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Michael Balanoff appointed Jewish Federation of CNY president/CEO and Jewish Community Foundation of CNY executive director BY BARBARA S. DAVIS The Boards of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York have announced the appointment of attorney Michael Balanoff as the new Jewish Federation president/CEO and the Jewish Community Foundation executive director as of November 1. Balanoff has been an active leader in the Jewish and general communities for many decades. He served for many years as the chair of the Federation’s Community Relation Committee, which is responsible for representing the Jewish community in intergroup and interreligious relations, as well as attending to the security and well-being of the Jewish community here and abroad. He is a past president of the Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth El and the Syracuse Jewish Federation. He is a Vietnam veteran who was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army. Federation President Ellen Weinstein said, “We are thrilled to have Michael at the helm. He has held positions of leadership on the boards of a number of Federation’s beneficiary agencies and has been involved professionally in the

not-for-profit sector of the community at large. As an active member of Federation’s board and as its Community Relations Committee chair, he has the knowledge and the passion to well serve and steer us on the steady course charted by our mission and Linda Alexander’s outstanding legacy of leadership. I look forward to working with him.” In accepting the appointment, Balanoff said, “Leading the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the Jewish

L-r: Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York Neil Bronstein and Chair of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Ellen Weinstein looked on as Michael Balanoff signed the contract to assume the positions of president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York effective on November 1.

Foundation of Central New York gives me the opportunity to effect important and lasting change at a time when we are faced with significant challenges. I hope to move us in a direction which will enhance our services and bring our kids back. I look forward to working with anyone who shares our values and seeks to help our Jewish community remain a vital and integral part of the Central New York community.”

See “Balanoff” on page 7

The Jewish Federation of CNY hosts television journalist David Gregory on October 22

The Jewish Federation of Central New York invites the community to listen to journalist David Gregory, current CNN political analyst and former moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” who will speak on “Today’s Issues and America’s Future” at Temple Adath Yeshurun on Sunday, October 22. The event is open to the public, free of charge, and will begin at 7:15 pm. Gregory will share with the audience his insights on the latest Washington headlines and current events facing the country. For more information, contact Campaign Associate Colleen Baker at 315-4452040, ext. 102.

Temple Adath Yeshurun Citizen of the Year – local honorees

de Tocqueville Society and BY SONALI MCINTYRE Hamilton White Society. She The Temple Adath Yeis annually the chair of the shurun’s Citizen of the National Council of Jewish Year dinner will be held Women’s Mitzvah Project. on Saturday, October 28, She has served on the boards with a cocktail reception at of the Sam Pomeranz Jew7:30 pm and dinner at 8:15 ish Community Center of pm. The national honoree Syracuse, Temple Adath is David Muir, a Syracuse Yeshurun, Jewish Federanative, who anchors ABC’s tion of Central New York, “World News Tonight with Robin Goldberg Mark Wladis Steven Wladis Norman Swanson Linda LeMura Menorah Park and WCNY. David Muir” and co-anchors LeMura is the 14th president of Le “20/20.” Five other individuals, whose service to the community” and the Esther leadership roles, including president of the dedication and activities benefit the Jewish and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Syracuse Hebrew Day School; president Moyne College and the first female community and the wider Central New Jewish Community Leadership (along of Make-A-Wish of Central New York; layperson to rise to that position. In her York community, will also be honored. with her husband, Neil Goldberg) from the chair of the Lion of Judah Division at time as president, Le Moyne has had two The local honorees are Robin Goldberg, Jewish Federation of Central New York the Jewish Federation of Central New consecutive, record-breaking fund-raisLinda LeMura, Norman Swanson, Mark for “outstanding leadership” in the Jewish York; and co-chair of the United Way of ing years, and two students have earned See “Citizen” on page 2 Wladis and Steven Wladis. community. In 2016, Goldberg received Central New York’s campaigns Alexis Goldberg is a retired dentist and a the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award for “community volunteer extraordinaire.” her encouragement of membership and C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A She has received numerous awards for her active commitment as Lion of Judah September 29.................. 6:31 pm............................................Parasha-Yom Kippur leadership and service to the community, coordinator for the Jewish Federation of October 4. . ....................... 6:22 pm...........................................................Erev Sukkot especially in the Jewish community. Her Central New York, an organization that is October 5. . .............. after 7:20 pm................................................................... Sukkot accolades include the Hannah G. Solo- said to play “a vital role in creating social October 6. . ....................... 6:19 pm..................................................... Parasha-Sukkot mon Award from the National Council justice, aiding the vulnerable, preserving October 11. . ..................... 6:10 pm...........................................Erev Shemini Atzeret of Jewish Women, Greater Syracuse human dignity and building Jewish idenOctober 12. . ............ after 7:08 pm. ............................................. Erev Simchat Torah Section At-Large for her “exceptional tity.” Goldberg has held a plethora of past October 13....................... 6:07 pm..................................................... Parasha-Bershit

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Six13 in concert

Holiday services

Saving Jewish recipes

Jewish a cappella group Six13 Local synagogues announce their The new Jewish Food Society aims will perform in Syracuse through a Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and to archive Jewish recipes from grant from the Jewish Federation. Simchat Torah services. around the world. Story on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 7

PLUS D’var Torah............................... 6 Calendar Highlights............... 7 Obituaries................................. 7 Fall Home & Real Estate....... 8



A MATTER OF OPINION Raising a Jewish child – facing the challenge BY RABBI IRVIN S. BEIGEL I am writing this for my children and for all those who are or may become parents. Please read no further if being Jewish is irrelevant to your life; or if you don’t care whether or not your child sees being Jewish as anything more than an accident of birth, no more significant than his or her eye color; or if you are indifferent to whether or not your grandchildren even consider themselves to be Jews. If you are still reading, I will assume that being Jewish has some meaning for you, that you want it to have meaning for your children, and that you care about the future well-being of the Jewish people. Raising a Jewish child is a challenge. We live in a society that gives priority to the needs and desires of the individual over the needs of the community and larger group. In our largely egalitarian society, believing that people are not all the same and that all religions are not the same is often seen as bigotry. Judaism sees the world very differently. Every life is sacred, but the needs of the Jewish people take precedence over the desires of each Jew. Distinctions between people and between religious faiths are recognized and respected.


Fulbright Program scholarships. Prior to becoming college president, LeMura served for seven years as college provost and vice president of academic affairs. She played a “pivotal” role in the revision of the college’s core curriculum, the establishment of the Madden School of Business, and the renovation and expansion of Le Moyne’s science facilities. Before Le Moyne, LeMura was a professor, graduate program director and associate dean at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Niagara University and earned a master of science and doctorate in applied physiology from Syracuse University. She has been a research consultant for the U.S. and Italian Olympic Committees. Her research interests include pediatric obesity, pediatric applied physiology and lipid and energy metabolism. She has also taught anatomy and physiology, bioethics and the biology of aging. LeMura is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and has served locally on the boards of CenterState CEO (Corporation for Economic Opportunity), Syracuse Symphony, the Everson Museum of Art and the Syracuse International Film Festival. Swanson is the president and owner of the Woodbine Group Inc., a real estate development and management company that holds interests in warehousing and hospitality. A graduate of Syracuse University, Swanson has 40 years of experience in commercial real estate sales and development, founding the Woodbine Group in 1978. Swanson adapted the former Temple Adath Yeshurun building on South Crouse Avenue into the Hotel Skyler, which is one of only three LEED Platinum hotels in the country and the only adaptive re-use LEED Platinum hospitality project. He believes in investing in historic buildings and bringing new life into formerly under-utilized buildings. Swanson’s projects include the development, ownership and operation of the Genesee Grande Hotel, Parkview Hotel and Hotel Skyler, to name a few. Professionally, he was a board member of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, and he is a past president and current board member of the East Genesee Regents

In this world, a Jewish parent can do all the right things and still have children choose a different path. As a parent, I have made my share of mistakes. The purpose of this essay is neither to criticize parents who have done their best, nor to offer a magic bullet, but rather to suggest issues that parents serious about raising Jewish children need to think about. There are four areas that will be addressed: you, the parents, the home you create, the Jewish school you choose and the synagogue and community. The first and most influential people your child will meet are you, the parents. Start by looking honestly at your Jewish commitment. I believe that it was Professor Eugene Borowitz from Hebrew Union College who once noted that, for most Jews, Judaism is not the thing they do. It is one of the things they do and they will do it when it doesn’t interfere with anything else. If this describes you, the message to your children is that being Jewish is not all that important. In what ways do you put Jewish values and Jewish observances ahead of the other priorities in your life? Does being Jewish affect your everyday life as well as the major decisions in your life? Does being

Continued from page 2

Association. He’s been a member of the University Hill Corporation for more than 20 years, and was a member of the Metropolitan Development Association for more than 10 years. Mark Wladis is the president and founder of the Wladis Law Firm, P.C. His practice is focused on providing corporate counsel and performing a myriad of critical tasks for his business clients. He is an active member of the community and served as Campaign chair of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Annual Campaign; chair of “Success By 6” through the United Way; chair of the Early Childhood Alliance Business Council; and as a board member of AAA Western and Central New York. Wladis has chaired the Jewish Federation of Central New York Annual Campaign for the past two years and will do so again for the coming year. Steven Wladis is president of the Wladis Companies Inc., a full-service employee benefits firm founded by his late father, George Wladis. The firm is committed to providing the “highest level of service, dedication and integrity” to its clients, which has led them to being considered as “one of the premier employee benefit agencies” in upstate New York. In 2016, the firm was named “Producer of the Year” for the Business Council of New York State. Wladis has served on the board of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, including two years as vice president of finance. He is currently vice president of the board of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, and serves as co-chair of the foundation board of the Syracuse Community Health Center. The Wladis brothers are Syracuse natives who “proudly continue” a tradition started by their father, George, co-chairing an annual drive to provide winter hats and gloves to every elementary school child in the Syracuse City School District. Tickets for the Citizen of the Year dinner are available for purchase. To request ticket information, or event sponsorship and advertising information, contact Media and Public Relations Coordinator Sonali McIntyre at or 315-445-0002, ext. 123.

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To advertise, contact Bonnie Rozen at or 800-779-7896, ext. 244

Jewish make a difference in how you act in business, what decisions you make about medical care, how you arrange your weekly schedule? The choices you make, and how you make those choices, will teach your children more than anything you preach to them. Responsible parents will not wait until their child is born to be concerned about the child’s physical health. They will begin to create a safe and healthy environment for the child and see that they themselves are healthy enough to face the demands of parenthood even before the child is conceived. The child’s spiritual well-being and their “Jewish health” deserve no less care. The home you create will be determined by how you respond to the issues above. What I believe impresses children is a home in which there is warmth and hospitality. It is a home in which there are Shabbat and Jewish holidays. It is a home in which Jewish things are done not out of nostalgia, but because they have meaning and significance. Mitzvot (commandments) are, of course, seen by tradition as obligations. It is also important, however, for children to know that mitzvot take ideals of justice, compassion, our accountability to God, holiness and Jewish peoplehood, and transform those ideals into specific behaviors. We don’t just believe in kindness and charity; we live these ideals every day. We are conscious always that God holds us to account for our behavior and that God is concerned about every creation. We live these values through Shabbat, keeping kosher and having a tzedakah box in our home. When we have Jewish books and music in our home, we are telling our children that Jews are expected to learn and understand and, yes, even struggle with their tradition. It is in the home that children will see that being Jewish means to be both committed and open-minded. They will learn to ask questions and act every day in ways that strengthen their ties to our rich past, present and future. Children will experience both the joy of Purim and the sadness of Tisha B’Av. It is

of Central New York

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at home that children will learn that living as a Jew is worth the effort. We have already mentioned the importance of learning. Choosing a Jewish school that will offer a maximum Jewish education in addition to secular studies is critical. Every school will have a stance on Jewish practice and tradition. Be aware of what your school stands for. Ask what the school’s attitude is to other Jews as well as to non-Jews. When you choose a school, remember that this school is also your child’s community. You want a school that has high academic standards, but recognizes that all children are not the same. You want a school that shares your Jewish outlook and is a place where your child will meet children from families who share a similar outlook. Lastly, but not least, raising Jewish children is aided greatly by your involvement with them in a synagogue community. Being Jewish means being part of the Jewish people. Communal prayer is vital. A child is never too young to begin the habit of synagogue attendance. He or she needs to know, however, that one does not outgrow the synagogue; one grows into it. Your example will be critical. If you are moving to a new home, plan to live near a synagogue. Many communities, including our own, will extend Shabbat hospitality to prospective newcomers. Take advantage of that. Experience the community for yourself. At the outset, I admitted that I do not have a secret formula guaranteed to produce a child committed to Judaism and the Jewish people. In this world, there are no such certainties. Yet, there are things that, generally speaking, will make this outcome more likely. I have touched on some of them here. If you intend to bring children into the world, may you be blessed to see them grow in good health to become loyal and committed Jews, sources of pride to you and the Jewish people. Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel is a member of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, the Crouse Hospital Jewish chaplain and Upstate University associate chaplain. All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017/8 TISHREI 5778 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Free a cappella concert thanks to Federation funds

The Jewish a cappella group Six13 will perform on Sunday, October 15, at Temple Adath Yeshurun. The group’s visit is made possible by a grant from the Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Central New York.

See “Concert” on page 6

SJFS invites the community to celebrate its 125th on October 10

See “SJFS” on page 6

Sisterhood symposium to look at Jewish assimilation

The JO needs your help

Last year, the Jewish Observer Appeal received $34,643 in donations. The JO Oversight Committee had hoped to surpass that amount, but it’s short and only $29,256 has been received so far. The Committee hopes that people who haven’t given yet will consider giving now. The Committee believes it does important work notifying readers of upcoming Jewish events and news about the Jewish community readers will not find elsewhere. To make a donation, go to the Federation website ( and click on the tzedakah box to make a payment using a credit card or PayPal; or mail a check to Jewish Federation of CNY, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt, NY 13214 ( note “JO” on it); or call Kathie Piirak at 315-445-204, ext. 106, or JO Editor Bette Siegel, at 315-445-2040, ext. 116; or drop off a check at the Federation offices, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt.



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



Wednesday, September 27............ October 12 Monday, October 9, early............. October 26 Wednesday, October 25............... November 9 Wednesday, November 8........... November 23

Jenna Weissman Joselit

See “Symposium” on page 6

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu OCTOBER 2-6 Monday – crispy baked teriyaki chicken wings Tuesday – spinach cheese quiche Wednesday – orange glazed chicken Thursday – closed for Sukkot Friday – closed for Sukkot OCTOBER 9-13 Monday – tomato basil soup, grilled cheese Tuesday – beef stew over egg noodles Wednesday – chicken rollatini Thursday – closed for Shemini Atzeret Friday – closed for Simchat Torah The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday DONATE YOUR CAR TO BETH SHOLOM, CONCORD, OR THE JCC, THRU C*A*R*S (a locally owned Manlius company)

“giving to your own” MIKE LESSEN 315-256-6167 Charitable Auto Resource Service in our 17th year of enriching the religious sector


through Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For further information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or

To advertise, please contact Bonnie Rozen at 800-779-7896, ext. 244 or bonnie@


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CLEANING LADY Providing all residential housekeeping duties Anna Bas-Masio 315-396-5563 Ellie Malzman & Family

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Concord SYRACUSE JEWISH GENEALOGY residents who had been involved with GROUP TO FORM Jewish genealogical research. A few BY MIKE FIXLER people responded and the On Sunday, October 8, at Concord Brotherhood worked 10 am, the Temple Concord out the details to bring Altman Brotherhood will hold a to Syracuse. meeting to form a Syracuse Altman has some “valuJewish genealogy society. Inable” experiences and backternationally-known speaker ground. He is the coordinator Nolan Altman will make the for JewishGen’s Holocaust presentation, which is open Database and JewishGen’s to the Jewish community and Worldwide Burial Registry. will take place in the Temple He is a past president of the Concord social hall. Some Jewish Genealogical Society Nolan Altman light breakfast refreshments of Long Island and has made will be served. numerous presentations on genealogy, A number of months ago, Altman, including in Boston, Chicago, Los Ana board member for the International geles and Paris, among others. He has Association of Jewish Genealogical had articles published in various geneSocieties, contacted some Syracuse-area alogical journals and continues to be a

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas HAZAK – FUN WITH MATH AND STATISTICS The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas chapter of Hazak will offer a program titled “Fun with Math and Statistics” on Sunday, October 8, at CBS-CS at 11:30 am. Sherman Chottiner, emeritus professor of quantitative methods at Syracuse University, will present a “fun-filled, non-threatening, mind-boggling” math and statistics program with audience participation. Topics will include Jewish mathematicians; birthday match game; Monty Hall final door problem; numbers, numbers,

numbers (Georg Cantor measures different infinities with Hebrew symbols); compound interest (which bank should you pick: 4 percent compounded quarterly or 3.5 percent with an infinite number of compounds); rule of 72 (practical financial rule to determine how long it takes for money to double); random numbers (book to cure insomnia); Powerball (let’s play to see how few numbers you get right); and how you can learn calculus. Attendees will receive a free copy of Chottiner’s book, “Mathematics Alive and Applied.”

promoter of genealogical research. He will talk about some of the advantages of being part of a local group, as well as some of the techniques for getting

started or furthering one’s research. To make a reservation, or for more information, contact Brotherhood President Mike Fixler at

Temple Adath Yeshurun

L-r: Matthew Packard and Andrew Packard did class work during Sunday morning religious school at Temple Adath Yeshurun. For more information about TAY Religious School, contact Esa Jaffe, interim education director, at

Reuben Sieradski started his literacy journal on his first day of 3PK, a program through the Syracuse City School District, at Rothschild Early Childhood Center. For more information about the Rothschild Early Childhood Center, call 315-445-0049, e-mail, or visit www.

L-r: Mel Rubenstein, Mady Rubenstein, Sylvia Gilman, David Mizruchi and Asher Greenhouse gathered around a display table for a presentation about Mel’s book, “The Smell of Leather: The History of Rochester Shoe Stores.” Almost 40 people attended the presentation hosted by TAY Hazak.

Sukkot around the community Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (USCJ affiliated), 18 Patsy Ln., off Jamesville Rd., DeWitt, 315-446-9570 or Contact Melissa Harkavy for youth programs at director@ or 315-701-2685. Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse (Orthodox, affiliated with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), 4313 E. Genesee St., DeWitt, 315-446-6194. Temple Adath Yeshurun (USCJ affiliated), 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse, 315-445-0002. Temple Concord (Reform, affiliated with Union for Reform Judaism), 910 Madison St., Syracuse, 315-475-9952. Chabad House at SU. All services at Chabad House, 825 Ostrom Ave., Syracuse, 315-424-0363. Hillel – Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life at Syracuse University Campus, 102 Walnut Pl., Syracuse. For more information, contact Rabbi Leah Fein at or 315-422-5082.

Congregation Beth SholomChevra Shas SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 Build the CBS-CS sukkah at 9:45 am

Decorate the CBS-CS sukkah at 12:15 pm, followed by a light lunch in the sukkah for students staying after religious school WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 Erev Sukkot Decorate the CBS-CS sukkah at noon Candle lighting 6:20 pm THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 Sukkot day one Shacharit 9:30 am FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 Sukkot day two Shacharit 9:30 am SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot Open sukkah at the Pepperstones, 210 Cooper Ln., DeWitt, from 4-6 pm Havdalah 7:15 pm SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 Dinner in the Hut at 5 pm Enjoy a potluck dinner in the sukkah with family and friends; reservations to 315-446-9570 or and indicate what pareve or dairy dish or paper goods you will bring. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11 Hoshanah Rabbah Conservative daily service – morning service at 7:30 am with CBS-CS at TAY See “Sukkot” on page 8

SEPTEMBER 28, 2017/8 TISHREI 5778 ■


Security a priority for community and law enforcement

JCC’s Early Childhood Program kicks off another school year

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BY WILLIAM WALLAK In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program transitioned from summer camp to the new school year in just two weeks. The first week of school kicked off on September 5 – with many familiar faces returning to the program as well as children new to the JCC. Staff said all went well as teachers and students hit the ground running. For more information about the JCC’s Early Childhood Program, call 315-4452040, ext. 120, or visit

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iff’s Office, Onondaga County Emergency Management Office, town of Dewitt Police Department and the city of Syracuse Police Department. One of the main consistent themes throughout this year’s presentations was “If You See Something – Say Something,” a message that came from every level of law enforcement with multiple examples of how a delay in reporting what might be a threat could result in tragedy. It was emphasized that people should never hesitate to report anything even remotely suspicious. A call to 911 might help avert a tragedy of “major proportions.” There was an educational component presented, with information about the current status of hate crimes on the national and local levels. Todd Pinsky, incoming chair of the Community Relations Committee, said, “In the follow-up discussion, all of the law enforcement representatives complimented the local Jewish community and its leaders for its emergency preparedness and attentiveness to this topic, which is one that the law enforcement is vigilantly monitoring and addressing hand-in-hand with each other and the community at large.” For more information about this conference, contact Judith Stander at jstander@

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Above: Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Early Childhood Development Program prekindergarten student Ethan Gadarian worked on number recognition.

At left: Infants in the JCC’s ECDP sometimes get creative in a very handson way. Amelia Fedors explored the sensory-rich soap foam.

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BY JUDITH STANDER On September 13, 36 representatives from every major local Jewish organization in the Central New York community met 30 representatives from 11 different federal, state, county and local law enforcement and first responder organizations to discuss safety and security within the community. The invitation-only event was presented through the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and coordinated by Susan Case DeMari, Federation’s security liaison. The conference was held at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. Incoming President/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Michael Balanoff welcomed all the attendees. DeMari led the introductions around the room, followed by presentations designed to reinforce emergency preparedness, increase communications, follow through with suspicious activity reporting and avoiding complacency. The pre-High Holiday security conference was held for the Jewish community to minimize disruptions in the celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Presenters at theconference included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York State Police, Onondaga County Sher-


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At left: Three-yearolds in the JCC’s ECDP explored n a t u re o n t h e playground during the first week of school. L-r: Grace Goldberg, Rose Braaga, Logan Bisnett and Lyra Shirilan-Howlett.

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017/8 TISHREI 5778 ■


The Jewish Food Society wants to preserve your grandma’s recipes BY JOSEFIN DOLSTEN TENAFLY, NJ (JTA) – Ayala Hodak usually cooks the way her mother taught her: adding a pinch of spice here or relying on her eyes – never a measuring cup! – to judge how much liquid to add. But on a recent Tuesday, she was being much more precise. At her home in this suburban town less than 15 miles from New York City, Hodak, 52, who grew up in an Iranian family in Israel, measured the amount of salt and pepper she added to a stew. She also paused to demonstrate how thickly to cut a piece of beef. Her reason for the accuracy: Hodak’s recipe was being recorded by a new nonprofit, the Jewish Food Society, which aims to be an archive of Jewish recipes from around the world. Its kibbutz-born founder, who once promoted Israeli culture as an employee of the Israeli Consulate in New York, was inspired by the diversity of food traditions in Israel and her desire to preserve them in the Diaspora. “I realized there is an urgency in capturing these stories because the older generation is about to leave the world, and many of these recipes are labor- and time-consuming in a way that we should really protect them,” the society’s founder, Naama Shefi, told JTA. “These are skills that would just disappear if no one could capture them in a methodic way.” The project, which launched officially in March and receives financial support from several Jewish foundations, has added over a dozen recipes to its online archive, and more are on the way. Along with the recipes are photographs and stories of the cook’s family history, as well as how he or she learned to make the dish. Each week, Shefi, 36, who lives on New York’s

