HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
DECEMBER 2015 | KISLEV/TEVET 5776
Young families prepare Thanksgiving packages for those in need
Federation celebrates Day 60 at Israeli cabaret By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing
RUBINA TAREEN Speaks about being a Muslim woman. See page 5.
Amy and Ted Douglass get ready to deliver their Thanksgiving meal packages. More than 20 families met on Nov. 15 to package and deliver food for families in need. While the adults packaged, the kids enjoyed a PJ Library story and games and activities with Coach T from the JCC and decorated coffee mugs to give to Meals on Wheels recipients. The Food Drive was co-sponsored by Federation's Young Adult Division and Jewish Family Service. See more photos on pages 16-17.
SHABBATON Congregations bond during retreat. See page 20.
200 gather at Paris synagogue, under tight security, to pray for terror victims Jewish Telegraphic Agency
LET THERE BE LIGHT Get ready for Chanukah! See our special section.
No. 382 com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2 Women’s Division
Jewish Day School
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Community Center 18-19 Community Calendar
Some 200 people gathered under heavy guard at a Paris synagogue to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks in the French capital on Nov. 13. Led by the chief rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, leaders of French Jewry and Israel's ambassador to France were among those who assembled at the Synagogue de la Victoire on the evening of Nov. 15. “Our people, which has been tested more than others, knows the healing power of solidarity and unity in the face of the pain of torn families, broken couples and orphaned children,” said Michel Gugenheim, the chief rabbi of Paris, of the 132 fatalities and more than 350 wounded in multiple attacks. The event included a prayer for the souls of the dead and a separate prayer, led by Rabbi Non-Profit Organization
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French Jews gather after the attacks in Paris. Moche Lewin, director of the Conference of European Rabbis, for the speedy recovery of the wounded. Korsia said that French Jews “feel with all intensity the pain of the families touched by the tragedy and the pain of the nation in general.” He added that “the act of gathering here is perhaps more significant than the speeches.” French society, he said, “will rise up from its grief like American society rose up from the tragedy of 9/11 and like Israeli society, which never lay down for attacks.” Streets around the synagogue were cordoned off by police and army for the duration of the ceremony, where congregants underwent patdowns and bag inspections. The ceremony was held as many other activities of Jewish institutions in France were
suspended for security reasons and out of respect for the victims of the attacks that rocked Paris in what French President Francois Hollande said was an “act of war” by the Islamic State terror group. “Now ordinary French people are beginning to understand how us Jews have been living in recent years, and the reality in Israel,” Samuel Sandler, the father of Jonathan Sandler, who was killed in 2012 with two of his sons and another child during an Islamist attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse, said at the gathering. On hand for the ceremony were the president of the CRIF umbrella group, Roger Cukierman, and Sacha Reingewirtz, head of the Union of Jewish Students of France, as well as the ambassador, Aliza Bin-Nun. To read a local resident’s account of the attacks in Paris, go to page 6.
As a thank you to donors and volunteers who have taken the 60 Day Challenge, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will host a free cabaret on Dec. 1 featuring Israeli singer Hadar. Hadar (Hadar McNeill) is an R&B, soul and pop singer and songwriter and will perform both familiar Israeli classics and her own material. She will be accompanied by her husband on the acoustic guitar. Hadar was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, and first revealed her natural talent as a soloist in the Ankor Choir of the Jerusalem Rubin Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has graced many stages in Spain, Italy, Russia, Portugal, Japan, and Turkey with the Ankor Choir and as a soloist. She takes inspiration from Stevie Wonder, Etta James and Alicia Keys. In 2011 Hadar released her first EP, “I’m More”, under the Power Broker Music Group LLC. It received wonderful reviews and was featured in Philadelphia Weekly’s Music issue in August 2011. Ever since, Hadar has been performing at many venues including Philadelphia's Clef Club of Jazz, Time & Underground Arts. She was showcased in the PA Solo Artist Awards, as well as chosen to be in the top ten finalists competing for Jill Scott’s opening act sponsored by MySpace and Budweiser, in which she was a featured performer on Power 99 FM at Clear Channel Radio. The Jewish community is important to Hadar and she is continually giving back. In 2009 Hadar volunteered to teach music and Israeli culture at the Jewish Community Center of West Palm Beach, Florida, on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel. In 2011 Hadar held two showcases celebrating her home country at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Washington and Fairfax, Virginia. She toured in May of 2012 with the Jewish group “The Fountainheads” throughout the Northeast United States. Hadar has performed at the Israeli Jazz Phest in Philapelphia, opening for Israeli-Ethiopian sensation, Ayala Indegeshet. She also opened for the hip-hop Israeli Group, Hadag Nahash, at their December 2013 concert in Philadelphia. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley and is free and open to all donors and volunteers who have taken the 60 Day Challenge. For those who haven’t yet pledged to the 2016 Campaign for Jewish Needs, there will be an opportunity to do so that evening. Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/60 to learn more.
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley email@example.com
Menorahs in the windows When I grew up, we did not publicly display our Judaism. The Deep South in the 1960s was not the most tolerant area of the United States. Sure, people knew with the name “Goldstein” that we were Jewish. To most, we were just different. My father grew up in Poland between the world wars when anti-Semitism on the left and right went unchecked. Coupled with surviving the Holocaust, it was understandable that he had problems with being “too Jewish” outside of the house. I remember when we were in public, perhaps having a conversation at a restaurant, that certain words were whispered or at least slightly muted. “Israel.” “Jewish.” “Synagogue.” “Rosh Hashanah.” It was such an automatic reflex that I thought the words were supposed to be pronounced that way. In December on our street, (we were the only Jews in the neighborhood), every other house on the block had living rooms brightly lit with trees and flickering lights and curtains wide open so the world could see. But not our house.
As affiliated Jews, we did not have a Christmas tree (or a Chanukah bush). No flickering light strands outlined our roof. And when it came time to light Chanukah candles, the curtains were drawn shut and the candles were lit either on the kitchen counter or on the den fireplace mantle, far from the front windows facing the street. My father explained that the menorah was for us and its light was for us. There’s no need to open the curtains. My experience is in sharp contradiction to Jewish laws for lighting the Chanukah menorah. Jewish tradition bestows a mitzvah for Jews to light Chanukah candles to “publicize the miracle” of Chanukah. The menorah must be kindled in a way that it can be seen outside, by the largest number of passers-by. This means at your doorstep, in your big picture window, etc. It is most preferable to light the candles outside adjacent to your home’s main entry. If this is not feasible, you may place the menorah in a window that faces a public thoroughfare. But do it in
such a way as to inform the world that the Jewish spirit was not extinguished by the Greeks. In Israel a common Chanukah accessory is a glass encasement for your menorah. Using the encasement allows you to place the menorah outside and the flame is shielded from the wind and rain. You can’t help but notice this season as the “other high holiday season.” Retailers move us quickly from Halloween through New Years with many stops in between. This time of year, we get caught up in the “December Dilemma” trying to find comfort while everything else in our culture reminds us that we are different. Most Jewish families celebrate Chanukah, if only for something to do whilst everyone else is celebrating something as well. Our tradition tells us that the menorah is to send a message to the world. My father taught me that the menorah is to send a message to us. So this year, light your menorah in your window, with the curtains open wide. Do it, not because of the
HAPPY CHANUKAH From the Board & Staff of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley MARK H. SCOBLIONKO President MARK L. GOLDSTEIN Executive Director
December holiday season and we want something flickering at our house, but because of our pride in celebrating our Jewish holidays, regardless of when they fall on the Gregorian calendar. Do not shy away from exclaiming to the world that the Jewish spirit was not extinguished by the Greeks. Let everyone know that the miracle of Chanukah is not solely in the fact that the single jug of oil lasted for eight nights when the Maccabees rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem. The miracle of Chanukah is also that the menorah still burns, thousands of years later, despite assimilation and physical attempts to eradicate Jews. Proudly displaying your menorah in your window is a demonstration to your
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY HAKOL is published 11 times per year for the Jewish communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and vicinity by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
neighbors, and more importantly, is also a demonstration to yourself about who you are and your being a part of the Jewish community and the Jewish people. The light of the menorah sends a message to those outside of your house as well as to those inside your house, and the message is the same: Happy Chanukah.
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JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT In order to unite, sustain, and enhance the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and support Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to the following core values:
• Supporting Jews in need wherever they may be. • Supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland. • Supporting and encouraging Jewish education in the Lehigh Valley as a means of strengthening Jewish life for individuals and families. • Supporting programs and services of organizations whose values and mission meet local Jewish needs.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park. IN HONOR CHELSEA AND ELLIOT BUSCH Birth of their son, Liav Omri SHALOM BABY IRIS EPSTEIN Happy Birthday Jon, Harry, and Charlie Epstein
MICHELLE AND JASON ERICKSON Birth of their son, Nathan SHALOM BABY IN MEMORY MARILYN RICHARDS MCGINTY (Mother of Patti Mittleman) Roberto and Eileen Fischmann
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
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
30 YEARS OF THE MAIMONIDES SOCIETY:
Dr. Stuart Schwartz By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor Editor’s Note: This is part of a series commemorating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Maimonides Society. Each month, we will profile one of the founding members. Dr. Stuart Schwartz didn’t always know what he wanted to be when he grew up. He knew he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the retail business, and he knew he had a knack for the sciences, but he wasn’t keen on becoming a physician. But thanks to a relationship with his family’s dentist, a new path opened to him. “Unfortunately, as a kid I made many trips to the dentist,” Schwartz joked. “We were very friendly, and our relationship ultimately inspired me to pursue dentistry as a profession.” Schwartz went to dental school before eventually became an oral surgeon, a career which he enjoyed for decades before retiring eight years ago. The Maimonides Society is spe-
cial to Schwartz, and for good reason: he was the one who thought of the idea for a society of healthcare professionals. Schwartz was the president of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley when he and then-Executive Director Ivan Schonfeld created the Maimonides Society. They had just visited an exhibit called “The Precious Legacy” at the Jewish Museum in New York City. The exhibit displayed Jewish artifacts that the Nazis had stolen and later stored in Czechoslovakia. While he was touring the exhibit, Schwartz noticed that there were many pictures of members of Burial Societies that were common throughout the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe at the time. The people in these societies were community members who took care of arrangements for burials for families when a loved one passed away. Schwartz was inspired. “I thought we should have something like that in the Lehigh Valley,” he said. “But instead of helping with burial, we should help them im-
prove their health.” Schwartz pitched the idea to other physicians, and the Maimonides Society was born. The first of its kind in the country, its members served the local community by providing free medical care to those in need. Now, 30 years later, the Maimonides Society has grown and expanded to include physicians, dentists and other health care professionals across the Lehigh Valley. There are also other Maimonides Societies across the country. Schwartz is proud of the success of the Maimonides Society. He points to the campaign participation of members as an important role, stressing that the society helped medical professionals realize their role as leaders of the community. Schwartz also counted the pro-bono work many members did to help incoming immigrants from Russia as one of the finest moments of the society. But he is most proud of the visiting physician program that brings Israeli physicians to the Lehigh Valley each year to build a sense of community as well as to share medical knowledge.
In addition to his work with the Maimonides Society and Federation, Schwartz has served as a board member of the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley and Congregation Keneseth Israel. He and his wife Janice spend part of the year in Emmaus and part of the year in Del Ray, Florida. Schwartz has two children, two step-children and 15 grandchildren.
Maimonides brunch tackles deployment medicine
Dr. Karen Dacey, ophthalmologist and Maimonides Society vice president.
The Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley hosted a bagel brunch on Oct. 25 at the JCC featuring Dr. Karen Dacey. Dacey, an ophthalmologist, talked about her 11 years serving in the United States Air Force and the care she provided while stationed at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Dacey is vice president of the Maimonides Society and currently practices at McDonald Ophtalmology and Associates. The Maimonides Society is composed of involved heath care professionals, physicians and dentists in the Lehigh Valley. Bagel brunches are held throughout the year as a way for members to learn from each other and network. Interested in learning more about joining the Maimonides Society? Contact the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/maimonides. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 3
WOMEN’S DIVISION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
IDF Major Meital Zur shares inspirational story at St. Luke’s and Lunch and Learn
Federation Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein and Assistant Executive Director Judy Diamondstein with IDF Major Meital Zur, Frank Ford, president of St. Luke’s Hospital-Allentown Campus, and Robby Wax at St. Luke’s.
Above left, Nicole Rosenthal and Melissa Hakim at the Lunch & Learn. Above right, more than 70 people attend the event at Muhlenberg Hillel.
When IDF Major Meital Zur first landed in Kathmandu, Nepal, in April, she and the other 122 Israeli medical staff sent on a humanitarian mission were shown a field. The next day, that same field became a functioning hospital. Zur shared her inspirational story with medical professionals at St. Luke’s Hospital and at the Women’s Division Lunch and Learn on Nov. 13. The Lunch & Learn was co-sponsored by Muhlenberg College Hillel, who also hosted the event. Zur, a trained pharmacist, was charged with the care of all of the medical supplies brought from Israel to Nepal. During the three-week mission, the field hospital treated over 1,500 patients. While finding a way to refill oxygen canisters vital to the survival of ventilated patients was Zur’s most challenging professional problem, she admitted that leaving her 10-month old son in Israel was the most difficult aspect of her mission. “I like to think that when he is older, he will understand what I did and be proud,” Zur said.
An update from Moran Alem
IDF simulation week at Alma
The IDF simulation week was an exhausting and exciting experience! We spent the Shabbat before at home and then got started as soon as we all got back to the Mechina. We did not know what to expect. At 4 p.m. on the dot, our counselor Talia came out dressed in her uniform and said, “Alma Platoon, listen up!” We all laughed but quickly stopped when we realized that she was serious. She arranged us in a line one after the other and handed us our uniforms and soldier identification cards. At this point we finally understood that for the week our counselors were now our commanders, our counselors became our platoon leaders, and Michal, head of the Mechina, was our company commander. Their new roles were very amusing and provided us with a lot of laughter. Throughout the course of the week they made us run, do planks, eat our meals in a mere 10 minutes, and clean up the base. Mentally, it was very challenging because we suddenly had to address our madrichot as commanders; before we could speak to them freely. On Wednesday, they woke us up at 3 a.m. and commanded us to get dressed
in 10 minutes. Without knowing where we were going, we started walking and then were told to crawl, jump and skip along the way. It was hard work but both fun and rewarding. Just in time for sunrise, we finally reached our destination, Masada. There, we had an opening ceremony for our journey and we broke the distance between us and our “commanders” and went back to them being just our counselors. The following week was art week, where we learned to sculpt and draw. We had two lecturers speak to us, one about love and the other about fashion and feminism. It was an interesting and fascinating week where I felt lucky to have learned so much as well as develop my art skills which I didn’t even know I had!
SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION
WELCOMING NEW BABIES
to the Lehigh Valley
Handmade Afghans BY EVA LEVITT
All proceeds benefit projects in Israel:
Food Banks in Israel Neve Michael Youth Village
For prices or to place an order, call Eva 610-398-1376.
All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
4 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
son of Elliot and Chelsea Busch
If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | email@example.com
Rubina Tareen: What it’s like to be a Muslim woman
Above. JFLV Director of Outreach and Community Relations Aaron Gorodzinsky, Rubina Tareen, Rabbi Seth Phillips, and Brother Rizwan Butt. Below, a diverse crowd of over 200 gathered for the event.
By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor On Nov. 8, a crowd of over 200 people gathered at Congregation Keneseth Israel to learn about the status of women in Islam. The featured speaker of the evening was Rubina Tareen. Originally hailing from Pakistan, Tareen works as an interfaith chaplain at Alvernia University in Reading. The event was co-sponsored by the KI Adult Eduction Committee and the Federation’s Community Relations Council. Tareen prefaced her talk by saying that, like all religious groups, Islam is not monolithic, and her views were not necessarily representative of all Muslim women. Despite this caveat, she explained that her experience as a Muslim woman living in the United States was pretty typical of the women she knew. She showed pictures of her family, her American husband who served in the Army, her two sons and three daughters and her Japanese daughterin-law all smiling together broadly, a living representation of the American melting pot. She talked about her children’s jobs working in fields as diverse as the tech industry and nonprofits, and her pride in their accomplishments was palpable. After explaining her background, Tareen continued by discussing the historical role of women in Islam. She stressed that pre-Islamic society was extremely harsh toward women; one of the first dictates of the prophet Muhammad was that parents should no longer kill their infant daughters out of shame, but should celebrate their birth. She also pointed to Quranic figures like Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, to describe the traditional role of women within Islam. Khadijah
was not only 15 years older than her husband, she was also initially his employer. The final part of her presentation focused on modern misconceptions about Muslim women, mostly centered on their oppression and submissive qualities. She gave examples of Muslim women leaders like Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and Begum Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh, pointing out the intelligence and accomplishments of Muslim women around the world. She also dispelled myths about the hijab, the head covering that many Muslim women wear. She reiterated that the Quran states that all Muslims should dress modestly by covering their arms, legs, and hair.
the amount of covering and the style worn is a cultural difference that varies from country to country. After Tareen finished speaking, Brother Rizwan Butt of the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley followed up her comments with a short presentation detailing the specific instructions regarding the role of women in the Quran and in Islamic teaching. Both Tareen and Butt answered questions after their presentations, from whether they were offended by non-Muslims wearing the hijab as a fashion statement (no), to what they thought of feminism. Tareen answered that while she did not consider herself a Western-style feminist, she appreciated the efforts of feminists. “It is important that we fight for our rights as women,” she said. Rabbi Seth Phillips was pleased by not only the impressive turnout for the event, but also the diversity of the attendees. Jews, Muslims, and Christians were all present to meet each other and learn more about each other’s faiths. “We are fortunate to live in a country where this kind of event is possible, where we can meet each other with a message of peace,” Phillips said.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 5
A farewell letter from Judy Diamondstein By Judy Diamondstein JFLV Assistant Executive Director Shalom is a special word with a triple meaning and I find myself incredibly grateful that it is part of our lexicon as it is so fitting for this moment when I will say goodbye to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community while at the same time saying hello to New Haven, Connecticut, and wishing everyone peace. When I arrived in the Lehigh Valley, I was barely old enough to legally drink, had been married only a short while and had no idea that the next 23 years would fill my heart and soul, offer endless experiences to challenge my professional self, my parenting skills, my creativity and to ultimately offer me the opportunity to serve the Jewish community as a part of the Jewish Federation staff team. As I look back all I can see are smiling faces—the faces of the volunteer leaders with whom I have been privileged to work, the faces of the donors with whom I have been able to partner so that collectively we can do so much good, and the faces of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community individuals who are able to live, work, play, find help and support and sustain this vibrant Jewish community. I hope that my efforts have helped to build and strengthen the Jewish community. And I hope that the Lehigh Valley Jewish community will thrive into the future. There is so much I will miss about this community. But without a doubt at the top of the list is the people. You are special and appear so much bigger than your numbers would convey. When I have traveled on missions and conferences I have been so proud to represent the Lehigh Valley and for people to comment that they’ve heard so much about us. The Lehigh Valley has made its mark in the Jewish world and I will always know and share that this is where I came from. The Lehigh Valley is the place where I became the woman/mother/ professional/leader that I am today. It is traditional when completing a book in the torah to say the words “chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek” which mean be strong, be strong and let us summon our strength to indicate that even the most joyous of traditions are bittersweet. As I close this special chapter in the book of my life, I cannot help but utter those words and to finally say shalom. I hope that I make you proud in the days ahead. My time here has been a privilege.
6 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Top, Judy with some of her favorite ladies at the Women’s Division Spring Event in 2014. Above, Judy with her husband Marc, son Noah, niece Rachel and daughter Molly at Super Sunday in 2011. Right, Judy with Vicki Glaser and Iris Epstein on a mission to Israel in 2014.
A NIGHT OF SIRENS:
On the ground in Paris By Amy Sams Special to HAKOL Opportunity knocked at the end of October. A request came to my husband Rick, to be in Paris in just nine days to meet with a customer. Travelling on such short notice is something that has become routine as a requirement of his computer consulting job, but his travel is usually domestic and to exciting locations like Milwaukee. So when I heard he was going to Paris, I paid a little more attention. I had been to Paris in 2000 with my parents and sisters, and had no problem convincing myself it was time to go back. I remembered the beautiful gardens, the decadent food, the museums and the excitement of the city. Yes, it was definitely time to return to Paris, this time with my husband. Our 16 and 19-year-old daughters also thought it was a great opportunity for all involved. Happily we have local family and friends who supported the idea too. This wasn’t the first time opportunity knocked for our family. Rick and I had spent nine months living in Germany when our daughters were ages 2 and 5. We lived near Heidelberg and immersed ourselves in the European way of living. Although short, our time living abroad was an amazing and educational experience for our family. We moved back to Allentown when the new school year approached so Natalie could start kindergarten at the Jewish Day School. Rick and I planned to return to Europe for some vacation and travel time once Natalie was settled at the JDS and both girls were
in the care of my parents who live in Allentown. Then we experienced September 11, 2001. Everything changed. Terrorism became part of my vocabulary. The realization that life can change in a moment set in, and we felt a need to be together as a family. Rick returned to the United States and we changed our status of temporarily living in the Lehigh Valley and became residents. Fast forward 14 years to November 2015. There was that opportunity to return to the sights, sounds, tastes and excitement of Paris. Despite being a planner and having difficulty even finding my passport, we managed to arrive in Paris on Nov. 7. We explored and enjoyed the cafes, the museums, the Metro, Google Maps, the history, walking, more walking and people watching. So much about Paris felt new – seeing it through a fresh and appreciative pair of eyes. So much of Paris seemed familiar. Rick and I decided to take a river cruise on the Seine on our last night together in Paris. We enjoyed every chilly moment of seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Friday night revelers, and the multiple bridges from our open top boat on the Seine River. Our last evening was coming to an end. We began our night time walk to the Metro Station to catch our last ride back to the hotel. At that moment, everything changed ... again. We heard sirens. Very loud sirens. Then we saw the police cars with flashing lights, one after another. There had to be at least 12 cars speeding by, right on the road in
front of us as we stood on the sidewalk ready to cross over. We knew something was terribly wrong. The sirens. The lights. The number of police cars. This wasn’t an ordinary incident in the city. We didn’t know why, but stepped up our pace sensing we needed to get back to the hotel quickly. Everyone around us seemed to sense the same urgency. Nothing other than the police cars looked or sounded out of place. There were no police officers around us or warnings on our phones. We continued toward the Metro. There was an unusual sense of anxiety amongst the crowded subway. Then I saw an alert on my phone from WFMZ in Allentown. There was a shooting in front of a Paris restaurant. Rick and I looked at each other in disbelief. We sensed something bigger had occurred. The sound of the never-ending sirens was still in our ears. At this point everyone was looking at their phones. Then the national news reported that there was a bomb explosion at the soccer stadium. We saw that stadium on our ride from the airport. We started exchanging what we knew with a young man standing near us. He asked us what was happening when he heard us speaking English. He told us that he was a freshman at West Point, and I thought of our girls at home. I thought of the young girl I met earlier in the day from Australia traveling on her own enjoying a gap year between high school and college. She asked me for help with the Metro ticket machine The shooting, the bomb-
Parisians outside the Bataclan concert hall after the terrorist attacks. ing, whatever was happening was not far away. We were frightened. We didn’t know what was happening, because it was happening in real time nearby. This was different. This was not a news report of something far away. We began to see more breaking news about a hostage situation at a concert hall. After a short walk from the Metro station, we arrived at our hotel to find it on lockdown. The guard let us in. Once upstairs in our room we sat in silence watching CNN International. Our phones started lighting up with texts and emails from our family, friends and colleagues asking if we were OK. They knew something bad happened in Paris and they knew we were in Paris. We were safe, as far as we knew. We did our best to answer every phone call, video call, text and email. Facebook made it easy to get the word out to many. I was overwhelmed with the genuine concern there was for our safety and well-being. Our girls were fine. Natalie was glued to the news as usual, and Julia was busy with the school stage crew. They knew we were safe.
But we needed to be together again as a family. Unbelievably, our scheduled flight home went as planned the next day. More unbelievably is that everything went smoothly from our ride from the hotel to the airport, the plane ride, security, baggage claim and driving home to Allentown from Philadelphia. I feel such a strong sense of gratitude for everything in my life. Some things stay the same and are comforting like the warmth of a coffee at an outdoor café, and being surrounded by loved ones. Some things don’t change like the terrifying hatred that exists in our world and shakes us at the core of our being.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 7
Charitable IRA rollovers a great option for end-of-year giving By Jim Mueth JFLV Director of Planned Giving & Endowments As the end of the year approaches, we anticipate that Congress will again pass a provision allowing a rollover of up to $100,000 from an IRA account to a charitable organization for those over age 70 ½. In past years, the Federal government has permitted these rollovers without increasing taxable income or paying any additional tax. It has historically been a popular option, as the tax-free gifts can be made in any amount and satisfy one’s required minimum distribution for the year, something that must occur one way or the other. While there is widespread support for some sort of provision, as of press time, the rollover was still in a holding pattern in Congress. Still, if a rollover is something one wants to consider, preparing in advance for the provision’s passage would be advisable. Who may want an IRA rollover? Charitable IRA rollovers will be popular for these reasons: 1. Convenience – It is a very simple and easy way to make a gift. Contact your plan administrator in order to get
started. 2. Standard Deduction Benefit – With an IRA charitable rollover, you may take the standard deduction and still receive benefits for your gift. It may reduce your taxes. 3. IRA Rollover Qualifies for Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) – One may consider exercising the rollover now, even if the law is not yet in effect. 4. Lower Tax on Social Security – Because of an IRA distribution, you may be paying tax on 85 percent of your Social Security. Using the IRA charitable rollover may lower your income and only 50 percent of Social Security is taxable. 5. No Giving Limits – With an IRA charitable rollover, you may give more than the usual deductible amount of 50 percent of income, capped at $100,000. The foregoing should not be considered to be tax advice. Those who are considering donating their required minimum distribution to the Federation should consult with their plan administrator and tax advisors. You may also contact me with any questions at 610-821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN MEMORY MOTHER (of Sharon Goren) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald MOTHER (of Patti Mittleman) Stan and Vicki Wax IZZY BRODY (Husband of Joan Brody) Marilyn Claire MAXINE HENRY (Sister of Carole Beck) Elizabeth and Jeff Greenberg EDITH MILGROM (Mother of Jill Blinder) Marc and Aliette Abo Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Elizabeth and Jeff Greenberg Mike and Linda Miller MYRA OUTWATER Stan and Vicki Wax JEANNETTE SCHONBACH (Mother of Bernie Schonbach) Ross and Wendy Born Marilyn Claire RABBI PAUL SIEGEL (Father of Debbie Zoller) Marc and Aliette Abo Ross and Wendy Born RUTH WILF (Mother of Eileen Ufberg) Marc and Aliette Abo Rita and Michael Bloom
Nate and Marilyn Braunstein Marilyn Claire Ann and Gene Ginsberg Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Elizabeth and Jeff Greenberg IN HONOR CLARA AND DAVID BERGSTEIN Bar Mitzvah of their grandson Stan and Vicki Wax LARRY AND SUSAN BERMAN Marriage of their daughter Lindsay to Ari Marilyn Claire SHARON AND JOE BERNSTEIN Marriage of their daughter Melissa to Greg Ross and Wendy Born MIKE GORDON Happy Special Birthday Audrey and Arthur Sosis STANLEY NOWAK Engagement of his daughter Lindsay to Dan Marilyn Claire JARROD AND NICOLE ROSENTHAL Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald DIANE SANDLER Speedy Recovery Pearl and Morton Litwak AUDREY AND ARTHUR SOSIS Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary
HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR NATALIE COLEMAN New Home Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg SAM AND SELMA LAUTER New Home Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg JULIAN RAPPAPORT Happy Special’ Birthday Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg MURRAY AND MARLENE SALTZMAN New Home Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg SYDNEY AND HELENE SCHULTZ New Home Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg
We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.
(610) 882-8800 • www.embassybank.com Or Visit Any of Embassy’s Convenient Offices Valleywide
8 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Stan and Vicki Wax PHILIP AND DIANE STEIN Acceptance of their daughter Lisa to National Honor Choir Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald STEVE AND BEVERLY VOLK Marriage of their son Adam to Vanessa Ross and Wendy Born Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald
Will Justin Trudeau win erode Canada's support for Israel? By Josh Tapper Jewish Telegraphic Agency The election of Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau as prime minister represents the first change in Canadian government since Stephen Harper and his Conservatives assumed power in 2006. What is unlikely to change, however, is Ottawa’s robust support for Israel — a policy cemented under Harper, whose forceful backing of the Jewish state earned him a reputation as one of world's most pro-Israel political leaders. When it comes to core Jewish issues, Trudeau has said all the right things since assuming the Liberal leadership in 2013. He continued to do so throughout the 78-day election campaign, which ended with his center-left party’s crushing defeat of the Conservatives. Though some are lamenting the loss of such a reliable defender of Israel, Trudeau has, like his predecessor, stressed that Canada will remain a strong friend of Israel. In a statement earlier this year, he praised the two countries’ “enduring bond of friendship, rooted in our shared commitment to peace and democracy.” And during the Israel-Gaza conflict last summer, he called Hamas “a terrorist organization” and upheld Israel’s right to defend itself. He has also criticized efforts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to pressure Israel. But there is likely to be a significant shift in tone away from the often strident and polemical style of Harper's Conservatives. Harper's harsh rhetoric toward Hezbollah, his condemnation of Hamas during the Israel-Gaza conflict last year and his consistently tough stance on Iran — it led to the severing of diplomatic
relations in 2012 — endeared him to many in Canada's 300,000-member Jewish community. Trudeau, at the very least, promises a softer strategy. “Under the Harper government, what we were hearing was a regurgitation of Likud policies and a support for a hard-right Likud government,” said Bernie Farber, a former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress and a failed Liberal candidate in the 2011 Ontario provincial election. “What we’re going to see is a more balanced, a more thoughtful, approach toward [Israel].” In a foreign policy debate last month, Trudeau accused Harper of using Israel as a “domestic political football,” insisting that “all three of us” — Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party was the third candidate in the race — “support Israel and any Canadian government will.” “I think we’ve been very clear that many things are going to change in this new government, but Canada’s support for Israel is not going to be one of them,” said Michael Levitt, a Liberal parliamentarian and founding member of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee. Mira Sucharov, a professor of political science at Ottawa's Carleton University and a columnist for the liberal Israeli daily Haaretz, expects Trudeau to avoid the “less fair-minded” tone favored by Harper. But she also pointed out how similar the three candidates were in their support for Israel throughout the campaign. In an interview with the Canadian Jewish News in October, Trudeau labeled BDS a “new form of anti-Semitism in the world.” Sucharov called the prime ministerdesignate’s stance “right out
of a Jewish federation-style playbook.” “He’s hewing very close to how the Jewish community wants to view the Palestine solidarity movement that’s taken hold over the last few years,” Sucharov said. One foreign policy position Trudeau has pledged to amend is Canada’s break with Iran. Canada has been in a sort of diplomatic squeeze since refusing to endorse the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by its Western allies over the summer. The Liberals support the dealand Trudeau has expressed a desire to reopen Canada’s mission in Tehran. Trudeau’s election marks an extraordinary rebound for the Liberal Party, which saw its political stature decimated in 2011, when its candidates won only 34 of 308 seats in the House of Commons. As further humiliation, 52 percent of Canadian Jews voted for the Conservatives in 2011 — 12 points above the national average. Jewish voters, who have historically voted Liberal, apparently were swayed by an admixture of Harper’s tough rhetoric and the accusation by then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff that Israel committed war crimes in Lebanon in 2008. Exit polling indicated that Jewish voters in some districts returned to the Liberals. Joe Oliver, the Conservative candidate in Toronto's Eglington-Lawrence district and Canada’s first Jewish finance
Justin Trudeau minister, lost to the Liberals’ Marco Mendicino, who is not Jewish. The Liberals also pulled an upset in Winnipeg South Centre, in Manitoba, and won a seat in Ontario’s Markham-Thornhill — both Jewish strongholds. The Conservatives did, however, retain their seat in Toronto's Thornhill district, which is about one-third Jewish. Martin Sampson, a spokesman for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a national advocacy group, said the fluid voting patterns prove the “Jewish community is not monolithic.” “It’s a sign of the Jewish community more broadly — it’s very comfortably across a
range of issues and identifying with different parties,” Sampson said. Levitt, whose York Centre district had been in Liberal hands since 1962 before the Conservatives won there in 2011, downplayed Israel and other traditionally Jewish issues as motivating factors for his Jewish constituents. Instead, he insisted that the Liberals won them over with its wider platform, including tax cuts for the middle class and a promise to immediately increase Canada’s Syrian refugee intake. “There was a sense of comfort in what we were talking about,” Levitt said. “That was reestablished.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 9
Congregation Am Haskalah helps at the new Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center
The Spirit of Kibbutz Close to Home...
By Rena Fraade Congregation Am Haskalah
Leadership ~ Arts and Crafts ~ Sports Hebrew ~ Shabbat ~ Communal Living
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Congregation Am Haskalah was proud to have the opportunity to visit and volunteer at the new home of the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center. The BradburySullivan LGBT Community Center recently purchased a 13,000 square foot building in downtown Allentown to provide programs and services for LGBT community members in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe and Berks counties. But there is still a lot of work to be done before the Center can open! Congregants joined together on Sunday, Nov. 8 to
rehabilitate the space, including scraping up carpet glue, painting bricks and helping with garbage removal and disposal. None of the work was luxurious, but our team was in great spirits! These are among key projects that will help move the center forward for an anticipated opening in early 2016. As a Reconstructionist congregation, we see the mitzvah of helping this organization to be multi-fold. We know that the work we did will help our Jewish community and beyond. We have a values-based approach to the queer community – we affirm that all people are created in G-d’s image and we welcome
members of the queer community into our congregational community. How better to show our support than to spend a Sunday morning helping bring this wonderful project to fruition! Services at the center will include an LGBT library, a variety of support and discussion groups, a free legal clinic, HIV/STI testing and other health promotion activities and cultural and educational events. For more information, visit bradburysullivancenter.org . For more information on Congregation Am Haskalah, visit amhaskalah.org or contact Rena Fraade ,firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manhattan Klezmer Band performs in Bethlehem
RECORD CROWD FOR HADASSAH CONCERT. The Manhattan Klezmer Band performed to a record 149 supporters of Hadassah at Congregation Brith Sholom on Nov. 8, in this annual BethlehemEaston fundraiser to support the organization. Beneficiaries include Hadassah Medical Organization, which continues to perform its lifesaving work. 10 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
CANTOR KEVIN WARTELL Temple Beth El As a spiritual leader and educator, I am always looking for the perfect ingredient to what will illumine the message of our tradition, the “I get it” moment that all teachers strive for, so that the echoes of yesterday become the motivation of living tomorrow qualitatively different. I am increasingly amazed at how what I might have thought a common moment of interaction can become an “ahha moment” for illustrating the morals and ethics of Judaism. We as teachers find out about it years later. Many times, especially as evaluative tools have become the common practice of
Yesterday’s dreams… tomorrow’s promise
German museum finds 18 pieces of possible Nazi-looted art
funding for public education, I have been asked what tools can be used to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of a current curriculum within a religious school environment. However, teaching faith is not teaching facts alone. How do you evaluate the development of someone’s soul? If we only focus, for example, on the skills of the synagogue, like bar or bat mitzvah training, and leave the impact there alone, we have done a tremendous injustice and have wasted the opportunity to connect someone’s soul to tomorrow's future behavior, to feel and behave based on the morals and ethics taught so many years before when we were young and everyone thought we were not listening. It is not simply the skill that one masters, it is the feeling one derives at being part of a historic chain that has used these skills to continually make G-d’s message ring true for each generation. That really can only be evaluated with time and development, not only of the school that nurtured the student, but the home as well, which, when it comes to moral modeling, is the laboratory of
A German art museum said it has found 18 works in its collection that may have been stolen from Jews by the Nazis. Some of the sculptures and drawings in the Kunsthalle Mannheim are by artists Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Max Slevogt and Edgar Degas, according to reports. The museum has registered the pieces with the German Lost Art Foundation and on the Lostart database in hopes of reaching possible heirs. The museum, which has been researching the provenance of its collection since the end of 2011, announced that it has found “clues that these works could have been stolen by the NS [National Socialist] regime.” While most of the objects examined turned out not to have any questionable acquisition history, the museum reportedly has made only a dent in its provenance research. Observers have criticized Germany’s established art institutions for being slow to check for works that may have been confiscated or purchased under duress from Jewish collectors during the Nazi period. The German Lost Art Foundation was established in January to assist in provenance research and uphold the Washington Principles of 1998, a set of guidelines for determining whether art was obtained illegally under the Nazi regime. The foundation held its first conference in November, “New Perspectives on Provenance Research in Germany,” at Berlin’s Jewish Museum. Meanwhile, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart has just introduced an audio tour — titled “Suspected: Nazi-looted art?” — that reflects the museum’s groundbreaking provenance research, which has been under way since 2009. On display are works that likely were procured illegally from Jewish collectors, as well as some that the Nazis stole from the museum itself. One work by Alexander Kanoldt, “Still Life with Guitar,” was returned to its rightful heirs in 2008, and then purchased by a foundation for the museum. Museum director Christiane Lange said she wanted the public to have access to the research results rather than have it stay behind the scenes.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
the soul’s development. Teaching is a wonderful profession. It affords us the opportunity to pass on to others our passions and our values. There is something quite special about being a teacher of religion. Unlike many other subjects, we attempt to help our students live with life. There is a major difference between experiencing life and living life to its fullest. Judaism teaches us to treasure life’s gifts. These gifts cannot be found in the department store or the mall, not on the internet or on television. These gifts can be found in our relationships with each other. Relationships equate caring and loving, supporting and giving, appreciating the others in our lives and celebrating the opportunities we have to enjoy each other’s company. Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, called this the “I-Thou” relationship. At this time of year, in the darkness and cold of winter, let us try to remember the warmth of being a community. When we treat each other with kindness and gentleness, we are emulating G-d. And of life, we can ask no more than that.
The Red Elvises New Year’s Eve Spectacular December 31 | 9 pm
Ben Bailey January 16 | 8 pm
Musikfest Café™ at SteelStacks™
Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding
steelstacks.org | 610-332-3378
February 12-14 & 19-20 | 6:30 pm
Tune in to Service Electric TV2 Sundays at 8 pm for Musikfest Café Live.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 11
Lehigh Valley community members 'think forward' at the General Assembly
Left, National Youth Leadership Cabinet meets at the White House. Center, Iris Epstein and Dr. Ron Wolfson, who will be the Lehigh Valley's community scholar-in-residence in April. Right, Mark Goldstein and Iris Epstein at one of the General Assembly's plenury sessions.
By Iris Epstein Special to HAKOL The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) hosted its annual General Assembly (GA) on Nov. 8-10 for Federation volunteer leaders and professionals and those engaged in the business of Jewish philanthropy. Rabbi Daniel Stein of Bnai Abraham Synagogue, Mark Goldstein, executive director of the Jewish Federation, and I attended from the Lehigh Valley. Over 3,000 attendees were asked to “Think Forward” the theme of the GA. Tackling the most critical issues today, attendees were asked to think about the future of Jewish philanthropy due to shifts in Jewish demographics and funding models and to think about the future of global Jewry in the face of anti-semitism around the world. The three days were packed with main stage
speakers like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visionary philanthropic thought leader Dan Pallotta, award winning actress Debra Messing, first Jewish woman to sit on the Canadian Supreme Court Madam Justice Rosalie Abella and journalist and author David Gregory. Between these plenary sessions, attendees were invited to take part in smaller sessions depending on interest: campaign, domestic policy and government, Israel and overseas, education and engagement and leadership development. Sessions shared best practices and showcased and celebrated the extraordinary work of the Jewish world. When not attending plenaries or sessions, attendees have the opportunity to network with one another, browse the many booths set-up in the common area and listen to expert panelists
discuss hot topics on smaller stages in an informal setting. For me, the GA began early Sunday morning with a special leadership training session led by Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, president of the Wexner Foundation. The session was designed especially for me and fellow members of the National Young Leadership Cabinet (NYLC). While the GA ended for most attendees on Tuesday afternoon after hearing from top global leaders like Netanyahu, the Hon. John Baird, former foreign minister of Canada, and Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, I had the opportunity to join my fellow NYLC members for Advocacy Day. Within 24 hours, I attended briefings at the White House, Israeli Embassy, and German Embassy (as a precursor to NYCL's study mission to Berlin in April), appreciated our veterans at the Jewish History
War Veterans Museum and learned the art of advocacy from expert William Daroff, the vice president for public policy and the director of the Washington Office of JFNA. In between, there was session after session and speaker after speaker sharing many ideas and stories of inspiration. There are just too many to share but I invite you to visit generalassembly.org where you can watch all the speakers from the plenary sessions. I invite you to listen to David Gregory's story of finding his faith and the courage it must have taken him to get on stage just days after losing his beloved father. Listen to Jennifer Teege's story and how at the age of 38, she discovers that she is the granddaughter of infamous Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, known to most as the antagonist from the movie Schindler's List. Another incredible experience was meeting and listening to visionary educator Dr. Ron Wolfson. Dr. Wolfson will be our community scholar-in-residence next April 1-3. He has much to teach the Lehigh Valley on building relationships and will help
us challenge old models that need to be challenged if we are to be successful. Similar to last year's GA, all attendees were invited to a private networking party at the Smithsonian Museum. This year's event was at the National Portrait Gallery. Attendees were treated to delicious desserts, live music, and an opportunity to browse exhibits without worrying about the crowds. Most of all, I will never forget how amazing it was when Netanyahu entered the closing plenary and sat down five rows in front of me. You could feel his charisma emanate throughout the room when he said, “Israel has no better friend than the United States and, the United States has no better friend than Israel.” That was very different from hearing him say the same words during a skype session at the 2014 GA. The GA is an incredible experience and I hope that you will consider joining me at next year's GA in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13-15, 2016. Iris Epstein is the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley's campaign chairperson.
HAPPY CHANUKAH! May your season of light be peaceful and prosperous.
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Federations' GA focuses on healing and the future
Above, David Horowitz of the Times of Israel moderates a panel discussion during the opening plenary. Right, thousands of young Jewish professionals attend the event. Far right top, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Far right bottom, David Gregory was another one of the featured speakers.
By Gabrielle Birkner Jewish Telegraphic Agency Think unity. On the heels of this year’s rancorous and polarizing debate over the Iran nuclear deal, organizers of the General Assembly of Jewish federations wanted their annual conference to be an opportunity for reconciliation and healing in the Jewish community. At their conference in Washington, they talked about civility, touted the strength of the Israel-America relationship, and managed to secure the participation of Israel’s prime minister – who a day before his GA appearance had his own reconciliatory meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. In the vision of Jerry Silverman, CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) – the umbrella group for the network of 151 local Jewish federations spread out across Canada and the United States – the federations are the big tents, where Jews from all walks of life, denominations and ideological positions can come together. “If you go to synagogue weekly or hardly ever, if you’re supporting Hillary Clinton of Donald Trump,” Silverman said, “what matters is that you care and want to be involved.” The theme of this year’s GA was “Think Forward,” an allusion to moving past the divisive rhetoric that marked the debate over the Obama administration’s ultimately successful push for a nuclear agreement with Iran. Although several Jewish federations opposed the Iran deal, the federation umbrella group did not take a stance. At the height of the debate in August, both Obama and Netanyahu made their case to the Jewish community in webcasts hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America. With some 3,000 Jewish communal professionals, lay leaders and college students present at the GA, which ran from Nov. 8-10, healing was the order of the day. Netanyahu, despite irreconcilable differences with Obama over Iran, in his GA speech touted the unbreakable ties between Israel and its American allies. “There is only one Jewish people, there is only one Jewish state,” the prime minister said. “We must work together to unite the Jewish people and secure the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu also told the GA that he would support rights for non-Orthodox Jews in Israel. “As prime minister of Israel, I will always ensure that all Jews can feel at home in Israel — Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, Orthodox Jews,” he said to cheers. Inside the Washington Hilton, where the conference was held, the “Think Forward” theme was also meant to reference the new ideas that Jewish groups may need to embrace due to shifts in Jewish demographics and funding models. To that end, the JFNA, for the second consecutive year, invited local federations to share case studies of some of their more successful, scalable programs – which JFNA labeled “fedovations” (think “federation” + “innovation”). Among the best practices highlighted during GA breakout sessions was Miami’s Making Miracle Babies Fertility Fund, which provides interest-free loans to Jews seeking costly fertility treatments, and San Francisco’s Pro Bono Consulting Practice, which links Jewish nonprofits with top Bay Area professionals looking to donate their time and expertise. Lisa Kleinman, who coordinated these sessions, said that in selecting which federation programs to showcase, conference organizers placed a premium on those with proven track records “that are relevant beyond a specific community’s needs.” One such meeting focused on the challenges of engaging Jewish young adults, starting in college. About 250 North American college students attended the GA. Emilie Weisberg, 19, was one of 20 University of Michigan students who came to the conference on a trip sponsored by her campus Hillel. She said her GA highlights were candid talks by actress Debra Messing and Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella, the first Jewish woman to serve on Canada’s highest court, about how their faith has shaped the paths they forged. But Weisberg said she wished the GA provided more forums for millennial-aged Jews to engage with their older counterparts. “It’s important for the younger generation to learn from the older generation, because we will be where they are now,” she said. “But it’s also important for the older generation to understand how we envision the future.”
“In order to show my love, I had to risk losing a little bit of hers.”
Kristin’s mother-in-law was struggling with daily tasks, but refused her family’s suggestions to get help. And Kristin’s husband wasn’t facing the problem, either. So Kristin came to us for advice. We helped her see that a little short-term stress would be a long-term gain for everyone. Kristin showed her husband and his mother the many care options we offer to our residents, and they agreed to a solution. Now, everyone feels safer and more comfortable. And no love was lost. From independent living to specialized memory care, we have a range of advice and solutions to help your family— all on a vibrant campus with activities, social events and individualized services. Call us to find out how we can help, or learn more at CountryMeadows.com.
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Independent Living | Personal Care | Memory Care | Restorative Care* Skilled Nursing** | In-Home Services *Restorative Care is available at our Allentown & Bethlehem campuses only. **Skilled nursing is available at our Bethlehem campus only. Country Meadows offers services and housing without regard to race, color, religion, disability, marital status, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or gender.
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14 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
MONTHLY NEWS FROM JFS 610.821.8722 | www.jfslv.org
Agency debuts new logo
As you may have noticed, we’ve changed our look! As part of our newly implemented strategic plan, JFS has decided to rebrand, beginning with our logo. The new logo shows a figure and a tree, with subtle Jewish imagery. The logo went through several incarnations before the final version was decided upon by the JFS Board of Directors. It was important to everyone involved that the logo reflect the values and mission of JFS. “At JFS, we think of ourselves as people helping people,” said board member Susan Berman. “We wanted
that warmth and friendliness to come through with our logo.” Executive Director Debbie Zoller pointed out the symbolism behind the tree. “It’s a very Jewish image,” she said. “It represents both life and strength. We hope that when clients see our logo, they will think of the support and care they will find here at JFS.” The staff is especially excited to see the new logo. “I think this new logo really gets at the heart of what JFS strives to do,” said Clinical Resource Coordinator and Resource Specialist Susan Sklaroff Van-Hook. “Because we take a systems approach to care here, we strive to serve our clients as holistically as possible, like a tree that provides comfort through shade and support through its strength. We truly care about our clients on a personal level and want to serve them as best we can. I think this new look shows that more.” In addition to the new logo, JFS will be debuting its new website very soon, which will build upon the new look for the agency and will contain more resources and options for clients, volunteers and donors alike. Stay tuned for more details!
Beth Healy joins JFS staff We are very pleased to announce that Beth Healy has joined our staff as the Benefits CheckUp Coordinator. Healy comes to JFS with a strong background in teaching, advocacy and organizational skills. She strives to provide every client with a positive experience and the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality. Beth envisions Benefits CheckUp (BCU) being a program that engages a strong group of trained volunteers from the community to bring BCU
to those who could most benefit from it. Healy received her bachelor’s degree in education from Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has over 15 years of experience teaching in both regular and special education classrooms. In addition, she has a Diploma for Medical Office Assistant from New Horizons Learning Center in Bethlehem, where she received HIPAA Privacy and Security Awareness Certification. She has three years’ experience working
In loving memory of Rabbi Paul Siegel Mrs. Francine Katzman
Rabbi and Mrs. Allen Juda Dr. and Mrs. Michael Weinstock Mr. Mark Goldstein and Ms. Shari Spark Mr. and Mrs. PHil Hof Mr. and Mrs. Mark Scoblionko Ms. Tama Lee Barsky Dr. and Mrs. Alex Rosenau
Debbie Zoller The lights of Chanukah are a good time to reflect on challenges that need illumination. Therefore, I would like to share with you eight candles. While I will list them from one to eight, each candle is important in its own way and you may choose your own order. The first candle is for the person who feels invisible- his person may not have the money to participate in all the activities of the Jewish community even though the community does see itself as a welcoming place. The second candle is for those who are hungry and who appreciate the opportunity to go to a food pantry. The third candle is for the innocent child who cannot speak of the abuse he/she is experiencing. The fourth candle is for all the individuals who have lost someone they love this year. The fifth candle is for all the individuals who are being treated for a life threatening condition. The sixth candle is for the person who needs assistance in order to navigate the world around them. The seventh candle is for those who are homeless or living in substandard conditions. The eighth candle is for all of us who can make a difference in the lives of those who suffer Thank you for lighting my JFS Menorah.
in the Health Information Department of a local hospital. Beth resides in Whitehall with her husband, Dennis, and their little dog, Kyna.
We thank the following individuals who have graciously supported JFS-LV by sending tribute cards: In honor of a speedy recovery and continued good health to Richard Schultz and Gail Tannenbaum Tama Lee Barksy
Mr. and Mrs. James Wimmer Rabbi Michael Singer Mrs. Elaine Rappaport-Bass Mr. R. Bill Bergstein Dr. and Mrs. Jay Lipschutz The Honorable and Mrs. Henry Perkin
A tribute card from JFS-LV is a wonderful way to share your thoughtfulness with family and friends. For a donation of $10 or more (the amount is up to you), we will send a lovely card to the recipient of your choice, letting them know of your contribution to JFS-LV. Your contribution may be made to JFS’s General Fund or may be directed to a special program such as the Kosher Food Pantry, Education and Programs, Senior Services and Director’s Discretionary Fund. Call 610-821-8722 if you would like to order cards.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS! We are accepting submissions to the JFS Calendar for 2016-2017. Students from kindergarten to 12th grade can submit any piece of artwork depicting what being Jewish means to them. For information, contact Carol Wilson at email@example.com or call 610-821-8722.
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16 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Community gives back this Thanksgiving
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Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley Whatâ€™s your JCC Story? Find out on our Facebook www.facebook.com/AllentownJCC 18 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
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BAS-CBS families bond at Shabbaton
Analysis: DJs charge 32% more for bar/bat mitzvah than other parties
Forty-two members of Bnai Abraham Synagogue and Congregation Brith Sholom enjoy an immersive Jewish experience during a Shabbaton at Camp Zeke, made possible in part through a grant from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
By Jennifer Lader Congregation Brith Sholom Imagine spending two days immersed in Jewish life while in a totally stress-free setting. A dozen religious school and Jewish Day School families from Congregation Brith Sholom and Bnai Abraham Synagogue got to do exactly that during a Shabbaton their rabbis organized, held this October at Camp Zeke. The idea was to bring the families of the two synagogues, which partner for religious school, together through the beauty of Shabbat. “We felt that a Shabbaton could give families an intensive Shabbat experience where prayer, fun and food would all mix,” said Brith Sholom’s Rabbi Michael Singer. Bnai Abraham’s Rabbi Daniel Stein worked with Singer to plan the event, with Stein scouting the location and working out logistics. Singer applied for and obtained a Community Impact Grant from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, and that’s when the two rabbis knew the dream of a Shabba-
20 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
ton could become a reality. Camp Zeke, a UJA-New York Federation-funded camp that hosts specialty programs, features beautiful scenery and buffets of gourmet food for every meal. For the 26 children participating, this getaway meant helping to lead services, hiking with their friends, and enjoying s’mores around the campfire. Asked whether they had a good time, their responses are unanimous: “Yes!” “It gave our families the opportunity to get to know each other better, and to strengthen our overall school community,” Stein said. He pointed out that it was an immersive Jewish experience at a time when these are increasingly recognized as critical. “We wanted to reinforce that what we are teaching in religious school was something the children could see put into practice,” Singer added. Several of the children read from Torah for the first time during the Shabbat services. “We hope this Shabbaton experience will lead to other joint Shabbatot throughout the year and a real sense of bonding among the participants.”
Jewish Telegraphic Agency An analysis by the consumer service website Thumbtack found that DJs charge 32 percent more on average for bar and bat mitzvah parties than for other events. The average price for a bar/bat mitzvah DJ is $812, according to the San Francisco-based company, which helps match consumers with professionals offering a variety of services throughout the United States. Thumbtack explained the price difference by noting that DJs are required to do more at bar/bat mitzvah parties than most other events. “The job is to be the life of the party,” it said. “Thirteen-year-olds don’t have much practice on the dance floor and the DJ has to help them lose their inhibitions. They need a guide to show them how to limbo, hora and electric slide.” Bar/bat mitzvah DJs also often lead games and contests. DJ Mike Burchard of B_Entertained DJs told Thumbtack that working a bar/bat mitzvah requires a “different set of skills” than working other events.
What Camp JCC means to our family By Traci Marcus Special to HAKOL What does Camp JCC mean to our family? Our experiences with Camp JCC began in 2009 when our daughter was five. From the first moment she got off the bus she was hooked. And in 2011, when our first son turned 5 he followed suit, and in 2014 when our second son was five he joined his older sister and brother in the fun. If you ask our children what camp JCC means to them, they’ll tell you it’s a chance to reconnect with friends from last summer and to make new ones. They’ll tell you about the new games and sports they learn, the Maccabi games they compete in, the crafting they get to enjoy and the endless fun in the pool (even the early morning swim lessons). They’ll talk endlessly about how great the counselors are and how much fun they’re having every day. They’ll tell you about the trips they go on, the late nights and the overnights where they get to spend extra time having fun. They’ll tell you how much
they love meeting the Israeli counselors and learning about Israel and our culture. And when they get home at the end of the day they’ll tell you how exhausted they are, but that they can’t wait to go back in the morning. What does Camp JCC means to us, as parents? It’s knowing that our
children are in a safe, loving Jewish environment away from home where they’re getting to enjoy being kids, running around getting their exercise and having fun while they’re doing it. It’s knowing that they’re never bored because the counselors are making sure that every day is fun and engaging.
It’s knowing that they’re making new friends that they’ll keep for life. Most importantly, it’s knowing that they’re experiencing Jewish traditions that they can pass on to our grandchildren. The weather might be getting colder now, but we already can’t wait to do it again next summer!
Anne Frank's father added as 'co-author' of diary in bid to extend copyright
Jewish Telegraphic Agency The Swiss foundation that owns the publication rights to Anne Frank’s diary is adding the famous diarist's father, Otto, as co-author, in what is widely viewed as an effort to extend the book's European copyright. If the authorship change goes unchallenged, the Anne Frank Fonds, which Otto Frank established, will retain control over all printings of the book until 2050, The New York Times reported. In most European countries, copyrights automatically expire 70 years after the author's death; in this case, the
copyright is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. The change would have minimal effect in the United States, where, according to the Times, the copyright won’t expire until 95 years after its first U.S. publication in 1952. Anne Frank died in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, shortly before her 16th birthday. Otto Frank, the only immediate family member to survive the Holocaust, lived until 1980. A foundation spokesman told the Times that legal experts had advised the foundation that adding Otto Frank as a co-author is justified because he “created a new work” by editing and reshaping the diary into “kind of a collage.” The copyright extension would most immediately impact the foundation’s rival, the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, which has been producing an online version of the diary that cannot go live until the foundation’s copyright expires. Both institutions had the support of Otto Frank, who bequeathed different materi-
als to each, and the two have long had a contentious relationship. Decades ago, Anne Frank Fonds accused the Anne Frank House of commercializing the Holocaust victim’s story by selling balloons and T-shirts at a traveling exhibit of the museum’s artifacts and, in 2013, a Dutch court ordered the Amsterdam museum to return a cache of 25,000 documents loaned by the Swiss organization. Both sides accused each other of blocking a more amicable resolution to the conflict. “Effectively, Otto split up the legacy of his daughter, which one could say has created a bit of a nice mess ever since,” Gerben Zaagsma, a historian of modern Jewish history at the University of Gottingen in Germany, told the Times. While is not clear yet whether the Anne Frank House or others will challenge the authorship change in court, and thus the copyright, a spokeswoman for the Anne Frank House told The Times that neither “Otto Frank nor any other person is co-author.”
FAM ILY R
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 21
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What Nostra Aetate can teach us about dialogue with Muslims By Pim Valkenberg Jewish Telegraphic Agency Fifty years ago, on Oct. 28, 1965, Pope Paul VI and the bishops of the Second Vatican Council promulgated the declaration Nostra Aetate on the relationship between the Catholic Church and other religions. In the decades since, the document has done much to foster dialogue between Catholics and Jews. Indeed, at a conference convened several months ago by the Catholic University of America to mark the anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York began his address by referring to the words of one of his associates: “What’s the big deal?” The general conviction was that the document has worked well to improve relationships between Catholics and Jews. Yet other forms of interreligious dialogue are lagging. Relations between Catholics and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists seem to be far less improved by the landmark document. Why the difference? And can the improved dialogue between Catholics and Jews be a model for these other dialogues? If there is one lesson I have learned in participating in dialogues with Jews, it is that engaging in these debates has made me more sensitive to Jewish concerns about interreligious dialogue. I have begun to understand that Jews do not like the appeal to Abraham as our common forefather because it undermines their insistence on the particularity of each religious tradition. And I have experienced a little bit of what it means to live in the shadow of the Holocaust. I remember vividly a
discussion with an army veteran in Israel in which he explained how important it is for Israelis to live in security and in a position of strength. While my Jewish colleagues agreed, I could not help but think that the Gospel suggests that Christians should live not in a position of strength, but of weakness. Of course, I know it is easy to say such a thing when Christians are in fact in positions of power. But though our disagreement was intense, the friendship remained. At the Catholic University conference, Dolan's address, as well as that of Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, reminded me of two specific characteristics that can make the dialogue between Catholics and Jews a model for other types of dialogue. First, theological hotbutton issues are addressed with frankness and openness. And second, deep friendships have been developed that make it possible to tell the truth to one another, even if it is sometimes painful. In my own experience, this kind of serious theological engagement is lacking in the Catholic dialogue with Muslims. And our friendships, while developing, remain in a state where it is frankly difficult to address delicate matters. After more than 10 years of intensive deliberations, we still find it hard to find the words to express disagreement for fear of severing the relationship. And that is only the theological challenge. We all know how much more daunting the political challenges are. Most interreligious dialogues do not survive a serious debate about the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories. What Christians in dia-
Pope Francis welcomes Rabbi Walter Homolka to the Vatican.
logue with Muslims can learn from Jews in dialogue with Christians is the ability to remain friends while disagreeing. One of my Muslim friends has said that real dialogue is the art of upgrading the quality of our disagreements. Maybe it is time to learn something that can only be done after 50 years of exercise: how to disagree in a way that furthers our relationship. Yet there is more. Maybe the real challenge for me as a Catholic engaged in Abrahamic dialogues is to recognize that I am no longer the center of that dialogue. It has been painful for me to see that some Jews and some
Muslims are not so interested in what I have to say because they find it much more interesting to talk with one another. And they are right, of course: Not only do the two religions have much in common, the political consequences of a better understanding between the two are enormous. Having lived in Europe for a long time, I am well aware that the conditions for Jewish-Muslim dialogue are much better in the United States. And even as a bystander, I can tell that it is taking place: in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. The ultimate lesson of
Nostra Aetate for Catholics might be to step aside and facilitate others. I now realize that the best thing we did at the Catholic University conference was to offer Jews and Muslims our hospitality. They sat together, enjoyed their kosher and halal food, and talked and talked and talked. Theologians and priests and even cardinals were among them. But they were not the center because the center of the dialogue was not the lectern -- but the table. Pim Valkenberg is a professor of religion and culture at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 23
Israel National Trail FACTS & FIGURES COURTESY OF JACOB SAAR coauthor of “Israel National Trail and the Jerusalem Trail” • • • •
Total length: 1,100 kilometers (620 miles) Northern trailhead: Kibbutz Dan in the Upper Galilee Southern trailhead: Eilat Highest point: Mount Meron, 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) • Lowest point: Yardenit baptismal site on the Jordan River, -200 m (-656 feet) • Best months to hike: September to May • Best directions to travel: South to north in the spring, north to south in the fall
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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.
24 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
For happy hikers, Israel’s 620-mile national trail brings Jewish history to life By Deborah Fineblum Schabb JNS.org It was a brave—some may argue foolhardy—lot who recently braved the August heat of the Negev desert to walk a short segment of the Israel National Trail (INT) at around noontime. But the nearly 100 young men in blue Israel Defense Forces T-shirts didn’t appear to mind the blazing white heat. They were on the INT (Shvil Yisra’el in Hebrew, though to most Israelis it’s just “the Shvil”) to train. “We get lots of practice on different altitudes,” says Aaron Lion, 20. “The Shvil is a really good place to learn how to survive in lots of different conditions.” Now celebrating its 20th year, the INT takes a meandering 1,000-kilometer-plus (620-mile) route from Kibbutz Dan, among Israel’s northernmost points, to the southern tip of Eilat’s Gulf of Aq-aba. Since hiking enthusiast Avraham Tamir, fresh off an Appalachian Trail experience in America, dreamed of a national trail in Israel and made it a reality in 1995, hundreds of thousands have hiked its byways— from the green mountains of the north, to cities and towns, to the seemingly endless expanse of the Negev in the south. Like other national trails, the INT makes it a point of showing off its natural beauty. But in a country where political pressures often divide the citizens, it has another goal: exposing Israelis and visitors alike to the wide variety of cultural and geophysical identities that fill the Jewish state. The peak months for the trail are February-May and October-December, avoiding Israel’s rainy winters and sweltering summers. But unlike other national trails, these 620 miles go beyond geography by also helping to bring Jewish history to life. “Our family spends a lot of time learning Jewish history from books,” says Michael Lindsey, a father of six from Jerusalem. “But when we hike the trail, I can say to the kids, ‘This is the land of Benyamin,’ or, ‘This is where King David lived.’ It brings the Torah to life for us.” “The trail is a walking lesson in both the history and geography of Israel,” says Michal Maroz, a project manager for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel’s (SPNI) tourism department, which maintains the trail, including the colorful painted streaks on trailside rocks that assure hikers they’re still going in the right direction. “There are hikers who love the green of the north and those who prefer the dramatic vistas of the desert.” For Mimi Semuha, a grandmother and confirmed hiker who made aliyah from Upstate New York more than a half-century ago, the most profound experience was in Meron, the small town outside Safed
best known as the burial spot of pioneering Kabbalist Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. “There’s a view from the top of the mountain where you are looking down into a wadi (valley) with a stream running through it,” she says. “It’s absolutely stunning.” There are folks—just out of the army or between jobs, or early (and fit) retirees—who opt to walk the trail in one fell swoop, a two-and-a-half or threemonth undertaking. But most people will devote a few days or a week, taking months or even years to complete all 44 of the trail’s legs. “For a small country, Israel has so many climates and topographies,” adds Maroz. “And many different cultures too.” One way the SPNI is celebrating the trail’s 20th birthday is by joining Google Israel to map the INT for Google Street View, as part of the Google Treks project. This past spring, two teams of SPNI volunteers trekked the trail while schlepping 40-pound Google Street View cameras. Each camera contained 15 smaller cameras that snapped a panoramic image every five seconds. It took the teams 70 days to shoot the entire trail. Now being processed, the photos should be online by winter. SPNI CEO Moshe (“Kosha”) Pakman expects the exposure of the trail to inspire more people the world over to explore it. He is proud that National Geographic named the trail one of the 20 most beautiful hikes in the world. “Displaying the INT through Google Street View will encourage tourists from Israel and abroad to experience the various cultures and landscapes of Israel, to fall in love with them, and take action to preserve them,” he says. Among the INT’s assets are the “trail angels”— those who open their homes for hikers free of charge. Others, including some kibbutzim, charge very low
Trail Continues on page 25
Continues from page 24 prices for housing, and some throw in a shower and breakfast or the use of their kitchen and Internet connection. Other services include water stops along the way. One of the providers, Yoash Limon, who also runs the Green Backpackers Hostel in the Negev town of Mitzpe Ramon, says that groups of hikers will band together to order water, thus reducing his delivery charges. “There are hikers who come out in the summer down here,” he says. “But they typically only walk in the early morning and late afternoon and yes, they drink plenty of water.” In fact, ordering water together is just one opportunity to get to know one’s fellow INT hikers, says Limon. Shaya Pinson, an English teacher from Be’er Sheva, says the people he’s met have been among the great joys of the many days he’s spent on the INT portion from the Jerusalem Hills to the desert between Eilat and the Dead Sea. “Like in many other Israeli situations which fall out of the norm, Israelis tend to feel and act in a remarkably bonded way upon meeting on the Trail,” Pinson says. “It’s kind of like meeting a distant family member by surprise in a distant land.” One organized way to meet people is a cross-cultural “dialogue” offered each winter for the last 10 years by HaMidrasha: Educational Center for Jewish Renewal in Israel. Designed as a memorial for Avi Ofner, an IDF soldier killed in a helicopter accident, the Israel
Trail Encounters (Nifgashim B’Shvil Yisrael) are a series of “dialogues” from a number of perspectives along the journey. “It’s important to communicate and connect to feel our joint destiny,” says HaMidrasha CEO Moti Zeira. “When you are sharing the Trail experience, something happens to open the heart to each other.” The INT is known as a safe, well-maintained trail. But the two greatest dangers (especially in the summer) are those ugly twins, dehydration and sun stroke. “It’s so important to come prepared—including [having] a good map,” says veteran INT hiker Phyllis Shalem of Safed. “It’s pretty surprising how quickly sun stroke and dehydration can happen, especially if you get lost.” For the well-prepared, however, the INT can be an unforgettable experience for Israeli residents and visitors alike. “The trail tells the story of this country, its people and their legacy, its myriad vistas, and its flora and fauna,” says SPNI’s Pakman, who observes that the trail resembles a spinal cord, with its paths linking the entire country. “The Israeli essence is present along the trail: youth and students, soldiers, tourists from around the globe, families, and all types of nature lovers.” Just don’t put it off, hiker dad Lindsey warns. “People say, ‘When I am between jobs or when I retire, I’ll walk the trail,’ but my best advice is don’t wait until you have three months to spare,” he says. “Take just a little piece now. After that, you will come back again.”
GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH
The fantastic fast Alitza Hochhauser will become a Bat Mitzvah on Dec. 12 at Bnai Abraham Synagogue in Easton. As a nod to her having lived in the eastern and western parts of the Lehigh Valley and appreciation of her strong ties at both ends, Alitza’s celebration will continue at Temple Beth El in Allentown. A seventh grade student at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley, Alitza enjoys swimming on the JCC Lightnings swim team, playing basketball and piano as well as family adventures with her younger brothers, and is nearly always seen reading a good book. Alitza’s bat mitzvah project, “The Fantastic Fast,” is based on the words of Isaiah 58, read on Yom Kippur. This past Rosh Hashanah, Alitza asked her congregation to join in her efforts to “change lives in the community, and to motivate others into participating in giving back to the community.” She is collecting clothing, food and toiletries in bins placed in Bnai Abraham Synagogue’s
lobby and delivering the collected items to Safe Harbor of Easton, Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley, The Beall and Linny Fowler Hospitality House for Women and Children and the Salvation Army. “Helping others is an important part of our community and by helping one person you may be able to change their life,” she said. “The Fantastic Fast is a part of my bat mitzvah project. My goal is to change lives in the Lehigh Valley, and to motivate others into participating in giving back to the community.” If you would like to donate and help others in need, there are collection bins in front of the Bnai Abraham office. The blue bins are for clothing, canned food items and toiletries. Please be as generous as you are able. Alitza has been picking up all the donations since the conclusion of Yom Kippur. She will continue retrieving and delivering items to appropriate organizations in the Lehigh Valley through the end of December. Alitza selected local agencies that were important to her and matched the criterion in the words of Isaiah 58. “In our family, we have discussed the importance
of tzedakah and supporting charities with our children,” Julie Hochhauser, Alitza’s mom said. “Alitza is a very loving, kind and compassionate person. She realizes that many people do not have all the basic necessities that we all need and she wants to help them. She realizes there is so much she is thankful for, and she is passionate about giving back to the community.” In addition to her mitzvah project, Alitza has made her first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at the Federation office at 610-821-5500.
One in Ten People will Develop Kidney Stones The American Kidney Foundation estimates that about 10 percent of Americans will develop a kidney stone in their lifetimes and the percentage is rising. According to a study presented at the American Urological Association meeting in May 2012, the number of Americans with kidney stones has almost doubled since 1994. Researchers speculate that the rising obesity rate is a key factor.
Often people have kidney stones for years without complications. Generally, the severity of symptoms increases with the size of the stone and could include:
Kidney stones are often described as a sharp pain on one side of the back or lower abdomen that spreads to the groin and lower abdomen. The pain often starts abruptly, then lingers and intensifies over time and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Patients can usually pass small stones with the help of medications and painkillers. To remove larger stones, however, physicians may perform endoscopy or lithotripsy, treatments that use ultrasound shock waves to break up the crystals into small particles that can easily be passed out of the body.
Stones, which vary greatly from the size of a grain of sand to a golf ball, typically consist of a build up of calcium and oxalate, or calcium and phosphate. Stones develop when stonecomposing chemicals stick together and grow into crystals.
• Foul-smelling or cloudy urine • Blood in the urine • Nausea or vomiting • Fever and chills
To reduce your risk of kidney stones, increase fluids, ingest less salt and moderate dairy intake. Other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity may increase the risk for kidney stones.
About St. Luke’s Center for Urology St. Luke’s Center for Urology was among the first health practices to adopt the da Vinci surgical robotic systems to treat patients with urological conditions. The experienced physicians can use robotic surgery to perform precise surgical procedures through tiny incisions, allowing the patient to recover quicker and have fewer complications. The Center offers patients individualized treatment plans for both men and women. Patients can be seen at one of six locations throughout St. Luke’s University Health Network. The newest member of the team Zachariah Goldsmith, MD, PhD sees patients at the St. Luke’s Center for Urology in the Anderson Campus, the Bethlehem office, and the Pocono office.
For more information, please call the St. Luke’s Center for Urology at 484-526-2598 or visit www.sluhn.org.
Zachariah Goldsmith, MD, PhD; Frank J. Tamarkin, MD; Jonathan Bingham, MD; Kaveh Kousari, MD; Jarrod E. Rosenthal, MD and Eric Mayer, MD
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 25
Meet the Jewish woman who's reinventing the Museum of the Jewish People By Debra Kamin Jewish Telegraphic Agency
A rendering of the new Synagogue Gallery at Beit Hatfutsot-The Museum of the Jewish People.
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Irina Nevzlin didn’t know she was Jewish until she was 7, and even then she wasn’t quite sure. So it’s pretty remarkable that the Moscow native — who grew up in Soviet Russia under the dual shields of privilege and protection — is now the driving force behind a massive $100 million overhaul of Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfutsot-The Museum of the Jewish People. Nevzlin’s father, Leonid Nevzlin, is an astonishingly wealthy Russian oligarch (Forbes estimated his net worth at $2 billion) and once was one of the top shareholders of the Yukos Oil Company, which in the early 2000s was seized and expropriated by the Russian government in a campaign of trumped-up charges and false accusations. After Nevzlin’s business partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky – once the richest man in Russia and a potential political rival to Putin – was imprisoned in a series of Kafkaesque trials, Nevzlin openly criticized the Russian government and has found himself at odds with the Kremlin for over a decade. As a father, however, Nevzlin sought to shield his children from the bitter frost of Cold War-era anti-Semitism that he grew up with. As a public figure, Russians knew Nevzlin was Jewish, but at home he never spoke to his family of their Jewish heritage, and he banished all relics of religious observance from their household. So in 1985, when Irina Nevzlin was walking on a Moscow street and a stranger called her a slew of expletives, including the word “Jew,” she was baffled. She went to school and found her grandmother, who taught there, to ask what the stranger had meant. “I had no idea I was Jewish,” Nevzlin, 37, says today. “When I was called that name and went to ask my grandmother about it, she said two things: First, there are only two Jews in this school, you and me; and second, you are never to talk about it.” But in Soviet Moscow, some secrets were impossible to keep. Nevzlin was actually not the only Jewish student at her school, and a few years later, when one of her classmates transferred to a private Jewish day school and encouraged her to join him, she was oddly compelled. She decided to visit for a day to see if she liked it, and ended up being shocked by the pull she felt. “The reason I work at Beit Hatfutsot today is because of the day I was accepted to that school,” Nevzlin explains. “When I got into that school, I had this feeling that I was finally home. And it was something that I had never felt before.” Like many day schools, the curriculum was a blend of the basics – literature, mathematics and sciences – as well as Hebrew language, Jewish tradition, the history of Israel and the Jewish people. Nevzlin ’s family was less than pleased that their daughter suddenly wanted to throw herself into tradition and openly explore her Judaism, but as she puts it, she was 13 at the time and already quite skilled in the art of negotiation. “I’ve always been like that,” she says with a faint smile. “If a decision has been made, there’s really not much you can say to me about it afterward.” Today, Nevzlin serves as chair of Beit Hatfutsot’s board of directors and says she can point to her very first day at the Jewish school as the mo-
ment that defined her future as a woman and Jew. Uncovering the Jewish community and realizing her own place within it, she says, changed her forever. “It’s what shaped me as a personality, more than anything else,” she says. “When I think of how I ended up at Beit Hatfutsot, it’s from this feeling I received, of being part of a family and belonging to something bigger than just me.” After graduating from primary school and working for a few years in Moscow, Nevzlin earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and spent several years in London working as a lobbyist and public relations executive. Her father fled Russia for Israel in 2003 in the wake of a widely criticized government crackdown on his business and in 2006, for reasons that Nevzlin says at the time she couldn’t have articulated, she decided to follow him and make aliyah herself. Today she lives in Herzliya with her two sons, Yasha, 7, and Ilya, 4, and spends her days spearheading one of the most ambitious museum overhauls that Israel has ever seen. When it opened in 1978, Beit Hatfutsot – which sits on the campus of Tel Aviv University – was groundbreaking for its embrace of technology, including computers and audiovisual displays. At the time, its founders envisioned a central depository for the vast, diverse history of the entire Jewish Diaspora. Over time, however, museum attendance dwindled and visitors came to know it chiefly for its two main draws: an extensive database of Jewish names that could be searched by those looking for information on their ancestors, and a lovely exhibit showing models of Jewish synagogues around the world. Now, with Nevzlin at the helm and with the support of the Israeli government, the museum is being reborn with a new name: The Museum of the Jewish People. The Nadav Foundation, which was founded in 2003 by Nevzlin’s father and two of his business partners, has contributed approximately $20 million, according to museum officials. As chair of the museum’s board, Nevzlin is involved in every aspect of the overhaul, including planning exhibits, developing content, reaching out to Diaspora Jews and leading a staff of hundreds of designers, planners and academic researchers. The full grand opening is slated for 2018, but a first phase, consisting of four exhibits — the story of Bob Dylan, a look at Jewish superheroes, the history of Operation Moses and an updated, tech-savvy retake of the famed synagogue models — will open to the public in May 2016. Three months prior, in February of next year, the museum will launch its online arm, a fully searchable, completely updated database of geotagged Jewish surnames, allowing visitors to input whatever they know of their family histories and instantly tap into extensive information about their ancestors and the communities they came from. At its core, the museum’s relaunch is about getting visitors to truly connect to the history of the Jewish people, and the way to do that, Nevzlin says, is to help them see themselves as a piece of it. “There’s such a deepness and richness to our story, and if it’s not told properly, people don’t feel connected to it,” Nevzlin says. “We used to live in a world where information was exclusive, but that’s the not the case anymore. We aren’t building a museum that tells you the story. We are making you a part of the story.”
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED To pay a friendly visit to Meals on Wheels recipients this Christmas Day
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2015 COORDINATED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Contact Abby Trachtman at 610-821-5500 or email@example.com to learn more
26 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
A wonderful time with our friends (and partners) in Yoav
Above left, Lior Levi. Above right, David and Ruthi Tamari. Below left, Etti Cohn, Alan Salinger and Nurit Grossman. Below right, Steven Salinger, Liron Tamari and Yftach Parizada.
By Alan Salinger Special to HAKOL This summer we visited Israel to share in the wedding of Jeremy Vaida and Meidan Keidar. You may know Jeremy as David Vaida and Cantor Ellen Sussman’s son and Meidan as the former shlicha who spent time promoting Israel’s and Yoav’s relationship with the Lehigh Valley, visiting synagogues and Jewish youth groups. It was a joyful wedding celebrated in Haifa followed by a week’s tour with about 20 guests. The guide was terrific and the tour stops interesting. For me personally and for my family, the trip was more than a trip abroad, since I have a long standing relationship with Israel, having resided there for two years. Our family were also early participants in the Yoav region’s partnership with the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The trip was an opportunity to travel to Yoav and visit and spend time with young men who stayed with us and their families. Having housed two teens for the summer in 2003, visited Yoav as Volunteers in 2004, and housed summer supervisors several times, we had developed relationships, which have continued over the years with holiday calls, birthday cards and other celebrations. We arrived in Yoav from Tel Aviv at the end of our tour in mid August. Liron Tamari, who stayed with us in 2003, met us in Tel Aviv and guided us to Yoav where we were hosted by his parents and dined with his brothers, sister and their families. The Tamaris, David and Ruthi, hosted our visit at Kibbutz Beit Guvrin, home of the Maresha caves, a World Heritage site. Beit Guvrin is one of the several kibbutzim and moshavim that make up the Yoav region located southwest of Tel Aviv and southeast of Jerusalem, and includes the site where David slew Goliath. The kibbutz offers a beautiful setting of nice homes on a well-groomed site, with well-maintained resident facilities such as a pool and a child care center. The kibbutz is engaged in agriculture as well as manufacturing. My wife Mary and son Steven stayed for a very active five days. We were struck by how the area had grown and changed. With Yoav committee member (and licensed guide) Lior Levi we visited sites such as the Park Britannia, whose caves date back to the Bar Koch Bar revolt in the first century CE, and we shopped in Kiryat Gat, the area’s largest big city and Israel’s home to Intel, which has a sizable presence there. Steven went to the Dead Sea, Masada and on a camel ride, leaving Beit Guvrin early in the morning to avoid the heat. Before Steven and Mary left, we were hosted by Yiftach Parizada’s family with a wonderful dinner. Yiftach also stayed with us in the first Yoav group, and we had shared time with his family at the beach on our earlier visit.
Though Mary and Steven left, I was never alone. Our Yoav partners made sure I was comfortable and busy. David and Ruthi were so gracious in every way. Ruthi, a teacher, endured my less-than-perfect Hebrew, offering me opportunities to speak and gently correcting me. Lior Levi graciously accommodated my need to see interesting, but lesser-known sites by traveling with me on several trips to the south including Be’er Sheba, Ein Avdat, (a desert National Park) and the Mitzpah Rimon Crater. In the north we visited Bet Shaen, Nazareth and several other sites including Kibbutz Ramat David where I spent six months in 1972. We spent time in Jerusalem as well, visiting and finding viewpoints only a guide would know. Lior wanted to show and explain everything, and made great effort to do it. I would be remiss if I did not mention how giving Lior’s family had been to me, Mary and Steven Cynthia Wroclawski, the chair of the YoavPartnership2Gether committee, offered me two unique opportunities. First, was an evening bicycle ride around her kibbutz, Revadim. It was the first time that I had ever ridden a bike at night. A full moon, about 30 bicyclists with lights and blinkers and fellowship, provided ample vision through the fields of Revadim. It was an interesting ride, followed by beer and humus. It is something that I will never forget, and would look forward to doing again. I should note the good conversation and warm hospitality offered by Cynthia and her family. The second opportunity was spending time with Cynthia at Yad Vashem where she works, finding the names of my grandparents’ brothers and sisters who died in the Holocaust. Additionally, it provided a view of the new Yad Vashem exhibit and its remarkable presentation. I spent a nice afternoon with Nurit Grossman of Kibbutz Golan, who was one of the originators of the Partnership. We had lunch at her home with her husband Yudka, and then we traveled to Ashkelon the large seaside city not far away. It was interesting to see how this attractive city had grown. We visited the seaside park and nearby neighborhoods. Its is also the home of a wonderful seaside National Park with a beach and extensive ruins featuring a Canaan Gate dating to 1590 BCE. Nurit and I visited Etti Cohen and her family at her moshav home. Etti is known for her cooking and hospitality, and this visit was no exception. One of Etti’s daughters was in the first group of Yoavi’s to come to Allentown, and Etti visited several years ago. The time spent in Yoav was a wonderful experience and a great way to start my retirement. Our Yoav partners were great hosts who wanted us to see and do everything. The conversations and experiences enhanced my understanding and thinking about Yoav and Israel. This trip is also a spring board to planning our next visit. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 27
understanding of what the other wanted. Netanyahu, free from the pressure of having to reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinians in the short term, recommitted to a two-state solution in the long run. Obama was furious when Netanyahu declared, on the eve of his re-election in March, that a Palestinian state would not rise on his watch. “I want to make it clear that we have not given up our hope for peace,” Netanyahu said, looking Obama in the eyes-itself a change from previous tensionwracked meetings, when the leaders barely looked at each other. “We’ll never give up the hope for peace. And I remain committed to a vision of peace of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.” For his part, Obama said the two would discuss "how we can blunt the activities of ISIL, Hezbollah and other organizations in the region that carry out terrorist attacks." And he reiterated his defense of Israel's right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. "I want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violence against innocent Israeli citizens," Obama said. "And I want to repeat once again, it is my strong belief that Israel has not just the right but the obligation to protect itself." Following the meeting, Netanyahu described an encounter more conversational than contentious. “I did not sense any broad tension,” Netanyahu told Israeli reporters at a briefing after the meeting. “It was not a
By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency It took agreeing to set aside differences on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get down to business on other issues afflicting the region, including the threat of Islamist extremism and the rise of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Appearing pleased and relaxed-- if hoarse-- after meeting with Obama for more than two hours on Nov. 9, Netanyahu told reporters that the two had a pragmatic discussion that lacked the contentiousness of their previous encounters. “The conversation was substantive, practical,” Netanyahu told reporters after the meeting. “We have a common interest in keeping Iran from violating the agreement.” Two major burrs that have irritated the U.S.-Israel relationship for months were removed in the lead-up to the meeting, with each leader scoring a win. Netanyahu acknowledged that the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers is on its way to implementation, despite his vehement objections. And Obama administration officials said the president no longer held out hope for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before the end of his term in January 2017. “Not that we are agreed on the agreement," Netanyahu said, referring to the Iran deal. "But we must look forward at what needs to be done.” In remarks before their meeting in the Oval Office, each man signaled an
HAIM ZACH/ISRAELI GOVERNMENTPRESS OFFICE
Disagreements behind them, Obama and Netanyahu get down to business
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama meeting at the White House, Nov. 9, 2015. symposium for debate, it was not a debating society-- and there have been such meetings. But this, for sure, was not.” Instead, Netanyahu and his team, including national security adviser Yossi Cohen, outlined the technological challenges facing Israel in dealing with the rise of the Islamic State and an Iran emboldened by the nuclear deal. In addition to Obama, American officials in the meeting included Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Vice President Joe Biden. One focus of the discussion was renewing the 10-year defense assistance memorandum of understanding between Israel and the United States. Under its current terms, due to expire in 2018, Israel receives an average of $3 billion a year. Netanyahu would not address the particulars of the Israeli request, but Israeli officials have said that Israel wants a comprehensive package that would
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amount to as much as $50 billion over 10 years, or $5 billion a year. It would include missile defense cooperation, which is now considered separately from the $3 billion in annual defense assistance and amounts to about an additional $700 million in U.S. contributions. He said Israel was eager to avoid inflaming the recent violence, which has focused on the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem site holy to both Muslims and Jews. Netanyahu said he raised with Obama proposals that his Cabinet had unanimously endorsed. The Israeli leader did not describe the proposals except to say that they included easing movement and the transfer of goods to Palestinians. Another key issue was Syria. Netanyahu said it was critical that whatever the outcome of the civil war in that country, Iran should not be able to open a front against Israel on the Syrian border. Iran is actively assisting the Assad regime.
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 29
Community Calendar To list an event in the Community Calendar, submit your information on our website, www.jewishlehighvalley.org, under the “Upcoming Events” menu. All events listed in the Community Calendar are open to the public and free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Programs listed in HAKOL are provided as a service to the community. They do not necessarily reflect the endorsement of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The JFLV reserves the right to accept, reject or modify listings.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30 Writing Transparent: Revealing the Modern Jewish Family on Television 7 p.m., Muhlenberg College, Seegers Union. From the early days of television, Jews have been key players in the creation of comedy and drama on the small screen. In spite of this, few television shows have depicted Jewish families dealing with religious identity in a serious way. The award-winning series, “Transparent,” has garnered a great deal of attention because of its ground-breaking exploration of trans-gender issues, but the show is perhaps more radical in its portrayal of Jewish family life. Join “Transparent” writer Micah FitzermanBlue for a discussion of the show and the thinking that informs its characterization of American Judaism. The program will be moderated by Charles Richter, professor of theatre at Muhlenberg College. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Berman Center for Jewish Studies at Lehigh University and the Department of Theatre at Muhlenberg College. TUESDAYS, DECEMBER 1 & 15 PrimeTime at the J Crafts 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join PrimeTime for a fun, creative project. Cost $5. Contact the JCC at 610435-3571. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1 60 Day Challenge Celebration Featuring Israeli Singer Hadar 7 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Celebrate Day 60 and #GivingTuesday with some R&B, pop and soul! Acclaimed Israeli singer Hadar will perform both contemporary and classic Israeli music at the Jewish Federation’s own cabaret. The performance is free for donors and volunteers who have taken the 60 Day Challenge by pledging their support to the 2016 Campaign for Jewish Needs. For those who have not yet pledged, there will be an opportunity to do so at the event. Hadar was born and raised in Jerusalem, and first revealed her natural talent as a soloist in the Ankor Choir of the Jerusalem Rubin Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has graced many stages in Spain, Italy, Russia, Portugal, Japan and Turkey with the Ankor Choir and as a soloist. She takes inspiration from Stevie Wonder, Etta James and Alicia Keys. To learn more and RSVP, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/60 or call 610-821-5500. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2 PrimeTime at the J Lunch Topics 12 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join PrimeTime for lunch and a discussion on non-medical home health care. Cost $5. Contact the JCC at 610-435-3571. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2 Latke-Vodka: Lehigh Valley Jewish Professionals Chanukah Happy Hour 5:30 p.m., The Pub by Wegmans, 3900 Tilghman St., Allentown. Join the Lehigh Valley Jewish professionals for a Chanukah celebration. Grab a drink and get into the holiday spirit. Latkes, appetizers and your first drink are included. Respectful accommodation for dietary observance. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Learn more and register at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/network. Sip. Schmooze. Connect. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Fair 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Hosted by The Gallery at the JCC, in conjunction with a special art luncheon featuring well-known local painter Ann Schlegel. Attendees are encouraged to browse wares by local artists, including scarves, wooden pieces, boxes and containers, pottery, jewelry, photography and fabric art. Staff will be available to assist with shopping and to coordinate cash or credit card purchases. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3 TBE Healing Experience 1 and 7 p.m., Temple Beth El. Two services are being offered for your convenience. We will be creating a safe space to bring our pain, our questions and our yearning. The service will include music, silent meditation, traditional prayers and Torah study. The entire community is invited to participate. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 Family Shabbat Service 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Kvell as you listen to our middle school grades 4-6 lead us in prayer and song. Please join the congregation in a special oneg sponsored by the proud parents following services.
30 DECEMBER 2015 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Who Can? We Can! ChanuCan! 9:30 a.m., Temple Beth El. Third through sixth graders can daven with donuts during Temple Beth El’s Shabbat Limud program which includes Junior Congregation plus fun ChanuCan activities. No registration or membership needed. Contact Alicia at 610-435-3521.
hunger in the Lehigh Valley. Our congregational party includes presentations by our religious school students, judging and awards of our Chanu-Can structures; the structures are built entirely from canned and non-perishable food that will be donated locally. We will eat latkes, spin dreidels and sing Chanukah songs as we show off all our great efforts to help those in need in the Lehigh Valley.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 KinderShul 10 a.m., Temple Beth El. Children in pre-K, kindergarten, first and second grade will experience the joy of Shabbat through songs, stories and games, as they daven with donuts at Temple Beth El’s KinderShul with Morah Gloria. No registration or membership needed. Contact Alicia at 610435-3521.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14 TBE Sisterhood Mah Jongg 6:30 p.m., Temple Beth El. We will begin to play promptly at 6:45 p.m. Please be there by 6:30 p.m. to register. We play for about three hours. If you are a Mah Jongg player, please come and join us for sisterhood, laughter and a great bunch of fun! $10 per player donation to TBE Sisterhood. New faces are always welcome to play. Contact Ilene Rubel with your RSVP and any questions, 610-776-1577 or IRUBEL@aol.com.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 JCC Hanukkah Extravaganza 3 to 5 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with the JCC! DJ donut dance party, toddler town crawl zone, latke bar and nosh, Camp JCC crafts, “photo phun,” PJ Library reading corner, JDS pin the shamash on the menorah, sponsored activities by Congregation Keneseth Israel, Temple Beth El and Sons of Israel and more! For registration and pricing information, visit www. lvjcc.org. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 First Night, First Light 5 p.m, JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join the JCC for a lively performance and candle lighting. Hot chocolate and sufganiyot will be served to bring warmth to all those gathered. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8 A Fond Farewell to Judy Diamondstein 7:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Please join the Jewish Federation for a dessert reception as we say goodbye to Judy and wish her well in her new position as the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. Judy, the assistant executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, has given her passion and dedication to our Jewish community for over two decades. Your RSVP is requested to 610-821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9 Simcha Club 12 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom. The program will feature a deli lunch. Cost $5. Please make a reservation by calling 610-866-8009. This is a senior program, but everyone from 5 to 105 is welcome. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9 Light Up the Night Community Menorah Lighting at the Phantoms 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), PPL Center. Join the community as we light a giant ice menorah and enjoy kosher food, Jewish pride and Chanukah fun. $20 per ticket. Contact Chabad, 610-351-6511, for more information. Sponsored by Chabad of the Lehigh Valley. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 CBS Southern Fried Chanukah 6 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom. Join us at Congregation Brith Sholom for a Shabbat dinner and Friday night services. Dinner will feature fried favorites to celebrate the holiday season. Make your reservations by noon on Dec. 2 (reservations are required). The price is $15 per adult; $5 per child between the ages of 5 - 13; no charge for children under 5 with maximum family charge of $45. Please pay in advance. Make out checks to “CBS – Shabbat Dinners.” Call Tammy at 610-866-8009 for reservations and more information. For those that need transportation, please contact Tammy. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 TBE Congregational Dinner 6:30 p.m., Temple Beth El. Please join your Temple Beth El family for Shabbat sinner. The cost for dinner is $45/household or $18/per person. If you would like to purchase wine with dinner, please notify us when you are making your reservation. To make your reservation, please contact Ilene at the Temple office at 610-435-3521. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 TBE Chanu-Can 2015 Program 10 a.m., Temple Beth El. Raising food and awareness for
FRIDAYS 8 - 9:30 AM WMUH 91.7 Featuring Cantor Wartell muhlenberg.edu/wmuh
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17 Bethlehem Easton Book/Film Group 1:30 p.m., 1733 Millard St., Bethlehem. Please join us as we view the film “Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology “ written and produced by Tiffany Shlain, daughter in law of our member, Ann Goldberg. Contact Judy Lappen, 610-868-1594, for more information. Sponsored by the Bethlehem Group of Hadassah Greater Philadelphia Chapter. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18 Scholar-in-Residence Weekend - Rabbi Burton L. Visotsky 5:30 p.m., Temple Beth El. Services at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Rabbi Visotzky will speak about “Jewish-Christian Relations in the 21st Century” with a response by the Rev. Dr. Peter A. Pettit, director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding. Rabbi Visotsky will share a brief history of Christianity, starting with its origins as a Jewish movement, its turn toward gentiles, growing anti-Judaism, and ultimately anti-semitism. In the past half-century, Christian-Jewish relations have transformed from wary tolerance to acceptance and now to true friendship. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 Scholar-in-Residence Weekend - Rabbi Burton L. Visotsky 9 a.m., Temple Beth El. Professor Visotzky will speak about “The Dysfunctional Family – Genesis as a Source for Moral Education.” We read the stories of the patriarchs, sometimes with horror at their behavior to one another: spouses, parents and children, siblings. Rabbi Visotsky will discuss how these stories function as a source of moral education, what we call “Torah.” SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 KI PJ Library Mini Minyan 10 a.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Bring the little ones for a Tot Shabbat service with songs and blessings and of course, a PJ Library story. For more information contact KI at 610-435-9074 or Cantor Jenn at email@example.com. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 Scholar-in-Residence Weekend - Rabbi Burton L. Visotsky 4 p.m., Temple Beth El. Seudah Shlishit - Deli meal at 4 p.m., Havdalah at 5:15 p.m.. At 5:30 p.m., Rabbi Visotsky will discuss “Stories from the Cairo Geniza.” The Cairo Geniza is a treasure trove of a thousand years of Jewish documents – the richest source of Jewish history and texts, ever. He will tell stories of the discovery of the Geniza, of the scholars who study it, and Jewish life in North Africa in The Golden Age under Islam. $10 per person for dinner. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25 Summer in Winter Pancake Breakfast 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join the JCC for a day at the beach! Breakfast will be served at 10 a.m. For families, beach activities will include scooter riding and games in the gym, swimming in the pool and a viewing of the film “The Muppet Movie,” the original classic from 1979. For adults, get your summer groove on while spinning to tunes that will make you feel like you are at the beach and enjoy a Beach Body Workout. For more information, visit www.lvjcc.org. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25 TBE Shira Chadasha Shabbat Service 7:30 p.m., Temple Beth El. Come celebrate a musical Shabbat service with contemporary American and Israeli music.
Celebrate the beauty of Shabbat
Shabbat & Yom Tov Candlelighting Times Friday, Dec. 4
Friday, Dec. 25
Friday, Dec. 11
Friday, Jan. 1
Friday, Dec. 18
Friday, Jan. 8
Ongoing Events SUNDAY to FRIDAY
Call 610-435-3571 for information.
DAF YOMI 7:30 a.m., Congregation Sons of Israel Meeting all year long, this class covers the gamut of Talmudic law, studying one page of the talmud each day, and completing the talmud over the course of seven and a half years. Basic Jewish background is recommended.
100,000 MILES/YR FOR KOSHER! First Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., Congregation Beth Avraham Open to all. Fascinating vignettes from a mashgiach who drives approximately 100,000 miles/year (yes, per year!) to keep the kosher supply chain intact. From rural Arkansas to frigid Nova Scotia, winter and summer, the demands are always there. Contact Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod, Kashruth Hotline (24/6), 610-905-2166, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADULT EDUCATION CLASS 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Bnai Abraham Synagogue No preparation or prior knowledge is required. Rabbi Daniel Stein leads an eager-to-learn group. We examine the Torah, Judaism, the holidays, Hebrew and Yiddish literature, well-known stories and poetry. Cost: $10 each semester. Contact 610-258-5343, email@example.com.
SUNDAYS JEWISH WAR VETERANS POST 239 2nd Sunday of the month, 10 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Veterans and their significant others are invited as the guest of the Ladies Auxiliary. Come and enjoy comradeship; we’ll even listen to your “war stories.” A brunch follows each meeting. Questions? Contact Commander Sheila Berg at 610-360-1267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. TEFILLIN CLUB & ADULT HEBREW SCHOOL 9:30 a.m. Tefillin; 10 to 11 a.m. Adult Hebrew, Chabad Tefillin is for Jewish men and boys over the age of Bar Mitzvah, to learn about, and gain appreciation for, the rich and enriching Jewish practice – the mitzvah – of donning Tefillin. Contact 610-351-6511. TALMUD CLASS FOR BEGINNERS! 10 to 11 a.m., Congregation Beth Avraham of Bethlehem-Easton For information,contact Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod at 610-905-2166. MONDAYS FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Friendship Circle is a place for people to meet, make new friends and enjoy each other’s company. We welcome all adults over 50. Friendship Circle meets weekly for lively and enjoyable programs and a delicious lunch. Annual dues $25; paid up members are treated to two major programs with a catered luncheon. Regular weekly meetings and lunch – $6. First visit – NO CHARGE. Weather permitting. Contact Betty at 610-395-6282 for reservations. THE ROSH CHODESH SOCIETY: ART & SOUL Once a month, at 7 p.m., Chabad Taught by Rebbetzin Devorah Halperin, a seven-part course for women exploring seven art forms – painting, music, literature, dance, architecture, clothing design, and the culinary arts – from the perspective of Jewish teaching and Jewish life. Cost is $60 (including textbook). For more information contact 610-351-6511 or email@example.com. TUESDAYS ANCIENT PRAYERS...ANCIENT YEARNINGS... THEECHO OF YESTERDAY...CAN THEY BE HEARD IN OUR LIVES TODAY? 11 a.m., Temple Beth El Join Cantor Wartell in exploring the historical roots of the prayer service with contemporary application. TORAH STUDY 12 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace Join Rabbi Melody to delve into the heart and soul of the Torah and how it applies to your life! No knowledge of Hebrew is necessary, nor is registration. Join us when you can and do the Jewish thing: LEARN! Contact 610-253-2031 for information. PIRKEI AVOT (THE ETHICS OF THE FATHERS) 1:15 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace Join Rabbi Melody in TCP’s new “lounge” for this wonderful new class. All welcome! Contact 610-253-2031 for information. YACHAD TORAH STUDY GROUP 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Bring your curiosity to thet Yachad Torah study group and discover the wonders, adventures and meaning of the Torah. Moderated by Rabbi Yehoshua Mizrachi. Held in the Teachers’ Learning Center/Holocaust Resource Room (lower level, JCC).
I ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT JUDAISM 7 p.m., Temple Beth El Taught by Rabbi Moshe Re’em. The course is designed for those wishing to learn more about the religious observances of Judaism, theology of the Jewish holidays and ritual practices. It serves as an introduction to daily Jewish rituals, including prayer and the Jewish dietary laws. HEBREW LANGUAGE: GETTING BEYOND THE BASICS 8 p.m., Temple Beth El Are you interested in learning more Hebrew or polishing up your Hebrew skills? Facilitated by Rabbi Re’em, take the step beyond basic reading in Hebrew. LATTE & LEARN 8 to 9 p.m., Starbucks, Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem Grab your favorite Starbucks quaff and jump right in as we relate the weekly Torah portion to world events, western civilization and even our own relationships. No Hebrew is required. Contact Rabbi Mizrachi 207-404-0474; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.torahovereasy.blogspot.com. WEDNESDAYS 101 JUDAISM CLASS 10 a.m., Temple Covenant of Peace Join Rabbi Melody for the 101 Judaism Class. All welcome! Contact 610-2532031 for information.
MOMMY & ME 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., Chabad Led by Devorah Halperin and Alli Lipson, Mommy & Me is an innovative program for babies and toddlers to experience Jewish traditions in a stimulating, fun and creative atmosphere. Cost is $10 per class, $40 for full session. For information and to register, email@example.com. CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER: THE MAKING OF A MENSCH 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel Join a welcoming group of KI members and their friends to discuss a variety of topics relevant to the Jewish lives we have – or want to have. No prerequisites except an open mind and a willingness to listen to each other. For more information or to get on the email list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-435-9074. TORAH ON TILGHMAN 12:15 p.m., Allentown Wegmans Cantor Ellen Sussman of Temple Shirat Shalom leads a lunch and learn on the Torah. RSVP to contactus@templeshiratshalom. com or 610-820-7666. THE SEVEN QUESTIONS YOU WILL BE ASKED IN HEAVEN...HOW TO LIVE A LIFE OF FULFILLMENT TODAY 7 p.m., Temple Beth El A discussion of the new book by the same title by Dr. Ron Wolfson led by Cantor Wartell. The group will explore the thoughts, motivations and behaviors of our lives and consider how to enrich our daily living. FRIDAYS
HADASSAH STUDY GROUP Every other Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Temple Beth El Allentown Hadassah presents a stimulating series of short story seminars. All are welcome to attend these free sessions in the Temple Beth El library. The group will be reading selections from anthologies available from Amazon.com. For dates and stories, e-mail Lolly Siegel at spscomm@ aol.com or call 610-439-1851. BETH AVRAHAM TORAH STUDY 7 p.m., Congregation Beth Avraham Torah: It is the common heritage that binds all Jews together. Explore the ancient healing wisdom of Torah together. All are welcome. Who knows? It might even be fun! RSVP: Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod, 610-9052166, email@example.com. HUSBANDS ANONYMOUS First Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m., location upon signup Calling all wives! Send your husbands to this class! Rabbi WIlensky guides us on how to become more attentive, caring, sensitive partners, and how to strengthen and deepen our spousal relationships in the context of Torah. Contact Sons of Israel for exact dates and locations. TORAH STUDIES: A WEEKLY JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF TORAH 7:30 p.m., Chabad of the Lehigh Valley Torah Studies by JLI presents: Season One: An 11-part series. Cost is $36 for the complete 11-week series (textbook included). For more information contact 610-3516511 or Rabbi@chabadlehighvalley.com. ORTHODOX JEWISH LIVING: WHAT IS IT & HOW? 8 p.m. Contact Rabbi Yizchok I. Yagod, 610-905-2166 or rabbiyagod1@gmail. com.
SIMCHA SHABBAT 1st Friday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Bnai Abraham Synagogue Please join us for our musical Simcha Shabbat and stay for a special oneg. For more information please call Bnai Abraham Synagogue at 610-258-5343. SHABBAT BEGINNER’S GEMARA 8 a.m., Congregation Sons of Israel Facilitated by Dr. Henry Grossbard, this is an excellent primer for developing the analytical tools necessary for in-depth study of the Talmud. JAVA AND JEANS 4th Saturday of the month, 10 a.m., Bnai Abraham Synagogue Join us for our monthly Shabbat service to discuss current topics of interest as they relate to Jewish laws and practices. For more information, call 610-258-5343. CHAVURAT TORAH STUDY Each Shabbat following kiddush lunch, Temple Beth El No sign-up needed for this class. Taught by Shari Spark. Enrich your Shabbat experience by studying the parashat hashavua, the weekly Torah portion, with other congregants, each Shabbat in the library at approximately 12:45 p.m. No previous knowledge or longterm commitments are required. ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY HALACHAH 12 p.m., Congregation Sons of Israel Join Rabbi Wilensky as he takes Halachah from the weekly Torah portion and brings it to bear on some of the most pressing issues of our time. BNEI AKIVA 5:45 p.m., Congregation Sons of Israel An Israel-centered fun program for kids ages eight to 14. This program is free and open to the public. For information and to RSVP, call 610-433-6089.
Congregations BNAI ABRAHAM SYNAGOGUE 1545 Bushkill St., Easton – 610.258.5343 Rabbi Daniel Stein, Conservative MORNING MINYAN services are Thursday mornings at 7:25 a.m., SHABBAT EVENING services are Fridays at 8 p.m., SHABBAT MORNING services are Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.. CHABAD OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 4457 Crackersport Rd., Allentown – 610.336.6603 Rabbi Yaacov Halperin, Chabad Lubavitch SHABBAT EVENING services are held once a month seasonally, SHABBAT MORNING services are held Saturdays at 10 a.m., RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are held Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. CONGREGATION AM HASKALAH 1190 W. Macada Rd., Bethlehem – 610.435.3775 Student Rabbi Leiah Moser, Reconstructionist Weekly Shabbat services and a monthly family service with potluck dinner. Religious school meets Sunday mornings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. CONGREGATION BETH AVRAHAM 439 South Nulton Ave., Palmer Township – 610.905.2166 | Rabbi Yitzchok Yagod, Orthodox SHABBAT EVENING starts half an hour after candle lighting. SHABBAT MORNING starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by a hot kiddish. CONGREGATION BRITH SHOLOM 1190 W. Macada Rd., Bethlehem – 610.866.8009 Rabbi Michael Singer, Conservative MINYAN is at 7:45 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Brith Sholom and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at Bnai Abraham Synagogue. CONGREGATION KENESETH ISRAEL 2227 Chew St., Allentown – 610.435.9074 Rabbi Seth D. Phillips Cantor Jennifer Duretz Peled, Reform Services begin at 7:30 p.m. every Friday night. The first Friday of the month is a FAMILY SERVICE and celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are held Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL 2715 Tilghman St., Allentown – 610.433.6089 Rabbi David Wilensky, Orthodox SHACHARIT: Sundays at 8:30 a.m., Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:45 a.m. MINCHAH/MAARIV: 20 minutes before sunset. FRIDAY EVENING: 20 minutes before sunset, 7 p.m. in the summer. SHABBAT MORNING: 9 a.m. SHABBAT AFTERNOON: 90 minutes before dark. TEMPLE BETH EL 1305 Springhouse Rd., Allentown – 610.435.3521 Rabbi Moshe Re’em | Cantor Kevin Wartell Conservative Weekday morning minyan services at 7:45 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. Shabbat evening services at 7:30 p.m. with the last Friday evening of the month featuring our Shira Chadasha Service . Shabbat morning services at 9 a.m. followed by Kiddush. Religious school classes every Tuesday/ Thursday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Midrasha school classes Monday at 7 p.m. Shalshelet — Temple Beth El’s new innovative high school program — meets bi-monthly on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. Shalshelet (the chain) is open to ALL 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students in the Lehigh Valley. For more information contact Alicia Zahn, religlious school director, at bethelallentown.org. TEMPLE COVENANT OF PEACE 1451 Northampton St., Easton – 610.253.2031 Tcp@rcn.com; tcopeace.org Rabbi Melody Davis | Cantor Jill Pakman Reform TCP holds Shabbat evening services every Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and a Renewal Style Shabbat morning service on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m. A family Shabbat service is held on the second Friday night of each month at 6:30 p.m. Our services reflect a diverse culture of traditional, innovative and musical experiences with a Reform Jewish context. Religious school meets on Sunday mornings from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. We have a Family Game / Movie night on the first Saturday of every month at 6 p.m. For more information about our Temple and activities, see our website at www.tcopeace.org or look us up on Facebook. TEMPLE SHIRAT SHALOM 610.820.7666 Cantor Ellen Sussman Friday night SHABBAT WORSHIP SERVICES held at 7 p.m. at The Swain School, 1100 South 24th St., Allentown. For more information, Contact Us at templeshiratshalom.org or 610-820-7666.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | DECEMBER 2015 31
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