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NCJW to award 2013 Hannah Solomon Award to Elaine Rubenstein

By Vicki Feldman The National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Syracuse Section At-Large, has announced that Elaine Rubenstein will be the recipient of the 2013 Hannah G. Solomon Award. The presentation will be held at a luncheon on Monday, October 7, at Justin’s Grill, 6400 Yorktown Circle, East Syracuse. Registration will start at 11:30 am, with the luncheon and program beginning at noon sharp and ending by 1:30 pm. There will be a cost to attend. Rubenstein is retired from a career in advertising and marketing for several local retail businesses, as well as United Radio, a family-owned electronics service company. In 1954, she and her husband, Milt, established BeepCall, which grew for 40 years to become the oldest and largest paging company serving Central New York. After his death in 1986, she operated the company until it was sold in 1994. She was also involved in the establishment of WONO-FM, the first classical music FM radio station in Central New York, as well

Happy New Year 5774

together, serving as a laboratory as the first cellular telephone for peace studies. She served as company in Central New York, president of the national board Cellular One. of American Friends of Neve A life member of NCJW and Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for 10 Hadassah, she has served on years and is still active on its varithe boards of Temple Concord, ous board committees. She has the Jewish Home of Central also been a longtime member of New York, Syracuse Jewish SAMED, Syracuse Area Middle Family Service, Central New East Dialogue. York Community Foundation, The Hannah G. Solomon Manlius Pebble Hill School, Elaine Rubenstein Award is a national award preStone Quarry Hill Art Park, Crouse Hospital and Community General sented by individual sections of NCJW. Hospital Foundation. She currently serves as a trustee on the foundation board for the MOST, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, which the family named in his memory to perpetuate his interest in science education. Interested in the concept that dialogue between parties on opposite ends By JTA staff of a spectrum can lead to coexistence, she JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s military became a supporter of Neve Shalom/Wahat and citizens are preparing for the repercusal-Salam, a village in Israel where Jewish, sions of a possible military intervention on Muslim and Christian families live and learn Syria by the United States and other allies. British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country would propose a resolution at the United Nations on August 28 accusing the Assad regime and its military of being responsible for a recent chemical weapons attack that according to reports left 1,300 people dead. The resolution, he said, would authorize “all necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians. On August 27, the Syrian opposition charged that a second chemical attack by the Syrian army in Aleppo killed at least 10. Syrian opposition activists also reported on August 28 that an eastern Damascus neighborhood was struck with mortars delivering poisonous gas, according to Al Jazeera. In an interview on August 28 on PBS, U.S. President Barack Obama said a limited strike should send a message to Syrian President BasharAssad against the use of chemical weapons. “If we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying stop doing this, this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term,” Obama told “PBS Newshour.” Meanwhile, Russia is deploying a missile cruiser and an anti-submarine ship to the eastern Mediterranean in advance of a possible military strike, and Britain announced it was sending six Royal Air Force jets to Cyprus in preparation. United Nations weapons inspectors in their third day in Damascus were complete their investigation at the end of the week and leave

Event organizers said, “The award is named for the founder of NCJW and is given to women who have demonstrated exceptional service to both the Jewish community and the community-at-large,” and they noted that Rubenstein has made a commitment “to improving the quality of life in Syracuse for many years.” For more information, to make a reservation or send a tribute card honoring Rubenstein, contact Marlene Holstein at 446-7648 or mjholstein@msn.com by Monday, September 30.

Israeli military, civilians readying for possible Syria reprisals

An Israeli child tried on a gas mask at a distribution center in Tel Aviv on August 26. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) the country on the morning of Aug. 31. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Aug. 29 he would share the information with U.N. Security Council members, which includes the U.S., and requested that the investigation team be allowed to complete its work before any military strike. Reports of a possible strike on Syria have spurred threats by Syrian and Iranian officials that if Syria is attacked, Israel will come under fire from the two countries and its allies in the Middle East. Following security consultations at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on August 28, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that “there is no reason to change daily routines. At the same time, we are prepared for any scenario. The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and to respond strongly against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens.” Israel reportedly moved Patriot anti-missile batteries as well as Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to the Haifa area and central Israel See “Syria” on page 6


September 4.............7:17 pm..................................................... Erev Rosh Hashanah September 5.............after 8:17 pm.....................................................Rosh Hashanah September 6.............7:14 pm.............................................................Parasha-Haazinu September 13...........7:01 pm........................................................... Erev Yom Kippur September 18...........6:52 pm..................................................................... Erev Sukkot September 19...........after 7:51 pm.................................................................... Sukkot September 20...........6:49 pm...................... Parsha-Sukkot (Shabbat Chol Hamoed)

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Holiday round-up

A match made in...

Education in Israel

Loc al Sukkot ser vices; what Camp Szarvas in Hungary hosts the Cultivating scientists from childhood; children can teach adults; children’s wedding of two former campers; an American Jewish Studies probooks; Yom Kippur in the Shoah. and a look at a JDate Weekend. gram at the University of Haifa. Stories on pages 2, 5, 9-11 Stories on page 8 Stories on page 12

PLUS Community Institutions........8-9 Personal Greetings.................. 11 Calendar Highlights................14 Obituaries..................................15


JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

a matter of opinion Reflections on our Jewish New Year

As we celebrate the Jewish New Year this week, I extend my very best personal wishes for a shanah tovah to you and your family. I have been giving some serious thought to one of this holiday’s major themes: rebirth. Jewish tradition teaches us that at Rosh Hashanah, the world was born and in many ways we celebrate that birth, year after year, at this time. We at Federation are long familiar with this concept. Throughout our history, we have been instrumental in ensuring the rebirth of Jewish people, communities and identity the world over. Every time we saved

a life, created an opportunity for a better future or reclaimed a lost Jewish soul, we witnessed a manmade

Rosh Hashanahs large and small are happening before our eyes. The rebirth and extraordinary growth of Jewish life from Bucharest to Estonia is a testament to the work we have done together since Communism fell, and demonstrates how “being Jewish” became a source of curiosity, exploration and pride. In this, our season of reflection and relinda alexander demption that we are about to embark on as a people, may it inspire our commitment people, there is one chapter that, even to our shared mission and may it set the today, yields more miracles than we can tone for a happy, healthy and fulfilling year keep track of. Across Central and Eastern ahead for us all as members of the Jewish Europe and the former Soviet Union, global family. JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel) and JDC (Joint Distribution Committee), is filled with many such feats on behalf of our

from the desk of the federation president/ceo miracle over crisis, danger, hopelessness and despair. And while our century-old Federation organizational narrative, partnered with

a matter of opinion Corn, soybeans and Bibles... what I learned on my summer vacation

My husband, Don, and I took a five-week road trip out west this summer, crossing the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nebraska, and back again. We put our bicycles on the back of the car and took off, staying mostly with friends and family. Some people thought us crazy. Would we still be talking after five weeks in a little car? We found the trip wonderful and I am grateful to have been able to go. I hadn’t really realized how huge the United States is. It takes a long time to travel from one side to the other. Traveling by airplane doesn’t give one any appreciation for the size, the grandeur or the culture of each area of our country. I now admire the pioneers more than I did before. Their trip across the country was daunting. Don and I lived in Minneapolis for almost nine years in the mid-‘70s and early ‘80s, and considered ourselves well-acquainted with the Midwest, but we found Midwesterners on this trip to be more welcoming than we remembered. Everyone wanted to know where we came from, what we did, where we were going, where we’d been and how we liked their part of the country. I learned that no matter how many cornfields you see in New York state, it is nothing compared to the remainder of the country, where corn is king. Much of the Midwest

truly is covered by a monoculture of corn with – soybeans occasionally thrown in – miles and miles and miles of corn. In among the corn near Julesberg, northwestern Colorado, we had lunch in a diner,

from the desk of the local editor bette siegel the only place open in what looked to be an abandoned town. The people there, all farmers, knew everyone else – except us. These folks are firm in their beliefs, and we overheard conversations that were clearly anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-gun and anti-marijuana. (Colorado currently allows medicinal marijuana and the legal sale of marijuana to recreational users is scheduled to begin as early as October.) The northeastern counties of Colorado would like to secede from the state, dominated by more liberal Boulder and Denver. Regardless of our being from “liberal” New York, our fellow diners insisted we put a thumbtack on their map of visitors. I learned that guard rails on a winding mountain road offer only an illusion of safety. When clouds shroud those roads, you just say your prayers and hold on for dear life. I learned that there are many,

viewpoints Kudos to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry By Minna Buck, Miriam Elman and Mark Field Introduction by Ruth Stein One of the concerns that the Jewish Observer Oversight Committee often hears is that the paper only publishes one side of controversial issues, and other viewpoints are not heard. In response to that complaint, the JO is starting a new column, “Viewpoints.” It will include editorials from Israeli or other reputable American newspapers and other sources that show various perspectives. JO readers are invited to continue the discussion with letters to the editor. A representative sample of those responses will be printed. Please note that nothing inflammatory or anything contributing to the delegitimization of Israel will be printed. As American Jews, we applaud Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. There are many reasons to be skeptical of a breakthrough when Israelis and Palestinians

hold fundamentally opposing positions on every core issue. Nevertheless, Kerry, who has shuttled six times between Jerusalem and Ramallah, has managed to coax both sides back to the negotiating table after a five-year hiatus, an obvious first step to resolving the conflict. Remarkably, he convinced the Palestinian Authority to drop its pre-condition for a settlement freeze before talks began. Kerry also convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas to implement some confidence-building measures. Israel’s governing cabinet agreed to release 104 prisoners (many with blood on their hands) who have been held in Israeli jails for more than 20 years. Abbas agreed to work with U.S. General John R. Allen, whom Kerry has hired to help establish the West Bank security requirements that Israel will need in place before it hands over any territory. Although baby steps, these measures should See “Kerry” on page 6

many motorcycles, trailers and RVs on the road. The latter two can only plod along so it makes no sense to honk at them. I also learned that many states do not require bicyclists or motorcyclists to wear helmets; so if they want to crush their skulls in an accident, they have the right to do so. Bible radio stations rule in the Midwest – especially as you travel through the rural areas. NPR doesn’t broadcast everywhere and the music on an iPod gets old if you listen enough. The flat vistas of the Midwest – Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska and Indiana – show off the expanse of the countryside. We noticed that the farther east we drove to get home, the more we felt hemmed in. There is a freedom in being able to see as far as the horizon that perhaps we do not appreciate in Syracuse. We saw little Jewish influence in most of the small towns we visited, with one exception: Leadville, CO, a former silver mining town at 10,200 feet. Leadville had 30,000 people in the late 1800s, including 300 Jews, among whom was Benjamin Guggenheim, who built his famed fortune on silver. A Jewish cemetery was built in

of Central New York

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1880 and Reform Temple Israel had services from 1884-1908. Orthodox members split off from the congregation to form Kneseth Israel in 1892, but they soon disappeared. The last recorded Jewish event there was a wedding in 1912. In the ‘30s, the synagogue existed as a home and later, a radiator repair shop. In the mid-‘50s to mid-‘60s, it was a vicarage for the Episcopal Church. Fewer than 100 Jews live in Leadville now. Yet, the old synagogue was purchased by the Temple Israel Foundation in 1992 and has been restored as a museum to show its pioneer beginnings, and offers a window into what it was like to be a Jew in that part of the country when there were few, if any, Jews. I hope that 5774 brings you joy and health and an appreciation for what you have and where we live. I am thankful that I live in a country that allows for freedom of choice, religion and the right to travel without fear of external threats from political or religious conflict... and yes, although five weeks is a long time for two people to be cooped up in a small sedan, we are none the worse – and a lot better – for our adventure... and we’re still talking.

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.

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Celebrating “Community” at the 14th Annual Jewish Music and Cultural Festival By Vicki Feldman Local community members will gather for an afternoon of Jewish music, culture and food during the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival, which will be held on Sunday, September 29, from noon-6 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. The Jewish Music and Cultural Festival will be free to attend and open to the public. This year’s festival will recognize local synagogues and Jewish institutions that are considered “vital” to the community: Chabad Lubavitch of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Jewish War Veterans Post 131, Menorah Park, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Syracuse Jewish Family Service, Temple Concord and the JCC. Throughout the afternoon there will be Jewish and Klezmer music performed inside the JCC and outdoors on the law, including Zetz!, Farrah, West of Odessa and local groups Keyna Hora Klezmer Band and Jonathan Dinkin and Klezmercuse. There will also be the annual “largest horah in Central New York” at 3 pm, followed by the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, who will present Sephardic songs and legends sung in the Judeo-Spanish language, Ladino. Once again, a selection of Va’ad-supervised kosher foods will be served indoors and outside, with new options added to the traditional menu. There will be a kids’ tent as well, providing children with a variety of activities. There will be a GaGa pit,

as well as the Price Chopper hopper and the oversized marionettes from Open Hand Theatre. The Robert Rogers Puppet Theater will return to perform shows throughout the afternoon. Local rabbis will be “in residence” at the rabbis’ tent and will speak on a variety of topics. There will be representatives from local Jewish organizations in the community tent area, as well as artisans and other vendors. JMAC’s sponsors include Price Chopper, Jewish

Federation of Central New York, Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, M and T Bank, Tiffany’s Catering, EAGLE newspapers, Syracuse New Times, Sunny102, Natur-Tyme, Key Bank, Jewish Observer, Time Warner Cable, the Paul and Georgina H. Roth Charitable Foundation, Raymour and Flannigan Furniture, CNY Arts and Exhibits and More. For more information, visit http://syracusejewishfestival.com.

Fourth Sisterhood Symposium to focus on privacy and the Internet

The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth will generate interesting conversation. This Sholom-Chevra Shas and the Sam Pomeranz year’s topic will be “Friendship, Privacy and Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will Freedom: Social Media and Relationships on once again sponsor the Sisterhood Sympothe Internet.” sium. The fourth annual symposium will be Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone and Jasmine Mcheld on Wednesday, October 23, at 6:30 pm, Nealy will be the featured panelists. They will in the Anne and Hy Miller Family Auditorium discuss the privacy of information from Jewish at the JCC. and secular perspectives. McNealy is an assistant Each year, the symposium offers a new professor at the University of Kentucky and has subject that the organizers hope will be Jasmine McNealy written extensively on the subject of privacy. Pepthought-provoking to the participants and perstone is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. In addition to the talk, the program will feature dinner and a fashion walk. There will be a cost to attend and reservations can be made by calling Joan Bordett at the CBS-CS office at 446-9570. As the symposium always sells out, those interested in attending have been encouraged to make reservations early.

The Oaks By Patricia McGregor Anti-violence activist Mary Nelson at The Oaks The Oaks hosted guest speaker Mary Nelson, founder of the Mary Nelson Youth Center, on August 5. The center provides various opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the Syracuse area. It was founded in 2002 in an effort to end violence in the city. Residents at the Oaks donated funds and goods for the center’s back-to-school barbecue on August 17, when backpacks and school supplies were distributed. Memories of “The Jewish Community of the 15th Ward” arrive on Facebook The Oaks hosted Robin Meltzer on August 4 and 6 to discuss and promote “The Jewish Community of the 15th Ward” page on Facebook. The page was created to help people connect with their memories of Syracuse Jewish See “Oaks” on page 4



Deadlines for all articles and photos for the Jewish Observer are as follows. No exceptions will be made.

DEADLINE Seen with Mary Nelson (center, back) were Doug Millar, Judy Cramer, Hadassah Fendius, Ethyl Fullerbaum and Faye Tucker.

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu September 9-13 Monday – penne and meatballs – entertainment by Larry Brennan Tuesday – corned beef Wednesday – barbecue beef sandwich Thursday – baked stuffed fish Friday – herb-roasted chicken September 16-20 Monday – skirt steak – entertainment by Mikel Carter Tuesday – cheese lasagna Wednesday – chicken fricassee Thursday – closed in observance of Sukkot Friday – closed in observance of Sukkot The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining


Tuesday, September 3, early........September 19 Monday, September 16, early............ October 3 Wednesday, October 2...................... October 17 Wednesday, October 16.................... October 31

Program, catered by Tiffany’s Catering Company at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, offers kosher lunches served Monday-Friday at noon. On Mondays from June 3-September 16, dinner will be served at 5 pm, with entertainment beginning at 5:15 pm. Reservations are required by noon on the previous business day and there is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC and United Way of Central New York. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Leesa Paul at 445-2360, ext. 104, or lpaul@jccsyr.org.





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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

congregational notes Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas

At Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, September represents the start of several adult education classes: Hillel at Syracuse University Lunch and Learn, Hebrew I and II, and a class on the Shabbat morning service. Each year, Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone leads a lunch and learn at noon at SU Hillel. Starting on Monday, September 16, the class will focus on two books that come from a mussar (ethics) approach to life, which includes study, discussion, journaling and other techniques “to improve one’s inner qualities and relationship with one’s self, others and God.” The primary source to be used in the class, “Mesillat Yesharim: the Path of the Upright,” is a classical work of Jewish ethics and morality by Rabbi Moses Haim Luzzatto. The edition to be used includes Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s translation and a commentary by Rabbi Ira Stone, one of Pepperstone’s teachers. The other work to be read is “A Responsible Life” by Stone, a mix of theology and ethical practice intended for a contemporary audience. The book will be bought through the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Book Service. Each week, the group will discuss a portion of “Mesillat Yesharim” as a group. The class will be open to the community. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 446-9570 or office@cbscs.org. CBS-CS will again offer adult prayer book Hebrew classes, “where students can improve their skills and “have fun along the way.” Sarah Saulson and Ruth Stein will teach two levels of adult Hebrew beginning in September. Each class will meet for 12

sessions. New students will be responsible for ordering their own books. Saulson will teach Hebrew I on Mondays from September 16-December 16, from 7-8 pm. The class will start with the letters and sounds, and progress to simple siddur reading. Stein will teach Hebrew II on Tuesdays, September 17-December 17, from 7-8 pm. The class will help build vocabulary, Hebrew roots, reading proficiency and siddur comprehension. Organizers hope that anyone who began Hebrew with Stein earlier this year will continue. The class will be open to the community. For more information or for help deciding which CBS-CS class is more appropriate, contact Saulson at 449-9423 or sfsaulson@ twcny.rr.com, or Stein at 446-5429 or stein. ruth@gmail.com. There will be a fee for non-CBS-CS members and each class will require a minimum enrollment to run. Finally, Gershon Vincow will lead a workshop on the structure and meaning of the Shabbat morning service on Mondays, starting on September 30. The group will study and discuss its individual sections and prayers, their key words and themes, and how these flow through the service helping to create a meaningful spiritual experience. Although study of the prayers will be done mainly through English translations, the class will learn selected key words and themes in Hebrew. The workshop will meet at 7:30 pm on September 30, October 14 and 28, and November 11. The classes will be open to the community. For more information, contact the CBS-CS Office at 446-9570 or office@cbscs.org.

The Doors Are Open All Year Long! At Rosh Hashanah, you can join thousands of Central New Yorkers as they rediscover their spiritual connection to a home they already know...

The Synagogue

You’ll find a renewed sense of purpose... a place of prayer, song and intellectual stimulation... where people with a shared history come together in a common search for meaning. Whatever your beliefs, whatever your affiliation, however you define God, there’s a vibrant and caring congregation where you can belong. To identify the synagogue community that connects with you, call one of the numbers below:

Chabad House Chabad-Lubavitch • 424-0363 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Conservative • 446-9570 Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Orthodox • 446-6194 Temple Adath Yeshurun Conservative • 445-0002 Temple Concord Reform • 475-9952 This message is brought to you by the Jewish Federation of Central New York in support of our synagogues important pillars of our Jewish community.

OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, INC. 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214 Tel: 315-445-0161 • Fax: 315-445-1559 www.jewishfederationcny.org

Temple Adath Yeshurun MISHPACHA (family) Shabbat The first Mishpacha (Family) Shabbat of the new year will be held on Saturday, September 21, at 10:30 am. Mishpacha Shabbat is a monthly program with Shabbat morning services for each age group. Young children, from birth-kindergarten, and their parents may

participate in Tot Shabbat at 11 am. Children in first-fifth grades may participate in junior congregation at 10:30 am, and sixth-12th grade students will help lead services in the main sanctuary. For more information, contact Alicia Cafarchio Gross at alicia@adath.org or 445-0002.

Temple Adath Yeshurun Hazak held its annual installation dinner on August 13 at Casa di Copani. Posing for their first official picture were (standing, l-r) board members Marcia Mizruchi, Ruth Borsky and Cecile and Lynn Cohen. Sitting: Sam Siegel, president emeritus; Elaine Meltzer, vice president membership; JoAnn Grower, president; Joanne Greenhouse, vice president, programming; and Rita Shapiro, recording secretary. Not pictured: Sylvia Gilman, corresponding secretary.

Temple Concord Cinemagogue Temple Concord will begin its 2013-14 Cinemagogue series on Tuesday, September 10, at 7 pm, with “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea.” In the film, a friendship develops between a young Israeli girl and a young Palestinian man. Tal, a 17-year-old French Jewish immigrant to Israel, refuses to accept that there can only be hatred between Palestinians and Israelis, so she puts a letter about this in a bottle and has her brother throw it into the sea. Nam, a young Palestinian, answers Tal’s letter a few weeks later. The Cinemagogue series is free, but donations are always welcome. Youth Groups TYCon, the TC group for eighth-12th grade students, will meet on Sunday, September 8, from 12:30-2 pm, for an afternoon of laser tag at Big Don’s Wild River, 8408 Button Rd., Cicero. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Stephanie Marshall at dcl@templeconcord.org. The junior youth group for fifth-seventh grade students will visit Beak and Skiff in LaFayette to go apple picking on Sunday,

Oaks history. Old letters, addresses, photos, neighborhood stories and documents will help understand many family histories. As people like the Facebook page, information

September 15, from 12:30-2 pm. For more information or to make a reservation, contact JYG advisor Kathy Scott at 857-6620 or kscott1@twcny.rr.com. Religious School and preschool This year’s religious school theme is kehillah kedosha (holy community). Throughout the year, students will uncover different ideas of community as they work and play together, get to know one another, and explore the different ways they help and support one another. Sunday school for children in kindergarten-seventh grade will begin on September 8, and will be held from 9:30 am-noon. Hebrew for third-seventh grades will begin on Wednesday, September 11, and will be held from 4:30-6 pm. Gan, the monthly program for toddlers and preschool students, will hold its first session on Sunday, September 8, from 10:30 am-noon. The first session will be about Sukkot. For more information about the religious and Hebrew schools, contact Stephanie Marshall at 475-9952 or dcl@ templeconcord.org. Continued from page 3

will be collected with the hope of housing all of the information gathered in a local museum. To date, more than 400 users have liked the page.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■


Sukkot around the community Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will decorate its sukkah on Sunday, September 15, at noon. Dinner in the Sukkah There will be dinner in the hut on Wednesday, September 18, erev Sukkot, at 6 pm. Participants can enjoy dinner in the sukkah with family and friends, followed by Ma’ariv and study. Reservations may be made by contacting the CBS-CS office at 446-9570 or cbscs@yahoo.com. Open House at the Home of Rabbi Andrew and Cantor Paula Pepperstone Rabbi Andrew and Cantor Paula Pepperstone will host a dessert open house at their home on Saturday,

September 21, from 5-8 pm.

Temple Adath Yeshurun Pizza in the Hut Temple Adath Yeshurun will host its annual Pizza in the Hut celebration of Sukkot on Saturday, September 21. Pizza, salad and dessert will be served immediately after services.

Temple Concord Shabbaton in the Sukkah Temple Concord will hold a Shabbaton in the sukkah on Saturday, September 21, following Shabbat services at 11 am. Intended for the entire family, participants can celebrate


Shabbat together with prayer, playing together, a potluck lunch and learning. After lunch, there will be activities to learn about ushpizin, the guests welcomed into the sukkah. The Shabbaton will end at 2:30 pm. Reservations may be made by calling the TC office at 475-9952 or e-mailing Stephanie Marshall at dcl@templeconcord.org. Participants should bring a vegetarian dish to share. Seasoned Citizens in the Sukkah The Seasoned Citizens group will begin the year with lunch in the sukkah on Tuesday, September 24, at 12:30 pm. There will be a small fee for the event and reservations will be required. For more information, or to make a reservation, contact Janis Martin at jmmartin@twcny.rr.com.

Sukkot 2013 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (USCJ affiliated) – 18 Patsy La. off Jamesville Rd., DeWitt, 446-9570. Call Julie Tornberg for youth programs at 701-2685. Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse (Orthodox, affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America) – 4313 E. Genesee St., DeWitt, 446-6194. Temple Adath Yeshurun (USCJ affiliated) – 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, 445-0002. Tickets are not required for Sukkot and Simchat Torah services. Temple Concord (Reform, affiliated with Union for Reform Judaism) – 910 Madison St., Syracuse, 4759952.

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas EREV Sukkot – Wednesday, September 18 Dinner in the Hut at 6 pm – dinner in the sukkah with family and friends, followed by Ma’ariv and study Sukkot I – Thursday, September 19 Shacharit 9:30 am Sukkot II – Friday, September 20 Shacharit 9:30 am Saturday, September 21 Shacharit 9:30 am Sukkot Tot Shabbat Shemini Atzeret – Thursday, September 26 Shacharit 9:30 am, Yizkor is recited EREV Simchat Torah – Thursday, September 26 Ma’ariv 7 pm Simchat Torah – Friday, September 27 Shacharit 9:30 am

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse EREV TAVSHILLIN – Wednesday, September 18 Candle lighting 6:51 pm Mincha 6:50 pm Earliest time to eat in the sukkah 7:57 pm Sukkot I – Thursday, September 19 Chumash class 8:15 am Morning service 9 am Mincha 6:50 pm Candle lighting 7:57 pm Sukkot II – Friday, September 20 Chumash class 8:15 am Morning service 9 am Mincha 6:45 pm Candle lighting 7:57 pm HOSHANAH RABBAH – Wednesday, September 25 Morning service 6:15 am Erev Tavshillin Candle lighting 6:38 pm Mincha 6:40 pm

Shemini Atzeret – Thursday, September 26 Chumash class 8:15 am Morning service 9 am Yizkor 10:15 am EREV Simchat Torah – Thursday, September 26 Mincha 6:40 pm Candle lighting 7:36 pm Hakafot 7:40 pm Simchat Torah, Friday, September 27 Morning service 8:45 am Hakafot 9:45 am Mincha 6:35 pm Candle lighting 6:35 pm CHOL HAMOED Morning service – Sunday, September 22, at 8 am Monday and Tuesday, September 23 and 24, at 6:30 am

HOSHANAH RABBAH – Wednesday, September 25 Morning service 7:15 am Candle lighting 6:39 pm EREV Shemini Atzeret – Wednesday, September 25 Evening service 6:15 pm Shemini Atzeret – Thursday, September 26 Morning service 9:15 am Yizkor 10:30 am EREV Simchat Torah – Thursday, September 26 Evening service 6 pm Family celebration 6:45 pm Candle lighting 7:37 pm Simchat Torah – Friday, September 27 Morning service 9:15 am Evening service 6 pm

Temple Adath Yeshurun

Wednesday, September 18 Sukkot begins at sundown Sukkot – Thursday, September 19 Morning service 11 am Saturday, September 21 Shabbaton in the sukkah noon-2 pm Sunday, September 22 After school lunch in the sukkah noon-1:30 pm Tuesday, September 24 Seasoned Citizens lunch in the sukkah 12:30-2 pm Thursday, September 26 Shemini Atzeret Yizkor service 11am Simchat Torah Simchat Torah service and consecration of new religious school students 7-9 pm

EREV Sukkot – Wednesday, September 18 Evening service 6:30 pm Candle lighting 6:52 pm Sukkot I – Thursday, September 19 Morning service 9:15 am Evening service 6:30 pm Candle lighting 7:50 pm Sukkot II – Friday, September 20 Morning service 9:15 am Evening service 6:15 pm Candle lighting 6:48 pm Saturday, September 21 Morning service 9:15 am “Pizza in the Hut” following services

Temple Concord

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

Dallas teen’s bar mitzvah video sparks debate over culture of excess

By JTA Staff (JTA) – For some boys reaching the age of bar mitzvah, donning a prayer shawl and reading from the Torah is exciting enough. But Sam Horowitz knew he wanted more. The Dallas teen is the star of a bar mitzvah video that has gone viral in the past two weeks, earning Horowitz a guest appearance on “Good Morning America” and more than 760,000 views on YouTube (and counting), though the actual bar mitzvah happened last year. In the video, Horowitz is wearing a sparkly white suit as he descends from the ceiling inside a massive chandelier to a lavish ballroom at the Omni Hotel in Dallas for his bar mitzvah celebration. Horowitz first came up with the idea after seeing the Cheetah Girls in concert at age 7, according to his mother, Angela. “He said right then, ‘I wanna do that at my bar mitzvah,’” Angela told JTA. “And he held me to it.” The bedazzling entrance required no small amount of engineering. A stuntman descended in the chandelier with him – a requirement of the production company, according to Angela. The surrounding dancers, expressing their passionate bar mitzvah joy in flapper-style minidresses, were local talent, including cheerleaders for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. According to Angela, it is the first of many times that Sam expects to see his name in lights. “Sam wants to be famous in the entertainment industry,” she said. “He loves to sing and dance. He’s a really passionate kid.” Sam already has an agent and has appeared in several commercials, as well as on the “Barney and Friends” TV show. And now he can add “Good Morning America” to his list of credits. The round-faced teen strut his stuff on Broadway for the program’s cameras. “It’s like a dream,” Sam told anchor Josh Elliott. Not everyone is so starry-eyed, though. Rabbi David Wolpe of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles named Horowitz as Exhibit

Sam Horowitz danced at his bar mitzvah party in Dallas, TX, in November 2012. (Photo from YouTube) A in his brief against over-the-top bar mitzvahs that rob the rite of passage of its spiritual significance. Writing on the website of The Washington Post, Wolpe described an “egregious, licentious and thoroughly awful video that... slaughters the spirit. “To turn a ceremony of spiritual maturation into a Vegas showgirl parade teaches a child sexualization of spirit,” Wolpe wrote. “Apparently nothing in our society militates against the narcissistic display of short skirted dancers ushering an adolescent into unearned stardom. If it is fetching, it is worthy.” Debra Nussbaum Cohen also chimed in over at the Forward. “Now the kid is, admittedly, adorable. No question about that,” she wrote. “But a bar or bat mitzvah celebration of this obvious expense and over-the-topness certainly proves the adage that money doesn’t buy taste. And it certainly doesn’t demonstrate good sense.” Horowitz, though, was not without his defenders. Also writing in the Forward, Eliyahu Federman conceded that the celebration might not be all that the rabbinic sages had in mind, but it was better than nothing. “We should be commending this young man for celebrating his religious right-of-passage, not condemning,” Federman wrote.

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Syria in response to the Syria threat. The Patriots were used during the 1991 Gulf War to protect civilians from Iraqi Scud missiles. During the August 28 meeting, Israel’s security Cabinet approved a limited call-up of reservist soldiers from civil defense units, as well as air and rocket defense units, an unnamed official told the Times of Israel. A formal announcement was expected soon. Meanwhile, as the demand for gas masks soared in Israel, the Knesset’s homefront preparedness subcommittee met on August 28 to discuss the impact that a military strike on Syria would have on the country. Israeli media reported that thousands of Israelis attempting to pick up gas masks at post offices and Israel Defense Forces’Home Front Command distribution centers on August 28 went home empty-handed. Some 60 percent of Israelis have been equipped with gas masks; reports said there were not enough gas masks available to provide for every Israeli.


not be knocked; they are designed to build the confidence and trust necessary for tackling more difficult issues. Kerry has also created new incentives for peace. In securing a $4 billion pledge from the World Economic Forum for Palestinian economic development, which will be distributed as the peace talks progress, and throwing his support behind ongoing IsraeliPalestinian business initiatives, Kerry has provided a powerful demonstration of the economic benefits of a peaceful resolution to the conflict. This comes at a time of growing power of an international movement that seeks to isolate, scapegoat and demonize Israel. Note, for example, proposed European Union guidelines restricting EU members from (among other things) funding research conducted in the West Bank. In a clever diplomatic move, Kerry also managed to secure an important peace dividend for Israel: the promise of normalized relations with the larger Arab world. Just before negotiations about resuming talks got under way, Arab foreign ministers convened at Kerry’s request to reaffirm the 2002 Saudi peace initiative (which promises Israel an end to the state of war with the Arab world in return for relinquishing the occupied territories) and to express some greater flexibility on the border issues. While Kerry’s involvement has been indispensable to jumpstarting this latest round of peace talks and a reminder that sustained U.S. engagement is essential, we are not so naïve as to think that the negotiations will be easy. We are aware that peace will require tough, and even gut-wrenching, compromises on difficult issues such as borders, Jerusalem and refugees, and that many Israelis and Palestinians may not approve of these concessions. We recognize that the negotiators will face political opponents who reject the peace process and will use every opportunity to derail the talks and any interim agreements that are reached. We are under no illusions

“Many Jews don’t even celebrate their bar mitzvah. It is better to have a bar mitzvah, even with an over-the-top ostentatious celebration, then no bar mitzvah at all.” Whatever your perspective, Horowitz has shown that he hasn’t totally given over his bar mitzvah to celebrations of excess. Horowitz asked guests at the celebration to make a contribution to the Ben Yakir Youth Village in lieu of gifts, and is requesting that those who watch the performance online do the same, the Forward reported. Thus far, $36,000 has been donated to the Israeli youth village, which is home to 120 boys aged 12-18, mostly Ethiopian immigrants.

Continued from page 1

An unnamed Syrian army official was quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency quoted as saying, “If Damascus comes under attack, Tel Aviv will be targeted, too, and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a license for attacking Israel. Rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors.” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that the Israeli army would respond to Syria-related attacks on Israel. “We are aware of the developments unfolding before our eyes in the Middle East, and we hear the threats against Israel, despite it not being involved in the bloody conflict in Syria, or in other conflicts in the region,” Yaalon said at a ceremony for fallen soldiers on August 27. “We are reacting responsibly and sensibly to these threats, but are also loud and clear when we say that whoever wants to test us, will be confronted with the IDF’s might.”

Continued from page 2

that the Israeli and Palestinian people can miraculously forge a culture of peace, or quickly repair a relationship that has, for decades, been defined by mutual animosity and fear. And we acknowledge that a volatile and dangerous regional situation will make it tempting to postpone the negotiations for a more auspicious time. Despite these difficulties, however, we believe that Israel and the Palestinians cannot afford to squander the chance to negotiate a peace based on the principle of “two states for two peoples,” the stated position of the U.S., Israel and the P.A. The window of opportunity for such a two-state solution to the conflict is closing fast. There are already as many Arabs as there are Jews living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This demographic reality means that if Israel is to remain a Jewish democracy, taking its rightful place among the community of nation-states as envisioned by its Zionist founders, then there is no alternative other than to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians. In the months ahead, we hope that Kerry will remain engaged on the issue of peace in the Middle East. We hope that his expert statesmanship, and innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, will help the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators overcome the many obstacles that lie ahead. We urge our fellow American Jews to give their full support to this effort. Minna Buck and Mark Field are members of the Jewish Federation board. Miriam Fendius Elman is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is faculty research director of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration and director of the Project on Democracy in the Middle East in the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at SU. Ruth Stein is the communications vice president of the Jewish Federation of Central New York.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■


under the radar


Fleeing the chuppah, some freebies and a lucky soldier

See “Radar” on page 11

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have no intention of changing or cancelling the special arrangement.” Soldier hits the jackpot A soldier who said he was feeling lucky before buying a ticket in the national lottery was on the money. Now he’s in the money. The active-duty soldier from the South won more than $7 million, buying the ticket five days before the lottery drawing while returning to his base after a weekend leave. He and his father picked up the giant check earlier this month, wearing masks on their faces when posing for pictures. The soldier says he will use the interest from his winnings to put himself through college and to rent an apartment – everything he needs, he said, for a “nice life.” He also promised to take care of his parents and three brothers. Elephantine dilemma A 200-pound newborn Asian elephant in Israel is being nursed by her pregnant, 25-year-old grandmother, not her 7-yearold mother, concerning zookeepers who’d rather have mom do the honors. The elephant, still unnamed, was born in August to La Belle at the Safari Park in Ramat Gan. Her grandmother is named La Petite, as she’s on the diminutive side for Asian elephants. She’s also due soon. Safari Park officials are hoping the moms and babies will sort things out. Just wait until the babes are teenagers! Elephants, by the way, have a life expectancy of 60 or 70 years. Tel Aviv’s tallest tower Israel’s tallest building is going up in central Tel Aviv. The municipality’s building commission approved the Keren Hakirya complex, which will include an 80-floor skyscraper. Keren Hakirya will be located in the northeast corner of the Kirya, the Israel Defense Forces’ headquarters, and will be comprised of five buildings. Joining the skyscraper are two triangular-shaped office buildings and two residential high-rises. The office buildings have been nicknamed the “Toblerone Towers” by planners, the Israeli business daily Globes reported, since they are shaped like the Swiss chocolate. The plan calls for up to 770 apartments. Hi Mr. Prime Minister A girl who brought in her mobile phone for repairs received a replacement phone with some VIPs on her contacts list: the Prime Minister’s Bureau, former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet, and Palestinian officials. The phone also included text conversations with senior defense officials and Knesset ministers, Maariv reported. While the girl was amused to be privy to the phone numbers of the country’s movers and shakers, her parents returned the phone to the repair company and asked to have the contacts erased.

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JERUSALEM (JTA) – Here are some stories out of Israel that you may have missed: A case of cold feet A young haredi Orthodox bridegroom fled a Bnei Brak banquet hall just before the start of his wedding ceremony. The bridegroom was concerned that he was incompatible with his future bride and had voiced concern about his belief before the wedding, Ynet reported, citing reports of the canceled wedding on social networks in recent days. Relatives and a rabbi tried to talk the edgy groom into going through with the wedding, and some guests kept dancing with him to keep him in the hall, according to the report. Meanwhile, the bride sat in a room with her friends reciting Psalms, hoping the groom would change his mind. He didn’t: The guests were sent home and told the wedding would take place at a different time. Free water in Tel Aviv While there may be no such thing as a free lunch, there is free water to be had in Tel Aviv, at least for awhile. The start-up company Woosh is offering free stations throughout the city that will chill and filter tap water before refilling bottles. Consumers must register with Woosh, which says it wants to save water and bottles, using a credit card. Some Tel Aviv residents are concerned about the motives, according to the Times of Israel, saying the company is tracking usage and eventually will charge for the service. Woosh now has dispensers in Tel Aviv, with plans to expand to 200. Company head Itay Tayas-Zamir intends to spread to other Israeli cities. Each city would decide whether to charge for the water, the Times of Israel reported. Some 3,000 liters of water was distributed to more than 1,000 customers in just one week, the company reported. Free ride for Sabbath observers Deadbeat Egged passengers, keep the change: The bus company won’t make you pay for your post-Sabbath ride. Egged said it would continue to allow the free rides for Sabbath-observant passengers from the Western Wall, even though a recent study showed that most of them don’t pay up the next day as they are required, Ynet reported. The bus company has provided the service for 10 years, since observant Jews do not carry money on the Sabbath and would have to walk great distances to return home. Rumors had circulated that Egged would cancel the service because it was being stiffed too often for the fare. But in the statement, Egged said, “Despite the drop in the number of passengers paying for the Saturday evening ride later on and upholding the agreement, at this stage we

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A newborn Asian elephant stood near its mother and grandmother at the Ramat Gan Safari on August 2. (Photo by Tibor Jager/Ramat Gan Safari/FLASH90/JTA)

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

A match made in...

At JDate singles’ weekend, it’s about fun and pirates – not (necessarily) meeting someone By Josh Lipowsky KENT, CT (JTA) – Summer camp was not among the highlights of my youth. Maybe it was my allergies or camp’s rampant cliquiness, but the experience just never seemed to live up to the hype. It was mainly an awkward rite of passage that I just had to get through, much like high school but with more bugs. Jewish singles weekends often are no better. They’re usually filled with awkward icebreakers, overly zealous matchmakers and people way out of my age range who believe 20s-30s is really just a suggestion. So when JDate billed its J-Weekend at Connecticut’s Club Getaway as “summer camp for adults,” I was doubly unenthusiastic. Despite the misgivings, I packed my bags for a weekend of adventure and possible romance, and hopefully not too much schmaltz. “We strive to build and strengthen the Jewish community, and offline events like the J-Weekends are a great way to

JTA’s Josh Lipowsky, right, was among the Jewish singles who enjoyed a pirate-themed dinner and party at the Club Getaway in Kent, CT, on August 10. (Photo courtesy of Club Getaway)

complement the online dating experience,” said Arielle Schechtman, director of public and community relations for Spark Networks, JDate’s parent company. Internet dating has exploded in popularity since JDate premiered more than 15 years ago, the first in what is now a crowded field of Jewish dating websites. Since 2008, the site has partnered with Club Getaway, which has been running J-Weekends for about two decades. The weekend began on August 9 when some 100 singles piled into a party bus for the two-hour trek from New York to northwest Connecticut. Staff onboard got the fun started early, generously doling out wine and snacks. Given that no singles weekend is complete without the uncomfortable get-acquainted sessions known as icebreakers, one staffer had the singles switch seats based on common interests. And so it was that Ahna Blutreich and I spent the ride discussing our culinary hobbies. See “JDate” on page 13

The Lifecyclist

Summer lovin’ ends in wedding at camp by DEBRA RUBIN (JTA) – Plenty of Jewish weddings have been held at Camp Szarvas in rural Hungary over the years – Spanish, Moroccan, Chasidic. Rabbi Tamas Vero participated in a few of them. But they were all mock weddings, part of the camp’s educational programs. Barbi Paszternak-Szendy and Andras Paszternak’s June simcha marked the first time a real-life wedding was held at the camp run by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Vero, rabbi of the Leo Frankel Street Synagogue in Budapest, officiated. The couple first met at Szarvas, which draws campers from 25 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Andras,

Barbi Paszternak-Szendy and Andras Paszternak with the Camp Szarvas sign. (Photo by Marton Karsai)

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a Slovakian native and postdoctoral fellow at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, spent his first summer at Szarvas as a 10-year-old. Barbi, a youth-program coordinator at Balint Jewish Community Center in Budapest, started coming when she was 14. In 2001, Andras came aboard as a counselor; Barbi, who now leads the Hungarian unit during the summer, was his supervisor. Although he initially “feared” her, the two gradually became close friends. Romantic love struck last summer – their 10th anniversary working together as unit heads – and the couple became engaged in January. “Many of us knew that Barbi and Paszternak must become a family one day – much earlier than they did,” says Vero, who also is a former camper and counselor. “They formed a big, loving family for many hundred kids year by year. It was so obvious that they should form their own one, too.” When camp director Alexander “Sasha” Friedman heard the couple was planning to marry, he told them, half-jokingly, that he could offer them a date – June 16 – “and make them the best wedding ever.” Many other couples who had met at the camp have floated the idea of having a wedding at Szarvas. Andras and Barbi, however, were the first to follow through. Last summer, Andras actually helped hold the chuppah at one of the mock educational ceremonies. But he says he had no idea that in less than a year his own wedding would be held at Szarvas. Once he was engaged, it “was my dream” to have the wedding at camp, although his wife initially thought it was a joke. She soon came around. “We love the camp,” she says. “It is part of our life.” The ceremony was held outdoors, in the area known as Mifkad Square. The food at the reception was based on the traditional Friday night Szarvas dinner. Staffers, some of them also former campers, were excited to help prepare for the wedding. “From the lifeguard until the technician,” Friedman says, “all of us felt a little bit as if it would be our wedding and we have to make it a wow event.” They succeeded. “We couldn’t find a better place for the wedding,” Barbi says. If you know of a lifecycle event that would make a great story, e-mail lifecyclist@jta.org.

Andras Paszternak and Barbi Paszternak-Szendy under the chuppah at their wedding in Camp Szarvas, Hungary, in June. (Photo by Marton Karsai)

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■



For the New Year, children’s books opening new worlds By Penny Schwartz BOSTON (JTA) – Shofars, apples and honey, make room for pomegranates, couscous and pumpkins. The new crop of children’s books for the High Holidays opens a world beyond the beloved traditional symbols of the New Year (Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Wednesday, A family moving into a September 4). From ancient new neighborhood shares times to today, the savory, a Rosh Hashanah meal engaging reads presented with some new friends in here will take families from “What a Way to Start a New the kitchen to the bedroom to Year!” (Photo courtesy of the sukkah. Kar-Ben Publishing) “Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook” Tales Retold by Jane Yolen; recipes by Heidi E.Y. Stemple; illustrated by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin (Crocodile Books/Interlink, $25; ages 5 and older) Master storyteller Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, a cook and children’s writer, serve up a collection of richly detailed retellings of Jewish folk tales from around the world paired with kid-friendly recipes for Jewish foods. Yolen presents a range of tales, from the At right: An illustration from “Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cook-book,” which offers recipes along with its collection of Jewish folk tales. (Photo courtesy of Interlink Publishing Group)

Norwich Jewish Center

entertaining and humorous to lesser-known sophisticated tales for older readers that pose life’s challenges. Stemple offers up tempting recipes adapted for today’s families, from the traditional, familiar Eastern European fare to some lesser-known African and Sephardic cuisine. The brightly colored collages and recipe illustrations by Sima “Tikkun Olam Ted” is Elizabeth Shefrin make the engaging for younger book a pleasure to browse children and could be inspiring for older kids. for all ages. Among the 18 stories and (Photo courtesy of Karrecipes are two Rosh Ha- Ben Publishing) shanah entries. “Two Jars of Honey” is set in the days of King Solomon, where a wise beyond his years Solomon resolves a feud between neighbors. All ends well on a note of compassion and forgiveness. A recipe for honey cake, a traditional sweet eaten during the High Holidays, includes a surprising ingredient – a can of cola. In “The Pomegranate Seed,” a tale that originated in Morocco, a poor man caught stealing uses his wit and a moral challenge to save himself. An appealing recipe for pomegranate couscous is packed with flavor, texture and color from pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, cinnamon, cilantro and fresh mint. An added note explains that pomegranates are associated with Rosh Hashanah because the red, globe-shaped fruit is said to have 613 seeds that correspond with the Torah’s 613 mitzvot, or commandments. It would have been easy to fill a cookbook with Jewish tales about challah and chicken, common Jewish foods, Yolen tells JTA, adding that it took plenty of research to find stories that matched the book’s breadth of recipes. “When I found the honey cake story, I was thrilled,” Yolen recalls. Budding storytellers, folklorists and teachers will appreciate Yolen’s outstanding end notes that credit other storytellers for their earlier versions and provide the origins and cultural history of the stories. In the introduction, Yolen and Stemple write that storytelling and cooking change over time and location. “Be playful,” they encourage, and “let’s eat!”

“What a Way to Start a New Year! A Rosh Hashanah story” by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Judy Stead (Kar-Ben; $16.95 hardcover, $7.95 paperback; ages 3-8) Award-winning author Jacqueline Jules’ “What a Way to Start a New Year!” is One of the five stories a lighthearted and authentic in “Sam and Charlie story for Rosh Hashanah (and Sam Too!)” offers a that reflects the diversity of learning experience about today’s Jewish families and the meaning of Yom Kippur, the hustle and bustle of daily the holiday of forgiveness. life. In the opening pages, a (Photo courtesy of Albert perky young girl is eating a Whitman and Company) slice of pizza in her family’s new home, which is filled with unpacked boxes. Her family, including two younger brothers, has just moved to a new town. While her dad isn’t Jewish, he loves celebrating the High Holidays. But how will they observe the New Year, our storyteller wonders with some concern. When they venture back to their old neighborhood to share a traditional Rosh Hashanah meal with their friends, one plan after another goes awry. “What a way to start a new year!” they each sigh after mishap follows zany mishap. Things begin to look up when one of dad’s co-workers invites them to synagogue services. While the prayers and songs are familiar, the kids still feel out of place because they don’t recognize anyone. Finally, they are welcomed to share Rosh Hashanah dinner with new friends. “What a wonderful way to start a new year!” the young girl exclaims. Judy Stead’s brightly colored, cartoon-like illustrations are a lively accompaniment to the story. An author’s note reminds parents that while starting in a new home or school can be difficult, it’s made easier by generous hosts. She explains the mitzvah of “hachnasat orchim,” “welcoming guests.”

Rosh Hashanah Greetings from

wishes the

community a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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See “Books” on page 10


JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

What children can teach us at Rosh Hashanah

By Dasee Berkowitz NEW YORK (JTA) – A deep spiritual life is hard to find. While opportunities abound for spiritual connections (yoga, meditation, retreats and the like), for most of us it doesn’t come easy. The noise, unfinished to-do lists and the distractions of everyday life interfere with quieting our minds, letting go of our egos for a moment and connecting to something far greater than ourselves. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we notice just how difficult it is to connect spiritually. As we log in hours of prayer at our neighborhood synagogues, with unfamiliar liturgy and an unfamiliar language, we can easily let the longing for spiritual growth morph into a longing for the service to be over. But for some, the spiritual life that we crave comes naturally. This is especially true for children. Yes, they may be running through the synagogue’s aisles and “whispering” too loudly, but this time of year they can become our best teachers. We just need to slow down enough to listen to them. Cultivating a relationship with God comes easy for children. As an adult, a relationship with God has never been central to my Jewish identity. It might sound strange because I live an observant life and prayer is important to me. The weekly holiday cycle punctuates my family’s calendar and Jewish ethics frame much of my behavior. Still, I seldom credit my observance to God. Judaism is important to me because it adds meaning to my life. And if I start speaking about God, I start to feel selfconscious, too “religious” and slightly fundamentalist. Then I notice how easily my kids speak about God. At 3, my son periodically gave a high five to God and explained to others what a blessing was. “A bracha,” he would say, “is like a group hug.” With his simple young mind, he experienced both a level of intimacy with God and recognized that connecting to God helps one develop a sense

of intimacy with others. The rabbis call Rosh Hashanah “Coronation Day.” In the rabbinic mind, the metaphor of crowning God as Ruler and giving God the right to judge our actions was a powerful way to galvanize Jews to do the hard work of repentance, or teshuvah. While the image of a King sitting in judgment might motivate some, the rabbis also knew that God is indescribable. Throughout the liturgy, they struggled to find other images that might penetrate the hearts of those who pray. The famous medieval piyut (liturgical poem) “Ki Anu Amekha” portrays God as a parent, a shepherd, a creator and lover. The images continued to proliferate in modern times. The theologian Mordechai Kaplan spoke of God as the power that makes for good in the world. And the contemporary poet Ruth Brin speaks about God as “the source of love springing up in us.” The liturgy on Rosh Hashanah challenges us to confront the meaning of God in our lives and then develop a level of intimacy with the Ineffablse. While I am still not sure what God is, I am coming to appreciate the view that God is what inspires us to live our lives in service to others. Children have a natural ability to be awestruck. There is so little that they have experienced in life that it must be easy for them to experience wonder. We watch their delight as they find out how a salad spinner works, or when they find a worm squirming in the dirt, or when they observe how flowers change colors as they enter full bloom. These are not simply the sweet moments of childhood. These are ways of being that have deep theological resonance. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel recalls in “Who is Man” (1965), “Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us... to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of



Perhaps Yael Berkowitz-Morris, shofar at the ready, can teach her mom, JTA contributing writer Dasee Berkowitz, a few things at the High Holidays. (Photo by Dasee Berkowitz) the passing the stillness of the eternal.” Would that we could develop that sense of awe by first simply noticing our surroundings instead of being preoccupied with what comes next. We can make space this Rosh Hashanah to begin a journey toward wonder, whether you notice the cantor’s voice as she reaches a certain note, or hear the crackle of a candy wrapper, or connect to the sound of your own breathing during the standing silent Amidah prayer. Take a walk sometime during the High Holidays and notice the leaves on the trees, the sunlight refracting from a window, the taste of holiday food at a meal or the voice of a loved one. Notice the small things and consider for that moment that they have ultimate significance. Consider the concept that Rosh Hashanah marks the birth of the world. Act as if nothing

Books “A Watermelon in the Sukkah” by Sylvia A. Rouss and Shannan Rouss, illustrated by Ann Iosa (Kar-Ben; $17.95 hardcover, $7.95 paper; ages 3-8) Decorating a Jewish school’s sukkah becomes inventive when a young boy, Michael, wants to hang his favorite fruit, a watermelon, from the roof. All the kids’ usual ideas – think duct tape and string – fall flat. Michael’s creative thinking and teamwork save the day. A brief author’s note explains the holiday. Iosa’s fall-toned illustrations of gold, green and purple convey the children’s excitement and disappointment with lively action that will entertain young kids. “Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!)” by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Stefano Tambellini (Albert Whitman, $13.99, also available on Kindle; ages 6-8) A delightful chapter book that was published earlier this year, “Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!)” is a story of friendship of young new neighbors. The book is divided into five stories that tell of the daily ups and downs among two Jewish friends and a younger sib-

existed before this moment. Slow down, focus in, be silent and you may experience awe. Children forgive easily, grown-ups not so much. The central work of the period of the High Holidays is teshuvah, or return. We return to our better selves and make amends with those whom we have hurt in some way. Every year, I recognize how uncomfortable I am to ask for forgiveness from family members, peers and colleagues. “So much time has passed” or “I’m sure they forgot about that incident” are common rationalizations I offer. What takes an adult days, weeks or even years to let go of resentment takes children a matter of minutes before they are back to laughing with those with whom they once were angry. While it might be difficult to coax an “I’m sorry” from a child’s lips, they rebound quickly. It is a lesson for us. Children offer their love freely. I am overwhelmed daily with the unbridled love that my 2½-year-old daughter unleashes toward me as she jumps into my arms, hair flying, at the end of each day. For many adults, the doors of possibility seem to close more and more with every passing year. In contrast, the ecstatic joy and free spirit that children naturally exude is a lesson in being open to the fullness of what life can offer. This Rosh Hashanah, let the children be our teachers. As we do teshuvah, let’s return to a simpler time and the more childlike parts of ourselves – when a relationship with God was intimate, when awe came easy, when we didn’t harbor resentments and when the door was open wide to forgive and to love. Dasee Berkowitz is a contributing writer to JTA.

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ling. The format and Kimmelman’s light and endearing touch evokes the classic “George and Martha” series by James Marshall, or the beloved “Frog and Toad” series by Arnold Lobel. The last of the set, titled “I’m Sorry Day,” will have the kids giggling along with Sam and Charlie even as it opens up an easy conversation to the tough subject of apologies and forgiveness. Children of all faiths and backgrounds will have fun with these memorable stories and learn about the meaning of Yom Kippur, the holiday of forgiveness. “Tikkun Olam Ted” by Vivian Newman, illustrated by Steve Mack (Kar-Ben; $5.95 board book, also available as eBook; ages 1-4) From Sunday to Friday, a young, small boy named Ted spends his days doing some big things to make the world a kinder, better place. On Shabbat he rests, dreaming of tikkun olam, the repair of the world. “Tikkun Olam Ted” is a lively toddler book with colorful illustrations that will engage younger kids. Older ones may be inspired by simple, fun ways to help around the house or out in the world.

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Observing Yom Kippur in the shadow of death By Rafael Medoff JNS.org Holocaust memoirs and eyewitness testimony record how Jews living under Nazi rule repeatedly took extraordinary risks to mark Yom Kippur in some way. Despite the grave dangers involved, and even though Jewish law permits eating or performing labor on the Day of Atonement in order to save one’s life, many Jews endured unimaginable suffering in order to commemorate the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. In his diary, Rabbi Shimon Huberband described his experiences in the Polish town of Piotrkow in the aftermath of the September 1939 German invasion. The occupation authorities imposed an astronomical fine on the local Jewish community, with Yom Kippur as the deadline. To demonstrate the punishment to be expected if the money was not paid, the Nazis seized a number of local Jews at random on the eve of Yom Kippur and took them to Gestapo headquarters, where they were “beaten, attacked by dogs, forced to crawl on their stomachs… forced to clean toilets with their bare hands… [and] ordered to collect shattered pieces of glass with their mouths.” Rabbi Huberband’s diary (published in English under the title “Kiddush Hashem,” edited by Professors Jeffrey Gurock and Robert Hirt) noted that the local Judenrat, the German-appointed Jewish ruling council, “dispatched notices saying that everyone should contribute his designated amount toward the tribute by tomorrow, the last day.” At the same time, because all public observances of Yom Kippur had been outlawed, a debate broke out as to whether or not Jewish shopkeepers should open their stores, lest they be accused by the Germans of closing them in honor of the holiday. Huberband records the remarkable “honor system” scheme the Jewish shopkeepers devised to avoid doing business on the Day of Atonement while eluding the Nazis’ ire: “Jews’ shops were open. The ‘salesmen’ were all women. Actually, the women didn’t sell anything; people took merchandise, but without paying for it. The women didn’t take any money, but they did on the other hand give away money. They took their tribute payments over to the [Judenrat] office, Yom Kippur being the last day, the deadline for the tribute.” Prof. Yaffa Eliach’s book “Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust” recounts the horrors endured by a Hungarian Jewish slave-labor battalion attached to a retreating German army unit in 1944. The prisoners were routinely beaten, starved and used as human mine detectors. On the eve of Yom Kippur, the German commanding officer, aware of the approaching Jewish holy day, warned them that anyone who fasted “will be executed by a firing squad.” On Yom Kippur, it rained heavily along the Polish-Slo-


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Be nice – and have some candy The company that runs the Jerusalem light rail is trying to teach Israeli commuters not to push and shove their way on and off the trains. CityPass has hired young ushers wearing distinctive red shirts to hand out candy along with a flier that reminds commuters to wait for riders to exit the train before they try to get on. “First people get off, then you get on,” the fliers read. Many commuters take the candy and the flier – then push their way on to the trains, The Media Line reported. They ignore the yellow arrows painted on the road that show people where to wait while other commuters are disembarking. Lovin’ those smartphones Whether accessing social networks, reaching the next level of Angry Birds or using maps to get around, Israelis are using their smartphones more than any other country in the world, a recent survey found. The global poll by Google and Ipsos MediaCT also found that more Israelis, at 57 percent, own smartphones than every country, but Britain. The Israeli figure rose from 35 percent last year. The figures are all the more impressive considering that smartphones only entered the Israeli market in 2009, two years later than their global launch. Some 87 percent of Israelis use their smartphones at home, 77 percent at work, 72 percent during a walk and 54 percent while at a café. And half of Israelis are using them at social gatherings, up from 16 percent the previous year. Tiger in need of needling An Israeli zoo is trying to help cure a tiger’s chronic ear infection by using acupuncture. Pedang, a 14-year-old cat at the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan, has undergone several treatments of the traditional Chinese method after antibiotics did not cure the yearlong ailment. The tiger is sedated during the treatments, which are meant to strengthen his immune system.

The main gate of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, which was among the places where Yom Kippur was observed in the shadow of death by Jews during the Holocaust. (Photo by Angelo Celedon via Wikimedia Commons) vakian border region where they were working and the area was covered in deep mud. When the Germans distributed their meager food rations, the Jewish prisoners pretended to consume them, but instead “spilled the coffee into the running muddy gullies and tucked the stale bread into their soaked jackets.” Those who had memorized portions of the Yom Kippur prayer service recited them by heart until finally, as night fell, their work ended and they prepared to break the fast. Just then they were confronted by the German commander, who informed them he was aware that they had fasted and instead of simply executing them, they would have to climb a nearby mountain and slide down it on their stomachs. “Tired, soaked, starved and emaciated,” the Jews did as they were told – 10 times “climbing and


sliding from an unknown Polish mountain which on that soggy Yom Kippur night became a symbol of Jewish courage and human dignity.” Eventually, the Germans tired of this sport and the defiant Jewish prisoners were permitted to break their fast and live – at least for another day. Isaiah Trunk’s classic “Jewish Responses to Nazi Persecution” cites a remarkable anecdote from an Auschwitz survivor about Yom Kippur in the women’s block there in 1944. Minutes before sundown, the Jewish barracks leader, or blokowa, suddenly “put a white tablecloth over the barrack oven, lit some candles and told all the Jewish women to walk up and pray… The barrack was filled with an unbearable wailing. The women again saw their annihilated homes.” It happened that “Froh Rohtshtat, the famous violinist from Lodz, was also kept in our barracks,” and the barracks leader “brought in a fiddle and asked Froh Rohtshtat to play Kol Nidre. She refused, saying she couldn’t play because her heart was bursting. The blokowa threatened to beat her… if she didn’t play. When Froh Rohtshtat began playing, the Jewish blokowa suddenly lost control and started pushing us away and clubbing the Jewish women, yelling, ‘Enough! You’ve had enough pleasure!’” “What was the reason for the Jewish blokowa’s sudden change of mind?” Trunk wondered. “One can only guess that, fearing the inmates would see how she was overcome with emotion by the solemn tones of Kol Nidre, she would thus be seen in a state of weakness and would consequently lose the firm grip she had on them.” To maintain her position as a barracks head, the blokowa needed to forsake all Jewish connections and feeling – and for a few fleeting moments, the emotional power of Yom Kippur had threatened to touch even her iron heart.   Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. His latest book is “FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith.”

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Education in Isr ael University of Haifa, Ruderman Family Foundation launch pioneering “American Jewish Studies” program By Jeffrey F. Barken and Jacob Kamaras JNS.org HAIFA – Jay Ruderman has observed for years that when American Jewish leaders visit Israel or when Israeli leaders visit the United States, the conversation is “always about Israel” and how the Jewish state relates to Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, and others. “What’s happening in the American Jewish community?” and how those events impact future support for Israel never seem to enter the conversation, according to Ruderman, who worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in both New England and Jerusalem, and is now president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. The Ruderman Foundation, which prioritizes Israel-diaspora relations, has already tackled this issue by sponsoring U.S. trips for two delegations of Israeli members of Knesset and by launching a caucus designed to improve Knesset members’ understanding of the American Jewish community. Now, the foundation is further addressing knowledge gaps in the next generation of Israeli leaders through its funding of the new Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa.

The formation of the program, which will be the first of its kind in Israel, was revealed exclusively to JNS.org. “Israeli universities have all sorts of programs studying Asia, Africa and the Arab world, but no one is studying the American Jewish community, which is probably the most important community affecting the future of Israel,” Jay Ruderman says. “The idea is that over the course of time you have a cadre of Israelis who’ve gotten a master’s in the American Jewish community, and that they will help Israel shape this relationship.” Headquartered in Israel and Boston – which has a sister-city partnership with Haifa – the Ruderman Foundation made an initial $1 million contribution to the new program, an amount that was matched by the University of Haifa. Starting this fall, a class of 21 graduate students will embark on the one-year, seven-course program, which will survey Jewish-American immigration history, modern foreign policy and governmental structures, as well as gender issues and the religious makeup of U.S. Jewish communities. “The key to understanding American Jewry is first to understand American society,” Prof. Gur Alroey, chairman of the School of History

at the University of Haifa and director of the new program, tells JNS.org. A highlight of the curriculum will be a 10-day trip to the U.S. Students will attend lectures, tour Ellis Island in New York City and explore the Tenement Museum in lower Manhattan. The group also will visit Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History, which houses a comprehensive exhibit detailing Jewish immigration to America from colonial times through the present. “The trip will be the equivalent of Birthright for Israelis, only the experience will be academic rather than primarily cultural,” Alroey says. Ronit Tirosh, a former Knesset member for the Kadima party and the first chairman of the Ruderman Foundation’s Knesset caucus on relations between Israel and the American Jewish community, introduced Alroey to Jay Ruderman, ultimately leading to the new program’s formation. Alroey spent two years guest lecturing in the U.S. at both New York University and Rutgers University. Prof. Hasia Diner – a scholar in American Jewish history at NYU who next summer in New York will teach 10-day course on the American Jewish past and present for students of the new Ruderman program – says she has been “very impressed” with Alroey’s schol-

arship over the years. “I consider his move to create this program a brilliant academic intervention and look forward to working with him,” Diner tells JNS.org. During his stay in the U.S., Alroey became increasingly aware of the attitudes commonly shown by Israelis toward their most important ally. “The reality is that our treatment of the Jewish American community in Israel has been superficial at best,” Alroey says. “How can it be that numerous programs exist at Israeli universities for Asian, African and European studies, yet there is not a single program dedicated to the study of the American Jewish community?” Ruderman, who has lived in Israel since 2005, says that while American Jews “probably look at themselves as both American and Jewish,” Israelis may look at them and say, “Well, their real identity is Jewish, and they should be living in Israel, but because it’s more comfortable, or for whatever reason, they’re in America.” But that is “not a correct and honest way” to look at American Jews, Ruderman says. From Alroey’s perspective, this problem stems from Israel’s founding as a Jewish state and as the declared gathering place for Diaspora Jews. “Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, Israeli See “Haifa” on page 14

“Start-up nation” scientists cultivated at early ages by Israel’s Technoda

By Maxine Dovere JNS.org On the one hand, Givat Olga is an un-

derprivileged neighborhood in the Israeli city of Hadera with about 12,000 people, primarily immigrants from Ethiopia,

North Africa and the former Soviet Union. On the other, the neighborhood is home to the breeding ground for the next generation of science pioneers emerging from the “start-up nation.” The decision to build Technoda – Israel’s National Museum of Science, Planning and Technology – in the unexpected location of Givat Olga brought educational resources to children who previously had limited access to them. Technoda got off the ground in 1986 with the support of the Rashi Foundation. One of Technoda’s founding fathers, Zion Bash, a senior engineer at Intel, helped develop an educational program with a focal point of enrichment in the sciences. Twenty students took part in the first iteration of the Technoda program, which now provides more than 30,000 children per year with a hands-on science and general education. Students range from gan (prekindergarten) to high school. “A small room has become a castle,” Dr. Gadi Mador, Technoda’s director, says in an interview with JNS.org. “One of the basic elements for the future of Israel is to be, first and foremost, strong in science and technology,” he says. “Education is a journey that must start in kindergarten and continue throughout high school.” Mador emphasizes that Technoda is the only place in Israel where all sectors of the population learn together under same roof – haredim and chilonim (religious and secular), Arabs and kibbutzniks, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Druze. The project’s goals,

he says, are “first, to promote science and technology in Israel, and second, to bring together all elements of Israeli society on the common ground of science.” A day at Technoda begins promptly at 8 am. Three morning programs are run simultaneously, with each geared to a specific age group. In the first section, the preschool class, even fairy tales become a vehicle for understanding science and technology. “There is a special space for kids,” Mador says. “Technoda materials are integrated into the classroom topics. Material is provided to start the learning process in the school. Each gan program is two months long. Each of the five units per year culminates with a visit to [the] Technoda [museum].” Technoda works with the Israeli Education Ministry to identify kids in the third grade who qualify to become part of its Gifted Program. The program continues through high school in an ongoing enrichment experience, both in science and general cultural education. Once a week, throughout the academic year, Technoda students study core scientific knowledge. As part of the high school curriculum, the young scientists visit high-tech companies. “Seeing companies at work helps encourage work values,” Mador says. The Technoda program goes beyond science. As part of their agenda, students have an opportunity to give back to the community. For example, they volunteer to work with children with disabilities. “It’s not See “Technoda” on page 13

At left: Israeli s c i e n t i s t s a re cultivated at young ages by Technoda, whose educational programming is pictured here. (Photo by Technoda)

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■

Technoda “There is a special group for potentially gifted children in the local community,” Mador says. “We recognize their potential.” Mador came to Technoda in 1991 as a graduate student in physics and math. One of his professors asked him to come to Givat Olga to teach and he has never left. His initial years with the project came during the first Palestinian intifada. “It was quite amazing,” Mador recalls. “Outside, buses were blowing up. At the same time, in the classroom, Arab and Jewish students studied together in completely ordinary ways and learned together. Science and technology is the environment for the future: If you give children the opportunity to be together, it’s a great opportunity for them to simply live together.” Among the first 20 students at Technoda was Israel Defense Forces Capt. Yaron Vivante, a Givat Olga child whose parents immigrated to Israel from Libya. “He was born into technology,” says Mador. “He was very successful in high school. When he joined the IDF, he was accepted to pilot training and graduated as a navigator

of F15s (a type of fighter jet). Everyone was extremely proud of Yaron.” In August 1995, four birds crashed into the F15 in which Vivante was flying. The jet crashed, and both he and the pilot were killed. To honor his memory, Technoda has named its major competition for young inventors in his name. Among the innovations being developed at Technoda, in cooperation with the IDF, is a medical simulator, similar in concept to the computerized aviation trainers used by student pilots. The medical simulator effectively creates a hospital for children – without the children. Mador explains that before a hands-on program like Technoda, Israeli children “did not understand the need to integrate scientific phenomena and applications. “Now kids build models – for example, of a car – [and] learn to understand how it accelerates,” he says. “Here, everything is hands-on, not just theoretical. Much is about the discovery that once you learn the basics, you can then reach for the high level.”


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Ahna had been to J-Weekend twice before, but was turned off by the number of older, divorced folks. A tough work schedule convinced her to give it another shot. “I needed to get away so badly this weekend, age wasn’t a factor, but relaxing was,” she said. “Club Getaway is a nice place to go for a weekend to forget the hectic New York life for a few days.” With a full activity schedule, there isn’t much time for relaxing at Club Getaway, though escaping to the lakefront is always an option. So are typical camp activities such as archery, kayaking and water skiing, mixed with some spicier grown-up activities like wine tastings, Thai massage and pole dancing – the latter activity restricted to the ladies. “It’s just a great opportunity for people with the same background and same religious beliefs to get together and experience camp,” said Club Getaway owner David Schreiber. “What better way to meet people, as opposed New Patients to sitting in a restaurant, than rock climbing, hiking and Welcome having that common bond?” It was the array of activities that drew Slava Shyket of Milford, CT, to the weekend, but the possibility of finding a soul mate is in the back of her mind, too. “I feel like if I iamgo on several weekends ucker I maximize my chances,” she said. “I only do the activities I like to do. If the guy is doing that Eyeactivity, Physician Surgeon weand at least have something in common.” Complete - All Ages As aExams seasoned pro, I figured Shyket would know which classes best, so IAccepted joined her for wine tasting, hot arking • Mostwere Insurances stone massage and break dancing. A week later, I’m still Suitesore 207from - Northeast Medical the break dancing, but now I have moves like 00 Medical Dr.least • Fayetteville JaggerCenter – or at like YouTube bar mitzvah sensation Sam Horowitz. Color war is a staple of most summer camps and Club Getaway is no exception, except here it was condensed down to under an hour. We tossed water balloons, spun around baseball bats and literally jumped through (hula) hoops. The yellow team claimed the title, helped by extra points when one team member’s ongratulations to during all thea race. Nudity equals bonus pants fell down B’nai Mitzvah Families points, a staffer told us. What I enjoyed most, however, was Swashbuckling 101. Fencing is full of rules and ceremony, but swashbuckling is New Patientsour instructor Alberto, down-and-dirty fighting, explained Welcome who trains celebrities to use the blade for fight scenes. Having dressed as Zorro two years in a row for Halloween, I lunged (get it?) at the opportunity. iam With five moves, ucker Alberto taught us the basics of attack-

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easy, but they enjoy working with these kids,” Mador says. “It’s an opportunity to help someone and give back.” While the formal science and general education programs take place in the morning, afternoons at Technoda take on a more local flavor. The museum portion becomes a “home away from home to 400 children from Givat Olga,” Mador says. Israeli children often grow up in the same towns as where their parents were raised, a situation that is true for many of the children in Givat Olga, according to Mador. “We take them to another life, providing a hot meal, homework programs and an opportunity to participate in science and technology,” he says. Technoda “cannot be just a museum – otherwise there is no support of children in Givat Olga,” Mador adds. A results-oriented initiative, Technoda measures everything “from the point of view of both quantity and quality,” revealing what Mador calls “a real correlation between the rates of success [of Givat Olga children] and having this sort of opportunity.

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ing and defending in a Hollywood sword fight. With just three people in the class, we were truly a modern-day Three Musketeers ready to rouse some rabble with rapscallion pirates at the local watering hole. Swashbuckling paid off Saturday night at the piratethemed dinner and dance, complete with costumed aerialists hanging from the ceiling and a number of JDaters in pirate garb practicing their bad pirate slang. Hooking up takes on a whole different meaning for one-handed pirates. Pirates aside, it was really the Jewish content – or lack thereof – that separated J-Weekend from other Jewish singles weekends. With 200 or so mostly secular attendees, J-Weekend really wasn’t all that Jewy. There was no acknowledgment of Shabbat, and while staffers kept reiterating that the meat used over the weekend was kosher, the presence of turkey sausage next to the cheese blintzes at breakfast made me skeptical. Glatt kosher meals (aka airline food) were available upon request, but vegetarian options also abounded. Besides a round of speed dating hosted by HurryDate New BoardSpark Networks property), JDate (another has Patients little influWelcome Certified ence on the programming, said Schechtman. At the behest


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of a staffer, J-Weekend added a Havdalah service this year. Schreiber wasn’t sure how the singles would respond, but said he received “phenomenal feedback.” “We consider adding more religious components if that’s what the market is asking for,” Schreiber said. “With JDate and this market, it’s traditionally very secular.” As an old hand at (or survivor of) the dreaded Jewish singles weekend, I had certain expectations heading into the weekend, but J-Weekend turned out to be different from anything I had previously attended. The best tip I picked up over the years was to focus on just having fun, not meeting your match, and interacting with people in the daylight, rather than window shopping online by the light of my computer screen, provided that opportunity. Alissa Cipriano of New York, participating in her third J-Weekend, called her adventures of trapeze and mountain biking “a great time with nice people. If you meet someone, that’s great, but that’s not the motive,” she said. One of my swashbuckling compatriots, Robert Kiselman of New York, agreed. “People should really try this at least once,” he said, “to get the beautiful experience.”

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Appreciating the small moments

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.

Sunday, September 8 Fast of Gedaliah Temple Concord Brotherhood breakfast and program at 9:30 am TC Women of Reform Judaism at 10 am Tuesday, September 10 TC Cinemagogue Wednesday, September 11 Temple Adath Yeshurun Hazak meeting at 11 am Friday, September 13 Erev Yom Kippur Saturday, September 14 Yom Kippur - Yizkor is recited Monday, September 16 EARLY deadline for the October 3 issue of the Jewish Observer Tuesday, September 17 Jewish Community Center Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm Thursday, September 19 JCC and Federation offices closed for Sukkot Friday, September 20 JCC and Federation offices closed for Sukkot Saturday, September 21 Temple Concord - potluck lunch in the sukkah Sunday, September 22 Temple Adath Yeshurun Hazak movie at 1 pm Tuesday, September 24 TC Seasoned Citizens lunch in the sukkah at 12:30 pm Menorah Park board meeting at 6 pm Thursday, September 26 Shemini Atzeret - JCC and Federation offices closed Friday, September 27 Simchat Torah - JCC and Federation offices closed

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By Judy Stanton There are times when we get so caught up in the minutiae of our daily lives that we forget why we’re doing all this stuff in the first place. We may lose our sense of self, order and purpose. We become, in short, caught up in chaos. The first verse of parasha Bereshit says, “When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth was welter and waste and darkness over the deep, and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said, ‘Let there be light.’” ® (Alter translation) The Torah begins with the fact that God is, and so are the raw materials

b’nai mitzvah Marissa Lipschutz

Marissa Lipschutz, daughter of Kathy and Todd Lipschutz, of Manlius, originally from Chicago, became bat mitzvah at Temple Adath Yeshurun on August 24. She is the granddaughter of Janet and Morrie Much, of Highland Park, Marissa Lipschutz IL, and Judy and Lyle Lipschutz, of Jupiter, FL. She is an eighth grade student at Eagle Hill Middle School and has played modified soccer, basketball and track. She also plays the drums. Before coming to Syracuse, she attended Temple B’nai Jehudah in Leawood, KS, where she began her Jewish education in the synagogue’s preschool. She then continued with Hebrew and Sunday school. She has attended Camp Sabra on Lake of the Ozarks, a Reform Jewish camp, for the last six years. She has also opened a b’nai mitzvah fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York and will be able to help choose which not-for-profit organizations to support in the Syracuse area.


society was very nationalist and ideologically driven,” Alroey says. “Therefore, it was problematic to say that Jews had two good immigration options, the United States and Israel.” Such ideological complexities prevented the development of academic programs and curricula in Israel that address the American-Jewish experience. Beyond requiring Israeli students to learn English, there is no infrastructure in place to teach American studies and to encourage its presentation in grade school and study at the university level. There is also a lack of related source materials available in Hebrew. Consequently, Israeli students and citizens are susceptible to adopting negative stereotypes about Americans. At the same time, some Israelis may take for granted the generous financial contributions American Jews make regularly to Israel, foreign aid that is crucial to ensure Israel’s security and survival in a hostile neighborhood. “In general, Israelis and Israeli scholars know little about American Jewry,” NYU’s Diner says. “Historically, they have expected the Jews of the United States to provide money and political support, particularly vis-a-vis the U.S. government, but have no idea as to how Jews in the United States have gone about the process of both integrating into American life and building their own communities. They do not understand the ways in which living in this particular multi-religious, multi-ethnic society [of America] has shaped Jewish options and expectations, and how those changed over time.” Amos Shapira, president of the University of Haifa, says he sees the university “first and foremost as a center for research and advanced instruction in critical fields, but also as a tool for strengthening the Jewish state. “One of the primary strategic issues in Israel is the connection with the United States, and throughout the past three decades I believe this bond has weakened,” Shapira tells JNS.org. “The program initiated by Professor Alroey will create a new generation of educated and engaged citizens who share a deeper understanding of the American relationship.” There is high demand for the pioneering Ruderman program. When the university posted an advertisement soliciting applications for the inaugural class, the school

of creation. God, it seems, is not satisfied with chaos and decides to make a world. Step one: God creates light. It’s good! Next, God separates light from darkness, creating day and night. (Now time exists!) Step by step, God builds the world, culminating with the creation of human beings. Many people scoff at the creation myths of religious traditions. They maintain that science has the answers, but I think not all of them do. Let me tell you a story. In 2007, our son, Abe, was a third grade student at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. One day he asked us which was true, evolution or the Torah. We told him that there’s “Torah truth” and there’s “scientific truth,” and the two are not incompatible. A normal child, he wanted an answer from someone better qualified than his parents, so he e-mailed this to (our then congregational rabbi) Rabbi Rachel Ain: “I would like to know how you think the human being was created.” Once she had ascertained from me that he was asking about evolution, not reproduction, she answered him and wrote back, “Abe, that’s a great question! I believe in evolution as scientists explain it; but I also believe in the creation story as our Torah tells it. I believe that God gave us a sense of order and purpose. Saying that the world was created in seven days doesn’t mean that there is a conflict with science. The Torah is not answering the question, ‘How was the world created?’ but ‘Why was the world created?’ I think that’s what the creation story is about.” If we can remember that each day of our lives is a day of creation, the small moments take on greater significance and it’s easier to remember why we’re doing “all this stuff.” Simply follow God’s example: breathe, give thanks for the light and continue to create your world, one step at a time. Shanah tovah! Judy Stanton is a mother and a musician. She and her family belong to Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, where she serves on the Board of Trustees.

Continued from page 12 was inundated with nearly 100 responses in less than three weeks. Interviews were soon held to select a diverse group of students consisting of high school teachers, businessmen and women, and former emissaries of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Taglit-Birthright program. “The program is ideal for students who have already had significant encounters with Americans, but who now desire an academic perspective,” Alroey says. “Excellent English is a must.” A cornerstone of the program will be the initiative to conduct new research on Jewish-American topics. Each year, students will assist in translating one American text into Hebrew. Additionally, guest professors from the United States and officials involved with political, social, and religious aspects of Israeli-American relations will be invited to share their perspectives. Course offerings will include “American Jews and the American Political System”; “American Jews: From Melting Pot to Minority Group”; “The American Zionist Leadership: Jewish Culture in America”; “American Jewry and the Jewish World”; “Immigrants, Revolutionaries, Intellectuals”; “American Jewry Between Culture and Politics”; and “New York – Tel Aviv: A Comparative Study of East European Immigrant Societies.” The immediate goals of the program are exploratory, but long-term expectations of graduates are high. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s teachers, activists and Knesset members,” Shapira says. “We hope students will use what they learn to prompt a larger dialogue among Israelis and to inspire improved U.S.-Israel relations.” “The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies will be one of a kind and an important development in Israeli academia,” says Alroey. “We expect other Israeli universities to develop similar programs soon, helping to build the informed infrastructure we need and desire.” Ruderman, meanwhile, looks forward to an improved discourse among Israelis regarding the American Jewish community. Before, Ruderman was accustomed to hearing American Jewish leaders “whisper to me or to themselves on the side that, ‘Hey, I just talked to the [Israeli] foreign ministry, and they don’t understand what’s going on with us,’ or ‘I went to the Knesset and they didn’t know the difference between AIPAC and ADL (Anti-Defamation League).” As a result of the program, however, Ruderman hopes American Jewish leaders will witness a change in Israeli attitudes and instead be able to say, “Hey, Israel has woken up, they get it. They’re people who really get this issue [of the American Jewish community].” Ruderman says the initial $2 million combined investment from the foundation and the university is expected to sustain the program for five years. “Scholarship is an investment in the future,” he says. “You never know, when you support scholarship, where someone is going to end up.”

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774 ■

obituaries Marvin Levine

Marvin Levine, 87, died on August 26 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was a life resident of Syracuse. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth; his children, Sheila (Jeffrey) Ziegler and Richard (Valerie) Levine; and three grandchildren. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Yad Chaim, to benefit Ohr Shabbat, care of Sammy Simnegad, 101 Dean Rd., Brookline, MA 02445. 

Ida Libena

Ida Libena, 96, died on August 22 at Francis House. Born in Russia, she was a practicing dentist in Russia until emigrating to the United States almost 20 years ago. She is survived by her sister, Beylya Amromina; and her nephew, Ilya Amromin. Burial was in Montefiore Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. 



NEWS digest From JTA

Final airlifts of Ethiopian immigrants arrive in Israel

The final two charter flights of new immigrants from Ethiopia landed in Israel. The two airplanes carrying the 450 new Israeli citizens arrived on Aug. 28 at Ben Gurion Airport. A steady trickle of approximately 200 Ethiopian immigrants per month has been coming to Israel since 2010, when Israel launched Operation Wings of a Dove after checking the aliyah eligibility of an additional 8,000 Ethiopians. The new immigrants are known as Falash Mura – Ethiopians who claim links to descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity generations ago, but now seek to return to Judaism and immigrate to Israel. They have been accepted to Israel under different rules than those governing other immigrants. In advance of the final airlift, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky a week earlier turned over the keys to the Jewish school of Gondar to the Ethiopian city’s mayor. The Jewish Agency donated all the school buildings and equipment to the municipality. However,

about 12,000 Falash Mura who were not granted permission to make aliyah remain in Gondar. Many have relatives in Israel. In advance of the flights’ landings, hundreds of Ethiopian Israelis demonstrated on Aug. 28 on behalf of the Falash Mura left behind. Yesh Atid lawmaker Dov Lipman, in a message on his Facebook page, offered his support to the Falash Mura left behind in Gondar. “I welcome the new immigrants arriving today. However, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of Ethiopians who are already in Israel who are being left behind. And, we won’t leave them behind,” he wrote. “I visited Gondar last year and met them. I saw their tears, I heard their cries, and I was inspired by their drive to move to Israel and be reunited with their loved ones. I call on the government and the Jewish Agency to keep all services in Gondar in place until every single relative of Israelis has their appeal heard by the special committee set up by the Interior Committee and commit not to rest until I know that no families remain torn apart.” Ethiopian Jews also were airlifted to Israel during Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1992.


Antisemitism complaints against two CA universities are dismissed

Federal complaints accusing the University of California campuses in Berkeley and Santa Cruz of failing to curb hostile environments for Jewish students were dismissed. A complaint filed last year with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against the Berkeley campus by two recent graduates referred specifically to the annual February Apartheid Week demonstration. It charged that the demonstration violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars the recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education extended Title VI to include the protection of Jewish students from antisemitism on campuses. The Office of Civil Rights investigation, which included interviews with students and observations of the demonstrations, concluded the week of Aug. 28 that events described in the complaint did not constitute harassment, but rather “expression on matters of public concern directed to the university community. In the university environment, exposure to such robust and discordant expressions, even when personally offensive and hurtful, is a circumstance that a reasonable student in higher education may experience,” the probe concluded. UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the claim of a hostile environment for Jewish students at Berkeley “is, on its face, entirely unfounded.” In a complaint against UC Santa Cruz, the Office of Civil Rights in a letter said it determined that the events described in the complaint “do not constitute actionable harassment.” The investigation, opened in March 2011, focused on two events on campus in which speakers were critical of Israeli policies, on two other talks that had been planned but never took place and on several incidents of antisemitic graffiti. The civil rights office determined that the campus “took prompt action to investigate ... and to remove the graffiti.” “This campus values the free and open expression of ideas, and we diligently safeguard our students’ civil rights,” Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal said. “We are, therefore, pleased that these allegations have been thoroughly investigated and dismissed.”

Hamptons group going to federal court in eruv bid

A group trying to have an eruv built in Long Island’s Hamptons filed a federal lawsuit after having its bid quashed by a zoning board. The East End Eruv Association filed its suit on Aug. 27 in Brooklyn District Court against the Township of Southampton and the Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals. In July, the zoning board denied the construction of the eruv, an all-but-invisible enclosure that allows Sabbath-observant Jews to carry items or push strollers outdoors. The complaint says that without the eruv, it becomes impossible for observant Jewish residents to carry common objects such as “books, food, water, house keys, personal identification, prayer shawls and reading glasses” on the Sabbath. The association alleges that the zoning board’s rejection of the eruv is tantamount to discrimination. It accuses the board of being “motivated by discriminatory intentions and animus toward observant Jews.” The zoning board had ruled that the eruv – PVC poles on 15 of Southampton Township’s telephone poles – would “alter the essential character of the neighborhood.” In addition, the board took theological issue with the concept of the eruv itself, calling it a “loophole” that is “motivated by the personal desire ... to be freed from the proscriptions of Jewish law,” the New York Post reported.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 5, 2013/1 TISHREI 5774

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