The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
Issue No. 417
AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977
Sandi Teplitz eats her way through Israel p5
Follow a BBG girl’s journey to Kiev p24
LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p15 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p19 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p21 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p30-31
Jewish community raises awareness about disability By Susan Sklaroff Van-Hook Jewish Family Service What is “disability?” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 40 million Americans with a disability in 2015, representing 12.6 percent of the population. That estimate is 15-20 percent for the Jewish community. While a certain image may come to mind when we consider disability, the truth is that there is a broad spectrum of experiences connected to the word. Disabilities can be viewed as affecting functions of the body, activities or participation; we can think of disability in the mental, physical, behavioral and emotional spheres. Disabilities can be visible, invisible, temporary or chronic. People can be born with disability or acquire disability at any point in their life. People can have more than one disability. Through the social justice lens, disability is understood as being created by the environment when barriers facilitate the limitations a person experiences. Accord-
ing to many studies, people with disabilities comprise one of the largest minority groups in the U.S. While this group is made up of a rich, accomplished, valuable and varied membership, what is often a norm is a sense of isolation and marginalization. Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is an opportunity for the Jewish community to pay attention to the needs of our community members who live with disabilities. This unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide seeks to raise awareness and foster the inclusion of people with disabilities and their allies. JDAIM is a call to action to each one of us in accordance with Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess. JDAIM is observed each February, making this the 11th annual JDAIM. Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley is inviting the general community to help celebrate this effort in various ways. On Feb. 24, an event called “Community Conversations: Paying
Attention to Disability” will bring together informed local voices to share information and facilitate an interactive conversation with the broader community about how we understand disability. This special event will take place at Congregation Brith Sholom from 3 to 6 p.m. Keynote speakers will include Bob Whittman, convener of the Lehigh Valley Disability Friendly Community, and Amy Beck, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living. Following this valuable opportunity to share perspectives and learn about new ones, the afternoon will include appetizers and desserts provided by the talented chefs at Brith Sholom and a showing of the award-winning film, “My Hero Brother,” a 2016 documentary directed by Israeli filmmaker Yonatan Nir. The film tells the story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark on a demanding trek through the Indian Himalayas, accompanied by their brothers and sisters.
This event is a collaborative effort between JFS, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation and Brith Sholom. The cost is $18 per person or $36 per family, with scholarships available. For reservations, contact the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley at 610-821-5500 or www. jewishlehighvalley.org. For more details and requests for accommodations, contact me at svh@jfslv. org or 610-351-9961. You might also want to join in on Feb. 26 for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD), hosted in partnership with Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). This is an opportunity for professionals and lay leaders from Jewish organizations across the nation to come to Capitol Hill to raise awareness on their work relating to individuals with disabilities and their families, to learn about relevant public policy and to advocate on these issues with their elected officials. For registration, contact Aaron Kaufman at 202-736-5865 or aaron.kaufman@ jfna.org.
As Aaron Orlofsky, Respectability board member, said, “We are a stronger community when we live up to our values—when we are welcoming, diverse, moral and respect one another. We want our children, parents, grandparents and other family and friends with disabilities to be able to have an equal opportunity to fully participate in our community.” Jewish Disability Awareness coverage Continues on page 12-13
Tradition and camaraderie keep kids and teens returning to camp year after year By Stephanie Bolmer HAKOL Editor
Non-Profit Organization 702 North 22nd Street Allentown, PA 18104
U.S. POSTAGE PAID Lehigh Valley, PA Permit No. 64
Cousins Alex Valuntas and Jacob Sussman share a lot in common. They’re both juniors at Parkland High School. They both play basketball. And they both love summer camp. After spending eight years as campers at Camp Saginaw, a co-ed sleepaway camp in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the boys are ready to embark on their next adventure. Both have applied to return to Saginaw this year as counselors and are eagerly waiting to hear if they get to make the trip back to their beloved summer home. “I think the main thing for me was that I wanted to be able to give other people the same experience I had,” said Alex, explaining he hopes to “pass on traditions, leading on another generation of kids.” Jacob agreed, “We’ve applied to work with the young-
est kids at the camp, who are just learning about everything. We've been there for eight years, so we can help them learn the traditions. I thought it was cool to give back to the younger generation.” Tradition and friendships are what have kept the boys coming back to camp year after year. That’s what they love most about camp, and what they’re most looking forward to passing on to newcomers. “It’s the brotherhood you make with all your friends in your bunk,” said Jacob. “The tradition builds up each year, until the final year you make everything count.” Alex also said, “A lot of the best memories are from late at night, talking around your bunk, bonding. It’s about the people. There's no other place on earth where you can go be with your friends 24/7 and live carefree. There's nowhere else like it, so you hold on to that as
long as you can.” If the cousins get the chance to lead bunks of their own this summer, it will be to teach others the songs and annual customs they’ve cherished at their favorite camp. They have loved their time at Saginaw over the years, and they have advice for any kid considering spending their first summer away. “Just go for it,” said Alex. “When you first get there, let go of your inhibitions and everything you’re scared of and throw yourself into it.” If your child is anything like Jacob, it will all turn out well. “The first year, I remember I was really scared,” he recalled. “You have to let your wall down and just go with the flow. After the first day, you kind of realize how special that place is and just not worry and just enjoy it.” Camp and summer experiences Continues on pages 16-19
2 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Federation establishes fund and award in memory of Mark Goldstein
Mark L. Goldstein, z”l, shares his family Holocaust story at the Lehigh Valley’s Yom HaShoah commemoration in 2016.
By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will honor long-time Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein, z”l, by supporting the causes he cared most about and the attributes he possessed. In December, the Federation’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to establish the Mark L. Goldstein Memorial Fund through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. Friends and family will be able to make donations to the philanthropic fund in Goldstein’s memory at any time. The fund will then be able to provide funding for designated projects in perpetuity, continuing Goldstein’s legacy. In consultation with Goldstein’s family, the board decided the fund would mainly support
two causes that were important to Goldstein throughout his life – scholarships for camp and Israel programs and Holocaust education. Goldstein was a big proponent of local camp scholarships, often pounding the pavement himself to make sure the funding was there to send Lehigh Valley children to Jewish overnight camp. “He made sure that the next generation of Jews would have the opportunity to have Jewish experiences and grow in their Judaism, whether here in the Lehigh Valley, in Israel, in the former Soviet Union, or wherever there was a need,” said Eva Levitt, board president. “As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Mark made every effort to promote Holocaust education here in the Lehigh Valley, including frequently sharing his own story with students,” she added. In addition to the memorial fund, the board voted in January to establish the Mark L. Goldstein Outstanding Jewish Communal Professional Award in honor of Goldstein’s career-spanning dedication to Jewish communal service and optimism for our community’s Jewish future. The Jewish Federation will be seeking nominations for the award’s first recipient, to be decided by a committee of the board and presented at the Community Celebration & Annual Meeting this June. The award will subsequently be presented in years where outstanding candidates emerge. To nominate a local Jewish communal professional for the Mark L. Goldstein Outstanding Jewish Communal Professional Award, contact Jeri Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a contribution to the Mark L. Goldstein Memorial Fund, visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org or call the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500.
Jewish community trains to tighten security By Aaron Gorodzinsky JFLV Director of Outreach & Community Relations Last summer, Dr. Eric Fels, chair of the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council, approached me, worried that our community might not be fully prepared to deal with the rise of antiSemitism we were seeing in the news at that time. During our conversation, Eric shared the idea of engaging the Community Secure Service (CSS), a Jewish security company that has trained Jewish volunteers in Europe to be more prepared to respond to the increased security needs and was starting to do the same
thing for Jewish communities in the United States. Since that conversation, Eric and I have been working with CSS and our Jewish agencies and synagogues to present the idea of providing training to our lay leaders to ensure that we can respond to the increased security needs in our community. After months of work, our community lay leaders will gather over the last weekend in January to attend the first security seminar led by CSS in the Lehigh Valley. The seminar coincides with the Federation’s annual Super Sunday as another way to make the community even stronger. The security seminar is just
the continuation of several security enhancements that our community volunteers have undertaken since Eric and I met last summer. Just this past December, over 40 volunteers had the opportunity to participate in a Stop the Bleed seminar led by a team of doctors from St. Luke’s, and in the next few months, our agencies and synagogues will be applying for security grants that could enhance the physical security in our organizations. Security is something that is very important for our community, and we will continue doing everything we can to make sure that everyone feels safe.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park. IN MEMORY DEREK Niles Dubin NATE BRAUNSTEIN (Husband of Marilyn Braunstein) Eileen and Roberto Fischmann Ingrid Boas Frank ALEX SERA (Father of Temple Coldren) Eileen and Roberto Fischmann SAMUEL WILF (Father of Eileen Ufberg) Eileen and Roberto Fischmann
MARTY ZIPPEL (Father of David Zippel) Elaine Lerner IN HONOR RACHEL AND HOWIE LEVIN In honor of the birth of their son, Micah Aaron Gorodzinsky JUDY TAMAROFF Happy 90th Birthday Elaine Lerner JERI ZIMMERMAN In honor of the birth of her granddaughter Eileen and Roberto Fischmann
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org.
SUPPORTING CAMP & ISRAEL SCHOLARSHIPS AND HOLOCAUST EDUCATION In loving memory of Mark, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley for 16 years To make a contribution, call the Federation at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org
HAKOL STAFF STEPHANIE BOLMER Editor
HAKOL is published 11 times per year for the Jewish communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and vicinity by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
COMMUNITY SUBMISSIONS Submissions to HAKOL must be of interest to the entire Jewish community. HAKOL reserves all editorial rights including, but not limited to, the decision to print any submitted materials, the editing of submissions to conform to style and length requirements, and the placement of any printed material. Articles should be submitted by e-mail or presented as typed copy; “Community Calendar” listings must be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. Please include your name and a daytime telephone number where you can be contacted in the event questions arise. We cannot guarantee publication or placement of submissions. MAIL, FAX, OR E-MAIL TO: JFLV ATTN: HAKOL 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104 Phone: (610) 821-5500 Fax: (610) 821-8946 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN JFLV Director of Marketing ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE MCKEE Advertising Representative TEL: 610-515-1391 email@example.com
JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF JERI ZIMMERMAN Interim Executive Director TEMPLE COLDREN Director of Finance & Administration JIM MUETH Director of Planned Giving & Endowments AARON GORODZINSKY Director of Outreach & Community Relations WENDY EDWARDS Office Manager EVA LEVITT JFLV President
EDITORIAL BOARD Monica Friess, Acting Chair Barbara Reisner Judith Rodwin Sara Vigneri
Member American Jewish Press Association
All advertising is subject to review and approval by The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley (JFLV). JFLV reserves the right to decline, withdraw and/or edit any ad. The appearance of any advertising in HAKOL does not represent an endorsement or kashrut certification. Paid political advertisements that appear in HAKOL do not represent an endorsement of any candidate by the JFLV.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT
In order to unite, sustain, and enhance the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and support Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to the following core values: • Supporting Jews in need wherever they may be. • Supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland. • Supporting and encouraging Jewish education in the Lehigh Valley as a means of strengthening Jewish life for individuals and families. • Supporting programs and services of organizations whose values and mission meet local Jewish needs. To accomplish this mission the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is committed to the following operating guidelines: • Raising and distributing funds to support the core values. • Developing Jewish leaders. • Building endowments to support implementation of core values. • Committing to ongoing Jewish community strategic planning. • Fostering cooperation among organizations and community building. • Evaluating all decisions with respect to fiscal responsibility. • Identifying unmet needs and investing in community initiatives to help get them started. • Coordinating and convening a community response as an issue or need arises. • Setting priorities for allocation and distribution of funds. • Acting as a central address for communication about events, programs and services of the Jewish community as a whole. Approved by the JFLV Board of Directors on November 15, 2000
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 3
Sandy Newman departs the JCC for new adventures By Kathy Zimmerman JCC President 2019 brought change to the JCC. We welcomed Eric Lightman as our next executive director (see article on page 19). We also said goodbye to one of our truest friends. Sandy Newman resigned her full-time position at the end of 2018. She remains a part-time consultant to the JCC. Newman served the JCC with dedication and insight gained over decades of experience. She began her JCC career as a head childcare teacher in 1985. She assumed the position of acting managing director and professional leader in June 2017. In between, she was the child care director; membership, child care, family and elementary program director; camp and children's services director; camp, children's services and membership director; marketing and special events director; assistant executive director and marketing director; and assistant executive director. Colleagues and lay leaders share an appreciation for Newman’s dedication to the JCC and to the community. The list is long, but here are a few examples of what they have to say: “Sandy made an impact on the community as a whole, but as an employee of the J, she always showed respect and appreciation for employees, encouraging us to move the organization from ordinary to extraordinary,” said Tracy Sussman, JCC director of membership and marketing. “Of all the 30-plus years Sandy has been involved with the JCC, regardless of her specific role, she has always been an integral part of my experiences. From ‘klub ked’ where our children played together, through the basketball years and the Maccabi Games, to all the different leadership roles that I’ve held, Sandy Newman has been a constant source of positive energy and an invaluable resource. I will miss seeing her and her beautiful smile when I roam the halls of our JCC. I join others in wishing her only the very best of life as she continues on her journey,” said Stuart Krawitz, member of the JCC executive committee and JCC past president. “Sandy's passion and commitment to collaboration between the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Family Service makes me smile. Sandy'swelcoming presence and desire to work together on behalf of the LehighValley Jewish Community is her legacy. The JCC is a happier place because of her tireless dedication,” said Debbie Zoller, executive director of Jewish Family Service. I’ll summarize by saying that for all of us who know her, there is no question that Newman will continue to enrich those she serves as both professional and volunteer, and like the Force, the JCC will be with her.
Local Lion honored at international conference Beth Kozinn was honored among esteemed women from across the United States, Canada and Israel at the International Lion of Judah Conference in Hollywood, Florida, in January. Kozinn was nominated by the Lehigh Valley to receive the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, which honors extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism. Fellow Lions Iris Epstein, Aliette Abo and Jeri Zimmerman, interim executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, accompanied Kozinn to the conference to show their support and participate in high-quality programs.
SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION
WELCOMING NEW BABIES
to the Lehigh Valley
LUKE GABRIEL SMITH
son of Esther Miller-Smith and Joshua Smith
If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | firstname.lastname@example.org SPONSORED BY
Above, Beth Kozinn. Right, Iris Epstein, Kozinn, her sister Ann Falchuk and Jeri Zimmerman.
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 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Eating my way through Israel
By Sandi Teplitz Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: Sandi Teplitz traveled to Israel as part of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Israel @70 mission in December. She is also a long-time contributor of recipes to HAKOL. As an unapologetic foodie, the concept of visiting a country for the first time always gives me a sense of excitement. I didn't quite know what to expect in Israel except for the usual arrays of hummus and falafel. Traveling during the week of Chanukah, the thought of doughnuts as a celebratory food symbol rather than latkes intrigued me. I had no idea ... We arrived very tired and hungry at Shvil Ha'Ezim, which featured a farm-to-table breakfast with five different types of goat cheese. One could also take the option of having the cheese in an omelet (I did, and it was creamy, tangy and delicious). Fresh orange juice accompanied our repast. Just as we thought we were finished, our server brought us a tray of pastries which we (groan) managed to devour. That evening, we were treated to a welcome dinner which was both a carnivore's paradise and a cholesterol watcher's nightmare. None-
theless, we forced ourselves to conclude with a strudel for dessert. I walked back to the David Intercontinental Hotel in an effort to burn a few calories. Our bus tour guide insisted that the FitBit craze was ridiculous, so I removed mine – totally out of respect, mind you. I was indeed glad that I took that walk because breakfast at the David included a smoothie bar which made amazing pomegranate banana smoothies (see recipe). The next day, we were off to the Museum of the Jewish People, where we all sat on the couch from the set of Seinfeld, and could gaze on the cereal boxes Jerry so enjoyed. This reminded me of my fondness for one of those Seinfeld desserts created from cereal: peanut butter pie with Captain Crunch crust (see recipe). On day three, we had the pleasure of pairing wine with the appropriate chocolate—my favorite Valhrona chocolates were served and available for sale. That night at the David, sufganiyot were topped with pistachio buttercream (see recipe). The following day, we switched hotels and arrived at the Inbal in Jerusalem. We welcomed Shabbat with lone soldiers and had a 10-course dinner (really!) featuring stuffed veal breast (see recipe). I had wondered what would happen
at breakfast the next day—no cooking omelets or serving anything hot—how good could it possibly be? I needn't have worried; I had an amazing lox and cream cheesecake (see recipe). Somewhere along the way, we had dinner at Dallal, which ended in a chocolate Nutella mousse (see recipe). As a souvenir of my journey, I bought an Israeli cookbook, which I am now scouring for anything delicious that I could have missed. And I'm once again slipping on my FitBit. Pomegranate Smoothie 1 c. plain yogurt, preferably Greek 1 c. pure pomegranate juice 1 banana Blend and serve -- serves 3. Peanut Butter Pie 1/3 c. salted butter 2 1/2 c. Cap'n Crunch or Rice Krispies 1/2 lb. cream cheese 1 can sweetened condensed milk 3/4 c. peanut butter
1 T. lemon juice 1 + 1/4 t. vanilla 1 c. heavy cream, whipped Mix melted butter with crushed cereal; place in bottom and up sides of pie pan. Mix rest of ingredients together in mixer (except cream) Fold in cream, then chill overnight. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Pistachio Buttercream Make your favorite vanilla buttercream, add 1 t. pure almond extract to 4 cups of it, then add one drop of green food coloring. Fold in chopped natural pistachio nuts to taste. Veal Breast Have the butcher make a pocket in the veal, stuff with potato latkes that have not been fried, and bake at 350 degrees for two hours, basting occasionally with peanut oil. Season as desired with crushed garlic and paprika. Lox and Cream Cheese Cake Make a crust with 1/3 c. corn flakes crushed, 1/4 c. parmesan.
Place in buttered 8" springform. Beat 4 extra large eggs with 30 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 c. heavy cream. Add by hand, 1 onion which has been sautéed in butter, 10 Greek olives, chopped up, 1/3 lb. Nova, diced, 1 chopped and seeded tomato and 1/2 c. grated Muenster cheese. Bake in a water bath at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool and chill. Nutella Mousse Make a crust in an 8" square pan by combining a bag of Milano cookies crushed with 1 heaping T. of Nutella. Chill. In a blender, combine 1 bag mini chips, 2 t. vanilla, pinch of salt. Blend. Slowly add 1 + 1/2 c. boiling whipping cream. Add 6 extra large yolks. In a mixer beat two whites; fold in to slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Chill. Place on top of crust. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Top with whipped cream, a little melted Nutella and chocolate syrup. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 5
Father and son bonding through charity and golf By Stephanie Bolmer HAKOL Editor Lexus Champions for Charity (LCFC) celebrated its 30th year of giving with its LCFC National Championship golf tournament this past December, but it was the first time visiting the gorgeous Monterey Bay for Allentown resident Larrie Sheftel. “The vistas are beyond amazing,” said Sheftel of the memorable views he and his youngest son, Jonathan, took in during their stay in California. At the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s 2018 Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament, which raises money to support prejudice reduction efforts, Sheftel bid on and won the chance to be a two-player team in the LCFC National Championship, a five-day event that includes three days of golf on the ultimate trifecta of courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and The Links at Spanish Bay. There, the Sheftels represented a charity of their choice on the links, competing with other amateurs from around the country for the opportunity to gift a portion of the $100,000 purse. “There’s nothing like a father-son
trip,” said Sheftel, explaining that both he and Jonathan are avid golfers who had wanted to see Pebble Beach, “probably one of the most wonderful places in the U.S. for golf.” “The golf was phenomenal,” remarked Sheftel, but that wasn’t the only highlight of the trip. His favorite part? “Besides everything?” From generous
shopping vouchers in the pro shops to taking a scenic drive around the bay in a Lexus, “the sponsorship by Lexus was amazing.” If you’re interested in the chance to experience world-class golf in a beautiful setting while raising funds for a good cause, start with giving back right here in the Lehigh Valley by participating in the
2019 Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament at Lehigh Country Club on June 17, chaired by Barnet Fraenkel and Richard Schiff. While you’re there, bid on next year’s LCFC trip, made possible by Lexus of Lehigh Valley’s generous sponsorship of the Federation’s tournament. As Sheftel said, “I would recommend it to anybody.”
Maimonides brunch sets record straight on medical cannabis
A crowd of 75 people gathers at the JCC for the first Maimonides brunch of the new year on Jan. 6. Dr. Bruce Nicholson “weeded out fact from fiction” about medical cannabis. Above left, Nicholson with Maimonides Society President Karen Dacey.
6 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Muhlenberg students visit Yoav on Birthright
Why do you keep going back to AIPAC? ‘It really is amazing’ By Stephanie Bolmer HAKOL Editor This year will be the fourth time Valeska Zighelboim and her husband, Israel, attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, Policy Conference. Hailing originally from Venezuela, the first time she went, “we were not very sure about this whole political thing,” she said. But soon she realized, “Even though it’s a political program, it’s not about the politics. It’s really about the support of all these people in the United States for Israel.” The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of America's pro-Israel community, with over 18,000 pro-Israel Americans attending each year. It’s also visited by more than two-thirds of Congress and culminates with the opportunity for delegates to lobby in support of legislation that enhances the relationship between the United States and Israel. One of the things which surprised Zighelboim most was the bipartisanship of it. “I would encourage anybody to just go and try it. It might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent. It’s really about being there to support Israel. I think for all of us Jews, it’s very important. We need Israel. And that is what it’s about, to support Israel. Both parties can sit together and agree,” she said. AIPAC brings together not only different parties, but also different faiths. “It’s amazing to see thousands of people supporting Israel, and not just Jewish, a lot of non-Jewish people, too,” said Zighelboim. She recalled how one of the speakers she heard during her first year attending was a Christian preacher from Chicago who was later invited to visit the Lehigh Valley. Zighelboim thinks that seeing the support for Israel from all corners is “inspiring.” She also enjoys that the conference high-
lights a lot of the innovations coming out of Israel. Over the years, Zighelboim has been impressed to see not just things like the technology to protect Israel but also “people doing incredible things in the medical field.” She also loves seeing the next generation showing up. More than 3,600 students from more than 630 campuses attend each year, and Zighelboim said, “It’s just very inspiring. You see all the young people who go to AIPAC … who are so committed to support Israel and learn about it.” This year, she’s especially looking forward to meeting up with friends from Florida who will be joining in on the event for the first time. Zighelboim is glad to have them there in addition to the Allentown delegation, which she said is “pretty large for such a small community.” But, it only makes sense that so many people would want to return each year for what Zighelboim describes as “an amazing experience … so fulfilling, you really want to grab your checkbook and give every single penny while you’re there.” This year’s conference is March 24-26 in Washington, D.C., and Zighelboim hopes that people will just try it once and “get hooked” as she has.
On Dec. 19, 2018, 40 Taglit-Birthright participants, including students from Muhlenberg College, visited Kibbutz Beit Guvrin in Yoav, Israel. As part of strengthening ties with the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether community, the students met with peers from the Metarim Lachish preparatory program to discuss Jewish identity. The participants then volunteered at various sites including the petting zoo, the edible forest and the vineyard before preparing chocolate balls and wrapped gifts for Israeli soldiers.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 7
Nathan M. Braunstein, longtime community leader, dies Nathan M. (Nate) Braunstein, 91, passed away on Jan. 9, 2019. Braunstein was a consummate leader and fundraiser who demonstrated these skills when he chaired the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley campaign and later went on to serve as Federation President. He was also an honorary vice president of the Jewish Federation board. Braunstein served on the boards of the Jewish Community Center and Temple Beth El. His involvement in Jewish volunteerism also reached beyond the Lehigh Valley. He served as both the national vice chair and the national project renewal chair for the Jewish Federations of North America, then known as the United Jewish Appeal. He was a passionate man, dedicating his efforts to his belief in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, Israel, Jewish leadership and enriching the Lehigh Valley’s Jewish future. During his years of volunteering, Braunstein was honored as a fundraising advocate by Deborah Heart and Lung Center. He was also awarded as an outstanding leader of the Jewish Day School and most recently was honored by Jewish Family Service as one of their 8ish over 80, among his many honors. Braunstein was a businessman and co-founder and co-owner with his late brother, Harry Reitars, of Bethlehem Lynn Sportwear for 44 years until retiring in 1997. He and his wife, Marilyn, were married for 68 years. He is survived by Marilyn and three daughters, Cherie, Laurie and Amy.
IN HONOR ANN AND GENE GINSBERG Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Lily Ross and Wendy Born MARILYN AND ELLIOT GOOTMAN Marriage of daughter, Jenny to Josh Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald BETH KOZINN In honor of receiving the KWF Award Marc and Aliette Abo Andrea and Ollie Foucek BOBBI NEEDLE In honor of the return to good health and all the best in 2019 Adam and Penny Roth and Family ALAN PENN Speedy recovery Hank Narrow JONAH ROBERT AND MARY RITTER Thank you Lois Lipson SPENCER WALSH Congratulations on his bar mitzvah Abby and Mark Trachtman IN MEMORY FATHER (of Robert Berger) Mark and Alice Notis KENNETH BERNHARD (Husband of Carol Bernhard) Abby and Mark Trachtman NATHAN (NATE) BRAUNSTEIN (Husband of Marilyn, father of
Cherie Zettlemoyer, Laurie Horton and Amy McCoy) Sheila Berg Wendy and Ross Born Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Dee and Arny Kaplan Roberta and Robert Kritzer Suzanne Lapiduss Linda and Michael Miller Norman Moses Taffi Ney Selma Roth and Family Vicki Wax FLORENCE BRODMAN (Sister of Leah Divine) Selma Roth and Family LIBBY GLASS (Mother of Linda Hamilton and Shelley Lubrecht, sister of Gloria Ginsburg) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Shirley and Lou Furmansky Shirley and Bob Malenovsky Cindy and Scott Schneider MARK GOLDSTEIN (Husband of Shari Spark) Bonna Sue Burtt-Greenberg Marcel and Sharon Guindine Cindy and Scott Schneider MARTIN GOLDSTEIN (Brother of Gloria Ginsburg, uncle of Linda Hamilton and Shelley Lubrecht) Ross and Wendy Born Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Shirley and Lou Furmansky Shirley and Bob Malenovsky Edith Miller Cindy and Scott Schneider
JERRY HAUSMAN (Husband of Florence) Ross and Wendy Born CAROL KLIONSKY (Mother of Frank Tamarkin) Carol and Gary Fromer Phyllis and Jay Kaufman Debi and Dave Wiener EVELYN MARKSON (Mother of Bill Markson) Carol and Gary Fromer RICHARD ROBERTS (Husband of Ricki Roberts) Roberta and Robert Kritzer GERALD SALMAN (Husband of Etta Salman) Suzanne Lapiduss ALEX SERA (Father of Temple Coldren) Carol and Gary Fromer Suzanne Lapiduss BARBARA VOSK (Grandmother of Stephanie Smartschan) Carol and Gary Fromer SAM WILF (Father of Eileen Ufberg) Roberta and Robert Kritzer Suzanne Lapiduss HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY MALCOLM (Father of Linda Schwartz) Marcia and Mark Krawitz We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.
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LETTERS FROM A LONE SOLDIER
Meet Helaina Zahn
Helaina Zahn with fellow lone soldier in the IDF. Hi, my name is Helaina Zahn, and this is just the beginning of my journey as a lone soldier. Being a lone soldier in the Israeli Defense Force means that my immediate family is not living in Israel with me, and I do not have their daily physical support. This does not mean that my family does not support me, but that normal Israeli soldiers have their parents in the country to help with basic necessities such as banking issues, buying groceries, laundry, etc. Before making aliyah (moving to Israel), I graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, and previously lived with my parents in Allentown. I attended Hebrew School
at Temple Beth El, was involved in BBYO and USY, and graduated from Parkland High School in 2013. I drafted on Dec. 23, 2018 at the age of 23, but I have been preparing for my draft since I made aliyah six months prior. I took two different Ulpan classes (intensive Hebrew courses) and moved to a kibbutz where I will live when I am not on base. I drafted to a base called Michve Alon. The base is for special populations in the army to do their required basic training that everyone in the army has to complete, plus it has educational courses. The base Michve Alon is named after Yigal Allon, who was an Israeli politician and a
general in the IDF. The word I would use to describe my first two weeks is "funny." Everything makes me laugh, which is good because other girls have cried. As in most armies, sometimes we get screamed at and sometimes our commander is in our face. I try to look for the humor in this instead of getting upset. This specific base reminds me of being a camper again and, at the same time, pledging my college sorority. I remember being yelled at to do certain tasks when I was pledging my sorority. And, just as when I was a camper, my whole day is planned out and I am unable to know the schedule. We do activities such as first thing in the morning having to quickly organize and clean our bedroom, which I share with 21 other girls. The commanders are trying to instill a sense of unity in us and a need to help the group as a whole. So when we are cleaning, we need to constantly ask for more time because the commanders will only give us about 60 seconds to clean the whole room. It is quite annoying. I do not yet feel as if I am defending my Jewish homeland, but it is just the beginning and I hope to be feeling and doing this soon. I do feel lucky that I have a supportive community in Allentown, as well as supportive fellow lone soldiers who are going through similar experiences with me. I will be sharing some of my journey with the Lehigh Valley through these articles and hope these help you to connect a little more with Israel.
Singing to soldiers: a life’s calling
By Michele Salomon Special to HAKOL A calling, a gift, the joy that comes when one’s skills and talents are expressed in a way that fulfills their highest purpose. That’s the treat to expect on Sunday, March 10, when Ritasue Charlestein, a "hero" of the IDF, comes to Congregation Keneseth Israel for a brunch program. The KI Adult Education Committee is pleased to bring Charlestein, a dear friend of long-term KI members Laura and Bob Black, to present this program through an Israel Community Impact Grant (ICIG) with funding support from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Charlestein, born and educated in New York, lived in Philadelphia for many years and now lives in Israel, where she spends her days singing to wounded soldiers. Charlestein began performing for Israel’s wounded soldiers during the first Lebanese war in 1982. In 2011, she was named the Lion’s Club, Israel, Jerusalem’s Woman of the Year. She is officially recognized as a member of the IDF Medical Corps. She provides a unique perspective on Israel’s wounded soldiers and she brings this to her audiences. Through her travels and singing, her
compassion, appreciation and gratitude to the IDF is apparent. She reminds us of the dedication and sacrifices young people who serve in the IDF make in order to keep Israel safe. Praise for Charlestein comes from soldiers, family members and government representatives, summed up by the former Israel ambassador to Germany and France, Asher Ben-Natan z"l, “When Rita sings, she opens the hearts of everyone present. Her beautiful music and stories are infused with her passion and love of Israel. She touches us all profoundly. Hearing her perform is a rare opportunity … not to be missed.” RSVP by Thursday, March 7, to the KI office at 610435-9074. Brunch is $5 (with RSVP) and begins at 9:30 a.m., with the program starting at 10:15 a.m.
Announcing the 2019 season! IN THE HEIGHTS June 5-16
FALSETTOS June 19-30
A BUDDY HOLLY TRIBUTE July 3-14
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR July 24-Aug. 4
And our kids show THE PERFECT DOG July 10-Aug. 3
Visit ncctix.org for local audition information and NCC student winter shows
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 9
Kinderlights is a Shabbos PARTNERSHIP2GETHER UPDATE FROM YOAV treat for young and old Yoav ‘growing by leaps and bounds’
By Eric Fleish Special to HAKOL Every Friday after school ends and before Shabbat comes in, a cadre of students from the Jewish Day School visits the home of a different older adult in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community through a program called Kinderlights. The older adults warmly open their homes to the group for some pre-Shabbat schmoozing and singing. As a parent faithfully bringing my own kids every week to Kinderlights, I try to fade into the background to allow the younger and older generations to connect with one another, and what I end up witnessing is beautiful. The older adults tell the group about their own fascinating histories as Jews of the Lehigh Valley. Some were born here. Many raised their own kids here. The kids then introduce themselves one-byone, often sharing some fun fact about themselves like their favorite ice cream flavor. The group then sings one or two Shabbat songs together. A favorite of the group is “Shalom Aleichem.” For the kids (ranging from pre-K through middle school), Kinderlights is a great opportunity to interact with a different population than they usually see—instilling values of community connection and inter-generational relationship building. For the older adults, the group of smiling little ones brings a kind of boisterous energy that they probably aren’t so used to having in their living
rooms, but they invariably seem to roll beautifully with the little bit of chaos and soak in the experience. I asked Shira Bach, a fifthgrader at JDS who regularly attends Kinderlights, why she likes going every week. She explained, “I think Kinderlights is great because you get to bring a little happiness to some seniors.” Mikaela Garber, a seventh-grader at JDS, added that the interaction between the younger and older groups is like a “Shabbos treat” for all involved. I couldn’t agree more. There are a lot of smiles, parting hugs, and often lollipops for the road. Kinderlights, currently run by community pillar and recent JDS gala honoree Eva Levitt in conjunction with JDS Head of School Amy Golding, is truly a wonderful program that I’ve been so happy to be a part of and would love to see grow. It would be great to see the program expand beyond the JDS student community alone and bring new participating families into the fold. So to any curious parents reading this, I say from one parent to another, come join us on a Friday afternoon! You and your children will be very happy you did, and the older adults in the community will get an extra bit of joy getting to see your children right before Shabbat. For more information, or to be added to the Kinderlights weekly email list with information on who we are visiting, please email email@example.com or call 610437-0721. You do not have to commit to attending weekly.
10 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Above, the Yoav junior judo team after winning several medals, including first place, in the International Judo Championships in Greece. Right, Yoav Mayor Dr. Matti Sarfatti Harcavi, Minister of Transport Israel Catz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend the official opening of the Yoav Malachi Railway. By Nurit Galon Special to HAKOL With the many celebrations of Chanukah all over in Yoav and the delicious smells of the latkes slowly fading, there are already signs of spring throughout the region. Very importantly, this looks like it will be a good year for rain, which is essential for the Yoav agricultural community. If you visit us in the coming weeks, your eyes will be delighted with the riot of colors from the wildflowers everywhere. With the advent of the new civilian year, Yoav citizens were informed by a national poll that our Regional Council provides us with more services than the average municipality—always good to know. We do know that in every sphere, there is a wealth of activities and developments, such as the establishment of a small businesses forum known as Yo-Biz which assists in networking. It meets regularly and provides support and information and even a certain amount of financing. Also almost ready to move from the planning stage is the Y Industrial Park, bringing with it economic and work opportunities. As the Lehigh Valley Jewish community is aware (from our joint school programs such as "Under the Same Moon"), the Yoav community is growing by leaps and bounds since the kibbutzim and moshavim opened to new families and returning sons and daughters, so it will be no surprise to learn that we are in the process of building a third elementary school in our southernmost kibbutz, Negba. Meanwhile, we are very proud that our elementary school, Eyla, recently received the Negev Award for Ecology. Last month, the Yoav steering committee for our Partnership had the pleasure of meeting with the Lehigh Valley delegation for a very special supper home-catered by a lady who introduced us to the delights of Iraqi cooking—highly recommended! For some it was an opportunity to meet new friends, and for
others a chance to re-acquaint with old friends. Video conferences, letters, Facebook, etc., are all well and good, but nothing replaces face to face personal contact, so Lehigh Valley—we are waiting for you. In my last report, I mentioned our brand new railway station which is already in full use, and soon a kiosk for coffee, sandwiches and more will be added. Always a good thing when trains are late or held up. Interviews are also now being held to find the four Yoav youth leaders who will have the wonderful experience of working at the Lehigh Valley Jewish community summer camp and living with Lehigh Valley families and their peer group. The Yoav Community Centre is providing a multitude of activities for all age groups, from Chi Kong, Rio Arivercha (I didn't know what that was either; it's sort of independent dancing and very relaxing), drama, arts, music, lectures—you name it, we have it. For young people soon to enlist in the army, there is a preparation for the army group (and how we all long for the elusive time of peace when this won't be necessary). There are now Youth Movements in every community, thus giving our children meaningful activities in their own homes. And finally, we want to share with you our pride that the Mareisha Caves and Beit Gubrin are inscribed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. To our family and partners in Lehigh Valley, we wish you a very healthy and happy and meaningful 2019.
What are we to make of Jewish spirituality?
RABBI MOSHE RE’EM Temple Beth El “Rabbi, I’m spiritual but not religious.” “What I would like to see are services at the temple that are more spiritual.” “My trip to Israel was a spiritual experience.” Time and again the term spiritual is bandied about as if its meaning were self-evident. The phenomenon is not new. Already in the 1950s, at the peak of American synagogue affiliation, the distinguished philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel observed, “We
worry a great deal about the separation between church and state. Now what about the church and God? Sometimes there seems to be a greater separation between the church and God than between the church and state.” Even earlier, 20 years before Heschel wrote these words, the American pragmatic philosopher John Dewey identified the separation of spirituality (what he called the religious) from religion. Religious institutions (Jewish and Christian) seemed cold and devoid of experiences wherein one encounters something greater than oneself. Contemporary sociologists of religion distinguish between religion and spirituality, viewing them as antithetical, or as Jack Wertheimer in his recent book entitled “The New American Jew” (2018) puts it, “at least operating in very different spheres.” Religion is “formal, traditional and communal”; spirituality is “unique to each person” and interior. One of the better definitions of spirituality I have found comes from the late philosopher and educator Philip Phenix, whose study in the fields of mathematics, physics, theology, philosophy, and education informed a lifelong search for meaning.
Phenix was praised by Albert Einstein when the former was a young 19-year-old physics student at Princeton University. Instead of taking a position that he had been offered by Princeton University’s Department of Theoretical Physics, Phenix took a position with Metropolitan Life Insurance. He later left Metropolitan Life to pursue graduate work in theology at Union Theological Seminary and went on to complete his doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University. Phenix defined spirituality as transcending physical and mental confines. He wrote: “Spirit is the name given to the property of limitless going beyond. To have a spiritual nature is to participate in infinitude. Reason refers to the capacity for the rational ordering of experience through categories of finitude. Spirit makes one aware of the finiteness of the structures imposed by reason. To say that persons are beings with spirit is to point to their perennial discontent and dissatisfaction with any and every finite realization. Thus it is sometimes said that spirit finds its exemplification more in yearning impulses of feeling and the innovative projects of will than in the settled conclusions of intellect.”
Despite these prior definitions, spirituality need not occupy a space in counterdistinction to organized religion. This year will mark 20 years since the founding of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) in New York. IJS was founded in order to address the unmet spiritual needs of American Jews. Over the past 20 years, their strategy has been to work with and train rabbinic and cantorial leaders to help transform American Jewish religious institutions. During this time, many rabbis and cantors have incorporated meditation, textual study, yoga, and niggunim into their services, thereby deepening the spiritual experience of their membership. Close to 15 years ago, I became involved in IJS, and it has enriched my rabbinate greatly. As the face of American Judaism changes, I believe that its religious institutions, if they are to remain viable, will have to change as well. Spiritual practices must also make their way into the Jewish summer camp and religious school experience of the young in order to help them cope with and address the increasingly stressful society in which we live. The search for Jewish spirituality is not merely a
phenomenon of American Jewry. Plenty of Israelis have embarked on the path of making Judaism a more spiritual experience. It would be interesting to explore the role that Israel itself plays in one’s spiritual life and the commonality shared by the phenomenon in the U.S. and Israel. The journey to truth is a spiritual one, with many paths, none of which are worn by fear but by freely addressing the questions of life’s ultimate meaning. Here in the Lehigh Valley, we have been blessed by a wealth of Lubavitch, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist organizations that have been home to overlapping Jews. By “overlapping Jews,” I mean those Jews whose search for deepening their spiritual journey has led them to experience multiple institutions. That phenomenon is actually not unique to the Lehigh Valley, but is beginning to characterize the “new American Jew.” Rather than decrying the ways in which the American Jewish community has changed from the past, we ought to recognize and embrace those changes and figure out how to address them as we stay focused on a brighter, more meaningful, richer spiritual tomorrow.
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Opening up the world of audiobooks to kids with learning disabilities
Moshe Saltzman, left, and Rashi Kuhr, founders of the project. By Josh Hasten Jewish News Syndicate Rashi Kuhr says that it would always take him a long time to read a book. But Kuhr, a 46-year-old immigrant to Israel from the United States who was born with a learning disability, says that around 15 years ago, his life changed forever. With the release of the Apple iPod and the newfound availability of audio books, a whole new world opened up for him, in which he was able to enjoy the pleasure of reading at a fast rate since he could listen to the words of the book and follow along simultaneously. As a result of that experience, in 2016, Kuhr—now an educational psychologist in the Ma’ale Efraim school system located in the Jordan Valley—decided to found the Israel Audiobook Project, an organization that enables thousands of special-education students throughout Israel to experience the joy of reading books. Kuhr, along with his partner Moshe Saltzman, who handles the technical aspects of the organization, decided that the first book they wanted to produce in an audio format would be the Roald Dahl 1964 classic, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He told JNS that “we approached Roald Dahl”—The Roald Dahl Story Company Ltd manages the copyrights and trademarks of author Roald Dahl—“in England and explained that we wanted to turn their book into an audiobook, and give it out for free to special-education students in Israel. I assumed they would ask for a substantial sum of money, but they agreed and gave us the rights for just $1,000!” Kuhr then approached the Israeli publisher of the book, who donated the translation rights to his organization for free. After finding a professional voice talent to read the 12 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
book for the recording, they were on their way. Once the audiobook was available and uploaded to the organization’s website, Kuhr was able to give the password to special-education teachers across the country to access the Hebrewlanguage audio version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” “The kids loved it,” he said. “They were so excited to be able to finish their first book.” Books vs. video and games Since that first audiobook was created, Kuhr says that an additional 10 books have been translated, recorded and uploaded. “Over 10,000 kids have listened to our books in over 600 schools all over Israel,” he said. Kuhr notes that the current goal is to try and produce at least 10 new books annually over the course of the academic year. In order to make that goal a reality, his organization has developed relationships with more publishers and authors in order to get the rights to additional books. According to Kuhr, most of them are generally thrilled to be a part of the project. Tzlil Zagury is a fifthgrade special-education teacher in an elementary school in the Jewish community of Nili, in the Binyamin Regional Council in Judea and Samaria. She utilizes the audiobooks as part of her curriculum. She told JNS that when her students listen to the audio and follow along with a book, “you can see that they are now able to process what they are reading. It’s like the brain takes a picture of the words [in the story]. All of a sudden, they understand, and that leads to them having a feeling of success.” Zagury hopes to expand the project further offering more hours of reading to more children. Michal Malka has a
10-year-old daughter named Ma’ayan in the Nili School’s special-education program. She says that before being introduced to the audiobooks, her daughter couldn’t read and was intimidated to even try doing so. But ever since the audiobooks were introduced, Malka said that her daughter “has developed confidence. She has the will now to try and understand more, and to read more. It’s a start.” Thanks to Kuhr, not only are Jewish children in special-education classes now being given the audiobook experience, but Israeli Arab children as well. Kuhr has partnered with Almanarah— an organization committed to assisting people with disabilities in the Arab sector—and they have started translating the books into Arabic as well, to be used by Arab children in special-education classes, free of charge. So far, two books, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Wizard of Oz,” have been translated from English into Arabic and made into audiobooks as a result of this new partnership. But the greatest challenge? Securing funding to create more audiobooks. Right now, the project relies on volunteers to read the audiobook recordings, and the income is minimal since Kuhr insists that students not be charged for the books. His goal is to model the organization after the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library, a U.S.-based organization that mails free ageappropriate books and music CDs to Jewish families on a monthly basis. A branch of the PJ Library does exist in Israel. Kuhr is also adamant about the importance of the project for children with special needs. “I feel that some students latch on to reading from a young age, and if their parents read to them and go to the library, those kids are successful at school. Other kids’ parents don’t connect to reading, and [those kids] are drawn to video games and videos. They don’t meet their full potential,” he explained. “I want to hook those kids on becoming consumers of high-quality audiobooks and podcasts in their free time.” The Israel Audiobook Project, a recognized nonprofit, is currently in the midst of an Jgive Campaign in order to secure funding for additional books.
In Israel, discovering a shared reality through disability inclusion By Ma’ayan Gutbezahl Jewish News Syndicate
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has dragged on for so long and with such persistence that many have begun to wonder if it is has simply become Israel’s new “normal.” Despite the constant fighting and amplified tensions between the two populations, some hopeful pockets of coexistence do exist. One such example can be found at Ono Academic College in Jerusalem, where an experiential education program focused on disability inclusion brings together young Jews and Arabs to develop educational programming for a segment of society that is often neglected. The program was created by Dr. Noorit Felsenthal-Berger, a psychologist who began her career by comparing the maternal identity of secular and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) women. Her comparative research on different groups within Israeli society eventually led her to focus on students with special needs—those who learn differently than the general population and are largely underserved. Bringing her expertise to Ono, Felsenthal-Berger created a hands-on program in disability studies that quickly became popular with young Arab and Jewish students who were trying to understand their own identities within the complex milieu of Israeli society. “Many of my students have never even met someone with a disability before they join my program, and their experiences are often rather jarring at first,” she said. These experiences impact the students so significantly that they often consider quitting the program early. However, they rarely ever do. Felsenthal-Berger explains that this initial hesitation is typically followed by dedication and perseverance once the students take some time for introspection and begin to understand the importance of the task at hand. “Learning to work with people who look and behave very differently is challenging, but they instinctually realize that sticking with this work is a societal imperative that is also personally rewarding,” she said. Together, the diverse group of students tackles 100 hours of field work in special education, engaging in hands-on experiential learning activities with groups of children with disabilities at different sites throughout Jerusalem, which culminates with a capstone workshop. Perhaps the most important element of the program is that the students are given the freedom to create and initiate projects of their own for the children and communities to which they are assigned. “The projects are an opportunity for students
to look outside of themselves and see the inherent humanity that all of us possess, no matter how different that other person may seem on the outside,” said Felsenthal-Berger. The experience extends beyond the scope of the projects developed for the children with disabilities to the team members themselves, a collection of students with diverse backgrounds. Working side by side in the classroom and on the same projects in the field, the intense emotional experience, which is void of politics, unites the Arab and Jewish students, allowing them to see beyond their cultural differences and work toward a common goal for the greater good. “For my students, being able to reach out to someone else and make their world better has the side effect of allowing them to see commonalities between people who are different on the surface, while simultaneously boosting their own selfesteem,” explained Felsenthal-Berger. “It is in an empowering experience.” Many of the program participants grow up believing that they will never be able to change Israel’s “status quo,” and that there is a possibility that Arabs and Jews will always be at odds with one another. Yet through their work with the disability community and each other, they become galvanized in ways that allow them to make positive changes, realizing that they have the power to forge their own paths in life and influence the world around them. Rasha Aliyan, one of the students in the program, was raised in the eastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. For years, she lived next door to a boy with disabilities but rarely interacted with him. After joining the disabilitystudies program at Ono, she became interested in learning more about her neighbor and made an effort to get to know him. “When I started the program, I told my neighbor about it. He was so happy that I was helping the disability community and learning about people like him,” she recounted. “I wanted to be closer to him—to really understand his struggles, and how I, and society, could help him and change the way that we look at people with disabilities.” Rasha also became a mentor to a 16-year-old girl, who is blind and has cerebral palsy, at Ilanot, a school for children with severe disabilities in western Jerusalem. Although the girl is from Beit Safafa, Rasha had never crossed paths with her prior to meeting her at Ilanot. Rasha’s interactions with individuals with disabilities in her own community inspired her to create her own project, which would partially integrate Ilanot students into Beit Safafa public schools in an effort to bring the community’s children together.
A student in the disabilities inclusion program at Ono Academic College in Jerusalem works with a community member on a painting project.
“I come into class and my students are all so excited to see me—to see someone who knows them and who accepts them. Our connections are real and mutual, and I have realized that there isn’t much of a difference between us after all,” she said. While working to promote disability inclusion and education in her community, Rasha also became friends with many of the Jewish students who collaborated with her on the Beit Safafa project, realizing that they were also not nearly as different as she had been led to believe in her youth. “We all had an amazing connection throughout the course. We worked well together and learned a lot from each other. In the end, we realized that our differences weren’t so drastic, and we had more in common than we could have ever expected,” said Rasha. While Jewish-Arab friendships remain taboo throughout much of Israeli and Palestinian society, personal experiences can prove lasting and powerful. They can be used as a tool to chip away at a status quo steeped in conflict and tension, and make way for a brighter future. For Ono’s disability studies students, those experiences have changed how the young participants view each other and have reshaped their worldview. “I grew up in Beit Safafa right next to the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo,” said Rasha. “While Jews and Arabs live side by side every day, we don’t get to know each other and don’t really see each other as full people. Having experiences like this opens your eyes for the first time. There is just so much there that you didn’t see before. But once you see it, it changes you forever.”
Love Never Grows Old…but Loved Ones Do At DevonHouse Senior Living, we understand that loved ones sometimes need more care than family members are able to provide. We offer the best hands-on personal care in the Lehigh Valley including: • 24 hour professional nursing services • A delicious and diversified menu that includes Jewish favorites • Free unlimited transportation • Stimulating and engaging arts and entertainment programs Call Laura Crossan today at 610-967-1100 for a tour. Visit our website for more information: devonhouseseniorliving.com
1930 Bevin Drive Allentown, Pa 18103 HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 13
Gaines family dedicates Heritage BOOK REVIEW: ‘Making Center at Hatzerim Air Force Base Judaism Safe for America’ Allentown residents Lewis and Roberta Gaines traveled to Israel with their family in December to attend the dedication of the new Hatzerim Spirit and Heritage Center at the Hatzerim Air Force Base near Beersheba. The couple funded the renovation of the building through a donation to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, making the new center possible. The goal of the center is to honor the base’s history, strengthen the relationship between young soldiers and the state of Israel and the Air Force and educate future generations on the legacy of Hatzerim and the core values of the IDF spirit. The center will be a point of entry for every new soldier on the base and will host seminars for soldiers and welcome thousands of visitors each year.
Left, Allentown residents Roberta and Lewis Gaines plant an olive tree as part of the dedication.
Left, Roberta and Lewis “at the controls” of an F15i. Right, the couple with daughter Sheryl Bartos, son-in-law Jeff and granddaughters Emily and Sarah dedicating a plaque at the center.
14 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
By Sean Boyle JDS Librarian
What defines a proper American? Are non-English speaking immigrants changing the fabric of America? Are “minority” religions trustworthy? In “Making Judaism Safe for America: World War I and the Origins of Religious Pluralism,” we learn the same debates were being held about the influx of Roman Catholic and Jewish immigrants and refugees from southern and eastern Europe at the beginning of World War I. Jewish Day School parent Jessica Cooperman exhaustively researched her book, “Making Judaism Safe for America.” The book’s focus is about the Jewish Welfare Board’s (JWB) provision of support programs to Jewish servicemen during WWI. The JWB also advocated for the acceptance of American Judaism as part of the traditional American fabric and attempted to destroy the traditional anti-Semitic public views threatened by the influx of Jewish immigrants and refugees. Woodrow Wilson’s administration initially selected the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to provide the necessary services to help American Servicemen. Cooperman explains that the prevalent American leadership view was that reformed Protestant values were equal to American values and that the YMCA could act as a secular provider. She explains that this reliance on “secular” services being provided by a religious organization enabled Roman Catholics to get the Knights of Columbus and the JWB their own Jewish services permitted equal access on bases paralleling the YMCA. Cooperman chronicles the
challenges of the JWB’s mission to obtain consensus and approval from many Jewish organizations throughout the U.S. and details the evolution of Jewish services and the time and effort required to secure them. “Making Judaism Safe for America” is a well-researched book about the evolution of progressive programs for American servicemen, including the development of the modern Chaplain Corps. We also learn about the struggles JWB had helping to provide access to kosher meals, the selection of Jewish chaplains and how Reform rabbis were able to provide religious services for traditional Jews. The interesting anecdotes are relatable to today’s reader. Highly recommended to be included in the personal collections of those with interest in American Jewish history, progressive social workers, military chaplains, the USO and cultural change agents. A copy is available at the Jewish Day School Library and on Amazon. “Making Judaism Safe for America: World War I and the Origins of Religious Pluralism.” (Cooperman, Jessica, New York, New York University Press, 2018, 224p.)
Do you want to make an impact as an advocate for disability on Capitol Hill? JFS Clinical Coordinator & Resource Specialist Susan SklaroffVan Hook will be participating in and representing JFS at the 9th annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. on Feb. 26 for a day of education and advocacy with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Religious Action Center. To learn more about registering, contact Aaron Kaufman at 202-736-5865 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Susan at email@example.com to help coordinate our local impact.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 15
6 insider tips to prepare your child for overnight camp
By Jamie Lake kveller.com My camp duffel bags are 30 years old. This is the first time since 1986 that they will not make the trek with me from Chicago to Wisconsin for a summer filled with outdoor adventure and friendship. As a life-long camper and now “retired” camp director, I have enough experience to write a doctoral dissertation on how to prepare your child for the essential JewishAmerican tradition: going to overnight camp. Instead of boring you with endless suggestions, I’ll share some tried and true advice.
1. Shop, label and pack with your child. Gathering items and labeling them with your child’s name, especially for the first timer, can be a lot of work. Doing this together sets the stage for the camp experience where your child will be responsible for her belongings. Kids should know what they are bringing with them, and parents can keep an eye on making sure that unnecessary or banned items don’t end up in your child’s luggage. 2. Be smarter than the packing list. Camp directors spend years creating and reworking the camp’s packing list, but this list is designed for a generic
camper, not your camper. You’ll want to follow the packing list recommendations, but you also don’t want to send unnecessary things. For example, if your daughter hates wearing sandals, don’t send her to camp with sandals even if it is on the packing list. (This logic should not be applied to toothbrushes, soap or shampoo no matter how much your child may dislike using them.) Also, resist the Jewish parent urge to go way beyond what is recommended on the packing list. Your child will have very limited space to keep all of her belongings. I promise that once she gets to camp, she won’t need every gimmicky camp accessory or 10 extra T-shirts. 3. Talk about camp, but avoid the scary-funny stuff. Keep in mind that the funny memories you have about mishaps from your days as a camper may only be funny because of the time that has passed since the experiences. You want to avoid mentioning that one time a bat flew into your cabin or the smell of burnt hair after your friend had a minor run-in with a lit Havdalah candle. Instead, focus on neutral memories, talk about what they are looking forward to, check out the photos
on the camp’s website, or watch the camp’s promotional video together. 4. Practice, practice, practice. I hope that one of the reasons you are sending your child to camp is to help him gain independence and a sense of personal responsibility. Begin now by having your soon-to-be camper manage his own hygiene routines (teeth brushing, showering, hair brushing), keeping track of his things, and making his bed with minimal reminders. These are skills that kids will use at camp, and you won’t be there to keep on them. Your child’s counselors will provide gentle reminders, but they will really appreciate a camper who is ready to do these things without much prodding. 5. Manage expectations. This can take on many forms in the weeks leading up to camp. Camp is an unbelievable experience, but, similar to home, it is not always perfect. It’s OK to be honest about this with your child. The same idea applies to homesickness. Missing home is a normal part of being away from home, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun at camp. In both scenarios, what’s most important is that you discuss with
your child about who they can talk to at camp if they are having a bad day or are really, really, really missing your dog. Kids should know that the adults at camp—counselors, activity leaders, directors, nurses—are there to help them problem solve. 6. Do not make The Promise. With the bests of intentions, many parents tell their campers that they will come get them if they are not happy. This is a camp director’s nightmare. First, the statement sends the message to your child that you don’t believe in her ability to succeed at camp. Secondly, it sets up unrealistic and low expectations about camp. These feelings often leave campers to take the easy way out if they are ever sad at camp instead of working through the issues and gaining independence. The camp experience begins long before your camper arrives at camp. These suggestions will help set them up for success and, hopefully, lay the foundation for them to be become life-long campers, too. *Note: Do not expect your duffel bags to last this long. I think this is a case of “they don’t make things like they used to.”
Camp Gan Israel offers a warm welcome to campers By Sara Puza Chabad of the Lehigh Valley Chabad is so excited to offer Camp Gan Israel 2019 to the community. We will be offering camp in our preferred location, Kernsville Elementary, where the spacious indoor and outdoor facilities will enable us to provide campers with summer fun, whatever the weather outside, playgrounds included! We have a camp planned this year that is full to the brim of crafts, sports, team activities and field trips, as well as nearly daily swimming. There’s never a dull moment at Gan Izzy! Child development is the most significant ingredient in a healthy camp experience. This is why our staff is the real secret to our success. Our hand-picked experienced counselors are known for their personal warmth and ability to care for each child as an individual. Many staff members return year after year, lending experience and continuity to all programs. Each counselor is a role model for our children, promising them friendship which will last forever! Their love for the children is surpassed only by the children’s love for them. The foundation of Gan Israel 16 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
is a tangible sense of “Ahavat Yisrael”—love of a fellow Jew, regardless of background, affiliation, or level of Jewish knowledge. Campers experience pride in their Jewish heritage, gain crucial skills for living, and make friendships that can last a lifetime. They also have so much fun that they don't even realize how much they're learning! A child at Gan Israel learns to play and compete within carefully designed limits and recognizes that certain types of competition can be a creative force adding to the enjoyment of the game. For more information or to register for our camp, visit us online at www.campganisraelpa. com or call 610-361-6511. Register for the full summer by March 10 for a 10 percent discount!
Forging bonds with Israeli camp counselors from Yoav
By Miriam Zager Partnership2Gether Chair Every year, as June approaches and the school year nears the end, camp duffle bags and under-the-bed boxes are retrieved from our attic. Camp packing lists are on the kitchen counter and in our kidsâ€™ bedrooms. Piles begin to accumulate on the dining room table and other available places. For the past 13 years, this has been an exciting annual ritual in our house. From the time the kids come home from camp in August until they leave in June, they are counting down the days until camp begins again. Seven years ago, another exciting ritual began in our household. It was our first opportunity to host teens coming to work at Camp JCC from the Yoav region, our Partnership2Gether community in Israel. What began as a one-week trial, filled with apprehension and uncertainty, has become another part of our annual camp routine, and one that I am always the most excited about. All year, we anticipate with excitement the opportunity to meet another fabulous group of Israeli teenagers. That one week our first summer flew by far too fast, leaving us feeling incomplete, without enough time to get to know the teens. Since then, we have hosted Yoav teens every summer. The relation-
ships that we have forged as a result of this partnership are priceless. They have all become part of our family. We have visited with many of them in Israel, and they have visited here. Throughout the year, we send and receive holiday wishes, birthday greetings or messages just to keep in touch. A trip to Israel is made more meaningful by a visit to Yoav and the families of the teens. The love and hospitality that we have been showered with are unbelievable and unforgettable. Sixteen years ago, the first group of teens from Yoav arrived in the Lehigh Valley. We knew nothing about the Partnership or the host families that were involved. Our children attended Camp JCC, enjoyed having the Israeli teens as their counselors and were left with many fond memories. We never couldâ€™ve imagined the connection that we would later have with so many special people in Yoav. Now, as chair of the Partnership2Gether committee, I would love for other families to have that same opportunity to forge those relationships. I encourage your family to host these teens for a week and see what a difference they make in your life. If you have any questions, please send Aaron Gorodzinsky an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will connect us to answer any questions you might have.
START HAVING YOUR BEST SUMMER, EVERY SUMMER! NEW CAMPERS SAVE $1000 WWW.PINEMERE.COM HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 17
Jewish Agency’s Masa opens a door to a diverse teaching experience in Israel Jewish Agency for Israel After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Jenna Rosen was unsure of her exact career direction. She thought she might want to work with children, or to become involved with a Jewish nonprofit organization. She was passionate about diversity. And in the short run, she was certain that she wanted to spend a meaningful amount of time in Israel. Rosen, 22, found the ideal fit both personally and professionally in Masa Israel Teaching Fellows (MITF), one of the programs offered by Masa Israel Journey. Through the
10-month MITF experience, she currently works in Bat Yam at the Gordon School, where she teaches English. The Gordon school is located in a low-income neighborhood south of Tel Aviv. For many of the kids who attend the school, English is their third language, after Russian and Hebrew, which at times makes Rosen’s work even more challenging. “I think for people like me who are considering teaching as a career, the program gives us great experience in classrooms, while helping us see a different side of teaching that might be different than education in the U.S.—but
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certainly, we can take back lessons we learn from the Israeli educational environment to America,” Rosen said. Masa Israel Journey is the global leader in long-term experiences in Israel for young Jewish adults from around the world. Since its co-founding in 2004 by The Jewish Agency and the government of Israel, more than 130,000 alumni from over 60 countries (including nearly 12,000 in 2017) have spent 2-12 months “living like a local” through Masa programs, experiencing an authentic, unmediated and challenging journey into Israeli society, its people, culture, politics, economy, land and history. Masa offers top gapyear, study-abroad, volunteer and professional development opportunities to young adults aged 18-30. It provides funding; offers cutting-edge leadership training; and inspires a new generation of connected, committed young Jewish people who walk the world with Israel inside. The Jewish Agency founded, funds or currently operates various Israel experience programs in cooperation with Masa, including Onward Israel, Israel Tech Challenge, Bac Bleu Blanc for French Jews, and more. “Given my career interest in potentially pursuing Jewish communal work, it means a lot to me that Masa is linked with The Jewish Agency, one of the world’s best-known and most influential Jewish nonprofits,” said Rosen. The Jewish Agency is an
overseas partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. With the goal of advancing Israeli students’ English skills in schools throughout Israel, mainly in underprivileged areas, MITF places dedicated and passionate college graduates like Rosen in those communities. Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Rosen was highly active in local Jewish life and continued that community involvement at the University of South Carolina, where she served as president of the school’s Hillel branch for two years and collaborated closely with the Columbia Jewish Federation. “The Jewish community on campus was small, but vibrant,” Rosen said. “Everyone involved was really eager to contribute however they could.” Once she graduated, Rosen was eager to expand her cultural horizons, and she found that with Masa in Bat Yam—Israel’s 12th-largest city, located on the Mediterranean Sea just 15 minutes south of Tel Aviv. She has especially enjoyed the Gordon School’s diverse mix of Russian, Arab and Jewish students. “Diversity has always been important for me—to think outside my bubble, and to be exposed to new people and new perspectives,” she says. Beyond the classroom,
Rosen has had the opportunity to take part in unique experiences in the broader community like recently touring South Tel Aviv and meeting with a Sudanese refugee who survived the Darfur genocide. “Meeting this refugee was a really eye opening experience for me,” said Rosen. “It showed me how diverse of a place Israel is and how everybody has their own story. It was really impactful for me to hear this inspiring story of someone who overcame such adversity and is now working on getting his master’s degree.” Rosen lives in Bat Yam with five other roommates from the MITF program; overall, there are about 35 teaching fellows in Bat Yam and 250 across Israel who experience the personal and professional benefits of the program’s vast network. The fellows also have access to monthly leadership seminars; Rosen’s next seminar, to be held in Jerusalem, will cover the landscape of the Jewish Federation system and resume-building skills. Prior to her Masa program, Rosen had only visited Israel on a Taglit-Birthright trip. Now, about halfway through her Masa experience, she said, “I feel lucky to be where I’m at, teaching in such a diverse school and being part of such a well-rounded, immersive program in Israel.”
Birthright partnering with Jewish Federations this summer for young leadership adventure Explore vibrant culture, mouth-watering cuisine and stunning natural beauty on a free 10-day summer Birthright trip with Israel Outdoors and the Jewish Federations of North America. The trip is from June 30 July 11, 2019, and if you have not been on a Birthright trip before or any other organized trip to Israel after the age of 18 and you are between the ages of 27-32, you may be eligible to go on this free trip. Based on Israel Outdoors’ flagship Israel Quest itinerary with special upgraded experiences and exclusive opportunities with Jewish Federations of North America, you'll have
the opportunity to explore Israel's natural beauty, its authentic foodie experiences, its epic 3,000-year history, and its colorful cultural traditions. As an active travel experience, you'll be spending less time on the bus and more time on the go—discovering the past, present and future of Israel with all your senses. Through the course of this journey, you’ll form new cross-cultural friendships with Israeli and North American peers, experience all the must-see/must-do highlights of Israel, take part in handson service opportunities, and return home with a new sense of perspective and mean-
ing. As a bonus, you’ll also get to know Israeli society on a person-to-person level with VIP community visits to special programming in Israel thanks to the Jewish Federations of North America. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Visit www.israeloutdoors. com for more details.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 19
Torah’s history connects JDS to Holocaust
Left, Larry Lang and school librarian Sean Boyle bring MST#1120 into the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley. Right, MST#1120 originally came from the former Czechoslovakia. By Selah Maya Zighelboim Jewish Exponent Those who frequented the Gershman Y over the past few decades may have noticed a Torah scroll in a glass case. The scroll was on longterm loan to the Y from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, a London-based organization that lends Torahs from a collection of more than 1,000 that survived the Holocaust. This particular scroll, known as MST#1120, has led a perilous life. It has outlived the Holocaust, communism and the ebbs and flows of changing Jewish life in the United
States. It has traveled the world from the former Czechoslovakia, to England and finally to the Gershman Y. And after the community center’s closing at the end of November, MST#1120 has a new future at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley in Allentown. “This became this Torah’s home,” Head of School Amy Golding said. “By virtue of making it feel like a family once it has left Czechoslovakia and [has] Pennsylvania as its new owner, we felt we wanted to keep that holy space for it.” The scroll’s known history dates to 1942, when Jewish communities across Bohemia
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and Moravia, part of what was then Czechoslovakia, received a letter urging them to send everything they had — their Torah scrolls, gold and silver, even the mohel’s knife — to the Jewish Museum in Prague. More than 100 Jewish communities in Bohemia and Moravia sent their possessions. One was Přerov, which sent MST#1120. More than 212,000 items were sent to the museum, which expanded by 14 times. More than 40 warehouses were needed to store all of it. Nazis had Jews catalogue these treasures. When they were finished with the work, Nazis sent the
Jews to concentration camps, where most of them died. But the vast collection survived, including about 1,800 Torah scrolls. For decades, a myth pervaded that the Nazis had collected these items for an eventual museum to the Jewish race, but no proof has been unearthed. No one knows the true reason why the Nazis put the collection together. Memorial Scrolls Trustee Jeffrey Ohrenstein said his theory is that the Nazis wanted to know the value of the possessions and planned to take what they wanted from the collection. “For me, the miracle is it survived,” Ohrenstein said. “The Jewish people who couldn’t save themselves were in no position to save valuables.” In February of 1948, communists took over the region. They moved the Torah scrolls into a damp warehouse, which had once housed a synagogue. The scrolls remained there for nearly 20 years. In 1963, the governmentcontrolled Artia company approached art dealer Eric Estorick about buying the collection of scrolls. He discussed it with a client, Ralph Yablon, who discussed it with Westminster Synagogue Rabbi Harold Reinhart. In the end, they decided to buy the 1,564 scrolls that remained. They spent those first few months examining them and deciding which ones were kosher, which could be repaired and which could only be used as a memorial. MST#1120 was labeled as “much repair needed.” Its card indicated that the upper right roller was broken and the ink was coming off, while the condition of the parchment was “generally good.” In the summer of 1983, a letter arrived at Westminster Synagogue. Like the letter that had arrived from the Jewish Museum in Prague so many decades before, it marked a new chapter for MST#1120, but one that would be much brighter. “Gentlemen,” it began, “we have recently learned that the Westminister [sic] Synagogue has acquired a number of Torahs that were saved from synagogues destroyed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. We understand that from time to time those Torahs have been contributed to numerous synagogues in need of them.” The letter was from Albert L. Pollock, then the vice president of the Congregation of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association, now known as the Gershman Y. In the letter, he made a request for a Torah. Ruth Shaffer, the joint chairman and trustee, wrote back, telling him the trust no longer had any kosher Torahs. However, many organizations put the non-kosher Torahs in sanctuaries and “use it
on specific commemorative occasions and give it life and purpose in this fashion.” The deal was made. MST#1120 found a new home at the Gershman Y. It remained there for more than 30 years, until the end of November. With the impending closure of the Gershman Y, Ohrenstein reached out to Charles Ticho, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who has been involved in the organization. Ohrenstein asked him if he would pick up MST#1120. Ticho’s family had connections to JDS, and he and his son Ron Ticho decided they would provide the support needed so the Torah would be moved to the school. “These are tangible items that represent, not just the fact that there are Torah scrolls, but they are, in effect, a memorial to the Jews of that particular town from which they came,” Charles Ticho said. It all happened quickly. In November, Golding learned the Torah was available, and submitted an application right away. On Nov. 28, Ron Ticho, his daughter and friend Larry Lang went to the Gershman Y to pick up the Torah and make the drive to Allentown. The day it arrived at the school, students were preparing for Chanukah. It was also just before the community’s 65th gala, when they would celebrate a family whose matriarch had, like MST#1120, survived the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia. It was then that Golding received a text that the Torah was 10 minutes away. “It felt like you were greeting a bride at a wedding,” she said. “We opened the gates to the parking lot. We had faculty ready to take this Torah in. It was just this holy moment of our responsibility from our past to what we were going to do with it for our future.” The school is working to create an openable case for it so the Torah can both be put on display in the lobby and be taken out on Yom Hashoah and other occasions. In addition, the students will be working on different ongoing projects with the Torah. “Every time our students enter the lobby, they will walk by this Holocaust Torah,” Golding said. “Now, this Holocaust Torah is in our children’s hands.” To learn more about MST#1120 and four other Torahs rescued from the Holocaust that are now in the Lehigh Valley, join the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation for a Lunch & Learn on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 12:30 p.m. at the JCC. Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org to learn more or register. This article was reprinted with permission from the Jewish Exponent.
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Gal Gadot to voice Wonder Woman in ‘The Lego Movie 2’
JCC film festival to kick off with family-friendly programs young children and their parents since its 2006 release. The program will include monkey-related crafts, snacks and a story. On Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at the JCC, the film series will present “Nicky’s Family.” In 1988 a BBC talk show invited Sir Nicholas Winton, then 79, to be in the audience. Winton was a British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Toward the end of the show, the host asked if there was anyone in the studio whose life was saved by Winton; virtually every audience member, child survivors invited by the show, stood up. This forms the basis of “Nicky’s Family.” In 2013, The New York Times called the film an “enthralling documentary” and “a true story of heroism.” The Hollywood Reporter said that this is “a story that deserves to be more widely known.” On Sunday, March 24, PJ Library will offer a screening of the movie “Paddington.” Paddington’s creator, Michael Bond, has said he was inspired by the Jewish evacuee children he remembered seeing in the train
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PJ Library is partnering with the JCC’s Jewish & Israeli Film Series to bring two family-friendly film programs to the community. Each family program will be accompanied by a screening for adults of a related movie a few days prior. On Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at the JCC, the film series will present “Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators.” In May 1940, Parisians fled by the hundreds of thousands before the Germans captured their city on June 14. Among them was a young couple: Hans and Margret Rey, German Jews who had been living in Paris for just four years. They had waited too long. There was no transportation left in the city. Hans bought every spare part he could find and built two bikes from scratch. At 5:30 on the morning of June 12, they rode out of Paris with a manuscript hidden in the basket. In “Monkey Business,” Sam Waterston narrates the story of the Reys and how that hidden manuscript became one of the best loved children’s books of all time. On Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. at the JCC, PJ Library will present “Curious George.” This animated film starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy and Frank Welker has been a great hit with
Gal Gadot Jewish Telegraphic Agency stations of London during the Kindertransport. The program will include bear-related crafts and snacks. The adult programs are $5 per person; the PJ programs are $10 per family. These programs were supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. To register for any of the films, stop by the JCC Welcome Desk, call 610-435-3571 or visit www. lvjcc.org.
Gal Gadot will be heard as Wonder Woman long before the sequel to her megahit film is screened in 2020. Gadot will voice the character in “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” which will open next month in U.S. theaters, according to movie blogs and fan sites, including Flickering Myth. The Israeli actress will be joined by several others who portray DC characters on the big screen, with Jason Momoa voicing Aquaman and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn from “Suicide Squad.” “The Lego Movie” was released before Gadot first performed as Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Eurovision is heading to Israel
By Rotem Bar Community Shlicha On May 12, 2018, over 1.4 million Israelis watched on live TV as Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision contest with her song, “Toy.” Around 2 a.m. as the winner was announced, thousands of people showed up at Rabin square in Tel Aviv, jumped into the famous fountain, and celebrated until the early morning. This win brought national pride and joy that hadn't been seen in Israel for a very long time. This was Israel’s fourth win in Eurovision since it joined the competition in 1973, but it has been a long 20 years since Israel won last time in 1998. Ever since I can remember, every year in May, my sister and I will start our obsession around the Eurovision song contest. Who will represent Israel, and what are their chances of winning? Which countries are new to the competition, and which countries have decided to leave? It is a big deal in Europe, and I remember when living in Belgium as a young girl, everybody at school would talk about it the next day. I remember watching the show in Belgium in 2005
along with my Swedish friend. Sweden had sent a song I thought was bad called “Las Vegas,” and Israel had sent a song by the singer Shiri Maimon that was great and scored very high, fourth place. We were arguing over splitting our votes between Sweden and Israel with our one phone. In Israel, the Eurovision song contest is very popular and enjoys high viewing ratings, although, it has been found that the popularity of the competition has decreased among the Israelis since 2000 (I’m definitely not a part of these statistics). So in 2015, it was decided to “shake things up” and change the system that has been choosing the Israeli representatives to Eurovision. Instead of having a pre-Eurovision competition where artists compete with the song that they will actually sing in the competition, the singer would instead be chosen through a reality TV singing show. The public could vote during the show and every week someone would get eliminated. The Eurovision song is custom written for the winner. This system has proven itself, and not only have the ratings in Israel gone up again, but we have been able to score in high places at the competition itself and managed to win last year’s competition. The winner of Eurovision gets to host the next year’s competition; therefore, Israel is hosting Eurovision this upcoming May! After long debates, discussions and threats of canceling on Israel hosting the event, it has been decided that the competition should be held in Tel Aviv, and not Jerusalem. I am very glad my favorite city in the world gets to host this amazing event! Thousands of tourists will be heading to Israel this May, and already all the hotels and Airbnbs are fully booked. It's going to be a festive week with a lot of Eurovision events, and because of this, the Tel Aviv municipality decided to adopt the “glamping” concept. They are building a fancy “tents village” in the middle of the city to answer the need of accommodation. It's going to be awesome! In recent years, I thought a changing Europe would never crown Israel as the winner of this competition again, but I am happy to say it is really just about the music.
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Band of disabled musicians in running for Eurovision 2019 By Abigail Klein Leichman Israel21c Thanks to Netta “Toy” Barzilai winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Israel gets to host the 2019 contest. But can an Israeli singer earn the trophy again? The process of choosing Israel’s representative from a field of 60 hopefuls began the night of Nov. 24, 2018, with the first group of auditions on “The Next Star for Eurovision.” One of the most poignant moments in the high-ratings TV show was the performance of The Shalva Band, comprised of young musicians with physical and intellectual disabilities. The band was formed in 2005 as a professional outlet for talented clients of Jerusalembased Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Current lead singers Dina Samte and Anael Khalifa are blind. Khalifa’s rendition of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” knocked the socks off the audience and an all-star panel of judges: Eurovision
The Shalva Band performing at a fundraiser in November 2018. 2005 contestant Shiri Maimon, fresh from her Broadway gig in “Chicago”; Harel Skaat, Israel’s 2010 Eurovision representative; singer-songwriters Keren Peles and Asaf Amdurski; and pop duo Static & Ben-El. The band’s stellar performance advanced them to the next round of auditions. A back-to-back Eurovision win for Israel has actually happened before: Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta for “A-ba-ni-bi” in 1978 and Milk and Honey for “Hallelujah” in 1979. These are the other Israeli Eurovision contenders who qualified in the first audition
show, and the songs they sang: Danielle Mazuz, 27, a backup singer and dancer for Netta Barzilai (Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”) Ofri Kalfon, 16 (“Le’esof” by Yuval Dayan) Shachar Edwi, 20 (“Wikipedia” by Hanan Ben-Ari and Keren Peles) Nadav Phillips, 18 (Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” by D. Foster and L. Jenner) Daniel Barzilai (no relation to Netta), 26 (“Osher Le-Daka” by Uri Ben-Ari and Eitan Darmon) The field narrows closer to the May 2019 contest in Tel Aviv.
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A BBG girl journeys to witness revival of Jewish life in Kiev By Fana Schoen Allentown BBYO
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Lvov (or Lviv), a city in western Ukraine, is where the members of my family who never made it to America were last seen before they were killed during the Holocaust. I have never known much about them, but a few years ago my sister did some research to try and figure out what may have happened to them. The results of her research were inconclusive. Since then, I’ve wanted to know what happened and have often wondered what Judaism is like in Ukraine; so when I saw the announcement of the trip to Kiev, Ukraine, for Active Jewish Teens’ (AJT) International Conference, I couldn’t help but get excited. AJT is a Jewish teen movement that operates through the efforts of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and BBYO throughout the Former Soviet Union (FSU). I was fortunate enough to meet a few teens from AJT at Perlman this summer, so I was aware of how AJT works to make the revival of Jewish life in Eastern Europe a priority, starting with teens. I also knew that if I could go to Ukraine, I would see the hard work of this organization coming to fruition and witness my peers in Eastern Europe working toward a better future. Needless to say, my initial thought about the trip was, “Wow! That sounds incredible!” Realizing, however, that the trip would be expensive and that I would miss six days of school, my second thought was, “My parents will never let me go.”
As I mulled over the trip, however, I began to envision myself greeting all of my AJT friends from my summer at Perlman and returning to the place where my ancestors were last seen. I couldn’t help but wonder, “What if?” So I asked my parents. Not surprisingly, they were very wary of the trip at first, but after many days of my expert persuasion techniques, they agreed to let me go. I don’t know what I was expecting from the trip, but I was completely blown away by everything I saw. I knew that the situation for Ukrainian and FSU Jews was challenging to say the least and that many of these Jews do not learn of their Judaism until their teenage or young adult lives. During the Holocaust, Jews in Nazi-occupied countries were forced to go into hiding and to suppress their Judaism. Many Eastern European countries were quickly occupied by the Soviet Union after World War II, so these same Jews who had hidden their Judaism during the Holocaust had all but abandoned their Judaism during the Soviet occupation. Despite their troubled history, the Jewish teens and young adults of modern Eastern Europe are now among the first practicing Jews in that part of the world for nearly a century. When I arrived, I was able to see just how far FSU Jews have come since their difficult and very recent past. On our first day, we spent time at the Halom JCC learning from the employees of the beautiful building and volunteering with young children in an art class. Afterward, we went grocery shopping for
Monument to the murdered in Babi Yar, Kiev. economically challenged and impoverished families, some of whom are Holocaust survivors or descendants thereof. Through the Chesed program, we visited their homes, too. The opportunity to connect with these people was incredible as we could see how they remained so close to their Judaism. We saw right from the beginning that Kiev has a vibrant and thriving Jewish community that was only going to grow in the coming years. On the second day of the trip, we learned how that same Jewish community suffered its steepest decline by visiting Babi Yar, the site of the largest mass execution during the Holocaust. The Nazis ordered Kiev’s Jews to gather two weeks’ worth of warm clothes and all of their valuables and then herded them to the ravine at Babi Yar. The Jews assumed that they were simply being
moved somewhere else, so all except very few gathered together. Once they were secured, they were ordered to remove their clothing, at which point the Jews were attacked with dogs and shot into the ravine. Although Babi Yar is the Holocaust’s largest mass execution site, many of us were just learning about the details for the very first time. This part of the trip was very emotional, as most of us had never experienced this level of graphic and horrific detail about the Holocaust until we were at the site. We held a memorial service to remember the lives lost. We read poetry and stories written by Babi Yar survivors, including one survivor who had lain motionless among the corpses in the ravine for days, waiting for a safe time to climb out without being caught. Although the events which took place at the site were indisputably horrific, Rabbi Meir Tannenbaum shared with us how he is always struck by the natural beauty of the trees and leaves and plants and wildlife at Babi Yar and similar mass execution sites. I looked around and saw that, although we knew the past of that place, nature had moved on and continued to grow — strong and beautiful. Rabbi Meir pointed out that, no matter how hard it may be to see, there is always a way out … a hope for a better future. It was incredible to see that — after such a tragic past — there is such an unbelievable renaissance of Jewish life in Kiev today. We knew that once we arrived at the AJT conference, we’d get to be a part of that renaissance, even if only for a couple of days. Throughout our immersion in Kiev, we had witnessed countless examples of the revival of Jewish life and efforts to bring a brighter Jewish future in the FSU. Once we arrived at the AJT conference, though, we saw that brighter tomorrow in the faces of hundreds of Jewish teens. We saw the teens hugging and holding each other tightly because they knew that they only had one shot a year to spend time together. That one shot, that one opportunity, was at that
conference, those four simple days. We saw teens introducing themselves all weekend long, no matter how late; one girl even introduced herself to me as I left the hotel for the airport to fly home. Most importantly, we saw proud FSU Jewish teens. We heard them singing as loud as they possibly could, even when their voices weren’t pitchperfect, during every session they could. We joined them in Israeli dances at every spare moment. We saw that they were all absolutely enthralled by session after session after session of Jewish history and biblical stories. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before in my life. Most shocking to me was that I fully understood all of their pride and passion for Judaism and for learning, even without speaking a word of Russian. Their passion and our connection transcended all language barriers. What fully removed the language barriers, however, was when we joined together and spoke the same one. After Havdalah — a staple of every BBYO and AJT event — we witnessed every teen running to all of his or her friends to say, “Shavua Tov!” and to give tight hugs. In my experience, this feature of many BBYO Havdalah ceremonies is frequently euphoric and sometimes even a little superficial, but not at all so with AJT. In fact, this was the most genuine, authentic and down-to-earth moment of the conference. As I ran from person to person, I looked around and saw that it was not just my friends I hugged, but total strangers. I noticed the amount of love and genuine sentiment packed into each and every time someone told another person, “Shavua Tov!” I could see vividly in everyone’s eyes and feel powerfully in everyone’s arms that each greeting meant so much more. This story was previously printed in “The Shofar,” a BBYO publication. Fana Schoen is a junior at Emmaus High School. She is the Allentown BBG Chapter Sh’licha and also serves as the acting Mazkirah and acting Gizborit for Allentown.
AZA fosters feelings of brotherhood By Jake Wiener AZA January was a great month for AZA. We gained several new and upcoming members, as well as finally got into the rhythm of BBYO. There were a few great events this past month that helped form bonds within the chapter and region. Bro Shabbat was held this past month. At this event, we were able to program several activities and programs that the chapter had a great time doing. It was a sleepover full of food, fun, games and time to chill with the chapter. It was a great event for the chapter to bond and get to know each other better. This past January, BBYO Liberty Region held the first regional event of the New Year. Spring Kickoff was held at Lucky Strike in Philadelphia. There was an opportunity to bowl with friends, dance and participate in other events. Overall, an enjoyable regional event that was a great way to kick of the New Year. These next few months will be very busy for the chapter and region. Allentown AZA still has several events planned for the year, and Liberty Region has multiple conventions and
events planned that you do not want to miss out on! Stay tuned for upcoming news and events. If you have any questions regarding upcoming events or about signing up for BBYO, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allentown BBG heads to International Convention By Fana Schoen BBG Every year, BBYO International hosts International Convention (IC). This year, from Feb. 14-18, 4,000 Alephs (members of Aleph Zadik Aleph, or AZA) and BBGs (members of B’nai B’rith Girls, or BBG) will gather in Denver, Colorado, for five days for this event. This will be BBYO’s largest IC, and Allentown BBG will definitely be a part of this not-to-be-missed event! IC has been a huge part of BBYO’s long history. For years, it was held at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pennsylvania. The event would only hold around 500 teens for one weekend. It is incredible to see how IC has grown along with the size
of our movement. Since its beginnings in Lake Como, IC has become incredibly more teen-led. This year, as with many other recent years, teens have planned every program that will go on for the duration of the five-day weekend, including for the extra day attended by many teens, Feb. 13, as a Pre-Summit to IC. In addition to program planning, teens have assisted in contacting potential speakers and will work on the press team for the event, as well as working on the hospitality team and a wide range of other committees. Teens have worked hard since October to get their projects finalized for the biggest moment of the year for BBYO teens internationally. This year is a big IC for BBGs everywhere, as it is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the first BBG
chapter. BBG alumnae from all over the world, along with their current sister BBGs, will gather to celebrate together, and there are many other surprises throughout IC to help celebrate this landmark year for BBGs everywhere. Allentown BBG teens will participate in a wide range of ways at IC this year. Chapter N’siah Molly Coleman will attend her first IC this year—actually her first international event! As chapter sh’licha, I will attend my second IC this year and cannot wait to see all of my international friends from summer programs and from my trip to Ukraine this past November. Regional Sh’licha Sabrina Toland will attend her third IC this year and will see plenty of her summer program friends and even get to vote in the elections of the 75th International BBG Board.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 25
VISIT Israel savings make trips affordable
Amy and Eric Fels enrolled their two daughters in the VISIT Israel program when Allyson began at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in 9th grade. “We knew that she would be going on a trip to Israel with her 11th grade class,” Amy said. The money that the family contributed to Allyson’s VISIT Israel Savings Account -- matched each year by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley -- helped defray the cost. “When she went, it was the most incredible experience of her life,”
Amy said. “She calls it life-changing and the best three months of her life.” This past fall, they were able to send their younger daughter Brenna on a similar trip. The way it works is simple: parents (or grandparents) sign up through the Federation to create a savings account for each child’s future trip. They contribute $300 a year for up to eight years, which is matched with $200 each year from the Federation. Then, when their teenager or young adult is ready to go on an immersive trip to Israel, the money is there. The funds may be used from the summer
To learn more about signing your children or grandchildren up for a VISIT Israel savings account, go to www. jewishlehighvalley.org/visit or contact Abby Trachtman at 610-821-5500 or abbyt@ jflv.org.
By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing
after 9th grade until the children are 25 years old. There are over 75 approved Israel programs to choose from – recognized by national, local or regional Jewish organizations – and the Federation works with families to make sure the right opportunities can be found. The VISIT program is designed to fund Israel programs that emphasize Jewish learning or living experiences for a period of at least four weeks. If in the end the trip doesn’t work out, families are able to have the amount they contributed returned. “It just makes it so much more manageable with an expensive trip to Israel,” Amy said. “So I’m blessed, and I feel fortunate that I was able to utilize this program, and I thank Federation for giving us the opportunity and making it a little easier and encouraging our children to go to Israel.”
New children’s book launches with Israeli mission to moon
The Little Spacecraft uses SpaceIL’s story to encourage kids to explore STEM subjects. By Naama Barak ISRAEL21c Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL is launching Israel’s first unmanned aircraft to the moon in early 2019, and is using the occasion to inspire children on planet earth. “The Little Spacecraft” tells the story of Berrie, a toy spacecraft based on SpaceIL’s real spacecraft, Beresheet (Genesis). Berrie dreams of going to the moon, but the other toys believe she is too small for such a big dream. Berrie explains to her friends how each of her special tools is designed to help her accomplish her mission. The story is of course analogous to SpaceIL’s mission of achieving an Israeli lunar landing, an endeavor historically carried out only by the world’s superpowers. Should SpaceIL’s mission prove successful, Israel will join the big league of space exploration. Set to take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in the first quarter of 2019, Beresheet should reach the moon at
the end of a two-month journey. SpaceIL was established in 2011 by three young engineers who decided to take part in the Google Lunar XPRIZE challenge to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. Although the competition was aborted in March 2018, SpaceIL decided to see through its mission anyway. One of the organization’s goals is to inspire the next generation to become interested in aerospace engineering and space exploration. To this end, SpaceIL teamed up with Israeli multimedia company StellarNova, which produces toys, books, videos and science experiments to encourage children to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). SpaceIL’s Vice President of Education Sari Brosh Rechav said “The Little Spacecraft” aims to inspire children to think differently about the STEM subjects and to nurture their dreams. Written by StellarNova cofounder “Dr. Mom,” “The Little Spacecraft” is available in all major online bookstores including Amazon.
SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah! SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your next event. The ArtsQuest Center and the surrounding campus is an ideal location to host a spectacular social or corporate experience your guests will be talking about for years. From the first hello to the final farewell – every detail is handled by ArtsQuest’s courteous hospitality professionals.
Contact us today! call Chelsea at 610-297-7116
26 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
New sustainable way to create plastics from seaweed
Israel21c Everyone knows plastic is bad for the environment. That’s why bioplastics – plastics made from renewable sources like plants or old waste – were invented. But these bioplastics can’t be created everywhere since the plants they use require fresh water, a scarce resource in many countries. One such country is Israel, which does not have a surplus of fresh water. Other countries suffering from the same problem are China and India, whose size and resulting plastic consumption is very bad news for the planet. This is the problem researchers from Tel Aviv University wished to resolve by developing bioplastic polymers derived from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. These can be bred in salty seawater without impinging on scarce freshwater resources. The result is a biodegradable polymer that produces zero toxic waste and recycles
into organic waste. The study that led to it, carried out by Alexander Golberg and Prof. Michael Gozin from Tel Aviv University, was recently published in the journal Bioresource Technology. “Plastics take hundreds of years to decay. So bottles, packaging and bags create plastic ‘continents’ in the oceans, endanger animals and pollute the environment,” said Golberg, a senior lecturer at TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. “A partial solution to the plastic epidemic is bioplastics, which don’t use petroleum and degrade quickly. But bioplastics also have an environmental price: to grow the plants or the bacteria to make the plastic requires fertile soil and fresh water, which many countries, including Israel, don’t have,” he added. “Our new process produces ‘plastic’ from marine microorganisms that completely recycle into organic waste.” To do so, the research-
ers harnessed microorganisms that feed on seaweed to produce a bioplastic polymer called polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). “Our raw material was multicellular seaweed, cultivated in the sea,” Golberg said. “These algae were eaten by single-celled microorganisms, which also grow in very salty water and produce a polymer that can be used to make bioplastic.” “There are already factories that produce this type of bioplastic in commercial quantities, but they use plants that require agricultural land and fresh water,” he explained.” The process we propose will enable countries with a shortage of fresh water, such as Israel, China and India, to switch from petroleum-derived plastics to biodegradable plastics.” According to Golberg, the study could revolutionize the world’s efforts to clean the oceans without affecting arable land and without using fresh water. “Plastic from fossil sources is one of the most polluting factors in the oceans,” he said. “We have proved it is possible to produce bioplastic completely based on marine resources in a process that is friendly both to the environment and to its residents.” “We are now conducting basic research to find the best bacteria and algae that would be most suitable for producing polymers for bioplastics with different properties,” Golberg concluded.
Jewish Family Service staff commits to growth in 2019
The Jewish Family Service staff is committed to continually growing and improving in how they serve their diverse clients. One way they have put this commitment into action is by attending a recent training event put on by the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center’s Training Institute and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, where they learned how to reframe engaging with clients to build a more culturally competent community. Trainings like this help JFS to be welcoming, inclusive and supportive to all.
#ItHappensAtSwain • Preschool - 8th Grade • www.swain.org
Spring Open House March 14 • 9-11 a.m.
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PJ Library Family of the Month:
THE NETREBOV FAMILY
Returning to Mary Poppins, this time with stage 4 cancer By Jodi Eichler-Levine kveller.com
We love that PJ library is able to select age-appropriate and relevant books for our girls to learn and appreciate what it means to be Jewish. For us, as parents, it gives us an opportunity to discuss our family traditions and values with our girls. - ANASTASIA AND MAKSIM NETREBOV 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.
28 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
After a Christmas day screening of “Mary Poppins Returns,” my husband, 7-year-old daughter and I stood in the lobby of the movie theater, discussing the meaning of the film. “Fiscal responsibility,” said my practical spouse, impressed by how the magic of compound interest had saved 17 Cherry Tree Lane from the clutches of bank repossession. But our daughter had quite a different take. “Hold your loved ones tight,” she said. Her favorite moment in the film? “When the father realizes the kids are right,” as they sing to him about their dead mother. My child got straight to the heart of the matter: Disney films still do death well. In fact, they do it devastatingly. Watching “Mary Poppins Returns” a scant five days after my last round of chemotherapy for stage 4 cancer attuned me to the Banks tots’ bereavement. The sequel succeeds in ways the original did not, precisely because it dares to be dark. “Mary Poppins Returns” is not, in fact, escapism, colorful as it might be. It is reality couched in parable, and thus, it does what P.L. Travers, the author of the Poppins books, knew that all the best folklore does: it returns us to ourselves by taking a path into the woods (coincidentally, director Rob Marshall’s previous credits include the film adaptation of, well, “Into the Woods”). Travers, a spiritual dabbler in many religious traditions, thought a great deal about death. In a 1977 essay, she described how, as a child, she and the other young people in
her congregation were excused from the pastor’s sermon and would play in the church’s graveyard, becoming intimately acquainted with those long departed, while carefully skirting the more recent graves: those of the neighbors they once knew as living, which were “too close to the huge fact of death, not yet gone into the Dreaming.” Some critics have bemoaned the darker nature of this film, in which Michael, now grown up, is a widower parenting three children while still mired in grief. But it is also this shadow that allows the film to shine, through its heartfelt honesty of feeling. I sat there in the theater, my family by my side, as this latest generation of Banks children admitted to missing their mother, and Mary Poppins sang them to sleep with the haunting ballad, “Where the Lost Things Go.” She sings of starlight, dishes and spoons, and spring beneath the snow, but most of all, she sings of memory. “Maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you/So when you need her touch/And loving gaze/Gone but not forgotten/ Is the perfect phrase.” I wept as the song concluded, “Find her in the place/Where the lost things go.” Other critics have complained that the film’s songs are not sufficiently “memorable,” but I haven’t been able to get this one out of my head. Though my cancer is not (yet) terminal, I have approximately 50-50 odds of being cured, making a long life seem less certain than it once did. Sitting there with our popcorn and M&Ms momentarily cast aside, I wondered if my daughter would someday soon, too soon, be the one missing me, and if I would be remembered, and how. I wondered if the film was giving her strength for the inevitability of my demise, whether it is near or far, for, in one order or another, all parents and children must bid each other farewell. Travers writes, too, of the paradox of living, which is that we are all always also dying. Cancer does not give me superpowers or some sort of special status. As a professor of religious studies, I was obsessed with existential questions long before my diagnosis. But it does bring me closer to this state that Travers describes, this notion that the recently dead “faced us with the unfaceable and forced us to live, if but for a moment, with the fearful contradiction — This will happen to me some day/No, no, I shall live forev-
er.” Yet, between life and death, Travers finds a “reconciliation.” Perhaps those of us with scary diseases are just a shade closer to Travers’ argument that “to know oneself pregnant with one’s death … is to experience a surge of energy, life so much at its apogee, that one feels one has the strength to leave it.” A different author popular with the younger set — Maurice Sendak — famously said he never lied to children. Neither does Mary Poppins. There are no fairy godmothers here, and no resurrections beyond the mechanisms of memory. The place where the lost things go is accessible to the children in dream time, but their mother remains dead, except in their hearts, and Mary Poppins will not pretend otherwise. Lullabies are about liminality. Bedtime is never easy. On the day last spring that I was diagnosed with cancer— but before I had told my daughter about it— she picked the deaththemed The Invisible String as one of her bedtime stories. Of course she did, a friend told me when I relayed this the next day, still shaken. Kids know all about darkness, and they face head on what grownups fear. As Stephen Sondheim told us long ago, “children will listen.” In the lounge chairs of the AMC Broadway 84th Street, on Christmas day, my daughter was indeed listening, and carefully. It wasn’t until I came home and heard the film’s soundtrack that I realized her interpretation of the film’s message — “hold your loved ones tight”— came directly from hearing Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) sing the reprise of “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” as Mary Poppins flies away and the film closes. “So hold on tight to those you love, and maybe soon, from up above, you’ll be blessed, so keep on looking high.” The song was obviously memorable for her, and she’s a discerning critic. If “Feed the Birds” was the soul of the original film, then “The Place Where the Lost Things Go” is the heart of this one. From the nadir of parental death to the buoyancy of balloons, “Mary Poppins Returns” is a Mary Poppins for our times: times of separations and trials, uncertainty, and yet, beneath those winter snows, abiding hope… and cherry blossoms. Jodi Eichler-Levine lives in Allentown and is a member of Temple Beth El.
Planned kosher winery coming to Lehigh Valley fulfills lifelong dream
A cochlear implant opened the world of hearing and language to Briella Wright By Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital
Left, Kevin Danna, winemaker, pressing the 2018 vintage. Center, Danna’s award-winning kosher wines. Right, The newest addition to the Binah line-up, méthode champenoise Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine made from Lehigh Valley Pinot Noir. By Sandi Teplitz Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: Sandi Teplitz, our regular food correspondent, interviewed Kevin Danna, member of Congregation Sons of Israel and proprietor of Binah Winery. Sandi: Tell me a little about your background, Kevin. Kevin: I am native to a region of Southern California with a Mediterranean-like climate. Growing up, I viewed vestiges of old wineries and vineyards that once sprawled across the area; deep down, I had a feeling that this was in my future. The wine ... it was my soul. S: Any other connection? K: My paternal great-grandfathers were from Sicily and made their own wines. S: What was your initial experience at winemaking? K: The first vintage I ever produced used my greatgrandparents' old fruit press. It was clunky, clumsy and difficult to use, but it made wine, and thus the experience was quite satisfying. S: When was this? K: My first vintage was spring of 2014 with about 325 pounds of Chilean grapes that I picked up from Keystone Homebrew in Bethlehem. S: Why here in the Lehigh Valley? K: We started using local grapes in 2015, which provided us with fresher grapes and avoided issues with shipping the grapes from thousands of miles away. Often the grapes were picked and started fermenting on the same day. This is ideal! S: Is winemaking an arduous task? K: That first crush, we probably had a dozen friends over in my basement, de-stemming 325 pounds of grapes by hand. It was labor intensive! Since then,
I have devised time-saving, quality-improving techniques. My parallel commercial winemaking experience at Pinnacle Ridge Winery in Kutztown has also helped. S: What is your level of experience? K: I have worked on more than 100 different wines in the past five years. I have advanced to become Pinnacle Ridge's assistant winemaker (official title) and have been in charge of all the day-to-day winemaking and cellar operations for the last few years. S: What is the status of your current wine production? K: I have had eight wines that were awarded medals in the American Wine Society's national competition, as well as the Cellarmaster's competition in Los Angeles. We will be making the jump to commercial in 2019 with the startup of Binah Winery, which will be Pennsylvania’s premier kosher winery. Our plan is to produce 500 cases in 2019. Once we hit 2,000 cases annually, we will bring in people who can take over the daily responsibilities of running the winery. Our intent is ultimately to attain boutique status, producing 10,000 cases per year. S: I've tasted your Blanc de Noirs, which was spectacular; you are quite the entrepreneur! When can we look forward to purchasing your wine? K: Right now, we need to focus on getting Binah off the ground. We are searching for a global production space and taking pre-orders to get our first vintage underway. Our winemaking has always really been about the local community, a sense of collective belonging. We would not have achieved success to date without the generous help of family and friends. This winery belongs to Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton ... the entire community. Kevin’s wine is made in adherence to Orthodox standards of kashrut, and he is currently seeking an Orthodox certification for his commercial sale. To learn more about the future of Binah Winery, visit binahwinery.com or @binahwinery on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), or write email@example.com.
By all accounts, Briella Wright has had some tough times during her first three years of life. During pregnancy, her mother fell into a three-week coma due to having both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. When Briella was born at 37 weeks, she had multiple health issues and was almost totally deaf in both ears. “I could run a sweeper next to her, and she’d never hear it,” said Betty Radtke, Briella’s grandmother and guardian. Briella’s profound hearing loss impaired her ability to develop language. “The sounds that she could make, like ‘ba-ba’ or ‘ma-ma,’ were what we might expect from an 8-month-old, not a 3-year-old,” said Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) audiologist Alicia Kittle, AuD. A surgical solution Her family turned to pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist Sri Chennupati, MD, with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. “We decided to evaluate Briella for a cochlear implant.” A cochlear implant directly stimulates the cochlear nerve that transmits auditory signals to the brain. A microphone and transmitter worn on the head and a receiver/stimulator under the skin convert sounds into electrical impulses that reach the cochlear nerve. “The implant requires a two- to three-hour surgery,” Chennupati said. The surgery had not been available in the Lehigh Valley until Chennupati came to Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. Experiencing a new world Briella’s cochlear implant surgery was performed in her left ear. For six weeks, the implant remained silent while Briella healed from the surgery. Then came the day she returned to have it activated. “When we turned it on, she just kind of stopped,” Kittle said. “She wasn’t sure what was going on.” “When I spoke, she looked at me,” Radtke said. “I asked, ‘Can you hear Grandma?’” When people around the room spoke to Briella or someone clapped behind her back, the girl turned toward the sound. “She had never done that before,” Radtke said. “She knew we were saying things, and I started to cry.” Briella quickly adjusted to the world of hearing. “Within two weeks, she was saying words,” Radtke said. Briella regularly meets with an LVHN pediatric speech therapist, and she’s expected to be mainstreamed in school by fourth grade. Briella’s home life with her brother has changed, too. “It used to be that she paid no attention, and that would frustrate her brother,” Radtke said. “Now they holler at each other.” These announcements appear as a service to our advertisers.
Allentown & Lebanon Allentown & Wilkes-Barre
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 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.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30 Back to Camp Info Night 7 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. The JCC of the Lehigh Valley is your one-stop shop to fully customize your summer experience! Pick and choose from a variety of summer programming, from our traditional summer day camp located on 55 acres in Center Valley, All-Star Sports Camps, J-Voyage Travel Camp and our Specialty Day Camp programs located at the JCC building in Allentown. Cool summers start here. Contact Mike Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. THURSDAY, JANUARY 31 Gap Year in Israel Information Night 7 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Are you thinking about doing a gap year in Israel after high school? Do you know there are scholarship available that can help fund part of the program? Here is your opportunity to learn about different programs, funding and scholarships. Join Israeli Shlicha Rotem Bar for an informational evening. RSVP to Rotem at email@example.com. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Help Stock the Pots Fundraiser 7 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom. A night of music and noshing. Cost: $20 per person. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 Jewish Settlement in the West Bank: An Intractable Challenge for the Future of Israel 9:30 a.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Dr. Eric Fleish, professor of Jewish studies at Penn State University and Sons of Israel member, will discuss origins, present realities and future implications of the Israeli settlement project. Brunch by KI Brotherhood. $8 with reservation by Jan. 30, $10 without reservation. Lecture at 10:15 a.m.: free. Call KI at 610-435-9074 to RSVP or learn more. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4 Friendship Circle Lunch & Program: Elvis & Oldies with Vocalist Jeff Krick 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Lunch and program $10, $7 Friendship Circle members. First visit to Friendship Circle is free. Special annual membership fee for 2018-19 year: $23. RSVP by calling the JCC Welcome Desk at 610-435-3571 or emailing Amy Sams at firstname.lastname@example.org. All adults are welcome to attend Friendship Circle. Lunch and programs are held on Mondays. Visit lvjcc.org/friendshipcircle for program and schedule updates. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Preserving Memory: How Did Five Czech Torah Scrolls Survive the Holocaust and Arrive in the Lehigh Valley? 12 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. A Lunch & Learn program presented by the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. For over 1,000 years there was a rich tradition of Jewish life in Bohemia and Moravia, now the Czech Republic. In 1700, Jews accounted for a quarter of Prague’s population. When the Nazis invaded in 1939, many of the 350 Czech synagogues were abandoned or destroyed. In 1942, a group of Prague Jews surprisingly persuaded the Nazis to store over 100,000 deteriorating religious objects. Some believe they intended a future museum of Jewish artifacts. Included in the cache were approximately 1,800 Torahs, which the Jewish curators, most of whom later perished in the camps, numbered and cataloged. In 1963, The Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust purchased and stored the Torahs in Westminster Synagogue’s Kent House in London. Today, five of those Torahs are in the Lehigh Valley. Join us as Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Memorial Scrolls Trust chairman, speaks about these five unique Torahs and how they embarked on a journey that landed them in our community. $12 for lunch and program. RSVP to 610-821-5500 or aaron@ jflv.org or register at jewishlehighvalley.org. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series: ‘Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators’ 7 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. A documentary film exploring the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the beloved “Curious George” 30 FEBRUARY 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
children’s books. $5 including a speaker and light refreshments. An accompanying PJ Library program for families including a screening of “Curious George” will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. To register for either program, stop by the JCC Welcome Desk, call 610-435-3571 or visit www.lvjcc.org.
fee for 2018-19 year: $23. RSVP by calling the JCC Welcome Desk at 610-435-3571 or emailing Amy Sams at email@example.com. All adults are welcome to attend Friendship Circle. Lunch and programs are held on Mondays. Visit lvjcc.org/friendshipcircle for program and schedule updates.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Something For Everyone Shabbat 10 a.m., Temple Beth El. A Shabbat program for every age at Temple Beth El. 0-3-year-olds: bring a favorite grown up to BIMBOM BUDDIES. Pre-K-grade 2: enjoy games and stories in KINDERSHUL. Grades 3-6: daven with doughnuts at JUNIOR CONGREGATION. Teens: help lead youth service or visit GPS. Parents and other adults participate in the main service or drop in for our GUIDED PRAYER SERVICE. Everyone comes together for a delicious KIDDUSH LUNCH. Open to the community. Let’s celebrate Shabbat together at Temple Beth El!
SUNDAY, MARCH 10 Ritasue Charlestein: Singing to Soldiers A Life’s Calling Brunch 9:30 a.m., program 10:15 a.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. A calling, a gift, the joy that comes when one’s skills and talents are expressed in a way that fulfills their highest purpose. That’s the treat to expect when Ritasue Charlestein, a “hero” of the IDF, comes to Keneseth Israel for a brunch program. The KI Adult Education Committee is pleased to bring Charlestein, a dear friend of long-time KI members Laura and Bob Black, to present this program through an Israel Community Impact Grant (ICIG) with funding support from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Ritasue provides a unique perspective on Israel’s wounded soldiers and she brings this to her audiences. Through her travels and singing, her compassion, appreciation and gratitude to the IDF is apparent. She reminds us of the dedication and sacrifices young people who serve in the IDF make in order to keep Israel safe. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at https://wp.me/p8r7yc1TV or call the KI office at 610-435-9074 by March 7.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10 JCC Jewish & Israel Film Series & PJ Library Presents ‘Curious George’ 3 to 5 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join PJ Library and the JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series for a special familyfriendly presentation of “Curious George.” There will be snacks, monkey-related crafts and a story. $10 per family. To register, stop by the JCC Welcome Desk, call 610-435-3571 or visit www.lvjcc.org. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11 Friendship Circle Lunch & Program: Short Film Viewing and Discussion 11:30 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Dan Poresky, JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series president, will show the Yiddish short film “Der Kish” (The Kiss) and lead a group discussion. Lunch and program $10, $7 Friendship Circle members. First visit to Friendship Circle is free. Special annual membership fee for 2018-19 year: $23. RSVP by calling the JCC Welcome Desk at 610-435-3571 or emailing Amy Sams at firstname.lastname@example.org. All adults are welcome to attend Friendship Circle. Lunch and programs are held on Mondays. Visit lvjcc.org/friendshipcircle for program and schedule updates. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Northwest Shabbat Dinner 6 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom. Give yourself a treat and join us for a dinner to remember. Make your reservations by 12 p.m. on Feb. 8 (reservations are required). The price is $15 per adult or become a patron for $20; $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.” Late reservations or “at the door” price is $18 per person. Call Tammy at 610-866-8009 for reservations and more information. For those that need transportation, please contact Tammy. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18 Friendship Circle Lunch & Program: Stagemakers Musical Theater Performance 11:30 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Enjoy musical performances from Stagemakers’ “Peter Pan Jr.” at the JCC. Lunch and program $10, $7 Friendship Circle members. First visit to Friendship Circle is free. Special annual membership fee for 2018-19 year: $23. RSVP by calling the JCC Welcome Desk at 610-435-3571 or emailing Amy Sams at email@example.com. All adults are welcome to attend Friendship Circle. Lunch and programs are held on Mondays. Visit lvjcc.org/friendshipcircle for program and schedule updates. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25 Friendship Circle Lunch & Program: ‘The Journey of a Torah’ with Jeanette Eichenwald 11:30 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. The story of a Torah scroll as it was saved from Nazi Germany and crossed the ocean to a new home. Lunch and program $10, $7 Friendship Circle members. First visit to Friendship Circle is free. Special annual membership
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2019 Satori Musical Concert 3 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. $15; $10 KI members. Pay at the door or call the KI office for tickets at 610-435-9074. MONDAY, MARCH 11 Introduction to Judaism 7 to 9 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. The first of six classes for both Jews and non-Jews to expand (or learn for the first time) their knowledge of Jewish practice and beliefs. Taught by Rabbi Seth Phillips, no prior knowledge is required – just an active curiosity, willingness to participate and an open mind. Call Marina Obenski at 610966-3226 with questions or to register. $30 for six classes. Make checks payable to Congregation Keneseth Israel. TUESDAY, MARCH 19 JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series: ‘Nicky’s Family’ 7 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley. “Nicky’s Family” is about an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. $5 per person including speaker and light refreshments. An accompanying PJ Library program for families will take place on Sunday, March 24, with a viewing of the movie “Paddington.” The author of “Paddington” was inspired by seeing children from the Kindertransport. Register by stopping by the JCC Welcome Desk, calling 610-435-3571 or visiting www. lvjcc.org. SUNDAY, MARCH 24 Women of KI Donor Brunch 10 a.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Proceeds benefit the KI Camp Scholarship Fund featuring our very own “Marvelous Mrs. Kushner.” Honoring Iris Epstein for her tireless work on behalf of the Women of KI as well as Congregation Keneseth Israel. Lovely brunch catered by Chef Eric; vegetarian and vegan options available. Members: $36; gratefully accepting $54 or $72. Guests: $40. RSVP to KI at 610 435-9074. SUNDAY, MARCH 24 JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series & PJ Library: ‘Paddington’ 3 to 5 p.m,. JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Join PJ Library and the JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Series for a special family-friendly presentation of “Paddington.” Bear crafts and snacks. $10 per family. To register, stop by the JCC Welcome Desk, call 610-435-3571 or visit www. lvjcc.org.
Celebrate the beauty of Shabbat
with Cantor Wartell
FRIDAYS 8-9:30 AM WMUH 91.7 muhlenberg.edu/wmuh 484.664.3456
Shabbat & Yom Tov Candlelighting Times Friday, Feb. 1
Friday, Feb. 22
Friday, Feb. 8
Friday, March 1
Friday, Feb. 15
Friday, March 8
Ongoing Events SUNDAY to FRIDAY 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. SUNDAYS
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), 610-9052166, firstname.lastname@example.org.
siddur, learn about key prayers and continue our study of the te’amim (trope) for Torah and Haftarah. Required texts: “JPS English TaNaKh” or “Etz Hayyim Chumash,” “Aleph Isn’t Tough” (AnT) 1 & 2, Torah/Haftarah trope book. ORTHODOX JEWISH LIVING: WHAT IS IT & HOW? 8 p.m. Contact Rabbi Yizchok I. Yagod, 610-905-2166, rabbiyagod1@ gmail.com. THURSDAYS
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 610360-1267 or sh-berg1@hotmail. com. 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. TUESDAYS TORAH STUDY 12:30 p.m., at the home of Cindy Daniels, Easton Join Rabbi Melody of TCP 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. Contact 610-2532031 for information. YACHAD TORAH STUDY GROUP 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley It doesn’t matter how much you know, it matters how much you want to know. Bring your curiosity to Yachad’s Torah study group and discover the wonders, adventures and meaning of the Torah. Moderated by lay leaders. Held in the front gallery at the JCC. Email barbart249@ aol.com for information. J-DAYS: CONNECTION CORNER AT THE J – YIDDUSH CLUB 2 to 3:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Enjoy fun, fellowship, stories and more. Discuss topics like cooking, humor, music and all kinds of entertainment in the Yiddish language. Join other adults to experience similar interests. Register for the year and participate in as many of the weekly activities as you would like. $5/season or register for a full year: $18/ year. JCC members: free. Register with the JCC Welcome Desk or call 610-435-3571. Contact Amy Sams for more information about J-Days at 610-435-3571 ext. 182 or asams@ lvjcc.org.
WEDNESDAYS 101 JUDAISM CLASS 10 a.m., Temple Covenant of Peace Join Rabbi Melody for the 101 Judaism Class. All welcome! Contact 610-253-2031 for information. J-DAYS: CONNECTION CORNER AT THE J – MAH JONGG 1 to 3:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Drop in for a friendly game of mahj and conversation. Join other adults to experience similar interests. Register for the year and participate in as many of the weekly activities as you would like. $5/season or register for a full year: $18/year. JCC members: free. Register with the JCC Welcome Desk or call 610-435-3571. Contact Amy Sams for more information about J-Days at 610-435-3571 ext. 182 or email@example.com. KNITTING WITH FERNE 1 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel Free and open; no experience needed. Ferne is delighted to teach newcomers to knitting and crocheting as well as confer on projects with those who have more experience. A lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon!
CHRONIC CONDITIONS GROUP 2nd Thursday of the month, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Jewish Family Service The group is open to anyone that is coping with living with a chronic condition and looking for others to share life issues and garner support. Co-led by Susan Sklaroff-VanHook and Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper. Call 610-821-8722 to learn more. There is no charge for the group. ECCLESIASTES: A TIME AND A SEASON 10:30 a.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 shari@kilv. 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 610820-7666. SHABBAT
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, contact Marilyn Claire, mjclaire@ gmail.com, 610-972-7054. BETH AVRAHAM TORAH STUDY 7 p.m. Torah: It is the common heritage that binds all Jews together. Explore the ancient wisdom of Torah together. All are welcome. RSVP: Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod, 610-905-2166, firstname.lastname@example.org. TORAH STUDIES: A WEEKLY JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF TORAH 7 p.m., Chabad of the Lehigh Valley Torah Studies by JLI presents: Season Two 5779: A 12-part series. Cost is $36 for the complete series (textbook included). For more information contact 610-351-6511 or email@example.com. ADULT B’NEI MITZVAH PROGRAM 7:15 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom Goals: In part two of the adult b’nei mitzvah program, we will continue to improve our Hebrew reading skills, explore the structure of the
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. CONTEMPORARY HALACHIC ISSUES FROM THE PARSHA 12 p.m., Congregation Sons of Israel This class takes Halachah from the weekly Torah portion and brings it to bear on some of the most pressing issues of our time. CHAVURAT TORAH STUDY Saturdays following kiddush lunch, Temple Beth El Taught by Shari Spark. No sign-up needed. Length of each class will vary. Enrich your Shabbat experience by studying the parashat hashavua, the weekly Torah portion. Questions? Email Shari at shari@ bethelallentown.org. WISDOM OF THE TALMUD 1 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom Join Rabbi Singer in a lively discussion about Jewish law, ethics, customs and history, as found in the pages of the Talmud, Masechet Brachot. This year we are continuing to focus on the roots of the Amidah and what blessings are said over different foods. Books are available for order. No previous Talmud study required.
Congregations BNAI ABRAHAM SYNAGOGUE 1545 Bushkill St., Easton – 610.258.5343 Conservative SHABBAT MORNING services are Saturdays at 10 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 Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein, Reconstructionist Weekly Shabbat services and a monthly family service with potluck dinner. Religious school meets Sunday mornings. Email am.haskalah.office@ gmail.com 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 Shabbat and holidays. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Brith Sholom and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at Temple Beth El. CONGREGATION KENESETH ISRAEL 2227 Chew St., Allentown – 610.435.9074 Rabbi Seth D. Phillips, Reform Services begin at 7:30 pm every Friday night. The first Friday of the month is a birthday celebration. Religious School is held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and runs from kindergarten through confirmation (10th grade). CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL 2715 Tilghman St., Allentown – 610.433.6089 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, 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 9:30 a.m. followed by kiddush. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes every Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. Midrasha school classes Monday at 6:30 p.m. Shalshelet meets bimonthly on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 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, religious school director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. TEMPLE COVENANT OF PEACE 1451 Northampton St., Easton – 610.253.2031 email@example.com; tcopeace.org Rabbi Melody Davis, Cantor Jill Pakman, Reform TCP holds Shabbat morning services at 10 a.m. For more information about our Temple and activities, see our website at www.tcopeace.org or look us up on Facebook. TEMPLE ISRAEL OF LEHIGHTON 194 Bankway Str. Lehighton – 610-379-9591 Pluralistic Shabbat evening services are held monthly beginning with potluck at 6:30 p.m. followed by services at 7:30 p.m. All regular monthly events can be found at templeisraeloflehighton.com. TEMPLE SHIRAT SHALOM 610.706.4595 | Cantor Ellen Sussman, Reform TSS meets in congregants’ homes once per month and at Cantor Sussman’s home once per month. Call Cantor Sussman for details.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2019 31
He’s growing fast. So are we. The region’s leader in pediatric care has a new name: Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Thanks to the Reilly family, the only children’s
hospital in the area will be able to provide even more quality care – all under one roof.
We already have the most pediatric doctors in the region – plus a surgery center and ER designed just for kids. And now, with the Reillys’ gift, we
will further enhance our neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, as well as expand our pediatric surgical programs.
Like you, we want only the best for our kids. Which is why we’re committed to providing the highest
level of care possible, right here, close to home.
LVHN.org/children | 888-402-LVHN
A new name. The expert care children need.
The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania