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The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community

www.jewishlehighvalley.org

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Issue No. 431

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May 2020

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Iyyar/Sivan 5780

AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977

Holocaust victims remembered through virtual Yom HaShoah p7

Partnership2Gether’s book club fosters transatlantic connection p20

FROM THE DESK OF JERI ZIMMERMAN p2 WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY p4 LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p10 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p15 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p16-17

Federation opens Coronavirus Emergency Fund By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development & Operations Needs in the community are expected to grow exponentially as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is taking steps to address them. At the end of March, the Federation opened the Coronavirus Emergency Fund to provide a safety net for the most vulnerable and cover emergency needs at local agencies that may arise from extended closures.

As of April 24, the fund had raised over $55,000 from 125 donors, including a matching gift of $20,000 from Bonnie and Bobby Hammel. That money is already being distributed in the community by the Federation’s Emergency Distribution Committee. Federation President Gary Fromer, past president Wendy Born, Allocations Chair Iris Epstein and Emergency Fund Co-Chair Dr. Mickey Ufberg are serving on the committee. “At this critical time, we are all witnessing the need to help our local agencies and their constituents to survive,”

Ufberg, along with his wife and co-chair Eileen, said in a statement. “Please join us in donating generously to this contingency fund. Anything you can give is very much appreciated.” Additional funding will help ensure that Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley remains vibrant and strong long after this crisis passes. “Federations were made for times like these,” said Jeri Zimmerman, Federation’s executive director. “In crisis, we are the safety net and the support system that sustains Jewish communal life.”

The Federation is working closely with area agencies and synagogues to determine both agency and individual needs.

To make a donation to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund, visit www.jewishlehighvalley. org.

How Maimonides doctors are responding to COVID-19 By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor In the past weeks, members of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community have all had to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. The doctors in the Maimonides Society are no exception, with many of them experiencing the impact of the virus up close. Dr. Bill Markson, president of the Maimonides Society, is vice president of medical affairs at St. Luke’s Lehighton. He spends most of his time in cardiology, and is not usually involved with emergency or critical care. With the current pandemic conditions, however, he, like many others, has been brushing up on his critical care procedures. “In my role, every morning we have a daily hospital huddle regarding supplies and making sure we have proper masks and reviewing how we’re going to clean them, talking about the possible surge of patients, what rooms do we have to

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make available in COVID areas, COVID-possible areas and non-COVID areas,” said Markson. In addition to his work with his team at the hospital, he has also been reaching out to the greater community, doing town hall TV zoom interviews for local news. And, of course, he is still managing his normal cardiology practice, but with a lighter load than usual. “Weirdly, it’s kind of been very slow for a lot of the doctors. We’ve seen a huge change in how many patients we see by video and telephone, and probably all those things were inevitable, but within a week or two, everyone has adopted it very rapidly. It’s fascinating to me,” added Markson. For Dr. Jonathan Trager, an emergency and critical care doctor with St. Luke’s who is currently one of the people in charge of creating those plans Markson reviews every day for possible

#Jewish Together Stay Connected During COVID-19 on pages 11-14

Maimonides Doctors Continues on page 11


You are connected Judaism teaches, “al tifrosh min hatzibur”— do not separate yourself from the community. This idea of communal connection, expressed in Hillel’s saying, is foundational to Judaism. Fortunately, today we can maintain that feeling of connectedness without compromising one another physically. As the coronavirus situation has unfolded, we have needed to change our methods but have certainly maintained our mission: to engage our Jewish community and provide assistance to those in need. Luckily, through the hard work and quick thinking of our staff and volunteers, we were able to turn the page swiftly. As we began social distancing, we were able within days to launch a virtual resource page on our website filled with local and national links to Jewish content. We converted our normal weekly events email to a virtual events email. We created a brand new calendar on our website just for virtual events, which we are populating and updating all the time. We felt it was important to provide our own content, so we created an opportunity called Daily Learning with Rotem. This video series has been very successful. We post a new video on the Federation’s Facebook page each weekday at 12 p.m. of Rotem Bar, our community shli-

cha, sharing a recipe, craft, story or dance. The posts have gotten great responses and positive reactions. We have also created a webpage on our site where we have collected these videos. Please be sure to take a look – they are fun! Our Women’s Philanthropy is moving forward with virtual events, including our annual Spring Event. We hope you will join us to connect with women from across the Lehigh Valley on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., for a moving presentation entitled “Dancing Between the Raindrops” with guest speaker Lisa Friedman Clark. On a more solemn note, we produced a Yom HaShoah video so that we could commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day as a community. Partnering with JFS, we offered a webinar on mindfulness and dealing with stress. And we will celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with a live dance party and tie our community into the Jewish Federations of North America’s celebrityfilled global celebration. The PJ Library Parents in the Lehigh Valley Facebook page has also been quite active, not only sharing a story walk to the book “The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah” by Leslie Kimmelman, but also sharing daily activities and content with PJ communities around the world.

As social distancing began, we were one week away from going to press with the April HAKOL. While we reach a large portion of our community through email, we understood the importance of reaching those we don’t through this publication. Our staff didn’t miss a beat, quickly switching gears on content to include a special coronavirus resource section. And, we are here again for May. Our Community Relations Council has been very active in the last month to help both our Jewish community and our interfaith community in the Lehigh Valley. Our advocacy, coordinated with JFNA, resulted in the availability of funds provided to nonprofits and religious institutions through the CARES Act. Once the CARES Act passed, we shared information with our synagogues and agencies. The SBA payroll protection program is a lifeline for us all during this crisis. We also promoted the JFNA helpline to assist our Jewish organizations through this process. At the same time, our Federation shared the information with our interfaith partners to ensure that they could also benefit from the passage of the CARES Act. For many of our partners in the community, our Federation has been a strong support system during the crisis. At our request, alongside other

New consortium of Jewish philanthropies announces $80 million fund to provide relief to Jewish organizations during COVID-19 pandemic On April 20, seven Jewish foundations joined together to announce the launch of the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF), which will provide more than $80 million in interest-free loans and grants to help maintain the infrastructure of Jewish life that advances Jewish education, engagement and leadership. The launch of JCRIF, in coordination with The Jewish Federations of North America, comes as thousands of Jewish nonprofit organizations are experiencing unprecedented needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges span every sector of Jewish communal life. Organizations have had to close their doors, lay off staff, cancel programs, pivot to online education, anticipate an increase in financial aid needs and a decrease in fundraising and face a host of other operational interruptions. “We recognize the dire health and economic needs that the pandemic has created and applaud the heroic efforts by so many to address them. We have also seen firsthand the acute challenges Jewish organizations across the country are facing. While this fund alone cannot address all of those challenges, we believe that investing together in these vital pillars of Jewish life will help ensure a stronger future for American Jewry in the months and years to come,” said JCRIF’s funders, which include the Aviv Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation, Maimonides Fund, the Paul E. Singer Foundation and the Wilf Family Foundation. JCRIF includes two components: a loan program and an aligned grant program. The loan program will provide short-term unsecured loans to alleviate cash flow challenges and to enable 2 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

organizations to maintain services and/or make payroll in the coming 3-6 months. The loan program will be based at the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), which will act as the loan fund administrator and lender of record. It will also partner with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), which will source and recommend loan applications. Shira Hutt, JFNA chief of staff and an experienced nonprofit and philanthropic professional, is serving as JFNA's liaison to the program. JFNA will work with key national Jewish networks, including members of the National Emergency Coalition, as well as independent Jewish nonprofits, to source loan applicants. The aligned grant program will provide a combination of emergency funding for immediate needs and strategic funding to address organizational and sector-wide shifts catalyzed by the crisis. The program will provide an efficient, simplified and accelerated application and reporting system for applicants and grant recipients. The grant program will be directed by Felicia Herman, an experienced Jewish philanthropic leader, who will be temporarily seconded from her role as executive director of The Natan Fund. The grants will supplement each foundation’s current grantmaking to Jewish organizations. To create an efficient process that respects the time of applicants and ensures quick turnaround and deployment of resources, both programs will proactively source funding opportunities rather than accept unsolicited proposals. The fund welcomes additional investors into either or both funding programs. More information on the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund is available at www. jewishtogether.org/responseimpactfund.

CRC directors, JFNA hosted an interfaith webinar to help our broader community apply for the loans. The CRC also prepared an information sheet about “Zoombombing” and alerted our partners and our interfaith partners to help us all protect our new virtual platforms. And when it became clear that critical needs were arising, we launched the Coronavirus Emergency Fund to provide for the most vulnerable in our community and ensure our Jewish agencies remain vibrant and strong. To date, we have raised over $55,000 from more than 125 donors, and have already allocated a total of $170,000 in emergency funds through this fund and other funding sources. We might be apart physically, but it is incumbent on us

to build community in other ways so that when we emerge from this situation, we will be stronger than when we started. When your world seems out of control or turned upside down, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Friends, family and community are a sustaining force in our lives. Please, do not separate yourself from our community. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to visit our website at www.jewishlehighvalley.org and follow our Facebook page to find more ways to stay connected.

HAKOL STAFF STEPHANIE GOODLING 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 hakol@jflv.org or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. Please include your name and a daytime telephone number where you can be contacted in the event questions arise. We cannot guarantee publication or placement of submissions. MAIL, FAX, OR E-MAIL TO: JFLV ATTN: HAKOL 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104 Phone: (610) 821-5500 Fax: (610) 821-8946 E-mail: hakol@jflv.org

ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE MCKEE Account Representative TEL: 610-515-1391 hakolads@jflv.org BAYLEY CARL Marketing & Engagement Associate

JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF JERI ZIMMERMAN Executive Director STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN Director of Community Development & Operations TEMPLE COLDREN Director of Finance & Administration AARON GORODZINSKY Director of Campaign & Security Planning JIM MUETH Director of Planned Giving & Endowments WENDY EDWARDS Office Manager GARY FROMER JFLV President

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


Federation seeks nominations for annual awards By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development and Operations Large-scale events may be up in the air, but the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will still be honoring some outstanding individuals this June. The Federation is seeking nominations for two important awards by May 8. An exceptional cadre of young leaders have been recipients of the George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership since it was first given in 1973. The award was named for Feldman, past executive director of the Allentown Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation of Allentown. It recognizes those individuals who have exemplified the finest qualities of leadership in volunteer life serving the Jewish community. Feldman was “small in stature,” but he was “a giant in his adopted community, Allentown,” according to a story in The Morning Call in 1984 upon his passing. Known as "Mr. Jewish Community Center," Feldman directed fundraising efforts to complete the former center at 6th and Chew streets and to build the current center at 22nd and Tilghman streets, according to The Morning Call story. Nominees for the Feldman Award should be between the ages of 25 and 45 by December 31, 2020, have demonstrated tangible evidence of promise in community leadership

and have demonstrated an understanding of the Jewish purpose of community work. For the second year, the Federation is also seeking nominations for the Mark L. Goldstein Award for Outstanding Jewish Communal Professionals. The award was established in 2019 in memory of Goldstein, who served as executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley for 16 years and committed his entire career to Jewish communal service. The award will be presented to an individual in recognition of extraordinary work as a communal professional. The recipient will have made a significant impact through his or her professional role, demonstrating dedication and commitment to Jewish values, pursuing collaborative efforts and exhibiting optimism and leadership in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community. Nominees should be professionally employed in the field of Jewish communal service in the Lehigh Valley at the time of nomination; serving at, for example, an agency, synagogue or other Jewish communal organization. To submit a nomination for the Feldman or Goldstein award, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/awards or email jeri@jflv.org. In addition, the Federation will also present two additional awards this year. The Mortimer S.Schiff Award for Prejudice Reduction was established

in 1999 by Vera Schiff to honor her husband Mortimer’s memory. It is given to members of the Lehigh Valley community who are committed to spreading and teaching tolerance by both word and action. The Daniel Pomerantz Award

was established in 1990 by Bernice Pomerantz in the hopes that campaign volunteers would follow in her husband Daniel’s footsteps as dedicated solicitors in the Jewish community. Award winners will be announced in June.

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 3


WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY

Momentum participants maintain connections

The women from the Lehigh Valley and Yoav, Israel, who participated in the 2019 Momentum trip to Israel come together via Zoom before Passover to check in with one another and offer support to each other during this difficult time. The connections forged through this program are long-lasting.

Women’s Philanthropy Spring Event to go virtual By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development & Operations Forgo the heels, grab a beverage and join Women’s Philanthropy for a very special virtual Spring Event on Thursday, May 7. Lisa Friedman Clark will share her story of “dancing between the raindrops” via Zoom beginning at 7 p.m. While the women’s annual Spring Event is typically geared toward women who pledge $365 or more to the Federation’s campaign,

this year, it will be open to everyone. “The most important thing right now, as we are all hunkered down at home, is to find a way to come together,” co-chairs Chelsea Karp and Debi Wiener said in a statement. “On behalf of the $365 Division, we really wanted to make this event accessible to all.” While Friedman Clark was scheduled as this year’s speaker prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, her story becomes all the more poignant now.

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On May 7, she will share her story of embracing optimism in difficult times and how the Federation system has played a critical role in every facet of her journey. She will be joined by her sons

who have created a business with charity at its core. There is no cost to attend the program,. Please e-mail Wendy Edwards at wendy@ jflv.org to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.

WOMEN'S PHILANTHROPY VIRTUAL SPRING EVENT

Thursday, May 7, 2020 7:00 p.m. via ZOOM

Featuring Lisa Friedman Clark Open to all women. Email wendy@jflv.org to RSVP for the link. SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION

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

Chelsea Karp & Debi Wiener SPRING EVENT CO-CHAIRS

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WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY PRESIDENT

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All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley 4 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


5 key takeaways about the Gantz-Netanyahu deal and Israel’s new government Israel finally has a government. On Monday, April 20, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and chief rival Benny Gantz signed an agreement to form a coalition government together. The deal ends more than a year of deadlocked elections and political stalemate. Since March 2019, Israelis have gone to the polls three times and, on each occasion, essentially delivered a tie between Netanyahu and Gantz. Neither of the first two elections resulted in a governing coalition and ended up triggering yet another vote. With no end in sight to the politicking following the latest election, in early March, and the coronavirus crisis weighing on the country’s citizens, Gantz made the shocking move to join Netanyahu—someone he has called unfit for office due to corruption allegations—and break apart his own centrist political group, Blue and White. Their deal is multifaceted and involves an agreement that Gantz would become prime minister in 18 months—but Netanyahu got his competitor to accede to many political demands. Here are five main takeaways from the new government. The Israeli government is back in business — and wants to tackle the coronavirus. Gantz ran his entire campaign, for more than a year, on the need to unseat Netanyahu. He’s reneging on that promise, he says, so that Israel can overcome a more urgent challenge—the coronavirus pandemic. Coordinated action on the pandemic has been forestalled until now because Netanyahu, as caretaker prime minister, did not command a majority in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. That rendered the government unable to pass and enforce major legislation. According to the deal, the new government was formed to solve that problem. It will dedicate its first six months to passing legislation related to the coronavirus. Any other legislation would require the approval of both Netanyahu and Gantz to advance. “We left our comfort zone to work from the inside,” Gantz said in a speech April 21. “We would rather beat the coronavirus than win on social media.” Gantz’s move has split his supporters. Some, including his former second-in-command, are calling him a cheat. But other voices in Israel and abroad say he demonstrated leadership in the face of crisis.

and breach of trust, with his trial set to begin in May. He’s the first sitting prime minister to be indicted. The coalition agreement says Gantz will take over in 18 months, and mandates that the Knesset pass legislation to that effect. To prevent Netanyahu from breaking up the coalition and calling new elections prior to that time frame, the legislation will state that if new elections are called, Gantz automatically becomes prime minister in the interim. In the meantime, Gantz will be defense minister and deputy prime minister. His allies will head the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry, while Netanyahu’s Likud party choices will get the Finance Ministry and the speakership of the Knesset. There’s a small Gantz win in there: Netanyahu had sought the Justice Ministry because he’s under indictment, and it would have given him a measure of influence over the judicial system. The agreement also makes it difficult for Netanyahu to avoid handing over power to Gantz, one way or another. But 18 months is a long time in Israeli politics and Netanyahu is still in the top job. He’s also a historically savvy political operator who has weathered all kinds of challenges to remain in power, so this is no guarantee for Gantz. In the meantime, Gantz’s former coalition is in tatters. He once commanded the largest bloc of lawmakers in the Knesset, but that party is now split and the subgroups are at odds with each other. His former No. 2, Yair Lapid, called the coalition agreement a “deceit” and said “I apologize to everyone who I convinced over the past year to vote for Benny Gantz.”

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency

A TV screen broadcasts the exit poll results of the Israeli election in Tel Aviv, March 2, 2020. After more than a year of political deadlock, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz have agreed to form a government together. on the table now. But Netanyahu did improve his position a bit in the coalition deal. He gets veto power over the appointment of the next attorney general and state prosecutor, and can choose half the committee to appoint judges. And if the Supreme Court disqualifies Netanyahu from remaining prime minister due to his indictment, the agreement automatically triggers new elections. Israel is now preparing to annex parts of the West Bank. Another significant result of the agreement: Israel will now likely annex parts of the West Bank, beginning as soon as this summer. One of Netanyahu’s key campaign promises was to extend Israeli sovereignty to portions of the territory, which most of the international community views

as illegally occupied. Last year, Netanyahu promised to annex the Jordan Valley, a wide swath of territory on the eastern edge of the West Bank, and the peace plan released by the Trump administration in January greenlights Israeli annexation. Gantz also praised Trump’s plan. Palestinian leaders uniformly oppose any Israeli annexation of the West Bank, which Palestinians view as the territory of their future state. But the coalition agreement allows Netanyahu to put annexation of portions of the West Bank up to a vote beginning July 1, provided the United States still supports the move. If Netanyahu can get a majority, annexation would likely move forward. We’re still in uncharted territory. The biggest thing to remember,

amid all of this political wrangling, is that this entire situation is unprecedented. Israel has never held three consecutive rounds of elections. It has never had a sitting prime minister about to stand trial for corruption. It has never faced a pandemic like this. There have been unity governments before, where the two largest parties form a coalition, and they’ve yielded mixed results. The most famous example occurred from 1984 to 1988, when the Labor and Likud parties successfully shared power and split the prime minister’s office. In 2012, a short-lived unity government under Netanyahu broke apart after a couple months. Israeli politics is famously tumultuous, and it’s soared to a new level in the past year. So as the new coalition takes shape and begins to govern, prepare to be surprised again. Somehow.

But Netanyahu is still going on trial. One thing that hasn’t changed is Netanyahu’s trial date: May 24. In the past, the prime minister has sought legislation that would give him immunity while in office. That does not appear to be

Netanyahu is still prime minister, at least until next year. On paper, the deal looks like a win for Netanyahu. For more than a year, Gantz came extremely close to unseating the longtime leader through maneuvers and deals with various parties to form a coalition. Now Netanyahu gets to keep the job he’s held for more than a decade. That’s especially significant because Netanyahu is under indictment for fraud, bribery HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 5


THE IMPACT ONE MAKES:

The Fraenkels By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor The Fraenkel name is a wellknown one in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and with good reason. Barnet Fraenkel’s parents both grew

up here when they came to the Lehigh Valley as toddlers in the 1920s. Barnet has carried on his father, Fabian’s, work of leadership, and when Lisa moved here and met Barnet, she was already teaching at the Jewish Day School and

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had her children enrolled at Camp JCC. “In the 1980s, I started out on the board of the JCC and Jewish Family Service, and then got on Federation’s a little after,” recalled Barnet. Barnet has served as a board member of the Jewish Federation of Lehigh Valley, in roles of president, fourtime campaign chair, allocations chair and personnel chair and is now an honorary vice president. He was also a board member and past-president of the Jewish Community Center, a board member and treasurer of Jewish Family Service and a board member of Temple Beth El. In addition to these many titles, Barnet is still actively co-chairing the annual Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament. And he is also still involved with the Jewish Community Center, having recently been on the committee for their 100th anniversary celebration. Lisa gave many years of hard work to the JCC, cochairing their art gallery. And her career continued at JDS, where she taught 24 years. Their children also continued to be involved, moving on to being counselors at Camp JCC

as well as active with BBYO. “For years, Lisa and Barnet have led by example to contribute to the JCC’s current and future vibrancy. Barnet followed in his father’s footsteps as a president of the JCC, and continues to be an active advocate for us in the area’s philanthropic community,” said Eric Lightman, JCC executive director. “Lisa’s dedicated volunteer involvement with our arts and culture programs have likewise made a lasting impact on our organization and community.”

Jeri Zimmerman, Federation executive director, agreed that the Fraenkels are an asset to the Lehigh Valley. “It is a pleasure to know Barnet and Lisa Fraenkel,” she said. “They are both warm and caring, and we are grateful for their commitment to enriching our Jewish community.” The family have also been long-time members of Temple Beth El in Allentown, where

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The Fraenkels Continues on page 7


Holocaust victims remembered through virtual Yom HaShoah memorial

By Bayley Carl JFLV Marketing & Engagement Associate The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s 2020 Yom Hashoah Memorial took place virtually on April 20. Shari Spark, the Holocaust Resource Center Coordinator, worked together with many members of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community to present this year’s memorial from home. The virtual event con-

tained all of the key elements of past in-person Yom Hashoah Memorials. The event contained Readings from Megillat HaShoah, candle lightings and more. Like many events taking place right now, this was once scheduled to be an in-person memorial. But like with everything else, those involved had to adapt. Shari Spark played a major role in helping this video come together. She shares that

The Fraenkels Continues from page 6

Barnet grew up. Like Barnet, Lisa also served as a board member there. “It is a multi-generational thing,” Barnet said of their participation there. Both of his grandfathers were founders and past-presidents of the congregation. Barnet is also still serving as an officer of the Charles and Figa Kline Foundation, which funds Jewish charities, keeping him abreast of what is happening with all of the different agencies he has served over the years. One of the other two officers, Stewart Furmansky, is also an old friend of the Fraenkels. “I’ve known Barnet most of my life,” said Furmansky. “And we’re not only social friends and golfing friends, but he and I both serve on the Kline Foundation together. I actually was on it prior to him. His father, Fabian, was on before me and asked me to join. His father was devoted to the foundation, and then when Barnet came on, I would say he had the same outlook of it as his father did.”

“What we ended up with was not what we had imagined even after we had decided to do a remote program. Nevertheless, the goals for the outcome for Yom HaShoah were always the same: to preserve memory, to create meaning and to keep dignity for the sake of those who perished in the Holocaust.” With the help from members of the community, Spark was able to accomplish her goal. “We continue to look forward to the day when we can be a community in person together, but we appreciate the fact that we were able to provide a compromise in these difficult times,” she said. Editor’s note: The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley gives thanks to everyone who contributed to the production of the 2020 Yom Hashoah Memorial video.

Furmansky went on to say, “I can tell you that you probably will not find a more honest person in the world than Barnet. And besides the Kline Foundation and the Federation and the Trexler Trust, he finds a way to help people that need help, and he does it very quietly.” The Harry C. Trexler Trust is one way that the Fraenkels are involved in giving back to the greater Lehigh Valley community. Barnet serves as a trustee for the organization, which has awarded nearly $155 million to charitable organizations throughout Lehigh County since 1935. Lisa also gives back to Allentown by serving on the executive board of the Baum School of Art. Having the perspective of a whole lifetime spent in the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, Barnet is pleased with the direction he sees the community taking. “I’m really very, very impressed with the current professional and lay leadership we have,” he said. “I think they’re doing a remarkable job, and I’m really excited to see what’s happening in all the agencies,” he said.

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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 7


Levy Hillel awards distinguish young leaders The Levy Hillel Leadership Award is an annual prize given to students from area Hillels who have demonstrated evidence of promise in community leadership through active participation in campus organizations and awareness of needs and concerns of the Jewish community. The award was founded by Mort and Myra Levy, z”l, through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the community’s endowment fund of the Jewish Federation.

both the Hillel president and religious chair, she has also been a Jewish Learning Fellowship intern, Ramah college network coordinator at Muhlenberg and participant with the Livnot Fellowship and Weinstein Annie Cannon Leadership Institute. “Throughout my time as president of Muhlenberg College Hillel, I learned the importance giving me the opportunity to of being a Jewish leader in times grow as a leader, and for being of transition. As Muhlenberg my home during the many College Hillel went through transitions and changes of my institutional changes with college experience,” said Cannon. transitions in our professional Meet the 2020 winners: team, I found myself in many Zev Granowitz is a junior who different roles. To be a leader has served in a number of roles Annie Cannon, Muhlenberg during a time of transition is to at the Lafayette College Hillel College junior, is heavily help others be strong, courageous, Society. Starting out as the chair involved with Jewish life. In and fearless. I am grateful to of religion in culture, he went on hofreid_20_007_Hakol Newspaper_ad_Yom Ha'atzmaut Sameach.pdf 5 4/3/20 8:59 PM addition to serving terms as Muhlenberg College Hillel for to serve as president and now

Zev Granowitz

has reprised his former position. He’s been active in organizing many events, including interfaith seders and a program to expose non-Jews to Jewish practices and customs. He also spearheaded The Lehigh Valley Hillel Shabbat Project, which brought students from local Hillels together to learn more about Shabbat and celebrate it together, and has started a composting initiative at the Hillel House to increase the organization’s sustainability. “I see my responsibility toward Judaism as being two faceted, personal and generational. My personal responsibility speaks to helping satisfy the short-term goals of the Jewish community, including strong involvement and kiddush hashem. Generational responsibility takes on two forms for me, one that is personal and one that is societal. Personally, I feel a responsibility to carry on my Jewish legacy with my children and teach them about Judaism, so that they have the freedom to decide how it should fit into their lives. My societal responsibility is to

David Molish

help the Jewish community continue through synagogue and community center activities and show people that Judaism does not mean just one thing, but can be adapted to best benefit their lives,” said Granowitz. Sophomore David Molish of Lehigh University has made it a priority to get both Jewish and non-Jewish students engaged with Hillel. He is on the board and leadership team for Lehigh Hillel and serves as treasurer of the Lehigh University MultiFaith Initiative (LUMI). “To me, what Lehigh Hillel is all about is welcoming and accepting people of any and all backgrounds. I strongly believe that we have made a lot of progress in the past few years toward showing the Lehigh community how welcoming and inclusive Hillel actually is, and I look forward to continuing this progress and facilitating the growth of our Hillel chapter into a place for everybody on campus and possibly in the surrounding Bethlehem community to come and feel welcomed,” said Molish.

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8 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


Hold on to hope

RABBI ALLEN JUDA Rabbi Emeritus Congregation Brith Sholom If you think about it, who has been more resilient and filled with more irrational hope than the Jewish people? As we recently reminded ourselves on Passover, our ancestors spent 400 years in Egyptian slavery. We witnessed the destruction of two Temples. We endured the destruction of Jewish communities during the Crusades, were blamed for the Black Plague, survived the Inquisition, the pogroms and the dark nightmare of the Holocaust. And after 2,000 years of wandering and persecution, we created the modern state of Israel with

hope—Hatikvah—because we never lost faith nor our hope for reestablishing a Jewish homeland and a better future. In a way, the Passover story is a paradigm for our lives. Like the Israelites, we are witnessing plagues. For the past several months, hundreds of billions of locusts have been swarming, primarily in East Africa, completely destroying crops and portending famines. Since last September, the bushfires that raged through southeastern Australia burned 27 million acres. In the wake of the fires, massive amounts of ash and debris washed into rivers and waterways, killing fish and polluting water supplies. Climate change, whatever its causes, brought us a mild winter, but what will the summer heat be like? The plague of anti-Semitism is felt from Pittsburgh to Monsey and around the world. And, of course, there is COVID-19. It would be understandable if we felt fearful, squeezed between several rocks and hard places. But the Torah reading for the seventh day of Passover offers hope at a moment of fear. Regretting that they had allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt after the tenth plague, Pharaoh and his army set out in pursuit of their former slaves. Our ancestors were

suddenly trapped between the advancing Egyptian army and the Red Sea. The Israelites cried out in anguish, but God urged them forward. According to rabbinic tradition, the children of Israel were standing and debating over a course of action when Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped into the Red Sea and the waters split. Nachshon clearly had faith in God and hope for the future, believing that rescue would come. Hearing and reading about the participation in synagogue Zoom services, classes and lectures, it appears that many of us also have faith in God and the future. We have not and will not give up hope for better times. Almost incredibly, the Torah reading for the seventh day of Passover ends with Exodus 15:26, “for I the Lord am your healer.” And just as we humans are God’s partners in perfecting the world, our medical personnel are His partners in bringing healing to the world. Maimonides, the 12th century halachist, philosopher and physician, wrote a physician’s prayer. A small part of it reads:

You have chosen me to watch over the life and health of Your creatures. I am now about to apply myself to the duties of my profession. Support me in these great labors that they may benefit humankind. For without Your help, not even the least thing will succeed. Inspire me with love for my art and for Your creatures.” I am sure that we are praying for all medical personnel, first responders, police and fire fighters locally, throughout our

country and around the world, that they will be safe. We also join them in praying for success on behalf of humankind. During the fall holiday season, each day services conclude with the 27th Psalm. The opening lines should bring us all comfort in this season as well: “God is my light and my help. Whom shall I fear? God is the strength of my life. Whom (or what) shall I dread?” As always, we look to the future with hope for much better times.

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10 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


#JewishTogether

Stay Connected During COVID-19

Making lemons into lemonade By Rotem Bar Community shlicha Who would have thought that in 2020 there would be a worldwide pandemic that would completely change the world as we know it? Who would have thought that our grandparents would celebrate Passover seder alone in their houses? That schools would be closed and that all social events would be forbidden? This new reality is so strange, it seems to me like the 2020 version of the biblical flood. Is the universe, God or whoever it is you believe in trying to send us a message? I find myself lately playing a lot with this idea in my head, thinking what it is we have been doing wrong, how we can improve and do things differently the day after and what it is we can do now to better the situation, to stay strong and positive. I am not going to deny the past month has been difficult, it has. But at the same time, with the challenges come opportunities. Over the past month, I have been trying to make lemonade out of my lemons. On a personal level, I have now, more than ever before, had time to do things that I haven’t done in a long time. For example, I have been able to exercise more, and I am now in the best running schedule I have ever been! I have time to practice my French on Duolingo and notice how beautiful spring in the Lehigh Valley is. I am trying new recipes, taking long baths, catching up on the shows everybody talks about, talking more with my grandparents and having virtual dance parties with my friends. Through Zoom, we have had a few huge family gatherings which I doubt we would have been able to pull off in a real-life setting with such an impressive attendance. I hosted my first seder with two close friends, and I made sure that we would all feel the smells and tastes of home as much as we could, and it was truly special.

As far as continuing being a shlicha from home, I constantly try to think of what I can do to reach out. I have been making daily videos that go up on Facebook where I can share with you Israeli or personal recipes, make crafts, do Israeli dancing and other activities through which I hope to reach out to as many people as I can. Who knew that during my last months of Shlichut I could be introduced to more people and bring Israel to maybe a new crowd? Definitely a lemonade moment! I am taking advantage of social media and the fact that my friends and family in Israel are home as well and have brought some of them to talk to the JDS students. And I’m connecting with the community for the “Yoms” through different platforms and programs. It is weird for me to commemorate and celebrate those days not in Israel, and this virtual reality adds a new layer of complexity. I am disappointed that all of the exciting programs I have been working on in general and especially for the national days had to be canceled, but I am excited to be able to celebrate virtually as a community, wearing blue and white proudly at home while seeing everyone online. My heart goes out to all affected by COVID-19, and I hope this all passes soon. I know we will get through this together! I invite you all to stay in touch trough social media, and I am also available by email at rotem@jflv.org. Please send me a message if you want to connect, have an idea, a thought or a comment. I miss seeing all of you in our encounters at Federation, JCC, JDS, JFS and the synagogues. Hope to see you all very soon. Stay strong, healthy, be well, and don’t forget to turn those lemons into lemonade! With Love, Rotem Follow the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley on Facebook to see Rotem every day through her videos.

Maimonides doctors Continues from page 1 surges, this has meant a new project to tackle. He has been helping other healthcare providers review emergency procedures in case they are called in to help with overflowing emergency rooms and intensive care units. In addition to his position with St. Luke’s, he is currently enrolled in training with the Air Force and has worked as a paramedic and in pre-hospital situations previously, experience which is proving useful during this trying time. “I think the biggest challenge right now is that it’s a dynamic situation. There is a lot of information floating around as we are trying to determine the optimal modalities of treatment,” explained Trager. Dr. Ryan Tenzer is in emergency medicine at Lehigh Valley Health Network, where he says they’re

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also “doing a great job of being prepared and taking care of our patients.” Despite this crucial preparation, however, Tenzer emphasized that it is important for people not to get complacent as the new safeguards become routine. “Just be very careful,” Tenzer advised. “We’re in this for the long haul.” Another LVHN employee, Dr. Eric Young, is an infectious disease specialist, and he agrees that people should be taking this seriously. “The majority of people who are infected get relatively mild disease, but some get very sick. People shouldn’t panic, but they should adhere to current social distancing strategies, particularly to protect our vulnerable populations such as the elderly,” said Young. All of the doctors interviewed agreed that while the rest of the offices and hospital wings have gone quiet, the areas for those needing the most critical

care have taken on a marked air of seriousness in the past month. “I think the number one thing to tell everybody is worry about the things you can control and try not to fret about the things you can’t control,” summarized Trager. “Listen to the medical experts and hunker down, but don’t be afraid. It’s not going to be over quickly, so the best thing to do is just have situational awareness—know your environment, be prudent in the things you’re doing, don’t be lackadaisical. We will get through this, but it will take time.” The Maimonides Society is open to health care workers who make a gift to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs of $1,800 or more. To learn more about joining the Maimonides Society, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/maimonides or contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at aaron@jflv.org. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 11


#JEWISHTOGETHER: STAY CONNECTED DURING COVID-19

Jewish Family Service and Federation host webinar on managing COVID-19 stress

By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor On Monday, April 13, Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley hosted a free webinar via Zoom entitled, “Mindfulness and Stress Reduction During COVID-19.” Over 30 people tuned in to learn about how to better handle the stress brought on by living through a pandemic. Stuart Horowitz, LCSW, ACSW, QCSW, led the webinar. Horowitz is chair of the JFS clinical committee, and as JFS Executive Director Debbie Zoller said in her introduction of him, he has “done just about everything a person can do as a social worker.” This includes leading seminars on post-traumatic stress disorder after 9/11 and de-

cades of practice with clients of all ages. Webinar participants were greeted with the song “Lean On Me” as they waited for the presentation to begin, and indeed, Horowitz emphasized throughout his talk that it is important to take care of ourselves during this time, and then in turn, we can care for our communities. “The outbreak of coronavirus can be stressful and overwhelming for some,” said Horowitz. “This is a pandemic, and there are a lot of people filled with a lot of anxiety and depression over this. Adults and children can experience these and a variety of strong emotions in different ways.” Horowitz listed many symptoms that people may

be experiencing right now, from feeling on edge, anxious, angry, numb, helpless or re-experiencing earlier traumatic events to changes in sleeping or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of mental health conditions or other chronic health problems, and increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Some people experience some of these more than others, and some may not even realize they’re experiencing them. “Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations,” explained Horowitz. “Some people have referred to some of these symptoms as ‘disaster shock,’ but it could just be adjusting to an abnormal situation. It is normal in an abnormal situation to have

these symptoms and behaviours.” In order to combat these feelings, Horowitz recommends trying mindfulness techniques. These are exercises which help ground your thoughts in the present moment. “What mindfulness does is, it turns down emotions and heightens the part of the brain involved in making rational decisions,” said Horowitz. “The core of mindfulness is engagement of attention and awareness in absence of reactivity or judgement. It is an open, accepting attention to and awareness of internal and external sensations.” Horowitz led the group in a short mindfulness practice, having them focus on their breaths as they did some deep breathing. Then, they tried making a fist and squeezing their muscles for five seconds before releasing. Another idea is positive imagery, such as walking through a favorite place in your mind. “Try monitoring your stress,” suggested Horowitz. “Rate it on a scale of 10, most, to 1, mildly stressed. When you get a sense of how stressed you are, you can start asking yourself, what is it that is stressing me? That might be a good time to say, I need to take a breath.” Horowitz also addressed questions that came in from

the audience, a lot of them from parents concerned with how to help their children cope with the outbreak, including cancelled milestones such as graduation. For parents of all ages, Horowitz recommends: “Talk with them about it. Answer questions and share facts in ways they can understand. Reassure your child or teen that they are safe and let them know it’s OK if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so they can learn how to cope from you.” In addition to mindfulness, the best ways to cope are basic self-care: avoiding sugar, alchool and drugs, getting plenty of sleep, exercise, making time to unwind and doing some activities you enjoy and connecting with others to talk to people you trust about concerns and how you're feeling. Horowitz emphasized the importance of getting outside, even if it’s just five minutes a day. The leaders of JFS and Federation want everyone to know that they are still here for the community. “I’m working very closely with leadership of all agencies. We are still working,” said Zoller, who hopes to present future webinars. If you’d like to listen to the full webinar, it is available at jfslv. org/coronavirushelp.

NATISHOHAT/FLASH90

Israeli startup helps docs keep up with COVID-19 science

A medical team treats a patient with coronavirus at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, Israel. By Naama Barak Israel21c After a long day treating patients in corona isolation wards, the last thing doctors want to do is catch up on professional literature. And even if they did, they couldn’t – medical papers on the global pandemic are sprouting at 12 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

an astonishing rate. This is where Kahun, an Israeli digital health startup, steps in. It started operating in 2018, long before phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” became part of our daily lives. But once the coronavirus crisis emerged, it shifted its focus. Kahun analyzes medical data

found in some 30 million articles in databases accessed by research engines such as PUMBED. Its algorithms and AI capabilities search for ties between symptoms and possible diagnoses, for example, or insights from blood test results. Then the info is structured into a machinereadable “knowledge graph” complete with links to the relevant data sources. Because coronavirus has already spurred around 4,000 medical papers, Kahun decided to launch a free website where medical teams and laypeople can research the topic. “You have all the busy doctors who don’t always have the time to search and learn,” explained Kahun CEO and cofounder Eitan Ron. “We’re giving them a tool that makes life easier for them when they come to search for this information.” While the general public can also use the website, it offers two types of tools to healthcare workers. “One option is to simply search for findings and their link to coronavirus,” Ron explained. Doctors can enter “cough” or “fever,” for example, into

the free search box, and immediately see a graph that shows what the literature has to say about it. Another option is to narrow down the search to specific information regarding diagnostics, pre-existing conditions, possible complications or lab results. For example, doctors can choose from a wide array of blood test findings and learn more about their connection to the virus. “We’ll present all the articles and the ways in which the particular finding is connected to corona, whether there’s a direct link or an indirect one,” Ron said. “We’re giving them immediate, visual access to knowledge.” Ron emphasized that Kahun does not invent data. The technology is for constructing the knowledge graphs and “using tools from the world of AI that allow us to create insights from this data in real time.” Thousands of people from around the world have used Kahun’s website since it was launched a few weeks ago. “We’re busy improving it and making it more useful,” Ron concluded.


#JEWISHTOGETHER: STAY CONNECTED DURING COVID-19

Federation business partners respond to COVID-19 By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor Right now, companies all over the world are pitching in to help however they can with the COVID-19 pandemic, and HAKOL advertisers and other Federation sponsors are no exception. Here are just a few of the ways that our partners in the community are making a difference during this difficult time: Just Born Quality Confections has donated almost 15,000 plastic gloves, 120 N95 masks and candy to local hospitals. Additionally, they have partnered with The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley on a COVID-19 Community Response Fund which provides a rapid, informed and coordinated approach to assessing community need and getting dollars where they are needed most. The GIANT Company of Carlisle has established a $250,000 emergency fund to help support small businesses in Pennsylvania’s food supply chain that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Luke’s University Health Network is providing free cafeteria meals to their employees during the COVID-19 public health crisis and has also started a “Feeding the Frontlines” fundraising campaign to purchase restaurant gift cards for staff. RCN has announced a series of steps to help residential and business customers who’ve been affected directly and indirectly by COVID-19 address expanded internet connectivity needs, as well as mitigate financial hardships, including offering free internet and WiFi for 60 days to all qualifying low-income households, especially students in low income households

who do not already subscribe to their internet service and who enroll in their affordable Internet First program, not terminating service to any residential or business customer because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, and waiving any late fees that any residential or small business customer might normally incur because of their economic circumstance related to COVID-19. Service Electric has also made a commitment to not terminate service to any residential or small business due to the inability to pay their bill, waive late fees that residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstance related to the coronavirus pandemic, open its WiFi hotspots to everyone and offer free internet service for 90 days for new customers during this ongoing national emergency. Faber Liquors has switched to manufacturing hand sanitizer according to FDA standards and selling it wholesale to healthcare facilities. Consumers may also purchase it, with 2% of proceeds going to the First Responders’ Children Foundation. Thank you to our partners for their continued support of not only Federation, but the Lehigh Valley community at large!

Lehigh Valley synagogues experience virtual Shabbat and more

By Stephanie Goodling HAKOL Editor As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, houses of worship across Pennsylvania closed their doors. This included synagogues throughout the Lehigh Valley. As clergy and lay leaders were forced to adapt quickly, they have found ways to stay connected despite the limitations. All of the Lehigh Valley's

Jewish congregations are now offering some type of virtual programming. Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown is offering many study and group prayer opportunities via Zoom throughout the week. Congregation Keneseth Israel, also in Allentown, is also conducting online Friday services and Thursday studies. In Bethelehem, Congregation Am Haskalah also has moved their services and continuing education classes

online. Temple Shirat Shalom of Allentown is doing Shabbat via Zoom, as well. As Shabbat went from an intimate in-person gathering to a virtual experience, some congregations have found that attendance has actually gone up. “Doing a virtual Friday night service has been amazingly wellattended,” said Rabbi Melody Davis of Temple Covenant of Peace in Easton. “I’m finding that there are people online who

normally attend but really more who couldn’t.” Congregations are not just turning to technology such as Zoom for Shabbat services, but for educational and social purposes, as well. “People seem very pleased that we are offering different opportunities for study. I’m doing three classes a week at this point,” added Davis. Rabbi Michael Singer of Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem is also offering a wide variety of online connection points to his congregants. “I feel like I'm busier than I've ever been,” remarked Singer. He is juggling not only Shabbat services but also adult education and Hebrew school classes and other programs for the congregation along with his duties for the Bethlehem Interfaith Group, of which he is founder and leader. All of these activities are still in full swing over the internet. There’s even a social hour every Tuesday at 5 p.m. “hosted” from his house. “There are a ton of people, telling jokes and making snacks for it. It makes me hungry,” Singer quipped. Rabbi Moshe Re’em of Temple Beth El in Allentown is

also seeing the success of using technology to keep in touch. He says that many people who have moved away but who were once involved with Beth El are joining in to their virtual events. All three rabbis emphasized that they were ensuring that vulnerable and isolated members of their congregations were being checked on periodically and helped however possible. Despite the difficulties of not being able to be physically present with one another-- “I’m a hugger!” exclaimed Davis— the clergy agreed that there is still spiritual significance to the virtual Shabbat services they’ve been conducting. “On Zoom, seeing a person’s face is really quite meaningful. The Midrash says that the one who receives a person’s face is as receiving the Divine presence. That’s a powerful statement. I think there is sacredness in that moment. At times we may have technical difficulties, but once the tech settles down, that space can be a holy space as well,” said Re’em. To learn how to particpate in these programs and more, see our Virtual Event Calendar on Page 23.

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 13


#JEWISHTOGETHER: STAY CONNECTED DURING COVID-19

Screenshot from YouTube

From prayers to puppets: A one-stop shop for Jewish livestreams aims to outlast the pandemic

"Eliana Light ... And Friends!" is a Jewish children's show that airs weekly on jewishLIVE. By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency On Monday, there’s a Jewish space that hosts two Torah classes and the taping of a podcast. On Wednesday, the space offers a Jewish TV show for kids and a discussion of Jewish history. On Friday night and again on Saturday morning, it hosts several prayer services simultaneously — some experimental, some more musical, some more standard Conservative or Reform. Beyond hosting these events, the space also provides access to yoga, arts programs or classes like one titled “The Concubine in the Refrigerator: Objectifying Women in Comics and Scripture.” It is, of course, not a physical space because no one is gathering in physical spaces now. It’s a website called jewishLIVE that has become a onestop shop for Jewish livestreaming since its founding six weeks ago — right in time for the stay-at-home and social distancing orders that swept the country because of the coronavirus pandemic. JewishLive is not the only platform to be taking Jewish spiritual and

entertainment experiences online for the moment. But its founders hope the site will not only fill a need for Jewish community and content now — but also help create a new paradigm for Jewish involvement if and when things return to a semblance of normal. “If we have Jewish life right now, it’s going to be digital,” co-founder Lex Rofeberg said. “This new moment unlocks or accelerates a lot of changes that were already underway and shines a light on a lot of things we need that are new.” JewishLIVE streams its events concurrently on Zoom and Facebook. Since it launched in mid-March, the site has hosted 230 events — about five to seven a day — that have garnered more than 5,000 unique viewers. And it’s got a stable of 15 weekly events. One of the more popular, with a couple hundred viewers an episode, is the Jewish Women’s Archive Quarantine Book Club on Thursdays. Others get as few as a dozen. The site was founded by the two hosts and an avid listener of the podcast Judaism Unbound, which conducts interviews with Jewish authors, artists, teachers and activists who are generally independent of mainstream

Jewish institutions. Rofeberg and Dan Libenson host the podcast, but the genesis of the livestreaming idea came from a listener, Apryl Stern, an active member of the Bay Area Jewish community. Stern compared her vision for jewishLIVE to the fitness company Peloton, which offers exercise equipment and personalized home workouts to clients via video. “They curate experiences,” Stern said of Peloton. “They started with the cycle and branched out into all these different modes. That’s what I want for jewishLIVE. I want experiences that are high quality, curated, from people who are offering something of value.” Stern came up with the idea two years ago but it sputtered until the pandemic, when, Libenson said, “in the span of two days, every live, inperson Jewish event of any size was going to be canceled for an extended period of time.” The site launched six weeks ago from writing, on a Friday, and carried livestreams of independent Jewish congregations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. Stern watched all three. “I’m sitting in my living room and I’m watching and I’m thinking, this is exactly what I wanted all along,” she said. JewishLIVE events are hardly the only ones happening online right now. Nearly every synagogue in the country is offering versions of its services online, and Jewish nonprofits have been scheduling special events just as quickly as they can line up presenters. My Jewish Learning, like JTA published by 70 Faces Media, offers dozens of learning opportunities online each week, from group Torah study classes to a daily Kaddish minyan. For now, Rofeberg hopes to cast a wide tent in what the site broadcasts, but wants it to provide a spotlight for the small organizations or independent thinkers he and Libenson host

Harold Grinspoon Foundation commits up to $10 million to help Jewish overnight camps weather coronavirus crisis By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency

14 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

TWITTER

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation has committed up to $10 million to a matching fund to help Jewish overnight camps weather the coronavirus crisis. Dozens of eligible camps from a myriad of Jewish movements will receive $1 for every $2 they raise from other donors through the end of December, the foundation announced. The All Together Now matching grant program will be available to camps that participate in the foundation’s Jcamp180 initiative. Most Jewish camps have yet to announce whether they will open this

summer. “The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting camps especially hard,” foundation founder Harold Grinspoon said in a statement. “We don’t yet know the full extent of the resources the camps will need to weather this storm, but we know they need extra cash flow now and their needs will be significant if the camps can’t open this summer.” If a camp does not open for all or part of this summer, or if a camper withdraws from the camp season, camper families may convert some or all of their pre-paid deposits and tuition to a charitable donation to the camp for a dollar-to-dollar match from the foundation.

A sign for Camp Livingston, a Jewish summer camp in Bennington, Ind.

on their podcast. Many of the current jewishLIVE programs feature past guests. And the site divides programs into virtual “stages:” There’s a Kids’ Stage, a Music Stage, a Soul Stage and so on. “If people are in a moment where they feel isolated, our vision is that we’ll have sections of our website that will feel relevant to them,” Rofeberg said. Livestreaming, he said, is “an equal playing field, and it’s a playing field where small organizations can on some level have an impact.” Content on the site takes a range of forms. The Quarantine Book Club, which hosts authors, looks like a regular Zoom discussion. A class in psalms by Rabbi Shai Held spends a lot of time on a screenshare, with pivots to a gallery view of all participants. “Eliana Light … and Friends!,” presented as a children’s TV show by the Jewish musician, is more physically active. Light, who began innovating online early in the coronavirus crisis, jumps up and down with her guitar, dances and does kid-friendly aerobics, all to song. A recent episode, airing before the start of Passover, featured Light in an apron for baking matzah, pretending along with a hand puppet named Sheepie to be a slave to Pharaoh. A couple dozen viewers watch each weekly episode. “Even if days are difficult, preparing for the show, smiling into the camera, it has really given me even moments of joy,” Light told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, adding that performing without an audience is hard because “when you’re singing into the void, you’re creating all the energy yourself, which is exhausting.” The founders say the livestreaming has generally gone smoothly, minus the occasional anti-Semitic Zoom bomb (one intruder changed his background to a picture of Hitler before he was kicked off). But it’s still a relatively barebones operation. JewishLIVE does not pay its content creators — Libenson hopes to change that — and runs on a budget of $2,000 to $3,000 per month. And it still has a DIY feel. The start of Light’s pre-Passover episode was Rofeberg making her the host of the Zoom call before she took over and began strumming her theme song. The founders hope to see the platform remain and grow after the pandemic passes. Rofeberg said it provides expanded access to Jewish content for people with disabilities, who may not be able to experience all in-person Jewish events. And Libenson values how jewishLIVE allows people outside of large cities to access innovative Jewish prayer services happening in places like New York City or Chicago, where he lives. “After the virus is over, a lot of people will want to go back to the institutions and experiences they had before,” he said. “We believe that a lot of people are going to want to stay, so what jewishLIVE is going to become is the hub or the JCC for those people.”


HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 15


16 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY


HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 17


‘Celebrating Sam’ in style

Sam Guncler honored for 50 years at Brith Sholom at two-day event By Lora Geftic Congregation Brith Sholom

18 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

PHOTO BY LISA MASSEY

Congregation Brith Sholom honored Sam Guncler, the congregation’s ba’al t’filla, in style at a two-day “Celebrating Sam” event held March 6-7. Traditionally, a 50th anniversary is memorialized by giving gold keepsakes to the honoree. However, the ever-humble Sam made sure that all proceeds from the weekend would help enhance the Bimah in the synagogue. That was his golden keepsake. Sam has led the congregation in song and prayer since his bar mitzvah in 1968. But he didn’t stop there. Over the years, he has read the Torah, taught Hebrew school and led a variety of services, some even on crutches after a terrible motorcycle accident. Today, he is the synagogue’s regular ba’al t’filla who, according to Irving Kaplan, a member of the Board of Trustees, “spiritually uplifts our hearts and souls.” “He is the common thread that binds our community for so many years,” said Ron Ticho, president of the Board of Trustees. “His role as our hazan has truly been to inspire us to join with him in prayer and song. It’s not a performance; it’s more like an uplifting family sing-a-long.” The festivities began Friday night, March 6, with a five-course Shabbat dinner chaired by congregant Stephanie Miller-Berman and her plethora of kitchen cadets. From vegetarian chopped liver, sweet and sour meatballs and chicken soup with homemade kreplach to Hungarian goulash, roasted root vegetables and special, traditional Hungarian desserts including flodni (layers of apple, mohn, walnut,

Sam Guncler and Alison Loeb share a moment with their son Ron Guncler after his performance. prune filling between thin layers of pastry topped with powdered sugar), apple strudel and dios torta with chocolate icing (Hungarian walnut cake), the entire evening was a celebration of Sam, his devotion to Brith Sholom and his Hungarian heritage. “I have known Sam for 45 years. I am proud and pleased to have shared all these years of his davening and friendship,” added Allen Juda, rabbi emeritus, who spoke about Sam during Friday night’s program. Saturday morning’s services, led by Rabbi Michael Singer, featured Sam singing and inspiring everyone with his heartfelt words and amazing melodies. Services were topped off by a delicious kiddush chaired by Judith Rodwin and Janice Kay. They and their kitchen cadets made it truly a kiddush to honor Sam. Why did they do such a special kiddush in Sam’s honor? The answer is simple. “Sam is the heart and soul of the congregation,” congregant Ed Kay boasted. Saturday evening was the grand finale of the weekend. After a catered cocktail hour, participants were treated to a Brith Sholom-style “Gong Show” hosted by Chuck Barris, a.k.a. Ron Ticho, and judged by Sam and his wife, Alison Loeb. Ticho pranced onto the stage, did some fancy footwork and shouted, “From Bethlehem, almost live, it’s the ‘Gong Show’!” Act after act amazed the audience. The show was kicked off by chairpersons Steve Glickman, Judith Rodwin and Ruthie Shleifer singing a song with original lyrics written by Rick Neulight. “The ‘Gong Show’ was fabulous, beyond anything I imagined! First, Ron Ticho can pursue a new career as game show host. Second, our opening was not planned to go the way it did. Getting gonged was hysterical! And again, Ron handled it perfectly. None of that was planned. Seeing everyone in the room, performers and audience, sing along, stand up for their parts of the Flash Song, all for Sam, as a community, was what it was all about!” Shleifer said. Their act was followed by eight acts by congregants including “Growing Old” by Dick Sandler, “There’s Comfort in Your Song” written and sung by Yale West, “Born to Be A Cantor” by Micki Wechsler, “Pre-Shema Melodies” by Alan Cohen, “Hammering Out Social Justice and Latternflies” by Irving

Kaplan and Pam Lott, “Part of Your World” by Alexis Singer, “Who’s On First” by David Caine and “The Closer” by Gary Lader on the accordion with lyrics by Barbara Platt. Lader also accompanied the acts on the piano. “The Closer,” and its lyrics, “Hey Mister Cantor Man,” brought the house onto their feet singing along and cheering Sam. Even Sam and Alison’s son, Ron, got involved showing off his talents by skillfully creating and performing unique beat-boxing percussions and rhythms. “The best part of hosting a Brith Sholom ‘Gong Show’ was the opportunity for our congregants to truly demonstrate on the stage how much they cared for an individual who has meant so much to all of us over the years. They poured out their hearts,” offered Ticho. “For 50 years Sam has been leading us in prayer and song, and our committee felt it was time that we turn the tables and allow him to sit back as we entertained him. As it turned out, as the ‘Gong Show’ judges, both he and his wife Alison were as entertaining as the performers,” Ticho said. Even Rabbi Singer got involved. He was John Lennon, Elvis and Billy Joel, crashing onto the stage in full costume between acts wowing the audience with his beautiful voice and wonderful impersonations of each celebrity. However, these events took an army of people to accomplish. “It was so impressive to see so many congregants collaborating to celebrate Sam and to make it such a wonderful weekend. They rolled up their sleeves and made flyers, prepared the slide presentation, decorated the social hall, shopped for all the ingredients for the meals, cooked for weeks on end, performed in the show and planned for months making this weekend a true tribute to Sam,” said congregant Ursla Levy. “It's great to be able to sit and listen to your eulogies while still alive. When I go, you can plant me and go directly to the food!” Sam Guncler said as he thanked everyone for their outpouring of love. “My family and I are overwhelmed and grateful and hope we can keep singing together for a long time to come.” It was truly the grand finale of a wonderful weekend Celebrating Sam in style. He gave Brith Sholom a very special golden keepsake, his heart.


Ringel Lecture to cover safe medication use By Audrey Nolte Jewish Family Service Jewish Family Service welcomes the community to the 2020 Phyllis Ringel Memorial Lecture on Sunday, May 17, via Zoom. Dedicated to enhancing family values, this year’s presentation will focus on “Safe Medication Use for Seniors.” Registered Pharmacist Don Bastian will discuss how the aging process impacts the body’s ability to metabolize drugs. Older adults often have multiple

medical conditions or comorbidities. Seniors typically have more physician visits and consume the most drugs of all age categories. As more drugs are added to the medication profile, the chances increase for drug-drug interactions. Hopefully family members, the healthcare team and/or the senior individual can bring areas of concern to the attention of a physician to investigate, prevent or alleviate drug related issues. To register for this free 10 a.m. event, go to jfslv.org or email abuchanan@jfslv.org.

MARCIN KOZLOWSKI/MARCH OF THE LIVING

Virtual memorial plaques projected on gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Virtual memorial plaques are projected on the gates of AuschwitzBirkenau for Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 20, 2020. By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency Virtual memorial plaques were projected on to the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gates at Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

More than 10,000 of the plaques were uploaded to the March of the Living online platform, NeverMeansNever, replacing the march’s tradition of placing messages on plaques on the former concentration camp’s train tracks. The plaques illuminated the gates on the night of Monday, April 20, the start of Yom Hashoah. Among the international Jewish figures who contributed plaques were Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Mayim Bialik, Natan Sharansky, ambassadors Ron Dermer and David Friedman, Isaac Herzog and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. Some 10,000 people from 60 countries had been scheduled to participate in March of the Living at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Yom Hashoah before it was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. “This is the first time in 32 years that the March of the Living has not taken place on Holocaust Memorial Day, but we must never let the flame of memory be extinguished,” said the march’s chair, Dr. Shmuel Rosenman. “We moved our activities to the virtual space and in this way, we have ensured that Auschwitz-Birkenau is not abandoned on this important day.”

AZA goes virtual By Jake Wiener AZA When the news broke that events for the rest of the year had been cancelled for BBYO, many of us were devastated. But some were optimistic of what we could make of the rest of our year. So, we had a few Zoom meetings with the board and began to plan some remote events for the rest of the year. For one, our elections for next year's board will be held via Zoom conference. We will have the entire chapter in one Zoom call, listening to each member’s speech for the respective position. The board will then ask questions, and after everyone running for one position has given their speech and answered questions, we will vote with a poll to see who will run our board next year. While it is not the most ideal way to host elections, it is the best we can do with the current situation. We also started holding chapter meetings two times a month on Zoom. These meetings are a great way to interact with our chapter without seeing everyone in person. We were able to discuss events that we can hold over Zoom or at-home events. We are planning on hosting a virtual Shabbat event sometime in May with the entire chapter. Our board would run the event similarly to how they are in person, just over a Zoom call. We would sing the prayers, light the candles and more. It would be a great way to keep the Jewish and BBYO tradition alive during a time like this. If you have any ideas for events or questions, please email our board at allentownaza@gmail.com.

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Call your doctor today! HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 19


PARTNERSHIP2GETHER UPDATE FROM YOAV

Coming together in the time of corona By Nurit Galon Partnership2Gether On the surface, everything seems the same. The communities of Yoav nestle snugly into their surroundings, the tractors are at work in the fields, but come a little closer and it seems a little strange that there are so many children around on a weekday. Shouldn't they all be at school? And why are the children's houses and the dining room closed? Corona. The coronavirus is on the march here in Yoav as it is in the rest of Israel. But at the risk of tempting fate, and almost certainly because of the extremely wellorganized Municipal Council, the situation in Yoav is being held to a minimum effect.

Book club allows Partnership to connect during pandemic By Bayley Carl JFLV Marketing & Engagement Associate The third meeting of the “On the Same Page” book club took place Sunday, April 19, via Zoom. The meetings of this transcontinental club are run by volunteers from the Lehigh Valley and our Partnership2Gether community of Yoav. This meeting was hosted by Adina Re’em. Prior to quarantine, the Lehigh Valley contingent met as a group and communicated with everyone in Yoav via Google Hangouts. The transition to Zoom was rather seamless for this reason. “At a time when we’re all separated and alone, it’s always nice to see familiar faces coming together,” said Aaron Gorodzinsky, director of campaign and security planning for the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. During this meeting, the group discussed the book “A Pigeon and a Boy” by Meir Shalev. Re’em said she feels as though this book holds an interesting mirror to what is happening in our world today. “I used the book as a stepping stone to not only address literary issues, but also issues that we are dealing with today. This book has a firm historical background, and connects to this time of year on the Hebrew calendar, the time of Israel's memorial and Independence days,” she explained.

“All good literature is relevant to every person and the moment,” Re’em continued. “In this case, two things come to mind: the protagonist faced with the hardship of loss and abandonment finds ‘the routine has a pacifying effect’ in which he finds peace. Many of us are in need of creating new routines for ourselves in our lives limited to home. As we are creating our new routines, this meeting is a nice reminder of our routines. We are also being allowed the opportunity to learn about others’ routines through meetings like this. Not only do the Partnership book club meetings give people an opportunity to talk to others across the world, it allows people separated by generations to learn more about each other.” The book club is in the process of building up their online presence on Facebook. They have a group called "On The Same Page." That is the best source of information for those who want to stay up to date on information including Zoom links, necessary last-minute changes, links to related material such as songs and video clips and more. It is also a space where members can get to know each other better. The next book club meeting will feature a book that showcases Jewish American life and will take place sometime this summer. Future meetings will be moderated by both Adina Re’em and Ravit Blidstein.

Happy Happy2019! 2019! Happy 2019! Allentown & Lebanon Allentown & Wilkes-Barre Allentown & Lebanon Allentown & Wilkes-Barre Allentown & Lebanon Allentown & Wilkes-Barre

20 MAY 2020 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY

As of April 12, Yoav has had two victims of corona—who returned from visits abroad where they caught the virus but mildly, and after a period of quarantine at home are now fit and well. We have a small number of people in isolation for two weeks because they were in contact (sometimes unknowingly) with corona patients. Sadly, Israel is only too familiar with emergency situations and is therefore quite well prepared, though this is the first time the enemy is unseen and mostly unknown. Every kibbutz and moshav and country community has its well-trained emergency team controlled by the main Municipal team, and thus, orders and messages and information are passed easily to every member of our communities. And as is usual in Israel, threatening situations bring out the best in our citizens. Senior citizens, of which there are approximately 1,500 in Yoav, are heartwarmingly taken care of by each community, and their every need is provided by volunteers who bring to their houses everything from challot and flowers on Fridays to medicines and supplies all week round. We have the added advantage of living in the countryside, which means we can be outside most of the day. Another hero of this time is without doubt technology! Whereas a few weeks ago, Zoom was a word describing Superman's mode of getting around, today almost everyone knows you can have meetings, keep up with the family, watch movies and more, and the Pesach seder was available virtually with members of the families even at the other end of the globe. In Yoav, kibbutzim and moshavim found ingenious ways of getting together even with all the restrictions. Each family simply moved the seder table outside on the pavement or the road, and although distances were kept, somehow voices coordinated to sing the beloved Pesach songs. So Zoom, Whattsapp, Messenger, etc., have made it possible to feel a little less lonely and a little closer to family and friends. But it is not all roses, and the

financial future looks bleak. Five hundred Yoav inhabitants are at home with unpaid vacations, and though some are eligible for unemployment compensation, self-employed people are not. And of course, no one knows how long this will last. It is a worldwide situation, which does nothing to comfort anyone. We are confident that the Yoav Municipality will make every effort to help out, but resources are limited. Our community center is offering continued online activities—yoga, pilates, dancing, lectures, concerts, movies and more, and makes sure that our Arab village, Al Azi, and our youth village, Kedma, are not forgotten. One day in April, they enjoyed the music truck with a DJ that went around all the communities. The Yoav Partnership2Gether Committee meets and plans joint meetings and activities with its Lehigh Valley counterpart. So life goes on, with all of us wondering when will it end, and will we live in a different world afterward? In our towns and cities, the Corona effect is much more noticeable—empty roads, deserted streets, everything closed, and one wonders how large families living in a block of apartments on the 8th floor, how do they manage? There has been much friction with the ultra-orthodox communities who were very slow in understanding and accepting the limitations because of corona, and yet out of all this has developed new allies. The citizens of Mea Shearim applauding and cheering the soldiers who bring them food, the joint activities of secular mothers and their religious counterparts in how to keep large families with many children occupied and many more examples—if only we could all be like this in normal times! We would love to hear from our Lehigh Valley families about your experiences, your thoughts and ideas and conclusions! If you are already in touch with Yoav families, that is great, and if you would like to be, please do let us know! We pray for your safety and well-being and so look forward to the day when we can really meet up.


GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH

Helping out at the food pantry Danielle Gordon became a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth El in Allentown on March 21. The Springhouse Middle School high honor roll seventh-grader plays varsity volleyball and club volleyball. That’s a lot of volleyball, according to Danielle’s mom, Ellen Gordon. “We are always traveling to a game somewhere,” she said. Danielle wanted to do a mitzvah project, but fitting it into her already busy schedule was sometimes a challenge. “I volunteer monthly at Jewish Family Service’s Community Food Pantry,” Danielle said, “I really like it and wish I could go more often.” Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley’s Community Food Pantry provides emergency assistance to individuals

and families in the 18104 area, regardless of religion. It also serves Jewish clients across the Lehigh Valley. Stocked with food and personal items, the pantry is supported through generous contributions from our community and maintained by dedicated volunteers. JFS works in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. Food Pantry clients are able to choose the items they receive. Danielle helps with bringing in food from delivery trucks, stocking the shelves in the food pantry and breaking down boxes to recycle, all in an effort to make it easier for clients to see and choose their items. “It’s a lot of fun and I like helping people,” she said. Ellen and Lance Gordon,

Corona Cleanse? By Sandi Teplitz Special to HAKOL Did you notice as you cautiously treaded into the grocery store, all masked up, that the snack shelves were pretty bare, but the produce section was full ... what could that mean? Perhaps, several months from now a new diet will be born: let's trend and call it The Corona Cleanse. Personally, fashionable or not, I'd rather return to the gym without those extra pounds. So don't bypass the fruit section. Here's a recipe to get you started. You won't miss the chips.

Danielle’s parents, are so proud of their daughter on reaching this milestone in her life and becoming a Bat Mitzvah.

STRAWBERRIES SUPREME Cut 1 quart of hulled strawberries in half, lengthwise; they will resemble hearts. Add a scant half cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp. Meyer lemon rind, and 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Mix gently. Allow to remain at room temperature for 45 minutes. Stir again. Serve over a scoop of sorbet. Hold the whipped cream. Enjoy with a glass of chilled rosé such as the excellent one from the local kosher Binah Winery.

In addition to her mitzvah project, Danielle has made her first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, project coordinator, at abbyt@jflv.org.

Book review: ‘What the Night Sings’

By Sean Boyle JDS Librarian Vesper Stamper’s young adult novel, “What the Night Sings,” is a fully illustrated, multi-award winning novel. This Holocaust survivor story begins with the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where we meet Gerta, a 16-year-old Jewish musician from Germany suffering from typhus. As Gerta fully recovers in the British field hospital, she meets Lev, a Polish teenager, who then befriends her in the displaced persons camps. Gerta was able to survive with her Father’s prized viola, because she was selected upon arrival to be part of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, and joins in survivor orchestras but struggles to regain the happiness she once had through music. Gerta and Lev’s friendship grows while they are recovering in the camps and searching for surviving family. Lev begins to practice Orthodox traditions, which intrigues Gerta because she did not even know she was Jewish until her father told her as they were being transported to the concentration camps. Her father had changed their names, bought forged papers and hid their true identity as an attempt to hide from the Nazis. “What the Night Sings” provides a unique look at the journey of recovering in the

displaced persons camps. The reader witnesses the daily established routines assisting with survivors recovery, prejudices of the British troops, the trauma survivors endured as they searched for lost family members and their attempts to return to their hometowns. Stamper weaves in several true incidents disclosed from her survivors’ interviews. The illustrations were originally created as part of a graduate school project that was submitted as an adult short story. Stamper’s professor encouraged her to submit it for publishing and after several rejections, an editor recommended that it be re-written as a young adult story. Stamper states that when she made Gerta younger, the story wrote itself and became a full novel. In 2012, Stamper suffered a

traumatic car accident that left her dominant arm partially paralyzed and she’s had to relearn how to draw, and she still struggles to play the guitar. Stamper is a singer-songwriter, illustrator, author and artist. Through Gerta, she shares her emotions of working through loss. Their shared grief of losing their previous gifts and the struggles endured while facing life under the new conditions become the foundation of building a new life. Highly recommended for ages 14-120, with special interest for those interested in stories about recovery of artistic gifts after traumatic experiences. A copy of “What the Night Sings” is available at the Jewish Day School Library. What the Night Sings (Stamper, Vesper, New York, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018, 272p.)

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 21


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French-Jewish spy who survived the Holocaust celebrates 100th birthday with (socially distanced) car parade Left, Marte Cohn greets well-wishers in a car parade celebrating her 100th birthday. By Marcy Oster Jewish Telegraphic Agency The 100th birthday of a Holocaust survivor and former French-Jewish spy

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who went behind Germany enemy lines was feted with an appropriately socially distanced parade of cars. Marthe Cohn sat in her driveway in Los Angeles wearing a face mask and gloves as cars full of people drove by wishing her well, shouting through rolled-down windows and sun roofs. A banner hanging on the garage door behind her read “Happy 100 Birthday Mrs. Cohn.” Neighbors stood in their driveways holding signs bearing wellwishes, too. A letter of congratulations from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was read over a bullhorn and Cohn later received a phone call from both Rivlin and the president of Germany, as well as hundreds of emails. A new documentary, “The Accidental Spy,” tells her story, and Cohn co-wrote a memoir in 2002, “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany.”


Virtual 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.

VIRTUAL EVENTS FROM OUR LOCAL JEWISH AGENCIES SUNDAY, MAY 3

Benito Mussolini Saved My Life - Holocaust Survivor Charles Ticho’s Story

11 a.m., Congregation Brith Sholom via Zoom Charles Ticho, contributing writer to The Jerusalem Post, will be speaking (from Israel) for a Congregation Brith Sholom program through Zoom (open to the Jewish Community) on the subject: “Benito Mussolini Saved My Life” and the details are below. Learn more in the article at www.jpost.com/ judaism/the-torah-scroll-of-boskovice-finds-a-newhome-in-pennsylvania-624791. Zoom Meeting ID: 917 6929 2587; Password: NEVERFORGT

THURSDAY, MAY 7

Interfaith Hour of Prayer

12 p.m., Bethlehem Interfaith Group via Zoom ALL ARE WELCOME. Zoom Meeting ID: 997 3326 9693. Password: 2GTRWEPRAY

THURSDAY, MAY 7

Women’s Philanthropy Spring Event

Online Learning with JDS

Congregation Keneseth Israel Virtual Shabbat

Daily Learning with Rotem

Congregation Am Haskalah Online Erev Shabbat Services

MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley students are fully engaged in online learning and the school is sharing videos and resources with the community on their Facebook page at www.facebook. com/JewishDaySchoolLV. 12 p.m., Federation Facebook page Cooking, dancing, story time, family activities and more! Israeli shlicha Rotem Bar is bringing you some of her favorites, from her home to yours, every weekday at 12 p.m. New videos will be posted on the Federation Facebook page at www. facebook.com/jewishlehighvalley.

TUESDAYS

Torah Tuesdays

7 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace via Zoom Torah on Tuesdays - Interactive Torah study group. Every week until May 19, 2020. You will need the password! (Zoom has upped their security protocols.) Zoom Meeting ID: 497 103 208; Password: 390070.

7 p.m., Jewish Federation via Zoom The $365 Division of Women’s Philanthropy invites all Jewish women in the Lehigh Valley to join them this year for a very special virtual Spring Event. Put on a little lipstick, grab a beverage and tune in via Zoom, where featured speaker Lisa Friedman Clark will share her moving story of “dancing between the raindrops” and embracing optimism during trying times. Lisa likes to call herself the “luckiest unlucky” person she knows. Everything in her life has been big -- both physically and experientially. At 6”1 with bright red hair, she clearly stands out in a crowd. Yet it is her life story of “dancing between the raindrops” that is Lisa’s most memorable attribute. Lisa will share her story of embracing optimism in difficult times and how the Federation system has played a critical role in every facet of her journey. Lisa will be joined by her sons who have created a business with charity at its core. To register for this event and receive the Zoom link, go to tinyurl.com/y9j9la2n or email wendy@jflv.org.

Basic Hebrew Tuesdays

SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

Brith Sholom Kabbalat Shabbat

Daf Yomi

7:30 a.m., Congregation Sons of Israel via Zoom Are you intrigued by thought-provoking, stimulating and provocative religious discussion? Are you enamored by the depth and scope of the Jewish legal system? Are you curious about Judaism’s perspective on marriage, tort law, Jewish burial, holiday observance, prayer, blessings and, for that matter, nearly any Jewish topic? Then Sons of Israel’s daily “Daf Yomi” class is for you. Meeting all year long -- and right now via Zoom -- 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. To access the daily Zoom conference, use zoom. us/j/5598767191.

Morning Prayer Group

8:30 a.m., Congregation Sons of Israel via Zoom Join Rabbi Nisan Andrews of Sons of Israel for a morning prayer group. To access the daily Zoom conference, use zoom.us/j/5598767191. Along with the prayer group, Rabbi Andrews will also be sending out a daily insight email. To subscribe, email him at rabbicsoi@gmail.com.

8:15 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace via Zoom Every week until June 2, 2020. You will need the password! (Zoom has upped their security protocols.) Zoom Meeting ID: 982 8967 9099; Password: 486979.

WEDNESDAYS

Judaism 101 Wednesdays

11 a.m., Temple Covenant of Peace via Zoom Every week until June 3, 2020. You will need the password! (Zoom has upped their security protocols.) Zoom Meeting ID: 952 4084 8264; Password: 448461.

FRIDAYS - SHABBAT SERVICES

JCC Virtual Shabbat

11:15 a.m., JCC Facebook LIVE Join the JCC for Virtual Shabbat with the little ones on Facebook LIVE. Visit www.facebook.com/JCCLV to learn more. 6 p.m., Congregation Brith Sholom via Zoom Join Congregation Brith Sholom for a Kabbalat Shabbat service with Rabbi Singer and Chazan Sam. Zoom Meeting ID: 677 083 639; Password: SHABBATLUV.

Temple Beth El Kabbalat Shabbat

6 p.m., Temple Beth El Facebook LIVE Join Rabbi Moshe Re’em for a Kabbalat Shabbat service via Facebook LIVE. Like the Temple Beth El Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TempleBeth-El-1471610986384380 to follow along.

Temple Shirat Shalom Shabbat Services

6 p.m., Temple Shirat Shalom via Zoom Please join us for Shabbat services on Friday nights. We will be able to see each other and hear each other. Zoom Meeting ID: 819 2143 3408; Password: 091889.

Temple Covenant of Peace Shabbat Services 7 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace via Zoom Please join us for Shabbat services on Friday nights. Zoom Meeting ID: 354 606 828; Password: 681393.

7 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel via Zoom Join Congregation Keneseth Israel for a virtual Shabbat service. Email vdunn@kilv.org for the link to the Zoom meeting.

7:30 p.m., Congregation Am Haskalah via Zoom Please join us for weekly Erev Shabbat services, held at zoom.us/j/5274597031. Open to ALL. For tech support or any questions, email Liz at AmHaskalahDirector@gmail.com.

Easton Jewish Community Friday Night Services

7:30 p.m., Easton Jewish community via Zoom The Easton Jewish community will be holding virtual Friday evening services on Zoom for the foreseeable future. All are welcome. Zoom Meeting ID: 354 606 828 and password: 681393 to join.

VIRTUAL EVENTS FROM AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD FRIDAY, MAY 1

Front End Justice Webinar: Exploring Why Pretrial Reform is Needed

12 p.m., JCPA via Zoom A simple fact is what happens during pretrial affects the sentence of individuals. Those that are detained pretrial—regardless of whether they are detained due to lack of money for bail or bond or due to poor policies that do not allow for release on own recognizance—are more likely to get a prison/jail sentence. The front end of the justice system, from arrest to adjudication, is in need of reform to ensure that public safety goals are met. Right now, the front end discriminates against those that are improvished, and those that do not have the resources for a private attorney. Pretrial release reform is top of the list of efforts to make sustained change in how we use the criminal justice system. With Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Executive Partner, Pretrial Justice Initiative; DeAnna R. Hoskins, President/CEO, Just Leadership USA; Faye S. Taxman, Co-Chair, JCPA Criminal Justice Initiative. Register at tinyurl.com/yd5cd972.

TUESDAY, MAY 5

AJA Webinar Series! Steeled in Adversity: Jews & the History of Communal Health Crises in America Featuring Pamela Nadell and Gary P. Zola

4 p.m., Zoom The Marcus Center will be hosting special 45-minute webinars featuring leading American Jewish historians in dialogue with Dr. Gary P. Zola, executive director of the AJA and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience. Each session will focus on intriguing documents that relate to Jewish life and past communal health crises in America. The primary goal of these webinars will be to provide participants with lessons that apply to our current circumstances, and it is hoped that these sessions will provide participants with documents that can be used for teaching and homiletical purposes. Register at zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_K0xEccClT6-SjrtCpiXnOA.

TUESDAY, MAY 12

AJA Webinar Series! Steeled in Adversity: Jews & the History of Communal

Health Crises in America Featuring Lance J. Sussman and Bailey Romano

4 p.m., Zoom The Marcus Center will be hosting special 45-minute webinars featuring leading American Jewish historians in dialogue with Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the AJA and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience. Each session will focus on intriguing documents that relate to Jewish life and past communal health crises in America. The primary goal of these webinars will be to provide participants with lessons that apply to our current circumstances, and it is hoped that these sessions will provide participants with documents that can be used for teaching and homiletical purposes. Register at zoom.us/ webinar/register/WN_K0xEccClT6-SjrtCpiXnOA.

MONDAY through FRIDAY

Momentum Boost Webinar Series

1 p.m., Momentum We all need a boost, don’t we? In this challenging time, so many of us are feeling anxious and confused. This uncharted territory is our new reality and we’re all trying to navigate our way through it. Momentum is here to help. This daily series will run like a TV show – same time, same place, every day, for 30 minutes, and we’ll cover the topics you care about most – especially today! Each webinar will include wisdom, tools, techniques, and motivational messages from the Trip Leaders you love to experts you’ll truly appreciate. Visit Momentum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/momentumunlimitedofficial to learn more.

Daily Online Meditation

12:30 p.m., Institute for Jewish Spirituality One of their master teachers will lead a live daily guided meditation. Join with people from around the world to share 30 minutes of Jewish mindfulness. Open to all, no experience needed. Sign up at tinyurl.com/ybzk478p.

TUESDAYS

Jewish Meditation for Calm & Resilience 8 to 8:45 a.m., Institute for Jewish Spirituality and JPRO Network Drop in for a meditation session, led by an experienced Jewish mindfulness meditation instructor. These sessions will help you develop your ability to pay attention to the present moment, cultivate calmness, practice kindness towards yourself and others, and respond to this difficult moment more wisely and skillfully. Register at jpro.z2systems.com/np/clients/jpro/eventRegistration. jsp?event=108.

Weekly Torah Study

12 to 12:25 p.m., Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbi Jonathan Slater will lead a weekly program: “Torah Study to Sustain The Soul,” aimed at addressing an aspect of spiritual life that will help us navigate this time of uncertainty and isolation. Open to all, no previous knowledge needed. Sign up at tinyurl.com/ybzk478p.

WEDNESDAYS

AIPAC Club Member Webinars

2 p.m., AIPAC AIPAC Engage is a brand new virtual conversation series developed exclusively for AIPAC club members. This program will take place at the same time each Wednesday and will feature subject matter experts to discuss the latest developments impacting the U.S.-Israel relationship. Club members can check their email for access information.

with Cantor Wartell FRIDAYS 8-9:30 AM WMUH 91.7

muhlenberg.edu/wmuh | 484.664.3456

Celebrate the beauty of Shabbat

Shabbat & Yom Tov Candlelighting Times

Friday, May 1 Friday, May 8 Friday, May 15

7:41 pm 7:48 pm 7:55 pm

Friday, May 22 Friday, May 29 Friday, June 5

8:01 pm 8:07 pm 8:12 pm

HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | MAY 2020 23


GIVE GIFTS OF ISRAEL BONDS GIVE OFS ISRAEL BONDS FOR ALL CELEBGIFTS R ATORY O CC ASION FOR ALL CELEB R ATORY O CC ASION S

Mazel Tov Mazel Tov BONDS

BONDS

STARTING AT STARTING AT

$100 $100 eMitzvah* eMitzvah* BONDS

BONDS

STARTING AT STARTING AT

$36 $36

ISRAELBONDS.COM Development Corporation for Israel HaroldISRAELBONDS.COM F. Marcus, Executive Director

INVEST IN ISRAEL BONDS INVEST IN ISRAEL BONDS

AN INVESTMENT

*Available only online. This is not an offering, which can be made only by prospectus. Read the

prospectus carefully investing Corporation for Israel SusanDevelopment Schiffrin, Registered Representative *Available onlybefore online. This is to notfully an evaluate offering, which the risks investing in Israel bonds. canassociated be madewith only by prospectus. Read the Harold F. Marcus, Executive Director PA 19102 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1302 • Philadelphia, Issues prospectus subject to availability. Member to FINRA. carefully before investing fully evaluate Susan Schiffrin, Registered Representative philadelphia@israelbonds.com • 215.545.8380 • 800.752.5671 the risks associated with investing in Israel bonds. 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1302 • Philadelphia, PA 19102 Issues subject to availability. Member FINRA. philadelphia@israelbonds.com • 215.545.8380 • 800.752.5671

IN 70 OF ANYEARS INVESTMENT EXTRAORDINARY IN 70 YEARS OF

ACHIEVEMENT EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT

00th th

Anniversary

Anniversary

Profile for Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

HAKOL - May 2020  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

HAKOL - May 2020  

The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

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