HAKOL - June 2021

Page 1

The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community



Issue No. 444


June 2021


Sivan/Tamuz 5781


Mazel tov to the class of 2021! p12-14

Check out photos from PJ Library’s first in-person event p17


Lehigh Valley stands with Israel at virtual vigil

By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor After 11 days of active conflict between Israel and Hamas and on the eve of a ceasefire on May 20, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley hosted a virtual vigil to gather in prayer and solidarity for Israel. The Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group and local leaders joined together in the auditorium of the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley to broadcast the program live via YouTube. Federation President Gary Fromer introduced the evening. “We have an unequivocal obligation to support in any way we can our brothers and sisters in Israel and the safety and future of our sons and daughters there,” he said. The Acting Consul General of Israel in New York, Israel Nitzan, gave a pre-recorded message, acknowledging Israel’s right and

obligation to defend its citizens and thanking the bipartisan leadership of the United States for its support and encouragement during this difficult time. “I also thank the community of Lehigh Valley and the Jewish Federation for their steadfast support of the State of Israel,” said Nitzan. Rabbi Steve Nathan, chair of the clergy group, gave a statement on their behalf: “We stand in unequivocal support of Israel in its defense of its citizens and pray for a day when peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a reality and no one must again mourn the loss of innocent lives.” U.S. Senator Pat Toomey also gave a recorded message. “The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel,” said Toomey. “Peace in the Middle East is not just some pipe dream ... The path to Middle East peace is there.” The Lehigh Valley’s Rep.

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Susan Wild also sent a message, saying, “My heart is with any of you who have family or friends in Israel. Let me say my heart is also with those members of our Lehigh Valley community who are not Jewish but who have family in Gaza or the West Bank. I continue to believe that the only path forward to end this suffering is a two-state solution that ensures peace, safety and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike, and I reaffirm my commitment to working toward that solution.” Hannah Bachar, co-chair of the Partnership2Gether committee, sent a greeting from the Le-

high Valley’s partnership region in Yoav, Israel. “Thank God, in Yoav, we are OK. Thank you for all your love and all your support. It means a lot to us. We pray for quiet and peaceful days,” said Bachar. Then Gavriel Siman-Tov, the Lehigh Valley’s community shaliach from Israel, spoke on what it has been like to experience the attacks on Israel from across the ocean. “My home hurts and catches on fire, and I'm on the other side of the world. I grew up in Israel, and in all my life, in every war, every operation, I was home, and never once did I feel this feeling, that crazy need to be glued to the news, to be updated on everything to know that my family is safe, that my friends are safe, that everyone is safe.” Siman-Tov explained that he was to be home to visit his family in Israel for the first time in eight months, but the airlines were afraid to fly into Israel because of the thousands of rockets that had been launched there over the past 11 days. “It hurts and I'm tired ... I’m tired of my home becoming a meme on social media ... It hurts that the following sentence feels so true: If the Palestinians will drop their weapons, there will be no more war, but if Israel drops their weapons, there will be no more Israel,” added Siman-Tov. Rabbi Allen Juda and Rabbi Michael Singer of Congrega-

tion Brith Sholom, Rabbi Moshe Re’em of Temple Beth El, Rabbi Seth Phillips of Congregation Keneseth Israel, Rabbi Melody Davis of Congregation Bnai Shalom, Rabbi Yaakov Halperin of Chabad of the Lehigh Valley, and Rabbi Nisan Andrews of Congregation Sons of Israel all took their turn to offer prayers for peace and for the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. Federation Executive Director Jeri Zimmerman closed the evening with a statement before the playing of “Hatikvah.” “We in the Lehigh Valley are proud to stand with Israel,” Zimmerman said. “As our gathering draws to a close, I want to leave you with three action items for your strong consideration even in light of tonight's talk of ceasefire: Number one, please reach out to family and friends in Israel so they know they are not isolated. Number two, stay in touch with our elected officials, whether to thank them or to encourage their support. And please give generously to our Stand with Israel emergency campaign. It will help to mitigate much of the much-needed crisis support in Israel as a result of the torrent of rockets over these past 11 days. One-hundred percent of your donation will go toward this effort.” To view the vigil in its entirety, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org.

Israel and Hamas agree to ceasefire after 11 days of bloodshed By Gabe Friedman and Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a “mutual and simultaneous” ceasefire on May 20 that began at 2 a.m. May 21 Israel time. Israel’s security cabinet unanimously approved the truce, according to reports, after military officials presented what they deemed the successful outcomes of their campaign. Israeli forces “achieved military goals unprecedented in their strength, accuracy and strategic

significance in their fight against terror organizations in the Gaza Strip” tweeted Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “The reality on the ground will determine our course of action.” The ceasefire was mediated by Egypt and supported by the United States and other countries. On May 20, Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted that she spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah about “our intensive diplomatic efforts to support the path to a ceasefire in Gaza.” President Joe Biden had added to the international pressure

on May 19, stating on a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expected “deescalation” within a day. Speaking from the White House on May 20, Biden reiterated the United States’ support of Israel’s right to defend itself, and thanked Egypt for its work on the ceasefire. He said the U.S. would work with the Palestinian Authority, but not Hamas, to deliver funds to rebuild Gaza. “I believe the Palestinians

Israel and Hamas Continues of page 5

Standing with Israel I usually try to keep up with the news on Israel, and I am always heartened by the “good news” in the areas of innovation, medicine, high-tech and culture. More recently, and particularly this past weekend, I found myself reading everything I could possibly find about the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the dramatic increase in global antisemitism – all in an effort to better understand what is happening now that feels so different than in the past. I am also frequently asked, what are we doing as a community, and can we do more? After 11 days of conflict, our community came together for a vigil to stand with Israel on May 20. Due to COVID precautions, the majority of our community watched over YouTube. But I was fortunate enough to be in the room with our clergy and community leaders, and felt the warmth of knowing that we are in this together and here for one another. As soon as the rockets began to fall, we opened an emergency campaign. Our community quickly responded to help the victims, their families and all those whose lives are affected each time the sirens wail. We provided frequent updates to our community. We

encouraged support from our elected officials, and asked our community members to do the same. But though the current conflict has ended, the fight, of course, is far from over. I share the concerns of those who feel that as a Jewish community we are under attack. Unequivocally, I know that wherever I stand, I always stand with Israel. And we can always do more. Having read article upon article by experts and political analysts of all flavors, I found myself drawn to a blog entry entitled “To the Silent Majority.” Ironically, it wasn’t until I finished reading the blog entry that I read it was written by a young woman named Meredith Rothbart who made aliyah in 2008 from Allentown and is raising her young family in Jerusalem. As a religious Zionist feminist who served in the IDF, she participated in a leadership program for young Israelis and Palestinians which inspired her career in peacebuilding. She cofounded Amal-Tikva (meaning “hope” in Arabic and Hebrew), a collaborative initiative where philanthropists, field experts and organizations come together to support civil society peacebuilding. In her blog, she notes that

we all like quick fixes, especially Israelis. However, there may not be such a quick fix to peacebuilding. She states: “There actually is a secret to peacebuilding, even to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The problem is that it is not sexy and definitely not high-tech nor instant. The secret to peacebuilding is time, effort and money. It is dedication and commitment. The secret to peace is attitudinal change at the individual, societal and political level. It is interfaith dialogue, civic engagement, youth empowerment. It is nonviolent communication and activism. It is women leaders. It is economic development and partnership. It is justice.” She goes on to quote her mentor the Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, who helped bring about peace in Ireland, who said, “If you want peace today, you should have started building it 20 years ago. And if you don’t feel like working for peace today, then you better not complain to me in 20 years that the conflict is ongoing and affecting your children.” After dedicating more than a decade to peacebuilding, Rothbart is not simply an idealist. She hears and recognizes

the criticism/critique from those who do not feel this is an effective approach, but she also reports that the messages she received this time around are different. Rather than the skeptics saying there is no point or that the peace business isn’t successful, people are asking different questions today like, what can I do, how can I help? She is hopeful that the painful events of the current crisis are the moment that the silent majority needed in order to speak up and demand change. It is time for all parties to realize that the Jews are not a political football to kick around and that we all need to take steps to work together to bring

down the rhetoric. The global Jewish community is struggling to find a way forward amidst growing antisemitism and a desire for true, lasting peace in Eretz Yisrael. May you find the activism that speaks to your heart, define what it means to stand with Israel and to help build peace. If we’re part of a silent majority, this is our call to action.


