and the “elegance of Jewish prayer.” Rabbi Daniel J. Fellman and Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash will lead a Shabbat of yesteryear while recalling a “significant chapter” of both Reform Judaism and the life of Temple Concord. The entire

L-r: Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash and Rabbi Daniel Fellman community is invited to attend and share in this Shabbat service experience. Some will remember the music and prayers, and some will hear them for the first time. A traditional congregational Shabbat dinner will follow the service. Dinner reservations may be made by e-mailing or going to the TC website at SUMMER SHABBAT On Friday, July 19, at 6 pm, Rabbi Daniel Fellman and Cantor Kari Siegel Eglash will lead a Shabbat service at Ryder Park in DeWitt. Registration for numbers may be made by contacting the TC office at 315-475-9952, office@templeconcord. org or online See “TC” on page 6

JUNE 20, 2019/17 SIVAN 5779 ■


JCC bomb threats, Pittsburgh, Poway BY JACKIE MIRON It is an unfortunate fact that Jewish institutions have a special need for security. There is a recognized vulnerability and heightened concern. The Anti-Defamation League reports antisemitic incidents were up 57 percent in 2017. Verbal threats, destruction of property and assaults are not unusual – and are even regular. Armed guards are commonplace at Jewish houses of worship, schools and daycare centers. Jewish organizations are reassessing current security and enhancing what is in place. There is government and private funding in process. Unfortunately, security is costly. Cameras, bulletproof windows, doors, special

locks and key fobs are needed at some level in almost every building in the community. The Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Pomeranz, Shankman, Martin Charitable Foundation, Inc. are collaborating to provide funding for security needs to many Jewish agencies in Central New York. Each contributed $100,000 for a total amount of $200,000. The Federation board approved taking Federation funds from reserves, which allows the security requirements to proceed. During August, the two entities hope to fund as many needs as possible to enhance, upgrade, or even build security from scratch. The challenge of providing security, while creating a


welcoming environment within budgetary constraints, requires cooperation from all the involved parties. Each building has different needs, and security protocol is evolving. American Jews will continue to balance safety and sacredness, caution and peace. Members need to be cautious, flexible and patient, and should consider making security donations, as this partnership between Federation and the Pomeranz, Shankman, Martin Charitable Foundation, Inc. will not be able to fund all upgrades, requirements or desires. Central New York is fortunate to have the cooperation and will of these two entities to do what they can at this time.

Hillel – Israel on campus: a year in review BY JESSICA LEMONS ISRAEL FEST On April 30, Syracuse Hillel hosted Israel Fest, an annual event on Shaw Quad at Syracuse University celebrating Israeli culture. It attracted more than 550 participants. With the support of the Jewish Federation of Central New York through its Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund, in 2018-19, Hillel also received grants from StandWithUs and Hillel International. As a consequence, Hillel was able to expand and enhance Israel Fest beyond what had been offered last year, attracting hundreds more participants. A team of student leaders

Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Shany Ben Tzvi and Israel Fest Committee members and volunteers.


planned and executed the event, which was overseen by the leadership of Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Shany Ben-Tzvi. Israel Fest gave the SU campus the opportunity to connect with Israel and learn more about Israel religiously, politically and culturally. The event included Israeli food, virtual reality goggles featuring cities in Israel, a graffiti mural by Artists4Israel, Dead Sea salts and scrubs, notes to write and put in the Western Wall, and a dialogue table facilitated by Professor Miriam Elman. Zoe Katz-Kaplan (SU ‘20) said, “Being a Zionist and an Israeli-American, it was important for me to be able to show my peers that Israel is more than camels and conflict. As chair of Israel Fest, I was given the opportunity to present Israel’s many layers, innovations and complexities. Along with Shany, our Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, and the rest of the Israel Fest Committee, I believe that we brought a taste of Israeli culture, cuisine and spirit to the Syracuse University campus in a fun and educational way. We reached over 550 students in a span of two hours just days before finals week. Coming off an unsuccessful Israeli Apartheid Week, later renamed Palestine Week the week prior, it was nice to see such a large and supportive turnout for the homeland of the Jewish people and the country that I call home.” ISRAEL LEARNING FELLOWSHIP Many SU students have shared with Hillel staff

Jewish Agency Israel Fellows from Columbia/Barnard Hillel and Cornell Hillel led an Israel Learning Fellowship session about diversity in Israel. that they love Israel because they were taught to love the country by their family. However, many of those students are not able to articulate why they love Israel, beyond their family emphasizing its importance. They talk about falafel and camels on Birthright, but are not able to articulate why they should support Israel and why having a strong, positive relationship with Israel not only matters, but is essential to their own Jewish identity and the future of world Jewry. Hillel’s Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, Shany Ben-Tzvi, noticed that the relationship students overwhelmingly described having with Israel was mostly superficial. The Hillel staff started to think about ways to better

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Shelach Lecha – the power of forgiveness BY RABBI ANDREW PEPPERSTONE In the Torah portion, Shelach Lecha, we encounter the nadir, the lowest moment for Israel during our 40 years of life in the wilderness, and how we survive that moment and emerge on the other side, beginning a period of spiritual growth. The moment is when the 12 scouts come back from their fact-finding mission in the land of Canaan and give their report to the entire people. They all state the facts: the land is good; the people are strong; the cities are fortified. Had this been all that they said, we would have the Four Books of Moses, not the Five Books. Where the scouts crucially differ is in their interpretation of these facts. Two of the scouts, Joshua and Caleb, say that the people can indeed take this land from its inhabitants, despite their size and strength, because God will be with them. However, the other 10 scouts say that this is impossible, because they think that the people of the land will see them as nothing more than grasshoppers, which is how those 10 scouts saw themselves. Unfortunately, it is the view of the 10 scouts that sweeps through the people upon their return and utterly demoralizes them. The people’s demoralization from the bad report of these 10 scouts is the low point of the 40 years in the Wilderness. None of the minor moments of complaint even come close to this moment. Even the Golden Calf incident, which was truly serious, only affected a relatively small number of people. This sin of the scouts affects the entire people, who essentially throw up their hands, and decide that it would be better to turn around, go back to Egypt, and live as slaves – rather than die as free people in the middle of nowhere. God’s response to this terrible moment, as it was with the Golden Calf, is to wipe out the entire people of Israel and start over again with Moses as the new Abraham. In this moment of divine rage, Moses tells God that God has two ways to use God’s power: to destroy the people or to forgive them. First, if God were to use God’s power to destroy the people, which is easy for God to do, no people on earth would ever trust God again. Second, Moses asks God to use God’s power in a completely different and more impressive way: to hold back God’s understandable anger and instead forgive the people. Moses reminds God that this consuming rage is not God’s essential nature, which is actually compassionate and forgiving. After the Golden Calf incident, God taught Moses what we call the Thir-


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teen Attributes, a short list of God’s primary spiritual dimensions, which include patience, loving-kindness, loyalty, keeping promises, being forgiving and putting up others’ mistakes. In a supreme test of the covenant between God and the people Israel, Moses challenges God to use God’s power to forgive, not to destroy. God passes the test and we were forgiven. God’s forgiveness gives us the chance to spend the next 38 years growing and maturing as a people who ultimately will fulfill its destiny, cross the Jordan and live in the Promised Land. What I have always found most moving about this moment is the idea that when someone feels frustrated, angry and filled with rage, it is easy for that person to lash out with all that negative feeling, but that rage can destroy a relationship. Moses teaches us (and God!) that it is a far greater demonstration of power when feeling this way to restrain one’s rage and instead to forgive the other with whom we have a relationship. In this moment, Moses also teaches the importance of having close friends and companions with whom we can share ourselves, who help keep us focused on who we are, who are not afraid to tell us when we are about to make a mistake, and who ultimately help us grow and mature to become better than we are today. May we all have around us close and trusted relationships, have the power to restrain our frustration with those around us, and to help them and ourselves grow and mature. Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone is the rabbi at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas.

