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The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community

www.jewishlehighvalley.org

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Issue No. 408

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April 2018

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Nisan/Iyyar 5778

AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977

Revisit our community’s involvement at AIPAC p7

Find wacky costumes and Purim fun p12-13

COM.UNITY WITH MARK GOLDSTEIN p2 LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p15 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p18-19 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p20 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p30-31

Israel @70: Leaving home during War of Independence By Rina Keren Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: The following is a story from grandmother Rina Keren from Kfar Menachem in the Yoav region of Israel, telling her story as a child during the War of Independence in 1948 to her grandson Ron. Keren told her story as part of a series where grandparents share their childhood experiences with their grandchildren in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. It was the time before the War of Independence broke. Kibbutz Kfar Menachem was under siege; no one came or left without military escort. Kfar Menachem was surrounded by seven Arab villages. Before the war, we had good relationships with the people of those villages, but when the war began,

Kfar Menachem, like other communities in the area, began to protect the kibbutz, building trenches, bunkers and sand-bag barricades. The few weapons that we had were distributed among the kibbutz members. As a child, I could feel the tension in the air. I had many concerns and fears. I didn’t completely understand what was happening and the real meaning of war. When the war began to come closer to our kibbutz, there were talks with the army until in the end it was decided to evacuate all the children to the Hadar Moshava in the area of Hod Hasharon. We began to pack our belongings in boxes. Every child packed their own clothes. I remember the silence around, derived from the fear of the unknown. The evacuation day was

scheduled for May 19, 1948. At noon, three armed vehicles arrived, and when night fell, all the children, accompanied by our teachers, climbed on these vehicles. Of course most kids left without their parents, and older siblings took care of the little ones. I was lucky that my mother did come with us, along with my baby brother Yehuda. I remember that during the ride,

we were asked to keep quiet. Everyone withdrew into oneself. One of my friends later told me that she was so scared during the ride, that she held her brother near the window, so if there was gunfire, he would be a human shield for her.

We arrived to the safe haven of the Hadar Moshava, surrounded by citrus orchids. The locals greeted us with open arms.

Leaving home Continues on page 3, Israel @70 section

Holocaust commemoration to explore impact on Israeli society

By Shari Spark Holocaust Resource Center Coordinator The Holocaust and its impact are woven into the fabric of

Israeli identity. Even before the state was established, nearly 90 percent of the Jews living in Palestine had lost a near relative to murder by the Nazis. After World War II, thousands of survivors in Palestine fought during Israel’s War of Independence, with 50 percent of soldiers being survivors. Statistics from 1960 show that 25 percent of the Israeli population were survivors of the Holocaust. And yet, the memory and significance of the Holocaust was not established formally in Israel until the 1960s with the Eichmann trial. The trial of the Nazi war criminal, which Non-Profit Organization

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included testimonies of Holocaust survivors, gained international interest and prompted a new openness in Israel, as more Holocaust survivors began sharing their stories. Israel society continues to deal with the question of how to find meaning in its collective memory, education system, political and social life. With Israel’s 70th birthday approaching, Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day – this year will explore the subject of “The Holocaust and Israeli Society.” The community observance on Wednesday, April 11, will feature keynote speaker

and scholar-in-residence Dr. Rachel Korazim. Dr. Korazim will explore the development of the Holocaust narrative in Israel from the early days still under British Mandate, all the way to recent years. Through individual testimonies, Dr. Korazim will evaluate ideological and political points of view to create a combined image of our quest for meaning. Dr. Korazim’s visit will continue on April 12 with a breakfast learning session, “Six Million Prosecutors,” a review of the impact of the Eichmann trial and the crucial changes that occurred in Holocaust

Lehigh Valley celebrates Israel @70! CHECK OUT OUR SPECIAL SECTION FOR UPCOMING EVENTS AND STORIES CELEBRATING ISRAEL'S PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.

narrative in the wake of this seminal event. During her stay in the Lehigh Valley, Korazim will also meet with teens, teachers and public school students to address even more aspects of learning and teaching the Holocaust. The community program on Wednesday, April 11, will begin at 7 p.m. at the JCC, with a reading of names at 6 p.m. The breakfast and learn on Thursday, April 12, will begin at 9:30 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/events.


com.UNITY

FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN

Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley markg@jflv.org

Reflections on 70 There are many associations for the number 70 in Jewish tradition: Genesis states that there were 70 descendants of Noah who made up the nations of the world. Seventy descendants of Jacob went to Egypt to begin the exile. Moses assembled 70 elders in the desert on God’s command. There were 70 men in the Great Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Ancient Israel. Jerusalem is said to have 70 names in the Bible and in post-Biblical literature. In Psalms three score and 10 (70) years are allotted for life, and the Mishnah attributes strength to the age of 70, as one who survives that age is described by the verse as “the strong.” King David lived for 70 years and the exile to Babylonia lasted for 70 years. A classic rabbinic expression, shiv‘im panim laTorah, refers to “70 faces to the Torah.” I have even heard that there are 70 words in the Kiddush, but I have not counted. This year the number 70 gets the association to the seven decades since the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948. Since 1948, the population has increased tenfold. Immigration from Europe, Africa, Asia and more has turned the country into a multicultural society with diverse people and traditions,

creating a new country and a vibrant (albeit, at times, challenging) democracy. Small towns have become developed cities; dirt roads have become highways. TV channels and radio stations have grown from but a few to dozens of options. Wonder Woman is an Israeli, and Israeli television shows and themes are becoming one of the most important new exports. Over the years, Israel’s economy has developed from a small, closed economy to a large, developed economy that uses modern methods and advanced technologies for manufacturing. Manufacturing in Israel has evolved from small establishments that engaged primarily in processing agricultural products or clothing to high tech production. And I could go on. There will be lots of opportunities to support Israel @70 in the Lehigh Valley. Check out the pages of this issue of HAKOL and the dedicated Israel @70 webpage, www.jewishlehighvalley.org/israelat70. I do want to call your attention to the local screening of “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” on April 18. The film is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food. The feature-length

documentary puts a face on the culture of Israel, profiling chefs, home cooks, vintners, and cheese-makers drawn from the more than 100 cultures that make up Israel today – Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze. The evening will include a tasting of Israeli delicacies. Contact the Jewish Federation to make reservations. The next day the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration continues at Allentown City Hall at noon for the raising of the Israeli flag and the presentation of proclamations from the mayors of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Later in the afternoon and evening the celebration moves back to the JCC for special children, family and adult activities, including an Israeli shuk of shopping and food. And plan to join us in Israel, departing on Dec. 2, for a journey of discovery in Israel. This unique experience will include special track programming of interest to both first-timers and those who have previously visited Israel. I have been a bit uncomfortable about the upcoming Israel at 70, or the previous iterations. Birthdays are celebrated on a single day. One of my children once asked why we celebrated

Thinking about Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday brings me back to my recent Birthright trip. As part of the trip, my cohort volunteered at a small business in Ramat Gan where people with disabilities worked. When we arrived, one of the volunteer coordinators asked if anyone spoke Hebrew. When I said I did, she introduced me to Moshe, who only spoke Hebrew. As I helped him with his work, he started telling me about himself, and then asking me difficult questions. He explained to me that he had fought in Israel’s war for independence in 1948 as well as the Six-Day War. He was proud of

his children’s army service, and regretted having to stop his own after he was injured in combat. He then turned to me, asking me what I was doing in Israel. I told him that I was on Birthright, but it was obvious he was looking for more. “You cannot stop here,” he told me several times. “You have to fight for Israel.” He asked me repeatedly why my first response was not to get involved from overseas in some way, and when I would return. I have never met anyone with such fierce devotion to his country. I became inspired by his words, and he urged me to take action as soon as I got home. Young people like me were the future of Israel, he said, whether we lived there or in the U.S.

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 MEMORY GISELE (Sister of Odette Amouyal) Fred and Barbara Sussman GEORGES (Brother of Odette Amouyal) Fred and Barbara Sussman WILLIAM FREEMAN (Husband of Nancy Freeman) Elaine Lerner HAROLD GLANTZ (Father of Margie Strauss) Partnership2Gether Committee (Father of Miriam Zager) Partnership2Gether Committee

MARVIN KUSHNICK (Father of Howard Kushnick) Roberto and Eileen Fischmann The JWRP Allentown Sisters Stefanie and Darren Traub The Zighelboim Family ALBERT RETTIG (Husband of Edna Rettig) Jeff and Jill Blinder REBA SCOBLIONKO (Mother of Mark Scoblionko) Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein Roberto and Eileen Fischmann Barnet and Lisa Fraenkel MARSHALL SILVERSTEIN (Husband of Nina Silverstein) Fred and Barbara Sussman MALY ZIGHELBOIM (Aunt of Israel Zighelboim) Roberto and Eileen Fischmann Stefanie and Darren Traub

TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 APRIL 2018 | 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.

COMMUNITY SUBMISSIONS

Phone: (610) 821-5500 Fax: (610) 821-8946 E-mail: hakol@jflv.org

MICHELLE COHEN Editor ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE MCKEE Advertising Representative TEL: 610-515-1391 hakolads@jflv.org

JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN Executive Director JERI ZIMMERMAN Assistant Executive Director TEMPLE COLDREN Director of Finance & Administration JIM MUETH Director of Planned Giving & Endowments AARON GORODZINSKY Director of Outreach & Community Relations EVA LEVITT JFLV President

EDITORIAL BOARD Monica Friess, Acting Chair Barbara Reisner Judith Rodwin Sara Vigneri

Member American Jewish Press Association

Shalom, Michelle Cohen

JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY IN HONOR BARNET AND LISA FRAENKEL Birth of their grandson, Elliott Roberto and Eileen Fischmann

STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN JFLV Director of Marketing

MAIL, FAX, OR E-MAIL TO: JFLV ATTN: HAKOL 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104

At this special time in Israel’s chronology, it’s important for us to take inspiration from people like Moshe and find our way to help Israel in its 70th year and beyond.

Israel is a remarkable country. To be sure, she is not perfect; just read any number of Israeli newspapers each trying to serve as her guiding conscience to the meaning of a Jewish state. As Israel turns 70, may she grow and mature from strength to strength. And may we find the strength in our minds and hearts to support and celebrate Israel on her birthday, and every day.

HAKOL STAFF

Submissions to HAKOL must be of interest to the entire Jewish community. HAKOL reserves all editorial rights including, but not limited to, the decision to print any submitted materials, the editing of submissions to conform to style and length requirements, and the placement of any printed material. Articles should be submitted by e-mail or presented as typed copy; “Community Calendar” listings must be submitted by e-mail to hakol@jflv.org or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. Please include your name and a daytime telephone number where you can be contacted in the event questions arise. We cannot guarantee publication or placement of submissions.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers,

their birthday on a single day when they will be that age for the entire year! But Israel is a modern miracle and its accomplishments are nothing short of miraculous. Celebrating its existence deserves more than a single birthday celebration each year. So we will celebrate Israel’s 70th year for much longer than a single day. Programs and events have already occurred. Recently, for instance, Congregation Keneseth Israel and Temple Beth El collaborated on their scholar in residence program exploring complex issues of Israel-Diaspora relations. And many more programs are being planned. Let’s all find ways to celebrate Israel @70 throughout the year. Of the many references to 70 in Jewish tradition, I can’t help but wonder if the phrase from the Mishnah about the “strength” of one who survives the age of 70 can also relate to Israel and our relationship with Israel. At 70,

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

JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT

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


Yemeni refugee to share inspirational story at Bethlehem Shabbat service By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor

U.S. State Department until he received another call in October 2015 that some of his siblings were on a plane to Jordan. Now enrolled in Yeshiva University, Dahari flew to Jordan only to find no one there once again – but this time, the story would not end in disappointment. The plane was re-routed and four of his siblings made it to Israel. In March 2016, after another series of false alarms, his parents and younger siblings were able to immigrate as well. They even brought a family heirloom – a 600-year-old Torah scroll. Dahari, who now studies marketing and political science at Yeshiva University, will be sharing his story at Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem this May, speaking during Shabbat services. The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and all are welcome to attend and learn more details about Jewish life in Yemen and the harrowing escape stories of Dahari’s family members. The event will take place on Saturday, May 5, at Congregation Brith Sholom. Shabbat services begin at 9 a.m. Kiddush will follow. Open to everyone, no RSVP required.

