6 CHESHVAN 5778 • OCTOBER 26, 2017 • VOLUME XXXVIII, NUMBER 21 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY
Federation presents Jerusalem Post foreign affairs analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob BY BETTE SIEGEL The Jewish Federation of Central New York will host Yonah Jeremy Bob, a foreign affairs lecturer and intelligence, terrorism and legal analyst for The Jerusalem Post, on Wednesday, November 1, at 7 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. He will speak on “Israel 100 Years After Balfour: An Update.” His talk coincides with the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, which was signed on November 2, 1917. It was a statement of support by the British for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and appeared in a letter from Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, to Lionel Walter Rothschild, second Baron Rothschild (of Tring), and a leader of British Jewry. His talk through Federation was arranged by Miriam Elman, associate professor in political science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She said, “We’re very lucky to be able to bring Jeremy to Syracuse while he’s
on his North American speaking tour. A veteran correspondent at The Jerusalem Post, Jeremy is a leading expert on Israel’s courts and international legal disputes relating to Israel, as well as Israel’s national security policymaking. Jeremy often breaks the news on these topics for the global media. His writing is sharp, fair, and always informative.” At noon on November 1, he will speak on the Syracuse University campus, in a talk sponsored by the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, as part of its Carol Becker Middle East Security Speaker Series. It will take place in room 060 Eggers Hall, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He will speak on “The International Criminal Court and the Israel/Palestine Conflict: Where Do We Go from Here?” He is The Jerusalem Post’s intelligence, terrorism and legal analyst. He covers the Mossad, a variety of intelligence, terrorism, cyber and weapons of mass destruction issues in Israel and internationally as well as Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service),
interrogations and indictments. A professional speaker since 2000, he has appeared in the U.S., Canada and Israel, most recently in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto, where he spoke at Hillels, Yonah Jeremy Bob law and journalism university groups, synagogues and professional organizations. He lectures about the peace process, security issues and a variety of intelligence, terrorism, cyber and weapons of mass destruction issues in Israel and internationally, the Mossad (Israel’s national intelligence agency), the CIA and Iran, war crimes allegations and BDS movement, cyber and drone warfare and politics. He is also “well-connected” to “all of the top” Israeli ministries from his former posts in the IDF, the Foreign Ministry
and the Justice Ministry. He has previously worked for the IDF Legal Division, and the Foreign and Justice ministries. He has been interviewed and provided analysis to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, Australia ABC Radio, TRT Turkish TV, Sky News, Reuters, Russia Today, Los Angeles KABC Radio and Voice of America. He also delivers foreign affairs lectures throughout the US, Canada and Israel. In his legal analyst capacity, he writes about war and international law, the International Criminal Court, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Knesset committees and major terror, constitutional and criminal cases in the U.S. and Israel. Originally from Baltimore, MD, he graduated with honors from Columbia University and Boston University Law School. He is married with three children. For more information, contact Judith Stander at the Federation at 315-445-2040, ext. 114, or jstander@ jewishfederationcny.org.
FROM THE FEDERATION PRESIDENT/CEO
Shalom from Linda Alexander BY LINDA ALEXANDER There are changes in the air…. and not just the colors of the leaves on the trees. In a few days, I am retiring from my positions at Federation and Foundation, and moving out west toward my children. It is with a heavy heart that I leave Syracuse, especially without my beloved, but I feel good about the wonderful community we have built together. I want to thank everyone for their generosity in establishing the “Linda Alexander Teen Fund” at the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY with the proceeds of the legacy party that was cancelled because of the loss in my family. You could not have found a better way to recognize my work than with this fund. Encouraging the teens in our community to donate some of their money to establish b’nai mitzvah funds, and then meeting twice a year as teen funders to consider grants to non-profits, has been one of the programs I am most proud of. This new teen fund will supplement the money available to give away in grants each year. Through this Teen Philanthropy Program, we teach the next generation how to give to both Jewish and general community charities – what could be better than that? The fund
already has $10,000 in it, so it will serve as an endowment fund at the Foundation, distributing $500 a year to supplement the pooled fund the teens have to give away. I hope more members of the community will add to this fund to help teach our children the mitzvah of tzedakah. It has been my personal privilege to work within our Jewish community for the past 16 years. We’ve built a Jewish Community Foundation that has over $14 million in assets and our Jewish Federation campaign reaches new heights each year. But our story is not just about our success in raising dollars. We have a cooperative feeling within our community among the professional and lay leaders which translates into a “can-do” attitude. This is the sense of a community that is moving in a positive direction. I leave my positions in great hands with the hiring of Michael Balanoff. Michael has already proven himself an excellent leader in our community, and I am totally confident in his ability to lead you to new heights. Along with the leaders of all our Jewish agencies, congregations, and organizations, you will continue to move forward. L’dor v’dor…. from generation to generation!
The Linda Legacy Party Planning Committee gave Linda Alexander a check to establish the “Linda Alexander Teen Fund” at the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York with the proceeds of the legacy party that was cancelled due to the passing of her husband. Among those attending were community members who helped plan the retirement/legacy party for her. Seated (l-r): Margie Burstein, Linda Alexander, Michael Balanoff and Corinne Smith. Standing (l-r): Andy Fox, Marilyn Pinsky, Robin Goldberg, Ellen Weinstein, Neil Bronstein, Victoria Kohl and Lynn Smith. Missing from the event were Marci Erlebacher, Wendy Meyerson, Joel Shapiro and Mark Wladis.
C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A
October 27....................... 5:45 pm.............................................. Parasha-Lech Lecha November 3.................... 5:36 pm......................................................Parasha-Vayera November 10.................. 4:27 pm........................................... Parasha-Chaye Sarah
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Teen funders
Israel Scouts in U.S.
The Teen Funders of the Jewish Youth activities, talks, f ilm The Israel Scouts have started Community Foundation announce showings and more are announced troops in the U.S. for Israeli exby local synagogues. grants to four organizations. pats and American Jews. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 9
PLUS Wedding Planning...............6-7 Calendar Highlights............. 10 Obituaries................................11 Synagogue Services.............. 12
JEWISH OBSERVER ■ OCTOBBER 26, 20176/6 CHESHVAN 5778
Ellen Weinstein receives 2017 Hannah G. Solomon award
BY VICKI FELDMAN Ellen Weinstein was the 2017 recipient of the Hannah G. Solomon Award on October 9 at Justin’s Grill in East Syracuse. The award, presented by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Syracuse Section At-Large, is named for the founder of NCJW and given to women who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Jewish community and the community-at-large. The Hannah G. Solomon Award is presented annually by NCJW sections nationwide. This was the 45th year that the award was presented in Central New York. Weinstein has made a commitment to improve the quality of life in Syracuse. She is someone who not only assumes many roles and responsibilities in both the Syracuse and Jewish communities, but she also expects no acknowledgment or accolades for what she’s done to improve the quality of life for so many.
Howard and Ellen Weinstein and their daughter, Lisa Weinstein.
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Syracuse Section At-Large Hannah G. Solomon Award recipients. “I am deeply moved and honored to have been chosen this year’s Hannah Solomon Award recipient,” said Weinstein. “It was truly wonderful to have my family and so many friends and colleagues join me on such a special occasion. We all live
and work in a very kind and supportive community, and, together with so many caring local organizations, we’ve been able to accomplish many great things.” Cantor Francine Berg, NCJW Syracuse section president, welcomed
Maria Cimino, principal at McCarthy@Beard School in the Syracuse City Schools, in front of one of three tables containing items from the NCJW Mitzvah Project. The tables of winter clothing were purchased for the county foster care program with funds from the Pomeranz Shankman Martin Trust and NCJW.
A MATTER OF OPINION NCJW remarks upon receiving the Hannah G. Solomon award today who has not given of herself BY ELLEN WEINSTEIN or himself to make this communiThese are the remarks ty a better place. Although I have made by Ellen Weinstein, not done the precise math, the Jewish Federation of Central collective number of volunteer New York chair of the board, hours given by all here to better upon receiving the Hannah G. the human condition has to be Solomon Award at the National astronomical. Council of Jewish Women, We each know the meaning Greater Syracuse Section Atof perseverance and hard work. Large on October 9. The award We each know what it means to is presented annually by NCJW come together as a community chapters nationwide. Ellen Weinstein so that we may accomplish great I am deeply honored to receive the National Council of Jewish things. We each know that the energy and Woman’s Hannah G. Solomon Award and enthusiasm of our joint efforts serve as a feel so very privileged to be joining the catalyst for good, which not only benefits the ranks of those amazing past honorees, many community, but enriches our souls. We, who of whom are with us today. I thank each have been blessed with so much, each know and every one of you for your leadership, that with each blessing comes responsibility. commitment and inspiration. I believe there We each know that we are on this earth for are 18/chai past award recipients present – a relatively short period of time – so that we must make each day count. As stewards, we please stand and be recognized. There are never enough words to thank each know that we are obligated to leave this my husband and best friend, Howard, who, world a better place than we found it, or at for the past 49-plus years, has been the wind least make the effort. Hannah G. Solomon’s commitment to beneath my wings in all things. I thank my wonderful parents, of blessed memory, for tzedakah, tikkun olam and l’dor v’dor was being the incredible role models that they woven into the very fabric of her life. The were, and my children and grandchildren fourth of 10 siblings, she was blessed, as for teaching me the true meaning of uncon- was I, to have parents who set a strong ditional love and giving me the reason to example of community involvement and activism. Her mother organized Chicago’s try to be the best that I can be. And, thank you to everyone present – we Jewish Ladies Sewing Society, making are all in good company – because as I look clothing for the needy, and her father around this room, there isn’t a person here was a founding member of the Zion Lit-
On page 5 of the September 14 issue of the Jewish Observer, there was an article by Jackie Miron about the Syracuse Community Hebrew School training madrichim. The project is made possible by a Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund Grant. Michal Downie’s name was inadvertently omitted from the article. She researched and wrote the grant for all the local religious schools, as well as the Syracuse Community Hebrew School, since the madrichim work in all the local religious schools.
erary Society and Chicago’s first Reform synagogue. Hannah learned her lessons well. In addition to being the founder of
See “Remarks” on page 4
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L-r: Ellen Weinstein was given her Hannah G. Solomon award by NCJW, Greater Syracuse Section President Cantor Francine Berg. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Davis) guests and gave some history about Hannah Solomon and the award named for her. The Hannah Solomon award was presented to Weinstein by her husband, Howard, who spoke of his wife and her accomplishments “with respect and admiration.” This year, the group continued its annual Mitzvah Project, asking guests to bring items from a list provided by the Syracuse City School District’s McCarthy@Beard program. The school supplies and other donated items will benefit the program, which provides specialized services for students with social/emotional, behavioral and academic concerns. In addition, NCJW, Greater Syracuse Section once again received a Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation grant to purchase staple necessities for foster children in Onondaga County’s Children’s Division and an additional grant allowing the group to present a check to the CNY Diaper Bank at the luncheon. NCJW is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families, and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. For more information about the NCJW Syracuse section, contact Cantor Berg at firstname.lastname@example.org. All articles, announcements and photographs must be received by noon Wednesday, 15 days prior to publication date. Articles must be typed, double spaced and include the name of a contact person and a daytime telephone number. E-mail submissions are encouraged and may be sent to JewishObserverCNY@gmail.com. The Jewish Observer reserves the right to edit any copy. Signed letters to the editor are welcomed: they should not exceed 250 words. Names will be withheld at the discretion of the editor. All material in this newspaper has been copyrighted and is exclusive property of the Jewish Observer and cannot be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Views and opinions expressed by our writers, columnists, advertisers and by our readers do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s and editors’ points of view, nor that of the Jewish Federation of Central New York. The newspaper reserves the right to cancel any advertisements at any time. This newspaper is not liable for the content of any errors appearing in the advertisements beyond the cost of the space occupied. The advertiser assumes responsibility for errors in telephone orders. The Jewish Observer does not assume responsibility for the kashrut of any product or service advertised in this paper. THE JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK (USPS 000939) (ISSN 1079-9842) Publications Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY and other offices. Published 24 times per year by the Jewish Federation of Central New York Inc., a non-profit corporation, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214. Subscriptions: $36/year; student $10/ year. POST MASTER: Send address change to JEWISH OBSERVER OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214.
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OCTOBER 26, 2017/6 CHESHVAN 5778 ■
AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Teen Funders of the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY BY ELISE BECKMAN The Teen Funders of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York met on October 8 and said they got the year off to a great start. Attending the meeting were a group of Syracuse teens, including Caleb and Colby Porter, Rachel and Sophie Scheer, Edwin Hirsh, Elise Beckman, Peri Lowenstein, Sarah Kornfeld, Alethea Shirilan-Howlett and Shaynah Sikora. The benefit of being a part of the Teen Funders is said to be that not only do teens receive the means to contribute to organizations that are meaningful to them, but they are able to accumulate knowledge and gain experience about leadership, and being able to work with others to come to a consensus with a group. Together with help from some members not in attendance, a pool of $1,650 was created. Applicants from 11 local organizations requested a total amount of $11,300. Of the 11 organizations, four were chosen that represented the mission of the teen funders – namely, an organization whose purpose is to benefit the teen’s priorities: the Jewish community, the Syracuse community and Israel. These four organizations were the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, Syracuse Jewish Family Service, Syracuse City Ballet and Menorah Park of Central New York. The Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection works to help at-risk students in middle school and high school
JCC Veterans Day vacation camp
BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will offer school-age children a day filled with “fun and exciting” activities during the upcoming Veterans Day school break. The JCC’s Veterans Day vacation camp for kindergarten-seventh grade children will be held on Friday, November 10, from 9 am-4 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Activities will include games, arts and crafts, sports and other age-appropriate activities. Half-day programs and early/late care to extend the day from 7 am-6 pm are also available. “We’ll have some creative patriotic themed activities for the children to enjoy as a way of saluting veterans and recognizing the importance of Veterans Day,” said Mick Hagan, JCC director of children and teen services. See “Camp” on page 8
At right: Clockwise, from the front left: Sophie Scheer, Peri Lowenstein, Elise Beckman, Rachel Scheer, Edwin Hirsh, Colby Porter, Caleb Porter, Alethea ShirilanHowlett, Sarah Kornfeld and Shaynah Sikora.
stay in school, get good grades and receive a high school diploma. Full-time staff called youth advocates work with these students, making sure that they attend classes, do homework and receive the extra help they need. Hillside requested a grant that would be used to purchase uniforms of shirts and ties for members of the Hillside “boys’ academy” to wear on special days with Hillside. The teen funders felt that this was an important cause that tied in with its mission statement, and granted this organization $700 from the pool. The Syracuse Jewish Family Service is an organization with a goal of strengthening family welfare throughout the general and Jewish communities in the Syracuse area. This organization requested aid from the teen funders in funding “Lunchtime Conversations About Aging Well,” where SJFS experts offer advice, information and support to working adults with elder family members in need of care. The teen funders granted $400 to SJFS. The group also granted $350 to the Syracuse City Ballet, which is dedicated to making ballet enjoyable for anyone, regardless of background or special needs. The organization is working with the Autism Society of America and professionals working in the disability field to create sensory-friendly dance programs for children who need it. This year, a production of “A Children’s Nutcracker” will welcome all children on the autism spectrum or with sensory challenges for a play with modified lighting and sound, quiet areas, and an invitation to leave seats and move around the theater as needed. Finally, the teen funders gave a grant of $200 to Menorah Park of Central New York. A new app for viewing menus, special events and calendars has been installed at Menorah Park for residents’ use; however, older adults may not know how to use their devices. This is why Menorah Park has invited teens from youth groups and the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies
to help residents become connected to the community through technology. The teen funders felt that this was a meaningful cause and would be beneficial for residents to be able to interact with students and get the help they need with communication. The Teen Funders group is one way for teens to give back to the community and allows them the opportunity to be part of an organization that seeks to make a difference.
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“giving to your own” MIKE LESSEN 315-256-6167 email@example.com Charitable Auto Resource Service in our 17th year of enriching the religious sector
Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu OCTOBER 30-NOVEMBER 3 Monday – baked ziti Tuesday – sweet and sour meatballs over rice Wednesday – vegetable soup and egg salad on rye Thursday – spinach cheese quiche Friday – brisket NOVEMBER 6-10 Monday – tomato basil soup and grilled cheese Tuesday – chicken fried rice Wednesday – beef stew over egg noodles Thursday – chicken fried rice Friday – stuffed flounder 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ OCTOBBER 26, 20176/6 CHESHVAN 5778
CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas RUMMAGE SALE The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Sisterhood will hold its semi-annual rummage sale on Sunday, October 29, and Monday, October 30, from 10 am-4 pm, with a bag sale from 3-4 pm on Sunday and all day on Monday. Proceeds from the sale help support scholarships for Jewish summer camping experiences, gifts for b’nai mitzvah students and synagogue needs not in the regular budget. Items for sale may be dropped off between 9 am-4 pm Monday through Friday, starting Monday, October 23, as well as Thursday, October 26, from 7-9:30 pm and Saturday, October 28, after 6:45 pm. CBS-CS also collects toiletries for Vera House and Operation Soap Dish, which collects toiletries and household products for the clients of St. Lucy’s food pantry. These items may be dropped off at CBSCS during the above hours. For more information, contact Steffi Bergman at 315-632-4905 or email@example.com. HAZAK On Sunday, November 5, at 2 pm, the CBS-CS chapter of Hazak will present Tom Henry speaking on “Looking Back 100 Years: World War I, The Ottoman Empire and Shaping the Modern Mideast.” He said, “On the 100th anniversary of World War I, there tends to be a focus on the Western Front in the United States. However, a key portion of the war with impact on modern events, especially the Mideast, took place in the Ottoman Empire.” The program will examine this part of the “Great War” and its impact a century later. Henry holds a bachelor of arts and master’s of science in social studies, history and secondary education, and has done
doctoral work in American history. An award-winning teacher, he retired from his public school career in 2009. He has taught at SUNY Cortland and Syracuse University. He writes for Colonial Williamsburg publications. He began teaching for the Syracuse Oasis intergenerational enrichment program in 2007, and now serves as chair of the Education Committee and vice chair of the Advisory Council. He is a frequent speaker in various venues across Central New York. The program is free of charge. Refreshments will be served. OYS AND JOYS – EXPLORING THE MOST On Sunday, November 5, at 10:30 am, the Oys and Joys parenting group will go to the MOST (the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology), where these younger children can participate in many of the hands-on exhibits, including the Earth Science Discovery Cave and the Science Playhouse. The Oys and Joys parenting group welcomes families of children from birth to preschool. It meets monthly on Sundays at 10:30 am and is open to the community. For more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at firstname.lastname@example.org. USY AND KADIMA TEAM BUILDING On Sunday, November 5, at 2 pm, ACHLA United Synagogue Youth and Kadima will participate in a team-building program led by the facilitation staff at the Syracuse University Outdoor Education and Challenge Course. Organizers hope that the teens and pre-teens will learn about effective communication, trust and responsibility. For more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at email@example.com.
At left: Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas members shared a communal potluck in the synagogue’s sukkah.
The “Chosen Meeting,” CBS-CS’ gaming chug (club), held its first meeting on October 18. Members enjoyed playing Dixit, Dominion, Mahjong and Catan.
Temple Adath Yeshurun FILM “THE WOMEN’S BALCONY” TO BE SHOWN AT TAY BY SONALI MCINTYRE On Sunday, November 5, at 10 am, Temple Adath Yeshurun’s adult education chavurah will show the Israeli film “The Women’s Balcony.” Menemsha Films describes it as “a comedy/drama about community, old traditions and values, as well as the power of women to keep all these together in the face of modern [religious] extremism.” The film has been characterized as a “rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.” “The Women’s Balcony” is the story of an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem and opens with a bar mitzvah celebration where the women’s balcony collapses. The rabbi’s wife is injured in the collapse and is hospitalized. The shock of the injury sends the elderly rabbi into a downward spiral of confusion that borders on dementia, leaving the people without leadership or a worship space, and the congregation falls into crisis. A new, young and charismatic ultra-Orthodox rabbi comes to them, begins to push his fundamentalist ideas and attempts to take control. This rabbi blames the collapse on the women who “don’t cover their hair and dress modestly enough.” After he convinces the men that the rebuilt shul shouldn’t include a women’s balcony
and that there shouldn’t be a place for the women inside the synagogue, the women rebel. A “Lysistrata-type rift” develops between the community’s men and women, and the friendships of these women are tested. Written by Shlomit Nehama and directed by Emil Ben-Shimon, the film was inspired by the story of Nehama’s religious family and neighborhood in Jerusalem. Ben-Shimon said, “This is a film about brave, strong women – women who are fighting for their place in Jerusalem – a city sacred to all religions, and for their place in their community and homes. These women, full of passion for life, are confronted by a rabbi full of blind faith. This encounter raises questions about religion, the true path of faith, [and whether] every believer [can] choose his or her own path. And what is the price of extremism?” The 96-minute film is in Hebrew and has English subtitles. It was a Los Angeles Times’ Critic’s Pick of the Week, an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, a winner of the Audience Award at the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival in 2017 and nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards. This free event is open to the community. Coffee will be served. Reservations are requested and may be made by contacting the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or info@ adath.org. Web registration is available at www.adath.org.
Temple Concord TRUE-LIFE THRILLER AT TEMPLE CONCORD CINEMAGOGUE BY CHANA MEIR On Saturday, November 4, at 7:30 pm, Temple Concord’s Cinemagogue series will present “The People vs. Fritz Bauer,” an historical thriller that documents the efforts of German district attorney Fritz Bauer to prosecute Nazi war criminals during the 1950s and ‘60s. German Jew and Holocaust survivor Bauer (Burghart Klaussner) was renowned for his success in seeking justice and getting compensation for victims of the
NCJW, she served as the president of the Illinois Industrial School for Girls, was instrumental in the formation of Chicago’s first juvenile court and worked tirelessly to improve the city’s laws as they related to children. She truly believed and acted upon her belief that by exercising our shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world, each one of us is personally stronger and healthier, and our community more vibrant and sustainable. The Greater Syracuse Section At-Large of the National Council of Jewish Women can be very proud of its many initiatives in our community, including, but not limited to, the purchasing of children’s winter clothing for the County Child Protection Services’ Foster Care Program in partnership with the Pomeranz, Shankman Martin Charitable Foundation; the purchasing of diapers for the Central New York Diaper Bank, which, for the first time this year, is also being done in partnership with the
Nazi era. The movie’s action begins in West Germany in 1957, when Bauer gets word that war criminal Adolf Eichmann may be hiding in Argentina. Facing opposition from Germany’s post-war security apparatus, which is filled with former SS officials still sympathetic to the Third Reich, Bauer turns to the Mossad for help – an act of treason that could land him in prison. Cinemagogue events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315475-9952 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Continued from page 2
Pomeranz, Shankman Martin Charitable Foundation; and the collection of items you all so generously contributed today for donation to the McCarthy@Beard program run by the Syracuse City School District. We come together today wearing many different hats and, while we each have a number of spheres or circles in which we travel, we all intersect at one time or another. It is at these intersections and interfaces, when we come together for the common good, that we are at our best. And by our presence here today, we bear witness to Hannah Solomon’s vision “to improve the quality of life for women, children and families, and ensure individual rights and freedoms for all.” So it is in this spirit that I accept this award, and use this opportunity to re-dedicate myself to do all I can to make a difference so as to be worthy of my parents’ and Hannah’s legacies. Thank you so much!
OCTOBER 26, 2017/6 CHESHVAN 5778 ■
Menorah Park hosts film, “Safe Haven: A Story of Hope” BY STEWART KOENIG Just two days prior to the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Menorah Park of Central New York will show the short film “Safe Haven: A Story of Hope” at the Anne and Hy Miller Theatre on Tuesday, November 7, at 1 pm, in honor
of Holocaust survivors, liberators and the community that welcomed the refugees to Fort Ontario in Oswego. From August 1944 to February 1946, Safe Haven at Fort Ontario in nearby Oswego was the only shelter for European refugees in the United States. The film
shows the story of those people and the city that was their home for 18 months. Reservations are requested for the event, which is free and open to the public. Menorah Park is located at 4101 E Genesee St., Syracuse. The film will be followed by a discus-
sion and a light reception. Reservations may be made by Wednesday, November 1, by contacting Wendy Van Riper at 315-446-9111, ext. 118, or wvanriper@ menorahparkofcny.com. The event is underwritten by a grant from the Association of Jewish Aging Services.
JCC’s Early Childhood Program opens new infant room BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program is now caring for more of the community’s youngest members than before. The ECDP opened a new infant classroom on September 5, the first day of school, with eight new babies enrolled, which is the room’s maximum capacity. The program’s expanded infant total is now 24 and allows the Center to fulfill a need the community has been seeking for a long time. “We are excited to have more babies enrolled in the program so we can watch more families and children grow from the youngest age,” said Pam
Ranieri, JCC early childhood director. “High quality infant care is in high demand – as families are growing larger and new families are moving into the area.” JCC staff members worked over the summer to create the new infant classroom by renovating an existing classroom and bringing it up to licensing standards to care for infants. The JCC’s Early Childhood Development Program is a “comprehensive childcare facility and preschool” rooted in Judaic teachings and traditions, serving infants 6 weeks old through pre-kindergarten children. For more information, call 315-445-2040, ext. 120, or visit www. jccsyr.org.
L-r: Henry Werbeck and Amelia Fedors in the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development P r o g r a m ’s new infant classroom.
“Movin’ and Groovin’ Fitness’ class for children BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will offer its “Movin’ and Groovin’ Fitness” class for children in grades three-six starting Monday, October 30. The five-week class will be held on Mondays from 4:30-5 pm and run through November 27 at the
JCC of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. “Movin’ and Groovin’ Fitness” is designed to get children moving and having fun to the high-energy sounds of upbeat music. Enrollment for “Movin’ and Groovin’ Fitness” is open to the community and JCC membership is not required. JCC
Wisconsin the latest state to introduce anti-BDS legislation BY PAUL MILLER JNS.org During the week of October 9, two Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced legislation to prohibit businesses from engaging in boycotts of Israel as a condition of any state contract. In recent years, more than 20 U.S. states have passed legislation condemning BDS or prohibiting government business with entities that boycott Israel, with additional states – including Wisconsin – expected to follow before the end of the year. Released by State Sen. Leah Vukmir and State Rep. Dale Kooyenga, the bill is currently being circulated among both chambers for co-sponsors. The measure states that it “prohibits any state agency or other body in state
of Syracuse members receive a discount. Busing for children attending the class is available from some Syracuse city schools, select private schools, Fayetteville-Manlius schools and all public schools within the Jamesville-DeWitt School District. There are still openings available in most of the JCC of Syracuse’s fall fitness and recreation classes for children, which
run through the week of November 27. Enrollment for classes that have already begun will be prorated to reflect the time remaining in the class. For more information, including details on attending a free class trial, contact Sherri Lamanna at 315-445-2040, ext. 126, or email@example.com, or visit www.jccsyr.org.
government and any local governmental unit, including a special purpose district, from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy, or procedure that involves the state agency or local governmental unit in a boycott of Israel or a person doing business in Israel or in a territory under Israeli jurisdiction.” It also “requires contracts for materials, supplies, equipment, and services between state purchasing agents and nongovernmental entities to include a provision that the nongovernmental entity is not currently participating, or will not for the duration of the contract participate, in a prohibited boycott.” Vukmir said in a statement, “Boycotts of Israel must be fought because they do
See “Wisconsin” on page 6
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ OCTOBBER 26, 20176/6 CHESHVAN 5778
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not just attack the Jewish state. This propaganda campaign is also the basis for newly emboldened and destructive antisemitic attitudes.” “Israel stands as the only democracy in the Middle East, offering a voice not only to the Jewish citizens of Israel, but to all citizens of Israel regardless of their age, race, sex or religion,” Kooyenga said. “This bill demonstrates that Wisconsin is serious about standing with Israel, as our republic has since Israel’s founding nearly 70 years ago.” Peggy Shapiro, Midwest director of the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs, recalled that she “met with Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisc almost two years ago, and she was adamant about protecting Israel-Wisconsin’s relationship, and making sure… taxpayers were not complicit in acts of antisemitism.” “Today, StandWithUs is very proud to see Wisconsin
engage in a bipartisan rejection of antisemitism and discrimination against Israel,” Shapiro told the Haym Salomon Center. Joining StandWithUs and other groups to advance anti-BDS legislation in Wisconsin is the self-described largest pro-Israel organization in the country, Christians United for Israel. With the backing of its nearly 3.6 million members, the group’s lobbying arm, the CUFI Action Fund, said it played a significant role in bringing this issue to the forefront. “CUFI members across the country are fed up with BDS and excited to act to stop it,” said CUFI board member David Brog. “In Wisconsin, our local leaders were able to join with the Jewish community to make a powerful pro-Israel team and secure the introduction of a strong anti-BDS bill. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that this bill becomes law and Wisconsin becomes the
23 state to stand up to BDS.” The BDS campaign against the Jewish state began in 2005, claiming to be a form of “non-violent” resistance against Israel’s so-called “settler colonialism, apartheid and occupation over the Palestinian people.” A study conducted last year by the antisemitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative examined more than 100 public and private colleges and universities from January to June of 2016. It found that 287 antisemitic incidents occurred at 64 schools, compared to 198 occurrences during the same period the previous year, reflecting a 45-percent increase. The study revealed a rapidly growing correlation between antisemitism and BDS activism. Paul Miller is president of the Haym Salomon Center news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter @pauliespoint and @salomoncenter. rd
Elaborate ketubah designs mean Jewish marriage contract isn’t merely transactional BY JACOB KAMARAS JNS.org Judging from its ritual text, the ketubah (marriage contract) that is read aloud during a Jewish wedding ceremony isn’t the most exciting, romantic or joyous document. It spells out a husband’s fundamental Jewish legal obligations to his wife – food, cloth-
Vermont-based artists Adriana Saipe designed this ketubah for a couple whose wedding was held at the New York Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Saipe/inkwithintent.com)
ing, conjugal rights – and guarantees the sum that the husband will pay his wife in the event of a divorce. Yet increasingly, today’s ketubah designs are anything, but dry and transactional. Going beyond placing a plain document in a basic picture frame, or using common designs such as a view of Jerusalem or the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, ketubah artists and consumers alike are developing more elaborate and personalized tastes. Morgan Friedman, chairman and “lead muse” of thisisnotaketubah.com, calls his initiative “the first company to do outlandish ketubot (plural for ketubah),” starting in 2011. Friedman says he “wanted a ketubah with super-crazy modern art” leading up to his wedding in 2010, but couldn’t find one. He approached his wife-to-be’s friend, Argentine artist Yael Magenheim, and she designed a ketubah to match his wedding, whose theme was the color orange. Today, Magenheim is the artistic director for thisisnotaketubah. com, which has created 3,000 ketubot to date. Most customers order designs that the website already offers, but Friedman has a separate site, www.bespokeketubah.com, featuring commissioned artworks. “My official reaction and what I tell [customers] is, ‘Whatever makes you happy.’ What makes the world a wonderful place is that different people have different
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preferences,” Buenos Aires-based Friedman tells JNS.org, reflecting on some unique ketubot he has designed, such as one commissioned for a dragon-loving couple who are “Game of Thrones” fans. Adriana Saipe was also inspired to enter the ketubah art business through the process of designing her own ketubah in 2013. For customized ketubot – which make up 20 percent of her business on inkwithintent.com, the rest coming from existing designs – the Vermont-based artist says she often starts “with a place that has significance” for the couple. As such, she asks them questions like where they met, where they’re living and where they’ve traveled together. For instance, one ketubah the artist is currently working on features landscapes from Miami, Pittsburgh and Providence, Rhode Island, three cities where the couple has lived. Saipe also hides “little secrets” in her designs. In a ketubah for a couple that enjoys rowing, she added boathouses along a river amid a nighttime Philadelphia cityscape; the average observer might not notice the small boathouses, but they are there for the couple to appreciate, Saipe explains, describing this design choice as the difference between the “outer layer that’s art on the wall” and the “inner story for the couple.” When did the trend start? Although Friedman cites 2011 as the advent of the “outlandish” ketubah, other artists estimate that elaborate, unique or customized ketubot were popularized at least two decades ago. “The current trend to have modern art ketubahs began around the end of the 1990s,” says San Antonio-based artist Nishima Kaplan, who runs the artketubah. com website. “I was one of the first few artists to be involved in this trend, which was customer-driven. In the 1990s, the technology didn’t allow for just-in-time ketubah prints, so people who wanted an artistic piece with a unique text had to commission a handmade piece. I made a lot of these in the early 2000s. Now, there
is such a wide selection of artistic designs on the internet that can be ordered with any text, so there is less demand for handmade pieces that are artistic but not personal. The unique designs that reflect a couple’s life continue to be desired.” Jerusalem-based artist Danny Azoulay took up ketubah design nearly 20 years ago, when Israel’s tourism minister asked him to design award certificates for companies that were slated to be named as the top 50 businesses for tourism in the Jewish state. At least 10 people who saw examples of the certificates in Azoulay’s store commented that they would make for compelling ketubot, prompting the artist to pursue that niche. Azoulay, who runs ketubahazoulayart. com, recalls that when he first began designing See “Ketubah” on page 7
Thisisnotaketubah.com designed this ketubah as a concert poster for Jamie and Jason, a couple that enjoys going to concerts together. (Photo courtesy of Thisisnotaketubah.com)
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ketubot, most Judaica production took place in China and India, where manufacturing costs are lower than they are in Israel. He understood that he couldn’t compete with sellers of standard mass-produced Judaica items, and needed a niche such as the ketubah. Simultaneously, more customers were asking him to produce commissioned ketubot. Saipe, who has produced about 1,000 ketubot, says that based on her conversations with consumers of various ages, the trend of elaborate designs began “somewhere between the 1980s and 2000. “There’s a really interesting dichotomy among ketubah artists themselves,” she says, noting that on the one hand there are “well-established” artists who produce ketubot with a classic old-world feel, and on the other hand there has been the emergence during the last five years of “contemporary” artists who employ “modern symbolism and modern times” in their designs. What’s the reason behind the trend? The artists agree that customized ketubot are simply indicative of the popularity of personalized art in general, in addition to reflecting the personalization of various aspects of weddings. “Everyone loves personalized art. This is not a new
thing,” says Kaplan, who has created more than 3,000 ketubot since 1998. That said, some couples’ desire to alter and personalize the ketubah’s age-old Aramaic ritual text may also play a role in the trend of commissioned designs, she explains. “Once a couple begins thinking about a text they want that is different from the traditional one on their parents’ ketubah, it may be a natural next step to wanting an art ketubah,” Kaplan says. Other than the dragon-themed ketubah, a commissioned design that sticks out in Friedman’s mind is a bookshelf ketubah that contained the couple’s favorite titles, which are recognizable to anyone who makes the effort to squint to see them. While some may consider such a choice to be trivial, it’s important for artists “to keep our own egos in check,” says Friedman, because the ketubah design is all about what makes the couple happy. Friedman also cites a ketubah he designed as a concert poster for Jamie and Jason, a couple that enjoys going to concerts together. Saipe points to a commissioned ketubah she designed for Angela and Adam that was modeled after the New York Botanical Garden, their wedding venue, with
Your wedding checklist 6-12 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Determine budget ❑ Visit rabbi (ceremony variations) ❑ Set day, time and location of ceremony, rehearsal and reception ❑ Select a caterer ❑ Choose wedding photographer and/or videographer ❑ Draw up guest list ❑ Obtain floral/rental/music estimates ❑ Invite attendants ❑ Discuss honeymoon and new home ❑ Select gown and headpiece ❑ Select music for ceremony and reception ❑ Register with bridal gift registry 4 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Order invitations and personal stationery ❑ Plan reception ❑ Plan ceremony and reception music ❑ Choose florist ❑ Mothers choose gowns ❑ Men choose attire ❑ Make honeymoon reservations ❑ Begin trousseau shopping ❑ Arrange motel accommodations for out-of-town guests 3 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make an appointment with gynecologist to discuss birth control, etc.
1 MONTH BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make up reception seating charts ❑ Check wedding party apparel ❑ Final gown fitting ❑ Get blood tests for marriage license 2 WEEKS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Make final check on bridal-party clothes and catering ❑ Arrange name changes/get marriage license ❑ Arrange transportation from reception to airport or wherever you are leaving from for the honeymoon 1 WEEK BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Wrap attendants’ gifts ❑ Give final count to caterer ❑ Confirm music arrangements and check selections ❑ Arrange to move belongings to new home ❑ Check that your hairstyle complements your headpiece ❑ Final instructions to photographer and videographer ❑ Final instructions to ushers for special seating ❑ Give clergy fee to best man in sealed envelope (He will deliver it.) ❑ Begin packing for honeymoon 1 DAY BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Give ushers guest list ❑ Do something relaxing and pamper yourself!
“Lovers’ Knot,” a ketubah Nishima Kaplan designed for two women, including the daughter of IsraeliAmerican violinist Itzhak Perlman. (Photo courtesy of Nishima Kaplan/artketubah.com) the New York City skyline in the background. Kaplan notes “Sacred World,” a ketubah she designed for an Indian-Israeli man and an American woman. “They wanted the international imagery, and my imagination created the picture of the globe, which connects these places yet shows how far apart they are, too,” says Kaplan. “My father comes from India, so I have direct experience with such a multicultural marriage.” Azoulay says he tries to price his ketubot “in the average range” so that most consumers can afford them – starting at $200, with most falling in the $300-$400 range and some multilayered designs costing $600-$700. Saipe has charged $1,000 for her most expensive commissioned ketubah, with Friedman’s priciest coming in at $1,500 and Kaplan’s at $1800, according to the artists. Amid the focus on new-age designs, historical appreciation still plays a role in today’s ketubah industry. Kaplan says she enjoys “the scholarly aspect of learning about the history of ketubah texts,” and that her website “has been deemed a primary resource center for rabbis educating their clients about the range of possible ketubah texts.” When Azoulay’s mother passed away 20 years ago, he found her ketubah and asked a Sephardic rabbi to analyze it. The rabbi revealed that the penmanship mirrored the writing of 16th-century Spain. Aside from the ritual text, the ketubah contained information on Azoulay’s family history. “It brought me to be more familiar with the culture of the time and my family,” Azoulay says, adding, “This is what I try to tell people, that most things from the wedding, even the pictures, are on the computer, and this is one of the things that really stays for many years.”
2 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING ❑ Order wedding cake ❑ Select attendants’ gifts ❑ Plan to keep gift record ❑ Acknowledge gifts as they arrive ❑ Finish invitations -- Mail them 6 weeks before wedding ❑ Plan rehearsal dinner ❑ Check on marriage license ❑ Get rings engraved ❑ Plan luncheon for bridesmaids ❑ Select gift for groom ❑ Go over wedding ceremony details ❑ Gown fitting ❑ Bridal portrait sitting ❑ Arrange for limousine service ❑ Make hairdresser appointment
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Maya Frieden volunteers with IDF BY MAYA FRIEDEN The Jewish Federation of Central New York annually distributes scholarships for students participating in organized programs in Israel during the summer. The students must apply for financial assistance, which is given through the Helen Millstein Israel Experience Fund and the Isaiah and Rosalind Wolfson Scholarship (the latter funded by Warren and Daniel Wolfson). The purpose of the Isaiah Wolfson Scholarship Program is to promote leadership and commitment among the youth of the Syracuse Jewish community through an Israel experience. Preference is given to those candidates who have not been to Israel before and who have demonstrated financial need. Maya Frieden, daughter of Tamar Frieden and Ken Frieden, went to Israel during the summer of 2017 and wrote the following account. This past summer, I had the privilege to travel to a place I consider my second home – Israel – flourishing with shops, bursting with color and home to all my extended family. Ever since my family moved to Israel for a year in 2008, I have felt my Israeli identity more strongly. My Hebrew became fluent, my family and I became closer and the culture became more familiar. However, no matter how close I felt with Israeli culture, I was never an Israeli by definition because my permanent home has always been the United States. Because of this, I do not have to serve in the Israeli Defense Force although I have a dual Israeli-American citizenship, because of my time living there as an infant and again in 2008. I grew up hearing stories about my family’s experiences in the IDF, visiting cousins on their bases, and seeing old photos of my mother in her uniform. It saddened me growing up, knowing that I would go to college in America as opposed to enlisting in the IDF in Israel. When I began my junior year and began to think about my future and goals, I realized I wanted to use my upcoming summer as a final chance to learn more about Israel. I searched for a long time to find the perfect program. When I came across the SAR-EL program, I knew instantly it was exactly what I wanted to do. Within the IDF, soldiers are split into different professions, or jobs, that they focus solely on. One of these branches is called “SAR-EL” and is dedicated to leading volunteer groups that stay on a range of bases throughout Israel and get an experience of the army. After an interview and filling out applications, I was confirmed a spot on the trip. On July 16, a Sunday, I met my group and went to our base in the south near Eilat, called “Ovda.” From Monday morning until Thursday morning when we got
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“We’re also going to get everyone moving and active with a boot camp, team games and capture-the-flag in the gym.” The camp’s half-day options will run from 9 amnoon and 1-4 pm. Full-day campers are asked to bring a non-meat lunch. An afternoon snack will be provided. Early registration pricing and a discount for siblings is available through Friday, November 3. Registration is discounted for JCC members; however, membership or JCC program enrollment is not necessary for a child to attend the Veterans Day vacation camp. For more information and to obtain a registration form, call 315-445-2360 or visit www.jccsyr.org.
At right, l-r: Shayna Feinerman (U.S.A.), Maya Frieden (Syracuse), Edoardo Levi (Italy), Miki Dubery (U.S.A.), Francesca Kennedy (France) and Joel Gy (Hungary).
to return to our families for the weekend, we worked. We woke up at eight in the morning to do our first shift of work, which included packaging up bags for the soldiers, taking inventory of supplies and folding uniforms. We had breaks for lunch; and after our pre-dinner shift and finishing dinner, we were free for the night. Though the work was not directly involved with other soldiers, or the things that you see in the movies, it was still incredibly impactful. Being in such a serious environment with strict alarm systems, numerous weaponry and such intense heat (up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) was very overwhelming at times. However, at the end of our long work days, we were able to walk around the base and meet other soldiers. We could play on the soccer fields, swim in the pool or just sit at the picnic tables outside of the shop. We met soldiers who were born and raised in Israel, moved from France, or even moved from America, and were serving as lone soldiers in Israel and staying with host families. The experience each night was unique and very interesting. On Thursday mornings, we returned to where we were staying until the next Sunday. The following week, when I returned to the base, I realized how close the other volunteers and I had become. Two other 17-year-old girls and I were from the United States; but besides us, we had volunteers from France, Italy, Germany, London, Canada and Hungary. We had a common passion in Israel, though not even everyone was Jewish; and we all worked together effectively because of this passion and interest. On my final night, I reflected on my previous two weeks on the base. I was able to use my fluency in Hebrew to initiate meaningful conversations with Israeli soldiers and took advantage of every moment. I was able to ask questions I have had since I was little. And most of all, I was able to connect even further with Israeli culture in a way that I had never been able to before. I am so grateful that I had this experience and I recommend it to anyone who is truly interested in Israeli culture. I want to deeply and sincerely thank the Federation for its help in sending me on this trip, for it truly built my character and taught me a lot, and without Federation’s help I would not have gotten to experience such an amazing program.
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U.N. envoy wants Hamas to stop calls for Israel’s destruction, solve Gaza crisis
Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, on Oct. 22 criticized the leaders of the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas for vowing to eradicate Israel, and urged Hamas to address the humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave. “I condemn the latest statements made by some Hamas leaders, reportedly calling for the destruction of the state of Israel,” Mladenov said. “They do not serve the interest of peace and the goal of achieving a negotiated two-state solution. ...Under the auspices of Egypt, Palestinian leaders have embarked on a course to solve the grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza and enable the government to take up its responsibilities in the Strip,” said the U.N. envoy. “I encourage them not be distracted from this objective.” Mladenov’s comments came after Hamas’s political chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, on Oct. 19 vowed to eradicate Israel. “Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel,” Sinwar said.
Palestinian terrorist leaves 12-year-old boy unconscious in Hebron rock attack
A 12-year-old Israeli boy was knocked unconscious and nearly drowned after an unidentified Palestinian terrorist threw a rock at the boy’s head at the Abraham’s Well spring in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. Security camera footage shows a Palestinian man throwing a large rock at a group of Jewish children near the spring and then fleeing the scene. The boy who was hit by the rock lost consciousness and fell into the water. Others at the scene pulled the unconscious child out of the spring. An emergency medical team rushed the boy to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, where he received 10 stitches in his head to close the large wound.
Israeli-developed breakthrough cancer drug receives FDA approval
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) – Kite Pharma, founded by Israeli-American professor Arie Belldegrun in 2009, announced that the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration has granted regular approval for its cancer treatment,Yescarta. California-based Gilead Sciences bought Kite Pharma for $12 billion in August. The product, which the FDA approved on a fast-track process, is based on innovative technology that recruits the body’s immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells. Yescarta is approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of conventional therapy. To date, 100 patients have reportedly been treated with Yescarta. The treatment is based on CAR-T therapy, which was developed by Israeli researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. It represents a breakthrough in hematologic cancer treatment in which a patient’s own T cells are engineered to seek and destroy cancer cells. CAR-T therapy is customized for each patient. “The FDA approval of Yescarta is a landmark for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma,” Belldegrun said. “This approval would not have been possible without the courageous commitment of patients and clinicians, as well as the ongoing dedication of Kite’s employees. We believe this is only the beginning for CAR-T therapies.”
OCTOBER 26, 2017/6 CHESHVAN 5778 ■
Scouting Israeli-style comes to America – in English BY BEN SALES NEW YORK (JTA) – The 16-year-old counselor stands in a tan uniform shirt, untucked, with green jeans, a green kerchief tied around her neck and epaulets on her shoulders. Two patches are embroidered on her chest. And she’s surrounded by a circle of 11-year-olds. Her task on this Sunday morning in uptown Manhattan is to list five sneaker brands before one of the children can run around the entire circle – a slightly more complex version of “Duck, Duck, Goose.” She fails, and the next round falls to one of the kids who wants to one-up her. He promises to name five types of knots before a friend completes a lap around the circle. “Types of knots?” the counselor, Arielle Geismar, shouts as “Golden Boy,” a 2015 Israeli hit sung entirely in English, plays. “I don’t know types of knots. And I’m a Scout!” Welcome to the American version of Israel’s most popular youth group, the Israeli Scouts. “Golden Boy” is an appropriate choice for this youth group, which wants to impart an Israel-centric secular Judaism to American Jewish kids, all in English. In Israel, the group teaches teamwork and leadership, along with Boy Scout-style survival skills. Except for the language, the new American group aims to mimic that curriculum. But in the concrete jungle of New York City, the focus appears to be more on teamwork and Israeli history and culture, less on knots and building a fire.
Arielle Geismar, right, at a Tzofim Atid meeting. (Ben Sales)
“It’s this bigger idea of connectedness in a time of displacement,” said Geismar, who was introduced to the Scouts at a summer camp run by Young Judaea, an American Zionist group. “Growing up in America and watching the current election and everything going on with Israel and Palestine and problems in the Middle East, I felt like a young child: There wasn’t anything I could really do. After I joined the Scouts, I felt there is something I can do.” In Israel, the Scouts (Tzofim in Hebrew) are the country’s largest youth movement, with 85,000 members from fourth to 10th grade. Youth groups often play a prominent role in the lives of Israeli children, with chapters run by teens aged 15-18 meeting twice a week with little to no adult supervision. Unlike other large Israeli youth groups, the Scouts have no political affiliation and have chapters for religious and secular kids. There’s already a Hebrew-speaking branch of the Scouts in the U.S. for children of Israeli expatriates who are being raised in the language. That program has 3,500 participants across 24 chapters in cities nationwide. The English program, which began this school year, has chapters in Manhattan and on suburban Long Island serving children 9-15, with about 60 participants. “People are looking for their kids to participate in something Jewish, but it has to be secular in order to attract the unaffiliated,” said Iryna Gubenko, strategic partnerships manager at the Areivim Philanthropic Group, which is funding the new initiative. “We see Israel as part of the identity of those [people].” The program has four components – life skills, Israeli culture, social responsibility and Scouting. Activities range from learning about Israeli history to making an Israeli flag to, yes, tying a knot or building a tent – though the kids will also play games. There will be occasional joint activities with the Hebrew-speaking groups. One of the biggest differences between the Israeli and American Scouts, says Mika Kaminsky, the English program’s director, is that when they graduate, the Israelis will enlist in the army, whereas the Americans will attend college. So while the Israeli kids might focus on physical challenges, the Americans may derive more value from exercises like team building and leadership training. (At
t c e l E Joey Re-
Arielle Geismar, in the Israeli Scout uniform, led a group of American Jewish kids in one of the first meetings of the Manhattan chapter of Tzofim Atid, the Israeli Scouts’English-language branch. (Photo by Ben Sales) the recent Manhattan session, which took place at the Solomon Schechter School, the Scouts held hands in a circle and tried to maneuver a hula hoop around the circle without letting go.) “It was skills we needed for activities, and it helped us during our army service,” Kaminsky said of her own experience in the Israeli Scouts as a child. “If you translate it to the American way of life and college, you’ll be better in college if you know how to manage your time, speak in front of people.” For Israeli parents in the United States, sending their children to the Hebrew-speaking group offers a structured way to keep up a connection to the old country. It also gives secular Israeli parents a way to see their expatriate peers without having to join a synagogue. “We need to create these cultural hubs for Israelis because they usually will not go to the synagogue,” said Eytan Behiri, the adult supervisor of the Hebrew chapter on Long Island, whose children are members. “As much as we don’t like to say it, we are immigrants in this country. A lot of immigrants want to bring their culture and pass it on to their kids.” Anglophone American parents said they also appreciated the connection to Israel, where some have extended family. Regina Kachkoff-Enk enrolled her 9-year-old See “Scouting” on page 11
Graduate of East Syracuse Minoa High School Graduate of Morrisville College Graduate of SUNY ESF 30 Plus years of Managerial & Business Operations at Twin Oaks Nursery 4 years Town of DeWitt board member
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ OCTOBBER 26, 20176/6 CHESHVAN 5778
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Wednesday, November 8 Deadline for the November 23 Jewish Observer Sunday, October 29 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra rummage sale from 10 am – 4 pm Monday, October 30 CBS-CS rummage sale from 10 am – 4 pm Wednesday, November 1 Federation presents Jerusalem Post foreign affairs and legal analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob at 7 pm at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Thursday, November 2 CBS-CS Rabbi Pepperstone’s four-part series, “End of Life Matters from a Jewish Perspective,” at 10:30 am “Concord Cares: a celebration of Temple Concord and our community,” awards and fund-raising event at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown at 6 pm Saturday, November 4 Temple Adath Yeshurun Mishpacha Shabbat at 10:30 am and Pause Button during Shabbat services at 9:15 am TC Cinemagogue presents “The People vs Fritz Bauer” at 7 pm Sunday, November 5 CBS-CS OYS and JOYS group goes to the MOST at 10:30 am CBS-CS USY and Kadima ropes course at 2 pm TC Sisterhood art presentation by Barbara Baum at 10:30 am Temple Adath Yeshurun adult education Chavurah presents the Israeli film, “The Women’s Balcony” at 10 am CBS-CS Hazak presents Tom Henry at 2 pm Tuesday, November 7 Menorah Park of CNY will show the film, “Safe Haven: A Story of Hope” at the Anne and Hy Miller Theatre at Menorah Park at 1 pm TC presents Sam Gruber speaking on “The Art of Jewish Symbols” at 6:30 pm Wednesday, November 8 TC adult education series on Israel at 10 am CBS-CS board of directors meeting at 7:30 pm TC board of trustees meeting at 7 pm Friday, November 10 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse Veterans’ Day vacation camp 7 am – 6 pm. Contact Mick Hagen at 315-445-2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Shirat Shabbat at CBS-CS with Lisa Levens and Mark Wolfe at 6 pm Saturday, November 11 TC Mitzvahpalooza Day from 11 am – 2 pm Sunday, November 12 TAY Sisterhood book discussion of “The Bridal Chair” by Gloria Goldreich at 10:45 am TC GAN program from 10:30 am – noon
Journeys of self-discovery BY BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS “And Abram was 99 years old, and God appeared to Abram, and He said to him, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before Me and be perfect.’” (Genesis 17.1) No one in the Torah is portrayed as perfect. Noah, the only person to be called righteous, got drunk and committed incest. Moses, Aaron and Miriam are all punished for their sins – as was King David. The reign of King Solomon the Wise ended disastrously. The prophets suffered dark despair. “There is none so righteous on earth,” says Kohelet, “as to do only good and never sin.” So what are we to make of the sentence above? Lech Lecha is filled with imperfections: doubt, fear, deceit, lies, anger, mistrust and war. Our Torah does not offer us idealization and hagiography. And yet in the midst of some very negative situations and brutal characterizations, it also offers us hope. People can – and do – change. Consider the very first words, lech lecha, usually translated as “go forth,” but really meaning “go to yourself.” How does one go to oneself? How does one know oneself? And if one does know oneself, what if that self is not especially likable? The answer to these questions can be discerned in the portrayal of Abraham, or Avram as he is known to us at first. Avram is a complex character, with features both conflicting and complementary. He has a strong and unquestioning relationship with God, whom he is quick to obey, but an uncertain, confused and directionless sense of mission. When God tells him to leave his home and lands, Avram undertakes the journey unhesitatingly, but with no idea of his precise purpose or destination. When he goes down to Egypt to escape famine, his journey is filled with fear and surprises. He suddenly notices, for example, that his wife, whom he calls Sarai, “my princess,” is a beautiful woman. How is it that he has not noticed this before? Once he makes this discovery, he is afraid (for himself? for her?) and tells her to lie and say she is his sister rather than his wife, a rather dubious assertion. Sarai, for her part, allows herself to be part of this deception. She also allows her handmaiden Hagar to be impregnated by Avram, but then becomes jealous, and abuses and exiles her. When God comes to console Sarai and tell her that she, too, will bear children, she laughs bitterly, and then denies her laughter, because she is afraid of the consequences of her scoffing. The whole condition of Abraham and Sarah in this parasha can be seen as a tension between the certainty of God and the uncertainty of a person’s journey through life. In so many ways, we are all like Abraham and Sarah. We experience the same kind of tension between faith and certainty, and doubt, indecision and despair. We know, for example, that we have the certainty of being Jewish, the reality of our faith and its strictures. On the other hand, we are ambiguous about what this means in the 21st century. We wonder how to reconcile our faith with science; we question whether being Jewish means
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what it used to – or whether it means anything at all. Some of us wrestle with feelings about Israel. Others see no purpose in Jewish education or ritual or tradition. We are wandering Jews, just like Abraham. Typical Americans move 12 times during their life. We change jobs; we change spouses; some change their names; some even their gender. We are beset by uncertainty everywhere we look. Anxiety, depression and substance abuse are on the rise. Is there an antidote for our imperfect world in this week’s Torah portion? Is there a remedy for our flaws, our inability to be perfect? Now some readers may be saying to themselves, “Oh, now she’s going to tell us to walk before God, just like Abraham, to just have faith and everything will be fine.” But that is not the message of the parasha (though some would have it so) and certainly not my message. In a former life, I was a student of Spanish literature and my favorite book was the first modern novel, “Don Quijote.” This book likewise tells of a journey of self-discovery. Alonso Quijano also leaves his home to travel with no purpose or destination in mind. But Cervantes’ protagonist changes – first his name, from Alonso Quijano (and Quijano is the Spanish equivalent of “Whatshisname”) to Don Quijote de la Mancha, a much more noble-sounding appellation. Similarly, Avram’s name is changed, transmuting from Av Ram (father of Aram, since he came from the city of Aram Naharayim) to Av Hamon Goyim or Abraham (father of a multitude of nations.) And Sarai, Avram’s princess, is changed back to Sarah, making her royal over multitudes. These name changes occurred because the characters changed. Their journeys, unguided and ill-defined at first, were journeys of self-discovery. And they made many, many serious mistakes along the way. Yet they followed the commandment “Lech lecha,” “Go to yourself.” They learned from their mistakes; they became more trusting of their faith; they grew to know themselves in ways both good and bad. (It took Don Quijote two trips.) It is questionable whether they ever became perfect, but they were definitely, infinitely greater than when they started. God appears to Abraham several times in this week’s reading, although the exact nature of his appearances is not known. Most of us will not have the benefit of an appearance by the Lord to convince us either of His existence or of the veracity of our hearing of His words. But the very fact of being Jewish, of being descendants of Abraham and Sarah, gives us the opportunity to learn from their journey as well as from our own. The tension between faith and science is not resolvable; they are simply different. Don Quijote learned that lesson early on when he stopped subjecting his flimsy battle gear to tests of strength and simply decided that they were suitable. And he learned after many hard lessons that he was not what others thought he was (a lunatic), but what he himself knew he was (a man of his deeds). “Yo se quien soy,” “I know who I am,” said Don Quijote at the end of his journey. And we, too, like Abraham and Sarah, can learn who we are through a journey through our heritage, our beliefs, our mistakes, our actions, our achievements. The journey, the prototype of which was the journey of Abraham, is never-ending and when it is over, we will undoubtedly find that we are not perfect, but then – who is? Barbara Sheklin Davis is professor emerita of modern languages at Onondaga Community College. She headed the Syracuse Hebrew Day School for 27 years and was head of the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School for Jewish Studies and the Combined School of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and Temple Beth El for two decades. She co-authored “A History of the Syracuse Jewish Community of Syracuse” (Arcadia) with Susan Rabin and published “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die” (Pelican) this year.
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Can cyber technology solve the Anne OBITUARIES JEFFREY MELTZER Frank and Raoul Wallenberg mysteries? BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ (JTA) – After 70 years of studying the Holocaust, historians still don’t know the exact circumstances of the tragic fate that befell two of the best-known victims of the Holocaust era: Anne Frank and Raoul Wallenberg. Frank, the teenager whose journal of her days in hiding Researchers want to from the Nazis in Amsterdam know who, if anyone, has sensitized millions to betrayed Anne Frank the suffering of six million and her family to the victims, died in 1945 in Ber- Nazis. (Photo from gen-Belsen after the Nazis Flickr Commons) caught her. But nobody knows who, if anyone, betrayed her and her family to the Nazis. Meanwhile, Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved countless Hungarian Jews by issuing them visas to Sweden, disappeared without a trace in the 1940s. Subsequent evidence emerged proving that the Soviet Union lied when it said he had died in 1947 in one of its prisons. These mysteries separately have caught the eye of two American experts who both believe they can use the power of computation to make progress in the cold cases. On the Frank case is a retired FBI agent, Vince Pankoke, who recently told the Volkskrant daily in the Netherlands that he has assembled a team of more than a dozen forensics and computer experts. They will use their expertise to scan archives with greater efficiency and speed than ever possible using orthodox methods of historical research. And on Wallenberg’s trail is a mathematician from Baltimore, Ari Kaplan, whose specialty is to quantify baseball players’ performances to identify patterns over time, which can then be translated into effective strategies. In both cases, any success will beat the odds. Dutch police have launched two rather thorough investigations to discover whether Frank was betrayed and if so by whom. The first probe in 1948 was unsuccessful; one mounted in 1963 was to no avail. Since then, writers and historians have offered various theories, none of which were proven, including one centered on the sister of a typist working for Otto Frank, Anne’s father. But Pankoke, 59, says that’s not where the case needs to end. “There is so much information available these days, from archives, old studies,” he told the Volkskrant. “For individual people it is impossible to overview in its entirety, but with the right software it’s achievable. That way you can connect the dots through analysis.” Analysis is also the name of the game for Kaplan, the baseball fan and math whiz looking into the Wallenberg case. His algorithms helped pinpoint Wallenberg’s exact cell in Lubyanka prison, according to Marvin Makinen, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Chicago who says he heard from inmates who saw Wallenberg alive long after the bogus death announcement. Makinen, Kaplan and several others are part of an unofficial task force to find out what really happened to Wallenberg. The algorithm helped Kaplan and Makinen put together a complex database analysis of the cell occupancy at the prison from 1947-72 based on partial Russian prison records. In the analysis, Kaplan and Makinen show that some rooms in the overpopulated prison had remained empty – on paper, at least – for more than nine consecutive months at a time. To Makinen, this suggested a prisoner or prisoners had been kept there, but were not listed on the registry. He and Kaplan believe Wallenberg was kept in a cell listed as empty. Moscow denied their request for more prison records, Makinen said. Last year, Makinen and Kaplan visited Moscow to present officials with a 57-page report requesting specific documents, ranging from the Soviets’ wartime intelligence files on Wallenberg to papers dealing with the return in 1999 of Wallenberg’s personal items, Tablet reported recently in an interview with Kaplan. The research suggests that receiving “just a handful” of the documents from the Russian state archives “would have solved the case or at least shed light,” Kaplan told Tablet. He insists that Wallenberg’s fate eventually “will be revealed. ...It is just a matter of when, and I want it to happen soon – for the closure of his family and those he rescued,” Kaplan said. “That is what keeps me upbeat.” Despite the impasse they have reached, Kaplan and
Makinen may be on firmer ground than Pankoke. After all, they know the Russians took Wallenberg, whereas Pankoke may be barking up the wrong tree altogether, according to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Last year, that institution, which runs the Anne Frank museum at the Amsterdam address where she hid before her capture and murder, published a report A passport photo- suggesting that Anne Frank and graph of Raoul her family were never betrayed, Wallenberg taken in but were caught by chance in a Budapest, Hungary, German raid aimed at suspected in June 1944. (Photo counterfeiters of food stamps. The issue is controversial in by Laski Diffusion/ the Netherlands. For decades, East News/Getty the absence of a traitor in Anne Images) Frank’s story has helped it become a tale celebrating the heroism of resistance activists who helped the family hide from the Nazis. But the discovery of a traitor could change the story dramatically, giving a face and a name to the massive collaboration that went on in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation – a key reason for the murder of 75 percent of Dutch Jewry, which is the highest per capita death rate in occupied Western Europe. Thijs Bayens and Pieter Van Twisk, respectively a filmmaker and journalist from the Netherlands, recruited Pankoke and initiated his investigation. (In September, they published in the media and online an appeal for information from anyone with knowledge of Anne Frank’s arrest.) They are working with Xomnia, an Amsterdam-based company specializing in processing and analyzing large amounts of information, to bring closure to her story, they said. The group, which has more than a dozen investigators, is documenting its efforts on a website called coldcasediary.com. “The amount of data is overwhelming,” Bayens told The Guardian. “It is at least 20 to 25 kilometers of files at this moment and we have just started. To try and make all this data relevant is quite complex, so we started to work on artificial intelligence algorithms to rule the data, as they say.” Bayens said that most of the people who were around the Frank family and were still alive after the war “are in the police files of the previous investigations. They were brought in for questioning,” he said, “so we have detailed reports on that.”
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Jeffrey Meltzer, 72, died on October 13 at home from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He spent his early childhood in Gloucester, MA, before the family moved to E. Fayette St. in Syracuse. His parents instilled in him a respect for education, and provided him with an example of a loving, respectful marriage. A graduate of Nottingham High School, he went on to become a periodontist in Fayetteville for more than 40 years. He was involved in numerous professional and civic organizations, and rarely walked into a restaurant in Syracuse without being able to shake at least one person’s hand. He loved literature and was a lifelong poet. This passion led to a years-long commitment to the Friends of the Onondaga County Library, where he served as a board member and president of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series. He was a devoted attendee of the Syracuse Symphony and Syracuse University sports. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Toni; their sons, Matthew and Andrew; daughters-in-law, Whitney and Paige; a granddaughter; his sisters, Debbi and Gale; and a large, extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Burial was in the Temple Concord section 30 of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; CNY Hospice’s Camp Healing Hearts, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool, NY 13088; or a charity of choice.
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daughter in the program because she liked the emphasis on Judaism without too much religion, unlike some other youth groups. And she chose the Israeli Scouts over the Girl Scouts because she saw it as more gender-egalitarian. “I don’t want them to just be sewing and doing girly things,” she said.”I want things to be equal for them. I want them to get a sense of the religion and the culture, but I don’t want them to get so mired in the religion that they feel out of place.” Geismar, the counselor, who is still in high school herself, says the supportive atmosphere of the group is especially valuable for preteens who are “undergoing some of the most transformative years of their lives.” And she appreciates the independence and informality that Israeli culture promotes. “The willingness and easygoingness of Israelis is different than Americans,” she said. “Things don’t have to be set to a schedule. Things can be fun. In America, you get so set in your routine. To be out of that is so liberating.”
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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ OCTOBBER 26, 20176/6 CHESHVAN 5778
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Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Orthodox Union Rabbi: Evan Shore Address: 4313 East Genesee Street, Dewitt, NY 13214 Phone: 315-446-6194 Office hours: Mon.-Thurs. – 9 am - noon Website: www.stocsyracuse.org Shabbat services at 9 am. Morning services at 6:45 am, except for Sunday, when services start at 8 am and Rosh Chodesh, when services start at 6:30 am. All afternoon and evening services based on sunset times.
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USCJ Rabbi: Andrew Pepperstone Location: 18 Patsy Lane, Jamesville, NY 13078 Phone: 315-446-9570 Rabbi’s office: 315-446-5125 Office hours: Mon. - Fri. - 9 am - 4:30 pm Website: www.cbscs.org Shabbat services: Friday: 6 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat service Saturday: 9:30 am Syracuse Conservative daily services located at Temple Adath Yeshurun (450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse): Monday – Friday: 7:30 am; Monday – Thursday, and Sunday: 5:30 pm Saturday evening times vary with sunset. Check TAY website or with TAY office. Sunday: 9 am at CBS-CS. Members of the congregation are asked to attend on a rotating basis to ensure there is a minyan, or required quorum, for anyone saying kaddish, the memorial prayer.
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USCJ Rabbi: Paul Drazen Ba’alat Tefillah: Esa Jaffe Address: 450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse 13224 Phone: 315-445-0002 Rabbi’s office: 315-445-0002 ext. 121 Office hours: 9 am - 4 pm Website: www.adath.org Shabbat services: Friday: 5:30 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat service Saturday: 9:15 am Syracuse Conservative daily services located at Temple Adath Yeshurun (450 Kimber Rd., Syracuse): Monday – Friday:, 7:30 am; Monday – Thursday, and Sunday: 5:30 pm Saturday evening times vary with sunset. Check TAY website or with TAY office. Sunday: 9 am at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas (18 Patsy Lane).
URJ Rabbi: Daniel Fellman Cantor: Kari Siegel Eglash Address: 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY 13210 Phone: 315-475-9952 Rabbi’s office: 315-475-9952 Office hours: Mon. - Weds. and Fri. 9 am - 4:30 pm; closed Thursday Website: https://templeconcord.shulcloud.com/ Shabbat services: Friday: 6 pm, (except for the first Friday of the month, which is at 7:30 pm. Starting July 1, all Friday services will be at 6 pm year round). Saturday: text study at 9 am led by Rabbi Joe Murray. Torah study at 10 am led by Rabbi Daniel Fellman. Services at 11 am. Sunday morning minyan service with the religious school at 9 am during the school year
Published on Oct 25, 2017