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Federation Chanukah party at the MOST BY COLLEEN BAKER The Jewish Federation of Central New York will hold a communitywide Chanukah party on Sunday, December 17, from 4-7 pm, at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, 500 S. Franklin St., in Armory Square, Syracuse. Event Chair Rebecca Bronfein Raphael said, “Andy Weinberg and I are thrilled to be part of this wonderful event again this year. We are excited to welcome the whole community back to the annual Chanukah party and hope that grandparents, parents, children and friends will join us for a fun-

filled afternoon at the MOST.” Reduced-price tickets are available before the event for purchase online. They will also be available at the door. Tickets can purchased at or by calling Colleen Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102. Valet parking will again be offered. The ticket price includes admission to the MOST. A magician, balloon animals and Toddler Tango will provide entertainment once again this year. For more information, contact Baker at 315-445-2040, ext. 102, or cbaker@

At right: Balloons and the photo booth are popular a t t h e F ed er a t i o n ’s Chanukah party at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. This year’s party is December 17. L-r: Carsyn Cronin and Mali and Meilin Lamanna.

SHDS Red Carpet event honors “The Leading Ladies and Gentlemen of SHDS” BY MELISSA KLEMPERER The Syracuse Hebrew Day School will hold its third annual SHDS celebration, “Arts and Honors: A Red Carpet Event Honoring the Leading Ladies and Gentlemen of SHDS,” at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown on Sunday, December 10, from 2-4 pm. The event is free of charge thanks to local donors. The afternoon will honor the “leading ladies and gentlemen” who have shaped the recent past of SHDS. Participants will be able to listen to a musical performance by the SHDS students, tour the SHDS art gallery at the Museum of the Young Artist, housed in the Hotel Syracuse, and indulge in a dessert reception during the awards ceremony. Honorees include Barbara Davis, the late John Blasi, Jackie Kassel, Tamara David, Margie Loeb, Apryl Grover, Karen

Metzger, Carole Millstein, Jean Smith, Karen Kruth, Jim Kerr-Whitt, Jessie KerrWhitt and Andrea Koss. The 2017 Jeremy Blumenthal Award for active support and commitment to Jewish day school education will be given to Joan Poltenson. The award, “established in loving memory of a devoted father, husband and supporter of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School,” seeks to assure that Blumenthal’s dedication to SHDS will be remembered. Blumenthal volunteered his time and legal expertise on the SHDS Board of Directors for two consecutive terms, spanning five years. The annual Jeremy Blumenthal Award will recognize those who, like Blumenthal, are said to go above and beyond in support of SHDS and Jewish day school education. Poltenson has always been “passionately dedicated” to Jewish day school

McGill student group admits using antisemitic propaganda to keep Jewish student off board BY JTA STAFF (JTA) – A student group at McGill University admitted that it used antisemitic propaganda to prevent a Jewish candidate from being re-elected to the student government at the Montreal school. At a meeting in October of the General Assembly of the McGill’s Student Society, or SSMU, seven students were voted onto the board. But three others – one of them Jewish and a previous board member, and all known for their pro-Israel stances – were denied seats. “I was blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliation with Jewish organizations,” Noah Lew, a third-year arts student, posted on his Facebook page after the vote.

Lew and Jewish groups in Canada alleged that campus groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel were behind the bid to keep pro-Israel students off the undergraduate board. One group, called Democratize SSMU, includes Igor Sadikov, a student who earned notoriety last February for his “Punch a Zionist today” tweet. Democratize SSMU, in a Facebook post in the days following the vote, admitted that its campaign to unseat pro-Israel students “was insensitive to antisemitic tropes of Jewish people as corrupt and politically powerful,” and apologized “unreservedly” for it. The post also said: “We thoroughly apologize for any harm See “MCGill” on page 7

education. She has been involved since the earliest days of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School (formally known as the Max Gilbert

Hebrew Academy). Recently, Poltenson has served two consecutive terms on the

See “SHDS” on page 5

Year-end donations to support Campaign 2018 The Jewish Federation of Central New York is accepting donations for the 2018 Annual Campaign. Federation President/CEO Michael Balanoff said, “The 2018 Annual Campaign will begin in January. Sometimes people like to make their charitable contributions at the end of the year for tax purposes. By making your yearend donation now, you will help to ensure our Jewish community has the critical funding needed as Campaign 2018 begins.” If a person’s stock has increased in value, that person can donate the stock and receive a tax deduction for the full current value without paying any capital

gains tax. People should always contact their tax advisor for more information. Many companies match their employees’ annual charitable contributions and, in some cases, this can double or triple the donation given to the Federation. Many of these programs end in December. To find out if a company provides this benefit, reach out to the human resources department or call the Federation office. Checks may be made payable to the Jewish Federation of Central New York, with 2018 written in the memo line. For more information, contact Campaign Associate Colleen Baker at 445-2040, ext. 102, or


November 24.................. 4:16 pm....................................................Parasha-Vayetze December 1..................... 4:13 pm...............................................Parasha-Vayishlach December 8..................... 4:12 pm.................................................. ParashaVayeshev


PJ Our Way

Congregational notes

L o c a l s y n a g o g u e s a n d PJ Library’s PJ Our Way program Local synagogues announce organizations announce their has tapped a young Syracuse upcoming programs, and report resident for its design team. Chanukah celebrations. on recent trips and more. Story on page 3 Stories on page 2 Stories on page 4