Manny Dahari’s family meeting President Netanyahu after their arrival in Israel.

PHOTOS BY ARON WHITE

For Manny Dahari, his escape from Yemen was only the beginning. Born the fourth of eight children in Raida, the capital of Yemen, Dahari grew up in a devout Jewish community where most men wore a kippah and kept their side locks long. Such visible signs of their Judaism made community members targets for anti-Semitism, including from young children throwing rocks. Most children went to school in an Orthodox elementary school funded by the Satmar Chassidic sect before attending yeshiva. For Dahari, another opportunity presented itself – an opportunity that would change his and his family’s lives forever. The Satmar representative in Yemen gave Dahari the opportunity to go to yeshiva in New York for two years, an opportunity that excited him and his family. Shortly after his bar mitzvah, he moved to New York, where he began his studies. Due to language barriers and feeling ostracized from his peers, Dahari decided to drop out of yeshiva. He was

presented with a choice to go home or stay in the United States; he chose the latter, soon finding another yeshiva to enroll in. When he turned 18, he began to pursue secular education, and after completing several grades of school in the span of four months and earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Oakton Community College, he wound up at Loyola College in Skokie, Illinois. While he was in college, Dahari began to brainstorm ways to help his siblings emigrate from Yemen. He hadn’t seen them in 10 years, and he was eager to help them leave the anti-Semitic environment in Yemen. Stories emerged from his home country of his rabbi being shot and a cousin forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man, and he began working to help his siblings find a safer environment to be Jewish. He suspended his studies and became involved with the Jewish Agency for Israel in its efforts to help vulnerable Jews resettle. After a false alarm in which his siblings’ plane was unable to leave Yemen due to an ongoing war, Dahari continued his work with the Jewish Agency and the

Manny Dahari telling his family’s story.

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 3


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

Comedian ‘mother’ takes on spring event

By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor

Chelsea Karp, will feature a New Jersey mom who followed her dreams of becoming a comedian. Fox has appeared on Nickelodeon’s "Mom's Night Out” and was a winner of the 2012 Ladies of Laughter competition, host of the 2011 Lucie Awards at Lincoln Center and winner of the 2010 Gilda Radner Comedy Award. Fox spent years entertaining local families at her kids’ school bus stop before she began her comedy career. Now performing at the top clubs in New York City and surrounding areas, Fox is a “one-woman sitcom” who talks about “her 27-year marriage to Wolfie, her children, her aging parents and life in suburbia.” With opinions on “just about anything and everything,” an evening with Fox is sure to prove entertaining. As for her trip to the Lehigh Valley, Fox said, “I’m thrilled to be doing this event!” Anyone looking for a good night of relatable Jewish comedy can find it at her upcoming performance.

Join Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley for a fun night of comedy featuring Robin Fox, the “mother of all comedians!” The event, which is sponsored by Federation and coordinated by Debi Wiener and

The Women’s Philanthropy Spring Event will take place on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El. $50 couvert. Open to women who have pledged a minimum of $365 to the Jewish Federation's 2018 Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. RSVP by April 25 to 610-821-5500 or mailbox@jflv.org.

Beth Kozinn to be honored with Lion of Judah award By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Beth Kozinn, who has served as a leader in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community for 35 years, will be honored by her Lion of Judah peers this September with the Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Award. Since 2004, the KWF Award has honored extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism. Winners are chosen as "women of valor" with a lifetime of commitment to the Jewish world and are recognized at the biennial International Lion of Judah Conference. Eva Levitt, current Jewish Federation president, received the award in 2014. “Beth has been a fantastic leader in our community for over three decades and counting,” said Jeri Zimmerman, assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, which nominated Kozinn. “Her involvement – in her philanthropy and in her volunteering – continues to inspire others to follow in her footsteps. She is truly deserving of this award.” Born in Brooklyn and raised in Florida, Kozinn received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in early childhood development from Columbia University. She married Dr. Wesley Kozinn and they raised three children in the Lehigh Valley, who all attended the Jewish Day School. Her children and seven grandsons are her “greatest joy.” Kozinn was the proud recipient of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership in 1985. At Federation, she has served as a board member, Women’s Philanthropy president, women’s campaign co-chair and, most recently, spring event co-chair. She has mentored numerous young women. She has also enriched her community through her service as a board member of Hadassah, the Jewish Day School, Temple Beth El and Jewish Family Service. Using all the skills she developed during her years volunteering, Kozinn worked professionally for 13 years doing event coordination, fundraisers and solicitations, as well as grant writing in healthcare and education. “I feel blessed to be able to support Jewish causes and fellow Jews in need,” Kozinn said. “May we always go from strength to strength.”

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

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 4 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

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


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

Newcomers enjoy coffee and conversation

Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee Co-Chairs Rachel Shurman and Sarah Morse with Naomi Schachter.

“New-ish” Jewish women had the opportunity to engage with established community leaders on Feb. 26 at the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy’s Newcomers’ Coffee & Conversation. To get to know each other, and in the Olympic spirit, the women went around the room and described their “gold medal” qualities. They then listened to an inspiring talk from community leader and Yachad University teacher Jeanette Eichenwald. The event was presented by Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee Co-Chairs Sarah Morse and Rachel Shurman and Women’s Philanthropy President Iris Epstein and hosted by Allison Lipson. The next event for “new-ish” women will be held on May 29 at 7 p.m. at the JCC. Steve Mittman will lead the group in a “combat chaos” self defense class. Visit jewishlehighvalley.org/events for more.

Yachad University teacher Jeanette Eichenwald offers a moving talk on the importance of the next generation of Jewish life and Jewish women.

Tracy Sussman represents the JCC and Jeri Zimmerman represents the Jewish Federation.

Sheena Levi, Dina Relles and Deborah Duenyas enjoy a cup of coffee.

Above left, Amy Oselkin and Aviva Marlin. Left, Daphna Machado and Fay Kun. Above, Sarah Morse offers an introduction before the group gets to know each other. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 5


‘Fighting BDS’ program offers resource for students and parents By Aaron Gorodzinsky JFLV Director of Outreach & Community Relations On April 22, the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will bring together rising seniors and college freshmen, alongside their parents and community members, to discuss the current situation for Jewish students on college campuses across the U.S. The event will start with the screening of the documentary, "Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus,” created by the Jerusalem U institute, that showcases the worst cases of anti-Israel sentiment and antiSemitism on college campuses. Following the documentary, the group will break into two, to allow a more honest conversation between the students and community members, respectively. The rising seniors and incoming college students will have the opportunity to speak with Temple University students who are involved with their Hillel to hear about some of the work they have been doing to provide a better environment for Jewish

students on campus. Emily Walters, the president of the Hillel chapter, will be leading the student delegation. Walters has been involved in Hillel since she arrived at Temple and is deeply involved in Temple’s approach to ensuring that Jewish students thrive on campus. Parents and community members in a different room will have a chance to hear from Hillel professionals working with Hillel International that monitors the satiation at different college campuses and provides the necessary resources to college campus professionals and students on the East Coast. This is a bi-annual program hosted by the CRC to provide all the tools necessary for Jewish students moving into college to have an easy transition, and for them to know that there are resources available and how to access them. The program will take place April 22 at 4 p.m. at Muhlenberg College Hillel. The event is free and open to the community, with preference to students and parents. RSVPs are encouraged by May 15 to aaron@jflv.org or 610-821-5500 or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/events.

6 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

Yom Hazikaron ceremony to showcase ‘meaningful memories’ By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Each year, the Lehigh Valley community gathers to commemorate the lives of fallen IDF soldiers and those who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Israel. But Yom Hazikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day – can sometimes be hard to understand for Jews in the Diaspora. “For most of us in our community, who have never lost a family member or friend at war or during a terrorist attack, it is difficult to imagine the deep loss that such a tragedy leaves,” said Aaron Gorodzinsky, director of outreach and community relations for the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, which organizes the ceremony. That’s why the Federation this year, working with the Israeli community in the Lehigh Valley, chose to bring a new artistic installation by Beit Avi Chai of Jerusalem to the ceremony. The project is called “A Face. The Day. A Memorial.” and utilizes current technologies in order to transform memories from the lives of fallen IDF soldiers and those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks into animation films. It’s based on the belief that “memories are meaningful more than one day a year,” according to the project’s website. “Recognizing the importance of Yom Hazikaron in Israeli society, Beit Avi Chai identified the need to create a meaningful project that could impart personal messages and tributes in a way that speaks to all Israelis, connecting with thousands of

A still frame from an animation film designed in memory of an Israeli soldier.

people through the internet,” the website says. Chai’s videos will play a role in the Lehigh Valley’s ceremony this year. Students from the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley will also participate, sharing impressions from their correspondence with IDF soldiers. The Yom Hazikaron ceremony will take place on Tuesday, April 17, at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Services will begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by the program at 7:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the community.


Local family enjoys great first AIPAC conference

By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor After enjoying an impactful weekend at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, Fay Kun was eager to relay her experiences to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community. Kun and her husband, Michael, attended the conference for their first time this year. The conference focuses on AIPAC’s mission to “strengthen, protect and promote” Israeli-American relations, and this year’s notable guests included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Ambassador

Ron Dermer. “I’ve always wanted to go because I have a passion for Israel,” Kun said. “I know the importance of the Jewish state, and I’ve heard so many things over the years about the unbelievable camaraderie and feeling that you have when you go to AIPAC – to be surrounded by 18,000 people who have the same agenda and the same passion.” The couple attended general sessions, which were “amazing,” as well as a session about the BDS movement, a session about Israel’s international outreach efforts and several sessions about Israeli innovation and technology. They par-

ticularly enjoyed a speech from Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “She is a great friend of Israel and a powerhouse in the U.N. and it was very inspiring to hear her speak,” Kun said. Two other stories stuck out as being especially powerful. The first came from a session about Israeli global initiatives, in which a woman spoke of her project to bring irrigation and drinking water to Africa one village at a time. “It was very inspirational to hear about the impact we’re having in Africa,” Kun said. The second story came from a general session meeting about a bone marrow initiative in Israel. IDF soldiers are getting tested and becoming registered in the Bone Marrow Registry. If these soldiers are a match to patients in need of a bone marrow transplant, they can help save lives. At the convention, one Israeli donor and American recipient met in person for the first time, “which was very emotional and an amazing story,” according to Kun. Kun “absolutely” recommends other Lehigh Valley residents to consider attending next year’s AIPAC conference, which will take place in Washington, D.C., from March 24-26, 2019. As for her experience traveling with others this year, “It was really a nice experience as a community to be together with other people from the Lehigh Valley with the same feelings for Israel and the political agenda at hand.”

Lehigh Valley delegation visits Capitol Hill

Representatives from the Lehigh Valley meet with Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) during the AIPAC Policy Conference. The group, which included students, community leaders and Jewish Federation Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein, had the chance to speak with the congressman about important issues facing the Lehigh Valley community and the Jewish world.

Discount registrations for next year’s AIPAC conference are available through the Jewish Federation.

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 7


Maimonides Society hosts a journey through the mind IN HONOR

By Karen Dacey Maimonides Society Seventy people gathered in the JCC auxiliary auditorium on March 18 to hear two Maimonides Society members speak on anxiety, depression and ways to achieve mental wellness. Dr. Robert Gordon, a clinical psychologist and researcher, shared his expertise in psychoanalysis. Psychiatrists are required to take boards in three forms of psychotherapy: supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. The goals of psychodynamic psychotherapy are both symptom reduction but also the maturation of personality. Dr. Gordon illustrated by way of a video demonstra-

tion the three main interventions of psychodynamic psychotherapy. These are: the clarification of reality distortions, the confrontation of the consequences of one’s behaviors and the interpretation of unconscious self-defeating patterns to increase insight and personal growth. He shared an eightminute training video of a patient insisting that her therapist tell her if he found her attractive. Instead of answering her question (which would have sabotaged the goal of therapy), the therapist was able to point out that the patient’s desire to control the therapist is an example of what is causing

Maimonides Society Continues on page 9

8 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

JESSICA COOPERMAN In honor of receiving tenure from Muhlenberg College Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald JEANETTE EICHENWALD 2018 Girl Scouts Take the Lead Honoree Merry Landis BARNET AND LISA FRAENKEL Birth of their grandson, Elliott Ross and Wendy Born Donald and Randi Senderowitz SANDRA GOLDFARB Happy ‘Special’ Birthday Iris, Jon, Harry, and Charlie Epstein Suzanne Lapiduss ELLEN AND MICHAEL GORDON Engagement of Matthew Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Ann and Gene Ginsberg CAREN LOWREY Happy ‘Special’ Birthday Tracey and Jason Billig ARTHUR AND BARBARA WEINRACH Birth of their grandson Ross and Wendy Born IN MEMORY BARRY FELTINGOFF (Husband of Arlene Feltingoff) Sybil and Barry Baiman SOLOMON FRANKEL (Father of Monica Friess) Kira and Richard Bub Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Carol and Gary Fromer Harold and Sandra Goldfarb

Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark Beth and Wes Kozinn Tama and Frank Tamarkin Vicki Wax Israel and Valeska Zighelboim HAROLD GLANTZ (Father of Margie Strauss) Ross and Wendy Born Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald (Father of Miriam Zager) Ross and Wendy Born Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Carol and Gary Fromer Beth and Wes Kozinn Vicki Wax MARK KENNEDY (Husband of Arlene Gorchov) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark MARVIN KUSHNICK (Father of Howard Kushnick) Ross and Wendy Born Sam and Sylvia Bub Iris and Jonathan Epstein Karl and Sara Glassman Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Robert and Tracy Grob Beth and Wes Kozinn Suzanne Lapiduss and Family Andrew and Rachel Shurman Vicki Wax SHIRLEY MARCZAK (Mother of Laurie Eisenberg) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald

MARVIN SACHS (Brother of Ruth Meislin) Donald and Randi Senderowitz REBA SCOBLIONKO (Mother of Mark Scoblionko) Leonard Abrams and Family Sybil and Barry Baiman Ross and Wendy Born Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Barbara S. Cohen Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Carol and Gary Fromer Harold and Sandra Goldfarb Ellen and Phil Hof Carole and Michael Langsam Suzanne Lapiduss Elaine Lerner Taffi Ney Elaine and Leon Papir Fred and Barbara Sussman Tama and Frank Tamarkin Vicki Wax Israel and Valeska Zighelboim (Grandmother of Nanci Bramson) Barbara S. Cohen MILTON SHEFTEL (Husband of Ronnie Sheftel) Susan and Larry Berman Shirley and Lou Furmansky Serita Silberg and Family MARSHALL SILVERSTEIN (Husband of Nina Silverstein) Ross and Wendy Born Beth and Wes Kozinn Taffi Ney ELLIOT SMITH (Father of Sheryl Block) Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Carol and Gary Fromer Harold and Sandra Goldfarb

Beth and Wes Kozinn The Rabin Family Tama and Frank Tamarkin Vicki Wax (Grandfather of Andrew Block) Tracey and Jason Billig FLORENCE STERMAN (Mother of Cheri Sterman) Mary Louise Scarf Mark and Lynne Shampain DEBBY UDELL (Mother of Jocelyn Udell) Sybil and Barry Baiman JOSEPH WEISS (Brother of Diane Silverman) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald MALY ZIGHELBOIM (Aunt of Israel Zighelboim) Ross and Wendy Born Kira and Richard Bub Iris and Jonathan Epstein Beth and Howard Kushnick Elaine and Leon Papir The Rabin Family Vicki Wax HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR ELAINE LERNER Speedy Recovery Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg IN MEMORY NATALIE COLEMAN (Mother of David Coleman) (Mother-in-Law of Stuart Rader) 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.


Levy Hillel awards to be presented on April 15 By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor Join the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley for the 26th annual celebration of the recipients of the Levy Hillel Leadership Award on April 15, 2018. This annual award is given to students from area Hillels who have demonstrated evidence of promise in community leadership through active participation in campus organizations and awareness of the needs and concerns of the Jewish community. The award was founded by Mort and Myra Levy, z”l, through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the community’s endowment fund of the Jewish Federation. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the JCC, and attendance is free and open to the community. This year, HAKOL is proud to recognize Alexis Buck, Sydney Edelson, Shira Morosohk and Samantha Rosenfield. ALEXIS BUCK Alexis Buck is a junior at Moravian College majoring in sociology with a minor in gender studies. She is in her third term of involvement at Hillel, where she currently serves as vice president. Dr. Jason Radine said, “Her tremendous energy and eagerness has been invaluable for our Hillel, as she often keeps

Maimonides Society Continues from page 8

her relationships to deteriorate. Just when the audience thought there was going to be no progress, the patient had an “ah ha” moment and her defensiveness turned to curiosity. She was able to verbalize that she doesn’t understand why she has the need to control what other people say or do. It was at this moment, Dr. Gordon explained, the use of interpretation to increase insight and personal growth could begin. Our second speaker, Stuart Horowitz, a licensed clinical social worker, spoke about stress and mindfulness. He explained that everyone has stress, that it is a normal part of life. However, what we tend to focus on is distress. It’s distress that can lead to anxiety, depression, poor food choices, poor sleep and other unhealthy manifestations. One tool that Horowitz teaches and utilizes in his own life is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the engagement of attention

Alexis Buck

Sydney Edelson

Shira Morosohk

Samantha Rosenfield

everyone going when the other members’ energy is flagging.” In addition to Hillel, Buck is a current committee member of the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee and a council member of the Interfaith Council.

global social issues.

events, but she leads services on almost every Shabbat, reaches out to new students and always makes herself available to Hillel staff and students.” She is also active in her sorority.

lel and is now serving as the Muhlenberg Hillel’s Presidential Assistant. In this role, she works 20 hours a week to support programs and engagement, including managing Shabbat programs, while taking classes. Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz said, “It is difficult to manage the dual roles of staff and student. Samantha has managed these dual roles with grace and tact and is a trusted and respected colleague and friend among both staff and peers.”

SYDNEY EDELSON Sydney Edelson is a junior at Lafayette College majoring in psychology with a minor in philosophy. She has been involved with Hillel since spring 2016 and has served as the vice president of social action and social action chair. Hillel Co-Director Dr. Robert Weiner said, “She has unusual leadership ability, particularly inasmuch as she lends herself to group endeavors and serious initiatives of her own, in so many central campus endeavors and causes.” She also runs a brigade of volunteers at a local homeless shelter, and is determined to raise awareness of local and

SHIRA MOROSOHK Shira Morosohk is a senior at Lehigh University majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in applied mathematics. She has been active in Hillel for years, including serving as co-president. According to Rabbi Steve Nathan, “Shira has long been known as one of the main ‘faces’ of Hillel on campus. She not only attends almost all of our

SAMANTHA ROSENFIELD Samantha Rosenfield is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in dance with a concentration in education. After attending a Hillel Birthright trip, Rosenfield became involved with Hil-

and awareness without reactivity and judgement. It calms the mind’s thought process and therefore helps to de-stress. Mindfulness can be hard. It is hard to stay focused. Many mindful practices focus on breathing. Led by Horowitz, the audience members turned their attention to their breathing. Deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, deep breath out. The goal of mindfulness is to accept where you are right then. Other mindfulness techniques include yoga, meditation, and use of the senses. Horowitz led the audience members through another technique where each member focused on smell, then taste, then sound, then touch, then vision. As we cycled through this exercise three times, the room became quieter and more focused. In a short one hour, two Maimonides Society members took 70 participants through uncomfortable interpersonal interactions to a state of peaceful acceptance. It was a long journey but worth the ride. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 9


Yiddish Club hosts first program at Luther Crest

At this Jewish camp, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor teaches kids Yiddish By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency

PARENTING EDUCATION SERIES Free and open to the public!

An IndieFlix Original Documentary

Wednesday, April 11 • 7:00 p.m. Angst: Breaking the Stigma Around Anxiety is a documentary that looks at anxiety, its causes and effects, and what we can do about it. Angst will feature interviews with kids and adults – including Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps – who suffer or have suffered from anxiety, and what they’ve learned. Following the presentation, we'll offer a 'talk back' session with local experts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER VISIT SWAIN.ORG/PARENTING

Registration is open for our popular Summer Programs for all kids entering Prekindergarten - 9th grade in the fall. A variety of fun, week-long programs, from robotics and engineering to music, theatre and sports.

SWAIN.ORG/SUMMER ALSO ANNOUNCING OUR NEW

Summer Early Learners Program

SHARON STRONGIN/CAMP KINDER RING

Over two dozen residents of Luther Crest in Allentown enjoyed a Yiddish Club program courtesy of the JCC and Jewish Family Service. Janis Mikofsky, the club’s leader, led the programming, and started the day by providing information about the background of Yiddish as a language and the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Other club members got involved as well; Larry Levitt told stories and explained more information about Yiddish, and Murray Bonfeld told jokes. Each resident was provided with a packet of useful words and phrases as well as a pronunciation guide that Yiddish Club members reviewed. The rest of the program was dedicated to a variety of popular Yiddish songs, with performances from Yiddish Club members as well as cassette tapes and YouTube.

