HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
APRIL 2016 | ADAR 11/NISAN 5776
Exhibit and personal account offer local students first insight into Holocaust By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor
MAIMONIDES SOCIETY raises funds to help save lives in Israel. See page 3.
YOM HASHOAH HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION Join the Holocaust Resource Center on WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, at 7 p.m. at the JCC to hear stories from local survivors and honor the 6 million Jews lost. See ad on page 3.
AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE attracts community members. See pages 12-13.
com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2 Women’s Division
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Community Center
Jewish Day School
The final group of Yemenite Jewish immigrants landed in Israel March 20 following a complex covert operation coordinated by The Jewish Agency for Israel, an overseas partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, thus bringing the historic Yemeni Aliyah to a close. Some 200 Jews have been secretly rescued from Yemen by The Jewish Agency in recent years, including several dozen in recent months, as attacks against the Jewish community have increased and the country has descended into civil war. Chairman of the ExecuNon-Profit Organization
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tive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said: “This is a highly significant moment in the history of Israel and of Aliyah. From Operation Magic Carpet in 1949 until the present day, The Jewish Agency has helped bring Yemenite Jewry home to Israel. Today we bring that historic mission to a close. This chapter in the history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities is coming to an end, but Yemenite Jewry’s unique, 2,000-year-old contribution to the Jewish people will continue in the State of Israel.” Nineteen individuals arrived in Israel in March, including 14 from the town of Raydah and a family of five from Sanaa. The group from Raydah included the community’s rabbi, who brought a Torah scroll believed to be between 500 and 600 years old. The father of the husband from Sanaa was Aharon Zindani, murdered in an anti-Semitic attack in 2012. The Jewish Agency arranged for Zindani’s remains to be brought to Israel for burial and also coordinated the immigration of his wife and children at the time. More than 51,000 Yemenite Jews have immigrated
ARIELLE DI-PORTO FOR THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL
Holocaust Resource Center Continues on page 23
Final group of Yemenite Jewish immigrants arrives in Israel By Avi Mayer The Jewish Agency for Israel
PLAGUES, SEDERS & MORE! To get ready for Passover, check out our special section.
At 4:30 p.m. on March 3, a group of 40 high school students settled into their seats at Lehigh University, preparing to listen to a presentation by Shari Spark, director of the Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Resource Center. “Excuse me,” one of the students said, standing up. “I would just like to ask that out of respect for the subject matter we’ll be hearing about today that everyone could please turn off their phones. I think it’s important that we really listen.” For the next two hours, they did just that. Respectfully listening and interacting with the materials that make up the HRC’s Legacy Exhibit. The HRC is dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance through education, preservation of primary sources, and outreach to present and future generations in the fight against hatred
The final group of Jewish immigrants from Yemen arrives in Israel accompanied by an ancient Torah scroll, on March 20.
to Israel since the country’s establishment in 1948. The majority of the community— nearly 50,000 individuals in total—was brought to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet in 1949 and 1950. Today, hundreds of thousands of Jews of Yemeni origin live in Israel, and many have had a profound impact on Israeli society, including singers Ofra Haza, Achinoam Nini (Noa), Gali Atari and Shoshana Damari; Olympic medalist Shahar Tzuberi; former Knesset Speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu; and noted rabbi Amnon Yitzhak. Attacks against Jews in Yemen have risen sharply since 2008, when Jewish teacher Moshe Ya’ish Nahari was murdered in Raydah. In 2012, Aharon Zindani was murdered in Sanaa and a young Jewish woman was
abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and forcibly wed to a Muslim man. As Yemen has descended into civil war and the humanitarian situation in the country has worsened, the Jewish community has found itself increasingly imperiled. As a result, The Jewish Agency has undertaken numerous covert operations to spirit Jews out of Yemen and bring them to Israel. Some 50 Jews remain in Yemen, including approximately 40 in Sanaa, where they live in a closed compound adjacent to the U.S. embassy and enjoy the protection of Yemeni authorities. They have chosen to remain in the country without Jewish communal or organizational infrastructure. The Jewish Agency will continue to assist any Jew who wishes to make Israel his or her home.
com.UNITY Words matter As I write this column, I have just returned from the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience being with over 18,000 pro-Israel activists learning and lobbying for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. We had 46 Lehigh Valley delegates and 16 students from Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College. Much of the media hype of the conference focused on the presentations by four of the five remaining U.S. presidential candidates. While some may be reading hoping for my reactions to parts of the AIPAC conference, instead I am struck by the intersection of three things that happened over the past 48 hours. When you pass people in the halls of AIPAC, you look for familiar names and places on name badges and you look for familiar faces. While on an escalator, a man in front of me turned around, looked at my name tag, and asked if I was a Hilltopper. That was the mascot from my Hillwood High School in Nashville, Tennessee. In a second I realized that the man in front of me was a fellow football team member; we were close friends in Nashville. We talked briefly as we
exited the escalator. He is now a Baptist minister and was attending the AIPAC conference as part of AIPAC’s outreach to Christian leadership. He told me that as a devout Christian, he always knew of his religious connection to Israel. Then he recalled memories of me in high school, as the “big Jew” on campus and always talking about Israel. He remembered my going around school putting up flyers and posters about Israel. He even recalled my discussion with him on why I was so motivated to support and advocate for Israel. I told him, “If Israel ever lost a war, it would be her last.” Years later he went to Israel on an AIPAC Christian outreach mission and he explained that my words to him in that 11th grade hallway were with him on that first trip to Israel and he finally understood what I said to him. From that moment, he was committed to being a pro-Israel advocate. Words matter. On Tuesday morning March 22, we all awoke to the tragic news of terrorist attacks in Belgium. As I was still at the AIPAC conference and not watching cable news, I was regularly checking emails and news apps for updates. I
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley email@example.com
was anticipating all the press releases from organizations condemning the terrorism and expressing support with the Belgium nation. The first press release I received did not come from a national Jewish organization. It did not come from a Jewish federation. It came from the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley. In addition to condemning terrorism and expressing solidarity with the citizens of Brussels over this tragic and senseless act of violence, the statement also made clear the distinction of such acts from their Islamist faith. Words matter. After returning from AIPAC, I participated in the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding’s Youth and Prejudice workshop. The workshop hosts 300+ different middle or high school students each day for four days throughout the year. During the workshop, the students hear from Holocaust survivors or second generation presenters. I regularly participate, speaking about my father’s experiences before, during and after the Holocaust. The focus of my presentation links my father’s story with the challenge of decision making in the face of evil. I
Women's Division welcomes newcomers with coffee and conversation
talk about decisions that others made that likely saved my father’s life. I talk about decisions my father made that likely saved his life, and those of others. And I share with them a simple truth of life: It is not what you do when you have no choice, but it is what you do when you have a choice. What do you do when you see injustice, prejudice, or racism? What do you do when you see a bully at your school? What do you do when your friends mistreat someone at school because that person has a different skin color, is a different religion, has less money than you? The kind of world we live in depends less on the decisions and actions of evil people, but on the decisions of good people. Reminding them of the decisions that were made in my father’s stories, I
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY 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.
challenge them to make good decisions in their lives. As the students were leaving the building, one student ran back into the auditorium intent on speaking to me. He looked at me and stated, “Thanks for your talk. I really hope I make the right decisions.” He quickly pivoted and ran back to his classmates. Words matter.
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JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT Ilene Ringold with Allison Sylvin.