MAZEL TOV Teddi Madison Gordon

Aileen Greenman and Matthew Gordon of Hoboken, NJ, announce the birth of their daughter, Teddi Madison Gordon, on June 1. She is the granddaughter of Melinda and Bud Greenman of Liverpool and Norma and Hartley Gordon of Riverdale, NY. Her Hebrew name is Tova Maya and she Teddi Madison is named for her maternal Gordon great-grandfather, Theodore Greenman, and paternal great-grandfather, Max Fried.

CSEA president appoints Mark Kotzin union’s new statewide communications director

CSEA President Danny Donohue has appointed longtime CSEA labor communications professional Mark Kotzin as the statewide union’s new director of communications. Kotzin has worked for nearly 30 years out of the union’s Central Region office in East Syracuse as their communications specialist, directing all communications initiatives on behalf of about Mark Kotzin 45,000 union members throughout CSEA’s largest geographic region throughout Central and Northern New York and the Southern Tier. His accomplishments within CSEAinclude shepherding the union’s regional communications into the digital era; creating and managing CSEA’s annual presence at the State Fair; and the successful promotion of labor-community partnerships, such as with Special Olympics, for which CSEA members throughout Central New York have raised more than $200,000 over the past 11 years. Kotzin has also served on numerous statewide strategic planning workgroups and committees. Over his career, his photographs and articles in union publications have won numerous awards from labor communications trade groups. Kotzin will direct the union’s 12-person Communications Department, as well as have oversight of the union’s printing and mailing operations. Kotzin is a 2012 graduate of the Leadership Greater Syracuse Program. As a professional communicator, he previously served on the boards of the Central NY Chapter and Northeast District of the Public Relations Society of America. Outside of his work, he has been involved in various community causes, including serving on the board of Temple Concord, and leading their annual Christmas holiday meal committee and their twice-a-year blood drives in partnership with the American Red Cross. As a regular blood donor, he recently gave his 13th gallon donation. He is an Albany area native and lives in DeWitt.

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

Friday, June 21 Temple Concord Shabbat Through the Ages at 6 pm Monday, June 24 Temple Adath Yeshurun book discussion on “Becoming” by Michelle Obama at 7:30 pm Wednesday, June 26 Lunch and Learn at the Bistro at noon SHDS graduation at 7 pm TAY annual meeting at 7:30 pm Wednesday, July 3 Deadline for July 18 Jewish Observer Tuesday, July 9 TC Seasoned Citizens at 1:30 pm Tuesday, July 16 Jewish Community Foundation of CNY annual meeting at 7 pm Wednesday, July 17 Deadline for August 1 Jewish Observer Lunch and Learn at the Bistro at noon Sunday, July 21 Fast of Tammuz Sunday, July 28 Menorah Park Auxiliary hosts The Word Mavens at 7 pm Wednesday, July 31 Deadline for August 15 Jewish Observer


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group homes. Finally, Leket Israel’s request of $1,000 was granted in full and will fund the collection of hot meals from hotels, police stations, corporate cafeterias and IDF army bases, for their distribution to children who suffer from poverty and hunger. The teen funders will meet again in the fall.


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a graduate of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies. She has sung with many groups in the community, including Syracuse Opera, Syracuse Vocal Ensemble and Syracuse University Oratorio Society. She has taught at the Epstein School and has served on the SHDS board. She is married to Chaim Jaffe, one of the TAY co-presidents, and they have four children: Ari, Shai, Ilana and Jonah. For more information about Temple Adath Yeshurun and its programming, visit

RABBI FELLMAN CELEBRATES 10-PLUS YEARS IN CNY On June 4, Temple Concord hosted a communitywide catered kosher dinner to honor Rabbi Daniel J. Fellman for having served for the past 10 years as only the fifth rabbi of historic Temple Concord. Established in 1839, Temple Concord, at 180 years old, is the ninth oldest Jewish congregation in the U.S. Guests came from all the local congregations, as well as various non-Jewish organizations and elected officials. This is but one of the many 180th anniversary celebrations that include the entire Central New York community and will take place in the coming year.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh (left) congratulated Temple Concord Rabbi Daniel Fellman on his 10th anniversary with the congregation at an event celebrating his anniversary and the synagogue’s 180th year of existence.

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JUNE 20, 2019/17 SIVAN 5779 ■



SHDS students place flags on Jewish graves


Alberta “Abby” Eggert, 83, died at home on June 2. Born in Chicago to Samuel and Sophie Klair, she had been a resident of Syracuse since 1962. Prior to starting her family, she was an elementary school teacher. As her children became more independent, she returned to work on a part-time basis. She taught school, was an executive assistant to the president of Bristol Labs, worked with her husband in his flexible metal hose business and catered. She was a committed member of the Well Spouse Association and an active member and officer of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and the CBS-CS Sisterhood. She loved reading, attending classes at OASIS, and traveling. She thoroughly enjoyed the arts. Her family and friends (who were like family) were most important to her. She was predeceased by her sister Vivienne Fink. She is survived by her husband, Richard “Dick”; their children, Vicki Toran, Andrea (Stan) Speer and Neil (Sharon) Eggert; and grandchildren, Scott Toran, Julie and Rebecca Speer; and Jenna and Lindsay Eggert. Burial was in the Beth Sholom section of Oakwood Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, PO Box 271, DeWitt, NY 13214 or the Well Spouse Association. 


Wilfred “Bill” Lakehomer, 91, of Fayetteville, died on May 27. He lived in Syracuse his entire life and graduated from Central High School. He spent a short time in the U.S. Army. He was a senior vice president at Marshall and Sterling Insurance, and spent nearly 60 years in the insurance business. He was a gifted athlete and played softball until the age of 86, winning many championships in softball and basketball on a local and state level. He was a loyal fan of Syracuse University basketball and football, belonged to the Orange Pack and attended many Coaches vs. Cancer galas. He was also a member of the Past Times Club, the YMCA and Pompey Hills Golf Club. He was predeceased by his son, Eric; his parents, Lillian and George; and his brothers, Herbert and Norman. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lois; their daughter, Sindee Lakehomer (Thomas) Shaulinski; grandchildren, John Eric Lakehomer (fiancée, Samantha Garafalo), Jared Madlin, Taylor Madlin, Jayne Madlin and Tiffany Lakehomer; and his sister, Rhoberta Leeser. Funeral services were on May 30 at Sisskind Funeral Chapel. Burial was in the Temple Concord section 63 of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Make-A-Wish Central New York 


Frances Freedman Sall, 96, of Fayetteville, died on June 15, two days shy of her 97th birthday. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in psychology. She worked in a photography studio and as a sales clerk in a department store. She was an active member in the National Council of Jewish Women and the Sisterhood of Temple Adath Yeshurun, but she was most proud of her volunteer work as a counselor for Contact Hotline. She was an avid SU sports fan and an opera lover – which she loved almost as much as she loved chocolate. She was predeceased by her husband of 35 years, David Sall, and her significant other, Jerome Lustig. She is survived by her sons, Kenneth Sall of Columbia, MD, Edward Sall (Elaine) of Fayetteville and Eric Sall (Julie) of Newton, MA; grandchildren, Dana Sall (Jack Palmer), Stephanie, Madeline, Charlotte; and great-grandchildren, Leigh and Lucy; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Syracuse Opera, 

At right: For the past 10 years, the Syracuse Hebrew Day School fifthand sixth-graders have placed flags on the graves of Jewish war veterans in the Syracuse Jewish cemeteries. More than 700 flags were purchased by Steven Sisskind and war veteran Stephen Nathan in honor and respect to those who served.


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York is also participating in the day’s events, providing free bus transportation to and from Oswego and kosher box lunches for the attendees. For more information about the programing, transportation or anything else, contact Barbara Davis at On August 5, 1944, the church bells in Oswego rang to welcome the refugees. On Monday, August 5, at 7:30 am, they will ring again – this time, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the train carrying the refugees to the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter. Former refugees, their families, invited officials, religious leaders and the press will board buses, visit cemeteries and conduct memorial services at the graves of refugees who had died on the ship carrying them from Italy to the United States, or at the shelter during its 18-month operation. Afterward, the group will gather for a private box lunch on the site of the 1944-46 shelter dining halls and living quarters. From 10 am-4 pm, the public will have free admission to the Safe Haven Museum and Fort Ontario, including short tours of refugee sites. At 8:15 am, there will be private commemoration ceremonies at the cemeteries where refugees who died at the shelter were buried: Ahavath Achim Cemetery in Jamesville, and Riverside Cemetery and St. Paul’s Cemetery in Oswego. This is open only to officials, former refugees and their families, and invited press/ guests. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Judy Rapaport, 317 Capulet Dr., Venice, FL 34292 or 315-591-1050 or At 1 pm, officials, former refugees and their families, members of Safe Haven and Friends of Fort Ontario will have a box lunch picnic at the overlook near the Na’amat Refugee Memorial Monument at Fort Ontario. The Syr-

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acuse Pioneer Women/Na’amat erected the monument near the Lake Ontario overlook parking lot during the first refugee reunion in 1981. Reservations are required. This will be followed at 2 pm by the public 75th anniversary commemoration program. Fort Ontario superintendent and historian Paul Lear will introduce the speakers, including former refugees, their families, religious leaders, Jewish groups, historians, public officials, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum curator and historian Rebecca Erbelding, Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum President Kevin Hill and representatives of organizations with historical ties to the shelter. They will talk about their memories of life at the shelter; how it affected and continues to affect the lives of former refugees and city residents; why and how it was administered and operated; its historical significance and legacy; and its impact on U.S. refugee policy since World War II. A memorial service will conclude the public program. At 6 pm, there will be a 75th anniversary refugee reunion dinner with guest speakers introduced by Hill at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 East First St., Oswego. The dinner is open to the public and reservations are required. Buffet dinners will cost $50 and plated kosher dinners $40 per person. Dinner reservations and event sponsorship forms may be obtained by contacting Judy Rapaport at 315-591-1050 or The Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street. The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is located at 2 East Seventh St., Oswego. For more information on the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, or 75th anniversary commemorative events, contact Lear at 315-343-4711, the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page, or visit

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educate the students about Israel – considered a core tenet of Hillel’s mission and an integral part of their Jewish identity. With the success of other ongoing Jewish learning opportunities at Hillel, they examined ways to replicate that formula

Israel Learning Fellowship participants at the state and religion ILF session.

and apply it to Israel education. With the generosity of the Holstein grant, the Israel Learning Fellowship was born. A 10-week course taught by Ben-Tzvi aimed to enrich students’ knowledge and understanding of Israel as a multi-dimensional entity. Before each session, Ben-Tzvi sent an e-mail to the student participants recapping the previous session with key takeaways and assigned readings for the participants to complete ahead of their next session. Small groups of participants started every session with an Israel update. They researched a topic, e.g. Eurovision in Tel Aviv or women and the Kotel, and presented their findings to the whole class. Following this, Ben-Tzvi presented the unit of the week and then facilitated an activity or discussion on the topic, which included Israel identity, Zionism, state

and religion, diversity, Arabs in Israel and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Thirteen students completed the fellowship in its inaugural semester. AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE Syracuse Hillel provided full scholarships for 22 Syracuse University students to attend the AIPAC policy conference this spring. All the delegation members said they’d had an “incredible experience.” They represented many campus demographics, including Republicans, Democrats, Jewish and Christian students, all class years and a variety of majors. Following their participation in the conference, each student wrote a reflection on what they considered were the sessions with the greatest impact. Jessica Lemons is the chief operations officer of Syracuse Hillel.

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L-r: Arielle Hadad (‘22), Julia Danan (‘21) and Josh Cohen (‘21) at an AIPAC policy conference as a part of the Syracuse Hillel delegation.

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