15 TISHREI 5774 • SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 • VOLUME XXXVII, NUMBER 20 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY
Philip Holstein to lead 2014 Annual Campaign By Marianne Bazydlo Philip Holstein’s parents, Alexander and Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein, will serve as the Jewish Federation’s 2014 Honorary Campaign Chairs. The next issue of the Jewish Observer will include an article on our Honorary Chairs. Philip L. Holstein will serve as the chair of the Jewish Federation of Central New York 2014 Annual Campaign. He is the 2013 recipient of the Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership. A Central New York native, he attends religious services at Temple Adath Yeshurun, as well as at Temple Concord. Holstein sits on the board of the Jewish Federation and served for three years as president. He chaired the Community Relations Committee and has served on numerous Federation committees through the years. He also served on the board of the Jewish Foundation of Central New York. His past and current volunteer leadership positions include president of the Baltimore
global company connecting busiChapter of the American Jewish ness to business and companies Committee, vice chair of the to funding sources. Baltimore Jewish Council, board Holstein said, “This year, member of the Society for Annuity our vision for the Campaign is Facts and Education, co-chair of to make it truly personal. We’ll Emerson College Parents Leadershow you how your gift touches ship Council and president of the people’s lives. We want you to Baltimore Chapter of the Assosee what your generosity can acciation of Corporate Growth and complish in the lives of those you the Baltimore International Ashelp. After all, Federation raises sociation of Financial Planning. He has also been a member of the Philip L. Holstein money to help people. Our beneficiary agencies and programs Advisory Board of the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship exist to support people in need and to help and Public Affairs and a member of the people live full Jewish lives.” Federation President/CEO Linda AlexanTemple Adath Yeshurun board. Holstein holds a bachelor of arts degree der said, “Throughout the Campaign year, from Hampshire College, a juris doctor from we will share stories from our beneficiary the College of Law at Syracuse University agencies focused on whom your money and a master of public administration from helps. A gift to the Annual Campaign benthe Maxwell School of Citizenship and Pub- efits people of all ages. Just a few examples lic Affairs at SU. He is a financial services are our youngest at the Jewish Community executive currently consulting full-time to Center’s Early Childhood Development a London-based insurance company. His Program, students at the Syracuse Hebrew wife, Alyse, is CEO of hpg partners, llc, a Day School, teens at the Rabbi Jacob Epstein
High School of Jewish Studies, college students at Hillel at Syracuse University, seniors at the JCC’s kosher meal program and so many more.” Holstein concurred, saying, “The Federation Campaign is the cornerstone of the organization’s mission. Without funds donated by the generous and committed members of the Central New York Jewish community, it would be difficult for our beneficiary agencies – as well as those entities that serve Jews overseas – to provide services as effectively as they do. With an improving domestic economy, I hope that people will dig deep this year and increase their annual gift if they can. “We strive to include every member of our Jewish community in our Campaign. Every gift counts. This year, we have a different type of goal – we hope to have 2,014 donors to the 2014 Annual Campaign. We will need to add about 100 new donors to reach our goal, and these new donors will help strengthen the entire community.”
Grant applications requested by teen funders By Nancy Belkowitz and Linda Alexander The Teen Funders Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York B’nai Mitzvah program has requested grant applications from local charitable organizations. Grant recipients will be announced by the teen funders following their Sunday, October 6, meeting. All applicants must be legally recognized charitable organizations. Grant applications
must be received no later than Thursday, October 3, by the JCF B’nai Mitzvah program at 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214. Grant requests may be for funding up to $1,000, and applicants must provide details of the proposed project and explain how it forwards the organization’s mission. The Foundation’s B’nai Mitzvah program teaches the core Jewish value of tzedakah through hands-on participation. More than 100 b’nai mitzvah funds have been
established throughout the past nine years. A b’nai mitzvah fund requires a minimum $250 donation from the teenager at the time of bar or bat mitzvah. These donations are matched by the Pomeranz Trust for an opening balance of at least $500. The teenagers may give advice as to which charities their funds may be distributed. All b’nai mitzvah fund holders have been invited to join the Teen Funders Committee meeting, where the teenagers are asked to
contribute some of their fund money to a pooled fund to be distributed by the group. In the spring of 2013, the participants funded projects of American Friends of Leket Israel, the National Food Bank of Israel, On Point for College, Orr Shalom, Operation Soap Dish and Exceptional Family Resources. For more information, contact Teen Fund Coordinator Nancy Belkowitz or JCF Executive Director Linda Alexander at 445-2040, ext. 130.
Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association By Bette Siegel William P. Berinstein, president of the Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association, recently sent a letter to members of the
Many monuments have been vandalized in the Poiley Tzedek Cemetery. The Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association is responsible for the upkeep and repair in the oldest Syracuse-area Jewish cemeteries. The organization is raising $150,000, an amount that the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Foundation has pledged to match.
local Jewish community requesting their help in raising $150,000 for the repair of the cemeteries under the organization’s auspices. The trustees of the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Foundation have agreed to match that amount. Founded in 1970, the SJCA oversees the care of 11 Syracuse-area Jewish cemeteries by mowing the grass and removing snow. Other work, such as the repair of monuments, is the responsibility of the families of the deceased. However, many of those buried in local cemeteries no longer have descendants, so their monuments have deteriorated. Due to the support of the Syracuse Jewish community, the SJCA has been able to spend more than $200,000 throughout the last eight
years to improve the conditions of the cemeteries. For example, the SJCA reset more than 400 monuments in the Poiley Tzedek and Linas Hatzedek cemeteries. Although considered a significant accomplishment, this is only one illustration of the continuing need for structural repairs to address deteriorating foundations and falling monuments, stairways and fencing. Of the $150,000 to be raised by the SJCA, $100,000 has already been committed. In particular, the Jewish Federation of Central New York has pledged $50,000, of which $10,000 has already been paid. The SJCA must now raise the remaining $50,000. The resulting total of $300,000 will be placed in a special fund to be used for many years. See “Cemeteries” on page 9
C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A
A vandalized monument was seen righted and reset on its base.
September 19...........after 7:51 pm.................................................................... Sukkot September 20...........6:49 pm...................... Parsha-Sukkot (Shabbat Chol Hamoed) September 25...........6:40 pm.....................................................Erev Shemini Atzeret September 26...........after 7:38 pm............................................... Erev Simchat Torah September 27...........6:36 pm............................................................. Parasha-Bereshit October 4.................6:24 pm............................................................... Parasha-Noach
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Ethiopian aliyah
Aiding Syrian refugees
With Ethiopian aliyah officially over, Local Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret U.S. Jewish groups are quietly integration obstacles for those and Simchat Torah services and raising funds for Syrian refugees celebrations; recipes; and more. in Jordan, as is IsraAid in Israel. immigrants persist. Stories on pages 6, 7 and 10 Story on page 9 Story on page 5
PLUS Congregational Notes............... 4 Calendar Highlights................10 Obituaries.................................. 11 News in Brief............................ 12
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774
viewpoints Response to the Viewpoints column of September 5 By Richard D. Wilkins From Ruth Stein, communications vice president of the Jewish Federation of Central New York: “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 has started 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.” The Middle East is descending into chaos. That is most evident in Egypt, where the military and Muslim Brotherhood are col-
liding, and in Syria, where a brutal civil war rages on, drawing in jihadists and Hezbollah, further inflaming regional Sunni-Shia tensions. An ongoing massive refugee outflow threatens to further destabilize neighboring countries. Even as dangers lurk broadly throughout the region, U.S. diplomacy is failing spectacularly. Past expectations of its reliability and credibility are fast diminishing, extraordinarily emboldening enemies and deeply demoralizing friends. Most ominously, Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weaponry is now poised on the cusp of success. Could a less propitious time, then, be imagined for cementing ever-elusive Israel-Palestinian peace? And yet, needlessly distracting from those multiplying critical crises, Secretary of State John Kerry continues to pursue such a fool’s errand. Indeed, his highly public shuttle diplomacy has pushed the two sides into talks about
a matter of opinion Foundation – Brian Charlamb speech
helping a little kid’s wish come Brian Charlamb made a true? It makes me happy knowing presentation at the annual that we could do that for even one meeting of the Jewish Community deserving child. Foundation of Central New York Similarly, this year we donated on behalf of the Teen Funders a total of $4,750 to nine programs Committee and the B’nai Mitzvah in our community. Some of this program on August 15. money went to Operation Soap Good evening. Dish. This is an organization run On behalf of the teen funders of by one of us, teen funder Adena the Jewish Foundation, we would Rochelson. This organization is like to inform all of you on what we, as a group, do to help our com- Brian Charlamb devoted to collecting and distributing toiletries and household munity. It all begins at our b’nai mitzvot. We each chose to donate a part of items to people living in poverty. These the money we received as gifts to the teen basic items become inaccessible to people fund for distribution to organizations in in poverty because food stamps only cover our community. Depending on how much food. Not having access to these items on we each donated, we may have received a daily basis can really lower a person’s matching funds from the Sam Pomeranz self-esteem and impact their everyday outlook on life. matching grant. Another organization that we supported We then meet twice a year as a group with Linda Alexander and Nancy Belkowitz. this year was the Safe Haven Museum and Together, we review applications received Education Center. The museum is dedifrom various organizations across our com- cated to keeping alive the stories of the 982 munity requesting support. We discuss each refugees from 18 different countries who application as a group, sharing our thoughts survived Hitler’s tyranny during World and opinions as to the worthiness of the or- War II. The refugees were given sanctuary ganization to receive our support. We discuss in Oswego, NY. This organization is of which organizations mean the most to us. particular interest to me for two reasons. These discussions help us determine how First, I visited Safe Haven as a sixth-grader much we want to give to each organization. at Eagle Hill Middle School. The second Mrs. Alexander and Mrs. Belkowitz guide reason is because Doris Schecter was a us through this process and teach us the art refugee at Safe Haven. Mrs. Schecter is of giving, including the skill of evaluating the mother of one of my parents’ closest each request. This is an important skill, as friends. I have seen her name on the wall we do not have enough money to give to at Safe Haven listing all 982 refugees. everyone who requests our support. We want Her name is commemorated there for to ensure that we have the most impact with all of history. I have shared in many of the limited funds we have to give. This is their family simchas and holidays, and a skill that will serve us well throughout seen the impact that saving just one life our lives, as I am sure you have all been can have on a family and on the Jewish faced with that same challenge – too many community. Through the discussions and decisionpeople and organizations in need and not enough money to give. The teen funders owe making each year with the teen funders, these two women many thanks for taking we come together to support many deservus through this process. Please join me in ing organizations in our community even though we each prioritize the organizations giving them thanks. In 2012, we decided that the Make-a- differently. Each of us leaves with a sense Wish Foundation was a great organization of accomplishment and joy as we realize to receive our support. We decided to give the impact we have in supporting those less them a donation of $600, because we knew fortunate than ourselves. On behalf of all the teen funders, I thank that the money would go to an extremely good cause. What is more inspiring than you for this tremendous opportunity.
correction In the September 5 issue of the Jewish Observer, the ad for CNY Arts on page 12 listed the wrong date for the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival. The festival will take place at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, September 29, from noon-6 pm.
talking. Neither side, however, came either with enthusiasm or an expectation of success. Why not? Israel, again, is being pressured to trade tangible territory for intangible pledges. Unilateral withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza, instead of producing peace, birthed bordering Hezbollah and Hamas terror mini-states. West Bank withdrawals could present far worse security challenges. Repeated bitter experience, moreover, has shown the utter worthlessness of international guarantees or Palestinian promises. The ideologically and geographically splintered Palestinian Authority is neither willing, nor able, to offer or guarantee permanent peace. Mahmoud Abbas, in the ninth year of his four-year presidency, lacks legitimacy. Aside from his Fatah party, other factions have rejected negotiations. So has Hamas. Insiders and outsiders, especially Iran and its surrogates, stand prepared to violently veto any agreement. Palestinians only had to show up to the talks. Nonetheless, they still had to be bribed with a mass release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel. All 104, among them a number of Israeli Arab citizens, have “blood on their hands,” including the murderers of American student Alissa Flatow and those of accused “collaborators.” Among particularly heinous crimes, Abu-Harbish Salam Saliman Mahmud threw a Molotov cocktail at a passenger bus, killing a mother, Rachel Weiss; her three children, Ephraim, Raphael and Netanel; and a soldier, David Delarosa, who tried to save them. He, like the others, was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. And yet, despite deep misgivings, outraged public opinion and devastated families of victims, the Israeli government took that incredibly painful, judicialprocess mocking step. Great pressure was undoubtedly exerted by Kerry to do something that the U.S. itself would never do. As has so often happened in the past, many of the released will soon return to terrorism. The crystal-clear message
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to would-be terrorists: some day, some way, no matter what you do, you’ll be freed. Meanwhile, your family will be substantially supported. The adulation Palestinian society accords such prisoners totally belies any professed commitment to the conflict’s peaceful resolution. It continues to be prepared for war, not peace. A key provision of the Oslo Accords was mutual “education for peace.” Palestinian media, schools and summer camps continue poisoning minds and inciting violence. Abbas has explicitly stated that any Palestinian state would be “Judenrein,” i.e. free of Jews. A recent Forbes magazine cover story, “Peace through Profits,” glowingly highlighted a joint venture between Israeli and Palestinian high-tech entrepreneurs. Fearful of their community’s “strengthening culture of avoidance and extremism,” the Palestinian entrepreneurs tried to have the story removed from the website. Rather than negotiate in good faith, the Palestinians expect others to force unreciprocated Israeli concessions. Seeking to deflect criticism of his out-of-hand rejection of a very generous Israeli offer at the 2000 Camp David talks, Arafat unleashed the Second Intifada, leading to thousands of Israeli and Palestinian dead. Let’s hope there’s no repeat this time. Many mediators repeatedly have grappled with this interminable conflict which cannot be resolved – only managed. Resolution has proved elusive, not because of lack of effort, dearth of innovative “bridging” proposals, or simple misunderstandings; notwithstanding the obvious benefits of peace. This is not, nor ever was, a border dispute. It is existential. The Palestinians still deny the legitimacy of a sovereign Jewish Mideast state. They refuse to declare an “end to conflict.” Both sides well know the other’s diametrically opposed positions. Thus, their mutual pessimism. The gaps between them are simply now unbridgeable. This letter is in response to the Viewpoints column in the September 5 Jewish Observer. 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 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774 ■
AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Rabbis’ Corner at JMAC on September 29 By Judith Stander Visitors to the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival on Sunday, September 29, from noon-6 pm, will have an opportunity to visit the Rabbis’ Corner on the outdoor midway of the grounds of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. The community’s pulpit rabbis will share their perspective on this year’s festival theme, tradition. The presentations will examine why traditions became traditions, and why they resonate amongst Jews of Syracuse and the Diaspora. Temple Adath Yeshurun Rabbi Charles Sherman will speak on “Old Traditions/New Traditions” from 12:3012:50 pm. He will share his observations about the past, present and future of the Syracuse Jewish community.
Chabad Rabbi Yaakov Rapoport will discuss “You think Judaism is all about tradition. It’s not! It’s not?” from 1-1:20 pm. He will explain Torah and Judaism’s connection to revolution, but “not the Marx, Lenin, Castro, Che Guevera kind.” Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Rabbi Evan Shore will speak on “Does Tevye’s definition of tradition apply today?” from 1:30-1:50 pm. Shore maintains that it plays an intrinsic role in the life of the Jew and its role goes back more 3,000 years to Mount Sinai, arguing that without tradition, the Jewish people would lose their identity. Temple Concord Rabbi Daniel Fellman will discuss “When change is the tradition!” from 2-2:20 pm. He will
examine the varying streams of Judaism and the role of evolution and change in Jewish history. Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone will speak on “The tradition of Chanukah: the Festival of Light or Lights?” from 2:30-2:50 pm. He will explore the origins of the use of fire as the technology for how Jews remember the miracle of Chanukah, and what exactly was the miracle of Chanukah. Event organizers agreed that the appearance of all five of Syracuse’s pulpit rabbis at the same place at the same time “speaks volumes for the positive value of JMAC.” The JMAC is a program of the Jewish Federation of Central New York.
JCC hires new director of marketing and communications By Bette Siegel and Nick Finlayson The newest member of the staff at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is Nick Finlayson, the new director of marketing and communications. A Le Moyne College and SUNY Oswego graduate with a master of business administration degree, Finlayson brings more than five years of professional experience to the JCC community. His most recent position was working for a concrete reinforcing sub-contractor. He said, “It was different, but that’s why I liked it. It was a great learning experience in my first post-college professional job. The first time I stepped foot in the JCC, I felt right at home... I wasn’t even hired yet and I wanted to be involved.” In indicating that the new hire was an opportunity for a fresh start, JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said, “We have been looking for someone to dive into
local home remodeling company all summer, social media and website work because that’s and I absolutely loved it. It taught me how to where our world is going. We live in a world of socialize with different kinds of customers and technology, and this was an opportunity for us how to really think outside the box. From there, to get out ahead of the curve.” I had a good idea of how I wanted to spend my An ongoing objective of the facility is to professional life.” spread the message that the JCC “is not just Born and raised in Brewerton, where he still a place for the Jewish community. It is a very resides, Finlayson is recently engaged and “very large, inclusive facility that offers something close” to family and friends. In his free time, he for everyone.” enjoys hiking, fishing and organized running. He In 2008, Finlayson completed his bachelor’s degree in business, while concentrating in market- Nick Finlayson recently completed his second half marathon and improved his time by more than 17½ minutes. ing. He also gained a mix of on-the-job experience through internships during summer and winter breaks. He He likes to travel and said, “Sometimes I like to combine said, “It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted the running and travel so I have an excuse to explore a new to do as a career in life. Up to that point, I never really did area.” He also enjoys seeing the different ways that people anything that I could really sink my teeth into. I ended up live within different geographic areas and cultures. “The taking a summer internship working in marketing for a food is the best part,” he said. Erlebacher said, “Perhaps his openness to new cultures is a good attribute for a JCC employee.”
Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu September 23-27 Monday – lunch – lemon-baked haddock Tuesday – Hawaiian day – pineapple chicken Wednesday – hot pastrami sandwich on rye Thursday – closed in observance of Shemini Atzeret Friday – closed in observance of Simchat Torah September 30-October 4 Monday – lunch – apricot chicken Tuesday – herb-roasted chicken Wednesday – egg salad on a roll Thursday – macaroni and cheese Friday – chicken Parmesan with soy cheese The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program, catered by Tiffany’s Catering Company at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, offers kosher lunches served Monday-Friday at noon. Reservations
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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 email@example.com.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774
congregational notes Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas New youth advisor By Joan Bordett Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas recently hired Michael Smith as the United Synagogue Youth, Kadima and Good Guys advisor. He has experience mentoring students in entrepreneurial endeavours, Michael Smith including as a training supervisor at the Syracuse University Ambulance Corps, and as at-large chair of his fraternity. He has a master’s of science from the entrepreneurship program at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse
L-r: Eden Howlett, Alethea Howlett and Hadar Pepperstone rode a truck to the orchard at Abbott Farms at the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas annual apple-picking outing for all ages.
University. He was active in Kadima and USY while growing up in New Jersey and remains active at Hillel at SU. At CBS-CS, Smith will collaborate with teen leaders, parent volunteers and synagogue professionals in planning and implementing a variety of programs for middle and high school students, training teenagers to be organizational leaders. He will represent CBS-CS in the larger Jewish Syracuse youth community. He will also facilitate Good Guys, a program of Jewish Women’s International that helps adolescent boys understand what it means to be a man in the Jewish tradition. Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone said, “Both our new director of youth and education, Julie Tornberg, and I are so pleased that Michael will be joining our staff at CBSCS. Informal youth groups and informal Jewish education are an important pathway into Jewish life for our middle school and high school-age children. We are looking forward to Michael bringing new energy to our youth programs and empowering our youth to take an active role in their own Jewish lives.” For more information about CBS-CS middle and high school programs, contact Tornberg at 701-2685 or director@cbscs. org, or Smith at 446-9570, ext. 3, or youth@ cbscs.org. Z’havah Z’havah is a special interest group under the umbrella of the CBS-CS Sisterhood for women under the age of 50 looking for a forum in which to share See “CBS-CS” on page 6
L-r: Hadar Pepperstone, Jacob Temes, AJ Sikora and Matan Pepperstone enjoyed the slide at Abbott Farms during a Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas fall fun day.
Temple Adath Yeshurun By Sonali Eaton Annual Anbar Family Lecture American philosopher Walter SinnottArmstrong, a professor at Duke University, will speak on Sunday, September 29, at 7 pm, at Temple Adath Yeshurun as part of the Anbar Family Lecture Series. His lecture will be “Does NeurosciWalter Sinnott- ence Undermine Moral Armstrong Responsibility?” The lecture will focus on how neuroscience challenges the assumptions of many religions that at least sometimes humans have free will and are morally responsible. His abstract explains, “When free will and responsibility are properly understood, neuroscience does not really undermine free will or responsibility, in general. Instead, what neuroscience challenges is only responsibility in particular cases, which are fascinating and important, but do not generalize all human action.” Michael Anbar said, “My passion has always been ethics, without which no society can survive for more than a decade or two. Jewish ethics constitute a foundation of Western civilization. Highlighting ethical
issues and debating them is the goal of the Anbar Annual Lecture Series.” Sinnott-Armstrong is the Chauncy Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He specializes in ethics and epistemology – the study of the origin, nature and limits of human knowledge – and more recently neuroethics, the philosophy of law, as well as the philosophy of cognitive science. He earned his doctor of philosophy from Yale University and taught for many years at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire before moving to Duke University. The annual Anbar Lecture Series is intended to expose the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Syracuse, including the academic community of Syracuse University, to the “unique features” of the more than 3000-year-old tradition of Jewish ethics. There is no charge to attend the lecture, which will be open to the community. For more information, contact email@example.com or visit www.adath.org. Dedication of the Miron Family Chapel Temple Adath Yeshurun President Howard Weinstein announced the naming of the TAY chapel as the Miron Family Chapel on Yom Kippur. TAY Rabbi Charles Sherman See “TAY” on page 8
Temple Concord Adult Education Throughout the year, Temple Concord plans to explore and celebrate the theme of community, beginning with Rabbi Daniel Fellman’s year-long class on American Jewish communities. Class participants will explore the accomplishments and struggles of Jews in America, examining regional differences and the unique contributions of American Jewish communities. The class will be held Sundays from 11 am-noon. The first class will be held on September 29. A four-part series, “Living with Grieving: Education for Personal Enrichment,” will study how family experiences and cultural context influence the grieving process. The experiential learning program intends to help participants sort through these issues in a group setting, using a variety of talks, exercises and videos. The sessions will be taught by members of the Palliative Care Teaching Group and will meet on Tuesdays, October 1, 15, 29 and November 19, from 7-9 pm. Temple Concord will also host Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse social justice leadership training. Among the topics discussed will be the difference between charity and justice; whether the TC congregation can do one without the other; and how people can better prepare
themselves and others to carry out the work of service and advocacy. The training will be offered by an experienced facilitator with ACTS on Monday, September 23, and Tuesday, September 24, from 7-9 pm, at the synagogue. Members of University United Methodist Church will join the TC congregants. Temple Concord is an organizational member of ACTS, whose purpose is to empower others for action in the synagogue and community. For more information, contact Mark Cass of ACTS at acts.cny@ gmail.com or 708-2482. Seasoned Citizens Temple Concord’s Seasoned Citizens is a group open to those aged 65 years and older. Participants gather for monthly gatherings, usually on Tuesdays at 2 pm, for socializing, learning and entertainment. The group will begin its 2013-14 season on Tuesday, September 24, at 12:30 pm, for lunch in the sukkah. There will be a very small fee for the event and reservations will be required. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Janis Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Future dates for the group are October 15, November 19, December 17, April 8, May 20 and June 17. See “TC” on page 8
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Ethiopian aliyah is over, but integration obstacles persist By Ben Sales LOD, Israel (JTA) – The airplane landed on the tarmac, “Ethiopia” emblazoned in red on its side. A few government officials trickled down the airplane’s steps. They were followed by groups of Ethiopian Jews descending to the runway, some falling to their knees and kissing the ground. Inside the terminal building, shouts in Amharic greeted the new arrivals as friends and relatives, some separated from the immigrants for years, welcomed them to their new home. “We are finishing an exile of 2,500 years,” Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel told the crowd. “But the work is not over. Now we have to make sure these new immigrants integrate into Israeli society, learning from the mistakes that were made in the past.” Three decades of Ethiopian immigration to Israel culminated with the arrival of two planes at Ben Gurion Airport on August 28, the 450 immigrants on board representing the last of more than 125,000 Ethiopians who have come during that period. Ethiopian immigrants have been celebrated in Israel since the first waves began arriving in the early 1980s, and government ministers and dignitaries gathered in force to welcome the final arrivals. But while the crowd was mostly Ethiopians, all but one of the speakers at the welcoming ceremony was either Russian or Ashkenazi. The split illustrates the challenge that Israel has faced in absorbing the Ethiopians, who have faced a range of integration obstacles. Ethiopians lag native Jewish Israelis in a wide range of socioeconomic metrics that have remained largely resistant to government efforts at budging them. Earlier this year, the government parried allegations that it coerced Ethiopian women into receiving
a long-term contraceptive injection. “In terms of how we’re integrated, we’re far from satisfied,” Shimon Solomon, one of Israel’s two Ethiopian members of Knesset, told JTA. “In education, work and society we’re at the bottom of the bottom. We dreamed of coming to Israel. We didn’t dream of coming here and being at the bottom of the ladder.” According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, only 43 percent of Ethiopian students passed their high school matriculation exams in 2011; only 22 percent scored high enough to go to college. Among all Jewish Israeli students, those numbers are 58 and 50 percent, respectively. Ziva Mekonen-Degu, who directs the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, says that many Ethiopian parents are themselves uneducated and have little means. “The parents can’t give the help that other parents can,” Mekonen-Degu said. “Ethiopian parents aren’t involved or influential enough.” The problems continue into the army. Although Ethiopians have an above-average enlistment rate, they’re also more likely to end up in military prison or to drop out early. Ethiopians comprise 2 percent of Israel’s population, but made up only 1 percent of Israeli college students in 2011. The average annual salary for an Ethiopian in 2009 was $23,000; the average Israeli earned $34,000. In addition, virtually all Jews born in Ethiopia are ineligible for vocational training programs offered by the Economics Ministry because nearly no one has a formal education. Instead, the absorption centers where Ethiopians live after immigration See “Aliyah” on page 12
Ethiopian Jews kissed the ground upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport as part of Operation Wings of Dove, which ended the Ethiopian immigration to Israel, on August 28. (Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90/JTA)
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774
Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah around the community
Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas The sukkah at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas will be open for people to eat a dairy meal from Sunday, September 22, through noon on Wednesday, September 25. Services for Shemini Atzeret will be held on Thursday, September 26, at 9:30 am. Yizkor will be recited. At 7 pm, erev Simchat Torah, there will be singing, dancing and a celebration as the annual cycle of Torah reading is completed and restarted. There will be musical accompaniment by CBS-CS musicians. The dancing and singing will continue on Friday, September 27, at 9:30 am, as the final chapter of the Torah is read and immediately followed by the first chapter. Shabbat evening services will be held at 6 pm. For more information, contact the CBS-CS office at 446-9570. Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse There will be a Chumash class on Thursday, September 26, Shemini Atzeret, at 8:15 am, followed by morning services at 9 am and Yizkor at 10:15 am. Mincha will be held at 6:40 pm, with the candle lighting at 7:36 pm. The hakafot will follow at 7:40 pm.
For the 30th consecutive year, Shaarei Torah will partner with Yeshiva University for its Simchat Torah celebration. Students from Yeshiva College for Men and Stern College for Women will help with the singing, dancing and ruach for the hakafot. Rabbi Evan and Deborah Shore will sponsor a kiddush luncheon at the synagogue for the entire congregation on Friday, September 27, after Simchat Torah services. The National Conference of Synagogue Youth group, along with the Torah Tour advisers, will visit Menorah Park and the Oaks of DeWitt to celebrate Simchat Torah with the residents during the afternoon on Simchat Torah, Friday, September 27. Simchat Torah services will be held on September 27 at 8:45 am, with hakafot at 9:45 am. Mincha and candle lighting will be held at 6:35 pm. For more information, contact the STOCS office at 446-6194 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Temple Adath Yeshurun Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Shemini Atzeret services will be held on Wednesday, September 25, at 6:15 pm. Morning services will be held on Thursday, September 26, at 9:15 am, with Yizkor at 10:30 am. Evening services will be at 6 pm.
The annual Simchat Torah family celebration, “Dancing with Scrolls,” will begin at 6:45 am, with refreshments following. The service will be family-centered, with singing and dancing in celebration of the holiday. Musicians from the Shabbat in the Round Band will participate in the musical celebration. The celebration will continue on Friday, September 27, at 9:15 am, with live music and dancing as part of the morning Simchat Torah service. All in attendance will receive an aliyah. Shabbat evening services will be held at 6 pm. For more information, contact the TAY office at 4450002. Temple Concord Temple Concord will celebrate Simchat Torah on Thursday, September 26, at 7 pm. A brief service will be held, followed by consecration of the new students. The temple band, Ruach, will perform in the background as the Torahs are taken from the ark and passed from person to person as participants dance around the sanctuary. Children will receive apples and a honey stick to start the dancing and will be given candy during each hakafot. For more information, contact the TC office at 4759952.
Sukkah City experience reconstructed in new film By Jacob Kamaras JNS.org The Sukkah City exhibition in September 2010, much like the temporary dwellings that it showcased, came and went. But a new documentary might make its legacy more permanent. Director Jason Hutt’s “Sukkah City” chronicles the event in phases, including the “jury” debate on more than 600 creative sukkah designs, construction of the 12 winning designs, and a two-day exhibition in New York City’s Union Square. Several years after Sukkah City, Hutt says his 67-minute film provides a new angle for those who experienced the event in varying degrees. “This was only a two-day event, so there are people that simply never heard of this event,” he says. “There are people that read about it, but didn’t get a chance to come down and see the event. And then there are people who attended the event, but still didn’t get the level of depth of knowledge and insight that the film provides. The film has a lot to offer to everyone, whether you were there or not.” Screenings of “Sukkah City” are being planned for the fall in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and other cities in North America and Australia. Leading up to Sukkot this year, Hutt discussed the film in the following interview with JNS.org. JNS.org: Why did you choose the Sukkah City competi-
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Inside the construction of “Fractured Bubble,” the “people’s choice” winner at the 2010 Sukkah City competition. (Photo by Christopher Farber) tion as the subject for a film? Jason Hutt: “Basically I learned about [Sukkah City] as [competition organizers] were seeking out applications and entries, submissions and designs. I met [Sukkah City co-creator] Josh Foer in Park Slope (a section of Brooklyn) years back. It sounded like it was going to be both an interesting artistic adventure in terms of trying to reimagine the traditional sukkah, and it also seemed like this dramatic experience: putting together this competition with a ‘jury,’ discussing and debating the merits of these submissions, and then the process of these architects building these structures and then having them exhibited to the public. With all of these different components, it seemed like coming together would make an interesting documentary film.” JNS.org: What about the holiday of Sukkot makes it appealing for the medium of film? Hutt: “The sukkah is something that is ascribed in the liturgy. I would say that it definitely provides a nice visual component to a film. But for me it was more about this creativity, this process of the design community, the architecture community, the skill set of this creativity being applied to this tradition. The sukkah has become a very generic box structure, literally a pop-up tent. “The fact that [Sukkah City] was going to be a design competition to completely reimagine the way [a sukkah] was possible was definitely exciting to me. And in the film it does become a very interesting visual story, in the sense that you’re seeing these architects and designers – most of
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common interests. Z’havah events are planned with Z’havah women’s interest in mind, but are open to all CBS-CS Sisterhood women. Deb Sikora will host a game night at her house on Saturday, September 28, at 8 pm. For directions, e-mail Sikora at email@example.com.This will be an opportunity for those who enjoy games and those who would like to have fun and strengthen friendships. In addition to a variety of games, there will be snacks and wine. Following this event, the group’s monthly 10 am brunch, held on the first Friday of every month at The Eggplant, will begin on October 4. There will be a Zumba class led by Yolanda FeblesMoodie on Thursday, October 17, at 7 pm, followed by bat mitzvah cooking and set-up help.
“Fractured Bubble,” the “people’s choice” winner at the 2010 Sukkah City competition. (Photo by Matthew McDermott via Wikimedia Commons) them not Jewish – applying their knowledge, intelligence, creativity, and resources to coming up with these amazing designs, 12 of which are realized in the film.” JNS.org: Which phase of the Sukkah City event represents the climax of your film? Hutt: “I think the different parts of the film are all equally interesting. The ‘jury’ section is fascinating because you get some of the most intelligent and creative architects, academics and critics, in the architecture, design and art world, debating these submissions. You often see such intellectuals having such a passionate debate about anything, because that’s usually behind closed doors, especially if it’s a serious competition. “Second, what you didn’t get by attending the Sukkah City exhibition were all these background stories from the architects on how they came up with the designs, what sparked their interest in even applying for this competition. They read the original rules from the Talmud on what the sukkah can be and what it can’t be. All of these designers, they were all intrigued and inspired by different aspects of the rules. “The third piece, the installation and the exhibition, that’s sort of more a capturing of this event that was only two days long in Union Square, one of the busiest spaces in North America, and just to see what happened. Seeing the people of New York and elsewhere coming here and interacting with these structures, and with each other, learning about the sukkah and choosing their favorite. “As a film, it’s offering these different pieces of this one project, and I think it’s really interesting from start to finish because of that.” JNS.org: You previously directed “Orthodox Stance,” the documentary on Orthodox Jewish boxer Dmitry Salita. What has drawn you to make films on Jewish topics? Hutt: “Jewish culture and Jewish life have always been important to me, ever since I was a little kid. I grew up as an athlete, and hearing stories about [Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher] Sandy Koufax was really important. Always knowing who is Jewish and involved in this film, or in this business, or in this baseball team See “Sukkah” on page 10
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Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form soft, firm peaks. Set aside, keeping the mixer handy (no need to clean it at this point). Add the ricotta to the egg yolks, and begin mixing with the electric mixer at medium speed. After a minute or two, lower the speed, and keep it going slowly as you sprinkle the flour plus another ¼ teaspoon salt. When the dry items are completely incorporated, put aside the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to fold in the cooked vegetables and the minced mint. Spoon the beaten egg whites on top, then fold them in – gently but assertively, with a few quick strokes of the rubber spatula, circling down to the bottom of the bowl and around the sides. It doesn’t need to be uniform – just be sure the whites are reasonably distributed. Place a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet over medium heat and wait about a minute. Add a scant ½ tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the pan, and then melt in about a teaspoon of butter, if desired. Tilt the pan to distribute the butter, and when it’s hot enough to instantly sizzle a crumb, use a 1/3 or ¼ cup measure with a handle to scoop batter onto the hot pan, and fry for about two to three minutes on each side, or until golden and puffy. Serve right away, fresh from the pan. Yield: 3-4 servings (6-8 big, puffy pancakes) Black-Eyed Pea, Squash and Shiitake Stew Creamy black-eyed peas and chewy mushrooms play off beautifully against golden, sweet cubes of perfectly roasted butternut squash, while lemon and mustard infuse everything with sparkle and edge. I just love this recipe – truly one of my favorites. The black-eyed peas can be cooked – and the squash can be roasted – simultaneously, and well ahead of time. You can also use two 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and thoroughly drained, instead of soaking and cooking dried ones. Your call. Serve these with your favorite homemade biscuits or with crackers and cheddar. 1 cup (½ lb.) dry black-eyed peas, soaked (see note above) 1 medium-sized butternut squash (about 3 lbs.) – peeled, seeded and diced in ½-inch pieces (5 to 6 cups) 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 3 Tbsp. olive oil 2 cups minced red onion 2 tsp. dry mustard 1 tsp. salt (possibly more, to taste) 1½ tsp. minced or crushed garlic 20 medium-sized (2-inch cap) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar Black pepper to taste Lemon wedges Drain and rinse the soaked black-eyed peas, then transfer them to a saucepan and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, turn the heat way down and simmer, partially covered, until pleasantly tender (but not too, too soft) – about 30 minutes. Drain (saving the water, if possible) and set aside.
By Mollie Katzen JNS.org Sukkot is the early Thanksgiving, that perfect season when we might still have access to late tomatoes and zucchini, but the winter squash is coming in as well, heralding the impending chillier autumn. While Sukkot is not associated with specific foods or dishes in the same way as Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah or Passover are, vegetarian (or, at least, vegetable-based) dishes can still be enjoyed in the humble, makeshift setting of a sukkah, embracing this holiday as a celebration of the garden and of the spirit of impermanence and delicious relinquishment. Both of the following squash-based dishes come from my new book, “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” which is being published this September by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. These dishes go well with a simple tomato salad: thickly sliced heirlooms (of various colors, if available), drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper. A possible shower of herbes de Provence would top it off nicely. Zucchini-Ricotta Cloud Cakes Puffy savory pancakes are always a pleasant surprise for dinner. And these are among the fluffiest and most savory in my repertoire. Consider making these in two large pans – or on one large griddle, so that more people will be able to enjoy the result at the same time. 2 Tbsp. olive oil (approximate) ¾ cup finely minced onion 1 tsp. minced or crushed garlic 1 medium-sized (7-ounce, 7-inch) zucchini, sliced into very thin circles and quartered ½ tsp. salt Black pepper 1 tsp. white wine vinegar (in with the zucchini at the end of the sauté) 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 /3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 3 Tbsp. minced fresh mint leaves (could be more) A touch of butter (optional) Separate the eggs far enough ahead of time to allow them to get to room temperature. Place both yolks and whites in bowls large enough to accommodate additional ingredients and unabashed mixing, and cover them (plate or plastic wrap) while they stand. In the unlikely event that you are faced with leftover batter, it will keep for about a day in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Second-day cloud cakes will still be delicious – just a whole lot less inflated. Place a medium-sized (eight- to nineinch) skillet over medium heat and wait about a minute, then add one tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onion and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes, or until the onion becomes soft. Stir the garlic, zucchini and ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and continue to cook (with a few stirs) for about five minutes longer, or until the zucchini is wilted. Toss in the vinegar and some black pepper, and set aside.
Sukkot and squash make for a lovely pre-Thanksgiving meal
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774 ■
Prices effective Sunday, September 8 thru Saturday, September 28, 2013.
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ september 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774
Nate Freiman’s big year: Slugging for Israel to chasing a pennant in the big leagues
By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA) – Last September, first baseman Nate Freiman was doing his best to help Israel secure a spot in the World Baseball Classic. Despite some super hitting from the towering slugger, the team fell short. Fast forward a year. Freiman, 25, now finds himself in another playoff chase. Only this time it’s as a rookie in the big leagues, splitting time at first base for the Oakland Athletics. Playing for the A’s has been “an amazing experience,” Freiman said in a locker room interview before a recent game here
TC Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series By Kaitlynn Cooney The Regina F. Goldenberg Cultural Series event, “9 Operas in 90 Minutes” will be performed by Syracuse Opera at Temple Concord on Saturday, September 28, at 7 pm by three of opera’s “rising stars” and will highlight scenes from opera’s “greatest hits.” Each scene will be fully staged, with a “dynamic set and colorful costumes.” Organizers hope the production will break traditional opera stereotypes. Syracuse Opera, the only year-round professional opera company serving upstate New York, will perform “timeless” stories told in modern settings. There will be no charge to attend the performance, which will be open to the public, and parking will be free. Donations will be welcome. For more details, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rosamund Gifford Zoo Trip Congregants will visit the Rosamond Gifford Zoo to see some of the animals in the story of Noah’s ark on Saturday, October 5. Participants will meet in the zoo classroom at 5 pm, when educators will introduce them to some of the animals. TC members will also celebrate Havdalah. Following the zoo program, participants will go to a nearby restaurant for dinner. There will be a small fee for the program. For more information and to make reservations, contact Stephanie Marshall at dcl@ templeconcord.org. Scholar Series By Kaitlynn Cooney The first program of this year’s Scholar
against the Baltimore Orioles with possible playoff implications. “The level of play is extraordinary, and I’m doing as much work as I can to compete and help the team.” Whether playing for Israel or Oakland, Freiman is described as a level-headed hard worker who manages to keep a low profile — despite being 6-foot-8. Pitcher Alon Leichman, who played with Freiman on the Israeli squad, called him a “quiet giant,” seemingly oblivious to the pressure of the moment. Those traits came through last September when Freiman slammed two home runs in a win over South Africa.
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Series will be held on Tuesday, October 8, at 6 pm, when Syracuse Chief of Police Frank L. Fowler will speak about the consequences of gun violence in urban and suburban communities. He will discuss what constitutes gun violence and how it affects local communities. Fowler has served a total of 20 years in the armed forces and has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Army Commendation Medal for his actions during Operation Desert Storm. After joining the Syracuse Police Department in 1989, he rose to detective, sergeant and deputy chief of the Community Service Bureau. In December 2009, he was named chief of police. There will be no charge to attend the program, which will be open to the public, and parking will be free. Donations will be welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 475-9952 or office@ templeconcord.org. Junior Youth Group Temple Concord’s junior youth group participated in numerous activities this summer, including finishing a sign members made for the TC garden and then meeting with Rabbi Daniel Fellman, who blessed the sign and garden with garden volunteers on-hand. They also wrote letters to Israeli pen pals. Making the sign for the garden at Temple Concord is one example of different communities working together. In addition, the garden on the front lawn of the synagogue is planted, maintained and harvested by synagogue volunteers, while the produce grown in the garden goes to the TC food pantry.
It was all in a day’s work for the first baseman, who retreated to his locker after the game and read a book. “It’s not like he got fazed by anything,” said Leichman, one of two natives playing for Israel. Freiman is now applying his cool demeanor to the most electric period of a Major League Baseball regular season: a September pennant race. For the second consecutive season, Oakland was up against the Texas Rangers for the American League’s Western Division lead, with the Athletics holding a six and a half game lead at press time. The Athletics stand an excellent chance of gaining entry into the postseason. Last year, when Oakland was winning eight of its final nine games to overtake the Rangers for the A.L. West title on the season’s final day, Freiman was in the San Diego Padres organization and playing for Israel. By spring training this year, he had moved on to the HoustonAstros and then was acquired by Oakland. Freiman made his major league debut April 3 with two hits against the Seattle Mariners. So it’s been an eventful year for the former Duke University star, who holds the school record for home runs. Now the right-handed
TAY said, “The chapel at Temple Adath Yeshurun is what a serious, vibrant synagogue is all about. Every day of the year, without regard to the weather or calendar, each morning and afternoon, there are morning and evening minyan services. “The chapel represents a microcosm of synagogue life: whether it’s a baby naming, the Friday evening service led by a bar or bat mitzvah, prayers of healing, Kaddish being recited or the religious school children participating in tefillot. The chapel is a place to mourn, but also to celebrate and be part of a community. “I am so proud that the Miron family name will forever be attached to our chapel. The way they have lived their lives, their commitments and attachments are consistent with the message of our chapel – A House of Prayer, House of Study, and House of Assembly.” Bob and Diane Miron, of Manlius, have been a part of the TAY community for nearly 40 years. Bob said, “I feel a great attachment to the temple. Our kids all became b’nai mitzvah here.” The Mirons have three children – Nomi, Steve and Lisa – and nine grandchildren, and have been married for more than 50 years. Sherman said, “They have been honored by many organizations – both locally and nationally – but what I have come to appreciate is ‘they got it right.’ There is no arrogance or swagger, just a refreshing modesty and sweet humility. Most importantly, not just in words, but in deed, they have conveyed those same enduring values to their children and the next generation – the imperative of family, community, respect, responsibility, faith, and synagogue.” Diane grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Kean University with a degree in
Nate Freiman, a rookie first baseman for the Oakland Athletics, is trying to help his team make the playoffs. (Photo by Hillel Kuttler) hitter has settled into a platoon at first base with Brandon Moss. Entering action on September 10, Freiman was batting a solid .285 with four homers and 24 runs batted in. His manager, Bob Melvin, said he is impressed by the rookie spending hours in the batting cage and studying film of opposing pitchers. Freiman “prepares as hard as See “Pennant” on page 10
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education. She had a 25-year career teaching in New Jersey, Alabama, Missouri and the Fayetteville-Manlius School District. After retiring from teaching in the early 1990s, she joined NewChannels Cable to lead itsefforts in a new program called “Cable in the Classroom.” She led efforts for the company throughout its upstate New York cable school districts. As NewChannels formed its joint venture with Time Warner Cable, she did the same work for them, completing more than 10 years of work in the field before moving on. Bob retired in 2010 after a 50-year career in the broadcasting and cable industry. He graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. He was appointed to chair of Newhouse cable television interests in 1974. He has since retired as chair of Advance/Newhouse Communications, which operates Bright House Networks cable television systems. He is a member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees and also serves on the board and Executive Committee of Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. In 2000, he was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable’s Hall of Fame. He is a past local honoree of the TAY Citizen of the Year Award. This past June, Crouse Hospital announced the naming of the Diane and Bob Miron Cardiac Care Center. Regarding the timing of their donations, Bob said, “We want to do some of it while we’re alive.” Sherman said, “I recall a conversation with Bob and Diane about ‘giving.’ They shared with me why they wanted to endow the chapel at this time in their lives, as opposed to many of us who prefer to give after-the-fact. They wanted to do it now, in life, to celebrate, to witness the joy and meaning of such a significant gift.”
L-r: Temple Concord Rabbi Daniel Fellman, Shayna Myshrall, Emma Clardy, Colleen McCall and Emily Newman posed with the garden sign the junior youth group made for the TC garden.
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Following a donation by Bob and Diane Miron, the chapel at Temple Adath Yeshurun will be called the Miron Family Chapel.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774 ■
Jewish groups aiding Syrian refugees – sort of By Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA) – When Georgette Bennett decided a few months ago to help refugees from Syria’s civil war, she wanted to do it in a Jewish way. Citing a passage from Leviticus she said her late husband often quoted, “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor,” Bennett met with the CEO of a major Jewish aid group and quickly got him to agree to head a Jewish effort for the refugees. Bennett, a former professor, journalist and philanthropist, supplied the first $100,000. Alan Gill, the CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, got more than a dozen Jewish groups to sign on to the campaign, dubbed the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan. So far, more than $344,000 has been collected, most of it allocated to groups working with refugees in Jordan. But though they constitute some of the nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish organizations, most of the 16 groups in the coalition have done little to help the cause. They have not used the mechanisms they usually employ to rally Jewish support or raise money – mass e-mails and press releases, to name just a couple – even as many of them have posted conspicuous “calls to action” to rally support for a U.S. military strike against the Assad regime. Only three have posted prominent appeals on their websites. And only one, the JDC, has contributed any money of its own – $50,000, according to a spokesman. The biggest contributor so far has been Bennett herself, who has now put in a total of $150,000. “I found myself very much called by the Jewish imperative that commands us to act in the face of human suffering,” said Bennett, president of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, which she founded two decades ago in memory of her husband. “What makes it near to my heart is I was a refugee. I come from a refugee family. I’m a child of Holocaust survivors. And I can’t help but relate to the plight of these refugees.” Jewish groups are not working with Syrian refugees directly – that’s being left to local partners on the ground, many of which asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of their work and the Jewish source of the money. In a separate effort, the Israeli group IsraAid has been providing mattresses and food-and-hygiene packages to refugee families in urban areas in northern Jordan for the last year. As with the coalition’s effort, IsraAid is working with locals, but Israeli staffers have been traveling to Jordan every few weeks to coordinate the effort. “We do distributions in concert with local partners – they know we come from Israel,” Shachar Zahavi, the group’s director, told JTA. “Most often they’re surprised, but there is thanks. We have not encountered any hostility. Everybody’s been wonderful. We’re not representatives of the Israeli government. We’re a civil society organization.” IsraAid, which says it has spent tens of thousands of dollars so far, is funded in part by North American Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee and Toronto’s Jewish Federation. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is also planning on dispatching team members to Jordan to help the Syrian refugees find new homes overseas, including in the United
Continued from page 1 Some people have questioned why the upkeep of the Jewish cemeteries is so important, considering the living also have needs. SJCA Secretary Steven Sisskind said, “The answer to that question is that the living owe it to the members of the Jewish community who came before us to ensure that these resting places remain accessible and are maintained with dignity. As Jews, caring for our cemeteries is not only a practical obligation, but a moral one that fulfills the commandment of kavod ha-met, ‘providing dignity to the deceased,’ and ensures that the memories of those who passed before us are never lost.” For more information, contact Berinstein at 472-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Syrian refugees living in camps and tents in northern Jordan are receiving aid from Jewish and Israeli groups. (Photo courtesy of IsraAid) States. The effort, for which HIAS has received $50,000 from the coalition (HIAS is also a member), is not yet operational. The plan is to have people on the ground by 2014. “As a Jewish organization, we have to be very careful in terms of how we participate in the response,” HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield told JTA. “But now we’ve found a way to
participate constructively, and it’s clear our community needs to be represented in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.” Aside from HIAS, the members of the coalition – itself a subgroup of the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief – include the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism; the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the Union for Reform Judaism and its affiliated Religious Action Center; the Jewish Federations of North America; Ve’ahavta, a Canadian group dedicated to tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world; the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement; Mazon, the Jewish hunger relief organization; the U.K.-based World Jewish Relief; World ORT; the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; the World Jewish Congress; the American Jewish Committee and the JDC. Ve’ahavta and World Jewish Relief both have posted calls on their websites to help with the refugee crisis. “Each group decided what they want to do based on their constituencies,” said JDC spokesman Michael Geller. “They all participate in the calls. They participate in the allocations conversations.” Aside from the contributions by Bennett and the JDC, the coalition has received $25,000 each from two anonymous donors, $75,000 from the California-based Leichtag See “Refugees” on page 11
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing”
Proverbs 10: 7 Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association (SJCA) Appeal for the Continuing Repair of the SJCA-Administered Cemeteries Contributions received as of September 9, 2013
Anonymous (3) $590 Ettarae and Herbert Alpert Sidney and Shirley Ashkin $54 William and Phyllis Berinstein $500 Bruce and Gail Berlin $18 Christopher Skeval and Carrie Berse $36 Shirley Berson $18 Bet Havarim $641 Barbara and Leslie Davis $36 Arthur Diamond $54 Jonathan and Aveeya Dinkin $360 Lawrence Ellison $100 Harley and Nadzieja Finkelstein $118 Sandra Rappaport Fiske and Jordan Fiske $36 Heidi and David Francey $118 Judith Franklin $360 Boris and Yelena Geyfman $36 Victor and Carol Ginsky $118 Norma Goldberg $118 Ellen Golden $36 Asher and Joanne Greenhouse $36 Norma Groskin $54 Sylvia Groskin $20 Victor and Celaine Hershdorfer $300 Jewish Federation of CNY, Inc. $10,000 Sheldon and Mateele Kall $1,000
Don Fitzgerald and Laura Lavine Adrienne LeBlang $118 Mark and Jeannette Levinsohn $36 Marilyn Lipsy $36 Ronald and Heidi Lowenstein $360 Howard and Margo Lynne $36 Arnold and Marilyn Manheim $118 Shush Martin $36 Robert and Carole Millstein $36 Marilyn Novins $118 Eileen Phillips $500 Todd and Sarah Pinsky $500 Sharon Schloss $54 Steven and Laurie Segal $54 Michael and Amy Shaw $36 Melvyn Shindler $360 Robert and Harriet Silverman $54 Steven and Robin Sisskind $500 Sally Sokolsky $54 Murray and Carole Solomon $25 Estate of Avron Spector $10,000 Seymour Spevak $54 Syracuse Jewish Children’s Fund $1,000 Sandy and Delia Temes $108 Louis Orbach and Anastasia Urtz $54
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Bill Berinstein at 472-6341 or email@example.com Yes, I want to support the SJCA and help preserve these sacred spaces by making a donation today. Enclosed is our tax-deductible contribution to the SJCA: ¨ $36 ¨ $54 ¨ $118 ¨ $360 ¨ $500 ¨ $1,000
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Many gravestones have been overturned in Poiley Tzedek Cemetery, which is only one of 11 Syracuse-area Jewish cemeteries under the care of the Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association.
Please mail to: Syracuse Jewish Cemeteries Association, Inc., PO Box 741, DeWitt, NY 13214
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing”
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Calendar Highlights To see a full calendar of community events, visit the Federation's community calendar online at www.jewishfederationcny.org. Please notify firstname.lastname@example.org of any calendar changes.
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 Saturday, September 28 TC - Syracuse Opera presents opera night at 7 pm Sunday, September 29 Jewish Music and Cultural Festival at JCC from noon-6 pm Temple Adath Yeshurun Anbar lecture at 7 pm Tuesday, October 1 Jewish Federation of Central New York board meeting at 5:30 pm Wednesday, October 2 Deadline for the October 17 issue of the Jewish Observer TAY Hazak meeting at 8:45 am Saturday, October 5 TC Havdalah at Burnet Park Zoo at 5 pm Sunday, October 6 Jewish Foundation of Central New York teen funders meeting at 3:30 pm Monday, October 7 National Council of Jewish Women Hannah G. Solomon lunch at Justin’s Grill at 11:30 am Tuesday, October 8 Federation Community Relations Committee meeting at 4:45 pmTC scholars series at 6 pm
Continued from page 7
Preheat the oven to 400°F, then line a baking tray with parchment or foil, and slick it all over with a tablespoon of oil. (You can use a piece of cut squash to do this.) Spread out the squash in a single layer and roast in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender and nicely browned around the edges. (Check in on the roasting squash beginning at around 10 minutes; shake the tray from time to time and/or use tongs or a spatula to loosen and move the pieces around during roasting. You don’t want the bottom surfaces to burn.) When the squash is done, remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle the hot squash with two tablespoons of the lemon juice. Let it sit and soak this up as it cools. Meanwhile, proceed with the other items. Place a soup pot, large saucepan, or Dutch oven over medium heat and wait about a minute. Add the remaining two tablespoons oil, swirl to coat the pan, and then add the onion, dry mustard and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about eight to 10 minutes, or until the onions become very soft. Stir in the garlic, mushrooms, and another ½ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often and covering the pot in between. Add the beans to the vegetable mixture, along with the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, plus the vinegar. Taste to adjust the salt (it could need a touch more) and also shake in a generous amount of black pepper. Stir from the bottom of the pot – gently, so as not to break the beans – but thoroughly enough to get everything coated with everything else. If it seems dry, add up to ½ cup water (ideally the reserved bean-cooking water) and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or so – just long enough to heat through. Stir in the squash (actually fold it in – very carefully, to avoid mush) shortly before serving and heat gently to your desired temperature without actually cooking the stew further. The goal is to keep the texture varied and interesting. Serve hot. Yield: 4-6 servings Mollie Katzen has sold more than six million books and is listed by The New York Times as one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all-time. She has been named by Health Magazine as one of “The Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat.”
