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Vigil for Pittsburgh: a show of solidarity and peace BY ANKUR DANG October 29 was a cold and gloomy day, and that felt apparent to many of those gathering during the late afternoon at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center. For many people, the cold seemed to come from their feelings of the senselessness of the violence that had occurred

in Pittsburgh two days prior. They said their sense of gloom came from the weight of the tragedy. Experts say that it is human for people to pull together in times of difficulty, and that is exactly what the Syracuse community did. More than 300 people from all walks of life, religious groups and local institu-

tions gathered in front of the JCC to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, where a mass shooting had claimed 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue on the October 27 Shabbat. Michael Balanoff, Jewish Federation of Central New York president/CEO, said that he was thankful to the community for

coming to the vigil in such an amazing show of solidarity. He said, “As we all grieve, we can also take solace in knowing that there are so many people who want to help us heal. In a time of darkness, that is a bright shining light in all of our lives.” Jim Brulé, a multifaith storyteller and a See “Vigil” on page 5

Federation tuition reimbursement program to benefit SHDS families BY MICHAEL BALANOFF AND LORI TENENBAUM The Jewish Federation of Central New York recognizes the critical importance to the community of maintaining a Jewish day school. The immersive environment provides each child with the elementary foundation of Jewish values that Jews have treasured and developed as a people for thousands of years. As the local Rabbinic Council recently wrote, “Only at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School (SHDS) can a child receive a top-

notch secular primary education, while also receiving a level of Jewish education that even the finest synagogue or afternoon school cannot match.” Following the recommendation of the Rabbinic Council, the Federation established the goal of increasing enrollment at SHDS so more children can take advantage of this “unparalleled educational experience,” and so that Central New York can appear attractive to Jewish families who want to live and raise their children here. Achieving this goal is said to ahve

strategic importance to the community. Through a gift from the estate of Claire D. Selzer, Federation has committed at least $200,000 to fund the Jewish Federation Tuition Incentive Program to assist families whose children attend the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. A family household will be reimbursed up to $7,500 for enrolling their first child in SHDS and up to $1,800 for each subsequent child enrolled in SHDS while there are multiple children enrolled in the school.

All enrolled family households (including all currently enrolled family households) are eligible to be reimbursed up to $1,800 for referring a new family household that enrolls their first child in SHDS. Incentives are not need-based and are determined after tuition is established by SHDS, including whatever financial aid SHDS can offer. Questions should be directed to Federation President/CEO Michael Balanoff at 315-445-2040, ext. 130, or SHDS Head of School Lori Tenenbaum at 315-446-1900.

From the desk of the Federation president/ceo

What I believe

chance since more and more BY MICHAEL BALANOFF people see a positive change in It has been a full year since Federation and how it supports I took over the reins of leaderevery Jewish institution in the ship of the Jewish Federation Syracuse area. of Central New York and the One important function of Jewish Community Foundation the Federation is the Campaign. of Central New York from Linda It takes money to support our Alexander. I have been engaged community’s needs. The more in Jewish life and organizations money we raise, the more peosince Euni and I moved to Syrple we can help lead their lives acuse in 1972. This is a much different community now – not Michael Balanoff more Jewishly. Now we are faced with a to mention how different it must be since my contemporaries who grew up new challenge to fund-raising – a tax law here must see it from their youthful days. which limits the tax benefits of charitable While I now try to utilize my accumu- giving. Some reports say that charitable lated knowledge and experience to fulfill donations may drop by as much as 20 bilthe daily duties of the office, much of my lion dollars this year. I believe that Jewish focus is on our future. Naturally we need donors contributing to Jewish causes will to understand the past and learn what not be a significant part of that statistic. I believe that the money we raise is people today want for themselves, their children and future generations for quality well spent and meets the objectives of Jewish life. I am greatly encouraged by our donors. I believe that as long as we stay true to our the people I talk to who are yearning for a meaningful, inclusive and sustainable Jewish values and continue to be responsible for the care and safety of Jewish life, we will Jewish communal life. I believe we are all about relationships. have a successful Campaign and maintain If Federation builds rapport and works to- the financial support of our donors. I believe that we are a generous people ward meeting the needs of our community, and will look first at what is in our hearts, we will have succeeded. I believe people see Federation in a what we believe and what we know the much more positive light than they did impact of our gift will mean to the recipwhen I moved here. We are not perfect, ients of the funds. However, if you are looking for tax but I hear far fewer negative comments than I did 35, 25 and even 15 years ago. benefits, there still are some: I believe I can change any of those ‹‹ If you are over 70 ½ and take a required negatives into positives if given the minimum distribution from your IRA, it may

be beneficial for you to make your charitable contributions directly from your IRA. ‹‹ You may also find it beneficial to start a donor advised fund and make your charitable donations from that. ‹‹ If you have stock or other securities that have increased in value, it may make sense to contribute those assets to Federation or the Foundation rather than making a cash gift. ‹‹ You may also find it beneficial to create a permanent legacy fund. I believe our supporters believe in federated giving and that our Federation is an excellent vehicle for continuing their

Jewish tzedakah. Call me. Let’s talk. Talk to me about our community and how we are doing – or how we can do more – or what we can do better. Call and ask me about how your gift to Federation can impact our community. And call me if you would like more information about the potential tax advantages that may be available to you at 315-445-2040 ext. 130. Michael Balanoff is the president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York and the executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York.

Correct telephone number for Bernadette Peters concert

On Sunday, March 24, at 7 pm, Temple Concord will present theater and film star Bernadette Peters with Symphoria at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center Crouse Hinds Theater in a fund-raising one-woman concert, with the concert’s proceeds going to Temple Concord. Presale tickets can be purchased by calling the Symphoria box office at 315-2995598, or online at No tickets are being sold at Temple Concord, and Symphoria subscription seats, discounts and vouchers do not apply. The telephone number listed in the October 25 Jewish Observer for tickets to the Bernadette Peters concert was incorrect. The correct number is 315-299-5598. The JO regrets the error.


November 9.................... 4:29 pm..................................................... Parashat Toldot November 16.................. 4:22 pm...................................................Parashat Vayetze November 23.................. 4:17 pm..............................................Parashat Vayishlach

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Battle of the Bands

Congregational notes

A century of Federation

The JCC is seeking entrants for Local synagogues announce The Jewish Federation of Central its 17th annual Battle of the Bands Thanksgiving events, a Mishpacha New York celebrated its 100-year Shabbat, awards and more. on January 19. history. Stories on page 4 Story on page 3 Story on page 6

PLUS Home and Real Estate........8-9 Calendar Highlights............. 10 Obituaries................................11 Chanukah Gifts..................... 12



JCC preschoolers welcome DeWitt firefighters

BY ANKUR DANG Children’s curiosity is well-known. From earthworms to airplanes, they have an innate need to learn about the world around them and interact with their environment in order to learn to respond appropriately in various situations. On October 19, DeWitt Fire Department firefighters visited the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program to help the children use their curiosity to learn about fire safety and how to stay calm during emergencies. “We suit up in front of them, show them the interiors of the truck and talk to them like friends,” said firefighter and paramedic Valerie Flemming. “It makes the kids realize that even though we look different when we are all suited up, we are still real people and in case of an emergency, they don’t have to be frightened of us.” Flemming and her fellow firefighter, Lt. John Hogan, also answered the children’s questions about the features and the capacity of the fire truck. Four-year-old Abe Goldberg said, “How much water do you carry in that tank?” “Seven hundred gallons,” answered Flemming. But that only invited further questions about how many buckets (or ponds) that much water would fill. Inri Stitt, 4, wanted to know more about the accessories on the uniforms of the two firefighters. As Flemming and Hogan listed off the various instruments that hung on their jackets and belts, the other children also

JCC preschoolers got a lesson on firefighter Valerie Flemming’s different uniform accessories.

DeWitt firefighter and paramedic Valerie Flemming showed Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program preschoolers some of the fire truck’s various controls.

gathered around to listen. As a final treat, they were allowed to touch the flashlight on Flemming’s belt and for Stitt, that was the highlight of the visit. “I want to be a firefighter, too, when I grow up,” Stitt mused as she walked back to the classroom with her friends. “But I want to be a nurse, too. I think I want to be like the firefighter lady. She’s both.” The children around her nodded in agreement and trekked back into their class for the day’s next activity.

At right: DeWitt firefighter and paramedic Valerie Flemming lifted JCC preschooler Ava Kanter out of the truck after her brief walk-through as her classmate Emma Li looked on.

A Venezuelan-American chef wants to show the rich culinary tradition of Latino Jews BY JOSEFIN DOLSTEN the family was involved in (JTA) – Food has althe Jewish community in ways been a way for DebDallas, Benaim said she orah Benaim’s family to felt lonely as one of the connect to its roots. A typifew Sephardim at her day cal Shabbat dinner featured school. “If I had a nickel for dishes such as traditional every time that someone Ashkenazi braided challah said, ‘Omigosh, you’re bread, Moroccan-style Latin and Jewish? How is whitefish with red pepper that possible?’” she joked. paste and a Venezuelan Benaim’s story, perhearts of palm salad. formed by Marnina Schon “I think it’s in my during “Chutzpah and Salblood,” said the Carasa,” is about an experience cas-born chef, whose she had in 2015 while visitgrandparents moved to ing her sister in New York. Venezuela from Morocco, The two were in a hardware Spain and Moldova. Deborah Benaim is creating store, and Benaim said When she was 4, her a cookbook to showcase her its smell reminded her of family moved to the United family’s food, which has her grandfather’s shop in States, escaping political influences from Morocco, Caracas, flooding her with instability at home. In her S p a i n , M o l d o v a a n d memories. Later she found new home in Dallas, Be- Venezuela. (Photo courtesy out that the day she visited naim found that she, too, of Benaim) the store was the annivercould use food as a way sary of her grandfather’s to remember the past. “I think it was my death, or yahrtzeit. way – if I psychoanalyze myself – of trying The incident had a deep impact on to stay attached to my family: Maybe if Benaim, including in her cooking. “This I cook their recipes I’m still holding on experience reignited that spark to cook to that life that I had,” Benaim, 30, told with a newfound purpose or newfound JTA recently. inspiration,” she said. “It’s not just let me Benaim, who has appeared several cater this event. It’s how do I make this times on the NBC cooking show “Food experience jog someone’s memory?’” Fighters,” is working on a cookbook that Though Benaim could be found in will showcase her family’s recipes. She the kitchen throughout her childhood, it also finds non-food related ways to educate wasn’t until college that she realized she about the history of Latin American Jews. wanted to pursue the hobby for a living. She is one of the writers of “Chutzpah She transferred from the University of and Salsa,” a show that premiered in 2016 Maryland, where she was studying psyand was performed for a second time at the chology, to the Conrad N. Hilton College Jewish Women’s Theater in Santa Monica, of Hotel and Restaurant Management at CA, recently. It features actors telling the the University of Houston. After gradustories of Jewish immigrants from Latin ating, she found a job at Spago, celebrity America, including Benaim and her Pan- chef Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant ama-born husband Ariel Lipski. in Beverly Hills. Throughout her life, she has found that Through side projects, she also found few American Jews are even aware of the ways to honor her family history. Last year, existence of Latin American Jews. Though she teamed up with the Jewish National

Fund to create a kosher Latin food truck at the annual SXSW media festival. Serving dishes such as traditional arepas and fried plantains, as well as an Israel-inspired arepa with cilantro hummus, the food truck was a hit and even sold out at lunch some days. Last year, Benaim relocated to Dallas with her husband to focus on her cookbook. She also does catering and cooks a

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variety of cuisines. But she says whether or not she makes a dish that is inspired by her heritage, the Latin flavor comes through. “I may not specifically make any Latin or Jewish recipes for an event,” she said, “but when you sit down and talk about inspiration it obviously comes out. I think it’s just embedded, ingrained, whether I want to or not – and I do want to.” 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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NOVEMBER 8, 2018/30 CHESHVAN 5779 ■



AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK Bands sought for 17th annual JCC Battle of the Bands BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is once again seeking rock and other musical groups to enter and play in its Battle of the Bands concert. The 17th annual competition, exclusively for high school bands, will be held on Saturday, January 19, at 7 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt.

Jewish Medical Association annual cider party BY MICKEY LEBOWITZ On October 21, 10 Upstate Medical University medical students who are members of the Jewish Medical Association attended their annual fall cider party at the home of Rebecca and Ben Greenblatt. Rebecca is the group’s advisor. This is just one more example of community outreach and developing relationships with each other See “Medical” on page 8

The winning band will receive a $200 cash prize and eight hours of studio time at More Sound Recording Studio in Syracuse. Battle of the Bands entry forms are available online at and at the JCC’s main entrance reception desk. Registration is $40 per band. The deadline to enter is Friday, January 11. “Once again, we’re looking for high school The 2018 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Battle of the bands to compete in our 17th annual Battle of Bands winner Churches and Graveyards, from Marcellus Sr. High the Bands,” said Amy Bisnett, JCC associate School, rocked out during their set. The next Battle of the Bands director of children’s programming. “This is See “Bands” on page 8 will be on Saturday, January 19.

The Philip C. Pinsky 2018 lecture 2014. The updated, paperback edition was BY MARILYN PINSKY released in September 2016. On Thursday, December 6, at 8 am, at the Erlich shared a Peabody Award in 2006 Thursday Morning Roundtable, international as a segment producer for “Crossing East,” a journalist Reese Erlich will speak on “A Jourradio documentary on the history of Asians in nalist’s First-Hand Report – What’s Wrong the U.S. In 2004 his radio special, “Children with U.S. Policy in Iran?” The symposium of War: Fighting, Dying, Surviving,” won will take place in the Goldstein Student Center, a Clarion Award presented by the Alliance Room 201ABC, 401 Skytop Rd., Syracuse. for Women in Communication, and second Parking will be available next to and behind and third place from the National Headlines the building. Reese Erlich Awards. His article about the U.S. use of Erlich is the author of the recently released See “Pinsky” on page 8 “The Iran Agenda.” A journalist for more than 40 years, he works as a full-time print and broadcast freelance reporter. His television documentaries have aired on PBS stations nationwide. Erlich writes a syndicated column “Foreign Correspondent,” which appears every two weeks on The Deadlines for all articles and photos for the Progressive and other websites. His book, “Target Iraq: Jewish Observer are as follows. No exceptions will What the News Media Didn’t Tell You” is co-authored be made. with Norman Solomon and became a best seller in 2003. DEADLINE ISSUE Other books include “The Iran Agenda: The Real Story Wednesday, November 7........... November 22 of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis,” (2007), “Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and Monday, November 19, early..... December 6 the Future of Cuba” (2009) and “Conversations with Wednesday, December 19............... January 3 Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Wednesday, January 2................... January 17 Empire” (September 2010). “Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect,” with a foreword by Noam Chomsky, appeared in October



Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas member and SUNY Upstate Assistant Professor Rebecca Greenblatt threw an annual cider party for her advisees in the Jewish Medical Students Association on October 21.

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu NOVEMBER 12-16 Monday – split pea soup and turkey sandwich Tuesday – crispy teriyaki chicken wings Wednesday – hot corned beef sandwich Thursday – meatloaf Friday – Thanksgiving celebration – roast turkey NOVEMBER 19-23 Monday – vegetable soup and mac and cheese Tuesday – imitation crab cakes Wednesday – herbed rubbed chicken Thursday – CLOSED for Thanksgiving Friday – CLOSED for Thanksgiving 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

Medical Registry of CNY, Inc. Skilled Nursing

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 315-4452360 ext. 104 or

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas CBS-CS WINS NATIONAL GRANT – SCIENTISTS IN SYNAGOGUES This summer, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas was one of 12 congregations nationwide to win the Scientists in Synagogues Grant Program. The grant, run by Sinai and Synapses, is in consultation with the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, and is funded by the John Templeton Foundation. With this grant, CBS-CS aims to support scientists early in their careers, strengthen connections between scientists and the broader Central New York Jewish community, and encourage participants to explore relationships between science and Judaism. The program will consist of a seminar series, one-on-one science/religion mentoring and community gatherings. Although Syracuse’s Jewish commu-

nity is shrinking, one boon for the community is an abundance of employment in the science, health and engineering sectors. There is a multitude of health professionals and graduate students in the region, and although many of them only stay a few years, they still need a “Jewish home.” These scientists, at the prime of their studies, are largely unaffiliated and are often disconnected from the broader CNY Jewish community. CBS-CS will match early-career scientists with experienced senior scientists who are engaged in the CNY Jewish community. Together, they will discuss their concerns about how science and Judaism relate to one another. The goal of these meetings isn’t to provide “canned” answers, but rather to encourage engagement and a lifetime of sustained reflection.

Temple Concord TEMPLE CONCORD DIASPORA DINNER AT DANZER’S Next up in Temple Concord’s Diaspora Series, exploring the history and culinary traditions of Jewish communities around the world, is dinner at Danzer’s German and American Gasthof on Monday, November 19, at 6:30 pm. Rabbi Daniel Fellman and participants will have an informal discussion on German Jewry, followed by dinner ordered off the menu. Danzer’s is located at 153 Ainsley Drive in Syracuse, and each participant will pay for his or her own dinner. Call the TC office at 315-475-9952 to make a reservation.

TC TO HOLD THANKSGIVING GAN FOR TODDLERS Gan, a program for toddlers filled with learning through art, movement, stories and music, will focus on Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 11, from 10:30 am-noon. The program, for ages 2-5, is held at Temple Concord and is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring along children, grandchildren, family and little friends. Gan meets one Sunday a month at Temple Concord. For information on the Thanksgiving gan, or on the program in general, call the TC office at 315-4759952.

The program will kick off with a lecture series titled “Bridging the Gap between Science and Religion” by physicist Peter Saulson, the Martin A. Pomerantz ‘37 Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. Saulson is one of the founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory project (or LIGO), which discovered colliding black holes in 2015. That discovery was recognized with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. In CBS-CS tradition, the program aims to “meet people where they are” by holding the events on campus at SUNY Upstate on Wednesday, November 14, at noon; Syracuse Hillel on Monday, November 26, at 7:30 pm; and at a third location to be announced in December. Mentorships will begin in January with the start of the spring semester. Additionally, on Friday-Saturday, January 25-26, CBS-CS will host a Scientists in Synagogues Shabbaton featuring Rabbi Michelle Fisher, the executive director of MIT Hillel and the first alumna rabbi from MIT. To participate in the mentorship program, or for more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at SHABBAT HADOROT POTLUCK FEATURING OYS AND JOYS On Friday, November 16, there will be a Shabbat Hadorot and Oys and Joys

model Shabbat table, which will present two opportunities for families to create community and experience Shabbat in a kid-friendly environment. The Oys and Joys model Shabbat table is a 30-minute Shabbat table experience. At 5:30 pm, families with children under six can come together at a Shabbat table, light candles, recite Kiddush and sing Shabbat songs. Shabbat Hadorot, a service led by the CBS-CS pre-b’nai mitzvah students, will allow students to have first-hand experience leading Friday evening services. The youth will be assigned different prayers by grade, and a listing will be sent home via e-mail closer to the date. All CBS-CS youth are invited to participate. Families with children under 6 are welcome to attend the Oys and Joys model Shabbat table at 5:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend a Shabbat potluck dinner starting at 6 pm, followed by the Shabbat Hadorot service at 7:15 pm. Reservations are requested by Friday, November 9, via perfect potluck (no password required) at https://tinyurl. com/cbscs- nov-potluck or by email to For more information, contact CBS-CS Program Director Melissa Harkavy at

See “CBS-CS” on page 10

Temple Adath Yeshurun MISHPACHA SHABBAT On Saturday, November 10, TAY will hold its Mishpacha (family) Shabbat services for tots and school-age children beginning at 10:30 am. Mishpacha Shabbat is a monthly program with Shabbat morning services for each age group. Tots (from birth to 5 years) will meet in the Muriel and Avron Spector

Library and junior congregation (firstthrough fifth-graders) will meet in the Room 15 youth lounge. Teens in sixth through eighth grades will be in the main service. There will be a kiddush lunch following services. For more information about the tots or junior congregation services, contact Alicia Gross at

Several families from the Temple Adath Yeshurun Religious School braved the chilly fall weather on October 21 for family apple picking at Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards. L-r: Lielle Grunstein, Lev Grunstein, Aree Grunstein, Ari Gnacik, Jessica Hyde, Noah Hyde, A.J. Hyde, Eli Gnacik, Esa Jaffe, Jaclyn Sisskind Gnacik and Nico Grunstein.

Seated (l-r): Among those attending the Hazak paid-up membership luncheon was a new member, Cece Silverbush, and Susan and Marty Miller. Standing (l-r): Mike Nevid, Barbara Nevid and Michael Gilman.

NOVEMBER 8, 2018/30 CHESHVAN 5779 ■


Sisterhood Symposium put the spotlight on today’s Jewish families BY WILLIAM WALLAK This year’s ninth annual Sisterhood Symposium, held on October 16 at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center, treated the more than 100 people in attendance to a presentation filled with facts and figures. The program, “Marriage, Intermarriage and Jewish Families Today,” featured guest speaker Sylvia Barack Fishman,

the Joseph and Esther Foster professor of contemporary Jewish life in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University, and Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. The presentation primarily focused on the current state of marriage among American Jews and the role of various factors in that trend, such as age and religion, and

L-r: JCC of Syracuse Executive Director Marci Erlebacher, Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone, guest speaker Sylvia Barack Fishman and Sisterhood Symposium Committee Chair Ruth Stein.

in this case Judaism, on divorce rates and rates of active religious practice that may be affected by intermarriage. “Both Fishman and Rabbi Pepperstone raised some important issues, and I would like to have some additional programming on marriage and intermarriage,” said Sisterhood Symposium Committee Chair Ruth Stein.


A full-course Va’ad-supervised dinner by the JCC’s chef, Donna Carullo, kicked off the evening. Natur-Tyme in DeWitt donated gift bags filled with health and beauty items for each attendee. The event was presented by the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and the JCC of Syracuse.

This year’s Sisterhood Symposium guest speaker Sylvia Barack Fishman (far right) gave her portion of the presentation “Marriage, Intermarriage and Jewish Families Today” on October 16.


Continued from page 1

member of the Syracuse Jewish community, said he was warmed by the display of love and solidarity, and commented, “Over the last couple of days, I have been engaged with a number of people of different faiths and some of them didn’t realize how harsh their words have been [in the past]; but when we engage with each other with an open heart, people actually start to listen. The hard job for all of us ahead is to not sink into hate and despair ourselves, but to open our hearts even more widely and reach out to the world.” Among the people who came to support the community were Yusuf Soule, board president of the North Side Learning Center, and his 7-year-old son, Salmaan Soule. The elder Soule said, “It is so important for everyone to come together and it is beautiful to see that people showed up

for the Jewish community in their hour of grief. We’re better together.” The vigil included a candle lighting in memory of the victims and prayers for peace. The Syracuse community’s congregational rabbis (Rabbi Daniel Fellman, RabbiAndrew Pepperstone and Rabbi Evan Shore, all of whom were in Israel) sent a message expressing their anguish at what had happened and their hope that we would collectively walk the path to freedom from hatred. In the same vein, Gurdeep Singh, a member of the Sikh community of Liverpool, as well as of InterFaith Works of CNY, said that he came to let the Jewish community know that they aren’t alone in this difficult time. “I know people say it is a cliché, but we are here for you,” Singh said. “And when there is an attack on anyone, it is an attack on all of us.”

Rabbi Emeritus Daniel Jezer spoke at the end. Cantors Kari Siegel Eglash, Paula Pepperstone and Robert Lieberman, and Ba’al Tefillah Esa Jaffe, led the gathering in reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish. The vigil concluded with the prayer Oseh Shalom by Nurit Hirsch. Many in the crowd wept as they prayed. Tanveer Akhter and Balkis Al-Mudamgha, members of the Syracuse Muslim community, said they came for two reasons.

Akhter said, “Hate has no faith. I came because I care about my Jewish friends as much as I care about everyone else. But Balkis and I have come.” Al-Mudamgha echoed Akhter’s sentiments and said, “Everyone should be free to worship how they wish to. I am a mother and a grandmother. My heart is broken by this tragedy.” Ankur Dang is the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s communications specialist.

A crowd of more than 300 people attended the vigil for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse on October 29.

Hebrew Interest-Free Loan

Leaders of the vigil recited the prayer Oseh Shalom by Nurit Hirsh.

The Jewish Federation of Central New York has instituted the Hebrew Interest-Free Loan program to help Jewish people get past a temporary financial need. To learn more about the program or to see if you qualify, visit the Federation’s website,


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BY ANKUR DANG History can either be seen as a chunk of time peppered by human events or as a slice of humanity inseparable from time. Regardless of one’s definition, history has a way of awakening cherished memories and feelings of nostalgia while also creating a common bond to rally around. The Jewish Federation of Central New York paid homage to its 100-year history with a centennial celebration on October 14 at Temple Concord. More than 150 people attended the festive event, which included dinner, a stroll down memory lane, an awards presentation, a historical narrative and a stand-up act by Jewish comedian Scott Blakeman. Jewish Federation of CNY President/CEO Michael Balanoff said, “We are so fortunate to have such a diverse and supportive Central New York Jewish community that has helped us to grow and thrive since our humble beginnings in 1918. It’s a wonderful testimony to this community’s commitment to preserving and advancing our shared history. With such a solid foundation to build upon, it will be exciting to see how our close-knit community continues to flourish over the next 100 years.” The event got underway with a welcome from Ellen Weinstein, Federation board chair, who also introduced the event’s co-chairs, Andy Fox and Wendy Meyerson. Howard Port then gave a brief Federation history lesson

Sarah and Todd Pinsky. Todd is Federation’s chair of community relations.

Jewish Federation of CNY

Federation Chair of the Board Ellen Weinstein presented Mark Wladis with the 2018 President’s Award for his dedication to the needs of the Jewish community. during his “Revisiting Our Roots” segment, which outlined the development of the local Jewish community from its early days to the present. For the awards portion, Balanoff praised Linda Alexander, former Federation president and CEO, who was honored for her exceptional service to the organization. He commended Alexander’s invaluable leadership in making the Federation what it is today. Weinstein presented Mark Wladis with the 2018 President’s Award for his dedication to the needs of the Jewish community. Although Alexander was unable to attend the event, she sent a video message expressing how glad and grateful she was to have been a part of Syracuse’s Jewish story. “I am sending you all a virtual hug,” she said in her message. Wladis said, “I have had the honor of chairing the Federation Campaign for the past three years. It has been a privilege to work with such a wonderful and dedicated group. I am humbled to be the recipient of the President’s Award, particularly in this centennial year. I owe a debt of gratitude to Ellen and our community for its support of the Federation, its values and mission, but most of all to my family, without whose love and guidance none of my achievements would be possible.” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sent a congratulatory proclamation to the event in which he lauded the achievements of the organization and the contributions

Federation at 100 Co-chairs Andy Fox and Wendy Meyerson of the community to New York state. “A 100th year anniversary for any organization is reason for celebration,” said Weinstein. “Sunday night marked Federation’s milestone by paying tribute to those who came before us, acknowledging their hard work and commitment to making our community better for the generations which were to come. It was also a time to honor Linda Alexander and Mark Wladis,

In front: Event Co-chair Wendy Meyerson and Roberta Wladis.

celebrates 100th anniversary both of whom epitomize the spirit of tzedakah and tikkun olam. In this, our 100th year, we as the benefactors of their efforts, are obligated to pay it forward through our own acts of kindness and charity. In so doing, future generations of Jews in our community will be able to look back and be proud of what we have done and be inspired to continue building a thriving Jewish community – l’dor v’dor.” Following the awards portion, the evening’s final segment was marked by laughter as comic Blakeman took the stage with good, old Jewish humor and a hint of modernity. From classic jokes about food and marriage customs like breaking a glass, to political jokes about everything from the situation in the Middle East to questions of diversity at home, he made the audience laugh – all the while not

letting them forget that they were Jews, and that one of the important things about Jewishness is to be a light unto the nations. “We live together when we laugh together,” Blakeman said. “I have a program called ‘Stand Up for Peace,’ in which I perform with my friend Dean Obeidallah, who is of Palestinian and Italian descent. He wasn’t able to come here tonight; but I tried to keep our message intact – of peace and tolerance and compassion. To me, that is one of the most important things about being Jewish.” Blakeman also said that he enjoyed coming to Syracuse and that he looks forward to coming back. “One of the things about living in New York City is that we take our Jewish community for granted. Coming to Syracuse was special because it was a reminder that not every Jewish community is the same and each

In front: Erica and Campaign Chair Neil Rube seemed to enjoy the comedy program.


NOVEMBER 8, 2018/30 CHESHVAN 5779 ■

one has its own uniqueness.” For the Jewish Federation of CNY, it is that uniqueness which will help keep this century-old organization moving forward. Event co-chair Fox said, “The Syracuse Jewish community has evolved from its small wards to a significant force in Central New York. It was through the efforts of previous generations that Syracuse Jews of today can thrive in



our community. Therefore, we have a responsibility to pave the way for those who come after us. The Federation provides the roadmap for us to leave a lasting legacy in our community. The first 100 years were successful. Our goal is to make the next 100 even better.” Ankur Dang is a communications specialist at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse.

Know anything about this photo?

