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9 ELUL 5777 • AUGUST 31, 2017 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 17 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY

Jewish Music and Cultural Festival Organizers hope that there will be “something for everyone” at the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival on Sunday, September 10, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Beginning at noon, the Keyna Hora Klezmer Band will perform on the Price Chopper Stage. Many activities and games will be provided by the JCC throughout the afternoon in and around the children’s tent, which is sponsored by Debbie and Barry Shulman, together with the Mackenzie Hughes Law Offices.

In addition, there will be face painting, the PJ Library®, the instrument petting zoo provided by Signature Music, the Robert Rogers Puppet Theater and a variety of vendors. Authentic Jewish food choices from The Oaks Catering will be available in the food tent, and Carvel will return again this year with kosher ice cream selections. Organizers said, “You don’t have to be Jewish to have a great time at JMAC!” The JMAC schedule and information are available online at www.syracusejewishfestival.org.

Save the date:

Sisterhood Symposium to be held October 19 The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center are gearing up to present another Sisterhood Symposium this fall. The program, “Assimilation: Is it Good for the Jews?” will be held on Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The event’s featured participants will be Jenna Weissman Jocelit, Ph.D., profes-

sor of experiential education and Jewish cultural arts at George Washington University; and Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. Attendance at the event will include dinner. Table sponsorships will be recognized in a printed program. For more information and to register, contact CBS-CS at 315-446-9570 or office@cbscs.org.

Senior Sudanese official seeks establishing relations with Israel BY JNS STAFF JNS.org In an unusual move, a senior Sudanese government official has expressed support for establishing diplomatic relations between his country and Israel. “There is no problem normalizing relations with Israel. The Palestinians normalized relations with Israel – even Hamas is talking to Israel,” Mubarak al Fadil al Mahdi, Sudan’s minister of investment, said in an interview on August 20 with Sudania 24, a Sudanese satellite station, Haaretz reported. “The Palestinians receive tax money from Israel and electricity from Israel. The Palestinians sit with Israel and talk to Israel. They have disputes, but they sit with them.” Like other countries in the Arab-Muslim world, Sudan has long viewed Israel as an enemy nation. The African country is known for hosting the 1967 Arab League summit in the wake of the SixDay War, where the Arab world issued what became known as the “Three No’s: no peace with Israel, no recognition of

Israel, no negotiations with it.” Currently, Israel does not have relations with Sudan. The Jewish state established full ties with South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011. Israel is also the only country that Sudanese citizens are barred from entering, while Sudan has had past ties with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Sudan is run by President Omar alBashir, who was indicted for war crimes in Darfur in 2009. Nevertheless, there has been movement within Sudan for normalizing ties with Israel as part of an effort to get economic sanctions lifted by the United States. In the interview, Fadil also said the Arab world has used the Palestinian issue for “domestic purposes” and they use it to “oppress their own peoples in the name of the struggle for Palestine.” Fadil also praised Israel for its technology and democracy, saying “one can agree with the Israelis or disagree with them, but they have a democratic regime,” he said. “They prosecute their leaders and send them to prison and they have transparency.”

Linda Alexander celebration event on 9/6/17 cancelled The Event Committee expressed “sorrow and regret” in announcing that the event celebrating Linda Alexander’s “legacy of leadership” on Wednesday, September 6, at Temple Adath Yeshurun, has been cancelled due to the recent passing of her husband, Steven. The Event Committee will send information out to those individuals who have already reserved tickets on how to acquire a refund or obtain a tax-deductible receipt, should the individual allow the committee to use the ticket money as a tax-deductible donation to the new Linda Alexander Teen Funders Fund, which will be established at the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York in thanks for her years of service to the community. This new fund at the Foundation would stipulate a yearly amount to

be added to the annual teen funders allocation pool to augment the current teen funders program, which was originated by Alexander during her tenure at the Foundation. Anyone who had not yet reserved tickets, but who wants to participate in the initial creation of the Linda Alexander Teen Funders Fund, can use the event invitation response card to fill out the contribution portion and mail it to the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syraucse, Attn: Linda’s Legacy, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214. All donations earmarked for the new fund will be fully tax-deductible. The committee noted it appreciates everyone’s understanding related to this unexpected cancellation and apologizes for any issues it may have caused.