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

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

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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:

The Lehigh Valley-Yoav Partnership Park in Blessed Memory of Mark L. Goldstein We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Mark L. Goldstein Friendship Park, a Yoav-Lehigh Valley Partnership Forest. IN HONOR AARON GORODZINSKY In honor of your engagement to Jennie Schechner Beth and Wesley Kozinn SARA RITTER AND MIKE SMITH In honor of the birth of your daughter, Miriam Rhoda Smith Aaron Gorodzinsky and Jennie Schechner

IN MEMORY RONNIE SHEFTEL (Mother of Bruce Sheftel) Peggy and Jimmy Rau ETHEL ZIMMERMAN (Mother of Len Zimmerman) Eileen and Roberto Fischmann

TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 JUNE 2021 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

• 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

Federation to celebrate award winners at Annual Meeting



By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development and Operations The Jewish Federation will honor four pillars of community leadership at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 10. The meeting will also feature Federation President Gary Fromer and Executive Director Jeri Zimmerman as they update the “state of the community” and a talk by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin about how COVID has potentially re-defined American Judaism and whether those changes have been good ones. It will begin at 7 p.m. and take place via Zoom. Two of the leaders being honored have been integral to the success of the Jewish Community Center through an extremely challenging year. Brian Ford, who is concluding his two-year term this year as president of the JCC, will receive the George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership. As JCC president, Ford collaborated with the new executive director


to lead the JCC through the pandemic, assisted with the sale of camp and helped to streamline board operations. Before becoming president, he also helped to rewrite the JCC’s bylaws and participated in the JCC-JDS taskforce, the executive director search committee, the children’s committee and the camp committee. In addition to all this, he has also co-chaired the Federation’s Super Sunday and received the Daniel Pomerantz Award for Campaign Excellence, participated in the Federation’s Yesod Leadership program, served on the Jewish Family Service board and participated in its OnBoard program. Ford is “passionate about everything he undertakes, and always tries to put a positive spin on life,” read a nomination submitted on his behalf. Perhaps it's no coincidence that with all that the JCC has faced and achieved this year, its executive director, Eric Lightman, will receive this year’s Mark L. Goldstein Award for Outstanding Jewish Professionals. “His staff looks up to him as a leader and he has a great relationship with his employees,” read one


nomination on his behalf. “He has a great vision for the JCC and is always looking to better the J and continues to support the other agencies and strives to better the community.” Lightman has stood at the helm of the many changes the JCC has undergone this year. In the early days of the pandemic, he took every precaution to still open Camp JCC safely. As the school year unfolded, he led the JCC in the creation of JSchool to meet the needs of families through hybrid learning. He also oversaw the move of the camp from Center Valley to Allentown, the building of a brand new outdoor pool at the J and the complete overhaul of the indoor pool. Lightman “has made a significant impact through his professional role, demonstrating dedication and commitment to Jewish values, pursuing collaborative efforts and exhibiting optimism and leadership in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community,” another nomination read. Dr. Bill Markson, president of the Federation’s Maimonides Society, will receive this year’s Daniel Pomerantz


Award for Campaign Excellence. “Bill has made it his mission to bring in new and returning Maimonides gifts, and he really hit the phones tirelessly this year,” said Aaron Gorodzinsky, director of campaign and security planning for the Federation. “We owe a lot of our success this year to Bill, and he is absolutely deserving of this award.” And this year’s Mortimer S. Schiff Award for Prejudice Reduction will go to Eva Derby, who embraces the importance of sharing her own Holocaust story to teach tolerance and acceptance. Derby has worked with the Federation’s Holocaust Resource Center to present in schools and, this year, shared her moving story during a virtual Zikaron BiSalon with the Lehigh Valley and Yoav, Israel. In addition to presenting these awards, the Federation will also honor its outgoing leadership and elect its new board and officers. The meeting is open to the entire community. Register at 610-821-5500, mailbox@ jflv.org or www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ annualmeeting.


Women’s Philanthropy Spring Event focuses on finding balance in the age of social media

By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor On May 6, Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley welcomed Jessica Abo to its annual Spring Event to talk about her book “Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media.” President of Women’s Philanthropy Carol Bub Fromer announced this year’s new Lion of Judah, Carolyn Zelson, and new Pomegranates, Dr. Cheryl Shadick, Betty Mendelson, Elaine Rappaport-Bass, Dr. Jill Crosson and Danielle Kroo, before introducing the evening’s program. “Tonight we have a special treat because not only is our guest speaker, Jessica Abo, a native of the Lehigh Valley, but we have a very special moderator who actually moved to the Lehigh Valley in 2017. A self-proclaimed fashionista by age of 7, Amy Oselkin transformed her passion for fashion and beauty into a writing and television career,” said Fromer. Thanking all of the women philanthropists present, Fromer quoted from the children’s literature classic, “The Giving Tree.” “This story is so relevant tonight because, ladies, you are all giving trees, and tonight is really an opportunity to celebrate you. For not only are

you busy sustaining and nurturing the lives and well being of your friends and families, but you also give unconditionally to total strangers ... While you may never see the mouths you feed, the children you save, or the elderly you clothe, your donations are priceless and lifesaving to so many,” said Fromer. Proud mother Aliette Abo then introduced her daughter, Jessica. Aliette generously sponsored gifts of her daughter’s book for all attendees. Jessica, in addition to being a Lion of Judah with her local Federation, gave a generous donation to the Lehigh Valley Federation’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs as well. “I am very proud to introduce my daughter Jessica. Jessica has always tried to make a difference in someone’s life from an early age. She’s a changemaker,” said Aliette. Award-winning journalist, bestselling author, philanthropist and mom Jessica Abo spoke with Oleskin in front of the virtual crowd about how she literally wrote the book on social media and its relation to happiness. “My first piece of advice is to understand the whole notion of the link between our psychology and technology ... We actually have to train our brains to remember that what we’re seeing is not the whole story,”


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

said Abo. Asked how long we should really be on social media each day, Abo said it’s important to know why you are going online and to find what works for you to limit it. “If you find that every time you go online you feel bitter, then it’s a good time to evaluate why ...There are ways you can be in control of your social media instead of your social media controlling you,” she said. Abo doesn’t think that social media is all bad, however. “Think about what you love, whether that’s reading, wheth-

er that’s writing, whether it’s science, whether it’s politics, and follow people who can be teaching you something new and elevate your love, because in life, I think we either evolve or we revolve. And social media can be that place where you revolve in this really negative space, or it can be the place where you take everything you do to the next level,” she said. Talking about finding balance in life, Abo also spoke about why she is so involved with Jewish Federation. Citing the positive influence of growing up and seeing her parents so involved, Abo said, “To me, being a part of Federation, I got to see early on what a community can do when a community comes together ... This notion that there’s room for everyone at the table is something I saw my parents do from a very early age, and then being part of Federation, I learned how big that table is and how many people we can be serving through the great work we do.” Abo touched on bullying, too, saying that she plans to tell her daughter when she’s older

that “you can’t fix yourself by breaking everyone else.” Ultimately, Abo summed up the crux of the situation well when asked about why so many of us are so obsessed with how many likes we get. “I think it’s a matter of going back to the first thing, which is I don’t think that social media is the enemy here at all, I think loneliness is.” She emphasized that it is important to go back to what really makes you you and makes you truly happy. But she also noted that sometimes there’s more help needed for people who are dealing with mental health issues like depression or who are dealing with a loss, and encouraged those people to know that they are not alone and there is help available for deeper issues. Abo wants everyone to know, however, that they have permission to just sign off, unplug, unfollow or snooze anyone and anything that doesn’t make you feel good. “You do not need to follow anybody who robs you of your joy or who is not good for your mental health,” she said.

Lehigh Valley leader to join national women’s board By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development and Operations After decades of involvement with the Jewish Federation at the local level, Carol Bub Fromer has been invited and will be joining the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy Board. The board is made up of 160 women from 63 Federations across North America. It helps to set the tone for the national agenda by engaging women at the highest levels of decision making. Fromer will have the opportunity to engage in year-round education, travel and campaign training and have access to expert speakers and leaders throughout her eight-year term. “We are so thrilled for Carol,” said Jeri Zimmerman, Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley executive director. “She has been a dedicated, passionate leader here in our commu-

nity for so long, and it has been my pleasure to work with her and get to know her so well. I know she will bring a tremendous amount of value to the national board.” Fromer is wrapping up her two-year term this month as president of our local Women’s Philanthropy. Prior to that, she served along with her husband Gary as campaign chair. She also previously participated in the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. “I am honored and humbled to be nominated for National Women’s Philanthropy,” Fromer said. “After the last several years being involved in campaign and then Women’s Philanthropy, I have had a chance to gather a deeper understanding of the forces and trends that are driving our community fundraising and engagement.” “This will be an awesome opportunity to celebrate some of our victories with a group of

committed, motivated and likeminded women,” she continued. “It will also be a platform to gain insights and ideas on how to approach the challenges that we now face both locally and abroad, and I am hopeful that this opportunity will allow me the resources and experiences of others to help with the further success and future of our community.”

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


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, at a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, May 9, 2021.

Israel and Hamas Continues from page 1

and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” Biden said. “My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end. I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working for it.” About 230 Gazans and 12 Israelis died in the exchange of fire that began on May 9 with

Hamas launching rockets into Israel. Since then, Hamas and other groups in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli cities. Israel has responded with hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza. Those two weeks had also seen widespread unrest in Israeli cities with large Jewish and Arab populations. Arabs and Jews were assaulted in the street, with some hospitalized for their wounds. Arab Israelis burned synagogues, stores and cars while crowds of Jewish protesters likewise vandalized Arab businesses. The fighting in Gaza and Israel, and the unrest, followed weeks of protests in eastern Jeru-

salem and Jerusalem’s Old City. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police multiple times on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, which Muslims revere as the Noble Sanctuary, and which is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. There were also protests in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, which some Jews refer to as Shimon Hatzaddik, over the pending eviction of Palestinian families from homes owned by Jews. Jews claim ownership over the houses of the Palestinians based on deeds Jews held before Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, after which Jews who lived in the houses were expelled from eastern Jerusalem. The Palestinian families who live there now, descended from Palestinians who were expelled or fled from Israel in the 1948 war, say that their eviction is part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Hamas had said its bombing campaign was in protest of the pending evictions, and a Hamas official said, according to Haaretz, that the group received “guarantees that Israeli aggression at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah will stop.” Israel said that claim was false and that the ceasefire was unconditional.

SEN. PAT TOOMEY toomey.senate.gov

LEHIGH VALLEY 1150 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 101 Allentown, PA 18103 Phone: (610) 434-1444

WASHINGTON, D.C. 502 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-4254

REP. SUSAN WILD wild.house.gov

ALLENTOWN 840 Hamilton St. #303 Allentown, PA 18101 Phone: (484) 781-6000 EASTON 400 Northampton St. #503 Easton, PA 18042 Phone: (610) 333-1170

WASHINGTON, D.C. Longworth House Office Building Room 1607 Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone: (202) 225-6411

SEN. BOB CASEY casey.senate.gov

LEHIGH VALLEY 840 Hamilton Street, Suite 301 Allentown, PA 18101 Phone: (610) 782-9470

WASHINGTON, D.C. 393 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-6324

Even though calm has been restored, you can still donate to the STAND WITH ISRAEL Campaign to directly help the victims and their families. Go to www.jewishlehighvalley. givingfuel.com/stand-with-israel-campaign.


UGI Energy Services gives $200,000 in scholarships to Pennsylvania schools

UGI Energy Services LLC, the midstream and energy marketing subsidiary of UGI Corporation, announced on April 29 their contribution of $200,000 to support 70 private and parochial schools and scholarship organizations in Pennsylvania. The contributions were provided to the schools and scholarship organizations through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program, which is part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. UGI Energy Services has provided over $2 million in scholarships through the OSTC program since 2014. These contributions provide tuition assistance for

students who are living in low-achieving school districts the opportunity to attend local, private or parochial schools. “We are pleased to support students and educational programs across Pennsylvania,” said Joe Hartz. “The OSTC program has provided funding to give students an opportunity for quality learning in a safe environment. At UGI, we believe that education is of the utmost importance in the communities where we work and live.” UGI Energy Services had the opportunity to visit a few of the OSTC recipients in the Lehigh Valley, including Berks County Community Foundation, The Hillside School, Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and Easter Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation – Diocese of Allentown. “We would like to thank UGI Energy Services for their scholarship donation,” said Jeri Zimmerman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. “Through the OSTC program and charitable donations from corporate partners like UGI Energy Services, we are able to make a positive impact in the education of our youth in our communities.” The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program is available to Pennsylvania businesses paying certain specific state taxes and deemed eligible for participation by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. This was UGI Energy Service’s sixth year of participation in the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program.

Book review: ‘The Wondering Jew’

By Sean Boyle Special to HAKOL The latest from Israeli bestselling author Micah Goodman, “The Wondering Jew: Israel and the Search for Jewish Identity,” originally published in Hebrew and translated by Eylon Levy, traces the origins of Zionism and explores the multiple ideologies of both secular and religious Zionism in Israel. He ends with a discussion of what he sees as a newly revitalized Israeli Judaism. Goodman breaks his book into four parts. The first is the history of Zionism and the compromises during the founding of Israel that created the divide between secular and religious Zionists. Goodman’s second section is where he

explores how Israeli secularism has developed over the decades. From the rejection of all religious traditions and rituals, to the selectively choosing traditions and rituals that are then stripped of their religious obligations. Goodman, a practicing Orthodox Jew, in the third section explores the influences of diaspora Judaism and looks at the differences between Askenazi and Sephardic Orthodoxy. Goodman argues since the exile has ended and there is little threat to Judaism in Israel, that Israeli Judaism should look at following the practices of the Mizrahi Traditionalist Jews, with their continuation of premodern Judaism that permits halakhic modifications instead of the inflexible halakhic traditions from the Ashkenazi model. Goodman is the founder and president of Beit Prat, a pluralistic Beit Midrash, created to bring young adult Israelis, secular and religious, together to engage in exploration of Judaism and Zionism “alongside Plato, Spinoza and other masterpieces of Western culture.” In his fourth section of the book, he uses the examples he witnesses from his program’s graduates of a new Israeli Judaism where religious

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Book Review Continues of page 9

IN HONOR SHERYL AND RANCE BLOCK In honor of your grandson Joseph’s Bar Mitzvah Suzanne Lapiduss JORDAN FINE In honor of your engagement to Eric Sybil and Barry Baiman PHYLISS FINE In honor of your granddaughter Jordan’s engagement to Eric Sybil and Barry Baiman AARON GORODZINSKY In honor of your engagement to Jennie Schechner Aliette and Marc Abo Marilyn Claire Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Carol and Barry Halper JENNIFER KOLLENSCHER In honor of your birthday Beth and Wesley Kozinn EVA LEVITT Wishing you a speedy recovery Jane and Arthur Kaplan and Jennifer and Family EILEEN AND RICHARD LEWBART In honor of your grandson’s Bar Mitzvah Beth and Wesley Kozinn SANDY NEWMAN In honor of the birth of your granddaughter, Kayleigh Aaryn Liounis Wendy and Ross Born SAM RINGOLD

In honor of your graduation The Rabin Family ADAM ROTH Happy Birthday! Audrey Cylinder JUDY AND LARRIE SHEFTEL In honor of the birth of your grandson Carol and Stewart Furmansky Randi and Donald Senderowitz LINDA AND ELLIOT SHEFTEL In honor of the birth of your granddaughter Wendy and Ross Born Randi and Donald Senderowitz HANNAH TAMARKIN In honor of your graduation The Rabin Family IN HONOR OF DR. DARREN TRAUB Anonymous IN MEMORY LUCILLE BINDERMAN (Mother of Beth Kozinn) Jane and Arthur Kaplan SHIRLEY SCHERLINE (Mother-in-law of Lorrie Scherline) Francie Ficelman RONNIE SHEFTEL (Mother of Bruce Sheftel) Kira and Richard Bub Beth and Wesley Kozinn Joan Moran Randi and Donald Senderowitz MARIAN VOSK (Mother of Stephanie


Smartschan) Chelsea, Elliot, Liav and Maya Busch Marilyn Claire Carol and Barry Halper Beth and Wesley Kozinn Aviva and Evan Marlin The Tamarkin Family Laurie and Robby Wax Valeska and Israel Zighelboim ETHEL ZIMMERMAN (Mother of Len Zimmerman, grandmother of Chelsea Busch) Aliette and Marc Abo Wendy and Ross Born Kira, Richard, Michaela, Sienna and Ariana Bub Carol and Gary Fromer Carol and Barry Halper Beth and Wesley Kozinn Taffi Ney Phyllis Pearlmutter Robin Schatz Michelle, Andy, Melissa and Michael Shaer Laurie and Robby Wax Vicki Wax Samantha, Ron, Daniella and Preston Winokur Valeska and Israel Zighelboim Debbie and Leon Zoller 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.


From one lockdown to another in Yoav By Nurit Galon Partnership2Gether This afternoon (May 10), we were congratulating ourselves on a more or less return to normal from the restrictions of the coronavirus. I had just returned from a trip to Tel Aviv and was relaxing with a cup of coffee when my phone rang. "Are you in a safe room?” Me: "No, why should I be?" My friend: "Turn on your TV." And that is how in Israel things happen so quickly from one moment to the next. The TV was already showing the area where the rockets were flying over from Gaza, some being caught and exploded by Israel's Iron Dome, many continuing on to the Gaza Strip border settlements, to Ashkelon, to Ashod, to Shderot and also north as far as Rehovot. Fortunately or unfortunately, Israelis are only too familiar with the drill – the warning siren, the run to the public shelters or safe rooms, with children clutched in one hand, immediate necessities in the other. The eerie moments waiting for the rocket to fall or be dismantled, and then the cautious return to the home (not every house has a safe room). Almost immediately the emergency teams in all the communities

go into action, from the security team to the medical staff to the emergency phones open to the public 24 hours a day. As of now, the schools and kindergartens and all educational institutions – after only one month since the return to "normal" – are once again closed and learning is through Zoom. Meanwhile Jerusalem, in the middle of Jerusalem Day and the Arab Ramadan holiday and prayer, has erupted into fierce fighting, which has spread to other towns as well. As I write this, there are sadly no signs of an easing up. So what happened? Why did all this flare up now? Israel and the Middle East are a kaleidoscope of ethnic and national peoples, refugees and political groups. Israel is today in the middle of trying to form a new government in the midst of ambitions, varying opinions and confusions. Elections are also to be held in Gaza, between the various factions – Hamas, Jihad, Abu Mazen, to name just a few. How do you take such a concoction and make an edible and acceptable menu? Experts are already offering solutions and explanations – but for the public here, the main question remains as always – when, if ever, can we look forward to peace?

Being part of the experience

RABBI ALLEN JUDA Emeritus, Congregation Brith Sholom Even in my 70s, I can still see myself catching a glimpse of a major league baseball field for the first time. It was at Fenway Park in Boston in the 1950s. After going through the turnstile, I practically ran in the bowels of the stadium to the opening where we could access the stairs to our seats. As I approached the ramp, I caught sight of the field. I had never seen such green and beautiful grass. Since we lived in Massachusetts, I had often seen the Red Sox play at Fenway on television, but of course that was all in black and white in the 1950s. Who knew being in the ballpark in person could be such an aesthetic as well as fun experience? Many of us have had powerful experiences in Israel, especially the first time we visited. Who hasn’t seen the Kotel, the Western Wall, in books and on television numerous times? But standing there in person is a different experience of awe, Jewish history and continuity. We can’t slip a prayer into the gaps of the stones while reading a book or watching a news report. And during this past year of separation, while we may have seen our children and grandchildren regularly on Zoom or our parents or grandparents in a senior facility on a

Book Review Continues from page 6

Jews become more aware of secular teachings and find common ground with their secular classmates who are exploring for the first time Judaic traditional texts. Goodman believes there is a newly revitalized Israeli Judaism that is not a modification of secular or religious Zionism, but is instead its own original product. He uses as examples the recent trend in the popularity of “Jewish” themed music being produced by secular artists that previously only produced “Israeli” music. The same is being witnessed in “Jewish” themed secular books spending weeks at the top of the Israeli bestseller lists. This is along with religious Israelis questioning the continued religious practices that create a “xenophobia and nationalistic

computer screen, who wasn’t, or still isn’t, eager to embrace a loved one with an in-person hug? These kinds of moments are a reminder to us during our remaining days of social isolation that Zooming and streaming have their limitations as well as their benefits. As the number of vaccinated in the United States grows, we are optimistic that in the next few months, perhaps even weeks, we may go safely, without masks, back into crowded, public places. Will those places include our synagogues? I have heard since the beginning of streaming and Zooming services, from colleagues and lay people, that attendance at Shabbat services has increased. Sitting in the comfort of our homes, wearing whatever we like, no hassle with having to go anywhere, especially in bad weather, what could be bad? For those with varying physical limitations, the virtual services are a huge plus. And one doesn’t even have to be limited to the local synagogue. Digital allows us into many shuls. But what bonds are being created or lost? According to a recently published Gallup survey, “Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.” This trend began long before the pandemic. Who hasn’t heard a rabbi talk about our liturgy being written almost exclusively in the first-person plural? Preferably, we pray as a “we,” as a community. What kind of prayer communities will we seek out when life returns to the new normal – on screen or in person? Personally, I am eager to return to shul on Shabbat morning and other occasions, hopefully surrounded by those who were there when the pandemic interrupted our lives. For those who have no halachic objections to streaming or Zooming on Shabbat, I suspect synagogues will continue with both in person and virtual options. But I don’t want just to see an experience, I want to be a part of it.

chavinism” tradition, who instead seek to balance it with the modern values of tolerance and openness. They benefit from the lack of fear and risk of losing religious Judaism that comes from living in a country that uses Hebrew, follows the Jewish calendar, celebrates the holidays, and is located in the actual Biblical locations. Highly recommended for ages 14-120, especially for anyone with interest in the history of Zionism and the founding of Israel, as well as those interested in the current revitalization of Israeli Judaism.

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

“We’re here for you. Always.”

For many people, being a caregiver for an aging parent can be both satisfying and complex. Gradually the demands of caregiving can overwhelm even the most dedicated families. But there are several solutions for these circumstances, and you don’t have to face them alone. Call us, and we can tell you about short-term stays and long-term residential options to help relieve the stress. This can be better for both you and your loved one and help you return to a more balanced relationship.

“Mom’s home care agency sent a different caregiver every day, and she was still alone too often.” A loved one may not need care every minute of the day, but it’s nice to know it’s there whenever it’s needed and will come with a familiar face. We offer 24-hour access to medical care and caregivers available day and night to provide help as needed—all without disrupting a family’s work or personal schedule when a caregiver is suddenly not available. The availability of ondemand care helps loved ones live as independently as possible, often far more so than staying in their own home. They are free to go about their day and maintain their privacy while always knowing help is readily available.

“This is all new to me, so I have no idea about the cost.” The cost of independent living, personal care or memory care can vary quite a lot. It’s important to remember, though, that there are fewer expenses associated with living in a retirement community. Gone are home maintenance and repairs, taxes and utilities, even groceries as meals are provided. Since every person’s situation is different, we use customized pricing to ensure our residents pay for what they need and nothing else. And, we have a financial calculator on our website to help you compare your current living expenses with our all-inclusive rate. Helping to choose a retirement community for a loved one can be a daunting task. We are happy to answer your questions. Contact us for more information.

Welcome, life

Sean Boyle is a past JDS librarian and is now serving as president of the Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries Division of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

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

The Wondering Jew: Israel and the Search for Jewish Identity. (Goodman, Micah, Translated by Eylon Levy, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2020, 258p.)

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The Pew study cheat sheet: 10 key conclusions from the new survey of American Jews By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Meet America’s Jews: They’re older, more educated, richer and less religious, on average, than the rest of the country. They’re overwhelmingly white, though Jews under 30 are more diverse. Most of them care about Israel, though one in 10 support the movement to boycott it. Most of their young adults are marrying non-Jews, though the growing Orthodox community is not. Those are some of the many findings of a study on Jewish Americans published last month by the Pew Research Center. It’s the second edition of a landmark 2013 study that changed the American Jewish conversation. The “Pew study,” as it came to be known in Jewish organizational circles, reflected the current state of American Judaism and influenced what Jewish nonprofits did and how they spent their money. Jewish leaders and pundits marshaled its data to buttress their arguments and advance their vision of what the Jewish community should look like. The new edition asks many of the same questions, and adds a few new ones based on the events and conversation of the past few years. If this year is anything like 2013, the response will be reams written about what this Pew study means. Meanwhile, its authors have cautioned not to make direct comparisons between the data in the two surveys because of differences in methodology. But here are the basics: The American Jewish community is growing and increasingly diverse. It is largely educated, affluent and leans Democratic. Most of its young people are marrying non-Jews, though many of those families are still raising their kids Jewish.

Orthodox Jewry is growing, and the Conservative movement is shrinking. The more traditionally observant Jews are, the more likely they are to consume Jewish culture. More than 4,700 Jews took part in the survey, which has a margin of error of 3%, with larger margins of error for subsets. Questions pertaining to Orthodox respondents, for example, had a margin of error of 8.8%. Here are some of the highlights. 1. There are 7.5 million American Jews. The number includes approximately 5.8 million adults and 1.8 million children. About 4.2 million of the adults identify their religion as Jewish, while the rest of the adults are what Pew calls “Jews of no religion.” The 7.5 million figure is up from the 6.7 million counted in 2013, which included some 5.3 million adults and 1.3 million children. And the 2021 figure is a bit larger than the Jewish population of Israel, which is around 6.9 million. Jews make up about 2.5% of the American population. They are slightly older than Americans overall, with a median age of 49 compared to the overall median American age of 46. 2. Most young Jews are either Orthodox or unaffiliated.

The future of American Jewry appears to be one of polarization. The numbers of Orthodox and unaffiliated Jews are growing. The Conservative and Reform movements, which once claimed the bulk of the American Jewish community, are shrinking. Overall, the raw percentages belonging to each denomination haven’t changed much since 2013. But religious affiliation by age shows a changing community. Among Jews aged 65 and older, 69% are either Conservative or Reform, while just 3% are Orthodox. But among adults under 30, 37% are Conservative and Reform and 17% are Orthodox. Just 8% of those young adults are Conservative, as opposed to 25% of Jews over 65. And 41% of Jews under 30 are unaffiliated, compared to 22% over 65. 3. Some 15% of young Jewish adults are not white. The survey did not ask about the term “Jews of color” specifically because of debates over its definition and researchers were concerned that respondents may not be familiar with it. But the survey aimed to measure the racial and ethnic diversity of American Jewry. It found that the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community identifies primarily as white — 92% — but that young adults are significantly more diverse. Some 85% of adults under 30 identify primarily as white, while 7% identify as Hispanic, 2% as Black, 6% as multiracial and less than 1% as Asian or Pacific Islander. By contrast, 97% of Jews over 65 identify primarily as white. And while most American Jews were born in the U.S. and identify as Ashkenazi (with roots primarily in Eastern Europe), those numbers drop among young adults as well. Among those under 30, 28% are either not Ashkenazi, identify with at least one racial minority or are the children of immigrants from countries with a largely nonwhite population. Overall, two-thirds of Jews identify as Ashkenazi, while only 3% identify as Sephardic, or following the traditional religious Jewish customs of Spain, according to Pew. Another 1% identify as Mizrahi, a term primarily used in Israel that refers to Jews with roots in the Middle East and North Africa. The Pew study Continues on page 22





























CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021 ORI BACH* Son of Carmit and David Bach KOHELET YESHIVA HIGH SCHOOL Model U.N., chess club, robotics club, National Merit Scholar, Chidon HaTanach National Finalist, vice president of student government, editor-in-chief of HaKol Nishma, captain of Academic Challenge, team captain of Kohelet varsity basketball, editor of Kohelet Standard, Zuckerman Matmidim Award, Scholar with Distinction Award, Intertextual Theology Award. Plans to attend Yeshivat Har Etzion and, thereafter, university. DALE BERKOVE Son of Kyra and Ethan Berkove MORAVIAN ACADEMY Varsity soccer, varsity baseball, Student Advancement Team, DECA, soccer team co-captain, USY president, Jewish Heritage Club co-president, chair of Student Advancement Team, USY, club soccer. Plans to attend Case Western Reserve University to major in data science. DANIEL CAINE Son of Sarah and David Caine LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL Track and field (winter and spring) 4 years, Middle Reading Olympics volunteer, Boy Scouts SPL, Eagle Scout, USY, Taekwondo black belt. Plans to attend Kutztown University to major in English and secondary education. BENJAMIN DAHAN* Son of Naomi Schachter and David Dahan JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY Gateway, newspaper, Jewish Teachings Club, squash, art, Squashbond ambassador and coach. Plans to attend Drexel to major in entertainment and arts management and screenwriting. EMILY FRANKO Daughter of Lauri and Mark Franko NORTHAMPTON AREA HIGH SCHOOL Plans to attend Kutztown University to major in secondary education with a concentration in history and social studies. LEYNA FLEISCHAKER Daughter of Ophira Silbert and Jeff Fleischaker PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Varsity swim team, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National French Honor Society, National Latin Honor Society, Key Club, French Club, orchestra, president of the Latin Club, principal’s list, Alice Anne Hunger Hero Award, National Latin Exam bronze medalist, Jewish Family Service Food Pantry volunteer, swim coach, lifeguard, private swim lesson instructor. Plans to attend University of Rochester to major in neuroscience. MATTHEW GARBER* Son of Laura and Todd Garber JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY Lunch and Learn chair of Holocaust Education Awareness and Reflection Club (H.E.A.R.), Jewish Leadership Initiative, co-president of Jewish Thought Club, Derech Eretz Council, coach’s award for basketball, Camelot for Children. Plans to attend University of Pittsburgh. RYAN MICHAEL GERTNER* Son of Debbie and Eric Gertner EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL Football, track and field, Habitat for Humanity Club, National Honor Society. Plans to attend Virginia Tech to major in packaging systems and design. AMANDA GORDON* Daughter of Ellen and Lance Gordon PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL National Honor Society, yearbook, Leo Club, Welcome Pack Club, vice president of Allentown BBG, club volleyball, BBYO. Plans to attend University of Pittsburgh. YOGEV GORDON Yoav teen delegation to Camp JCC in 2019. Plans to start military service in the IDF as a commando soldier in the Magellan unit.


GABRIELLE GROB Daughter of Tracy and Robert Grob JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY President of Sign Language Club, varsity tennis team, lacrosse team, Wiedner Club, regional BBYO chapter president and vice president, Camelot House volunteer. Plans to attend Wake Forest University. ALITZA HOCHHAUSER* Daughter of Julie and Aron Hochhauser JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY Varsity swim team, ultimate frisbee team, Jewish Thought Club, Topics in Science, TEAMS engineering competition, president of the Environmental Action Club, Jewish Leadership Initiative, Gateway Literary Magazine editor, counselor at Camp Ramah Poconos, volunteered at the Veteran’s Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and assisted in manufacturing PPE during COVID-19 pandemic, published music composer and lyricist. Plans to attend University of Pittsburgh to major in biology. JOSH JAFFE Son of Amy and Doug Jaffe PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Varsity tennis EPC and district champion, Scholastic Scrimmage EPC champion, FBLA 1st place state competition (global business), BBYO treasurer and vice president, National Honor Society, National French Honor Society. Plans to attend Case Western Reserve University to major in biology.

MADELEINE KATE ROSENTHAL* Daughter of Nicole and Jarrod Rosenthal JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY President of the math tutoring center, TEAM+S, president of Topics in Science, tutor-writing center, Brandeis Book Award-for social action and civic engagement, dance. Plans to attend Barnard College to major in astrophysics. AVISHAI SANABRIA Son of Liz and Joe Sanabria EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL Varsity football, varsity track, petty officer with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, FAA Ground School award, several fitness awards. Plans to attend Penn State University to major in political science. JENNY SCHUBACH* Daughter of Sharon and Gregg Schubach THE PERKIOMEN SCHOOL Varsity tennis, boxing, Honor Review Board, student proctor, varsity track and field, admissions assistant, tour guide, editor of school literary magazine, National Spanish Society, Academic Key, Entrepreneurial Distinction, The Friendship Circle, Cteen. Plans to attend West Chester University to major in business and marketing. LILLIAN SCHORR Daughter of Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr and Warren Schorr EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL

MAXWELL LANGER* Son of Jamie and Eric Langer PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Ski Club, Allentown AZA. Plans to attend University of Pittsburgh to major in engineering.

YUVAL SHIMONI* Son of Gali and Ofer Shimoni PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Plans to attend Binghamton University to major in biomedical engineering.

CORY LEMBERG Son of Diane and Paul Lemberg PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Varsity volleyball team, vice president of Membership of Entrepreneur Club, Jewish Culture Club, math tutor, BBYO AZA president and vice president, National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley volunteer, Friendship Circle volunteer, Lehigh Power Club Volleyball, Velocity Club Volleyball, St. Luke’s Hospital Marathon volunteer, owner of a dog walking business. Plans to attend Tufts University to major in electrical engineering.

MIRIAM SINGER Daughter of Alexis Vega-Singer and Rabbi Michael Singer JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY Plans to attend a joint program between List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University to major in Talmud and political science.

ORI MAYAN Son of Liat and Lahat Mayan Yoav teen delegation to Camp JCC. Plans to start service in IDF in November.

GABRIEL TAMARKIN* Son of Tama and Frank Tamarkin JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY Captain of varsity tennis team, varsity soccer, JCC basketball, DECA, student government, Holocaust Education and Reflection Club (H.E.A.R.), Sports Debate Club, vice president of senior class, BBYO, Friendship Circle, St. Luke’s Hospital volunteer, Pinemere camp counselor. Plans to attend Elon University to major in pre-health.

EMMA McWILLIAMS Daughter of Susan Kahlenberg and Wayne McWilliams MORAVIAN ACADEMY School president, Student Council president, varsity field hockey captain, co-president of Jewish Heritage Club, Diversity Committee, Moravian Academy Pride mentor and ambassador, writing tutor, Operation Smile, class president and representative, Alexander Muss Impact Fellowship, President’s Education Award, The Dartmouth College Book Award, NFHCA Scholar of Distinction, Field Hockey MVP, High Honor Roll, Dean’s Scholars Program, Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, Jewish National Fund. Plans to attend University of Richmond to major in history and anthropology. SAM OXFELD* Son of Jennifer and Gary Oxfeld PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL President and founder of the Entrepreneurship Club, varsity tennis, president of Investing Club, president and lead attorney of Mock Trial, Future Business Leaders of America, Political Science Club, Jewish Culture Club, Best Advocate Mock Trial, first place in State Entrepreneurship Competition for FBLA, National Merit Scholarship, AP Scholar with Distinction, StandWithUs, Friendship Circle volunteer, NVYSL soccer referee, Shalshelet, JCC basketball. Plans to attend Northwestern University to major in economics. *ATTENDED JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

MARLA STEIN Daughter of Erica and Bruce Stein PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Leo Club board of directors, Jewish Culture Club, varsity cheerleading, BBYO, Friendship Circle. Plans to attend Florida Atlantic University.

ELIZA WIENER* Daughter of Lynn and Stephen Wiener SALISBURY HIGH SCHOOL Class of 2021 valedictorian, captain of varsity swimming, varsity cross country, debate, theater treasurer, officer of Model United Nations, concert band, jazz band, captain of Scholastic Scrimmage (Quiz Bowl), vice president of National Honor Society, Best Buddies, peer tutoring, 1st chair clarinet, National Merit Commended Scholar, 3x MVP of the girls cross country team, 3x Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Debate Association champion, dance with Repertory Ballet Academy and as a company member of Repertory Dance Theater, swimming with Parkland Aquatic Club. Plans to attend University of Chicago to major in neuroscience. JAKE WIENER* Son of Debi and Dave Wiener PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL Track, FBLA state champion in business management, Jewish Culture Club, Investment Club, Club Med, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, school newspaper, editor-in-chief of Trumpet, state sports journalism winner, BBYO, Friendship Circle. Plans to attend University of Florida to major in finance.



PJ Library Together Again

PJ Library learns from Sights for Hope

By Bayley Carl JFLV Marketing and Engagement Associate On April 25, PJ Library held what will hopefully be one of its last strictly virtual events. In partnership with Jewish Family Service and Sights for Hope, PJ Library presented PJ Learns About Braille. Abby Trachtman read “Cakes and Miracles, a Purim Tale” by Barbara Diamond, while the attendees followed along. Everyone then got to learn more about how a visually impaired person reads and navigates the world, by going on a virtual tour of Sights for Hope, formerly known as the Center for Vision Loss, in Allentown. Rita Lang, client activities manager for Sights for Hope, led the tour. As a blind person, Rita navigates the world very differently than a sighted person, and she utilizes her other senses in unique ways to help her get around. She demonstrated for all of the attendees how she does things like climb stairs, read

emails and count money. As she entered a large room which only had half its lights on, Lang explained, “I’m usually able to tell whether it’s light or dark out,” but sometimes being able to see less may indicate a bad vision day. Alongside Rita Lang was Ruth Asmus, Lehigh Valley prevention specialist. Both ladies have experience working with children and wanted to make sure they communicated everything clearly to the PJ Library families. “Younger children don’t always know what it means to be blind, so we need to make sure to change the language to something they will understand,” Asmus explained. Another way Sights for Hope hopes to reach children is with their book-loving rabbit, Seewell. During camps and other events, See-well reads stories to the children. To learn more about Sights for Hope, visit sightsforhope.org.

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Raymond Singer, MD and Alexandra Tuluca, MD HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2021 17


2021 Ronen Dov Adler Shira Amar Michael Eric Andelman Tamar Hilda Azulay Daniela Janine Barow Lane Parker Barsh Benjamin Adler Beal Eli Maurice Beaubien Noah Simon Beitler Daniel Harris Bernstein Aria Bitan Kayla Aliza Bleier Emmanuel Haya Carmely Ash Simone Chelder Olivia Rose Collis Benjamin Lee Dahan Sophia Ruth Decherney Luke Cabot Finkelstein Benjamin George Fisher Noah Michael Frisch Blake Fox Matthew Lee Garber

Adam Benjamin Gladstone Allison Joan Goldstein Ilan Zachary Gordon Gabrielle Noa Grob Noah Tzvi Hamermesh Samuel Aaron Handel Jory Max Hirshman Alitza Lila Hochhauser Leia Adelle Hockstein Anita Brooke Hoffman Sydney Jaye Holender Maya Hurtig Micah David Frank Israel Isabella Anne Jacobson Jonah David Katz Shirin Rebecca Kaye Noah Elijah Kessel Maria Fernanda Lehman Avi Ezra Loren Dylan Matthew Mandel David Gershon Meles Sarah Adar Miller

Mira W Nachod Ida Dilara Narli Jacob Samuel Novick Hannah Sophia Parish Lily Morgan Rabinowitz Sophia Lauren Rogovoy Madeleine Kate Rosenthal Marc Swartz Rubin Eli Vladimir Rudman Alexis Brooke Schachter Maya Hope Shavit Abigail Rose Shaposhnick Elliana N. Sherwood Mai Shmilovitch Ethan Bradley Simon Miriam Bracha Singer Gabriel Tamarkin Robert Ryan Ufberg Zachary Lewis Ufberg Rebecca Bailey Weinstein

Class of 2021 Graduates Have Been Admitted to the Following Universities and Colleges American University Barnard College Boston University Brandeis University Brown University Chapman University Colgate University College of Charleston Community College of Philadelphia Drexel University Elon University Emory University Franklin & Marshall College George Mason University

George Washington University Hamilton College Hampshire College Haverford College Hofstra University IDC Herzliya College Indiana University - Bloomington Ithaca College JTS/Columbia Kutztown University of PA Lafayette College Lehigh University Marymount Manhattan College McGill University Michigan State University Monmouth University

Muhlenberg College Northeastern University Northwestern University Pace University Pennsylvania State University PSU- Schreyers Honors College Princeton University Rochester Institute of Technology Rutgers University SUNY at Albany University SUNY at Binghamton University St. John’s University St. Joseph’s University San Diego State University Savannah College of Art & Design Skidmore College Syracuse University Temple University

The Ohio State University The University of Texas at Austin The University of the Arts Tulane University Union College University of Arizona University of California - Davis University of California - Irvine University of California Santa Cruz University of Chicago University of Colorado - Boulder University of Delaware University of Florida University of Hartford University of Kentucky University of Maryland University of Massachusetts University of Miami

Partnering with Accredited by Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) and Secondary Schools.

University of Michigan University of Minnesota Twin Cities University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of South Carolina University of Toronto University of Vermont University of Virginia University of Wisconsin Madison Vanderbilt University Vassar College Wake Forest University Washington University in St. Louis Wesleyan University West Chester University Williams College Yeshiva University Colleges where at least one student matriculated

The ultimate Zoom bar and bat mitzvah planning checklist By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Kveller When the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, many families pivoted from long-planned bar or bat mitzvah celebrations to virtual versions. In a matter of weeks, flexibility became the watchword as ceremonies and celebrations alike went online. Even as the pandemic starts to recede across the U.S. and restrictions are lifted, virtual bar and bat mitzvahs — or a combination of in-person and virtual events, known as “hybrid”— continue. Fortunately, families now have the gift of time to plan and anticipate how to make the milestone special. But how much time, exactly, is needed to set a plan in motion that minimizes stress and maximizes meaning? Though everyone will have different levels of detail and planning needs for their virtual events, there is a general timeline and checklist that can help families feel prepared, excited, and ready to relax into the joy of the big day. Here’s what you need to know and do — and when to do it.


A virtual celebration may not require hotel reservations or airline tickets, but it does need to get on your loved ones’ calendars. Here’s how: ASAP: SAVE-THE-DATE — Send either an electronic or simple paper save-the-date notice as soon as you’ve settled on your date. This will give your

guests an early opportunity to anticipate the event as other calendar demands pop up. 4 WEEKS OUT: ELECTRONIC INVITATIONS — Electronic invitations from websites like Green Envelope or Paperless Post should be sent a month before the bar or bat mitzvah. 8 WEEKS OUT: PAPER INVITATIONS — If you’re going the paper invitation route, plan to mail them six to eight weeks before the bar or bat mitzvah, leaning toward the longer end of that range to account for possible postal service delays. If possible, order your paper invitations a month before you plan to send them. MULTIPLE TIMES: ZOOM LINK — It’s best to provide guests with multiple opportunities to know how to access the celebration, via Zoom or another virtual meeting platform. You can share the link and password on your electronic or paper invitation — and plan to send it again as an electronic communication the day before the bar or bat mitzvah.


2-PLUS WEEKS OUT: ORDER FAVORS — Many companies that make custom party favors (sometimes called “swag”) ask for a two-week lead time for ordering. The same goes for lawn signs and other fun extras (bedazzled sneakers, anyone?). Be sure to account for shipping time (to your house and out to guests, if you are sending anything to others) when scheduling your order.

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1 TO 4 MONTHS OUT: JUDAICA — If you are ordering a designed or customized tallit (prayer shawl) or kippot (yarmulkes), many companies require a lead time of a few months. If your plans have changed suddenly and you’re on a timetable, there are vendors that can turn around a custom order in weeks, or you can visit a local or online Judaica shop for a quick turnaround. 1 TO 2 WEEKS OUT: MAIL FAVORS — If you are sending party favors, or “mitzvah bags” containing wine or juice, a printed program for the bar or bat mitzvah, and other celebratory items by mail, try to send them so they arrive a week ahead of time, just in case there are any postal delays. If you are dropping off these materials on local doorsteps, you can wait until the Thursday or Friday before the celebration — or delegate that task to a local friend.

him or her. Allow two weeks to order and ship the faces, if using, and to give your loved ones additional time to finish their recordings before either editing them together yourself or outsourcing to a video production company. 1 TO 4 WEEKS OUT: VIDEO MONTAGE — A video montage is a special way to showcase a family’s pride in their child’s growth and accom-

plishment. Set to music (both fun and meaningful) and rich with photos or video clips of the child from birth through the milestone day, this montage can be assembled by the parents, or outsourced to a video production company. Be sure to leave time to collect your photos — including consideration of whether you Bar and bat Mitzvah Continues on page 20


There are myriad options for virtual activities to do after the bar or bat mitzvah ceremony, and many can be put together in just a little time (or planned well in advance). 3-PLUS WEEKS OUT: VIRTUAL HORA — Many families are creating “virtual horas” by asking loved ones to record short videos of themselves dancing to a pre-recorded “Hava Nagila” or other Jewish circle dance music. A fun touch is to order a “Face on a Stick” representing the bar or bat mitzvah child, so friends and family can dance “with”


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Summer Mac & Cheese BY SANDI TEPLITZ Although there are many recipes out there for this family favorite, here is one that is particularly appealing to make at the onset of summer. It will be a winner for your post-COVID outdoor gettogether, when accompanied by some greens, vinaigrette, and followed with a mango sorbet and mint brownies. INGREDIENTS: 8 oz. wheels pasta 8 oz. elbow macaroni 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 3/4 cups fresh peas, cooked till done 1 1/2 cups kosher grated fresh Parmesan 6 oz. kosher softened goat cheese 1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup milk scant half cup mix of torn basil, chives and greens from scallions buttered toasted bread crumbs for topping TECHNIQUE: Boil the pasta until al dente, saving 1/2 cup of the pasta water separately. Add peas. In a bowl, combine the Parmesan, goat cheese, cream, milk and salt. Stir till smooth, then add 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid to this mixture. Next, add the pasta with peas and half of the assorted greens. Toss; add remaining reserved liquid. Spoon into a bowl. Finish with the remaining herbs, extra grated cheese, and the crumbs. Serve immediately.

Bar and bat Mitzvah Continues from page 19 want to ask friends and relatives to send their own snaps to include. 2-PLUS WEEKS OUT: VIRTUAL ENTERTAINMENT — Magicians, musicians, artists and gamenight entertainment companies are terrific virtual bar and bat mitzvah options. Obviously, your choices will vary based on the entertainers’ availability, so the earlier the better for booking.


ASAP: PHOTOGRAPHER — Event photographers’ schedules can be hard to crack, even for simple at-home photo shoots at virtual bar and bat mitzvahs. Prioritize your photographer search so you can explore options like on-the-day portraits and candids, and/or a family photo shoot before the mitzvah day itself. Photographers vary from weeks ahead of the event to over a year. 1 MONTH OUT: ZOOM MANAGER — Your synagogue might be able to connect you with someone whose role will be to “host” the Zoom meeting, admitting guests, helping people mute and unmute when appropriate, and troubleshooting any technical challenges that might arise. This person can also help facilitate a

virtual guest book, should your family desire that.


Safety, function and accessibility are crucial as you implement and test out your technology plan. 2 WEEKS OUT: By the two-week mark before the bar or bat mitzvah, you will want to feel confident in these technical aspects of the day:  Password protection/security  Connectivity and WiFi strength in the home  Sound (microphones, ambient noise, earbuds, etc)  Lighting (ring lights, overhead lighting, natural light)  Music (playing music through different platforms)  Recording (you will want to be clear on whether and how to record the ceremony to share with those who could not attend.)


Your bar or bat mitzvah child will do a lot of learning and preparation for their milestone celebration. Your own preparations for the service could include:  Creating a program or booklet (give yourself time to send it electronically or by mail)  Choosing readings for honored guests  Writing a speech to read to your child  Arranging to have plenty of tissues on hand for tears of joy and pride

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1 MONTH OUT: BALLOON ARCH — If you’re planning on incorporating this always-popular bit of decor, keep in mind that party stores and professional party companies need a few weeks’ notice to prepare balloon arches to set up indoors or on your driveway, so reach out early. 1 TO 2 WEEKS OUT: THE CELEBRATORY MEAL — Catering options abound and can be fastidiously planned several months in advance. But for a small, mostlyvirtual bar or bat mitzvah, it can be as easy as reaching out to your favorite restaurant to have a well-loved meal served to your family. 1 TO 4 WEEKS OUT: CAKE — A cake represents such a sweet moment in the bar or bat mitzvah ceremony. Yours can be small, but it will certainly be special! A specially designed cake by a top bakery is a special treat. Local bakeries and grocery stores often have easily customizable cakes for lastminute ordering. 1 WEEK OUT: SET-UP — If you have to move furniture to accommodate your Zoom set-up, try to get it done a few days before the event so you have time to rehearse, test out the various technologies, and relax in the space that will become your home sanctuary.

‘The Tattooed Torah’ makes mark on Women of KI

Martin Lemelman By Mary Salinger Congregation Keneseth Israel The Women of KI were very proud to present a screening and discussion of “The Tattooed Torah” in April. The Tattooed Torah is a true story of the rescue and restoration of a small Torah from Brno, Czechoslovakia, which teaches the Holocaust not only as a period of destruction, but also as an opportunity for redemption. You may view the 20-minute film at: https://iwitnessbeta. usc.edu/sites/tattooedtorah. The discussion included Marc Bennett, director, Brett Kopin, co-writer, and Martin Lemelman, illustrator. Many of us know Martin, from his years in Allentown raising his family, so here is a bit more about him. Martin, the child of Holocaust survivors, is an award-winning illustrator and graphic novelist. He has illustrated over 30 children’s books and has been published in magazines ranging from the New York Times Book Review to Sesame Street Magazine. His first graphic memoir, “Mendel’s Daughter,” was ranked by Entertainment Weekly as

number eight in their Top 10 Greatest Graphic Novels. It has been translated into French, Spanish and Polish. Original art from the book is in the permanent collection of the Memorial de la Shoah in Paris and POLIN, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. His second graphic novel, “Two Cents Plain: My Brooklyn Boyhood,” was selected as one of the best memoirs of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews. The Boston Globe commented “Lemelman’s viewpoint is affectionate but not gauzy ... The book tracks the transformation of the neighborhood from a kind of shtetl to one of uneasy racial mix. This literary territory familiar to fans of Mordecai Richler and Saul Bellow; what Lemelman brings to it is artistry featuring a fine eye for detail, penmanship nuanced but never watery, and a stylistic fearlessness that can stuff art tropes, photography, and naturalism onto the page.”

Lemelman recently completed over 100 paintings for the film animation of “The Tattooed Torah.” He looks forward to sharing this important story with his grandchildren and students around the world. He’s currently completing a graphic novel for kids. Martin is retired from the Communication Design Department at Kutztown University where he was full professor. He lives in Florida with his wife Monica. They are proud parents of four sons. After viewing this beautiful film, should you like to support the work of “The Tattooed Torah,” you may consider making a contribution to the production company, Phillybrook CO, Inc. Phillybrook CO, Inc., 271 Cedar Cove, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, Note: for The Tattooed Torah. The children’s book may be purchased at www.thetattooedtorah.com/buy-thebook.


The Pew study Continues from page 10

4. Some 10% of Jews support the boycott of Israel — but half of young adults haven’t heard much about it. As in 2013, the survey asked American Jews how they feel about Israel, and the results provide fodder for Israel’s advocates as well as its critics. On one hand, more than 80% of Jews say that caring about Israel is an important or essential part of being Jewish. Nearly half of American Jews have been to Israel, and a quarter have been there more than once. But the survey also found that the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS, has made inroads into the American Jewish community. One in 10 American Jews — and a slightly higher proportion of young adults — said they either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” the BDS movement. Some 43% of Jews oppose BDS, and another 43% haven’t heard much about it. In that vein, the survey found that college campuses appear to be far from the hotbeds of BDS support that some have warned. While Jewish organizations have fretted about BDS activism on campus for over a decade, the survey found that nearly half of Jewish adults under 30 had heard little or nothing about the boycott movement. 5. Most young Jews are still intermarrying. For organizations that are invested in “Jewish continuity,” the 2013 Pew study was a red flag. It found that the majority of Jews who married after 2000 wed non-Jews. When it came to non-Orthodox Jews, the numbers were even higher. The 2021 study found that in the past decade, 61% of Jews married non-Jewish partners. And nearly three-quarters of non-Orthodox Jews who married since 2010 wed non-Jews. Intermarriage is quite rare among Orthodox Jews. In total, 42% of married Jews have a spouse who is not Jewish. 6. But among young adult children of intermarriage, nearly


half are still Jewish. Whether intermarried couples are raising their kids Jewish has been a perennial concern of Jewish communal planners and institutions worried about the vitality of the Jewish future. The survey found that virtually all inmarried couples are raising their children Jewish. In addition, most intermarried couples (57%) are raising their kids Jewish, with about half of that number saying they are raising their children to be Jewish by religion. Another 12% of intermarried couples said their children were being raised “partly Jewish by religion,” meaning that overall, the survey found that more than two-thirds of children of intermarriages are being raised with some Jewish identity. Among adult children of intermarriage, the study found that younger adults are more likely to be Jewish than older adults. Only 21% of adults over 50 with one Jewish parent identify as Jewish, as opposed to 47% of those under 50. The finding led the researchers to conclude that “the share of the offspring of intermarriages who choose to be Jewish in adulthood seems to be rising.” Across the survey’s respondents, preventing intermarriage is not a high priority. For every age group, the respondents said it was more important that their grandchildren share their political convictions than that they marry a Jewish partner. 7. Most Jews have experienced anti-Semitism in the past year. Like other studies, the 2021 Pew survey found that most Jews believe anti-Semitism in America has increased in recent years and said they feel less safe now than they once did. Five percent of American Jews said they have stayed away from a Jewish event or observance because of safety concerns. Over the past 12 months, the survey found, 51% of Jews have experienced anti-Semitism — either by seeing anti-Jewish graffiti, being harassed online, being physically attacked or through another form of discrimination. 8. Jews are wealthier and more educated than Americans overall.

In line with other recent studies, this one found that American Jews are significantly more educated than Americans overall, and wealthier. The majority of Jews have a college or postgraduate degree, as opposed to fewer than 30% of Americans overall. Jews also have higher salaries. The majority of Jewish adults have a household income of more than $100,000, including 23% above $200,000. Only 19% of Americans overall have a household income above $100,000. Jews also report being satisfied with their lives and communities at higher rates than Americans as a whole. Orthodox Jews appear to have a tougher time financially. Among Orthodox Jews, 45% reported having trouble paying bills over the past year, compared to just 26% of Jews overall. 9. More than three-quarters of American Jews say remembering the Holocaust is essential to being Jewish. While the survey highlighted differences across American Jewry, the survey found that the vast majority of Jews, 76%, believe remembering the Holocaust is essential to being Jewish. A similar number said the same of leading an ethical and moral life. At the other end of the spectrum, just 15% of Jews said observing Jewish law is essential to being Jewish, and 33% said being part of a Jewish community was essential. Among Orthodox respondents, though, the numbers were different: 83% called observing Jewish law essential, and 69% said the same about being part of a Jewish community. Slightly over half of Orthodox Jews said remembering the Holocaust was essential to being Jewish. Holocaust remembrance was also a lower priority among young adults — although it was still high. Sixtyone percent of respondents under 30 said it was essential to being Jewish. 10. COVID hit Jews earlier than most Americans. The survey was mainly conducted prior to the pandemic, so its findings were not intended to reflect changes in practice or attitudes that were introduced during it. But the report included details from follow-up interviews that quantify something that is conventional wisdom for many Jews: Relative to Americans as a whole, Jews were hit early in the pandemic. Jewish areas of Westchester County, in suburban New York City, were an early COVID-19 hotspot, and haredi Orthodox communities in Brooklyn suffered painful losses from the disease last spring. Pew’s numbers bear this out: In August, 10% of “Jews by religion” had tested positive for either COVID or antibodies, compared to 3% of Americans overall. And 57% of Jews knew someone who was hospitalized or died from COVID, as opposed to 39% of Americans overall. But by February 2021, as the coronavirus circulated widely in the United States, gaps between non-Jews and Jews had narrowed. “Jews by religion” were still about twice as likely to have tested positive as Americans overall — 23% to 11%. But among both groups, a little more than two-thirds knew someone who was hospitalized or died from COVID.



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