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14 KISLEV 5779 • NOVEMBER 22, 2018 • VOLUME XXXIX, NUMBER 23 • PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID, SYRACUSE, NY

Community Chanukah party December 2 BY ANKUR DANG While winters in Syracuse are often brutal and gloomy, there is a way to make the chill seem a little less bitter – the community Chanukah party on Sunday, December 2, from 12:30-3 pm, in the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Schayes Family Gymnasium. The free event, sponsored by the JCC of Syracuse and the Jewish Federation of Central New York, will feature games, activities and food for

the whole family to welcome in the Chanukah season. Michael Balanoff, president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Central New York, said, “We’re taking a different approach to this year’s community Chanukah party to make it a little more casual and accessible for everyone. We’ve got a wonderful lineup of fun activities for families to enjoy the start of Chanukah.” The community Chanukah party

will feature a variety of activities, such as face painting, a bounce house, Chanukah crafts, games, balloon animals, a photo booth, entertainment and more. Among the lineup of light refreshments will be as latkes and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said, “It’s exciting to be hosting this year’s community Chanukah party. It’s always great to partner with the Jewish Federation of CNY and put on such

a festive event for the entire community. We truly appreciate the effort of everyone ‘behind the scenes’ who is making this happen – staff in our children’s programming and PJ Library in CNY, and our event Co-chairs Jessica Malzman and Davia Moss.” Reservations for the community Chanukah party are not necessary and it is open to the public. For more information, contact the JCC of Syracuse at 315-445-2360.

Community service marking end of mourning period for Pittsburgh synagogue victims On Wednesday, November 28, from 7:30-8:30 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center

of Syracuse, there will be a ritual service to mark the end of shloshim, the 30-day mourning period, for the

First person

victims of the Tree of Life Congregation shootings in Pittsburgh. The JCC is located at 5655 Thompson Rd., Syracuse. The event is sponsored by the

Syracuse Rabbinical Council. Local clergy will participate in the service, which will consist of prayer, song, teaching and Torah study. It is open to the public.

Teen Funder awards BY RACHEL SCHEER The Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York Teen Funders met on October 28. The group consisted of Elise Beckman, Edwin Hirsh, Kassidy Hirsh, Sarah Kornfeld, Peri Lowenstein, Stephanie Lynne, Rachel Scheer and Sophie Scheer. Several members who had donated to the pooled fund were not able to attend the meeting, including Abigail Charlamb, Alethea Shirilan-Howlett, Alexis Snell, Rachel Alpert, Rebecca Blumenthal, Shaynah Sikora and Timothy Berse Skeval. We discussed possible organizations where we could allocate our pooled fund of $2,078.90, and ultimately decided on a few organizations that we felt coincided with our mission statement, which is: The Teen Funders Program of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central New York provides financial support to organizations in Central New York and Israel, both within and outside of the Jewish community, that directly affect individuals with special

needs or limited opportunities, by promoting self-sufficiency, self-empowerment, health and wellness. We were pleased to be able to donate $425 to the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s fund for the victims of terror. This organization was not originally on our application list, but we all felt the need to support our Jewish community in Pittsburgh. We also decided to allocate $478.90 to Literacy CNY, an organization that provides tutoring for adults who read and write below the sixth-grade level. Our donation will help it purchase books and other materials to allow the students to practice what they learn in class. The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse children’s programming received $350. Our donation will help make vacation camps more action packed and educational than ever before with field trips to bigger and better destinations. See “Teen” on page 3

C A N D L E L I G H T I N G A N D P A R AS H A

L-r: Edwin Hirsh, Kassidy Hirsh, Peri Lowenstein, Sophie Scheer, Rachel Scheer, Elise Beckman and Stephanie Lynne. Missing from picture: Sarah Kornfeld.

November 23.................. 4:17 pm..............................................Parashat Vayishlach November 30.................. 4:13 pm................................................ Parashat Vayeshev December 7..................... 4:12 pm................................. Parashat Miketz-Chanukah

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Rube Goldberg

Chanukah

A writer’s journey

A new exhibit looks at the life and Local Chanukah celebrations Writer A.J.. Jacobs details his career of Rube Goldberg, who did are announced; new kids’ books; travels to thank everyone who more than draw wacky machines. holiday memories; and more. has a hand in his coffee. Stories on pages 3, 4, 9-12 Story on page 2 Story on page 6

PLUS Personal Greetings.......... 10-11 Healthcare Greetings......12-13 Calendar Highlights............. 14 Classifieds.............................. 14


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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

Rube Goldberg did more than draw wacky machines

BY STEPHEN SILVER (JTA) – When one hears the name Rube Goldberg, one concept instantly comes to mind: those fun machines that complete simple tasks in overly complicated and At right: Rube humorous ways. Think a ball rolling G o l d - b e r g ’ s down a long ramp that hits a series of cartoons were not dominoes, which hits something else, and all of compli-cated so on and so on. contraptions. Nearly 50 years after his death, his (Photo courtesy name will come up in politics or an- Rube Goldberg other field to explain something that’s Inc.) unnecessarily complex. Cartoonist Art Spiegelman, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus,” once said that “Rube Goldberg knew how eponymous machines, his granddaughter to get from A to B using all the letters in Jennifer George said. He drew for papers the alphabet.” such as the San Francisco Bulletin and the But as an exhibit at the National Mu- New York Evening Mail, where his strips seum of American Jewish History points were introduced to the masses through out, there was a lot more to Rube Goldberg McClure, the country’s first newspathan the machines he drew. per syndicate. He started the machine Goldberg, who was born in 1883 and drawings in the late 1920s in one of his died in 1970, also was a prolific editorial several syndicated series – one involving cartoonist, as well as an inventor, engineer, a character named Professor Lucifer Gorhumorist and author. He even had stints in gonzola Butts. the advertising industry and in Hollywood The exhibit, supervised in Philadelin a career that spanned ore than 70 phia by chief curator Josh Pearlman, is years. He won a Pulitzer in 1948 for his presented with the cooperation of two political cartoons, and is considered an of Goldberg’s grandchildren – George enduring inspiration and her cousin, John to children in STEM George, both chil(science, technolodren of Goldberg’s gy, engineering and sons. The two sons, mathematics) fields, Thomas and George, where his creations changed their surare still used in lesname to George at sons. the insistence of Goldberg’s comtheir father (yes, plete life and work one became George is the subject of “The George). He claimed Art of Rube Goldthat it was for their berg,” an exhibition A Rube Goldberg cartoon used on a safety because he that runs through U.S. postal stamp. (Photo courtesy Rube received copious January 21 at the amounts of hate mail Goldberg Inc.) Philadelphia musefor his political carum. The exhibit, which follows stops at toons, but there is debate within the museums in San Francisco and Chicago, family over whether the name’s obvious but features some new items, is the first Jewishness had anything to do with it. major exhibition of Goldberg’s work since Goldberg was the son of Jewish parents the Smithsonian presented one shortly in San Francisco and lived through a before his death. time of “harsh antisemitism” before the “The Art of Rube Goldberg” consists world wars. of machines and cartoons, as well as The exhibition also includes more artifacts from Goldberg’s life. Included personal, never-before-seen items, such are numerous editorial and political as a cigar box belonging to Goldberg’s cartoons – on topics ranging from father. There’s a video installation showing government austerity measures to the modern-day movies – from Wes Anderson continual struggle for peace between flicks to Wallace and Gromit tales to “Pee Jews and Arabs – that wouldn’t be out Wee’s Big Adventure” – that have all used of place today. Rube Goldberg-like concepts. Goldberg, in fact, drew an estimated Also new is a Forbes magazine cover 50,000 cartoons in his career, but only a drawn by Goldberg from 1967 that looked small fraction of them were related to his at “the future of home entertainment.” It

was tracked down recently by the daughter of a former Forbes art director and lent to the exhibit. Goldberg died when Jennifer George was 11 years old, but she is the primary custodian of Goldberg’s intellectual property and legacy. “I remember him through the lens of a child. But when carrying on the legacy of Rube fell into my lap when my dad died, over a decade ago – I really had to do some heavy lifting,” she said. “All of the cartoons that had once been on the walls of the den in the house that I grew up in, and in our grandparents’ study,

A wall at the exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. (Photo by Stephen Silver)

of Central New York

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One of Rube Goldberg’s more political cartoons is on display at the exhibit. (Photo by Stephen Silver)

Rube Goldberg on a poster by the Pathé news agency calling him the “World’s most famous Newspaper Cartoonist.” (Photo by Stephen Silver)

About the cover This year’s holiday cover was designed by Jenn DePersis, production coordinator of The Reporter Group, which publishes the Jewish Observer.

which I had never read, suddenly I had to start reading them, and I had to start educating myself as to who Rube Goldberg was, through the lens of an adult, at least if I was going to do this correctly.” Several events related to the exhibit are planned, including a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for local high school students. “We are preparing for a lot of serious and zany fun,” Ivy Barsky, the museum’s CEO, said at the press preview recently. “Which we don’t get to say a lot at a history museum.”

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NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

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AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK PJ Library Chanukah menorah lighting happenings at the JCC BY CAROLYN WEINBERG SAVE THE DATES On Sunday, December 2, from 12:30-3 pm, join PJ Library to welcome Chanukah with a community party at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. There will be music, dreidel spinning, latkes, doughnuts, face painting, crafts, inflatables and more. On Monday, December 10, at 5 pm, the last day of Chanukah, there will be a live concert performance at the JCC by PJ Library musician Jason Mesches. This will be a free interactive concert geared toward young children and families. Mesches is coming from the West Coast and will join participants with his music featured on PJ Library CDs, which PJ families will receive in December. His music can also be heard any time by downloading the PJ Library radio app. On Monday, January 21, from 10:30 am-noon, PJ Our Way will hold a book club program for Tu B’Shevat at the Destiny USA Apple store. This event is geared toward 8-11-year old children. Participants will read a short story together and then use technology to create their own story. This event is free, but registration is required and may be made by e-mailing Carolyn Weinberg at pjcny@jccsyr.org. For questions and further details about any of the upcoming PJ Library in CNY events, contact Carolyn at pjcny@jccsyr.org. On October 8, PJ Library® families and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Columbus Day school-age vacation campers met up at the East Syracuse Home Depot for a special event. Children built a

Chanukah will be celebrated with weekday community menorah lightings starting Monday, December 3, at 4 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The outdoor lightings at the JCC will continue at the same time each evening for the remainder of that

week. Local congregational rabbis have been asked to lead the lighting ceremonies, along with children from the JCC’s After School Program. The menorah lighting events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the JCC of Syracuse at 315-445-2360 or visit www.jccsyr.org.

At right: Children in the JCC’s After School P ro g r a m , a l o n g with JCC Executive D i re c t o r M a rc i Erlebacher and Jewish Federation of Central New York President/ CEO Michael Balanoff (to the right of the menorah), at last year’s lighting ceremony on the first night of Chanukah.

See “PJ” on page 8 TELEPHONE (315) 474-3326 FAX (315) 476-8058 EMAIL: careerguide@verizon.net

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community CareerGuide Center senior dining menu

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NOVEMBER 26-30 Monday – baked ziti Tuesday – sweet and sour meatballs Wednesday – chicken noodle soup, egg salad sandwich Thursday – hamburgers with sautéed onions Friday – birthday celebration – salmon with dill

Teen

Continued from page 1

Merchavim is an Israeli non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting diversity in classrooms and communities in Israel. Our donation of $325 will help it pay for a program that teaches kids diversity and inclusiveness through art. We also donated $350 to St. Mark the Evangelist Episcopal Church. Our donation will help it buy healthy food for their monthly free breakfast program that serves families living below the poverty level. Lastly, we donated $150 to the Syracuse City Ballet for its sensory-friendly performance of “The Nutcracker.” Our money will allow it to provide tickets for children with medical and developmental disabilities. The Teen Funders program gives me the opportunity to learn more about the community and work with my friends to provide much needed support for people in need.

“the right person DECEMBER 3-7 for the job” Monday – spinach cheese quiche 120 E. WASHINGTON ST. – spaghetti and meatballs SUITE 201 MTuesday ILDRED SIMINOFF Wednesday – imitation crab cakesSYRACUSE, NY 13202 Thursday – hot corned beef sandwich with Russian dressing Friday – Chanukah celebration – brisket and latkes The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining TELEPHONE (315) 474-3326 Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community FAX (315) 476-8058 Happy Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches EMAIL: careerguide@verizon.net Passover! 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 SERVICE, INC. menu is subject to change.PLACEMENT The program is funded Agency by a grant from the Onondaga County Department right person thethe job”New York State Office of“the Aging and Youthforand for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the 120 E. WASHINGTON ST. JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or aSUITE member 201 MILDRED SIMINOFF of the JCC. For further informationSYRACUSE, or to make a resNY 13202 ervation, contact Cindy Stein at 315-445-2360 ext. 104 or cstein@jccsyr.org.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Temple Adath Yeshurun THANKSGIVING SERVICES AT TAY Services on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, will be held at 9 am and 4 pm. On Friday, November 23, morning services will begin at 7:15 am and Kabbalat Shabbat services Friday will begin at 5:30 pm. On Saturday, November 24, at 9:15 am, congregants are invited to continue their Thanksgiving weekend with a “Casual Shabbat.” Participants are encouraged to leave their sports coats and dress shoes at home, and come to services in comfortable, casual clothes. Mincha will follow Shabbat morning services, at approximately 12:15 pm. For more information about TAY services, go to www.adath.org or contact the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or info@adath.org. CHANUKAH WITH HAZAK The Hazak chapter of Temple Adath Yeshurun will celebrate Chanukah with lunch at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center on Friday, December 7, at noon, at the Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining Program. Reservations are due by Thursday, November 29. All Hazak

members, whether a lunch regular or not, should make a reservation at hazak@ adath.org or by calling JoAnn Grower at 315-463-9762 or Joanne Greenhouse at 315-446-3592. There is a suggested contribution per meal, which will be taken at the door. TAY CHANUKAH CELEBRATION On Sunday, December 9, at 5:15 pm, Temple Adath Yeshurun will celebrate Chanukah with activities for all ages, beginning with Mishpacha Chanukah, a celebration for the whole family, which includes a glow dance party for children of all ages and their families. To celebrate the Festival of Lights, everyone will have the opportunity to dance together with glow sticks and other glowing objects as they move to the music. There will be other children’s activities during this time. At 5:30 pm, evening services will be held in the Miron Family Chapel. At 6 pm, there will be a congregational Chanukah dinner featuring a dairy “breakfast-for-dinner” meal. See “TAY” on page 5

Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas

CHANUKAH WITH A COMEDIC MYTH-BUSTING TWIST On Saturday, December 8, participants may explore Chanukah myths with Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. In the style of the television show, “Adam Ruins Everything,” CBS-CS will begin its deconstruction of Chanukah, starting with the first man, Adam. Through this dinner-theater experience, participants will uncover the origins of Chanukah traditions and be able to separate fact from fiction. The festivities will begin with Havdalah, at 6:30 pm, when participants will light the Chanukah lights and sing Chanukah songs. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chanukiah and candles. Reservations are requested and may be made by Tuesday, November 27, by contacting the CBS-CS office at 315446-9570 or manager@cbscs.org. SEMINAR: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION CONTINUES AT HILLEL AND THE JCC OF SYRACUSE CBS-CS continues its lecture series,

“Bridging the Gap between Science and Religion,” through a national grant, Scientists in Synagogues, with Syracuse University Martin A. Pomerantz ‘37 Professor of Physics Peter Saulson. Saulson is one of the founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (or LIGO) project, which discovered colliding black holes in 2015. That discovery was recognized with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. This seminar series is part of Scientists in Synagogues, run by Sinai and Synapses in consultation with the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The next two lectures will take place at Syracuse Hillel on Monday, November 26, at 7:30 pm, and at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse on Tuesday, December 4, at 7 pm. This event is open to the public. Reservations are appreciated and may be made by contacting the CBS-CS office at director@cbscs.org.

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Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation CHANUKAH AT STOCS On Wednesday, December 5, at 6 pm, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will celebrate Chanukah with a chicken dinner and latkes. Chanukah charades for adults and children, as well as a “your own edible dreidel station,” are two of the featured activities. Reservations should be made by Wednesday, November 28, at www. stocsyracuse.org/events, or by contacting the synagogue at 315-446-6194 or info@stocsyracuse.org. Participants may send a check to STOCS or pay online. Prices are $18 for adults, $8 for children and $54 for families. There is no charge for new full and associate

Avigail Weingarten and her mother, Julie, hope to draw a lucky ticket at the STOCS 2017 Chanukah celebration. members. STOCS is located at 4313 East Genesee St., DeWitt.

Temple Concord CALLIGRAPHER MORDECHAI ROSENSTEIN, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE BY STEWART KOENIG Temple Concord will host Mordechai Rosenstein as artist-in-residence from Wednesday, December 5, through Sunday, December 9. Rosenstein uses Hebrew and English letters to create art on a variety of media. He said, “The flowing forms of the letters have been an inspiration to me since my youth.” His shapes and colors are said to enhance synagogue interiors, tapestries, paintings, murals and silk screen prints. His style evolved as a result of various influences. He was a member of the first graduating class of Akiba Hebrew Academy. While studying at the Philadelphia College of Art, Abstract Expressionist Professor Franz Kline influenced Rosenstein. By uniting his interest in Judaica and painting, Rosenstein has given a contemporary meaning to the art of Hebrew calligraphy. On Friday, December 7, at 6 pm, Rosenstein will deliver the d’var Torah, “The Torah Paints the Picture,” at Shabbat services. It will be followed by the synagogue’s congregational Chanukah dinner. On Saturday, he will participate in Torah study and talk on “My Journey as an Artist,” at 10 am, followed by Shabbat services. On Saturday, December 8, at 7:30 pm, Temple Concord will hold a Painting and Pinot evening, when participants are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine and painting clothes, to participate in a make and take activity with Rosenstein. The synagogue will provide noshes, coffee and dessert. On Sunday, December 9, Rosenstein will work with the religious school children in a project called “The Secret

Mordechai Rosenstein of the Hebrew Alphabet.” Parents are encouraged to join their children. Rabbi Daniel Fellman said, “It is an honor to have Mordechai Rosenstein, a truly gifted artist, here, and a wonderful opportunity for our entire community, adults and children, to experience Judaism from a different and beautiful perspective. I encourage all who love art and Judaism to come to at least one event.” Shabbat services are open to the public. Reservations are strongly suggested for Painting and Pinot and may be made by contacting the synagogue at office@templeconcord.org, 315-475-9952 or on the TC online calendar at www.templeconcord.org. DIASPORA DINNER AT DANZER’S, NOV. 26 (CHANGE OF DATE) Temple Concord’s Diaspora Series, exploring international Jewish culinary traditions, will be at Danzer’s German and American Gasthof on Monday, November 26, at 6:30 pm. This is a change of date. Danzer’s is located at 153 Ainsley Dr., Syracuse, and each participant will pay for their own dinner. Call the TC office at 315-475-9952 to make a reservation.

Hebrew Interest-Free Loan 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, www.jewishfederationcny.org.


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

First person

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Fort Ontario Study Act (Bill H.R. 46) 1988-2018 BY JUDY COE RAPAPORT The road to the Fort Ontario Study Act, recently signed by President Donald Trump, began in the office of Oswego Mayor John T. Sullivan in 1988. It started with a conversation between the mayor and his Executive Assistant Eli Rapaport, after the mayor viewed a 1987 WXXI Rochester PBS documentary by Paul Lewis featuring the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter. Sullivan and Rapaport discussed the episode, the historical significance of the shelter, the lack of public awareness of the shelter story, and the potential cultural and economic benefits of establishing a museum interpreting its history. Sullivan formed an exploratory committee, initially chaired by Rapaport, who was succeeded by Willard Schum in 1989, when the Safe Haven Board was created and incorporated. The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center opened in 2002. In 2015 SUNY Oswego alum, Chris Mensah, secretary to the Governing Council Chief, United Nations Human Settlements Program, came to the museum at Rapaport’s and my request, after spending time with us in Nairobi,

Kenya. After his visit, Mensah was so moved by the shelter story that he suggested that the fort be considered an applicant for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. To be considered for UNESCO status, a potential site must have national landmark status. Later, when Mensah and I met with Paul Lear, historic site manager of Fort Ontario State Historic Site, and a member of the original exploratory committee and Safe Haven Board (2000-2004), we learned that Fort Ontario was not a national landmark, and that only the stone fort itself, not even the grounds around it, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center, located in the old army guardhouse, and the rest of the red brick army buildings and grounds in Fort Ontario Park owned by the city of Oswego, were not on the register. We learned that Lear was working with the State Historic Preservation Office and city of Oswego on an amended Fort Ontario National Register listing, one that would add the state parks-owned grounds around the stone fort, and the city-owned buildings and grounds to the district. The

new listing will make the city buildings and grounds eligible for more state and federal improvement grants. Realizing that the city-owned Fort Ontario Park, which contains the building housing the museum, must be listed on the National Register to become a national landmark, I helped form the Fort Ontario National Landmark Committee, chaired by Jeff Grimshaw, and obtained widespread public support for the amended district nomination. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the State Historic Preservation Office to put the entire fort complex as nominated on the register, and the documents were submitted to Washington. Once the amended district nomination is approved, a letter of inquiry will be submitted to the National Park Service to make Fort Ontario a national landmark, after which a UNESCO application can be submitted. In 2014, then-candidate for Congress John Katko visited Fort Ontario State Historic Site and the Safe Haven Museum and Education Center. Later, during a 2015 National Landmark Committee meeting in Katko’s Syracuse office, he said that Fort Ontario should become See “Act” on page 6

TAY

Continued from page 4

The Family Programming and Education Committee will coordinate the activities and the TAY Sisterhood will sponsor the congregational dinner. The Chanukah celebration is open to the public, and there is a fee for dinner. There is a charge of $10 per person, with a maximum of $25 per household. To make a reservation, call 315-4450002, visit www.adath.org, or email info@adath.org. SHABBAT IN THE ROUND AT TAY BY SONALI MCINTYRE On Friday, November 30, at 7:15 pm, Temple Adath Yeshurun will host a Shabbat in the Round service to usher in and celebrate Shabbat. The service will be led by Ba’alat Tefillah Esa Jaffe. Fred Willard will lead the Shabbat in the Round band and Jaffe will lead the TAY adult choir. Jaffe said, “The music of this Shabbat service is engaging and uplifting. It is a very welcoming and participatory service.”

Following the service, there will be an oneg dessert. There will be no 5:30 pm service on November 30. For more information, call 315-445-0002 or e-mail info@ adath.org.

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L-r: TAY Sisterhood President Alison Bronstein with Pam McKenzie and Melissa Owens of Chadwick Residence at the end of the TAY Sisterhood rummage sale. The Sisterhood donated remaining items from the sale to Chadwick Residence, Henninger High School Prom Closet, Toomey Residential and the Rescue Mission.

Wishing you a Happy Chanukah light • peace • love

Several TAY members gathered for a presentation by Maccabi USA, with talks by former Maccabiah Games athletes. The program was presented by the TAY Men’s Club.

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

Writer A.J. Jacobs traveled thousands of miles to thank everyone who had a hand in his morning coffee

BY CINDY SHER (JUF News via JTA) – Author A.J. Jacobs has encouraged his three sons to be grateful for all they have. He and his wife urge them to write thank-you notes, to thank the bus driver – even thank their household voice assistant Alexa for weather forecasts. Jacobs, who is Jewish, sometimes says a prayer of thanksgiving with his family at the dinner table in appreciation of those who helped get food to their plates. But not too long ago, Jacobs’ son Zane raised an observation to his dad. “You know these people can’t hear you, right?” he asked. Zane’s remark got Jacobs thinking. Indeed, those people could not hear him. So the Manhattan-based humorist and writer set out on a quest to thank everyone who plays a role in making his morning coffee possible. He chose coffee because it was a more manageable undertaking than an entire meal – and he “can’t live without” his java. Jacobs chronicles the journey in his new book, “Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey” (TED Books), which was to come out on November 13 in conjunction with a TED Talk that he was to deliver on the same topic. During his quest, which took him from a farm in Colombia to a steel plant in Indiana, he discovered how interconnected the world is. So many more people than he could have imagined contribute to his morning cup of coffee. Obviously there are baristas and farmers, but also unsung heroes like artists (think coffee lid and sleeve

designer), chemists, biologists, truckers and miners. “I went around the world and thanked everyone I could find,” he said, “because they reminded me there are so many people who help with every little thing in our lives and we take them for granted.” All told, Jacobs said he thanked 1,000 people for his cup of coffee – and actually could “Thanks a Thousand: have thanked way more. A Gratitude Journey” Along the way, he learned (Photo by Simon and that gratitude isn’t just a nice Schuster) gesture for the recipient – scientific research show it’s healthy for the thanker, too. A study in Scientific American found that gratitude is the single best predictor of well-being and good relationships. Psychological research shows that gratitude can lift depression, improve one’s diet, help heart patients recover quicker and lead to overall greater

Act a national park and expressed his intention to work toward that goal. In 2016, Katko and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, with the support of Senator Charles Schumer, submitted the Fort Ontario Study Act to Congress. The bill was passed and signed by President Donald Trump in October 2018. In September 2017, Katko initiated a reconnaissance survey of the Fort Ontario National Register District by the National Park Service. Information on the fort and potential eligibility for becoming a national park is being gathered in this preliminary survey. Reconnaissance surveys normally take over a year to complete, but in this case, the data gathered will be incorporated into the more comprehensive and lengthy resource study, thus gaining a year. The resource study will explore more deeply subjects covered in the reconnaissance survey,

kindness and happiness. Before the quest, Jacobs said, his default mood was usually grumpiness. The adventure helped him change his mindset. “I believe that genetically or culturally my default is negative – more a Larry David than Tom Hanks way of looking at the world. It’s fun to watch on TV, but not necessarily fun to live,” he said. And Jacobs is certainly not A.J.Jacobs said alone – people are genetically before his adventure programmed, evolutionary psythat he had “more a chologists say, to focus on what Larry David than goes wrong in daily life because Tom Hanks way was a matter of survival back in it of looking at the Paleolithic times. But the result world.” (Photo by today is modern-day anxiety –a Lem Lattimer) so-called “deficit mindset” – that’s no longer helpful, said Jacobs. See “Jacobs” on page 11

Continued from page 5 make recommendations for potential development, and determine final eligibility of the Fort Ontario National Register District for becoming a national park. Passage of the Fort Ontario Resource Study Bill and signing by the president could not have been accomplished without the dedication of Katko, Gillibrand, Schumer, Cuomo, Senator Patty Ritchie, Assemblyman William Barclay, Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature Shane Broadwell and the Legislature, Mayor William Barlow Jr. and the City of Oswego Common Council, Chairperson Jeff Grimshaw, and other members of the National Landmark Committee. I want to thank all the people who made phone calls and wrote hundreds of letters sent to members of the Congressional Committee to move the bill forward from former refugees, people of Oswego, Central New York and all over the world.


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 â–

JEWISH OBSERVER

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

PJ set of wooden bookends to take home. This is the second year PJ Library has

PJ Library® families and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center’s Columbus Day school-age vacation campers met up at the East Syracuse Home Depot to build a set of wooden bookends for their PJ books. L-r: Lauren Jones (face obscured) worked on her bookends as Gabriel Weinberg got a helping hand from Drew Friedman while his daughter, Eliana Friedman, worked on her bookend.

Continued from page 6

collaborated with Home Depot to create a holiday-related project for kids to build themselves. Using wood, hammers and nails, each person built a set of bookends to decorate and use to hold their collection of PJ Library books at home. Organizers said, “The children loved using grown-up tools to create something useful, and they were excited to build something from scratch and feel proud of their creations.” During October, the PJ families were asked to bring in extra PJ books to donate to help North Carolina families and Jewish institutions rebuild their PJ Library collections in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The local community sent 70 books to North Carolina and have collected many more books to be used for future similar donations. PJ Library is always accepting donations of PJ Library books and appreciates the community’s help. PJ Library® (PJ for pajamas) is a nationally acclaimed literacy program started by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that gives free Jewish bedtime stories, CDs and DVDs to families raising Jewish children. The PJ Library CNY chapter is a program of the JCC of Syracuse and supported by the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation, Jewish Federation of Central New York, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas,

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, Syracuse Hebrew Day School, Temple Adath Yeshurun and Temple Concord. The PJ Library in CNY serves children from 6 months to 8 years old

in Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties. For more information and to sign up, visit www.pjlibrary.org or e-mail pjcny@ jccsyr.org.

Some of the bookends event attendees showed off their handiwork.

Jason Mesches performed for children in another community.


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

What’s new for kids to read at Hanukkah? BY PENNY SCHWARTZ (JTA) – Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. The names of the five fictional sisters bring a smile to generations of Jewish Americans who grew up reading “All-of-a-Kind Family,” the classic mid-century chapter book series by Sydney Taylor that followed the day-to-day doings and adventures of a Jewish-American immigrant family on New York’s Lower East Side. The trailblazing series marked the first time that a children’s book about a Jewish-American family found an audience in both Jewish and non-Jewish American homes. Now the beloved family comes to life in “All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah,” the first fully illustrated picture book based on the series, by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky. The dynamic writer-illustrator team will charm young readers with this delightful story that reflects the warmth and spirited character of the original and creates a new chapter for this generation. It’s among eight new outstanding and engaging children’s books for Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Light that begins this year on Sunday evening, December 2. “All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah” by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky (Schwartz and Wade Books; ages 3 to 8) Emily Jenkins, an award-winning author, grew up reading the “All-of-a-Kind” classics – over and over, she told JTA. “As an only child, I adored books about big families and their escapades,” she wrote in an email. Jenkins read the books to her children, who were just as smitten. For this illustrated “All-of-a-Kind Family book, set on the eve of Hanukkah” (Photo courtesy Hanukkah in 1912, Jen- of Schwartz and Wade Books) kins focused on Gertie, the spunky 4-year-old, as the family gets ready to celebrate the holiday. Adults familiar with the chapter books will spot various references to the original – such as the ginger snaps hidden in the bed, Ella’s favorite hymn and a special library book, Jenkins revealed. Zelinsky said illustrating the Taylor classic was a chance to reconnect with the books his daughters adored. In a phone conversation, the Brooklynite, whose recognition for excellence includes the Caldecott Award for “Rapunzel,” said he immersed himself in the “All-of-a-Kind” world, down to the details of what the storybook family’s New York apartment looked like. Zelinsky stepped away from his well-known finer, more detailed style and embraced bolder, less polished illustrations that he said matched Gertie’s passion and reflect the soul of the stories. In one spectacular double-page spread, kids get a cutaway view of the family apartment: In the bedroom, Gertie is hiding under the bed after a tantrum while Mama and her sisters are in the adjacent kitchen joyfully preparing potato latkes. The back pages include notes from Jenkins and Zelinsky that fill in details about Taylor and the creation of this new book.

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“Dreidel Day” by Amalia Hoffman (Kar-Ben; ages 1-4) Young kids will spin, bounce and tumble their way through Hanukkah along with a lively kitty in this delightful board book that glows like the colors “Dreidel Day” (Photo of a box of holiday courtesy of Kar-Ben) candles. Little ones can count out loud with each double-page spread “Light the Menorah! A that features one word and one number and Hanukkah Handbook” “ H a n n a h ’s H a n u k k a h discover the corresponding number of colorful (Photo courtesy of Kar-Ben) Hiccups” (Photo courtesy of Apples and Honey Press) dreidels. “My Family Celebrates Hanukkah” by Lisa Bullard; illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo make this book a welcome resource. (Lerner Publications; ages 4-8) “Hannah’s Hanukkah Hiccups” by Shanna This easy-to-follow illustrated story is perfect for Silva; illustrated by Bob McMahon (Apples and families and classrooms. Kids learn about the Hanukkah Honey Press; ages 4-8) tale and the miracle of how a small amount of oil lasted Uh, oh. Or make that Uh-hic-oh! Hannah Hope Harteight days. Families celebrate, light candles, play dreidel, man, a spunky young girl who lives in a brownstone and receive chocolate and coins as gifts. The book’s on Hester Street, is practicing for her religious school’s end pages explain the holiday and pose reading-based Hanukkah program when she suddenly gets a case of questions helpful for educators. the hiccups – and they just won’t go away! Her brother “Light the Menorah! A Hanukkah Handbook” Henry tries to cure her by making funny faces. The by Jacqueline Jules; illustrated by Kristina Swarbuilding’s diverse neighbors offer their own customs: ner (Kar-Ben; ages 4-10) drinking pickle juice backwards; a Mexican red string In this contemporary guide to Hanukkah, families cure and cardamom cookies. Kids will relate to Hannah, discover unique ways to celebrate Hanukkah that give who doesn’t want to be in the school program with the deeper meaning to the ritual of lighting the menorah, as hiccups and finds a creative solution. well as easy to understand explanations of the holiday. Silva’s heartwarming story – and the play on words Jules, an award-winning author, offers a short verse for that begin with the letter ‘h” – is perfectly paired with each of the eight nights that can be read after lighting the McMahon’s cartoon-like illustrations in this lively, menorah. They reflect the holiday’s themes of religious laugh-out-loud yarn that shines with the light of a freedom, courage and miracles. family’s Hanukkah celebration. Swarner’s illustrations and border designs add warmth “How It’s Made: Hanukkah Menorah” by and glow. Songs, rules for playing dreidel and instructions Allison Ofanansky; Photographs by Eliyahu for simple crafts such as a homemade coupon gift book Alpern (Apples and Honey Press; ages 7-12) Family members of all ages will gather round this See “Kids” on page 14

“ H o w I t ’s M a d e : Hanukkah Menorah” (Photo courtesy of Apples and Honey Press)

“My Family Celebrates Hanukkah” (Photo courtesy of Lerner Publications)

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

Jewish Bow Tie Cookies: An old world treat of fried dough

melt in your mouth before you even had BY RONNIE FEIN a chance to chew or even realize they (The Nosher via JTA) – My mother were on your tongue. They were paper was a first-class baker, and there were thin, but developed air bubbles that were always homemade goodies for dessert fun to pop with my front teeth, especially at our house. So when I went away to because a feathery dusting of confectioncollege and needed a nosh to remind me ers’ sugar would fall from the top of the of home, I went to a nearby bakery for a bubble into the crevice and give a faint little something. but definite sweet to all parts. It was mostly good: Chinese cookies, We didn’t need milk to dunk and soften hamantashen, babka. But the kichels? Jewish Bow Tie Cookies, or Not so much. Not only were my mother’s kichel (Photo by Ronnie Fein) these kichels. They were as light as a helium balloon; fried (it is Chanukah, after kichels world class and nearly impossible all), but never greasy; sugar sprinkled, to top, but what the bakery called kichel but never cloying. wasn’t at all what I was used to. The big trick for fabulous kichels is rolling the dough Bakery kichels, as I learned, are thick, bow tieshaped pastries that are sometimes sprinkled with as thin as possible. It takes some time and patience, sugar. They can be crumbly and dry, or hard and dry, but the result – crispy, puffy, delightfully light cookies depending on the bakery. They are the kind of cookie with just a sprinkle of sifted confectioners’ sugar – is a kid, especially one who’s homesick, would never so worth it. choose. Especially a kid whose mother made world- JEWISH BOW TIE COOKIES 1 cup all-purpose flour class kichels. 1/8 tsp. salt Here’s why my mom’s kichels were so amazing: They 2 large eggs, beaten were soft and crispy at the same time, and they would

tsp. white vinegar Vegetable oil for deep frying Confectioners’ sugar 1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl. 2. Add the beaten eggs and vinegar, and mix thoroughly until a smooth dough has formed (you can use an electric mixer or food processor). 3. Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes. 4. Roll out portions of the dough on a lightly floured surface until the dough is very thin, almost like paper. 5. Cut the dough into squares or rectangles or odd shapes. 6. Heat about 2 inches vegetable oil in a deep saute pan (or use a deep fryer) over medium-high heat until the oil reaches about 375°F. (A bread crumb or tiny piece of dough will sizzle quickly when you drop it into the oil.) 7. Drop the cutouts, a few at a time, into the oil (they will puff up) and cook briefly on both sides until they are crispy and faintly browned. 8. Drain on paper towels. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top. Makes 30. ¼

The Hanukkah connection: Sharing the light with far-away family Passover Greetings to you and yours

BY DEBORAH FINEBLUM (JNS) – For generations, lighting the Hanukkah candles together has been the stuff lifelong memories are made of. But today’s far-flung families are increasingly challenged to share the sight of the candles aglow, the sound of the blessings and traditional songs sung by old and young alike, the feel of a perfect dreidel spin, and the smell and taste of latkes fresh from the pan. Long-distance offspring may be away at college, on a gap-year program, studying in a seminary or yeshivah, a lone soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces, or working and living in another town, with or without kids of their own. Leaving today’s parents (and grandparents, too) called upon to apply ingenuity, creativity, flexibility and some basic technical know-how to successfully span the miles with Hanukkah spirit.

you and r family yous Pesach

In fact, says “The Red Tent” author Anita Diamant, who’s also generated a library of guidebooks on modern Jewish life, including “How to Raise a Jewish Child: A Practical Handbook for Family Life,” “my family enjoys Hanukkah kitsch so much we keep it going over the miles.” When her daughter was a college student, Diamant would send a box of “Hanukkah stuff as counterweight to the Christmas decorations.” The “stuff” – menorah, gelt, candles (flame-free ones for those in dorms) can Wishing you socks) gifts for each of the eight include modest (think: nights, she says, including notice that a donation was and your family made in their name to a nonprofit organization that’s peace,tohealth meaningful them. Indeed, many find that Hanukkah invites us to shelve and happiness our refined sensibilities for eight days. There’s no such Pesach thingthis as bad taste when it comes to Hanukkah – the tackier, the better, according to some.

And here is where technology can be a parent’s best friend. Diamant recommends sending long-distance kids a “light-hearted, light-themed” text or e-mail on each night complete with a holiday story and a link to a Hanukkah song, “plus a video of you lighting your chanukiah at home.” Whatever form it takes, college students receiving Hanukkah love from home is never more appreciated than in these days of anti-Israel – and often, Cantor Francine & Barry BergNorth outright antisemitic – influences on many American campuses. “Even celebrating a happy Jewish holiday like Hanukkah can get tricky on campuses today,” says NewRossman-Benjamin Year Greetings of to AMCHA you andInitiative, yours a Tammi watchdog organization monitoring North American campuses. “And yet, the Hanukkah story – about the few against the many – has so much to say about See “Family” on page 13

Cheryl & Irv Schotz

Cantor Francine & Barry Berg

Wishing you a Let the New Year healthy, happy be the start of only the sweetest things! and peaceful

Chanukah Greetings to you and yours Cantor Francine & Barry Berg

New Year!

, Paul, Joshua, Georgina, Paul, Joshua, nd Laima Roth May you and your family be blessed

Gabriel and Laima Roth during the holiday and throughout the year!

Cheryl & Irv Schotz

Mildred Siminoff

May the lights of Chanukah shine in your hearts forever

May the Alights of Chanukah Wishing you a shineChanukah in your Happy hearts Steve Stern & forever Fredda Sacharow

Cheryl & Irv Schotz

May you and your family be blessed during the holiday and throughout the year! Georgina, Paul, Joshua, Gabriel and Laima Roth

May your Chanukah be filled with the miracles of the holiday Bonnie Rozen, Advertising Representative

Wishing the community a Happy Chanukah! Rabbi Rachel Esserman


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

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Menorahs, memories, magic: Hanukkah conjures up some startling senior moments BY DEBORAH FINEBLUM (JNS) – The menorah’s candles illuminating the dark outside never truly burn out. The latkes sizzling in the pan still give off their heavenly perfume, and the dreidel of youth spins on and on, preserving forever the wonder of long-ago Hanukkahs. So even the sound of the Hanukkah blessings and “I Had a Little Dreidel,” or if you are Sephardic, quite possibly “Chanarot Hallalu” (“This Candle”),” even the sight of a menorah ablaze or a child’s chubby fingers prying open the gold foil hiding chocolate gelt can awaken the memories from their slumber, suddenly as clear as those starry December nights more than a half-century ago. Here are nine seniors’ memories to savor, one for each candle: First Candle: For Sarah Devorah Henning, the holiday’s sights, smells and flavors are set against the backdrop of her grandparents’ apartment in Washington, DC, populated by endless aunts, uncles and cousins. There are dancing candles in the menorah, a mountainous platter of latkes topped with cinnamon applesauce, a brisket, chocolate coins and little gifts for all of the children. Also locked in her memory are the smells and sounds of “the men folk smoking cigars and playing pinochle, and the ladies cooking and chatting.” And, since the highlight of the evening was the lively dreidel game, the kids went straight to the special drawer in the buffet, where their grandparents stashed their dreidel collection, and took over the coffee table in the living room for a game that lasted hours. While Henning has traveled far over the years – now 67, she makes her home in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel – “there are so many warm memories,” she says six decades after the last latke was eaten and the last dreidel put back in the drawer. “Hanukkah was always a special time.” Second Candle: Besides the traditional spinning of the dreidel, the Goldstein family of Brooklyn, NY, developed its own Hanukkah version of the game “Hide-and-Go-Seek.” Jacob (“Jack”) Goldstein, 85, of East Northport, NY, relates that “we’d find Judaic items throughout the house: tallis, mezuzah, a Star of David on a chain and, of course, the menorah.” Because money was tight for his dad, a tailor, the holiday was an opportunity to stock up on new shoes, pants and maybe a winter coat when their old ones got too snug.

Margery B. Sterns (right), 96, a a longtime resident of San Francisco, lit the menorah with her daughter, Sandra. She recalls her Russian immigrant parents lighting the menorah as one of her top memories of Hanukkah. (Photo courtesy of the Sterns family) “But that didn’t matter to us. We each got to light a candle, starting with the oldest on down,” he recalls. “Our father sang the blessings while our mother made the latkes, and they were absolutely delicious.” Third Candle: Back in the 1980s – when Miriam Kitrossky was still known as Marina and living with her husband, Levi, and their small daughter in Moscow – Jewish observance was risky business, including lighting the Hanukkah candles. “I remember when we began keeping the holidays in 1979,” recalls Kitrossky, a refusenik granted permission to leave the former Soviet Union eight years later with their three children, destination Israel. But before they were released, they would attend an underground Jewish school in Moscow, where Hanukkah meant performances, celebrations and menorah-lighting. “We weren’t allowed to have Jewish

Happy you and Chanukah!

To the contrary, “it’s inspiring and energizing to focus on the hundreds of things that go right every day instead Ona & Bernie of the three or four that go wrong,” he said. Bregman Jewish teachings can help us move the needle on gratitude. In research for his book – as well as for his past best-seller, “The Year of Living Biblically,” in which Jacobs embarked on a quest to live according to every precept in the Bible for a year – he learned that much wisdom on gratitude comes from Judaism. “To be Jewish is to be thankful,” one rabbi told Jacobs. In fact, the very word “Jew,” derived from the tribe of Judah, means thanksgiving. Jews deliver prayers of thanks from the time they wakeNeil up toand the time Debbie Rosenbaum they go to bed. There is a catchphrase in Judaism that Jacobs learned during his research called “creed before deed.” At first, Jacobs said it was hard to feel gratitude, but if he went through the motions of acting with compassion and gratitude, eventually he would feel them. “One of the best ways to go about life is to ‘fake it til you feel it,’ and it’s an extremely Jewish way to live,” he said. “If you act a certain way and follow the mitzvot, your mind will eventually catch up.”

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for good health, peace and prosperity.

Neil and Debbie Rosenbaum

A.J. Jacobs (right) picked coffee cherries, which contain coffee beans, in Colombia. (Photo courtesy of Jacobs)

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y Rosh Hashanah! p p a H

See “Moments” on page 15

Michael & Euni Balanoff

Wishing you a Happy Chanukah

May your family have a joyous Pesach Continued from page 6

Jacobs

schools at the time, so if you were found attending one, you were called in for interrogation, or you’d find your house has been searched.” One friend who was printing Jewish holiday books for children in his home received a warning from the government: “If you continue doing this, there will be trouble.” Another school organizer was imprisoned. “But we still went. In Russia, Hanukkah was powerful for people needing Judaism, but not yet able to keep Shabbat or kashrut,” says Kitrossky, who at 60 now lives with her husband in the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, and is the mother of seven andWishing a grandmother many your times family over. “Here in Israel, you and our grandchildren celebrate Hanukkah in school, but in peace, a way, it health was more special in Moscow. In Moscow, you had to really want it, and it was something great.” and happiness Fourth Candle: For Esther Hasser, Hanukkah will this be Pesach always remembered as a mountain of dirt alight with dozens of candles. Each of the children in the neighborhood would bring a candle, and her parents would stick them in the ground like a giant menorah. Michael Balanoff “We’d each & getEuni to light one, and we’d sing songs and dance around them,” says Hasser who was born in 1949, the first of 12 siblings to be a native Israeli, when the country was a mere year old. Her parents and three older siblings were part of the tidal wave of immigration from Yemen and other Arab lands in the 1950s, and were given a plot of land in Pardes Hanna and told to build a home on it. The home her father built, stone by stone, consisting of a kitchen and a second room, housed the family of 14 for years. “This was a small village then with more clementine orchards [pardes] than houses,” she recalls. Now each Hanukkah, Hasser gathers her six children, 15 grandchildren and her little

light • peace • love

Ruth & Joel Stein

Michael & Euni Balanoff

From Our Families to Yours, Happy Chanukah! The Cominsky & Gatesy Families

Warm Chanukah wishes to you and your family!

Neil and Debbie Rosenbaum

Wishing the community a Happy Chanukah!

Sydney Tenenbaum & Deidre Zehner

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

In Holland, one of the world’s most expensive Hanukkah menorahs hides in plain sight

BY CNAAN LIPHSHIZ AMSTERDAM (JTA) – Nothing about the appearance of object MB02280 at this city’s Jewish Historical Museum suggests it is the capital’s priciest Hanukkah menorah, worth more than the average local price of a duplex home. Shaped like the body of a violin, it is only 16 inches tall. Its base cradles eight detachable oil cups intended to function as candles on Hanukkah, when Jews light candles to commemorate a 167 B.C.E. revolt against the Greeks. They are set against the menorah’s smooth, reflective surface, whose edges boast elaborate rococo reliefs. But for all its charms, the Nieuwenhuys menorah – its creator was the non-Jewish silversmith Harmanus Nieuwenhuys – doesn’t stand out from the other menorahs on display next to it at the museum. Far from the oldest one there, the menorah certainly doesn’t look like it’s worth its estimated price of $450,000. The Nieuwenhuys menorah can hide in plain sight because its worth owes “more to its story than to its physical characteristics,” said Irene Faber, the museum’s collections curator. Made in 1751 for an unidentified Jewish patron, the Nieuwenhuys menorah’s story encapsulates the checkered history of Dutch Jewry. And it is tied to the country’s royal family, as well as a Jewish war hero who gave his life for his country and his name to one of its most cherished tourist attractions. The price tag of the Nieuwenhuys menorah, which does not have an official name, is roughly known because a very similar menorah made by the same silversmith fetched an unprecedented $441,000 at a 2016 auction. A collector who remained anonymous clinched it at the end of an unexpected bidding war that made international news. It was initially expected to fetch no more than $15,000. Another reason for the more vigorous bidding: The menorah came from the collection of the Maduros, a

The Rintel Menorah, which was sold for $563,000, is Holland’s priciest object of its kind. (Photo courtesy of the Amsterdam Jewish Historical Museum)

well-known Portuguese Jewish family that produced one of Holland’s most celebrated war heroes. The Nazis murdered George Maduro at the Dachau concentration camp after they caught him smuggling downed British pilots back home. In 1952, his parents built in his memory one of Holland’s must-see tourist attractions: the Madurodam, a miniature city. “I imagine the connection to the Maduro family drove up the price,” said Nathan Bouscher, the director of the Corinphila Auctions house south of Amsterdam, which has handled items connected with famous Dutch Jews. Besides the menorah on display at the Jewish Historical Museum, the Netherlands has another very expensive one in the Rintel Menorah: A 4-footer that the Jewish Historical Museum bought last year for a whopping $563,000. Far more ostentatious than the modest-looking Nieuwenhuys menorah, the Rintel, from 1753, is made of pure silver and weighs several kilograms. It is currently on loan to the Kroller-Muller Museum 50 miles east of Amsterdam. The Jewish Historical Museum has no intention of selling the Nieuwenhuys, Faber said, although it could attract even more spectacular bids owing to its provenance: It was bought by the late queen of the Netherlands, Wilhelmina, as a gift for her mother and given to the museum by her grandson, King Willem-Alexander. “We don’t know who commissioned the work, but from the reputation of the artist and the amount of labor it took, it was probably a wealthy Jewish family, perhaps of Sephardic descent,” Faber told JTA at the museum recently. At the center of the object is a round network of arabesque-like decorations “that probably contains the owner’s initials in a monogram,” Faber said, “but we haven’t been able to decipher it. It’s a riddle.” The monogram was one of several techniques that Nieuwenhuys and other Christian silversmiths in the Netherlands had developed for their rich Jewish clients. Before the 19th century, no Jews were allowed to smith silver in the Netherlands because they were excluded from the Dutch silversmiths guilds, which were abolished in the 1800s. “This exclusion was beneficial [to the guild] because it kept out competition, but it meant that Christian smiths needed to become experts at making Jewish religious artifacts like this menorah,” Faber said. Works like the menorah on display at the museum illustrate how some Jewish customers clearly were art lovers with sophisticated tastes. Whereas the Maduro menorah was symmetrical with Baroque highlights, the Nieuwenhuys is asymmetrical with rococo characteristics that were “pretty avant-garde for its time,” Faber said. The smooth surfaces are “another bold choice, showing finesse,” she added.

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Despite its humble appearance, the Amsterdam Jewish Historical Museum’s Nieuwenhuys menorah costs more than many of the city’s houses. (Photo courtesy of the the Amsterdam Jewish Historical Museum) Whoever owned the menorah no longer possessed it by 1907, when Queen Wilhelmina bought it for an unknown price at an auction to give it as a gift to her mother, Princess Emma. This purchase may appear inconsequential to a contemporary observer, but its significance becomes evident when examined against the backdrop of institutionalized antisemitism among other European royal houses and governments. The German Emperor Wilhelm II, a contemporary of Wilhelmina, was considered a passionate antisemite who once said in 1925 that “Jews and mosquitoes are a nuisance that humankind must get rid of some way or another,” adding “I believe the best way is gas.” Belgium’s King Leopold III was more politically correct, stating magnanimously in 1942 that he has “no personal animosity” toward Jews, but declaring them nonetheless “a danger” to his country. He raised no objections when the Germans and their collaborators began deporting Belgian Jews to their deaths. But in the Netherlands, where thousands of Jews found haven after fleeing the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition of the 16th century, royals not only refrained from such statements, but were genuinely “interested in other faiths, including the Jewish one,” Faber said. Wilhelmina’s gifting of a menorah to her mother “isn’t strange for her,” Faber said. “I imagine she found it fun, something to talk about with her mother, to see together how it works.” After all, “Jews have always been under the protection of the Royal House.” Except, that is, during the years 1940-45, when Queen Wilhelmina and the Royal House fled to the United Kingdom. Wilhelmina mentioned the suffering of her Jewish subjects only three times in her radio speeches to the Dutch people during five years of exile. Whereas before the war “Jews always sought the Royal House,” during and after “it appeared Wilhelmina didn’t think too much about the Jews,” Faber said. This was “a stain” on relations between Dutch Jews and the Royal House, which underwent a “rupture.” But this was gradually healed in the postwar years. The fact that King Willem-Alexander, Wilhelmina’s great-grandson, in 2012 gave the Nieuwenhuys menorah on an open-ended loan to the Jewish museum on its 90th anniversary “symbolizes the healing of the rupture,” Faber said.

In countless wartime broadcasts, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands mentioned Jews only three times. (Photo courtesy of the National Archive of the Netherlands)


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

Family

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the threats that Jewish students face today. We know what happened thousands of years ago on this small piece of land, which the anti-Israel forces are telling us we have no historical right to. It reminds students that, even more basic than the latkes and sufganiyot, is that this awesome story and this ancient land truly belong to them.” Lone soldiers are reliving that story daily as they protect the land and its citizens. But it’s not always easy on their parents multiple zones away. “Hanukkah is when I miss them the absolute most and, when we light, I usually cry,” says Hadassah Sabo Milner, a mom of three IDF lone soldiers (one of whom just completed his service) who lives with her youngest son and husband in New York. “On Hanukkah, we were always singing ‘Maoz Tzur’ (‘Rock of Ages’) really badly together. And even though I’m not the kind of mom who needs to talk to my kids every day – they need to live their lives without having to check in all the time – when we light here, it’s the middle of the night in Israel, and I can’t just pick up the phone and call.” But at least college students and IDF soldiers have built-in communities to celebrate Hanukkah with. For young adults working and living far from their families, it can be a lonely existence. That’s why Rabbi Rachael Klein Miller makes it a point to host events designed just for young adults at Temple Emanu-El, a Reform congregation in Atlanta. “It might be tough to be away from home because they haven’t quite mastered the latke recipe, they’re putting together a makeshift menorah, or they simply miss the sounds of parents telling them to ‘Be careful! Watch the flame! Don’t let the wax drip!’” says Miller. “But being away from home also means that they’ve started to pave their own path; it’s a chance to share traditions from home and begin new traditions all their own.”

And when they pose for a group candle-lighting photo to post on Facebook or Instagram, “there’s a glimpse of peoplehood – of feeling connected to the Jewish community and loving the chance to share that pride with the digital world.” Whereas young adults are celebrating beloved traditions from childhood, young children are busy forming their memories, and grandparents want to be part of that happy process. Even when she can’t be with them on the holiday, Ann Wanetik, who lives in the Detroit area, takes advantage of her visits to her eight grandchildren, all of whom happen to live in one small country in the Middle East. “Whenever I’m in Israel in the fall, I take each one out separately and let them choose what they want for Hanukkah,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to have some time alone with each one, focus on what that child enjoys most and buy them something special they pick out themselves.” For Boston-area grandmother Ruth Nemzoff, technology shrinks the miles between her and her long-distance grandkids. “You’ve got to get with the program,” she says. So Nemzoff, author of “Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family,” and known as “Mama Ruth” to her 11 grands ages 8 months to 18 years, has developed a full program of Hanukkah connections with those on the West Coast and in Washington, DC. “No matter what, when you live at a distance you have to be resourceful in creating Hanukkah with your grandchildren, but with interfaith ones, it’s even more important,” says Nemzoff, who serves as a board member at InterfaithFamily. “I’m not big on materialism, and the goal is not to compete with the gifts under the tree, but I do want to share this special tradition with them,” she adds. The Internet makes much of this possible, she maintains. She uses it to send her younger grandkids “Shalom Sesame” DVDs and the older ones Hanukkah

songs, including Maccabeats Hanukkah tunes. She’ll send small gifts and, in this Skype-able world, arrange to light the candles, open gifts and even make latkes “together” (doable with her West Coast family three hours away on Pacific Standard Time). “Sometimes, I also e-mail them a picture of the gift they’ll get the next time we visit.” With interfaith families, it’s important to be both sensitive and honest, says Nemzoff. “You need to talk to the parents first so they won’t feel you are converting the kids or competing, but [it’s important to] share your family’s traditions, your early memories of Hanukkah and your heritage since it also belongs to them.” Sometimes, even with the best of distance-spanners, it’s hard to beat the appeal of a sloppy sufganiyot-flavored kiss. “We usually just get on a plane,” says Baltimore bubbe Belle Libber with a sigh. Be it to the grandkids in Milwaukee, Atlanta or Israel (one daughter and family live nearby), Libber and her husband Jonathan have racked up the frequent-flyer miles. “There’s nothing like being right there with them,” she says. When that isn’t possible, love itself can travel at the speed of light – namely, the light of the Hanukkah menorah, says Rabbi Yisroel Gordon, principal of Machon Los Angeles, a high school for girls. “One reason Hanukkah makes a lot of people really homesick is the power of the menorah light itself, the only remnant we still have of the priests’ service in the holy temple,” he says. “Hanukkah reminds us of the importance of family since it was one courageous Jewish family, Matisyahu and his five sons, who created this miracle and saved the Jewish people. “If I were a mystic,” he adds, “I’d say that, gazing at the lights, you can feel that wherever they are, your child is gazing at the same lights along with you.”

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JEWISH OBSERVER ■ NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

D’VAR TORAH

Mai Chanukah: So, just what is Chanukah (about)? BY ROBERT TORNBERG For those of us who attended religious school, Hebrew school, or even day school, if we think back to the fall, we probably have memories of beginning to discuss Chanukah in preparation for the holiday. We learned about how to light the candles (I didn’t know anyone who used oil and wicks when I was growing up); that it celebrated the first fight for religious freedom in the history of the world; and, of course, we heard about the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days despite the fact that there was only enough oil to burn for one day. While my teachers (and perhaps yours as well) were careful to talk about this holiday celebrating religious freedom, the thing that stuck with me (us?) was the story of the oil. Such a story certainly captured my young imagination and became the most important part of the holiday. As I grew older, and I began to become skeptical about miracles, I spent some time looking into the story of Chanukah to decide what it really meant. What I learned is that the story of the oil actually comes from the Talmud, which was edited and written down between approximately between 300-500 C.E. and reflected the views of rabbis living in the first century C.E. and onward. In Shabbat 21b [tractate and page number of Talmud] the rabbis ask the question, “Mai Chanukah? What is Chanukah?” Here is their answer: “On the 25th of Kislev begins the eight days of Chanukah – the eight days when mourning and fasting are prohibited. When the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oil in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty [usually called the Maccabees] defeated them, they searched and found only one container of oil with the seal of the High Priest, enough for only one day of lighting the lamp [the Eternal Flame in the Temple]. But a miracle happened, and the oil lasted for eight days. In the following year, these days were appointed a festival on which hallel was said.” So, that story, written down or created by the rabbis sometime after the third century C.E. has entered our consciousness and become many people’s understanding of Chanukah. As I grew older and delved more deeply into the holiday, I found that there are, in fact, other explanations of the holiday’s roots. Some of these writings are much older than the Talmud and much closer to the actual events of the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks which ended in 165 B.C.E. The oldest text I found comes from I Maccabees. (A Book in the Apocrypha, literally, “hidden books” – Jewish writings that, for whatever reason, are excluded from the canon of the Hebrew Bible – although they are included in some versions of Christian bibles. While they do not carry the weight of biblical texts, they are important sources of Jewish historical understanding and are read and studied by Jews.) They were likely written shortly after the events described. The text [I Maccabees 4:30-59] reads: “Judah and his brothers said, ‘Our enemies have been defeated. Let us go up to Jerusalem and cleanse

the Temple and rededicate it.’ They found the Temple in ruin, the altar profaned, the gates burned down, the courts overgrown and the priests’ rooms in shambles... They purified the Temple...built a new altar on the model of the previous one. They rebuilt the Temple and restored its interior and court. They fixed the sacred vessels and the lampstand to shine within the Temple... Then, early on the 25th day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev...it was rededicated with hymns of thanksgiving [Hallel], to the music of harps and lutes and cymbals... then Judah, his brother and the whole congregation of Israel decreed that the rededication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness at the same season each year, for eight days.” Clearly, in this original story of Chanukah [and this is true for the rest of the Book of I Maccabees], there was no mention of the miracle of the oil. An interesting reality. The next oldest text is II Maccabees [10:1-8] also found in the Apocrypha. This book was likely written in 120 B.C.E. as a document meant to encourage the Egyptian Jewish community to observe the celebration of Chanukah. In it we find a different – and, to some, surprising – explanation of Chanukah observance. Led by the Lord, Maccabaeus and his men recovered the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. He demolished the altars put up by the heathens in the public square and their sacred precincts as well. When they purified the sanctuary, they constructed another altar; then striking fire from flints, they offered a sacrifice for the first time in two whole years… The sanctuary was purified on the 25th of Kislev… This joyful celebration lasted for eight days. It was like Sukkot, for they recalled how only a short time before they had kept that festival while living like animals in the mountains, and so they carried lulavim and etrogim, and they chanted hymns [Hallal] to God... A measure was passed by the public assembly that the entire Jewish people should observe these days every year. The last text comes from Peskita Rabati 2:1, a midrash collection written in Palestine at more or less the same time the Talmud was written in Babylon. Why are lights lighted during Chanukah? At the time, the sons of the Hasmoneans, the high priests, triumphed over the kingdom of Greece. When they entered the Temple, they found eight rods of iron (spears), which they grooved out and then kindled wicks in the oil, which they poured in the grooves. Why is the Hallel read? Because one of the Psalms included in Hallel reads, “The Lord is God…has given us light” (Psalm 118:27). So these four primary texts give us four perspectives on Chanukah. Those that mention a date all agree that the holiday takes place on the 25th of Kislev. Each one acknowledges that the observance is for eight days and that Hallel is said. Where they differ is in the explanation of the holiday. The oldest text [I Maccabees] suggests that the purpose of observing Chanukah is to remember and celebrate a military victory over those who would attempt to take away our right to observe Judaism. We praise God for the victory and celebrate the rededication of the Temple.

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engaging book, which shines a light on all things menorah. The 32 pages of Ofanansky’s text, brought to life by Alpern’s vibrant photographs, explain the holiday and explore the many types of menorahs – from antiques to creative whimsical versions. Kids go behind the scenes with menorah-making artists. A fun fact reveals that one Israeli bakery fries and bakes 2,000 doughnuts for each day of Hanukkah. Gifts, songs and blessings in Hebrew, English and transliterated from Hebrew are also included along with instructions for making candles, olive oil and latkes. “The Story of Hanukkah” by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House; Board book, ages 2-4) In this vibrantly illustrated board book, the award-winning David Adler retells the story of Hanukkah in simple, straightforward prose for young readers, paired with richly colored bold illustrations by Weber, the team that wrote the original (2011) version for older kids. The end depicts a modern family celebrating Hanukkah. “Light the Menorah: A Playful Action Rhyme” by Tova Gitty Broide; illustrated by Patti Argoff (Hachai Publishing; ages 1-4) This lively rhyming book features two young brothers and a sister from a haredi Orthodox family joyfully celebrating Hanukkah, with latkes hopping in the frying pan and the sister spinning like a dreidel.

The next oldest text [II Maccabees] implies that we celebrate for eight days as a “re-do” of Sukkot, which they could not properly observe in the midst of a war. The text written (in the Talmud) 300-500 years later than the actual events was created under the burden of Roman occupation. Some have suggested that it wouldn’t have been safe to discuss Chanukah as a military success against a powerful enemy and, yet, the rabbis wanted to preserve the tradition. So, they focused on the story of the miracle of the oil as something that would be less inflammatory to the ruling power. It even appears that this version of the story was unknown in Palestine at the time, as it is not mentioned in Pesikta Rabati. See “Mai” on page 15

Calendar Highlights

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

Monday, November 19 Early deadline for December 6 Jewish Observer Monday, November 26 Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation “What ways does Judaism offer to express gratitude?” at 8 pm Tuesday, November 27 Syracuse Hebrew Day School Chanukah store open Rabbi Jacob Epstein School for Jewish Studies at TAY from 6:30-8:30 pm Temple Concord Savoring Judaism series at 7 pm Wednesday, November 28 SHDS Chanukah store open Syracuse Community Hebrew School at Temple Concord from 4-6 pm Thursday, November 29 SHDS Chanukah store open Friday, November 30 Temple Adath Yeshurun Shabbat in Round at 7:15 pm Sunday, December 2 Erev Chanukah TC Brotherhood/Sisterhood Chanukah brunch at 9:30 am TC gan program at 10:30 am Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center Chanukah party from 12:30-3 pm Monday, December 3 Chanukah – Day 1 STOCS “Tikkun Olam? What it is and what it isn’t” at 8 pm Tuesday, December 4 Chanukah – Day 2 Epstein School for Jewish Studies at TAY from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, December 5 Chanukah – Day 3 SCHS at Temple Concord from 4-6 pm STOCS Chanukah dinner at 6 pm Thursday, December 6 Chanukah – Day 4 Friday, December 7 Chanukah – Day 5 Syracuse Hillel Shabbat/Chanukah dinner for Jewish Medical Students Association at 5 pm TC presents Mordechai Rosenstein, artist-in-residence, at Shabbat services at 6 pm, followed by Chanukah dinner Saturday, December 8 Chanukah – Day 6 CBS-CS Chanukah event at 6 pm TC Rosenstein participation in Saturday Torah study, talking on “My Journey as an Artist” at 10 am, followed by Shabbat services TC “Painting and Pinot” evening with Mordechai Rosenstein at 7:30 pm Sunday, December 9 Chanukah – Day 7 Jewish Genealogy group at 1:30 pm TAY Chanukah celebration beginning at 5:15 pm Mordechai Rosenstein works with TC religious school children on “The Secret of the Hebrew Alphabet” Monday, December 10 Chanukah – Day 8 Jason Mesches at JCC Jerome and Phyllis Charney Early Childhood Development Program at 4 pm Tuesday, December 11 Epstein School for Jewish Studies at TAY from 6:30-8:30 pm TC Savoring Judaism series at 7 pm Wednesday, December 12 SCHS at Temple Concord from 4-6 pm SHDS Executive Committee meeting at 7 pm TC Board of Trustees meeting at 7 pm CBS-CS Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 pm


NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779 ■

JEWISH OBSERVER

New 3D bioprinted lungs to be available for global transplants BY ABIGAIL KLEIN LEICHMAN (ISRAEL21c via JNS) – CollPlant, an Israeli regenerative medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, signed a license, development and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation of Maryland for 3D bioprinted lung transplants. The agreement combines CollPlant’s proprietary recombinant human collagen (rhCollagen) derived from engineered tobacco plants, and its BioInk technology, with the regenerative medicine and organ-manufacturing capabilities of United Therapeutics subsidiary Lung Biotechnology PBC. One of many companies founded by Hebrew Univer-

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“We are excited to work with CollPlant’s extraorsity nanotechnology pioneer Professor Oded Shoseyov, CollPlant will manufacture and supply BioInk for a dinary Israeli technology to transform the tobacco few years to meet development process demand, and plant that is so associated with lung disease into a will provide technical support to United Therapeutics collagen-expressing plant that will be essential to the as it establishes a U.S. facility for the manufacture of production of an unlimited number of transplantable CollPlant’s rhCollagen and BioInk. lungs,” said United Therapeutics Chairwoman and CEO The BioInk product line also includes a soft-tissue-re- Martine Rothblatt. Once the agreement is approved by the Israel Innopair matrix for treating tendinopathy, as well as a wound repair matrix to promote a rapid optimal healing of acute vation Authority and meets certain closing conditions, and chronic wounds. Ness Ziona-based CollPlant will receive an upfront In addition to the initial focus on 3D bioprinted lungs payment of $5 million and milestone payments of up for transplant surgeries anywhere in the world, the agree- to $15 million based on the achievement of operational CONTINUOUSLY FAMILY OWNED SINCE 1934 and regulatory milestones related to the development of ment grants United Therapeutics an option to expand the Martin J. & Elaine R. Birnbaum Joel M. Friedman field of its license to add up to three additional organs. manufactured lungs.

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great-granddaughter for a boisterous celebration. “My son sings the blessings with the old Yemenite melody,” says Hasser who still lives on the same block she was born on. “It’s a happy time.” Fifth Candle: Potatoes did double Hanukkah duty for the family of Marty (“Mayer”) Weiss, one of nine children growing up in the small Czechoslovakian town of Polana. “We had no menorah, and there were no candles back then.” So his mother cut a potato in half, dug out nine holes, and filled each one with oil and a wick she made by twisting cotton balls. “It worked,” says Weiss, now 89 and living in suburban Washington, DC. The kids got out of cheder (Jewish school) earlier than the usual 8 pm, rushing home with great excitement. “We were allowed to eat many latkes and doughnuts with homemade preserves, spin dreidels my brother carved out of wood and play cards way past our bedtime,” says Weiss, who regularly speaks with school groups for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. All this halted abruptly in 1944 when the family was taken to the ghetto, eventually landing the teenaged Weiss in Auschwitz. “For me, there were no holidays in the camp,” he says. “We were too tired and too hungry to even think about that.” Only Weiss and his sister survived Auschwitz, and they, along with a brother who’d lived through forced labor in Russia, were the family’s sole survivors. As for Hanukkah, his own four grandkids “really know how to celebrate,” he says. “I’m the only one of my family who lived long enough to have nachas from grandchildren, so I’m not going to miss this opportunity to celebrate with them.”

Mai

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Thus, I repeat the original question: Mai Chanukah? What is Chanukah? The answer is, I don’t know for certain. What I do believe, however, is that we should make our children (in age-appropriate ways) and our adults who perhaps never heard this perspective before, aware of the seemingly conflicting responses to this question. It will add a nuanced richness to the holiday and hopefully provide deeper layers of meaning as we light the Chanukah lights this year. The questions matter more than the answers! Chag Chanukah sameach! Robert Tornberg, Ph.D. is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas. Following a 40-year career as a Jewish educator when he led congregational and Jewish day schools, he works as an evaluation consultant at the Office of Professional Research and Development in the School of Education at Syracuse University. He is a past president of the National Association of Temple Educators, a past vice president of the Jewish Educators Assembly and the author of books and articles on Jewish education. He and his wife moved to Syracuse several years ago to be near their children and grandchildren.

E-MAIL: birnbaumfs@cnymail.com Sixth Candle: Growing up in Ethiopia, Bracha Emees igan, Leah Golan knew next to nothing about HanukWEB: birnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com

recalls a special kind of sufganiyot as the treat for Hanuk- kah, or for that matter, Judaism, until she was 14. Soon kah. But unlike in other locales, the traditional holiday after the Six-Day War, their father called her, and her doughnuts contained no filling, she insists through her 14 brothers and sisters, together to announce that the daughter, who translates. Instead, the miracle of this family would be Catholics no longer, but Jews. “They Hanukkah was in the dough – so yeasty that it exploded gave the five oldest kids the choice of whether or not in the bowl to heights that amazed the children. Then to become Jewish, but the rest of us were automatically she’d watch fascinated as, while the candles burned included in the family conversion,” recalls Golan. And in the menorah, her mother boiled the sufganiyot in a suddenly, since there were few Jews in their town, they huge pot. Now that Emees, 60, and her six children are were now outsiders. “Gone was the tree; my parents in Israel, arriving among the influx of Ethiopian Jews put up a wreath in the shape of,a Magen David, my dad during the 1980s and early ‘90s, Hanukkah is a more picked up a menorah at the closest Judaica shop, and CON I N seven U O U Spretty LY FA M I LY W N E stopped D S I Nvisiting. C E 1 9My 3 4 parents soon, our O relatives lively, communal holiday, enjoyed keenly byTher it was just a price we Joel had toM. pay to be Jews,” she grandchildren. “It is good to be hereMartin becauseJ.there are said & Elaine R. Birnbaum Friedman Jews here,” she says with a smile. “In Ethiopia, there recalls. Now 64 and a longtime resident of Kibbutz Ha1909 East Fayette Street • her Syracuse, York 13210 were almost none.” ma’apil with husbandNew (five of the 15 siblings live in 315-472-5291 Seventh Candle: Shlomo Berlinger can still recall Israel), Hanukkah is something that her three children every detail of the Hanukkah ceremony in Sweden. It and grandchildren as a birthright. “They grew up E-MAIL: birnbaumfs@cnymail.com • WEB: have birnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com was the only childhood home he remembers since his with no doubt that this tradition belongs to them,” says family escaped Germany in 1931 when he was just 3 years Golan. “It’s a wonderful thing.” old. “Hanukkah was a magical time [that] my two sisters Ninth Candle: Margery B. Sterns can recall perfectand I looked forward to for weeks,” he recalls. On the ly the look on her mother’s face when she blessed the first night, his rabbi father would collect the family and Hanukkah candles. “She covered her face and became ceremoniously light the candles and intone the blessings. very quiet in that same old-fashioned way as when she “Then my father would open the door to the next room lit the Shabbos candles,” says Sterns, who, at 96, is a where there were three small tables, each holding a gift longtime resident of San Francisco. But as the fifth of , to Grand Forks, SD, for one of us – toys and other things that would make six children of Russian immigrants us happy – with one standout: an elaborate carved chess the family was one of only six families in the town’s tiny ON T I N“treats U O U Ssynagogue. LY FA M ISterns LY Osays W Nshe ED S clearly I N C Erecalls 1 9 3her 4 father set with a clock set in it.” They were C also given also Martin J. & Elaine R. Birnbaum Joel M. Friedman we had at no other time,” says Berlinger, who now lives praying his own prayers over the candles. “Sometimes, with his wife, Rut, in a senior home in Jerusalem not he was so moved by his davening, he would cry,” she 1909 East Fayette Street • Syracuse, New York 13210 far from their daughter and four grandchildren. “It was recalls. “I believed that my father knew everything about 315-472-5291 a very great moment.” Hanukkah and everything about life. Ours was a beautiful E-MAIL: • WEB: Eighth Candle: Growing up in a smallbirnbaumfs@cnymail.com town in Mich- Jewish home, just abirnbaumfuneralserviceinc.com beautiful way to grow up.”

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JEWISH OBSERVER â– NOVEMBER 22, 2018/14 KISLEV 5779

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Jewish Observer issue of November 22, 2018  

Jewish Observer issue of November 22, 2018  

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