The kids at Camp Kinder Ring mostly do what kids do at any Jewish summer camp. They hang out by the lake, play sports, goof off, find discreet places to, um, go on walks. But for an hour each day, groups of Jewish adolescents here eagerly do what few others will: They cram into a small, oblong pagoda near the lake and sit quietly as Mikhl Baran, a 95-year-old man, teaches them Jewish history in an old-world Yiddish accent. “So, he finally settled in Cairo, which is the capital city of …” Baran waits for a kid to say “Egypt.” On this August afternoon, he is teaching the campers about Maimonides, the 12th-century Jewish sage, but talking about him as if he were a personal acquaintance. “In Cairo, over there, there’s a university at that time, and he managed to be very good friends with all the people around there, whether they were Arabs or Jews or Christians,” Baran says. “And he became very popular and famous, and he never took money from the poor people there. He only took money from the rich.” The Eastern European native, born in 1922, isn’t quite old enough to have known Maimonides, but the campers and staff at Kinder Ring respect him as a fount of knowledge from a fading world. And the barrel-chested Baran, often sporting a tucked-in Kinder Ring polo shirt, has embraced that role with energy. He sees himself as the transmitter not only of Yiddish language, but also of Jewish history and culture to a new generation. “I grew up speaking only Yiddish,” he said, sitting on a cozy screened-in porch at the camp with Millie, his wife of 72 years. “My mother taught me, and my bubbe taught it, and for 80 generations my people spoke it.” It’s a fitting task at Kinder Ring, which was originally a Yiddish-language camp started in 1927 by the Workmen’s Circle — a society founded in 1900 as a socialist aid organization for European Jewish immigrants. Nowadays, with spoken Yiddish largely relegated in the United States to haredi Orthodox neighborhoods and a small community of Yiddishists, not much of the “mamaloshn” is left at Kinder Ring, which has 325 campers aged 7 to 16. The camp anthem and a couple other songs are sung in Yiddish, the Friday night service is called “Shtiller” (Yiddish for “quiet”) and that’s about it. “I ask them to call me Mikhl,” Baran says, noting that

Mikhl Baran with some Kinder Ring campers. the name is the Yiddish form of Michael. “That’s already, in a sense, imbuing the idea that Yiddish is a great national treasure of the Jewish people.” Even before the Yiddishspeaking world was depleted in the Holocaust, Baran was a defender of the language. He grew up in Oshmiany, a shtetl near Vilnius, where there was a rift between Yiddish and Hebrew speakers. So when Baran was moved from a Yiddish cheder school to a Hebrew school as a teen, he simply refused to speak the language. Two years later, his parents gave up and switched him back to a Yiddish school. Baran was 17 when the Nazis took over in Lithuania. He managed to escape the ghetto and fled to the east, where he joined the Soviet Army and became, for lack of a better word, a badass. For four months, he served in a unit that went behind enemy lines and maneuvered through the snowy mountains on skis to capture Nazi officers. He was subsequently transferred to another unit fighting the Nazis. After the war, he found and married Millie, his childhood sweetheart, and in 1949 the survivor couple moved to New York. He took a position at a Workmen’s Circle school teaching Yiddish, and spent his first summer teaching at Kinder Ring in 1956. He also frequently appeared on the Yiddish radio station of the Forward, the Yiddish newspaper. “At that time it was still a generation that could manage functionally through Yiddish,” he said. “There was a great deal of emphasis on perpetuating the Yiddish culture.” Times have changed, however. Baran still teaches the kids Yiddish stories (in English), like Y.L. Peretz’s “The Seven Good Years,” about a peasant who gets a message from Elijah the prophet about seven coming years of abundance. But now much of his mission is to teach the fundamentals of Jewish culture, history and identity to kids

who mostly don’t attend Jewish day school during the year. “For me it’s very important to teach them at least the basic things of what Jewish values are, like tzedakah, the Spanish Inquisition,” he says, using the Hebrew word for charity. “I’m trying to impress upon them how important it is to not separate from the community. You’re part of the Jewish people.” While some kids might disdain Jewish classes at a summer camp, the kids and staff all appear to love Baran and value his stories. The campers pay attention as he narrates Maimonides’ life. Beyond respect for him personally, the assistant camp director, Jessica Rich, says it’s because the camp has a sense of its history. Its two color war teams last year, for example, were named after the iconic immigrant poet Emma Lazarus and Justine Wise Polier, the first woman justice in New York. Rich’s kids are the fourth generation of her family to attend Kinder Ring. “We all dress in white, we gather around the flag and sing some of the same songs and do some of the same dances that I know have been going on for decades,” Rich says, describing the Friday night ceremony. “I was a camper and counselor in the ’80s and ’90s, and even then I know it was going on for decades because my mom was doing it in the ’50s and ’60s.” Baran, in turn, appreciates the reverence and attention he commands at the camp. But the elder statesman knows that there’s only so long he’ll be able to serve as a vessel from a lost world. And he isn’t sure what will come next. “I worry a great deal because my generation is passing already,” he says. “It’s almost gone. And we are the remnant. If we will not tell the story, who will?” This article was made possible with funding by the Foundation for Jewish Camp. The story was produced independently and at the sole discretion of JTA’s editorial team.

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10 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

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“Semper Mitzvotai” – A Jewish brotherhood

RABBI SETH PHILLIPS Congregation Keneseth Israel Since I have been homeported in Allentown, I don't think of the Navy all that often. Gone are the days of being able to bark out, “Cohen, drop down and give me a proper Shema” or “Levy, you call that a daf yomi? Go back and check out Tosofos.” Just kidding. I don`t miss the high and (skin) tight haircut or the black socks. But on a Shabbos afternoon in March, I realized what I have been working so hard to replace. I can't tell this story without referring to my December article on Achdus (literally, brotherhood). Can we be happy for other people's happiness or choices without feeling judged or being

judgmental? In the Valley, more and more, I sense that we are. So as I was walking from The Lakes to Sons to see if the KI/TBE Scholar-in-Residence, (Conservative) Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb would be at Mincha, I met up with a JDS parent and child walking home from a Shabbat visit. (Try saying that sentence to your friends outside the Valley!) I didn't expect to discover a military connection. We traded notes on Army versus Navy and shared some stories and then came this observation from my walking companion. “I guess that being religious is the closest thing civilians have to the service.” And there it was. Military personnel may sign up because of the patriotic slogans and a desire for adventure or to prove something. But they stay because of the sense of belonging and a shared mission with people who are expending the same amount of energy and making the same sacrifices and commitments. One of our friends from Bachman-Kulik connected his own military service with the mitzvah of burying the dead when he saw a minyan gathered at the cemetery on a freezing cold winter day shoveling frozen dirt to completely fill the grave of a person none of

them knew. “Only Marines would do that for a fallen comrade.” Semper Fi. Only people who feel a personal sense of commandment would do that for the community. Semper Mitzvotai (Forever My Mitzvot). I realize now that the Achdus I felt with my Sailors and Marines disguised the loneliness that I felt as a Jew. I was always respected and my contributions as a rabbi were welcomed-demonstration seders in Iraq and interfaith Thanksgivings, even the confidence that as a rabbi, I knew what to do for Ramadan! But the Few, the Proud, the Maccabees were almost always incomplete— Jews without rabbi chaplains, rabbis without congregants. “I guess that being religious is the closest thing civilians have to the service.” I feel privileged to be at home at all the shuls in the Valley and to have felt and seen that sense of commitment and Achdus. And while it is only natural to have individual religious preferences and practices, the glimmer of understanding that your greatest good is just as important to you as mine is to me—and leave it at that— creates the space to work together. Wag more, bark less as we find ways to support our children, our elders and Eretz

Yisrael. This story was found in the older Reform Siddur Gates of Prayer and the newest Orthodox Koren NCSY Siddur. R' Chaim of Sanz related this story: A man lost his way in the deep of the forest. Some time later, another man also lost his way and met the first. Without knowing the

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Our community offers a variety of retirement living options, including independent living, personal care, restorative care and specialized memory care—all in a vibrant campus filled with activities for all to enjoy. And for many of our residents, coming to Country Meadows helps bring their families back to what they need most from each other. To learn more, call or visit us online. We’re here to help. CountryMeadows.com. To read more resident stories like this one, visit CountryMeadows.com/stories.

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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 11

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Celebrating Purim across the Lehigh Valley

Above left, JDS students celebrate Spirit Week before Purim by wearing mismatched clothing. Above right, the Caine family celebrates Purim at Brith Sholom, where they dressed up as Sparky the Clown, Groot, a flapper, a fairy and Dr. Who.

Above left, the JCC collects donations for the JFS food pantry during its Purim carnival. Above right, Chabad students meet exotic animals.

PLANT JOY Above, an activity at the JCC's Positively Purim carnival. Above right, JDS students' hamentaschen rest on a baking tray. Right, TCP and Bnai Abraham stage a Purim play. LAWN & GARDEN • NURSERY • PATIO FURNITURE • GRILLS PET SUPPLIES • POWER EQUIPMENT & MORE HELLERTOWN, PA • 610.838.7000 • NEIGHBORSGARDEN.COM

Above, Shari Spark and Debrosha McCants don exciting outfits. Above left, Jodi Eichler-Levine and her daughter Thalia at the Beth El celebration. Left, JCC students show off their Purim costumes.

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12 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


Above left, children gather for a Purim parade at Gan Yeladim preschool, which is run by Chabad of the Lehigh Valley. Above center, a JDS student makes hamentaschen. Above right, Emma Ackerman from Touchstone Theater interacts with "hamentaschen fairy" Judy Caine at Brith Sholom. Right, kids roll dough for hamentashen at Brith Sholom. Below, TCP and Bnai Abraham in their joint production of "Esther and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Above, the "Canaan Days" portion of the TCP and Bnai Abraham spiel. Left, Miriam and John Botzum at the Beth El event.

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Partying for a cause COURTESY OF THE KUDRYK FAMILY

Carly Kudryk, a pre-K student at the Swain School and a Camp JCC camper, celebrated her 5th birthday in March by hosting a benefit for Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley. Instead of bringing presents, Carly and her parents Robin and Michou asked that attendees make a donation to JFS to purchase backpacks and school supplies for children and teenagers in need. The drive will remain open through the summer, and those interested may still make a donation in honor of Carly at bit.ly/carlysbdaybackpacks.

Learn about financial security with JFS By Audrey Nolte Jewish Family Service The 21st century has brought its challenges with financial security during the digital age. Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley recognizes these concerns and will address them during the annual Phyllis Ringel Lecture at a 10 a.m. kosher brunch at Congregation Sons of Israel on May 6. This event is free of charge. Howard Sherer recently retired from a 44-year career spanning a variety of roles in the investment and manufacturing industries. He will discuss the current state of computer hacking and how to protect

your family from scams while securing confidential information. Important topics such as software protection, safe access to Wi-Fi, credit monitoring services, protected credit card use and phone scams will be among the topics discussed. A question and answer session will also be provided. Jewish Family Service thanks the Ringel Family for sponsoring this annual event in memory of Dr. Phyllis Ringel. The lecture intends to express Dr. Ringel’s Jewish values and her tireless efforts to educate the greater Lehigh Valley. Please bring your questions and your appetite as we delve into this timely topic.

Oy yay! ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is coming to NY in Yiddish

JOAN MARCUS

By Josefin Dolsten Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Danny Burstein starring as Tevye in the 2015 Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

14 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

How do you say “tradition” in Yiddish? New Yorkers will soon be able to find out: The iconic musical “Fiddler in the Roof” — arguably the most Jewish Broadway show ever — will soon be produced in Yiddish. The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene believes it is the first company to put on “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal. The musical — based upon the stories of late Yiddish playwright Sholem Aleichem — made its Broadway debut in 1964. “It feels like ‘Fiddler’ is coming home,” Chris Massimine, the Folksbiene’s CEO, told The Journal. The show has had multiple Broadway revivals, including most recently in 2015. “The idea we are putting forth would be an accurate re-creation of how this musical might look in its native Yiddish tongue,” Massimine told The New York Times. Casting has yet to be announced, but the company told The Times that the show’s original lyricist, Sheldon Harnick, will be a consultant. Broadway director Jerry Zaks will also advise the production. The production is slated to open in July at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.


HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 15


Remarkable Holocaust play tells unique family story of guilt and transition

A powerful exploration of Sara von Schwarze’s family history, a direct contrast to her upbringing as an Israeli Jew.

By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor “We all have a family album we’d rather put on the top shelf,” says Sabine, a German character in the play “Between Two Worlds” by Sara von Schwarze. She describes her own family then, a grandfather who she remembers for his kindness but, she

admits, could have been a Nazi. “What’s in your album?” Sabine asks Ruth, the daughter of her lover Abraham. Ruth, who was born in Germany but brought up in Israel after her parents converted to Judaism, ponders her own past. Ruth is played by von Schwarze, who wrote the play based on her own life experiences. Over the summer, von Schwarze will bring her play to Yoav, the Lehigh Valley’s sister community in Israel, as part of the Chevruta lecture series sponsored by Partnership2Gether. The series will feature several speakers discussing different aspects of Jewish identity. Von Schwarze’s story begins in 1971, when she was three years old and her German Catholic parents converted to Judaism and moved to Israel. Brought up as an Israeli Orthodox Jew, but with some unique contradictions to her identity, von Schwarze wrote the play as a way of coming to terms with her split identity. “When you grow up German in Israel you feel you were born guilty,” Ruth says in the play, speaking in Hebrew before transitioning to German. One of the play’s singular features is the intersection of languages between the characters, with Ruth speaking Hebrew as her mother tongue as well as some German, and both Abraham and Sabine speaking German as their

first language. Abraham speaks some Hebrew, but Sabine speaks none, which gives Ruth the opportunity to exclude her from the conversation. The languages switch at a dizzying rate, mirroring Ruth’s – and von Schwarze’s – struggle to find an identity that fits both sides of their history. For von Schwarze, the Herculean task of trying to reconcile her two identities began in childhood. Speaking to the curator of a traveling exhibition of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, she said, “When I was eight or nine, I realized that I come from the bad side,” and describes the revelation as a shock and an “open wound.” In the play, Ruth recalls when she was 10 years old and a teacher asked the class to tell the stories of how their grandparents survived the Holocaust. But her story was very different: she had photos of her grandfather in a Wehrmacht uniform, and stories of when her grandmother “danced at parties when Jews went up in smoke.” She stayed silent as the class told their stories, dealing with overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame. “I felt like there is dirty, filthy blood running through my veins,” von Schwarze said of similar experiences hearing survivors and their

Holocaust survivor, 83, has belated bar mitzvah to remember perished family Jewish Telegraphic Agency An 83-year-old Holocaust survivor living in northern Israel celebrated his bar mitzvah at a Safed synagogue. A few dozen friends and family, as well as Safed’s police commissioner, accompanied Hanoch Shachar to a local synagogue, where many of them sang and danced with him before he had his first aliyah l’Torah – the act of reading from the holy book at synagogue after being called up to the bimah, or podium. Jewish boys typically have the rite at 13, the age that Judaism deems a boy becomes a man. “I saw something was missing in my life, a tree, a branch, real parents,” Shachar, who survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic, told the Israel Broadcasting Corp. during the event for a report that was aired Thursday. “Every Jew has a bar mitzvah at their

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right age, and I never had one.” His entire family perished in the Holocaust. His wife, Hannah, said she was “very excited because it’s his dream to have a bar mitzvah.” Shachar said he brought with him to synagogue a violin that belonged to a boy who died in the Holocaust. The dead boy’s parents had given Shachar the violin when he was a boy. “This violin is my way of asking Hashem why he took the talented boy who owned this instrument,” he told the film crew, using the Hebrew word for God. Shachar, a marathon runner who during the ceremony hoisted without effort the Torah scroll in its metal casing, said he had prepared for the ceremony. His instructor was Rabbi Shlomo Hadad, one of the city’s best-known cantors. “I prepare many children and tutor them, but now I’ve had a privilege with this one, who is by far the oldest one I’ve ever tutored,” Hadad told the television crew.

families discussing the Holocaust. The guilt became overwhelming for von Schwarze’s father, and the Abraham character in the play, who left his family after some time and moved back to Germany, eventually moving in with a non-Jewish woman. In the play, Sabine has no idea that Abraham the Israeli Jew was born as Ernst the German Christian, given his deep connection to the Jewish community in Munich and plethora of volunteer commitments. She even tells Ruth of a planned celebration of Abraham in the Jewish community, as thanks for his volunteer service. The play’s plot takes place over the course of one night, which begins with Ruth breaking into Abraham and Sabine’s home after not seeing Abraham for years. She confronts him about the choices he made and how they affected her, grappling with the idea that he identifies with his Judaism that he chose rather than the German nationality he was born into. But Ruth is also running from something in her past – a gunshot she fired while on the job as a military photographer. The play concludes with the resolution of that conflict – her gunshot did not kill anyone – but opens the doors to several others. Will Ruth reconcile with her estranged father? Will she accept Sabine, who is about her age, as his partner? And what will she tell the baby she is pregnant with about his or her past – will the identity crisis be transferred to another generation? The play has received acclaim from Israeli critics, with News1’s Alis Blumenthal calling it “a juicy drama whose power is derived from reality,” and Haaretz’s Yasha Krieger praising the play for moving past cliché representations of the Holocaust in Israeli theater. Since its debut in 2014, the play has been produced in both Israel and Germany. Von Schwarze grew up in Tel Aviv, in a neighborhood made up of survivors and their families, and served in the IDF for two years despite feeling conflict over holding a gun. She has three daughters and she still lives in Israel today. She is an actress, director and lecturer in addition to being a playwright. For von Schwarze, the play helped her come to terms with her split identity, and how to live with the questions and guilt that still remain. “Just live,” she says in the play, a reminder of the self-acceptance and healing she has gained from the experience of writing and performing her family’s story.


30 years later, the author of ‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ has a new young adult Holocaust novel By Penny Schwartz Jewish Telegraphic Agency

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE/JASON STEMPLE

More than 30 years ago, Jane Yolen had already made her mark in the world of children’s literature. Among the nearly 100 books she had written were fantasies and folk tales, picture books and the popular “Captain Toad” chapter book series. Her gift for spinning original fairy tales earned her the reputation as the American Hans Christian Anderson. But when her editor, Deborah Brodie, suggested she write a Jewish children’s book, Yolen dismissed the idea. Sure, she was Jewish, she recalled telling Brodie, who was Jewish, too. But, growing up, Yolen’s family wasn’t particularly observant. And although she had minored in religious studies at Smith College, Yolen told Brodie she would have to do as much research as someone who wasn’t Jewish. Brodie persisted. “She was a classic nudzh,” Yolen recalled fondly all these years later of the late editor, a giant in the world of children’s publishing. But Yolen, best known as a fantasy writer, had a spark of an idea for a Holocaust story that would lead with a girl bored and indifferent at her grandparents’ Passover seder. When Hannah opens the door to symbolically welcome the prophet Elijah, she finds herself transported back in time to a Polish shtetl where the Jewish villagers are on the verge of being shipped to a German Nazi concentration camp. Only Hannah knows the horrifying tragedy that the future will bring. Yolen relented and wrote a first chapter. She assumed it would end at that. Instead, Brodie sent back a contract. “I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to try this,'” she said in a phone conversation with JTA from her home in western Massachusetts. The result was “The Devil’s Arithmetic,” a Holocaust novel that when it appeared in 1988 was nothing like anything that had come before. The book garnered critical acclaim, earned multiple book awards and was made into an Emmy-winning Showtime film starring Kirsten Dunst. The popular fantasy novel has sold more than 1.8 million copies, is used widely in middle schools across the country and has been in continuous print since publication. Now, three decades later, Yolen, 79, has written “Mapping the Bones” (Philomel), a Holocaust novel for a new generation of teens. The year is 1942, in the Lodz ghetto in Poland, where 14-year-old twins Chaim and Gittel Abromowitz make a daring escape with their family. Separated from their parents in the forest, the twins hide with Polish partisans, and are later captured by German soldiers and forced into a slave labor camp. Through brutal treatment, suffering and loss, the sister and brother bond with other camp prisoners, sustain each other, and find light through the young boy’s moving poetry that serves as a testament to loss and memory. “Mapping the Bones” is Yolen’s third Holocaust novel; the second was “Briar Rose (1992). “I look at all three and I realize it’s not just the Holocaust that binds them together. It’s remembering,” she said. “Whenever we think of the Holocaust, we think of remembering. We think of never forgetting. Soon all we will have are the stories. Soon we will have no one left who was there.”

“The Devil’s Arithmetic” was a trailblazer, according to Norman H. Finkelstein, an author of nonfiction for older kids and two-time winner of the National Jewish Book award. Three decades ago, at a time closer to the war, the idea of writing about the Holocaust was still difficult, said Finkelstein, a retired public school librarian in the Boston suburb of Brookline. “It was a different Holocaust book. It was not strictly factual, it was not a memoir,” Finkelstein told JTA in a recent conversation. “Jane did a superb job in taking the story of the Holocaust down to a level that ordinary American kids could understand and digest, and present it in a sympathetic manner. The characters were realistic, not paper cutouts.” Educators immediately seized on the book to teach about the tragedies of the Holocaust, he recalled. There’s an inherent tension in presenting the Holocaust in young adult fiction, according to Daniel Magilow, a Holocaust scholar and professor of German studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. On one hand, writers need to create young characters with whom readers can identify, said Magilow, a former fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum who writes on the subject of Holocaust representation. Books for younger readers tend to be redemptive, and if not upbeat they at least suggest that adversity can be endured and overcome. The problem? This does not square with the historical reality with how children were treated during the Holocaust. “We are reminded that the very young and the very old were immediately slated for the gas chambers,” Magilow said. Magilow cautioned that Holocaust fiction should not be presented uncritically, but should be taught “in the context of the uncomfortable truths.” It’s important to educate kids about tragedies that occur in the world, but it’s a

“Mapping the Bones” is the third Holocaust-themed book by Jane Yolen. complex balancing act. “It’s devastating material,” he said, “and there’s no way around it.” Yolen acknowledged the balancing act in an author’s note for “Briar Rose,” which is set at the Chelmno extermination camp in Poland. “[T]his is a book of fiction. All the characters are made up,” she wrote. “Happy-ever-after is a fairy tale notion, not history. I know of no woman who escaped from Chelmno alive.” “The Devil’s Arithmetic” struck a chord for Deborah Berlin, who read the book more than 15 years ago, when she was about 10 years old, she recalled in a recent phone conversation. As a child growing up outside of Boston, she knew that half her family had perished in the Holocaust. Reading Yolen’s historical fantasy stirred an emotional connection to the incomprehensible loss, she recalled. “It was my gateway” to read more books in a quest for a deeper understanding of the Holocaust, said Berlin, now a middle-school math and science teacher at the Rashi School, a Reform

Jewish K-8 day school in suburban Boston. Yolen’s fantasy and other works of fiction are especially important to today’s teens, who may feel disconnected from the Holocaust, she has observed. “Mapping the Bones” is Yolen’s 366th book. As Yolen sets out on a whirlwind series of book talks and conferences, the author said she had not planned to write a third Holocaust novel. The idea for the Hansel and Gretellike narrative emerged in a conversation with an editor, who like Brodie three decades earlier, urged Yolen to take on the project. In four years of being immersed in Holocaust research and writing, there were also lighter and happier books, Yolen said. Among them was “Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook,” written with her daughter, Heidi E.Y. Stemple. “But the things that feed the soul are [books] like ‘Mapping the Bones,'” Yolen reflected. “As hard as it was, I know I was meant to write this book.”

Macedonia adopts definition of antiSemitism that mentions Israel hatred Jewish Telegraphic Agency The Balkan nation of Macedonia joined the United Kingdom, Romania and Bulgaria in adopting a definition of anti-Semitism that includes the demonization of Israel. Macedonia, where the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the country’s Jews during the Holocaust is being commemorated, adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition last week, the World Jewish Congress said on its website. In April, the country will see the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia. Designed by Berenbaum Jacobs Associates, the new museum tells the story of the Macedonian Jewry beginning two millennia ago to the growth of the community as a haven from the Spanish Inquisition all the way to post-Holocaust Jewish Macedonia. Nearly all of Macedonia’s more than 10,000 Jews were murdered in Treblinka, a former German death camp in occupied Poland, after their deportation by Bulgarian forces that had ruled the country with the approval of Nazi Germany. Over the past two years, several European countries, as well as the European Parliament, adopted

the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. The alliance adopted it in 2016 after the European Union’s body for fighting anti-Semitism removed from its website its working definition of anti-Semitism, which also included examples of some hateful speech on Israel. The EU dropped its definition following lobbying by pro-Palestinian activists and pulled it from the website of its anti-racism agency. In response to a query about the removal, an EU spokesman told JTA in 2013 that the definition was never official. Israel protested its removal. Manifestations of anti-Semitism, the new definition reads, “might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collective,” though “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” In France and elsewhere in Europe, Jews are targeted by perpetrators of racist violence — often Muslims — seeking payback for Israel’s perceived actions. Scholars of anti-Semitism call this “new anti-Semitism.” However, the French government watchdog on racism in 2017 said it had no evidence supporting the “new anti-Semitism thesis,” as the report’s authors wrote.

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Celebrate Jewish history in Easton with portrait unveiling

By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor The Jewish community of the Lehigh Valley is invited to a celebration of Jewish history in Easton with the unveiling of the newly restored portrait of Jacob Hart, the son of one of Easton’s earliest settlers. Among the 250 people who settled Easton in the 1700s, about 20 percent were Jewish, according to volunteer Becky Goldenberg, who spearheaded the effort for the portrait’s restoration. The portrait was given to the Sigal Museum in Easton by Mrs. C. Spencer Allen, Hart’s greatgreat-granddaughter. The portrait, which

was painted by Hart’s son-in-law Leopold Paul Unger, was passed down in the family from generation to generation. Jacob Hart was the son of Michael Hart, who moved to Easton in 1773. Michael was a trader of furs who quickly became an influential citizen of the area. In fact, he once served George Washington a kosher lunch at his home, which may have been the only time Washington ate kosher food. Jacob and his brother Naphtali opened a distillery when they were young, and Jacob was elected justice of the peace in Easton in 1807, holding the distinction of the first Jewish public official in Easton. He was also an original shareholder of the Easton Library Co. The portrait came into possession of the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society in 1978, and has just undergone renovation by Steven Erisoty in Philadelphia after being discovered by Goldenberg in a storage room. Renovation of a painting typically includes fixing any deterioration over time due to reasons like paint loss, water damage or weakened canvas in an effort to stabilize the original painting. Money for the restoration came from diverse sectors of the local Jewish community. With the hard work complete, the portrait is now ready to be unveiled at an event at the Sigal Museum. There will be several guest speakers before the portrait is unveiled. It will eventually find a home in a new exhibit focusing on the immigration of diverse ethnic groups to the Lehigh Valley.

The event has a secondary purpose of launching the Jacob Hart Fund, which will support research from a student fellow as well as the acquisitions of artifacts and other projects related to the new exhibit. “The Jacob Hart Fund is one of the many ways the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society is ensuring the long-term research and care of artifacts that tell the stories of the diverse ethnic groups in our community,” said the society’s Executive Director Carey Birgel. The museum is also seeking local artifacts or memorabilia from the Jewish community for the exhibit, including letters, maps, photographs and other items. These items can be loaned, copied (if possible), or donated. Anyone with artifacts to share is encouraged to contact curator Brittany Merriam at 610-253-1222 or Brittany@northamptonctymuseum.org. During the event, which will include light refreshments, other exhibits in the museum will be available for view. The museum currently has exhibits about the indigenous tribes originally in the area (mainly the Lenape), relics from the roaring 20’s, old children’s toys and artifacts from early Northampton County history. The unveiling will take place on Sunday, May 6 from 2-4 p.m. at the Sigal Museum (342 Northampton Street, Easton). No RSVP required, free of charge, sponsorship and patronage opportunities available. For more information, contact info@northamptonctymuseum.org.

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Jewish Agency calls on Israel to grant legal status to over 500 young African migrants Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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By Elaine Durbach Jewish Telegraphic Agency If Bea Slater had ever been a shrinking violet, her sudden celebrity might be uncomfortable. At 90, the great-grandmother has her image plastered on billboards and bus shelters up and down Manhattan and in Brooklyn. There’s even one on the roof above Junior’s, the famous cheesecake place. Along with three other women nearly as old as she, she has become the face of JDate, the Jewish matchmaking site. They’re not poster girls for senior dating. Rather, JDate is promoting their images to suggest that it is “yentas” like them who are working out the site’s algorithms to find that perfect match. One ad, featuring Slater hard at work on a laptop, reads “Her dreidel game is filthy. But her code is clean.” (Translation: She’s a great dreidel player, and even better at writing computer code.) The “Powered by Yentas” concept came from copywriter and standup comedian David Roth, who produced the campaign with Hogarth Worldwide for JDate’s parent company, Spark Networks SE. Roth said grandmothers have labored forever to ensure that

COURTESY OF MITCH SLATER

Israel should grant legal status to over 500 young African migrants, The Jewish Agency board said. The board, meeting in Zichron Yaakov in northern Israel, in a resolution called on Interior Minister Arye Deri to grant legal status to the more than 500 young migrants who arrived in Israel several years ago as unaccompanied minors and were integrated into Israeli society through youth villages operated by The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Education. “These youngsters have grown up in an Israeli educational environment, speak fluent Hebrew, are imbued with Israeli culture, and are loyal to the State of Israel,” the board wrote. “Therefore, it is right that they be granted legal status.” The board also called on the Israeli government to ensure that “every migrant has an opportunity to apply for asylum and receive transparent due process in the examination of their application.” It

also announced the establishment of a task force to study solutions to the matter that would issue recommendations to the board. Israel’s Cabinet, in January, approved a plan and the budget to deport thousands of migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. The Population and Immigration Authority notified migrants from Sudan and Eritrea that as of Jan. 1, they must return to their own countries or to a third nation, or be sent to jail until they are deported. According to the government plan, migrants who choose to leave by March 31 will receive a payment of $3,500 as well as free airfare and other incentives, according to reports. For now, deportation notices will not be issued to women, children, families, anyone recognized as a victim of slavery or human trafficking, and those who had requested asylum by the end of 2017 but haven’t been given a response, Haaretz reported. Some 40,000 Eritreans and Sudanese are living in Israel, including 5,000 children.

Meet the 90-year-old great-grandmother who is the new face of JDate

Bea Slater posing in front of some of the ads in which she is featured. young Jews meet and procreate in order to sustain the tribe. “Bea was an instant star,” he said. “She has one of the most expressive and comedic faces I’ve ever seen. We had an embarrassment of riches — so many funny photos of Bea to choose from. She was hilarious on set and an absolute delight to work with.” Slater, not a coder though a savvy computer-literate social media user, is taking her celebrity status in stride, loving every aspect and eager for more. Chatting in her home in Springfield, New Jersey, where she has lived for 65 years, she talked more readily about her family (two sons, Mitch and Jeff Slater; a daughter, Diane Bedrin; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren), but was content to answer questions about how she is enjoying her newfound fame. “When my picture is up in the subway, then I’ll really be a star,” she said. Though she has never modeled professionally — and the last time she did any acting was in eighth grade — posing came easily. Slater, who grew up in West Philadelphia, was a muchpictured daughter of a photographer. She became a photographer herself when she grew up, at least until she turned her focus to raising her kids. Almost every wall in her home is adorned with family photos, assembled and collaged by her father and, after he passed away, by her husband Jack, who died in 2009. In November, a friend mentioned to her son Mitch that JDate was trying to find older women for a marketing campaign. He told his older brother, Jeff, a marketing executive, who initially dismissed the idea, sure their mom wouldn’t be up for it. But the younger brother, a financial adviser, called back Jeff within minutes to let him know that not only did he decide to broach the subject with their mother, but Bea had agreed on the spot. “I said, ‘You never know …’” — which happens to be her response to virtually every question. It’s a principle she applies to herself as well as those around her. A few years ago, Slater

persuaded her granddaughter Fanny Slater to enter TV personality and celebrity cook Rachael Ray’s “Great American Cookbook Competition.” Slater was in the audience when Fanny was named the winner, and in February, both grandmother and granddaughter will appear on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” a show on the Cooking Channel. A few months ago Mitch, who has a wide circle of friends in showbiz, including Bruce Springsteen and his cohort, arranged for his mother to introduce Steve Van Zandt (of the Boss’s E Street Band) and his band, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, at a concert on Staten Island. She admitted to being nervous standing alone in the spotlight (with the protective Mitch hovering nearby). “I didn’t want to disappoint Steve,” she recalled. Later, to her astonishment, Slater was mobbed by fans who wanted to take selfies with her. Slater was chosen by the Donna Grossman Casting Agency. Speaking for Grossman and her team, Paul Bernstein said they auditioned approximately 40 women, though many more applied. They were looking for “authentic Jewish grandmothers in their late 80s to 90s,” Bernstein said, and Slater and her co-stars stood out because of “their heart, their humor, style. They all had their own chutzpah and heimishe feel.” The photographs for JDate were taken by Randal Ford, a sought-after commercial photographer. Some 60 years ago, Slater and her husband helped co-found their synagogue, Temple Shaarey Shalom, the Reform congregation near her home. It was a big part of their and their children’s lives. Going on without Jack was a challenge, Bea acknowledged, and many of her friends are gone, too, or not as youthful as she is. Still, she attends the temple’s Renaissance Club, drives (though not at night) and keeps up an active social life. And now she’s auditioning for other advertising campaigns. Asked what Jack would make of her celebrity, Slater laughed. “He’d have said, ‘Do you know what you’re getting yourself into?’ He was much more conservative than me,” she said. As for using JDate herself, she is adamant that she has “absolutely no interest in meeting anyone. I’d never find anyone as good as what I had.” But like so many Jewish grandmothers, Slater is eager to help others find love. “There should be more money next time, though,” she added, with exactly the kind of twinkle in her eyes that got her the JDate gig in the first place.


KI gala to celebrate Judaism in action: Tikkun olam, hands together, repairing the world

Maryann Snyder

Elsbeth Haymon

By Michele Salomon Congregation Keneseth Israel

for this family. A year and half passed between that November 2015 phone call and the arrival of the Battah family in May 2017. Given the choice to sponsor a family from a particular area or religious or ethnic background, the committee opted for the first eligible family. Led by Haymon and Snyder, the committee includes over 30 active members from Congregation Keneseth Israel, The Barn, Temple Beth El, Temple Shirat Shalom and other community volunteers who have put in countless hours, made countless phone calls, raised money and hosted events to support the family in a myriad of ways, helping with medical, housing, employment, education and social needs. The ultimate goal of refugee resettlement is to provide a safe, new community for refugee and immigrant families where they will be able to thrive as self-sufficient, contributing members of society. While sponsors typically work with families for a period of six months to accomplish that goal, Haymon, Snyder and the committee will continue their work for a while longer in order to fulfill on that promise. In return – though they were clearly not looking for anything in return, let alone being honored in this way – they got much more. Haymon and Snyder, who moved from being acquaintances to friends who sometimes call,

Like many good deeds and positive change, it all started with an idea that led to a phone call that led to a new journey for a family from Iraq being able to pursue the American Dream, that led to Congregation Keneseth Israel members Elsbeth Haymon and Maryann Snyder being the honorees at KI’s Annual Gala on June 3, 2018. In November 2015, Haymon, in response to the first Syrian refugee crisis and with a deep desire to help, made that initial phone call to Rabbi Seth Phillips. And in what has become classic KI style, her idea, initiative and passion took shape and came to life in the form of a mother and her five sons, refugees from Iraq, being able to be resettled to the Lehigh Valley to live out their version of the American Dream. Maryann Snyder, initially involved in a more general way, took a lead role when the Battah family arrived with an ongoing focus on the educational needs of the children, ranging in age from 4 to 22. According to the Refugee Processing Center Admissions and Arrivals fiscal year 2017 data, the six Battahs who are now Pennsylvanians were among 92 other Iraqis resettled to the state. Through a relationship with Bethany Christian Services, a U.S. State Department-approved resettlement provider, KI was able to become a co-sponsor

text or email multiple times per day, both spoke about stretching beyond what they thought their own capabilities were, and about involving themselves in the day-to-day lives of people whose culture and history is very different from their own, yet whose lives are in many ways very much the same. The focus is completely on what the family needs. Their true reward is the delight they feel when the family experiences new things and increasingly settles into their new lives. For each of them, helping this family has been both an expression of love and expression of their Judaism. Haymon spoke of her desire to help and her knowledge that, in the midst of our current social and political climate, helping at the personal level would give her the greatest likelihood of having a direct, positive impact. Snyder was drawn in for various reasons including the interfaith nature of this project. She’s a firm believer that developing personal relationships with those who are different from us can be an important path to tikkun olam, and as a relatively new member of KI she sought to engage in meaningful work with fellow congregants. They both spoke of how the work helped new relationships to flourish, new friendships to be formed and past relationships to be renewed. Haymon and Snyder have embodied the Torah’s commandment to welcome the stranger. They are grateful for the opportunity to be honored at KI’s Gala, as it’s an opportunity to continue to raise awareness of the importance of this work to KI and the broader community. Please join KI in honoring Elizabeth Haymon and Maryann Snyder at KI’s 2018 Annual Gala on Sunday, June 3, 2018. For tickets and information, call the KI office at 610-435-9074.

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Gluten-free matzah: Here’s what you should know know heading into Passover.

By Gabe Friedman Jewish Telegraphic Agency Gluten-free matzah might sound like a bad joke — after all, regular unleavened bread tastes pretty cardboard-like already. But for Jews with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can damage one’s intestinal lining, or gluten intolerance, which involves icky reactions to that pesky protein found in wheat, finding the right matzah is a serious task. (Matzah in its normal form is made of wheat.) Thankfully, as the gluten-free diet has rocketed into mainstream food culture, there are now options for every kind of gluten-free matzah eater. Most of the world’s largest matzah producers — Manischewitz and Streit’s in the U.S., and Yehuda Matzos based in Israel — offer at least some kind of gluten-free Passover product. Here’s a rundown of what every gluten-free Jew should

What are my options? Thanks to the fact that up to a quarter of American consumers want gluten-free food, the market for gluten-free matzah increases every year, and now there are more options than ever. Most are made chiefly from a combination of tapioca and potato starches. Manischewitz first started baking its gluten-free matzah in 2013. The company would not disclose its official production numbers, but it now offers some 75 gluten-free products, from matzah ball soup mix to egg noodles to chocolate chip cookies (and of course glutenfree matzah in multiple flavors, including garlic and rosemary). The other mammoth glutenfree matzah provider is Yehuda. Gefen makes its own version as well, although the U.S. company markets it as “matzo crackers.” Streit’s, the family-run business that moved its iconic factory out of New York City in 2015, makes a gluten-free matzah ball mix. In addition, a few bakeries produce a gluten-free matzah made of oat flour. Can I use gluten-free matzah during the seder? Matzah is not just the most recognizable Passover food in popular culture. Observant Jews are required to eat it during the seder — but only if it’s made from one of five varieties of grains that have the potential to leaven, or turn into bread: wheat, rye, barley, spelt or oats.

Among those choices, oats are the only completely glutenfree option. So while the tapioca and potato versions look just like normal matzah, they cannot be used as a true substitute in a religious seder. Daniel Gordon, a rabbi in the Kfar Chabad village in central Israel, helps distribute oat matzah made by the Tiv Hashibolet bakery in Jerusalem. He said there was an “unbelievable lack of knowledge” about the religious requirements for matzah among non-religious Jews. “[People] were mistakenly using a cracker given the name matzah,” Gordon said. “They didn’t really understand that they’re not fulfilling the mitzvah” of eating approved matzah. How much does it cost? Most iterations of the tapioca and potato gluten-free run $4 to $5 — approximately the same as a typical 10-ounce box of matzah. Maybe they’re a dollar or two more in some places. Oat matzah, however, is a whole different ballgame. A box from the Lakewood Matzoh bakery in Lakewood, New Jersey, which ships its product to customers all over the world, usually costs more than $25 (including shipping). A 16-ounce box of the Kestenbaum’s brand sells for over $30 with shipping. Tiv Hashibolet used to distribute 500 boxes of oat matzah to Israeli citizens for free with the help of a donor, but now has been forced to sell it for 85 shekels — more than $23 — per box.

What?! Why is oat matzah so expensive? As explained by Israel Davidowitz, a manager at Lakewood, oat matzah is “nearly impossible to make.” Ephraim Kestenbaum, a London-based rabbi and chemist, first developed an oat matzah in the 1980s inspired by his daughter, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. He found a farm north of Edinburgh, Scotland, that produced oats he could completely separate from adjacent wheat crops and baked the first batches himself. After a few years of perfecting the process and watching the demand for his product grow, Kestenbaum moved the operation to Israel, where it was produced until recently in the village of Atarot. But getting oat flour to stick together — something it took Kestenbaum years to perfect — is arduous, since it’s gluten that acts as a binding agent in normal matzah and bread. Davidowitz estimates that about half of the harvested oat flour gets lost in the baking process. Lakewood sources it oats from Montana and Wyoming, and it needs to send mashgichim, or kosher certifying supervisors, to monitor the oats from the time they are planted to the time they are harvested. The fields also need to be watched carefully and tested, so that traces of wheat don’t seep into the oats area. Workers at Tiv Hashibolet

spend about nine hours cleaning the facility — down to the floors and up to the light bulbs in the ceiling — to make sure no traces of gluten linger in the air before baking its oat matzah. (It now makes a product with only about 5 parts of gluten per million, while the American gluten-free standard is 20 parts per million.) How’s the taste? While oat matzah is the successful result of years of difficult experimentation and a godsend for observant gluten-free Jews, its taste is — interesting. To counter the bitterness of certain enzymes, oats are typically injected with steam just before they are milled and made into gluten-free products. But this steaming technically makes them hametz, or leavened, and therefore not kosher for Passover. The world’s few oat matzah bakeries skip the steaming step, leaving the end product with a bitter aftertaste. As for tapioca and potato starch matzah, veterans of the gluten-free diet will be used to the taste — light, grainy and not quite as scrumptious as its wheat-based counterpart. Fortunately, gluten-free matzah works just as well as the regular kind as the base for all kinds of toppings. And while matzah is required for the seder, there’s an entire world of glutenfree food to be eaten during the Passover week, from chicken to vegetables to chocolate. So fear not, gluten-free Jews — Passover can be your friend.

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May 5 - 7:30 PM - $95 (Gold circle)/$87/$79

Allentown BBYO members enjoying last year’s WOW convention.

Allentown BBG’s wonderful start to the year By Fana Schoen BBG Allentown B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) is having an amazing 2018, and we can’t wait for the coming weeks! On Feb. 10, Allentown BBG hit the rink, along with some members from Allentown Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA). With 24 members and prospective members in attendance, 18 of which were BBGs, we had an amazing time watching the fast-paced hockey game! This was a super fun event, part of Liberty Region BBYO’s chapter kickoff initiative. Just days later, Allentown BBG and Allentown AZA both sent delegates to Orlando for BBYO’s annual International Convention (IC). This event extended from Thursday, Feb. 15 to Monday, Feb. 19. Many members traveled down one day early for a pre-summit, during which members could participate in a wide range of activities from yoga to sports to membership growth. Allentown BBG members Fana Schoen and Sabrina Toland had an amazing time at the Jewish Enrichment Institute (JEI) Pre-Summit with a spirituality and mindfulness track. They participated with yoga, art and song, among other things, relieving nerves for the week ahead. The convention was almost entirely teen-led. In August, Jewish youth from all around the world applied to be a part of the International Leadership Network’s (ILN) IC Steering Team. The team was then split into various assignments for service planning, program planning, planning BBG- or AZA-specific events and more! Some teens were selected to lead a day of IC called LEADS Day. This is a day meant to expose teens to new experiences and teach them something new, whether it is about a topic which they already know or about something completely new. After LEADS Day, the entire convention took Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure by storm for the whole night! Additionally, this year, IC featured musical performers Steve Aoki, Fetty Wap and

Daya. With over 3,000 international teens and over 5,000 people, between teens, staff, and more, as well as the most nations represented at a single event in BBYO history, this event was one for the books. On Feb. 24, Allentown BBG hosted its annual Member in Training (MIT) Sleepover. Every year, Allentown BBG hosts an exclusive all-night event of sisterhood and fun for any girl 8th through 12th grade considering joining BBG. This event is specifically for new BBGs to show them the ropes of BBYO. We had an amazing event, with two of the coolest MITs in the International Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls, Marla Stein and Lilly Schor. Please email allentownmazkirah@gmail.com for more details on any of these events, or on joining BBYO! New members are welcome at many Allentown BBG events, as well as many Liberty Region events and many international events.

BBYO attends regional Summit convention

Allentown BBG and Allentown AZA at the Phantoms Night on Feb. 10.

453 Northampton St., Easton, PA 610-252-3132 1-800-999-STATE www.statetheatre.org

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Nobody Does It Better!

During this convention, guest speakers came and talked to the region. Speakers included a former professional football player that played for the Seahawks, Jordan Hill; Pam Schuller, who is a comedian; the regional director of the Make-A-Wish foundation; and a former Marine. There was also a BeauSweetheart dance that featured all the BBYO seniors from each chapter. It was a very fun dance that featured DJ Drewski and some good food. Overall, this convention was a blast for all members throughout the region who attended. Members cannot wait for the next convention, Spring Convention. Once again, if anyone has any questions regarding Allentown AZA or BBYO, please email allentownaza@gmail. com. Or if you have any questions regarding membership and how to sign up, please contact robertshaff1@gmail. com.

By Jacob Sussman AZA On March 16-18, Allentown AZA headed to Harrisburg to the regional Summit convention. This convention is BBYO’s first ever Summit as this is a new convention. It is a combination of previous conventions; IT (In Training) convention, which was a convention for all new members in the Liberty Region to get inducted into BBYO and meet fellow new members, and WOW convention. For this convention, there were two tracks that members could participate in. The first track, Teeronim, was for firsttime members going to their first convention. This track was geered toward the younger members throughout the region and members who participated got inducted into the region, met new people and were introduced into BBYO. The next track was the Yadanim, for members who have already been to conventions and are familiar with the region. This track, equally as fun, focused more on programs and reuniting with people’s regional friends. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 25


Solutions to March HAKOL puzzles By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor

PJ families celebrate Passover PJ Library families came together on March 18 for games, stories, songs and fun in honor of Passover.

Seder Word Search

Challenge: Find the Afikomen!

2018

august 2 august 3

Brantley Gilbert

Jason Mraz

august 10

august 12

Sands Steel Stage on PNC Plaza musikfest.org 26 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


9 things you didn’t know about Passover My Jewish Learning Here are nine things that many likely wouldn’t know about the Festival of Freedom: 1. In Gibraltar, there’s dust in the charoset. The traditional charoset is a sweet Passover paste whose texture is meant as a reminder of the mortar the enslaved Jews used to build in ancient Egypt. The name itself is related to the Hebrew word for clay. In Ashkenazi tradition, it is traditionally made from crushed nuts, apples and sweet red wine, while Sephardic Jews use figs or dates. But the tiny Jewish community of this small British territory at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula takes the brick symbolism to another level, using the dust of actual bricks in their recipe. 2. Abraham Lincoln died during Passover. The 16th American president was shot at Ford’s Theatre on a Friday, April 14, 1865, which coincided with the fourth night of Passover. The next morning, Jews who wouldn’t normally have attended services on the holiday were so moved by Lincoln’s passing they made their way to synagogues, where the normally celebratory Passover services were instead marked by acts of mourning and the singing of Yom Kippur hymns. American Jews were so affected by the president’s death that Congregation Shearith Israel in New York recited the prayer for the dead — usually said only for Jews — on Lincoln’s behalf. 3. Arizona Is a hub for matzah wheat. Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn have been increasingly sourcing wheat for their Passover matzah from farmers in Arizona. Excessive moisture in wheat kernels can result in fermentation, rendering the harvest unsuitable for Passover use. But rain is scarce in Arizona, which allows for a stricter standard of matzah production. Rabbis from New York travel to Arizona in the days leading up to the harvest, where they inspect the grains meticulously to ensure they are cut at the precise moisture levels. 4. At the seder, Persian Jews whip each other with scallions. Many of the Passover seder rituals are intended to recreate the sensory experience of Egyptian slavery, from the eating of bitter herbs and matzah to the dipping of greenery in saltwater, which symbolizes the tears shed by the oppressed Israelites. Some Jews from Iran and

Afghanistan have the tradition of whipping each other with green onions before the singing of “Dayenu.” 5. Karaite Jews skip the wine. Karaite Jews reject rabbinic Judaism, observing only laws detailed in the Torah. That’s why they don’t drink the traditional four cups of wine at the seder. Wine is fermented, and fermented foods are prohibited on Passover, so instead they drink fruit juice. (Mainstream Jews hold that only fermented grains are prohibited.) The Karaites also eschew other staples of the traditional seder, including the seder plate and charoset. Their maror (bitter herbs) is a mixture of lemon peel, bitter lettuce and an assortment of other herbs. 6. Israeli Jews have only one seder. Israeli Jews observe only one Passover seder, unlike everywhere else where traditionally two seders are held, one on each of the first two nights of the holiday. Known as “yom tov sheni shel galuyot” — literally “the second festival day of the Diaspora” — the practice was begun 2,000 years ago when Jews were informed of the start of a new lunar month only after it had been confirmed by witnesses in Jerusalem. Because Jewish communities outside of Israel were often delayed in learning the news, they consequently couldn’t be sure precisely which day festivals were meant to be observed. As a result, the practice of observing two seder days was instituted just to be sure.

scholars believe the word “afikomen”derives from the Greek word for dessert. Others say it refers to a kind of postmeal revelry common among the Greeks. Either theory would explain why the afikomen is traditionally the last thing eaten at the seder.

PJ Library Family of the Month:

THE OSELKIN FAMILY

9. For North African Jews, after Passover comes Mimouna. Most people are eager for a break from holiday meals when the eight-day Passover holiday concludes. But for the Jews of North Africa, the holiday’s end is the perfect time for another feast, Mimouna, marking the beginning of spring. Celebrated after nightfall on the last day of Passover, Mimouna is marked by a large spread of foods and the opening of homes to guests. The celebration is often laden with symbolism, including fish for fertility and golden rings for wealth.

We look forward to reading books before bed every night and thanks to PJ Library we get to explore our Jewish heritage in fun and creative ways. “The Colors of Israel” is our favorite! - AMY AND MARTIN OSELKIN 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.

7. You’re wrong about the orange on the seder plate. Some progressive Jews have adopted the practice of including an orange on the seder plate as a symbol of inclusion of gays, lesbians and other groups marginalized in the Jewish community. The story goes that the practice was instituted by the feminist scholar Susannah Heschel after she was told that a woman belongs on the synagogue bimah, or prayer podium, like an orange belongs on a seder plate. But according to Heschel, that story is false. In that apocryphal version, she said, “a woman’s words are attributed to a man, and the affirmation of lesbians and gay men is erased. Isn’t that precisely what’s happened over the centuries to women’s ideas?” 8. “Afikomen” isn’t Hebrew. For many seder participants, the highlight of the meal is the afikomen — a broken piece of matzah that the seder leader hides and the children search for; the person who finds the afikomen usually gets a small reward. Most HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 27


The first Torah reading in orbit and 4 other fun facts about Jews in space By Josefin Dolsten Jewish Telegraphic Agency

A book of horoscopes was written in Yiddish. Published in 1907 in Odessa, Ukraine, “The Revealer of That Which Is Hidden: A New Practical Book of Fate” gave Yiddish readers a way to learn about their futures by way of astrology. Much like a modern-day horoscope, the book offered predictions based on the reader’s zodiac sign. Similar books existed both in Yiddish and Hebrew during the time period, but rabbinic authorities were not thrilled, since astrology is banned by Jewish law (although zodiac symbols have shown up as synagogue decorations for at least 1,500 years). Despite that, Jews at the time continued to read horoscopes as well as seek other ways of predicting the future, such as by going to psychics and reading tea leaves. The first Jewish American to go into space was a woman. Judith Resnik became the first Jewish American and second Jew (Soviet astronaut Boris Volynov was the first) to go

NASA/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Torah tells how God created the earth and the heavens, although the stories that follow tell us more about the former than the latter. A new exhibit doesn’t quite answer theological questions about space, but it does show the ways in which Jews have looked at, written about and traveled into the final frontier. “Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit,” named after a Mel Brooks gag, is an exhibit organized and on view at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the Center for Jewish History there. It features both Yiddish and Hebrew books on astronomy and astrology, science fiction works created by Jews and sections on the history of Jewish astronauts. JTA was given a tour by Eddy Portnoy, YIVO’s senior researcher and director of exhibitions, who curated the collection with Melanie Meyers, and learned about some of the unusual and unexpected relationship between Jews and the cosmos.

Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman signaling directions to a European Space Agency astronaut, Dec. 1993. into space when she flew on the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984. Born in 1949 to Jewish immigrants from Ukraine who settled in Ohio, Resnik worked as an engineer at the Xerox Corp. before being recruited to NASA in a program to diversify its workforce. Resnik was only the fourth female to ever do so. She died in 1986 along with the rest of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger when the spacecraft broke apart shortly after takeoff. In 1985, a Jewish-American astronaut read from the Torah in space. Jeffrey Hoffman, the first JewishAmerican man to go into space, consulted a rabbi on how to observe Judaism on his first trip, in 1985. Hoffman, a Brooklyn native who was born in 1944, brought with him a scaled-down Torah and did the first Torah reading outside of Earth. He also had a set of Jewish ritual items specially made for his trip, including a mezuzah with a Velcro strip that he would attach to his bunk and a prayer shawl with weights to keep it from floating away in zero-gravity. He also brought a menorah to celebrate Chanukah, although he was never able to actually light it aboard the spacecraft. The Vulcan salute on “Star Trek” has Jewish origins. Actor Leonard Nimoy used an unlikely source of inspiration for his character Spock’s iconic Vulcan salute, which consists of

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1930 Bevin Drive Allentown, Pa 18104 28 APRIL 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

a raised hand with the middle and ring fingers parted into a V. The gesture looks just like the one kohanim do in synagogue during the Priestly Blessing. In his autobiography, Nimoy explained that he had copied the Jewish gesture, which he had seen in a synagogue as a child (it also appears on tombstones of kohanim). The Vulcan salute, which is accompanied by the phrase “Live long and prosper” (the kohanim’s blessing begins “May God bless you and guard you”), became so iconic that the White House mentioned it in a statement issued on Nimoy’s death in 2015. A Jewish immigrant to the U.S. helped popularize science fiction. Hugo Gernsback, a Jewish immigrant from Luxembourg, is sometimes called “The Father of Science Fiction” for publishing a magazine that helped popularize the genre. Launched in 1926, “Amazing Stories” featured tales of aliens, robots and other beings, including ones written by Gernsback himself. His magazine brought science fiction — a term he coined — to the mainstream and inspired many writers, such as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Jewish-American duo that created Superman. Gernsback left “Amazing Stories” in 1929, although it held on in one form or another until 2005. Among the Jewish writers who had their first stories published in the magazine were Isaac Asimov and Howard Fast.


Israeli farmers claim they developed the world’s smallest tomatoes. So what can you do with them? SCREENSHOT FROM AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Potent spit balls Ok, this suggestion has no culinary value — but these tomatoes could make very interesting projectiles when blown through a straw.

The Israeli company Kedma claims it has grown the world’s smallest tomatoes, which are about the size of a blueberry or, in this case, an Israeli one-shekel coin. By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency Israelis love their tomatoes. They eat them whole, sliced, diced and cooked. Nearly half of Israelis, in a survey taken a couple years ago, said tomato is their favorite vegetable (OK, it’s technically a fruit, but never mind), and that they eat it almost every day. Many of them must have been pleased at the announcement that farmers in Israel have developed what they believe is Israel’s — and perhaps the world’s — world’s tiniest tomato. According to its developers — the agriculture tech company Kedma, based in the southern Arava desert — the “tipa tomato” or “drop tomato” is about the size of a blueberry and is also the sweetest of its kind on earth. It comes in red and yellow varieties. The seeds for the new tomatoes were obtained from a company in Holland. Farmers in Israel, with the help of the Central and Northern Arava Research and Development Center, modified the tomato to withstand the dry conditions of the Israeli desert. The producers said that they intended the tomato for Israeli consumption, but the new breed has gotten plenty of attention worldwide. Of course, normal cherry tomatoes are already small — so what can you actually do with a tomato that’s even tinier? Here are some options. Any-time-of-day snack The tomato’s producers think that Israelis will just pop them in their mouths as convenient snacks. But those Israelis who don’t particularly like tomatoes — and there are some — might need something more gimmicky.

Chopped tomato pieces are an essential part of the classic Israeli salad. But if chefs just used these mini tomatoes in their salads, there would be no need for chopping — and they wouldn’t make such a juicy mess in their kitchens. Chocolate chip substitute How about dumping a cup of the minuscule tomatoes into a savory muffin recipe? Or even substituting them for chocolate chips in your favorite cookie recipe?

It’s worth noting that the cherry tomato is not an Israeli “invention,” as some have claimed. They may actually date back to 15th century Aztec Mexico, or even earlier. Yellow cherry tomatoes were first cultivated in Europe in the 16th century, according to the British Tomato Growers Association. However, Israelis were instrumental in helping cherry tomatoes become a staple in European and American kitchens by the 1990s. In the 1970s, a British grocery chain enlisted Israeli scientists to develop a sweet, shelf-stable version of the food that could be grown in neat rows — and the rest is history. That’s why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu felt confident enough to stand before the U.N.General Assembly in 2015 and declare that the cherry tomato “was perfected in Israel, in case you didn’t know.”

SPRING GAZPACHO BY SANDI TEPLITZ

INGREDIENTS: 5 very ripe Heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped 1 clove crushed garlic 1 cucumber, peeled & chopped 1 +1/4 c. tomato juice 1/2 red pepper, seeded & chopped

3 T. olive oil, preferably Spanish 1/2 green pepper, seeded & chopped 2 T. white vinegar 1 onion, chopped 1/4 t. mild paprika 1 T. finely chopped parsley salt and pepper to taste

TECHNIQUE: In a blender, blend tomatoes, cuke, peppers, onion, parsley and garlic till very smooth. Stir in tomato juice, oil, vinegar, paprika and salt and pepper. Chill till very cold. Accompany with separate dishes of chopped up tomatoes, peppers, cuke and deep fried croutons. Serve with a Spanish white wine and a loaf of crusty bread.

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“Tomasins” If one dried these tomatoes, could they become the tomato version of raisins, perfect for snacking and baking? The perfect Israeli salad addition HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | APRIL 2018 29


Profile for Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

HAKOL - April 2018  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

HAKOL - April 2018  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania