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The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community



Issue No. 405


January 2018


Tevet/Sh’vat 5778


See photos from the JDS Gala p14-15

Learn about health and wellness trends in our brand new special section


Four teams to engage in friendly competition on Super Sunday By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing Heroes will unite on Jan. 28 to raise money for the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. Four teams will go head to head to see who can secure the most pledges, increases and conversions. The winning team will get to allocate $1,000 to the campaign beneficiary of their choice. “All of the teams are, of course, working together for the good of the community,” said Aaron Gorodzinsky, director of outreach and community relations for the Federation. “But we hope that the competition will inspire our volunteers even more.” Around 200 volunteers are expected to take part in Super Sunday, which also includes a community mitzvah project in partnership with Jewish Family Service.

Calls will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the JCC auditorium. From 12 to 4 p.m., volunteers will also be working in the JCC kitchen to prepare and deliver kosher meals for older adults. All volunteers will receive a free superhero-themed team T-shirt and breakfast and dinner will be provided. Elected officials are expected to attend, along with one of the IronPigs mascots. Callers this year will have the opportunity to give donors a chance to double their dollars – thanks to the generosity of Lewis and Roberta Gaines, all new gifts and increases will be matched. Brian and Emily Ford will again co-chair the event and also act as mentors for the young leaders from Israel Next Dor, who will be helping to coordinate and serve as team captains. “It’s exciting to see a new crop of leaders take ownership of this event,” Brian Ford said. “It’s a great way

to get involved and give back to the community.” PJ Library and PJ Our Way will also be participating in this year’s mitzvah project at a 10:30 a.m. program in the JCC auxiliary auditorium. Older children will make cookies for the older adult food packages while younger children will decorate bags for the cookies. There will also be a PJ Library story and the first 50 children will get a free superhero T-shirt. Sign up now to volunteer and choose your superhero team! Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/supersunday to learn more.

Israeli Consul General to visit Lehigh Valley community By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor Consul General of Israel Dani Dayan will spend a packed day in the Lehigh Valley on Feb. 6 to educate different segments of the Jewish community about Israeli-American relations. Dayan has a long-time reputation as an Israeli public figure, lecturer and entrepreneur, enjoying wide support and appreciation from all sides of the Israeli political spectrum. His visit will kick off the Lehigh Valley’s Israel @70 celebration, which will continue throughout the year. Dayan will begin his day with a lecture at Muhlenberg College for an honors-level com-

parative national security policy class, where he will interact with faculty, staff and students as he discusses this vital issue. Next, he will speak at Lehigh University along with several other speakers at “Startup Nation: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Joint Venture Opportunities in the Lehigh Valley.” Here, he will discuss Israel’s history as a startup nation and explain how to take advantage of investment, both for Lehigh Valley companies in Israel and Israeli companies in the Lehigh Valley. He will be joined by Dennis Davin from the Department of Community and Economic Development; Vered Nohi, the executive director of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce; a rep-

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resentative from the Binational R&D (BIRD) Foundation; and Ben Wiener, the founder and managing partner of JumpSpeed Ventures, a venture capitalism business in Jerusalem. Lehigh Valley companies in the life sciences, cyber and homeland security, advanced manufacturing, food technology and agro-technology fields are invited to attend this event, which is being run in partnership with LVEDC, the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the BIRD Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Ben Franklin Technologies. In the afternoon, Dayan will meet with local elected officials. Following that, he will join the Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy

Group for a discussion about hopes and concerns for Israel. The clergy will share their observations of what they’re hearing from their communities, and engage in discussion about how to go in a positive direction. Finally, Dayan will brief the community about Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday and how far the U.S. and Israel’s relationship has come since the founding of the state. This event will occur at the Jewish Community Center at 7 p.m. and is open to everyone. For more information, or to sign up to attend the community briefing, please contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at aaron@jflv.org or 610-821-5500 ext. 337.

Congratulations to the winning team in the Latke-Vodka Hanukkah Cook-Off: team “50 Shades of Latke,” led by Robyn Finberg! See page 13 for more event photos.



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

The Israel that is not in the news There is much in the news about Israel. Most of it reflects conflict in some form, whether with the Palestinians, the European Union (particularly the EU Foreign Affairs Department), the recent U.S. declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (although stopping short of words which would preclude Israel and the Palestinians negotiating important final status issues including borders), the United Nations and its UN Human Rights (which could be a column all to itself!), rockets fired from Gaza and Israel’s retaliation, and the list could go on. I could actually take each of these topics and outline what the media is not reporting. But that might be for another time. I want to focus on the Israel that is – more or less – totally missing from news cycles, not necessarily those which underreport or misrepresent the Israeli narrative. For over 25 years, our Maimonides Society has had a relationship with Galilee Medical Center (nee’ Western Galilee Hospital) in Nahariyah. The hospital today has grown into a regional medical center and is not only excelling at quality health care, but is an institution

that is hallmarked by humanity and generosity. You should meet Dr. Massad Barhoum. Born and raised in Haifa, in 2007, Dr. Barhoum became the first Arab physician to head a major Israeli hospital. The Galilee Medical Center isn’t just any hospital. It serves Israel’s multiethnic (Jews, Muslims, Baha’i and Druze) western Galilee region and, since it’s only a few miles from the Lebanese border, specializes in treating trauma – especially trauma caused by war. Under Dr. Barhoum’s leadership, the hospital leveraged these characteristics in a powerful expression of Israelis’ own fundamental decency and generosity. It began treating casualties from the civil war across the border in Syria (see article on Page 3 of the Health and Wellness section of this HAKOL). An Israeli hospital treating Syrians. Arabs. “The enemy.” Men, women and children. Thousands of them. No questions asked, and no payment for services. “This is our way,” Dr. Barhoum wrote recently in Newsweek. “This is the way of Israel, my country.” Whoever says Israeli Jews and Palestinian/Arab Mus-

lims cannot live, learn and become enriched by each other is wrong. There is a school in southern Jerusalem, with six other branches across the region, enabling Israeli Jews and Palestinian Christians and Muslims to learn together. The school, Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand), has Israeli and Palestinian principals and both Israeli and Arab teachers in each classroom. It is a bilingual school and includes full integration throughout the school day and in extracurricular activities. Hand in Hand’s public schools, by contrast, build friendship and cultural understanding. When Arab and Jewish children learn together, they break the cycle of negative stereotypes and learn to relate to one another with mutual understanding and respect. Hand in Hand’s extraordinary model provides a clear and simple example that Jews and Arabs can study, work and live together in peace. Not everyone agrees with the goals of the Yad B’Yad schools. Three years ago, a group of Jewish terrorists firebombed the school, destroying a first grade classroom and the library. This past February, I

“There’s a Pokémon in my salad” was perhaps not the sentence my mom was expecting to hear from me in the middle of lunch, but both of these methods – the traditional salad, the rather nontraditional method of hunting for Pokémon in everyday places – were part of my determination to live more healthily in 2017. January is often a time when people think of their health and wellness in many ways. Colgate University, where I went to school, defined wellness as a broad spectrum encompassing many types of health, including physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual. Working on your own health can thus come in many different ways. This month, I took inspiration from this view of wellness

for our new special section, Health and Wellness. There is no one way to become healthier that works for everyone. My mom walks on a treadmill, my dad runs, and I was always bored with working out until Pokémon GO came out last year, encouraging me to walk. But Pokémon GO encouraged other things as well – I got to learn more about landmarks in the Lehigh Valley as I spun PokéStops and I went to gatherings and met fellow Pokémon fans, touching upon other forms of wellness. When I resolved to hunt Pokémon last year, I had no idea that the app was not just about walking, but about getting in shape in other ways, as well. Now, as I look to create resolutions for 2018, I have been inspired by my gaming to seek out new and fun ways to

Shalom, Michelle Cohen

JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park. IN MEMORY YUDKE GROSSMAN (Husband of Nurit Grossman) Jill and Jeff Blinder Vicki and Larry Glaser and Family MARVIN WUNSCH (Father of Bruce Wunsch) Linda and Neil Dicker

IN HONOR SAMANTHA AND ISAAC HOF Birth of their daughter, Lydia James SHALOM BABY

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


Stuart Horowitz, who wrote last month’s “What’s Up, Doc?” column, is the president of the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the chairperson of the JFS Clinical Committee.



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.


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

become healthier. Some of these ways made it into the special section, including adult coloring, new forms of yoga and new types of workout programs at the JCC. Whether your health journey advances through traditional or newer methods, I wish you a happy and healthy 2018!

ment organization in Israel, is today operating schools in both the Jewish and Arab public school systems. Like how Israel integrated its Ethiopian Jewish emigrants. If you know of other special stories that should be shared, please email me at markg@jflv.org. We might not get it on CNN, but we can get it into HAKOL.


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.


visited the school and heard from students and their parents about that incident. They were not deterred and felt that something very special was happening at the school. School officials spoke about their fear that parents and students would not return to the school and recruitment of new students would be difficult. At the time of the fire, Yad B’Yad operated four schools around the country with roughly 1,200 students. Today they operate seven schools with over 1,600 students. Jews and Arabs - learning together, living together - and inspiring broad support for social inclusion and civic equality in Israel. There are lots of other such stories. Like how Israel ORT, a Jewish organization and the leading education improve-

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

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

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

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

Member American Jewish Press Association

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.


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

Allentown native feels impact of BDS vote at U of Michigan By Hannah Tamarkin Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: Hannah, a Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley graduate, is the daughter of Frank and Tama Tamarkin of Allentown. She is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan.


On the evening of Nov. 14, I sat in an auditorium in one of the academic buildings on the University of Michigan’s campus for over six hours, listening to the debate surrounding a resolution brought forth to the UM Central Student Government (CSG). The resolution called on the university to create a committee that would investigate university investments in companies such as Boeing, HewlettPackard and United Technologies due to their ties to business in Israel. The meeting finally concluded around 3 a.m., after the CSG voted by secret ballot to pass the resolution with 23 votes for, 17 against and five abstentions. As a Jewish student on campus, the events of that night deeply troubled and saddened me, as I witnessed the manifestation of modern anti-Semitism at the school that I love and call home. Students were given a chance to speak for or against the resolution and as Jewish students spoke out against the resolution, students who were for the resolution held up signs that read “Stop Silencing Us.” It seemed quite ironic to me that these students were asking to be heard, yet when Jewish students got up to share their voices and stories,

they were met with signs that attempted to silence them. I was especially disappointed when the CSG barred Victor Lieberman, a University of Michigan professor who teaches Israeli-Arab conflict, from educating the room about the realities of the BDS movement. Professor Lieberman is a widely respected academic with extensive knowledge about the topics being debated, and there was no rational explanation for denying students his expertise. In past years when similar resolutions have arisen in CSG, Professor Lieberman’s perspective has been allowed, and this year’s decision to silence him felt like blatant anti-Semitism and the silencing of free speech. At the CSG meeting, authors and supporters of the resolution expressed that they did not wish for Jewish students to feel targeted by this resolution, yet the next morning, in the men’s bathroom of the building that the vote was held in, a swastika was found in permanent marker on the wall of a stall. This is strongly disturbing, and goes back to the question of impact versus intent that was discussed at the CSG meeting. Although individuals may have expressed that they did not intend for the resolution to read as anti-Semitic or targeting Jewish students, the terribly negative impact was predictable and inevitable. The authors of this resolution and the 23 CSG representatives that voted, in secret, to pass this resolution must be held accountable for their part in catalyzing and

A few days before the BDS vote, the University of Michigan Central Student Government held an event called “Community Concerns on the Diag,” a central campus location. Students were able to voice their concerns about the resolution at this event. normalizing this anti-Semitic action and creating a heightened fear for Jewish students on campus. As someone who has attended Jewish Day School most of my life and has been heavily involved in Jewish organizations such as BBYO and AIPAC, I have learned about the BDS movement for years. I have seen the videos of anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses across the nation, and I have read news reports of anti-Semitic incidents that occur on campuses everywhere. Never did I imagine that in the first semester of my freshman

year, at a school that is championed for its vibrant Jewish life and strong Jewish community, I would experience these events for myself. Despite the disappointing outcome of the CSG’s vote, I was beyond impressed with the resources and support available to Jewish students from the various organizations on campus, notably the University of Michigan Hillel. At Hillel’s Shabbat dinner, faculty and students showed up to support one another and participate in the strong community that we are so lucky to be a part of.


Women’s Philanthropy hosts Chanukah event for newcomers By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor The room was filled with friends new and old as Women’s Philanthropy gathered on Dec. 6 to create coasters at a Chanukah gift make and take event. The event, which was organized by the Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee of Women’s Philanthropy, was designed to introduce newcomers to the Jewish community in the Lehigh Valley and help everyone make new friends. The event centered around the creation of a set of four ceramic coasters, which the women took home as keepsakes or gifts. As the event began, Federation Assistant Executive Director Jeri Zimmerman explained what Women’s Philanthropy is about and showed a short film about the Jewish Federation. After brief remarks from Women’s Philanthropy President Iris Epstein, the women began working on the day’s craft project. The Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee provided the supplies as well as some scrapbooking paper and templates to use for the coasters. Some women brought family photos to decorate the coasters. The project was completed in a series of simple steps that left plenty of time for eating brunch and schmoozing. Questions such as “How long have you lived in the Valley?” and “where’s a good place to shop for kosher food?” rang out as the Mod Podge dried, leaving the participants with coasters to remind them of a fun morning with friends.

Yiddish Club celebrates a multilingual Chanukah The Yiddish Club gathers at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley on Dec. 12 to celebrate Chanukah. The members sang traditional songs in both English and Yiddish, ate a festive meal of latkes and sufganiyot, lit the menorah and played a dreidel tournament with Snickers bars as prizes. The Yiddish Club meets on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. in the JCC board room throughout the year to read, speak and sing in Yiddish. All levels of proficiency and fluency are welcome. For more information, contact JCC Adult Program Coordinator Amy Sams at 610-435-3571 or asams@lvjcc.org. SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION


to the Lehigh Valley ETHAN DAVI WERNICK son of Joy and Brian Wernick

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


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

How Israeli women techies are opening doors for each other in Silicon Valley By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency Before she boarded the plane from Israel to Silicon Valley, Darya Henig Shaked already was bucking stereotypes of women in tech. Among married Israeli techies in the Bay Area, it’s assumed that the man in the marriage was the one who obtained a work visa to come to the United States, bringing his wife in tow. In several interviews with a reporter, Israeli men in tech referred to the wives of their colleagues as “plus-ones,” not the reason the family moved from Tel Aviv to Palo Alto. But Shaked was no plus-one. In the early 2000s, she had served as an adviser to thenPrime Minister Ehud Barak before becoming involved in Israeli venture capital funding for tech enterprises in subSaharan Africa. In 2015, she and her husband, Eyal Shaked, also a tech investor, decided to move to Silicon Valley to immerse themselves in the tech scene. And when they made the move, it was on Shaked’s visa. Shaked appreciated the local professional culture, where people were happy to provide each other with advice, access and connections. But she saw firsthand that lots of Israeli women had trouble accessing those connections, even as their male peers succeeded. “What I understood is that there’s an opportunity, there’s a treasure trove of a helping community [in Silicon Valley] more even than in Tel Aviv,” Shaked told JTA. “I felt there was an opportunity that women founders weren’t aware of. I thought I could easily make it available for them.” Months after arriving, Shaked founded WeAct, an organization that brings Israeli women who founded startups on missions to Silicon Valley to meet investors, officials at tech giants like Facebook and Google, and other entrepreneurs. So far, she has brought 50 women on three weeklong trips. Shaked also is opening a shared workspace for female entrepreneurs. Shaked is one of several Israeli women — and men — working to advance other Israeli women in the notoriously male world of tech. Most of these

initiatives, from venture capital investment to informal meet-ups, center on the idea that if women can obtain the tools and reach the players they need in the tech world, they will succeed more while inspiring other women entrepreneurs. “Why is it that women choose not to be founders of companies and are not going into tech?” asked Shuly Galili, a founding partner of UpWest Labs, a venture capital firm that funds Israeli startups looking to expand to Silicon Valley. “Is it because there’s no room for it? Is it because there are less role models, where someone can say, ‘So-and-so did it. I can do it, too?’ There needs to be a lot more exposure.” About a fifth of the startups funded by UpWest have female founders, compared to 9 percent of startups as a whole, according to a report by the Harvard Business Review. Those sparse statistics also play out at tech conventions, which can be overwhelmingly male. Boaz Katz, a co-founder of Bizzabo, which facilitates tech for large events, posted indignantly on Facebook recently that a tech conference in Israel had nearly

no women. “There are 200 people here,” he wrote. “Guess what? There are only two women here. Two. Everyone else is men … The only thing going through my head is the word shame. We should be ashamed of ourselves that this is the situation in our industry.” After seeing the post, a friend of Katz’s, tech entrepreneur Yonatan Zur, started a project called Let’s Get to 51 percent, which aims to make that the percentage of women founders in tech. The project allows women entrepreneurs to schedule meetings with experienced Israeli and American tech executives who have reserved slots in their schedule for that purpose. By the morning after the Katz post, 17 people had offered meetings. Two days later the number was around 80. “Everyone understands there’s a problem and is willing to help,” Zur said. Israelis note that mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, which affords women tech training, may give them a leg up in the field. The elite intelligence unit 8200, a kind of prep school for Israel’s startup scene, has a large percentage of women.

Traveling around Israel

By Leah Mueth Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: Leah, whose parents are TCP members, is currently teaching English in Israel through MASA. One of the benefits of this program are the trips to different parts of Israel. In the three months that I’ve been here, the program has taken us on four

trips with a fifth coming up in a few weeks. So far, we have been to Tzfat and the Golan Heights, Eilat, Jerusalem and a short trip to south Tel Aviv. Despite having been to most of those places previously, each trip has been an eye-opening experience. Everywhere in Israel is beautiful and has so much history; it is amazing that I have this opportunity to explore and truly experience it.


AIPAC event demonstrates bipartisan accomplishments of U.S.-Israel movement AIPAC Lehigh Valley Leadership The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held a special event at Temple Beth El in Allentown on Dec. 5, 2017. The gathering was organized as a means to promote pro-Israel activism in the Lehigh Valley and to encourage attendance at the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The Policy Conference is an annual assembly of close to 20,000 pro-Israel Americans from all 50 states, as well as lawmakers from both parties and foreign dignitaries from Israel and around the world, and it will take place this upcoming March 4-6. Speaking at the Lehigh Valley event was Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and Anton Gunn, former South Carolina state representative and advisor to President Obama. Dubowitz, who had just returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia, discussed Saudi efforts to counter terrorism and counteract the growing influence of Iran in the Middle East. Gunn followed Dubowitz and shared a personal account of the loss of his brother, who was killed in the U.S.S. Cole bombing in Yemen on October 12, 2000. Gunn chose to devote his life to public service and became the first African-American elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from District 79. Gunn participated in an educational seminar in Israel last year and has since spent time touring the United States speaking in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The event began with comments from Robby and Laurie Wax, who have attended the AIPAC Policy Conference for the last four years. Robby spoke about their

efforts, together with assistance from other Wax Fellows and local AIPAC members, to promote the conference and to expand the pro-Israel community in the Lehigh Valley. Laurie added that there is a real sense of solidarity at the conference and remarked that the only time she had ever had the same warm feeling of belonging prior to the AIPAC conference was walking the historic streets of Jerusalem. She urged community members to join them at this year’s event, where thousands of people from all backgrounds will come together in common support for the U.S.-Israel alliance. The Dec. 5 event reminded community delegates of an important fact: At a time when bipartisan cooperation appears impossible on any other issue, both parties routinely come together on the U.S.-Israel partnership. For AIPAC activists across the country, that enduring bipartisan support is of paramount importance. They feel strongly that Americans have a vital role to play in keeping Israel safe. They know that Israel, the one and only Jewish state, helps the United States in innumerable ways. And they are proud to devote their time and energy to ensuring Israel remains the vibrant beacon of democracy and stability in a region that sorely lacks both. ABOUT THE AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE: The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of America's pro-Israel community. Through demonstrations of groundbreaking Israeli innovations, keynote speeches by American and Israeli leaders, inspiring moments on stage and intimate educational sessions, Policy Conference delegates experience the full scale of

pro-Israel activism in three powerful days. The conference culminates with the opportunity for delegates to lobby their members of Congress in support of legislation that enhances the relationship between the United States and Israel. It is AIPAC's citizen activists who educate decision-makers about the bonds that unite the United States and Israel and how it is in America's best interest to help ensure that Israel is safe, strong and secure. We need more people from the Lehigh Valley to join us. As Americans who care about Israel, it is our obligation to lead and make our voices heard in Washington. The Jewish Federation of Lehigh Valley is currently building a delegation and has discounted registrations available. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley. org for more information. For additional information on AIPAC’s Policy Conference, visit www.aipac.org.

Meet-andgreet with Judy Gold Members of the local Jewish community had the opportunity to meet actress and comedian Judy Gold after seeing her perform at SteelStacks on Nov. 20. The meet-and-greet was organized by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Young Adult Division.

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2017 J-AMP classes come to a close

JWV presents charter to JCC


Commander Sheila Berg and the Jewish War Veterans of the Lehigh Valley present Lehigh Valley Post No. 239’s original charter from 1939 to the JCC.

By Amy Sams JCC Adult Program Coordinator On Dec. 11, the last Jewishfocused Aging Mastery Program® (J-AMP) class of the 2017 season met to discuss “Harvest Time: Living Fully the Rest of Our Lives” with Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr. In this final class, participants explored their hopes, fears and aspirations in the context of Moses’ confrontation with finitude and mortality, and developed a “spiritual mission statement” for the next chapters of their lives. J-AMP is a 12-week program designed to support baby boomers and older adults in making the most of their gift of longevity. The course is for adults of all ages and all faiths. The JCC is grateful to our community experts, who guided us through each session: • Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr, “Jewish Perspectives

on Aging Mastery and Harvest Time: Living Fully the Rest of Our Lives” • Dr. Melissa Hakim, “Navigating Longer Lives: The Basics of Aging Mastery” Jenn Dietz, “Exercise and You” • Vincent Hartzell, “Medication Management” • Julie Knight, “Financial Fitness” • Dr. Jenni Levy, “Advance Planning” • Inge Mattei, “Healthy Eating and Hydration” • Travis Robbins, “Falls Prevention” • State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, “Community Engagement” • Wendy Scott, “Healthy Relationships” We are excited to continue offering programming for adults which provide education and activities focused on living well. Stay tuned for future J-Live Well programs this spring and beyond.

Jan. 19 - 7:30 PM & Jan. 20 - 2 PM & 7:30 PM - $62/$55

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ADL presents 40th 'Americanism' award On Nov. 14, over 400 corporate executives and community leaders joined the Anti-Defamation League in honoring Rob Wonderling and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia with the 40th annual ADL Americanism Award. The award honors leaders in business, community affairs and charitable endeavors who have distinguished themselves and their organizations through their dedication to preserving liberty and advancing the causes of human rights, dignity, diversity and equal opportunity. The event raised nearly $500,000 to support the Anti-Defamation League’s work to combat all forms of bigotry through education, advocacy, law enforcement training, and other initiatives.


Above, Rob Wonderling, Nancy K. Baron-Baer and Alan B. Gubernick Below, Michael Carbone, Judith M. Von Seldeneck, Rob Wonderling, Ronald Rubin, Denis P. O'Brien


KELLY BANACH Happy "Special" Birthday Penny and Adam Roth AUDREY AND JEROME CYLINDER Mazel Tov on their new home Selma Roth JEANETTE EICHENWALD Girl Scouts Take the Lead 2018 honoree Ross and Wendy Born TAFFI NEY Happy "Special" Birthday Vicki Wax BOB POST Happy "Special" Birthday Audrey and Arthur Sosis MARK SCOBLIONKO Speedy Recovery Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark AUDREY AND ARTHUR SOSIS Happy Birthday Karl and Sara Glassman EILEEN UFBERG Happy "Special" Birthday Joan Epstein Iris Klein Audrey and Arthur Sosis REBECCA WILSON Mazel Tov on her Bat Mitzvah Fay, Michael, and Isabella Kun

Ann and Gene Ginsberg SUSAN SILVERBERG (Sister of Bruce Silverberg) Paul and Diane Lemberg Adam, Penny, Alex, and Nikki Roth YUDKE GROSSMAN (Husband of Nurit Grossman) Jan, Glenn, Noah, Naomi, and Dani Ehrich HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR MAX DAVISON Speedy Recovery Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg EVA LEVITT Becoming JFLV president Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg SELMA ROTH Being honored for her service to the Jewish community Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg MURRAY AND MARLENE SALTZMAN Marriage of their grandon Josh to Tara Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg


IN MEMORY JOAN LERNER (Mother of Lori Lerner) Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg SAUL SCHUSSEL Susan Engelson Friefeld

MARTIN KLINE (Father of Andrea Goldsmith) Suzanne Lapiduss and Tracey and Jason Billig CARL ROSENBUSCH (Brother of Mary Salinger) Ross and Wendy Born JANICE SAVITZ (Mother of Lynne Shampain) Ross and Wendy Born

We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.


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Lehigh U. welcomes new chaplains to campus the internet.” So, Mosaad advocates for engagement. “I think it's essential that we have qualified, credentialed members of the community such as chaplains available—real, live practitioners of religion who are there for people to consult with. That’s especially true at a university campus, where people are still forming their identities and ideas.” A big tent approach to chaplaincy

Rabbi Steven Nathan and Walead Mosaad, Ph.D. By Shelley Drozd Lehigh University Lehigh University’s Dialogue Center is a bit more crowded these days, thanks to the recent hiring of two new chaplains. The arrival of Walead Mosaad, Ph.D. as the new director of Muslim student life marks a historic beginning for religious life on campus. The return of Rabbi Steven Nathan as the interim director of Jewish student life celebrates a happy homecoming. “We are excited to welcome this fall two exceptional individuals to work in religious life at Lehigh,” said the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen, university chaplain and professor of religious studies. “Rabbi Nathan brings years of experience in campus work to his position directing Jewish student life. I am certain his enthusiasm, high energy, and sense of humor will allow him to make many friends and build not only the Hillel program, but some of the inter-religious encounter activities of the Chaplain’s Office.” “Walead Mosaad,” said Steffen, “is an internationally known scholar and religious leader who in his short time at Lehigh has already made lots of connections both on and off campus. He’s in demand as a speaker and already this semester has accepted invitations to speak at Claremont and Princeton. He is a patient and kind teacher, able to listen and receive all kinds of questions with openness and understanding. His presence here is a great move forward, not only in helping to meet the spiritual needs of Muslims on campus, but in recognizing religious life as a core concern in our university efforts to promote and celebrate diversity. “I look forward to members of the community getting to know both Steven and Walead. I assure those who invite them to programs or who stop by to meet them that they are in for a treat.” The first-ever Muslim chaplain Walead Mosaad knew his way around the Lehigh campus well before becoming its first director of Muslim student life in August. The newly-minted Ph.D. frequently visited Linderman Library while completing his dissertation research. In the spring, he gave community classes in religious literacy at the invitation of the Muslim Student Association, which in past

years also hosted him as a guest speaker. Mosaad is the university’s first Muslim chaplain and the first hired at any of the Lehigh Valley’s private colleges. He brings big-school experience to the newly created role. As a chaplain for the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University, Mosaad once provided pastoral care, religious education, and interfaith leadership to 35,000 students. The Rutgers alumnus earned his first degree there, a bachelor of science in electrical and computer engineering. He also holds a bachelor of arts in Arabic language and literature from Azhar University in Cairo and a master of business administration from the University of Liverpool. In May, Mosaad received his doctorate in Arab and Islamic studies from the University of Exeter, UK. Lehigh’s proximity to home and small, liberal arts environment suits its well-traveled new director. For nearly two decades, the global Islamic scholar has traversed the world to engage with Muslim communities in both the U.S. and abroad. “I love working with people. That's the main aspect of it,” says Mosaad. “I love to engage with people, counsel them, help them. If someone's not clear about something, I can be that ‘someone to talk to.’”

Mosaad identifies as “a committed, practicing Muslim.” But he views himself as a chaplain for all faith traditions. He looks forward to creating learning opportunities through study circles, seminars and invited talks, teaching both academic and non-credit courses, organizing religious programming for Muslim students, and contributing to interfaith relations. “It’s my hope that this position is seen not just as a resource for Muslims, but for everybody,” he says. “I hope to show that faith-based tradition is

still a vibrant and relevant way to engage with contemporary issues, although many may not think that is the case. I think part of our mission here is to show that it’s possible.” The full-circle Jewish chaplain In the very best of ways, Steve Nathan is right back where he started. Rewind 27 years, to academic year 1990-91. It was the year that Lehigh dedicated its new Rauch Business Center, Sen. Bill Bradley spoke at commencement, Lloyd Steffen became the new university chaplain, and then student-rabbi Nathan assumed his first professional post as director of the Lehigh Hillel. After two years at Lehigh, Nathan spent two more years in the area, serving as a student rabbi for Am Haskalah, a Reconstructionist congregation in Allentown. In 1994, Nathan received his ordination and a master’s in Hebrew letters from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He had previously earned a

bachelor's degree in human development from Boston College and a master's in psychological counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. Nathan would go on to serve the Jewish community wherever it called him—as a spiritual leader, educator, counselor, program developer, and writer whose work focuses on Torah, Judaism, and mindfulness. But of all the pulpits and offices he’s occupied, it’s the energy uniquely found on a college campus that’s brought Nathan back, full circle, to Lehigh. Deep and diverse experience Nathan rejoined Lehigh in August to serve as the interim director of Jewish Student Life and Hillel. His return fills the vacancy created in July 2017 by Rabbi Danielle Stillman’s departure. Most importantly, his presence on campus ensures the continuity of Jewish student support and Hillel Lehigh University Continues on page 20

The urgency of engagement In today’s multimedia marketplace of ideas, Mosaad cares deeply about where people shop for knowledge. “It's easy for someone to search on Google, or turn on a TV, and find ideas about any faith tradition that may contradict or clash,” Mosaad says. “It leaves people confused.” He argues that while social media and the internet offer vast sources of information, the access comes at a cost. “We live in an age of increasing social isolation. The irony is that we have this ubiquitous social media—yet at the same time, people feel alienated on a face-to-face, real down-to-earth level,” says Mosaad. The loneliness can lead the vulnerable down a dangerous path. “Contrary to popular belief,” says Mosaad, “people aren’t radicalized because they go to the mosque, or the church, or the synagogue. It happens because too often they’re sitting alone in their bedroom, surfing HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JANUARY 2018 9

Yes Allentown, there is 'achdus'

RABBI SETH PHILLIPS Congregation Keneseth Israel And thank you, Mikaela Garber, for letting us feel it at your bat mitzvah held at Temple Beth El on Shabbat VaYislach (Dec. 2)! Achdus is the lesser known (or experienced) counter to "two Jews and three opinions" – a sincere and deep caring for another Jew just because s/he is Jewish. (And yes J-Crew, it is not racist or non-PC to feel/say that.) Mickela, at your bat mizvah, there were so many Sons of Israel congregants that I said to the KI member next to me, "I wonder if there will be a minyan at Sons?” And because of choices that you and your family made, all who were with you could eat at kiddush! Because there was no music in the lovely Wax Auditorium, my dear colleague Rabbi David Wilensky and other

Sons members who walked over after their services were able to celebrate with you and your family. That's achdus! In truth, your bat mitzvah was the fifth large gathering of Lehigh Valley Jewry in a month – but the hardest to imagine outside of Allentown. It was easy for 300 of us to celebrate “8ish Over 80” at TBE to benefit JFS. Because Kol Yisrael Chaverim Zeh L’zeh (all Israel is responsible for each other), we gathered the next day at TBE to offer support for the Venezuelan community and share the concerns of cherished community leaders Israel and Veleska Zighelboim. Two days later that same spirit brought 200 to KI for the Federation Main Event and then 158 came back to KI for a Sunday brunch to hear Main Event co-chairs Eric and Amy Fels talk about Poland. And yes, everyone was able to eat at KI because of the presence of a mashgiach! But coming to another shul, to a bat mitzvah no less, and cheering instead of sneering, that’s achdus! Who hasn't heard the "what's a bracha?” joke if you are traditional or told the “it leads to mixed dancing” joke if you are not. Mikaela, as far as I could tell, no one was keeping score or muttering about what was being done or not done. The responses were said, the Torah was honored and all of us kvelled as you took your place, oh so knowledgeable and proud, amongst Am Yisrael. When my dear colleague, Rabbi


Moshe Re’em, told the story of how 3-year-old you, holding on to your father’s leg as the Torah passed, reached up with your doll, touched Barbie to the Torah’s mantle, and then kissed Barbie’s head, there wasn’t a dry eye in the shul. That story of the importance of joy and child-like wonder in our worship was written up by former TBE member Sherri Bassner, as “The Holiness of Barbie” and published in the Conservative national magazine 10 years ago. Mikaela, that was your gift to the community as a little child, as was your bat mitzvah at the beginning of your Jewish maturity. I am not alone in wondering what to expect from you with a lifetime of Jewish experiences and education ahead of you.

And what should you expect from us? That as we continue to express our three opinions, no doubt vigorously, the spirit of achdus will remind us that it doesn’t have to be an argument. That we can accept or respect that others make choices or have affiliations or causes different from our own. That there will continue to be enough passion and commitment to support the shuls and the School that have shaped you, and by extension, all of our children. That “we’ve always done it this way” is only the starting place, not the limit of our vision for education, senior care and the unique Jewish contributions that come from our community. Mazal tov, Mikaela! To quote

Bob Dylan, “may you always see the light surrounding you.” May that light of achdus shine brightly for you and strengthen the Lehigh Valley Jewish community.

Lone Soldier Center opens first home for female lone soldiers Lone Soldier Center On Dec. 29, the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin celebrated the Official Opening of the Norton & Sylvia Alevy Bayit L’Chayalot in Jerusalem. This is the first home that exists for female lone soldiers in the IDF, who make up over 30 percent of the lone soldier population. The home, which houses 10 female lone soldiers and a live-in counselor, is located in the Mekor Hayim neighborhood of Jerusalem. In announcing the initiative, Richard Corman, vice president, Lone Soldier Center community services, commented, "Each of these wonderful young women has demonstrated selfless dedication to serving the people of Israel. This home reflects our commitment to support their IDF service, to minimize their hardship, and to express to these lone soldiers the gratitude of the Jewish people both here in Israel and throughout the Diaspora."

The Lone Soldier Center currently operates three homes for lone soldiers in Jerusalem in addition to homes in Beit Shemesh, Herzelia, Petach Tikva and Sha’arei Tikvah. These homes provide a warm base, family and community for lone soldiers who, unlike Israeli soldiers living with their families during their time off base, return to empty apartments and worry about bills, cooking and laundry in addition to combating feelings of isolation and loneliness. The Lone Soldier Center’s homes provide not only a furnished space, but a stocked fridge, weekend meals and an army of local volunteers who support the home’s residents in a myriad of ways. Alex, a lone soldier from New Jersey serving in the IDF’s Search & Rescue Unit said, “to live in a space with other female lone soldiers who understand what I go through in the army is amazing. I am never lonely. I come home to a family and a community.”


JDS celebrates Chanukah ‘Bollywood’ style

Chanukah on ice

Sam and Al Ford celebrate the fifth night of Chanukah at the PPL Center in Allentown. The giant ice menorah, sponsored by Chabad of the Lehigh Valley, was lit before the Phantom's hockey game. Students from the Jewish Day School sang the national anthem.


On Dec. 17, over 160 people of all ages filled the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley multipurpose room to celebrate the sixth night of Chanukah at the JDS Bollywood Bash. The evening began with a concert featuring traditional and new Chanukah songs accompanied by Miss Nellie Gershtein on piano. Rabbi Seth Phillips of Congregation Keneseth Israel and Rabbi Moshe Re’em of Temple Beth El led the community candle lighting and then the feast began. JDS Chef Ron Sunshine said, “We love making fresh healthy food for our community. We aim to come as close as possible to the various authentic cuisines while still adhering to kashrut, but with no loss of flavor. Cooking and feeding people, for us, is all about nurturing. It feels great to see our community enjoying our food and reslishing the twist of holiday celebrations that the JDS is now known for.” It was truly a night of fun, food and family! Naomi Schachter, PTO president and chair of the event said, “the Bollywood Chanukah was an opportunity to build community, eat delicious food, and celebrate the vibrant and rich history of our culture and how the Jews have been integral and integrated into cultures around the world.” The JDS students and staff come from places all around the world. Morah Shobah Muttur, pre-K assistant teacher who is from India, was excited to share her culture and food with the community. "This is what makes JDS family," Muttur said. "My husband and children helped prepare the meal combining our culture with my school community.”

Teams serve up latkes and vodkas for Chanukah Five teams presented their latke and vodka creations to a sold-out crowd on Dec. 14 at the LatkeVodka Hanukkah Cook-Off, organized by the JCC and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Once everyone got a taste of each team’s food and drink, the votes came in. The winning team was decided by a combination of audience votes and a panel of three judges, Federation president Eva Levitt, JCC president Kathy Zimmerman and 100.7 WLEV morning show host Selena Robinson. In the end, Team "50 Shades of Latke" won with their creation of a Moroccan-spiced latke topped with a fruit juice-based "caviar," served with a mint Greek yogurt crème.

Team "A Bad Moms Hanukkah:" Beth Kushnick, Lauren Rabin, Ilene Ringold, Debi Wiener and Kira Bub. The bad moms added some falafel flare to their latke and served it with a Manischewitz sangria.

Team "Couch Potatoes:" Chelsea Busch, Daniela Viale, Katie Flatley, Maureen Falcone and Dan Friedman.

Team "L'Shana Vodka," Abby Feinberg, Mike Smith, Rachel Levin, Cori Rubel and Adrian Shanker, with fellow members of the Israel Next Dor group.

The winning latkes from team "50 Shades of Latke," featuring Moroccan spices, a mint Greek yogurt crème and pomegranate and apple "caviar."

Team "JBA" (Jews by Association): Stephanie Bennett, Holly Hebron, Terrence Baker, Sara Ritter and Rebecca Wagner.

Above left, Rebecca Wagner and other participants entertain the crowd while the votes are being tabulated. Above center, Adam Smartschan and Nick Volchko apply a special food science technique to make their "caviar." Above right, Judges Selena Robinson, Kathy Zimmerman and Eva Levitt get ready to taste.

Mike Smith and Rachel Levin from team "L'Shana Vodka" get frying.


Why not usher in 2018 with good cheer from other places? For these refreshing changes from champagne, try these libations from India and Puerto Rico.

Coquito (Puerto Rico)

Mix together: two cans evaporated milk, 1 can cream of coconut, 1 can coconut milk, 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 c. Bacardi rum, 1 1/4 t. pure vanilla 1/4 t. cinnamon. Blend quickly; decorate with a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg.

Mango Lassi (India)

In a blender mix together: 1 c. plain whole yogurt, 1/2 c. whole milk, 1 c. chopped ripe mango and 1 T + 1 t. sugar. Blend again with some ice and serve immediately.





Allentown AZA at “Saturdays are for the Boys.”

Recruiting new Allentown AZA members By Jacob Sussman Allentown AZA Every year around the holiday season, BBYO (the organization as a whole that Allentown AZA falls under) and Allentown AZA (Allentown’s boys BBYO chapter) make a big push for new members. If anyone wants to be a member, you have to be in 8th-12th grade. This time of year especially, there is a push for new and incoming 8th graders to join Allentown AZA/BBYO. The only qualifications to be in BBYO are that you have to be Jewish in some way, shape or form. Now, you may be asking yourself, what exactly are BBYO and AZA? Well, it is very simple. It is something bigger, that means a lot to many people. Allentown BBYO/AZA is a safe, friendly, and fun environment that many people love and thrive in. If you were to ask any old or current members in Allentown BBYO/AZA, they would tell you that in this organization, there is a strong sense of brotherhood. The theme of brotherhood is what BBYO/AZA thrive on and what makes this organization so special. Between the weekly chapter meetings where you get to talk to all your friends and laugh together, or the monthly chapter events where you can just hang out with your friends and experience awesome programing. Allentown AZA especially is known to be one of the strongest and most welcoming chapters in the Liberty Region. Allentown AZA/BBYO

encourages any new 8th-12th grader that is not already in BBYO to at least try it out. Whether it is a weekly chapter meeting, or an event once a month. We promise that even if you are shy or undecided about this organization, Allentown AZA will welcome you with open arms. And show you that sense of brotherhood everyone talks about. So, all in all, any 8th-12th graders out in the Lehigh Valley who are not currently in BBYO/ Allentown AZA, please at least try it out and see how you like it. No matter how shy or timid you may be. If anyone has any questions feel free to contact our vice president of recruitment, Robbie Shaff, via email. His email is robertshaff1@gmail.com. Or you can email allentownaza@ gmail.com for any questions regarding Allentown AZA or BBYO.

Fall Fest and December events

tire month of November. The events featured various local venues and programming designed by the teens of the regions involved. The event in Liberty Region and South Jersey Region was a very successful concert experience featuring DJ Drewski and Spose. Sabrina Toland, a junior in Allentown BBG and the current shlicha for Allentown BBG, thought that Fall Fest was “a great way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.” In fact, many members of both South Jersey Region and Liberty Region had a great time and made new friends at this event, as well as reconnected with their old friends from summer programs, International Convention, as well as from their own respective regions. Allentown BBG had some more fun events in December. We are hosting a Hanukkah party along with our brother chapter, Allentown AZA, on Dec. 19. In addition, Allentown BBG hosted a Global Shabbat event on

Fana Schoen (right) of Allentown BBG reunites with her friend Sam Frank (left) of L’chaim BBG.

Dec. 15. This event is a part of a major international campaign in BBYO to globalize BBYO. This is an event during which all the chapters in the international order of BBYO have their own individual Shabbat services. This is an effort to help educate members of various Shabbat traditions all over the world. At last year’s Global Shabbat event, I enjoyed hearing about the specific stories of international celebrations of the holiday. It was so interesting to find that people all over the world celebrated the same holiday in such similar ways to the way that I do. Allentown BBG is very excited for another amazing Global Shabbat event and more great events to come.

Please email allentownmazkirah@gmail.com with any questions about these events or BBYO.

By Fana Schoen Allentown BBG Hello, HAKOL readers! Allentown B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) has had an amazing November and is gearing up for an amazing December. Last month, Allentown BBG and AZA, along with the rest of Liberty Region and South Jersey Region, had a very successful Fall Fest. Fall Fest is a movement throughout the international order of BBYO to encourage membership growth and overall more fun for BBYO members and non-BBYO members. In fact, the Fall Fest campaign lasted the enHAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JANUARY 2018 17

JFS and community synagogues bring the joy of Chanukah to older adults By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor


Volunteers Madeleine Jelensits and Barbara Spagnoletti package Chanukah goody bags for older adults in residences and aging in place. These baskets will be delivered by Marcia Schechter as part of her monthly outreach to the residences. Each bag includes a card from a Jewish Day School student, a dreidel decoration from the Jewish Community Center’s kindergarten, a Chanukah cookie and gelt.


Children from the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley prepare with Nellie Gerstein for a Chanukah performance for older adults on Dec. 20. The children will be traveling to the B’nai Brith Apartments and hosting a sing-a-long with Jewish residents.

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Rabbi Michael Singer from Congregation Brith Sholom joins the residents of Traditions of Hanover on the first night of Chanukah to sing songs, light the menorah and tell the traditional holiday story.



Rabbi Seth Phillips and Cantor Jeff Warschauer from Congregation Keneseth Israel bring a musical day to the residents of Kirkland Village in Bethlehem. Armed with a variety of musical instruments, and wearing festive holiday gear, the rabbi and cantor led a series of Chanukah songs before lighting the menorah. The residents also enjoyed a snack of latkes and sufganiyot.

Cantor Kevin Wartell of Temple Beth El joins the residents of Atria Bethlehem to celebrate the first day of Chanukah. After retelling the classic story, Wartell brought a great sense of humor to the event, and even played a comedy routine about cooking latkes while everyone enjoyed a Chanukah-themed snack of latkes and sufganiyot. The residents also enjoyed listening to music and singing songs and prayers together.

CHANUKAH AT COUNTRY MEADOWS Jane Cohen, a member of Congregation Keneseth Israel, joins the residents of Country Meadows for a Shabbat-Chanukah lunch on Dec. 15. Everyone enjoyed chocolate gelt, sufganiyot and latkes.

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Teaching is a mitzvah Mikaela Garber became a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth El in Allentown on Dec. 2, 2017. The sixth grade, Jewish Day School student loves reading, dancing, hanging with friends, and doing STEAM. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. For a year, Mikaela has spent her study hall period once a week helping the younger kids at her school. Last year, she helped the pre-K and kindergarten classes in the cafeteria, and this year she helped the kindergarten class in computer lab. She chose to do this project because she really likes working with little kids. Mikaela says that she might want to be a teacher when she grows up. Mr. Sean Boyle, librarian at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley, has been very impressed with Mikaela’s teaching abilities. “Mikaela has unselfishly volunteered her personal time to help teach coding to eight JDS kindergarten students. She comes early to help set up the computers and always stays late to ensure the computer lab is ready for the next classes. She is an outstanding asset who has ensured that the JDS kindergarten students are experts in “blockcoding.” Mikaela has had to work through many challenges while volunteering to help the students. For example, the kindergarten students are coding on the website, code.org, and, unfortunately, the hints for helping to code are text-based. Since the students are not able to read yet, they need help with understanding what the hints are telling them, and how to apply it to their coding project. Also, all projects are taught through a stepby-step method. So, these young learners must retain what they have already learned and immediately apply it to the next lesson. Therefore, an instructor cannot just “help” the student; they need to make sure the student completely understands the concept before they can move to the next stage.

In the face of these difficult teaching demands, Mikaela has patiently helped every student completely understand and retain the difficult concepts, therefore ensuring they are properly prepared to face the next stage’s challenges. Many other volunteers have attempted to help, and they have all quit in frustration. Mikaela’s fortitude, patience and selflessness are demonstrated by her cheerfully coming to volunteer each week, determined to help the young students cope with their complex tasks.” Mikaela’s father, Todd Garber is impressed by his daughter’s attitude. “We are proud of Mikaela for using her intelligence to help others,” he said. Her mom, Laura, added, “We are so proud of Mikaela for her willingness to spend her free time at school helping younger students. She is generous with her time and patient with the little ones. She truly looks forward to helping them every week and will continue to volunteer after her bat mitzvah.” In addition to her mitzvah project, Mikaela has made her first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, program coordinator, at abbyt@jflv.org or call her at the Federation office at 610-821-5500.

Lehigh University Continues from page 9

programming while a national search to fill the position takes place. As a congregational rabbi, Nathan has lead religious services in a variety of Jewish denominations and settings. Educational programs under his purview have tackled topics ranging from social justice, politics and bioethics to gender, sexuality and body image. He’s developed curricula for both youth and adults and provided psychological and pastoral counseling to children, teens and families. College chaplaincy is a familiar beat for Nathan. He’s been the resident rabbi at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Through his campus outreach efforts, Nathan has often been the Jewish voice on interfaith initiatives and a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community. He’s already making those same connections at Lehigh. “I’m here to serve everybody,” said Nathan. “Working together with the Chaplain’s Office, Hillel and the multifaith community, my hope is that we can partner on matters of social justice and identity all across the campus.” 20 JANUARY 2018 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

Getting acquainted Nathan loves talking to students and hearing their ideas. He values their perspective on the world, and it shows in the inspired way that he’s working to reinvent Jewish life at Lehigh. The new interim director wasted no time connecting with the Jewish groups on campus. He meets weekly with the Hillel board of directors, seeking their feedback on everything from Shabbat and holiday menu planning, to social programming, to the renovations they’d most like to see at the Jewish Student Center. Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) recently named Nathan its adviser. He’s met with representatives from Challah for Hunger and the Tamid Investment Group. Meanwhile, his calendar is filling rapidly with smallgroup educational and outreach opportunities, such as “Coffee, Tea and Torah.” He looks forward to connecting with staff, faculty, and the Lehigh Valley faith community as well. “I want people to know that there is an active, vibrant Jewish community at Lehigh for people across the spectrum—secular, cultural, or more traditionally observant Jews. And that Hillel is a home for everyone on campus.”

TCP hosts PJ Library Chanukah program Many local families joined Temple Covenant of Peace and PJ Library for a Chanukah Family Celebration on Dec. 10. This event consisted of making a creative and fun Chanukah craft plus decorating each child's very own Chanukah Blessings book for when they light the candles. Rabbi Melody Davis read a PJ Library Chanukah story. There were dreidels, chocolate gelt, songs, music and plenty of yummy holiday treats (jelly donuts, sweets and other fun things to feast on.)


Small, intimate gourmet dinner Banquets for several hundred Cocktail parties Kosher catering (Orthodox supervision under Rabbi Lipsker) Full Decorating Service Available MAKE ENTERTAINING EASY | 610.370.3718

PJ Library Family of the Month:


We are so excited to have become a PJ Library Family! Ava (3) and Amia (1) are so excited to get their books every month. Ava’s favorite is “Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah.” She makes sure we read it every night before bed (EVERY night!). We’ve also loved getting to know other Jewish families in the Valley. PJ Library events are a great way to introduce our girls to Jewish traditions and meet others in the community. Thank you for all of the work that you do! - BRIE, BOB, AVA AND AMIA MARKS

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.


KI, TBE and Muhlenberg team up for mock 17th century ‘Law & Order’ trial By Michele Salomon Congregation Keneseth Israel Ripped from the headlines, playwright David Ives takes us into the trial of Baruch (or Benedictus as he would have been called in his native Portuguese) Spinoza, the first modern Jewish thinker, with whom one could imagine having a meaningful conversation over a latte at Starbucks about what it means to live as a Jew in a modern world. While a lively, engaging and thoughtful discussion would ensue in 2017, in 1656, as a young Jew in Amsterdam, Spinoza’s views were controversial, even dangerous, resulting in his excommunication by the Jewish community at the young age of 24. In this staged reading of Ives’ play, directed by Charles Richter and featuring a cast of community and Muhlenberg College actors, history will come to life as the life and trial of Baruch Spinoza is told on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Keneseth Israel. The “herem,” the formal statement of his banishment, also forbade the Jewish community from having any relationship with him, to read anything he had written or to listen to anything he had to say. That edict came from a formulation used by the Venetian Jewish community that was intended for heretics. With no transcript from the trial in the historical record, Ives’ play, “New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza

at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656,” invites us into this largely unknown moment in history. A compelling courtroom drama, the setting for the play is the trial itself, where through Ives’ words and imagination, Spinoza’s philosophy is illuminated and argued. Amsterdam in the middle of the 17th century was a safe haven for Jewish refugees fleeing Spain and Portugal after the years of the Inquisition. Like others fleeing persecution, Spinoza’s family were Marranos, those who outwardly converted to Christianity but maintained their Jewish identity, secretly practicing their Judaism at home. While Amsterdam was far more welcoming and a place of religious freedom, there were limits. Spinoza specifically exercised a level of independent thought and distinctive philosophy that was perceived as dangerous. Judaism has been described as a religion of deeds, not creeds; it’s based on actions, not necessarily beliefs. Asking questions is encouraged, even second nature for Jews. In this spirit, Spinoza is described as a questioner, as one who didn’t question the deeds of Judaism so much as the creeds, particularly a belief in and meaning of G-d and whether the bible is based on historical facts or not. Sincere in his own questioning, he would feel at home and welcome in a modern-day congregation, but in the time and place in which he lived, his ideas

were perceived as dangerous. For the Jews in Amsterdam at that time, the goal was staying safe to practice their religion and ply their trades. Having a member of their community perceived as an atheist was beyond what was safe for them, even in the freer community that Amsterdam was at the time. Ives seeks to fill in the missing pieces of what actually happened at the trial, the play becoming an exploration of Spinoza’s philosophy, a body of work that continues to influence modern philosophy with questions as relevant today as they were in 1656: “How do we live as Jews in the modern world?” “How do we maintain religious faith in a rational world where ideas can create conflict?” “How do we maintain ourselves as rational human beings living with faith and in community?” This program is another in a series of events brought to the community by the partnership and collaboration of the Adult Education Committees of Congregation Keneseth Israel and Temple Beth El, along with Muhlenberg College. Funding is provided, in part, by The Dr. Ray and Bonnie Singer Education Fund. Please RSVP by Jan. 26 to the KI office at 610-435-9074 or the Temple Beth El office at 610-435-3521. Online registration can be completed at the KI website under the “Current Events Blog” section: www.kilv.org. Tickets are $18 with advance registration and payment; $25 at the door.

Congregation Sons of Israel to honor Rabbi and Rachel Wilensky By Barry Halper Congregation Sons of Israel On Feb. 1, 2018, Congregation Sons of Israel will honor Rabbi David Wilensky and Rachel Wilensky for their outstanding leadership. Since arriving in Allentown in 2009, the Wilenskys have taken on leadership roles that have extended far beyond the walls of CSOI. Rabbi Wilensky previously served as assistant Rabbi for Congregation Ohav Zedek in Manhattan where he was charged, in part, with community outreach and programming. He wasted no time in bringing those skills here to Allentown. In addition to his demanding rabbinical duties, Rabbi Wilensky continues to host a weekly evening adult education series at CSOI, as well as a parent-child learning series throughout the winter on Saturday nights. He is a vital member of the Yachad staff, teaching weekly Torah classes at the JCC, and he has recently started teaching regular classes at the Jewish Day School. Rachel Wilensky serves many roles in the community in addition to her work as a psychologist. Though she juggles a very busy professional career, she has touched

the lives of numerous women through individual learning and counsel. She serves on the board of JFS, and is the driving force for fundraising and maintenance for the Lehigh Valley community mikvah, which is integral to our thriving Jewish Community. The Wilensky’s son, Moshe, is in 2nd grade at the JDS. He is a budding Torah scholar and he loves bike riding, Legos and martial arts. Please join us to honor the Wilenskys. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served. For more information and tickets, contact April Daugherty at april2715@gmail.com or 610433-6089.

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Profile for Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

HAKOL - January 2018  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

HAKOL - January 2018  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania