HAKOL - February 2021

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The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community

www.jewishlehighvalley.org

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Issue No. 440

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February 2021

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Sh’vat/Adar 5781

AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977

Learn what’s new for Summer 2021 in our Kids at Camp & Beyond special section p12-14

See all the best shots from our ‘My Israel’ photo contest, including some familiar faces p18

FROM THE DESK OF JERI ZIMMERMAN p3 WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY p4 LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p11 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p15 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p16-17 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p22

All the ways Biden and Harris (and their families) made Jewish history on Inauguration Day By Uriel Heilman Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Joe Biden Continues on page 7

ANGELA WEISS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took office as U.S. president and vice president on Jan. 20, they made history in all sorts of ways — including Jewish history. Some of the historical firsts are obvious: Biden is the oldest person ever to occupy the White House, and Harris is the first woman or person of color or person of South Asian descent ever to serve as vice president. Their Jewish bona fides are also notable: Biden’s three children who survived into adulthood all married Jews, making him a grandfather to several Jewish grandchildren. (Biden’s first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972.) Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, is Jewish, and the couple celebrate Jewish holidays together. Their 2014 wedding featured the

traditional Jewish breaking of the glass, and Emhoff’s two children from his first marriage refer to Harris as “Momala” — a mashup of Kamala and the Yiddishism “mamaleh.” This past Chanukah, Harris and Emhoff posted a video on Twitter of the couple lighting the menorah. “I love Chanukah because it really is about the light, and bringing light where there has been darkness,” Harris said, pronouncing Chanukah with the guttural “chet” sound – rather than the Americanized “hey.” “And it is a celebration of, always, tikkun olam, which is about fighting for justice and fighting for the dignity of all people, and it’s about rededication.” The blended Jewish families that will lead the new U.S. administration are not an anomaly — they are emblematic of the story of

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at an event to announce nominees for their science team in Wilmington, Delaware, Jan. 16, 2021.

Jewish, pro-Israel groups mourn loss of Sheldon Adelson

BEN DORI/FLASH90

Jewish News Syndicate

American businessman and investor Sheldon Adelson and his wife at the ceremony of a laying of a cornerstone for new Medicine Faculty buildings at the Ariel University in the West Bank, on June 28, 2017. Non-Profit Organization 702 North 22nd Street Allentown, PA 18104

U.S. POSTAGE PAID Lehigh Valley, PA Permit No. 64

Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressed condolences over the loss of Jewish and pro-Israel donor Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, a Republican megadonor and business titan, died on Jan. 11 at the age of 87 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Following the news, the following Jewish and pro-Israel groups that have benefited from Adelson’s philanthropy expressed their condolences. “We mourn the passing of Sheldon Adelson, who lived a remarkable life and was an extraordinary supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we extend our condolences to his wife Miriam and his entire family,” tweeted the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “We have lost one of the most consequential figures in American Jewish history: an American patriot, a dedicated defender of Israel, an extraordinary philanthropist, and a dear mentor and friend,” said Republican Jewish Coalition national chairman and former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), and executive director Matt Brooks, in a statement. In a statement, Isaac Herzog, chairman of the executive of the

Jewish Agency for Israel, said, “I always told Sheldon that he’s the modern-day Moses Montefiore of our generation. Just as he who broke barriers and built Jerusalem, so did Adelson in Jewish education and connection to Israel. “I had the honor of a close relationship with him for many years, and he was no doubt among the greatest leaders of the Jewish people throughout this generation. His generosity, openness, modesty and accessibility always stood out. Even when we had differences of opinion, I always loved him.” In a tweet, the Zionist Organization of America and its national president Mort Klein said they “mourn the loss of a giant Zionist and humanitarian, Sheldon Adelson, Shalom Gedalia. He was a huge supporter of medical research, as well as pro-Israel efforts. He also fought anti-Semitism and promoted Holocaust remembrance.” In a statement, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces said, “Today, we lost a beloved friend, dear partner and true Zionist. His generous and unending support for the soldiers of Israel, and his commitment to the strength of the Jewish State and its people, have touched the lives of people

all around the world and will live on in our hearts forever.” “Sheldon Adelson was one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said the Israeli-American Council in a statement. “Together with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, he was the greatest Jewish-world philanthropist of our time. He touched countless lives with his generosity, devotion and passion for Jewish causes and connecting the younger generation to Israel.” Taglit-Birthright, which received hundreds of millions of dollars from Adelson, called him “a man of vision, action, Zionism and inspiration.” Its employees had been “both honored and humbled to work alongside the Adelson family, which ultimately guarantees the future of the Jewish people,” noted the organization. ‘He will be missed’ U.S. and Israeli leaders also mourned Adelson’s death. “Sheldon lived the true American dream,” said former U.S. President Donald Trump in a statement released by the White House. “His ingenuity,

Sheldon Adelson Continues on page 3


Happy

Purim Stop by a GIANT near you and let the celebration begin!

GIANT has all your Kosher favorites for Purim and all year long.


A summer to remember It’s that time of year! Not a moment too soon to be thinking about transformative summer experiences. We are optimistic and hopeful that this summer’s plans will not be disrupted as they were last summer by COVID-19. The positive impact of a summer at Jewish camp isn’t limited to a single camper for a single summer – it is year-round and lifelong, ongoing and unlimited, elevating families, synagogues, college campuses and communities, and helps shape a more vibrant Jewish future. Research by the Foundation for Jewish Camp, whose mission it is to build a strong Jewish future through transformative Jewish summers, has shown day camp to “meaningfully engage the youngest members of the Jewish community. Day camps may be particularly impactful for younger children and preschoolers. Numerous studies indicate that much of children’s cognitive development, including

Sheldon Adelson Continues from page 1

genius and creativity earned him immense wealth, but his character and philanthropic generosity his great name. Sheldon was also a staunch supporter of our great ally the State of Israel.” “He tirelessly advocated for the relocation of the United States embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and its neighbors,” he continued. “Sheldon was true to his family, his country and all those that knew him. The world has lost a great man. He will be missed.” Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Adelson’s life “represents the best of the Ameri-

the development of individual religious and cultural identity, takes place in the early childhood years. Jewish day camps appear to have exceptional opportunities to engage the youngest members of the Jewish community. Camp also has the benefit of shaping entire young Jewish families, including parents and siblings. In addition to campers, Jewish day camps have the potential to shape their parents according to Jewish communal values. Unlike in overnight camp, day campers return home to their families each evening to share stories, songs and new learnings from their day. Day camps also have the ability to encourage family involvement in the camp experience; inviting families to participate in programs like preShabbat events and Havdalah, and offering parents access to a local Jewish social network of their own.” The impact of overnight Jewish camp is immediate and last-

can dream,” and that “the world, Israel and the United States are safer because of his work.” Former President George W. Bush called him an “American patriot, a generous benefactor of charitable causes and a strong supporter of Israel.” In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “He was a wonderful friend to us personally and an incredible champion of the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the alliance between Israel and America.” “Sheldon unabashedly loved America and cherished the freedom and opportunity it gave him,” he continued. “He worked tirelessly to ensure that very same freedom and opportunity would be given to others in America and around the world.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also expressed sorrow and condolences to the family, noting that Adelson was “a great

ing. Studies show that children who go to Jewish camp are more likely to grow into adults who value their heritage, are engaged in their communities and support more causes throughout their lives. Camp is exciting! Your kids (or grandkids) will have the summer of their lives while also developing values like independence, friendship, community, inclusion and tradition. The residential camp experience promotes your child’s individual growth. Campers have cool Jewish role models in an enriching Jewish environment. Staff members are there to inspire confidence and independence. Camp activities emphasize independence, communication, problem solving, collaboration and leadership. Israel travel is another transformative experience. Research and literature continually show that Israel travel is one of the best methods to enhance and

American patriot who saw it as his mission and goal to strengthen the alliance between Israel and the U.S.” Other leading Israeli officials also weighed in on the impact of Adelson. Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations and chairman of the World Likud, said that Adelson was “a central figure in the Jewish world and helped strengthen Israel’s standing both in the U.S. and internationally. Adelson contributed greatly to many of Israel’s historic events, including the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.” Naftali Bennett of the Yamina Party called him a “Jewish patriot,” while Opposition Leader Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid praised Adelson for his support for Israel that strengthened Jewish heritage” and that “will accompany us for many years to come.”

reinforce our ties to Israel and Judaism. Israel travel opportunities provide us with a 24/7 experience in a Jewish context with a Jewish community, thus strengthening Jewish identity. A trip to Israel is a building block of Jewish identity. It engages one’s mind, heart, soul and body and is long-lasting. Whether the traveler is in high school or a young adult, a visit to Israel strengthens the bonds of diaspora Jews with the land and people of Israel. There are Jewish camp and Israel travel opportunities for everyone. No matter your background, there’s a Jewish experience where your child will have fun, be comfortable, learn more about themselves and explore their Jewish identity. Whether it is Jewish day or residential camp or a trip to Is-

rael, these experiences will enrich the lives of participants and their families now and into the future. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is proud to make need-based scholarships available for summer camps, along with merit-based scholarships for Jewish teen experiences thanks to the generosity of our donors. We are also proud to sponsor programs like the VISIT Israel Savings Partnership and the Elaine and Leslie Lerner Israel Scholarship Fund for young adults. For more information, see article on page 5, visit our website at www. jewishlehighvalley.org/scholarships or call 610-821-5500.

HAKOL STAFF STEPHANIE GOODLING Editor

HAKOL is published 11 times per year for the Jewish communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and vicinity by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.

COMMUNITY SUBMISSIONS Submissions to HAKOL must be of interest to the entire Jewish community. HAKOL reserves all editorial rights including, but not limited to, the decision to print any submitted materials, the editing of submissions to conform to style and length requirements, and the placement of any printed material. Articles should be submitted by e-mail or presented as typed copy; “Community Calendar” listings must be submitted by e-mail to hakol@jflv.org or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. Please include your name and a daytime telephone number where you can be contacted in the event questions arise. We cannot guarantee publication or placement of submissions. MAIL, FAX, OR E-MAIL TO: JFLV ATTN: HAKOL 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104 Phone: (610) 821-5500 Fax: (610) 821-8946 E-mail: hakol@jflv.org

ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE MCKEE Account Representative TEL: 610-515-1391 hakolads@jflv.org BAYLEY CARL Marketing & Engagement Associate

JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF JERI ZIMMERMAN Executive Director STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN Director of Community Development & Operations TEMPLE COLDREN Director of Finance & Administration AARON GORODZINSKY Director of Campaign & Security Planning JIM MUETH Director of Planned Giving & Endowments WENDY EDWARDS Office Manager GARY FROMER JFLV President

Member American Jewish Press Association

The Lehigh Valley-Yoav Partnership Park in Blessed Memory of Mark L. Goldstein We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Mark L. Goldstein Friendship Park, a Yoav-Lehigh Valley Partnership Forest. IN HONOR KOPANS FAMILY In honor of the birth of your son, Ryan Andrejs Kopans Danny Sinsley ALINA AND DANIEL SCHECHNER In honor of the birth of your daughter, Paloma Selma Schechner Jennie Schechner and Aaron Gorodzinsky

IN MEMORY DEVORAH (Niece of Lolly Siegel) Carol and Michael Langsam LENORE (Sister of Ron Friedman) Carol and Michael Langsam ALAN BLACK (Husband of Donna Black) Michele and Gilfrid Levy DINA DOBRINSKY (Mother of Tova Cohen) Cooky and Mike Notis SHARON FARRIS (Mother of Jaccii Farris) Michele and Gilfrid Levy LINDA GLICKMAN (Wife of Ron Glickman) Michele and Gilfrid Levy JAY GOTTLIEB (Husband of Bonni Gottlieb) Arlene and Richard Stein WILLIAM KOZIN (Brother of Edith Orgler) Arlene and Richard Stein

PAUL LANGER (Husband of Elaine Langer) Michele and Gilfrid Levy ERNEST LEVY (Husband of Ann Levy) Michele and Gilfrid Levy PEARL LITWAK (Mother of Howard Litwak) Lynn Mollick and Mickey Spett JOEL ORGLER (Father of Bonni Gottlieb, Betty Orgler Moran, Maureen Orgler Rosen and Andrea Field) Arlene and Richard Stein ERNESTINE URKEN (Mother of Bobby Hammel) Judy Alperin Eileen and Roberto Fischmann Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel Aaron Gorodzinsky Vicki Wax

TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org.

All advertising is subject to review and approval by The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley (JFLV). JFLV reserves the right to decline, withdraw and/or edit any ad. The appearance of any advertising in HAKOL does not represent an endorsement or kashrut certification. Paid political advertisements that appear in HAKOL do not represent an endorsement of any candidate by the JFLV.

JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT

In order to unite, sustain, and enhance the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and support Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to the following core values: • Supporting Jews in need wherever they may be. • Supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland. • Supporting and encouraging Jewish education in the Lehigh Valley as a means of strengthening Jewish life for individuals and families. • Supporting programs and services of organizations whose values and mission meet local Jewish needs. To accomplish this mission the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is committed to the following operating guidelines: • Raising and distributing funds to support the core values. • Developing Jewish leaders. • Building endowments to support implementation of core values. • Committing to ongoing Jewish community strategic planning. • Fostering cooperation among organizations and community building. • Evaluating all decisions with respect to fiscal responsibility. • Identifying unmet needs and investing in community initiatives to help get them started. • Coordinating and convening a community response as an issue or need arises. • Setting priorities for allocation and distribution of funds. • Acting as a central address for communication about events, programs and services of the Jewish community as a whole. Approved by the JFLV Board of Directors on November 15, 2000

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2021 3


WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY

Celebrity chef Einat Admony kicks off virtual cooking series

Spicy fish in cherry tomato and harissa sauce By Einat Admony Dag hareef, a spicy fish bathed in a flaming-red sauce that begs for a thick slice of challah for dipping, graces almost every North African table on Friday night. In the Libyan-Tripolitan version it is known as chraime, and the fish cooks in a minimalist sauce of oil infused with cumin, caraway and lots of paprika. The more elaborate Moroccan version, which is what my aunt would make, contains fresh tomatoes, peppers and an entire bunch of cilantro. Cherry tomatoes aren’t traditional, but they give this gutsy dish a touch of bright sweetness. This dish is meant to be spicy, but how spicy is up to you. Start with half of the amount of harissa and chile, and fire the dish to your liking.

By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor On Tuesday, Jan. 19, over 500 viewers got a glimpse inside the kitchen of Einat Admony in the first installment of a fourpart series of celebrity chefs co-sponsored by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Admony, known as “the ultimate balaboosta,” is the chef and owner of Balaboosta, a fine-dining Middle Eastern restaurant, and the beloved falafel chain Taim. She is also the author of two cookbooks: “Balaboosta” and “Shuk.” She also has been seen on shows such as “Chopped” and “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.” During her presentation, she demonstrated how to cook Moroccan-spiced fish and Yemenite salad with fenugreekyogurt dressing and ja'ala. Admony, who has lived in New York for the past two decades, reflected on her upbringing in Israel with a Yemenite father and Persian mother, sharing memories of past Shabbats and the flavors she grew up using. One camera showed Admony at her kitchen island, while another was angled on the stove. Host Cherie Brownstein fielded questions from the audience to Admony while she walked attendees through

her recipes, pointing out possible substitutions along the way. When asked what led her to a career as a chef, Admony responded that she always seems to end up in the kitchen no matter where she goes. “I’ve always been cooking. At the beginning, I didn’t like it, because it was mandatory. Preparation for Shabbat was a whole thing, and I was always helping my mom to get ready for Shabbat. Later in life, in the military and when I traveled a lot in Europe, I found myself cooking everywhere I go. It’s mostly because I couldn’t see anyone hungry. Maybe because I know how horrible I am when I’m hungry, and I don’t want anyone to feel like that,” she joked. “Always until now I find myself always in the kitchen.” Another question about her favorite kitchen tool revealed her must-have: “The most important kitchen tool is a very, very, very sharp knife,” said Admony. “With one knife I can do a lot. I don’t have a lot of crazy gadgets. For me it’s always about the knife.” The series continues with three more weeks of celebrity chefs exploring Moroccan, Yemenite, Persian, Tunisian and Ashkenazi recipes and culinary inspirations.

SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION

welcoming new babies to the Lehigh Valley If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | abbyt@jflv.org 4 FEBRUARY 2021 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

Serves 6 1/3 c. vegetable oil 10 garlic cloves, smashed 1/4 c. tomato paste 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 1 Tbsp. harissa 3 Tbsp. best quality sweet paprika 1 tsp. ground caraway 1 1/2 tsp. cumin 2 pints cherry tomatoes 1/2 c. water 1 large bunch cilantro 6 portion size fish filets (grouper, bass, snapper, halibut - 7-9 ounces each, skin-on) Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper

Grandmother’s trick

Pour the oil into a relatively deep, large sauté pan. Immediately add the smashed garlic cloves and cook on low heat just until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Watch the pan closely to make sure the garlic does not brown, or it will become bitter. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomato paste, half the jalapeno, 1 1/2 tsp. of the harissa, and all the paprika, caraway and cumin, and stir for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add 1 1/2 pints of the cherry tomatoes (reserve the rest for later) and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes starts to break down, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour in the water, bring to simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until thick and saucy. Remove about 3 Tbsp. of whole leaves from the cilantro bunch and reserve them for garnish. Tear up the rest of the bunch and toss into the pan. Give it a minute to blend with the sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and the remaining jalapeno and 1 1/2 tsp. of harissa if you want more heat. Bear in mind that once you add the fish, you won’t be able to stir the sauce and play with the seasonings – make sure that the flavor and level of spiciness are to your liking. Add the fish fillets, skin-side up, tucking them gently into the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes on top of the fish. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, without stirring, until the fish is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Thicker fillets, like halibut, will need 2 to 3 minutes more. To check the fish for doneness, make a small incision in the thickest part of the fish and make sure the flesh is opaque and flaky. Serve straight out of the pan, garnished with the reserved whole cilantro leaves, with a lot of bread alongside or with couscous.

Fresh seawater fish is expensive in Israel, so many home cooks make do with inexpensive frozen fish fillets, especially during midweek meals. If the fish is cooked in a rich sauce, such as this, you can get away with it. The problem is that defrosted fish tastes, well ... fishy. This simple technique drives away unpleasant aftertastes and somewhat improves the texture. Thaw the fish in a bowl of icecold water. Once thawed, put in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with salt and give it a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Let the fish sit in the lemon juice for 5 to 7 minutes, rinse with water, pat dry and continue with the recipe.

Red harissa Without a doubt, this is the most popular harissa across North Africa and the Middle East and as such has hundreds of variations. I’ve probably tasted most of them having grown up with Moroccan neighbors. In my version, sweet roasted red peppers form the basis of its flavor, with garlic, cumin, and caraway adding complexity. Feel free to use harissa as both a condiment and an ingredient in cooking. Makes about 2 1/2 cups 10 medium garlic cloves 2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded 1 1/4 c. vegetable or extra virgin olive oil 1/2 c. ground cumin 1/3 c. cayenne 1/3 c. sweet paprika 1/4 c. ground caraway 2 Tbsp. kosher salt Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to an almost smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl every now and then. Store in a glass container with a tightfitting lid in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Handmade Afghans BY EVA LEVITT

All proceeds benefit projects in Israel:

Food Banks in Israel Neve Michael Youth Village

For prices or to place an order, call Eva 610-398-1376.

All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley


Lehigh Valley gets creative in celebrating Purim

Federation offers grants and scholarships to youths

While all holidays over the past year have looked a little different, plans are underway to ensure that all the fun and meaning of Purim continue this year in the Lehigh Valley. Kicking off the celebrations is a PJ@Home event on Feb. 14. Families can pick up their free Purim kits at the Jewish Community Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get ready for the event from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Kids will participate via Zoom in a story, craft and at-home Purim parade. On the morning of Feb. 21, Temple Beth El presents The Bible Players with a virtual performance of “Esther to the Rescue” for their religious school. The entire community is invited to join in on this exciting event. Please contact Alicia Zahn at school@bethelallentown.org for more information. Later that afternoon, the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley will host a “Purim Car-Nival” on Feb. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. Community members are invited to drive around the local Jewish community to visit the different organizations. Participants will stop by stations at each location to play carnival games and collect mystery ingredients (for a special treat) from the comfort and safety of their own car. Dressing up both yourself and your car are encouraged!

Did you know that the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley has proudly offered opportunities to young people to have enriching Jewish experiences for many years? Through gifts to the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs and the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, dozens of young people have received the chance to grow in their Jewish identity. Need-based camp scholarships are available to help ensure that all Jewish children have a chance to go to summer camp. Camp is a time-honored tradition for many Jewish families, and one that can have a lasting impact on kids and teens in many ways. Another annual opportunity is the Jewish Federation Jewish Teen Experience Incentive Grant, which is available to 9th through 12th graders and can go toward not only Jewish summer camps but also may be requested for Jewish youth group summer programs, Jewish youth group conventions and certain trips to Israel. A third scholarship is available through the An-

There will be a car decorating contest, with the most uniquely decorated car winning a prize. Tune into the JCC Facebook page for Purim stories read by community members and to find out the costume contest winner. Participating organizations include the JCC, Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, Temple Beth El, Congregation Sons of Israel, Chabad of the Lehigh Valley and the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley. Sign up for free by Feb. 12. Purim wouldn’t be complete without hamantaschen, so JDS is holding a Hamantaschen Baking Class on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Join the JDS Sunshine Cafe’s Chef Feather Frazier on a delectable journey via Zoom. She'll show you how easy it is, whether you choose to make the dough from scratch or purchase one of JDS’ ready-made kits. This event promises to be fun for the whole family and is free and open to all. Ready-made hamantaschen kits are $10 and include dough plus toppings and will be available for pickup at the JDS on Feb. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. Email or call the JDS office to purchase a readymade hamantaschen kit and for the Zoom link. JDS will also be taking shalach manot orders online this year. Congregation Sons of Israel’s youth will have a Pre-

Purim Costume Parade on Feb. 25 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in the shul parking lot. Come dance, show off your costumes and pick up shalach manot. RSVP to Ally at 516-776-0997 or wiener. ally@yahoo.com by Feb. 14 to reserve shalach manot. The spiels must go on, and they will at more than one congregation. Temple Beth El will host a Purim Mystery Theater and complete megillah reading over Zoom on Feb. 25. Congregation Keneseth Israel is offering a brand new spiel written by KI Director of Education Rabbi Shoshana Hantman online at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25. To register for these virtual events, please contact the organizations directly.

nual Max “Maggie” Levine Essay Contest for Alexander Muss High School in Israel Scholarship. Each year, this contest is open to Jewish students in 10th through 12th grades who are interested in attending the school. The prize toward tuition is awarded to the most outstanding essayist. Opportunities in Israel go beyond just high school, however. The Melvin Morris Goldberg Fellowship for Summer Research in Israel through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation sends one undergraduate engineering student from a U.S. university to visit Israel in the summer to perform supervised technical research each year. And even after graduation, young adults have the opportunity to visit Israel thanks to the Elaine and Leslie (Les) Lerner Israel Scholarship Fund of the LVJF. This fund is designated specifically to aid individuals ages 27-40 to travel to Israel. To learn more about these opportunities, visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org/scholarships or call 610-821-5500.

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2021 5


Ethiopian aliyah continues, reuniting Jewish families

The Jewish Agency for Israel Since our last update (see the November 2020 issue of HAKOL), new Ethiopian olim (immigrants) have finished their quarantine period, per coronavirus health and safety protocols, after arriving in Israel as part of Operation Zur Israel, which is reuniting Ethiopian families after more than a decade of separation. Now they have finally been able to see and hug their loved ones — truly emotional and heartwarming moments

after long years of waiting to be reunited. The Jewish Agency for Israel is thrilled and grateful that Operation Zur Israel is well under way. So far, more than 500 Ethiopian Jews have arrived in Israel since the start of December 2020. The third flight of the month landed on Dec. 22 with 216 new olim and another was scheduled for Dec. 31, ending 2020 on a joyful note. Upon landing in Israel, these olim all enter quarantine for two weeks at Jewish Agency

6 FEBRUARY 2021 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

housing facilities where our staff check in daily and provide food, care packages and other helpful resources. Some Ethiopian Jews, like Yaliganesh, have waited for over 10 years to see family members who already made aliyah. Yaliganesh and her family were on the first flight of Operation Zur Israel. “I’m so happy to hug my mother, see my family again,” said Yaliganesh. “It’s like I am dreaming.” There are many more families like Yaliganesh’s who remain separated, just waiting on approval from the Government of Israel for those still in Ethiopia to be able to make aliyah. Operation Zur Israel will assist 2,000 Ethiopians in moving to Israel by the spring of 2021, with The Jewish Agency continuing to play a pivotal role both on the ground in Ethiopia and Israel in reuniting these Ethiopian Jews with their families. Aliyah flights from Ethiopia are already being scheduled for 2021, with the first flight of the new year set for Jan. 17. We can’t wait to welcome more of our brothers and sisters home to Israel and see them and their families all together again. Editor’s note: The Jewish Agency for Israel is an overseas partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.

Experts provide insights into Abraham Accords By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor On Jan. 6, the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation co-sponsored a Zoom webinar on “The Abraham Accords and the New Administration” with Ambassador Dennis Ross and Professor David Makovsky. The pair have written two books together on the topic of the Mideast. Before they could start their prepared presentation, however, they felt the need to address the insurrection which took place at the U.S. Capitol building earlier that day, calling it “profoundly sad” and an “assault on democracy.” Speaking about the planned topic, however, Makovsky reflected that in a welcome turn of events, “the news at hand is actually very hopeful. I hope I don’t ruin your day by giving you some good news,” he said, remarking on the contrast between this presentation and others on the same topic in years past. “There’s one country that can’t leave the Middle East, and that’s Israel because they live there,” said Makovsky. But with the recent success of the Abraham Accords in normalizing ties between Israel and its neighbors, he sees a shift in the tide of relations. “In the middle of a pandemic, 70,000 Israelis have already visited the United Arab Emirates,” said Makovsky. “Almost half of Israel has traveled to the UAE. Dubai is like the new Miami Beach, and Israelis want to go and visit it.” Pointing out the historical lack of conflict between the two nations, the analysis was that this interchange makes sense. “The big picture is 75% of Israelis believe this im-

proves Israel’s standing in the Mideast,” he said. “The Israeli public is thrilled, I think. This is the first peace agreement since 1994, and [more have] come in succession.” As for the future in the new Biden administration, they said the test is, can you pick up with this theme of normalization, but blend it to work with the Palestinian issue? “If the Arab states make a step toward Israel, maybe Israel can make a step toward the Palestinians,” said Makovsky. “But whenever it’s all or nothing in the Mideast, it’s nothing.” “Joe Biden represents a view that America has a responsibility in the world to lead and values to represent,” he added. The speakers also touched on the ongoing situation with the Iran nuclear deal. “What we’re seeing right now are actions from Iran designed to put pressure on Biden. Biden’s basic objectives are to ensure Iran never becomes a nuclear weapon state and to forge a credible path back to diplomacy with Iran. It is important that the Biden administration learn lessons from both Obama’s administration's approach and Trump’s administration’s approach. There needs to be bipartisan buy-in. We need to prompt more normalizations as a way of showing this has a momentum of its own and success.” Ross has hope that Biden will be able to strike a balance with Israel. “I’ve traveled with him, and I’ve seen his close connection with israel. It’s a part of his identity. [During the Obama administration], Biden was always one trying to minimize friction,” he said.


Joe Biden Continues from page 1

American Jewry. Most American Jews marry outside the faith – 58% according to the most recent national survey, conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Center. However, rather than abandoning Judaism, these interfaith couples increasingly are raising their children as Jews, or celebrating Jewish traditions alongside those of other faiths. Some 45% of intermarried Jews are raising their children in the Jewish religion, according to Pew, up from 28% in 1990. While half a century ago Jews who intermarried were looked upon as a loss for the Jewish community, today interfaith families are part and parcel of the American Jewish community. In the Reform movement, the largest U.S. Jewish religious denomination, rabbis officiate at interfaith weddings, many synagogues have non-Jews as members, and certain ritual roles during synagogue services are open to non-Jews. The Reconstructionist movement, which is the smallest of America’s liberal Jewish denominations with about 100 affiliated synagogues, made history in 2015 when it dropped a ban against accepting intermarried students to the movement’s rabbinical school. In the Conservative movement, more than one-quarter of all homes include a non-Jewish family member, according to the Pew survey. Even among many Orthodox Jews, it has become more common to take a welcoming approach toward interfaith couples in the hope that a non-Jewish spouse ultimately converts rather than to ostracize intermarried Jews. By the same token, the prevailing attitudes of Americans generally toward Jews have warmed over time. In the 1950s and ’60s, large swaths of Americans disdained Jews in one way or another: In 1958, only 62% of Americans said they’d be willing to vote for a well-qualified Jewish political candidate, compared to 91% in 2015, and a 1964 survey found that 43% of Americans held Jews responsible for the death of Jesus, compared to 26% in 2004. While 2019 saw a 40-year high in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, it’s common for non-Jews with Jews in their families to express pride about their Jewish relatives. Biden, a Catholic, is one example. “I’m the only Irish Catholic you know who had his dream

met because his daughter married a Jewish surgeon,” Biden quipped about his Jewish son-in-law, Howard Krein, at a political event in Ohio in 2016. Krein, a doctor, married Biden’s youngest daughter, Ashley Biden, in an interfaith ceremony in 2012 officiated by a Roman Catholic priest and a Reform rabbi, Joseph M. Forman. “A ketubah was signed. The couple got married under a beautiful chuppah, made of natural branches with a cloth covering,” Forman, rabbi at a New Jersey congregation, Or Chadash, told the Forward. “The wedding ceremony started with the traditional baruch haba and included the priestly blessing and the sheva brachot. The groom stepped on a glass at the end.” At the reception, Biden danced the hora. Biden’s son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015, also married a Jew: Hallie Olivere, whose Jewish mother Biden had known since his own childhood. At a 2015 event in Delaware, Biden joked that he had had a crush on Olivere’s mother as a kid. “I was the Catholic kid. She was the Jewish girl. I still tried. I didn’t get anywhere,” Biden said. Biden’s second son, Hunter, recently married for the second time — this time to Melissa Cohen, a Jewish documentary filmmaker from South Africa. Within days of their meeting, Hunter Biden got a “Shalom” tattoo to match one that Cohen had. The couple had their first child, a son born in Los Angeles, last March. That brought the number of Biden grandchildren with a Jewish parent to three, adding to Beau and Hallie’s two children. When Harris was sworn in as vice president, it marked the first time a Jew has lived in one of the top two official U.S. residences: the U.S. Naval Observatory, official home of the vice president. There’s another American Jewish storyline that Harris and Emhoff embody: the interracial couple. A growing number of American Jews are marrying outside their race — including both whites and Jews of color, who comprise somewhere between 6% and 15% of American Jews. Of course, with Harris becoming America’s first-ever female vice president, most of the attention surrounding Emhoff won’t be about his being Jewish, but his being America’s first-ever “Second Gentleman” — the title he settled on as an alternative to the traditional designation, Second Lady.

Maimonides Brunch@Home to explore vaccines By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor The Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is hosting their next Brunch@Home, “VACCINES: History, Ethics and COVID-19,” on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. via Zoom. Attendees are invited to bring their own brunch while watching the presentation, which is free and open to all. The panel of speakers will include Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, senior vice president of medical and academic affairs and chief emeritus of infectious disease at St. Luke’s University Health Network and a Maimonides member, who will talk about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Rabbi Moshe Re’em of Temple Beth El in Allentown will also speak about the ethics surrounding vaccines. The third panelist will be Dr. Hilary Koprowski

III, who will tell the story of his grandfather who was a Polish virologist and immunologist active in the U.S. who demonstrated the world’s first effective live polio vaccine. Dr. Bill Markson, president of the Maimonides Society, invites all in the community to attend. “Vaccination against the coronavirus is so important for us to see and hug each other again,” said Markson. “Our choice is get the virus or get the vaccine. This program will help give context to treatment of viral illnesses, our current dilemma and the path toward normalcy.” Markson promised “both medical and non-medical folks will learn something from these terrific speakers.” To register for the free Zoom event, visit jewishlehighvalley/maimonides or call 610-8215500.

Lior Zaltzman contributed to this report.

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Israel’s government collapses, forcing fourth elections in two years

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to the media concerning new elections from the Knesset in Jerusalem, Dec. 22, 2020. Jewish News Syndicate Israel’s government collapsed on Dec. 22, 2020, forcing the Jewish state into yet another election—the fourth in the last two years. The government automatically dissolved after it failed to pass a budget for 2020. The move came after weeks of infighting and paralysis amid the so-called unity government that was formed last spring by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party and Defense Minister Benny Gantz of Blue and White, which had turned Likud’s chief rival into a coalition partner. Netanyahu blamed him

for the collapse, saying “I didn’t want elections. Likud didn’t want elections. We voted again and again against elections,” he said. “Benny Gantz walked back his agreements with us.” While Likud held up budget talks, Blue and White refused to budge on compromises regarding key justice appointments, including for attorney general and state attorney. While Gantz had been Netanyahu’s chief political opponent in the past three elections, polls show that his Blue and White Party will barely pass the threshold for the next election. Instead, the prime minister faces his

stiffest challenge from rivals on the right, including former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar, who recently established his New Hope Party, and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett. Since a new election must take place three months after the collapse of the Knesset, the next round is scheduled for March 23. It will take place amid the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as Netanyahu’s own corruption trial, which is scheduled to move into the courtroom early next year. In an address on the night of Dec. 22, Netanyahu touted his achievements battling COVID-19, as well as forging normalization deals with Arab countries. He assured that Likud would have a “huge win.” “The majority of the citizens of Israel see our leadership and our tremendous achievements,” he said in a televised address that evening. “We are bringing in millions of vaccinations, delivering historic peace agreements, curbing the Iranian threat and turning Israel into one of the world’s leading economies.”

IN HONOR KELLY BANACH In honor of your retirement from the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas Carol and Barry Halper LAURIE AND MARC BERSON In honor of your two new grandchildren Alice and Mark Notis LAURA AND BOB BLACK In honor of the marriage of your daughter Stefanie to Alex Alcheh Wendy and Ross Born Carol and Barry Halper Laurie and Robby Wax RITA AND MIKE BLOOM In honor of your 50th wedding anniversary Laura and Bob Black SAM BUB In honor of your special birthday Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein VIKKI AND DAVID DUNN In honor of the birth of your first grandchild, Nora Violet Dunhelm Wendy and Ross Born ROBIN AND ALEX ROSENAU In honor of the birth of your granddaughter Wendy and Ross Born IN MEMORY MOTHER (Mother of Glenn Kaye) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald ALAN BLACK (Husband of Donna Black) Pam and David Byala MARY ANN COCHRAN

(Mother of Jamie GordonRodriguez) Wendy and Ross Born ARNOLD GLABERSON (Husband of Doris Glaberson) Debi and David Wiener ANITA GOLDMAN (Grandmother of Kathryn Goldman-McCants) The Lowy-Rudski Family BARRY KANCIGOR (Husband of Judy Kancigor) Sybil and Barry Baiman ROBERT LEVINE (Husband of Cindy Levine) Pam and David Byala MARTHA SEGEL (Wife of Ron Segel, mother of Brian and Julie) Pam and David Byala ERNESTINE URKEN (Mother of Bobby Hammel) Sheila Berg Wendy and Ross Born Richard, Kira, Michaela, Sienna and Ariana Bub Sylvia and Sam Bub Carol and Barry Halper Suzanne Lapiduss Taffi Ney Barbara and Arthur Weinrach We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.

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Supported Decision-Making: A practical alternative to guardianship By JFS Staff Imagine you’re a 17-year-old who has a developmental disability. You know your parents love and support you, but they make decisions on your behalf. You want to make decisions for yourself. As your 18th birthday approaches, you want to exercise your independence, but they want to begin the process of guardianship. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the only legally binding option is guardianship. However, in 13 states, there is a legal alternative called Supported DecisionMaking (SDM). SDM is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by setting up their own support system. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members or professionals, to serve as supporters. The supporters are trained to work with the decision-maker to have autonomy and the dignity to make their own decisions. In January 2020, community member Marsha Timmerman joined Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) staff at an informational SDM workshop at

the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, New York. The program resonated with Timmerman. As a mother of an adult son with a disability, Timmerman said, “If my son has a group of four to five advisors who can give him guidance in any situation, I will feel better.” Timmerman connected LVCIL and staff at Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley to begin to explore a partnership. Recognizing that the agencies have a shared vision of wanting to legitimize SDM, they began monthly meetings to strategize, organize and utilize their respective resources. “When Marsha reached out to us, it was a reminder that there are limited supports for persons with disabilities in the Jewish community,” said Chelsea Karp, JFS volunteer coordinator. Wanting to move beyond the once-a-year Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month programming they provide each February, JFS sees SDM as an empowering tool that aligns with the agency mission and values. “Partnering with LVCIL has given us the confidence to begin to lead the way for bringing SDM to the Lehigh Valley,” added Karp.

For questions about the SDM program, contact racooper@jfslv. org or brianpedersen@lvcil.org. To register for this FREE virtual program, visit jfslv.org/jdaim.

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Mayim Bialik to guest host ‘Jeopardy!’ while the show seeks a permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek

“SDM is directly aligned with our mission to help all people with disabilities live independently in the community in a world free of barriers,” said Brian Pedersen, development coordinator for LVCIL. “That includes those barriers that exist when young people with disabilities are prevented from making their own decisions. We view SDM as an essential component in helping young people with disabilities gain selfsufficiency, self-confidence and the ability to develop meaningful connections in the community. It’s a viable alternative to guardianship.” Since guardianship is ingrained as the only option for families, the agencies decided to sponsor an informational program to introduce SDM to the Lehigh Valley. On Feb. 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Hon. Kris Glen, SDMNY project manager, and Joan Coranchio, SDMNY site coordinator, will talk about the process of bringing SDM to the community. In addition, the event will also present a decisionmaker and supporter to talk about their experience. JFS Community Impact Coordinator Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper, LSW, said, “It’s not about getting things right or not making mistakes, it’s about self-determination.”

Mayim Bialik is a neuroscientist to go along with her showbiz credits. By Curt Schleier Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mayim Bialik. The correct answer is: Who is the upcoming Jewish guest host of “Jeopardy!”? Bialik, star of “The Big Bang Theory” and other sitcoms, has been named one of four temporary celebrity guest hosts while the show finds a permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek. Ken Jennings, the “Jeopardy!” champion and among its all-time money winners, is hosting for six weeks. Celebrity hosts will include Katie Couric, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker. The show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, will follow Jennings for a two-week interim period to give the newly announced interim hosts an opportunity to prepare. Hosting “Jeopardy!” requires a level of intelligence that goes far beyond the typical quip-ability required by most game shows. Couric and Whitaker are respected journalists, Rodgers has won celebrity rounds of “Jeopardy!” and, of course, Bialik is a neuroscientist. None of the celebrities are expected to be named the permanent host. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2021 9


Truth, justice and peace

Lessons from Shemot & Megillat Esther

RABBI MICHAEL SINGER Congregation Brith Sholom Maybe you have heard the motto of Kal-el, otherwise known as Superman: “Truth, Justice, and the American way!” Yet did you know that for the two Jewish comic book creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster from Cleveland, the quote originates from the teaching of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel in the Jerusalem Talmud (Ta’anit 4:2): “The world rests on three principles: On truth, on justice and on peace. And all three are intertwined. When justice is done, truth is served and peace ensues.” Indeed it is these three principles that enable the bonds of a civil society to

remain intact and vibrant. On Jan. 6, we witnessed what can happen when lies and false conspiracies take hold in the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. Add to that mix hate, racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, and violence is not far behind. Extremism from any corner only leads to the rending of civil society. To be clear, the storming of our Capitol building did not start with the riot – it started with dangerous lies, a perversion of justice and corruption as well as the complicity of many who should have known better, yet continued to stoke the flames of ignorance and malice for their own power and gain. A few weeks ago, we began to read the second section of the Torah–Exodus (Shemot)– where we learn firsthand how truth, justice and peace can be undermined by falsehood and fear, justice corrupted under the taskmasters whip and peace broken by the new Pharaoh and his enablers. This destructive process has been followed by many a tyrant and demagogue. The new Pharaoh begins a media campaign among his people saying, “Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them,

so that they may not increase; otherwise in the event of war they may join our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground”(Shemot 1:910). The Hebrew words used in this sentence convey a deeper meaning of literally comparing the Jewish people to insects and crawling creatures. And so the falsehood of the “disloyal” Jew, the enemy within, the scapegoat for all of Egypt’s problems, the stranger/alien/ immigrant among us began. It is with the falling of truth, the spin of lies and fear mongering that the common Egyptian turns against his Jewish neighbor and acquiesces to the enslavement and barbaric treatment of our people. The lie is repeated over and over until it appears as if it is the truth. Once the lie is rooted, the next step is to enact new rules and treatment for the Jews. Justice is overturned under the lashes of taskmasters and new laws created to limit Jewish births. These perversions of justice almost go unchallenged but for the moral courage of Shifrah and Puah. Yet, the overwhelming deafening indifference of the majority of people give Pharaoh license to continue with more devastating measures. As the Egyptian people, at best, ignore the cries

of men, women and children forced into crushing servitude and at worst, aid and carry it out. With truth flattened and justice corrupted, the Pharaoh then so emboldened takes the final step in the world’s first recorded genocide by having Jewish baby boys ripped from their mother’s arms and drowned in the Nile. The guardrails of truth, justice and peace are shattered in the world, and the inhuman years of slavery and servitude will last for generations. Fast forward thousands of years to the holiday of Purim which comes this month. Once again, we see the same attacks against truth, justice and peace repeated in a new country and adapted to a new age. In the story of Purim, once again an eerily parallel plot begins to unfold with another kingly advisor – Haman (boo!) spreading fear and prejudice to single out the Jewish people. Haman riles up King Ahashverus, and the Persian people, claiming that the Jews were not only strangers in the land with foreign customs but that they refused to follow the king’s laws. Like in the Exodus story, lies, mistrust and xenophobia are used to further denigrate the Jewish people in the eyes of the masses.

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The result is the systematic hatred of another people (the Jews) who had been living peacefully in their country. Frightfully, the troubles and ills facing the Persians, coupled with the easy targeting of foreigners (Jews dressed differently, etc.) turns what were once neighbors and countrymen into oppressors and accomplices to these evil plots. Furthermore, just as in the Exodus story, the service, leadership and dedication of the Jews to the king, country and community were forgotten and replaced instead by virulent anti-Semitism. The sage words of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel’s teaching remind us that truth is essential to justice and both are required for peace to exist. And lest we think that truth is a given – we have learned that those seeking evil will bend their will to undermine it so they can corrupt the hearts and minds of people. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to pursue truth and justice for all with all of our might. We may not have super strength or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we can dedicate ourselves to the values which make our civil society a beacon of hope for the world – truth, justice and peace.


HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2021 11


Jewish summer camps prepare for a COVID-safe season By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor This summer, Jewish camps are hopeful to provide the same fun for their kids as always, while being safe during the ongoing pandemic. The Lehigh Valley’s own Camp JCC is building on its experience of a successful summer last year with exciting additions like their brand new outdoor pool (see more on Camp JCC on page 13), and other camps in

the region are also opening their bunks with appropriate precautions. At Pinemere Camp in the Poconos they are looking forward to not only a new COVID-safe environment this summer, but also a new director. It was announced in January that Eytan Graubart will become the next executive director of Pinemere Camp (see article on page 14). Camp Harlam, a URJ camp also in the Poconos,

is continuing to prioritize health and safety. “We want to ensure we are prepared to deliver a safe experience for each of our campers. We are looking forward to sharing some new spaces with our community this summer, including Goobie’s Low Ropes Course and Slip’s multi-use outdoor fire pit. Although elements of camp will look different this year, we are committed to delivering the same excellence our families have come to expect from us,” said Harlam Director Lisa David. This sentiment was echoed by many other camps, such as Camp Galil in Bucks County. “We are very much looking forward to summer 2021,” said Galil Director David Weiss. “We are hoping to be able to welcome our largest-ever delegation of Israeli shlichim this summer. In addition, we are hard at work preparing the facilities to be COVID-safe this summer. We will have a number of protocols in place to protect our campers and staff, and so programming will look a little different. That being said, our counselors are incred-

ibly creative, and they can't wait to pull off an amazing summer.” That same creativity in counselors can be found right in Allentown, as well, at Chabad’s Camp Gan Israel. “At Camp Gan Israel, we are thrilled to reopen our doors back to campers! With a new summer, we will be providing social distance friendly programming and activities with the same classic camp feel our campers love. With exciting new programming, top notch counselors, it’ll be our best summer yet!” said Devorah Halperin. TheZone, a Jewish sleepaway camp in the upper Catskill region of New York, has plans in place to welcome campers back to their two campuses. “The safety and wellbeing of our campers is our first priority,” said Tova Bracha of TheZone. “From sanitizing stations, mask distribution, social distancing measures, activity sanitizing and special food service, no expense has been spared in readying the campus. With testing requirements and enforcement of all safety standards and distanced

sleeping arrangements, we are able to go above and beyond the requirements issued by the state. While we are all hoping for a return to normal, we are planning for all eventualities and are confident that following our detailed safety precautions, we can run an amazing and safe summer. Although the state has not yet issued the 2021 camping guidelines yet, we are committed to keeping those rules and keeping TheZone safe for all.” Camp Ramah in the Poconos has not announced its official 2021 plans at time of press, but in a statement from November 2020 on their website, they said they are “working with a team of medical experts, both in our own camp community, and in partnership with national organizations such as the National Ramah Commission, the American Camp Association, and others. These committees are crafting a blueprint of guidelines that we will use to operate safely this summer.” If your kids are looking forward to camp this summer, the good news is that you can get out the label maker, even if things are going to look slightly different.

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Exciting options as specialty camps return to Camp JCC By Kristen Johnson JCC Youth and Camp Director It’s already time to get thinking about hot summer days and the camp memories that your kids will create this year! The JCC is proud to be offering specialty camps this summer in addition to the Camp Adventure outdoor camp experience that was such a success at our JCC campus last year. Specialty camps are exciting options for kids because campers get to spend extensive time devoted to a focus area with experienced experts as instructors. This year, the JCC is offering specialty camps that focus on children’s interests including theater, science, baking, Lego building, swimming, art, sports, chess and tournament games. These camps are designed to delight kids whose familiarity with a topic ranges from brand new to highly experienced. Many families like Camp JCC because one can mix and match traditional camp weeks with the specialty camps that most appeal to their kids. Parents also say

they appreciate that there is no additional charge for early or late care with JCC camp programs, with care ranging from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each weekday. Here are just a few examples of the dynamic programming that the JCC has ready for Summer 2021:  Theater Camp: Frozen Jr. (Grades K-6, 6/21 – 7/9) – It’s hard to find a child who doesn’t know all of the words to most of the songs in this show! This three-week specialty camp provides kids instruction in dance, voice, acting and costuming, and builds up to two full performances for campers to showcase their talents and new roles.  Science Camp (Grades 1-4, 7/19 - 7/23) – This hands-on camp allows kids to conduct experiments, design building challenges, explore geodes and geology, create and understand everyday chemical reactions and design paper circuits while learning about electricity. Our instructors

ATT:

maintain a fun, safe environment that demonstrates that science goes way beyond a textbook.  Pastry Art Camp (Grades 1-6, 8/2 – 8/6) – One of two awesome baking camps at the JCC this summer, campers will love making both sweet and savory baked goods with one of our favorite instructors. Kids will learn the importance of measuring precisely and the role that flour, sugar and butter play in the success of delicious treats.  J Seals Swim Camp (Grades 2-6, 8/16 – 8/20 and 8/23 – 8/27) – Each week of this annual offering provides a unique blend of stroke development, endurance training, and competitive technique. Swim campers get lots of individual attention plus tons of group fun while using both the indoor and outdoor pools. All Camp JCC campers – whether participating in specialty camps or Camp Adventure – will share some common camp experiences each day. For example, all

Rendering of the new outdoor pool

campers will gather with their groups to participate in morning flagpole activities and will end the day saying goodbye to friends and singing fun, silly camp songs together. Additionally, specialty camp campers also have 30 minutes of free swim each afternoon to relax and enjoy the JCC’s indoor and outdoor pools.

All of Camp JCC’s 2021 offerings will be highlighted in the annual camp brochure, which will be available online on Feb. 1 at lvjcc.org/ camp. Please reach out to me anytime at kjohnson@lvjcc. org with any questions. The summer is coming – and the JCC is ready to be your mixand-match camp home!

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My international summer camp experience in Russia

By Gavriel Siman-Tov Community Shaliach Well, in order to tell this story, I’ll have to give you a bit of background. When I was 15, I joined a youth group in the local youth center in my home city named the Cabriah. We had a weekly activity and a volunteer project once a month, and more different projects we created. At the end of the year, we went on a delegation, and each year it was a different one. By the time I was 18 (at the end of 12th grade) in the summer before my army service, we went to Russia, to a summer camp named Lazurny. The idea behind

the camp was to bring people from all over the world together and share their culture and create new friends and new bonds. In the camp, you could find people from all over the world, like Serbia, Taiwan, Turkey, China and Serbska. Once you get to camp, you receive your room number and find out who your roommates are and their origin countries. The daily schedule looks a lot like any other camp. We played a lot of sports, had some activities and programs set up for us by the camp staff, but the one thing that separates this camp from any other ordinary summer camp was that

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each day, three times a day, you have a different delegation present their culture and country in different ways. It could be music, stories, dance, talks and much more. In this camp, I had the opportunity to share my Israel with so many people from around the globe, to show them my Israel, my home, and I could explore and see their homes and countries. It gave me the opportunity to make friends from places I never even thought to visit in, and now whenever someone talks about their country, I can say, yes, I have a friend that lives there. This camp opened my eyes to so many wonderful countries and cultures. Our world is full of amazing people with amazing stories to tell, new cultures to explore. Hopefully, we will be able to travel soon enough, so if I may quote Dr. Seuss: “So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”

Pinemere Camp welcomes new executive director By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor Pinemere Camp, a Jewish overnight camp in the Pocono Mountains that many Lehigh Valley residents have attended over the years, is welcoming a new executive director for the summer of 2021. Eytan Graubart will take over the reins from former director Mitch Morgan on Feb. 1. Graubart describes himself as a “camp kid through and through,” and with good reason. He has built a career out of his love of camp, coming to Pinemere from his most recent position as the camp director at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp in San Francisco, California. Prior to joining JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, Graubart served as the director of Camp BBRiback in Calgary, Alberta, and as the founding director of Harlam Day Camp in Philadelphia. Graubart grew up in Chicago and spent his summers at Camp Young Judaea Midwest in Waupaca, Wisconsin. The love of playing competitive sports and exploring the outdoors he developed in his youth continue to this day. He credits his time as an athlete for teaching him a deep appreciation for coaching and mentorship. Graubart is also an experienced musician and has been teaching and performing for nearly 20 years. After graduating from the University of Mary-

land, Graubart studied nonprofit management at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later received a master’s degree from Touro University, where he studied camp leadership, and an MBA from Creighton University. Graubart is a graduate of the JCC Association Merrin Fellowship and the Jewish Federation of Greater Richmond’s Sisisky Global Engagement Fellowship. He served on the board of directors of Rudlin Torah Academy and the board of directors for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of Calgary as the chairperson of JNF Future. He was a member of the inaugural Camp Educators Cohort for the Institute for Experiential Education, and he was recently named one of the Hartman Institute’s Bay Area Jewish Leaders. “My eyes just opened up to the incredible opportunities that are in front of our youth, and I wanted to make sure they had the same opportunity I had,” Graubart said of the motivation behind his transition from devoted camper to passionate camp director over the last 13 years. “Being able to come to Pinemere is a pinnacle in my career. It’s a storied camp with incredible traditions, and I have deep personal connections to their leaders who have served as mentors to me over the years, and it’s an honor to be able to follow in their footsteps.”


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Sen ior livin In the words of our co-workers, g in sig our residents and their families hts

“Our residents are thriving, not just surviving.”

While following all necessary restrictions, we are making sure the residents in our communities are living physically and mentally active lives. It’s more important than ever we focus on both elements. Recent studies show seniors are currently facing more isolation as a result of the pandemic, especially in their own homes. While our residents continue to follow guidelines designed for their protection, we are making sure that beyond meeting their needs for safety, we are helping them with the mobility and physical activity they need in addition to engaging them mentally.

“We call it ‘Dynamic Living’.” Even though some socialization is limited right now, we are employing creative ways to keep our residents engaged. We call it Dynamic Living, and it can include activities like strength and balance classes, scavenger hunts that encourage movement and mobility and a resident favorite, Dance for Wellness. To help our residents stay mentally engaged, we are offering a variety of activities, including art sessions, lifelong learning classes and themed games.

“Everyone loves good food and dining room service.” All our residents still receive the best in food quality and selection that we have to offer. Many are able to safely use our in-dining room service or have delicious meals served to them in their apartments. Healthy snacks are always available, and we continue to host Happy Hour where possible, featuring the Cocktail of the Week. Our residents and co-workers are all yearning for better times to come, and they will. In the meantime, though, we will do everything in our power to maintain our mission of serving the needs of seniors, making their day-to-day lives as comfortable as possible and helping them welcome life with open arms. Contact us for more information.

Welcome, life

410 N. Krocks Road, Allentown (minutes from Route 22 & I-78) • 610-395-7160 4035 Green Pond, Bethlehem (close to Routes 22 & 33) • 610-865-5580 175 Newlins Road West, Easton (in Forks Township) • 484-544-3880 Nursing & Rehab Center (for the greater Lehigh Valley) • 610-844-9003

CountryMeadows.com 18 FEBRUARY 2021 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

CM-362, Hakol, Thriving, 5”x15.75”

Photos showcase ‘My Israel’ In January, shaliach Gavriel Siman-Tov asked community members to submit photos that show what Israel means to them. The photos were posted on the Federation Facebook page, and the photo that receives the most likes, comments and shares will receive this month’s prize.


GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH

A mitzvah grows from COVID restrictions Max Bub, son of Sara-Jane and David Bub, became a bar mitzvah on Oct. 24, 2020, at Temple Beth El in Allentown. The eighth-grade student at Springhouse Middle School loves skiing, plays soccer and spends his summers at Camp Pinemere. He also loves his dog, Hobbes. His mom, SaraJane, volunteers for Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley by visiting older adult residences. When they discussed a mitzvah project, Max thought he would also like to visit older adults, but he wanted to incorporate his dog, Hobbes, by having him trained to be an official therapeutic dog. That was in early 2020, and then the training became unavailable when COVID-19 arrived. Disappointed, but not deterred, Max contacted Chelsea Karp of JFS, who told him there was still a way to do a mitzvah project with Hobbes, even with the pandemic. Karp suggested Max and his mom visit homebound adults in a safe and socially distanced way. Max put together little goodie bags for the adults he would visit. He included crossword or sudoku books in large print, pencils, hand sanitizer, a home-made mask, tissues and biscuits, mints and cookies that Max baked with his younger brother, Jackson. He added a note explaining his mitzvah project and how he was hoping to brighten their day. One finishing touch he included was a photo of himself. “We thought the visits would be really quick,” Sara-Jane said, “but the most amazing thing happened. The people we met with were really ready for a visit. Some set up chairs outside in their yards, and we were there for a half hour to 45 minutes for each visit. I was the chauffeur. We brought the dog to be an icebreaker, but the people Max visited were so in tune to the fact that he was a young kid, and they asked him a lot of great questions. They told wonderful stories, and Max made great connections. In the end, they really touched him and brightened his day! It was so inspiring to Max. He learned about real mitzvahs from the people he met with. It really showed him what it was like to do a mitzvah and how he can do more as he gets older.” “I had a great time!” Max said. “It felt really good to do something nice for people,

and I also learned so much from the people I met with.” “Originally, we looked at this as a band-aid project,” Sara-Jane reflected, “one that he could just do for now until he and Hobbes could really go into nursing homes for visits, but it turned out so great. We could not have picked a more meaningful project. COVID has done that to us – we’ve been disappointed at times thinking something won’t happen, but then the pivot works out better than we could have imagined.” In addition to his mitzvah project, Max has made his first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, project coordinator, at abbyt@jflv.org or call her at the Federation office at 610-8215500.

A strong heritage makes a mitzvah project Noah Zighelboim is a seventh-grade student at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley. He will become a bar mitzvah on Feb. 22 at Congregation Sons of Israel. Noah’s parents, Dr. Israel and Valeska Zighelboim, are originally from Venezuela. When Noah discussed a mitzvah project with his parents, he was certain he wanted to do something to help the children of Venezu-

ela. Dr. Zighelboim has a childhood friend who runs the Degania Foundation. The family set to researching the foundation to see if it was registered in the United States as a charitable organization. Once they were sure that it was registered as a 501(c)(3), Noah knew he had found his project. The Degania Foundation’s mission is to support communities struggling with the effects of poverty in Venezuela. Venezuela’s economic crisis is taking a crippling toll on the country’s children, who face a growing risk of malnutrition as basic food is increasingly out of reach for many families. The Foundation built, supplies and operates several soup kitchens and runs teen pregnancy prevention programs and youth leadership programs. “I really like that we are supporting the Degania Foundation,” Noah said, “It takes care of kids who really need help. Helping Degania lets me connect to my culture, and it gets food to kids who need it. I think it’s great.” “Noah likes it because the Foundation benefits children and provides a link to our roots as a family,” Valeska said. “We want to tell people about The Degania Foundation and hope it becomes a consideration for their donations. They feed over 600 children every day. This is critically important in any country, but especially in Venezuela where children are literally dying of hunger. The meals provided by these kitchens are the only food those children get. They have six or seven kitchens all over this one little town called Soledad. The people of Soledad live in profound poverty. We know families in Miami who have collected items to send directly to Venezuela, but unfortunately

Max Bub

Noah Zighelboim

with COVID that is no longer an option. It takes $10,000 a year to run one of Degania’s kitchens. Noah’s fundraising goal is $10,000.” Donations may be made using Venmo, Zelle, credit card or PayPal directly through Degania’s website www.deganiafoundation. com. You can also mail in a check payable to Degania Foundation to: Degania Foundation, 1761 NE 197th TER, Miami, FL 33179. Make sure to tell them how Noah’s bar mitzvah project inspired your

contribution! For questions or comments about this project you can reach Noah via email at noahzighelboim@gmail. com. In addition to his mitzvah project, Noah has made his first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, project coordinator, at abbyt@jflv.org or call her at the Federation office at 610-8215500.

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JCC and PJ families celebrate Havdalah together

Mikvah welcomes relationship expert By Amy Fisher Mikvah Chair On Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m, the Lehigh Valley Community Mikvah, an affiliate of the Hebrew Family League, will welcome Rachel Hercman, LCSW, into our homes, virtually. She will guide our evening of “Exploring New Perspectives on Relationship Intimacy.” Hercman is a psychotherapist specializing in dating and relationships, sexual health and trauma. She works remotely with individuals and couples and regularly presents to communities, educators and mental health professionals. Hercman is also the clinical director of The Layers Project Magazine, hosts a weekly IGTV series and has been a featured expert on various websites. A short question and answer session will follow Rachel's 45-minute Zoom pre-

NURTURING EACH CHILD’S UNIQUE POTENTIAL 20 FEBRUARY 2021 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

sentation. RSVP by March 1 to lehighvalleymikvah@gmail.com. $36 per person, sponsorship opportunities are available. Reservation/donation checks may be sent to HFL - Mikvah, 905 Harrison St., Suite 104G, Allentown, PA 18103; or a credit card option is available through the Mikvah website (lehighvalleymikvah.weebly. com).


Book review: ‘You Are Not What We Expected’ By Sean Boyle Special to HAKOL Sidura Ludwig’s collection of short-stories titled, “You Are Not What We Expected,” is set primarily in the Thornhill suburb of Toronto, Canada. The stories' settings span 15 years and are centered around a single multi-generational family and their Thornhill neighbors. Elaine Levine, her brother Isaac, and her two grandchildren, Adam and Ava, are the center or linkage to a collection of stories that give an in-depth look at the diverse secular and religious Jewish community of Thornhill. We read of Isaac’s reactions to his returning to the community from his travels around the world and how it has changed since he left decades before. We learn how Adam and Ava cope living with their recently widowed grandmother, and we explore

/ Traditional Hamantashen

how the Thornhill Jewish community has grown more diverse over the years. Through a broad-minded perspective, we are exposed to the difficult topics of divorce, estrangement and abandonment, illness and death, drug use and gender transitions, and the changes and continuation of families and communities across the generations. These are open and honest explorations that do not judge or critique choices made, but instead help us build empathy through their intimacy. Ludwig’s stories are not like famed author Sydney Taylor’s “All-of-a-Kind” idealized family book series. Instead, Ludwig fully exposes the pains and struggles of modern families in a raw emotion format, but ends each story with a sense of hope for the future. Ludwig currently lives in Thornhill, Ontario, and originally started the

Our business relationships are just as important as the projects themselves.

BY SANDI TEPLITZ This recipe is particularly delicious with Solo brand apricot or poppyseed filling. By using pastured eggs, the dough will be richer and more flavorful.

book as a novel that then turned into a collection of short stories. She wanted to explore the great diversity of the Thornhill Jewish community through the eyes of someone returning to it from many years away. Each story is a standalone story, but the linkages to the other stories are often missed until the book is reread a second time, making for an entirely enjoyable new experience. Highly recommended for ages 15120, especially for those interested in multi-generational family settings. Sean Boyle is a past JDS librarian and is now serving as president of the Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries Division of the Association of Jewish Libraries. You Are Not What We Expected. (Ludwig, Sidura, Canada, House of Anasi, 2020, 192p.)

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weis wishes you a Happy Purim

9 4 $ per lb

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Fresh Kosher

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Savion Fruit Slices 6 ounce

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