Ruth Miller knows that her grandfather, Jacob Kravetzky, is the man on the left in the front. The photography studio was Marvin Sarkin. Any information as to the event or the invitees would be appreciated. Contact the Jewish Observer at

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Film on Nazi turned Austrian President Kurt Waldheim draws parallels to modern rise of the right

BY TOM TUGEND LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Kurt Waldheim managed an impressive feat: After serving as a soldier and intelligence officer in the Nazi army during World War II, he was twice elected secretary-general of the United Nations before topping off his career as president of his native Austria from 1986-92. How did he do it? Largely by massaging his biography to convince the world that he had been merely an ordinary soldier during Ruth Beckermann found the war and was following orders. He also parallels between Kurt persuaded his fellow countrymen and the Waldheim’s rise and the world that Austria was the first victim of rise of the modern right Kurt Waldheim in a still from Ruth Nazi aggression when native son Adolf in Europe. (Photo by Beckermann’s film “The Waldheim Waltz.” (Photo courtesy of Beckermann) Hitler annexed the country in 1938 – to Alexi Pelekanos) nationwide enthusiasm. As a popular joke at the time had it, Austrian dip- dent in 1986, his war record had come back to haunt lomats managed to convince the public that Hitler, him. Among the protesters against his campaign at an Austrian, was a native German and Beethoven, a the time was Ruth Beckermann, a budding Jewish Viennese filmmaker who shot some of the larger German, was Austrian. Nevertheless, by the time Waldheim ran for presi- Austrian demonstrations against Waldheim and the counter rallies. Some decades and over a dozen films later – including the very Jewish documentaries “Zorro’s Bar Mitzvah” Continued from page 3 and “Toward Jerusalem” – Beckermann decided to take a unique event and offers a safe, inviting place for teens to play for a crowd.” All bands entering the JCC Battle of the Bands Continued from page 3 competition must have more than half of the band members enrolled full-time at a local high school. Each with the goal of strengthening and growing the Jewish band will have 30 minutes to play on January 19. The community. The hope is to connect the JMA with Hillel Battle of the Bands concert has typically drawn up to at Syracuse University and SU law students. 10 bands from all over Central New York. Organizers The next event will be a Shabbat/Chanukah dinner on feel that the shows are “filled with quality talent and Friday, December 7, at Hillel, with services at 5 pm and get the house rocking.” Last year’s winner was classic dinner following at 6 pm. Reservations are required and rock band Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus may be made by contacting Hillel Co-Director Jessica Sr. High School. Lemons at Admission to the show is $10 and it is open to Other events being considered are connecting the the public. For every high school student admission, JMA and law students with local practicing physicians the JCC will donate $1 to his or her school district’s and attorneys. Events are also being planned to further music department. develop relationships between the local Hillel and Greater Judges for the 2019 Battle of the Bands will be an- Central New York Jewish communities. To participate in these events, for more information or anyone with ideas nounced shortly. For more information about the Battle of the Bands, on how to further strengthen the local Jewish community, including registration details, contact Bisnett at 315-445- contact Mickey Lebowitz at Mickey Lebowitz is the Jewish community ambassador. 2040, ext. 122, or



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another look at the earlier footage. Her new film, “The Waldheim Waltz,” choreographs the agile steps of one of the odder actors in recent world history, whose career nevertheless can still be seen as a forebear of current political swings in Europe and the United States. The film, recently selected as her country’s entry into the Oscars’ foreign film race, opened in New York recently and gets a national rollout to other cities starting November 16. In the early 1980s, between Waldheim’s terms as U.N. secretary-general and Austrian president, the World Jewish Congress led a campaign to throw a spoke in his political wheel. An investigation of Waldheim’s wartime record led by Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum revealed that after his service on the Russian front, Waldheim became an intelligence officer with the German army staff in the Balkans. In that capacity, he played a key role in the brutal reprisals against the civilian populations of Yugoslavia and Greece – particularly in the deportation of most of Salonika’s large Jewish population to Nazi death camps. He was also shown to have joined, in November 1938, the SA, the original Nazi paramilitary organization. The charges, and the denials by the Waldheim camp, became a focus of the heated 1986 campaign. Protesters hoisted slogans such as “No to Anti-Semitism, No to Waldheim,” while his supporters countered with “We Austrians elect who we want” and “Waldheim, See “Film” on page 11


Continued from page 3

depleted uranium ammunition was voted the eighth most censored story in America for 2003 by Project Censored at Sonoma State University. In 2002, his radio documentary, “The Russia Project,” hosted by Walter Cronkite, won the depth reporting prize for broadcast journalism awarded by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Erlich was also one of the Oakland Seven who were indicted and held on conspiracy charges for the October 1967 anti-draft demonstrations in Oakland. They were acquitted of all charges in 1969. For more information, contact Marilyn Pinsky at or Emily Winiecki at ejwiniec@

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Cleveland Browns kicker Greg Joseph’s long journey from Jewish day school to the NFL BY ED CARROLL CLEVELAND (Cleveland Jewish News via JTA) – Browns rookie kicker Greg Joseph said it’s been a “wild ride” for him since being cut at the end of preseason by the Miami Dolphins, signing with Cleveland in Week 3 of the regular season and, just days later, playing an “integral role” in the NFL team’s first victory in nearly two years. To cap his “wild” five-week stretch, Joseph booted a game-winning 37-yard field goal – which was reportedly partially blocked by a defender – in overtime on October 7 against the division rival Baltimore Ravens. After that win, Joseph returned to his new home in Cleveland from FirstEnergy Stadium and ended the day with a familiar – and likely comforting – symbol hanging outside his door: a mezuzah. Rabbi Yossi Friedman of the Chabad of Downtown Cleveland, who helped Joseph and his parents, Glen and Ilana, put the mezuzah up on his door, said Joseph recited the traditional blessing during the process. Joseph was introduced to Friedman by Rabbi Yossi Denburg of Chabad of Boca Raton, FL, near where Joseph grew up. Joseph, 24, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to Florida with his family in 2001. He played football and soccer at Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, FL, and also attended American Heritage School in Delray Beach, FL. He graduated in 2017 from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as the Owls’ all-time leader in field goals made, points scored, PATs

Greg Joseph celebrated after defeating the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on October 7. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) (point-after-touchdown) made and field goals attempted. He also holds the university’s single-game records for PATs, field goals, points scored by kicking and holds the record for the Owls’ longest field goal. He went undrafted, but soon signed with the Dolphins and was in a training camp battle with fellow rookie Jason Sanders, a seventh-round pick, to be the team’s kicker. In three preseason games with the Dolphins, Joseph was 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 54-yard kick. Unfortunately for him, Miami decided to go with Sanders.


After being released, Joseph stayed ready and stuck to his practice routine. Despite being cut by a team far closer to where he grew up and joining a team in a city he visited for the first time during a tryout, Joseph couldn’t be happier than to be in Cleveland. “After I got released from Miami, [the Browns] were the first one to get in touch with me,” Joseph said. “It’s still an awesome feeling. It’s good to feel wanted, especially in this business. Everything happens for a reason. I had a blast in Miami. I learned a lot about myself in Miami. I learned how to be a better athlete, a better man, just a better person overall. They do a great job with their personal engagement program over there. And fortunately, I got the call to come over here.” The Browns signed Joseph on September 17, a Monday, after which he had to prepare for a prime-time Thursday night game on September 20 against the New York Jets. He didn’t complain about the lack of time to prepare. “It’s almost better to have a quick turnaround like that because you don’t have time to think about anything,” he said. And since then, the Dolphins’ loss has been the Browns’ gain. Joseph is 8-for-9 on field goal attempts in four games with the Browns, his only miss coming on a 55-yard attempt against the Ravens at the end of regulation. He also missed a PAT in that game. His longest made field goal with the Browns was a 45-yard attempt against the Jets. See “NFL” on page 12

Four winter home projects (NAPSI) – Winter is coming! The cold weather is not ideal for working on outside home maintenance projects, so focus on sprucing things up indoors. These four winter tune-ups will give your home a pick-me-up just in time for spring. 1. Revamp the Doors – Looking for an inexpensive way to update your home? Give the doors in your home a makeover. Source doorknobs from an antique or hardware store, then paint your doors a different color to give your home a whole new look. 2. Paint a Room – Freshen up the look

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of your walls and cabinets. Winter is the perfect time to paint your walls because the dry winter air will help your paint set more quickly than in the humidity of summer. Be sure to crack a window or have proper ventilation. 3. Lubricate Squeaky Moving Parts – Lubricating moving parts prevents them from wearing out, according to WD40. com. Lubricate moving parts, such as kitchen cabinets or door hinges, wheels on a dishwasher rack, and the exhaust fan over the stove.

4. Replace Furnace Filters and Clean Vents – Air filters in your furnace should be replaced once every three months to keep it working properly. Reference the instructions on your HVAC system to help you through the process. Winter is also a

good time to vacuum your dryer and kitchen vents to remove lint and grease buildup. With these four tips, take advantage of the time spent in the warm indoors and spruce up your home to have it in tip-top shape for spring.

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Calendar Highlights

To see a full calendar of community events, visit the Federation's community calendar online at Please notify of any calendar changes.

Wednesday, November 7 Deadline for November 22 Jewish Observer Saturday, November 10 Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center present a communitywide Klezmer concert with Yale Strom at 7 pm CBS-CS Camp Havdalah 6:30-8 pm Sunday, November 11 Yale Strom lecture at TAY at 10 am STOCS Tea and Torah at 4 pm Temple Concord gan from 10:30 am-noon TC – Regina F. Goldenberg Series presents Mary Sugar and Friends at 2 pm Monday, November 12 CBS-CS SU Lunch and Learn at Hendricks Chapel at noon Tuesday, November 13 Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Executive Committee meeting at 6 pm, followed by board meeting at 7 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:308:30 pm Wednesday, November 14 Syracuse Community Hebrew School at TC from 4-6 pm Temple Adath Yeshurun Executive Committee at 6:30 pm, followed by board meeting at 7:30 pm Stories with the Maggid at Wegmans at 7 pm Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas board meeting at 7:30 pm Federation board meeting at 6 pm Thursday, November 15 Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse book club at 7 pm Sunday, November 18 TAY Chanukah bazaar at 9:30 am Monday, November 19 Early deadline for December 6 Jewish Observer TC Diaspora dinner with Rabbi Fellman at Danzer’s at 6:30 pm STOCS Four Questions series at 8 pm Thursday, November 22 Thanksgiving Monday, November 26 STOCS Four Questions series at 8 pm Tuesday, November 27 Syracuse Hebrew Day School Chanukah store open Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:308:30 pm TC Savoring Judaism with Maggid Jim Brule at 7 pm Wednesday, November 28 Syracuse Community Hebrew School at TC from 4-6 pm Syracuse Hebrew Day School Chanukah store open Thursday, November 29 Syracuse Hebrew Day School Chanukah store open


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Do you only have one blessing? BY BARBARA DAVIS The children struggled in her womb and she said, “If so, why do I exist?” She went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, two separate peoples shall issue from your body; one shall be mightier than the other; the older, the younger, shall serve.” When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. The first one emerged red, like a hairy mantle all over; so they named him Esau. Then his brother emerged, holding on to the heel of Esau; so they named him Jacob…when the boys grew up Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors;

B’NAI MITZVAH Eliazar “Eli” Goldstein

Eli Goldstein, of Lebanon, NY, became bar mitzvah at Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas on October 20. He is the son of Sarah Goldstein, of Hamilton, NY, and the grandson of Jim Goldstein and Tina Finneyfrock, of Lebanon, NY. He is in the eighth grade at Hamilton Central School, Hamilton. He is a 2017 graduate of the Syracuse Eliazar “Eli” Hebrew Day School and attends the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School Goldstein of Jewish Studies. He is interested in vegetable gardening, wood stacking, collecting and reading comic books, collecting magnets and Pez containers, volunteering and community service, government service and working on the political campaign of Brindisi for Congress as part of his bar mitzvah project. He is on the high honor roll and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, 4-H, Future Farmers of America and the Rogers Environmental Conservation Center.


Continued from page 4

CBS-CS SISTERHOOD GIFT SHOP CHANUKAH SALE The annual CBS-CS gift shop Chanukah sale will start on Sunday, November 18, from 9 am-2 pm. Highlights of this once-a-year sale are gifts for the home and holidays, including many Chanukah items. Special orders are available by calling Linda Herman at 315-446-8777 (sale prices will apply). The sale will continue weekdays through Monday, December 10, during regular synagogue office hours, as well as Sundays, December 2 and 9, from 9 am-noon. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 315-4468777 and leave a message if no one is available to help. ANNUAL JOINT THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION AT PEBBLE HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH On Sunday, November 18, from 4 pm-6 pm, Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church will host the 20th annual joint Thanksgiving celebration. Community members are invited to join CBS-CS and Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church as the Islamic Society of Central New York becomes the third partner in this annual celebration of thanksgiving, peace and religious freedom. This year’s theme is “Common Ground,” which participants will explore through reflections, sacred texts and songs. They will also explore how each faith tradition has responded to the idea of adding a civil holiday to their sacred calendars. Following the celebration, there will be refreshments prepared by Pebble Hill, as well as music and dancing with the Keyna Hora Klezmer Band. For more information, contact Melissa Harkavy at This will be Rev. Peter Shidemantle’s final Thanksgiving celebration, as he will be retiring at the end of this program year.

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Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, please let the Jewish Observer know so you can stay up to date on community news and quickly receive the paper at your new (or temporary) address! E-mail with “JO Address change” in the subject line, or call 315-445-2040 ext. 116, to let the JO know about your new address.

but Jacob was a mild man who stayed in the camp. Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game; but Rebecca favored Jacob. (Genesis 25:21-29) I recently heard a comedian joke that a couple should only have one child. “If you have two,” he said, “you have to decide which is your favorite.” Parashat Toldot is clearly a biblical antecedent of this quip. And there are others: we read about Cain and Abel and the first fratricide, and about the conflict between Isaac and Ishmael, which is seen by some as the precursor of the conflict in the Middle East to this day. And then there is Joseph, whose brothers disliked him so much, they sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead. Parent-child and sibling relationships play a prominent role in the Torah and show us that sibling rivalry and parental favoritism are inherent in families. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has described Bereshit as an exploration of the most profound source of conflict in history and concludes that “the root of human conflict is sibling rivalry.” In my work as head of school, I frequently saw examples of parents who treated their children very differently – sometimes favoring or slighting the eldest, the brighter, the girl, the boy, the biological child, the child with special needs – there was no real pattern, but there were differences in the way children in the same family were treated. The events recounted in Toldot raise this parenting challenge to a significantly more existential level. Toldot tells the story of a 60-year-old woman who gave birth to twins after a difficult pregnancy that came only after decades of barrenness. Her sons emerged from the womb fighting and the fight continued for years. Two more different boys could hardly be imagined: the elder, Esau, a hunter, active, athletic, impulsive, prone to quick judgments and decisive – though often ill-thought-out – actions; the younger, Jacob, who came into the world grabbing at his brother’s heel as if trying to stop or pass him, quite the opposite: content to stay among the tents, quiet, introspective and sensitive. It is not surprising that Esau was his father’s favorite, while Jacob was his mother’s. Further complicating the adversarial sibling relationship was the secret knowledge that Rebekah possessed, namely that: “two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” With this consciousness, Rebekah goes to great lengths to assure that Jacob is the son who receives his father’s blessing and thus the leadership of the toldot, the generations that will follow. She is facilitated in this by Esau’s willingness to sell his birthright for a bowl of lentils – a disturbing and impetuous decision, but one which is perhaps revealing of his lack of capacity for mindful leadership. Yet when Esau is denied his father’s blessing, he weeps and asks the plaintive question, “Do you have but one blessing, my father?” And we feel pity for him, as Isaac replies, “Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son?’” And this is a lesson that Esau has to learn, through his remorse and his anger and his thoughtlessness. Isaac’s blessing lies in his question, “What then shall I do for thee, my son?” Esau did not need corn and wine and servants; he needed to feel remorse, to grow up, to mature, to merit a meaningful inheritance that he would not exchange for a bowl of lentils. Isaac’s response was truly the blessing that Esau needed to hear, the one that would allow him to grow and change and become worthy of his destiny. And in that bitter lesson lies another that all of us can learn from this parasha. Blessings, like love, do not all have to be the same and they are not limited. Just as the light of one candle can be used to light the many candles of the chanukiah, so, too, can we take the love, blessings and lessons we have for our children and bestow them according to each child’s needs. Isaac blessed Esau with words that seem harsh, even punitive – but these were the very words that he needed to hear. There is hope in the words; the door is left open to a better future. Proverbs tells us: “Teach each child in his own way.” If we apply this principle, we will have outcomes that help to assure the continuation and success of generations to come. Barbara Sheklin Davis is professor emerita of modern languages at Onondaga Community College. She served as principal of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School for 27 years and also headed the Epstein High School of Jewish Studies and the Combined School. She is the author of “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die,” co-author (with Susan Rabin) of a “A History of the Syracuse Jewish Community,” and author of “A History of Syracuse’s African American Community.” She is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas.

NOVEMBER 8, 2018/30 CHESHVAN 5779 ■


Continued from page 8 an Austrian who the world trusts.” Waldheim was known for his love of horses and one opponent declared with a straight face: “We never believed that Waldheim was a member of the SA – only his horse was.” Another skeptic labeled the candidate’s inability to remember his wartime activities as a symptom of “Waldheim’s Disease.” Adding material from archival and current news reports, Beckermann draws a historical line between those events of the 1980s and current political developments, particularly in Europe, but also in the United States. Describing herself in a phone interview as “half demonstrator, half documentarian” – in addition to being director, producer, script writer and narrator – Beckermann discerned in the 1986 Austrian election the emergence of a new political force, still alive and growing in our own time. She said Waldheim’s election as Austrian president represented one of the first victories of the surging coalition forged between traditional conservative ideologies and the populist, nativist appeal of vigorous right-wing activists. Among the current examples of this force, Beckermann said, include the rise of populist anti-immigrant leaders in Austria, Poland and Hungary, the Brexit movement in Britain, and reinforced right-wing constituencies in Israel and France, as well as the election of President Donald Trump in the United States. During Waldheim’s term as president, he was considered persona non grata by the U.S. and other Western governments. (He was allowed in Arab countries and the Vatican, which he visited twice.) At his funeral in 2007, then-Austrian President Heinz Fischer said Waldheim “deserves his lifetime to be seen as a whole.” Despite her dejected tone, Beckermann discerns a glimmer of hope. “The good people will rally – though I don’t know just when,” she said. “Mankind will survive.”




Joseph Eckstein, 89, of Boca Raton, FL, died on October 14. He was a survivor of Auschwitz and Birkenau. He lost his parents, his sister and the rest of his family in the Holocaust, and came to the U.S. in 1957. A former Syracuse resident, he owned and operated Rapid and Tuttle Appliance Repair on Erie Boulevard before moving to Florida in 1986. While in Syracuse, he was a member of Temple Beth El. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary; a son, Peter (Carol); granddaughters, Ma’ayan (Scott Gellman) Eckstein and Karen; and a sister, Eva Torres. Burial was in the Eternal Light Cemetery in Boynton Beach. Beth Israel Memorial Chapel, Delray Beach, FL, had arrangements. 


Harold “Hal” Menter, 91, of Schenectady, NY, died on September 27 at the Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center in Schenectady after a three-month illness. Born in Syracuse, he resided in Schenectady for many years. He was a Navy veteran, having served during World War II. He was employed for many years by GE and was retired. He had been a former member of Congregation Agudat Achim in Schenectady. He was employed at one time as an office manager for NYFAC, a small office that dealt with substance abuse counseling. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Rosalind Mickelson Menter; two daughters, Helene (Ed) Stevens of Middletown, NY, and Karen Menter of Indiana; his sister, Bernice Applebaum of New Jersey; his sisterin-law, Phyllis (Richard) Shamus of Latham; and a granddaughter, Heather Stevens. Burial was in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. Levine Memorial Chapel had arrangements. 


Jacob “Jack” Mesnick, 88, of Longwood, FL, and formerly of Syracuse, NY, died on October 22 at his home in Florida. Born in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, he served in the Army during the Korean War while stationed in Europe. He was extremely proud of his service and often mentioned how he appreciated the opportunity to travel around Europe. He remained very active with the VFW. After moving to Syracuse in 1977, he continued as a manufacturer’s sales representative, incorporating Jack Mesnick Sales with much help from mom. His territory allowed him to travel the state from Buffalo to Bedford. He continued to operate the business until moving to Florida. Every weekend, he listened to the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast. He was a loyal fan of National Public Radio, classical music, current affairs and loved watching the news and talking about it with others. He and Ellie loved to travel the world. He made friends wherever he traveled and made a joyful, lasting impression on all he met. After moving to Orlando in March 2018, he enjoyed Brookdale Island Lake, Longwood. He was predeceased by his wife of 27 years, Florine Mesnick. He is survived by his children, Suzanne (Steven) Herin, and Jodi Ciccarelli; his grandchildren, Melissa Herin and Emily Ciccarelli; his sisters, Pearl Cohen and Linda Ross; and his longtime companion, Ellie Hayman, of Delray Beach, FL. Burial was in the Adath Yeshurun Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Donations may be made to a local public radio or television station. 


In aftermath of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, states review hate-crime laws

The suspect behind the shooting deaths of 11 Jewish worshippers on Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life*Or’L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh was charged on Oct. 31 in a 44-count indictment that accuses the 46-year-old of federal hate crimes. A total of 45 states also have such measures, enabling tougher punishments against perpetrators. Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Wyoming do not have hate-crime laws (Georgia’s hatecrime statute was struck down by the state’s Supreme Court in 2004). In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Holcomb has asked lawmakers to pass a hate-crime law. A bill to do that died earlier this year after Republicans refused to vote on it in committee. The measure would have allowed judges to give harsher sentences for crimes motivated by religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and other factors. In August, an Indiana synagogue was spray-painted with a large Nazi flag and Nazi iron crosses. Since the shooting, calls have come nationwide for toughening hate-crime statutes. In Kentucky, for example, two state lawmakers proposed legislation on Oct. 31 that would add homicide to the state’s existing hate-crime law.

Israel Aerospace Industries wins $550 million Asia contract for defense system

(Israel Hayom via JNS) – Israel Aerospace Industries announced on Oct. 29 that it has won a $550 million contract to provide its advanced Sky Capture air-defense system to an undisclosed Asian country. The contract will be carried out over four years. The financial daily Globes reported that while IAI did not name its client, it is believed to be India. According to the IAI, Sky Capture is a command-and-control system for anti-aircraft systems, which greatly improves the customer’s own air defenses by providing accurate target data for the interceptors, managing the threat and optimizing the response according to the target type. Sky Capture features advanced command and control capabilities, as well as information fusion based on multiple sensors, including advanced fire control and detection radars, and electro-optical sensors produced by IAI and its subsidiary, Elta Systems. “We thank our customers for their confidence in the system and the unique solution developed for their operational requirements,” said Boaz Levi, IAI executive vice president and general manager of the Systems, Missiles and Space Group. “Our proposal and development were based on the future generation of very short-range air-defense systems,” continued Levi. “Sky Capture combines several aerial interception


methodologies, reflecting the extensive capabilities of IAI’s air-defense know-how. The system sold under this contract uses air-defense cannons, and is also designed, if needed, to manage short-range missiles and laser-interception systems.”

Israel names its first female ambassador to Egypt

For the first time, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has appointed a woman to be its next ambassador to Egypt. Amira Oron, who previously served as Israel’s chargé d’affaires in Ankara, Turkey, became the highest-ranking Israeli diplomat from 2010 until 2015, when Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in the wake of the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. She also served as the deputy

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spokesman and head of the Arab Media Department at the ministry. She will replace David Govrin, who has held the position since 2016. Three more women were named to ambassadorial appointments in an announcement on Oct. 30: Rodica Radia-Gordan, who will be ambassador to Madrid, Spain; Orly Gil, who will be ambassador to Riga, Latvia; and Marina Rosenberg, who will be ambassador to Santiago, Chile.


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SodaStream cleans up floating trash collection off the coast of Honduras

BY JNS STAFF (JNS) – Israeli startup superstar and home-based soda-device-maker SodaStream announced on October 22 that it has sent a delegation to the coast of Honduras to clean up a massive collection of floating trash off of Roatán. CEO Daniel Birnbaum said the “Holy Turtle” – a 1,000-foot-long device towed by ship and purchased from an American company – has already been dispatched off the Roatán coast along with 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries. Cleanup procedures will be witnessed by local Honduran officials, schoolchildren and officials from the Plastic Soup Foundation, which


Pittsburgh’s largest paper prints Mourner’s Kaddish on front page

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the largest newspaper serving the Pennsylvania city’s metropolitan area, printed a part of the Jewish mourner’s prayer in Hebrew as its front-page headline. The first four words of the Mourner’s Kaddish were printed on the Nov. 2 front page as a tribute to the 11 people killed last weekend in a shooting attack at the city’s Tree of Life synagogue, allegedly by a far-right extremist. The words mean “may His great name be exalted and sanctified.” David Shribner, the Post-Gazette’s executive editor, explained the decision to include the Hebrew and Aramaic prayer in a note to readers on Nov. 2. “When you conclude there are no words to express a community’s feelings, then maybe you are thinking in the wrong language,” wrote Shribner, who lives three blocks from the synagogue. “That’s what prompted me to consider whether an excerpt from a 10th century prayer might be the appropriate gesture – of respect, of condolence – for a 21st century audience mourning its dead, whether family, friend, congregant, neighbor or, simply, Pittsburgher.” Shribman noted that is the tradition for Jews in mourning to recite the prayer, usually while other congregants stand in solidarity. “This week, each entire congregation – indeed all of Pittsburgh – may well stand, in spirit if not in fact,” he wrote, “for if Pittsburgh’s passage in the past several days has shown anything, it is that these losses are all of ours, and that the solidarity of Pittsburgh’s grief is the face we have shown to those beyond the three rivers to the four corners of the earth.” On Twitter, historian Aaron Astor wrote: “The Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish is one of the most important prayers of all. This was a very moving gesture by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to post it as the headline.” Jodi Kantor, an investigative journalist for The New York Times, wrote that the unusual headline is “The ultimate tribute to the victims. A statement that Jews belong.”

works to clean plastics out of the world’s oceans. “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can,” Birnbaum said in a statement. According to SodaStream, the project was inspired by a 2017 BBC documentary about the trash off of the coast of Honduras. Junk cleaned from the water will be turned into an art installation dedicated to “reducing consumption of single use plastic in all forms, including plastic cups, straws, SodaStream’s “Holy Turtle” in action off the coast of Honduras. (Photo source: bags and bottles.” Screenshot In the past, SodaStream has partnered with the Israel Union for Environmental daStream products, despite the fact that of their 1,300 Defense to raise awareness and combat plastic pollution, employees, only 350 were Israeli Jews; another 450 and joined with an organization called Trees for the were Israeli Arabs and 500 Palestinian Authority ArFuture to plant thousands of trees in Brazil. abs. In 2016, the pressure against SodaStream and its SodaStream was singled out for a targeted campaign spokeswoman, actress Scarlett Johansson, resulted in by the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement, which the closing of the plant and all the Palestinian Authority attacked the company for creating the soda machines workers losing their jobs. SodaStream subsequently and accessories in Mishor Adumim, a Jewish community moved its facility to the Bedouin town of Rahat in the located in Judea, an area they say belongs exclusively Negev Desert, where it hired hundreds of new employees, to Palestinians. BDS urged consumers not to buy So- including local Bedouins.


His impressions of Cleveland are thus far almost universally positive. “I don’t know why everyone has such a negative connotation about” Cleveland), Joseph said. “The weather’s been awesome and the people are nice.” Joseph hasn’t experienced a trademark Cleveland winter – lake effect snow can affect playing conditions at FirstEnergy Stadium, right on the Lake Erie shoreline – but he’s ready for the challenge. “I’ll take each challenge as it comes,” he said. “Right now, the weather is good. I’ll have to look into it further when [the bad weather comes]. I’ll get in touch with people who have kicked here and experienced it. But then again, you can only learn so much from them, you have to go through it first-hand to really impact your learning curve.” Joseph said he wants to continue to further acquaint himself with Northeast Ohio’s Jewish community and give back as much as he can. “It’s a virtue close to my heart, since my mom kind of instilled that in me from a young age,” he said. “That’s why I’m leaning toward going out and talking with some Jewish day schools and hopefully something with the Jewish Federation, which would be very cool. That’s in the works, hopefully.”

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He said his faith has “absolutely” guided him during his life and career. “At the end of the day, I believe it’s written that what’s going to happen is going to happen,” he said. “That’s why I go about my business with a smile on my face because I look at every experience as a learning experience. I believe there’s a plan. What’s written is written, you just go by that. That’s why I never take anything too heavily. I choose to live my life in a positive manner, with a smile on my face, positively impacting the people around me, which is definitely a goal of mine.” Joseph said he was in Cleveland for Yom Kippur and, after practice, he got a ride to an evening service at Chabad of Downtown Cleveland, where he met Friedman. He moved into his apartment a few days before the Ravens game, and now, for the most part, he said he feels settled in his new city – although he continues to get to know people in and around town. He noted the Browns normally get an off day on Tuesdays – he hopes he can use it to give back. “Every Tuesday, there are community service events,” Joseph said. “I just told our community relations people to sign me up for every one. I’ll be there, it’s something that’s important to me. I want to reach out and use this platform while it’s here to help whoever I can help and positively impact the greatest amount of people’s quality of lives that I can possibly impact. Football is a great platform for that, and I feel like I’d be wasting it if I’m not using it. That’s my goal here, to get out and help people.” Joseph wants Clevelanders to know he plans to do his best on the field, but he’s here for more than football. “The Browns are in a position to win, but while I’m here, I want to get involved in the community,” he said. “I want to try to go talk to and inspire Jewish kids all across Cleveland to let them know that it’s possible to do basically whatever you want. It’s not just football, it’s not just sports. If you have a goal, my big thing is, put your head down and work. Anything is possible.”

Cleveland Browns kicker Greg Joseph, right, with Rabbi Yossi Friedman of the Chabad of Downtown Cleveland. They are standing by a mezuzah that Friedman helped Joseph put up outside his new apartment in Cleveland after kicking a game-winning field goal against the Baltimore Ravens in overtime on October 7. (Photo by Glen Joseph)

November 8, 2018 issue of Jewish Observer Newspaper  
November 8, 2018 issue of Jewish Observer Newspaper