PLUS Calendar Highlights............... 6 Chanukah Gifts....................... 6 Mazel Tov.................................. 6 Obituaries................................. 7



Chanukah around the community

CONGREGATION BETH SHOLOMCHEVRA SHAS On Saturday, December 16, CBS-CS will celebrate Chanukah with “Around the World in Eight Days.” The program will explore Chanukah traditions around the world. Beginning with Havdalah at 5:30 pm, participants will light the Chanukah lights and sing Chanukah songs, and are encouraged to bring their own chanukiot and candles. While the lights burn bright, people will begin an adventure, discovering how the Jewish people celebrated Chanukah across space and time. Through this immersive

theater experience, they will learn how the place and atmosphere of the time affected the way people celebrated Chanukah, and how this shaped halachah (Jewish law) and minhag (tradition). There will be multiple stations, with each one serving a local dish. Stations may include dishes from Spain, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Poland and India. Children will have the opportunity to get their “passports” stamped at each country and, if they go to all of the stations, they will receive a Chanukah treat of fair trade chocolate. Reservations are requested by Saturday, December 8, and may be made by con-

Syracuse Hebrew Day School “Bringing Up Day Schoolers”

Syracuse Hebrew Day School “Bringing Up Day Schoolers” is a program of various events geared toward young children from birth through 7 years old and their families. The events give children the opportunity to meet and play with new friends, while parents have the opportunity to learn more about the school and meet other

local families. On Wednesday, December 3, from 1-2 pm, there will be a BUDS Chanukah celebration featuring hands-on activities, stories, snacks and more. Reservations are requested by Friday, December 1, and may be made by contacting Melissa Klemperer at mrsklemperer@ or 315-446-1900.

JCC community menorah lightings start December 12 BY WILLIAM WALLAK Starting on Tuesday, December 12, at 4 pm, at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, the community is invited to celebrate Chanukah at the weekday community menorah lightings. The JCC is located at 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. The outdoor lightings at the JCC will continue at the same time Wednesday through Friday of that week, and the

following week from Monday, December 18, through Wednesday, December 20, at 4 pm. 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. At left: Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Temple Concord (center, next to the menorah) led one of the 2016 menorah lighting ceremonies with childrenfromtheSam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse After School Program.

A MATTER OF OPINION From Balfour to Partition – 1917-1947

BY RICHARD D. WILKINS This November marks the 10-year anniversaries of two moments leading to the rebirth of a sovereign Jewish state in the land of Israel: the centenary of the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917) and the 70th anniversary of U.N. General Assembly passage of Resolution 181, the Palestine Partition Plan (November 29, 1947). Though the Balfour Declaration favoring “the establishment in Palestine of a national homeland for the Jewish people” was issued by Great Britain, it was the consensus position of the World War I Allied nations, recently joined by the United States. Even though Britain didn’t control anything on the ground, it changed nothing immediately. Yet, barely a month later, on December 9, conquering British forces led by General Allenby entered Jerusalem, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule. What did change, though, as Caroline Glick has written, were the Jews. Zionism was no longer seen as just another messianic delusion of two millennia of exile. Herzl was right: “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Jews proceeded to make the most out of the opportunity now provided, gradually building the civil sinews of an incipient state. The British Mandate for Palestine was formalized at San Remo in 1920, and further legitimized by the League of Nations. These instruments were later adopted by the nascent United Nations. Arab opposition was initially muted, with Sherif Hussein, the acknowledged Arab leader, signing an agreement of cooperation with Chaim Weizmann at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Although some degree of inter-communal friction in Palestine was inevitable, as even the Revisionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, conceded, British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel made an historic fatal mistake, when he permitted the appointment in 1921 of Haj Amin el-Husseini as grand mufti of Jerusalem. The mufti repeatedly incited pogroms against the Jews, not only in Mandatory Palestine, but elsewhere in the Arab world, and murdered moderate Arab opponents. He spurred the See “Balfour” on page 6

tacting the synagogue at 315-446-9570 or SHAAREI TORAH ORTHODOX CONGREGATION OF SYRACUSE Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse will hold its annual Chanukah dinner at the synagogue, 4313 E. Genesee Street, DeWitt, on Wednesday, December 13, at 6 pm. The Dinner Committee will prepare a chicken dinner with potato latkes and sufganiyot. There will be additional entertainment and games for children, as well as a caricaturist to portray children and adults. On Sunday, December 10, at 10 am, the children will have an opportunity to decorate holiday cupcakes. There is a charge for these events with a family cap. For reservations, contact the synagogue at 315-446-6194 or

TEMPLE ADATH YESHURUN Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a Chanukah dinner on Friday, December 15, at approximately 6:15 pm following 5:30 pm services. There is a charge to attend, with a household cap. For more information, contact the TAY office at 315-445-0002 or TEMPLE CONCORD Temple Concord will hold a Shabbat service and Chanukah dinner on Friday, December 15. The service will start at 6 pm with Shabbat music featuring the Kenesseth Shalom Singers adult choir, the Shirat Shalom Singers children’s choir and the Shabbos Klezmorim band, followed by a traditional congregational Chanukah dinner. For registration and cost details, go to the calendar or call the office at 315-475-9952.

JCC’s Chanukah luncheon for seniors to be held December 8 BY WILLIAM WALLAK The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse will hold a Chanukah luncheon for seniors on Friday, December 8, from noon-1:30 pm, at the JCC, 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the holiday with latkes and a holiday lunch, along with live entertainment. The Chanukah holiday luncheon, open to seniors age 60 and older, is being offered for a nominal suggested contribution. Registration for lunch is required by Wednesday, December 6, at noon, by

calling 315-445-2360. The JCC of Syracuse’s Bobbi Epstein Lewis Senior Adult Dining Program offers seniors, age 60 and over, a kosher lunch weekdays at noon for a nominal suggested contribution. It’s the only senior nutrition program available outside of New York City serving kosher meals five days a week. The program is funded in part by the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York State office for the Aging and Administration for Community Living. For more information, and to make a lunch reservation, call 315-445-2360.

Rabbi Daniel Fellman (standing) of Temple Concord kicked off the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse senior Chanukah luncheon last December with prayers and songs.

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AROUND CENTRAL NEW YORK PJ Our Way, the newest chapter of PJ Library, welcomes a new national design team member from Syracuse BY CAROLYN WEINBERG Eight-year-old Rosie Scheer of Syracuse was selected to join the national PJ Our Way Design Team by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the creator of PJ Library®, in partnership with the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. The PJ Our Way program, currently in its fifth year, is the next chapter of what many agree is the highly successful Jewish outreach program, PJ Library. PJ Our Way offers 9-11-year-olds a choice of Jewish-themed books and a website to upload reviews, videos and blogs. PJ Library in Central New York, which includes PJ Our Way, is a program of the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. As part of the PJ Our Way Design Team, Scheer and 11 other team members from across America will have early access to books and create content, including videos and reviews. Together, the team will interview authors, participate in workshops and lead the conversation among their peers. “We are thrilled to have Rosie on our team,” said Saskia Swenson Moss, who directs the design team. “Team members are great role models for tweens who want to connect to Judaism in fun and engaging ways.” Swenson Moss explained that “Rosie’s application video stood out because of how engaging it was. She did her video on a PJ Our Way book, ‘The Time Tunnel: The Dreyfus Affair,’ by Israeli author Galia Ron-Feder-Amit. Rosie brought the book to life with great acting and by telling us just enough of the story to make us want to read more.”

L-r: PJ Library and PJ Our Way in Central New York Coordinator Carolyn Weinberg, Rosie Scheer and Abby Scheer. Rosie was just selected to join the national PJ Our Way Design Team by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the creator of PJ Library®, in partnership with the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse. Scheer’s mother, Abby Scheer, is “thrilled” that her daughter was accepted to the design team, and said, “Wow! Rose is so excited! Rosie’s grandmother, Ina Scheer, a retired preschool teacher at the Buffalo JCC, was just telling Rosie that she won the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education from the Grinspoon Foundation a few years ago for being an exceptional teacher, mentor and leader. They have both been recognized by this amazing organization and now they have something very special in common.”

Judaic Heritage Center DVDs on the Syracuse Jewish community still available The Jewish Federation of Central New York still has many copies of the Judaic Heritage Center DVDs commissioned by Federation and produced by Jay Lurie on the history of the Syracuse Jewish community. One is “Stories from the Syracuse Jewish Community”

and the other is “People and Places of the Syracuse Jewish Community.” There is a modest cost for each DVD, which may be purchased during business hours at the Federation office or by contacting Kathie Piirak at 315-445-2040, ext. 106.

Scheer is a third-grade student at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. She likes reading and telling people about books. She started a blog last year called “Rosie’s Reviews” (, where she shares her thoughts about the books she reads. One of the first books she reviewed on her blog was a PJ Library book she had received, “All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown,” by Sydney Taylor. She said she likes working with other children and talking to them about books, and looks forward to meeting new children through the design team. Her older sister, Sophie, helped film and edit Rosie’s application video and said she is willing to help Rosie and her friends make videos, including helping at the latest PJ Our Way event. See “PJ” on page 5



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Tuesday, November 21, early..... December 7 Wednesday, December 20............... January 4 Wednesday, January 3................... January 18 Wednesday, January 17................. February 1

DONATE YOUR CAR TO BETH SHOLOM, CONCORD, OR THE JCC, THRU C*A*R*S (a locally owned Manlius company)

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Charitable Auto Resource Service in our 18th year of enriching the religious sector

Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center senior dining menu NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 1 Monday – baked ziti dinner Tuesday – sweet and sour meatballs over rice Wednesday – chicken noodle soup and tuna on rye Thursday – hamburgers with sautéed onions Friday – birthday celebration – orange glazed chicken DECEMBER 4-8 Monday – spinach cheese quiche Tuesday – spaghetti and meatballs Wednesday – imitation crab cakes Thursday – chicken fried rice Friday – Chanukah celebration – fresh salmon with dill The Bobbi Epstein Lewis JCC Senior Adult Dining

Program at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center offers Va’ad Ha’ir-supervised kosher lunches served Monday through Friday at noon. Lunch reservations are required by noon on the previous business day. There is a suggested contribution per meal. The menu is subject to change. The program is funded by a grant from the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth and the New York state Office for the Aging, with additional funds provided by the JCC. To attend, one need not be Jewish or a member of the JCC. For further information or to make a reservation, contact Cindy Stein at 445-2360, ext. 104, or

Congratulations Linda Alexander for your service to the community! BRETT KUPPERMANN (315)727-2888

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CONGREGATIONAL NOTES Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas JUDAICA GIFT SHOP The Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Sisterhood has launched its annual gift shop sale, which is open to the community and runs through December 20. The CBS-CS Judaica shop carries a variety of Chanukah-themed merchandise, contemporary and traditional ritual items for use throughout the year, giftware for holidays and special occasions, and artistic pieces for the Jewish home. Of note this year are designs by artists Yair Emanuel, Gary Rosenthal, Emily Rosenfeld and Shraga Landesman. On Sunday, December 3, from 9 am-3 pm, the shop will present a display of Chanukah items along with its regular merchandise in the synagogue lobby. Highlights include a selection of children’s Chanukah books, several recently-published Jewish cookbooks and Fidget dreidels. The CBS-CS Judaica gift shop is open on Sundays during religious school (9:30 am to noon), on weekdays from 9 am-5 pm, and by appointment. For more information, call the CBS-CS office at 315446-9570 or go to 18 Patsy Lane, DeWitt. HAZAK PRESENTS RUTH STEIN On Sunday, December 3, at 2 pm, the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Hazak chapter will present Ruth Stein on “Impact of the Holocaust on a Child of Survivors.” The program will take place in the CBS-CS social hall. Although she doesn’t talk about it much, Stein’s parents both managed to survive the Holocaust by escaping from Germany in 1939 and 1940. Her father, Simon Friedeman, who had been arrested and sent to Buchenwald after Kristallnacht, was able to get released when his wife, Gerda Friedeman, obtained a visa for him for England. She was not able to get a visa for herself and decided to hire smugglers who helped her escape to Holland on a bicycle. Stein will explain how they were reunited in her talk. She will also discuss how her parents’ experiences affected her upbringing, as

On November 5, children from the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Oys and Joys parent group enjoyed a day at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. L-r: Asher and Davin Moodie and Emma Graber. well as her younger brother’s. In addition, she will describe a trip she recently took to her mother’s hometown, Münster, Germany, with two of her first cousins, whose parents also survived. After her return from Münster, she discovered an old shoebox among her mother’s possessions that was filled with nearly 100 letters that her father had written to her mother while they were separated during the war. Her mother had never mentioned the existence of these letters, and Stein will explain what she is doing with them. Stein began her career as an English teacher at Corcoran High School in the Syracuse City School District and taught there for 12 years. She resigned from the

See “CBS-CS” on page 7

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation THE GREAT BIG CHALLAH BAKE On October 26, at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, 29 women joined thousands of women across the globe for the Great Big Challah Bake as part of the Shabbat Project, a grass-roots movement that started in South Africa in 2013 to bring together Jews from across the spectrum of religious affiliation, young and old, from all corners of the world, to “experience the delight” of one complete Shabbat in accordance with Jewish law.

L-r: Amira Goldberg, Shira Boschan, and Leah Goldberg participated in the Great Big Challah Bake at Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, a part of the Shabbat Project, a grassroots movement started in South Africa. Debbie Rosenbaum is in the background.

The event was led by Shira Shenberger. She explained the symbolism of the ingredients and the blessing that accompanies removing a small piece of the dough before baking and taught a new song. Women shared their feelings about being Jewish in Syracuse and how meaningful it was to be together. Given the positive feedback, the Great Big Challah Bake will expand in coming years.

Rose Scheer in front of her sister, Sophie Scheer, and Shira Shenberger, who led the Challah Bake.

Temple Adath Yeshurun PAUSE BUTTON AND MISHPACHA SHABBAT BY SONALI MCINTYRE On Saturday, December 9, Temple Adath Yeshurun will hold a Pause Button and Mishpacha Shabbat. There will be services for everyone from tots and school age to adults. Shabbat morning services will start at 9:15 am, with the Pause Button beginning at 9:45 am. The break offers snacks, study and singing. Then participants go back to complete the service. The topic for the December Pause Button is “Lather, Rinse, Repeat,” a follow-up to November’s program, “Turn, Turn, Kick, Turn,” about the choreography

and responses of a service. Services for tots and school-age children will begin at 10:30 am. Tots (from birth to 5 years) will meet in the Muriel and Avron Spector Library and junior congregation (for first- through fifth-graders) will meet in room 15/youth lounge. The focus of these programs will be Chanukah. There will be a kiddush lunch following services. For more information about the tots or junior congregation services, contact Alicia Gross at alicia@adath. org. For more information about Pause Button, contact Rabbi Paul Drazen at

On October 28, almost 500 people attended Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Citizen of the Year dinner. L-r: TAY Co-President Andrea Knoller, Steven Wladis, Linda LeMura, Mark Wladis, national honoree David Muir, Robin Goldberg, TAY Co-President Chaim Jaffe and Norman Swanson.

Temple Concord AUTHOR BARBARA SHEKLIN DAVIS TO SPEAK ON HER RECENT BOOK, “100 JEWISH THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE,” ON DECEMBER 3 BY CHANA MEIR On Sunday, December 3, at 11 am, Temple Concord’s Scholar Series will present author and community leader Barbara Sheklin Davis, who will discuss her book, “100 Jewish Things to Do Before You Die,” which is described as “a tonguein-cheek list of practical and easy ways to embrace and uphold Jewish influences in everyday life.” (She suggests starting with #12, “call your mother – she worries.”) Davis, a Jewish educator for well over 50 years, has devoted her life to upholding Jewish traditions in the United States. A graduate of Barnard College, she earned masters and doctoral degrees at Columbia University and is professor emerita of modern languages at Onondaga Community College. She served as principal of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School for 27 years and headed the Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies and the Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas-Temple Beth El Combined School. She is an editor of the Jewish educational journal, HaYidion; the co-author of “Jewish Community of Syracuse” (2011); and the author of “Syracuse African Americans” (2006).

She was the 2015 recipient of the Hannah G. Solomon Award from the National Council of Jewish Women. Scholar Series events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For more information, contact the TC office at 315475-9952 or TEMPLE CONCORD TRIP TO EASTERN EUROPE BY CAROL RADIN Twenty-two local and out-of-state travelers joined Rabbi Daniel Fellman for a Temple Concord tour of Eastern Europe in late October. Their 10-day visit to Warsaw and Krakow, Poland, and Budapest, Hungary, took them through pre-Holocaust synagogues, memorial sites of the Holocaust, and current urban Jewish organizations where young people are trying to infuse small Polish and Hungarian Jewish communities with new vitality. In Warsaw, the group visited Gensha Cemetery, one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world, and stopped at an original wall from the Warsaw Ghetto and at the Umschlagplatz, a monument marking the city corner where Jews assembled to be transported by train to death camps. Tour participant Mike Fixler said, “As painful as it was, it gave me a sense of what it was. It is impossible to combat evil if we do not recognize it and accept, sadly and fully, that it does exist.” See “TC” on page 5

Temple Concord’s Eastern Europe travel group stopped for a group photo at Trinity Square in Budapest.

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Menorah Park honors veterans, survivors and Safe Haven advocates

BY STEWART KOENIG The young and the “not-so-young” gathered at the Hy and Anne Miller Theatre in the Abraham Shankman Pavilion at Menorah Park on November 7 to pay tribute to Holocaust survivors, liberators and the community that welcomed World War II refugees to Fort Ontario in Oswego. The program started with Syracuse University Professor Emeritus Alan Goldberg introducing the film “Safe Haven: A Story of Hope” to a full house that included Menorah Park residents who are World War II veterans and students from grades five and six of the Syracuse


The Treblinka death camp memorial site outside Warsaw and the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex outside Krakow were also visited. Rabbi Fellman led the group in Mourner’s Kaddish at the ruins of the Auschwitz crematorium and on the Danube riverside in Budapest, Hungary, where rows of empty shoes cast in iron mark the place where World War II Arrow Cross militia gunned down row after row of Jews into the river. The group saw many old and now inactive synagogues, such as the small, simple one in the rustic Polish village of Tycochin, once a Jewish shtetl, with crumbling wall art. Others, like the 15th century Old Synagogue in Krakow, have high-vaulted ceilings and center bimas. Some of the synagogues on the tour are still active. The huge, onion-domed Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary, seats 3,000 congregants. Other highlights included visits to urban Jewish organizations where Jewish identity and culture are being reclaimed. At a Jewish Community Center in Krakow, the travelers shared meals with local staff, many of them volunteers; took a trip to a Jewish genealogy center in Warsaw, where staff work on connecting Jews to their roots; and went on a walking tour with a young Jewish artist who creates new mezuzot casts from the empty mezuzah traces found on the doorframes of old buildings slated for demolition. Many in the group also participated with Rabbi Fellman in an optional pre-trip to Prague, Czech Republic, where they toured five synagogues, including the Spanish Synagogue, an ornate structure with tiled interior and stained glass, and the Pinkas Synagogue, where they viewed pictures drawn by children in the Terezin ghetto and concentration camp. Everywhere the group traveled, they enjoyed the local hospitality and opportunities to learn about the politics and economic status of the countries they visited. In the end, many of the group’s members said they came away with a “profound learning experience and a sense of responsibility about how to continue.”

L-r: Temple Concord Mensch of the Year awardees Alex and Chuckie Holstein, New York State Assemblyman William Magnarelli and Winnie Greenberg. (Photo by Jerry Klineberg)


Hebrew Day School. The students participated by reading excerpts from the book “Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America,” by Ruth Gruber, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s assistant to the secretary of the interior, who spearheaded the relocation of those refugees from concentration camps to Oswego. The program concluded with a prayer of remembrance and the singing of “God Bless America” and “Hatikvah” led by the children. A post-event reception followed in the Jim and Arlene Gerber Bistro.

Continued from page 4 Rabbi Fellman said, “Our journey provided time to learn from the past and deeply comprehend our present. Exploring the history of Jewish communities, the Shoah, and the rebirth of Jewish Europe gave us a better understanding of our own community and the need to speak up and do more.”

TEMPLE CONCORD HOLDS “CONCORD CARES” PARTY TO RAISE FUNDS AND HONOR “MENSCHEN” BY SALLY F. CUTLER The Grand Ballroom at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown was filled on November 2 as Temple Concord held its “Concord Cares” event that presented “Mensch of the Year” awards to four local citizens. In addition to raising funds for the synagogue, a portion of the proceeds were donated to InterFaith Works, whose “widely-recognized” Center for New Americans is facing challenges. Emceed by broadcaster and TC congregant Megan Coleman, the event honored Chuckie and Alex Holstein, Winnie Greenberg, and New York State Assemblyman William Magnarelli, all of whom “exemplify the meaning of Mensch” in their service to the Jewish community and the wider Central New York community. Attendees heard about the life, careers, and civic engagement of those honored, as the Holsteins were introduced by their son, David Holstein; Greenberg by her life-long friend, Bill Berinstein; and Magnarelli by Menorah Park of Central New York CEO Mary Ellen Bloodgood. Attendees also were treated to the music of Nik Lite, a spinoff of Nik and the Nice Guys. Event Chair Vicki Feldman said, “Being in the restored and renamed Hotel Syracuse was a real treat for our guests and it was a wonderful evening. Our ‘Mensch of the Year’ awardees are so deserving, and both the funds raised for Temple Concord and our donation to InterFaith Works will be used to make our community a better place.” PJ HAVDALAH On Saturday, December 2, at 6 pm, there will be a PJ Havdalah. Participants are encouraged to come in their pajamas. They will be able to make a pizza and watch a movie. For more information, contact the TC office at 315-475-9952 or At right, l-r: Concord Cares event Chair Vicki Feldman was presented thankyou flowers from Temple Concord President Jeanette Myshrall for a “job well done.” (Photo by Jerry Klineberg)

In the back of the group, Suzie Drazen, director of development for the Menorah Park Foundation, joined Syracuse Hebrew Day School students after the screening of the film “Safe Haven: A Story of Hope” at Menorah Park.



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Syracuse Hebrew Day School Board of Directors. During her tenure, she held positions as treasurer and chair of governance. Poltenson spearheaded the revision of the bylaws of the school, and personally created a Commitment Fund to aid in retention of day school students. “Arts and Honors: A Red Carpet Event Honoring the Leading Ladies and Gentlemen of SHDS” is considered a chance to thank guests who are interested in ensuring the longevity of SHDS. The Syracuse Hebrew Day School, the only of its kind in Central New York, educates children from kindergarten through sixth grade. As a non-profit community school, SHDS enrolls primarily local Jewish children, but welcomes students with diverse backgrounds and learning needs. The school’s mission is to “teach, inspire, and nurture future leaders of our Jewish community” through an “unparalleled academic experience guided by Jewish studies and values.” For more information regarding the event, or information on including a tribute for any of the honorees in the event program, contact the Syracuse Hebrew Day School at or 315-446-1900.


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Carolyn Weinberg, coordinator for PJ Library and PJ Our Way in Central New York, said, “It is so exciting to have a local kid like Rosie on the National PJ Our Way Design Team. Here in Central New York, we currently have 90 PJ Our Way subscribers since we became a PJ Our Way pilot community in April 2016. This is an amazing opportunity for Rosie and I know she will do a fantastic job. I look forward to working with Rosie to bring new ideas that will enhance our local PJ Our Way programs.” The PJ Our Way program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation based in Agawam, MA. Sign up at PJ Library® is an award-winning program started by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that engages families in their Jewish journey by providing free Jewish books and music to families around the world. PJ Library has partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations in more than 200 communities in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit




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D’VAR TORAH Parasha Vayetze: Removing the stone at the well BY RABBI IRVIN BEIGEL Our Father, Jacob, met his brother, Esau, bringing to a close their period of estrangement. They then parted and Jacob now finds himself arriving in the neighborhood of Laban. He comes upon a well covered by a heavy stone, perhaps to prevent contamination of the water in the well. The weight of the stone covering the well may also have been a guarantee that one shepherd would not use more than his or her share of the water supply. In any case, Jacob comes to this well just as the local shepherds are gathering. He is informed that they wait until all the shepherds are present so that they can all assist in lifting the stone off the well. Jacob possibly wanted to impress Rachel, who had just arrived with her flock. He stepped forward and removed the stone without help. “Oznaim Latorah,” the commentary by Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin, quotes an interpretation of the text that tells us


that the stone on the well is a symbol of the yetzer hara (the inclination to do evil). When it covers the well, it prevents us from drinking the water that keeps us alive. An individual sometimes may feel powerless against the temptation to do wrong. The yetzer hara has the ability to block us from doing that which keeps us alive spiritually. When there is a community, a gathering of righteous others, then the individual is strengthened and has a better chance of vanquishing the yetzer hara. The power of community is great. We want our children to have good people as their friends. When people have problems with physical health, mental health or addictions, they often seek the support of others who have similar challenges and who share their desire for healing. The yetzer hara wants us to look at the world and see all the horrors that we hear about on the evening news. We Continued from page 2

1936-37 Arab Revolt against British rule, and then fled the country. Spending World War II in Nazi Germany, he made radio broadcasts to the Arab world, blocked attempts to rescue Jewish children and even raised a Bosnian Moslem SS Division to fight with the Axis. All this nefarious activity significantly negatively impacted British policy in Palestine. It continually backtracked from previous promises to the Jews, putting ever more roadblocks in their path. The culminating betrayal was the issuance of the 1939 White Paper, which severely restricted Jewish immigration, even as genocidal furies were enveloping Europe.

MAZEL TOV Rhea Jezer

The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board presented the 31st Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award to Rhea Jezer on November 2 in recognition of her “outstanding leadership inCentralNewYork”and “her efforts to support the region’s future though a commitment to public engagement, civic participation, education, collaboration, renewable energy, sustainability and the careful stewardship of community resources.” She is seen here standing with James L. Murphy, chairman of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board.

Postwar, the British hardly relented, even as the horrors of the Holocaust emerged. The gates to Palestine remained barred. Ships bearing refugees were turned back, their desperate passengers interned in Cyprean and European displaced persons camps. Now it was time for the Jews to revolt. Via both pacific and violent means, British rule was rendered increasingly tenuous. Following the Irgun bombing of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel wing housing British Military Headquarters, Great Britain turned the “Palestine Question” over to the United Nations. A U.N. Special Committee on Palestine was sent to investigate. As had the 1937 British Peel Commission, it recommended partition. The U.N. debate on partition took place in late November. Till the end, prospects for two-thirds passage of the resolution seemed dim. There were mostly denunciatory speeches against it on Wednesday, November 27. The Thanksgiving holiday break , though, provided the opportunity for further furious lobbying of wavering delegations. On Friday, November 29, the resolution barely passed the threshold: 33-Yes, 13-No, 10-Abstain, 1-Absent. Following the vote, Arab irregulars began violent attacks on the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine. When Israel declared its independence, six Arab armies invaded the Jewish state, sparking the 1948-49 war. For further details, Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse has posted a number of informative items on its website, These include an exposition by historian Martin Kramer of the delicate diplomacy surrounding issuance of the Balfour Declaration, and a piece on its historic significance by former U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. There is also a Jewish Virtual Library comprehensive review of U.N. consideration of the Palestine Question, including such items as the UNSCOP Report, and a live broadcast of the actual vote, interspersed with contemporary scenes from the watching Yishuv.

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see war, human cruelty, poverty, illness, and natural and human caused disasters. We see the rise of antisemitism and hatred for Israel. The yetzer hara wants us to give up hope and let evil triumph. When we are part of a community, we support each other and help each other find a path forward. When we work together to speak out in support of our people, when we work to strengthen Israel, and when we, as a society, help people struggling with illness and despair, we are working to defeat the yetzer hara. When we work with others to remove the stone that prevents them from drinking the life-saving waters of hope, we gain access to those waters for ourselves. Shabbat shalom. Rabbi Irvin S. Beigel, a member of Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse, is Jewish chaplain at Crouse Hospital, Hutchings Psychiatric Center and Loretto, and associate chaplain at Upstate University Hospital.

Calendar Highlights

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

Thursday, December 20 Deadline for the January 4 Jewish Observer (There is only one issue in December – on December 7.) Thursday, November 23 Federation and JCC offices closed Friday, November 24 Federation and JCC offices closed Sunday, November 26 Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Tea and Torah at 3:30 pm Monday, November 27 Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas Lunch and Learn at Hillel at SU at noon Tuesday, November 28 Federation Board meeting at 6:15 pm Temple Concord presents Sam Gruber speaking on “The Art of Jewish Symbols” from 6:30 - 8:30 pm Rabbi Jacob Epstein School of Jewish Studies at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Saturday, December 2 TC PJ Havdalah at 6 pm Sunday, December 3 CBS-CS Judaic shop sale 9 am – 3 pm TC Scholar Series presents Barbara Sheklin Davis at 11 am CBS-CS – Hazak presents Ruth Stein at 2 pm Syracuse Hebrew Day School BUDS Chanukah celebration 1-2 pm Tuesday, December 5 Temple Concord presents Sam Gruber speaking on “The Art of Jewish Symbols” 6:30 - 8:30 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, December 6 TAY presents class on “The Ethical Life: Jewish Values in an Age of Choice” at 7:30 pm Thursday, December 7 CBS-CS Rabbi Andrew Pepperstone presents a class on “End of Life” issues at 10:30 am Friday, December 8 CBS-CS Shirat Shabbat at 6 pm Saturday, December 9 CBS-CS Sisterhood game night at 7 pm TAY Pause Button and Mishpacha Shabbat beginning at 9:15 am Sunday, December 10 CBS-CS Oys and Joys at 10:30 am TC GAN program at 10:30 am TAY Sisterhood hosts discussion on “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” written by Sarit Yishai Levi” at 10:45 am SHDS celebration at the Syracuse Marriott Downtown from 2 – 4 pm PJ Library® Build-a-Bear party at 3 pm STOCS Tea and Torah at 3:30 pm Monday, December 11 CBS-CS Lunch and Learn at SU Hillel at noon Tuesday, December 12 Chanukah menorah lighting at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center at 4 pm Epstein School at Temple Adath Yeshurun from 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, December 13 Chanukah menorah lighting at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center at 4 pm STOCS Chanukah dinner at 6 pm CBS-CS board meeting at 7:30 pm

NOVEMBER 23, 2017/5 KISLEV5778 ■




Alwyn Bruce Rose, 89, died on November 2 at home in East Syracuse. Known to his friends as “Bruce” and to family as “Sonny,” he lived in Syracuse for most of his life. He attended Central High School and Syracuse University, and served in the U.S. Army briefly before taking a job as a civil engineer for the New York state Department of Transportation, where he worked until his retirement. He was an active person his entire life. In his free time, he would golf, ski, bike and hike. He enjoyed being around his family, especially playing with and being entertained by children. He was a lifelong member of Temple Concord and volunteered there for many years. He was predeceased by his brother, Eric Rose. He is survived by his sister, Sondra Rose of Bellingham, WA; and eight nieces and nephews. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Hospice of Central New York, 990 7th North St., Liverpool, NY 13088. 


Donald Schoenwald, 87, died at home on November 7. A life-long Syracuse resident, he graduated from Nottingham High School, Syracuse University and Cornell Law School. He was a practicing litigator for more than 50 years, and a partner in the Sugarman Law Firm. He was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers; Temple Concord; a board member of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music; an honorary board member of the Sedgewick Farm Tennis Club; and an ardent supporter of the ACLU. He was a recipient of the Faith A. Seidenberg Award created by the ACLU Central New York chapter board in 2005. The award is intended to recognize legal representation, advocacy or related services that demonstrate an unusually strong commitment to civil liberties or civil rights. He loved his trivia group; Sunday and Thursday tennis groups; jazz; and playing and taking piano lessons. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda; their sons, Mark and Alan (Tracie); one grandson; his sisters, Jean Hammer and Onnie Gitelman; his sister-in-law, Audrey Schoenwald; his brothers-in-law, Paul Landers; and Edward (Bette) Landers; and many nieces and nephews. Burial was in the Temple Concord section 30 of Woodlawn Cemetery. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to a local charity to benefit the local community. 


Lionel Sorkin, 71, died on November 5 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. A lifelong Syracuse resident, he was employed at Consolidated Industries in Syracuse for many years, and volunteered at Van Duyn Hospital and Menorah Park. He was a member of Temple Beth El. He is survived by his sister, Francine (Joseph) Cassorla; his longtime and devoted caregiver, Roxanne Tompkins; and his special case worker, Geraldine Skipper. Burial was in the Temple Beth El Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to Onondaga Community Living, 518 James St., Syracuse, NY 13203. 



Dolores Weiss died on October 24 at home. Known to friends as Dolly, she was 90 years old and was among the earliest in her generation of women to pursue the highest levels of professional advancement, becoming a college professor and interim dean even as she raised a family. Born in Queens, NY, she attended Queens College and spent the summer of 1946 doing childcare at the Bel Air resort in the Catskills, where she met her future husband, Jerry. They were married in 1948 and, a year later, moved to Syracuse, where she earned her master’s degree in psychology at Syracuse University. She had a 30-year career at Cazenovia College, during which time, she never missed a day of work. She started as a substitute teacher for introductory psychology and became a full-time instructor in 1969; an assistant professor in 1972; associate professor in 1975; and a full professor during the 1981-82 academic year. She taught many psychology courses, such as developmental psychology and psychology of sexuality (bringing a gay woman in to talk to her class, a radical move at the time), and also crafted innovative courses, including psychology of women, a reflection of her early feminist leanings. In addition to raising her three children, she took in a number of others, including two teenage foreign students, a young distant relative in need of refuge from a broken home and the daughter of friends who had died. In 1987, Cazenovia College conferred upon her the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, making her the second recipient of that annual distinction. She was repeatedly voted the favorite faculty member on campus. She later served as division chair and assistant dean of academic affairs. She retired in 1997 when she was serving as interim dean of academic affairs. As a professor emerita, she established the Dolly Weiss Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student returning to Cazenovia College who excels in the psychology program and has completed at least three psychology courses. In June 2014, she was honored at the alumni reunion luncheon by alumni and former professors. She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Jerome, in 2010. She is survived by her children, Lonnie (Janice Friedman) Weiss, Rick (Natalie Angier) Weiss and Robin (Allen) Kramme; and one granddaughter. Burial was in the Temple Concord section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Birnbaum Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Dolly Weiss Endowed Scholarship Fund, Cazenovia College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 22 Sullivan St., Cazenovia, NY 13035, or online at or by e-mail to 

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Rita Windland, 98, died on November 9 at Francis House. She survived Dachau Concentration Camp and the Holocaust. She and her husband arrived in New York City in 1949 and settled in Brooklyn, where they enjoyed a good life. She moved to Syracuse in 1993 to be closer to her family. She is survived by her daughter, Freeda (Michael) Franz; and two grandchildren. Burial was in Beth Moses Cemetery on Long Island. Sisskind Funeral Service had arrangements. Contributions may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW, Washington, DC 20024 or USHMM.ORG. 


that the statement caused. We want to validate that antisemitism is not acceptable anywhere, and is a real and toxic force in our society and on campus.” In a second post, the group further explained: “BDS politics should not have to play a part in the (Board of Directors’) decisions, actions, or electability. These matters are outside the scope and jurisdiction of this unelected body. However, Lew, an active member of Zionist organizations, could not separate his politics from his duties as a director.” The post continued that Lew’s support of a Student Society Judicial Board decision that would deem BDS and other similar movements unconstitutional “constitut(ed) an abuse of power, effectively preventing Palestine solidarity efforts on campus.” McGill’s principal, Suzanne Fortier, said in a statement that the university is addressing the “disturbing allegations of antisemitism,” and that a task force and support line will be created for the campus community.


“Lost” Indian Jews arrive in Israel

A total of 162 members from the Bnei Menashe Jewish community of northeast India arrived in Israel the week of Nov. 16, marking the latest wave of so-called “lost” Jews to immigrate to the Jewish state. The new immigrants arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in two groups and were greeted by family members and supporters, who danced, sang and waved Israeli flags. The latest aliyah of Bnei Menashe members follows a group of 102 Indian Jews who arrived in Israel in February. Members of the Bnei Menashe community claim to descend from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the 8th century B.C.

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school district when she was elected to the SCSD school board, where she served for eight years. During that time, she started working on her Ph.D. in instructional design, development and evaluation, and teaching in the writing program at Syracuse University. She also became a teaching consultant at SU’s Center for the Support of Teaching and Learning. Part of her work there involved working with gateway faculty to plan and coordinate the Focus on Teaching series and prepare resource materials for programs. During her last three years, she was the interim director of the university’s newly-established Academic Integrity Office. In the Syracuse Jewish community, Stein recently finished serving three years as chair of the Jewish Federation of Central New York Board of Directors. She is also a past president of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, and teaches prayer book Hebrew to adults as part of adult education. She also serves on the boards of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School and the Auxiliary at Menorah Park. The program is open to the community. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.


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November 23, 2017 Issue of Jewish Observer