Calendar Highlights

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Monday, October 2 Diaspora dinner at King David’s in Fayetteville with Rabbi Daniel Fellman Thursday, October 5 Sukkot, Day 1 JCC and Federation offices closed Friday, October 6 Sukkot, Day 2 JCC and Federation offices closed Saturday, October 7 Temple Concord Cinemagogue presents “Denial” at 7:30 pm Sunday, October 8 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Hazak presents a program on “Fun with Math and Statistics” at 10:30 am TC GAN will hold a program on “Sukkot and Simchat Torah” at 10:30 am Monday, October 9 National Council of Jewish Women, Syracuse Section At Large holds the Hannah G. Solomon Award luncheon at Justin’s Tuscan Café at 11:30 am PJ Library® builds mini sukkahs at Home Depot on Bridge Street at 10 am Tuesday, October 10 Jewish Family Service holds 125th anniversary celebration from 5:30 – 8 pm at The Bistro at Menorah Park TC adult education: learn about Israel with Rabbi Daniel Fellman at 10 am Thursday, October 12 Shemini Atzeret - JCC and Federation offices closed Friday, October 13 Simchat Torah - JCC and Federation offices closed Saturday, October 14 TC pizza dinner and Havdallah at TC and then to Holden Observatory Sunday, October 15 Federation-funded Six13 a cappella community event at Temple Adath Yeshurun at 11 am


Lower East Side, interviews a chef and takes down his or her story. If distance permits, Shefi or an Israel-based employee will meet with the cook in person; if not, they communicate long distance. All ingredients are measured, and dishes are then re-created in a test kitchen and adjusted accordingly. Though some participants work in the food industry – Hodak is the manager and co-owner of Taboon, a Midtown Manhattan restaurant serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired food – others are home cooks. Shefi came up with the idea after a Shabbat meal in 2005 at the home of her now-husband’s grandmother, who was born in Turkey, but also lived in Greece and South Africa prior to immigrating to Israel with her family. “The flavors really represented all of their previous immigration stories and journeys, and some worlds that do not even exist anymore,” she said. “It was such a vivid expression of disappearing worlds, and of bitter and sweet memories. It was just moving, so I told him, let’s just spend a day with her try to capture a few recipes. It was just really inspiring.” Shefi has always had an interest in food, though she did not get it at home. “Good food wasn’t part of my childhood,” said Shefi, who grew up on Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha in central Israel. “Between the [kibbutz’s] communal dining room and the fact that my mom is not the best cook in the world, good food was out of reach.” But as a young girl, she would urge her parents to take her to Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market or a nearby Yemenite neighborhood to try different types of cuisines. “It became my life’s passion,” Shefi said. “At the beginning just because it tasted really good, but later because I realized it tells a fantastic story about families and people and cultures.” In 2008, when she took the consulate job, she could use that passion in a professional way. Having just graduated from the New School with a master’s degree in film, Shefi was tasked with promoting Israeli culture. She decided to do so through food, hosting Israel-themed dinners, wine tastings and panels in New York. She also organized trips to the Jewish state for American food writers. In 2013, Shefi launched the Kubbeh Project, a threeweek pop-up in Greenwich Village serving kubbeh soup, an Iraqi Jewish dish featuring meat-filled semolina dumplings in vegetable broth. The project received wide media coverage and had people lining up for hours for a taste of the delicacy. “The first day I came to the venue at 2 pm, I saw this line around the block, almost like a ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ line,” she said, referring to the popular free performances in Central Park. “And I was just amazed that these people are waiting for us. This line never stopped for these three weeks and people stood hours and hours in the snow.” Now the Jewish Food Society, for which Shefi works full time, provides a way to combine her two passions: food and storytelling. “For a while I was really interested

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in storytelling through filmmaking,” she said. “Still my main interest is storytelling, but the medium changed to food.” In addition to the weekly cooking session, the nonprofit puts on larger-scale events, such as a Passover seder that showcased three Mexico-born Jewish chefs, and Schmaltzy, a yearly storytelling event where people share the stories behind family recipes. A Moroccan-style Mimouna, a bread-filled celebration held the day after Passover, is in the works, Shefi said. Her family are Polish Jews, not Sephardi, but said such distinctions blur in Israeli kitchens. “Israel is a not See “Food” on page 8


Anne Meltzer, 80, died on September 17 at home. Born in the Bronx, she had lived most of her life in Syracuse. She was a teacher in the Syracuse City Schools until retiring. She was a longtime member of Temple Adath Yeshurun. She is survived by two nephews, Dan Meltzer and John (Jessica) Meltzer; and a cousin, Donna (John) Breazzano. Burial was in Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. 


Continued from page 1

Linda Alexander, whom Balanoff is succeeding, expressed confidence in Balanoff’s ability to run Federation and the Foundation, and said, “Michael has the important skills to excel in both roles. He has years of successful Jewish community leadership on many Jewish boards, serving often as the president. Even more importantly, his judgment and his ability to bring people together and build consensus are exemplary. I have full confidence that he will bring our Federation and Foundation to new heights.” Balanoff is a founder and past president of the Central New York Bankruptcy Bar Association and practiced before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, where he is on a select panel of mediators and arbitrators. He was a partner in the law firm of Bousquet Holstein, formerly Green and Seifter. In addition, he has lectured for bar association groups and accountants regarding all aspects of bankruptcy law. He is leaving his position as director of development at Legal Services of Central New York, where he is responsible for fund-raising and public relations, to assume his responsibilities at Federation and the Foundation. He and his wife Eunice are the parents of three sons, Jared, Brian and Noah, and have six grandchildren.

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Candle lighting 6:09 pm THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Shemini Atzeret Shacharit 9:30 am Yizkor Candle lighting after 7:07 pm THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Erev Simchat Torah FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 Simchat Torah Shacharit 9:30 am The Torah and haftarah readings will take place later in the afternoon. Celebration and Ma’ariv 5:30 pm. Come sing and dance with the Torah as members of the congregation lead the hakafot. There will be snacks, Ma’ariv, hakafot, singing and dancing, followed by dinner. Dinner reservations to 315-446-9570 or Candle lighting 6:09 pm SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 Havdalah 7:04 pm

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Shemini Atzeret Chumash class 8:15 am Morning services 9 am Yizkor 10:15 am (approx.) Mincha 6:10 pm Candle lighting 7:16 pm Hakafot 7:20 pm FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 Simchat Torah Morning services 8:45 am Hakafot 9:45 am Candle lighting 6:07 pm Mincha 6:10 pm Simchat Torah celebration There will be advisors from Yeshiva University to help with the ruach, singing and dancing. There will be food, chocolate and fun for all. The Torah Tours Simchat Torah celebration is sponsored by Selma Radin in memory of her husband, Sherwin Radin, and in honor of her family. NCSY will have a pizza party, and then go to Menorah Park for singing and dancing with the residents.

Temple Adath Yeshurun WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 Erev Sukkot Candle lighting 6:21 pm Evening service 6:30 pm THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 Sukkot day one Morning service 9:15 am Evening service 5:30 pm Candle lighting 7 pm FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 Sukkot day two Morning service 9:15 am Evening service 5:30 pm Candle lighting 6:17 pm SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 Shabbat Chol Hamoed Morning service 9:15 am Pizza in the Hut following services. Reservations requested; contact the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or Mincha, Ma’ariv, Havdalah 6:30 pm WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11 Hoshanah Rabbah Conservative daily service – morning service at 7:30 am with CBS-CS at TAY Erev Shemini Atzeret Candle lighting 6:09 pm Evening services 6 pm THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Shemini Atzeret Morning service 9:15 am Yizkor Erev Simchat Torah Evening services 6:15 pm Family celebration 7 pm Candle lighting 6:48 pm

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Continued from page 7 just a melting pot, it’s a pressure cooker, so a Polish girl like me considered kubbeh as my own,” she told The New York Times. Shefi’s long-term goal for the Jewish Food Society extends beyond the archive of recipes. She wants to establish a center for Jewish food in New York, where visitors would be able to take cooking classes and learn about their family’s culinary histories. Shefi describes her vision as “the James Beard Foundation for Jewish food.” For now, the Jewish Food Society provides a way for Jews to engage with their culture, Shefi said. “These [recipes and stories] are just huge parts of our lives, of our history as a people, and I feel that for many people that are less connected to Jewish culture and Jewish life, it’s a very inviting window to engage and to explore their identity,” she said.


Jewish Observer Issue of 9/28/17