Amy Sams, Amy Jaffe and Jodi Eichler-Levine.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park. IN HONOR BARNET AND LISA FRAENKEL Birth of their grandson, Emmanuel Louis Feldman Roberto and Eileen Fischmann IN MEMORY BENJAMIN FISHER (Father of Harry Fisher) Roberto and Eileen Fischmann
MURIEL KOSEN Frank and Tama Tamarkin BERTHA SILVERMAN (Mother of Mark Silverman) Fred and Barbara Sussman and Family STANLEY WAX (Husband of Vicki Wax, father of Robby Wax and Nancy Wax Goldman) Frank and Tama Tamarkin
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
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
Maimonides Society looks to help save lives on Israel’s crowded streets By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing The streets of Jerusalem were crammed with commuters on their way home that day when the call came in. A 6-year-old who suffers from a chronic lung condition was having an asthma attack. In 65 seconds, the first ambucycle arrived on the scene. About 20 seconds later, another pulled up. The two volunteer drivers performed CPR on the child and saved his life. “Can you imagine if they waited another two minutes even?” said Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah, which operates the ambucycle program. “You hear of lots of children who died from this or that and they could have been saved if someone had gotten there 30 seconds earlier or a minute earlier.” United Hatzalah volunteers currently operate 450 ambucycles on Israel’s crowded streets. These sleek, easy-to-maneuver vehicles are packed with every piece of equipment found in a typical ambulance, minus a stretcher. Each ambucycle responds to approximately 40 calls per month, roughly 480 calls a year. About 25 percent of all calls – 120 annually – are deemed critical, life-saving situations. Together, these ambucycles respond to approximate-
ly 216,000 calls per year. To celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, the Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is raising funds to purchase and equip an ambucycle. The group will be paired with a volunteer driver, and learn how the volunteer and his vehicle make a difference every day. “This fits, in my view, into the goal that the Maimonides Society has had from the beginning of doing good in the medical arena for others,” said Dr. Larry Levitt, one of the society’s founders. “It doesn’t get better than saving lives in Israel with funds raised here.” “We wanted to have something tangible to show for our efforts and our hard work and show how proud we are of our 30 years of existence,” said Dr. Marc Berson, co-chair of the gala. “To have this actual physical piece of equipment actually on the road saving lives is a great representation of what we’re all about.” Especially with the recent violence in Israel, the ability for first-responders to reach a scene quickly is critical, Beer said. “If you want to get there in the first two or three minutes, you can’t do it with an ambulance because of the traffic, congestion and everything going on in Israel,” he said. The ambucycles are
“easy to maneuver in between cars, on the sidewalks and never have problems with parking.” “Every single attack, the first ones to get there were the ambucycles,” he said. The volunteers take the ambucycles home, to work, and everywhere they go so they are always ready to jump on or change course in a moment’s notice. When alerts come in, a smartphone app will tell the drivers how far they are from the scene. “The whole idea of United Hatzalah is all volunteers,” Beer said. “Our volunteers get nothing in return. They even pay for their own gas.” Sponsorships of the Maimonides Society’s 30th Anniversary Gala this June will go toward the cost of an ambucycle. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/gala30. A reception for sponsors and Maimonides members will be held on Thursday, June 9, at 6 p.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley with featured speaker Dr. Steve Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health and former Maimonides president. Dr. Klasko will also give a free lecture to the community beginning at 7:30 p.m. To learn more, visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org/gala30.
Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah, with Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein at the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 3
WOMEN’S DIVISION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Ukrainian refugee speaks out about conflict, response
Federation Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein, Lunch & Learn Chair Lisa Fraenkel, Ukranian refugee and featured speaker Masha Shumatskaya and Women’s Division President Eva Levitt.
Left, Miriam Zager, Chelsea Karp and Fay Kun. Right, Jeri Zimmerman, the Federation’s new assistant executive director, with Sheila Berg, Women’s Division Campaign chair. By Rena Fraade JFLV Program Coordinator
SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION
WELCOMING NEW BABIES
to the Lehigh Valley ADELISE SIMONE DAY daughter of Siri and Jacob Eisen
If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | email@example.com
4 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
On March 10, the Jewish community gathered to hear Masha Shumatskaya speak at a Women’s Division Lunch and Learn. Shumataskaya, a refugee from Donetsk, Ukraine, left everything behind two years ago. During her time in Donetsk and now Kharkov, she has used the skills and connections she has made through her American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) young leadership program called Metsuda and found ways to get food and money to elderly Jews in these cities. She has continued finding that her connections to the JDC, an overseas partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, provide her with much support. Shumatskaya also visited the Jewish Day School, where she spoke to the fifth through eighth graders. The students were fascinated by her story. They were very interested in the
emotions she felt, being taken from her childhood city, leaving her parents behind. They had asked what she brought when she fled – clothing, a laptop charger, money and her machzor. One student asked “When all the bad things were happening, how did Judaism help you?” Shumatskaya had a huge smile in response, sharing that her volunteer connections as well as her machzor help her continue to feel her love for Judaism. Another student asked for clarification of why the Russian Separatists came into Donetsk and Shumatskaya explained that it’s all about territory and politics. The students asked if she would make aliyah, like her mom ultimately did – and she said she very much wanted to and would be interested in living in Netanya because it’s so beautiful. Shumataskaya’s story illustrates the toll the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is having on the Jewish community there, especially the elderly who often have no way of escaping.
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
Celebrated author to speak at Women’s Spring Event By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Julie Orringer was raised in a Conservative Jewish household, was bat mitzvahed and attended Camp Ramah. But when she traveled to Hungary in 2012 to talk about the Hungarian translation of her book, “The Invisible Bridge,” a question from reporters surprised her: When did you first find out you were Jewish? “Even now, a lot of Hungarian Jews don’t know they’re Jewish,” said Orringer, who will be the featured speaker at the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Division Spring Event on May 18. “It really struck me how incredible it is that we have the freedoms that we have in this country still and that nobody has to live in fear of telling their children that they’re Jewish or practicing their religion here.” “The Invisible Bridge” is a fictionalized account of her own Hungarian-Jewish grandfather’s story in the years leading up to and during World War II. The book tells the story of Andras Lévi, an architecture student who arrives in Paris from Budapest in 1937 with a scholarship, a single suitcase and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue to Sévigné. As he falls into
a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient, Andras becomes privy to a secret history that alters the course of his life. At the end of Andras’s second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war. Since the book was published in 2011, Orringer has spoken in many venues, including many Jewish ones. “I find that people really connect to the characters’ complicated experience of Judaism in the book and it’s something that was interesting to me as I was writing about it, so I’m always happy to talk about it,” she said. At each venue, someone will invariably come up to her and say “my own grandfather had a similar experience” or “my father had a similar experience,” she said. Sometimes, they will tell her that reading the book led them to ask their own parents or grandparents about their war experience. While researching the book, Orringer came across the story of Herschel Grynszpan, the young PolishGerman Jewish boy who, in 1938, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot a worker there in retaliation for the hardships his family had faced. Grynszpan was one of the first people to be deported from France under the “on-demand clause” of the Franco-German Armistice,
she said. She then went and Googled “on demand” and it turned out to be part of the title of a memoir by Varian Fry, who risked his life to smuggle thousands of refugees out of Vichy, France, and beyond the Gestapo's reach. A fictionalized account of Fry’s story will be the subject of Orringer’s new novel, “The
Flight Portfolio,” which she hopes will be available next year. In her talk, she will touch on both novels and the challenges that come with writing historical fiction. Orringer’s previous work includes “How to Breathe Underwater,” a short story collection. She has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and prizes. She lives
in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, Jacob, 5, and Lillian, almost 2. Women who have pledged a minimum of $365 to the 2016 Campaign for Jewish Needs are invited to join the Federation at the Women’s Division Spring Event on Wednesday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El. To learn more or register, visit jewishlehighvalley.org/women.
A SHOWCASE OF JEWISH JAZZ FROM THE 1930s
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 5
Refugees in Greece get medical equipment from Jewish-funded group Jewish Telegraphic Agency A New York-based humanitarian organization, funded by several Jewish groups, has begun supplying a Greek island with desperately needed medical equipment to help cope with the influx of tens of thousands of refugees. The Afya Foundation has already dispatched a container full of aid to hospitals and rescue organizations on the island of Lesbos, said the foundation’s executive director, Danielle Butin, who has just returned from a visit to the island to assess the needs. The situation she found was dire: hospital wings stand empty for of lack of equipment, doctors lack medicine to treat the ill and Greek Coast Guard boats that are pulling drowning refugees out of the sea, don’t have basic resuscitation equipment like defibrillators. “The simply don’t have enough medical supplies and equipment,” Butin said last week. Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants, most of them from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, have landed on Lesbos in the northern Aegean Sea as they try to reach Europe. Afya — which means “good health” in Swahili — has in the past sent medical supplies for humanitarian relief to Haiti, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi and Sierra
Leone. “We decided on this trip that our response is going to be to send as much as possible and we want to support the already existing systems with concrete supplies to benefit the locals and the refugees,” said Butin. In Lesbos, Butin said she saw a newly renovated hospital standing empty, because local authorities don’t have the equipment to run it, while the existing medical facilities are stretched beyond their abilities. She returned to New York with dozens of pages of handwritten lists in Greek of the supplies each hospital department was short of. The first shipment was funded by the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, a coalition of American Jewish groups led by the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee. The coalition has so far raised more than $1.2 million to fund projects dealing with the Syrian refugees, according to the the JDC, including funding to the Israeli aid agency IsraAid, who have been operating in Greece since September, providing medical and psychological assistance to the refugees. Israel also donated 1.5 tons of medication to the Greek Ministry of Health. Butin said she is trying to raise further funds for additional shipments and has already had “extraordinary support from the Jewish community and [New Yorkarea] synagogues.” “We are trying to raise a couple hundred thousand dollars, the goal is to raise as much money as possible to keep the containers flowing,” she said.
As Zika story goes ‘viral,’ Israeli expert separates fact from fiction By Alina Dain Sharon JNS.org Reports began to surface recently about the rise of cases of the mosquito-born Zika virus in South America, and the associated birth defect microcephaly, which is characterized by smaller brain size and has been detected in as many as 4,000 babies in Brazil. Zika was initially found on U.S. soil in the form of several cases of people infected outside of the country. Amid the numerous headlines on Zika, what’s fact and what’s fiction? We gained some insight from Israeli expert Dr. Hagai Levine, head of the environment and health track at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center School of Public Health. Levine is also an adjunct professor in preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, 6 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
and from 2009-11 he headed the epidemiology section of the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps. Not all those who contract the Zika virus experience symptoms. But for those who do, how can they identify that they have this particular disease? Other than fever, what are the symptoms? LEVINE: Most of the infections are asymptomatic. About 20 percent [of those infected] have symptoms such as maculopapular rash … muscular pain, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Very rarely, we’ve been seeing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare syndrome of muscle weakness that can also lead to paralysis. These symptoms are not Zika Continues on page 14
Last living Monuments Man comes to the Lehigh Valley
Left, more than 200 people gather at the JCC to hear from Harry Ettlinger, the last living “Monuments Man.” Right, Sheila Berg, commander of the local Jewish War Veterans chapter, with Harry Ettlinger and Federation Campaign Chair Iris Epstein. By Ed Courrier Bethlehem Press On March 6, people from across the Lehigh Valley gathered to hear the story of Harry Ettlinger, the last living “Monuments Man” and a selfdescribed world traveler. “I’d like to let you know that my travels through this world are no longer around it, just north Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania …” quipped the feisty 90-year-old U.S. Army veteran. “Here I am!” Ettlinger declared to an appreciative audience at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley at the free interactive brunch. The event was co-sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans, the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation. Ettlinger not only helped to return treasures stolen by the Nazis during WWII, but proved to be a genuine treasure himself. Born in 1926 to an affluent Jewish family, his journey began in his hometown of Karlsruhe, Germany, when his parents took Harry and his two younger brothers and fled
the Nazis. They found sanctuary in New York City in 1938 and then later moved across the river to New Jersey. After being drafted into the U.S. Army in August of 1944, Ettlinger was shipped back to Europe in January 1945 to join his fellow infantryman on the front lines. Because of his fluency in German, he was reassigned from combat duty and held back for service as an interpreter for the upcoming Nuremburg Trials. After meeting Capt. James J. Rorimer of the U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) unit in May of 1945, Ettlinger volunteered to serve with them to translate German intelligence documents and interrogate defeated Nazis, assisting in their quest to locate thousands of priceless art and cultural objects looted by the Germans during WWII. As a goodwill gesture to his French allies, General Dwight D. Eisenhower made returning their stolen cultural treasures the unit’s first priority. Ettlinger said, “I was assigned over here to retrieve works of art that had
been stored in two salt mines. Clean places. Ideal, unlike coal mines, clean atmosphere which the Germans were thinking of turning into an underground factory to make jet engines.” Of the 40,000 boxes of stolen art found in these underground chambers, Ettlinger said he was assigned to “find 900 of them which belonged to French instutions.” These stolen objects were part of the hoard stashed away by Herrmann Goring in the Kochendorf-Heilbronn salt mines in Germany. In July of 1946, with his mission accomplished in retrieving the 900 items, it was time for Sgt. Ettlinger to be discharged from the army. He helped “liberate” some of the fireworks that had been stored in the mines and slated for Hitler’s victory celebration. “I saw to it that that the 4th of July was celebrated in Heilbronn, Germany, by the Jewish kids … that fireworks went off to celebrate our holiday!” he said to a round of applause. A few days later, Ettlinger was sent home to New Jersey. He went to college on the GI
Bill and became a mechanical engineer. He later married and raised a family. Although long retired, Ettlinger is co-chair of the Wallenberg Foundation of New Jersey. The exploits of these official treasure hunters were brought to the big screen in “The Monuments Men” written and produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Clooney also starred in the film. Matt Damon
portrayed a fictional character that was loosely based on Capt. Rorimer, while Dimitri Leonidas played “Pvt. Sam Epstein,” a character loosely based on Ettlinger. When asked during the Q&A how he had been treated by Clooney and the others from Hollywood at the movie’s 2014 screening at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, Ettlinger replied with a grin, “I was in the front row!”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 7
Congress passes anti-BDS bill with bipartisan support
President Obama signs anti-BDS legislation on Feb. 29.
By Aaron Gorodzinsky JFLV Director of Outreach and Community Relations On Feb. 24, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, legislation which includes important provisions against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The bill was adopted with broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate by margins of 256 to 158 and 70 to 25 respectively. The overwhelming congressional support for this act, makes clear that Americans believe economic sanctions against Israel are not only an impediment to peace, but are also inconsistent with Amer-
ica's national interests and recognizing that BDS tactics are divisive and regressive and not conducive for peace negotiations. We applaud the U.S. Congress for passing and the President for signing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 and are especially thankful for the support the bill received from Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Charlie Dent. We appreciate President Obama’s commitment “to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel.” Although, the implementation of the bill is still not clear, the anti-BDS language within the bill prioritizes opposing BDS for U.S. trade negotiations, protects American companies operating in Israel and requiries the administration to report on global BDS activities. Last year, our own legislature in Pennsylvania unanimously passed House Resolution 370- Condemning Economic, Social, Cultural and Other Boycotts of Israel and Growing Incidents of Anti-Semitism, making it clear that there is no room for the BDS movement in our state. Currently there are 22 other state legislatures working on similar bills.
8 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
IN MEMORY PETER CHARON (Father of Marc Charon) Nancy Bagot JEAN DEUTCH (Mother of Elaine Deutch) The Friess Family HOWARD EPSTEIN (Husband of Linda Epstein, brother of Midge Sokol) Leonard Abrams and Family Sybil and Barry Baiman Elaine Lerner Linda Silowka Vicki Wax LOIS GERTNER (Mother of Eric Gertner) Ron and Emily Freudenberger BLAKE GOLDING (Husband of Amy Eichenwald Golding) Linda Silowka RUTH GREENBLAT (Sister of Louise Weinstein) Elaine Lerner CHARLIE NOONAN (Husband of Connie Noonan) Selma Roth and Family MORRIS OCKMAN (Grandfather of Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper) Wendy and Ross Born Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark MARY RONIS (Mother of Nan Ronis) Ingelise and John Brown Jim Lodge SUSAN SINGER (Mother of Rabbi Michael Singer) Ross and Wendy Born Barry and Carol Halper BARBARA SOLOWEY (Mother of Leslie Sheftel)
Adam and Penny Roth Donald and Randi Senderowitz SIDNEY STECHER (Husband of Lenore Stecher) Jeffrey Colfer and Morgan Spence STANLEY WAX (Husband of Vicki Wax, father of Robby Wax and Nancy Wax Goldman) Lawrence Bailis Maddie Berman and Family Beth and Scott Delin Ellen Meryl Field Michael and Fay Kun Tony and Lara (Schwartz) Moretti and Family Linda Silowka IN HONOR BILL BERGSTEIN In honor of his service to Jewish Family Service Marty Katz BARNET AND LISA FRAENKEL Birth of their grandson, Emmanuel Louis Feldman Tracey and Jason Billig Jeff and Jill Blinder Ross and Wendy Born Betty Greenberg Suzanne Lapiduss Donald and Randi Senderowitz MARK GOLDSTEIN Election to JAFI Board of Governors Barry and Carol Halper HARVEY HAKIM In honor of his service to Jewish Family Service Marty Katz JOAN LESAVOY Happy ‘Special’ Birthday Elaine Lerner ROBERT AND CINDY LEVINE Birth of their grandchild
Donald and Randi Senderowitz EVA LEVITT Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Award Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Eva Derby Barry and Carol Halper MARK AND ALICE NOTIS Engagement of Ayelet Betty Greenberg HANK AND PHYLLIS PERKIN Birth of their grandson Ross and Wendy Born RABBI SETH PHILLIPS AND MARGE KRAMER Marriage of their son Linda Silowka ALEX ROSENAU In appreciation of his kindness Ellis and Lisa Block ALEX ROTH Mazel Tov on New Home Selma Roth HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND MEMORY BARBARA SOLOWEY (Mother of Leslie Sheftel) Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg
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.
Ira Forman speaks about combating anti-Semitism On Feb. 21, Ira Forman spoke to the community at the JCC about what we can do to combat anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad. Forman, special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism for the U.S. Department of State, talked about the state of anti-Semitism globally and provided valuable insight into what can be done to fight against it. This event was sponsored by the Federationâ€™s Community Relations Council. Right, Community Relations Council member Barry Halper and new Chair Eric Fels with Ira Forman.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 9
Todah Rabah, Embassy Bank Buddy Lesavoy, board member of Embassy Bank, presents a check to Federation Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein on Feb. 17 that will provide scholarships for students at the JCC and Jewish Day School. Embassy Bank has supported the Jewish community through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program for more than a decade. The EITC program is a win-win for businesses, as it provides companies with a significant tax credit for donations to a nonprofit scholarship organization such as the Federation. To learn more about this program, visit jewishlehighvalley.org/eitc.
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Every summer, four teens from Yoav, the Lehigh Valley's Partnership2Gether community in Israel, spend time here working at Camp JCC. They are accompanied by a young shlicha who also works at camp. We are excited to welcome this year's group. RON BARKAI Ron Barkai is a junior at Tzafit High School in Kfar Menahem where he majors in theater and geography. He lives in Kfar Harif with his mom Galia, dad Noam and older sister and brother, Adi and Roy. The family has two
Inbar Wechsler dogs, Bamba and Zoie. Ron’s hobbies include playing tennis, skiing and going to the theater to see shows and concerts. He is currently a counselor in the Ihud Hahaklai youth movement. NITZAN BAMANI Nitzan Bamani is a junior at Tzafit High School where she majors in Arabic and art history. She loves to dance, play sports, take care of animals, go shopping and get to know new places. She also loves spending time with her family. Nitzan lives in Kibbutz Gat with her parents, Eval and Gilat, and older brother Ravid, who is currently serving in the military. Nitzan is a volunteer at a youth movement for disabled children called “Kremo Wings." MORR CAHANA Morr Cahana is a junior at Tzafit High School majoring in biology and sport. She is currently in a dance troop and has been dancing jazz, and classic and modern ballet since she was 5 years old. She loves to play sports especially with her family. Morr lives in Kibutz Kfar Menahem. She has an older brother who is serving in the IDF and a younger sister who is in 6th grade. She is currently a counselor for 4th graders in the “Hashomer Hatzair Movement.” URI ESHEL Uri Eshel is a junior at Tzafit High School where he majors in physics and computer science. He lives in Moshav Kfar Harif with his parents Dan and Ron and two brothers Gali, 12, and Eitan, 9. Uri loves participating in activities at school and in his moshav. His hobbies include playing basketball, listening to
10 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
music and spending time with his friends. Last year, Uri was a counselor for the Ihud Hahaklai movement. A fun fact about Uri is that he just celebrated his 4th birthday as he was born on Feb. 29, 2000. INBAR WECHSLER Inbar Wechsler is 26 years old from Ra’anana, a little city just north of Tel Aviv. This year, Inbar graduated school with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education with a specialization in art and children's literature. While earning her degree, she worked at a nursery school in a classroom with 36 children between the ages of six months and three years. Her favorite part of the job was seeing how kids develop and learn about the world. In her free time, Inbar loves to bake and cook, hike and travel, read, and spend time relaxing. She has three brothers, the oldest who is currently an officer in the IDF, the middle who is studying at Ariel University and the youngest who just finished training as an intelligence officer in the IDF. This summer will be Inbar’s fourth time working at a JCC camp in the United States. The past two summers she worked in Salt Lake City, Utah, as an Israeli culture specialist. Three summers ago she worked as a Hebrew immersion counselor in Detroit, Michigan. Inbar is very excited to be a part of this community over the summer. She is looking forward to meeting the campers and bringing them together with the Yoav teens. She can’t wait to help the campers learn and explore Israel in fun ways.
Delivering the Jewish future
RABBI MELISSA SIMON Muhlenberg College Hillel It might be a bit hyperbolic, but I believe I have one of the most important jobs in the Jewish community today. In a world where 90% of Jewish young people attend college, I am on the front lines of delivering the Jewish future. Hillel engages with and inspires the leadership of Jewish college students at more than 550 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and around the world. I am the Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain at Muhlenberg College.
Muhlenberg College consistently ranks in the top ten of colleges Jews choose. I am responsible for supporting the Jewish journeys of over 600 Jewish young people. Each young person’s Jewish identity and experience is unique and at Hillel we nurture each student regardless of their affiliation, observance or belief. Our mission is simple yet incredibly complex: Enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. On college and university campuses today are the future rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, synagogue directors, Jewish non-profit board members, Jews in the pew and members of our communities. These young people need a place to explore what it means to be modern and Jewish. They require a space to explore their connection to Israel and the opportunity to travel to Israel with their peers. Today's college students deserve an investment in them and their future. The dramatic increase in anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitism on college campuses around North
America only serves as a reminder to the members of the Jewish community to deeply engage with and support college students. The vision of Hillel International is a shared vision with our local Hillel at Muhlenberg College: we envision a world where every student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.
diversity of the college campus, and a meal and social justice discussion at my home as part of our Tzaddik initiative. Our Hillel building is a home away from home for our students with free laundry and snacks, nooks and crannies to study in and trusted and beloved staff who will listen, laugh and cry with you. But more than a building, Hillel is a holy
In an age where we are more and more siloed by movement, Hillel is a rare space where people come together despite their differences. In a given week through Muhlenberg College Hillel there could be a gathering of MiShelanu: Israeli-American students speaking in Hebrew, a session of “Ari Explains it All” with our Ezra Fellow who engages students through Jewish education, tabling in the campus center for an upcoming social excursion to go bowling, Shabbat Dinner with over 100 students reflecting the
community, a pluralistic gathering of Jews. In an age where we are more and more siloed by movement, Hillel is a rare space where people come together despite their differences. There are many sacred ways to serve the Jewish people as a rabbi. And I feel incredibly blessed to have the focus of my rabbinate be to serve the students of Muhlenberg College through Hillel.
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Lehigh Valley answers call to “come together” at 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference
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Members of the Lehigh Valley delegation meet with Rep. Charlie Dent during the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference. A group of 64 Lehigh Valley community members, including 17 college students, gathered together for the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference. Several of this year’s attendees shared their thoughts about this year’s conference and the mission of AIPAC. CANTOR ELLEN SUSSMAN Temple Shirat Shalom As someone once said to me, there is something thrilling about being in a place where everyone around you loves Israel as much as you do. It felt wonderful to be talking, studying, socializing and advocating with 18,000 like-minded people. AIPAC exists to help the State of Israel in this complicated and frightening world. At the conference, breakout sessions were offered to broaden our knowledge of all aspects of Israeli society. I was impressed by the high level of scholarship and interest in the workshops. At our first session we watched a movie about a small town on the border of Gaza. The movie “Rockin’ in the Red Zone” explained how a town bombarded by missiles can make music and keep a sense of community alive. We learned about anti-Semitism in Spain and South America, and the intricacies of the Syrian Civil War. Since this is an election year we heard from all but one of the presidential candidates. They all expressed solidarity with Israel and pledged to continue the United States’ commitment to a free, democratic and Jewish state of Israel. I found AIPAC to be an organization that has lived up to its mission to protect and advocate for Israel in the United States. VALESKA ZIGHELBOIM Special to HAKOL This was my third time attending AIPAC, and it was as wonderful of an experience as it always is. Between the breakout sessions and the incredible slate of speakers, there was so much to hear and learn about, not just in the field of politics, but on topics ranging from Israeli civil society to medicine to the arts. While it was interesting to hear from many of the presidential candidates, I was most excited to see and speak to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. As a Jew from Venezuela, I have been impressed with her work holding the Venezuelan government accountable as well as her stalwart support for Israel. Like every year, I come away from AIPAC with a renewed commitment to support Israel and to ensure that the U.S.-Israel relationship is as strong as ever. ROBBY WAX Special to HAKOL This was an incredible year at the AIPAC Policy Conference for several reasons. First, the presidential election created a tremendous amount of excitement, and hearing from the candidates from each party was remarkable. Second, AIPAC’s emphasis on enforcing Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA – and its efforts to sup-
port sanctions for Iran’s support for worldwide terrorism – is a highly important mission. Third, the growth in attendees was shocking, as nearly 19,000 AIPAC supporters rallied in Washington, including thousands of students. At least three of our local rabbis attended. In addition to a cadre of college students from the Lehigh Valley, our Lehigh Valley group was joined by several high school students, including Allison Fels (a high school junior), Ben Wilson and Ben Wax (high school sophomores.) Hearing insights from Prime Minister Netanyahu is always impressive, but the highlight was sharing the conference with my son. Discussing the issues with him and watching him enjoy the experience was truly special. He was moved by Bibi’s often repeated quote, which he reiterated on Tuesday morning: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” The entire event was inspiring, and it instills such tremendous pride in America and its strongest ally, Israel. GRACIE GOTTLIEB JFLV Marketing Intern As a student at Muhlenberg, it was extremely exciting and encouraging to be surrounded by 18,000 people who are also pro-Israel and care about a strong relationship between Israel and the United States. No matter what your background was, everyone was together, making a statement to the world, proving the importance of that relationship. One of the most exciting parts of being at the conference was the opportunity to hear four presidential candidates speak. While there were some candidates I agreed with and some that I didn’t, I think most people can agree that each one seems to really respect the relationship between Israel and the United States. I was especially encouraged to hear every presidential candidate talk about combating BDS; it gave me hope for the future of pro-Israel life on college campuses. As a new member of the Lehigh Valley community, it was such a privilege to meet and be welcomed in by community members. Lobbying to Charlie Dent, somebody willing to reach across the aisle, made me feel lucky to be part of this community, where people truly care about a strong relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Throughout the conference, we were able to hear incredible stories from the big plenary sessions, but also from breakout sessions and just talking to others at the conference. The American-Israel relationship just as much benefits America as it does Israel and this was displayed throughout the conference. We were exposed to new Israeli technology that is redefining the medical field and helping not just Israel but also the world. We heard from politicians, Jews and non-Jews, all fighting for Israel, all fighting for justice, all fighting for a better world. I want to thank the Wax family for helping to allow seven student leaders to attend the conference and we look forward to sharing our experiences and continuing to enrich our campus life.
AIPAC IN PICTURES
John Kasich was one of four presidential candidates who spoke at the conference.
Students meet with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
Hillary Clinton addresses AIPAC.
AIPAC President Lillian Plinkus.
Over 18,000 people attended this year's Policy Conference.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 13
We can measure [Zika] antibodies in groups that were infected and not infected, and see the association with microcephaly both for the babies and the mothers. In addition, we can strengthen surveillance systems both of the mosquitos and of the virus, and of human disease in order to improve our understanding. This is part of strengthening public health infrastructure in general. What this event shows is how important it is to invest in public health resources, human resources and laboratory resources beforehand so we can be prepared.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus.
Continues from page 7 specific for the disease, but they can make you pay attention [to the possibility of contracting the Zika virus]. Of course, if you are in an endemic area for the Zika virus, and you see many others [infected], or if you are bitten by the mosquito, then you are more likely to think that’s the disease that you have. The well-publicized cause-and-effect relationship between the Zika virus and the microcephaly condition, characterized by abnormally small heads in babies, is not conclusive. What would the medical community need to do to prove the connection? LEVINE: I really think we need to be
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very careful at this point. People feel sure that there is a cause-and-effect [relationship between these conditions], and we are really not there yet. Our understanding [of Zika] can definitely change over time. We have circumstantial evidence from the distribution of microcephaly and the dramatic increase of [Zika] cases, from the changing distribution of the Aedes aegypti mosquitos transmitting the Zika virus, and from reported cases of Zika virus both clinically and in some cases also confirmed in a laboratory. But we don’t know for sure yet the cause of the dramatic increase in microcephaly cases, although it is likely caused by the Zika virus. On the other hand, we must take action. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. We cannot refute such an association, so we can do several epidemiological studies.
Are we actually seeing a larger spread of mosquito-born diseases? LEVINE: We do see it recently … the West Nile virus or the Chikungunya virus spreading to new places. That’s exactly my point. Our solution needs to be general and hopefully help us tackle other vector-born diseases. We definitely see the impact of climate change and globalization, of people and trade moving from place to place, and its impact on health. WHO has declared Zika an international public health emergency, like it did last year with Ebola, arguably a much more dangerous disease. Zika has been spreading across South America for some time, as have the associated cases of microcephaly. Why do you think WHO made this decision on Zika now? LEVINE: It will be very, very hard to eliminate or eradicate the Zika virus. In order to control vector-born diseases you need to control the vector. A vector [for Zika] is an insect that transmits a pathogen from the environment to the host. These days we
see a change in the environment, presumably due to the El Niño phenomenon and more largely due to climate change, [which] has led to a change in the mosquito distribution. This, in parallel, has led to the Zika virus distribution, and now we have a huge problem globally. We don’t have any vaccine or drugs for the Zika virus. [Unlike with Ebola], the outcome of morbidity and mortality could be very low, but the magnitude of the problem is large. If you have a virus or a disease that is not so lethal, generally speaking it’s harder to get rid of it. If you have a pathogen that kills the host then usually the disease is less transmissible, and then you have higher chances of getting rid of the disease. With Ebola you need direct contact for transmission, so if you isolate all the cases of Ebola you can get rid of Ebola. But with vector-born diseases it’s much harder because you need to treat the source, the mosquitos. The solution is not only medical, but must be a collaboration between many disciplines, environment and health professionals. The other issue is that we really need in our global response to think global and act local, to tailor our response to the local situation. We need to get rid of standing water, which is also helpful in the prevention of other vector-born diseases like Dengue or Yellow Fever. But regarding pesticides, we should be very careful because we can solve one problem of controlling the mosquitos by creating another problem of massive pesticide exposure, which will hurt both the ecology and humans. We need to keep it balanced and to check ourselves at every step.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 15
Gathered at long tables in the JCC auditorium, rows of women rolled their dough, chose their fillings and pinched their corners. The women – many of them new to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community – weren’t just there to make hamentashen in time for Purim, but to make friends. “Women like to work together, and especially with the holiday coming up, we thought this would be a great idea to have women together baking and schmoozing and sharing stories and have something to take home,” said Beth Kushnick, chair of the Shalom Lehigh Valley committee of the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Division, which hosted the event. Longtime JCC Early Childhood Education teacher Sheryl Block shared the Purim story, complete with tables full of props. In addition to their trays full of cookies, the women each took home a booklet of recipes submitted by the community. “I like cooking and it’s a good way to talk to people and meet people and learn a little bit about the holiday,” said Karen Appleman, who moved to town seven years ago, but only recently got involved with the Jewish community through the Federation’s newcomers’ events. “I’ll definitely be coming back to a lot of the events,” she said. “It’s been a good experience.” Join the Shalom Lehigh Valley committee for its next newcomers’ event, a Paint and Create Party on Tuesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m., in partnership with Adults at the J. Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ shalom to learn more.
Above, Dana Cohen, Fay Kun ahd Chelsea Karp gather their ingredients.
Photos by Kaitlyn Stefanowicz
Above left, Sara-Jane Bub starts pinching her corners. Above right, Federation’s new Assistant Executive Director Jeri Zimmerman introduces herself to those in attendance.
Above, Sheryl Block shows off some of her props while telling the Purim story. Right, Marci Staiman and Miriam Zager work the dough.
Above far left, Rabbi Melissa Simon follows the recipe. Above center left, Ellen Gordon heads back to her station. Above center right, there were many fillings to choose from. Above far right, Rabbi Seth Phillips gets in on the action. 16 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 17
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JFS goes on the road to support senior transportation On March 12, JFS held its annual fundraiser at America on Wheels. Over 120 guests enjoyed desserts and displays of classic cars and learned about the services that JFS provides to people in need across the Lehigh Valley. The event highlighted The GO Program, which provides transportation to seniors free of charge. To see more photos from the event, visit the Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley Facebook page. Photos courtesy of Edwin A. Davis Photography
Guests enjoy snacks, desserts and drinks in the Hubcap Café at the America on Wheels Museum. Robin Rosenau and Phyllis Perkin, board members and event cochairs, open up the evening’s presentation.
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During a brief presentation in the Longhaul Room, guests learned about the valuable services JFS provides for older adults. They also learned about counseling services and the Community Food Pantry.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 21
Life as a ‘hidden child’ By Tara M. Zrinski Reprinted with permission from The Elucidator Born July 15, 1942, Eva Rosenberg Derby was welcomed by no family members. Her father, Alex Rosenberg, was deported three months before her birth. She later uncovered an affidavit that recorded her father’s registration at Auschwitz in 1942. While in hiding, her mother, Julia, built a seat up in the chimney and placed her in it, with only a pacifier to keep her from making a sound as the German soldiers searched their residence. Her mother also was hiding her grandparents in the root cellar. Up until recently, though, Derby kept her past hidden. “There was a hierarchy of survivors,” said Derby, who recently moved to Allentown from St. Louis. “Those who
were in camps never considered we who were hidden as survivors and we who were hidden never considered ourselves as survivors because we were too young to remember. We were nobody, in noman’s land – guilt on one side and guilt on the other.” She came to the United States when she was six and started school. Memories of Europe were avoided until 1995 when, in a joint interview by the principal of her children’s Jewish day school – where her husband Albert was being honored – she was asked to affirm that she was born in New York. She answered, “right.” Her husband of 53 years promptly responded, “wrong.” “He spilled my story because I just was not interested in people asking me questions. I was truly caught,” Derby said. “Am I a survivor or am I not a survivor? Now,
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lo and behold, all of St. Louis knew I was a survivor. Once the box was open, everything came gushing out.” The Germans occupied the front of her grandparents’ dried fruit store and the family was living upstairs. Her father went to see if there was more room at his parents’ house, but he never returned. At the time, 15,000 able-bodied men and women were deported on the eve of Shavuot, the Jewish holiday marking the giving of the Torah to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai and as the harvest of the wheat. Her father and grandparents were Hassidim, Hebrew for “pious ones” belonging to a special movement within Orthodox Judaism. For this group, sacred traditions were accompanied by expressions of joy and faith through ecstatic prayer, song and dance. The wheat harvest had special significance for Derby’s family because her grandfather was trusted to receive the delivery and distribution of flour for matzah. “My mother talked about how they cleared off the dining room table, put a white cloth on it and spilled the flour out. My mother
Eva Rosenberg Derby
was a child at the time. She and her siblings would wash all the chametz off their hands and separate the dark flecks. The whitest flecks, that flour would be used for the Seder. That’s all gone,” Derby said, momentarily grieving the loss of this tradition. After arriving in the U.S., she said her and her mother, Julia Weinberger Rosenberg Judd, had never spoken about the Holocaust, but, in 1988, over the period of two days in March, she told Derby everything she remembered. By July, her mother succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 78 but Derby retells her story.
In 1940, Julia was deported to Sered, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia patrolled by Slovakian guards. Her brothers bribed the guards to “look the other way” and she walked out of the camp to her home. At the time, both single men and single women were being targeted for deportation to camps. When she returned she needed to get married and Alex Rosenberg, although not her first choice, was the one her dowry could afford. She was one of six children who survived. Only one of Alex’s seven siblings, Samuel, survived by hiding his family in a cave. “No aunts, no uncles. no grandparents. Nobody survived,” said Derby tearfully. She knows the birthdates and names of family members only because of the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The ITS, the largest collection of archives and historical records with 30 million documents, only recently became accessible for public research through the efforts of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the International Red Cross. This has become a valuable resource for survivors searching for any information on their lost family members. After Derby was born, Julia got false papers from the local priest that said she converted to Christianity, back-dated to 1937 – the last year Germany considered valid – and all conversions in Hidden child Continues on page 28
22 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
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Above left, Students look at photographs from the HRC Legacy Exhibit. Above right, A suitcase exhibit displays items from a Jewish family.
Happy Passover! Above left, Marcel Guindine tells his story. Above right, Students from across the Lehigh Valley participate in Strive.
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Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Passover from your friends at Provident Bank.
Continues from page 1
and bigotry. A collection of over 1,000 books, visual and audio media, curricula, artifacts and art dealing with the subject of the Holocaust and the times and circumstances around it, as well as books and curricula dealing with antiSemitism, hate crimes, genocide and overcoming oppression are available to the public. The students were there as part of Strive, a Lehigh Valley nonprofit that seeks to encourage underprivileged high schoolers to stay in school and helps them to plan their post-high school educational and career goals. The HRC has been taking its Legacy Exhibit into area schools for years, but this was the first time the vast majority of the students at the program had ever interacted with artifacts from the Holocaust. Spark detailed the story of the Holocaust through objects like passports and newspapers from the time period, detailing the escalation of the persecution of the Jews from World War I through World War II. That evening was also the first time that many of them had ever met a Holocaust survivor. Marcel Guindine told the story of his childhood in Nazi-occupied France. Guindine’s father, a French soldier, was away for the entirety of the war, and his grandparents abandoned his mother in Paris once the Nazis invaded. Guindine’s mother managed to hide her son and protect him through incredible self-sacrifice,
remarkable courage, and plain luck. “I was incredibly lucky to survive,” Guindine said. “We had many close calls, but each time, we were somehow spared.” Eventually, Guindine’s mother was forced to give her child up to the Red Cross, claiming he was an orphan in order to get him out of the city and into safety. Guindine spent nearly a year living with a French family in a small village, where he was welcomed with open arms and enjoyed the benefits of living with a family of French bakers. Meanwhile, his mother was taken to a labor camp. After the liberation, Guindine’s mother moved heaven and earth to relocate her son. Seventy years later, he teared up as he remembered the moment she found him again, admitting he had all but forgotten her, but she had never stopped thinking of him. The students were able to ask Guindine questions, asking him about his life in America and how he felt about the events he lived through. Afterward, the students were able to interact with exhibit artifacts, including letters, photographs and personal belongings of Holocaust victims and survivors. Jousette Cruz, a student at William Allen High School, was moved by the experience. “It was enlightening,” Cruz said. “I found myself picturing the stories he was telling. You hear a lot stories
about the Holocaust, see a lot of movies and read a lot of books, but it’s different when you’re face-to-face with someone telling their own story. I will definitely be more sensitive to the subject now, knowing what Marcel has been through.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 23
KI honors Cantor Jenn and Matan Peled
By Michele Salomon Congregation Keneseth Israel It’s been a busy five years for Cantor Jenn and Matan Peled. When they arrived in the Lehigh Valley five years ago there were a lot of beginnings – a
new place to live, a new temple and job for Cantor Jenn and a new school for Matan as he had just begun his rabbinic training. Five years later, they have grown personally, professionally and spiritually. They are leaving the Lehigh
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Valley as a family of four, as an even more well-rounded cantor, a soon-tobe newly minted rabbi and with two rambunctious almost three-year olds, Noam and Shai. Jenn and Matan remark on the support, warmth, friendship, love and feeling of family they have felt from the community since the day they arrived. Through several moves, a demanding school and study schedule for Matan, the birth of their sons, the transition from young couple to busy family, and Jenn’s day job, they both commented that the community has always been there for them and it’s something for which they are forever grateful. Matan thought he’d encounter a big city mentality – perhaps with less friendliness and somewhat colder air – instead he found warmth, friendship and support. Matan loves this community and speaks of it with great pride. “People feel comfortable enough to be different with each other,” he said, a quality he felt was indicative of a strong community. He went on to say that “the community reminds me of everything that is good on a kibbutz. More than tolerance,“ he said, “our community has a place for everyone.” Jenn speaks of “the safe space” that has been created at KI and her joy in knowing that congregants feel comfortable joining her on the bimah as they sing with their whole
hearts. Always one to enjoy active and participatory congregants, she said “it warms my heart to see that those sitting out in the congregation can enjoy these moments as leading worship is not a performance – rather it’s making our texts come to life.” As KI slowly comes to grips with the need to say goodbye, the congregation is equally delighted to honor Cantor Jenn and Matan at the annual Gala in May. They were surprised and overjoyed to be this year’s honorees. And what a perfect way to send them off than with an evening of delicious food and musical entertainment with internationally renowned Israeli cabaret singer Hadar. Personally, Cantor Jenn and Matan’s next step will bring them back to Florida where they will be surrounded by family and where their boys can continue growing up with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents nearby. Professionally, they will be bringing their love of Judaism with them and looking for ways to make Judaism relevant and meaningful in their new community. Join Congregation Keneseth Israel on Saturday, May 21, as we bid farewell and share a final opportunity to show our appreciation for all they have brought to KI and the entire Jewish community. For more information or to buy tickets please contact the KI office at 610-435-9074.
Muhlenberg College Hillel sponsors breast health empowerment event By Rabbi Melissa Simon Muhlenberg College Hillel Director Muhlenberg Hillel is co-sponsoring the first in a series of presentations on breast health empowerment with Komen Philadelphia. The series, “Yasher Koach: Strength & Unity for Young Jewish Men & Women,” brings together our community to learn about breast cancer early detection and risk, develop tools for helping ourselves and loved ones fight back, get involved in advancing the breast cancer movement and form a peer support community that instills confidence in our ability to live full lives despite the existence of the disease in our world. The first presentation on April 7 includes a professional panel focusing on breast health for our generation as well as the Jewish population. The panel is headed by Ari D. Brooks, MD, chief of endocrine and oncology surgery and director of the Integrated Breast Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, who will present
“Breast Cancer Treatment and Over-Treatment Controversies” and "New Guidelines and Approaches to Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Screening.” Other topics will include BRCA1 and BRCA2 in men, new testing guidelines, genetic risks and breast density, tomosythesis and the role of ultrasound and MRI for high risk screening, traditional treatments and new controversies. The event will conclude with questions. Women and men are encouraged to attend. The knowledge we gain in just a few hours can translate into life-enriching, livesaving power for ourselves, the women we love and our generations to follow. The event will take place on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Muhlenberg College Hillel and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rabbi Melissa Simon, Hillel director and Jewish chaplain, at msimon@ muhlenberg.edu.
Scholarship program assists Jewish students with college costs By Lorrie Scherline Congregation Sons of Israel
KI religious school students explore Jewish roots
Congregation Sons of Israel is currently accepting applications for college scholarships. The Frank and Ada Segel Family Student Scholarship Program was established through a philanthropic bequest by Frank and Ada Segel’s daughter, Helen Segel. Miss Segel recognized the importance of higher education and the need for financial assistance to students in the Jewish community. Frank and Ada Segel were members and friends of Congregation Sons of Israel, and Miss Segel wanted to honor her parents with this wonderful
act of tzedakah. Jewish students of the Lehigh Valley who have been accepted or are currently attending college are encouraged to apply for the scholarship, which is meant for those who can demonstrate financial need. The Frank and Ada Segel family student scholarship program committee will decide who will receive the scholarship, which can be awarded on an annual basis for up to $5,000. Applications should be submitted by May 27, 2016. Please call Congregation Sons of Israel at 610-433-6089 for more information and to obtain an application.
Religioius school students from Congregation Keneseth Israel, together with a confirmation class from Temple Judea in Doylestown, during their joint New York City Jewish roots trip. The students learned about the journeys their ancestors went on 3/23/2016 11:09:03 AM to come 2016gala3_edited.pdf to the United1 States.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 25
Hillel students to be honored on April 3
PJ Library Family of the Month:
THE GOLDSMITHS We love PJ library! The books are great for sparking discussions about Jewish holidays and values. Noah and Eva love getting mail addressed to them and count their PJ Library books among some of their favorites. We play the CDs while getting ready for Shabbat, on long car rides, and all week long. - ANDREA GOLDSMITH
To learn more about PJ Library and register to receive free Jewish-themed books for children from 6 months through 8 years, visit www.pjlibrary.org.
By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor
schoolers with Congregation Am Haskalah.
Join the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley in honoring the recipients of the 2016 Levy Hillel Leadership Award. The Levy Hillel Award recognizes young leaders in the Lehigh Valley’s Hillel chapters. The award was founded by Mort and Myra Levy through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the community’s endowment fund of the Jewish Federation. The program and brunch will be held on April 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center in Allentown and are open to the public.
ASHLEY STEINBERG Ashley Steinberg is a sophomore at Moravian College majoring in nursing. She has volunteered at Grandview Hospital for the past year and is close to completing 100 hours of volunteer work there. A talented musician, she is part of the Moravian College Orchestra and Wind Ensemble where she plays the viola and bassoon respectively. Steinberg has been president of Moravian College Hillel since the fall of 2015.
JULIE KOENIGSBERG Julie Koenigsberg is a junior at Muhlenberg College majoring in psychology and minoring in English. She has volunteered for several Alternative Break programs in Israel, where she helped repair a traffic circle in Be’er Sheva and helped build a playground for school children in Meitar. She has also served as a camp counselor at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and taught Hebrew to middle
MIRIAM SWARTZ Miriam Swartz is a sophomore at Lafayette College majoring in anthropology and minoring in art. She has been an admissions ambassador at Lafayette since her freshman year, leading tours and serving as a contact between prospective students and the admisssions office. As president of Lafayette Hillel, Swartz has sat on the college’s interfaith council and oversess college-wide events for major Jewish holidays. Swartz is also the
chair of chapter/alumni correspondence at the Tri Delta Sorority. ALLON VITENSON Allon Vitenson is a junior at Lehigh University majoring in accounting and business information systems and minoring in French. He has served as the treasurer of the Alpha Episilon Pi fraternity since 2014, and has been the vice president of community engagement at Lehigh Hillel for the past two years, creating relationships with campus organizations and helping to execute events and activites. He is the president of the Friends of Israel Club and has planned pro-Israel and multilingual events on the Lehigh campus.
JFS offers scholarships to Jewish high school students By Debbie Zoller JFS Executive Director Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley is offering two scholarships to Jewish high school students in the Lehigh Valley. Both the Gaines Family Foundation Prize in Engineering and Martin Philip Memorial Scholarship were founded in order to help students with the costs of attending college. The Gaines FamPast JFS President Patty Glascom with David ily Foundation Prize Zahn and Ben Zager, recipients of last year's in Engineering is scholarships. awarded to a Jewish high school student who has demonstrated the potential for success in engineering. The scholarship covers up to $5,000 per year for students enrolling in a college engineering program in the fall of 2016. The Martin Phillip Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Jewish high school student who has been an active member of his or her community, whether that be through community service and/ or school activities. The scholarship covers $1,000 toward post high school educational expenses. Applications must be received by April 24. If you would like to learn more about either of these scholarships or how to apply, visit jfslv.org/scholarships or call JFS at 610-821-8722. 26 APRIL 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Jewish teens speak about their AZA experiences By Ben Wiener Allentown AZA The Allentown chapter of Aleph Zadik Aleph has served countless Jewish teens of every age and from many different backgrounds. Several Alephs from different grades and schools spoke about their general AZA experience and gave some advice to anyone considering joining AZA. Isaiah is a 9th grade student at William Allen High School, Kyle is a 12th grade student at The Perkiomen School, and Ian is a 12th grade student at Parkland High school. When did you join AZA? Isaiah: I joined AZA in 8th grade. Kyle: 8th grade. Ian: I joined AZA my 8th grade year. Do you think being a member of AZA helped in your transition to high school? Isaiah: AZA has definitely helped in my transition to high school. As someone who doesn’t have many other people from the chapter in my school, AZA provided me with another group of people outside of school who I was already comfortable with. When I was meeting new people in high school, I was still able to attend meetings and events and hang out with my friends in AZA and it didn’t have to be connected to academics or school. Kyle: Yes, it helped set a foundation which made transitioning to high school easier. Not only did it give me friends in my grade, but in older grades. Ian: AZA helped my transition to high school immensely; it gave me many upperclassmen friends and insight to make my time in high school easier. What is your favorite part of AZA? Isaiah: My favorite part of AZA are overnight events. Along with having a ton of fun programming, you also get to spend time with other alephs from the chapter and get to know them better. There’s always something new at an overnight event, but at the same time we have traditions like Havdalah that make every event really fun. Kyle: My favorite part of AZA is the camaraderie you have with your fellow Alephs. You meet lifelong friends that will stick with you through everything. I attribute my closest friendships to BBYO. Ian: My favorite part of AZA are the bonds you make with the guys in your chapter and region, ones that are honestly none like I have made in my years of high school. What is your favorite part of our bi-weekly meetings? Isaiah: My favorite part of meetings is how fun they are. I try to go to meetings as much as possible because they make the week fun, even if I have a ton of homework or activities. Kyle: The ability to be yourself and have a fun relaxing time after your busy day of school.
Ian: My favorite part of meetings are definitely just being able to hangout and be around the other guys in the chapter for a night and being able to go to Applebee’s after. Which convention is/was your favorite? Isaiah: My favorite convention was Tournies. It’s the biggest convention of the year, so you get to meet a ton of new people from other chapters, and there are so many things to do during the weekend. The competitive atmosphere is really fun and it makes your chapter into more of a team. Kyle: Tournies. It encompasses what BBYO is, it brings everyone together to do their best, and shows the disciplines that people are interested in whether that be art, debate or sports. It shows you a side of people you may not get to know at other events. Ian: My favorite convention is definitely Tournies. It’s a huge event of several competitions ranging from spots to music to board games which we happen to have won the past seven years. Have you been to International Convention (IC)? If yes, what did you think? If no, do you want to? Isaiah: I have not been to IC, and I don’t see myself going in the future. While I’m interested in going to a convention that big with people from all over the world, I prefer regional and chapter events more. Kyle: Yes I have been. It is one of the best experiences you can go on. You meet people from all over the place and have an allaround fun time. This year I created an initiative that may get funded to help spread resources about genocide in schools. We thought it was an area that needs more attention. Overall IC is an amazing convention and I highly recommend going. Ian: I have. IC brings out this amazing feeling of being able to be around over 2,000 Jewish teens who share the same values as you. That is really shown in that special moment when we all sing “Haktikva” at opening ceremonies
and be welcomed by the chapter. AZA is really all about your personal experience, so you can be really involved and go to all the conventions or go to a chapter event every couple of months and either way you will still have so much fun. Kyle: Do it, there is no risk in joining. You will meet new people. Everyone is welcoming. Ian: You’ll never know until you really try, it’s an amazing experience and is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so why not bother trying it? What would you say to someone considering attending a regional convention? Isaiah: I would definitely recommend going to a regional convention. They have a lot of cool programs and it makes you realize that BBYO is something that’s bigger than just your chapter. Kyle: Your first convention might not be a blast, it may take time to appreciate it, but when you finally get to that point it is the most amazing thing in the world. You will be as comfortable as being home. You will speak to so many people and have memories for years to come that others won't have. If you don't attend you will have serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)! Ian: More friends, more fun, more AZA, what could be bad? The next Regional Convention is WOW, from April 15-17. Chapter meetings are every other Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center. For more information, please contact Allentown AZA at email@example.com.
What was your favorite part of our most recent event, Allentown Inductions (AIT)? Isaiah: At my first AIT, I enjoyed learning about what AZA was and meeting older alephs from the chapter. This year, I liked getting to know the new eighth graders who had just joined AZA. Kyle: I did not attend AIT this year, but I have always had a fun time there in the past. Ian: My favorite part of AIT night was watching all the new members being inducted. As a senior it’s nice to know Allentown AZA will continue to grow and be strong with a new generation of Alephs. What would you say to someone considering joining AZA? Isaiah: I would say that everyone who is able to should go to AZA events. Even if you are busy, you can still go to events HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2016 27
Hidden child Continues from page 22 subsequent years were considered null and void. Eva was baptized at birth in 1942 and her mother raised her alone with only the protection of her false papers and the priest, to whom she paid a monthly sum. In 1944, there were further deportations as the Germans invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia and the priest denounced them. In September, they were deported. Her grandparents were transported on the last train to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Eva and her mother went to a holding camp in Nitra and then to Theresienstadt, in Terezín, Czechoslovakia. “On the train, my mother held me between her legs so that I wouldn’t get crushed,” she said. She explained that those who had forewarning of imminent deportation would make a dry paste from flour, butter, eggs, salt, whatever they had in the house and hide it in the children’s clothes to have something to eat on the train. When they arrived at Theresienstadt, they traded their koruna, or Czech crowns, for the “monopoly money” the S.S. forced incoming deportees to substitute for currency within the camp. Instead of going to the camp, though, Derby and her mother were pulled from the line by an S.S. officer. “I was really cute, I was 4 and the
officer had, and I don’t think it was out of the goodness of his heart, took my mother and myself to be a maid and a playmate because his daughter and I were the same age,” she said. They lived in the officer’s barracks, separated from the rest of the camp by a vast green field. In 1945, the Russians liberated the camp, which Derby characterized as a “nightmare.” “The Germans just ran. They even tried to change clothing with the prisoners. The officer and his family just ran,” said Derby. “I am sure horrible things happened to my mother because it was the Russians that liberated us. The Russians would rape the women and give children candy bars.” They walked home and from 1946-47, her mother worked as a maid for two brothers, living in the home next door with another daughter and mother. Derby characterized this as the happiest of times because she had three playmates. Each day, her mother went to the train station to see if her father would get off of the train. Only Samuel returned from his self-inflicted cave exile with his wife, Irene, and son, Ivan, who later renamed himself David. Derby and her mother went to live with Samuel, but it was a difficult time for single women with children. They were considered a burden and a liability. By Jewish law, these agunot could not remarry and remained “chained” to their husbands who had not returned, and their children were considered
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orphans. Derby was not able to go into David’s room or even play with his toys because of this. In 1946, the Rabbinic Courts convened so that widows could state their case and Julia was eventually free to remarry. Julia was remarried to Samuel Judd, who had been widowed by the death of Eva’s great aunt, Fannie. Although there were two generations that separated them in age, they married and Julia moved to the U.S. in 1948, leaving Derby behind with her great aunt, Saddie, until she was summoned three months later to fly to America. “Sam Judd was such a good man that Fannie committed suicide,” Derby said. “I don’t remember anything about Sam Judd other than he came to Europe, married my mother and took her to America, but for some reason – either he didn’t want to or couldn’t – he didn’t take me.” They lived in a Manhattan tenement and her mother was more of a servant than a wife. Eva explained that it was not a particularly happy household and there were many rules, which included keeping children quiet. The marriage to Judd was more of one of convenience and when he died in 1954 of a heart attack, Julia chose not to marry again. “Aunt Saddie asked, ‘what will become of you now,’ and mom said, ‘don’t worry, I will take care of me and my daughter’ and she went to business school and learned basic accounting,” Derby said. “The rest is the American success story.”
Nisman case ordered to court that handles political murder trials Jewish Telegraphic Agency The investigation into the shooting death of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman must be moved to a federal court, a Buenos Aires court ruled. In Argentina, federal courts handle political murder cases. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Buenos Aires City Criminal Appeals Court was handed down on March 22. “It is plausible to give credit to the hypothesis suggested by the accusers, both public and private, to assume that the death of Alberto Natalio Nisman could also be a result of the activity of a third party,” two of the three judges wrote. On March 18, during an appeals court hearing on the case, Nisman’s ex-wife, Sandra Arroyo Salgado, a former federal judge, cried when she said Nisman’s death “was the most serious institutional event to affect Argentina since the return of democracy.” One of Salgado’s lawyers, Manuel Romero Victorica, read aloud the threats emailed to Nisman in the weeks before his death. “We will make true our promise to kill you and your family, but before that, we will make you look like s--- in public and in the media,” one message said. “We’ve already managed to separate you from the AMIA case and we’ve gotten Argentina a deal with Iran without you.” An attorney for Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel, asked the court to send the Nisman case to the federal court. “Nisman was assassinated so as to impede the progress of his work on behalf of the state,” Pablo Lanusse said. “This case is screaming for a transfer to the federal courts because it must be recognized that Nisman was murdered.” Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment in January 2015 hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the AMIA Jewish center bombing, which left 85 dead and hundreds wounded. No official cause of death has been given. Earlier in March, a city court judge declared herself “unfit” to continue with the case and ordered the venue of the case changed to a federal court 10 hours after a former Argentine spymaster accused the Kirchner government of being responsible for Nisman’s death. The ruling by Fabiana Palmaghini was challenged by the lawyer who represents IT expert Diego Lagomarsino, an employee in the Buenos Aires prosecutor’s office who acknowledged that he had lent a “very old” .22 caliber pistol to Nisman, which was used in his death. In late February, Ricardo Saenz, the attorney general for Argentina’s Criminal Appeals Court, wrote in a letter to the appeals court judges that a federal magistrate “has the broadest jurisdiction to clarify which of all the assumptions” involving Nisman’s death is accurate. A lottery will determine which federal judge will hear the case.
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Emergency service personnel inspect the area following a suicide bombing in central Istanbul on March 19.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency Three Israelis were killed and 11 injured in a suicide bombing at a main shopping center in Istanbul. A total of five people, including the bomber, were killed and 36 injured in the blast on the pedestrian boulevard on March 19. Turkish officials identified another of the people killed as an Iranian national. In televised comments after an emergency meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials were investigating if Israelis had been targeted in the bombing, and said intelligence pointed to it being an Islamic State attack. The Israeli victims were part of a 14-member tour group, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Turkish officials identified the four victims of a terrorist attack in Turkey as three Israelis aged 40 to 70 and a 31-year-old Iranian. The suicide bomber was identified by Turkish media as Savaz Yildiz, 33, from the Turkish city of Adana. He was reportedly known to Turkish authorities. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. The explosion rocked
Istiklal Avenue in the heart of the Turkish city, a wide pedestrian boulevard with a historic tram running down the middle and lined with international stores and foreign consulates. Police sealed off the street after the attack and ambulances carried the injured away. A CCTV camera captured the blast, and the footage was posted online by the private Dogan news agency.A wounded Israeli, Naami Peled, spoke to Hebrew-language media from the hospital after the attack. Israeli tour guide David Cailfa, who was leading the group of 14 Israelis around Turkey, confirmed on social media that he had also been hurt. “To all those dear people who are worried, I am sorry that I cannot answer you,” Califa wrote in Hebrew on Facebook. “Naama and I are lightly wounded and being treated. The rest of the group members are dispersed among four hospitals. Please pray with us for their wellbeing.” A spokesman for the Joint Arab List said that six Israeli Arabs were wounded in the attack. Turkish sources told Haaretz that Israeli Arabs were among the wounded. A Magen David Adom
emergency service delegation was dispatched to Istanbul to bring the wounded home. Members of the Israeli consulate in Ankara visited the wounded Israelis, who were being treated at five different hospitals. Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, who was in the United States for the annual AIPAC conference, left early to travel to Istanbul in coordination with the Turkish government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to ask Turkey to condemn a tweet by a senior official in its ruling party, who reportedly expressed hope that the Israelis hurt in the attack would die. She has reportedly been fired. The explosion comes after two recent suicide bombings in the capital, Ankara, which killed a total of 66 people. Thirty-seven people were killed and 125 wounded on March 13 in a suicide car bombing in Ankara. On Feb. 17, a car bomb attack in central Ankara killed 29 people. PKK militants claimed responsibility for both attacks. Islamic State was blamed for a suicide bombing in Istanbul in January that killed 12 German tourists.
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