The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
Issue No. 409
AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977
Remember the community’s Yom HaShoah ceremony p7
Learn about 100 years of JCC activities p16-17
COM.UNITY WITH MARK GOLDSTEIN p2 LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p15 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p18 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p19 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p30-31
Easton synagogue merger to foster a stronger community By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor
Jerry Weisberger (Bnai Abraham president), Rabbi Melody Davis (joint rabbi) and Mark Gutman (TCP president) meet at TCP.
Ninety people from Easton came together to celebrate Passover this year. The community event, which was held at Bnai Abraham Synagogue, was a collaborative effort with Temple Covenant of Peace in which the sisterhood presidents put together a volunteer crew to manage the event. New and old friends joined together to make matzah balls and chicken soup, and to sing familiar songs. This is one of many recent events which will hopefully herald a formal partnership between the two synagogues. “Easton is a wonderful community, and a growing community, but hasn’t grown quite
as quickly in the Jewish area … this is a very good time for us to get together, utilize one building, services, educational and social activities, and turn them all into one,” said Jerry Weisberger, Bnai Abraham’s frequent board president of 15 years. “Now is the right time more than ever,” said TCP board President Mark Gutman, who has been in this role for three-and-a-half years. “Our philosophies are more aligned. We have a lot more in common than not in common.” The process of combining the synagogues began with this aspect. TCP, which is a Reform congregation, and Bnai Abraham, which is a Easton synagogue Continues on page 10
Lehigh Valley to welcome shlicha for upcoming year By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor This fall, a new shlicha – Israeli emmissary – will join the Lehigh Valley Jewish community in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. From community events to educational opportunities, Rotem Bar will be leading a variety of activities to help bring Israel to the Lehigh Valley. Bar, who is 25 years old, lived in Belgium as a child and attended international schools, where she was often associated with her nationality and loved sharing stories about Israel. This passion translated into a job as a counselor at a youth moshav and, later, a summer camp shlicha at a JCC camp in Rhode Island. She has also traveled to the United States before as a flight attendant
working for EL AL. Now working at the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and helping refugees, Bar is looking forward to spending a year in the Lehigh Valley, where her primary objective will be sharing Israeli culture. “Being able to take a part in achieving that would make me feel like I’m a part of something bigger,” she wrote on her application to the program. In the Lehigh Valley, Bar hopes to find “a community that allows me to express Israel through my eyes and experiences,” particularly the positive areas of Israeli society that are not usually covered in the media. “I would like to show the high tech, innovative, vibrant, colorful and happy Israel,” she added. “The country that reaches out to other countries in need,
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the country that can make us frustrated at times, but also very proud, amazed and grateful at others. The country that makes us appreciate and respect our Jewish heritage.” Bar will be working with the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and other community agencies and synagogues on a variety of programs. “I want the community to know that I am going into this experience with an open mind,” Bar wrote. “I have the will and desire to bring the most out of the shlichut, build bridges, teach and learn.” The community shlichut program is a partnership between the Jewsih Federation and the Jewish Agency for Israel and made possible in our community through the support of Lewis and Roberta Gaines.
Lehigh Valley celebrates Israel’s 70th birthday! p22-23
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley firstname.lastname@example.org
Communal birth pangs We have quickly moved through Super Bowl season, through the college basketball March Madness, and are in the midst of NBA playoffs. The primary election is a few weeks away and, before we know it, the highly anticipated mid-term elections will be upon us. Throughout all this, we are inundated with commentary and predictions. So, if you have peered into the crystal ball, read the runes, revisited Nostradamus, checked out the Mayan calendar, had your palm read, and shuffled the Tarot cards, then you know what’s going to happen. My prediction is that confidence in predictions is never warranted. After all, doesn’t the Talmud say in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that after the Temple was destroyed, prophecy was given only to children and fools? I know I am not a child. And I hope I am not a fool. So, the gift of prophecy fully eludes me. But, that does not stop me from thinking about the future, contemplating change, and anticipating future events. Like Jews in many parts of our country, we face clear and present dangers, perhaps even more severe in the northeast. We know we have certain demographic realities. We know
from changing membership and enrollment patterns that synagogues and Jewish agencies must work differently and collaboratively, not only to engage the newer generation, but even to maintain the engagement and involvement of those who have graced our rolls for the past few decades. What can we as a community do to help our institutions or synagogues maintain their vibrancy? How will we meet the needs of an increasingly aging population? Can we raise the additional $200,000 to $300,000 we need to meet our annual campaign goals so we can continue to meet all our commitments to the Jewish community? In the wake of the Roman conquest of Israel, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai offered this parable, as apt for the 21st century as it was in his day: A man in a boat began to bore a hole under his seat. His fellow passengers protested. “What concern is it of yours?” he responded. “I am making a hole under my seat, not under yours.” They responded, “That is so, but when the water enters and the boat sinks, we too will drown.” Without a doubt, our potential is inextricably linked to one another. We sail or sink together. Charles Darwin, speaking about something slightly
more complex than our Jewish community, stated “in the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” And not only is that true in our Jewish community, but good things are happening now which portend good signs for our future. In this HAKOL issue (page 1) our editor writes an excellent article on the merger of two synagogues in Easton. It is an uplifting article because those directly involved recognize – notwithstanding some difficult times in the process – that they are collaboratively planning their future and the future of the Easton Jewish community. And without going into detail, in two separate processes, four Jewish organizations in all at the other end of the Lehigh Valley are in active discussions about how best to husband resources and proactively collaborate, not before it is “too late,” but because they recognize the outstanding benefits and value of working together. Quoting a synagogue president in Easton about collaboration, “we have a lot more in common than not in common.” I am reminded that the Chinese ideogram for “crisis” also means “opportunity.” But, the
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers, As a child attending a Jewish day school in the South, Shavuot always heralded the end of the school year for me. I celebrated that as much as the actual holiday, but growing up, I found that I often conflated the two, not taking time to truly understand what Shavuot is about, or the myriad ways to celebrate it. When I heard it was a holiday about learning, I decided now was the perfect time to figure out this less famous, but still very important, holiday. Shavuot, at its basics, is a holiday that takes place seven weeks after Passover, to celebrate two things, just as I did in school. The grain harvest of summer is celebrated on the same day as receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, which may seem strange at first, but some scholars say
the holiday is about beginnings, celebrating new material and spiritual nourishment. Nowadays, most Shavuot celebrations occur at synagogues, where congregations read piyyutim (medieval poems) and the Book of Ruth. Another tradition unique to this holiday is Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an all-nighter devoted to studying the Torah. In my quest to learn more about Shavuot, I became curious about this ritual. Torah study is part of Jewish life during the other days of the year, but only on Shavuot is it customary to learn overnight. Some modern communities interpret this as an opportunity to learn about ways to make the world better, and choose to study feminist theory or Jewish-Muslim relations. Others focus on reenacting ancient harvest celebrations and climbing mountains
Shalom, Michelle Cohen
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 BETTY ALLEN (Mother of Billie Jo Fretz) Nancy Bernstein
MURIEL BAUMWOLL (Mother of Rich Baumwoll) Ross and Wendy Born MURIEL DENNY (Mother of Andrea Foucek) Neil and Linda Dicker JIM VATER (Husband of Debbie Vater) Nancy Bernstein
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN JFLV Director of Marketing
HAKOL is published 11 times per year for the Jewish communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and vicinity by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
COMMUNITY SUBMISSIONS Submissions to HAKOL must be of interest to the entire Jewish community. HAKOL reserves all editorial rights including, but not limited to, the decision to print any submitted materials, the editing of submissions to conform to style and length requirements, and the placement of any printed material. Articles should be submitted by e-mail or presented as typed copy; “Community Calendar” listings must be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com 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.
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to symbolize the trek up Mount Sinai. As a child, I thought I knew all there was to know about holidays. But now, I’m discovering the joy of learning new things. This spring (technically, even with the snow and hail), consider taking some time to learn something new about Judaism in honor of Shavuot.
journey to a distant destination, begun by Abraham and Sarah and continued by a hundred generations of ancestors. And it still beckons. What I know is that we are changing. And we will stress collaboration because Darwin’s exhortation and our future speak simultaneously to us. It won’t be easy and not without “birthing pangs.”
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JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY IN HONOR BETH KOZINN Lion of Judah Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award Marilyn Claire
Hebrew is more hopeful still. The word for crisis, mashber, also means a “birthing chair.” The Jewish reflex is to see difficult times as birth pangs. With the will to confront crisis, something new will be born. Does that mean organizations will merge? Does it mean more program and administrative collaboration? Does it mean right-sizing, relocating, or co-locating Jewish communal facilities? Does it mean the curtailing of some programs in order to maintain those of greater emerging priority? Does it mean revising budgets, staffing patterns and communal expectations as a response to the realities of 2020 rather than becoming a mere reflection of what we might have been in 1990? So what are my predictions? We are the people of a
MICHELLE COHEN Editor ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE MCKEE Advertising Representative TEL: 610-515-1391 email@example.com
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
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
Lehigh Valley women enjoy playing golf Editor’s Note: When golf first came to the United States, it was widely considered a man’s sport, with few opportunities for women to learn and play the sport. Nowadays, more and more women are breaking these barriers in the social and competitive worlds. The Lehigh Valley is home to several of these women, who enjoy playing golf in their spare time and bring their skills to the Federation golf tournament each year.
ERICA HYMAN How long have you been golfing? I’ve been golfing for 12 years. What made you want to pick up the sport? I was a tennis player and got tennis elbow, so I decided golf might be a good sport to play because you don’t use your right arm as much as your left. Do you have any friends or family members who golf? My daughter Julia plays golf. We both play in the Federation event every year, and if she plays, she wins! She played in high school, but opted not to play in college. She played on the Moravian team in 9th grade, and she won the Colonial League Championship for Moravian, so she’s on the banner there. That was a coed team, but she won the individual medal, and she was the only freshman girl starter at Moravian. Then, she went to Lawrenceville, where she also played on the girls’ team. Last year, she played in the Mac-
cabiah games in golf, and she got an individual bronze medal, and the team won a gold medal. There’s only one 18-hole course in Israel. The course was very difficult, because it was extremely narrow, and if you didn’t hit a perfectly straight ball, it could go out of bounds. It was super challenging. There were even houses bordering the course! What do you like about playing golf? It’s a great sport. Anyone who plays golf knows, you have a great day, and it is euphoric. Just being able to walk a beautiful course on a nice day is incredible, and it’s an addictive sport. It’s unlike any other sport – you just get hooked, and you are always striving to improve. It would be great if more women would get into it!
Erica Hyman, right, with her husband Nat and daughter Julia out on the golf course.
Patty Carlis, left, with Taffi Ney, Linda Levy and Lisa Graner at the Federation tournament in 2015.
active and outdoors, so golf seemed like something good to take up.
How long have you been golfing? I’ve been playing golf for around 25 years.
Do you have any friends or family members who golf? We play with friends, play with my husband. Only one of my sons is really interested in golf, and he played golf in high school for Moravian Academy. I’ve played with friends in the Federation tournament for the last several years.
got it down. There are so many aspects of the game that require different skills, and it requires a lot of focus and concentration, so it’s a wonderful way to spend several hours. There’s a social component to it as well, and that’s always delightful. I play because I enjoy it, and to see if there’s something new I’ve learned about my game this time. I’m not there as much about the score as the experience.
What do you like about playing golf? Golf is a forever game, and it’s not a game you ever perfect. It’s always a challenge, and what I love about it is that it’s great being outdoors, it’s a lovely long walk in the woods, and you never get to the point where you’ve
Are you interested in golfing with women like Erica and Patty? Consider attending the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s 7th annual Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament on June 18. Call 610-8215500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ golf for more information.
What made you want to pick up the sport? My husband really enjoys it, and we joined Berkeley Country Club. Golf was something I grew up with. My parents were both avid golfers. I was never a golfer when I was younger, but it was very much a part of what my parents did and whether they played golf or watched it on TV, golf was always part of my life. It was something my husband was doing, and I love being
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 3
WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Women to come together to ‘combat chaos’
Combat Chaos Self-Defense instructor Steve Mittman demonstrates some of the moves he teaches. By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Women’s Philanthropy will bring new and old friends together in May to tackle an important topic. On May 29, the women will participate in a self-defense class led by Steve Mittman at an event hosted by the Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee. It won’t be your typical selfdefense class, said Mittman, who has been teaching these classes for over 25 years. “The term self-defense in and of itself connotes the physical,” said Mittman, who currently teaches at Hoover Karate Academy. “That’s not what true selfprotection is all about.” Self-protection is actually only 10 percent physical, 90 percent mental, he said.
The women will engage in mentally empowering drills before learning some basic physical moves to “get the blood pumping.” “We talk about the strength that everyone has within them and we tap into that,” Mittman said. Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee Co-Chairs Sarah Morse and Rachel Shurman are excited for the event. “I think it’s great for women to get together and to feel empowered and self-defense is a great skill to have and something great to do as we come together to meet each other,” Morse said. The "Combat Chaos Self-Defense Class” will take place on Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. $12 per person. Call 610-821-5500, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ events to register.
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 MAY 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 | email@example.com
Allentown woman plans to donate her house to Jewish community
By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Juana del Solar is not Jewish, yet she attributes all the good things that have happened in her life to the Jewish people. Now, at almost 91, she hopes to give something back – by donating her Al-
6 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
lentown duplex to benefit the Jewish community. Sitting down for an interview in that duplex, del Solar slips in and out of her native Spanish while trying to explain her reason for making the donation. But what it comes down to is simple: “You are nice with me, I never forget you,” she said. Growing up in Chile, del Solar became acquainted with the Jewish people early on – particularly after an influx of Jews arrived after World War II. As a teenager, she coifed up her hair and made herself look older to secure a job at a clothing factory owned by a Jewish family. “If the factory wasn’t owned by a Jewish person, I wouldn’t take the job,” she said. “I found good with the Jews and I made good relations.” Of all the girls in the factory, the owner’s wife chose her to be her companion. “Mrs. Cecelia” had four grown sons and was looking for friendship, so del Solar would stay with her on the weekends. They would go shopping together, to the swimming pool – “I was like a queen,” she said. She did marry for a time – “I don’t know why I didn’t marry a Jewish guy when I was in Chile because there was a lot of people Jewish” – and moved to Uruguay with her husband. There, she met another Jewish family who set them up with a place to live without even a down payment. After her marriage ended, del Solar immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. She was working in New York as a knitter when she found herself with an unexpected day off. Rather than mope about the loss of a day’s work, she headed to Coney Island. While she was lying on the beach, a young man approached her. She was intrigued, as he spoke some Spanish. She hit it off with Allen Kirstein, a Jew, of blessed memory, and the two maintained a relation-
ship for almost 50 years. Once living in Allentown – Kirstein would visit regularly – she quickly built relationships with several local Jewish families – framed pictures from some she has remained close to still adorn her shelves. She worked for a time for Art and Phoebe (z”l) Altman, caring for the home and the children during a time of need. She also spent time working for Harold and Linda Kreithen. Eva Levitt, who currently serves as president of the Jewish Federation, met del Solar about 40 years ago through someone who worked for her. She has continued to keep in touch and offer help when needed ever since. “She’s always been very explicit about how she’s very thankful to Jewish people,” Levitt said. “She’s had very close relationships and … she thinks of them with warm and fond feelings.” Five years ago, with Levitt’s encouragement, del Solar struck up a relationship with Jim Mueth, the new director of planned giving and endowments at the Jewish Federation. “It was interesting, if I called her around a Jewish holiday, like on Rosh Hashanah, she would wish me a happy new year,” Mueth said. “I was always amazed by her story and the relationships she has made with people here.” Mueth – who del Solar affectionately calls “Jeemy” – has kept up a close relationship with del Solar since then. He checked in every couple of months, and since Kirstein passed about a year ago, his visits and calls have become even more regular. “A couple of years ago, I drove her to Nazareth and we had lunch with Art Altman,” Mueth said. “They hugged when they saw each other and they reminisced. You could see the obvious affection and even though they hadn’t seen each other for some time, they just slipped into conversation like little time had passed.” Having someone decide to donate their house is “definitely something that doesn’t happen every day,” Mueth said. “This is something that she’s wanted to do for years and years and years. Its satisfying that we’re able to make it happen.” “I just think it’s a lovely thing,” Levitt said of del Solar’s plan. “She doesn’t have any family and this is a really lovely thing for her to do. I think it’s a sign of appreciation for the relationships that she’s had.”
Community gathers for Yom HaShoah commemoration exploring Israeli culture By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor On April 11, a packed room of people gathered to commemorate the Holocaust in a variety of ways, including a feature presentation based on the Holocaust’s perception in Israeli society. The ceremony opened with an hour-long recitation of names in which children and teenagers from the Jewish Day School and other local schools read aloud the names, years of life and place of death of many Holocaust victims. Some of the names were submitted by members of the community who are survivors or descendants of survivors. The formal program began with an introduction from Tama Tamarkin, the granddaughter of a partisan, who spoke about the evolution of the Holocaust narrative in Israel. After the national anthem, which was led by Cantor Ellen Sussman, attendees watched a video of 600 Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren singing a song called “Chai,” the Hebrew word for life. The video was filmed at a program held in Israel by Koolulam, a social musical movement reaching across Israeli society. The highlight of the evening was a lecture titled “The Holocaust and Israeli Society,” which was presented by Dr. Rachel Korazim, a Jewish education consultant specializing in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. “The story doesn’t end when the Holocaust ended,” Korazim began her talk, and she went on to tell a story beginning in 1946 with her Orthodox mother and Zionist father moving to Israel. This dichotomy played a large part in her talk, especially an exercise of imagination in which she asked audience members to imagine themselves in two roles on the opposite end of the religious spectrum: a Satmar Chasid, and an almost-assimilated Jew, both having survived the Holocaust. The Satmar survivor, Korazim said, would have followed the Satmar rebbe to Williamsburg to find remnants of his old community, and when he asked the rebbe why the Holocaust happened, he would answer that it was a punishment for the
sin of Zionism, based on three ancient oaths from the Babylonian Talmud. The imagined almost-assimilated survivor, on the other hand, went to a Zionist youth group as a teenager, then forgot much of his Judaism. He would reconnect with old friends in Israel and make aliyah, only to ask the new country’s leadership why the Holocaust occurred. The answer here, Korazim claimed, would be that Jews were not Zionist enough. Israel, thus, was at the heart of the debate about the origins of the Holocaust from the beginning, and for survivors who made aliyah like Korazim’s mother, who arrived young, pregnant and on the verge of divorce, they found themselves in a strange position. Korazim recalled a story told to her in which her mother was asked, on her first day of living on the kibbutz, why she had been so stupid for listening to the Nazis and following their orders. By the time Korazim was 8 years old, this was the explanation she herself received from her mother, and she noted that the early Holocaust narrative came from taking responsibility for what happened based on the Israeli ideas of strength. In Israel, she said, the message of the Holocaust was mainly about the partisans, ghetto resistance fighters and others who fought against the Nazis militarily, rather than the survivors of Nazi atrocities. In 1959, when the Knesset gathered to decide a day to commemorate the Holocaust, they chose the day of the Warsaw ghetto uprising to promote this message. The day was given the full name of Yom HaShoah v’haGvurah, or “The Day of Remembering the Holocaust and Heroism.” Growing up in Israel, Korazim remembered, “The heroes for children were the partisans, rebels, parachutists, and ‘Holocaust’ referred to the victims who went like sheep to the slaughter.” This began to change in 1961, with the Eichmann trial, where the state’s prosecutor made references in his speech that Korazim likens to him calling himself Aaron and the victims Moses (in reference to Aaron serving as Moses’ less-important mouthpiece for someone who had trouble speaking for himself). “It
was time to hear [the victims],” Korazim said, “and Israel started listening.” A convergence of events in the 1970s – the 1972 Munich Games, in which Israeli Jews were killed and presumably did not fight much against the hostage-takers, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Israelis were captured by the enemy and not questioned for not fighting back – led to a shift in perspective on Holocaust victims and a greater understanding of their situation. Israelis, at this time, began learning the value of survival and telling the Holocaust story – and it is the story of this cultural shift that Korazim tries to convey to students today in her career. After Korazim spoke, survivors and their children and grandchildren lit memorial candles and held a moment of silence before the El Maley Rachamim prayer and Mourner’s Kaddish. The night ended with Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, reminding attendees of the country at the center of the night’s discussion.
Holocaust speaker expands on talk at community brunch
Dr. Rachel Korazim followed her presentation at the April 11 Yom HaShoah commemoration at a community brunch the next morning. At the brunch, she delved deeper into the portrayal of the Holocaust in Israeli society as told through literature. She did this by looking at the five major trials that shaped perceptions about the Holocaust today, focusing in on the last one, the Eichmann trial. She led attendees through the words of Israel’s then-”national poet,” Nathan Alterman, and how his initial perceptions evolved over the course of the trial as survivors gave their testimony. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 7
Levy Hillel award winners celebrated IN HONOR
On April 15, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley hosted the 26th annual celebration of the recipients of the Levy Hillel Leadership Award. 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. This year's award recipients were (clockwise from top left) Samantha Rosenfield from Muhlenberg College, Shira Morosohk from Lehigh University, Sydney Edelson from Lafayette College and Alexis Buck from Moravian College.
8 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
NICOLE BRILL Birth of her granddaughter Beth and Wes Kozinn IAN CARLIS Speedy Recovery Roberta and Jeff Epstein Martha and Ron Segel Vicki Wax LARRY CENTER Bar Mitzvah of his grandson Roberta and Robert Kritzer PETER AND KAREN COOPER Birth of their grandson Engagement of their son, David Vicki Wax ROBERTO AND EILEEN FISCHMANN Birth of their grandson Jeff and Jill Blinder Carol and Stewart Furmansky Jay and Evelyn Lipschutz BARNET AND LISA FRAENKEL Birth of their grandson Jeff and Jill Blinder Suzanne Lapiduss and Tracey and Jason Billig MICHAEL AND ELLEN GORDON Engagement of Matthew Roberta and Robert Kritzer BETH KOZINN In honor of her receiving the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award Vicki Wax JEAN AND MARK MISHKIN Birth of their granddaughter Jay and Evelyn Lipschutz JOYCE AND MICHAEL ORDUN In honor of Liz and Ryan’s marriage Joan Brody EMMA RIZEN In honor of her outstanding performance in gymnastics Sybil and Barry Baiman JULIA SHALEV In honor of her outstanding performance at state gymnastics competition
Sybil and Barry Baiman RICHARD AND LYNDA SOMACH Birth of their granddaughter Suzanne Lapiduss and Tracey and Jason Billig BARBARA AND DAVID SUSSMAN In honor of their new home Sybil and Barry Baiman EILEEN UFBERG Speedy Recovery Merry Landis Bob and Lota Post JUDY WEIS Birth of her greatgranddaughter Suzanne Lapiduss and Tracey and Jason Billig IN MEMORY NATALIE COLEMAN Roberta and Jeff Epstein Donald and Randi Senderowitz Serita Silberg MURIEL DENNY (Mother of Andrea Foucek) Beth and Wes Kozinn Martha and Ron Segel SOLOMON FRANKEL (Father of Monica Friess) Martha and Ron Segel HAROLD GLANTZ (Father of Miriam Zager) Donald and Randi Senderowitz RALPH GROSSMAN (Father of Ben Grossman) Martha and Ron Segel MILTON GUSSOW (Father of Susan Vengrove) Ross and Wendy Born Beth and Wes Kozinn Jay and Evelyn Lipschutz HAMILTON HERTZ (Father of Jonathan Hertz) Martha and Ron Segel ALAN KARR Joan Brody MARVIN KUSHNICK
(Father of Howard Kushnick) Aliette and Marc Abo Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Amy and Mark Holtz Donald and Randi Senderowitz JERRY NEPON (Father of Betsy and Richard Nepon) Ross and Wendy Born Martha and Ron Segel MATTHEW SARRETT (Brother-in-law of Arlene Levine) Jay and Evelyn Lipschutz JANICE SAVITZ (Mother of Lynne Shampain) Martha and Ron Segel REBA SCOBLIONKO (Mother of Mark Scoblionko) Aliette and Marc Abo Merry Landis Martha and Ron Segel Donald and Randi Senderowitz (Sister-in-law of Ronnie Sheftel) Martha and Ron Segel MILTON SHEFTEL (Husband of Ronnie Sheftel) Roberta and Robert Kritzer Martha and Ron Segel SUSAN SILVERBERG (Sister of Bruce Silverberg) Martha and Ron Segel MARSHALL SILVERSTEIN (Husband of Nina Silverstein) Martha and Ron Segel Donald and Randi Senderowitz (Father of Alyssa Drucker) Marion Jablansky and Family ELLIOT SMITH (Father of Sheryl Block) Aliette and Marc Abo JOSEPH WEISS (Brother of Diane Silverman) Martha and Ron Segel 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.
Honoring the fallen on Yom Hazikaron
The community gathered on April 17 for a ceremony to honor fallen IDF soldiers and those who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Israel. The program featured a a new artistic installation by Beit Avi Chai of Jerusalem called “A Face. The Day. A Memorial.” that utilizes current technologies in order to transform memories from the lives of those lost into animation films. One of the films was about Amir Zohar, z"l, who was killed in battle during his reserve duty service in 2000. Zohar was from Yoav, the Lehigh Valley's partnership community. A Jewish Day School student read the words that his parents, Dani and Nurit Zohar, graciously wrote in his memory.
JFS and JCC partner for pilot ‘Mazel J Café’ May 19, 2018 Silent Auction begins at 5:30 pm Live Auction begins at 8:00 pm
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Left, Sharon Gayner from Jewish Family Service and Amy Sams from the JCC, who are co-facilitating the program. Right, Cooky Notis presents on Jewish gangsters at the first session. By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing A group of Jewish older adults, and some of their caregivers, gathered in the JCC Board Room on April 18 for the first session of a sixweek pilot program. The “Mazel J Café” began with chair exercises to “oldtime” music like “The Lindy” and “Lollipop.” Then the group enjoyed cookies and a talk on Jewish gangsters with Cooky Notis and a session with Rabbi Seth Phillips. “There was really a lot of laughter, a lot of interaction,” said Sharon Gayner, who is coordinating the program for Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley.“ The role was a natural extension for Gayner, who began working at JFS as the food pantry coordinator this year. She holds a degree in family community service from Syracuse University and a certificate in gerontology. Gayner is partnering with Amy Sams, adult programming coordinator at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, to run the program. “This is definitely a ‘mission critical’ area in older adult services,” Sams said. “We are glad to be able to host it at the JCC.” The pilot is funded by a community impact grant from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The idea for the program
was to bring together older adults who may not get out of the house much and could use some socialization. It is also intended to provide caregivers with a little respite, though several stayed for the first session and found it quite enjoyable, Gayner and Sams said. For the pilot, the nine participants were hand-picked by JFS, but the hope is to advertise and open the program to the public next time. The participants will be asked to complete surveys at
the end of each session, and their feedback will help shape future iterations of the café. In the upcoming weeks, this group will enjoy additional activities including writing workshops, dog therapy and a drumming circle. “No matter what’s going on, people really need to get out and live and see other people,” Gayner said. “It’s already been such a wonderful experience, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
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Easton synagogue Continues from page 1
10 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Conservative shul, currently share Rabbi Melody Davis as well as services, events and a religious school. Some problems that may have seemed large are turning out wonderfully well. “We find that our differences are minimal at best” in terms of denomination, Gutman said. “We have a lot more in common than not in common.” The process of combining the synagogues began with this aspect. “In order to attempt to bring both synagogues together in working order, we first had to go to the rabbi, who has been very gracious and very willing to step in and fulfill the religious aspect of the situation, which is making both congregations – one Conservative, and one Reform – feel at home with the services over which she presides,” Weisberger said. “We started out performing a Saturday morning service for Bnai Abraham, and continuing with Friday night services [at TCP], and the rabbi is doing the best to blend those so that the congregations feel a desire to attend as much as they possibly can,” Weisberger continued. “So, we built around that. Since we have both Shabbat services on the weekend, we were then able to expand to other holidays during the rest of the year.” As a result, “everybody starts to come together and feel as one, and hopefully, when we are able to turn this 100 percent into a synagogue that not only functions like we are now, as one, but in actuality, serves as one, then the job will be primarily complete, and all we’ll have to do is make little tweaks.” In her role as the rabbi of both congregations, Davis
The buildings currently used by Temple Covenant of Peace (above) and Bnai Abraham Synagogue (below).
has been attempting to create a service with rituals and melodies that fit both groups of people. “Bringing together TCP and Bnai Abraham has been a very interesting journey for me,” said Davis, who trained as a pluralistic rabbi – meaning that she trained to serve “Am Yisrael (the people of Israel), not any particular denomination.” “As any rabbi will tell you, every congregation does things their own way. They’ve all got their own customs, and it’s your job as the rabbi to learn what those customs are and to go with them,” Davis continued. “For me, stepping into Bnai Abraham was not alien territory in any way. I grew up Orthodox, raised my children conservative, I’m the kid who didn’t color in the lines, and I truly never understood denominationalism. To me, Jews are Jews, and that’s the bottom line.
When people ask me what we're going to be, my response is Jewish!” During her time at TCP, the synagogue has changed ideologically and moved toward the center, and Bnai Abraham has moved closer to Reform, which means that “bridging is not as complex as it might have been in the past,” Davis said. In terms of Saturday morning services, “the big difference at Bnai Abraham is that they do musaf. We’re talking 15, 20 minutes – big deal! If musaf makes the congregation comfortable, we do musaf, it’s not going to kill anybody.” For any larger differences, the two ritual committees have been working together “actively and avidly,” Davis added. “Events have been happening at both temples, as have services, and people are coming, and what more can a rabbi ask?” For issues like the building, which can be difficult considering congregants’ attachments to the building they remember attending for years, the solution is unorthodox. Both buildings will be placed on the market, and they plan to “let the real estate gods decide” whichever building would sell first, Gutman said. Other issues, like the cemeteries, remain to be decided; frequent meetings between both synagogues’ boards work together to smooth this process. At the heart of the matter remains a great desire to serve the Jewish community of Easton in the best way possible. In addition to appealing to unaffiliated Jews who may be more comfortable with an interdenominational synagogue, Davis believes that the merger will enable the new synagogue to be “more able to serve this community.”
Finding God on a cruise ship vacation
CANTOR ELLEN SUSSMAN Temple Shirat Shalom This past month I went on my first cruise. We sailed on the Oasis of the Sea headed for ports of call in the Caribbean. We flew to Orlando and took a bus to Cape Kennedy and headed to our ship. I lost my breath when I saw the magnitude of the ship. The Oasis sailed with 6,000 souls aboard; passengers 4,000, crew 2,000. David and I have never been on a cruise ship before and weren’t really planning on having a vacation on one of these cities floating in the water.
However, my son and daughter-in-law invited us to accompany them with my daughter-in-law’s parents and sister on the trip. I felt if your adult son invites you to spend time with him and his wife anywhere, anytime, OK. I think I was a little snobby about cruising. How can all these guests be served in an elegant meaningful way? Well I was wrong. It was a fantastic trip and I would certainly go on a cruise again. The ship did not seem overly crowded and there was virtually anything you would want to eat or do. No fuss or muss. The crew was efficient and always helpful. In other words, I loved it. I loved spending time with my family, relaxing, having the chance to read and walking the ship. What did I love the most? A simple thing: sitting on my balcony at sunset with a glass of wine staring at the ocean. The songs describing the ocean came to mind, “How Deep is the Ocean”, “Rollin’ in the Deep” and on and on. We sing of this
natural wonder, the wonder of the navy blue water. The sound was hypnotic – just the ship gliding through the water and waves lapping against the hull was hypnotizing and fantastic. I felt wonderful, peaceful, calm and happy. I was never fearful that anything could go wrong. I felt God. To me, staring at this creation of the All Mighty was just that: all and mighty. Every morning, the sun began to rise and every evening, the moon would appear. This trip made me take the time to “stop all the chatter that gets in the way and listen, listen to our God.” I thought to myself how could we question God’s presence when we see this incredible beauty and order. I speak of God’s wonders all the time as I officiate at services and life cycle events, but sometimes the preacher needs to take time to feel and connect. This cruise gave me the chance to renew and refresh myself, to once again experience God in the visceral way I did when I stopped to listen.
BBYO visits B'nai Brith
By Chelsea Karp Jewish Family Service BBYO Teens facilitated Shabbat services on Friday April 13 at B'nai Brith Apartments. Brendan Fraley, vice president of Judaics for AZA, coordinated the program in partnership with Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley. The teens led every aspect of the service and provided an oneg for participants. "I thought it was very rewarding as I, part of the Jewish future, got to lead a
service in front of some of our community members who helped us get to this part in our history," said Fraley. "The residents come to Shabbat services because they love seeing the young people," said community member Bobbie Rudolph. This is the second year in a row that the BBYO teens have volunteered their time to our older adult community at B'nai Brith. JFS is looking forward to continued partnership with this vibrant organization.
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 11
22% of US millennials haven’t heard of or are not sure if they have heard of the Holocaust, study finds
Auschwitz and Belsen concentration camp survivor Eva Behar showing her number tattoo in her home in London, Dec. 1, 2014. Jewish Telegraphic Agency Over a fifth of millennials in the United States have not heard of or are unsure if they have heard of the Holocaust, a
recent study found. The survey, which was commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (also known as the Claims Confer-
ence), found that many Americans were unaware of basic facts about the Holocaust. The results were released on April 12, which marks Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The study included 1,350 interviews with Americans aged 18 and over. While 6 million Jews are estimated killed in the Holocaust, 31 percent of all respondents and 41 percent of millennials, aged 18 to 34, believe that number is 2 million or less, according to the survey. Forty-five percent of all respondents could not name a concentration camp or ghetto from World War II, and 41 percent could not identify Auschwitz, a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps. The study found that the vast majority of respondents support Holocaust education. Ninety-three percent of the respondents said that all students should learn about the Holocaust in school and 80 percent said it was important to educate about the Holocaust to prevent it from happening again.
Still, 58 percent of respondents believe that “something like the Holocaust could happen again.” Claims Conference President Julius Berman expressed concern about the lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among millennials. “We are alarmed that today’s generation lacks some of the basic knowledge about these atrocities,” he said in a statement. The group’s executive vice president, Greg Schneider, said the study’s findings highlighted the importance of Holocaust education. “There remain troubling gaps in Holocaust awareness while survivors are still with us; imagine when there are no longer survivors here to tell their stories,” Schneider said. “We must be committed to ensuring the horrors of the Holocaust and the memory of those who suffered so greatly are remembered, told and taught by future generations.” The study was conducted Feb. 23-27 by Schoen Consulting. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
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12 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Local mom explains 'food bullying' trend and how to combat it Editor’s Note: Food bullying, a subset of bullying in which children with food allergies are threatened with their allergens, is an important issue in schools today. Lauren Rabin, a mom of a child who has food allergies, provided this interview to help others become aware of how to recognize and stop food bullying. HAKOL: How would you define food bullying? LAUREN RABIN: Food bullying is a threat made with food toward a child with lifethreatening allergies. It is another way of bullying someone who is “different.” It is usually done as a joke but can result in a reaction that can easily threaten their health and go beyond what might be resolved by the use of antihistamines or epinephrine. Most of the time the “bully” is unaware of the consequences, which is why food allergy education is so important in schools by professional educators and at home by children’s caregivers. Consuming or coming into contact with a trace amount of an allergen can cause anaphylaxis, a very serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can cause death.
lergy. The most common type of food bullying is physical and verbal. The “bullies” will use the food allergen as a scare tactic by sneaking it into lunches and snacks or waving in front of allergic kids’ faces. Insensitive remarks or actions by their peers or their peers’ parents can leave these kids feeling anxious, alone and scared. H: What motivates you to continue your involvement in the anti-food bullying movement? LR: I am motivated to stay involved because I have seen improvement. Although we still have a long way to go, many public schools are equipped with the right tools, procedures and plans to deal with issues that may arise in children with allergies. Nurses and teachers are now trained in food allergy protocol and many teachers will allow for “allergy safe” classrooms. The more understanding and aware the teachers and parents are, the more understanding the other children will be. Tolerance and respect always comes from positive examples and lessons, and
that’s just what the teachers and school administrators can provide. H: What are some ways that people can take action about this issue? LR: I would suggest talking to your children. If there is a child in your home with food allergies, talk to them about food bullying. In many food bullying cases (like any other bullying) children don’t report the incident to an adult either right away or ever. This can exacerbate the situation. Make sure to have open conversations with your children and their peers. These conversations can help the child feel more at ease. Notice if your child is pulling away from their friends or not wanting to eat in front of others. Continue to talk about food allergies and anaphylaxis with friends and colleagues and don’t joke about it. Although it seems funny, it’s not. It is never, ever appropriate to make fun of children. There have been numerous fatalities in school and camp settings due to allergic reactions. Continue to be an advocate for
your child. If you’re not, no one else will. We have also learned that you can’t control other people’s actions, only your own and how you react to adversity. We teach our children to be aware of their surroundings, to look out for themselves and each other, and to always be kind. Kindness is contagious. H: Do you see any Jewish values behind taking action on this issue? LR: I think that our Jewish values have made dealing with difficult situations a
little easier. Our children attended the Jewish Community Center for preschool and day camp, and currently attend Chabad Lubavitch of the Lehigh Valley for Hebrew school where they are taught to be inclusive, respectful and responsible. We constantly reinforce to our children the importance of being kind, confident, tolerant and understanding of others while standing up for what’s right. Nothing will change without taking a stand by speaking up and educating your community. Knowledge is power.
H: How did you first get involved with the anti-food bullying movement? LR: As a mom of a child who has food allergies, I was forced into the anti-food bullying movement by default. I felt that I had to participate and contribute whatever I could. Whether it’s your child or an allergic friend, someone at some point is bullied because of their al-
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JDS celebrates Passover By Amy Golding Jewish Day School Head of School The Jewish Day School was Passover central the week before the very important holiday of freedom. On Wednesday, March 28, the JDS pre-K and kindergarten classes were joined by the JCC kindergarten for the first annual Seder Fair. The students rotated from interactive station to station, racing baby Moses down the Nile, building pyramids out of sugar cubes, making and tasting charoset and playing Pin the Plague on Pharaoh. The next day, first through eighth grades, along with JDS alumni and dear friends, came together to hold their annual School Model Seder. The tables were set with individual “seder plates” for each student, replete with everything needed from matzah to charoset to horseradish, with Haggadot alongside. Each grade had a special role in the festivities, from third grade’s presentation on the seder plate’s symbolism and first grade’s production of the Mah Nishtanah (the Four Questions), to fourth grade’s incredibly illustrated version of Dayenu and middle school’s beautiful rendition of “B’tzait Yisrael” from Hallel. The seder was a culmination of weeks of study and preparation, and the students were so proud to share their knowledge and Divrei Torah, including Zoe Lachter’s take on the “Bad/Rashah Son” and Danny Wax’s exposition on the significance of blood as the first plague. A delicious holiday meal catered by JDS Chefs Ron Sunshine and Feather
Frazier included everything from soup to macaroons, and was followed by a spirited search for the afikomen. Congratulations to Lilly Reuther for hunting it down! A mysterious Elijah stopped by for a quick drink, and the event ended with the traditional dance party to a drum filled “Echad Me Yodaiyah.” A wonderful time was had by all and everyone went into the Passover holiday ready to share what they learned and follow the seder like experts.
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Yoav teen delegation prepares for summer at Camp JCC
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Tahel Shemer, Yam Agami, Ofer Efraim and Omer Najary are excited for their summer in the Lehigh Valley.
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Editor’s Note: Each year, four teens from Yoav, the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether community in Israel, are selected to spend the summer working at Camp JCC in Center Valley. They bring their culture to the campers, particularly during “Israel Week.” Meet this year’s delegation: Ofer Efraim My name is Ofer Efraim and I’m really excited to go to Lehigh Valley! I was born in Gedera and moved to Kibbutz Gat when I was 6 years old. My mom wanted me to be raised in a kibbutz, so she sent me to a kindergarten in a kibbutz called Netzer - Sireni. So basically I've been in a kibbutz since I remember.
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20 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
My mother's name is Liat and my father's name is Arnon, I also have a cute brother called Omer. (I wish I had a pet but my parents don't really like this idea.) I’m guiding a bunch of little girls in "Hshomer Hzair" youth movement and I like each one of them. During a regular week, I sleep three nights a week in my room in my school's boarding school, it’s a big part of my life and I'm having so much fun in there. I like drawing, painting and art in general, so it's no wonder I chose art as my major, together with chemistry. I also play the flute and a bit of ukulele. I'm really looking forward to going to the Lehigh Valley. I think it's going to be an amazing experience and I'm proud to represent Israel abroad. Tahel Shemer My name is Tahel Shemer. I was born in Israel, and have always lived in the southern part of it, particularly in Kibbutz Negba. What I like the most is music, and it has always been a huge part of my life since I was very young. I play both the piano and the violin. Other interests of mine are reading suspense and mystery books, both in Hebrew and English, and playing volleyball for our school team. I am very excited to join the delegation to your beautiful and interesting country. I heard it is an enjoyable time, and I am sure I will make a lot of friends and unforgettable memories. It will be a magnificent experience. Omer Najary My name is Omer Najary, I was born in a kibbutz called Mefalsim and moved a lot since then, but in the last 8 years I've been living in a kibbutz called Beit Nir which is a great place with a lot of amazing people. I have two siblings, my sister's name is Yam and she's 14 and my brother's name is Roni and he's 8. My parents’ names are Yuval and Hadas. I also have a cat name Krembo and
this is actually another story - I'm volunteering at a place called "Krembo Wings.” It’s a movement for kids with and without disabilities and I’m a counselor there. It's an amazing place for everyone and it creates a meaningful and safe place for a lot of kids. At the first activity of the year there was a tiny kitten outside the building and it was cold so the kitten tried to get in, but people were trying to kick her out. It was so cold and she was so tiny, so I took her home with me and named her Krembo. I love animals and whenever I see puppies or stray kittens on the street, I take them home and take care of them. I'm learning sign language at the moment, and I’m learning art and cooking too. I'm really excited to go on the delegation because I love guiding, meeting new people, and I know that this is going to be an amazing experience. Yam Agami My name is Yam Agami and I live in Vardon, a nice and quiet village in the Yoav Regional Council. I grew up around a lot of nature and animals with my parents and my two older sisters. I love going to school and learning theatre and biology, I play volleyball twice a week, photography is my passion! And of course, playing my ukulele is one of my favorite things to do. This is my second year working as a counselor of middle school students. I’m traveling with them around our beautiful country. I am part of the global Seeds of Peace organization, which includes seminars like Model United Nations and more. Last summer, I took part in the Israeli delegation of Seeds of Peace to Maine for one month with teenagers from around the world from conflict areas. I had the most incredible experience. I want to spread my love of Israel and increase my knowledge and have an amazing experience with you! I am thankful for this opportunity.
Teaching English in Israel through MASA
Editor’s Note: MASA Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF) is a 10-month fellowship for college graduates. Participants live in Israel for 10 months and teach English to Israeli children while immersing in Israeli society. MITF is a program of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. My name is Rebecca Herz, and I am 23 years old. I was born in Manhattan and raised in Port Washington on Long Island. I
discovered my Judaism when I was 13 years old through Chabad. While I was observant for most of my youth, I also interacted with secular Jews in my community. As I grew up, I became more exposed to different kinds of Judaism. That mainly happened at Muhlenberg College, where I was studying poetry and education, and was also involved in the Tikkun Olam student committee. When I was 19 years old, I went on a Birthright trip, after which I spent a semester in France, followed by spending a three-week seminary for girls in Israel. I always felt that I wanted to be involved in education and to help children in need. I looked for a program where I can fulfill this dream, and I found MASA Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF). My program takes place in Netanya, where I teach English in a religious school to Ethiopian children. In our MITF in Netanya, we are 28 interns,
each living in our own apartment. I go to school every day between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. In school, I work closely with the English teacher, trying to find ways to engage the children in new meaningful ways. For example, often I bring my guitar and teach them songs in English. For the majority of the children, this is their first encounter with a native English speaker. Once a week, after school, I go volunteering with a child with physical disabilities. The rest of the time we also have Hebrew lessons, trips in Israel and social activities within our group. I am so fortunate to be active in a program where I am able to apply my set of values and to do so in Israel. My experiences in Israel have had such an impact on me that I am now in the process of making aliyah.
FREEDOM of movement
Interested in joining a MASA program in Israel? Visit www. masaisrael.org to learn more.
‘Positively’ making a difference
The JCC of the Lehigh Valley staff presents Sharon Gayner, food pantry coordinator for Jewish Family Service, with a donation for the food pantry. The money was raised through the JCC’s “Positively Purim” event in March.
JCC celebrates Passover
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 21
Dr. Gwen S. Greenberg Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Community celebrates Israel’s 70th birthday Two days of celebration in the Lehigh Valley marked Israel’s offiical 70th birthday on April 18-19. The Yom Ha’atzmaut extravaganza kicked off with a “Taste of Israel” that Wednesday evening. Attendees enjoyed delicious Israeli food – prepared by Boscov’s and inspired by the recipes of Michael Solomonov, James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of the acclaimed Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. They then enjoyed a feature film, “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” which transported viewers to Israel to follow Chef Solomonov as he sought out the best of Israel’s culinary experiences. The following day brought families to the JCC in droves for “IsraelFest.” Children enjoyed pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, henna tattoos, a jump rope contest, graham cracker decorating and so much more. Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell stopped by to present and read a tri-city proclamation from Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Rabbi Seth Phillips then led the launching of 70 balloons in honor of Israel’s 70th and the singing of Hatikvah. Muhlenberg College student Sara Goodman then led a group of children in Israeli dancing. Guests enjoyed falafel and shawarma brought in from Brooklyn by Chabad of the Lehigh Valley. Costco joined the festivities with complimentary water and chips for all. The events were presented by the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and sponsored by Legend of Allentown.
Seventy blue and white balloons are released into the sky in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. With the blowing of the shofar, Rabbi Seth Phillips signaled for the release of the balloons and then led the group in the singing of Hatikvah.
Robyn Finberg works on henna tattoos, which are popular in Israel.
Holly Hebron creates blue and white facepaint designs.
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22 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Carol Bub Fromer and Amy Fels pose in the photo booth with David Ben-Gurion.
Rabbi Michael Singer of Congregation Brith Sholom brings a special guest to ‘clown around’ with the children.
Israeli food is on the menu for the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut. More than 80 people gathered at the JCC for a “Taste of Israel” celebration. They enjoyed falafel with all the fixings and a screening of the film “In Search of Israeli Cuisine.”
Amy Sams and Sandy Newman help sell some of the Judaica products brought by vendors to the festival.
Jewish Day School students feed the animals at the petting zoo.
Zander Volchko enjoys a pony ride on the JCC playground.
Zoey Shimon makes a bookmark at the PJ Library table.
The children get a kick out of the petting zoo in the JCC Auxiliary Auditorium. While the festival was originally planned for outside, the damp, cold weather led to a successful Plan B. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 23
State grant to fund clinical trials through PA-Israel collaboration last year to consummate a memorandum of understanding between Israel and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This latest development demonstrates how businesses in Israel and Pennsylvania, when given the opportunity, can build bridges of understanding and mutual cooperation, for the benefit of all concerned.” For several years, his organization and others have been working with the Commonwealth and the Israeli Consulate’s office to encourage such joint ventures. Jeff Finkelstein, president of the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, said, "Pittsburgh and Israel have many connections through technology and medical companies that employ experts across countries. This development attests to the growth potential for partnerships between the thriving tech community in Pittsburgh and the 'startup nation' of Israel." A Pittsburgh-based company has been awarded a significant grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to begin clinical trials for eye and brain diseases together with an Israeli company. The $500,000 grant comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The clinical trials will focus on potential remedies for currently untreatable backof-the-eye conditions including glaucoma and optic neuritis, and for a type of brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Pittsburgh-based Noveome Biotherapeutics, Inc. intends to conduct the trials in collaboration with SipNose, Ltd. of Yokneam, Israel. Noveome has developed a proprietary product, called ST266, for healing damaged or diseased tissue. SipNose has developed a unique device that can deliver ST266 non-invasively through the nose to protect nerves in the affected areas of the eye or brain. The two companies entered into a
24 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
formal collaboration agreement in March for using ST266 with the nasal device. They have already completed preclinical studies. A Phase 1 clinical safety trial is scheduled to begin later this year. Their collaboration comes at the same time that Pennsylvania has been seeking to promote more research and development projects involving local and Israeli companies. The Commonwealth and the State of Israel just signed an Agreement on Cooperation in Research, Development and Technological Innovation in November 2017. “It is very timely and exciting to have an established Pittsburgh biotech company and an innovative Israeli company collaborating on this critical life sciences project,” said Dennis M. Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Marc Zucker, chairman, Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, said, “The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition worked tirelessly
The diseases and potential treatment Intranasal ST266 will be used for diseases of the nerve that connects the eye to the brain including glaucoma and multiple sclerosis (MS). Glaucoma damages the optic nerve and is a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. Current treatments slow the nerve damage, but do not prevent it. With MS, the body’s immune system attacks the protective sheath covering the optic nerve resulting in optic neuritis. Optic neuritis is often the first symptom associated with MS. There is no treatment for this MS related eye condition. Intranasal ST266 will also be tested as a treatment for CTE. CTE is a degenerative disease usually caused by repeated head injuries. Most documented cases occur in athletes involved in contact sports and in combat injuries. Symptoms may range from headaches and dizziness, to changes in mood and behavior, and in some cases, dementia and even suicide.
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Autopsies have revealed a buildup of tau proteins that have damaged the brain tissue. In all of these indications, Noveome’s ST266 will be tested for its ability to control inflammation, protect and resuscitate nerve cells, and speed impaired healing. ST266 is a complex solution of molecules secreted from novel cells grown using Noveome’s proprietary process. Unlike a single drug used for a single target, ST266 contains such a complex combination of biologically active molecules that it may be useful for treating many different diseases and conditions. “We are confident that we will be successful in delivering ST266 directly to the back of the eye and brain,” said William J. Golden, founder, chairman and CEO at Noveome. “Combining our product with SipNose’s innovative medical device represents a revolutionary approach to non-invasively treat currently untreatable medical conditions.” Noveome has already treated 233 subjects with ST266 in eight clinical trials in other indications. It was found to be well-tolerated and there were no drugrelated adverse events reported, attesting to its strong safety profile. A common connection leads to collaboration Noveome’s collaboration with SipNose was initiated by Dr. Larry Brown, CSO of Noveome, and Dr. Iris Shichor, CEO of SipNose. They met through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where both studied under Dr. Robert Langer, a distinguished institute professor and a member of Noveome’s board of directors. “I am always heartened when my prior students join forces by innovating new and exciting approaches to address untreatable conditions such as optic neuropathies and brain diseases,” Langer said.
Muhlenberg students explore Passover in Israel Israeli history and fashion By Leah Mueth Special to HAKOL
What I enjoy about Passover is that the seder is meant to be the same no matter where you are in the world. You can find yourself in any country and sit down to a meal and have a similar experience. You’ll hear the same story and say the same prayers in the same order. That is exactly what happened at the seder that I went to, at least I’m assuming so, since it was all in Hebrew. There were a few small differences, though. The main differences were eating lettuce as the bitter herb, having the search for the afikomen the following afternoon, and the eagerness of everyone wanting to read from the haggadah. What was nice, enjoyable, and familiar was everyone singing the four
By Liron Daniel Muhlenberg Hillel Shlicha As part of Hillel's celebrations for Israel's Independence Day, Muhlenberg students held a program on March 22 that told another story about Israel and its history – the story of 70 years of Israeli fashion. Around 50 students and community members came to hear Liraz Cohen Mordechai speak about Israel, fashion and everything in between. She told the story of Israel from the late 19th century until today. Every milestone in Israel's story was presented in two layers: history and fashion. During the session, attendees discovered how significant events have influenced the creation of a new "Israeli outfit" time and time again. The night included an interactive and engaging fashion show depicting the various trends prevalent throughout Israel’s history.
Instead of actually removing non-perishable chametz, grocery stores cover huge blocks of shelves.
questions and seeing everyone struggle to do ‘Who Knows One’ just like back home. At the end of each seder, the haggadah always says “Next year in Jerusalem.” Although I wasn’t in Jerusalem, spending Passover in Israel is an experience I’ll never forget.
This varied from “kibbutz” to “Tel Aviv” across the centuries. I chose to bring this program to campus so students would have a chance to discover a different and unique angle of Israel, and to show other aspects of it – the culture, the history, the people, the fashion – and how all these aspects combine. This program also emphasized the fact that Israel is a melting pot of people, cultures and influences from all over the world, and showed the evolution of Israeli fashion over the years, and how it was affected by social movements, trends and different times. Cohen Mordechai is a fashion lecturer and NYC fashion blogger who holds a master’s degree in global fashion management from FIT. She also manages the New York-Israel Fash&Tech Meetup community and, as a certified stylist, is deeply involved in the fashion industry in New York.
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SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah! SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your next event. The ArtsQuest Center and the surrounding campus is an ideal location to host a spectacular social or corporate experience your guests will be talking about for years. From the first hello to the final farewell – every detail is handled by ArtsQuest’s courteous hospitality professionals. Contact us today – call Chelsea at 610-297-7116.
Contact us today! call Chelsea at 610-297-7116
26 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
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Allentown AZA in the community By Jacob Sussman AZA Allentown AZA has been very active in the community. First of all, members of Allentown AZA attended the Yom HaShoah service at the JCC in honor of the lives lost in the Holocaust. Allentown AZA members were able to read names of the people who have perished in the Holocaust. Next, on April 13, Allentown AZA members went to the B’nai B’rith house and led a service for the residents who live there. The members were able to talk to the residents after the service wile enjoying some sweet treats. In the upcoming weeks, Allentown AZA has some chapter events including Frat Night, a family BBQ in June and Allentown Tournies. These events will be very fun
and will be a great way to end a great year. On April 28, Allentown AZA will hold its annual elections. This is where the new board will be elected for the new year of programming. If you have any questions about membership, or anything regarding how to sign up for BBYO, please email, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Allentown BBG enjoys the spring By Fana Schoen BBG Allentown B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) is thriving this spring! Last month, we had tons of girls in attendance at an all-new Liberty BBYO convention, Liberty Summit. The convention combined two previous conventions: In Training (IT) and WOW Convention. IT was a conven-
tion to train members new to BBYO with help from regional board members and chapter morim (vice presidents of recruitment). WOW was a convention meant to wow BBYO members of all experience levels with lots of fun programming and a keynote speaker. This year, Liberty Summit combined these two conventions into one two-track, jam-packed weekend in Harrisburg. Both tracks had the opportunity to convene during some programs and services, but each track also received a unique experience only available through BBYO. Allentown BBG cannot wait for its annual J-Serve event. J-Serve is an annual event in which Jewish youth practice tikkun olam (repairing our world). This year, we will be cleaning up Camp JCC in Center Valley on April 29. We can’t wait to make that camp a better place for all of its campers and staff members. Many new members both from Allentown, as well as throughout the region, are
GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH
Helping the refugee Tatyana Ulman will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Keneseth Israel in Allentown on Saturday June 9. A seventh grader at Brandywine Heights Middle School, Tatyana enjoys singing in the school choir and playing the French horn in the band. In her free time, she loves reading, hanging out with her family and friends, and spoiling her beagle puppy, Maxi. For her bat mitzvah project, Tatyana chose to advocate and raise awareness of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). She has been educating her secular and religious school classmates and community about the HIAS mission to “Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee.” Tatyana chose this cause because HIAS helped her parents and grandparents come to America as refugees from the former Soviet Union. HIAS is the world’s oldest refugee agency; a global Jewish non-profit organization dedicated to refugee protection. HIAS conducts advocacy for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. Founded in the 1880s to help Jews fleeing persecution, today, they are guided by their Jewish values and 130-year history to advocating for laws that protect refugees and asylum seekers in need of assistance, regardless of their national, ethnic, or religious background. HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. HIAS protects the most vulnerable refugees helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and in freedom. They bring the lessons of Jewish ethics and experience to their commitment to serve refugees and other displaced persons of concern around the world with dignity and respect. HIAS proudly partners with local refugee assistance organizations around the country to assist newly arriving refugees. “With the help of HIAS, my parents were able to begin new lives,” Tatyana said. “Thanks to HIAS, I am the first member of my family to be born in America. I want to help other families like mine in getting a do- over, so they
(Left to right) Marla Stein, Fana Schoen and Molly Coleman of Allentown BBG are officially Liberty Region BBGs! excited to return to BBYO for our last convention of the year, Spring Fling Convention (Spring), from May 4-6. This is one of the most enticing conventions of the year, and everyone is at the edge of their seats. We will get to hear Liberty Region’s N’siah, Julia Schwenderman of Kehilah BBYO, give the “State of the Region” address. We will also get to participate in regional elections, with motivated Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) members (Alephs) and BBGs from all over Liberty Region running for 12 board positions. They will present platforms, answer questions, give speeches and, most of all, have fun. One of the most signifi-
cant parts of the convention is the Life Ceremony, in which graduating seniors present seven-minute speeches and donate their old BBYO clothes to a younger member, “giving them their life” and inspiring them to go forward with a passion for BBYO. This is a very moving and emotional ceremony to which many members, old, new, graduating, and not, look forward. After Spring, Allentown BBG will host its very own chapter elections, waving goodbye to its current chapter board and saying hello to a brand new group of powerful and strong young women. We will have a great group of girls running and we wish all of them the best.
PJ Library Family of the Month:
THE FLEISCH FAMILY can start a new and better life. I was looking through mitzvah project ideas and I like the idea of having a personal page on the HIAS website, so I can share my story to help raise tzedakah for HIAS. I really truly want to make a difference, and I want to help however I can. I would love to help hands on too. I know HIAS has made a difference in my life; I would like to make a difference in someone else’s.” Tatyana’s parents, Janet and Michael Ulman, are very proud of her huge heart and giving nature. She is an inspiration to her family for her passion to make the world a better place through personal action and education. If you would like to contribute to Tatyana’s mitzvah project, you can make a donation to HIAS on her personal Mitzvah website: support. hias.org/goto/tatyana_mitzvah. In addition to her HIAS Mitzvah project, Tatyana has made her first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at the Federation office at 610-821-5500.
We love getting PJ Library books! From the excitement of getting mail to the satisfaction of having great, timely Jewish bedtime books and music, PJ Library has been a wonderful addition to our lives. Now that our oldest is part of PJ Our Way and gets to pick from a really great selection of books each month, we’re having even more fun. Thanks PJ Library! - THE FLEISCH-HARTMAN FAMILY 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.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2018 27
How to Navigate the Maze of Senior Living Options Senior living comes in many lifestyles today—maybe even some you aren’t aware are available. When it comes to finding and understanding the wide range of options, levels of care and financial commitments, it can be overwhelming, with families feeling like they’re in a maze with no end in sight. We created this 20-page guide to help families navigate that maze and decide which choices are right for them.
5 common issues most families face The differences among the lifestyle options What types of costs you can expect What does Medicare cover? 16 features you should definitely look for in a retirement community Download for free or stop by
AMERICANS OLDER THAN 65 LIVE ALONE as do half of those over 85. Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. (Source: “How Social Isolation is Killing” The New York Times. 12/22/2016)
To get our free guide, stop by our community, or visit us online at CountryMeadows.com/Maze. And you can always just give us a call to ask a question. We’re here to help. 410 N. Krocks Road, Allentown (minutes from Route 22 & I-78) • 610-395-7160 4035 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem (close to Routes 22 & 33) • 610-865-5580 / 175 Newlins Road West, Easton (in Forks Twp.) • 484-544-3880
Independent Living | Assisted Living & Personal Care* | Memory Care | Restorative Care* | Skilled Nursing** *Forks campus offers Independent Living, Assisted Living & Memory Care only. **Skilled nursing is available at our Bethlehem campus only. Country Meadows offers services and housing without regard to race, color, religion, disability, marital status, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or gender.
28 MAY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Temple Beth El hosts community women’s seder
Beth El brings model seder to Country Meadows On March 26, Temple Beth El brought a model seder to the residents of Country Meadows in Allentown. The seder was led by Beth El's religious school and Cantor Kevin Wartell. Residents enjoyed preparing for Passover with traditions both old and new.
Registration is open for our popular Summer Explorations for all kids entering Prekindergarten to 9th grade in the fall.
A variety of fun, week-long programs, from robotics and engineering to music, theatre and sports.
Fall Openings for Preschool to 8th
Call today for a personal tour.
1100 South 24th Street • Allentown, PA 610-433-4542 • email@example.com
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