Sarah Pinsky joins Foundation Board

honored to join the Board of BY LINDA ALEXANDER Trustees for the Jewish ComThe Jewish Community munity Foundation of Central Foundation of Central New New York. When I think York recently announced the about all of the outstanding addition of Sarah Rose Pinprograms and institutions in sky to its Board of Trustees. our Jewish community, I am The Foundation’s chair of filled with optimism for our the Board, Neil Bronstein, future. I’m excited to serve said, “We are thrilled to have on the board to help ensure Sarah as our newest trustee. the continuity and vitality of She brings great energy and enthusiasm to our board, in ad- Sarah Pinsky is the these great organizations.” For the past 14 years, dition to her marketing skills newest trustee on knowhow. Although she is a the board of the Pinsky has worked in the relatively new person in our Jewish Community marketing, communications community, she has already F o u n d a t i o n o f and account management proven herself as a leader.” Central New York. departments for KaBOOM!, a DC-based playground buildPinsky serves on the boards of the Syracuse Jewish Cemeter- ing nonprofit organization. She grew ies Association and the Sam Pomeranz up in Grand Rapids, MI, and attended Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. the University of Michigan, where she She chaired the JCC’s Early Childhood met her husband, Todd. In 2011, they Development Program Parent Commit- moved to Central New York to be closer tee for two years. She is a member of to family, and so Todd could practice the Enders Road Elementary School law alongside his father, Roy, in the site-based team and a volunteer with law firm founded by his grandfather, Norman. They have two children and Community Care of Syracuse. When asked why she agreed to serve Sarah added, “I can’t imagine a better on the Foundation board, she said, “I am place to raise our kids.”

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

September 1.................... 7:21 pm...................................................Parasha-Ki Tetze September 8.................... 7:09 pm....................................................Parasha-Ki Tavo September 15.................. 6:56 pm................Parasha-Nitzavim-Vayelech (Selichot)

INSIDE THIS ISSUE SJFS at 125

Congregational notes SHDS alumni profiles

Syracuse Jewish Family Service Selichot services are announced, Profiles of successful Syracuse will celebrate its 125th birthday as are a film showing, concert, Hebrew Day School alumni begin blood drive and more. with a party on October 10. in this issue of the JO. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 6

PLUS Prep. for Rosh Hashanah...4-5 Classifieds................................ 6 Calendar Highlights............... 7 Obituaries................................. 7


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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ AUGUST 31, 20176/9 ELUL 5777

Community gathers to see Menorah Park’s new Shankman Wellness Pavilion

BY STEWART KOENIG Donors, residents, staff, family and community stakeholders got a first look at the Abraham Shankman Wellness Pavilion at Menorah Park at a reception on August 10. The newly renovated space will provide spaces for relaxation, activities, entertainment, healthy eating and more. The Shankman Wellness Pavilion includes the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation Center for Healthy Living and soon-to-open Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro, Fox’s Den Sports Bar and the Dr. Irving and Dorothy Goldman Piano Lounge. All areas will be open seven days a week, with the Center for Healthy Living hosting wellness programs; the bistro serving three meals a day; the sports bar armed with large screen TVs and a bar to watch games; and the piano lounge keeping residents, families and the community entertained. Andy Fox, past vice president of the Menorah Park board, said, “The Shankman Wellness Pavilion is a game-changer and its presence will make the Menorah Park campus a more desirable place for current and potential residents and their families.” Fox and his wife, Wendy Meyerson,

Andy Fox explained the thought process behind Menorah Park’s new Abraham Shankman Wellness Pavilion at an August 10 preview reception. co-owners of NEEDS Inc. and Natur-Tyme, endowed the Fox’s Den Sports Bar. Fox said, “We’re dedicated to enhancing the health and wellness of the Syracuse community and we wanted to play a role in bringing this health and wellness movement to the Menorah Park campus.” The idea of creating a structure or changing the existing physical environment to enhance the health and wellness of the entire Menorah Park campus was endorsed by the Board of Directors and fund-raising was held to support this objective. This phase of the project cost

At right: People got a first look at the Abraham Shankman Wellness Pavilion that will house the Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro, Fox’s Den Sports Bar and the Dr. Irving and Dorothy Goldman Piano Lounge. approximately $1 million and is totally funded. Among the additional projects underway include a technology and training center, a community room and an outdoor café. The new elderly demographic reportedly places an increasingly higher value on “the integration of mind, body and spirit” to achieve health and wellness. These new approaches to wellness are said to look beyond the immediate medical concerns of the individual resident and try to incorporate other dimensions, such as social, intellectual and emotional aspects. “Programming at the Shankman Wellness

Pavilion,” Fox said, “will be comprehensive, include all dimensions of wellness and engage campus residents, families, staff and the community in the process.” According to Menorah Park CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood, the bistro, sports den and piano lounge will be open by mid-September. She said, “The Shankman Wellness Pavilion will be a destination for residents, families and friends. The atmosphere will brighten up everyone’s day. The bistro will be serving a delicious and healthy menu in an attractive and central location, which can also be used for organizations’ meetings and events.”

JCC wraps up another summer camp season BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse has wrapped up another eight-week summer day camp season,

Jack Phaneuf rode down the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse early childhood camp’s slip and slide.

Romano from June 26-August 18. “Summer camp was a huge success again this year,” said Mick Hagan, director of children and teen services and camps. “We had a great group of kids join us. The enthusiasm and excitement each day were awesome. Kudos to our camp counselors for making everything run so smoothly and creating some great times for our campers. From arts and crafts, games, sleepovers, swimming and sports to field trips and more, there was a lot of fun and excitement to go around for Campers and counselors in the Sam Pomeranz all JCC campers.” Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s schoolHagan continued, “Summer age Nitzanim camp made a mural on the sidewalk. camp at the JCC is all about A t l e f t : T h e the children. There’s nothing else like Sam Pomeranz it around here. We focus on the kids to Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Syraof Central New York Cruisin’ teen Binghamton Syracuse travel camp’s Office Office campers and Rabbi Rachel Esserman Bette Siegel Executive Editor counselors Syracuse Editor Diana Sochor Publisher posed for a Layout Editor Jewish Federation of photo during Michael Nassberg Central New York Inc. Assistant Editor their Enchanted Ellen Weinstein Jenn DePersis Forest Water Chair of the Board Production Coordinator Linda Alexander Safari trip on Bonnie Rozen Federation Advertising July 27. which was termed “successful.” Hundreds of campers, ranging in age from infants to school-age children and teenagers, attended the JCC’s Camp Joe and Lynne

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L-r: Noa Kfir and Niv Levy were this year’s Israel Scouts, who helped out during all eight weeks of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s summer camp. 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 Happy 125th, SJFS! October 10 event to cap off a celebratory year BY DEBORAH ELLIS Syracuse Jewish Family Service will hold a 125th birthday party for itself and the community, as part of a year-long celebration of the milestone, with a reception and program on Tuesday, October 10, from 5:30-8 pm, at Menorah Park. Reservations have been requested and can be made by contacting Wendy VanRiper at 315-4469111, ext. 118, or WVanRiper@menorahparkofcny.com. SJFS Director Judith Huober said, “Please come and help us thank all the people who have contributed to making SJFS what it is today! We are hoping that everyone who has, or has had, a stake in SJFS – whether formal or informal, whether as a board member, staff member, client, family member, donor, or community partner – will come and participate in toasting our past and committing to the successful future of our mission, to build well-being in the Jewish and general communities of Central New York.” In addition to honoring the people and stories that are said have “woven the agency into the fabric of the Central New York community,” the event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Menorah Park’s new Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Arts and Minds

Michael Kalet helped celebrate Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s 125th anniversary by presenting a $500 donation from the Syracuse Jewish Children’s Fund to SJFS Director Judith Huober on June 26. Community Room and the Anne and Hy Miller Theater and Wellness Program, whose programming SJFS will be largely responsible to develop and execute.

Hillel at Syracuse University in 2017-18

The 2017-18 academic year will bring changes in the personnel lineup at Hillel at Syracuse University. Director Brian Small left Syracuse during the summer and is now serving as the assistant director at Vanderbilt Hillel in Nashville, TN. The search for an executive director who will lead Hillel at SU is underway. The Search Committee, chaired by board members Lynn Greenky and Mara Silver-Smith (class of ‘02), is working with Hillel International in this process.

Current staff members Jessica Lemons and Rabbi Leah Fein have been named interim directors. Rabbi Fein will assume the role of interim director, Jewish life and learning, and Lemons has been appointed interim director, development and administration. Both have been with Hillel at SU for two years and have reportedly shown “a dedication to the students.” They will be supported by Hillel’s board of governors and the local chapter’s partners at Hillel International.

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu SEPTEMBER 4-8 Monday – Labor Day – closed Tuesday – turkey chili with dinner roll Wednesday – vegetable soup and grilled cheese Thursday – meatloaf Friday – birthday celebration – orange-glazed Cornish hen SEPTEMBER 11-15 Monday – chicken-fried rice Tuesday – macaroni and cheese Wednesday – split pea soup and hamburger Thursday – imitation crab cakes Friday – beef stew with mixed vegetables

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

The event is planned to begin with “heavy” hors d’oeuvres and the ribbon cutting from 5:30-6:30 pm in Menorah Park’s newly unveiled Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro. A program in the Menorah Park auditorium will follow at 6:30 pm. David Newman, Menorah Park board president, will recognize and honor past and present people associated with SJFS, as well as the agency’s historic mission. At 7 pm, Mickey Lebowitz will moderate a panel discussion, “Using Stories to Heal and Build Well-being,” with panelists Maggid Jim Brulé, Kate D. Mahoney and others. Building on the story-telling theme of SJFS’s year-long anniversary celebrations, the panel will discuss some of the ways stories are used in their disciplines to “bring healing and to build well-being,” as well as “how narrative supports relationships.” Several of the recent participants in Central New York StoryCorps, who recorded interviews with StoryCorps’s mobile team in July, will also reflect on their experiences with telling their stories in this format and context. As part of the agency’s anniversary celebration, SJFS brought StoryCorps to Central New York and is collaborating with WRVO Public Media to interview and broadcast the stories of up to 60 area families and individuals. SJFS plans to archive the interviews on its website, as well as continue helping members of the Jewish community use the StoryCorps app to capture and archive their stories. Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s 125th event was originally scheduled for June 14, but was postponed to accommodate delays in Menorah Park’s renovations schedule.

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Concord CINEMAGOGUE PRESENTS “A WOMAN CALLED GOLDA” ON SEPTEMBER 9 BY CHANA MEIR The fall season of Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue series will begin on Sunday, September 9, at 7:30 pm, with “A Woman Called Golda.” Originally made for television, the film is an account of the life and times of Russian-born and Wisconsin-raised Golda Meir, Israel’s prime minister during the 1960s and ‘70s. Judy Davis portrays Meir as a young woman, while Ingrid Bergman plays Meir as an older woman. Bergman won an Emmy for her performance. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public, and candy and snacks will be available. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org. TEMPLE CONCORD FALL BLOOD DRIVE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 As a way of remembering the 16th anniversary of those killed on September 11, 2001, Temple Concord is urging Syracuse area residents to donate blood at its annual fall community blood drive, which will be held on Sunday, September 10, from 9 am-2 pm. Appointments are available every 15 minutes and the entire donation process takes about one hour. Donors 16-years-old and older are eligible to donate.

To schedule an appointment, call the TC blood donor hotline at 315-288-0773, e-mail Mark Kotzin at concordvampire@ verizon.net, or go to www.redcrossblood. org using the sponsor code “templeconcord.” Donors can also sign up using the Red Cross app on their smartphone. Donors can also speed up the donation process by using the Red Cross’ “rapid pass” system to pre-register, read the educational materials and answer the donor questionnaire from their home computer on the day of the drive. To take advantage of this new tool, visit www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass on the morning of the drive. GOLDENBERG SERIES HOSTS RIVERMIST ENSEMBLE SEPTEMBER 12 BY CHANA MEIR Temple Concord’s Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series will offer a free concert by the Rivermist Ensemble on Tuesday, September 12, at 7 pm. Rivermist Ensemble, consisting of Geraldine Izzo on piano; Chris Stewart on oboe and sax; and Ron Stewart on trumpet, has performed throughout Central New York for the past four years. Their repertoire includes works from the Baroque through contemporary periods. The event will be open to the public, and donations to support the series will be welcome. For more information, contact Temple Concord at 315-475-9952 or office@templeconcord.org.

Temple Adath Yeshurun HAZAK The Temple Adath Yeshurun chapter of Hazak will host Mel and Mady Rubenstein on Wednesday, September 13, at 1 pm, when they will discuss their book, “The Smell of Leather.” It is a history of the Rochester Shoe Store, a longtime family-owned Syracuse business that began in 1908. Mel Rubenstein, owner of the former Rochester Shoe Store, will tell his story, which includes the history of Central New York, its businesses, places, people and events; businesses such the Franklin

Auto Co., Carrier Corporation, Hotel Syracuse and WHEN-TV; events such as the New York State Fair, Syracuse Nationals basketball games and shoes for Poland; and people such as Mayor William Walsh, Ernie Davis, Irwin Schultz and Jean Daugherty; as well as the early West Side of Syracuse and the Erie Canal. The growth of Rochester Shoe Store occurred at a time of the growth of suburbs in places that include DeWitt and North Syracuse. The time period also includes how imports affected many locally-owned businesses, See “TAY” on page 7

The Temple Adath Yeshurun chapter of Hazak held its officer and board installation dinner on August 9. Seated (l-r): Marcia Mizruchi, corresponding secretary; Joanne Greenhouse, vice president of programming; JoAnn Grower, president; Cindy Goldstein, membership chair; and Rita Shapiro, recording secretary. Standing: Hazak board members Susan Miller, Cecile Cohen, Lynn Cohen, Elaine Meltzer, Stephen Meltzer and Ruth Borsky.

Selichot around the community CONGREGATION BETH SHOLOMCHEVRA SHAS AND TEMPLE ADATH YESHURUN Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a joint program on Saturday, September 16, at CBS-CS, 18 Patsy Ln. off Jamesville Road, Jamesville. At 8:30 pm, the short film “Forgiveness” will be shown, followed by a study session and discussion. Refreshments will be offered at 9:30 pm, followed by the Selichot service at 10 pm. Rabbis Paul Drazen and Andrew Pepperstone, Ba’alat Tefillah Esa Jaffe and Cantor Paula Pepperstone will officiate at the service, which is held in anticipation

of the High Holy Days. “Forgiveness” is an animated short by the Israeli-American artist Hanan Harchol. At 10 pm, Ba’alat Tefillah Jaffe and Cantor Pepperstone, along with Rabbis Drazen and Pepperstone, will lead a newly-compiled Selichot service to help participants prepare themselves for the spiritual work of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For more information, contact either CBS-CS at 315-446-9570 or office@ cbscs.org; or TAY at 315-445-0002 or info@adath.org. SHAAREI TORAH ORTHODOX CONGREGATION OF SYRACUSE Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congrega-

tion of Syracuse will present a Selichot program, “My Path to Observance,” on Saturday, September 16, starting at 10:30 pm, at STOCS, 4313 E. Genesee St., DeWitt. It will feature presentations by three STOCS members: Rabbi Evan Shore; newly-elected congregational President Elizabeth Steciak; and Efraim Lezak, a Chasidic computer consultant currently on a long-term assignment in Syracuse. They will offer accounts of their spiritual journeys that will be “very different and hopefully compelling.” For many people, Selichot signals the start of the High Holy Day season, one intended to spur spiritual introspection and renewal. The experience is said to be “highly individualized.” Some people are barely affected, while others see this time as part of their ongoing spiritual development. Additionally, some are impelled toward a life-altering religious transformation, either during this period or due to other experiences: life cycle events, such as the birth of a first child or a personal crisis; an inspiring reading or talk; a role model’s example; the influence of a peer; or as the result of a long search for spiritual meaning. Hearing of the experiences of others

has been known to provide inspiration and guidance for one’s own spiritual quest. Organizers hope that the program will provide attendees with “a pertinent prelude” to the “Days of Awe.” The program will be free and open to the public, and will offer an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation. Refreshments will also be available. After some brief introductory remarks on Selichot from Rabbi Shore, the Selichot service, led by Cantor Marvin Moskowitz, will follow at 12:15 am. TEMPLE CONCORD Temple Concord will welcome the High Holy Day season on Saturday, September 16, with a “wonderful and enchanting” evening, beginning with an oneg at 8 pm, when participants will have an opportunity to socialize. The synagogue is located at 910 Madison St., Syracuse. Attendees will gather in the sanctuary at 10 pm, when the TC volunteer choir will change the Torah mantles and begin the process of renewal for the High Holy Days. The service will be brief, with special lighting. Organizers hope that those who come will be “touched” and the High Holy Days will be “richer and more meaningful than ever.”

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ AUGUST 31, 20176/9 ELUL 5777

D’VAR TORAH What are those rags you’re wearing? BY JIM BRULÉ “Your clothes are not grown old upon you” (Deuteronomy 29:4) First of all, it must be understood: The sages had a sense of humor, which is not to say that their lighter moments didn’t contain worthwhile gems. Here we are in portion Ki Tavo. Let’s set the context. Moses is wrapping up his farewell speech (less than a month to go), and he’s trying to convince his audience that they’ve encountered the Divine. After all, he argues, look at all the miracles we’ve witnessed. Among these miracles is the fact that the clothes you wore lasted all these years. Whether the Israelites were swayed – well, that’s hard to say – but among the sages there were skeptics. Take, for example, this exchange between R. Eleazar and his father-in-law, R. Simeon: “How could it be that the clothes never wore out? Were they all wearing leather?” “No, Eleazar. When they were at Sinai, the angels gave them new clothes – they were heavenly!” “But, Simeon – didn’t they grow? Wouldn’t the clothes get too small?” “If a snail’s shell grows with it, why couldn’t the Israelites’ clothes?” “But surely they needed washing!” “Well, yes. But they would rub up against the pillar of cloud, and they would be whitened.” “But the cloud was also of fire! Wouldn’t it burn the clothes?” “No, they were made of material like asbestos.” Midrash Rabbah – Deuteronomy VII:11 This exchange goes on for quite a while longer, but you get the idea. No matter what problem Eleazar sees, Simeon has a solution. So, was this, perhaps, the first “shaggy dog”? For all its cuteness – and it does sound very much like a 4-year-old cross-examining a parent at bedtime – there

are important lessons here. Let’s look at the question of miracles. Simeon compounds miracle upon miracle to explain the first miracle in the Torah portion – the fact that the Israelites’ clothes never wore out. This doesn’t sway his son-in-law in the slightest. Eleazar just keeps posing another problem. It has long been understood by the sages that miracles are not a basis for argument. Whether the talmudic story of the Oven of Akhnai or the injunctions against praying for, or relying on miracles, the sages recognized a critical point. They knew that a mind convinced only by rational explanations will never be swayed by miracles. However, there is a much more important point. A mind confined to the rational will never even perceive miracles. In fact, miracles permeate our lives, if we allow ourselves to experience them. The web of events necessary to produce the clothes on our back, for example – how miraculous. And dare you consider the very existence of life itself? How filled with wonder is this place, and we have not known it! Beyond this critical point, there is for me an even sweeter lesson from this midrash. God is a joyful, humorous, even mischievous Force – just look at the platypus. That force, that spirit, is just one form of the energy that is available to us when we open ourselves to daily encounters with the Divine. No matter what rags we’re wearing! Maggid Jim Brulé is a congregant at Temple Concord, and shares his spiritual stories with the Syracuse community and beyond. His online school in multifaith spiritual storytelling can be found at http://maggidut.com.

NEWS IN BRIEF From JNS.org

Israel sends aid to drought-stricken village in South Sudan

Israel has delivered food aid and supplies to a village in a severely drought-stricken area of South Sudan, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Aug. 23. Six tons of food were delivered to the village by Israeli humanitarian aid organizations and government representatives, including Israel’s Ambassador to South Sudan Hanan Goder. The aid delivery was facilitated by the Israeli embassy in South Sudan’s capital of Juba and the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. The Israeli aid comes after South Sudan in February declared a famine in various parts of the country, as more than three years of war left millions hungry. The inability of aid organizations to reach drought-afflicted areas in the African nation has been identified as one of the greatest factors contributing to the food shortage.

U.N.: North Korean shipments to Syria’s chemical weapons program intercepted

Two North Korean shipments to Syria’s chemical weapons program have been intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential report from the United Nations. While Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 in a deal with the U.S. and Russia, experts suspect Syria has secretly maintained chemical weapons or developed new ones.

The Rabbi Jacob H. Epstein School of Jewish Studies Looking to make lifelong Jewish friends? Hoping to learn how to be Jewish in today’s world? Ready to delve into 3500 years of Jewish texts? Join us this year at the Epstein School of Jewish Studies! Updated curriculum with exciting new classes Registration begins August 4 at EpsteinCNY.org 7th-10th Graders Classes begin Tuesday, September 12th at 6:30pm This year, classes are located at Temple Adath Yeshurun 11th and 12th Graders: NEW: Tuesdays at 7:30pm at Temple Adath Optional Study or Social time 6:30pm For more information please visit us at: Epsteincny.org • Twitter @epsteincny • Facebook at facebook.com/epsteincny or email us at epsteincny@gmail.com PO Box 161, Syracuse, NY 13214

Profiles of day school alumni

BY BARBARA DAVIS Logan Woodard King, Syracuse Hebrew Day School class of 2005, has earned a bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in Judaic studies, from the University at Buffalo (the State University of New York). He is also a trained Mussar facilitator from the Mussar Institute. While in college, he was said to be “very involved” in Hillel. He went on Birthright with Hillel and became an intern for Logan Woodard the organization. During his final King, Syracuse semester of college, he was hired to Hebrew Day School, work part-time as the coordinator class of 2005 of Jewish student life at Hillel of Buffalo. Upon graduating, he was named director of the program. Most recently, King was accepted into Hillel International’s Ezra Fellowship Program. Ezra fellows work fulltime engaging students in Jewish life by “infusing Jewish knowledge” into their conversations and programs. The fellowship provides up to three years of exclusive training in pluralistic Jewish education, including Jewish learning, seminars in experiential Jewish education and career coaching. Fellows also work with organizations for contemporary Jewish life, including Mechon Hadar, M2, iCenter and more. King was always exposed to Jewish experiences growing up, including being a student at SHDS. Continuing his Jewish education and having more Jewish experiences were said to be “extremely important” to him. In addition to being a student leader in multiple student groups, he was also a CAMERA Fellow, attended four AIPAC conferences and traveled to Israel numerous times in pursuit of “deepening his Jewish connection.” He reportedly “loves working with college students who share his passion for Judaism.” This work allows him to “see people have those ‘ah-ha’ moments” – times when people come to a “profound realization” about themselves or the world around them. He believes that his SHDS experience had “a profound impact” on the decisions he made about his future. He found that being introduced to Jewish learning and Jewish knowledge at a young age was “powerful and inspiring.” He said, “The day school is where I realized both my love for Jewish learning and my love for Israel. The experiences I had at the day school inspired me to pursue more Jewish learning and laid the foundation for my personal Jewish journey.” King recalled that “my day school class was very close. I remember being excited to go to school every day because I was always looking forward to spending the entire day with people who had become such good friends. I really enjoyed my time at the day school. The education I received was fantastic and I left the day school incredibly well prepared. The teachers at the day school were amazing and taught me lessons that are relevant today. I have many wonderful memories of my time at the day school and it has led me to where I am today.”

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AUGUST 31, 2017/9 ELUL 5777 ■

Annual meeting of the Menorah Park Auxiliary set for Sunday, September 17 The Menorah Park Auxiliary will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, September 17, at 11:30 am, in the new Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro at Menorah Park, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. The meeting will feature a vintage hat show presented by the Onondaga Historical Association and drawings for many prizes. Tickets can be purchased at the registration table in the Menorah Park lobby. The auxiliary contributes to the lives of the Menorah

Park residents. It supports games for the residents, the gift shop, the beauty salon and has given major donations for hospital beds, transportation and furniture. The Menorah Park Auxiliary is open to everyone. For more information, call Victoria Kohl at 315-396-2721. Advance reservations are required for the brunch. To make a reservation, contact Lisa Stuttard at Lisa. Stuttard@sodexo.com or 315-446-9111, ext. 255, by Friday, September 15.

Rocky Mountain Jewgrass concert draws big crowd

OBITUARIES

BY WILLIAM WALLAK Three hundred people came to Temple Adath Yeshurun on August 13 to hear Jewish bluegrass music by the Denver-based band Rocky Mountain Jewgrass. The band members performed their “high-energy” folk and bluegrass music in Syracuse for the first time, sprinkling in “humorous stories” between their songs, for nearly 90 minutes. The four-person band played mostly original tunes, such as “Jews Don’t Camp,” “I’m in It for the Food” and “High Holy Days,” along with some cover songs, including Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The free concert was presented by Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, and was made possible through a grant from the Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Central New York.

The Denver-based band Rocky Mountain Jewgrass band held its first Syracuse show at Temple Adath Yeshurun on August 13. The band members include (l-r) Gail DeVore, fiddle and vocals; Ben Cohen, banjo, mandolin and vocals; Saul Rosenthal, guitar and lead vocals; and Eric Roberts, bass and vocals.

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including Rochester Shoe Store. There is no cost to attend this event. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact JoAnn Grower at 315-463-9762, or Joanne Greenhouse 315-446-3592. ALI CURWIN CHOSEN FOR ISRAELI NATIONAL LACROSSE TEAM A SECOND TIME BY SONALI MCINTYRE Phyllis and Mel Besdin, of Syracuse, grandparents of Ali Curwin, of Pittsford, have announced that Curwin was once again selected to play for Israel in the Federation of International Lacrosse Women’s World Cup, in which she was first selected to compete in 2013. The games this year were played in England from July 12-22. Israel finished in sixth place overall. The gold medal winner of the Women’s World Cup was the United States. At the 2013 games, Curwin helped Israel place eighth out of 20 teams. It was Israel’s first time competing. Curwin said, “Seeing different cultures and countries unite at the World Cup over their love of lacrosse was one of the most unique and incredible experiences of my life. To play a sport that I love for a country that I love was very special.” She was a starting player at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, and was captain in her junior and senior years. She is now teaching math and coaching lacrosse in Virginia.

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RUTH CIMMET WHITMAN

Ruth Cimmet Whitman, 104, died on August 13 in Syracuse. A graduate of Hazleton, PA, Area High School and Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York City, she and her late husband, Israel, resided in Scranton, PA, before retiring to Miami, FL. She lived there until, at age 100, she moved to Syracuse to live with her daughter, Harriet, and son-in-law, Mark Tetley. Tiny in stature – never quite reaching five feet in height – she was active in numerous community organizations in Scranton, including Hadassah, Temple Israel, the Bellevue Community Center and the Jewish Community Center, where she was recognized for her achievements with the “Woman of the Year” award. She continued with similar involvements in Miami. She was an avid, lifelong reader and learner, and loved to cook, bake, sew, garden and entertain. Her home was always the gathering place for her extended family. By instinct, she was a feminist well before the “women’s lib movement,” and up until her very last days, she was passionately interested in what was happening in politics and world affairs. In her mid-80s, after the death of her husband, she met Herman Weingarten in Miami and together they enjoyed a late-life loving relationship. She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Israel; her brothers, Joseph and Avaron Cimmet; and her sister, Hannah Ibsen. She is survived by her daughters, Harriet (Mark) Tetley; Judith Whitman (Bernard) Hochman, of Los Angeles, CA, and Frankie Whitman, of Oakland, CA; her sisters, Gloria Jurkowitz, of Scranton, PA, and Mildred Ernest, West Palm Beach, FL; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Burial was in Miami, FL. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. 

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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, September 13 Deadline for September 28 JO Monday, September 4 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas back-to-shul barbeque at 4 pm Tuesday, September 5 Temple Concord Adult Education: Pirkei Avot/ High Holiday preparation with Rabbi Daniel Fellman – 12:30 pm Wednesday, September 6 TC adult education: Learn about Israel with Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 10 am Saturday, September 9 TC Cinemagogue will show “A Woman Called Golda” at 7:30 pm Sunday, September 10 Jewish Music and Cultural Festival on the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community of Syracuse campus from noon - 6 pm TC blood drive at 9 am Monday, September 11 CBS-CS Sisterhood potluck at 6 pm Tuesday, September 12 TC adult education - Pirkei Avot/High Holiday preparation with Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 12:30 pm Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30 - 8:30 pm TC Goldenberg series presents the Rivermist Chamber Group at 7 pm Wednesday, September 13 Community security session at 9 am First day of Syracuse Community Hebrew School at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas at 4 pm Temple Adath Yeshurun Executive Committee at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm TC Board of Trustees at 7 pm CBS-CS Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 pm Friday, September 15 CBS-CS camper Shabbat service and dinner at 6 pm Saturday, September 16 Selichot (see schedule in this JO) Sunday, September 17 Menorah Park Auxiliary brunch and fund-raiser at Menorah Park 11:15 am – 2 pm. Reservations to Lisa Stuttard at 315-446-9111 ext. 255. TC GAN - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at 10:30 am CBS-CS apple-picking at Abbott Farms at 1 pm

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JEWISH OBSERVER â– AUGUST 31, 20176/9 ELUL 5777

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Jewish Observer Newspaper of August 31, 2017

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