Trying to control our world By Joan Burstyn How are we to observe the biblical injunction that after the harvest, we are to have a seven-day festival of the Lord, with complete rest on the first and the eighth day? I know we adapt it each year according to our convenience, but what are we being asked to do at Sukkot, really? According to Leviticus 23, this festival of the Lord is “a law for all time, throughout the ages.” The command to us is “You shall live in booths seven days; all the people of Israel shall live in booths in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23: 42-43) As I see it, there are major differences between our lives and those of our ancestors that make it difficult for us to carry out this injunction according to the spirit intended for it. These differences include more than our living in a climate unlike the climate of Israel, which makes it impossible, really, for us to spend days and nights in our sukkahs. Most of us live in cities or towns now. Unlike farmers and shepherds, we are not attuned to the cycles of nature. We do not follow the rhythms of plowing, planting, growing and harvesting. Our calendar is determined by humans, not by the forces of nature, so fall is a time to begin projects, not a time for rest. Each fall, many of us continue at the jobs we have performed all year. We may have taken a vacation during the summer so that we return to our work with renewed energy in the fall. Others of us begin a new year in school or university, where fall is a time for the bustle of new beginnings, not for rest. Thus, we who live in cities follow rules designed by our employers, unlike farmers, whose routines were imposed on them by the seasons, or by other forces of nature. In fact, whether as farmers or city folk, we humans have increasingly controlled our own work habits, especially since we have gained the power to create constant light, heat and sound. Our rules may be imposed upon us, but they have been imposed by our boss, or our institution – which was
any young player I’ve had [who] is used to playing every day,” Melvin said. “The hard part for a young player is acclimating to a non-everyday role. On top of that, he’s a great kid and fits in well.” Melvin pointed to one highlight of Freiman’s season: his 18th-inning game-winning single on June 13 against the New York Yankees’ star relief pitcher, Mariano Rivera. Dan Otero, an Oakland pitcher, says he’s partial to Freiman’s four-hit game against the Houston Astros on August 15 that included a double and a home run. The two have been close friends since they were teammates at Duke, when their fathers would attend games together. Now their wives hang out together. Freiman’s love of books is rubbing off on his buddy: Otero is reading Dan Brown’s “Deception Point” based on a Freiman recommendation. Freiman’s pick these days is the Ayn Rand classic “Atlas Shrugged.” At Duke, Otero said, Freiman was “pretty much the same guy he is now – one of the most sincere and genuine guys not only in baseball but in life in general.” He added, “He’d be a bad card player because he’s bad at bluffing.” Freiman, a Boston native, attended countless Red Sox games at Fenway Park as a kid because his family had season tickets. So it was an extra thrill earlier this season to be playing in the fabled ballpark – “something I never thought I’d get to do” – but he pushed such thoughts aside “to focus on what I could do to help win the game.” Despite such career highlights, he still counts playing
– it’s something that we as Jews always do. We take pride in the accomplishments of fellow Jews and of Jewish life and Jewish civilization. As I got into documentary filmmaking, and I look around, and I see some very interesting aspects, some characters, some subjects in the contemporary Jewish experience, it makes me want to learn more about them, whether it’s Dmitry Salita or the Sukkah City design competition and exhibition. It’s just me really following my curiosity to learn about what I think are interesting projects, and to ultimately share them with an audience.” JNS.org: What insight do you hope for viewers of the film to gain on both the holiday of Sukkot and on the competition? Hutt: “The film is not just about the holiday of Sukkot, it’s not simply about the sukkah. It’s also about creativity. It’s also about how we as Jews continue to find meaning in ancient tradition, and how Judaism is what seems like an endless desk for interpretation and reinterpretation. And sort of the ways that we can continue to draw meaning and inspiration, and relevance, from a tradition that is thousands
created by other humans – not by some power beyond human understanding. Rarely do we attribute success or failure to causes beyond human control. Some of us may have been successful this year. If we have done so, we and our colleagues are likely to credit that success to ourselves, either personally or as a group. And, if we have failed in something this year, we are likely to believe that our failures were caused by ourselves, others or a combination of the two. Rarely do we consider that these events might have a cause outside the control of human beings. Though hurricanes and tornadoes may increase because of global warming, disasters caused by human error or deliberate intent seem to outnumber them by far. So the reason given in Leviticus 23:43 for why we should live in booths for the seven-day festival of Sukkot has little resonance with us: “...all the people of Israel shall live in booths in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I the Lord your God.” According to the text, when the Israelites began their trek through the wilderness, it was not they who came up with the idea that they should live in booths. It was God who “made the Israelite people live in booths,” and it is God who commands that the people of Israel recall that fact each year. If we were to emphasize that teaching each Sukkot, what difference might it make to our assumptions about the events that happen in our own lives from now on? Would we treat our environment any differently? Would we become more aware of or more caring for other creatures that share our world? Would we become more modest in our claims about the power of humans to control the future of the earth, of the universe? Joan N. Burstyn, professor emerita of education and history at Syracuse University, is a member of the adult education committee at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, and the advisory board of Women Transcending Boundaries. She is also a published poet.
Continued from page 8 for the Israeli team as an “extremely special experience” – although being knocked out in the WBC qualifiers was “extremely disappointing.” It wasn’t lost on him, he says, that the Israeli team members were playing at around the time of the High Holidays. (Another member of the Israeli team, pitcher Josh Zeid, made his major league debut in July with the Astros.) This year, Freiman says, attending synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was unlikely, given that his team is fighting for a playoff spot. He’s not alone. Another Jewish player, Josh Satin of the New York Mets, told JTA that while the holidays are “definitely” important, “at this point in my career I can’t really ask [to take off]. I’ve got to be here.” Still, Freiman said, the High Holidays carry great meaning for him. He grew up attending Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA, and vividly recalls a 2001 Rosh Hashanah sermon delivered by his rabbi a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “It was packed – the most people I ever saw there,” he said of the service. If things work out well for the Athletics in the season’s final few weeks, their home stadium, normally so deserted that the upper deck is sealed off, could be crowded, too, with the hard-hitting Freiman playing an important role. “It’s always an exciting time of year,” he said, referring to the High Holidays (though most baseball fans wouldn’t disagree if he was talking about the pennant race). “It definitely feels like a new beginning.”
Continued from page 6 and thousands of years old. And that’s what I think people can get from this film. I think it’s a film that on the one hand is informative and then also inspirational.”
The “Gathering” sukkah, one of 12 winning designs at the 2010 Sukkah City competition. (Photo by Michael Surtees)
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013/15 TISHREI 5774 ■
NEWS digest From JTA
Israeli-American Council aims to unite Israeli community in U.S.
The Israeli-American Council has announced a nationwide expansion plan to unite Israeli-Americans residing in the United States. The organization estimates that nearly 800,000 Israeli expatriates live throughout the U.S., but they are not currently connected by a national cultural organization. The organization was founded in Los Angeles in 2007 by a group of L.A.-based Israeli businessmen, originally intended to serve the Israeli-American population of Southern California. Now, in light of what the organization sees as a “pressing need” to unite Israeli Americans and prevent the erosion of their Israeli and Jewish identities, it is seeking to create community programming across the nation. “It is important to realize that many Israelis are not used to living in the Diaspora and as a result, are disconnected from the Jewish-American community and its institutions. Many of their kids assimilate at an astounding rate,” said Adam Milstein, chairman of the Israeli-American Council’s Expansion Committee. The group’s expansion plan includes opening a national headquarters and local chapters across the country. These chapters will engage in cultural, educational, advocacy and social activities across age groups. The Israeli-American Council plans to offer grants, collaborate with other Jewish organizations, and create pro-Israel and Jewish initiatives in cities throughout the United States.
obituaries Bernard “Bernie” E. Axenfeld
Bernard “Bernie” E. Axenfeld, 75, of DeWitt, died on August 31 at home. He was associated with his father at Onondaga Produce at the Regional Market for many years. He was a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2008 and 2009. He was the manager for the Atlas Linen Co. and a former member of Temple Concord. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara Dworksy Axenfeld; and his brothers, Maurice and Gary Axenfeld. He is survived by his children, Neil Axenfeld, Jill Axenfeld, Karen (Cary) Cerisano and Douglas (Nicole) Axenfeld; and four grandchildren. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Foundation at Menorah Park, 4101 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13214 or Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th North St., Liverpool, NY 13088.
Julie Beth Siminoff Sisskind
Julie Beth Siminoff Sisskind, 52, died on September 11. A Syracuse native residing in Morganville, NJ, she died from breast cancer. She is survived by her husband, David Sisskind; her children, Samantha and Jake; her mother, Mildred Siminoff; and her sisters, Laura and Faren. Burial was in New Jersey. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.
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Peres to honor Spielberg, Wiesel with medal
Israeli President Shimon Peres will award his Presidential Medal of Distinction to Steven Spielberg, Elie Wiesel and five other recipients. The awards were announced on Sept. 12 with a statement from Peres’ office. Spielberg is being awarded the medal “for his contribution to cinema over the past 50 years and specifically his unique contribution to the memory of the Holocaust, to the state of Israel, to the Jewish people and tikkun olam,” according to the statement. Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, “is one of the world’s top Jewish writers and intellectuals, a Holocaust survivor who for decades has worked to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust across the world and is the leading figure in the United States of America on the subject,” the statement said. Other recipients of this year’s award, which was instituted in 2012 by Peres, include Brig. Gen (res.) Avigdor Kahalani, a veteran of the Yom Kippur War, “for his leadership and lifelong contribution to Israel’s security”; Rabbi Elimelech Firer, who has created a medical network for those requiring medical assistance and consultation; Dr. Zvi (Harry) Tabor, who created the National Physical Laboratory of Israel; Avi Naor, founder of Or Yarok , the association for safer driving in Israel; and a member of Israel’s security services who must remain anonymous. Previous winners of the award include U.S. President Barack Obama; former U.S. President Bill Clinton; former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger; the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta; The Rashi Foundation; and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.
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Waze sale nets windfall for Israeli charities
An organization that takes donations of stock options from Israeli high tech firms and later gives the proceeds to youth-related causes received a windfall from the sale of the Israeli company Waze to Google. Tmura – the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund – announced on Sept. 10 that it would distribute some $1.5 million to five Israeli charities. The charities are: Chinuch L’Psago, which focuses on education for children from underprivileged areas; the Israeli Rett Syndrome Foundation, which funds research for treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome and provides information, programs, and services for people with the disease; Knafayim Shel Krembo, or “Krembo Wings,” a youth movement in Israel for children with special needs; the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center; and Tzeva, which operates a network of educational enrichment centers serving over 600 children from grades three to six. Waze, which created a popular GPS navigational app, contributed stock options to Tmura in 2011. Following Google’s acquisition of the Waze in June of this year for a reported price of nearly $1 billion, Tmura generated its biggest exit to date, according to the organization. More than 300 companies have donated to Tmura, with the proceeds from sales of equity amounting to a windfall worth over $9 million over the past decade for needy groups.
Continued from page 9 Foundation and about $20,000 from grass-roots donors. “The Jewish community understands tikkun olam, understands humanitarian responsibility,” said Will Recant, an assistant executive vice president at the JDC. “When they were made aware, they started to step forward just as they did for Darfur, Rwanda and other areas of humanitarian need.”
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NEWS IN bRIEF From JTA
Pope Francis praises Jews for keeping their faith amid “trials”
Pope Francis praised Jews for keeping their faith despite the Holocaust and other “terrible trials” throughout history, and reaffirmed Judaism as the “holy root” of Christianity. Francis made the statements in an unprecedented open letter to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian atheist and founding editor of the liberal newspaper La Repubblica. The pope’s letter, published on the front page of La Repubblica on Sept. 11, came in direct response to editorials this summer written by Scalfari that had directly addressed the pontiff on issues of faith and religion. The pope’s reply affirmed the necessity of an open dialogue with non-believers that he called “right and proper and precious.” The pope also responded to Scalfari’s query about “what we should say to our Jewish brothers about the promise made to them by God: has it all come to nothing?” “Believe me,” the pope wrote, “this is a question that challenges us radically as Christians, because, with the help of God, especially since Vatican Council II, we have rediscovered that the Jewish people are still for us the holy root from which Jesus germinated.” The pope said that, particularly through his close ties with Jews in his native Argentina, he had often, in prayer, “also questioned God, especially when my mind went to the memory of the terrible experience of the Shoah.” He added: “What I can say to you, with the Apostle Paul, is that God’s fidelity to the close covenant with Israel never failed and that, through the terrible trials of these centuries, the Jews have kept their faith in God. And for this, we shall never be sufficiently grateful to them as Church, but also as humanity.” By doing so, Francis noted, Jews served as an example for Christians. “Precisely by persevering in the faith of the God of the Covenant,” he said, they “called all, also us Christians, to the fact that we are always waiting, as pilgrims, for the Lord’s return and, therefore, that we must always be open to Him and never take refuge in what we have already attained.”
Polish scholar Barbara Engelking receives Karski award
Polish scholar Barbara Engelking received this year’s Jan Karski and Pola Nirenska Award. The award ceremony took place on Sept. 12 at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. The award founded by Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski is given by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York to authors of publications about Jewish life in Poland and the contribution of Jews to Polish culture. The cash prize is $5,000. Engelking is a psychologist and sociologist and the head of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She examines the history of the Warsaw Ghetto, German-occupied Warsaw and the Holocaust. Her best known book, written with Jacek Leociak, is “Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City.” She is also a co-author of the Holocaust gallery in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
Spain to vote on making Holocaust studies obligatory
Spain’s parliament is set to vote on an amendment that would make Holocaust studies obligatory for Spanish students. Spain’s ruling People’s Party recently submitted the proposed amendment to the education law for approval by Spain’s lower house, according to a report on Sept. 11 in the El Pais daily. If passed, the proposed amendment would introduce the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany into the curriculum “at various stages of basic education,” the Spanish news agency Europa Press reported on Sept. 12. The proposed amendment to the Organic Act for the
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Improvement of Educational Quality is part of a wider effort to include more materials that pertain to the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts and values underpinning democracy and human rights, Europa Press reported. Reports in Spanish media did not say when the vote is scheduled to take place. The president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, Isaac Querub, said the proposal “certainly represents progress,” but added that the Federation would have liked to see a “more comprehensive amendment, explaining the general history of the Jewish people,” according to Europa Press. “Unless the Holocaust is contextualized, it will give a distorted image of the history of the Jewish people,” he said. He added that recent polls indicating high levels of antisemitism in Spain meant the amendment is necessary. A study conducted last year by the Anti-Defamation League among 5,000 respondents from 10 European countries suggested that antisemitism in Spain was considerably more prevalent than in other countries. More than half of Spanish respondents to the ADL survey demonstrated antisemitic attitudes compared to 17 in Britain. The only country that topped Spain’s 53 percent score was Hungary, with 63 percent. “We believe that a better understanding of the Jews and their historical development limits bias,” Querub told Europa Press. Until the 1970s, Spain was ruled by Francisco Franco, who made Spain a noncombatant ally of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany during World War II. Still, Spain’s Jews were not handed over to the Nazis, and Spain under Franco became a major escape route for Jews fleeing Hitler’s persecution.
Israeli team wins male relay at Washington triathlon
A team of three staffers from the Israeli embassy won the male relay in an annual Washington, DC, triathlon. Calling themselves “Team Israel” and with an average listed age of 40, Eran Levi, Kfir Lavi and Dar Iwlar came in first among all-male teams in the Nation’s Triathlon on Sept. 8, according to results posted the week of Sept. 12. In a relay, each athlete takes up one leg of the triathlon, which includes swimming, running and cycling. The team’s combined time was two hours, nine minutes and 21 seconds, making them first among 27 all-male teams and second among all 140 teams. A co-ed team, with an average age of 33, bested them by 28 seconds for first place overall among relay teams. The Nation’s Triathlon benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Quebec introduces plan to ban gov’t employees’ religious symbols
Quebec’s government introduced its much-discussed Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban “overt and conspicuous” religious symbols worn by government employees. The plan proposed by the secessionist, secularminded Parti Quebecois would prohibit public and parapublic employees, from judges to day care workers, from wearing large crosses and crucifixes, Islamic headscarves, Sikh turbans and yarmulkes in order to establish “religious neutrality” in the public realm. If passed, the law would also make it mandatory to uncover one’s face when providing or receiving a state service. The prohibitions would apply to
often connect them with service jobs such as cleaning or factory work. Those jobs, in turn, make it harder for Ethiopians to purchase homes. As of 2010, Ethiopian homes were worth half that of the average Israeli home. “Many of them were illiterate in Ethiopia,” said Jack Habib, director of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, a government-funded think tank that studies Ethiopian Israelis. “You’re not going to take people like that and get them into higher-level jobs. You can’t elevate the quality of jobs unless you equalize educational distribution.” The Israeli government, along with several nonprofit organizations, provides a range of services and benefits to Ethiopian Israelis. The Absorption Ministry offers free
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New Ethiopian immigrants to Israel reunited with their relatives at Ben Gurion Airport on August 28. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images/JTA)
civil servants, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses and public day care employees. Elected officials would be exempt. Universities and municipalities could seek a renewable, five-year exemption. “The time has come to rally around our common values,” Bernard Drainville, the government minister in charge of the portfolio, said at a news conference on Sept. 10. “They define who we are. Let’s be proud of them.” A bill will be introduced this fall in the National Assembly. The minority government of Premier Pauline Marois will need opposition support for the measure to pass, however. The plan has been widely denounced as xenophobic and discriminatory, but polls show that a majority of francophone Quebecers approve the measures. The federal government responded that if the charter is approved, Ottawa would order a review by its Justice Department to ascertain if the law violates constitutional guarantees to freedom of religion. The Quebec office of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said in a statement that it is “dismayed” at the proposed charter. If passed, it “would restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of Quebecers. The proposed charter will run contrary to the provisions enshrined by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is unacceptable and will only serve to enflame civil discourse.” The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said “there is no justification” for the government’s proposed legislation. “The prohibition of wearing religious symbols in the public and para-public service is not justified, and would exclude a large number of Quebecers. The role of the state should be to bring people together, not to divide them,” it said.
Palestinians attack Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb
Palestinians threw rocks at Jewish worshippers and Israeli security forces at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. A Palestinian man who opened fire at Israeli forces during the incident on Sept. 12 morning was seriously injured after being shot by soldiers. Other Palestinians threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers. About 1,400 Jewish worshippers visited the site accompanied by Israeli soldiers. Organized visits to the tomb under police and military protection take place about once a month.
Putin denies report Russia will sell Iran advanced anti-aircraft missile batteries
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied a newspaper report that he has agreed to supply Iran with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile batteries and a new nuclear reactor. Russia’s Kommersant daily reported on Sept. 11 that “a source close to the Kremlin” said the agreement would be discussed on Sept. 13, when Russian President Vladimir Putin was to visit Tehran and meets with new Iranian President Hassan Rohani. The additional nuclear reactor would be built at the Bushehr nuclear site, according to the newspaper. A decision to supply Iran with the S-300s would renew an $800 million agreement for five of the anti-aircraft missile batteries cancelled by Russia in 2010, reportedly after pressure from Israel. The deal was originally signed in 2007; its cancellation led to tension between Russia and Iran, the Associated Press reported.
Continued from page 5 college tuition, tutoring, loans and lower mortgage rates to Ethiopians. Solomon is pushing to enforce a law mandating that Ethiopians comprise 1.5 percent of all government employees. And Mekonen-Degu is lobbying the government to provide stipends for Ethiopians who enter vocational training programs. “If I give [students] tools to deal with issues, they’ll succeed,” said Roni Akale, director-general of the Ethiopian National Project, a program that provided tutoring and youth activities for 4,500 Ethiopian teens last year. “What I can do is make them feel confident academically and socially.” Government projects for Ethiopians, though, have a mixed record. Homesh, a $230 million program for Ethiopian advancement run by five government ministries, was declared a “failure” by an official report earlier this year. According to the report, the program was disorganized, lacked accountability and failed to formulate a workable budget. The answer to Ethiopian woes, says Solomon, lies not in government subsidies, but in combating racism. According to Myers-JDC-Brookdale, about one in three Ethiopians has experienced discrimination. “This has to come from the top; it has to be a clear message,” Solomon said. “The government needs to pass laws and place heavy punishments so that racism won’t happen.” Even with the obstacles, a sense of optimism prevailed at the welcoming ceremony. Some veteran Ethiopian immigrants said that despite hardships they face in Israel, there’s no place they’d rather be. “I found what I was looking for here,” said Ezra Eschale, who moved to Israel three years ago. “We were like this once. Everything will work out.”
Published on Sep 23, 2013