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26 TAMMUZ 5777 • JULY 20, 2017 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 14 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY

First person

Why I’m chairing Federation’s Campaign for a third year BY MARK WLADIS “It’s never been done before.” “Good luck to him! He’s crazy if he thinks the Federation can meet that kind of goal.” These are a few of the things that were said a few years ago when I came on board as chair of Federation’s Annual Campaign. I may be crazy, but all of you came through and helped us to not only reach our goal to raise $1,200,000, but to exceed it by a hefty margin. As of June 30, our local Jewish community has contributed $1,250,560 to the Campaign. Let’s have a round of applause to honor the dedication and commitment of our members. Mazel tov, everyone! Throughout the last two years, the Jewish Federation leadership – along with the volunteers, like many of you

only did it help people see the reading this article – began Federation as more than just to build the framework for a fund-raising organization, a new way to engage with but it also brought people out, the community and increase got them together and allowed participation in not only the people to enjoy time spent with Campaign, but also in the friends new and old. All of this many special events and opstrengthens our local Jewish portunities to come together community, and that has been that we have during the year. key to the “new” Federation. In an effort to promote unity These events were a hit. and foster social bonds, we Mark Wladis Not only did we have great had a number of successful events that really brought people togeth- attendance, but they helped encourer. We brought in nationally renowned age people to be more involved with speakers, held Chanukah parties, hosted the Federation. People demonstrated comedienne Judy Gold and had a really their commitment to the Federation well-attended event at the Milton J. by being there, and by reaching into Rubenstein Museum of Science and their pockets and contributing more Technology. These activities helped than ever before to the Campaign. In us do exactly what we’d planned. Not 2013, the Campaign received $962,769

in pledged funds. This year, our community increased its pledges by more than 25 percent to a total of $1,250,560. These pledges allow the Federation to ensure the strength and vibrancy of our community in terms of expanded programming and support of efforts that are near and dear to us. So, call me meshugenah – and perhaps you should, because I have agreed to be the Campaign chair for another year; but I think we did a great thing and I look forward to what the years ahead have in store for us. In fact, we hope you will be our guest on October 22, when we kick off the next Campaign with our special guest, David Gregory. There is no doubt that it will be an entertaining and informative event, as he surely has some great stories to share from his work at CNN.

Controversial Israeli conversion bill delayed for six months BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ AND BEN SALES (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shelved a controversial bill that would have made the haredi Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate the only body authorized by the government to perform conversions in Israel. Netanyahu’s office announced on June 30 that the legislation will not be considered for six months while a “team” he will

appoint comes up with recommendations for an “arrangement” on the issue. The decision comes after an outcry by the Reform and Conservative movements and American Jewish communal organizations, who felt that the bill would impugn the validity of non-Orthodox Judaism. Netanyahu’s coalition partners agreed with his compromise, which keeps the status quo on conversions in place during the six-month delay. Netanyahu also asked

Israel’s Supreme Court to put off ruling on the issue during that time. A suit pending before the court seeks government recognition for non-Orthodox conversions performed in Israel. “In effect, the appellants and the government of Israel agree together to freeze all proceedings, to freeze the appeal to the High Court of Justice on the conversion issue, to freeze government and Knesset legislation on the conversion issue,” Ne-

Community to come together to bid Linda Alexander farewell

and CEO of the Jewish FederaBY WILL WALLAK tion of Central New York since After what many consider October 2011 and as executive a long and successful career in director of the Jewish ComCentral New York, Linda Alexmunity Foundation of Central ander will be honored by friends New York, an organization she and colleagues at a going-away founded, since 2001. She had celebration on Wednesday, Sepbeen serving as the Foundatember 6, at 6:30 pm, at Temple tion’s executive director for 10 Adath Yeshurun. Alexander is years before stepping into her president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Linda Alexander role with the Federation. Neil Bronstein, president and executive director of the of the Jewish Community Foundation of Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York. She recently announced that Central New York, said, “As a volunteer she will retire in the fall and move to the and professional, Linda, through her dedication, foresight and wisdom, has forever West Coast to be closer to family. The Va’ad-supervised event will fea- changed the landscape of our community. ture cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a presen- Linda has guided the Jewish Community tation honoring Alexander, desserts and Foundation of Central New York since dancing. Invitations will be mailed out its inception 16 years ago. Today, this shortly and registration is due by Monday, organization has $16 million in assets and is well on its way toward realizing August 21. Alexander is a community leader, wife, a dream of ensuring our future. All of us mother and grandmother. She is also a owe Linda a debt of gratitude.” Corinne Smith said, “Linda’s strong tennis champion, choreographer and matchmaker. She has served as president guidance has also greatly benefitted the

Federation and local community. While thinking about how much we will all miss Linda, I am reminded of what she built for us. I think of her recruitment of young leadership for the Federation, the development of a sound financial base and the stewardship of our treasure by a strong Foundation, and of course, the spirit of generosity and pride that she instilled throughout our community. She lit our engines and showed us the way. For that and for so much else, I say on behalf of all the community, thank you and well done.” In addition to her business sense and community building, Alexander has been called “a leadership pioneer” for local women. She has served as president of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and the Federation’s chair of its Annual

tanyahu’s statement said. The bill, which had advanced on June 25, would grant the Chief Rabbinate a monopoly on conversions performed in Israel. Individuals who convert under Reform, Conservative and private Orthodox auspices in Israel would not be eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return. The bill would not affect conversions performed outside of Israel. See “Bill” on page 4

2017 Federation Annual Campaign Goal: $1,200,000 $1,252,736 as of July 17, 2017 t ighes H r u O ever!

To make a pledge, please contact Colleen Baker at (315) 445-2040, ext 102 or cbaker@jewishfederationcny.org.

See “Farewell” on page 3

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A

July 21.............................. 8:19 pm..........................................Parasha-Mattot-Masei July 28.............................. 8:12 pm.................................................. Parasha-Devarim August 4.......................... 8:04 pm............................................. Parasha-Vaetchanan

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Golf tournament

Congregational notes Bluegrass at the JCC

The 35th annual Menorah Park Local synagogues announce their The JCC and TAY, through a Open golf tournament will take Tisha B’Av services, as well as a Federation grant, will host a Rocky talk, new staff and more. place on August 16. Mountain Jewgrass concert. Story on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 7

PLUS Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide...........5-8 Personal & Business Services....9 Classifieds..................................... 10 Calendar Highlights..................10


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BY RICHARD D. WILKINS From late May into June 1967, deep anxiety enveloped Jewish communities worldwide. The U.N. observer force in the Sinai had been withdrawn. Egyptian forces had moved massively to Israel’s border and blocked vital Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. Syrian artillery blanketed the Golan Heights, overlooking the Galilee. Jordan had lately been lured into military alliance. Arab media was ablaze with bloodcurdling threats to “drive the Jews into the sea.” With Israel’s signal victory in the Six-Day War (June 5-10), that gloom turned to joy. Most exhilarating was the return of Jewish access to the Old City of Jerusalem and its sacred sites. “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” was a cry heard around the world. Despite 1949 Armistice guarantees, the Old City had been sealed to all Israelis, Jews and Arabs. It was hardly accessible to even foreign Christian pilgrims. Under Jordanian occupation, eastern Jerusalem had been a forlorn frontier outpost. Its Jews had either been murdered or expelled; its many synagogues were destroyed and the historic Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery was extremely desecrated. Facing eastward was a dividing barbed wire. Western Jerusalem had been tenuously connected to the rest of Israel, accessible only via a narrow corridor. Newly-united Jerusalem then began

The history of Jerusalem

a period of spectacular growth. Now, a half-century later, it is a flourishing metropolis, with a highly diverse population, a place both sacred and secular, modern and ancient, filled with treasures of the past and technology of the future, and, as security concerns permit, open to all, closed to none. The holy sites of the three Abrahamic religions have been enhanced and protected. Since King David made it his capital 3,000 years ago, Jerusalem has been absolutely central to the Jewish imagination. Half a millennium later, after the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, exiled Judeans in Babylon, vowed, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning... if I fail to elevate Jerusalem above my foremost joy.” (Psalms 137:5-6) After the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, and Jewish worldwide dispersion, another half millennium later, such sentiment has permeated Jewish prayer and practice. Breaking a glass at a Jewish wedding bemoans the Temples’destruction. There is a midsummer period of intense mourning around the date of those disasters. At the year’s most solemn moments, “Next year in Jerusalem” is the watchword. The arguments for the Jews’ rightful return to the land of Israel and Jerusalem are so compelling that their enemies must resort to denial of historical reality. They

must decry as fraudulent artifacts regularly unearthed, confirming the Jews’ three millennia presence. Sacred sites must be renamed so as to hide their provenance. It is even claimed that those Temples never existed. Such lies should be as offensive to Christians as to Jews, since it erases their sacred history as well. Recent UNESCO and U.N. Human Rights Council resolutions – without concern for history or historical development resolutions – and denying Jews any rights anywhere in Jerusalem – are beneath contempt, and represent a deep blot on an international community unwilling to vehemently denounce such absurdities. Under the Ottomans, Jews enjoyed few rights, with their access to sacred sites severely restricted. They could not go beyond the seventh step into the burial site of their patriarchs and matriarchs. They were not allowed to sound the ram’s horn at the Western Wall. Little better could be expected of the Palestinians, who have explicitly declared that no Jew would be permitted to live in their state. The Jews have returned to their land, never again to leave. They will never again let their holiest sites fall captive to the malignant whims of others. Why, then, would the international community even consider Jerusalem’s re-division? That recalls King Solomon’s similar dilemma. Two women had recently given

birth. One baby was stillborn; both women claimed the live one. Solomon’s solution: divide the child. A horrified reaction proved who the real mother was. So, too, Jerusalem’s present claimants. The Jewish-Jerusalem bond is intensely familial. Palestinian counterclaims are essentially reactive to that profound, enduring relationship. Western and eastern Jerusalem can no longer easily be cleaved. Arabs now also live in the west, Jews in the east. Divided cities are inherently subject to endless strife, municipal dysfunction and decay. The status quo does not disadvantage Jerusalem Arabs. They can opt for Israeli citizenship, and many do, whenever the prospect of re-division looms. A Palestinian state could locate its capital nearby. “He who watches over the fig tree should eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 27:8) The Jews have longed for, hoped for and, now, for 50 years, lovingly cared for this city that others have neglected. Zionism, without Zion, would remain tragically unfulfilled. That must not happen. As the united capital of the state of Israel, Jerusalem may now finally fully embody its name, City of Peace, one beckoning to the entire world and a bejeweled beacon to all humanity. Richard D. Wilkins is a member of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse.

A MATTER OF OPINION New study reveals Europe’s rising antisemitism forces Jews to leave or hide BY ABRAHAM H. MILLER JNS.org Why do half of French Jews want to leave France? The rise of violent antisemitism beginning around the turn of the century has made French Jews justifiably concerned about their personal safety. A University of Oslo study published in June is one of the most methodologically sophisticated and comprehensive reports in dissecting the growth of Europe’s antisemitism problem. Written by Dr. Johannes Due Enstad of the Center for Research on Extremism, the study documents violent antisemitism from 2005-2015, analyzing seven countries based on comparable data for France, the U.K., Germany and Sweden, with additional non-comparable data for Norway, Denmark and Russia. Since they feel unsafe as a direct consequence of violent antisemitism, one in five Jews in Sweden and the U.K., one in four in Germany and, as mentioned previously, half of the Jews in France have considered emigrating. But it is not just something that Jews think about. In 2015, 10,000 Western European Jews departed for a new life in Israel, the largest number leaving Europe since 1948. There is no upward or downward trend in the period measured. There is a consistently elevated level of antisemitism compared to the 1990s. French Jews are more likely than German, Swedish and British Jews to have personally experienced a violent attack in the final five years covered by the study. Although the incidence of antisemitism for France is the highest, responses about personal attacks during the study’s final five years from Swedish and German Jews is not far behind. The largest gap in antisemitism is between British Jews and Jews living in Norway, Denmark and Russia. Jews in France and Sweden are more likely to not attend Jewish events or visit Jewish sites because they do not feel safe. More than half of the Jews in France and Sweden avoid wearing, carrying or displaying things that would cause others to recognize them as Jews. This behavior does not rise to the same levels in Germany

and the U.K., but substantial numbers of Jews in those countries also avoid doing things in public that would label them as Jews out of fear for their safety. Among French Jews, the elevated level of fear probably comes from France having experienced more violent, dramatic and fatal antisemitic incidents than other European countries. The barbarous attack on a Jewish school in 2012 in Toulouse, where three Jewish children and a rabbi were killed, undoubtedly contributed greatly to the insecurity of France’s Jews. This event came on the heels of one of the major surveys used in the newly released University of Oslo study. Mohammed Merah, the 23-year-old Al-Qaida terrorist who carried out the Toulouse attack, had said he wanted to kill Jews because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More recently, the head of the Jewish community of Marseille, France’s second-largest city, told his fellow community members not to appear in public in any way that would identify them as Jews. Who is responsible for the attacks on Jews? In every country studied, except for Russia, the perpetrators are disproportionately of Muslim backgrounds. A British study cited in the University of Oslo report notes that the proportion of Muslim perpetrators increases in the wake of “trigger events” in the Middle East. In what might be considered a clumsy attempt to downplay antisemitism, German authorities do not classify anti-Israeli incidents as antisemitism. This results in absurdity. A Muslim firebombing of a synagogue can be classified as an anti-Israeli event, but not antisemitic. If any country should know better, it should be Germany. Is Kristallnacht going to be reinterpreted as not antisemitism, but a demonstration for racial purity? The only country where antisemitic incidents are not disproportionately perpetrated by Muslims is Russia, and it is the only country in the University of Oslo study where Jews do not fear to express their Jewish identity when appearing in public. This appears to perplex the study’s author, as Russia contains both large Jewish and Muslim populations.

Yet, the issue is easily resolved. In Russia, the large Muslim and Jewish populations live in the same country, but are generally separated by a vast expanse of land. Most Muslims live in the Eurasian Caucasus region. Most Jews live in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. As Europe receives greater numbers of Muslim migrants, violent antisemitism will continue to rise. As the philosophy of radical Islam takes hold of more young Muslims, so too will the antisemitism that follows it. The more observant a Muslim is, the more likely he or she is to be antisemitic,

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as the University of Oslo study notes. The future for European Jews who want to maintain the distinct characteristics of Judaism in public, and who want to go to synagogue unmolested, is not bright. The unwillingness of European authorities to call antisemitism what it is simply means that Jewish emigration from the continent will increase. Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter @salomoncenter. All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to JewishObserverCNY@gmail.com. The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $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 Open golf tournament on August 16 BY STEWART KOENIG There are many ways to participate in the 35th annual Menorah Park Open on Wednesday, August 16, at Drumlins East, 800 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse. People can play golf, be a sponsor, donate an item for the silent auction, have dinner, buy auction items or all of the above. Funds raised at the Menorah Park Open will contribute directly to the comfort, enjoyment and quality of life of Menorah Park’s residents on its continuum-of-care campus. Menorah Park CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood said, “Any way you choose to participate helps maintain or improve lives of friends and family of people we know, including our own loved ones. This year is special. We’re the oldest golf fund-raiser in the area and it’s our 35th annual tournament. Our Board of Directors has made an exceptional commitment to raise funds and we have returning and new sponsors. It’s wonderful to see the community come together for such a good cause.” The event will start with lunch at 11:30 am, with golf at 1 pm and the awards dinner following. Local sports and media celebrities will join the golfers. The silent auction will have a variety of goods and gift cards from area businesses and organizations. “From beer and wine baskets, to beer tours and jewelry, to a custom-made suit, the auction will be phenomenal this year and we’re encouraging golfers to invite their spouses, and anyone else looking for special bargains, to dinner,” Bloodgood said. Sponsorships are still available on many different levels. Foursomes and individual golfers will be welcome. Donations of goods for door prizes and the auction have been encouraged, and anyone may attend the dinner. For details,

visit www.MenorahParkofCNY.com or contact Susie Drazen, Menorah Park director of development, at sdrazen@ menorahparkofcny.com or 315-446-9111, ext. 141. NEW CHEF STAFF FOR THE BISTRO The Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro, opening later this summer at Menorah Park’s new Abraham Shank- L-r: The Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro, man Wellness opening later this summer at Menorah Pavilion, is Park’s new Abraham Shankman being led by Wellness Pavilion, will be led by two two culinary culinary professionals: bistro manager professionals. Daniel Lajoie and chef Dwight Bailey. Chef Dwight Bailey graduated with a hotel and restaurant management degree from Morrisville State College. He also majored in contemporary French cuisine at the Culinary Institute of America. His experience includes working at the Arad Evans Inn, Onondaga Golf and Country Club and Maple Downs Senior Living Community. Bailey is a graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High School. Bistro manager Daniel Lajoie, originally from Syracuse, began his culinary career working in restaurants in Homer. He majored in hotel and restaurant management at Tompkins Cortland Community College and Niagara University. His experience includes managing a restaurant at Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort, as well as the student center café at Ithaca College.

Summer camp kicks off at the JCC Hundreds of children helped kick off Camp Joe and Lynne Romano on June 26 at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. Pictured are JCC camp counselors and campers preparing for the school-age camp’s opening circle on June 26. The JCC’s summer day camp – open to preschoolers, school-age children and teens – runs through August 18. Some spots are still available. Registration will continue throughout the summer until the start of each camp session. For more information about the JCC’s Camp Joe and Lynne Romano, and to request a camp program guide, call 315-445-2360 or visit www.jccsyr.org.

Farewell

Campaign. She also received the Community Endowment Excellence Award, given by United Jewish Communities. Among the honors given to her by local community organizations are The Post-Standard Achievement Award; the National Council of Jewish Women, Syracuse Section At-Large, Hannah G. Solomon Award in 2011; Temple Adath Yeshurun Citizen of the Year in 2006; the Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership in 1996; the Na’amat Woman of the Year Award; and the Onondaga County Medical Society Alliance’s Community Service Award. Robin Goldberg said, “There’s no doubt that our community is now better off because of Linda Alexander’s role with the Federation and Foundation, and her genuine caring. She leaves this community and everyone

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See “Park” on page 7

L-r: Menorah Park outgoing board President Mark Shulman, Menorah Park CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood and incoming President David Newman posed together at the annual meeting on June 15.

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HUNT Real Estate ERA 6849 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066 Always There For You

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Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu JULY 24-28 Monday – dinner at 5 pm – salmon with hoisin glaze Tuesday – baked ziti Wednesday – tuna wrap Thursday – honey-glazed baked chicken Friday – birthday celebration – brisket JULY 31-AUGUST 4 Monday – dinner at 5 pm – apricot-glazed chicken Tuesday – meatloaf Wednesday – stuffed shells Thursday – turkey wrap Friday – salmon with dill 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

Menorah Park CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood said, “Dwight and Daniel and their team will make the bistro a destination for residents, their families and friends, and anyone who wants some great kosher food and drink. They will also help provide a great experience for work groups holding their events and meetings at the bistro.” ANNUAL MEETING HELD JUNE 15 At the Menorah Park of Central New York meeting held at The Oaks on June 15, CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood

lunches served Tuesday-Friday at noon. Dinners are served on Mondays at 5 pm throughout the summer, due 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 more information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or cstein@ jccsyr.org. Continued from page 1 she touched stronger and richer for her generous spirit and unwavering leadership. She embodies our mission of tikkun olam, as she made this community better equipped to meet current challenges and to build a vibrant future for generations to come. My family joins with all the community in wishing her as bright a future as the one she gave to us.” Alexander was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Queens College, City University of New York. She has been married to Steven Alexander for more than 43 years and has two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren. For more information about the community farewell party for Alexander, contact the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s Erin Hart at 315-4452040, ext. 112, or ehart@jccsyr.org.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JULY 20, 20176/26 TAMMUZ 5777

CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas CBS-CS WELCOMES NEW PROGRAM DIRECTOR BY HEATHER ENGELMAN Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas o ff i c i a l l y w e l comed its new program director, Melissa Harkavy, on July 1. In this new congregational position, Harkavy is responsible Melissa Harkavy for programs for members of all ages, and for working on synagogue-wide, intergenerational and holiday events. She will also manage congregational communications, advise CBS-CS’s United Synagogue Youth group (ninth-12th grade students) and supervise the congregation’s “Moving Traditions” program. Harkavy brings training and experience in teaching and facilitating dialogue among children and young adults in collegiate and Jewish settings, through teaching and research assistantships, as well as positions with the Young Judaea dance troupe, Camp Keshet at Young Israel of East Brunswick and East Brunswick Jewish

Center. She has also managed volunteers in a non-profit environment as the research coordinator for Black Women’s Blueprint in Brooklyn. Harkavy has a bachelor’s in geography from Penn State and is finishing a master’s in geography and development with a certificate in college teaching from the University of Colorado. In addition, the East Brunswick, NJ, native holds a Hebrew high school certificate from the East Brunswick Jewish Center and a hadracha leadership and activism institute certificate from Camp Tel Yehudah-Young Judaea. She says she has a passion for Israeli folk dance and rescue animals. She is working on therapy dog certification with her Maltipoo, Angel. She said, “CBS-CS is such a wonderfully inclusive community. From the time I stepped through the doors of CBS-CS, I felt inspired by the welcoming spirit of the members and staff, and I admired their passion for creating a dynamic kehilla kedoshah (sacred community). I feel honored to work with the members of CBS-CS, and I relish the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Jewish community of Central New York.” Harkavy can be reached at director@ cbscs.org or 315-701-2685.

Temple Adath Yeshurun CHART AND CHALLENGE TempleAdath Yeshurun Rabbi Paul Drazen will lead a second “Chat and Challenge” session, a casual discussion of current events with a Jewish slant, on Wednesday, August 2, at 7:30 pm, at TAY, 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, in the Muriel and Avron Spector Library. Rabbi Drazen will discuss Jewish media articles of current interest. The library will be furnished with easy chairs to create “a home-like” atmosphere. The session will be open to the public. Materials for the discussion can be found on the synagogue’s website, www.adath.org. RUMMAGE SALE The Temple Adath Yeshurun Sisterhood will hold its semi-annual rummage sale on Sunday-Tuesday, August 6-8, with August 8 being “bag day.” The sale allows the Sisterhood to support the synagogue by providing b’nai mitzvah gifts, weekly kiddushim and funds for unforeseen expenses. This sale will see the return of the “Designer Corner,” which will offer finer-quality clothing and items for sale. This is in addition to the “normal” rummage sale items. The sale will run on August 6 from 10 am-3 pm; on August 7 from 10 am-2 pm; and on August 8 from 10 am-1 pm. There will be an “early bird” option available for a small fee one hour prior to the official opening on August 6 from 9 am-10 am. For more information or to help, contact Joan Lowenstein at jmglowe@gmail.com.

L-r: Chaim Jaffe and Andrea Knoller were elected co-presidents of Temple Adath Yeshurun at the annual congregational meeting on June 29.

L-r: Chaim Jaffe, TAY co-president, presented a congregational gift of a tallit to Howard M. Weinstein, outgoing co-president, for his years of service.

Temple Concord TEMPLE CONCORD “SHABBAT IN THE PARK” SUMMER SERIES Temple Concord will hold its annual summer “Shabbat in the Park” series. The outdoor series is open to the public. Services on Friday, July 28, will be held at 6 pm at Clark Reservation, 6105 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville. The Shabbat service will be followed by a “bring-your-own” picnic dinner. Drinks and cookies will

be provided and there will be no charge. Shabbat services on Friday, August 4, will be held at 6 pm at Mill Run Park on Mill Street in Manlius. It will be followed by a Mediterranean dinner, which will include a variety of wraps and gyros from Byblos Mediterranean Café. There will be a charge for dinner, with no charge for children 5-years-old and younger. Services on Friday, August 18, will be

held at 6 pm at Saw Mill Creek Shelter in Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool. Services will be followed by a fried chicken dinner, for which there will be a charge, with no charge for children 5-years-old and younger. The last service will be held on Friday, September 1, at 6 pm, outside Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., Syracuse. It will be a “Welcome Back Syracuse Uni-

versity” Shabbat service, followed by a pizza truck dinner. There will be a charge for dinner, with no charge for children 5-years-old and younger. All events will be open to the public. Reservations can be made by contacting the TC office at office@templeconcord. org, going to the calendar at www.templeconcord.org or by calling the office at 315-475-9952.

Tisha B’Av around the community CONGREGATION BETH SHOLOM-CHEVRA SHAS Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will hold Tisha B’Av services on Monday, July 31, at 9 pm, at the synagogue. The community will come together to remember and mourn the disasters that have befallen the Jews throughout the millennia as they listen to the words and melody of the Book of Eicha/Lamentations. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in either the Hebrew or the English recitation. Anyone who would like a Hebrew part should contact Hanita Blair at hanitablair@gmail.com.

All services are open to the community. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 446-9570 or office@cbscs.org. SHAAREI TORAH ORTHODOX CONGREGATION OF SYRACUSE On Monday, July 31, erev Tisha B’Av, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will hold Mincha at 8:10 pm. The fast will begin at 8:23 pm, with Ma’ariv at 9:05 pm and the reading of the Book of Eicha at 9:15 pm. On Tuesday, August 1, Tisha B’Av morning service will be held at 7:30 am. There will be an afternoon of

Bill

Non-Orthodox movements have long protested the power of the Chief Rabbinate, which holds a monopoly over marriage and divorce in Israel. A rabbinate monopoly over Jewish conversion within Israel ended last year, when a court ruling forced the state to recognize Orthodox conversions performed outside the rabbinate’s purview. The bill would have restored that monopoly, and is the latest front in a decades-long fight over conversion between the rabbinate and non-Orthodox Jews. American Jewish leaders are also protesting the freezing of a compromise to expand a non-Orthodox prayer space at the Western Wall. A source described by Haaretz as a “senior official” said that Netanyahu decided to call a Cabinet meeting on the conversion bill after receiving harsh warnings from the heads of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on June 29. The bill also outraged American Jewish officials, who have said they are weathering calls for a retaliation against Netanyahu’s government. Steve Nasatir, president of the Chicago Federation, told the Times of Israel that any lawmaker who votes for the conversion bill is not welcome in his community.

learning from 3:15-7:30 pm. Mincha will be held at 7:45 pm and the fast will end at 9:10 pm. TEMPLE ADATH YESHURUN Evening services on Monday, July 31, will be held at 8:30 pm. Morning services on Tuesday, August 1, will be held at 7:30 am, with Mincha at 1:30 pm. Evening services will be at 8:40 pm. TEMPLE CONCORD Temple Concord will hold a Tisha B’Av candlelight service on Monday, July 31, at 8 pm, when participants will study the Book of Eicha.

Continued from page 1 On June 30, the bill’s critics welcomed Netanyahu’s decision to shelve it. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which acts as a liaison between the Israeli government and world Jewry, praised the decision, adding that it hopes the same “spirit of understanding” will extend to the Western Wall controversy. Jerry Silverman, CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, thanked Netanyahu’s government for acceding to American Jewish concerns, and said he looked forward to reaching a compromise on conversion. “I’m hopeful that the work that will be done will yield results,” Silverman told JTA. “I’m grateful to the prime minister for listening to our feedback from across the Federations – all of our community, frankly.” Leaders of the Reform movement also praised the decision, calling it an “important rebuke to the aggressive behavior of the ultra-Orthodox toward Diaspora Jewry and the non-Orthodox streams.” “We will continue insisting that the haredi establishment not have a monopoly over conversion and, if necessary, we will not hesitate to go back to the courtroom,” Rabbi Gilad Kariv, CEO of the Israeli Reform movement, and Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said in a statement.


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Jerusalem’s “bar mitzvah king” shares tales of laughs and inspiration BY MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN JNS.org Rabbi Jay Karzen, crowned the “Jerusalem bar mitzvah king” by The Jerusalem Post in 1997, has stories to make you laugh out loud or cry tears of joy. Karzen, 81, has performed thousands of bar and bat mitzvahs (an average of 100 per year) over the last 30 years. He was among the first rabbis to offer formal bar/bat mitzvah services at the Kotel (Western Wall) for families coming from abroad to celebrate their special day. Meeting with JNS.org at his posh Jerusalem home, Karzen says that when he made aliyah from Chicago 30 years ago, he needed a job. A then-rabbi at the now-defunct Maine Township Jewish Congregation in Des Plaines, IL, he had performed many Jewish lifecycle celebrations and figured a bar mitzvah business would be a good avenue to explore. “Families would come and bring their groups to the Kotel, and I saw the ceremonies were sometimes un-meaningful. It was chaos. I figured I could upgrade the bar mitzvah experience,” says Karzen, who acknowledges that he started a trend that now has some steep competition. Karzen’s philosophy is “to turn kids on, to inspire them.” He does this by explaining the importance of a relationship with God to his clients, who often do not lead a religiously observant lifestyle. “I tell them that to be a Jew means to love God. To love God, you have to follow the Torah, which He gave us. I tell them it is fun to be a Jew,” Karzen says. “There’s a lot of singing.” Some of the inspiration comes simply from being at the Kotel. “Israel is the holy land. Jerusalem is the holy city. The Kotel is the holiest spot in the holiest city in the holy land. It’s a beautiful thing,” he says. “When you go to the Kotel and see thousands of people around you davening (praying) – Sephardim, Ashkenazim, Chasidim – all worshipping God, it cannot help but have an impact on the child.” Karzen also performs bar/bat mitzvah ceremonies at Robinson’s Arch, Masada and other sites around Israel. He was once

Atright,l-r:The“Jerusalem bar mitzvah king,” Rabbi Jay Karzen, with a bar mitzvah boy at the Western Wall. (Photo courtesy Rabbi Jay Karzen)

asked to perform a bar mitzvah on the beach in Tel Aviv, but he turned down that request. Ultimately, he wrote a book about his experiences, “Off the Wall,” which was published in 1999. During his recent meeting with JNS.org, Karzen was pleased to share a number of his best tales, such as the time a family asked if they could rent the entire Kotel because they were expecting several guests and wanted a private party. “A South African family was among the first to book me for their bar mitzvah. In the process of printing invitations for their forthcoming event in Jerusalem, they faced me with a simple question: ‘What’s the address of the Kotel?’” Karzen recalls. He assured the family that no address was really necessary and that “Kotel” or “Western Wall” would suffice. But the family would not accept his answer. Karzen called various government offices from Jerusalem City Hall to the Ministry of Religion, all of which enjoyed a chuckle at his expense. Though they couldn’t give him an answer (because the Kotel indeed has no address), Karzen knew he could not get back to the family without a street number. “So I composed an address: The Western Wall: 1 Kotel Plaza. Believe me, that is exactly what the invitation read,” he says with a laugh. Then there was the boy who came with his tzitzit snipped from his tallit because his mother “didn’t want all those extra strings hanging down.” One family asked the rabbi if they could order tefillin in a different color, maybe blue,

because “black is so somber.” An American mixed-marriage family contacted Karzen for a Thanksgiving day bar mitzvah. In their first correspondence, the mother proudly let the rabbi know that she had haredi family members in Israel who would be attending the ceremony. As such, they hired a top bar mitzvah tutor in the U.S. to prepare her son. “During my meeting with them the night before the service, I discovered that the celebrant had learned the wrong Torah portion. That Thursday was Rosh Chodesh, the new Hebrew month. There is a special monthly reading on such days.… What was I to do?” says Karzen, who “told the family there would be two Torah readings that day – the regular weekly portion that the bar mitzvah bochur (lad)

had learned, as well as a special reading in honor of the new Hebrew month.” He called a member of the haredi family and explained the situation, asking him to pass the message to his relatives. The bar mitzvah boy never knew about the error, according to Karzen. “Crazy things happen,” Karzen says. And even crazier e-mails. A sampling of messages that have graced Karzen’s inbox: “Since we aren’t a very religious family, is it possible to have a ‘non-religious bar mitzvah?’” “I will be bringing my son to Israel next month with an organized tour program. We do not wish to miss anything from this comprehensive itinerary. I would like my son to have a symbolic bar mitzvah. If we come very early to the wall, can we be back at the hotel to meet our tour group by 8 am? P.S. My son does not know very much and cannot read Hebrew, so the service will have to be very short and simple. What do you charge for this type of abbreviated service?” “We have many important participants coming to our son’s bar mitzvah.… We know that traditionally only three [aliyot to the Torah] are distributed on a weekday. We are requesting an exception to this rule.… I am sure that God will overlook these minor variations and bless you for your understanding in accommodating us.”

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JULY 20, 20176/26 TAMMUZ 5777

Five seniors graduate from the Epstein School of Jewish Studies

BY CANTOR PAULA PEPPERSTONE The Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies concluded its school year on May 22 with a siyyum (celebration of learning) and graduation at this year’s host synagogue, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, beginning with a welcome from Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone. Epstein’s 2017/5777 five graduates were Rachel Beckman and Leah Eve Jezer-Nelson, both of whom attended the Epstein School for six years; and Avery Pearl-Frank, Adena Rochelson, and Sarah Lillian Schaeffer, who each attended for five years. In her

Epstein School’s Israel class students Ben Oppedisano, Emma Clardy, Jennie Seidenberg and Colby Porter asked Israel trivia questions of guests at the May 22 siyyum (celebration of learning) and graduation ceremony on May 22.

graduation speech, Beckman said, “I have come to realize how much Epstein has not only impacted my high school career, but perhaps even my life. I realize how much my time here has become a part of me. If I were to pinpoint just one thing out of many that I have gained from Epstein, it would be the strong backing of values, both religiously and culturally, that I have received.” Middot (Jewish values) were also highlighted when students from grades eight-10 spoke about what they had learned in their classes during the year. Courses ranged from mishnah (taught by Ora Jezer) to Jewish literature (taught by Ryan Howlett), from King David with Rabbi Daniel Fellman to Jewish film with Bonnie Leff, advanced Hebrew taught by Tamar Frieden and Jewish sports taught by Scott Miller. Rabbi Evan Shore’s ethics class regularly included middot. Students from the Teen Taste of Israel trip (made possible by a fund of the Jewish Foundation of Central New York, and especially Elaine Rubenstein, Jack Lyon, the family of Dr. William Serog and the Wells Family Fund) presented a video highlighting their adventures. This year’s classes for juniors and seniors included “Packing for College” taught by Brian Small, former director of Hillel at Syracuse University; and Judith Huober, director of Syracuse Jewish Family Service; as well as theology taught by Rabbi Paul Drazen; text and contemporary issues with Rabbi Evan Shore; and evenings of theology and the haggadah with Rabbi Pepperstone. Miriam Elman shared her insights into contemporary Israeli-Palestinian issues

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L-r: The Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies 2017 graduates: Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone (Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Epstein School 2017 host synagogue’s rabbi), Leah Eve Jezer-Nelson, Rachel Beckman, Sarah Lillian Schaeffer, Avery Pearl-Frank, Adena Rochelson and Epstein School Director Cantor Paula Pepperstone. with the ninth- and 10th-graders, as well as the juniors and seniors. Students with excellent attendance were recognized, as well as the 55 percent of the student body that participate in Shalshelet, a program linking Epstein School students with the Syracuse Community Hebrew School and congregational Sunday schools, and which was supported with a grant from the Community Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of

Jewish Studies is supported financially by the Jewish Federation of Central New York, all four Jewish congregations, and tuition from each student’s family. It is for students in grades eight through high school. Donors and grantors who have provided funding throughout the school year, as well as its board, were also recognized. For more information about the school and its curriculum, contact Epstein Director Cantor Paula Pepperstone at 315-7660442, or epsteincny@gmail.com.

Planning timetable AT BIRTH: When the child is born start saving! Only joking. But if you can, it’s not a bad idea to start a “bar/bat mitzvah club” savings account. If you don’t use it, put it toward college. 1-3 YEARS AHEAD: ❐ Set bar/bat mitzvah date ❐ Set a budget ❐ Reserve synagogue hall for kiddush ❐ Reserve hall for additional receptions ❐ Arrange for caterer/part y planner and band/music for occasion (if desired) ❐ Buy a loose-leaf binder with dividers, or start a filing system for keeping business cards, estimates, notes, lists, etc. 10-12 MONTHS AHEAD: ❐ Begin bar/bat mitzvah lessons ❐ Begin attending weekly Shabbat services ❐ Arrange for photographer and/or video ❐ Book hotel accommodations and investigate transportation for out-of-town guests 6 MONTHS AHEAD: ❐ Plan color scheme and/or theme ❐ Arrange for florist and/or decorations’ coordinator ❐ Make guest list 4-5 MONTHS AHEAD: ❐ Order invitations, thank you notes, imprinted napkins and personalized party favors ❐ Shop for clothing and shoes ❐ Purchase tallit, tefillin, etc. ❐ Choose a calligrapher, if desired 3 MONTHS AHEAD: ❐ Plan Sunday brunch (if applicable) ❐ Order printed yarmulkas, if desired

2 MONTHS AHEAD: ❐ Meet with photographer ❐ Meet with florist and/or decorations’ coordinator ❐ Mail out-of-town invitations 6 WEEKS AHEAD: ❐ Order tuxedos (if applicable) ❐ Take care of clothing alterations ❐ Order wine for kiddush ❐ Mail in-town invitations 4 WEEKS AHEAD: ❐ Prepare bar/bat mitzvah speech ❐ Finalize hotel reser vations and transportation ❐ Meet with caterer(s) ❐ Make up welcome gifts for out-of-town guests (if desired) ❐ Arrange aliyot ❐ Send honorary gift to synagogue ❐ Meet with rabbi ❐ Make up seating charts for reception 2 WEEKS AHEAD: ❐ Give final count to caterer ❐ Check with florist and/or decorations’ coordinator ❐ Meet with rabbi ❐ Order bar/bat mitzvah cake, cookies, pastries for Friday night oneg A few days ahead: ❐ Have bar/bat mitzvah rehearsal and take bima photographs ❐ Xerox copies of speeches, room and table layout, etc. and give them to a friend to hold or drop off at synagogue and reception hall, in case you forget to bring your copies that day. SPECIAL DAY: ❐ Prepare to enjoy your simcha!


JULY 20, 2017/26 TAMMUZ 5777 ■

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DO YOU KNOW? Your Federation dollars at work – Rocky Mountain Jewgrass ly performance for the entire community at BY JACKIE MIRON the JCC. Concertgoers have said that the The Allocations Committee of the Jewish Rocky Mountain Jewgrass has great stage Federation of Central New York awards Philip presence, inundated with a heavy dose of L. Holstein Community Program Fund grants humor, combined with beautiful harmonies each year in addition to the annual allocations and skilled musicianship that creates a new made in the spring. Based on the success form of Jewish music entertainment to delight of the 2016 Annual Campaign, community Jewish and non-Jewish audiences of all ages. program grants are available to all Jewish The group’s performances embrace a organizations, agencies and synagogues in the multitude of instruments, including a banjo, Central New York community. The Allocations Jackie Miron fiddle, washboard and bass guitar. Dancing is Committee reviews the grant requests and allowed and encouraged, and compositions are based makes recommendations to the board, which votes on on Jewish liturgy; while others are takeoffs on popular the recommendations. The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center and music. The band’s second album is titled “Chutzpah,” Temple Adath Yeshurun received a grant of $5,000 and which indicates the level of creativity involved. Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Rabbi Paul Drazen was the will offer a performance by Denver, CO-based Rocky rabbi to Rocky Mountain Jewgrass’s lead guitarist and Mountain Jewgrass on Sunday, August 13, at 4 pm. A four-person, energetic group blending traditional lead vocalist back in Omaha, NE. Recent performances bluegrass-style playing with contemporary and classic by the group were in Omaha, Toronto, Denver and San Jewish themes and music, will put on the family-friend- Francisco. Organizers say that Syracuse is very lucky

to bring a group of this caliber here. The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the need to bring Jewish cultural programming events to the community. Organizers hope that the performance will enlighten, entertain and bring together the local Jewish community, increasing social interaction opportunities while sustaining cultural identities.

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Continued from page 3

thanked outgoing board President Mark Shulman and welcomed incoming board President David Newman. The attendees sampled a light dinner by Catering by The Oaks and learned that the fund-raiser that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Oaks last fall raised enough funds to purchase a generator for The Oaks. It will be installed soon. Bloodgood also mentioned that news would be forthcoming on the ribbon-cutting for the new Bistro at The Oaks.

While planning my son’s bar mitzvah, I decided to start planning my own the life of Jewish children as they start to get ready for their BY STACEY STEINHART (Kveller via JTA) – I didn’t grow up in a very religious bar or bat mitzvah. My son has attended several bar and home. That said, my parents gave me the option to attend bat mitzvahs over the past couple of years, and we have Hebrew school and have a bat mitzvah. Obviously, as a discussed them at length. Talking about things with him kid, my friends were shocked that I had a choice and told and front-loading him helps him cope with his anxiety. He me not to do it. I opted out. It wasn’t until I became an has a difficult time with the crowds (party guests) and the loud music of the DJ. Typically, his choice adult that my spirituality kicked in. is to wait outside the party area until our My faith was truly tested when my family is ready to leave. oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger On one particular occasion, he was syndrome, a form of high-functioning invited to a classmate’s party. I was to drop autism. He has sensory issues along with him off and pick him up later. For several a high level of anxiety. His meltdowns reasons he had a complete meltdown and tore me to pieces. While he cried, I cried. insisted on leaving. We thanked the hosts While he raged, I tried to stay as calm as possible – then I cried. I cried for him and Torah scroll (Photo courtesy and apologized for our abrupt departure. Fortunately the hostess was more than emhis struggles, I cried for the people he hurt of Shutterstock) pathetic, having a child with similar issues. or offended, I cried for my family. I cried It was while we were driving home together that we had because on the surface, he is the epitome of a kind, sweet, typical kid and you can’t see the volcanic infernos bubbling a most special moment. After he calmed down, I told him up inside him. Friends, family and strangers would constantly that he was going to have to deal with a similar situation tell me there was nothing wrong with him, he’s fine. Yeah, he’s fine until he’s not fine. I still cry. He is 12 now, about to turn 13 – a pivotal moment in

when he has his bar mitzvah. He promptly told me he wasn’t going to have one. I gave him the option of having a small ceremony and luncheon in New York with just the immediate family (our family is all on the East Coast, while we live in California) or here at our synagogue. He was still reluctant, although he did like the idea of just the grandparents and immediate family there. His fear of getting up in front of all those people would send him into a downward spiral. I thought for a moment and realized that we have been on this journey together as a team since he was just a baby. I am his mother, his advocate and his coach. We are teammates. We should do this together. So I proposed to him that I would do this with him. He loved the idea. Of course I don’t want to take away from his special day. It is still about him. But the idea of having someone there with him puts his mind at ease – somewhat anyway. As for me, I have always felt that I missed out on something big not having a bat mitzvah as a girl – I never became a part of the world that my friends all know, a special club. I

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ JULY 20, 20176/26 TAMMUZ 5777

Epstein School Director Cantor Pepperstone attends Hebrew high school directors’ conference

BY CANTOR PAULA PEPPERSTONE In June, Cantor Paula Pepperstone, director of the Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies, which is for students in grades eight through high school, attended the national conference of the North American Association of Community and Congregational Hebrew High Schools in Buffalo for three days. Recent conferences have been held in Providence, RI, and Memphis, TN. The directors usually convene in cities where a member can serve as host and coordinator of the conference. With 38 members nationally, organizers plan the conferences to be “manageable and intimate, allowing for meaningful conversations” among colleagues and time for questions to be answered by the presenters. As Ruth Malka, director of Mifgash, Albany’s Jewish Community High School, said, “I learn from my colleagues about relevant issues, discuss and debate hot topics, and collaborate with colleagues about curriculum, programs,

activities, [and discuss] successes, failures and goals.” This year’s topics included speakers on teenagers studying mussar, ethical character development; national and international programs that can be brought to the schools, including Beit Hatfusot’s “Jewish Lens,” which the Epstein director hopes to include this coming year as an elective; Sharsheret, a national nonprofit organization that supports Jewish women and men with breast cancer, or a genetic predisposition to it, and their families, as well as women with ovarian cancer; benefits of providing yoga to the students within a Jewish context; volunteer and board development; and fund-raising. Throughout the year, the directors communicate via e-mail, Facebook and webinars. The organization’s director, Shari Weinberger, unites the group, keeping members updated on curricula and trends, resources and research on educating Jewish teenagers, as school See “Epstein” on page 11

Epstein School Director Cantor Pepperstone (third from left in the back) attended a conference for Hebrew high school directors.

Upcoming b’nai mitzvah, August 1, 2017-August 4, 2018 All dates were provided by local synagogues and are current as of this publication. They occur on the Saturday of Shabbat unless otherwise indicated. August 5, 2017............................... Samson Myshrall........................................................... Jeanette and Daniel Myshrall............................................................................................. TC August 12, 2017............................. Hali Seidberg................................................................. Tobey Kressel and Neal Seidberg..................................................................................... TC August 26, 2017............................. Jacob Mone.................................................................... Valerie and Ryan Mone...................................................................................................... TC September 2, 2017......................... Adam Basch................................................................... Kirsten Anderson and Jonathan Basch............................................................................. TC Milo Sinclair................................................................... Anick and Jay Sinclair................................................................................................. STOCS September 9, 2017......................... Emma Kobasa................................................................ Elizabeth and Daniel Kobasa.....................................................................................CBS-CS October 21, 2017........................... Asher Rood-Creel.......................................................... Naomi Rood and Emory Creel..................................................................................CBS-CS Tyler Nathan.................................................................. Amy Nathan and Charlie Ettridge...................................................................................TAY October 28, 2017........................... Jack Kozlowski............................................................... Richard and Beth Kozlowski............................................................................................TAY November 4, 2017......................... Joshua Clardy................................................................. Perri Harris and Ben Clardy............................................................................................... TC November 11, 2017....................... Ilana Jaffe........................................................................ Chaim and Esa Jaffe..........................................................................................................TAY November 18, 2017....................... Brandon Warren............................................................ 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wish I had learned Hebrew as a child. I would have loved to have understood the whats and the whys of the traditions in synagogue. I’m glad I’m getting my chance now. Our b’nai mitzvah is scheduled for March. We have set the wheels in motion. I have been taking Hebrew lessons. We are both preparing to learn our Torah portions and we practice together. I have to say he is definitely doing a better job than I am. We have embarked on this journey to-

Tales

But Karzen says his successes make it all worth it. One time, a grandfather made arrangements for a bar mitzvah at the Kotel for his grandson, informing Karzen that while the father would be there, he was anti-religion and “hostile.” The ceremony started off with the father behaving just as described. Karzen couldn’t leave the father on the sidelines, so he tried to engage him in the ceremony. At the end of the event, the father stood up and told attendees how when he was 13, he was supposed to celebrate his bar mitzvah, but his grandfather died the night before his

Continued from page 7 gether. It has brought us closer, and even though I am doing this for him, I can’t help but feel the blessings that he has given me. He has taught me so much; he has no idea.

Stacey Steinhart has a degree in design and a degree in journalism. Kveller is a community of women and parents who convene online to share, celebrate and commiserate their experiences of raising kids through a Jewish lens. Visit Kveller.com. Continued from page 5

big day and the event was cancelled. He then learned a second Torah portion, only to have his grandmother die just before he was supposed to recite that one. The father had figured this was God’s way of telling him he didn’t need to have anything to do with Judaism. Yet after witnessing his son’s ceremony, the father was in tears and had changed his mind. “He said that after seeing his son’s bar mitzvah, he realized how much he missed Judaism and how beautiful it is,” recalls Karzen. “He said he just wanted to hug me and thank me for reintroducing him to religion.”


JULY 20, 2017/26 TAMMUZ 5777 ■

Thou Shalt Ride Approximately 175 members of the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance attended the annual Ride to Remember in Providence, RI, to support the Bornstein Holocaust Education Center. After the ride and lunch, 45 bikers continued to the Touro Synagogue for a private tour. Participating in the event were eight

members of Thou Shalt Ride of Central New York, a motorcycle club affiliated with the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance. The JMA has 32 clubs worldwide. The club’s goals include fellowship, scenic rides and support for Holocaust education. For more club information, contact Joel Stein at airmail13220@gmail.com.

L-r: Members of Thou Shalt Ride of Central New York Peter Caplan, Joel Stein, Dave Feldman, Dave Channin, Ruth Stein, Rivka Channin, Ken Bell and Beth Caplan.

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Fund-raising party celebrates JMAC’s chai year An audience of Jewish music-lovers gathered at the home of Richard and Neva Pilgrim on June 25 for a fund-raising event to support the annual Syracuse Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. All proceeds from the event will go toward helping keep JMAC free for all to attend. A selection of hors d’oeuvres and desserts were available to guests, who listened

to a performance by Bonnie Abrams and Allen Hopkins. Planning is now underway for the “chai year” of the JMAC, which will be held on Sunday, September 10, from noon-6:30 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Old Thompson Rd., Syracuse. Details and updates are available at www. syracusejewishfestival.org.

The crowd listened to music by Bonnie Abrams and Allen Hopkins at the annual fund-raiser for the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival, which will be held on Sunday, September 10.

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JEWISH OBSERVER

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Calendar Highlights

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

Wednesday, August 2 Deadline for August 17 JO Tuesday, July 25 Israel Scouts/Tzofim Friendship Caravan at Utica JCC at 7 pm Wednesday, July 26 Israel Scouts/Tzofim Friendship Caravan at Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse at 7 pm Thursday, July 27 Israel Scouts/Tzofim Friendship Caravan at Binghamton JCC at 7 pm Friday, July 28 Israel Scouts/Tzofim Friendship Caravan at Menorah Park at 2 pm Sunday, July 30 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse wiffle ball tournament starting at 11 am in the JCC lower baseball fields Tuesday, August 1 Tisha B’Av Wednesday, August 2 Chat with Rabbi Paul Drazen at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 7:30 pm Sunday, August 13 “Rocky Mountain Jewgrass” to perform at TAY at 4 pm Wednesday, August 16 Menorah Park Open Golf Tournament with lunch at 11:30 am, golf at 1 pm and dinner following the tournament

B’NAI MITZVAH Shaynah Arielle Sikora

Shaynah Arielle Sikora, daughter of Deb and Tom Sikora of Jamesville, became bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas on June 24. She is the granddaughter of the late Allen Baisuck, of Kailua Kona, HI, Phyllis Baisuck, of Fairfield, CA, the late Steve Sikora, of Cicero, and Bee Sikora, of Cicero. She is a graduate of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and Shaynah Arielle attends the Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School. She has a b’nai Sikora mitzvah fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York. She enjoys reading and baking, and is a single black stripe in Tae Kwon Do.

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CLEANING LADY Providing all residential housekeeping duties Anna Bas-Masio 315-396-5563 basmasio22@yahoo.com

D’VAR TORAH

A word about words BY JUDITH HUOBER The phrase “These are the words...” begins and gives the parasha its name: Devarim – the words of Moses at the gates to the Promised Land, the teaching that will guide our people as we go forward without him. Rabbi Shira Milgrom calls the Moses of Devarim a master storyteller. When Moses was young and “not a man of words,” God gave him the words he needed to carry out the divine agenda. And now at the end of his life, Moses has them, all the words the telling could possibly require: he has overcome his initial self-concept and acquired the power of narrative. And with the telling he gives our people the charge to carry the teaching forward where he himself cannot go. We carry Moses forward with us in the d’var, in the word, in the yearly reading and retelling of Devarim. Words, story and the telling of it in narrative. There is a school of psychotherapy that teaches us to redesign and improve our lives by reshaping the words and the narratives we tell. In narrative lies the power to create and recreate truth. Who knows in what other directions Moses might have chosen to send our story forward, ways that rest as potentials in the tale that for him ended at the very gates of the Promised Land? We are blessed in Devarim with an awareness that we, too, can pick up the words and use them to shape and reshape our lives as we go forward in our story.

And yet not all of us have equal facility with words and their power. We are not all people of words, not all of us capable of inspirational truths and creative “restoryings.” Time, experience, growth and support from others can make the difference in our capacity to tell and retell our narrative. Within Devarim’s master storyteller dwells the man of slow speech and slow tongue who trusted that God’s words would supplement his own. So, too, we as a people must remain responsible to help each other as individuals with the tale. The further we travel from the gates of the Promised Land that form the setting for Devarim, the more we must look behind to pick up and carry with us our child selves, not to mention our children and all those among us who are at times slow of speech. As God did for Moses, so Moses did for us; and so we must do for those who travel with and behind us: teach the words, share the power of telling and recreating our truths as individuals and as a people. Judith Huober is director of Syracuse Jewish Family Service and founding director of IMPARA: the Rodney and Marjorie Fink Institute at Menorah Park for Applied Research on Aging. She has more than 30 years of experience in for-profit and not-for-profit management and strategic development; communications; community organizing; education; and technology and health care. Huober was editor and then executive editor of the Jewish Observer of Central New York for seven years.

NEWS IN BRIEF From JNS.org

Palestinian merchant caught smuggling rare coins into Israel

Israel’s Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority thwarted an attempt to smuggle rare coins from Gaza into Israel through the Erez border crossing on July 16. In a search of a Palestinian merchant who was attempting to enter Israel through the crossing, Israeli officials discovered four rare coins, likely from the era of Alexander the Great. The Defense Ministry said the coins were purportedly trafficked from Egypt into Gaza and were being smuggled into Israel to be sold. Security officials detained the Palestinian suspect for further questioning and denied him entry into Israel. The Defense Ministry also summoned representatives from the Israel Antiquities Authority to the Erez crossing to further examine the rare coins.

Netanyahu publicly opposes U.S.-Russia cease-fire in southern Syria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel opposes the cease-fire in southern Syria that came into effect July 9. After initially cautiously welcoming the cease-fire, Netanyahu told reporters during his visit to France on July 16 that the Syria deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia perpetuates the presence of Iranian forces near Israel – a concern the prime minister has repeatedly voiced in recent months. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently agreed to implement the cease-fire on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany. The U.S. and Russia had previously conducted back-channel talks with Israel on the issue of creating safe zones in southern Syria to shield the Jewish state from an Iranian-led Shi’a coalition developing on its northern border. In recent weeks, there have been nearly 20 instances of errant fire from the Syrian Civil War hitting Israel’s Golan Heights.

Hamas calls for more terror attacks as Israel reopens Temple Mount

The Palestinian terror group Hamas called for additional terror attacks in Jerusalem, and against Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, as the Temple Mount gradually reopened the afternoon of July 16 with bolstered security. In a terror attack near the flashpoint holy site on July 14, three Arab terrorists killed two Israeli Druze police officers, identified as Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22. In the wake of the attack, the Tempe Mount had been closed for first time since 1969, in a move that Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum described on July 15 as tantamount to a “religious war” that “should be fought at any price.” “This evening, I held a discussion with the top security leadership and I instructed that metal detectors be placed at the entrance gates to the Temple Mount,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on July 15. “We will also install security cameras on poles outside the Temple Mount, which give almost complete control over what goes on there.” Sitawe, who hailed from the Druze town of Maghar, joined the Israel Police in 2012 and

has since served in a unit guarding the Temple Mount. He leaves behind a wife and 3-week-old son. Shnaan, who was from the Druze village of Hurfeish, was set to be engaged to his girlfriend.

Canadian agency reverses ban on “Israel” labels for Judea, Samaria wines

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency walked back a ban on the use of “Product of Israel” labels for wines produced in Judea and Samaria. In a letter sent the week of July 14, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario had asked vendors to stop selling and importing wines from two wineries located in Judea and Samaria, Psagot Winery and Shiloh Winery. According to the letter, the CFIA had ruled that the wines could not be labeled “Product of Israel” because they were produced beyond the pre-1967 lines, where the Canadian government does not recognize Israeli control. But the CFIA said in a statement on July 13, “We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement...These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labeled.” Psagot Winery had said it was “shocked” by the original decision and called the move a “blatant distortion of history,” while Shiloh Winery deemed the move “absurd.”

Southern Israel blooms with fields harnessing solar energy

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) – Solar energy projects are nearing completion in the southern Israeli communities of Ashalim and Kibbutz Sde Boker, marking the latest phase of the Jewish state’s significant prioritization of renewable energy. To date, Israel has invested upwards of $850 million in new solar energy projects in the Negev desert. Megalim Solar Power has recently completed the construction of the world’s tallest solar tower in the Negev. Plot B, the thermo-solar power station in Ashalim, is one of the largest projects of its kind in the world, and is also Israel’s first commercial thermopower facility to be based on solar tower technology. The project includes 50,600 computer-controlled mirrors, with a surface area of more than 215 square feet each, covering an area stretching more than 1.2 square miles. The mirrors, or heliostats, are designed to follow the sun in two axes and keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target, in this case a water heater placed on top of a 656-foot-tall tower that generates high-temperature, high-pressure steam. The steam is pumped into a generator turbine that produces electricity. The heater was placed on top of the solar tower earlier this month, in a complex engineering feat. The facility is expected to supply a total of 320 gigawatts of electricity per year to Israel’s power grid, and a Megalim official said the facility should be fully online before the end of the year. “We are proud that we are part of achieving the [government’s] goal of having 10 percent renewable energy in Israel by 2020,” Eran Doron, leader of southern Israel’s Ramat Hanegev Regional Council, who headed the efforts to establish a solar power station in the area, told Israel Hayom on July 12.


JULY 20, 2017/26 TAMMUZ 5777 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

“Wonder Woman,” big-name concerts upstage cultural boycott of Israel BY ADAM ABRAMS JNS.org As Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” film soared past $750 million in earnings worldwide after debuting in early June, and numerous big-name musical acts have lined up to perform in Israel this summer, the influence of the BDS movement’s cultural boycott of the Jewish state appears to be waning.

OBITUARIES LOUISE KOPPELMAN

Louise Koppelman, 91, of DeWitt, died on June 16 at Crouse Hospital. Born in Syracuse, she attended Central High School. She worked as a bookkeeper for many years until she retired. She was a member of Temple Adath Yeshurun and its Sisterhood, and was a member of Hadassah for many years. She enjoyed spending time with her friends at The Oaks, playing mah jongg, Rummikub and bingo, and taking trips to casinos. She was predeceased by her husband, Meyer; and sister, Mary Katzman. She is survived by her daughters, Roberta Koppelman (Joseph) Patterson, Gail Koppelman (Irwin) Sebelowitz, Judy Koppelman (John) Corin and Susan Koppelman (Stuart) Cohen; eight granddaughters, eight great-granddaughters; and four great-grandsons. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. 

JOEL SAVLOV

Joel Savlov, 86, died on June 22 at St. Joseph’s Hospital from complications related to dementia. Born in Carbondale, PA, he had been a resident of Syracuse since 1952. He was the former manager of Weight Watchers of Syracuse. He was a member of Drumlins Golf Course, where he played golf for more than 50 years. He was a season ticket holder and avid fan of SU sports. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Shirley; children Carolyn (Jim) Simmons, Scott Savlov and David (Kelly) Savlov; five grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters. Sisskind Funeral Services had arrangements. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204. 

MAXWELL BECK SPOONT

Maxwell Beck Spoont, 87, died on June 19 at Crouse Hospital as a result of a stroke. Born in Pittsburgh, he had been a resident of Binghamton for more than 50 years until moving to Maple Downs in Fayetteville in 2015. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was a graduate of Syracuse University and the Syracuse University School of Law. Following graduation, he worked for the Department of Justice. He was the acting deputy attorney general for the state of New York, head of the organized crime task force. He was an attorney certified to appear before the State Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He was a past member of Temple Israel of Vestal. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marion; their children, Michael (Martha) Spoont and Michele (Deanna Bass) Spoont; four grandchildren; and his sister, Ruth Spoont. Burial was in the Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions can be made to the Jewish Federation of Central New York, 5655 Thompson Rd., Syracuse, NY 13214. 

Gadot, who served in the IDF, has drawn ire from anti-Israel activists worldwide for her vocal support of Israel. Yet, despite BDS campaigns to boycott “Wonder Woman” in Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria due to the “Zionist” actress’s leading role, Gadot’s Marvel comic superhero movie soared to success, earning $103.1 million in North America during its first weekend, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the musical front, while leading artists routinely receive BDS pressure to cancel their shows in Israel, the number of star-studded acts scheduled to perform in the Jewish state this summer is unprecedented. “Most artists understand that boycott campaigns in this case are racist and destructive, and will not lead to peace,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs, told JNS.org. “Not only is the boycott movement against Israel a failure among performing artists, but 21 [U.S.] states have already passed anti-BDS legislation because it is viewed as discriminatory and harmful.” In May, rock band Aerosmith and pop star Justin Bieber both performed at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park, resisting BDS petitions signed by thousands to cancel their concerts in Israel. Adding to their defiance of the boycott movement, the Aerosmith rockers met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem. “You don’t want to miss a thing,” Netanyahu told the band when recommending places to visit in Israel, a reference to the group’s first number-one hit. “Artists that come to Israel have understood that people are trying to take advantage of them because of hatred and for narrow political needs... [At their performances] they see a young, liberal, open audience... and feel that attempts to make them boycott Israel do not give credit to their intelligence,” Lior Weintraub, vice president of The Israel Project educational organization, told JNS.org. Besides the Bieber and Aersomith performances, big-name shows hitting Israel this summer include Tom Jones, Armin van Buuren, Britney Spears, the Pixies, Guns N’ Roses, Rod Stewart, Lil Wayne, Radiohead and comedian Chris Rock. Ahead of Radiohead’s July 19 performance in Tel Aviv, the band publicly clashed with the de facto frontman of the BDS movement, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, over the cultural boycott of Israel. The public spat was instigated when Waters, along with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, published an open letter on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day demanding that Radiohead cancel its performance in Israel. The letter, co-signed by dozens of artists, stated, “By

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playing in Israel, you’ll be playing in a state where, U.N. rapporteurs say, ‘A system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people...’ Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.” Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke – who rarely speaks with the media – responded “furiously” to the letter in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Yorke lambasted critics of Radiohead who assumed he and his bandmates were ignorant about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and condemned Waters for “throw[ing] the word ‘apartheid’ around.” “The kind of dialogue that [BDS activists] want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that,” said Yorke, who added it is “really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. ...There’s an awful lot of people who don’t agree with the BDS movement, including us. I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all.” Creative Community for Peace co-founder David Renzer told JNS.org, “We are pleased to see the continuation of major international artists performing in Israel, despite the ongoing efforts of the BDS movement and artists such as Roger Waters.” Renzer, whose organization works “behind the scenes” to provide support to artists performing in Israel, added, “Thankfully, artists are recognizing that the arts are a powerful means to building bridges and aren’t allowing themselves to be manipulated.”

Epstein

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directors are said to tend to be “somewhat neglected.” She develops relationships with other national educational institutions and the larger Jewish community as a whole to keep the teenagers’ educational and developmental needs in the forefront. Cantor Pepperstone said she felt “inspired, educated, and motivated” by her colleagues and the conference’s presenters. She thanked the Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies’ Board of Directors for recognizing “the value of investing in the school and the future of the community.”

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LISA ZUKHER

Lisa Zukher, 92, died on July 3 at Francis House. Born in Ukraine, she was one of five children. She was a Holocaust survivor. She graduated high school, and then worked as a seamstress in Ukraine. She came to Syracuse in 1982 and lived in the Brick School House on Salt Springs Road for almost 20 years. She enjoyed cooking and helping others. She is survived by her son, Michael (Ella) Zukher; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; her sister, Marya Brokhman; and her niece, Marina Leybman. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. 

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NEWS IN BRIEF From JTA

Middle East Quartet expresses concerns about Gaza

The first meeting of the coordinating body that oversees Middle East peace since President Donald Trump took office expressed its concerns over the “worsening humanitarian situation” in the Gaza Strip. The Middle East Quartet, which represents the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, met on July 13 in Jerusalem to discuss current efforts to advance peace in the region. “The envoys expressed serious concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and discussed efforts to resolve the crisis,” a statement said. The West Bank Palestinian Authority has recently sharply reduced electricity to Gaza with Israel’s cooperation. The electricity cuts are part of a power play by the Palestinian Authority against Hamas, its rival Palestinian faction that governs the territory. The dispute has left the Gaza Strip’s nearly two million Palestinian residents dangerously vulnerable to a heat wave. Notably, the statement was shared in a tweet by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s lead Middle East peace negotiator. “Important #Quartet mtg today on how to best facilitate peace btw Israelis and Palestinians and improve dire situation in Gaza,” Greenblatt said. Greenblatt’s endorsement of the meeting and its concerns about Gaza – and the fact that the meeting took place at all – showed again that Trump is hewing to diplomatic norms when it comes to Israel and maintaining international alliances that he has diminished in other spheres.

French Jews fume over omission of hate crime from indictment of Jewish woman’s killer

Leaders of French Jewry “strongly criticized” the absence of a mention of hate crime in the indictment of a Paris man who killed his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah. CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish community, used uncharacteristically harsh language in criticizing the indictment for murder filed by prosecutors on July 12 against Kobili Traore, who confessed to killing 66-year-old Sarah Halimi on April 4 and throwing her dying body from the third-story window of her apartment. “CRIF is astonished that the antisemitic character of the murder was omitted,” read the statement of the organization, which over the past two weeks has presented on the homepage of its website a running meter with the number of days it took authorities to file an indictment. CRIF has accused authorities of covering up and silencing the slaying of Halimi along with mainstream media. Traore, 27, who has no history of mental illness, initially was hospitalized in a psychiatric institution as per his insanity plea. He knew that Halimi, a physician and kindergarten teacher, was Jewish and had called her daughter “dirty Jew” in the elevator two years ago, the daughter told French Jewish media. The Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism joined CRIF’s criticism of the indictment. “The personality of the criminal, who shouted ‘Allah hu akbar [Arabic for “Allah is the greatest”] as Islamo-Fascists do, his modus operandi, and his choice of a victim he knew was Jewish affirm our thesis and certitude: This crime is incontestably antisemitic,” the bureau, a nongovernmental watchdog group, wrote in a statement. Following the indictment, Brigitte Kuster, a lawmaker for The Republicans party in the French lower house, filed a critical query on the case to Interior Minister Gerard Collomb. Halimi, Kuster wrote, was “tortured and murdered by an individual with premeditated antisemitic intentions which serve as evidence, even if the judiciary has so far ignored this.” She demanded that Collomb speak out and confirm the presumed antisemitic nature of the crime.

Hungarian PM vows to protect Jewish rituals ahead of opening of kosher slaughterhouse

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vowed to protect religious freedoms in his country during a talk with foreign rabbis visiting for the opening of a large kosher slaughterhouse for geese. Orbanreceived the rabbis the week of July 7 in the Hungarian capital, his office’s website said. The visitors, including Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau, Rabbi Menachem Margolin of the European Jewish Association and Rabbi Slomo Koves of Hungary’s Chabad-affiliated EMIH community, heard from Orban that “Hungary’s Jewish community is under the unconditional protection of the government” and that, “As with the other historic churches, Jewish congregations in Hungary also receive the full amount of available funding,” the website said. The foreign rabbis attended the opening of the slaughterhouse in Csengele, situated approximately 80 miles southeast of Budapest, Koves said. With a capacity for slaughtering 2,400 animals daily, it is one of the largest slaughterhouses of its kind in Europe and is under the joint rabbinical supervision of EMIH and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. “God willing, there are plans to make halal meat as well” at the same slaughterhouse for consumption by Muslims, Koves added.Margolin said in a statement that Orban’s gesture and the opening of the slaughterhouse is especially appreciated at a time when parliaments in Belgium’s regions pass motions about “banning kosher slaughter and other countries are undermining freedom of religion all over Europe.”

Cuban Jewish leaders call on U.S. Jewish community to strengthen ties

Leaders of Cuba’s Jewish community sent an open letter to the U.S. Jewish community calling for a strengthening of ties and expressing concern over a reversal of policy by the United States toward the island nation. “The Jewish community of Cuba, since its founding, has maintained ties of friendship and brotherhood and sisterhood with the Jewish people of the United States, even in moments when diplomatic relations

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Issue Date: August 17 Ad Deadline: August 9

between both countries did not exist,” said the letter issued on July 12. “North Americans played a substantial role in the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States, and some of them have even visited our synagogues in Havana. There is a permanent desire to promote the continual development of this relationship and to strengthen the benefits that are starting to take shape, mainly for our people,” the letter continued. “Knowing that the Jewish communities and institutions of the United States have an interest in the relations with the Jewish people of the world, and especially toward Latin America, we request that we work together so that our countries do not go backwards in what has been accomplished and assure that the Cuban and American people enjoy a peaceful and prosperous future.” Seven Jewish leaders in Cuba signed the letter, including Adela Dworkin, the community’s president; David Prinstein, its vice president; leaders of the Sephardic center in Havana; and the country’s Jewish community coordinators. In June, President Donald Trump signed a presidential directive on Cuba limiting business and educational travel to Cuba and restricting commerce. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had lifted travel and commercial restrictions with Havana. Havana has three operating synagogues, including one Orthodox. The government has been supportive of the community in recent years, with President Raul Castro attending Chanukah ceremonies at Beth Shalom Synagogue, according to the Engage Cuba coalition, a nonprofit group working to end the trade and travel embargo of Cuba that is helping the Jewish community distribute its letter in the United States and get the word out. The Jewish community of Cuba numbers about 1,000.

Spanish judges void two municipal BDS motions

Spanish judges scrapped motions favoring a boycott of Israel that were passed last year by two city councils. The rulings the week of July 7 by separate tribunals in two of Spain’s autonomous regions bring to 20 the number of municipalities that over the past three years have either reversed their motions of support for an Israel boycott or had them nullified by the judiciary. In the northern region of Galicia, an administrative court in the capital of Santiago de Compostela reversed a motion passed March 31 by the city council of Teo, a town of 18,000, following a lawsuit filed by ACOM, the pro-Israel group said in a statement on July 11. The administrative court in the eastern region of Valencia scrapped a motion passed in March 2016 by the local council of Catarroja, a suburb of the city of Valencia, which is Spain’s third-largest metropolis. As in previous rulings on petitions filed by ACOM or its affiliates – including rulings by two high courts – the administrative tribunals determined the motions in Teo and Catarroja were unconstitutional because they were discriminatory, and that they represented a breach of jurisdiction by municipalities unqualified to make foreign policy decisions. In June, the Superior Tribunal of Justice of Madrid affirmed a lower court ruling from January against a 2016 resolution endorsing the boycott by the city council of the Rivas Vaciamadrid suburb. The High Court said the council’s adherence to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was “discriminatory.” The court rejected the council’s argument that its boycott resolution was anchored in previous United Nations resolutions against Israel, ACOM wrote in a statement. Over the past two years, pro-Israel activists have obtained dozens of rulings, legal opinions and injunctions against BDS in Spain. Some 50 Spanish municipalities have passed resolutions in recent years endorsing BDS – more than in any other European country. In neighboring France, promoting the BDS movement is illegal under legislation from 2003 that lists efforts to bring about the singling out of nations and their peoples as a form of hate crime. Similar legislation is being prepared in Britain, the government said last year.

Boston Holocaust memorial rededicated after vandalism

Hundreds gathered in downtown Boston to rededicate a vandalized Holocaust memorial. Two Holocaust survivors joined Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh on July 11 at the New England Holocaust Memorial to unveil a replacement glass panel; the large panel was shattered by a large rock. Religious leaders and other city and state officials also were on hand. A local man, James Issac, 21, was arrested shortly after the discovery of the vandalism and has pleaded not guilty to two counts of willful and malicious destruction of personal property. His attorney said he suffers from mental health issues, according to the Associated Press. The memorial opened in 1995 in the heart of Boston and is open to the public 24 hours a day. It includes six glass towers representing the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, as well as the six major death camps. The towers resemble chimneys built with 132 panes of glass etched with numbers that had been tattooed on the arms of Jews during the Holocaust.

Survivors of Romania pogrom and “death trains” to receive German compensation

Jewish Holocaust survivors of the 1941 pogrom in Iasi, Romania, and “death trains” are now eligible to receive compensation pensions, the Claims Conference announced. Julius Berman, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, made the announcement in a statement on July 12 following negotiations earlier this month in Berlin with the German government. Under the agreement, the Romanian survivors will receive an increase for home care provision and other services offered through Claims Conference programs worldwide. Some of the additional funds also will be used to provide pensions to Iasi survivors who do not currently receive one. About 15,000 Jews were murdered in the June 1941 pogrom and on the trains, which took many survivors of the massacre across the country for eight days until the cars’ occupants died of suffocation, dehydration and starvation. The Jews left behind in Iasi were forced to live in a designated section of the town set up as an open ghetto, under curfew, in constant fear of deportation to labor camps while enduring regular beatings and cruelty by German and Romanian soldiers. “The horrors inflicted on the Jews of Iasi have finally been recognized more than 70 years later,” Stuart Eizenstat, a Claims Conference special negotiator, said in a statement. “These survivors endured unimaginable suffering. For those who are still with us, we have obtained a small measure of justice, even after all this time.”

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